ON CALL - Support News and Information

You are currently in the Blog Archive. All content within this area is Read-Only and cannot be modified. Active Blogs can be found here.

Changes to the Support System

by Linden on ‎06-17-2010 12:19 PM

We have recently made some important upgrades to our Support  System. You may notice that things look and feel a bit different. You'll also notice an overall easier  way to engage the Lab for your Support needs.

Tickets, Chats, and Now  Cases

We're  introducing a new term to our Support lexicon, a "case." What is a  case? A case is a collection of contacts about a particular issue. Those  contacts may be tickets, chats, or phone calls. The goal is to have a  single case per issue to maintain continuity throughout the resolution  process. In some ways you can think of cases like tickets, except we'll  be rolling up other tickets, chats, and calls into it for a more  holistic view of your support issue.

What to Expect in the new  system

Overall,  communicating with us about support issues will be easier. More  specifically, you can expect to see the following:

  • Clean  Interface: The new case pages have been streamlined and simplified,  only asking for information relevant to the issue type you choose.
  • No More Special Questions: We've eliminated the  "Special Questions" category, the source of a lot of Resident confusion.
  • Replying to our Emails adds Status  Update to Case: Not only will our Support emails look better, but  they will also allow you to hit "Reply" and update us on your issue.  Your response will automatically be added to your case, giving you  another way--in addition to Support History--to provide additional  information to help us solve your issue.
  • New  Live Chat System: Our new Live Chat system, launching in  conjunction with our new Support system, is built on Flash technology  and enables us to quickly create a new case, or add to an existing one,  from a Live Chat.
  • New Support History  Interface: The Support History interface, for both current and past  cases, will allow you to update your open Support cases and review  closed ones. We will soon migrate your Support History from our current  system.  Your ticket history has already been migrated, and your chat  history will be migrated next week.
  • Contextual  Help Available: We are piloting a program that offers you specific  Knowledge Base content, and other relevant links, when certain issue  types are selected to help you solve your issue quickly without needing  to contact Support directly.


These changes will improve your  Second Life Support experience and help us to resolve your Support  issues more quickly.  We'll continue to keep you up-to-date on our  implementation progress and we look forward to hearing how you like the  new system.

As a reminder, the fastest way to always get answers to your Support questions is by using our  self-help tools: Second Life Wiki and SL Answers.


It takes time to get the hang of a new Viewer, especially one with all of the extra bells and whistles that came with this week's Viewer 2 launch. Both seasoned Residents as well as those new to Second Life have been exploring our new UI and quickly discovering all the places it works best, and those where it is less intuitive. Over on the Support side of Linden Lab, we've been seeing a variety of questions pop up over the past couple of days. Here's a little Q&A featuring some of the most common ones that might be helpful.

Q: Why does it keep logging me out? How do I make it stop?
A: By default, you're logged out if you are "away" for 30 minutes or more, but you can change this setting to 2, 5, or 10 minutes, or if you'd prefer, have the Viewer never log you out. Here's how:
1. Select the Me menu.
2. Choose Preferences from the dropdown menu.
3. Go to the General tab and set your preferred auto-logout time.

Q: These dance moves are totally uncool. How do I stop all animations?
A: Use the Advanced menu to stop animations:
1. Press Ctrl-Alt-D to expose the Advanced menu. (Command-Alt-D on the Mac; some Mac keyboards require Shift-Command-Alt-D.)
2. Click the Advanced menu.
3. Click Stop Animating Me at the top of the menu.

Q: How do I see my altitude?
A: Right-click the address bar and a menu will appear. Select Show Coordinates and you'll see the coordinates of your position, including your altitude.

Q: How can I see transparent items?
A: Here's a quick keyboard shortcut:

  • On a PC: Control + Alt + T
  • On a Mac: Control + Option + T

Q: Where is the statistics bar?
A: Here's another one that's now located in the Advanced menu:
1. Press Ctrl-Alt-D to open the Advanced menu.
2. Click the Performance Tools menu.
3. Choose from the Statistics Bar, the Lag Meter, and the Show Avatar Rendering Cost options.

Q: I can't teleport! What do I do?
A:
The troubleshooting techniques are the same for the new Viewer. Here are a few useful ones to get you started:

  • Find out if the Region you're trying to reach is down or is going down. Check status.secondlifegrid.net for details.
  • Try flying up and then teleporting. If the Region you're currently in has restrictions preventing you from teleporting, that should do the trick.
  • Reduce your Avatar Rendering Cost. Remove all attachments—especially all scripted ones—by right-clicking your avatar, and then choose Take Off > All Attachments. Then try teleporting again. You can reattach everything once you're at your desired destination.

Q: I just logged into the new Viewer, and I'm a cloud. What happened?
A:
Looks like lag! If all you see is a ghosty blob where your avatar should be, you're probably just experiencing some lag. Things may be rendering slowly on your end, but others may see you just fine. If this is a frequent issue, try using a wired high-speed Internet connection rather than WiFi. And if you can right-click yourself and select My Appearance, then going into Appearance Mode and back out again can assist you in rendering fully.

Q: I went shopping inworld and the package still hasn't arrived. Did Viewer 2 steal my hair?
A:
We've been hearing reports of some Resident-to-Resident delivery failures. It should just be temporary, but if your item hasn't arrived within 15 minutes, you should probably contact the merchant—just in case.

Q: Is this as good as it gets?
A:
Thanks to your thorough tire-kicking and reporting, we're compiling a list of bugs to squish and improvements to make. The awesomeness of Viewer 2 isn't over yet—lots of cool stuff is on its way! Our QA and Development teams are hard at work, and we'll keep you posted as they release more, better, and bug-free features.

Want to know more about Viewer 2? Take a look at some of our other useful resources:

Meet Jeska Linden

by Linden on ‎03-25-2010 05:11 PM

Every community needs a champion. In case you haven't had the good fortune to cross paths with her inworld, Jeska is a seasoned Linden in Customer Relations and Support and is all about making the Second Life community a better place for everyone. (She also has awesome hair.) Find out more about what she's up to inworld and out.

Linden Name: Jeska
Team: Community Team
Position:
Director of Community
Years in SL:
Almost 6 years. I started at Linden in 2004 and although I wish I was cool enough to have found Second Life before then, in actuality, I signed up for an account about a week before my interview.
Hometown:
Detroit, MI

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab?
Mostly geeky-related stuff. I worked for a few dotcoms in the midwest during the initial bubble, then spent a few years in Colorado where I learned to snowboard and got my Master's degree (in Digital Media). I also spent some time working at an art museum in San Jose, which was a great learning experience.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab? My day is filled with communication. Lots of meetings (primarily inworld) with project teams and individual team members, tons of emails and project documentation. I also try to keep up on our blogs, external SL-related blogs, and other industry news when I have a chance.

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld? I like to explore. And shop. I really, really like to shop. Especially for prim hair and avatar clothing. I'm a bit of a virtual clotheshorse and am a bit prim-hair obsessed. I've found that this has seeped over a bit into my real life—since working at Linden, my real life hair has morphed to look more and more like some of my favorite inworld prim hair.

Why did you choose this particular look for your avatar?

