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Prokofy Neva

Are The Mentors Being Brought Back?

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6 hours ago, ThorinII said:

I rather think it would be a very GOOD thing to bring the Mentors back. Simply because the "Learning Island" where newbies rez at first doesn't cover all the abilities necessary to interact with the world, and because most newbies are simply too willfully ignorant to stop and read the info available at newbie places.

I think the point is that if there are officially approved mentors, there also have to be some rules they'll have to follow. We can't have mentors abusing their position for self-promotion of course.

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I remember a mentor back in 2009 when I first started.  First 2 days all lovely, he taught me how to add a chimera and dance, introduced me to some people,  taught me about a garlic necklace.  Come day 3 when I was trusting him, I just accepted a tp from him to a very dodgy dungeon where he wanted me to pay for all his advice...  I left without paying :) 

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No idea about SL mentors, but from my experience with games and their forums/social media, putting users into any position with power (moderators/MVPs, helpers etc) is useless at best and harmful at worst. Too many people do it for the "badge", too many do it for some imaginary powers, too many get bored after short while and do nothing (that's "at best" version) or start to abuse their position (that's the "harmful" case).

LL would have to put a lot of efforts so it wouldn't happen and to be honest, I'm not even sure it's possible. Not like the actual newbie will be able to or would want to bother to report some "troll mentor", while this kind of an encounter can and will completely ruin first impressions they get from SL. Then how to check who is actually helping and who is slacking or trolling? I kinda doubt LL would implement some upvote/downvote or 1-5 star rating thing just for the mentors to see what their average rating every 30 days is, plus it can be manipulated too, given the free and easy to make accounts.

Sure, there are some really helpful people out there too, who actually enjoy helping others and those make an exception to the rule. But then again, who stops those helpful people from going to newbie areas, putting some floating shiny star about their head with some text like "New or having troubles? Feel free to ask questions!". They'll be helping as much with or without the "official" mentor tag, that most newbies won't care about (or wouldn't even notice) anyway.

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I liked the mentor program. But on the other mentioned topic, if the first thing I saw as a newbie on welcome island was a ton of ads I'd probably just quit. People in general are extremely sick of ads, as you can see from the rise of adblock and similar tools.

 

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I Joined SL in 2006, after graduating orientation island, I ended up at one of the New Citizens area, and I was lucky enough to meet some really kind and helpful Mentors..In fact one of my friends was a Mentor himself, and he loved every minute of it, he got a real kick from helping the new folk and never did any of the things mentioned in the initial post..I think in all areas of SL you get the people who abuse power and its sad

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1 hour ago, Cinos Field said:

I liked the mentor program. But on the other mentioned topic, if the first thing I saw as a newbie on welcome island was a ton of ads I'd probably just quit. People in general are extremely sick of ads, as you can see from the rise of adblock and similar tools.

This.

Prok, what you are in effect suggesting is that a newbie should be given the impression, right from the very outset of their experience, that SL is all about paying for things. Whatever the reasons, it's going to feel like a classic bait-and-switch: "Welcome to your new free account! But to really enjoy it fully, you're going to need to spend money at the following places . . ."

Your faith that such ads will be "tasteful" --whatever that means? No nudity? -- is naive: ads are still ads. We experience enough in RL that we can usually see through them: whatever else they seem to be "selling," they're really about parting us with our money. At least traditional social media generally hides the myriad ways in which we pay for our use of the platforms.

The primary difference, so far as I can see, between a corrupt system that permits venal mentors to steer newbies to particular stores, and one that employs ads to do so instead, is that LL gets a piece of the action, by way of whatever (probably, for them, pretty unimportant) ad revenue.

And I find the suggestion that the management of these ads will be "transparent" particularly odd, coming from you of all people: when has LL ever been "transparent" about this kind of thing? You're usually the first one to cast dark hints that LL is in cahoots with secret elites, land barons, fanbois and girls, the Illuminati, and The Knights Templar, but all of a sudden you have faith that this will be transparent?

It comes down to this: you don't even attempt to justify the use of paid ads to direct newbies, rather than, say, a curated collection of landmarks based, perhaps, on the Editor's Choice picks in the Destination Guide. Using ads to route newbies means that, in the final analysis, it will be money rather than careful planning and foresight that determines the initial experience of new residents. And no, there is no way that smaller businesses, art galleries, RP groups, and independent sim creations will be able to compete: that's what market forces are all about.

Can you please explain why paid advertisements seem the best solution to you?

 

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7 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

Real life works this way, and there is no reason SL can't work this way. When you arrive at Grand Central, you look at electronic billboards; you look at bus station ads; you look at flyers and pamphlets. You are not greeted by somebody who knows the mayor who takes you by the hand and steps you along to their own store or restaurant.

Thinking methods should work in SL because they also work in RL your being a bit naive.

You can not seriously compare someone starting new in a virtual world as Sl as someone arriving at a train station. You do not need to learn how to walk, interact, operate your environment, talk, just about every basics of functioning when you arrive at grand Central.

If mentors are a good idea, I have doubts about it unless its very well thought out and monitored. But to use RL/SL arguments is just silly.

