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Boudicca Littlebird

What can we do to make SL better

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We all agree that times are hard.

 

We see from another forum that the CEO is at a loss on how to make people stay.

 

What can we do to help SL in their task to make people stay.

 

In another thread that pointed out the CEO went to another place to speak and not here, showed a lot of indignation of the event happening but didn't really offer solutions, it talked more about what SL could do for them.

 

As someone quite famous said "it is not what they can do for us, it is about what we can do for them".

 

So what can we do to make things better and help the CEO in his task of helping people stay.

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It's a shame you didn't actually ask that question in an open fashion..

Instead you filled this opening gambit with bitter thoughts and short alleys you want the conversation to wander down....

Lets try this again shall we?

 

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First and absolutely foremost Linden Labs needs to LISTEN. For years now people have over and over been stating what Linden Labs needs to do, but, the attitude of the lab more and more seems to think people are unaware of their behind the scenes issues and concerns. I'll give a few examples:

1) Land. Prices are too high. A few land "barons" get the best deals and squeeze out anyone else trying to compete. If Linden Labs wants MORE people, why do they favor a system that creates a few successful folks who then force everyone else out.  This also then continues to allow other start up grids to under price them and seem far more appealing to new "customers" just entering?

2) Content creators. Why continue to allow rampant theft of intellectual property and make preventing such theft almost impossible for merchants to stop. A system can and should be in place to make it EASIER to report copying and quicker to get copies pulled. The lab should aggressively pursue and shut down rogue programs that make copying easy and make it clear to those stealing the property of merchants that they are not welcome in Second Life. Instead, the opposite is true. Merchants feel Linden Labs makes it as hard as possible to file DMCAs, offers no assistance, and does the bare minimum required by law and only when pushed into doing so. Good content creators continue to leave Second Life, reducing the amount of good content here and making the grid less and less interesting to new arrivals.

3) Greet new arrivals and make them feel welcome. Fill the welcome areas with posters and landmarks of all that there is to do in Second Life. Have people available there to help. Get rid of those who just look to troll, attack, and laugh at the "noobs" first coming in to see what Second Life is like.

4) Get rid of all that mainland sitting unused and empty. Reduce the number of mainland continents. No one wants to be in a world that feels like an abandoned and empty wasteland (well unless you're role playing that kinda thing). Make it easier to report land abuse and quicker to resolve such issues.

5)  Adult themes. There should be a time and place for everything... and every place isn't right for adult themes. New people coming to Second Life continue to feel everyone here is a pervert or sex addict. Try coming into a welcome area with a female AV and see how long it is before someone asks you to role play virtual sex with them. Crack down and make it clear such behavior isn't welcome everywhere in Second Life.

6) Stop forcing people to accept what they don't need or want. Search has changed now to where no one can use it to find anything. Viewer two was universally rejected as decidedly non-useable. Mesh is not needed as a replacement to sculpties. Direct Delivery is only going to create more problems as it continues to overload the server to replace a system that should have been fixed instead of replaced.

7) Someone once said businesses should take care of their customers... and when they do their customers will take care of the business' profits. Linden Labs should take a step back and try to understand that mentality... instead of seeing their customer demands as a drag on profits.

Hope this helps, but, sadly I'm sure it's only going to attract those who will point out I'm not helping or understanding of the Labs issues.

 

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I think its very simple. Most new players that I have seen in the last few weeks at Adult Hub are looking for a few of the following things.

1 Help customizing their avatar (unpacking boxes and using their inventory, editing appearance, skins, shapes, AOs etc)

2 Making friends

3 The "so what do you guys actually do on SL?"question

4 Sex

And not necessarily in that order.  I think If we are serious about retaining newcomers, the first point needs to be addressed, whether by LL or by giving some of your own time to helping newcomers.  Some experienced players will ignore new players as it seems to be more trouble than its worth explaining how it all works.

Making friends is an important point, something we can all look at ourselves as being partly responsible for. We all judge the book by its cover to various degrees, I have found that you can find some good people behind those avatars if you take 5 minutes to just talk to them.

Activities are well covered by LL I feel, most new people can find something fun to do with a few clicks of a mouse. The  helpers also do a good job here.

The forth point is self explanatory.

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For the record, I agree with you... especially about having people welcome the new folks. I just wish they would read this. All of what you're saying has been said before all over this forum, but nothing comes of it. So I completely agree with the "LISTEN" aspect.

