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A showcase of featured content from our community. If you're interested in being featured, submit your pics to the Official Flickr Group.

Looking for places to visit inworld for pics and adventures? Check out the Destination Guide for places to explore. 

Entries in this blog

Delby Linden

Are you ready for the best (and busiest) time of the year? Be sure to mark your calendars for some fun this holiday season at Winterfest 2010: Friday, December 10 through Saturday, December 18.

Hosted on the Global Online Hockey Association’s (GOHA) six wintry regions, and featuring activities and events put on by numerous communities from around Second Life, Winterfest offers plenty to do, see, and pummel with snowballs. Whether you like snowboarding, playing hockey, ski jumping, cross-country skiing, ice skating, scavenger hunts, winter carnival rides or simply listening to some live music, we think you’ll find just what you’re looking for to get you in the spirit of the season.

By popular demand, we’ll be bringing back the annual Lindens vs. Residents snowball fights. If you’ve ever had the desire to throw something at a Linden, this is the event for you. Bring it on, everyone. We’ll be ready!

Need a new pair of ski pants? Got some for sale? The Winterfest category on the Second Life Marketplace is a great spot to look for new items to help you get outfitted for the season. Merchants with winter-themed content are welcome to post their wares to the appropriate sub-category for gift-giving and retail therapy enjoyment. We’re offering 13 different sub-categories under Winterfest for easy searching:

Curious about what else is going on in Second Life to celebrate the season? Take a look at the Winter events channel on the Destination Guide. If you’ve got some ideas for more wintry fun to add to the channel, then take a look at our call for submissions blog post for winter activities.

We’ll be announcing the full schedule of Winterfest 2010 events very soon. So, until then, bundle up, lace up your skates, and get ready for a full-fledged winter extravaganza!

Terrence Linden

When we announced that we would be closing Teen Second Life and bringing our under-18 Residents to the Main Grid, we also made clear our intention not to compromise the experience that teens have access to. Today, I’m happy share our plan to create rich and enjoyable Second Life experiences for teens, while keeping in mind their security and safety when joining the Main Grid.

A Rich and Secure Experience for Teens

Our goal is to provide a safe, secure, and rewarding experience to all Second Life Residents, no matter their age. Accordingly, we are putting safeguards in place on the Main Grid specific to the following teen age groups:

For 13- to 15-year-olds:
  • 13- to 15-year-old Residents will be restricted to the estates of a sponsoring institution.
  • These Residents will not have access to inworld search, nor will they be able to purchase from our Web-based Marketplace.
For 16- and 17-year-olds:
  • 16- and 17-year-old Residents will have access to all SL regions rated General (i.e., containing content appropriate for all ages), on the Mainland and private islands.
  • These Residents will not be able to enter Moderate- nor Adult-rated regions, even if they have payment information on file and/or have used our Web-based identity verification system.
  • These Residents will be able to communicate fully with and befriend all other users on the Main Grid. This includes local chat and IM.

With nearly 5,000 General-rated regions in Second Life, the area that will be accessible to our 16- and 17-year-old Residents will dwarf the 100 regions currently available on Teen Second Life, giving them far more space to create, explore, and experience their online environment and what they can do there.

Our 16- and 17-year-old account holders will also be able to communicate fully with all other users on the Main Grid (unless they have been muted or otherwise restricted). This was an important decision for us, and one we think will make Second Life richer for all Residents.

Welcoming Teens in the New Year

Bringing teens to the Main Grid is now less than two months away. We plan to shut down the Teen Grid and transfer accounts to the Main Grid in early January, once the holidays have passed. Here’s what to expect:

  • When the teen grid closes, 13- to 15-year-olds will no longer be able to register for Second Life unless they are brought in through an affiliated organization. On the Main Grid, these younger Residents will not be able to travel outside the estates of their sponsoring organizations.
  • 16- and 17-year-olds registering for Second Life will be directed to the Main Grid rather than to Teen Second Life.
  • We will transfer all 16-17s remaining on Teen SL to the main SL grid, as well as those 13-15s that are affiliated with TSL Resident institutions. This includes all the inventory of those accounts. (The accounts of our other 13- to 15-year-old Residents will become inactive, but will be automatically restored when they turn 16.) All of the land on Teen Second Life will be transferred to the Main Grid. This includes teen mainland, teen private islands, and teen organizations’ estates.

