Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Halloween in Second Life

Halloween is one of the biggest holidays in the virtual world.  Everyone obsesses over what costume they're going to wear.  Land owners create spooky builds, graveyards, haunted mansions.

Why is this?  I have no idea, even though I get caught up in the madness every year myself.  Here in SL, EVERY day is costume day!  After all, our avatars can be anything we choose.  What's so special about Halloween?

It doesn't matter.  It's fun!  And that's what SL is all about.  So get that special avatar.  Dress up as a wicked witch, a mermaid, a ghost, a zombie.  And check out some of the many Halloween-themed events!

Linden Lab's official blog has kindly put together a sampling:

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Experiments in the New User Experience

This might be of interest!

When you first sign up for SL and log in, your avatar appears on "Learning Island".  After you explore there, you come to a portal that teleports you to "Social Island" where there are more "getting started" tutorials.

There are actually about a dozen identical copies of Learning Island and Social Island, and when one starts to get crowded, new arrivals get sent to one of the less crowded ones.

Only actual newcomers can get to Learning Island.  Once you leave, you are an "experienced resident" and cannot return. 

Up until recently, everyone could visit any of the Social Islands.  Like the older Help Island and Infohubs, this resulted in these areas attracting griefers, scammers, and troublemakers who like to shock or take advantage of new, inexperienced residents.

That is still true, mostly.  But LL is experimenting, trying to improve the new user experience (and thereby improve retention).  On one Social Island, only newcomers can visit, just like Learning Island.  They have to find out stuff for themselves, but they won't be bothered by the riff-raff.  On another Social Island, members of a trained mentoring group may visit, and offer assistance to the new residents.  This is similar to the old LL Mentors program, but the mentors are a resident-run group.

In another experiment, there are two or three different versions of Learning Island/Social Island.  There's a Romantic one, and a Science Fiction one, and I think another one, but I don't recall its theme.  Anyone can visit these regions.  I haven't seen any newcomers there, so I don't think the automated intake system is using them, people have to find them on their own.

You can find the Social Islands on your world Map.  Just type "Social Island" in the search box.  You'll have to zoom out to see them all, but their shape is distinctive.  The themed versions are nearby.

Kudos to LL for these experiments, and I hope the data gives useful results that lead to improvements!

Monday, September 9, 2019

The Enormous Water Slide

Today I was just going through some random old landmarks, checking to see which ones were still correct.  I happened to visit Dreams, and thought my readers might like what I found there.

What I found was the biggest, longest water slide I've ever seen in SL.

I had to increase my draw distance to get it all in!

Here's a landmark, but it will drop you off at the entrance to the Dream Creations Store.  Local teleports are restricted, so you'll have to fly up to the top of the water slide to ride it.

Once you reach the bottom, stand up from the inner tube you're riding and drop down to explore the extensive undersea build!

Saturday, August 24, 2019

Strawberry Singh Returns to YouTube!

Many of us have relied for years on the prolific reviews and tutorials created by Strawberry Singh.  She posted them on her website...and made many videos which were posted both on her site and on her YouTube vlog.

A few months ago, Strawberry joined Linden Lab as an official employee.  While we were all happy for her, we also mourned the demise of all that great information!

But wait!  She's BAAAAAAACK!  (as Strawberry Linden, of course!)

Starting this coming Wednesday, August 28, Strawberry and Xiola Linden will be kicking off a new Second Life "variety show" on YouTube.  The show will be called "Lab Gab" and will be live streamed approximately bi-weekly.

Catch the first installment Wednesday at 3 pm SL time on the Second Life Channel.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

About that Tilia...

Linden Lab has created a new subsidiary company, Tilia.  As of August 1, all Second Life accounts' financial transactions will be handled through this new company.  Well, actually, your transactions have been going through Tilia since 2013, but now it will just be a little more explicit.

This change has caused a huge amount of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD) among SL residents, as is plain from the several Forum threads about it.

