Recently the Manitou Market (Meaford region) announced that it would be lowering prim limits to 500 per store (from 750-1,000). We spoke to Silversmith Estates CEO Winter Silversmith about these changes and about the community of Manitou.
CJ: You lowered the prims to 500 in the Meaford region, was this because you were almost maxed out on prims?
Winter: Not at all, in fact we had four thousand prims left when we decided to lower limits. The change from a seven hundred fifty cap to five hundred prims meant that we could fill the gaps with new stores. In the span of an hour we added eight new stores.
CJ: How many storefronts does Meaford have now?
Winter: We now have twenty-three storefronts, and as of this morning, twenty of those were rented and being filled.
CJ: What shops does your Meaford mall feature?
Winter: We have so much variety in our mall, from textures to sound effects, camping supplies to clothing, and art to boutiques. We have come a long way and there's still room to expand.
CJ: We heard you hired a new Manager for rentals? Tell us about them.
Winter: Kaleena Honi is our new Rentals and Public Relations Manager. She has lived in Manitou for several months now. She's been awesome at filling the new shops and encouraging new members to move to Manitou. I had just finished setting up the eight new storefronts and in the span of a couple hours she had five of them occupied. She is very helpful at guiding new residents and shop owners to the various services in GCG. If you want to rent a store or house in Manitou you need to talk to Kaleena and she'll get you set up.
CJ: You don't charge a rental rate for your parcels. Why not?
Winter: Since my early days in SecondLife I've always provided others with low cost and free housing and shop space. The first housing development I built was called Olympus Commons, located just north of Ambrosium Mall in SL (both of which are long gone now). It was a small development of half a dozen low income houses. I lost money every week on that development but I played a role in giving a dozen residents a safe low cost home to get their start in SL. I have been fortunate to experience the kindness and generousity of other members and I believe in paying it forward. I am lucky, in RealLife, to have a good job so I can afford to provide all of my houses and shops free of charge. I spend over three hundred and fifty dollars Canadian per year for our regions so donations are always greatly appreciated.
CJ: What about lag?
Winter: We have a strict monitoring process in place that keeps our Scripts level to 0.99ms or less on the region, if members are experiencing lag on our regions it's not from our shops or services. We usually run around 0.6ms at most even with the new stores being added. We also request a general Restart of our regions once per week, usually on Sundays, to reduce any residual lag from vendor boards and new items brought into the region. The Restarts also bring our World Map image up to date so visitors have the most accurate view of Manitou.
CJ: Do you have a Covenant, if so, how strict is it?
Winter: Yes, we have a Covenant that covers all regions. It is updated four times a year. We try to keep it simple and not overly strict. Our greatest concerns are lag and the aesthetic beauty of our community. We have rules concerning scripts and light settings.
CJ: We recently started a feature called "GCG At Night" which featured photos from Manitou. Is Manitou best viewed in the Daylight or at Midnight settings?
Winter: We have designed our regions to be enjoyed in all lighting conditions, twenty-four hours a day. We hope that when visitors come to our regions they do so under Region Default lighting to experience the full effect. We have an amazing night sky that everyone should take the opportunity to experience.
CJ: Do you have a website for your mall?
Winter: Yes, www.manitoutourism.ca features the Market, Contests, and all of our regions managed by Manitou Tourism.
CJ: Who is Manitou Tourism?
Winter: It was getting confusing with all of the different companies operating at once so I decided it was time for change. We restructured our company in 2015 and it is in place now. Silversmith Estates is the sort of "umbrella corporation" that owns all of the regions. They are responsible for 'keeping the lights' on so to speak. Manitou Tourism is the "parent company" that manages the Manitou Market, Manitou Renters Association, Studio City Manitou, and this publication the Corran Journal. They cover renting, advertising, event management, promotions, and more. They are also the company that sponsors events like the GCG Hunts committee and the 2015 Christmas Spectacular.
CJ: Are you hiring?
Winter: At the moment we are always looking for reporters for our Corran Journal blog to cover events and activities throughout the GCG. The Corran Journal is GCG's oldest running publication and is set up to cover all activities in the Great Canadian Grid.
CJ: GCG is Canadian, are you?
Winter: Yes, my RealLife name is Kevin Klerks. I 'went public' a couple years ago. I am originally from Ontario, Canada. I have also lived in Nunavut, Canada and Ohio, USA. I now live in Alberta, Canada near the Rocky Mountains. I have actually used my inworld experiences on my RL resume. In RealLife I've been in retail for approximately twenty-five years and I currently manage a general store.
CJ: If readers have questions about Manitou how do they contact you?
Winter: They can notecard me inworld (IMs get lost), or they can email me at email@example.com or catch me inworld, I'm usually on in the mornings and late evenings (GCG time).
CJ: Thank you for your time Winter.
Winter: Thank you, I am always happy to answer your questions about our community.
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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)