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Posted (edited)

I'm fine with mentors, I like the idea that SL is this cozy little mountain village.

Edited by Kyrah Abattoir
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I was a mentor too, back in the old days. It was the making of me as a Resident.

Everything old is new again eventually.

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I joined up before there were such thing as mentors. New Citizens Inc was your friend. :) It's where I learned everything, like how to manage land, how to build stuff (I still LOVE old fashioned PRIMS), and how to get started with scripting. NCI is even still around, but only a shadow of its former self. :(

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If the mentoring program is returning, perhaps greater supervision of the mentors would help (like by Moles or Lindens) with clear guidelines/rules. Costly, true, but people leaving because there's not enough direction could be more costly.

I do wonder if Bellisseria could provide needed guidance though -- clearly funneling them off to the new continent where people have more of a community feeling and inclination to help.

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The big thing about mentors is they need to have a certain amount of knowledge and they need to behave within set rules. Maybe instead of micro management by a Linden there should be a series of ongoing exams that the mentors need to pass in order to make sure they know their job. E.g. exams on shopping, avatar setup, scripting, land purchasing, etc. There should also be exams on proper mentor behavior as well. These will lay down a framework that ensures all mentors provide the same level of quality help to new players. There should also be an easy way for new players to provide feedback to the mentor management.

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2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Can you please explain why paid advertisements seem the best solution to you?

 

All of Prok's recent posts have been a round about way of demanding in world advertising targeted specifically at new users. presumably because that's the demographic a certain mainland rental business depends on.

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6 minutes ago, CoffeeDujour said:

All of Prok's recent posts have been a round about way of demanding in world advertising targeted specifically at new users. presumably because that's the demographic a certain mainland rental business depends on.

But it's NOT a hustle. It's entirely disinterested. Right?

Please remember that!

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6 hours ago, Fox Wijaya said:

and another thing .. ban the wannabee groups like the HOA and here on the forums the wannabee representatives accounts like belliseriacommunity resident, or the merchantsrepresentative resident that showed up recently .. they pretend to be something but are nothing and very confusing for people who have no clue yet about SL, those groups can have a reason to be in SL, but don't need a account .

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5 hours ago, Mollymews said:

any last named account works for me. Gerbil is a good name also

Garbo Gerbil would be quite cool :)

I will sign up to be a mentor just so I can be Geraldine Gerbil.  

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When I started, I had never heard of the mentor program or even Oxbridge. In fact, this is the first time I've heard of there being a place I could have gone to for help.  I just knew of the new player island and didn't really get much out of it.  I had a friend that told me a few basics. She basically told me, "here's the shop I get clothing from. Oh, and this is the club I hang out at. It's cool, have fun." I had to study, stumble around, and find everything out myself.  Luckily, I like doing research.

I used to work for a major video game company (not this one) and loved helping newbies.  Veteran players take a lot of stuff for granted, as "it's always been there", but how are new players supposed to find out about it, if they've never been told. for example, a level 65 player not  knowing how to get mounts or find out where to find them once he got one. The friend that brought him in never thought to tell him, as the friend was so used to knowing where to look, he thought everyone knew about it.   I used to have an email, that I sent out to all new players I talked to. It had links to the New Player forums,  gave information on major third party fan sites, etc.  Everyone on my team,past and present, knew I had this email and would regularly contact me to get an updated copy to send to new players they talked to. 

I think it's a great if there are mentors available for new players.  That way, they can ask any questions they have, without fearing of being told " that's a dumb question" or whatever.  If you don't like the idea of there being actual in game Mentors, how about a New Player section on the forums? Though a lot of people don't actually know to look on the forums for answers or some people tend to avoid forums altogether.  I would love to be able to continue to help out new players.  Though, at this point, I'd probably only be able to tell them where to shop and who has the best sales that week. 😛

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23 minutes ago, Gadget Portal said:

Any time Linden Lab endorses something, there's a spike in torch and pitchfork sales. 

A good set of quality forum angst supplies are on my todo list ....

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 DAMN WELL HOPE SO! 

Can't imagine it'll be quite the same without El Duce, though.

Never had you down as a fan, Prok...

 

 

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

The big thing about mentors is they need to have a certain amount of knowledge and they need to behave within set rules. Maybe instead of micro management by a Linden there should be a series of ongoing exams that the mentors need to pass in order to make sure they know their job. E.g. exams on shopping, avatar setup, scripting, land purchasing, etc. There should also be exams on proper mentor behavior as well. These will lay down a framework that ensures all mentors provide the same level of quality help to new players. There should also be an easy way for new players to provide feedback to the mentor management.

