We will soon celebrate the 8th anniversary of the grand opening of Romanum, originally a quaint one Sim world with marketplace bought group of buildings.
It was my vision to have an ancient Roman roleplay world focused on gay and bisexual men. At the time, there was many other ancient Roman roleplay worlds catering to other groups of people, in particular, not focused on sexual orientation. This was Romanum's special market niche.
I developed Romanum like a small business with not only a market niche, but also a logo, a slogan, a music theme, a brand, as well as a financial plan, a staff of dedicated individuals. Like a good business owner, I was constantly seeking input from my "customers", my residents and responding to that input. I could not please everyone all the time, but I tried to make as many people as possible happy to be in Romanum.
As time went on, the residents of Romanum took ownership of the Romanum brand and it's mission to provide a fun playground for gay and bisexual men, to form a loyal community devoted to one another and the success of Romanum.
Like any human organization, any human group, their were differences of opinions and in some cases personal conflicts. Attempts were made to address these. Sometimes it was dealt with well, sometimes not.
Most residents of Romanum have real lives of much greater importance than Romanum. They also, many of them, play in other Second Life worlds. Nevertheless, Romanum has survived 8 years in a turbulent Second Life landscape of limited players and stiff competition.
Romanum has survived because it's original vision was solid, it's business plan solid. It survived because of my dedication, my commitment, my sacrifice of time and money. But not only mine, but Romanum's many leaders. Leaders I cultivated and encouraged, whom themselves made sacrifices of time and in some cases money. This was no accident or pure chance.
Will Romanum survive forever. In a word, "no". Second Life itself could die or be eclipsed by a better virtual world platform. Or Romanum may just run it's coarse and die of natural causes. Then there is me. I am not immortal. However, actions have been taken for Romanum to survive me if the people of Romanum want that.
This past year has been momentous in Romanum's history.
We had a major rebuild completed a year ago, a refresh after 6 years, of which I am very proud. Yes, there were issues with the rebuild. But we move on.
Romanum faced a painful split with one of our fellow Romanum Sim owners, a split I ordered, not with pleasure, that risked our future. We survived.
Most recently, two of our leaders, also fellow Romanum Sim owners, decided to take a break from Second Life and focus on their real lives. They are dear friends of mine and I am grateful for all they have done for Romanum. I look forward to seeing them inworld when they choose to do so.
What is amazing is how good of a leader I am given my real life depression issues. Is it improper for me to brag about myself? Some would say yes, but it is me recognizing I am a good leader, a real good leader. A perfect leader? Hell no. Do I make mistakes, sometimes big mistakes? Hell yes. Good leaders who do not make mistakes or who think they are perfect are anything but good leaders. They are delusional.
I have heard some are afraid of me. Some think I am a weak fool. I am neither. I may go an extra mile further than some think is wise to try and be fair and reasonable. I do not cherish conflict or dealing with it. But when time comes for me to put a foot down, to be decisive, I am.
Romanum is my baby. I birthed it and I will remain dedicated to it for as long as my health allows me to.
I love the people of Romanum, everyone of you. You are all important. We are a diverse worldwide community from all walks of life.
ROMANUM: "For Honor, Valor, Glory, where men can love men and BE men"