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Looking after new users

I am told SL still gets up to 3000 new sign ups every month. If this is true, and SL20B and beyond is to be a reality, LL simply must, imho, address how it treats new users. They need to 'land' in newer and safer places just for a start. Over to you, experts ....

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Actually, I suggest LL staff are forced to start a new user account and spend 4 full hours a day for a minimum of three days in a row, seeing how it is currently.

My own experience of being bit by a vampire in a sandbox with a box on my foot might indeed be hilarious, but it could have put some people off. 

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it would already be  start if they stop with counting sign ups ... how about how many of those actually login, and how often.
Where do they log in .. how long stay there?

directly tp into SL = no newbie, but a alt, scrap form the new sign ups

log in 5 minutes, not moving but never back... a lost one, work to do at the starting region to keep them.
log in, tp out, be there two minutes, log of and never come back : bloodline alt, bite, soul, and not needed anymore.

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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I'm not sure *what* LL themselves could do. SL can't really be effectively summarised with Linden activities. Perhaps, I'd imagine, they could collaborate with in world groups and businesses to send users to areas that will appeal to them.

Creators could pitch in with limited freebies. So you'd have, for example, an option at the start to get a good newcomer version of a furry avatar or a human one (that can actually wear clothes, unlike the starters...) depending on your interests, get teleported to a newcomer friendly area that's in line with your interests - even if they involve adult activities, which LL needs to stop being shy about - and that kind of stuff.

A welcome package and some guidance? Beyond that, I really don't know. No tutorial can really go through all of SL's systems.

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4 hours ago, rasterscan said:

Looking after new users

I am told SL still gets up to 3000 new sign ups every month. If this is true, and SL20B and beyond is to be a reality, LL simply must, imho, address how it treats new users. They need to 'land' in newer and safer places just for a start. Over to you, experts ....

So there are 3,000 alt accounts created monthly - I would have expected more, TBH.

If it wants to treat new users better, it needs the viewer to be better and self-optimizing.  Not much else will matter, because a new user is going to find SL cartoonish and silly.

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4 hours ago, rasterscan said:

Looking after new users

I am told SL still gets up to 3000 new sign ups every month. If this is true, and SL20B and beyond is to be a reality, LL simply must, imho, address how it treats new users. They need to 'land' in newer and safer places just for a start. Over to you, experts ....

Maybe they should direct new users to regions that are specifically set up by vetted groups of experienced users.

In other words, what they've been doing for a few years now...

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@rasterscan, i think they need to plan for new user after they sign up and finish the tutorial, where do they go next?

a planned itinerary and meeting people to keep them engage, i think second life have many contents, should have enough stuff to keep them occupy and making them stay

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I've created a few new alts for various things in the past few months. 

I've been in SL for more than a dozen years.

The new user experience leaves me baffled. 

Getting through the walk/run/jump/fly area is fine (except waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too big) but what the hell am I supposed to do after that? I get this HUD thing attached to me that I don't know what the hell I'm supposed to do with, I don't know where to go, I don't know what I'm supposed to be learning, can't figure out where the hell I am, and am generally lost by the entire experience. Everything is so freaking huge. It's like it's built for giants. What am I supposed to be looking for? There are user created areas new residents get shuffled off to? Where? How? That is apparently easily overlooked because not a single one of my new accounts ever made it to any of those places. I get some message about able to leave the island through a portal in the center of the square, but... where the hell is the square? I've never found it. Am I already in the middle of it? I've not spent a lot of time looking but since I really don't know what I'm looking for, it's just frustrating. If I were brand spanking new, I think I'd probably log out after bumbling around for a few minutes and never look back. How do I change clothes?? What are these things in my inventory?? Where is my inventory?? What is an inventory?? 

I don't know what the solution is. In order for a brand new avatar to succeed (stay) they have to be really determined, and I'm not sure all that many are when faced with such frustration right up front. I see them all standing around wondering what's supposed to happen next. I'm not noob-friendly (I'm too impatient) so I don't engage with any of them to see what they think or what questions they have, but there are always a handful of shiny new peeps just standing there and I fear every one of them is a lost opportunity or lost revenue for LL. 

