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Second Life on Social Media


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The Second Life community's presence on various social media platforms has been a topic of conversation lately with discussions about which platforms are most welcoming to and user-friendly for SL users. I thought it could benefit various SL users (such as but not limited to virtual photographers, machinima artists, musicians, communities, organizations, sim builders, explorers, bloggers, creators, business owners, shoppers, and external socializers) to have and/or voice input and opinions about how users like to interact, share, connect, and get information about the Second Life community.

The following is a user-created survey regarding the Second Life community on social media and other external sites/apps. The goal is to gain and share insight into accessibility and preferences surrounding social, commercial, artistic/creative, and general SL content outside of SL itself. The "Other" option can be used to submit additional responses. https://forms.gle/5g1pQDcL2ddX24eK6

Edited by Gwen Ghostly
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Posted (edited)
46 minutes ago, Ingrid Ingersoll said:

Where is the furry option in this poll?

I'm not sure what you mean by a furry option. Can you elaborate?

The questions are meant to be about Second Life users of all sorts and their preferences regarding external social, commercial, and artistic SL content. Furries in the SL community would fall under SL users. The avatars an SL user has don't factor into this particular subject, but there are other surveys for body/form/avatar polling.

If you mean the first question, asking what someone does in SL may offer insight into correlations between certain SL activities and social media. For example, do store owners prefer one platform while artists prefer another? Furries and other varying avatar types can fall under any category for what they do in SL, so the response to this particular survey should focus on a user's activity and use, not details of their identity. There are spots where people are welcome to leave information if they find any platform less or more welcoming to their identity, subculture, etc. though! My survey is focused on all SL users as a demographic, but if anyone surveys about social media and more specific demographics within the SL user base, that'd be interesting.

Edited by Gwen Ghostly
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8 hours ago, Gwen Ghostly said:

 I thought it could benefit various SL users to have data about how users like to interact, share, and get information about the Second Life community.

The goal is to gain and share insight into accessibility and preferences surrounding social, commercial, and general SL content

for who and what exactly? (who are those various SL users?)

More spam and advertisement?

for $ 40 i'll fill in the form ( nót L$ !)

Edited by Alwin Alcott
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I got stuck at the first question. The forum I would describe as social media, but the question appears to clarify that to mean external social media. So now I am confused what the first question means and can't proceed without potentially giving a false answer.

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55 minutes ago, Aethelwine said:

I got stuck at the first question. The forum I would describe as social media, but the question appears to clarify that to mean external social media. So now I am confused what the first question means and can't proceed without potentially giving a false answer.

Some people wrote the forums here as an "other" response, so that's a way to do it!

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1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for who and what exactly? (who are those various SL users?)

Any SL users who can open a Google Form Responses tab. The responses have been public from the start. I think it's valuable to seek external opinions.
 

1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

More spam and advertisement?

There have been recent complications regarding SL users and social media. It has been especially hard on virtual photographers. Many people of various sorts (if anything, excluding spammers and advertisers because policies on external platforms remain the same regarding them) have been concerned, which has led to plenty of general discussion that the survey was inspired by.

Questions specifically ask about commercial activity separately to provide information for those who do seek to use social media that way, because things like shopping or finding events using social media advertisements are popular for various reasons. A survey on preferences won't increase anyone's exposure to opt-in marketing that must be opted into via things like following/subscribing. A commercial entity—let's say a dance club—knowing that people prefer a specific social media site to see marketing content also won't influence the amount of spam or advertisements received in Second Life. I don't think I quite get this point, but I'm happy to try with a bit more elaboration.

1 hour ago, Alwin Alcott said:

for $ 40 i'll fill in the form ( nót L$ !)

The survey is optional and unpaid. It's been floating around SL social media, and someone suggested I post it on the forums to offer a more diverse array of SL users the chance to weigh in. No one is expected to respond, but the option is there for those who want to.

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3 hours ago, Gwen Ghostly said:

Some people wrote the forums here as an "other" response, so that's a way to do it!

I muddled through, but I think it could have been designed better. The question that initially stopped me on the first page was in fact 2 questions I wanted to answer yes and then no to them but it only gave opportunity to answer once for both so I had to answer no.

My experiences with external social media - primarily specialist  forums is that interest in them falls off rapidly and it isn't long before you start wondering why you are duplicating what you do in world on a different platform for people that were and are perfectly happy getting the information from group notices.

