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Is this new round of mentors a good idea?


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1 hour ago, Nika Talaj said:

Well, there IS the first Second Life University video, from Strawberry, which teaches viewer basics.

You could also go to one of the welcome hubs - I just went to BelliHub - and walk through the orientation, which gets you to use the viewer.  It would be a good exercise for anyone wanting to be a Mentor.  Interestingly, the welcome video (from Abnor) tells people twice that they should find a Mentor if they have questions.  So this program better get off the ground pronto!  The second stop in the walkthrough features a screen grab of the viewer, which gives you an explanatory popup whenever you touch a button. 

While there, I said hello and welcome to a newbie and she promptly disappeared. A very common mentor experience! 

They have dressing rooms there, too.

Unlike mainland infohubs, it appears you cannot set home to BelliHub, even if you are premium.  But it does give you a LM when you arrive, and the orientation teaches about them.

 

I am past the level of having to learn how to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time! I normally have an S/L viewer on my desktop in case of needing to compare an FS beta version with what's supposed to be the standard. I also have taken the tutorial classes from Firestorm as well as paying attention to both the FS beta group and the regular FS support group and seeing some of the complexities people need to get into to maintain or fix the differing problems that arise, I am pretty confident in saying that the Lab will not have anywhere near that level of support for their viewer. 

A large part of mentoring is also relaying to the new person where to find ongoing help with problems that crop up and if the Lab wants to insist that newbies be educated in their own viewer, they should darn well get off their butts and provide that to at least the level Firestorm does or I simply would be lying to these new people that the SL viewer is the best thing since sliced bread.

Maybe the real question is why I should bother signing up with this mentoring group at all with these stipulations, when I already help those I run across with problems I can help with, according to what I am familiar with already. What is the lab planning to do for those who do so? I am not looking to be  paid for it but I'd at least like to hear what they intend to teach in the classes they are talking about giving and must be attended. 

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54 minutes ago, Arielle Popstar said:

I am past the level of having to learn how to walk and chew bubblegum at the same time! ...

My point was not that you needed instruction in how to use SL LOL, but that in looking over the current SL viewer training mentors would have a better feel for what the newbies may already haven seen.  You said that there is no SL viewer training, I was just pointing out what LL does provide.  I'm sure that most, if not all, of the participants on this thread are expert users, and in fact many are expert teachers.

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On 6/8/2023 at 2:02 PM, Coffee Pancake said:

Please. Hire these people. Make them contractors. Minimum wage

The mentors should pay Linden Lab a recurring fee for the privilege of mentoring. There should also be an application fee for applying to be a mentor. Linden Labs needs more revenue and this is another way to get it.

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5 hours ago, Sammy Huntsman said:

Just to let you all know, this is a volunteer position.

Thank goodness it's not like something we could be "voluntold" for! That'd be like in a RL job when you're "volunteered" by the boss to do something, which really means "being told to do it".

Those poor Moles!

 

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2 hours ago, rasterscan said:

It's high time LL made FS the official viewer imho. Put yer hands in yer pocket and do the right thing LL. Then you'll get some mentors.

I'm in SL since 2007 and enjoy the LL viewer every single day.
Catznip as a good second, depending on what I'm doing.
And I'm sure that I'm not the only one.  People who decide to stay in SL will find another viewer if they need to.

The first days in SL are about: how do I walk, fly, sit on a chair, get a freebee box open, learn the basics about inventory and how to keep it tidy starting the first day, how to purchase L$, how to TP, how do I get and use a landmark ......
Where is the sex going on? Why do I have a friends list, what can I do with it? How do I chat, IM, use voice, how to tweak my avatar, how to change underwear....

All far more essential things than luring them into one of the IMHO over estimated viewer cults.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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8 hours ago, Arielle Popstar said:

Maybe the real question is why I should bother signing up with this mentoring group at all with these stipulations, when I already help those I run across with problems I can help with, according to what I am familiar with already. What is the lab planning to do for those who do so? I am not looking to be  paid for it but I'd at least like to hear what they intend to teach in the classes they are talking about giving and must be attended. 

I'm inclined to think it's a good idea to dissuade mentors who'll only be mentors if they can do what they're already familiar with. I remember a year or so after I started setting up an alt at Free Dove so that account looked brand new. A "helpful soul" decided to help me with my hairbase because it was showing. Well, the helpful soul was using Viewer 1.23, which was a few years out of date at the time, and my hairbase actually looked fine in the viewer I was using. They then got all huffy and acted like I was a lost case because putting on a new hairbase didn't "fix" the problem because it was only a problem on their end.

