Life Out on the Street: Thoughts on BoSL

In opening, I’d like to refer to a comment I recall when some older drama arose in SL in the last few months. This is paraphrased because, frankly, I don’t remember it word for word-

“I understand some people are upset, but some people are getting extreme. Like, they say they’ll never shop at XYZ again.”

…Upfront, I don’t shop at Wal*Mart because I think it’s an epic disaster of a company. Many other people feel the same way, and we choose not to go there and put our money into its dirty piggy-bank. I don’t consider myself an extreme protester and I doubt others would see me as such. Thus, I don’t think it’s utterly insane for SL residents to not shop at a place because they do not agree with actions of the creator(s). In example, I don’t shop at Armidi, and now I’m not going to become terribly involved – if at all – with the Best of SL chain. In my eyes, the latest instance of manipulation and greed by the company lead stinks worse than a fresh cow-chip* out in the field.

The first major issue that I am aware of was the resignation of Babyhoney Bailey as Miss SL Universe 2008. Essentially, Frolic Mills promised a hefty load of prizes to the winner (including 30k in linden), but over a course of two to three months, the original promises were swapped, substituted and revoked. In addition, Mills made a pointed note that Bailey was the greedy one, for her original response if he ‘took the money and ran’ would be that the title was worth more than the prizes. However, her crown only netted her a few interviews and a plethora of headaches. You can read a detailed interview, unedited and freely published, here on the Aspire Model Management blog. You can also read more about the press release here, or a snipet about Mills’s self-polishing interview on C.AT.S.

Unfortunately, the karmic hand he was dealt by the Trump organization enforcing their copyright on anything Miss Universe wasn’t strong enough to humble Mills, as not only was there a backlash against the impartial blogging of Twisted and Tawdry, but he turned over a whole new level of depravity:

Recently, RUNWAY Magazine announced it’s closure, due to the owners Maggie Mahoney and Ocean Bates permanently retiring from SL to focus on their RL, such as Mahoney’s recovery from breast cancer. The original plan was for the rest of the RUNWAY staff to make a decision about carrying onward with the publication or let it reset. Sickeningly, Mills saw this as an opportunity to fatten his cash cow and moved in to wrangle up the staff and herd the remnants of the organization into the BoSL farm. He stated that everything of RUNWAY had been turned over to him, including the server, and coerced staff to join groups her had control over. I guess he muscled his way to overshadow the original press release statement that said “RUNWAY will not be sold.” Due to this debacle, Mahoney posted another release officially maintaining her and her partner’s rights to the RUNWAY name and related aspects and that it will completely close down.

These actions by Mills are just utterly disgraceful, and while I do not hold the brands that have been connected to the BoSL Boulevard, I do hope they seriously reconsider their positions in lieu of this disaster. This was not merely a private act in his own home, nor an incensing blurb on a blog- this was a hostile, unethical take-over that, in RL, I can foresee going to court over. I have mused participating in the new ‘Miss SL Virtual World’ event just for shits and giggles – and perhaps a nice elbow in the gut – but now I am not going near that failed joke with a jousting lance. To each their own opinion, but I hope people make it wisely.

Update: With the new information released, I still stand by my view- I don’t think Frolic Mills is an ethical business owner, I will avoid participating in BoSL activities and related, and I encourage each person should review their position and feelings about BoSL in light of this matter. Granted, what decision each person makes is up to them. That his name came up and how things were handled do not make me comfortable. I am not saying that every staff member of BoSL is unethical; I know people that work at Wal*Mart and shop there, but I don’t think they’re evil Hell spawns. Likewise, complete bastards can work for great companies that I support. I do believe, however, that the head of a company reflects a great deal on the overall business.

Update 2: Read the comments.

*I didn’t feel like swearing in the opening, but still wanted to say something less polished than manure. And hey, linky to cookies that do not stink like poo!

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~ by Terry Toland on April 9, 2009.

14 Responses to “Life Out on the Street: Thoughts on BoSL”

  1. […] Read the rest on Lifestyles of the Broke and Notorious […]

  2. […] Lifestyles of the Broke and Notorious […]

  3. Lets enter the Miss Virtual World together! Should be lots of fun!

  4. Frolic Mills, Giancarlo Takacs both are disgusting people.

  5. There’s a balanced account of the BOSL/RUNWAY saga by former RUNWAY fashion editor Thalia Jie at http://stylefilebyclarabellekay.blogspot.com/2009/04/dramas-and-divas-and-whole-damn-thing.html.