Blogs and similar can be a good way to present information, manuals, wikis and githubs but they aren't really social media anyway.

Edited by Aethelwine
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I remember an enthusiastic person in one of my groups set us up a discord channel, they helped me join it. But it's an alien environment to me and had soon lost my way and seemed unable to find anything except threads about cute animals. Nice enough but Google does that as well I think about 4 people ended up joining our discord and then we all forgot about it. In world group chats and notices serve their purpose for my needs 

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3 hours ago, Gwen Ghostly said:

There have been recent complications regarding SL users and social media. It has been especially hard on virtual photographers. Many people of various sorts (if anything, excluding spammers and advertisers because policies on external platforms remain the same regarding them) have been concerned, which has led to plenty of general discussion that the survey was inspired by.

This is vague. I am active in SL and on social media and must have missed said 'complications' and it 'been specially hard on virtual photographers'. Also, how will this survey help?

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19 minutes ago, Caitlin Tobias said:

This is vague. I am active in SL and on social media and must have missed said 'complications' and it 'been specially hard on virtual photographers'. Also, how will this survey help?

I believe, though I could be wrong, that may be referring to Flickr and new rules about commercial activity on free accounts that are affecting Second Life photographers/bloggers who post there with credits.

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Ok, here are my comments on each element of the Survey:

- Very first question, I assume "Creator/Designer" includes "Scripter".

- "Do you use SL social media or sites?" Without closely reading the next line (and comments in this thread), it is not clear that this is really only referring to "external" social media - NOT SL sides (example: not this Forum).

- "What type of content do you engage with or share outside of SL?" - The options given assume you "contribute" to the sites (network/share/chat/connect), not just "read" the information on the sites. This implies you only want to hear from people who contribute to the sites - NOT, for example, those who get their fashion/shopping info from the sites.

- "Which sites/apps do you use to view or interact with Second Life content?" - This one seemed OK, I did not see anything missing.

(Skipped a few that were pretty clear..)

- "Do you use external sites/apps to improve or inform your shopping experience in Second Life?" - This question is in disagreement with the question above which assumes you "contribute" (share, etc.) to the sites.

-Note that on going back through the survey, it somehow skipped from Page 2 to Page 4..

 

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50 minutes ago, Ayashe Ninetails said:

I believe, though I could be wrong, that may be referring to Flickr and new rules about commercial activity on free accounts that are affecting Second Life photographers/bloggers who post there with credits.

Yeah, could be. But then the survey would be about Flickr and not 'social media' in general?


And those rules on Flickr are really not new, but recently reinforced after having given people the time to adjust their posts or their account.

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2 hours ago, Caitlin Tobias said:

Yeah, could be. But then the survey would be about Flickr and not 'social media' in general?


And those rules on Flickr are really not new, but recently reinforced after having given people the time to adjust their posts or their account.

True! I haven't jumped into the survey yet. Still working through my coffee, but I'll peek soon.

And yeah, Flickr started that crackdown a while ago, but I've heard rumblings about it recently again, so I thought maybe they updated the rules or changed something. I haven't posted there in a few months, so I'm a weeee bit behind.

Edit: Survey done. Easy peasy.

Edited by Ayashe Ninetails
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9 hours ago, Aethelwine said:

I muddled through, but I think it could have been designed better. The question that initially stopped me on the first page was in fact 2 questions I wanted to answer yes and then no to them but it only gave opportunity to answer once for both so I had to answer no.

As in you wanted to change your answer? There should be a means to edit your response. Apologies for the design. In an ideal world, I'd have liked something more customizable.

9 hours ago, Aethelwine said:

My experiences with external social media - primarily specialist  forums is that interest in them falls off rapidly and it isn't long before you start wondering why you are duplicating what you do in world on a different platform for people that were and are perfectly happy getting the information from group notices.

Blogs and similar can be a good way to present information, manuals, wikis and githubs but they aren't really social media anyway.

Many people share your sentiments about external social media, duplication, and falling off (myself included). I did, however, find people who shared that view but valued links in group notices and large, clear visuals on external sites alongside in-world content, and other such tools. When I say "accessibility," it does apply to people finding what they want where they prefer, but it's mostly about people with particular preferences for content. Some have expressed wants for and from an external site to aid their activities in SL. Those preferences can be brought on by differences in information processing, neurodivergence, and more that aren't always considered.

