New [ad]venture

Okay, I'm back. It's been more than a year since I last posted here.

The past week was spent setting up VirtuaSapient, a new venture that will cover everything I do related to virtual reality worlds. That includes the book(s), the consultation, coaching, speaking, marketing, and, of course, the content creation.

The week prior was spent anguishing over the company name, registering a slew of domain names in the process, most of which I probably will never use now. And, naturally, I've had to create the associated email addresses, websites, Facebook accounts and pages, Twitter accounts, Second Life accounts, Blue Mars accounts. And then link them all together with gadgets and whatnot.

It's quasi-organized right now. There's a lot more content to be written, a company logo to design, a book cover concept to implement.

But I'm rediscovering some school friends with my new Facebook account because only a few knew about my nickname, which I used with my original Facebook account. But now, in spite of what Facebook prefers, I have three accounts: my original personal account, my Second Life account, and my new professional account.

I swear I'm the Internet Sasquatch. I have a big footprint.

And now that I've outed my (formerly mostly anonymous) main persona in Second Life, people who knew me only in real life would find out what I have really been up to the past four and a half years, and people who knew me only in Second Life would find out out what I have been up to before Second Life. I would probably shock the first group more, but both groups would probably be surprised.

Here I am, laid bare to all the online world. But at least, nobody can blackmail me anymore, because, well, it's all public information. :D

So, why don't I integrate all of them into one personal brand? Well, it's very difficult to sell a company that is tightly bound with your personal brand. And the idea behind selling a company is so you can move on to something else. At least, that's what I'd probably do, being well aware of my tendency to get bored every few years.

I'm reading a book called "Crush It!" by Gary Vaynerchuk (a gift from the Quantum Leap program by Steve Harrison), and Gary proposes that your business and your personal brand should be the same. And for your followers to know everyday information about you is better because you become three-dimensional to them. I agree wholeheartedly.

However, I also know that I tend to hit that Too Much Information boundary with a lot of people, so I'm giving friends a choice of my personal FB if they can handle the dirty laundry, or my professional FB if they prefer to stick with the "safe" conversation topics, or my Second Life persona FB if they don't really care to know about my real life.

After all, a lot of people *do* go into Second Life to take a break from real life. Or maybe they just prefer to think of me as a seven-foot-tall redheaded glamazon Barbie. Whatever makes people happy. Hey, even *I* prefer to think of myself as a seven-foot-tall redheaded glamazon Barbie.

The reason I'm outing Opal is because the book I'm writing is based on experiences I had as her. And it would just seem a disconnect if people didn't see the side of me where that came from. And that's where the shock would come from. I'm sure people never thought of me that way. Heck, five years ago, *I* never thought of me that way.

But one of the benefits of anonymity is that it gives you courage to try things you may never dare to do, because you have been cornered into a restricted sense of self that is very difficult to break out of, until you take on a new identity. So, in the past four and a half years, I have been able to pay attention to and develop many sides of me without worrying what people would think.

And, in a sense, I bloomed. I thrived. I found full expression of hidden parts of me, like my creativity and, yes, even my sensuality.

I've never truly lived until I lived in Second Life.

Ironically, my world has expanded tremendously while sitting in my office chair. My life has been touched deeply and intimately by people from all over the world, even those who have to use a translator in order for us to communicate.

Complete anonymity on the internet is near impossible. And although I have several other alternate personas (or alts) in Second Life that are still anonymous, I don't delude myself that they won't be outed eventually. But I know that most people would be respectful enough to allow me space to be.

There'll be lots more to discuss about this blending of realities, but I'm on two deadlines in three weeks, so I'll blog when I can, either here or in Opal's or in Twitter/Facebook. Somewhere. :)