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Friday, 29 May 2009

Spotlight On ......Hibiscus Hastings

There is one person who works behind many of the stories for Virtually London (lite), a person whose writing is vital to the success and rich content of the blog and that’s Chief Reporter Hibiscus Hastings.

Hibiscus is a talented, gifted writer and one of the nicest people you could wish to meet!! On meeting her you may think she is quite reserved, and you would be right to think that Hib is level headed and sensible, but within a few minutes you will see the fun side of her, always ready to have a laugh and quick witted in any situation. Also, I have learned, she is not to be messed with! Hib is a strong person and sticks to her guns, a velvet glove with a steel fist when she needs to be!

Hib discovered SL quite by chance, she says in her own words ‘I had no idea what it was about, never played computer games or entered chat rooms. One day I was reading about art, which is one of my great interests, and I saw a reference to something called Second Life. The artwork I read about was being shown in SL and RL at the same time, so I decided to pop into SL to have a look.’ And have a look she did, not only to see the artwork, but deciding to stay and explore SL further. Now Hib says she ‘enjoys almost every minute of it, aside from the laggy bits and crashes.’

Hib discovered that the news media group, CNN, were in SL and decided to join. It was there that I first met her, one of their ‘Superstar writers’, Hib produced piece after piece of in depth reporting, with informative articles, most of them encompassing how SL and real life cross over each other. Hibiscus and I used to greet each other at the meeting each Tuesday night and we would sit and listen to the real reporters discussing our work. I had always admired Hibiscus and looked forward to reading her latest reports whenever she posted them. She says ‘I will never forget the first time I posted a story; it was such an exciting experience. And that feeling has never gone away.’

Hibiscus and I gradually got talking and around that time I started working for Virtually London (lite). Eager to recruit a top writer, I asked Hib if she would join me as a reporter for the SL London stories that the blog specializes in. Hib agreed to come on board and I am glad to say that we are not only work colleagues but the very best of friends. Hib says ‘Not only did I find a job in SL, but I also decided to move into the London sims since I was going to be reporting on them, so I found a home and a community, too. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined all this when I first joined SL.’

As well as being someone who is great fun to be with, I would describe Hibiscus as an intellect, she amazes me with her knowledge on such a wide variety of subjects. For CNN she has covered many topics that would frighten a normal journalist away, she has written about NASA, which uses SL, educational and research institutions in SL, such as the Biomedicine Research Labs, Imperial College Hospital and Digital Ontario Island which features the use of Broadband technology, plus Art, one of her favourite subjects. Not only tackling these heavyweight articles, Hib is equally at home with the SL Ballet, interviewing people of interest and generally the humerous side of virtual living.

One of the things Hibiscus loves to do, and she is so good at it, is shopping! I suppose being a good reporter is an aid to shopping, Hib delves into getting the very best of the bargains. She has an astonishing wardrobe of really nice clothes and lots of them have been special offers that she has found. If I need a particular outfit I can rely on Hibiscus to know exactly which shop to go to. She always looks beautiful, not only with her clothes, but her choice of skin and hair too. Hibiscus has a flair for interior design as well, she keeps her SL apartment in Chelsea like a show home, and like me, she loves having her home in the SL Chelsea sim.

Hibiscus enjoys writing, saying she thinks of reporting stories in the metaverse as ‘covering the pioneer days of a new world’ and she is right, technology moves so fast and it is a thrill for us to record a little of 3D history in the making, as SL is becoming used for so many real life things.

I know one thing, it was my lucky day when I joined CNN and met Hibiscus Hastings, not only is she such a good friend and colleague, but worth her weight in gold as a top reporter and researcher for CNN, Virtually London (lite) and our new blog ‘Our Virtual Trilogy’. To Virtually London (lite) and me, Hibiscus you are a ‘Superstar’!


Hibiscus said...

Hi Janey, what a great surprise it was to see this, and what an honour. Thank you so much. To work with my best friend doing something I love, all while meeting and living amongst such wonderful and interesting people (and getting to shop, too!) makes me feel like the luckiest person in SL.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful (and well deserved!) article about a fantastic lady!!!!

- Drax

Hibiscus said...

Hi Drax, thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely bouquet for Hibiscus and very word being true. I met Hibs on a top of a bus in one of the London sims in July last year. We have been friends ever since and have talked on every subject under the sun. I find in Hibs a true and loyal friend who is tolerant of my sometimes silly ways. Her good natured gentle teasing and humour has made the whole Second Life experience for me worthwhile when everything else goes wrong. Hibs has an excellent wardrobe and always looks very pretty. I am constantly amazed by the quality of her clothes and the variety. Hibs seems now to have acquired a complete wardrobe of Victorian gowns all of which are exquisitely detailed.
I also agree that Hibs is an intellectual; her in-depth reviews for CNN are sufficient evidence for that. Hibs is also very modest and dismissive of her capabilities. She would be as likely to brush aside praise for a well written article as if she had only written a shopping list!
All credit to you Hibs, it is richly deserved!