    I’m surprised you got this story so wrong. All the information is out there. As a responsible blogger, I’d expect you to present it.

    The truth is, Mr and Mrs RUNWAY CEO skipped town with all of RUNWAY’s advertising revenue (much of it prepaid until July), multiple designer commissions unpaid, revenue from the sale of the RUNWAY sim, and all without any notice to their staff, who have still not been paid for their April work.

    What they did was wrong. They betrayed their own staff and advertisers. None of them will ever be paid for their work. Mills stepped in AT THE INVITATION of the RUNWAY EDITORIAL STAFF and agreed to pay all debts owed by the RUNWAY organization in exchange for ownership of RUNWAY. They all decided at that point, the smartest move was to continue operations before advertisers and sponsors got scared and bolted.

    So far one party has escaped this scandal unscathed – a member of the RUNWAY editorial staff with close ties to members of a rival magazine of RUNWAY, who had already planned to leave before Maggie’s sudden departure. This staffer was present at the merger meeting and appeared to support the original decision. Suddenly, it appears that staffers from a rival magazine were involved in spreading a false version of these events to key people and to several blogs (screen shots of the chats exist and have been circulating) before the ink was even dry on the arrangement, which was reached in good faith between BOSL and the RUNWAY staff. I wonder if that story will ever see the light of day? One hint – this ex-RUNWAY staffer has already accepted a Magazine position elsewhere.

    Ask yourself – whose interests would be served by killing off RUNWAY and stopping a merger which COULD have saved it? Follow the trail.

    • I’ll keep my response brief:

      – I’m human, so mistakes are made.
      – My decisions were made based on the public information at the time, which was not limited to just the RUNWAY issue, and I cited all my sources.
      – Stemming from that, Mills has a lot more dirt on his hands than Mahoney and her partner. For that, there was no need to speculate further.
      – Looking at my own recent experience, Real Life can cause poor, sudden decisions to occur, and while mine have been emotionally based, a life-threatening disease makes mortality and humanity that much more critical in mental processing, either immediately when diagnosed, during treatment, or in the extended healing process.
      – This was really shocking, and again, related to previous situations that blew my mind. I do not seek cutting-edge stories of the SL social sphere; I don’t have the energy, patience or time, and I’m certainly not being paid for it.

      I guess that wasn’t as brief as I thought. I did consider editing the post, to be honest, but just as the commentators want me to make decisions for myself, other audience members can add salt to what they desire. If it gives any idea of my stance, Vain, Inc. has been and is my preferred SL magazine.

  6. This is Maggie Mahoney and I have responded to questions raised here at my post http://www.runwaysl.com/blog/?p=1150. The writers of this blog have my permission to copy and paste the entire post to this forum should they choose. If they do not, then that is their choice as well.

  7. Kerri seems to know alot. Makes me wonder if she’s a staff member who knows who the defecting staff member is. Has anyone even looked into this? All the staff are being refered to as victems. If one helped organize this fiasco to take advantage of Mahoney leaving and destroy RUNWAY, that should come out, shouldn’t it? I wish I had some research and writing skills.

    • The idea that this is more complicated with people pretending to be Mills or some other such charade is out there and, in at least my own view, doesn’t match previous history. But again, to each their own.

  8. […] I stuck my nose into the RUNWAY/BoSL mess and might have gotten my hair singed due to not being an ‘informed’ party. Maybe I […]

  9. […] I stuck my nose into the RUNWAY/BoSL mess and might have gotten my hair singed due to not being an ‘informed’ party. Maybe I […]

  10. […] I stuck my nose into the RUNWAY/BoSL mess and might have gotten my hair singed due to not being an ‘informed’ party. Maybe I […]

  11. To use the ‘runaway’ debacle as a cosh with which to revisit old grumbles about BOSL is a little thin. Further it neglects the main issue in this instance. It is simple.

    The owner of runway , Mahoney herself confirms through her own public accounts that she had not provided any form of either notice of impending closure, or discussions on business handover to staff – to whom she owed a significant obligation. Mahoney further confirms that all action to wind up the operation, including the sale of her sim on which runway magazine headquarters were located had ALREADY taken place prior to her public notice of closure. So to recap: Mahoney’s own public statements confirms that with no prior notice to staff or those with whom she had pre-existing obligations, she sold the sim housing the magazine and ‘closed the doors ‘of the magazine. As an ‘afterthought’ Mahoney made a clear public statement that she had relinquished all claims on the magazine and had ‘given’ it to the runway staff. Mahoney remained silent on what exactly this ‘gift’ entailed. The Editor of Runway confirms Mahoney’s initial silence on pre-existing contractual obligations and monies owed.