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Maybe I'm the exeption to the rule, but I'd rather find signs, videos and instructions and figure out things on my own in stead of being met by someone who I don't know.

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Isn't that what the new CEO is suposed to know already? Why does the new CEO go in other forums and ask how to fix it after they broke it? I say start at the top and clean house and get some listeners in there

They should lisetn to the experts who play daily and see how things work... The successful community builders who build communitys from scratch have a pretty good idea of how to do it lol

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Don't get me wrong but it is structured so that one of the issues the lindens have with us is asked, that way they may read it, they know all about the things they can do for us, these threads are full of that, but there is not many about what we can do for them, it could be that the only reason another forum was used was because here he believed he would get an answer he knew, no my question is aimed at getting out of people here ideas that he may want to look at, do you see, one should not believe that all skills are used for negative results, nature only requires balance and that is what all want.

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Why would I tell anyone anything about that ? hmmm he the CEO he could know what he doing gee that why he getting payed the big bucks ,,and if he don't know then maybe he could step down from CEO and give someone eles a shot at it LOL:P

 

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To me it seems that the new CEO is more then a listener then most other Lindens before him.

And by asking people like us what should be done he is showing a refreshing new interest in the users of SL want.

Contact between LL and its users DOES deserve improvement, but the CEO seems to be one who seems to do better.

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Yea just like the " User Names" conversation a few months back. Seems like they really heard the users then kik. That seemed like a big joke just to test the feed system.

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They haven't listened for the past several years now.lol but yay if he decides to this time. And if the rest of LL have more power than the CEO then no use for the boss is it ..

It all starts at the beginning. When the user is sent in world. Search has been manipulated in a way that users find empty places too much (politics), Or un managed places that are over run with idiots. People stuck a lot years ago because of mentors. And users being put in busy places that were managed by staff, showing people around. Look at a club/community or place in world. You can't just open an empty sim and expect people to flock to it. It doesn't work that way .A successful club/community in world  has staff to greet the residents and show them around or answer their questions and help them with their avatar etc easily without having to overwhelm them with reading manuals all the time. Then they become interested and stick with it.

If a resident goes in world and finds nothing to do, or no one to talk to, or no one accepts them in world,  then it gives them a sense that they do not belong. Users have to feel welcome and feel like they belong there. When I first came to SL in 2004 I landed at a place with only 5 people. No one talked to me and no one helped me so I felt like I didn't belong here and left. Only 2 years later came back when a Mentor invited me from another website. If it was not for the mentor . I would probably not be here today.

They need to land residents in managed places that sicnerely try to and like to help new residents.

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Jo has the right idea.

How many people enter this world with someone else? Mostly no-one?

Again who wants to be directed by strangers?

If all could be as welcoming and friendly inworld as say Hippie or maybe Charolotte here on the forums for example, we would be in safe hands. Unfortunately that isn't the case.

It's is most amusing to witness the shock factor *cough of the griefers at the welcome areas or on the feeds, pity the poor soul who is a newbie and encounters that stuffs. 

Quality, self guided multimedia tutorials are the way to go.

A flash movie presentation with chapters that could integrate with the viewer would be sensational.

It could be coded to auto update as LL introduced new features perhaps. It could also be built one step at a time by a competent staff member of the labs.

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I would run away screaming if the first person I met in SL was called Hippie, simply because I remember the 1970s ;)

Hippie is nice and friendly, so no worries about my comment above please ;)

 

What do you think about the ideas on my blog, like this one;
http://joyardley.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/starting-your-second-life/

Copied below;

I’ve always disliked how new people are introduced to Second Life.
You are thrown in at the deep end, not a good thing to do with something that already has a rather steep learning curve.
Not only is a lot expected from new people, they are also almost immediately surrounded by experienced users and griefers.

Nothing is as off putting as standing somewhere, all new, and hearing people swear, argue, make fun of you or have people harass you and even attack you.
Not to mention that you will find yourself amongst scary, freakish, half naked and disturbing looking avatars.

This nearly turned me away from Second Life permanently after I first tried it in 2007, everything was rather horrible and only supported the rather negative preconceptions I had about this virtual world.
I left and only returned a few years later.

I’ve always felt that the best way to figure out how SL works is by trying it all out in a peaceful quiet area.
Ideally every new person would be teleported into a private place, lets say a tiny skybox.
Here they see some tutorials, basic instructions, etc.
They have to learn to walk, navigate, communicate, click, use and finally use search and teleport to get off the island.
But I realise that with thousands of new daily users, this may be impossible.