There just has to be a better way. 

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2 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

 

I don't know what the solution is. In order for a brand new avatar to succeed (stay) they have to be really determined, and I'm not sure all that many are when faced with such frustration right up front. I see them all standing around wondering what's supposed to happen next. I'm not noob-friendly (I'm too impatient) so I don't engage with any of them to see what they think or what questions they have, but there are always a handful of shiny new peeps just standing there and I fear every one of them is a lost opportunity or lost revenue for LL. 

There just has to be a better way. 

A few months ago I tried going through the new avatar experience and attaching the hud and encountered a lot of what I assumed should’ve been interactive things that just did not respond in the area.  It was really frustrating to me,  a user who has been in SL for 10 years.   I can only imagine what a huge turn off it must be for someone totally new to the platform to encounter such a mystifying set up.   

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6 hours ago, rasterscan said:

I am told SL still gets up to 3000 new sign ups every month.

SL statistics are apparently no longer available, but here's the account creation graph for 2016-2019, from Tateru Nino's website.

ETA: Note that these are signups per day, not month.

image.png.7b7f078a6030f8c6075f15d9e99e541b.png

 

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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Sceneris's idea has some merit to it, but I have some reservations.

As a veteran newbie helper, I'm pretty familiar with the new user process.  Here's what happens now...

  • A person goes through the sign up process.  This is pretty straightforward, and most people manage it all right, although a few get confused and don't download and sign in through the viewer.  One simplification I don't like...now you just choose a gender (male or female) instead of choosing from a selection of avatars.
  • The new resident opens the viewer and signs in.  They appear on one of a number of "Welcome Islands".  Most of these are identical copies, but there are a few variations.  For example, a couple of them have been designed and set up by resident helper groups; the Firestorm team has a custom Welcome Island that features dual "information" signs in pairs, one for the Firestorm viewer and one for the LL one.  Two of the Welcome Islands usually have live helpers, furnished by the White Tiger Mentors group; one of their Welcome Islands is a "standard" one, the other is an older version that features a number of interconnected domes.  All of the Welcome Islands contain a few basic tutorials on movement and communication.  At the end of the tutorial path is a teleport gate to...
  • Social Island.  Again, these are mostly identical.  One is a custom region designed by the Firestorm team and manned by their support volunteers.  The Social Islands don't have a designed "path" to progress through them, but they do have additional tutorials on things like money, buying things, building, camera control, driving a vehicle, etc.  There is a teleport gateway pavilion that has several teleport doors to random destinations in different Destination Guide categories, plus information on how to search for other destinations.
    • This is LL's way to try and introduce people to the variety of SL.  At Welcome Island, they can only go to one place...Social Island.  At Social Island, they have some choices, but are not entirely left to their own devices.  The selection is broader, and the user can pick one according to their interests, but it's still somewhat structured.
  • It should be noted that access to the Welcome Islands is restricted.  Only brand-new residents can go there, plus in some cases designated members of volunteer helper groups.  Any resident can access the Social Islands, and quite a few do.  Some Social Islands have become hangouts for some of the more annoying types of residents.  As a result, newcomers often get their introduction to vampires, horndogs, and griefers here.

This system, as you can see, isn't perfect.  However, it does contain a progression: first, structured learning of some basics.  Then, less structured learning and more choice.  Finally, the new resident is released into the wild, with full choice of where to go and what to do.  Sceneris's idea would be an extended version of that progression, with more regions to visit and presumably, more learning experiences.  That's not necessarily bad, but I think that it would also lose residents who don't want to be led by such gradual steps.

I'll add one more observation from my volunteer work.  Most people don't want help.  I can stand at the arrival point and cheerily greet newcomer after newcomer, but about 90% of them will walk right past me without even acknowledging my hello.  I'm using a translator, so language isn't the problem.  The problem is that they 1) think I'm a bot, 2) are an alt and already know SL, or 3) just want to get on with it, whether they know anything or not.

