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Changing start up land plots from 512 to 1024 is defo needed, even if you keep the same prim allocation rezzing stuff there. Everyone is now using scuplties and mesh. I joined SL in 2007 before the sculptys and mesh and have my own mini plot of land that is FREE there and I pay for using my account that is registered with my bank details... but I cannot really do anything with it except rezz prims, individual sculptys and mesh. I cannot really make anything more there in this tiny space. I ended up going the Standalone Diva Distro sim thingy which lets you  host your own sim on your computer.

Importing the content i made on my standalone sim hosted on my own computer is what I now do. I do not have to pay anything for hosting as it is all on my own computer.

 

 

 

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Sassy Romano wrote:

My answer would be "ask them".  Just what is it about this organisation that it repeatedly fails to communicate with it's expected user base?

Here's a key question being asked on a 3rd party forum, why not here in the first place?


I was thinking the same thing.  Why is the CEO of a company not asking this question on the company's website?  Afraid of the answers he might get?  Clueless as to how to run a corporation?  Spent too much time in gaming communites that have little crossover to SL?  Got me.  I think it is a slap in the face to SL residents that the CEO has thus far given an answer on Twitter instead of answering it where it was being asked on a regular basis (ie. Merchant's forum) and now conversing on SLU, which in part was created and/or became more populated because of many older residents not agreeing with the previous forums being closed down and hiring a third-party company to run the current ones.  Ironic, eh?

I've got a question for ya Rod - since you don't seem to want to engage those of us who have helped to make SL what it is, instead of trying to keep fly-bys, why should I remain in SL?

 


Sassy Romano wrote:

 

Corporate?  Nope, tried that, corps just don't need SL, hardware requirements too much, functionality isn't there.


At least my PC hardware fits in with those of the corporate world. *grins* (Thought you might get a kick out of that, Sassy ;) )

 


Sassy Romano wrote:

 

People who just want to socialise?  Other platforms provide that in simpler forms.


Interesting you should mention this.  Until last night I had not seriously considered leaving SL.  I then received an email on an unrelated matter from a member of the group with whom I originally migrated from IRC to SL for the purposing of continuing our social/rp theme. We had been together 15 years when we arrived on SL 5 years ago.  I discovered other interests on SL over time and gradually drifted away from this group.    About a year ago I heard that they had moved to another grid and were really enjoying it.  Since I had no interest in even checking out another grid I continued on in SL.

In the last 4 months or so I have become very disenchanted with some decisions LL has made, particularly as it pertains to merchants, but also steadily increasing graphics requirements that make even being in SL painful these days. (Waiting 10 minutes for an area to rez in and/or before I can move and even then not be able to move depending on how texture/script-heavy an area is...is no fun.)  Then I received the aforementioned email last that sent me into some nostalgic thinking and how much I had enjoyed that group over the years.

This one sentence quoted above provided a "lightbulb moment" for me.  Instead of continuing to bash my head against the proverbial brick wall in SL with a situation that, at present, will not change for me, I could instead go join my friends elsewhere and resume what I initially came with them to SL for - fun.

So Rod...while asking how to make new residents stay, you might want to give a few moment's thought on why are "oldie" SL residents leaving and what could have been done to encourage them to stay?

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I think if rodvick would read this forum - the one his company owns - and not some third party forum, he might have seen hundreds of answers from us over the last year...

/sigh

Here's my most recent answer:

http://catnapkitty.wordpress.com/2012/06/25/sl9b-something-permanent-like-this-please-to-help-retention/

Just one of many ideas folks here have had. 6 pages in a thread started today implies we are not lacking in ideas - though I've yet to read to see if its topical or some randomness got in. :)

 

 

 

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part 2  looooooonnnnggg again (:

i know exactly what SL is for. exactly what is its purpose. bc i know this then i know exactly what should be in the product. a product so that when people use it then they know exactly as well

lol jejejejjejeje (:

but srs tho i do i think. maybe

+

i said in part 1 that SL is viewed by the company as a concept and not a product

in the beginning philip linden wanted to make a behaviour modifier. he wanted to create an environment in which people through the expression of their imagination could change/modify their reallife behaviour. so that they could be better people for it. is dressed up in words like Your Second Life - Your World - Your Imagination. Aspirational stuff. Dream making. Star reaching. Soul building

this concept for SL he express everytime he talks. is his lifes work. so why he leave SL?