Recently this all changed with the creation of new Destination Islands.
Interesting stuff.
They found a way to keep out the experienced users and trouble makers (sort of) and send you on your way to a sim that is connected to a theme you find interesting.
This new system is not quite ready yet, but an improvement in some way.

Nevertheless, you no longer get any instructions.
SL is complicated, you need help when you first get here!

Recently I thought of another way of welcoming new people into SL that will help them a lot better, avoid giving them the idea SL is for kids or full of weirdos, before they even enter the virtual world.
I have no idea if this is even possible, but let me explain how I imagine it.

Currently, when you first join SL , you sign up on the website, download the software and enter the online world without knowing much about anything.
I suggest that we take care of a lot of stuff before we send these new freshly baked avatars into Second Life.

You sign up on the website, download the software and then you stay on the website…
You create your first avatar right there and then, online, on secondlife.com.
If you have played ‘The Sims’, you will remember how this works, as soon as you start a game you first enter a dressing booth where you get toe customise your avatar.
Shape, character and even your first set of clothes are put together here.

Imagine starting your Second Life just like that.
In stead of having to choose from a few pre-created avatars that identify you as a noob, that you may seriously dislike, that you may find very hard to change, you first find yourself in a dressing room with a basic avatar that you get to change and make like you want it to be.

SL creators  could offer free clothes, bodies, skins and other stuff for this part of the tutorial, so you should have plenty of stuff to chose from.
It may even work trough some sort of connection to marketplace.

Not only is creating an avatar a fun way to start your SL, it also gives you the freedom to start SL looking like you want to look in stead of having to choose one of the starter avatars.
No matter how well the current starter avatars are made, they will give some people second thoughts about joining up.
When people see a cute little Airship avatar or a giant bunny avatar as one of their choices they may think SL is a kid’s game  and may decide not to join.

More importantly, we take away freedom and creativity from new users before they sign up to a world that is all about freedom and creativity.

Is it really that difficult to give people access to the SL avatar creation tools outside of SL?
Let them play about a bit, give them basic (realistic scale please!!) avatars to experiment on.
But make some of the options fun, weird, unusual, so they know that being a bunny or a airship is one of the options, so they know it is possible to have a unusual avatar without it being one of the few forced choices.

Another bonus of this would be that new people enter SL with an avatar they already care about.
They have spend time creating it and have bonded with it, maybe not much, but more then just one of the random avatars they get to pick now.
Like many people who play ‘The Sims’ they may have made the avatar look like themselves or like someone they admire.
Joining SL with an avatar you already like increases the chances of you hanging around.

But perhaps there is more we can do before we actually travel into virtual reality.

How about the first basic steps?
Can we not give new avatars a chance to learn those things you really can’t do without before they run the SL software?

Imagine…

After you have created your avatar on the SL website (we’re still not inworld) you are transported to an deserted Island…
Yes still on the SL website.
It could be a flash game with the look and feel of SL.

I can imagine that after you have created your avatar, a screen loads showing your new you falling with a parachute and landing on an very small island in the middle of the big SL seas.
You will be there all alone, it can be very basic, no need for super graphics.

But this game will allow you to take your time to learn the important tutorials.
Walk, talk, use, click, sit, etc.
This can me made fun and entertaining by creating a little story around it.
After all, you are on a deserted Island and you need to get off.
So first use your inventory to find a machete to cut trough the vegetation,  walk across a improvised bridge, left click on a big branch to push it aside, etc, etc.
Every new step you learn brings you closer to escaping this island and learning how to navigate trough SL at the same time.
Eventually you arrive at the other side of the island and there is a boat, once you get on it, you go to the SL Search page.
You look for something you find interesting (or are given a few questions that help you in the right direction) and will get you some suggestions of sims you could visit.

And then, only then, the actual Second Life software will load.

You will set your first steps in this wonderful virtual world in a sim you’ve chosen, with an avatar you’ve created, arriving at a sim you have picked from search, with basic skills to get around, without being confronted by a bunch of scary people and with a better grasp of how you can modify your avatar, find other sims, etc.

Most of the work is done before you even set foot on virtual land and many of the old problems can be avoided.

Not to mention that all the portals, starter islands and stuff Linden Labs has been creating, replacing, redesigning and having lots of meetings about can be deleted and the land and servers used for something else.

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Great post Jo!

What can WE do to make SL better?

Look after people - newbies as well as older residents, help if we can.

Talk to each other, even just saying hi:) is nice - giving each other a chance, overlooking small annoyances, and when irked, ignoring and teleporting away.

