The American Cancer Society’s four-month-long Relay for Life fund-raiser has begun in Second Life with the Fashion for Life event. This 10 sim event has been under development for months now guided by the steady hand, even temper and edgy style of Harper Beresford and her myriad of assistants (lord knows she came up with enough work for me to do). But amidst the shopping frenzy that happens when you get over 200 of SL’s best fashion designers all together in one place, there are background stories that must be told as well. One of those is a BIG story about the emergence, as if by magic, of a white knight who offered, without being asked, to sponsor ALL 10 Fashion For Life sims.
That knight in shining armor is none other then Zeebster Colasanti, CEO of Dream Seeker Estates. Despite the difficulties and concerns of taking over the Costa Rica sims, including the sudden departure of Giancarlo Takacs despite a legally binding RL contract, Zeebster has leapt in with grace and commitment.
CEO of Dream Seeker Estates
In addition to their large capitol infusion, Dream Seeker Estates Corporation will be providing a rich schedule of events including fashion shows, live music, social dances and other events. “We are planning to engage the communities of all three Dream Seeker estates to organize and host a minimum of 12 hours of activities every day in support of Fashion For Life”, says Samantha Ohrberg, DSE’s Community Engagement Manager. I thought Mr. Colasanti’s story needed to be told and his generosity applauded by all of us. Consider this an exposé because over the next few days we’ll be telling some stories about other things besides our hero, as he’s affectionately known, the Zeeb. You will want to check back and follow up on what I’m writing here……………………..
Zeebster Colasanti owns SL’s third largest virtual real estate holding corporation and, recently, acquired the Costa Rica Sims (CRS) estate to complement DSE corporation’s existing portfolio of Dream Seeker Estates and Rockhopper Estates. Together these 3 estates comprise over 700 regions on the Second Life grid and support a community of well over 2000 residents. The purchase of the Costa Rica Sims from Giancarlo Takacs, former CEO of CRS (although he seems to have not updated his plurk profile to reflect that IMPORTANT fact yet. Why is that Giancarlo? It would only take a minute to update this and it would set things straight for your many fans and followers. They might even stop IMing you about CRS stuff. I suppose it’s hard to let go though ) is the most important acquisition in the history of Dream Seeker Estates Corporate because of its strategic and game-changing implications. This consolidation may have moved Dream Seekers into second place on the roster of virtual real estate management companies in SL.
Dream Seeker’s official press release says it well:
“Costa Rica Sims estate brings a new dimension to the corporation’s portfolio – a well established and vibrant community and a team that made it happen. ‘This is something we always tried to establish within our other estates,’ says Zeebster, ‘So this acquisition completes us in pursuit of our own vision.’ The Costa Rica Sims community has been established around the vision of the landscapes, architecture and natural habitats of the real country of Costa Rica, with a strong focus on the fashion industry of Second Life. The estate has developed a true sense of community among its residents who get together for regularly scheduled events ranging from retro dance nights and latest display of fashion shows to its two iconic events – Miss Costa Rica Sims and Mr Costa Rica Sims.”
A joint DSE/CRS team has been formed to ease communications during the transition period while the new management group gets to know the community and its needs. The DSE/CRS transition team is charged with the responsibility of not only maintaining but improving the CRS’s residents’ lives on what has been described as one of SL’s prettiest, integrated, sim environments. To ease that transition the team’s budget has been nearly doubled and is expected to continue to grow over time to fund existing events, add new events, and integrate the communities in the corporate portfolio into the mix of CRS’s expansive array of community celebrations and affairs.
The company’s contribution to Fashion for Life event exemplifies an SL company venturing into the realm of RL philanthropy and service. “I like to think that this is a part of our core values,” said Mr. Colasanti. “Some SL realty organizations have one motto: ‘Sales calls take priority.’ Not us. For example, our staff is split between sales and service. DSE has a full time, dedicated support staff and support ticketing system that allows us to track requests and ensures that issues are not dropped down a crack and are resolved in a timely manner. Usually problems are resolved within hours,” added Zeebster. “The key is our support staffers are not involved in sales. They’re dedicated to problem solving. Sales are why they’re here and service gets them there. “
He continues by saying, “Basically a sim is a sim. There is really no difference in the technical capabilities of the product, especially when looking for stand-alone sims. It is entirely irrelevant what that sim looks like, since the resident can make it look like anything he, or she, wants.” The differences show up in how the estate owner supports their customers. For example, Dream Seeker Estates uses a support ticketing system to deal with issues that arise. Any client with an issue submits a ‘ticket.’ Usually the ticket’s problem is resolved within hours, if necessary, working it’s way up the ladder – all the way to Zeebster if necessary or beyond to Linden Labs – until it’s fixed to everyone’s satisfaction.
To date, Colasanti has put a lot of effort into keeping the Costa Rica Sims intact, including agreeing to employ and keep on its former owner. However, Giancarlo Takacs broke his contract–a legal contract both parties signed. He was to remain on board as the CRS estate manager for a year following this acquisition, but after the sale, he departed abruptly, abandoning his community and his former residents. Stay tuned for more about this over the next few days……………………
Just so we’re clear about this, I’ve asked Giancarlo Takacs to chat with me about DSE/CRS sales transaction but so far all he’s done was to refer me to the video of his interview with BOSL CEO Frolic Mills for information about the sale. The video was a bit, shall we say, superficial, lacking any details. I’m hoping Giancarlo agrees to participate in this soon. Regardless of whether he chooses to or not we’re going to go ahead on this story.
So there you have a bit of background on Zeebster Colasanti, his generosity to FFL 2012, Dream Seeker Estates acquisition of the Costa Rica Sims, and Giancarlo Takacs, formerly the CEO of Costa Rica Estates before his departure from this venture.
Troublemaker in Charge, Associated SL Press
While I was writing this I was listening to:
Sinnerman a rare recording by Nina Simone ( you’ll recognize it from The Thomas Crown Affair)