It’s shaping up to be a hot summer here in San Francisco — er, at least at Linden Lab! — and July brings a lot of exciting updates — including great news for all Residents who’ve experienced issues with Group Chat lag, awesome new avatars, sweet new features in Profiles and much more!
A longstanding question about the default avatars that the Lab provides is “Why do they only offer humans?” Well, fret no more! Check your Library > Clothing > Initial Outfits tab in any Viewer and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover 36 new default avs! We worked with three amazing creators and focused on balancing visual appeal with diversity and efficiency. We think you’ll find that this fresh batch of avis is far more performance-oriented than our previous defaults — and a heck of a lot of fun.
Animal series by Damien Fate
Robot series by Renn Yifu
Vehicle series by Xenius Revere
For Residents using Basic mode, the new set of avatars will soon appear in the avatar selector. In a short time, they’ll be available at registration as well. You’ll be tempted to choose your favorite. Try out Second Life as a robot, a dragon — or even a sports car!
Group Chat Lag
Here’s a little something about that right royal pain, Group Chat Lag. You know how it is: you’re inworld, having a ball chatting with a group of friends, but the chat shows up with words missing or in the wrong order. It’s like a bad roommate, always hanging around and making a mess, interrupting your conversations and ruining your jokes! Some of your friends won’t even try talking while that loser’s around, knowing that their impeccable comic timing will come out looking like free-form poetry.
Except, for some reason, we don’t see that dude around much these days. Was it something we did?
We’d say that we’ll miss the old Group Chat Lag, but that would be a total lie. Instead, as the saying used to go: “door Don’t let the hit you in the butt on the way out.”
We’re working on improved functionality and features for Profiles, a great way for you to express your interests, share your favorite activities, communicate your unique personality, and meet other SL Residents like yourself. Some of the cool things we’re adding will include a “Pages” feature that lets you add pages to your profile for different topics, interests, regions and other fun stuff. As always, you control the level of privacy for your account — you can adjust precisely how much information you choose to display — or keep private!
You can look forward to a feature that will allow the option of auto-posting to Twitter and Facebook— as well as a new activity stream, including a summary of your friends’ activities. This will allow you to check out what posts or photos your Second Life Friends have commented on, notify you when a friend changes their profile pic, and more!
We’re also working on integrating additional social-network identity — including popular sites like Plurk, Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and Foursquare — so you can streamline your SL social networking, all fine-tuned to share just as much or as little as you prefer. You’re in the driver’s seat, but we’re glad to be along for the ride!
For all of you who love shopping for new gadgets, outfits, avatars — and everything else under the sun! — we’ve implemented some changes to our Marketplace hat will enhance your shopping experience and make the process go more smoothly. One of the coolest features we’ve been working on is Direct Delivery. We launched the Alpha phase of Direct Delivery in early June, and the participating merchants have been giving us some great feedback! What’s next? More focus on improving Direct Delivery, and working with Beta Merchants on the Alpha platform.
We’ve been working on an API for third-party viewers to use to support listing items on the Marketplace, and continue to gather feedback as we develop that capability. Beta Program participation has been opened up for third-party viewer developers and vending system developers, and our primary focus has been on bringing Direct Delivery to market.
On the promotional email front, we’ve improved the functionality of promotional-email subscription preferences. To unsubscribe to any promotional email, just hit the “unsubscribe” link in the message, and you’ll be able to choose the type of emails you want to get from Linden Lab — instead of “all-or-nothing.” This feature allows you to opt-in to messages you’d like to see more of — and unsubscribe from those you don’t! You’ll still receive other messages, like inworld notifications and Marketplace emails.
Later this month, the new Search functionality that was included in the most recent Viewer release will go live as the primary Search experience for all Residents. Every search on the Secondlife.com website and in the Legacy Viewer “All” and “Groups” categories will use the new back-end technology, and will benefit from the improved result relevance. Viewer users will not only get the updated results — they’ll also be able to take advantage of all the exciting features we've included in the new Search interface, including easier searching for Events, Land Sales and Rentals, and Classifieds. If you haven't explored Second Life with the new-and-improved Search functionality yet, download the Viewer and take a look!
Let us know what you think! Share your experiences with these new features in the Technology Forum. And, don’t forget to hit Twitter — follow us @Secondlife and tweet using the hashtag #secondlife. Now, go explore Second Life, tap into your creative side — and make something incredible!