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Linden Lab

MotherLastNames.png

To celebrate Mother’s Day and all the mothers in the Second Life community, we are releasing new limited edition last names today, only available until May 10th: 
Mama
Matriarch
Mum

These names are seasonal and may come back around this time next year, for a limited time.

We will continue to make additional updates to the available last name pool, so if these options aren’t for you, stay tuned for future updates. 

For more information about the costs and how-tos involved in name changes, read the Changing your username FAQ. Click to change your name now!
 

Linden Lab

It’s been a busy and exciting 2021 for Second Life with several significant improvements, most notably our recent transition to Amazon’s cloud servers. Our team is excited to continue to bring better performance and ongoing enhancements to make Second Life even better.

Our goal is simple: enhance the enjoyment of current Residents by making things faster, smoother, and more interesting. We are seeing an increase in activity in-world, so we are hoping these investments are starting to pay off for you. At present we are:

  • Investing in our infrastructure to further improve speed and cadence of updates 
  • Overhauling the onboarding experience for the newest Residents
  • UI cleanup 
  • Developing new marketing initiatives and entertainment partnerships to fuel growth
  • Preparing for SL18B 
  • Less glamorous but no less crucial is our ongoing and growing work to ensure compliance with multiple regulatory requirements

We’ve spent time looking at ways to manage these costs in a way that minimizes the overall burden on our Residents. We decided to absorb many of the costs and to distribute some by making a change to Linden Dollar "buy fees." 

Effective April 22, the current flat buy fee rate of $1.49 will be replaced by a 7.5% buy fee (capped at $9.99) applied to the total amount of Linden Dollars purchased in each transaction. The $1.49 minimum still applies.

This impacts the least number of transactions and still allows us to offset some of the costs for upgrades to our world.  

Please see the FAQ below for more information and context about this change. For further questions, please join the conversation in our community forums.

BUY FEE FAQ

Q: How will this impact the cost of my Linden Dollar purchases?

A: It depends on the size of your Linden Dollar purchase in each transaction. We worked to ensure that most casual purchases will see no change at all.

For example, smaller Linden Dollar purchases (roughly equivalent to about $20 USD or less*) will see no change in cost as the new $1.49 minimum charge is equivalent to the cost of the existing flat fee. 

As another example, a $40 USD purchase of approximately L$10,000*  would be charged a $3 “buy fee” (equal to 7.5% of $40). 

For larger Linden Dollar purchases (approximately $139 or higher*), the 7.5% fee will cap out at $9.99 maximum in a single transaction.

Q: How will I know the exact transaction fee that I’m charged before I make the purchase?

A: The transaction fee will be clearly visible at the point of sale on the Buy L$ page on the Secondlife.com website. The image below shows you an example of where to see the transaction fee before the purchase transaction is completed:

new point of sale2.PNG

You will see the 7.5% transaction fee auto-calculate as you increase or decrease the amount of Linden Dollars you wish to purchase.

Q: Will the fee show up clearly on my transaction log or invoice?

A: Yes! You will see a dedicated line on both your invoice and transaction log for your “LindeX Buy Fee.”

Here is how it will look on your transaction log:

new transaction log1.png

Here is how it will look on your invoice:

new invoice1.png

Q: When does the new buy fee rate take effect?

A: The new buy fee rate is effective April 22.

Q: Does this fee apply to selling Linden Dollars, too?

A: No. This change only applies to Linden Dollar purchase transactions -- there are no changes or new charges added to other Second Life transactions (such as selling Linden Dollars).

* Disclaimer: The actual dollar value may vary depending on the LindeX exchange rate, which automatically matches your order with the market rate at the time of the transaction. These estimates are accurate at the time of this blog post but are subject to change.

Linden Lab

All marginalized communities who face oppression, harassment and violence have the support and solidarity of Linden Lab.  We stand with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and against hate, and condemn the violent and deadly acts occurring in our country. 
 
