MSM MindStar9's EU State of Mind 2012

Discussion in 'MindStar Media' started by MindStar9, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. MindStar9

    MindStar9 Floating in Space


    Near the end of every year since 2008, I’ve written my EU State of Mind to share some thoughts and opinions. Last year’s EU State of Mind was written earlier than usual (July 2011) and got me an invite to join the Cyrene Writing Team because Ed and the C-Team appreciated my work and didn’t want to see me leave EU. Yes, I was that close, but I also had some personal health struggles that nearly took my life the beginning of Dec 2011, so this of course gave me a totally different perspective. However, sometimes even something as dire as knocking on death’s door can leave us blind to things that hold a special place beyond reality, even though that time and space is quite real with great significance.

    WARNING - Very Long Post
    (I only do this once a year, so deal with it.)

    I have organized the following into topic-specific sections for readability:

    I have learned some valuable lessons over the course of the almost 8 years I’ve spent in our virtual universe, and while some have been a bit difficult to digest, others have inspired new directions. It has taken me a while (too long to be honest) to come to the point of accepting that some things will just never change, and that these things I speak of are even more predictable than ever before.

    I take full responsibility for my choices based on personal experiences, and what’s known to be fact, but there’s always that glimmer of hope that some things will turn around, and far too often, they don’t. I’m pretty good at keeping things behind the scenes, and not disclosing any of the variables that inspire or motivate the majority of my decision making. However, there’s also the realization that those on the outside can only make assumptions or draw conclusions based on personal observation and perception.

    I do my best to be mindful of not disclosing certain things, perhaps because it would cause more issue than not, but then I’m left with a situation where I’m being judged based on someone else’s actions, and I am at a loss with justifying the means to an end. Therefore, I have chosen to be more disclosing with the full understanding that some will appreciate it, and some won’t, but it brings me out from behind a cloud of inaccurate speculation. The goal is to set things straight, and develop a new direction for 2013.

    The Evolution of Purpose
    When I first began my journey within EU (Apr 2, 2005), which was known as Project Entropia at the time, I was quite involved with learning to navigate the environment and trying my hand at hunting. My brother (Jetboy) introduced me to our universe, and was basically the only person I interacted with for a while until I was introduced to the first society we joined (Hunters-Extreme), and prior to creating JetStar Alliance.

    Once I fully grasped the concept of what this universe was all about, it was a changing moment for me. My real life profession has been in the field of psychology for quite some time, both as a counselor, as well as an educator and professor of the discipline. Therefore, I found it quite fascinating, even exciting to be able to communicate and form friendships within our globally-diverse environment.

    The EU community has always been my inspiration when opportunity knocked, and to build a door when opportunity didn’t knock. I have had my challenges over the years, and while always mindful of being constructive, I have also had my vocal moments where I have unofficially spoke my mind on behalf of the community – sometimes well-received, and sometimes not so. This was done with genuine intent, because I have always believed that the community deserves better than what it gets.

    Despite my real life profession, writing is my greatest passion, and I saw plenty of opportunity to not only entertain the community, but to connect the community in ways that hopefully would be beneficial. Therefore, my journey in this respect began in the Summer of 2005 when I created my picture storytelling based on adventures, events, and personal experiences within our universe. This medium expanded into full-on article writing across several forums, giving birth to the Who’s Who series in June of 2007, writing and editing content for an awesome magazine (idea and design created by Lykke), writing officially for a Planet Partner (Cyrene), and now delivering the news from the recently developed MindStar Media website.

    I know I may sound like a broken record at times when I say that “it’s all about the community for me” – but this is my EU truth, and I feel at times that I have let the community down because of other efforts to bring even more to the community. This other stuff was basically making an attempt at building relationships outside of the community that too would be of benefit in the long-term, but I now know that this was the toughest lesson of all to learn. I think the proverbial 2 x 4 is an appropriate visual at this moment.

    No matter what my ultimate purpose has been in servicing the EU community in one way or another, which has always been with the utmost of genuine intention, the one variable that is generally ever-present is a dependence on others to help achieve goals. In my case, that has definitely been the situation with my EU endeavors, because some of my involvement has required technical and graphics assistance.

    My intentions have always been honorable, and with great enthusiasm. I’ve done my best to inspire others to get involved and to make their own contributions either through my projects, or developing their own. There have been many who have genuinely got on board, but interest fades over time (sometimes very little time), and the reasons have varied.

    Unfortunately, others too have found dedication and commitment to an EU project initially positive, but follow-through left something to be desired. This makes it very challenging to design and develop a project such as MindStar Media. What I’ve wanted to achieve is very clear, but I will share details in case anyone missed it over the last four months.