Blogs can be a great solution, but some people prefer exposure to various topics in one source, whereas sites like blogs are often more limited in content to specific subjects.

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10 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

I took the survey.

A couple of the questions didn't make sense, and one should have had an "N/A" option. 

 

Some questions may have lacked an N/A option due to being not required, so they can just be skipped.

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9 hours ago, Caitlin Tobias said:

This is vague. I am active in SL and on social media and must have missed said 'complications' and it 'been specially hard on virtual photographers'. Also, how will this survey help?

Sorry for the vagueness. Not going into detail was done to avoid seeming I was promoting or condemning any particular platform. There are great arguments on all sides for many social media sites, and I believe that people should use whatever works best for them. However, people often wish for more people to "switch to such and such site" and don't realize why others don't want to or haven't.

I'll go into more detail in my responses to comments, but I wanted to make sure I also addressed yours. As for how this survey will help, the truthful answer is that I don't know for certain. What actually happens and what I hope could happen are two different things, but I can say that I think varying perspectives on matters are rarely a bad thing. I, for one, have gotten insight I didn't previously consider that has already impacted how I use SL social media.

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9 hours ago, Ayashe Ninetails said:

I believe, though I could be wrong, that may be referring to Flickr and new rules about commercial activity on free accounts that are affecting Second Life photographers/bloggers who post there with credits.

Flickr is one part of the spark that began more discussion, but it isn't the only part, and not really about the commercial activity on free accounts part because that's a 2 year old matter. DeviantArt, X, Discord, and Pinterest (to name a few but again not all) have also played into things due to policy changes or matters like AI.

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1 minute ago, Gwen Ghostly said:

Flickr is one part of the spark that began more discussion, but it isn't the only part, and not really about the commercial activity on free accounts part because that's a 2 year old matter. DeviantArt, X, Discord, and Pinterest (to name a few but again not all) have also played into things due to policy changes or matters like AI.

Ohhh, AI, yep, that makes sense. Sites are definitely working on policies surrounding that.

Thank you for the clarification! 

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9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

- Very first question, I assume "Creator/Designer" includes "Scripter".

I intend creator to mean anyone who creates content for Second Life. This includes scripters, modelers, and texture artists. Some people have written in "Scripter," as well.

9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

- "Do you use SL social media or sites?" Without closely reading the next line (and comments in this thread), it is not clear that this is really only referring to "external" social media - NOT SL sides (example: not this Forum).

Initially, the goal was to focus on third-part social media and the SL community's presence on them and use of them. Obviously, this forum is made for SL users and I don't think there's a question of whether people want reasons to use it or not. However, all opinions are welcome and I feel that diversity of opinions can be really eye-opening, which is why most questions have spaces to write in additional answers. Responses and results are open to differences in opinion and interpretation.

9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

- "What type of content do you engage with or share outside of SL?" - The options given assume you "contribute" to the sites (network/share/chat/connect), not just "read" the information on the sites. This implies you only want to hear from people who contribute to the sites - NOT, for example, those who get their fashion/shopping info from the sites.

"Engage with" encompasses looking at, reading, or interacting with in some way from the standpoint of a "reader" or "viewer." Someone presents something and you engage with that something. This is to imply a desire to hear from the very people you mention. The only thing that wouldn't fall under engaging with content would be solely contributing content or entirely ignoring content with none glanced at or read.

"Share" encompasses contributing as well as things like reposting or otherwise generating original content or passing content of others along.

The word "view" in the answers was used in place of "just read the information on the sites," but in a way to apply to images without text. So the options are basically:
"You contribute or look at advertising"
"You contribute, pass on, or look at creative things"
"You socialize with people"

 I'm not sure how those could change to clarify that the survey isn't just for contributors of content. Contributing is intended to be just one means of possible interaction with such sites, with "viewing" also specified.

9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

- "Do you use external sites/apps to improve or inform your shopping experience in Second Life?" - This question is in disagreement with the question above which assumes you "contribute" (share, etc.) to the sites.

 

A person can view art on the sites independently of using sites as a tool for shopping. This particular question was inspired by a number of individuals who voiced that they use specific sites as a tool to better organize or otherwise enhance their shopping experiences. The assumption prior is not contribution, but specifically asks about contributing or viewing, and contributing or viewing or both does not indicate that the purpose includes viewing content as an organizational, visual, etc. aid. Also, a person can contribute or just view content to a site and also view commercial content as an aid.

