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Oct Oyen

Remedies to declining SL?

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I joined SL twice. Once was when I got a new computer and wanted to check out this interesting thing I had heard about. I got as far as getting some clothes from the Free Dove and wandering around and around and around. I didn't find much to interest me, and the prices seemed quite high because I had absolutely no idea how much 75 lindens cost in £. I did manage to find the Dublin Pub with people chatting away eventually but by then I was tired and cranky and needing my bed.

Not quite a year later, a very good friend in another country got caught up in it so I made a new account, logged in and sent him a friend request. He'd joined because of a real life friend who very correctly understood SL to be something he'd love and helped him get started with building and other things. He bought some land about the time I joined and taught me about freebie places, so I had a unique house to decorate (it was a tall cylinder with floors), a massive world to explore and big poofy skirts to billow when I fell off of things. It was brilliant.

Maybe that sort of approach - friends bringing in and guiding friends - would be a useful way to help our crazy madcap world thrive and grow. Not just RL friends, but perhaps people we've gotten to know elsewhere on the internet.

Now of course this won't suit everyone, so those who want to keep their walls up go right ahead and do just that. But maybe if the rest of us thought a bit harder about who we might be able to draw in, we just might find some excellent additions to our communities.

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Maybe (just maybe) they should dust off the old "gauntlet" that was in use in 2005 and update it. It taught you all of the basics of using SL such as changing your clothes, changing your avatar appearance, even flying. In fact, you couldn't even start exploring outside of the "welcome" area until you could control your avatar well enough to fly to the teleport hub that allowed you to enter the open world. You could, if you so chose, zip through it (I did when I created an alt) or take your time to retain as much as possible.

Granted, it was a bit overwhelming at first and a bit confusing, but that is normal for me when starting a new "game". I created my first alt just so I could go back through it again to catch what I missed. Which, as it turned out, amounted to pretty much nothing. But it was still fun to do it all again. :P

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1 minute ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Maybe (just maybe) they should dust off the old "gauntlet" that was in use in 2005 and update it. It taught you all of the basics of using SL such as changing your clothes, changing your avatar appearance, even flying. In fact, you couldn't even start exploring outside of the "welcome" area until you could control your avatar well enough to fly to the teleport hub that allowed you to enter the open world. You could, if you so chose, zip through it (I did when I created an alt) or take your time to retain as much as possible.

The current system takes newbies through walking, jumping, flying, etc in a first region (not accessible to current residents). They have to fly in order to get to the teleporter that takes them to one of the Social Islands, which has various activities to hone their skills. The Social Islands have a portal area that leads to a randomly chosen location (out of around 4 possibilities) for each of several areas of interest. The Social Islands are accessible to anyone, so of course that's where the griefing begins. The process isn't Caledon Oxbridge, but it's not bad.

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This is actually my second turn at sl, first time I went to the starter area and started doing the tutorials and got so frustrated with them I quit. I came back maybe 4 years later and skipped them and got taught by people I met. It wasn't a maturity thing as the percentage of my life between the two attempts was small. It was merely that (and apologies to any lindens reading) a good example of why the labs shouldnt be let out near users. They patently aimed at the lowest common denominator rather than allowing you to skip to a level that you felt might actually be useful. As  I remember I quit after getting frustrated on the "this is how you fly tutorial" having already spent about 30 minutes in game and still being on the "this is how you move around I just went enough already you are wasting my time I figured this out 29 minutes ago

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55 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

The current system takes newbies through walking, jumping, flying, etc in a first region (not accessible to current residents). They have to fly in order to get to the teleporter that takes them to one of the Social Islands, which has various activities to hone their skills. The Social Islands have a portal area that leads to a randomly chosen location (out of around 4 possibilities) for each of several areas of interest. The Social Islands are accessible to anyone, so of course that's where the griefing begins. The process isn't Caledon Oxbridge, but it's not bad.