bc SL is a shop. the purpose of SL is shopping

philip didnt mean to make it a shop. but he did. the company has been conflicted ever since. is why the message that comes out of the company even now is itself conflicted. the company wants to remain true to philips concept. his vision. his aspiration to enable people to modify their behaviours to become better people

instead the company is now the owner of a shop. the shop that philip made

the company doesnt want to be the owner of a shop. is not noble. it seems to not  fit somehow with the vision/aspirations of the company and its founder. is why anything to do with shopping takes ages for the company to accomplish. it actual maybe demotivates many of the staff. like for some of the best and brightest minds in the business to be assigned to building a shopping cart 

+

ok. i try to explain further by conversation why is actual about shopping:

newbie: hi, i dont know what to do?

me: wanna go shopping?

newbie: nah

me: ok

<wait wait wait>

newbie: u still there?

me: yes

newbie: can have sexxors on here?

me: yes u can

newbie: u wanna???

me: sure

newbie: woohoo!

me: take ur clothes off

newbie: wut??

me: if u wanna with me then u have to get nekkid

newbie: ok. umm! <fiddle fiddle fiddle> how i take my underclothes off?

me: you cant. they painted on ur skin

newbie: oh!

me: wanna go shopping for a skin that hasnt got painted on undies?

newbie: sure

me: ok lets go

<shop shop shop>

newbie: umm! i seem to be missing some parts

me: guess we have to keep shopping

newbie: ok

+

newbie: hi, i dont know what to do?

me: wanna go shopping?

newbie: nah

me: ok

(wait wait wait)

newbie: u still there?

me: yes

newbie: can u like shoot people on here?

me: yes u can

newbie: how i do that?

me: with a gun

newbie: wait <fiddle fiddle fiddle> hmm! i got no gun

me: wanna go shopping for a gun?

newbie: sure

me: ok lets go

+

newbie: hi, i dont know what to do?

me: wanna go shopping?

newbie: nah

me: ok

<wait wait wait>

newbie: u still there?

me: yes

newbie: is there like clubs and music on here?

me: yes heaps of them

newbie: how i go there?

me: u wanna go as you are or u wants to change ur outfit and put on some cool party gears?

newbie: ooo! yes pls what i am wearing sux

me: we go shopping ok

newbie: sure

me: ok lets go

+

next level up

newbie: hi how i get money?

me: what for?

newbie: to buy stuff

me: enter your CC paypal here

newbie: cool thx

me: yw

+

newbie: hi how i get money?

me: what for?

newbie: to buy stuff

me: enter your CC paypal here

newbie: i got no CC paypal

me: realms (other places to get money)

newbie: wats that realms?

me: can get money off there to buy stuff

newbie: cool

me: wanna go?

newbie: sure

me: ok lets go

+

while you can play on SL without money: you still have to go shopping. everything we do in SL is built on top of shopping. price $0...$n

within/on top of the ecosystem of the shop, we build/derive our own narratives and social aspects as they work for us. our own sub purposes and imperatives. independent of and despite of the maker. as everything: artists builders creatives educators roleplayers socialisers customers of both the company and each other

our social aspect is not confined solely to shop talk. same way in a real life shop. we chat about all kinds of things, make plans and happenings for ourselfs, with our friends and even complete strangers. what we all do tho in SL, is we are either bringing something into the shop or taking something away. some of us do both

in the shop is not just stuff we make. the shop sells/rent land, resources, skills, etc. money itself even

+

so those who stick in SL, shop. is its primary function. its purpose

the maker must build the product: building tools, inventory, comms, UI, etc to enable shopping to be easy and seamless

when is a pain to shop then the shoppers (like them with money) minimise the amount of time they spend on shopping. or in the case of newbie shoppers, dont continue with using the product after their first painful shopping and fitting out experience <woosh and gone>

can go through the logs of every newbie woosh account and am pretty sure will find the single most last thing they tried to do in SL was go shopping before they woosh

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part 3

is it possible for the company to reconcile the shop with the aspiration of the founder?