9 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

-Note that on going back through the survey, it somehow skipped from Page 2 to Page 4..

 

People who answer that they do not use SL social media get sent to a different page to ignore all of the questions that involve using SL social media. The way Forms handles it jumps around pages.

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9 hours ago, Caitlin Tobias said:

Yeah, could be. But then the survey would be about Flickr and not 'social media' in general?

Flickr is only one piece of the whole picture, but you're absolutely right that it's about other things, too.

9 hours ago, Caitlin Tobias said:

And those rules on Flickr are really not new, but recently reinforced after having given people the time to adjust their posts or their account.

Also correct. The Flickr part of this is not about the rules that started being enforced years ago. Flickr has actively been terminating some accounts without notification, time, or any contact for reasons that directly conflict with their own stated rules. There has been shifting, imbalanced enforcement of vague, shifting, or unstated expectations regarding moderation levels. To give a very simplified idea, here are just a select few examples that I've been made aware of:

  • Users warned, moderated, or deleted due to error and variance in moderation, suggesting that Flickr may not have clear enough standards and guidelines by which they enforce this.
  • Users with no-contact removals of their accounts due to sharing links to free music alongside their art.
  • Users with no activity or contributed content other than favoriting the work of others losing their accounts without contact.
  • Users with no-contact deletion of their accounts due to plain text underneath. The rules state "Only Flickr Pro members are permitted to link directly to a shopping cart, checkout page, or pricing pages on other sites. Flickr Pros may also list prices for their products in their Flickr photo descriptions." Plain text descriptions do none of that.

Whether people agree with some of these enforcements or not, the issue is that they are unstated or are entirely not what is specifically stated. It's hard to know to stand in the blue square when the floor is painted green.

I've been in contact with Flickr and one such example was asking about how they intend to handle links that direct to exploration or photography spots versus links to commercial locations such as stores and shopping events. The response was, "Links or any call to action to SecondLife events, mainstores, marketplaces, etc. are all considered commercial activity since real money is used to obtain in-game currency." This could imply that all of Second Life is considered a commercial platform and all SLurls are an offense, though unstated. I asked the lines between a RL photographer crediting locations and gear or tools used versus and virtual photographer crediting non-commercial locations and content used in the spirit of Flickr's Community Guidelines' goals to be a place to "to inspire and assist the photography and art of others." The response was "Thank you so much for your feedback and time. I have shared your comments with the policy team and we will discuss further."

Only time will tell on that front, as they mentioned creating new policies to state these matters that are still being enforced ahead of any further communication to users. In the meantime, debates about this subject and other platforms are still ongoing and people aren't always aware of other points of view or information.

For example, people were discussing SL use of DeviantArt and many were completely surprised to learn that DeviantArt now has policies regarding more adult content. Even those who do not post adult content had something to think about because they previously had believed DeviantArt to be a great place for all sorts of SL users to view or contribute certain content like art. Restrictions on adult content can mean more hesitance to join and less views for even someone like a G-rated SL machinima creator. That's something to consider. And plenty weren't aware of DeviantArt and matters of debate such as AI.

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9 hours ago, Ayashe Ninetails said:

True! I haven't jumped into the survey yet. Still working through my coffee, but I'll peek soon.

And yeah, Flickr started that crackdown a while ago, but I've heard rumblings about it recently again, so I thought maybe they updated the rules or changed something. I haven't posted there in a few months, so I'm a weeee bit behind.

Edit: Survey done. Easy peasy.

They have updated regarding content moderation levels. They haven't updated anything regarding commercial activity but have unstated rules they've recently begun enforcing that they don't seem to have fully decided upon and discussed, but they are acting upon them to varying degrees. And, of course, people are getting mixed and contradicting responses regarding it all.

Other topics have also included Pinterest's moderation and false flagging of content incorrectly as not family-friendly. DeviantArt with practices artists don't agree with such as everything from AI to the removal of features. X being...well...X. Bluesky's lack of video and gif support. A desire to ask for my.secondlife to be revamped and gauge SL user interest in that (those questions were requested by someone curious about and contemplating ways to push for that). Folks who took this time to point out how they use external sites as assistive tools for their Second Life experience and they have opinions about things like being limited to certain platforms they hate, especially on sites that require they sign up to view. 

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