    MindStarMedia Mission
    • develop a comprehensive Entropia Universe news service
    • provide beneficial resources to help make the EU experience more efficient
    • keep the community current with EU and Planet Partner updates
    • introduce officials, players and societies to give the EU community a sense of Who’s Who
    • showcase EU business and the possibilities toward achieving success
    • promote EU through greater communication with MindArk and Planet Partners
    The last bullet point presented the greatest hurdle. As such, it has defined the way in which I will move MindStar Media forward, and the motivation for shedding some light on why some things have and have nothappened since its inception four months ago.


    Current staff is exceptional – I just have an issue with time regarding graphics, which is why some articles are not published in a more timely manner. This is not a criticism, but rather a reality, because I do understand the demands on time. I’ve tried to recruit other graphic artists as backup, but have not been very successful in doing so. Therefore, the plan is to learn a bit about graphics to the point that I can make my own front page banners if need be – problem solved.
    WHO’s WHO
    I have had other Official interviews in the pipeline, especially one with David Simmonds, MindArk’s CEO, and one in which he committed to back on Sep 17, 2012. It was on Sep 21st that he asked to postpone the interview to sometime in Nov or Dec since he was busy. Not an issue, I’m sure that his time is inundated and demanding. Since I hadn’t heard from David for a while, I sent a follow-up email on Dec 3rd to see if he was still amenable to doing the interview. To date, no reply, so I guess since this is Dec 22nd, we can pretty much expect not to have an interview with Mr. Simmonds in 2012.
    Another Official interview was committed to by a Planet Partner, but a date wasn’t scheduled. It was mentioned that it might be best to wait until after certain content was implemented with an update. That particular update has long passed, but two interviews were granted to others without a follow-up with MSM, so not sure what happened there.

    Then there’s yet another Official PP staff member who agreed to do an interview back in Sep as well, but then later disclosed that he also had another interview scheduled with someone else in Dec, so the MSM interview is not happening. Another Official from the same planet just never responded to my communication and invite.

    I’ve had better luck with player profiles, and will most likely focus on that going forward.


    There are certain activities I’ve wanted to do with MSR as well, but it’s always been dependent upon others doing their part first in order to successfully accomplish specific tasks. Therefore, there will also be a change in direction with regard to the type of programming that will become a part of the MSR schedule. You may be surprised, you may not.
    When I created MSM, I was extremely elated that there were those who were enthusiastic and excited to become a part of it, and gave their commitment to support the media operation, PP’s included, or so I was told. So far, only one PP CEO has come through, while another has yet to respond to an Oct 4th email, another is basically ignoring my offers (that’s a no-brainer), and another did not respond to the inquiry about the MSM support, but gave no second thought about asking me if they could use some of my MSM articles for the purpose of sending newsletters to active and inactive players.

    Reason given – because my articles are very well-written, with graphics, and wouldn’t need to be changed. Also, the way I write gave this person a good feeling – I think the translation is perhaps - able to inspire interest in EU. That would make sense if you were trying to get more people back into EU, or to get someone to follow through on having the experience if they’ve created a user account and just haven’t been inside the universe to check it out yet.

    However, this part was related directly to the MA connection with further disclosure that I am not going to share, but suffice it to say, it was a pivotal point at which things took a turn for the worse. And just for the record, the inquiry I made about the support I was told was in place was never responded to, and that takes me back to the recurring theme of – if you don’t want to deal with something, then ignore it and maybe it’ll go away and people will forget.

    This has been my greatest point of contention, whether real life or virtual. There’s such a thing as “common courtesy” when it comes to personal and business interactions. If you’ve made a commitment to someone, whether it’s an activity, a service, or to simply get back to them in an email, keep the commitment. I’m still waiting on a response from an Official that dates back to October 4th, with an inquiry about an article I’m supposed to be doing, as well as further MSM services.

    Even if someone has changed their minds about something, or something has come up, like not being able to keep a meeting that was committed to, the least that should happen is a courtesy notification of the changes. Then there are those who deal with things that they don’t want to deal with by ignoring them (as mentioned above), and this presents a clear challenge.

    (I’m sharing the following for a very specific reason, so bear with me.)

    Case in point … the unfortunate situation that took place in this thread as a result of my post (#28) where I shared that I was basically working with MA’s public relations agency as a media service to be able to bring news to the community an hour earlier than it was disseminated to the newswires outside of Entropia Universe. MSM is an EU news service and it made sense to them.

    However, I absolutely understand and respect what some in the community were saying about getting news early (even an hour) as it may contain financially-sensitive content and present a potential advantage. I didn’t really have an issue with this, but what I did have an issue with, is the way in which some posting in that thread were incredibly rude, and even a couple of people who had made it personal – people I considered friends and thought better of.

    The President of MA’s public relations agency actually posted in the thread to support me and give clarification, but he too was brutally attacked, which made the situation worse. I mention all of this, because it would have been nice for MindArk to step in and either support what their decision was with regard to MSM (after all, they came to me, I didn’t go to them), or make some kind of public statement to quell the ensuing and damaging drama that took place in the thread.

