Why I’m here


I am part of this renewed blogging experiment because I want to discover if I, a particular avatar and persona, have a distinct voice. The typist has some pretty clear personae that are externally defined—son, employee, things like that—and which have different modes of expression. What might be learned from creatively exploring internally defined personae? Beyond being treated as elaborate paper dolls, that is.

I, like everyone in Second Life, can appear male or female, and for the first few months of my existence, I appeared as both. The character in Ursula Le Guin’s The Left Hand of Darkness after whom I am named, Genly Ai, is decidedly (and essentially, for plot reasons) male. However that may be, it gradually became apparent that I prefer to appear as a human female.

Who am I?


If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you had added the feed to a reader at some point in the past. It certainly hasn’t been because of scintillating recent posts! But in the spirit of new beginnings, here’s a bit of reintroduction and redirection.

Otenth Paderborn came into existence in November 2006 when the typist had a particularly persistent cold that kept him home from work and bored. So I tried out the new thing, Second Life. I joined at the beginning of the first major swell of publicity. In the years since, my interest has waxed and waned. It is currently waxing. I am once again renting Caledon Murdann (albeit in a different location than its original placement). After some months of being rather bored with DJing, I’m once again acquiring new music, am in the process of organizing my music library in a new system, and have had a couple of tea dance events at the Bashful Peacock that have been really fun, both to prepare and at the event.

Genly Dwi

Gander Hawthorn

Ing Sparrowhawk

Balder Badger

Mimmoth Steamweaver

And who are all these other people?

Well, sometimes it’s hard to tell. But part of my current adventure in Second Life is to delve a bit deeper into the relationships between Otenth, the typist, and these other people. And there are more! Sadly neglected, with no suitable portraits. Clearly a fertile and fallow field of exploration. Perhaps in due time their stories will be told here as well.

Am I back?


I don’t know. But I found an interesting set of blog memes.

A weekly meme from Strawberry Singh.

  1. Google your Second Life name in “quotations” and share your results. 5,910
  2. What is the first link that comes up? To this blog.
  3. Which link were you surprised to see? A Google books link to me cited in a footnote.
  4. Click on the “Image” tab and tell us where the first 5 pictures listed are from. Twitter (ugh, a terrible little anime avatar), onebillionrisinginsl.wordpress.com, otenth.org, flickr, and otenth.org
  5. Click on the “more” tab and then click “news” and share your results. None

And another, similar meme that Strawberry recommends, from Emily at sltimewellwasted, which compares the search results for my RL and SL names.

  1. How did the two digital footprints compare, and did that surprise you? My RL name isn’t common, but it’s not all that uncommon either. The first two links are to LinkedIn and Facebook search pages (“everyone named Kenneth Sutton” things). Then three results that aren’t me, and finally at number 6 a link to my profile at work. My personal blog comes in at number 9. (For images, I don’t show up until the 9th image, from Twitter, and then again at 12 in a wedding photo on someone else’s website.)
  2. Does anyone interesting share your name? Apparently not.
  3. Are you happy with the size of your digital footprint, or do you wish either one was larger/smaller? I’m gratified that the care I took in choosing my Second Life name (which I have claimed in several other virtual worlds, as well as using in web venues like this blog) is reflected in my ownership of the search results. When Google introduced Google+ I killed my Otenth Paderborn account, although it was the “real” one that reflected a thriving social life. There were too many things linked to it to risk getting involuntarily canned in the nymwars.
  4. If you woke up/ logged in one morning to discover over night you had suddenly gained rock-star status, and everybody knew who you were and wanted to know what you were doing, what would you do? Reconsider every single social media outlet and select only one or two to use. Also, I would develop a new set of alts.

Thank you, Gabi!


I love so many things about my current relationship to music.

For most of my life I was a fairly passive consumer of music. There was music I liked, but I didn’t really seek out new experiences. I’ve become quite adventurous about buying and listening to all kinds of music, however.

Except for concerts, which can actually be kind of impersonal, I usually listened to music alone. Now I share the music I love (and some music I don’t love but am exploring) with other people just as often as listening alone at home.

I used to buy music only occasionally, and only from musicians with whom I was already familiar. The number of musicians to whom I pay attention has expanded by an order of magnitude, and I feel I am supporting them, rather than just conducting a commercial transaction by buying their music. I seek out and purchase music sold through small distributors.

And all this increase in musical richness in my life is largely attributable to one person: Gabrielle Riel. First, Gabi shared her love of music with others by hosting wonderful weekly dance parties. I showed up and had fun hearing new and old favorites as well as chatting and gossiping with friends. Then when she added events, and the young Radio Riel was born, I was a host in support of the DJs. Eventually, through Gabi’s encouragement, I took the step into DJing in Second Life. And my musical life has never been the same!

So, thank you, Gabi!

At this very moment, I’m broadcasting from Caledon Highlands for Radio Riel’s fifth anniversary celebration. I’ll be playing Scandinavian music until 8am SLT, and then Balkan music til 9. Please join us!

A Fashion for Life Shout-Out


I’d like to give a shout-out to Body Canvas, which is at DreamSeeker Momentum 76/42/26 as part of the Fashion for Life fundraiser for Relay for Life in Second Life. Body Canvas creates tattoos, and every single vendor in their fair store is a RFL vendor. Good on them!