    The abandoned Runway staff, by no means unintelligent people would have realised that in the absence of prior discussions or handover documentation and as uninformed recipients of this ‘giveaway’, they would need to take stock of Runway’s assets, pre-existing obligations, contracts and debts and locate and pay for a new headquarters. This information would be an essential requirement in deciding to take on the magazine and certainly in approaching other business people and in particular, Mills with whom they initiated a contact seeking advice and assistance. The latter action has been confirmed in public statements made by the editor of Runway magazine.

    While there are many legal, ethical and business issues relating to this situation, none belong to Mills. The responsibility for the Runway magazine closure, sim sale, debts, honouring of contracts and payment of staff salaries and freelanacers owed fall firmly on Mahoney.

    The absurd albeit entertaining aspect of this affair is that in receiving advice that the staff had sought to stablise runway magazine and had found someone (Mills) to clear Mahoney’s pre-existing obligations and debts, pay staff salaries owed and to keep the existing staff employed at Runway and to provide a headquarters, Mahoney reversed her public ‘giveaway’, chose to close the magazine’s doors ——— AGAIN!

    One could ask… what doors??? She had after all, ALREADY sold her sim and not merely the magazine’s doors, but the WHOLE magazine building had been removed.

    Mahoney now publicly states that she has accepted her obligations and payments will be made to creditors through a ‘trust’ she has established for this purpose and that comprises monies from the sale of her sim. Although I have some doubts about how a ‘trust’ could have been properly and legally established and registered in tort as required.

    In relation to this ‘trust’ it is reasonable to expect that all details including the amount held in this ‘trust’ for named beneficiaries, by the named administrator/ executor have now been identified by Mahoney. It is also reasonable to assume that all creditors have been given contact details in order that they may arrange to meet with the trustee/ administrator to resolve payment of monies owed to them by Mahoney. It would of course be expected that monies owed to staff take priority over the web page of a magazine that is now defunct.

    In relation to the breast cancer statements as a mitigator. Many in Sl have health problems and certainly many of the charitable organisations in Sl give testament to the number of cancer patients and survivors in Sl. Who is not to say that one of the people detrimentally affected by Mahoney’s actions is not also experiencing health or r/l issues of a grave or chronic nature? Not everyone makes their health public knowledge as an excuse for acting in so cavalier a manner. If as Mahoney stated, she relied upon Ocean to assist in managing her affairs, it is unclear why he, presumably not experience illness, could not manage the winding up of the magazine in a business-like manner on her behalf.

    In making these comments I have read fully all notices published by all parties to this affair. I do note that Mahoney is alone in her statements that BOSL ‘moved in…And… took advantage of staff’. The public statement from the Editor of Runway is clear that staff initiated a contact with Mills.

    Personally, had I been Mills I would have shrugged, pointed to BOSL Mag and blog and stated the obvious – BOSL didn’t need a short-lived Sl vanity fash mag in it’s suite of businesses. Let alone one that had debts, obligations and no headquarters. BOSL has definitely not been the loser in this. The same cannot be said of the Runway staff.

    To revile Mills or BOSL for responding to the runway staff call for assistance defies all logic and common sense. If you REALLY need to create further controversy and lay blame for this fiasco place it where it belongs – with Mahoney.

    • “To use the ‘runaway’ debacle as a cosh with which to revisit old grumbles about BOSL is a little thin. Further it neglects the main issue in this instance. It is simple.”

      It is simple- the main issue I had was with how BoSL handles matters overall. That’s why it wasn’t just “Thoughts about the RUNWAY issue”. It’s titled “Thoughts on BoSL”. The event was that this wasn’t the first time, nor probably won’t be the last, that Mills gets into a shady situation and comes off as the longer-earred one. Furthermore and as I’ve stated previously, my information was based on available information at the time and you can even look at the publishing time if you need confirmation.

      Yes, I added my two cents; I even have a follow-up post to this. But I must point out that while people are pointing the finger at me for stirring up things, I’ve moved on. You had to have searched for this post or come here for another reason to find it, read it, and subsequently comment on it. I didn’t drop a notecard on your profile, e-mail it, or plurk you about this post. And to add the point, I’m closing comments on this entry so people can roll in the dirt elsewhere; if people really want to send me their thoughts, then they can e-mail me.

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