While the AAPI community has historically faced unique challenges such as microaggressions rooted in harmful stereotypes and the experience of being othered, over the last year they have been targeted by an unprecedented surge of harassment, intimidation, and attacks. The irresponsible language about COVID-19 used by public figures, online conspiracies, and a deep-seated bigotry towards Asian Americans have all contributed to what has been referred to as “pandemic racism.” Nearly 4,000 reports of anti-Asian discrimination in 47 states have been reported by Stop AAPI Hate

We acknowledge the added fear and anxiety in our AAPI communities, and the trauma of our colleagues, friends, neighbors and fellow residents. All of us deserve a safe space; a safe community free from fear. Although the amount of Anti-Asian crimes has risen the most in major cities like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Seattle, we all can do our part to make our communities a place where every human being is treated with dignity and kindness.

Our mission at Second Life has always been to help build a better world, and in support of the AAPI community, we will be donating $10,000 to the Asian Women’s Shelter

How can you help?

Be An Ally: In the context of social justice and equality, being an ally involves using your privilege to advocate for someone who does not hold the same privilege. Allyship is an integral part of how we will dismantle systemic racism, sexism, and prejudice in general.

  • Educate Yourself - While many people may not intentionally say or do things that are deemed offensive, lack of intent is no excuse when dealing with racial insensitivity and/or microaggressions. Check out this list of common racial microaggressions and consider your own actions in how you interact with colleagues.The APA also has published an insightful academic article that further explores “Racial microaggressions and the Asian American experience.”
  • Get Involved - Over the past weekend, many communities held National Day of Action and #StopAsianHate vigils and/or rallies to offer support and raise awareness for those impacted by recent events. Many future events are anticipated and you can stay involved by following news and event announcements from the AAJC website and Facebook page, as well as the #StopAsianHate microsite from the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA). Many people are also taking a public pledge to help end bullying and harassment and signing a petition to call on President Biden to provide emergency safety and relief for Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

We are, all of us, living through a turbulent time. We are a year into a worldwide pandemic. Hateful rhetoric in politics, online and in the media. Let’s join together to show a commitment to #StopAsianHate, honor the victims of anti-Asian violence, and push back against racism, sexism, and anti-Asian violence.
 

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Linden Lab

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In appreciation of our Anthro/Furry community in Second Life, we are releasing two new limited edition last names today, only available until April 8th: 
UwU
OwO

We will continue to make additional updates to the available last name pool, so if these options aren’t for you, stay tuned for future updates. 

For more information about the costs and how-tos involved in name changes, read the Changing your username FAQ. Click to change your name now!
 

Linden Lab

Last Names Image.png

We have been very pleased to see the response to the return of last names back in April of 2020. Much as we did with the original legacy surnames, we plan to continually update and change the last names that are available for selection. Now that Uplift is complete, we anticipate that the rotation of available options will happen more often.

Today some of the older last name options were removed and the following new ones were added:
Orlando
Incognito
Nebula
Knickers
Aviator
Bunny
Blackwood
Darkheart
Amore
Suki
Venus
Evergarden
Caboose
Dakota
Absinthe

We will continue to make additional updates to the available last name pool, so if these options aren’t for you, stay tuned for future updates. 

For more information about the costs and how-tos involved in name changes, read the Changing your username FAQ.
 

Linden Lab

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Just in time for the big game! The NFL Alumni Association has established an all-new presence in Second Life that includes a massive multi-region virtual stadium that will be used for several live events including concerts, player appearances and charitable initiatives.

“Sports fans from around the world can hang out, chat and attend events together in Second Life across thousands of immersive virtual world experiences including this all-new virtual stadium built exclusively for this event,” says Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg.  

To kick off the opening of the new virtual stadium, several members of the Second Life music community are performing at virtual halftime shows as part of a multi-day charity event  “Madden “The Yard” Celebrity Challenge.” The event airs daily at noon through Saturday on ESTV, a 24-7 live linear video channel dedicated to esports that is available across multiple streaming outlets including Roku Channel, Amazon Fire TV and social channels. The stream can also be viewed daily inworld on a huge circular video screen located at the center of the virtual stadium. Participating musicians playing inworld include Sassy Nitely, Marqs DeSade, Toxie, JLively, and Van Star.

YT-halftime.jpg

 

Future expansions planned for the NFL Alumni Association project include a virtual museum exhibition later in 2021.
 

