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Love Zhaoying

Community Gateway Program announcement

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I'm a bit cynical at Linden's "letting" others promote SL via their own gateways.

However, if it works, it works! And, motivated individuals with good intentions will probably do good things.

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Stoked about this! New user retention is simply atrocious, if LL is not going to directly make onboarding more intuitive and user-friendly it's a smart move to have residents take the reins. 

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"Linden Lab has today announced that the previous welcome message (see below) has not been helpful with New Resident retention, and will be discontinued;"

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Great idea. Hopefully we see some good results.

How does this work exactly? From a new user's point of view? They sign into a special website made by the community gateway host and then start at the gateway welcome area?

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14 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

How does this work exactly? From a new user's point of view? They sign into a special website made by the community gateway host and then start at the gateway welcome area?

Yes.
For the Firestorm Gateway for example, users can create a Second Life account here: http://www.firestormviewer.org/join-secondlife/

Users who register through this page will be automatically logged into the Firestorm Orientation region which has tutorials specifically for new users.
Inara Pey blogged about the Firestorm Orientation region & Gateway here: https://modemworld.me/2015/09/03/community-gateways-set-for-a-return-to-second-life/
The orientation region is locked down to new accounts only.

Once the new user has finished the tutorials on the orientation region they go through a portal which takes them to the Firestorm Social Island region, which is open to all avatars & there they can get help from members of the Firestorm Gateway team if needed, pick up freebies & explore the 6 public Gateway regions which includes various free activities such as golf, fishing, skydiving, sailing, flying planes, Star Trek role play & the Mad Pea Ghost Town game.

 

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I suppose one theory is: LL will not need to try and "fix" or improve their welcome areas, community gateway content creators will make better ones using better content.

One question I had is: will community gateways get some kind of discount on tier fees, since they are ostensibly "signing up" new users?

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19 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I'm a bit cynical at Linden's "letting" others promote SL via their own gateways.

However, if it works, it works! And, motivated individuals with good intentions will probably do good things.

Note that this is not a NEW program. Notice the "re-introduce" in the official announcement. The old program worked well. I can't remember exactly why it was discontinued. The Firestorm Gateway has been going on (checking my blog for the post) since October 2015, http://www.firestormviewer.org/firestorm-spooky-nights-hunt-gateway-launch-party/  and I did several posts about it. The Firestorm Gateway was one of the new test ones. Others in the past have included Caledon. I can't remember any others but there were more. 

 

My entry into SL was a good one. The old entry sims where you could hang around for days learning the ropes were in effect, there were mentors to answer questions, free things to pick up, building tutorials and new "creations" made by some of the mentors popped up from time to time. I met a lot of people there while I waited for my real life friends to be finished with their work project and make an account. It was an extremely GOOD experience. 

After that some tests came along where you kinda proved you had 'read the manual'. I am not sure if those are going on any longer, Lani is almost five now so I have no "new alt" experience :D. 

The biggest problem new folks seem to have besides the interface learning curve which I agree is steep, is finding people to talk to and figuring out what SL actually "IS". I think the RETURN to the gateways will help with that. It also let's schools and such do their own system and that used to be much more popular (Lani has a last name because the typist found one of the remaining OLD OLD gateways that had been forgotten) :D. 

Anyway it is a great idea, and if someone here decides to work on one I might be happy to help. It depends a bit on some things in the works. 

 

Edited by Chic Aeon
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9 hours ago, Whirly Fizzle said:

Once the new user has finished the tutorials on the orientation region they go through a portal which takes them to the Firestorm Social Island region, which is open to all avatars & there they can get help from members of the Firestorm Gateway team if needed, pick up freebies & explore the 6 public Gateway regions which includes various free activities such as golf, fishing, skydiving, sailing, flying planes, Star Trek role play & the Mad Pea Ghost Town game

Oh that's very impressive! Not that I should be surprised at anything the Firestorm team does. A newcomer could spend a lot of time there before ever venturing out. 

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4 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

A newcomer could spend a lot of time there before ever venturing out. 

Wasn't that one of the reasons why they discontinued community gateways in 2010?