have to look at the history of SL for the answer. 2003/4 and 2006/7. the times of plenty

imagination, dreams, aspirations are inspired in us when we look up at the heavens. in real life and virtual life. we look up and reach for the stars

we look up when our tummys are full. when our tummys are not full then we look down at the ground. to forage and feed ourselfs. when the food is difficult to access then we must forage longer and harder. we do not have time to look up and reach for the stars. when the path to sustanence is difficult then we grow bitter and cold bc of the relentless grind. we turn on each other and on the maker

+

if i was the maker

i would accept that i am not the imagination maker. the dream maker. while i presume to this role then the people will always look to me as the maker to create this for them. i am not able to accomplish this. the dreams and aspirations, the imaginations of the people are untold

i still do want them to not only reach for the stars but to arrive. i cannot carry them to every star myself tho. bc there are millions of stars and each of the people wish to go them all, according to their own choosing. if i cannot carry them then they must do it themselfs. so i must humble myself and become the simple owner of the shop. accept my destiny. and help them to put food in their tummies

become the best shop and tummy filler in the whole entire gdm universe (:

when i have got the best shop and the peoples tummies are full i will have more newbies sticking to me than i can ever imagine. same like in 2003/4 and 2006/7

+

i actual think linden are working towards this. them not being involved in SL9B is a good sign i think that the company is becoming humble q;

 

 

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I am going to be brutally honest here. I have many "avatars" in SL... I tried it for the first time in 2007 (and lost my name) and left because my laptop wasn't good enough to run it. That frustrated me because that's a "real life" problem, and I joined Second Life to get away from "real life" problems. While I feel differently now that I am capable of running it, I feel that a lot of people are in the situation that I was, and that prevents people from staying.

Now, I re-joined in 2010 because I finally had a computer that would run it decently. I got my name, I didn't care that I had to choose a cheesy last name. Whatever. I can rock it. That never bothered me. What DID bother me was the fact that, aside from "basic" help, there was nothing. No person to greet me, give me the -real- basics. While I'm not lazy about things, and I did figure it all out for myself, having someone, or even a group I could have joined, would have been preferable to being thrown into the world with absolutely nothing to go on. Sure, you could say "SL is whatever you want it to be", but what if we don't know exactly what it is we're looking for? What about the people, like me, who just want to be given options? I got lucky in 2010 because, right when I was at the end of my rope, someone sent me an IM and, over the course of a few days, showed me the ropes. Not someone who was paid to do it, but someone like me who had gotten frustrated and someone had stepped in for and showed them.

That said, I've been using SL off and on for 2 years. I still don't know what to do. Someone here had mentioned that the vampire families did it right, and that is 100% correct. My old avi was in a clan, and they helped me. Showed me how to rez a box so I could wear that pretty new noob dress that I got for free. Why does a person have to join Bloodlines just to get real help? It makes no sense, and some of us are financially strapped and the price for thier products is ridiculous. But that's another topic.

Some of us DO need guidance. I do. Some of us DO need a mentor. I could still use one most of the time. Some of us can't afford to join Bloodlines just to get a "family" to help. I couldn't. Someone paid for me, and I can't express how grateful I was. Some of us don't know what it is that we are looking for, and some of us can't just watch YouTube videos about how to build/create things because, some of us, still live in a world of 3mbps DSL. Some of us aren't like the majority of the SL users who are creative and have previous experience with whatever programs. It's not always an unwillingness to learn. Some of us have already gotten way too frustrated trying to learn by ourselves by the time someone else steps up to offer assistance. Some of us just want to feel like we're being heard, which I hear is a problem for LL, as I don't see them asking any one of us what keeps us here. Will I stay? Probably not, as even after 2 years I have no direction. Will I come back? Probably, because I don't know where else to go, and I've made a few friends here. But for the new people who don't stay? I can't say that I blame them, all things considered.

Also, as an afterthought, how ridiculous is it that I didn't even know there was a semi-active forum until two years after I joined? Maybe a nice, large sign in a newbie zone saying "Hey! Still need help? Join our forums!" would be something to consider... that way the community here could reach out and welcome them, then answer questions (I would like to state that I don't remember seeing any such sign the last time I was there... so if they made one, my apologies).

So, what I am saying is... add "Welcomers" to help, or a group... or SOMETHING to help them get started. Put the people back into the "customer service" field... because let's be honest... your users are your customers and no one really likes automated phone calls. Consider lowering the minimum requirements necessary for a computer to run your world. And I really did like someone's idea here about a "newbie gift pack" of L$ and a little apartment so they could change... because I'm sorry... Premium isn't worth the price if you can't even get help to begin with.

