Sometimes blog titles just write themselves.
Originally Mini Mole was going to be my first feature post, but we were unable to line that up at the time. A few things have changed since the beginning, which made it a better time to post about Mini Mole the person who heads up the Bellisseria Mentor program for Second Life/Linden Lab.
I have had the pleasure of spending some time at the Welcome HUB with Mini Mole and other Mentors, and she is a lot of fun, as well as a great leader of the Belli HUB Mentors and what has expanded from there in recent months.
Sasy: You have been a Mole for many years now, well over a decade as your profile states. Have you always been a Mole in the Linden Homes arena, or have you had various roles over the years?
Mini Mole: Yes, Mini Mole has been around for a long, long time. Rumor has it she might have gone deep underground and worked for the CIA’s (Conscientious Insomniac Addicts) clandestine task force in Meauxle Bureaux also known as Moleville. I recently surfaced in May of this spring and was assigned the important role of community manager of the Bellihub and Linden Demo Homes regions. I think I have said too much on this question, if I reach 461 characters I get cut o…
(she is too funny)
Sasy: Recently the implementation of a welcome area to teach new residents about Second Life was launched with the added advantage of the Bellisseria HUB, it also included the addition of Second Life Bellisseria Mentors. How has that been going and have their been any changes to how you have approached helping residents?
Mini Mole: It has been going very well, the response for Bellisseria mentors exceeded our expectations. We recently started the Bellisseria Help Group, which allows residents to ask their questions in the group chat and our mentors can assist and answer their questions. You can join this group here – Copy and paste the following into nearby chat in-world > secondlife:///app/group/1a641154-1de7-899f-717c-4dd440632ce1/about
That was one of the changes I mentioned, that the information needed by Residents from all over expanded into an inworld help group. This allows more Mentors than are on shift to be available at various times for help. Mentors usually work in two-hour windows in the set locations, the group means that even if not on ‘duty’ they can still help from wherever they may be in Second Life at the time.
Sasy: With all of the themes currently available on Bellisseria, what is your favourite to date, and what would you like to see in the future?
Mini Mole: That’s a tough question to answer, all the themes are so wonderful. If I had to pick one current theme, I’d have to say the Sakura theme. What I want to see in the future is a theme I have always dreamed of and is not released yet.
With that as Mini’s answer, I decided to check out the Sakura theme, first at Bellisseria and then connected with Lil Val Shepherd (previous interviewee, who was on shift at Belli HUB) and she was able to teleport me over to the regions that are part of the Sakura theme builds, and it is such a wonderful theme. Not only do you have the themed builds of the homes, but the roadways and waterways are just perfection, and the snow covered mountain-top in the distance just made everything perfect. I found the whole area of regions so tranquil, and while there were a few that featured add-ons it was more kept to the original style of home. However I actually also read a notecard from the Belli Hub display homes, and these builds include 16 options, 8 of which are made to fit the 1024 plots, but the other 8 were originally designed for the 512 plots, but just means you end up with more garden space. I found that actually really fun, as you can have a lot more Zen Garden if you wish to, or the larger very open plan living style that these homes create. I took my pictures in the regions of Hirachi, Ijou and the many more surroundings, so find them on World Map (Ctrl M) and explore.
Sasy: How many Moles roughly work on each theme? Do they all have particular roles to play in development, such as one Mole working on mesh, another on textures, etc., or is it a situation where everyone does a bit of everything?
Mini Mole: I can’t give you an exact number, about 2 dozen. There are Moles that do all the different aspects of building a new theme and region. It’s very collaborative.
Sasy: A few people have sacrificed the home look by turning their linden homes into community locations, library, café, museum etc…are there plans in the future for commercial properties to keep that village atmosphere alive?
Mini Mole: This is true and we love seeing resident’s creative styling, although when doing a residential faux commercial theme they have to abide by the covenant, no faux commercial atmosphere that distracts from the theme of the home.
As for the future, I don’t really know and even if I did, I wouldn’t be able to discuss it. Our rule of thumb, if we don’t know ourselves and haven’t heard Patch talk about it in public, we don’t talk about it either.
Sasy: Are there any locations that you recommend in Bellisseria, for those who may want to explore the regions?
Mini Mole: I fully recommend residents and visitors to Bellisseria to stop by and explore all the community centers. There is so much to see and experience and each one has beautiful, well thought out features that people can enjoy.
Sasy: and finally…What are your three top tips to share with residents that may be starting their Linden homes journey?
1. Stop by one of our two Bellisseria Linden Demo home regions and look through the various themes and models for the one that fills your own unique taste.
2. Find the community center for the theme you think you’d enjoy living in and explore it and the surrounding neighborhood.
3. Read the Bellisseria Covenant and be sure when you do move into your Bellisseria home, you stay within the guidelines when decorating your home. It makes for a happy experience for you, your neighbors and visitors.
Fun fact about Moles, they are similar to Lindens in the fact that they have trading cards you can collect, like the Lindens have Linden Bears. Now Mini Mole has three to collect, and I did get all three, but the one shown is my favourite, and by not showing you the others, it may entice you further to track her down and collect your own. So if you ever do see a Mole out in the world, ask them for their trading card. Also very important fact…Moles are not Lindens, they are people that take on the tasks that help Second Life look the way it does in public areas, they do things like run the Mentor program, the Shop & Hop events and so on. So if you do see one in the wild, thank them for their efforts, because we are a lot of people, and they are only two dozen plus, and we are far more intimidating. They do not have Linden powers, they can not do customer support etc, but they are a friendly bunch, so will help in the ways they are able.
Thank you Mini Mole for your answers, and also for all that you do to help the BelliHUB Mentor program thrive.
All images taken using EEP sky settings by Juicy.