Jeska-Linden-March2010.jpg

While I have a ton of different "looks" for my avatar in my Inventory, she tends to remain primarily human in form and casual chic in dress. I think I've used the same shape/eyes for the last few years, varying the hair/clothes/accessories. Last year for Ada Lovelace Day, I wrote a blog post highlighting some of my different looks for my Jeska Linden avatar over the years.

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
If I could pull a Superman and fly around the world in a blink of an eye, I think my first stop would be New Zealand. I've never been, but have always wanted to visit—it looks like such a lovely place. Take in the mountains, beaches, and get home in time for dinner.

What album/song is in your play list rotation right now?
I'm a huge music fan and am very excited that my favorite band, Barenaked Ladies (BNL), will release their new CD All in Good Time on March 30, therefore their new single "Every Subway Car" has been in heavy rotation. The three albums currently topping my iTunes playlist: Peter Gabriel's newest Scratch my Back (cover songs); A Singer Must Die, by the Art of Time Ensemble with Steven Page (former BNL lead singer); and Lungs, by Florence & the Machines (which has had HIGH rotation since I picked it up last fall).

Sometimes premium subscribers need love and understanding too. Whether you're already a premium account owner or are just thinking about taking the plunge, you might be curious to learn more about Second Life from a premium perspective. As requested by Support blog readers, here are some of the commonly occurring topics we see in support from Premium subscribers.

When will my stipend arrive in my account?
Residents with premium accounts are paid L$ stipends (aka an "allowance") each week. Stipends are paid on Tuesdays, based on database information gathered on the preceding Monday. Premium subscribers receive their stipend every week, whether they log in or not. If it doesn't arrive on Tuesday, you should submit a ticket through the Support Portal.

I'd like to claim my Linden Home—what do I do?
SHO opening day.jpg
Linden Homes are available to Premium subscribers as an additional benefit—at no additional cost for those without mainland holdings. From the secondlife.com website, simply choose a theme, a house, and a name for your home, and once you agree to the terms and conditions, you should be good to go. Things to keep in mind:

  • You will use 512 sqm of your available Land tier.
  • Parcel sizes can't be changed.
  • Terraforming is forbidden.
  • Only one parcel per account.
  • Buying or selling of land is prohibited.
  • Zoned as non-commercial. No event or classifieds.
  • Houses are permanent.
  • No commerce activity.
  • No sky boxes can be built.

By the way, if you already claimed your Linden Home, now's a good time to go and play with the new Linden Home Control Panel, which you can use to make additional customizations to Linden Homes.

I just bought some land. How do I find it?
First off, congratulations! The map will take up to 24 hours to find the region, but there are three ways you can get into the island before the map finds it.
1. Fly in from a neighboring island.
2. Specify the region's name as your "Start Location" on the login screen. (If you do not have this option, go into Preferences and it's on the General tab.)
3. Access World > My Land.

Once you've arrived, create a Landmark. Landmarks will work even if the inworld map hasn't updated. You can use it once you leave the new region or give a copy to a friend to find it. You can find your new billing information in the Land portal, under My Land. Private islands appear here.

I'd like to grant some land to a group. How do I do it?
1. Right-click the land and select About Land.
2. Click the Set button.
3. Select a new group for the land from the Groups window.
4. Click the Allow Deed to Group checkbox.
5. Click the Owner Makes Contribution With Deed checkbox.
6. Click the Deed button.

And once you're ready, you can sell group land back to yourself. See How do I reclaim land that is deeded to a group? from the Knowledge Base.

Information about other popular topics among premium subscribers can be found in the landowners section and the group-owned land section of the Knowledge Base on the Second Life Wiki. Enjoy!

Supporting You with Viewer 2

by Linden on ‎02-25-2010 02:12 PM

The enhanced features, contextual help, and slick new user interface are what most people notice first about Viewer 2. (And if you haven't installed and played with Viewer 2 yet, you're missing out.)

But, what you don't see are all of the fulfilled Resident requests behind the scenes.

From bug reports to Resident wish lists, some requests came directly to our Development team from Residents through the Public issue tracker (PJIRA), and some came their way via Resident interactions with our Support team. The common thread among all of these Resident-driven directives is that you asked, voted, and got them in Viewer 2. Here are some of the biggies that we've already taken care of for you:

New Features & Improvements

  • 724 Votes - VWR-812: Ability to add alpha to base avatar skin
  • 542 Votes - VWR-1449: 3 New Avatar Layers - 2nd Tattoo layers between existing skin/tattoo layer and clothing layer
  • 366 Votes - VWR-11397: Smaller Avis without being Tinys or More features for poor Tinys
  • 145 Votes - VWR-16455: Allow inventory pointers to no-copy items
  • 13 Votes - VWR-10311: Enable LipSync by default

Bug Fixes

  • 79 Votes - VWR-5474: secondlife:// URLs not working any longer - even on the SL-Website
  • 35 Votes - VWR-138: Animation Priority not working correctly, Can't create new AOs
  • 28 Votes - VWR-9065: (intermittent) Right Click > profile on avatar does not display profile
  • 27 Votes - VWR-6432: Space Navigator operation with vehicles is broken

Want to know more? Here's to an at-a-glance view of some of the differences between 1.23 and 2. Also, check out the full list of key PJIRAs taken care of through the Viewer 2 Beta release and the release notes. Don't forget: This is a beta launch, so we're still poking, prodding, and testing the release. If you encounter any bugs, please check our Known Issues list first, and if they're not showing up there, report those bugs here. For discussion of Viewer 2 among your fellow Residents, head to the Viewer 2 Forums.

For additional support, we've got everything from a QuickStart Guide to a full library of demos here in the Resources section, and Wallace posted some additional FAQs here. The further secrets of Viewer 2 are revealed in the all-encompassing Viewer 2 Help pages on the Second Life Wiki.

We hope you enjoy the new Viewer 2 experience that your suggestions helped us build!

Getting unstuck

by Linden on ‎02-23-2010 12:00 PM

We've all been there. Getting stuck inside or outside of Second Life is no fun at all. Here are some of the related laments we see come in through Support tickets—and some tips on how to handle them.

CagedOtter.jpg

I can't log in!

First off, take a look at the box in the top right-hand corner of the login screen. If it says "OFFLINE," then the Grid is having issues. Check status.secondlifegrid.net to see what's going on. If it says "ONLINE," it may just be that the Region you're attempting to log into is down, so try choosing a different Region via the Start Location dropdown menu on the login screen.

Other technical impediments may be at work on your end as well, like firewalls or system compatibility with the Second Life application. For more help, check the Stuck Logging In Knowledge Base article and the System Requirements page.

I'm a ghost!

Assuming this is not related to your preferred appearance in Second Life, being an unwitting ghost could be due to a couple of different issues:

1. If you've logged in or teleported to a new location and all you see is a ghosty blob where your avatar should be, you're probably just experiencing some lag. It's possible that everyone around you sees you just fine, but things are rendering slowly on your end. If this is a common issue, you might want to make sure you're plugged directly into your high-speed Internet access. Sometimes things rez slower when you're on a wireless connection.

2. If you didn't log out properly (i.e., the Region or your computer crashed), other Residents may be treated to visions of your avatar's ghost. Spooky! A truly "ghosted avatar" is when you see another Resident's avatar but they aren't really there—you may even be able to walk through them. Waiting a few minutes usually remedies the situation. If you're still having issues after waiting a bit, send in a ticket and the Support Lindens can release your avatar's troubled spirit and you should be good to go.