It's still not the same "system" that was in place in 2005. I don't think I can articulate exactly what I mean. It got a complete "makeover" in 2006/7 (I think, maybe as early as 05 and as late as 09) and hasn't been the same since. What I saw of the system in place in 2009 would have been more than enough to turn me completely off of SL if I hadn't already been a resident for 5 years at the time. To say the least, it was bewildering. As I recall there were far more new sign ups that never completed the tutorial than ones that did after the changes were made. In other words, most people never made it all the way through before giving up, logging out and never logging in again. After the change. I recall the figures prior to that change being much more in favor of retention.

Edited by Selene Gregoire

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49 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

It's still not the same "system" that was in place in 2005. I don't think I can articulate exactly what I mean. It got a complete "makeover" in 2006/7 (I think, maybe as early as 05 and as late as 09) and hasn't been the same since. What I saw of the system in place in 2009 would have been more than enough to turn me completely off of SL if I hadn't already been a resident for 5 years at the time. To say the least, it was bewildering. As I recall there were far more new sign ups that never completed the tutorial than ones that did after the changes were made. In other words, most people never made it all the way through before giving up, logging out and never logging in again. After the change. I recall the figures prior to that change being much more in favor of retention.

If you're talking about the system that came after what is shown on Orientation Island Public... They changed it sometime after I joined, so they had a decent system in place in, 2006.

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15 minutes ago, Solar Legion said:

If you're talking about the system that came after what is shown on Orientation Island Public... They changed it sometime after I joined, so they had a decent system in place in, 2006.

I had it in my head that it was 06 that it changed. The system I'm talking about was prior to the existence of Help Island, when there were only 4 Orientation Islands. There are at least 9 of them now with only 6 of them in use at a time. 

 

Hmmm... are new users allowed to return to OI after leaving yet? That was one of the things that almost caused me to not stay in SL*. If there hadn't been other residents able and willing to help back then I would have simply attended the memorial service and logged out forever and never given SL a second thought. 

*This goes back to my statement about creating an alt to go through the gauntlet again to catch anything I might have missed.

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6 hours ago, Selene Gregoire said:

I had it in my head that it was 06 that it changed. The system I'm talking about was prior to the existence of Help Island, when there were only 4 Orientation Islands. There are at least 9 of them now with only 6 of them in use at a time. 

 

Hmmm... are new users allowed to return to OI after leaving yet? That was one of the things that almost caused me to not stay in SL*. If there hadn't been other residents able and willing to help back then I would have simply attended the memorial service and logged out forever and never given SL a second thought. 

*This goes back to my statement about creating an alt to go through the gauntlet again to catch anything I might have missed.

The only Orientation Island left is Orientation Island Public. It and the two Help Islands beside it are basically time capsules. New residents aren't directed to them, though some manage to find them.

There are 9 Social Islands of which all 9 are active. The social islands have an intro video for Social Island (those people you see *are* people, how to get along),  tutorials for building, shopping (in-world, marketplace, where to find purchases in inventory, how to unpack them), exploring (landmarks, use of the world map, portal park), where to get Lindens, and probably others I missed. There are challenges that earn local Lindens (can be used on Social Island to purchase things but disappear off of the islands). The challenges are a maze (controlling your avatar), boating (use of vehicles), and one that pushes camera skills. LL updates the Social Islands periodically (based on statistics they gather from how newbies use the islands) to try to improve retention. I know that Helping Haven sometimes has people on the Social Islands; I'm sure other groups do as well.

As I said before, anyone can go to the Social Islands.

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30 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

an intro video for Social Island

Would you happen to know if those videos are Closed Captioned?  I ask because most videos without CC are not very useful for me.

I haven't created any alts since 2009 and any changes since haven't really interested me so... I don't know what it's like now. I know I used the word now and that was misleading. Not intentionally misleading though. I was gone for 4 years and only came back a couple of months ago. Maybe 3. Anyone counting? I'm not. ^_^

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1 minute ago, Selene Gregoire said:

Would you happen to know if those videos are Closed Captioned?  I ask because most videos without CC are not very useful for me.