    I sent an email to the CEO of Calypso and asked what I should do, because it was getting worse. On Oct 29th I was told to hold off and relax, because MA would come out with a public statement probably the next day. I followed up on Nov 2nd when nothing had come out, and was told on Nov 3rd that MA was still going to publish a message about their media policy, but they had been really busy and it would take a few more days. I do have to give credit where credit is due though, and that is – the Calypso CEO during that period of time was the best communicator of any MA-associated personnel, and for that I am grateful.

    (Here’s the point.)

    MindArk approached me. Over the years I have received compliments about my writing directly from MindArk officials, as well as through Planet Partners as being some of the best writing they’ve seen in EU, and PP’s have also shared positive feedback about my style of writing. It was easy for them to come to me and ask for my services, and I was more than willing to oblige, not even bringing up the topic of considered compensation for using my work for their benefit. I am service-oriented, and have always loved what I do for EU and the community, and here was MindArk knocking on my door to see what we could do together.

    Finally, after 7+ years, and respecting my work, MA was ready to get busy and give attention to not only increasing the level of communication with the players through the MSM media services, but also through working on newsletters behind the scenes as well. I felt very honored that I was going to have this opportunity, because communication from MindArk has not been very good, even though they’re improving, and the players have always cried out for more. I felt that this was a chance to help make a difference.

    Unfortunately, no public statement has ever been published about MA’s media policy, nor any support for MSM and that they invited me to work with them. Nothing was secret, and it was easy enough for the community to determine that MSM was publishing releases before the newswires or the RSS feeds got hold of them. I actually thought the community overall would appreciate the effort, and what the end result could ultimately produce, but now I’m not so sure.

    It was also known that I worked with MA on newsletters being sent out to the player base, because some had already received theirs, and a copy of it was even posted at the EntropiaPlanets forum showing the link to at the end of the newsletter. Yet, MindArk made the conscious decision to ignore the situation, and what I basically consider leaving me hanging out to dry.

    After coming to me, it absolutely amazed me that they did nothing to support what they had invited me to do, and just ignored it all until no one was making comments about it anymore. Sort of late now, because the impact wouldn’t be the same. In the meantime, I was still trying to develop my media service.

    I too made a conscious decision to send an email to the CEO of Calypso (also associated with MindArk), and the President of the PR agency letting them know that I felt it best that they not feed me any further press releases in advance, and that I would collect the news as others do and publish what is appropriate at the MSM website. No further interaction regarding content for newsletters has been discussed either.

    At the End of the Day
    The EU news service at MSM is to keep the community informed, and while I feel I’ve done my best to extend services at the request of MA to help improve the level of communication with the player base, MindArk has shown me very clearly that they are not willing to step up to the plate and support the effort. It wouldn’t be setting a precedent, because they’ve already done that with EntropiaLife, as well as annual major events that they sponsor.

    I’ve always believed that an EU news service would be good for the community, and especially MindArk and the Planet Partners with supporting their efforts to promote the individual planets, as well as the entire universe. The MSM traffic has increased tremendously over the four months that we have been active, and would be a good media source to showcase our universe, especially those who have businesses and services they want to make the community aware of.

    We support the community and their efforts in every way possible, and something that I personally wanted to do well over 4-1/2 years ago, but never really had the resources to devote to the effort. While we are still at minimal staff, we have been able to consistently keep the community informed and even entertained.

    Tomorrow's Another Day
    Perhaps with all I’ve learned during my journey through Entropia Universe thus far, it’s time to adjust my level of expectations to be more reasonable, and in line with what I know to be true, rather than basing them on hope, because that doesn’t seem to work quite so well – at least not for me – and I would dare say for others as well based on what they have shared.

    However, I will say in all fairness, that there is a lot of good, even greatness in our universe at the hands of the developers, and I appreciate that they continue going back to the drawing board to make it a better experience for the players. Everyone’s approach to EU is unique, and experiences are personal, but in the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t mean that one can’t be objective with their opinions.

    There’s a lot I really love and appreciate about Entropia Universe, and far too much to make this article even longer, but I also have to be true to my own personal experiences, as well as the facts. Even the most die-hard EU fan is vocal now and then regarding their opinions and what isn’t working so well, and this I also appreciate, because it keeps it real.

    Where to From Here
    At this point, I’m going to continue providing the EU news service to the community, but you will see some changes, as well as an increase in my Blah’g posting. I’m developing an MSM Road Map for 2013 that will focus on what the game plan is, as well as what you will see, and what you won’t see. It will be published as soon as I have it completed.

    I love the potential of our universe, and love the community even more, which is why I do what I do.

    Originally written and published on December 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2013
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