I can't teleport!

Is the problem that you can't teleport at all, or is it that you can't teleport to a specific location? Any number of reasons could be forcing you to stay put. Here are a few common ones:

  • The Region you're trying to reach could be down or going down. Check status.secondlifegrid.net. Or maybe the Region you're currently in has restrictions preventing you from teleporting. Try flying up and then teleporting.
  • You don't have clearance to land. If you have not been verified as an adult (or your settings are not compatible), you're probably not going to get into an Adult Region. Or, if you've been banned by the Region owner, your attempts to teleport there are not going to work. Depending on the issue, you can get age-verified, change your settings, or contact the Region owner to see if they'll grant you access.
  • You're not traveling light. Try removing all attachments—especially all scripted ones—by right-clicking your avatar, and then choose Take Off > All Attachments. Then try teleporting again. You can reattach everything once you're at your desired destination.

For more solutions, check out the troubleshooting page in the Knowledge Base—including a great Torley tutorial!

I'm trapped by a griefer!

Popular among griefers, the cage gun is an annoying method of immobilizing another avatar. If this happens to you, file an Abuse Report immediately by selecting Help > Report Abuse or by simply right-clicking the cage and choosing "Report Abuse" from the pie menu. All you have to do to escape is teleport to another Region. Or, if you're the owner of the Region, right-click the cage and choose Delete. In addition, you can make your escape by sitting on another object, which prevents them from doing anything to you.

For more tips on dealing with griefers, check out the Tips & tricks section (scroll down to the bottom of the page) of our Abuse Report article in the Knowledge Base.

Safe Second Life travels!

As part of our ongoing work to improve the Second Life experience we will be making a minor change to our Abuse Reporting system on Friday, February 19th.  Those of you who use our Abuse Report system to tell us when you're having trouble with other Residents will be familiar with the auto-response email you receive after filing an Abuse Report.   Currently, the auto-response includes an Abuse Report number in the subject line.  On February 19th the Abuse Report auto-response will be changing and it will no longer include an Abuse Report number.

This number was a legacy hold-over and hasn't been required for some time as we can locate your Abuse Reports from your account name instead.  So if you need to contact us in reference to an Abuse Report please just let us know the account name you filed it from, and the approximate time and date you filed it.

Many thanks to all Residents who file Abuse Reports; your efforts help make Second Life a place for all Residents to enjoy!

For more information on our Abuse Report System, including how to file one, please visit the Second Life wiki: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Abuse_report

In search of support

by Linden on ‎02-11-2010 04:59 PM

In my most recent blog post, I asked for some feedback on what you'd like to learn more about in the On Call Support blog. (And many thanks to everyone who took the time to give me your suggestions!) I will address as many of them as I can as quickly as I can.

But I thought I'd start with one of the important basics: How does one contact Linden Lab for support? Excellent question! It really all depends on where you are and what you need. Here's a little Q&A that might prove helpful.

Q: I am having problems in Second Life! What do I do?
A: Go to the Support Portal! You'll find the Second Life Wiki, which contains the complete Knowledge Base and houses additional helpful content from experienced Residents. Speaking of Residents, you might want to try posting your question in Second Life Answers, where Residents can respond directly to your specific question—sometimes in a matter of minutes. Feel free to post your question for discussion with the Second Life community in the forums too. And don't forget the Second Life Blogs! If you have an issue that requires the assistance of a Support Linden, you should visit the Support Portal to find the resources you might need, including tickets, Live Chat, phone support for Concierge-level Residents, and Billing phone services (scroll down a bit and look on the right-hand side of the page to find the numbers).

Q: Are there support resources for international Residents and non-English speakers?
A:
Yes! As we've previously blogged, our localization team has been busy! At present, the secondlife.com website is available in seven languages (including English) and the Second Life Wiki is available in 13 languages (see the In Other Languages sidebar)—with more articles being translated through the Community Translation Project all the time. There's also a German Support Portal and Japanese Support Portal. For those who speak English but live abroad, international toll-free phone support for billing inquiries is also available to a number of countries 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Dublin_001.jpg

Q: I just have a quick question—do I really need to go to the Support Portal? Can't I just find a Linden inworld and ask him or her?
A:
Lindens are by nature pretty helpful folk. But we're also specialized—and not everyone is on call for support requests. At any given time inworld, we may be working on bug fixes; we may be building new features; we could be meeting with other Lindens to get information to work on another Resident's ticket. As much as we'd like to, it's simply not possible to stop what we're doing to answer all individual requests inworld. The Lindens who are ready, willing, and able to assist you, and our other helpful resources, are available through the Support Portal—so please go there first. When it comes through the Support Portal, it's easier for us to gauge the severity of an issue—whether it's affecting one person or 100.

Q: But a griefer just dropped a house on me! I need help!
A: Sounds like you should submit an Abuse Report. To file an official Abuse Report, select Help > Report Abuse from the menus at the top of the Second Life Viewer window. Linden Lab does not get involved in Resident-to-Resident disputes, however, so be sure to only submit reports for actual inworld abuse. For RL issues, like harassment outside of Second Life, you should contact the police.

For more information about inworld abuse, take a look at our Guide to Filing an Abuse Report. But here are a few tips for what to do when you're in the middle of the situation:
1. If you simply need to get away, try teleporting out of the area.
2. If you're being pushed, sit down on an object.
3. If they're bothering you via IM or chat, mute them.
4. If they're on your land (or they follow you home), kick them off your land and change the access to your land so that they can't come back.

And if they're abusing you on a regular basis, make sure you file an Abuse Report each and every time so that Linden Lab has a clearly documented pattern of behavior.

Q: Someone filed an Abuse Report on me—and I swear I didn't do anything! What do I do?
A: Sometimes, alleged griefers are simply Residents who made a mistake. Say you're new and someone gave you a pretty box to open. Once you opened it, it started to replicate like crazy and filled up a whole Region, subsequently crashing it. Ooops. The Region owner may not take kindly to this and may send in an Abuse Report, naming you as the culprit.

The RESI team investigates situations thoroughly prior to taking any action. If you feel that there were extenuating circumstances that should affect a decision or if disciplinary action was taken and you think it was unfair, you are welcome to appeal the suspension.

For more about the brave souls who take your tickets and investigate inworld abuse, check out our RESI team post.

Q: I'm having problems with Xstreet—do I still go to the Support Portal?
A: Yep! You'll find useful Knowledge Base articles there and you'll still use the same ticketing system to contact our Xstreet support experts. Keep in mind, however, that we do not get involved with Resident-to-Resident disputes, but we are happy to help you with other issues you might encounter as a shopper or merchant.

Q: I have a Basic account—can I still get support?
A: Yes! You can still send in tickets on a variety of topics. If you decided to upgrade to a Premium account, you would also get the option of Live Chat. It's like an IM conversation, but with a Support Customer Service Representative. And Concierge accounts also get the option of phone support. Submitting a ticket and then coming into chat to inquire about its status actually slows down the process, as the same team handles them both. You can track the progress of your ticket by visiting the Second Life Support Center and clicking on My Support History on the top of the screen. When your ticket has been updated, you will also get an email to the address on file on your account.

