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Question #2 Community-service mentoring


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Sixteen thousand (16,000) people sign up on SL a day.  How long do they last here?  The learning curve is pretty steep.

What do you think of a public service mentoring program where more experienced members (3-4 years) help newbies learn the ropes?

Mentors could contribute a few hours a week (or more).  If LL deems fit, perhaps there could be a small stipend.

It would be like a buddy system.  Unsure how long a partnership should last.

And maybe it should be administered and managed by residents.

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Sixteen thousand (16,000) people sign up on SL a day.

That number just doesnt seem right , the Math just isnt there  to suport  it.

If you took 16,000 a day  x 4 weeks >28 days Thats 450,000 (about)

Then Go to  http://gridsurvey.com/economy.php?page=17

And look up  logins weekly , monthly, and go  back to  09 . the numbers dont change alot . 

Where are all these people going, unless all these new people are alt's or we have about as many leaven sl as comeing.

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Some are certainly alts but SL is tough unless you have some reason to be here (there?) 

If you show up 'cause you heard SL was interesting what do you do when you get here?  Nothing.  You get to one of the newbie islands and then what?  Most likely you start asking people "how do I play this game?"  The response you get, although correct, isn't helpful" "It's your world, make what you want of it."   It is too much.  Too overwhelming.  So they leave.

I've brought ~30 college students in world with only a 2 currently active.  My first group was just told that they would meet for class in two weeks.  It worked, but just barely.  Even the student who should have loved SL left after class and hasn't been back.

Second group was told to explore and learn how to function in SL.  Better, but again no one stayed.

There has to be something for the newbies to do that will engage them.  The next group I bring in will be assigned to explore a handful of specific locations and meet a handful of specific people.  I need to learn if this is what is refered to as a "hunt."  Giving them a small number of specific tasks to accomplish will, I think, engage them more fully.

I still don't expect many of them to stay--they are in college surounded buy new people--but I think the notion of an egaging first experience is they key. 

Of the two that are currently active, one mentioned running into two folks who took an interest in helping her, which created a positive experience for her.  She may well stay around.   

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Linden Lab shut down the Mentors program a few years ago.  Many reasons for that but not least of which is that LL could not maintain control of the mentors and because of that the program became almost a Linden Lab sponsored griefing organization.  Second Life, being a completely anonymous virtual world some mentors used that anonymity to steer newbies to clubs or shops to increase the traffic for those place back when camping to increase traffic was not outlawed......a newbie needing a few $L were given landmarks to a club or shop that the mentor's alt owned and told to camp for $L3 per 20 minutes (which to a newbie sounds like a pretty good deal).  Mentors within the group often had petty spats with other mentors and actively undermined each other (much like those silly high school "Cheerleader) B grade movies where a clicque of the "popular girls" beat up on the unpopular girls).  Some mentors even gave out copybotted content to the newbies (only heaven knows why).

It would have taken a dedicated staff of Linden employees at a 1 to 10 ratio to maintain control of the mentors.  That is something LL just did not want to do and I can't blame them.  Grown adults acting like 14 year olds in Jr High School.  One of those great ideas that won't work out due to the pettiness of a small percentage of people.  Volunteer programs work great as long as adequate supervision is provided.........but how does anyone supervise someone who is anonymous and has the ability to work under a disquise (and alt account)?

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I think this is one of the biggest problems with SL and has been the case throughout it's existence. If anything, the new user experience seems to have deteriorated in recent years especially now we no longer have volunteer mentors to lend a helping hand in welcome areas although the mentors all went a bit off the rails after a while so not sure if we are better off without them. The retention ratio is shocking and I would love to see what percentage of new users stick around in SL after the first week when compared to MMO's and other virtual worlds like IMVU.  

Just a bit of thought, commitment and money could really revamp the whole system for integrating new users. They need to be instantly engaged, inspired and intrigued and impressed, LL have a very small window within which to catch a new users attention and retain it and if I was in charge of the Second Life that would be my #1 point of focus.

So what has Rod Humble done to improve the new user experience and drive up the retention ratio since he arrived over a year ago? Anyone know?

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Athena Bedrosian wrote:

Sixteen thousand (16,000) people sign up on SL a day.  How long do they last here?  The learning curve is pretty steep.