Learn more on the official NFL Alumni Association website and be sure to also check out ESTV on YouTube.

Linden Lab

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2020 has been an eventful year that none of us will soon forget. The global pandemic has impacted all of us deeply and it has also caused many people and organizations to develop a new appreciation for how virtual worlds can bring people together for comfort, connections, entertainment, joy, inspiration, and even income. 

As the pandemic grew rapidly, so too did Second Life. At the initial onset of the lockdowns, Second Life saw about a 60% increase in new user registrations compared to the same time in the previous year and there has since been sustained growth in both concurrency and economic activity. 

We remain as committed as ever to making Second Life the best it can be - and 2020 saw several significant improvements and feature additions that we are particularly proud of.

MIGRATION TO THE CLOUD

It has been a monumental task to move Second Life to the cloud, but we are thrilled to report that this important milestone has been reached as the year ends. All of the interconnected services and databases that collectively provide you with Second Life have been migrated to Amazon’s cloud servers (it's possible that a couple of relatively minor features will require a bit more work, but if so, we're doing our best to have them operational by the New Year). 

The "uplift" to the cloud has already paid dividends in better simulator performance and much improved our ability to diagnose problems and scale our systems. We have only just begun to exploit other advantages of our new platform: the move sets the stage for further substantial improvements.

We truly appreciate your patience during the last few weeks as we worked furiously to finish the last portion of this migration.

ENVIRONMENT ENHANCEMENT PROJECT (EEP)

More advanced and dynamic environments debuted in 2020 with the release of the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP). The new features allow Residents to create, customize, and share environment objects that enable dynamically-changing environments that can be controlled at the parcel level including up to four different, independently controlled sky layers. It further advances the shared experience aspect of our world, and has been an amazing creative outlet already!

LAST NAMES & NAME CHANGES

After being gone for almost a decade, “last names” in Second Life were made available once again in 2020. This means that Residents can now opt to change their name and share the same last name to communicate family or community ties and/or friendships with others in Second Life. We’re pleased as pie with how well-received this has been: a lot of work had to happen on the back end to make name changes possible, so it’s rewarding to know that over twelve thousand Residents have chosen to take advantage of it!

MORE LINDEN HOMES

Our popular Linden Home offerings continued to roll out in 2020. As the year began, we had just launched an all-new Victorian theme and then subsequently introduced additional stilt and log home options. Expect even more in 2021 as our Moles are actively at work on multiple new offerings including Chalet Homes (which were previewed at the Christmas Expo earlier this month).

LIVE VIDEO STREAMING SUPPORT

In the past year, the company has made some incremental improvements to the Viewer to support streaming into SL via Chrome Embedded Framework (CEF) so that it is easy to bring “live” video streaming content into Second Life (such as live YouTube streams). We’ve already seen several high-profile events use live video for world premiere screenings and movie events.

OTHER IMPROVEMENTS & FEATURE UPDATES

We also continued to improve Second Life with additional performance enhancements and features, including significant improvements to region crossings, Marketplace, Events, transaction emails, and the ongoing development of the Second Life Viewer. 

Our Marketing team has also been working hard to maintain the momentum with increased media coverage, improved advertising campaigns and more active social media engagement. You can see their own year-end report in a separate blog post.

2021...HERE’S TO HEALTH & HAPPINESS!

As we (thankfully) bid adieu to 2020, we wish everyone a safe and happy holiday and a safe and joyous new year. More than ever, it is important that we remember to treat each other with respect and kindness in both the physical and virtual worlds. 

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Linden Lab

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It’s been a busy year for the marketing team at Linden Lab. The year 2020 began smoothly with several new ambitious campaigns and promotional initiatives for Second Life as detailed in our March 3 post “The Heart & Science of Second Life Marketing”

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Among the highlights shared in that post and discussed the same week in “Lab Gab” were early-year marketing strategies and accomplishments in:

  • Paid/Performance Marketing - There was a complete refresh of our paid display ad campaigns and dozens of new video ads debuted, as well as improved ad targeting technologies.  
  • Organic, Social Media & Influencer Marketing - We debuted or expanded original social video programming initiatives (“Lab Gab,” etc.), overhauled our new user tutorial videos, and grew the Second Life Blogger Network to more than 550 participants.

