Saturday, December 12, 2015

Interview with Club Carnage owner

I wanted to do this yesterday but the owner of Club Carnage was too busy with so much going on at the 10-years celebration party, but I did get hold of her today and to her credit, she was patient and accommodating enough to give me some time to conduct an interview. The IM conversation below has not been edited, beyond typographical corrections. To me, it was immensely enlightening to listen from someone with so much experience with SL clubbing. I hope the readers do find this conversation inspiring and thought-provoking.

----- I N T E R V I E W  W I T H  C A E M L Y N  W I T H E R S P O O N -----

[17:22] Caemlyn Witherspoon: ready when you are
[17:22] Immortal (immortal420): ok
[17:22] Immortal (immortal420): First of all how does it feel running a club for 10 years?
[17:23] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I am absolutely astounded that the club has made it this many years. But then, one with a staff as great as we have is bound to be around when others have failed!
[17:24] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I need to add to that. "We have a VIP base of almost 10,000 and they are why we are here at all!
[17:24] Immortal (immortal420): ok
[17:24] Immortal (immortal420): Right. Talking about staff, retention is not the easiest thing for a club owner in Second life. What is your secret to having a loyal crew for so long?
[17:28] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I only promote those that I feel are in it for the long haul. I have this inate ability to tell, just by interviewing someone, their intent at applying here. We have a big turnover, as I would assume most clubs do, but our upper management rarely ever changes. I place my trust and faith in them. Sometimes I wonder why they stay. I'm so glad they do though!
[17:29] Immortal (immortal420): okay :) What makes Club Carnage different from all other clubs out there in Second Life?
[17:30] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I feel it is acceptance. We don't care if you are hours old in Second Life or if you are King of the whole world, everyone is treated equally.
[17:31] Immortal (immortal420): okay :)
[17:32] Immortal (immortal420): About clubbing in general, you are way more experienced that I am, 2005 to 2015, you have seen many things change about second life. Tell me about one good thing you have seen and one bad thing.
[17:33] Caemlyn Witherspoon: The bad thing is, of course, the decline in users. Second Life is a wonderful place and more people need aware of it. The ways of enjoying it are limitless. Even after all these years I have barely even scratched the surface of all there is to do.
[17:35] Caemlyn Witherspoon: The good thing is the leaps and bounds LL has made in SL. We no longer have to strip to TP, etc. The making of clothes and hair are happening almost too fast to keep up with, but I'm very very glad to see it still growing
[17:35] Immortal (immortal420): Right. :)
[17:37] Immortal (immortal420): What attracts SL residents today to clubs? If I name four factors say - quality of DJ, quality of host, club environment, opportunity to earn gift / lindens... can you rank them in order of most important to least important? :)
[17:40] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I feel people are drawn #1 for the money. We all hate to think they'd come just for money, but it seems the clubs with the deepest pockets are the most populated. Not sure I'd even want a crowd here if they were only for money.
[17:41] Caemlyn Witherspoon: The next 3 I feel are equally important and one without the other just is not going to work. You can have the best looking club in SL but if you do not have a staff to welcome people and a good DJ, they are not going to stay
[17:41] Immortal (immortal420): right, ok!
[17:42] Immortal (immortal420): How about branding of a club? Carnage was named way back in 2005. Did you ever think of changing the name? Do you think changing name affects a brand?
[17:44] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I did consider changing the name when I took the club over in 2006, but already had quite a nice VIP base. I did not want people looking for "Carnage" and not being able to find it. "Oh they must have closed. I'll go to another place." I would not have chosen this name for a club, but it was what I was given and I ran with it. YES names are VERY important for clubs.
[17:44] Immortal (immortal420): ok :) Well, I hope I am not interrupting any of your important work. :) Just making sure..
[17:45] Caemlyn Witherspoon: nope Homer is here and handling what needs handled
[17:45] Immortal (immortal420): cool :)
[17:47] Immortal (immortal420): You can skip this question, if you feel it is a business secret. I'll still ask. How often do you meet with your management team. Do you follow a well laid out structure like RL or keep it very casual? Easier way to ask is probably: Do you take your SL club as seriously as your RL business (if you had one)?
[17:49] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I do have a RL business and if the SL business operated at a profit I would watch the accounting as well as I do my RL one. As it is, we get what we can, do what we can do.
[17:50] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I meet with upper management every month. But my door is always open. While I am THE BOSS there is seldom a decision made that I do not ask the opinions of the managers involved.
[17:50] Immortal (immortal420): okay. :)
[17:50] Immortal (immortal420): Well, I am almost done here. Appreciate your patience. :)
[17:50] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I am still so honored that you asked!
[17:51] Caemlyn Witherspoon: and such great questions
[17:51] Immortal (immortal420): So, 10 years already. Where do you wish to go from here with this club? :)
[17:52] Caemlyn Witherspoon: I would LOVE nothing more than to see us add more events, add more staff, get more VIPS. I am a hopeless optimist and think that someday we WILL go back to events 12-12 and a staff of 150 and 80-100 customers here each event. Until then, I'll watch and wait! It's gonna happen! Watch and see!
[17:53] Immortal (immortal420): I sure wish it happens for you. :)
[17:53] Caemlyn Witherspoon: It will!
[17:55] Immortal (immortal420): What would be your message to people who are new to management or club ownership?
[17:57] Caemlyn Witherspoon: Don't give up first of all. Secondly, you cannot do it all yourself. Teach people to do your job, teach them to train others to do their job and so on down the line. Knowledge on how you want YOUR club run is a must.
[17:57] Immortal (immortal420): Right. :)
[17:58] Immortal (immortal420): Coming to my last and final question, any message for your staff and your VIPs?
[17:59] Caemlyn Witherspoon: Yes, this message I would love to scream from the highest mountain tops of Second Life so the entire world would hear, and know how heartfelt and honestly I say it. My message to my staff and all our VIPS would be "THANK YOU!"
[18:00] Immortal (immortal420): :)
[18:00] Immortal (immortal420): awesome!
[18:00] Immortal (immortal420): Thanks a lot madam, for your time!! Was my pleasure!
[18:00] Caemlyn Witherspoon hugs you and kisses your cheek."It was my pleasure my friend. TY for being you and coming into my Life

---- E N D  O F  I N T E R V I E W ----

Abbreviations used:
SL - Second Life
RL - Real Life
TP - Teleport
IM - Instant Message
LL - Linden Labs

Dear readers, I would like to know from you your thoughts on best practices around clubbing in Second Life.


  1. Impressive interview, I enjoyed reading it and appreciated the advice for other club owners, especially the phrase "Don't give up" Very well done and hope to see more from you Immo. Thank You

    1. Thank you so much Dusti. Your appreciation means a lot to me. Yes I do plan on writing more. :) Please subscribe to this blog or follow on Google plus to stay updated on new content. :)