~I am in no way trying to offend anyone. If you were offended, please don't be. I don't need enemies. I really did just want to tell it from a "newbie" standpoint because... even after two years, I am one. I'll even admit it. But I'm willing to learn! ~

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Two ideas..

1.  Casually narrated / amateur looking intro vids, simple as embedded youtube clips somewhere onthe signup page.  Show the noobies some quick basics so they know what this whole SL thing even is.  I certainly had no idea, back in the day.  I logged in, took a while to get some bearings, saw one empty mall and then said "wow this is lagged, unplayable."  Maybe it was my settings, plus onboard graphics.  I didn't log in again until a year later.  

So.  Welcome area is extremely important -- make something low lag yet very interesting, hire helpers again (you should have live people there where newbies land, ready to help / get people interested).

 

2.  Maybe a buddy match system.  Build it into the viewer.  The key to retention is getting people socializing, that's bottom line.   

 

 

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On the off-chance Rod actually reads this thread...

IMO, SL suffers from many problems. Hardware requirements and performance might be one, but LL's metrics they can get from viewers should answer how big of a problem that is. The viever tracks FPS anyway, and tracking rez times and other annoying things is trivial. However, one big deal: More and more people socialize with mobile devices. I realize they're not up to snuff, but as one individual showed with a 3D-capable client on Android, it can work. Support them. Give them any help you can to make a mobile client for at least Android and iOS, even if it just gives a relatively basic access to SL. The easier it is to access across as many platforms as feasible, with as little overhead for LL as possible. the more people one can keep hooked.

Another problem is the one so many other people already talked about: SL _needs_ someone to show newbies what/how to do things. And these "someones" need to be professionals. There has to be a feeling of success and gain soon after joining. Look at regular games. They all have that same principle: Players "win" some reward within the first moments of starting to play.

The next issue is that SL can get expensive very fast. Comparatively speaking, SL is cheaper than RL entertainment. But it is far more expensive both in time and monetary terms than most other computer-based entertainment. That makes it hard for people to really "own" anything in SL, something to feel committed to, or something likeable. MMOs for exmple keep people hooked by dangling fresh carrots in front of their noses. Faceborg does it by providing a ton of social connectivity tools. I'm not saying SL should become another MMO or another social webpage. I'm saying SL needs to broaden it's appeal, so more people stay for different reasons.

Then there's the walled garden. SL has no outside interconnects. I'm not necessarily talking about a hypergrid or the like, but SL doesn't expand on its strengths. Sometimes I feel it lacks vision. Here's a few silly ideas for free:

Offer a browser plugin that allows people to "overlay" a primitive room over any webpage and thus browse the net socially, able to see other SL residents on that same page. There's of course more to such an idea but yanno - ask.

Make SL more expandable by users. As it is, not many "middle class working people" can afford to run a sim. You may have noticed: Quite a few extremely well designed sims disappear over time. Allow people (after registering their VERIFIED RL contact info with LL) to host their own sim off their own server(s), for a much cheaper price. More places to explore can't be bad. The tricky part is to avoid LL losing large income from estates. Not really tricky. Again: Just ask.

The goal is of course the same as with every product or enterprise: Get people hooked, then make sure they stay hooked for a long, long time. The same principle that just about any marketing campaign tries to accomplish every day.

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This question raised several times here:


Why is the CEO of a company not asking this question on the company's website?  

Perhaps because the CEO of the company is not officially asking the question. On SLU, "rodvik" is just another user account, and nobody has any expectation that he'll engage further.

Let's face it: we all know that if he posted here, he'd get a ton of crackpot and wildly hostile responses from every lunatic and all their alts -- not at all the sort of responses actually in this thread, where he did not post. And if he made a habit of posting here, it would be much worse. Any signal such as that now in this thread would be buried in useless noise -- or it would be a moderation nightmare.

Note also that Cristiano can moderate as he d*mned well pleases over at SLU. In contrast, whenever a moderator does anything here, it's (again) an "official" act--about which there's guaranteed to be multiple threads of indignant, offended entitlement. Because that's what we do here, because that's how it's set up.