Calling all Support blog readers!

by Linden on ‎02-01-2010 04:02 PM

I've been writing the On Call: Support News and Information blog for a little while now, and honestly I could use your help. I'd like to know how this blog can be more helpful to your Second Life experience.

Sometimes our posts are announcements of groovy new features or improvements within Second Life or at Linden Lab, and sometimes they pertain to support-related topics that Residents have asked me about via email or inworld. I usually learn more from your comments than I do in researching content for the blog (LOL), so I'm turning to you, faithful readers, to tell me what you would find useful!

I'm here to help support your Second Life, so put me to work! What would you like to know more about?

1. Topics that are commonly asked about through tickets, chats, and support calls.
2. More about Customer Relations and Support: what we do and who we are.
3. Ways that you can participate to help other Residents and Linden Lab.
4. What else? While this isn't the forum for submitting tickets for individual issues, if you've got something that you've always wanted to know about (but were afraid to ask), please let me know!

inspirespacepark.jpg

Feel free to comment below or send me a notecard inworld. Any helpful suggestions are most appreciated!

Thanks, everyone!

Reduced Support Next Week

by Honored Resident Maurice Linden on ‎01-22-2010 03:53 PM

Next week, many members of the Linden Lab Customer Relations team will be attending all-day training events.  As a result there will be fewer Lindens than normal available to help.  Our inworld governance and anti-fraud efforts will not be affected by the training and will continue as normal.

So what should you expect if you contact Support next week?  Most things won't change, but you will notice a few differences.  First, you may be re-directed to tickets more frequently than usual.  Second, our ticket responses will take a little longer than usual.  We will be triaging time-sensitive and critical issues to make sure they are addressed in a timely manner.

Once the training has concluded, Support will be returning to normal.  It may take us a few days to work through the ticket backlog, but rest assured that will be our top priority.

Meet Courtney Linden

by Honored Resident Kate Linden on ‎01-20-2010 08:15 AM

In May, 2009, Courtney Linden kicked off our "Meet a Linden" blog series, designed to help you know more about what we're doing in Support and at Linden Lab. This month, we turned the tables on Courtney - we hid her blog pen, and we're putting her in the spotlight! Get to know more about the Linden who gives you an inside look.

Linden Name: Courtney
Team: Programs Team, Customer Relations & Support
Position: Special Projects Tech Writer
Years in SL: 1.3
Hometown: Los Gatos, California (San Francisco Bay Area)

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab?
I'm a natural-born communicator, and I've gravitated toward jobs that have allowed me to inform, persuade, or inspire: grantwriting, podcasting, tech writing, blogging, marketing, editing, and copywriting. I've been very fortunate to make a living doing what I love.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab?
I know my fellow Lindens have often said the same thing, but it's tough to identify the activities of a "typical" day. Many different tasks come my way and change on a daily basis. I might be working on our On Call blog or our internal blogs, I could be working on documentation for our customer service reps or internal tools, or I might be working on special projects to enhance communication and collaboration at the Lab—I'm flexible!

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld?
Shopping is always a fun leisure activity, and it affords me ample opportunity to meet other Residents and chat about their wares. I'm also a nature lover, so you'll often find me in botanical, seaside, or underwater settings—just exploring and admiring the amazing builds produced by our imaginative Residents!

Why did you chose this particular look for your avatar?

CourtneyLindenSmall.JPG

Isn't my kimono pretty? I just love the sleeves! This was one of the first outfits I purchased in Second Life and it's still on heavy rotation in my wardrobe. I grew up in a household that had a steady influence of Asian art and culture, as my Dad traveled to Asia several times a year for business and made many friends who came to visit us regularly. I finally had the pleasure of visiting Japan and Hong Kong when I was 12 and the trip made a lasting impression. In RL I own a beautiful wedding kimono (a gift from my Dad) that I would wear if it were possible to actually dress myself in it! LOL!

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
The Greek islands. While a cruise sounds pleasant, I think I would prefer to simply TP over to Greece and start flying around to soak in the abundant history, art, and beauty of the islands.

What album/song is in your play list rotation right now?
I'm irresistibly drawn to soundtracks—they have an amazing power to set a mood. Lately I've found myself listening to the soundtracks from these films: Frida, Juno, Garden State, and Elf (hey, it's the holiday season). I've also been listening to a great mix of Hawaiian tunes recently and absolutely adore Jake Shimabukuro's cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps."

In case you missed them, check out some of Courtney's "Meet a Linden" blog posts: Resi Team Data Linden Tescalation Team  Mia Linden Pathfinder Linden Colton Linden Niko Linden  Doc Team Teeple Linden  Matias Linden

Now where did I put my hair?

by Linden on ‎01-07-2010 03:47 PM

Some people prefer to wait for spring, but I prefer to conduct my cleaning and organizing rituals in January. It starts with a wardrobe purge and usually ends up being an accessory hunt as I search for (and sometimes find) orphaned socks, that sweater I meant to dry clean, and the missing flip-flop from last summer.

I also enjoy doing a little Second Life inventory control at this time of year—finding those treasures that I forgot I bought but love to wear. I get a little thrill from each rediscovery. This year's tour through my virtual closet, however, made it clear that my organization efforts were long overdue.

My fuzzy boots are nowhere to be found. And I can't—for the life of me—remember where I put that black-and-red hair with the curly pigtails. Did I buy it with an outfit or on its own? I know I put it somewhere...

Hair_001.jpg

Based on the number of Knowledge Base articles, Second Live Wiki pages, SL Answers questions, Forum discussions, and submitted support tickets from the general Resident population, I'd hazard a guess that I'm not the only one who has inventory control issues. So, if you're on the search for your favorite hot pants or just don't want to lose them, here are a few tips (that I'm resolving to follow too).

Inventory control tips

1. Name it. Find a naming convention that works for you so you'll remember where to look for stuff. And as soon as your newly acquired items arrive in your inventory, don't forget to name and file them accordingly. Use special characters in naming your folders to sort them differently and make them visually stand out. For example, you could use ":: ARCHIVE ::" so they alphabetically appear above other folders in your inventory.

2. Store it. Get a storage prim for stuff that you love but don't use all the time. Storage prims don't allow you to store things in folders, so be sure they're things you aren't going to want to retrieve on a regular basis. No-copy items are also good to keep stored—just in case. (If you do happen to lose a no-copy item in a storage prim or in your inventory, contact the SL merchant who sold it to you. Many vendors will be kind enough to replace no-copy items.)

Be sure to label your storage prims (this technique is colloquially known as "cube-stuffing") so you're sure you can find them and unpack them later as needed. It may sound obvious, but WOW will you be sad if you forget to do so! Repeatedly check contents to make sure they're leading. After a few hundred items are loaded, refreshing is slow.

And if you've got some cool scripts, save them as text documents somewhere safe.

Check out Torley's excellent videos to learn more about inventory naming, organizing, storing, and filtering here:

- http://vimeo.com/4168762

3. Trash it. Throw things away. If you really don't see yourself wearing that rainbow propeller hat you picked up for free six months ago, it's okay to toss it. Choosing memorable naming conventions will make it a lot easier to save the stuff you know and love and trash the stuff you don't. If you can't remember what's what, go to a sandbox or other space where you can rez stuff en masse, then pick out what you want to keep.

Inventory recovery steps

You've looked in every folder and your favorite poncho is just gone. Or is it?

