The unmistakable smell of smoke. That harsh smell that you get when ya walk past a bonfire on November 5th in the UK.
Or the smell of bridges burning...
I've spent the past hour fighting with the god awful SL groups system, removing myself as an owner of several Dr Who groups and passing ownership of one of them, the biggest of them all, over to Tristan.
Over the past week I have been fighting an uphill struggle trying to patch over the problems that have been happening in the Dr Who community. It was no secret that in the early days of SL the BBC had an interest in it, they even had a single estate island.. which they never done anything with cause back then no one had a clue about how to do anything in Second Life.
Over the past few months there has been a growing push by the BBC to make their "online presence" felt a bit more. BBC America is toying with the idea of setting up their own island, not in SL but on open sim, to give fans a chance to go to the BBS US site, click on some button somewhere and a client launches that drops them into the BBC America open sim. Whether they go ahead with the idea or not is an entirely different matter
BBC here in the UK have been showing more of an interest in SL as well. Visiting the Dr Who sims, at least the ones that are left anyway, but in the majority of the busy sims they visited, they found an underlying darker current, and that darker current has been going on for a while now...
Here's the kicker though, it wasnt as if it was ONLY the Dr Who sims that they found that dark underlying current. Ohhhhh no, you see they also visited a few of the other major franchise based sims, Star Trek and the likes, and again, they found a separate darker undertone. An undertone of "Doctor Who? hah! nothing more than a little cult show".
All through this morning I asked myself a simple question.
"Can this be salvaged?"
The conclusion I came up with is a resounding "no".
Its not just a case of the problems inherent in the community itself, its the problems outside of the community when they look towards the Dr Who community in SL and think of it as just some little cult show with a few hundred followers. The deeper issues of a BBC trying to explain to the accountants that it would be worth their while to spend about 300USD a month in SL while all around them within SL is a bigger SciFi community throwing rocks at the glasshouse while we are all inside it.
...and THAT is something that no one can fix.
So, this morning, after wishing Lia all my best wishes and thanks for her and the team sticking around in SL, I decided to call it a day. I would say it was someone elses problem, but that problem no longer exists. The BBC will simply not show any interest in coming back into Second Life like they did back in the early days of the platform... due to a mix of problems from within the community, but more surprising to me from outside of the community.
As for me? I'm retiring, to New Babbage, where all old timelords go eventually in SL.