 


To the real topic: Yeah, I have some ideas. I think 16's posts here are very apt. I haven't read both threads thoroughly yet, and I don't want to post something completely redundant, but I very much agree that newbies will stick if they somehow stumble upon social engagement that's compellling to them. The whole trick is in somehow matching them to the right online cohort, based on what little can be known of them from sign-up.

  • Destination Guide routing should have helped a bit, if the routed-to destinations are always populated by folks whose interests match whatever draws newbies to choose a particular destination.
  • Maybe there's some way to leverage the Profile "Interests" but only with a great deal of change.
  • Recruitment by pre-existing friends--for some value of "friends"--should also be high stickiness. Or coming into SL together with a group of such friends, even if none of them have been to SL before. Recruiting those groups, well, that would be from somewhere that already has a social graph. Somewhere, heaven help us, like Facebook.

 

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

Make SL more expandable by users. As it is, not many "middle class working people" can afford to run a sim. You may have noticed: Quite a few extremely well designed sims disappear over time. Allow people (after registering their VERIFIED RL contact info with LL) to host their own sim off their own server(s), for a much cheaper price. More places to explore can't be bad. The tricky part is to avoid LL losing large income from estates. Not really tricky. Again: Just ask.

To my mind, the really tricky part of allowing "people to host their own sim on their own server(s)" would be finding a way of doing it that didn't give their servers access to the assets it was delivering, or at least access that wouldn't allow some ill-intentioned person to mess with those assets' permissions.     And I'm not at all sure that the licence agreement in the ToS would permit  LL arbitrarily to allow approved third parties access to user-created content in this way.   

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Hi Rodvik!

I'd like to comment on this suggestion given to you on SLU:


ONE THING, Rodvik, you should seriously consider: clean up the info hubs.


I made this suggestion before, and I'll make it again. Make alts, nooby alts, get them in-world and hit ctrl-H. Leave voice on and listen. Have every linden on staff do the same.


Experience for yourself the horrors of banal palaces such as Ahern, soak in them. Understand that once newbs leave the welcome area they land smack-dab in one of the most hostile places on the internet.


Wanna save SL? Fix the infohubs.

(9 Users Agreed.)

This kind of advice is the reason why SLU is the wrong place to ask for advice. The idea that SL needs to be sanitized from the misfits and weirdos that populate it has been nurtured there for quite a while.

There is nothing hostile about Ahern infohub; in fact newbies are more likely to be met with hostility if they park their avatars in some shiny residential or commercial area. SLU on the other hand has a social hierarchy, and the above is an attempt to establish a similar social hierarchy in SL.

Besides, turning to SLU for advice is a slap in the face of all the people in your own forum backyard. What were you thinking?

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

Make SL more expandable by users. As it is, not many "middle class working people" can afford to run a sim. You may have noticed: Quite a few extremely well designed sims disappear over time. Allow people (after registering their VERIFIED RL contact info with LL) to host their own sim off their own server(s), for a much cheaper price. More places to explore can't be bad. The tricky part is to avoid LL losing large income from estates. Not really tricky. Again: Just ask.

To my mind, the really tricky part of allowing "people to host their own sim on their own server(s)" would be finding a way of doing it that didn't give their servers access to the assets it was delivering, or at least access that wouldn't allow some ill-intentioned person to mess with those assets' permissions.     And I'm not at all sure that the licence agreement in the ToS would permit  LL arbitrarily to allow approved third parties access to user-created content in this way.   

True. Hence the RL info caveat and possibly some other requirements like "account in good standing" etc.pp. and whatnot. I didn't want to elaborate on it too much, but I wasn't thinking OpenSim, or even in any way an open server software. Closed binary, with encrypted storage if need be. Some assets would never leave LLs servers, though some very sensitive ones most definitely would: Scripts. Which would make encryption pretty much mandatory, for transmission as well as storage. There's additional measures that could be taken, if need be. I'd expect some arbitrary limitations on external servers anyway, simply to avoid destroying LLs estate income.

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if he wants them to stay .he needs to work on their first impressions..

the first few days are the most important..

Put admins at the info hubs would be a good starter..ones that boot those filthy mouthed punks that think they can just bust the TOS over anyone's head they wish..

the reason they have so little staying is because they have a hard time with just knowing where the avg things are they need to get around..the basic tools of the grid..that and all the asshats just giving people a hard time because they are new..

there are scams and griefers and scanners and just all kinds of threats out there..

it's like a newborn getting left alone after birth to raise itself in a highly populated  jungle of things just waiting to eat them alive..

the sooner they can move around to as many places as they can on their own ..the better..also everyone should be given a link to the different forums there are for second life for the many questions they will be asking..

they need to know where the information is..because unlike many things..SL really doesn't have a manual..and not a lot of people are up for trial and error until they can at least have two feet stable enough on the ground..

