Archive for June, 2008


Greenies are kooky fun

June 30, 2008

The last few nights I have been trying to visit the displays that are part of the SLB5 celebrations. Unfortunately it is just too laggy for me. I did however spot the greenie display so instead of fighting the lag there I decided to take a trip to the greenies home.

A trip to the Greenies house is a bit like a trip down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

My avatar was dwarfed inside what appeared to be a 50s apartment. Apart from scale everything looks fairly normal except it has been invaded by little green aliens – Greenies.

I decided that even though they were aliens you could make some judgments about them.

For instance they like the performing arts.

They have a fine appreciation for music.

They have a rich musical culture of their own.

However like humans some can be a bit vain and they worry unnecessarily about their appearance in second life.

Some Greenies are freedom loving.

Some are dreamers always chasing shadows

Some are a bit mean and cause trouble

For all that there are dangers in their life.

These kooky curious little aliens get themselves into all sorts of situations

They can make a mess.

This looks very precarious.

Greenies are fun loving …

…which can lead to problems.

… and sometimes the situation is quite dire!

Or even fatal.

Some greenies are naughty.

and others just like humans are naughtier.

Rezzable are responsible for creating these creatures. If you have not seen this build do so here is the SLURL to the Greenies home


NCI for new Residents

June 28, 2008

I have been musing over the results of a readers survey that Hamlet reported on over on New World Notes. Readers responses are collated together in In Your First Hour: What You Did, And Why You Stayed

“Why did you stay? These results are just as striking, for almost none of you mention the Lindens’ official orientation experience. Instead, the vast majority mention help from other Residents, while a significant percentage specifically mention Resident/3rd party sites that assisted them”

There are many resident run groups that aim to help new residents. I decided to take a look at them again and plan to cover others over the next few weeks as the mood strikes

As I said in this post about my own newbie experience when I was new and I found the official Second Life site confusing I turned to blogs for answers. Although I did learn much from reading the second life blogs they are fan sites, and as such, there was much assumed knowledge that I had to try and make sense of. Some blogs were worse than others but generally there was also many sites not spoken about because it was assumed everyone (except newbies) knew about them. Now this does not matter for many sites but when it is a site that is set up specifically to assist new residents it is a bit unfortunate. A key group is NCI or New Citizens Incorporated and I found out about them three weeks after I had first tried Second Life.

They were so helpful I decided to revisit them last night. New Citizens Incorporated is designed to make new residents welcome and has a team of people who help, teach, and assist new residents.

Each week NCI hosts activities and social gatherings such as Blitz Building contests and parties which are are events designed to make new residents welcome. Dotted around the space are information boards that contain information. Click on them and you are delivered notecards, landmarks and tutorials. There are also numerous freebies to collect. NCI is funded through donations, sponsored advertising, and by businesses that NCI conduct branded classes and events for.

NCI classes range from the very basic to the more advanced building. But you do not have to become a builder to enjoy Second Life. NCI also offer an introduction to SL class and many classes that enable you to consolidate skills such as using the Search Menu and Maps, or giving yourself an Avatar Makeover, and some good advice is dished out in their SL Consumer Skills class.

NCI operates a number of Second Life campuses including two in Caledon. On the Nova Civis Caledon site there is a good map display of how SL has changed over time.

NCI also has a blog which houses tips and tutorials as well as news about what is going on.
SLURLs to NCI Locations in world
NCI Kuula New Citizens incorporated

NCI Beach – Fishermans Cove

NCI South Hamnida

Nova Civis Caledon

Caledon Highlands Formerly Caledon Academy of Virtual


SL Learning Center and Tutorials 2 Go

June 27, 2008

What many people don’t realise before they come in world is that in Second Life there are loads of ways to learn to build, create things like clothes, animate your avatar, renting a home, buying land or starting a business. When I was new what I did not know is that there are many venues offering free lessons and loads of help to assist residents who want to develop in world skills to do so all likelihood somewhere in Second Life there is someone running a class on. As soosn as I discovered this I was attending everything possible!

Last night I had the good fortune to bump into Lady Hathaway who runs the SL Learning Center. The SL Learning Centre also has a website but you really need to visit it in world to have a sense of their service. The learning environment is designed to teach relevant Second Life skills. That is right you attend classes in Second Life and learn second life skills but for many a live class can be a problem. If like me you live in Australia often (not always but often) you are off earning a living when the main classes are being held or when you are very new you feel embarrassed when you cant keep up with the rest of the class. This is where tutorials come in to their own.

Next door to the Learning center is Tutorials 2 Go who have developed a range of tutorials to suit all levels. They range from Easy to Challenging and are colour coded accordingly. There are over 120 different tutorials to choose from and more added regularly.

There are also a few free tutorials so you can see what the quality of teaching is before you buy. You need to join the group and have your group tag active you to pick up the free tutorials.

Each month there is a competition for students who display what they have built.

To use the tutorial you simply rezz it. It is like a large slide show and you simply work your way through it using the forward arrows.

If you need to review a piece of information simply use the back arrows

SL Learning Centre SLURL


SL turns five

June 25, 2008

As residents know Second Life has turned 5 this week and the SL5B: Opening Speech is now available as a video. The speech itself was as I expected with a basic message of it’s been very exciting, with quick growth, it’s stimulating and surprising to work with creative people (the residents) and there are many opportunities both business and personal in Second Life.

For all the issues, the lag, the complaining and bickering that goes on, I think the development of this technology and how people have used it, is at times amazing, other times I see human foibles turn it into something utterly predicable and mundane.


Thoughts on my first hour in World

June 23, 2008

Over on New World Notes Hamlet has broken down the results of an informal survey run on the blog. In Your First Hour: What You Did, And Why You Stayed Hamlet examines his readers responses to their first hour in Second Life®. As Hamlet admits this is a limited, non-scientific sample but it confirms a strong hunch.

Most people found the Lindens’ official orientation experience boring frustrating and difficult to understand. Since 90% of new users don’t survive the first hour this is serious for Linden Labs. If you read the comments here many people said that a positive influence was having access to information about second life before hand. Blogs, video tutorials and podcasts etc have a real role to play.

This had me thinking about my own reactions to the process. I know when I was new (nearly a year ago now) I logged out to go in search for more information online. The Official site was confusing so I pulled up one of Googles’ Topic-specific search engines a Google blog search and typed in “Second Life” and within an hour or so of reading had a sense of what awaited me on the other side of orientation island. I had a glimpse of what the community was on about, what its concerns were, how varied it was, how creative it was and how annoyed it got at Linden labs. So I was better prepared and even more curious when I went in world again.

When you look at Hamlets pie graphs the majority of people stayed because they met a resident or community group that helped them. Hamlet concluded that it is the “community not the company helps the community grow.” I think part of that community is, bloggers that write about their second life, as they give outsiders a glimpse into the world and sometimes make them curious enough to persist with Orientation island…