The Pandemic Effect - New User & Enterprise/Education Growth

Then, the pandemic hit and it quickly became apparent that the outbreak would have a dramatic impact on the lives of just about everyone in the world (virtual or otherwise). While the marketing team continued to execute on most of its original 2020 marketing plans, it was also clear that there would be some significant changes including a shift in messaging and tone for some of our campaigns. Thus, several new “comfort campaigns” were launched to better emphasize the promise of peace, joy and socialization in Second Life. 

$RRYUCLM.jpg   $RSOQS0C.jpg   $R7X1IA4.jpg   $R24WHOO.jpg

These “comfort campaigns” were a hit, bringing in thousands of new residents at a lower cost than we’ve seen in years. The success of this campaign spawned several other variations along with a community focused approach with similar messaging and tailored visual creatives.

The media took notice, too. A new wave of mainstream media coverage emerged in 2020 including prominent articles in The Telegraph, Wired, Mashable,  VICE, Business Insider, Elle, FRANCE 24, Le Figaro, CBC, Billboard, Le Monde, and many other global outlets.

Further, we saw growth from the enterprise and education sectors as several organizations began to re-conceptualize their annual business gatherings or conferences due to the pandemic. In the past few months, Second Life has hosted prominent conferences and events for Museweb (covering innovative uses of technology in museums), Gen Con (one of the largest tabletop gaming conferences), IndieCade (an independent gaming convention), Dutch Design Week (covering the convergence of art, fashion, and design), the International Pineapple Association (a trade show for the pineapple industry), CODAsummit (an art and technology conference), and the Oral History Association (an annual academic conference for oral historians).

Brand Partnerships

We’ve also seen several media and entertainment companies use Second Life as a replacement for public or private events impacted by the pandemic. Instead of a real-world screening event, Adult Swim held a world premiere event for its show “The Shivering Truth” in Second Life. During the event a themed virtual movie theater was created that matched the aesthetics of the show. Attendees could be among the first to watch two episodes before they debuted on the cable network while interacting with some of the creators and crew. There was also limited-edition virtual swag to further get fans excited.

 

 

Another example is our partnership with the independent animation studio Titmouse (“Star Trek: Lower Decks”, “Star Wars: Galaxy of Adventures”) which moved its infamous annual Smash Party to the virtual world so that partygoers could interact and socialize safely from home this year since the physical party was impacted by the pandemic. As part of the event, the virtual party space included lots of interactive surprises and elements to entertain the attendees including a virtual “smash cage,” red carpet arrival area, free branded virtual giveaways and virtual food trucks that enabled guests to order real food for home delivery during the event. There were also random and hidden “Easter egg” events that would be triggered to keep things even more interesting.

Other well-known media and brand partnerships are in the works for 2021, too.

Second Life Book Club & Music Mondays

Among the other noteworthy new initiatives launched in 2020 were the Second Life Book Club and Music Mondays. 

Since its launch in April, the Second Life Book Club continues to feature leading and emerging authors each week and the publishing industry is starting to take note. Producer Draxtor Despres reports that the show is already pre-booked for most of 2021! In addition, publishers are also starting to coordinate signed book giveaways and other promotions associated with the show.

Music Mondays has also gained traction via weekly editorial coverage that highlights the many talented independent musicians of Second Life. Over 25 musicians have already been profiled with several more already in the queue for 2021.

Second Life Merchandise Store

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We also launched the Official Second Life Merchandise Store, available through RedBubble. The store offers Second Life and Linden Lab branded clothing and accessories, with a very inclusive range of sizes. The past year even includes some limited-edition holiday items for Halloween and the winter season.

Brand Refresh & 2021 Commercial Campaign

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In 2020, we also gave a slight refresh to the Second Life logo as we retired the soft green color in favor of bright blue to reflect the boundless energy of our residents who create amazing content and experiences.

You’ll start to see the new look and colors across many of our 2021 campaigns including our first broadcast-quality commercial. Speaking of which, how about a “first look” behind the scenes of the forthcoming spot?

2021...HERE WE COME!