The learning curve can be very steep for many I guess. Today I had a bit of experience of this. I met an avatar, two weeks old. He was asking me how to remove all his clothes as he could not, however much he tried (he said that he already had the male part... :matte-motes-wink-tongue:). Sure, I knew that he was wearing a skin with clothes painted on it.

So, I told him that he needed to go skin shopping. "Have you got any money?" I asked. "No" he replied. Ok, so I TPed to a freebie place. Before I TPed I told him to wait for my TP offer. In the shop I IMed him and sent TP offer. No reply. Hmmm... I waited for a while and TPed myself back to him. I asked him "why didn't you come?". "What? Where were you?" he asked.

I asked him that does he know what is an IM window? Of course he didn't. Ufff... I started to explain and finally he got it. Back to the shop. I sent TP to him. Woah, after a while he appeared there. Progress! This is starting to look promising.

The buying... I asked does he know how to buy things. "Buy things, what's that?" he asked. (At this point I started to wonder how the "male part" had found its way to his inventory, lol). Grrr... not promising at all. We spent some fifteen minutes before he learned to buy! He was telling and telling that he cannot find the item in the inventory. Well, when he finally did find it, naturally enough he wore the box.

I started to teach him that he must open the box and copy the items to inventory. He was all question marks. What, what, what...? Finally he got it. Well, the shop was no rez area, so I told him that we must go to a place where he can rez the box. I TPed to a place, sent TP offer to him. He did not come! Instead he sent me TP offers back to the shop! Argghh.. at this point I almost gave up.

Well, I could not leave him in trouble like that. So I explained over and over again that he must click the "Teleport" button in his IM window to TP to my location, not to offer me TPs to his location in the shop. Bummer, sure enough the TPs had some clitches. I changed my location, sent TP offer again. Finally after a lot of struggle and explanation he was by me. Phew...

I explained then that he must grag the box from his inventory on the ground. Hmm.. the box magically appeared in his hand. "No, no, don't wear it!" I mumbled. After many attempts the box was finally on the ground. Applauds! I explained then how he must click on it and copy the contents to inventory. He got it. "Now you can wear the skin" I said. He wore the box again! (Is this really so difficult I was thinking to myself?).

After some more explaining he was finally wearing the bought skin. I saw it perfectly at once. He could not see it yet. I told him just to wait for a while (I explained about lag and slow rezzing). Finally he saw the new skin on him. Success! All the above took about an hour for us. He was thrilled and very happy of all these new skills what he had learned. I was happy too, our time was not waisted, something was gained.  :smileyhappy:

Many basic simple things can be very confusing and frustrating for new residents. It's no wonder if many leave very quickly if they get no help. Many are impatient, they want to know everything at once. Which, of course, is impossible.

 

Some compulsory new resident training, in some sheltered location,  would be a good thing before one would be allowed to enter to the wild world. One sees "born today" avatars running about like headless chicken in all kinds of places. I wonder how they got there at once without any basic skills?

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As well as the official mentoring groups that others have mentioned in this thread, that were dissolved, more recently, LL did beta test something akin to a "buddy" system.  On the world map you will still see two Greeter Island sims, and during the beta testing phase, which only ended a few weeks ago, avatars with the surname of Helper - who presumably were trusted long-term residents - manned these two sims, and on the Official Second Life Viewer, there was a button at the bottom of the screen that offered a direct teleport link to the Helpers at Greeter Island.

Residents old and new were welcome to go there, where any and every question could be posed, but mostly when I visited there were brand new residents asking the same questions - like the newbie that Coby recently helped (wow, you have immense patience, Coby, and yes, isn't it amazing how some of the newbies are incapable of shopping and dressing, and yet somehow they manage to find and fix a pen1s!!!).

However, I think after about two or three short months, the Greeter Islands had to be closed down because the Helpers all had nervous breakdowns (or something), a viewer update was put out there, and this option to teleport directly to help is no longer in existence.

I was very lucky in that I met some tremendously kind people when I first started in Second Life, and one particular person became my mentor.  I will always be grateful to him for showing me such patience, and for teaching me more than the basics, and in turn I've attempted to "pay it forward", as I think a lot of the residents who stay in Second Life tend to do instinctively.


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