At that point, Teen Second Life will be officially closed -- but the experience of teens in Second Life is only just beginning. We strongly believe that teens have as much to contribute to the Second Life community as their adult counterparts, and we do not want to restrict the flow of ideas and information between the two groups. We all have much to learn from each other.

As we continue to focus on making the Second Life experience faster, easier, and more fun for all Residents, we’ve also made a number of improvements to search to provide teens with additional security and control. We look forward to seeing the new kinds of creativity and community our teen Residents will bring to the Main Grid. Welcome, teens!

Brett Linden
It's time to celebrate the winter holiday with friends -- both old and new -- in Second Life. The Internet's largest, community-created virtual world is filled with cool attractions, events and themed parties that capture the true spirit of the season.
Winterfest 7.jpg


We're rounding up some of this year's holiday highlights for a new Winter-themed category in the Destination Guide, set to debut later this month. You'll find plenty of places for snow-filled fun (think ice skating, snow sledding, and skiing), as well as holiday-specific attractions and events (such as parties and live performances). In addition, December is filled with numerous grid-wide scavenger hunts, where you can join others on massive quests to seek and find free holiday-themed virtual goodies.


There's also the annual Winterfest, a week-long, snow-filled celebration with live music performances, winter sports activities and even snowball fights, hosted on the Global Online Hockey Association's wintry venues. Look for highlights of this year's event, which begins Dec. 10, to be included in the new Destination Guide category. A full schedule of activities will also be published on the Secondlife.com Blog soon -- so stay tuned for more info!


Winterfest 2.jpg


You can help us round up this year's hottest (or should we say "coolest") spots. We'll be monitoring our official Facebook page for suggestions from Residents about their favorite places, but venue owners can submit their own locations or events for consideration using the Destination Guide Suggestion Submission Form. Our editorial team will review all entries for possible inclusion in this category.
Melissa Linden


Thank you to everyone who participated in making over Philip's avatar. Philip reviewed all the avatars and is amazed at the creativity that went into the submissions.

The winner is Resident creator, Mars Absent. To find more of Mars' work, check out The Abyss inworld or the SL Marketplace. We invite you to check out the finalist entries on Flickr.com.

Philip is thrilled to have a new look.  Here is the result of his first photoshoot.




Special thank you to Mars Absent!  Your designs are amazing!

Vogt Linden

As we mentioned in our last blog post,  the Customer Support team continues to drive a series of changes to the  way in which Linden Lab delivers support to our Resident community.  We  are examining our support offering from top to bottom, using the data  from our new support system, your survey data, blog feedback, and  industry standard practices to help shape our approach.

Some  of our changes will be apparent to you, like the look and feel of the  new case and live chat systems and our coming self-service tools. Others  will be structural and won't be immediately apparent, like our internal  support tools, but their benefits will reveal themselves over time as  they enable us to address your issues more quickly.

As we approach these changes, we have a number of high-level goals in mind:

  • Leverage industry best practices, and our own hard-earned lessons, to create a comprehensive customer service offering.
  • Respond to high-urgency, business-critical requests more quickly.
  • Better address product and service issues before they become a support interaction.
  • Provide all Residents with better self-service tools to help solve issues immediately.
Changes to Support for Basic Residents

As  part of these changes, we are examining the types of support we offer  Residents of all levels, in an effort to provide better, more responsive  service to the most business-critical issues.  Starting on Wednesday,  October 13th, we will simplify and reduce the types of cases that Basic  Residents can file and direct them to our self-service tools on your account page, or search the Knowledge Base or Second Life Answers for solutions.  As a Basic Resident, you can still file cases about  most account issues, billing issues, marketplace issues, and some  technical issues.