1. Look in the Lost and Found or the Trash folders in your inventory.

2. Clear your network and browser cache and log back in to a quiet region. And if at first you don't succeed, do it again and again.

3. Install the latest version of Second Life. If you're already using it, uninstall and reinstall it.

For more tips, check out the complete inventory recovery article in the Knowledge Base. If your poncho is still missing, file a ticket through the Support Portal. And don't worry: Basic and Guest accounts are eligible to submit inventory-related tickets too.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Meet Matias Linden

by Linden on ‎12-14-2009 12:12 PM

Now here's a Linden you'd definitely want to meet—he pays Residents! Introducing Matias Linden, another great member of the Customer Relations and Support team at Linden Lab!

Linden Name: Matias
Team: Billing Support
Position: Process Credit Coordinator (I pay Residents)
Years in SL: 2
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab?
I worked for an advertising specialty company doing sales and marketing. I have also worked for an insurance company as well as taught surfing lessons.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab?
A majority of my time is spent overseeing the Residents' process credit requests. I coordinate with other members of the team to make sure the Residents' requests are processed within five business days. I also review Resident payment requests via bank wire and initiate the payments. I analyze all of the data that I process and determine ways to make the process more effective for Linden Lab and more efficient and secure for the Residents.

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld?
My good buddy Milton (Linden) and I love to explore. We recently found a really cool wave to go surfing on.

Why did you choose this particular look for your avatar?
Matias Tube 4_1.jpg

My avatar is going with a nautical look topped off with a solid mo' (moustache). I topped it off with the mo' because I really can't grow one in RL but I want to.

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
I would fly to Indonesia and explore the many island chains.

What album/song is in your playlist rotation right now?
The latest Beyonce is on heavy rotation on my playlist. I can always count on Beyonce to get me super pumped to pay our Residents.

Just when you thought I was done talking about the Second Life Wiki...

Exciting news! We have now embedded the Wiki with integrated Google Search, making it faster and easier to get better search results. With our Google Custom Search appliance, your search will now delve into the Wiki and the Knowledge Base at the same time, bringing up your desired content with increased speed and accuracy.

Here's how to find it: Whether you're on the Wiki Main Page or the Knowledge Base, simply look to your left and you'll see the Search tool. Easy peasy, right?

Picture 4.png

Why are there two buttons?

  • Go—Goes to an exact page if your search phrase matches it, "traditional" Wiki behavior. For example, type "Xstreet" and click Go. If there's no exact page—for example, "xstreet rules"—it does a Google search, same as below.
  • Search—Does a Google search for your phrase across all pages.

And remember: Boolean operators help you narrow down results further so you can find exactly what you're looking for. Torley will be doing tips showing you how to get the most out of these.

As a frequent visitor to the Knowledge Base and Wiki, I hope you'll be as thrilled as I am with your next search results!

You heard it here first

by Linden on ‎12-01-2009 05:19 PM

I had the pleasure of visiting with some of you at the Doc Team's office hours last week, and I got some great feedback that I've been thinking about ever since.

Some Residents had questions about the new opportunities for volunteers and about the Resident Help Network (RHN), and others hadn't heard anything about it. After we answered some questions and forwarded some pertinent links, it became clear that some Residents simply weren't sure where to find the latest news on what's going on at Linden Lab and associated programs within Second Life.

Many said they frequented the Forums and occasionally checked the blog or website, and wondered if there were a way for us to push information directly to them whenever we had something to announce. We do: Subscribe or follow!

EmailSubscriptionPhoto.jpg

From RSS feeds to Twitter and Facebook, we have a variety of ways for you to get information about Second Life and Linden Lab through a portal of your choice.

I hope these links help you find what you need!

For those of you who are already getting the updates you want, what methods are you using? What works for you?

Just who exactly are these documentarians, anyway? As part of Customer Relations and Support at Linden Lab, the Documentation team (aka Doc team) manages wiki reviewer volunteers, writes customer-facing documentation, and handles all forms of media—Knowledge Base articles, videos, Second Life Tips n Tricks (TNT) blog, Second Life knowledge Q&A (by Kate), and more—related to helping you find the information you need to pursue your Second Life. But how, you may ask, did they get started? And why? Let the story unfold...

AWESOME+MOD.jpg

Back in 2007, fresh-faced Jon and Jeremy joined the Lab with their starry-eyed goal of revamping the Knowledge Base (KB). What they discovered back then was a loose collaboration of FAQs and articles housed in a system that didn't have a search function (well, it did, but it didn't work for terms that had three letters or less, oddly enough). Together they plowed ahead to not only edit but also to organize the KB in a way to make it easier for Residents to find the information they needed. In addition, Jon and Jeremy created the first Style Guide, their product of peer collaboration to help enhance understanding of the framework used to disseminate information about SL (e.g., is it a Window, a floater, or a Dialog box?).

The Doc duo soon found themselves in need of more documentarians, snagging the support of two more Lindens: Kate and then Torley. While he initially wasn't formally a technical writer, Torley wrote chunks of F1 Help in 2006 and edited the wiki back in 2005 (which predates the current one). Along the way, he bounced from team to team, but as Jack Linden astutely observed, "The videos are a support tool"...and eventually after restructuring, he found his home amidst this Fab Four!

Now fully staffed, the Doc team was able to whip the Knowledge Base into shape and expand into other forms of media, adding videos, Twitter and Facebook feeds, and blogs to their documentation scope.

As you may have recently read or discovered for yourself, the Knowledge Base is now on the Second Life Wiki. Why the move? Lots of good reasons. But here are the three main ones:

1. Localization. The wiki allows for better localization of content, as it is equipped to handle other double-byte characters.

2. Linking. Now you can directly copy and paste the actual link at the top of the page to share helpful articles with others.

3. Liberation. Instead of having Residents contact the Doc team and spend much of their time making minor fixes on the KB, the Doc team wanted to provide Residents with the opportunity to edit Knowledge Base articles—while managing those edits, of course. The Flagged Revisions extension (aka Flagged Revs) was added to the KB articles on the default namespace, along with a KB Resident Reviewer program. Use of Flagged Revs allows for edits to be flagged for reviewers to qualify for accuracy and completeness before becoming the stable version of the KB article. In addition, a new Linden Lab Official namespace was created on the wiki as home to KB articles related to service or policy. These articles are managed by the Doc team.

Now that we're all wikified, you may wonder what the Doc team will be doing next. Well, they've got a few cool projects up their sleeves that contribute to their overall mission: to help Residents in their endeavors to use the Viewer, enhance their experience on Xstreet, and achieve their own personal goals in SL.

"The Doc team wants to continue to increase and improve the static knowledge out there for Residents to use without needing to ping Support," Jon adds. "Our goal is twofold: We want Residents to be able to help themselves, and we want to make sure that what they find is useful. So we're also committed to improving content quality."

You can typically spot them at their weekly office hours—with Torley's ever-changing but consistently pink-and-green avatar; Kate and Jeremy in humanoid shapes; and Jon as a giant Jell-o mold (which elicits endless questions about how he sits, dances, or performs other inworld operations). A generous Resident made a plate for Jon to sit on during office hours, and in case you miss him, Jeremy has kindly created a "fake Jon" Jell-o mold that holds court whenever Jon's not there.

