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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The SL Enquirer turns 12 Years Old Today!

Open Letter to SLE Fans from Lanai Jarrico

WOW! Has it really been 12 years??? I can’t believe how time flies when you are having fun.
 I am proud to see SLE still standing tall amongst the media sources used by Second Life residents today.  With over 3700+ articles, 18+ millions views on Google+ and blogger and thousands of followers on social media. We have certainly staked our claim as the longest running independantly owned virtual world news source on the planet!

 I can remember the first day I launched the original TSO Enquirer in The Sims Online, on October 4th 2004. It was a random fluke just to entertain a couple of online friends.

  I’ve been engaged in virtual world news for 12 years, 7 months, and 6 days, but who’s counting. Not only is it 12 years for the newspaper but it is coincidentally my SL rezzday.

Every year, I’ve hosted a big event to mark our anniversary. They have always been over the top extravagant parties with lineups of top musicians, luxurious giveaways and sim-crashing turn outs. (Included a Linden or two hiding in the bushes watching the festivities).

For the past 2 years, I’ve celebrated modestly and just reflected on just how far SLE has come. I am humbled by the outpouring of love and support.

 It truly is amazing when I think back to the day I thought it would be “cool” to write about my experiences and share them with my circle of friends. Little did I know my friends would share it with their friends and their friends would share it with others. Going viral wasn’t something I set my initial goal out to do but it lead too so much more- not just in my virtual world experience but it cultivated great things in my real life. 

 I think I owe a great big thank you to everyone who has been a part of this journey, including a couple of griefers. Let me start with my first inspiration. He was a Gorean Role-player. At the time I had no clue what that was but my encounter with him was what set this whole media thing in motion.

 I cannot explain the situation verbatim but I will say that he was exceptionally rude and belittled me as if I was beneath his foot. I didn’t understand that was the mindset of Gorean masters, all I can remember is being inspired to write about the encounter with a nice cheeky headline calling him a “Gonad”. That article became a hit with my friends who encouraged me to write more about the crazy things that were happening, so I did. 

Over time using humor in my writing, it attracted Mafia family role-players who were dominating The SIMS Online.  They had no real voice amongst the other families so they turned to “TSOE” as a bridge of communication. 

OHHHH the Mafia days! (Laughs)

 I have to admit, it was full of drama, mudslinging and war of words between the families. It boosted our readership. If it wasn’t for them, my news source may not have never found its way into the virtual world called Second Life.

It was nearing 2005 and many of my friends and readers were disappearing into this new virtual world. Some of the feedback I was getting was its too laggy… you need money to do anything and the sexual content was outrageous. I wasn’t convinced I wanted to check it out until French filmmakers contacted me to take part in a real world documentary project.  They flew to the US to meet with me over a 3 day period.  We did some filming and talking about Second Life. They suggested I migrate the news source to SL because people there were talking about my newspaper. So, I decided to check it out.

 On May 9th 2005, Lanai Jarrico was born with newspaper in hand. At first I was having a difficult time cutting through the lag and constant crashing, I had a shoe up my (BLEEP) and was extremely annoyed. My first real encounter with anyone other than the friends who greeted me upon my arrival was the shoemaker. I thought he was griefing me by causing the shoe to be lodged in a very unattractive position but he explained how to fix the problem and off I went on my Second Life adventure.

I really didn’t understand the big picture yet but I thought it was cool that I could design my own avatar any way I wanted. That was a big leap from the cookie cutter “Sims” characters I got to choose from in The SIMS Online.  I decided I wanted to look like a belly dancer, so I found a pink silks outfit with a veil. My hairdo was hideous but at the time but I thought I looked cute.

Little did I know I would encounter Goreans again… For some reason they kept approaching me for sex.  I was still a little wet behind the ears and couldn’t understand why until I realized… I was dressed like a Gorean slave girl.  To make a long story short, if it wasn’t for that look, I don’t know where I would have ended up. Within a month or two I was approached by photographers who wanted to take my picture. I said sure, and went about my business.

What happened about 6 months later took me by utter surprise.

 When that day was a faded memory, I was approached again by the photographers. They invited me to an exhibit in the Soho distric in New York City where my avatar along with 12 others was displayed on canvases throughout the Postmasters Gallery, while simultaneously an in world exhibition was happening at the same time. 

The exhibit was called “13 Most Beautiful Avatars” by Ava and Franco Mattes. Unbeknownst to me they happened to be real world artists and pioneers of Net Art, operating under the pseudonym

I went to NY that day and it was there that I realized, Second Life was not just a game, it was full of creative people sharing their skills on a global scale. I wasn’t at the event promoting The SL Enquirer (by this time I had crossed completely over and changed the name) but people knew Lanai Jarrico.  They were approaching me and shaking my hand. I even had a real reporter following me around trying to conduct an interview until I excused myself to the restroom and tried to hide in the crowd.  The whole experience seemed surreal but it was a lot of fun.

If it wasn’t for those unique chance encounters, I don’t know if The SL Enquirer would have grown as fast as it did, but I am glad it did. It taught me so much and led me to grow tremendously in my real life goals.


I learned how to build the foundation for what SLE is today by trial and error.  I built its reputation from the ground up all while learning the importance of professionalism with an entrepreneurial approach.

As you may know with attention comes haters and people who will say things to try to cut you down. I will never understand why some people treat others so cruel.  But rather than crumble to the negativity, I used the things they would say to prove to myself that I was not as they tried to make me seem. I was determined to build The SL Enquirer into something more than just my personal open diary. I wanted to give other writers a platform to share Second Life through their eyes too.

 One woman, whom I didn’t know, told a mutual friend that the paper would fail because I was “uneducated”.  Her reasoning was that I had no real professional writing or journalism experience or degree. That part was true. I wasn’t “educated” in media, but that didn’t diminish what I was capable of or what I loved to do.

She was my inspiration for enrolling into college and getting my bachelors of Science degree with a concentration in Communication and Technology. The perfect combination for what I do.

Sorry, couldnt help myself lol

If she is reading this, here is my sincere thank you. I can now say, I am educated to the standards that others may think matters when it comes to using true inner creativity and just being good at whatever it is you do.

I think it is safe to say with 12 years under my belt, I am a professional blogger aside from a real world position as an Operations Manager. 

From as far back as I could remember my love for writing came natural. When I had something I needed to release from my thoughts. I jotted it down, wrote it out and typed it up.  It has always been my artistic therapy and it still makes me happy to share it with whoever wants to read about whatever it is that inspires me. I haven't been writing too much theses days cause life has gotten busy and managing SLE behind the scenes takes a lot of my time but my passion remains.

 I cannot express in words the feeling it is to write alone in solitude and look up and realize there is an audience. To say the least, it has been a spectacular decade of experiences in Second Life with lots of wonderful memories created, crazy situations, funny episodes, dramatic moments, heartwarming stories and a lot of amazing people I have met on this unique journey.

From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you all for your continued support by being a true friend and believing in me, every readers who has commented and shared articles, my writing team for contriuting their journeys and advertisers for helping support what we do. 

 It is because of you that SLE continues to thrive.  I am inspired to keep doing what I love, meeting new people, exploring creative places and just having fun while providing a source that has withstood the test of time. 

I look forward to seeing what the future holds for SLE as well as Second Life and I hope you come along with me for the ride.

With Love,
Lanai Jarrico

CEO, The SL Enquirer


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