 

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:

True. Hence the RL info caveat and possibly some other requirements like "account in good standing" etc.pp. and whatnot. I didn't want to elaborate on it too much, but I wasn't thinking OpenSim, or even in any way an open server software. Closed binary, with encrypted storage if need be. Some assets would never leave LLs servers, though some very sensitive ones most definitely would: Scripts. Which would make encryption pretty much mandatory, for transmission as well as storage. There's additional measures that could be taken, if need be. I'd expect some arbitrary limitations on external servers anyway, simply to avoid destroying LLs estate income.

That's my worry -- scripts and animations both.   In fact, I'm more worried about animations, since, as a scripter, I am used to the fact that anyone sufficiently competent can reverse engineer anything I make, but my business partner's animations depend not just on her technical expertise but her artistry too.  

Put it like this, if there were a proposal to allow non-LL servers access to her animations or my scripts, we'd both, if we had any choice in the matter, insist that we approved (or not) that access on an individual basis for each non-LL server involved.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

 

That's my worry -- scripts and animations both.   In fact, I'm more worried about animations, since, as a scripter, I am used to the fact that anyone sufficiently competent can reverse engineer anything I make, but my business partner's animations depend not just on her technical expertise but her artistry too. 

Put it like this, if there were a proposal to allow non-LL servers access to her animations or my scripts, we'd both, if we had any choice in the matter, insist that we approved (or not) that access on an individual basis for each non-LL server involved.

Animations do get cached/rendered by the viewer. As do textures, sounds and geometry. As a result, these are completely trivial to steal as it is even now, even without any kind of "Copybot Viewer" and in many cases even without specialized software.

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Jenni Darkwatch wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:

 

That's my worry -- scripts and animations both.   In fact, I'm more worried about animations, since, as a scripter, I am used to the fact that anyone sufficiently competent can reverse engineer anything I make, but my business partner's animations depend not just on her technical expertise but her artistry too. 

Put it like this, if there were a proposal to allow non-LL servers access to her animations or my scripts, we'd both, if we had any choice in the matter, insist that we approved (or not) that access on an individual basis for each non-LL server involved.

Animations do get cached/rendered by the viewer. As do textures, sounds and geometry. As a result, these are completely trivial to steal as it is even now, even without any kind of "Copybot Viewer" and in many cases even without specialized software.

I know they get cached, but is it in a usable form that can be turned into a .bvh or .anim file, and therefore capable being uploaded and redistributed?    Not that I'm an expert in ripper viewers, but my impression was that they find animations particularly difficult to rip.   

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Ceka Cianci wrote:

if he wants them to stay .he needs to work on their first impressions..

the first few days are the most important..

Put admins at the info hubs would be a good starter..ones that boot those filthy mouthed punks that think they can just bust the TOS over anyone's head they wish..

the reason they have so little staying is because they have a hard time with just knowing where the avg things are they need to get around..the basic tools of the grid..that and all the asshats just giving people a hard time because they are new..

there are scams and griefers and scanners and just all kinds of threats out there..

it's like a newborn getting left alone after birth to raise itself in a highly populated  jungle of things just waiting to eat them alive..

the sooner they can move around to as many places as they can on their own ..the better..also everyone should be given a link to the different forums there are for second life for the many questions they will be asking..

they need to know where the information is..because unlike many things..SL really doesn't have a manual..and not a lot of people are up for trial and error until they can at least have two feet stable enough on the ground..

 

Good point. With all the changes since I started I don't know how a new user ever finds their way out of the miasma. Someone they can actually go to would be very helpful. This isn't a platform you pick up quickly. It takes some determination which can be sadly lacking in the computer game press some keys and you're off and running world lol. At the very least, post some groups they can get into, like New Citizens, Fabulously Free in SL. They need more easy and available resources from the start.

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As a relative newb, and someone who brought 30 college student newbs into SL during the past school year I'll add my $L5 to the conversation, largely echoing what others have already said.

