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Snapzilla

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Snapzilla-03-05-05

Old Snapzilla logo from 3/05/2005

Snapzilla is a service created by Cristiano Midnight which allows residents of SL to send screenshots directly to the website via the in-world GUI. Using the "Snapshot" button, and selecting "E-Mail Postcard," the resident can send the snapshot taken to the Snapzilla website by entering in "pics@slpics.com" (Teen Grid residents use teen@slpics.com) for the address, their name, a subject, and a description. Snapshots sent to the website then appear on the front page, as well as on the user's own collection of snapshots. Some features require registration with Snapzilla's parent site SLUniverse.com.

Since its launch on February 25, 2005 Snapzilla has become widely popular, even gaining wide attention from Linden Lab to the point of pictures from Snapzilla being published on the front page of Second Life's website (first with acknowledgement, then/currently without). Snapzilla has been used by residents for practically anything they can think of, from blogging to reviews of builds to capturing important or silly moments. The website has had over 30,000 snapshots submitted, has 1,000 users, and over 2,000,000 snapshots viewed (as of 11/17/05). It has widely become a cultural icon, engrossing all portions and social groups of the SL world.

Snapzilla is also of great historic value. Because of its use by a large portion of the population, it allows one to see SL change through time in a visual and somewhat autobiographical way. It is usable in much the same way popular media in RL (photo, magazine, blog, etc.) is, showing popular trends and visual styles throughout the culture during certain time periods. Snapzilla has the added benefit of residents being able to express directly how they feel or their own views about what they are photographing, presenting a sort of emotional history which can give greater perspective on an instance.

The site has also inevitably captured the "darker" side of SL, with some snapshots containing racism and other acts against SL's (and Snapzilla's) TOS/CS. Some of these images even have appeared on Second Life's website. As a consequence, the SL website has filtered out any images taken in mature sims; however, this doesn't stop some explicit snapshots taken in "PG" sims from getting through (which also self-documents the breaking of TOS/CS rules). While these occurences are rare, they do provide insight that even a virtual world isn't without its faults in community. These images are taken down from Snapzilla (and reported if necessary) by the administrator (Cristiano) when found as soon as possible.

On June 23rd, 2006, Snapzilla, along with its parent site (SLUniverse), were temporarily taken down in protest of Linden Lab's removing credit card (and cellphone) verification previously used during the sign-up process for SL. Further reason for the protest was that allegedly LL’s actions resulted in an influx of underage members and griefers on the "Main Grid". The protest did not interrupt the processing of user photos, but only made the site inaccessible for the day.

Cristiano Midnight who continues to run the site and add functionality. Snapzilla remains free of charge and is open for public use but remains in "Beta" phase due to its ever changing features.

Trivia

On 6/6/06, Snapzilla hit 666 registered users in a strange coincidence - user 666 was Sally Petty. Cristiano gave her L$666 to celebrate this funny event.

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