Saturday, 12 April 2008

Slovenia and Si.moblie

Although I hadn't planned it this way, it looks like my blogging theme for the day seems to be Slovenia, and people and companies generally Slovene. To start, Iyan Writer, mentioned in my previous post, is Slovenian, although you'd be hard pressed to spot that he's not a native English speaker - or at least, writer. And now, while touring the Northern perimeter of the grid I stumbled across the Slovenia sim. In fact, there's a trio of sims, as we also have Slovenia Welcome and Corporate Island.

But first, a little about the country as it is in the atomic world. Slovenia is the Northernmost of the the republics to emerge from the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. It is also the most European, being a member of: The European Union; NATO and the Eurozone, as well as being a signatory to the Schengen ("open borders") Agreement. So a damned sight more integrated into Europe than my own country, then (damn 'em). It has a population of about 2million, of whom around a quarter of million live in the capital, Llubljana. Much to some people's surprise, you will see that their internet country identifier is "si" and not "sl" - which in fact belongs to Sierra Leone. I wonder if there is going to be a rush of new Sierra Leonian blogs and websites? Hmmm....

But back to Slovenia, the sim this time. Despite the name, this is actually the site for Vodafone's Slovenian subsidiary (or perhaps that should be 'partner'), From what I can glean, the sim may have been around for quite some time. If so, I still think it needs some finishing. The basic structure of the island hangs off some sort of transport system (which did not appear to be running when I was there). A track loops around and across the island, with a number of stops offering different functions. The two that I particularly noted were The Lab and The Arena. The former, I gather, should allow you test out various aspects of the company's services - while the latter is simply a large dance arena. While not much of a dancer myself, I did like the textures in The Arena, perhaps because they broke away from the corporate colour scheme imposed on the rest of the island. It looks like there will be a big dance event here on 17th April (mid-day PDT/SLT). I was interested to see that the build has been done by a bunch of avatars with ACS as their surname - indicating Anshe Chung Studios.

The Welcome sim seemed empty - though I may not have been looking in the right place. I assume that this is an orientation sim. Corporation Island appears to be the work of FM Virtual, and features a skyscraping office block. On the ground floor you will find a large tourism advertisment and a teleport guide to the companies (supposedly) housed here. I say "supposedly" because it is such an impressive list that it seems unlikely they would all sign up for what is, after all, a tiny office area. Each company has a small office space, sufficient to host a meeting for, say, 10 people (I didn't count). The Kongresni Center offers more public meeting spaces, such as a cafe. There are also some buildings for rent.

Overall, despite reading that the Slovenia sim was complete, I get the impression that it is being revamped and augmented by the new Slovene sims. Anyway... as usual, here's a few traveller's snaps:

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