Oh, by the way - if you're looking for an object you dropped/rezzed that you can't find, "Pathfinding -> Region Objects" beats "Area Search" like a rented mule. Try it - it's in all viewers and has been around for around ten years.

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13 hours ago, Innula Zenovka said:

 

It's not a question of explaining concepts, though.   I'm thinking of answering simple questions on the lines of "How do I do this?"

Let's compare some of the menus in the two viewers.    Here's the first one on the left on the Official Viewer, next to the first on on Firestorm.   Different names, and completely different items.

2ff7a9d0bc97bd8189dc2c0cd1428fc5.png  7f6eb707b0f62e751ef78064c44fdd7f.png

 

 

Second menus

feda7f1c35d392183546ce561acd1177.png 3974b2b358f12094bde42e9228ae2e82.png

 

Third menus

714fe826e680f40d8cfbd65f1de28292.pngaaa455c6610136e7a52a472f88997bb7.png

World menu on the Official Viewer

75a600b1ecf43fee73038bc5ecdbd392.png

 

Unless you're using the same viewer as the person you're trying to help do something, the result will be complete confusion.

 

Okay you've convinced me, I'll go grab the official viewer and familiarise myself with it. I'd like to help out SL if I can.

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11 hours ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

I think the biggest issue for me is the lack of compensation. Minimum wage in Massachusetts is $15 an hour.. That would be $30 minimum pay per week for me as a Mentor. I think a good compensation for Mentors at a minimum would be free premium plus. Possibly with a stipend boost for as long as they are mentors. 

in the USA, as animats pointed out earlier, is all about the US labour laws

when a company gives any form of compensation for an activity that is in recognition of a service performed for the benefit of the company then the activity falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act and when so is subject to compensation stipulations. There are exemptions in the Act, like compensation for babysitting, community services, etc, which are not subject to stipulations, but a helpy person in a virtual world is not one of the exemptions (not in the literal list of exemptions anyways)

Linden already sailing pretty close to the edges of the Act and I think any kind of payment (even if dressed up as costs reimbursement) would probably tip them over the edge - at least insofar as a answerable case that could be brought by the US Department of Labor should a complaint be laid

so don't anyone be expecting any form of compensation at all

i could be wrong about this and Linden have some kind of legal opinion which says Second Life is a community service, so yeah might have or might not have, dunno.  But I would think the matter would have been run at least once thru legal already

 

Edited by elleevelyn
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48 minutes ago, elleevelyn said:

in the USA, as animats pointed out earlier, is all about the US labour laws

when a company gives any form of compensation for an activity that is in recognition of a service performed for the benefit of the company then the activity falls under the Fair Labor Standards Act and when so is subject to compensation stipulations. There are exemptions in the Act, like compensation for babysitting, community services, etc, which are not subject to stipulations, but a helpy person in a virtual world is not one of the exemptions (not in the literal list of exemptions anyways)

Linden already sailing pretty close to the edges of the Act and I think any kind of payment (even if dressed up as costs reimbursement) would probably tip them over the edge - at least insofar as a answerable case that could be brought by the US Department of Labor should a complaint be laid

so don't anyone be expecting any form of compensation at all

i could be wrong about this and Linden have some kind of legal opinion which says Second Life is a community service, so yeah might have or might not have, dunno.  But I would think the matter would have been run at least once thru legal already

 

Yes, I know.. I live in MA, which is in the US. The only compensation stipulations they would need to follow are wages or an equivalent compensation for time/services rendered. They could easily pay people in $L. Or give them free Premium membership. Put a cap on Weekly hours worked. 

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You get payed for 2 hours a week (in L$). If you do more, you are doing it voluntarily.
That should be possible too right?

Plus: 

- a (first name here) Helper  or  a (first name here) Mentor account, with a hand full of standard avatars to chose from as working outfit. Only to be used during working hours. No essential alterations allowed except maybe some details: a different hair, a beard or a set of sunglasses etc

- a ton of note cards and screen shots with simple how to explanations for all the targeted situations. So how to fly, how to walk, how to get a free bee gift in and out the inventory, how to buy L$, how to use a chair etc etc etc.

- strict rules about what a Helper/mentor does and does not do as part of their job.
I don't think it is part of the job to lure people into something, like a certain viewer, certain mesh body designers, certain clothes manufacturers etc.  Only general help for a starter.
The last thing SL needs is self importance, drama and hidden agendas from helpers/mentors.

That way, I might consider doing my share of official helping.
But I will not trow my Sid Nagy account under the bus for it.