Improving Support for Premium and Concierge Residents

As  we increasingly direct Basic Residents to self-service tools, we are  exploring ways that we can better service and support our Premium and  Concierge Residents.  These Residents –who are often landowners,  merchants, and inworld business owners– will continue to be able to file  the full range of cases, have access support via live chat, and in the  case of Concierge Residents, have access to phone support.  As we begin  to see the impact of the changes we have underway, we expect our  response times across all of these channels to improve.

This  announcement is one of many to come soon as we work hard to provide  faster, more effective customer service. We look forward to hearing your  feedback as these changes roll out.

Grant Linden


We are thrilled to announce that the SL Marketplace is the new destination for online shopping for all things Second Life. We invite Second Life Residents to visit the redesigned site, check out all the new features and start loading your shopping carts with the amazing things only our creative community can deliver. The purchasing functionality on XStreetSL is being disabled as of today. So, if you’re shopping for avatar skins and fashion, home and furnishing needs, scripts and objects for getting your groove on, or almost anything else  you can think of....you’ll find it on the SL Marketplace.

We’re just getting started
When we set out to reinvent XStreetSL, we looked to emulate the experience of other online shopping sites that provide a smooth and enjoyable  experience for the customer. Looking at XStreetSL, we realized we needed to revamp it completely and create a brand new site as well as develop a new process for building cool, new features in a more rapid way moving  forward. We are committed to giving both merchants and shoppers the  tools and functionality necessary to have a great experience on the new  site and we’ll be adding new features weekly. Today’s launch is just the  starting point; the new SL Marketplace is poised to become a more integral part of the overall Second Life experience for everyone.

Notable features and what’s ahead
New features we love include the modern, clean look and feel, which makes the flow of the shopping experience better than it’s ever been before.  Also, customized online merchant stores allow shoppers to easily find  all the creations of their favorite designers. And the new shopping  cart! XStreetSL had limited capability when it came to loading up the shopping cart full of goodies, which is now totally streamlined. Over the next few weeks we will add the Favorites feature and we will migrate over the Favorites list from XStreetSL. We will also be adding an easy way for shoppers to find the purchases they have not reviewed.

SL Merchants... the key to our success
Our commerce team has worked very hard to make the SL Marketplace a professional and modern hub for Second Life sales, but the merchants who participated in the beta truly made this effort come together. While we were working hard evenings and weekends, the beta merchants were there to help test and provide feedback. We look forward to continuing this partnership as the SL Marketplace becomes more and more central to the Second Life experience.

What will happen to XStreetSL?
The XStreetSL Exchange will continue to operate independently of the new SL Marketplace through the end of November. This means merchants can continue to access history, sell L$ and cash out as they do now. The XStreetSL website will remain up for several months beyond the closure of the Exchange, and all non sales and exchange features (including history) will remain available during this time as well as the ability to redeliver items. When we close the XStreetSL Exchange, L$ and USD balances will be moved over to users’ Second Life accounts.

We hope you enjoy using the new SL Marketplace and look forward to hearing what you think!

Grant and the Commerce Team

Quick Links:
SL Marketplace Help Pages

Brett Linden
One of the most acclaimed and creative spots in Second Life is the Nemo trilogy, consisting of three distinct virtual world locations inspired by the three natural elements of water, earth and air. Designed by Sextan Shepherd, this impressive steampunk-themed creation takes inspiration from the works of author Jules Verne and even inventor Nikola Tesla. The Destination Guide's Brett Linden recently toured the Nemo trilogy with creator Shepherd, who shared his thoughts about this ambitious project.

Watch the video below to view the tour and hear the interview. There's also full text of the Q&A below.