I haven't created any alts since 2009 and any changes since haven't really interested me so... I don't know what it's like now. I know I used the word now and that was misleading. Not intentionally misleading though. I was gone for 4 years and only came back a couple of months ago. Maybe 3. Anyone counting? I'm not. ^_^

Yes, they're captioned. My speakers are temporarily dead, so that's how I was able to tell what was going on.

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8 minutes ago, Parhelion Palou said:

Yes, they're captioned. My speakers are temporarily dead, so that's how I was able to tell what was going on.

Thanks. Might go do some poking around on my next day off. Not that it will inspire any brilliant ideas but I might think of something. :D

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Maybe a refresh of sl will help, with some new innovative things, a complete makeover of the inventory system, bring in folder colours, maybe a system whereby you can buy prims for your land or rent prims, but it does need a reboot

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8 hours ago, greek Wingtips said:

buy prims for your land or rent prims

No. We've already been down that road. And the land tax road. And the teleport fee. And a few others. The prim tax was imposed to "prevent residents from overheating the servers with too many objects", something that is no longer needed or wanted.

 

 

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22 minutes ago, Selene Gregoire said:

No. We've already been down that road. And the land tax road. And the teleport fee. And a few others. The prim tax was imposed to "prevent residents from overheating the servers with too many objects", something that is no longer needed or wanted.

 

 

But it has been 6 years since that thread.  Surely we need to rehash it all again.  B|

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3 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

But it has been 6 years since that thread.  Surely we need to rehash it all again.  B|

And again. And again. And again. 31-1190432131.gif.79c0949807f87d3d034b79b59537b8df.gif

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Well the Nexus sounds like it would be difficult to implement. It also seems like a few people slightly disagree with the idea. I can't guarantee that no one at LL is seriously thinking about it now. It's amazing how open to suggestions one can become after drinking lots of eggnog. So don't blame me if it goes through.

I had another idea though. Make a new SL orientation island, as some have already proposed, but make it cater to the millennials. The orientation island should emphasize the ability the endlessly customize the avatar. Make "selfie opportunity" spots on the orientation island where the a player can take pictures of their new avatar doing something interesting in a beautiful place. LL should also revamp the photo tool to become the "selfie tool". Automatic cropping, easy filters, add-on stickers (made by residents of course), ability to make animated gifs, and other things that we see in current photo sharing sites. All of these photos should be easily shareable to social websites. I think this idea might just be the sail that catches the winds of change.

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52 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

Make a new SL orientation island, as some have already proposed, but make it cater to the millennials.

I actually thought your first idea was interesting, if maybe flawed and unworkable.

But now you're just trolling us . . . 😏

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1 hour ago, Bree Giffen said:

make it cater to the millennials

The problem with that though, is SL isn't just for millennials. LL needs to find a way to appeal to a broader demographic. Too narrow a focus will kill SL just as quickly as too broad. In order to attract and retain the most users, LL needs to find the "middle of the road". Which, by its very nature, is quite difficult to do.

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Ok...during my first foray in SL, when it was new and interesting and people were trying it out, a friend of mine got an av and messaged me inworld while he explored. I still have the chat logs. Edited slightly to form one free association paragraph...
 

"What is this pixellated hellhole? Some twit here thinks he's Julius Caesar. What is wrong with these people? What's this Gor bollocks thing I'm seeing everywhere? You know every single one of these slaves is actually a hairy, 30 stone trucker called Derek, right? Even the ones who really are women. In fact, especially them. All right, I'll go to that place you suggest...I've just fallen through the floor. No, now I'm stuck on the wall. Yes my legs are walking but I've gone right through the wall and then pinged back in again. Oh ffs, send me somewhere else. Thank you. This is a mountain range. I can't walk up these things and I can't fly either. This place is awful. No, wait, the graphics are actually making me a little bit nostalgic for 1996. Amina, what is wrong with these avatars? Have any of these people ever actually seen a human being? They're like genetic experiments gone wrong. All the men are literally ten heads high and the women's legs are twice the length of their torsos. And arms like T-rexes. I've just fallen through the floor again. Is this actually the pinnacle of human progress today? I hope a meteorite wipes us all out. Oh sod this for a game of soldiers. I'm going down the pub."

