Winter Silversmith (Kevin M. Klerks): Thank you for taking a few moments from your busy schedule to answer some of our questions Roddie. Okay, let me begin by asking you about the recent conversations involving commercialization of the Great Canadian Grid. Why is having a commercialized grid bad, is that the business plan that made SecondLife and InWorldz the massive worlds they are today?
Roddie Macchi (Roderick MacDougall) of the Great Canadian Grid: You’re right. The objective of their business plans is to make their developers money, that’s why they put so much expertise and time and effort into what they know… to make money from it. I agree, they should, it is their livelihood, their income, their families’ way of living and putting food on their tables. I will never ever put that down or disrespect that, that is how they make ends meet.
Winter: And with you it's different?
Roddie: I, on the other hand, don’t need to do this for the money. I know that sounds like I’m bragging but the fact is I don’t. I don’t because I have no kids, no wife, nothing that pushes my abilities except one thing. The people. I love people. I love people and our residents because I have no one else. Sounds weird but it’s the truth. I love helping others and making others happy. It’s literally all I have in me to give.
Winter: You recently closed the GCG Freelands. Many grids across the OpenSim offer free land to new members why have you chosen to go against the trends?
Roddie: I closed the Freelands because, bottom line, we need the space. A lot of people who live there aren’t even inworld anymore. We have hundreds of creators looking for free spots to put their stores. So, why not give the creators their space for their stores and new residents can seek out free homes across the grid.
Winter: What about new members who don’t have a lot of money and are looking for a place to call home?
Roddie: We have tonnes of regions offering free homes and free parcels, including you Winter.
Winter: Yes, that’s right, we do on Manitou and I know several other established land developers who offer free parcels for anyone who needs a home.
Roddie: All new members should ask for help in the GCG Chat room, or from one of our staff members or volunteers or from anyone that’s what makes GCG so special… it’s the community feel you get living here.
Winter: You are no longer offering scenic regions on the website, are these no longer available and why the change?
Roddie: The way members purchase regions have changed because it’s time to go back to what and how I started this… as a cottage country escape for friends and family to come to and live here and enjoy. It has gotten so commercialized that even I didn’t like it <laughing> but we’re back and being the grid we once were well known as.
Winter: And what is that?
Roddie: The friendliest and best event grid place going of course <smiles>
Winter: You’ve added a second GCG Marketplace region, why and how much does it cost to set up there?
Roddie: The GCG Marketplace is growing, and many new creators are coming in and setting up. It is free to them, no cost, so if they don’t sell anything it’s no sweat off their backs and all it costs them was the time to set up which isn’t that much. We will be creating as many Marketplace regions as we can as each Marketplace is filled <smiles>.
Winter: This year GCG lost one of its largest music venues, the Dreamland Group when Jen Smith took a break from managing. Is there an opportunity for growth in the entertainment industry or are music venues dying out here?
Roddie: Jen Smith is a hard worker… too hard of a worker… what she does is go crazy on entertaining and then poof she kills herself from working too hard and has to take a break. So she will probably be back again but for now she’s resting.
Winter: I have heard comments about how slow it is on the grid during this past summer and right now, thoughts on that?
Roddie: You have to remember we’re Canadians. Summer time is slow on the grid and winter time is booming. Why? Because we are outside in the summer and inside during the winter <laughing>.
Winter: Why did you create a GCG Communications region and what do you hope is the result of this new region?
Roddie: The GCG News region was created to allow all grids, not just GCG, and their news to be able to say “Hey, this is us” meaning their paper and their news on their grid. I am very proud to have media like that here.
Winter: People come, people go and people come back again. Why do they leave GCG? What brings them back?
Roddie: Well, I didn’t make this grid so others could make money off me and that’s what bothers them because I can say that. But let’s face it when buyers aren’t buying the creators leave and that, to me, is an insult not only to me but to my residents for pay for their regions… who pay to be here… who pay to have things and then suddenly if a creator isn’t making money they leave?
Winter: I can tell that that bothers you.
Roddie: To me, that’s selfish, not thinking of all their customers who bought from them enough to stick around when the economy slows down, it’s like a slap in the face. “Thanks everyone, I sold what I can but now that no one is buying I’m outta here”. That’s disgusting.
Winter: And the solution to that you feel is offering free stores?
Roddie: Yes, so now what I’m doing is giving creators free stores. No gain no loss. In other words, it won’t cost them anything to be here, so plop down your stuff. It is doesn’t sell it shouldn’t matter to you because it didn’t cost you anything for the space to sell.
Winter: What do you think about creators who set up their products for sale and then disappear for months on end, what we call in the business 'parking your prims'?
Roddie: If you put out your stuff for sale and then you are never around even with not having to pay then that’s just them being ignorant and not caring about their customers. What did you go into business for if you don't want to take the time to serve your customers and support them with their purchase.
Winter: Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us this evening. Is there anything you would like to add?
Roddie: The GCG is here to stay. I said this before three years ago and I mean it. Why? Everyone thinks that this is all just a business to me <laughing> too funny. No. I created this grid on my own with no devs (developers) or Terry or anyone a long time ago and why well because I knew how to. I knew what people wanted and I know how to run a grid. I did it before. I won’t say where but let’s just say I know what works. I love my creation, it’s me. Everything you see is me, it’s my baby and always will be. I will never let it die no matter what.
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We are a roleplay publication featuring activities in the Manitou, GCG regions and beyond.
Kevin M. Klerks, Editor
(aka Winter Silversmith)