C'mon by their office, visit Kate and other members of the Doc team for Teen SL office hours (see the "Lindens with Teen Grid Office Hours" section of the page) if you're a teen (and ask Kate how to transfer to Second Life when you turn 18), follow their Twitter feeds, or simply enjoy a watermelon-powered frolic via Flickr. You could even win a special TNT bear by correctly answering the questions that Kate posts on her feed (also available through the TNT blog)!

The Doc team is standing (and jiggling) by.

Hola, Ciao, Boas Tardes

by Linden on ‎11-23-2009 10:17 AM

Viva Second Life! Linden Lab just added more languages to our collection of localized websites. Residents can now enjoy secondlife.com in Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian--along with English, German, French, and Japanese, of course.

http://br.secondlife.com--Portuguese
http://it.secondlife.com--Italian
http://es.secondlife.com--Spanish
http://jp.secondlife.com--Japanese
http://de.secondlife.com--German
http://fr.secondlife.com--French

For those who don't know the special URLs above, multi-lingual Residents can access these languages on the Second Life homepage through the Language dropdown menu at the top left-hand side of the screen.

Picture 1.png

Our localization experts work tirelessly to give non-English speakers a useful, static resource for learning more about Second Life. If you (or someone you know) are looking for Second Life assistance in these languages and more, I invite you to check out the content in the In Other Languages section on the homepage of the Second Life Wiki. (I'm including the image below for those, like me, suffer from periodic screen blindness. After staring at the page for way too long, I finally had to ask a fellow Linden where to find it. LOL!)

Picture 2.png

If you are proficient in these languages, please feel free to contribute your content to help fellow Residents in their search for Second Life knowledge. Many thanks to those who have already shared their translation talents in this endeavor!

Meet Teeple Linden

by Linden on ‎11-03-2009 12:25 PM

Time to meet another Linden in our series! Introducing Teeple, a hard-working, inworld-clubbing, Bach-loving member of the Customer Relations/Support team at Linden Lab. Enjoy, everyone!

Linden Name: Teeple
Team: RESI
Position: Supervisor
Years in SL: 5
Hometown: Born in Baton Rouge, now living in Phoenix

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab? I retired from IT in early 2001. I took a two-year sabbatical, which involved a lot of flipping the TV remote, walking downtown for coffee, and thinking "wow, this is some fun I'm having now." So I got a part-time gig in a customer service call center to keep myself from going completely stir crazy. The IT/customer service mix turned out to be fortuitous when I applied to the Lab and was accepted as a Liaison.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab?
I try to spend at least 30-60 minutes before I log in on catching up on email and organizing my daily planner. Once in, I spend a goodly amount of time in chat and #irc, working with RESI and other departments. A typical day will involve an inworld meeting, a voice conference or two, ongoing chats, and working with escalated tickets from our Support portal. And email, email everywhere.

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld?
I like to sightsee, and I love to go clubbing. Occasionally, I'll do a little scripting project for somebody, but nothing heavy duty. And I shop way too much.

Why did you choose this particular look for your avatar?
Teeple-Forum-Avie.png

It wasn't really conscious. I just started refining my look, tweaking over time, and finally wound up looking like this, and just sorta stopped. Well, that plus the fact that I look exactly like my avatar in RL. Flawless skin, perfect physique; you couldn't tell us apart if we walked down the street together.

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
Wow, a few contenders here, but I think Hungary would win as my first stop. I visited an inworld photo exhibit organized a couple of years back by a Hungarian cultural rep group, and the snapshots of the architecture and countryside were thoroughly captivating.

What album/song is in your playlist rotation right now?
BWV 538, "Dorian Toccata," played by Christopher Herrick. What immensely powerful and uplifting music. I've always had a thing for Bach organ music, and Herrick is my favorite contemporary performer. I grew up as a huge Virgil Fox fan, but I have to be in the mood to listen to him these days. I do take breaks and listen to other random stuff. I'm a big Loreena McKennitt fan. When I want more contemporary stuff, well, that's what inworld dance clubs are for. :-)

Wanted: A Specialist for a Special Job

by Honored Resident Jon Linden on ‎10-28-2009 02:01 PM

Now that we've got the Knowledge Base moved into its new home on the Second Life wiki, we have some unpacking to do, not to mention a little rearrangement of the furniture (that sound you hear is a metaphor stretching). As you know, the Knowledge Base has its share of FAQs, and with a great number of FAQs comes a great number of individual questions that could benefit from being single-sourced. Allow me to (hopefully) explain better with this crudely-drawn comic strip:

Page_1.png

We love this idea, and we really want to get it done. The trouble is that we don't have the time! The Doc Team is busy with an increasing number of complex, long-ranging projects that we hope will shine day-bright lights of knowledge and understanding into your brain tissue, and we haven't got the bandwidth to make this happen in a timely fashion.

Which is where you come in. Yes, you! We're looking for a person (possibly two) who:

  • Knows their way around a wiki
  • Is comfortable with transclusion
  • Can be trusted to split out, but not alter, questions in FAQs that live in the Linden Lab Official namespace

Are you that person? Can you get this job done for us? Click here to apply through LiveWork.

Things you should know:

  • You'll have to create an account as an "expert" on LiveWork in order to apply. (We just didn't want you to be surprised.)
  • You need to live in the United States in order to be eligible. Apologies to those of you outside the US whose contributions we value very much!
  • We strongly prefer candidates who've had experience editing the Second Life wiki; please include a link to your contribution history when you apply.
  • It might take us a while to get through all of the applications; if we don't answer right away, be patient!

Long live the wiki!

by Linden on ‎10-19-2009 01:12 PM

It's official: Our Knowledge Base (KB) has been moved to the Second Life Wiki! Now that our massive migration is complete, we can offer several tremendous, hands-on benefits to improve your knowledge-seeking and knowledge-sharing experience, including:

  • Direct linking--at long last! The link you see is what you copy and paste to share helpful articles with others. It's that simple.|
  • Unified help resource! When the KB and the Wiki existed in two different places, some were confused over where to look for help. Viva la unification! Now there's just one place to find everything you need.
  • Link hotlist integration! Have a few articles that you refer to over and over again? Take a few minutes to make a Wiki page, link to those on-Wiki pages, and then share it with others with similar needs.
  • Robust internationalization! The Wiki is already used by numerous volunteers to provide translated versions of KB articles. Multibyte character encoding support, which our previous system didn't have, means that languages like Japanese and others with extended characters will be retained as intended.
  • Accelerated article revision time! The team effort makes updates a breeze. Not only does wikifying the KB make it easier for us to release content updates, but you can also review articles for even faster dissemination of information. Heck, if you spot a mistake, you can correct it in minutes or even seconds.

Books-lens-flare.jpg


You may notice that articles under the "Linden Lab Official" name space cannot be altered by Residents. These articles have been set aside and locked to protect them from external editing, as they are related to service, billing, and other Linden policies that can only be changed by Linden Lab employees. All other articles in the Wiki are open for your input. Our Flagged Revisions extension (aka FlaggedRevs) allows our review team of Residents and Lindens to evaluate changes made to Wiki articles before drafts go live.