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From my experience as a new user 10 years ago, I already understood how to control my avatar how to put on and take off clothes, how to unpack things, etc. I understand that there are people that don’t and that’s fine.

The problem I had and have observed is still a problem today is people don’t know where to go and what to do. 
 

I ended up at that freebie pyramid place for about a week and still didn’t know where to go. I left the freebie pyramid still looking like a noob, and this was years before mesh bodies and parts. After all that, when I got some landmarks and some suggestions, I still was clueless.
 

That’s the problem right there, even after you do all of the noob training you have no clue what to do, where to go or even how to look as good as everyone else. Which basically means you didn’t really learn anything at worst, at best you know about a fraction of what everybody else knows.

The destination guide is a good start, but there’s still no guarantee that you won’t end up in a bunch of places where people are just standing around or just a bunch of bots juking the stats. The question becomes how does LL place newbies somewhere where they’ll be actively engaged in a social way, where they can get up to speed?

 

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At this day and age, as a noob, I'd be rather pissed off if I'd double click on that pair of legacy clothing layer pants and my inventory would be telling me that I was wearing them, but on my mesh body I would see nothing. I'd quickly conclude that the game was totally broken and be off to greener pastures.

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48 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

I don't know what the solution is. In order for a brand new avatar to succeed (stay) they have to be really determined, and I'm not sure all that many are when faced with such frustration right up front. I see them all standing around wondering what's supposed to happen next. I'm not noob-friendly (I'm too impatient) so I don't engage with any of them to see what they think or what questions they have, but there are always a handful of shiny new peeps just standing there and I fear every one of them is a lost opportunity or lost revenue for LL. 

There just has to be a better way. 

u hit the bull eye, when i first started out, its exactly like you said, all standing there wondering what to do, as a guy who play tons of multiplayer and rpg game, i don't really wanna sit down there reading all the tutorials, modern games introduce their tutorial as you progress through the story line, usually there's side or main quests, so people would at least know where to go or what to do next, if most people who expected that something should follow up after the tutorial ends but nothing happens next, probably that explains why lol

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Perhaps there should be a "Summon Help" button for new users which could send off a request to an experienced residents group and one of them would be able to teleport to that new user. These helpers would be trained on the new user experience and have a lot of places landmarked. They could also group chat with other helpers if there is something they don't know. I think residents are more flexible than having a static welcome area which may not be updated regularly. A resident would know all the small bits of knowledge that can make SL more enjoyable. 

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21 minutes ago, Bree Giffen said:

Perhaps there should be a "Summon Help" button for new users which could send off a request to an experienced residents group and one of them would be able to teleport to that new user. These helpers would be trained on the new user experience and have a lot of places landmarked. They could also group chat with other helpers if there is something they don't know. I think residents are more flexible than having a static welcome area which may not be updated regularly. A resident would know all the small bits of knowledge that can make SL more enjoyable. 

The only problem I see with this is, there is a class of user that expects everything they don’t know how to do, to be done for them: ie I don’t know how to do a shape, can you do it for me? I don’t know where the Maitreya store is. *gives a landmark* Can you tp me there?

I agree with what you’re saying, but that type of user is seriously time consuming and a drain on resources, helpers.

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I think a lot depends on the type of person signing up.  I joined 5 years ago, before the current version of the Welcome Islands, but after the mentors that I've read about were around.  I'm probably strange, but I'm the type of person that likes to know about what I'm getting into, so I had read some things in the forums, watched some LL produced you-tube videos, and after creating my account, read the things under "What Next?" on the account dashboard, and took a look at some things in the Knowledge Base.  Once I got to the point in the process where I could TP someplace, I went to different places under the Newcomers section of the Destination Guide.  I remember going to the Fairy Circle and Caledon Oxbridge and doing new user tutorials at both of those places.  Somewhere I had found out about Free Dove, and went there to get some different clothes and found the dressing rooms available there.  