While we are happy to put 2020 behind us, the marketing team at Linden Lab is looking forward to launching many exciting new campaigns and partnerships in 2021 that we believe will broaden the audience of Second Life even further.

Happy Holidays from all of us at Linden Lab!

Seasons Greetings Card-LL.png

 

Linden Lab

We’ve heard your requests and we’re introducing a new public Google calendar that will have all Linden Lab official events listed. This new calendar offers a convenient way to get an at-a-glance look at upcoming User Group meetings and other Linden Lab-sponsored events (such as the Second Life Book Club and upcoming Winter Wonderland snow fight).

To access the web version of this calendar, go to second.life/calendar, no login is required. 

You can additionally use this ICAL feed link to add it to your own personal calendar. You can also click the +GoogleCalendar icon on the bottom right of the web calendar to add it to your Google Calendar. Or, copy over individual events that you are interested in by clicking on the event and click "copy to my calendar."

SL Public Calendar.jpg

 

We hope you find this calendar helpful. It will be frequently updated, but if you see any errors or discrepancies, reach out to Strawberry Linden at strawberry@lindenlab.com.

We are looking forward to seeing you at some upcoming events, especially the Linden & Resident Snowball Fight on December 18th. Look out for detailed blog posts about that and the Winter Shop & Hop, coming soon!

For Resident-run events, view our Events page. Seraphim also has a very handy Google calendar for Resident-run shopping events

Happy Holidays!
 

Connect with Second Life on Social Media:
Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Flickr | Pinterest | Tumblr | Plurk | TikTok | Reddit | LinkedIn

Linden Lab

 

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Are you a Second Life blogger that is looking to expand your reach to a wider audience? If so, then you’ll want to consider opting in to join the new Second Life Blogger Network (SLBN). 

This new community initiative aims to promote high-quality, independent blog content to the Second Life community via high-visibility channels including the Second Life Community pages, social media channels and eventually the Official Second Life Viewer login page. Examples of the type of content we wish to promote include how-to tutorials, fashion makeovers and/or looks, community and event news and destination walk-throughs.

The Second Life Blogger Network aims to drive traffic directly to your own blog via summaries of and links to curated posts selected from participating bloggers including the use of a brief text intro using the opening sentences of your post and usually one related image from the post. Readers will be directed to click through a link that directs them to your site to read the entire article or blog post.

This is your opportunity to reach a wider audience for your own Second Life blog! Participation in this new promotional program is non-exclusive and free. We encourage bloggers to continue to also work with other community blogger networks (such as BVN*) and inworld groups for the promotion and distribution of their original editorial content.

Interested? Here’s how to participate:

  1. Review the SLBN Terms & Conditions and Content Guidelines. This initiative does not aim to influence the editorial content of your independent blog, but we do have standards for the text and image content of those posts that we will promote. For example, images with nudity and/or copyright-violating content will not be considered for promotion.     

  2. If you want to participate, fill out the submission form and consider adding the optional Second Life Blogger Network badge to your website. You can grab the badge and learn about guidelines for placement here.

  3. Once you have opted-in, you are eligible to participate! We will then watch your blog for consideration for potential inclusion in our curated Community News thread and social media channels. 

  4. Linden Lab staffers will frequently review posts from participating bloggers. While not all of your new posts will be selected each day, we do aim to promote several entries during the week from the pool of participating bloggers.

  5. Want to opt-out and no longer participate? Simply let us know by selecting the opt-out notification on the submission form and we’ll stop monitoring your blog for our curated news thread.  

That’s it! Ready to get started? Check out the Community News blog to see examples of the types of independent blog content that we’re already promoting. We’re thrilled to already welcome bloggers Inara Pey (Modemworld.me), Sasy Scarborough (sasyscarborough.com) and Kess Crystal (theglamoursauce.com). Will you be next? 

We also spoke to Kess about her group, BVN and announced out Official SLBN on our live-streaming show Lab Gab with Xiola and Strawberry - you can catch the replay below.

* Note: The Second Life Blogger Network is not officially affiliated with the Blogger & Vlogger Network (BVN) of Second Life, but we encourage our community to check them out at bvnsl.com!

 

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