And now for some WIKI TRIVIA, courtesy of Torley. Some of the most popular Wiki pages OF ALL TIME are Resident-contributed compilations, such as:

Much love goes out to the KB2Wiki team and our volunteer reviewers throughout the Wiki pilot and the final migration process! Now, go forth and get Wiki!

As mentioned in our previous post, we've been searching for a few good Residents to help us with our Second Life Destination Guide pilot project. And we are thrilled with the response. We've already received over 80 applications from our amazing community!

With so many qualified applicants and only a handful of openings, we've decided to close the application process for this copywriter position.

inspirespacepark.jpg

We really appreciate everyone's interest and eager participation, in spite of a few technical hiccups. We've now kicked the tires thoroughly and hope that things will be running smoothly if we add more projects and again invite Residents to apply through LiveWork.

Thanks again to everyone for their enthusiasm for this pilot project! Stay tuned for future LiveWork projects--we'll keep you posted.

Ever wish you could get paid for your love of Second Life? This could be your chance.

Our Second Life Destination Guide pilot project is now up and running on www.livework.com!

As announced in a previous blog, we're looking for a few good Residents to help the community--but how? By finding the best destinations in Second Life! New Residents (and many oldbies too) aren't sure where to go, what to do, and how to find other people once they're inworld.

insilico.png

In a recent survey of Residents, two of the biggest reasons that they leave Second Life is that they either "couldn't find anyone to talk to" or "didn't know how to find interesting places to see, things to do." As a Linden, I can tell you that when I run into Residents inworld, they often ask me what they should be doing or where they should be going. Obviously, Second Life is a very subjective experience, so I always ask them what they like to do or what interests them. By creating a Destination Guide, we can all work together to discover the best of Second Life from not just one person's perspective, but from a variety of of perspectives. The Destination Guide will help potential, new, and existing Residents to discover and explore some of the amazing regions and communities within Second Life.

What do we want to include in the Guide? In addition to highlighting places based on their creativity and/or aesthetic impact, we will be looking for places with large and active communities. As the successor to the Showcase guide (featured on the website and inside SL), the Destination Guide will feature regular updates and expanded categories that highlight interesting and active spaces that we hope Residents will want to visit.

As members of the Second Life community, you're the experts we're looking for to create this Destination Guide. To help us in this endeavor, Linden Lab has partnered with LiveWork, an organization designed to help companies to outsource ongoing projects to a distributed team of experts.

Here's how it works:

1. Click here to see the Destination Guide Copywriter position. You'll be prompted to sign in to LiveWork. If you don't already have a LiveWork account, you can register for free as an expert.
2. To register, you'll need to create a profile that includes a summary of your skills, work history, resume, and/or any other related areas of expertise you have to share. Be sure to include your Second Life name! Qualified applicants must have a Second Life account (six months' old or more) in good standing.
3. Click the Account link at the top right-hand side of the page to include your contact information and other indicated preferences. The LiveWork platform uses PayPal as their method of payment, so, you must have a PayPal account to get paid.
4. Once signed in, click here to view the Copywriter position.
5. If you're interested in participating in this project, click the Apply button.

Selected candidates will be contacted in mid-October for the next steps in the hiring process, including a written test to assess English skills.

Managed by Lindens and staffed by Residents, this pilot project is the first of its kind for us: We're really excited about this new type of collaboration with Residents! We will only be hiring a handful of Residents for this particular project, but if all goes well, we're hoping to add more projects and invite Residents to apply through LiveWork. We'll keep you posted as we move forward and let you know how it's going.

Thanks to everyone who applies and participates in this project! We appreciate your support.

NOTE (Oct. 12): Just in case you missed my comment in the thread, I thought I'd add this here: LiveWork is still working on the intermittent issues regarding the English test results, and if you're having problems in this area, please contact them directly: support@livework.com. In the meantime, however, go ahead and attach a screen shot of your passed English test along with your application. The project managers are taking these technical issues into consideration, so go ahead and send your screen shot (and a little note, if you like) and it will get into the queue.

Thank you for your patience as we work out the kinks in this pilot project!

This just in: The LiveWork system will be down from 4-5pm, PST (SLT) on October 12.

New Japanese Department!

by Community Manager on ‎10-07-2009 12:42 AM

We are pleased to announce the activation of a new Japanese support portal at Second Life.com. The localization team has been working diligently to get this department up and ready for resident consumption! What this means is that our Japanese speaking residents will now have a way to submit tickets in Japanese! Previously our Japanese support requests were sent by email, but now we have a ticket submission form available which supports the use of Kanji.

Our Premium and Concierge customers will also be able to access Live chat via our Japanese help page, although we currently only offer chat in English.  Our customer support agents are available to help with all your billing and account questions. Should you need help in Japanese you can now submit a ticket through the Japanese Support Portal!

Help is also available through our German Support Portal. Should you need help in your preferred language, please submit a ticket through our Support Portal and choose from our current language options. An agent will respond to you as soon as they are available in your preferred language.

Our toll free Japanese lines are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for your support needs, although support will be English-only at certain times. Our English-speaking customer support agents will be on call to help you with all your billing and account questions.

Well done to our Japanese localization team, they got this up and running for us in no time! Fantastic job!

Translations: 日本語

Meet Niko Linden

by Linden on ‎09-22-2009 04:51 PM

The "Meet a Linden" blog series continues with a profile of Niko Linden, Unicorn-loving member of the Customer Relations/Support team here at Linden Lab. Enjoy, everyone!

Linden Name: Niko Linden
Team: Customer Market Development
Position: Outreach Billing Supervisor
Years in SL: 2 1/2
Hometown: New York, just outside the Bronx

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab?
Well, of course I started out with the normal odd jobs for some pocket money: Starbucks, CVS, movie theaters, etc. My first couple of years in college I worked for a call center as a training coordinator. As far as non-work stuff--I am an RPG addict! In fact, I am in school right now, learning 3D modeling/texturing for video games. And anyone who knows me can tell you that I am in love with my Westie.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab?
My daily responsibilities pretty much consist of keeping the Customer Outreach program running smoothly. You may have actually met one of my teammates or myself if you recently had a billing issue or purchased a new island. We are the Mr./Ms. Fix-its when it comes to payment issues, and we're the welcome wagon for new island owners!

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld?
Oh, that's an easy one--the environment editor!!! I love messing with the advanced sky and water settings. These options add a depth to SL that really creates the "WOW" factor for me while exploring the mainland. What can I say? I am in art school! I like aesthetically pleasing things!

Why did you choose this particular look for your avatar?

Niko_pic.jpg
I actually just recently became a human avi. I was a furry for the longest time, then a tiny and a neko. Although, through all my avi's I have for the most part kept the Unicorn theme going. This particular outfit I got because it's very "fall."

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
Up, up, and away!

What album/song is in your playlist rotation right now?
Jeez, that's a tough question. It changes every day! This morning on my way to work I listened to everything from Fergie to Joy Division--LOL! My playlists are kind of all over the place...

This land is your land

by Linden on ‎09-16-2009 11:45 AM

For those of you who attended this summer's Land Expo (and everyone else too), I'm sure you've heard all about how easy it is to buy, sell, and rent land to your fellow Residents.

That's not what this blog post is about.

What I discovered while reading through the Land Expo attendees' comments was that many of you are interested in learning about what you can do with the land you have or community land you're working with already. From terraforming tips to free landscaping elements, attendees said they wanted to know what cool stuff is out there and what expert terraformers are doing to beautify their land.