College students, in general, and mine in particular, are not easy to turn into long-time users.  They come in world for class assignments which makes them averse to the environment to begin with.  Add in the fact that they are generally surrounded with RL social opportunities on campus and why would they hang out in SL?

The purpose of my SL assignments it to get students thinking about life in virtual spaces.  To gain some experience living in a virtual world.  From my students I did hear a small amount of grumbling about lag and difficulty with the interface, but that was completely and totally overwhelmed by the question "what do we do here?"  A fair question since I had asked them to spend some amount of time in world doing whatever they liked so that they could navigate by the time we held our first in world class.

With one exception all of the students have abandoned their accounts--only the one exception has logged on in the 6.5 months since class ended.  Several deleted their accounts within a day or two of completing the course requirements. 

For my purposes students don't need to become fully attached to SL, they just need to have enough personal experience to more fully understand the academic readings that I give them. 

Two things stood out from observing my students.  Q&A sessions with oldbies I enlisted to help me went well and the students learned a lot--more than they had from their personal experiences in a few weeks.  Last year the Q&A sessions were late in the unit--last day or second to last day.  A couple of my oldbies were getting frustrated trying to describe some aspect of SL and asked if they could take my students on a short tour of places they, the oldbies, liked.  Of the 12 students that went touring 6 or 7 returned, voluntarily, that evening to tour around some more. 

The oldbie lead tours were the best SL experience my students had.

Sadly it was a day or two before finals and my students didn't return after that.

The exception?  She was "adopted" by a couple of oldbies shortly after entering.  They helped her get some decent freebie cloths and showed her a couple of places to go that she might enjoy. 

The lesson?  If you don't know what to do in SL, you won't know what to do.  Game worlds have specific tasks and goals for you to accomplish right away.  SL is whatever you want it to be--but most people don't know what they want when they enter SL.   Someone needs to direct you to SL stuff you might want to do.

This thread and the one on SLU are full of good suggestions for helping newbies find interesting things to do in SL or the help they need.  The viewer help menu only gives me items that were covered on welcome island.  For the first time in ages I went to an info hub yesterday, clicked on the sigh that promised helpful videos only to be told by my browser that the link wasn't valid.  With no obvious correction I gave up.

Unless a newbie runs into a helpful person, or has enough experience to start reading forums like this one, they are lost.  Unless they find something they want to do fairly quickly, they are gone. 

I hope rodvik et al take a serious look at some of the suggestions that have been made that will help connect newbies to SL.  Some will work for more folks, some for less. Follow Google's lead, implement new approaches for a relatively small random sample (say 5%) of those signing up and see what happens after 30 - 60 days. 

 

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I have read every answer in this thread and would like to make one comment that I think hasn’t been made yet.  While I believe that for many people—even most—social engagement is what makes SL attractive, there are also people like me who gravitate towards a virtual world because they are shy/antisocial.  I did not go into SL to meet people.  I never had or wanted to be taken under somebody’s wing.  I would have quit if forced to “buddy up” with a stranger.  I am in-world frequently—several times a week—and rarely speak to anyone, except to make the occasional comment in a large group chat. I have no interest in “adult” activities in SL.  Yet I get a lot out of SL, and have done so for the past five years.  I build, I run a shop, I own property that I like to redecorate, I participate in charity events, go dancing, listen to live music, shop, walk my dog, explore.  I enjoy the experience more because I find it so peaceful and relaxing not to have to make conversation with people.  So sure—make group contacts and connecting with in-world helpers easier for new accounts, but please don’t force them on everyone.  You’d drive off the leave-me-alone-while-I-build (or do whatever) types.  You may not hear from us much in the Forums, but we are in SL.

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Petronilla Whitfield wrote:

I have read every answer in this thread and would like to make one comment that I think hasn’t been made yet.  While I believe that for many people—even most—social engagement is what makes SL attractive, there are also people like me who gravitate towards a virtual world because they are shy/antisocial.  I did not go into SL to meet people.  I never had or wanted to be taken under somebody’s wing.  I would have quit if forced to “buddy up” with a stranger.  I am in-world frequently—several times a week—and rarely speak to anyone, except to make the occasional comment in a large group chat. I have no interest in “adult” activities in SL.  Yet I get a lot out of SL, and have done so for the past five years.  I build, I run a shop, I own property that I like to redecorate, I participate in charity events, go dancing, listen to live music, shop, walk my dog, explore.  I enjoy the experience more because I find it so peaceful and relaxing not to have to make conversation with people.  So sure—make group contacts and connecting with in-world helpers easier for new accounts, but please don’t force them on everyone.  You’d drive off the leave-me-alone-while-I-build (or do whatever) types.  You may not hear from us much in the Forums, but we are in SL.