 

Edited by Sid Nagy
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31 minutes ago, Drake1 Nightfire said:

Yes, I know.. I live in MA, which is in the US. The only compensation stipulations they would need to follow are wages or an equivalent compensation for time/services rendered. They could easily pay people in $L. Or give them free Premium membership. Put a cap on Weekly hours worked. 

yes

if Linden did compensate people then it would mean that Linden would have to pay the equivalent of the federal minimum wage (or more in US states where the min wage  is higher)

Linden tho have made no mention that the role is a paid position. So I am unsure on what grounds Linden have determined that SL mentor is a voluntary position. It may be that Linden do see it as a community service, which I think would be the same basis as getting people to volunteer as a helper at the SL Birthdays

what the legal position would be on this interpretation I dunno. But I am pretty sure that any payment at all of any kind would bring them a whole lot closer to the Act than they would find comfortable

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8 minutes ago, Rowan Amore said:

They could be paid as independent contractors which takes most of the normal responsibilities of the employer off the table.  Legally, they aren't employees.

True, though if they go that route, I can't see minimum wage remaining on the table. We get slaughtered at tax time - but then, I'm not someone who can write off everything under the sun at present (my friend can in his line of work - lucky so-n-so), so it hurts, lots. 😂

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20 hours ago, Nalates Urriah said:

We'll have to see how it goes. I don't see how they are doing anything significantly different this time around than last.

When the Lab turned off the last previous mentor/helper teams they explained the stats revealed those using mentors left sooner than those that did not use mentors. Eliminating mentors increased retention. 😵 Which doesn't make sense to me. But it is hard to argue with simple stats.

If what's said here is true then unless a different approach is taken, the outcome will most likely be the same.

To answer the topic question: Doesn't look like the chances for it turning out it to be a good idea are favourable.

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21 hours ago, Nalates Urriah said:

When the Lab turned off the last previous mentor/helper teams they explained the stats revealed those using mentors left sooner than those that did not use mentors. Eliminating mentors increased retention. 😵 Which doesn't make sense to me. But it is hard to argue with simple stats.

I dunno.  Let's give it a shot.

My first question of these simple stats would be, what populations are we comparing?      I never encountered any mentors because my first introduction to SL was when a friend introduced me.   He emailed me a slurl and told me, after I'd set up an account, to log in at a particular time by clicking on it, and he'd meet me at his home in SL.  When I did, he gave me a brief intro to SL and was around to answer questions until I'd found my feet.   So I didn't need any mentors.    And since Innula was my second or third account, neither did she by the time I created this account, or any subsequent alts (which I did, and still do, quite frequently for testing purposes).

What, I wonder, would the figures look like if -- and if such a thing is possible, of course -- you were to exclude alts and to compare populations who received mentoring from friends, people who received mentoring from mentors, and people who received no mentoring at all?

 

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2 minutes ago, Innula Zenovka said:

I dunno.  Let's give it a shot.

My first question of these simple stats would be, what populations are we comparing?      I never encountered any mentors because my first introduction to SL was when a friend introduced me.   He emailed me a slurl and told me, after I'd set up an account, to log in at a particular time by clicking on it, and he'd meet me at his home in SL.  When I did, he gave me a brief intro to SL and was around to answer questions until I'd found my feet.   So I didn't need any mentors.    And since Innula was my second or third account, neither did she by the time I created this account, or any subsequent alts (which I did, and still do, quite frequently for testing purposes).

What, I wonder, would the figures look like if -- and if such a thing is possible, of course -- you were to exclude alts and to compare populations who received mentoring from friends, people who received mentoring from mentors, and people who received no mentoring at all?

 

Here's a theory: those who used the previous Mentors program were those who really needed it. Subsequently, whether or not they stayed / were retained is less a reflection of the Mentors program, and more of those who just don't "get" Second Life.

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The problem with stats and retention is .. what counts?

Are we looking at people who came back more than once? Or people who stayed a month .. or people who stayed for years.

It's entirely anecdotal, but a solid percentage of my  active and online friends list are accounts old enough to have been mentored. Some of my longest friends are people I mentored.

LL have spent all the years after mentoring closed down chasing the churn. Short term gains, people in, growth. Maybe they finally worked out they need to focus on the core customers and padding their ranks.

Fewer people staying years is better than many people staying a week.

Edited by Coffee Pancake
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On 6/8/2023 at 2:02 PM, Coffee Pancake said:

Please. Hire these people. Make them contractors. Minimum wage. Make them work under dedicated accounts with the last name Mentor.

Actually, not paying the mentors can be a violation of the Fair Standards Labor Act in the US because the wage (zero) is below the federal minimum wage.

 

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