I think this was how it was for a lot of newbies back then and it may still not be too far off now. Maybe someone should ask the new wave of users (noobwave?) what sort of experiences they're having. And record it for posterity.

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1 hour ago, Bree Giffen said:

 

 

I had another idea though. Make a new SL orientation island, as some have already proposed, but make it cater to the millennials

euw just no, millenials are a dead end in human evolution, snowflakes and victims...people who regard applause as triggering. The best thing you can do with most millenials is take them out back and put them down humanely. They are unfitted for life and bound to spend their time on earth whinging about everything. The sooner we get away from that the better for my species

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47 minutes ago, Amina Sopwith said:

Ok...during my first foray in SL, when it was new and interesting and people were trying it out, a friend of mine got an av and messaged me inworld while he explored. I still have the chat logs. Edited slightly to form one free association paragraph...
 

"What is this pixellated hellhole? Some twit here thinks he's Julius Caesar. What is wrong with these people? What's this Gor bollocks thing I'm seeing everywhere? You know every single one of these slaves is actually a hairy, 30 stone trucker called Derek, right? Even the ones who really are women. In fact, especially them. All right, I'll go to that place you suggest...I've just fallen through the floor. No, now I'm stuck on the wall. Yes my legs are walking but I've gone right through the wall and then pinged back in again. Oh ffs, send me somewhere else. Thank you. This is a mountain range. I can't walk up these things and I can't fly either. This place is awful. No, wait, the graphics are actually making me a little bit nostalgic for 1996. Amina, what is wrong with these avatars? Have any of these people ever actually seen a human being? They're like genetic experiments gone wrong. All the men are literally ten heads high and the women's legs are twice the length of their torsos. And arms like T-rexes. I've just fallen through the floor again. Is this actually the pinnacle of human progress today? I hope a meteorite wipes us all out. Oh sod this for a game of soldiers. I'm going down the pub."

I think this was how it was for a lot of newbies back then and it may still not be too far off now. Maybe someone should ask the new wave of users (noobwave?) what sort of experiences they're having. And record it for posterity.

That brought back memories and made me truly laugh out loud.

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3 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

That brought back memories and made me truly laugh out loud.

It's pretty much what my first experience was like as well :)

I've also still got the logs of his real-time messages to me while he was in Gor. Message me if you're interested.

("I hope you're happy. I'm sitting here with a load of people who honestly wish they were living on another planet with a name that came straight out of an Usborne First Readers Phonics book. F*** me, I wish they were living there as well.")

 

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33 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

euw just no, millenials are a dead end in human evolution, snowflakes and victims...people who regard applause as triggering. The best thing you can do with most millenials is take them out back and put them down humanely. They are unfitted for life and bound to spend their time on earth whinging about everything. The sooner we get away from that the better for my species

Even though I am technically in that generation (saveme) cause 1987, I can so agree with this. Most of my peers make me want to strangle them, since they don't get "No pain, no gain" or "Give it 110%" ooor "No guts, No glory". Simply, most of youth wants things handed to them on a silver platter while screaming, "I want it now!!!" .... And how dare they not get it. *rolls eyes*

Anyways, to the topic on hand, though that alone is part of the problem. Second Life does have a fairly active population, but your not going to interest most of the 'young bloods', because they don't want to work for it or, you know, actually think for themselves. Second Life is a highly creative platform for dreamers and visionaries. If anything, that is probably where it needs to aimed at and just stay on that target.

Long as people have fun building, creating, dreaming, and no matter the medium they use, be it prims, sculpt, or mesh can express themselves and maybe turn them a minor profit, people will stay and bring those like minded folks with them.

It's also the fact they have to ask themselves, "What is it I want to do?", Since the sky is the limit and anyone can do about anything in Second Life.

Edited by foxfirestorm
Typo
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"The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannise their teachers.” - Socrates.

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