DG: Your trilogy of NEMO areas has been among the most acclaimed and popular spots in SL. What inspired you to undertake this ambitious project?

SS: I have always liked the steampunk style in books with Jules Verne that I read when I was a child, and with movies such as "Steamboy" or "The Illusionist." So, when I started to build in SL I built steampunk stuff naturally. Concerning Nemo, it all started with the mechanical manta ray. I built it just for fun, then I thought it was cool so I built the shrimp and the horseshoe crab. Once the creatures were built, I decided to build a room to put them in, and then a tunnel, an entrance and then yet another room. Nemo 1 was born!


For the rest of the sim, each build inspired another one...and then another one. I don't plan anything. I just build with instinct. Once a build is done, I don't know what I will make next until another idea comes. I am lucky...I have a lot of ideas!


DG: Jules Verne-inspired fashions and steampunk imagery seems to be particularly popular in Second Life. Why do you think that this genre has caught the interest of SL residents?


SS: My definition of the steampunk style is "a romantic kind of old timer science-fiction" and I think that it's what people like: the romantic side with that old-fashioned architecture -- the mystery of science and the imaginary part of science fiction.


DG: In creating NEMO, did you work alone? Or, were there other developers and designers that helped out?


SS: I work alone as much as I can. I build and make all the textures myself but when I need a very specific item, such as a 45° gear wheel or a specific prim movement, I call on my friends who are talented sculptors and script writers. Morpheus Merimann has drawn some specifics sculpties for me, two gears, a column and a boat wheel. You can't miss those beautiful sculpts. I use them everywhere!


Christy Mansbridge, bestmomo Lagan, Lancelot Joubert, Tigerfly Wardark and Elenia Boucher has developed some specific and complex scripts for me and they were always by my side to bring me advice and support.


DG: What other designers and developers have inspired you in SL?

SS: To be honest, I spend all my time building and I rarely "go out," but I remember that I had a real shock when I saw Grey Kurka's work and AM Radio's artistic projects.


DG: The level of detail within each of the NEMO areas is astounding! How long did it take you to construct each section?


SS: I have spent about 40 hours building each section, so it's about 120 hours for the whole SIM. I have a day job and a family, so I can rarely spend more than two or three hours a day on SL. I have learn to work fast, so half of the time involved in the building process was spent on Photoshop.


DG: Did you hide any secrets or obscure details that might be missed by casual explorers?


SS: Well, there are a few items hidden, some high-quality freebies, but you must have the mind of an explorer to find them. But this question just gave me the idea of building a secret laboratory hidden somewhere in Nemo!

DG: What was the most challenging part of the building the trilogy?

SS: The most challenging part? Well...when I finished Nemo 1, I thought that I had reached my building and texture skills limits. Because of the success of Nemo 1, the challenge for me was to find the courage to start building Nemo 2, but I also had the feeling that I didn't have the right to make an error or to build something not as good as Nemo 1 was.


DG: The third installment of the NEMO trilogy only recently debuted in SL in mid-August. Was that design informed by any learnings from the previous two builds?


SS: Of course. The learning process is something that never stops. Each previous building showed me the errors that I must avoid to progress. There is always something to improve in a new build compared to a previous one. For example, I have improved the number of prims involved and the glass textures.

DG: Many people have been commenting, in particular, on the "reflection" effect found in Alnitak's House of Mirrors. Can you shed any light on how that came about?

SS: I will tell you my secret.. I didn't know it was impossible to make a mirror, so I just did it! The idea came while I was searching and working on some glass effects and textures. The idea was so simple, was right in front of my face! So, I tried it.. and wow! It was working! I was the first person surprised by the result.

DG: What's next for you and SXS Design in SL?

SS: I am gonna leave the megaprims and big structures for awhile to focus on something smaller..much smaller! I will launch a Steampunk Jewelery Collection in a few weeks, so for now I will just explore the world of nanoprims.


Looking for more cool places to explore? Check out our Destination Guide or submit your own!

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