Talk about our positive experiences of SL to each other - there must be some - or why are you still here? :)

Share our favourite landmarks and activities.

Emma :)

 

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I'm sitting at Adult hub right now with A helper "mister X". He is a very good guy, removes griefers, helps new comers, and keeps everyone happy, he is not alone either. There are a quite a few here that make Adult hub a success. Many new comers get help and feel comfortable here, and they return. I think LL should ask the managers of this sim for a few pointers. Generalizations never help

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Sensational Jo!

Just like any other of the massively popular >game< virtual worlds.

1. Skyrim? Create avatar, Sims? Create avatar.

2. Use controls.

3. Up and running, caring for your original avatar and your awesome new world, that you PAID for.
Sl already has a massive advantage over the games, it's free to use for the casual avi.

SL not a game? Of course it isn't! But the introduction can be exactly the same.

Rodvik would have to agree with your logic here Jo lol. Ex Sims & all :)

LL needs to ensure the message of how cool this world/product is, isn't detracted from with third partry comment or opinion. What you propose is surely the only way to guarantee success.

Leia36> granted, Dedicated people for sure. Not so as a rule of thumb for all SL.

Adds: Lol Jo it wasn't until after the original Hippiestock that I realised that Hippie had helped me inworld when I was still pretty much a noob.

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what i wouldn't have given for a user manual that i could have downloaded back when i came  here..just for the viewer alone..

i mean thats a big chunk of stuff to eat right there..

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Oh and I might add, what concerns me are the reports being put together right now about the affects of virtual worlds and social networks on peoples minds, these reports are not looking good, so if you think that sl is all about the user you could be in for a shock, if I know the minds behind these reports they will be pushing for restrictions and stronger laws and they will get them because they are connected to the very group that want to put restrictions on the internet.

 

I have heard of talk of automatic chat filtering, looking for people that are having break downs, now there could be an element of truth in the affects but I feel this may be also another way to monitor everything about us, they are almost trying to say that it is the same a drug addiction and will attract the same kind of people.

 

So we all have a vested interest in keeping SL normal and not a place like FB were people hang themselves, and that i feel will require effort by us all.

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Boudicca Littlebird wrote:

 

So we all have a vested interest in keeping SL normal and not a place like FB were people hang themselves, and that i feel will require effort by us all.

The last thing I want SL to become is Facebook. The second to last is 'normal'. ;-).

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Boudicca Littlebird wrote:

We all agree that times are hard.

 

We see from another forum that the CEO is at a loss on how to make people stay.

 

What can we do to help SL in their task to make people stay.

 

In another thread that pointed out the CEO went to another place to speak and not here, showed a lot of indignation of the event happening but didn't really offer solutions, it talked more about what SL could do for them.

 

As someone quite famous said "it is not what they can do for us, it is about what we can do for them".

 

So what can we do to make things better and help the CEO in his task of helping people stay.

 

I have to beg to differ.  LL is a company that we pay.  We are already doing our service to them.  So it is really about what they can do for us.  Not the other way around.  The CEO is the one getting paid the big bucks to helm the company.  If he has no bright ideas as to how to improve business, then perhaps he is not the right person for the job.  In fact, the only thing that has separated this one from his predecessors is he hasn't had the honor of dropping a bombshell on the community yet, which I would say we are probably overdue for.  

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Then you don't see who you are, look all places like this are a collection of the people in them, the lindens have made it clear that people don't stay, now to say it is all linden is wrong because we are here, so logic dictates that we are as much part of it as the lindens, also logic dictates that those here the longest and happy are the biggest part of all, why should they be happy if the new leave, we know the linden do no favors, so therefore all are treated the same, well most, I think most of you are clouded with what you want and don't see that your fate is linked to what the lindens think and do, now they to are stuck, because they can't get new to stay so they rely more on those that have been here a long time and happy, now I hope I haven't lost you, so therefore the lindens are trapped by the behavior of those that have been here a long time and happy, you feel trapped because you feel undervalued as a customer but don't want to leave and most leave before they get to feel like you, so therefore the only ones that can make a difference are the long term happy, the logic is perfect, no point in arguing about it, so it all equates to the simple question, "What can we do to make SL better".

 

If you extend the logic further you will see that it is heading in an elitist direction, but you will see I have said that many times in all versions of me, nothing has changed, that is the biggest threat as it can only contract after that and time to leave unless you are part of that group, and that is what has started to happen.

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