It does take a bit of work, perhaps, but information is available.  It might not be in the form that people used to playing other online  games might be used to, but SL is so varied in what can be done, and the people who sign up are so varied in why they are trying out SL and what they think they want to do, I'm not sure if additional general guided tutorials would work for everyone either. However, it does seem like that is what the tutorials at the various newcomer friendly places offer - a further tutorial, sometimes in a simple quest type format, that provides a repeat of some of the basic functions, but also additional information and skills, and may be located in a themed area.   Other newcomer friendly places - like the Shelter - might not have a tutorial as such, but do offer staff that can answer questions and information about other places to see or things to do, as well as dressing rooms and the ability to set home.

Wasn't the purpose of allowing Community Gateways - like the Firestorm one - a way for established groups or communities in SL to create a new user experience that was more focused or targeted than the general one?   

The bottom line, I think, is that SL is an open experience rather than a defined game, and that the more effort one puts into learning and trying/exploring different things and different communities, the more one will get out of it.  It's really hard to tell someone what they should do next, because there are so many things that could be done next depending on what interests one has.

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1 hour ago, Arduenn Schwartzman said:

At this day and age, as a noob, I'd be rather pissed off if I'd double click on that pair of legacy clothing layer pants and my inventory would be telling me that I was wearing them, but on my mesh body I would see nothing. I'd quickly conclude that the game was totally broken and be off to greener pastures.

1) Noobs are no longer given mesh bodies except or a handful of "vampire/monster" avatars that I'm not sure are even exposed to sign-ups.

2) When I started, 9 1/2 years ago, I was perplexed to discover that the sliders to adjust my hair length/color didn't. And I'm still here.

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1 hour ago, sceneris said:

u hit the bull eye, when i first started out, its exactly like you said, all standing there wondering what to do, as a guy who play tons of multiplayer and rpg game, i don't really wanna sit down there reading all the tutorials, modern games introduce their tutorial as you progress through the story line, usually there's side or main quests, so people would at least know where to go or what to do next, if most people who expected that something should follow up after the tutorial ends but nothing happens next, probably that explains why lol

This will not work for SL because SL is not a game. There is no story line. There is no story line because SL is not a game.

LL needs to figure out how to streamline the process and Keep It Short and Simple.

And if LL has restricted signups to being able to select "gender" only and not a specific avatar like what I've been seeing some people indicate, they need to put it back the way it used to be and allow new signups to select the avatar of their choice from the ones that are available (unbeknownst to newbies) in our inventories.

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1 hour ago, janetosilio said:

From my experience as a new user 10 years ago, I already understood how to control my avatar how to put on and take off clothes, how to unpack things, etc. I understand that there are people that don’t and that’s fine.

The problem I had and have observed is still a problem today is people don’t know where to go and what to do. 
 

I ended up at that freebie pyramid place for about a week and still didn’t know where to go. I left the freebie pyramid still looking like a noob, and this was years before mesh bodies and parts. After all that, when I got some landmarks and some suggestions, I still was clueless.
 

That’s the problem right there, even after you do all of the noob training you have no clue what to do, where to go or even how to look as good as everyone else. Which basically means you didn’t really learn anything at worst, at best you know about a fraction of what everybody else knows.

The destination guide is a good start, but there’s still no guarantee that you won’t end up in a bunch of places where people are just standing around or just a bunch of bots juking the stats. The question becomes how does LL place newbies somewhere where they’ll be actively engaged in a social way, where they can get up to speed?

 

When I was an actual newbie over 12 years ago, I found plenty to do immediately, and within a week found a place I would have stayed with forever, if it had lasted. Now I log in and spend 2-3 hours just trying to find someplace even just tolerable, then give up. And this is after spending several months (and a lot of money) trying to move on from the past and find new purpose in SL.

At this point I have decided I am no longer the audience for SL and just don’t log in except to clear messages occasionally and donate the Lindens I have accrued to my sister’s clan. 

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It should be noted that Sinespace’s new user experience is very similar to SL. Beautiful to look at, they give you a little starting cash. 
 

Again, I could move around, spent about a half hour fiddling around with my avatar. Logged out, never logged back in. Why? Didn’t feel engaged.

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