Soft Linden, LL's head of information security, has written a really outstanding blog post that should go a long way to relieve the minds of the concerned.  Read it here:

Now, THAT's the way to communicate.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Ads, Ads, Ads!

Let's open this post with one of my favorite quotes from "Futurama" 

Like Fry says, ads are everywhere.  They sure are all over Second Life!  But a lot of people who start up a Second Life business, or service, or rental operation don't know how or where to advertise.  With tens of thousands of competitors, if you don't advertise everywhere you can, you'll never get noticed.

I'm a long way from being a marketing or advertising genius, but here are some of the ways I use to get my little rental operation at Masocado in front of the public eye.  Hopefully, they'll work for you, too!
  • In your Profile. List your business in the main section of your Profile, and in your Picks.
  • In your Forum signature. If you’re active in the SL forums, this is a good way to get your place in front of people’s eyes. Check out my forum signature, for example:
  • With a blog. If you write a blog about SL, you can mention, or even link to, your SL property. If you don’t have your own blog, maybe you can get someone who DOES blog about SL to give your property a plug.
  • In Search. You can set your land to “show in Search” for $L30 per week. If you have multiple parcels, you can save money by just doing this with one central location, perhaps a business office.

  • With a Classified ad. You can write a Classified ad in the Classified tab of your Profile. You can pay as little as $L50 per week for an ad. If you choose to pay more, it will improve your place’s ranking in Search (in the Classifieds category). Some big name businesses pay thousands per week for their Classified ads. I don’t recommend doing this to try to get a very high ranked listing, though. I think I pay about $L100 per week for my classified ad, just to get it a bit above all the bottom feeders.

  • In the Forums. Advertise Estate rentals here: There's a different forum for Mainland parcels:  I visit the land rental forum once a month or so and create a new post, just to keep my place from getting buried too deeply in old posts.
  • In the Marketplace. You can create a Marketplace store and advertise a freebie...a notecard about your land, including landmark(s) to it. The category to use for your ad is Real Estate. Here’s a link to my listing for Masocado:
  • On an ad board in world. I don’t recommend this method, I have not found it to be cost effective. I do have an ad on the “Sponsors” board at Caledon Oxbridge University, but I don’t think I’ve gotten any tenants from the ad.
  • With Events. Hold a scavenger hunt, hire a live performer to do a set. If there are shops, announce a one day sale. Have an air race, a snail race, a Primtionary competition with cash prizes, a Trivia Night...anything you can think of that would be fun and attract people. Then list it in Events: Try to hold some sort of event at least monthly.
  • With discounts. Offer tenants a free month’s or week’s rent if they bring in another tenant.
  •  On the land itself.  Have a group inviter, a landmark giver, or a kiosk that delivers a notecard with information about your place.

    On the Map.  Some people put up an object consisting of giant flat prims.  You can't use a texture to create text or a logo here, it has to be built of prims; the Map won't display textures.  Place the object at about 100 to 400m high, make it Phantom and transparent from all sides except the top.  After a couple of days, it will show up on the world Map.

    But the very best way to advertise is word of mouth. Tell everyone you meet about your business.Pass out landmarks at every opportunity. Don’t rely on only your own word of mouth, though...happy customers, even if they move on, will help spread the word. (And UNhappy customers will, do everything you can to avoid unhappy customers!)

Friday, June 21, 2019

FINAL TWO DAYS to get Premium at the Old Prices!

Hey there...

You probably heard that Linden Lab is increasing the price of a Premium membership in Second Life.  That's not the greatest news of all time, but it IS the first price maybe we can't scream TOO loudly!

Here's the official post:

But here is the Very Important News.  If you are currently a Premium member, you can pre-pay for up to another year (the clock on this will start on your current renewal date).  By doing this, you lock in the old Premium price of $72.00 per year, for that extra year.

If you are not a Premium member yet, you can still sign up at the old rates. 

But there is a catch.  You have to do this (pre-pay, for existing members, or sign up for a new Premium account) BEFORE JUNE 24, which is when the new, higher rates go into effect.

That means you have just two days to lock in the old rates.