Edited by arton Rotaru

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21 minutes ago, arton Rotaru said:

Wasn't that one of the reasons why they discontinued community gateways in 2010?

I don't know. But it sounds like something LL would do.:(

Edited by Pamela Galli

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LL doing what they do best. Not getting it right for years, then finally giving up and giving it to the residents, who get it right the first time.

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13 hours ago, eighthdwarf Checchinato said:

I think the official re-introduction of Community Gateways is a great idea. However, I do think that LL should re-introduce the Mentor Program as well.

I agree, I would love the opportunity to be a mentor and I think many others would too.

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1 hour ago, Chronometria said:

I agree, I would love the opportunity to be a mentor and I think many others would too.

If you are interested in being a mentor on the Firestorm Gateway, please contact Amalia Broome.

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I always tell the Firestorm people they are saints. It is stunning that in the course of providing free support, they patiently endure so much abuse from entitled crybabies. I would not do the work they do for any amount of money and they do it for free! Saints!

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17 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

I always tell the Firestorm people they are saints. It is stunning that in the course of providing free support, they patiently endure so much abuse from entitled crybabies. I would not do the work they do for any amount of money and they do it for free! Saints!

Or maybe we are just crazy  :D

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On a different avi, I was an official SL mentor and it was fun. The portals were set up by different groups. There were some set up for other languages. There was a German one. I loved the Japanese one. It was set up like you were walking through a subway station. One of the fantasy sims had one too. 

One reason they closed the gateways was they switched the naming protocol to Resident last name. Prior to that, the different gateways had name sets. I can remember for RP purposes hunting the gateways for a specific last name as I was creating my daughter.

There were also problems with some of the mentors thinking they had some kind of special powers. I think one vocal somewhat cantankerous person here on the forums must have run into some of these and posted that the mentors were corrupt. Rather than try to weed out the bad apples as well as the focus changing, LL just discontinued the program and went to one where you entered and got some very basic stuff then you chose what you were interested in and want through that TP and got dumped in random areas that sometime had to do with what you wanted but no further guidance. 

I'm glad to see the portals back as there was a much higher retention rate when there was someone there to greet and help new residents.

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33 minutes ago, Bobbie Faulds said:

On a different avi, I was an official SL mentor and it was fun. 

I can see how it would be great fun sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for SL with a willing student. Teaching is a way of re experiencing the magic of SL over and over. 

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We call ourselves 'Helpers' at the Firestorm Gateway. Anyone is welcome to apply for a volunteer position (yes, it's not an automatic approval). Just send me a notecard explaining why you want to be a helper and tell me about your previous experience in SL. The volunteers are only required to put in 2 hours a week at the Gateway (though most put in a lot more time than that). It sounds easy right? Sigh. In a perfect world it would be but as a helper you must have a tremendous amount of patience. We deal with new residents who may have limited computer knowledge or who do not speak English. We have several people who speak other languages and we all have a translator but sometimes it's difficult to get our intent across when using the translator.

Our Gateway has six regions with a lot of fun things to do (our MadPea Ghost Hunt and SciFi Portal are both big draws for older members too). Everything is designed to help new people learn now to use their avatars. We have a store with free clothes for people under 30 days old and offer help learning how to change clothes. We have a sandbox where they get their first taste of building. And our Golf Course is always popular (five holes of golf). One of the most used features is the balloon ride over the six regions. It takes 10 minutes and gives an aerial view of what we have to offer.

Our focus as a Gateway is to make every new resident feel welcome to Second Life and to explain how they can find their own experience here. We help them find THEIR second life.

We welcome any older resident who wants to help. If you don't want to be a part of the team, come and watch us. Learn how we treat the new residents (they are never called 'noobs or noobies' by the way. They are new residents or newblets.

So feel free to drop me a notecard or drop in at the Gateway to see us in action.

Amalia Broome

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12 hours ago, Pamela Galli said:

I can see how it would be great fun sharing knowledge and enthusiasm for SL with a willing student. Teaching is a way of re experiencing the magic of SL over and over. 

I was a Newbie Helper on the Frankfurt regions mostly (back then when those regions still existed), from Jun 2008 on - until I quit this service after V2.x was introduced: I just didn't want anything to do with this abomination.

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