in 2007 the old Second Life Mentor program did move toward something like this.  The application rules got changed from previous. An account had to be a minimum of 6 months inworld. On application being accepted, the applicant never got the badge immediately (unlike previously). A prospective applicant then had to find for themselves a senior SL Mentor to act as their preceptor

the applicant had to demonstrate inworld to the preceptor, their ability to answer questions knowledgeably, and respond to people who did ask questions with grace and tolerance. Preceptors typically put the prospects into WAs like Ahern, Violet and Waterview. Busy places, with lots of other distractions going on also. Older residents present in those WAs would on occasion put the prospect thru the wringer, as a sport. Hard tough questions. If the questioning behavior went over the top then the preceptor would get involved, but mostly the prospect had to handle whatever came themselves   

should the preceptor not sign off on the applicant then Mentor Linden would not give the badge

to get to be a prospect then people had to say on their application what their experience was inworld. A criteria was that you had demonstrable previous acknowledged experience in the helpy area. Gateways like NCI, Caledon, Ajuda Brasil, etc. And also thru some of what were referred to as rogue mentor groups: Helpertons, Mentals, Tigers, etc

so thru this inworld filtering process of demonstrable experience, getting chucked into places like Waterview as a prospect, was not as difficult as it might seem. There were tho a few applicants who did choke and mess up. As they found that the difference between the WAs and the resident-owned gateways is that there is no ban hammer available in the WAs. An immediately actionable private resident parcel-owned tool which when unavailable changes the dynamics of interaction considerably. And as the preceptors knew there was no immediately actionable ban hammer on the new resident onboarding and help islands either

 

edit add: The preceptor program wasn't perfect, it was tho a whole better than what had been before

Edited by Mollymews
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Posted (edited)

I would love to be a Mentor, I used to have a folder I put together with a starter ao (that Gorgeous Yongho created and gave to me full perms, perms were changed before handed out) some clothing some other creators had given me to hand out, and some LMs to places that had gifts out for new residents, like Gurl6 and Diversity hair that did free styles for new people etc. I got an IM from someone years later when out shopping saying that I had helped her years before when new and thank you, it was awesome.

Every so often I have these urges to go to help island and help people and every time I am just so shocked by the condition of the place, the people that stand around picking on each other over the heads of new people that don't have any idea what is going on. The freebies in the stores there are so old I think they were there when I was new 13 years ago. We get a lot of new people on the sim my store is on due to the owner being part of the Library items, but they don't know what they are doing once they get there, what they are there for, you can't just send people the second they arrive in SL to a store to encourage shopping, while it may benefit the economy if they have no money what is the point.

When I was new we had to use Credit Card to join, they would test with a 37c purchase, then return it. The other thing they did was give you 250L it was so amazing spending that first money, within a few hours I was locking in my first and only 30 USD buy lindens, I started working the next day. I do not recommenced that to anyone, I missed a lot of the things that newer people experienced, I never camped, I didn't money tree, I didn't stand in stores for Sploders or lucky chair hop because I needed to etc. Most people I know now that are still here from those days had many experiences from those things, like lifelong friends, partners etc they met doing these fun things. Social interaction was so much more back then, its lacking in such a big way now. 

The problem with helping New Residents, is that they often have no idea why they are here or what they want to do, rarely knowing how to find things they can do. 

I have mentioned this before and I still think that it is important for real new people, that they go through some kind of process on the second life website, that shows them how to use search, how to teleport what a slurl vs lm is, how to get dressed, what a skin and shape are and how they cannot be removed only replaced, what an Ao is and why it may be needed, how to find information about products, what marketplace is, how to buy currency and so on . Without the being in world feeling unsure of the space. This was heckled in the past, but honestly some people just learn differently spending the time on a website you can translate or take your time going through then logging in feeling confident, may really change how people join and stay.

 

Added: I also think that the days of old Mentors was a different landscape than now. The people that mentored did what they could with what they had, SL was new to almost everyone even those joining at the start, it was growing, evolving and was not taken as seriously by some, we had more griefing, more abusive make an account and throw it away people than we have had in the last few years. I think mentor programs if run correctly could be a different situation now, and with the amount of tools available now in world and out of world to be in touch with each other, help as a team etc, it could be very beneficial.

Edited by Sasy Scarborough
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10 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

There should also be exams on proper mentor behavior as well.

Not sufficient enough. I recommend incognito visits with alts.

But IMHO there should be no badge. I distrust people with bagdes - they all seem so self important. Please don't revive the mentor program - if you do anyways, at least contract them. That way you can put severe penalties in there for misbehaviour.

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Posted (edited)

I think there should be some mentors, and I would suggest they have a last name SLMentor, and there should be some check to prevent people changing display names to this.

The reasons I think this are

1) There are still newcomers struggling to do certain basic things like open doors by touching them, add or detach things, and their cries for help in some of the RP places result in a bit of opprobrium from those busy RP-ing

2) If there are no official mentors there is a risk of mischievous people claiming to be such and having a laugh, much as when you "help" people to learn your language you often teach them swear words and rather dubious idiom.

3) Official mentors can be checked and monitored, as mentioned by several previous posters, but more importantly, LL can circulate advice or other important notices to them

When all's said and done, however, I never met a mentor when I joined, I watched, listened and sometimes asked.

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku
Let's not go there
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Posted (edited)

While I personally no longer have the patience to rejoin them if the Mentor program came back, I am all for its return.

Yes, there were some bad apples/users who abused the program - and? Short of not having the program at all, the best you can do is attempt to mitigate/prevent it.

Edited by Solar Legion
Minor spelling correction
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