myself i was saying things should be easier to find for each user..in other words..not everyone should have to hunt someone down for answers..

it should be something that you can turn to for questions you may have when you are new..

a packet of some kind with information about where the forums are and the wiki and blogs and basic things we all take for granted..

i can't tell you how many new users don't know there is a search right away or what LM's are..

right now it's where people kind of need people if they want to move along..

i think they should be able to join themselves and be able to get a good grip on the basics before they really even have to say a word to anyone else..

info hubs are the worst place a new person could go if they hit the wrong one..especially someone that doesn't want to be around others..at least right away..

user friendly should be where one user can stand on their own without any help..

LL wants them to stay..they need to show them what the possibilities are for as many as they can..rather than leaning back and letting the users do it for them..

it should be that you come right in and can be as social or unsocial as we want  until we actually know what we want from this place..

there is good and bad in here..and i think new residents should have the basics to be able to enjoy and also defend themselves..

just the scamms and an LL viewer set to unsecured  default settings has me cringing when i think how opened up new users are to the dangers that are out there..

they need to know how to protect themselves here very quickly..and i think it should be before someone has to show them..which is usually when it's too late..

 

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OK to start with in SL you have a lovely place with a big blue sky and very generic looking first time place things. You get though the basic movement tutorial then you end up in an infohub. SL is full of so many versitile things. Maybe to get people to stay and get people to get into SL in the first place you will need to work with people in world. Like I work for a live performer. Why not let her advertise what she does on SL to get people an idea of something they can do or something they can see.

Theres plenty of people that would be great helpers and plenty of places to lern the more advanced things perhaps theres free SL universaties or there used to be. I know of a guy that would quite happely take on any noobie and teach him or her. If theres a group already out there that helps teach the more advanced stuff direct a noobie to that.

Now for the fun bit wile doing this you may need to direct people to what they are intested in like some theme sims. Directing people to the right community or makeing it easey avalable to find will make them stay.

Something has to be done about land prices. Tier goes up and people cant pay it anymore and no matter how great thair stuff is that sims gone. Lots of people with malls shops and clubs on thair sims still cant afford to keep them anymore and the price of a startup sim is to high a chunk for alot of people. LL likes to consantrait on reagon level settings as well so people feel they have to purchace a full sim but cant so they end up needing to rent from someone normaly a land baron so make it nice if you are forced to rent and let them change settings themselves.

Computers are haveing trouble running SL so maybe see if you can clean up the code a bit to get it smoother to run and may be some other computers will handle it.

Freebie packs are a great idea but work with desighners to get your packs set up as a user that creats somethng beutiful as an add for thair shop means a noobie will go to that shop and spend money in there and after a wile a few that do that pay the tier.

Provide better support for other devices some sort of mobile client with a simple 3D renderer may help alot for iphone stuff and membe even a web browser version and that will garantee that Sl can be run on almost any computer.

Theres always room in the world for someone that beleves in Keep It Simple Stupid! Dont hide stuff we'll need in menu after menue and options after options. The example given in the thread is a good one with being clouded. But it gets worse. I've used the same set of basic control keys for all FPS games and RPG games that let me alter keys. I want to go back to the keys i'm familier with. Let me go back to the keys i'm familier with by just changeng them in some options menu.

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LL doesn't mind that there are all these people in SL whether they stick around or not. If they have a lot of names, it looks good to investors.

 

I think the REAL concern is this -

Some people get addicted to SL and end up thinking it is a real life. How do we get these people to get off their butts and enjoy REAL life?

I guess no one wants to hear that though

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Qie Niangao wrote:

Let's face it: we all know that if he posted here, he'd get a ton of crackpot and wildly hostile responses from every lunatic and all their alts -- not at all the sort of responses actually in this thread, where he did
not
post. And if he made a
habit
of posting here, it would be much worse. Any signal such as that now in this thread would be buried in useless noise -- or it would be a moderation nightmare. 

You are absolutely right.

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