So, I decided to ask the experts in the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW) for some tips for finding good stuff. For those of you who didn't even know about this group, they're all about improving the Mainland experience. the LDPW Lindens and the Moles (Residents working under contract on land development projects) create land and terraform it for public and Linden use.

AerialView_BlakeSea_001.jpg

View of birds and boats from above the Blake Sea docks.


What are these "public works" for? The roads, waterways, parks, unique builds, and natural spaces are for a variety of purposes: beauty, separating parcels (some Residents may not want to see the giant robots next door to their Alice in Wonderland build, for example), recreation, events, new-user orientation, sandboxes, and more.

Because they build everything themselves and don't use Resident stuff, the LDPW crew couldn't really give me a lot of advice on public resources for buying landscaping items, but they did tell me about the free stuff they've been giving out for Residents' builds.

That's right. Free stuff. If you like the themed elements of their builds, many of them are available for you to use in your own building projects. Here's where to find some of their goodies:

Bay City: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Inner%20Harbor/9/29/26
Nautilus: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Nautilus%20-%20Shalim/226/111/25
Blake Sea (look for the slop chest): http://slurl.com/secondlife/Blake%20Sea%20-%20Half%20Hitch/118/133/22

If you're thinking about creating your own themed build for your community's use, the LDPW gang advises that assigning one person or a tight team to the project makes for a better end result. Of course, if your project is community-based, you'll want to identify a goal or theme that will allow for some variety (and slack). Plus, you'll want to have a plan for maintenance after the build is complete, as a community of builders may not hang around the finished parcel very much. For other LDPW tips, you can check out their blog.

There are a lot of other resources out there that your fellow Residents can probably tell you about--LDPW is just part of the building community within Second Life. It's the collective, collaborative work of everyone inworld that makes Second Life so interesting.

So, what cool landscaping, terraforming, or community-building projects have inspired you lately? What plans do you have--whether they're grand or modest--for your piece of the world? Do you know any other spots or free resources for your fellow land-loving Residents? Inquiring community builders want to know.

KB2Wiki Pilot a Success!!

by Community Manager on ‎09-10-2009 09:00 AM

Morning Meeting.JPG

You all knew that it would be!

For the past few months, Linden Lab has been running a Pilot program to evaluate the benefits and possible pitfalls of moving our current Knowledge Base to a Wiki solution. The project was met with much enthusiasm from our Resident community, especially given the fact that they would be able to participate not only in updating and creating of articles but also the reviewing of proposed articles and article changes.

After evaluating the work involved in maintaining the Wiki, the traffic differences between the KB and Wiki articles, the participation of our Resident Reviewers, and the functionality of the current Wiki, we have decided to move forward with a full migration from KB 2 Wiki! We're working right now in preparation for the big move. The contents of the Knowledge Base are being prepared for a bulk upload to the Wiki, links are being updated and we are configuring the Flagged Revisions extension for the new articles.

"FlaggedRevs", as it's known for short, allows Reviewers to evaluate changes made to Wiki articles before the draft is published publicly. During the pilot we had group of Residents who participated in article reviews. In addition, there are Lindens dedicated to helping these articles meet the Knowledge Base's quality standards.

The majority of the Knowledge Base articles moving to the Wiki will be editable by Residents, with the exception of certain articles related to service and policy. These articles will live in a Linden Lab Official namespace and be clearly marked as such.

Keep checking back here for more news about the migration and its schedule. We are working diligently, and hope to get it out to you in a timely fashion. Much love to our KB2Wiki team and our team of Resident Reviewers! Stellar work all!

Kb-seal.png

The Answers are out there.

by Linden on ‎09-03-2009 04:13 PM

Hello, faithful blog readers!

As some of you have recently remarked in the forums, it's not always obvious where to go to get your questions answered. I was just looking through some of the questions in the On Call blog forums, and I stumbled across several that are already being answered in Second Life Answers:

As you can see, your fellow Residents are brimming with information about Second Life--which is why presenting your questions on SL Answers can be so useful. Once you submit a question to SL Answers, you'll often see helpful answers coming in within a very short period of time--often within minutes--by other obliging Residents. Sometimes they'll all be answered by the same person (thanks, BlckCobra.Shikami, for answering all three of the questions above!) or they could be answered by different people. It all depends on who's checking out SL Answers at any given time.

So, if you have any burning questions about Second Life in general, try asking one of your fellow Residents for some ideas through SL Answers. It's currently in beta, so you'll start seeing a lot more action once it goes fully live.

But what about other types of questions? Are the forums the right venue for sharing them? Well, yes and no. This is a great venue for community-wide discussions and knowledge sharing, but there are some exceptions.

For problems with your account, the best place to go is still the Support Portal, where you can search the Knowledge Base for articles and video tutorials--and if you can't find what you need, submit a ticket.

To report bugs and share ideas for improving Second Life, try checking the Public Issue Tracker (aka PJIRA). You can see if there's already something in the works, or you can add your own PJIRA if you've found something new and exciting to suggest (or squash, in the case of a bug). If you find a feature that you want (like a way to change login preferences, as in the SL Answers example above), PJIRA gives you a venue to let us know about your desired changes and feature requests. For more about PJIRA and how to best report a bug, check out Q Linden's recent blog post. And if you've got an issue that you're itching to discuss with a Linden, your best bet is to attend office hours for the approprisate Linden or group of Lindens. Visit the Office Hours wiki page for details.

For those of you who already know everything there is to know about Resident-to-Resident and Resident-to-Linden communication, this is nothing new--consider it a friendly reminder of the resources available to you. And for everyone else, may the answers you seek be the answers you find.

Meet Mia Linden

by Linden on ‎08-20-2009 02:43 PM

I hope everyone who attended SLCC had a great time and got to meet some of their favorite Lindens in person! With any luck, you got to meet Mia--but here are a few things you may or may not know about her.

Linden Name: Mia Linden
Team: CMD Team--Customer Market Development
Position: Outreach Concierge Specialist
Years in SL: I have been a Resident of SL for 6 years and I am in my 4th year as a Linden
Hometown: Ridgewood, Queens, New York

What kinds of stuff did you do before joining Linden Lab?
I was an executive assistant in the field of construction. I found Second Life and immediately knew this was history in the making and wanted to be a part of it! Six years later I cannot imagine life without Second Life and how it has enriched my life on both sides of the screen.

What's a typical day for you at Linden Lab?
Nothing about my days is typical and that is why I love it. I am the Welcome Wagon to new Region owners. Within this role, I have helped with billing, showcase, and other questions. I work with the Concierge and Outreach Billing teams to make sure I am getting the much-needed information to our Customers. I help put together and coordinate inworld events, such as Kiss A Linden, Golden Hearts Hunt, Dunk A Linden, BunnyJam, Egg Decorating Contest, BunnyJam Egg Hunt, Translation Volunteers Event, Volunteer Appreciation Day, The Land Expo, The Education Faire, and SL6B. I also happily help new Lindens coming in with their Linden Bears and outfitting their new Linden Avatar. My job is very rewarding both professionally and personally.

When you're not working, what's your favorite thing to do inworld?
Where do I begin? (LOL!) I love to shop. So, it's safe to say that I am a virtual shopaholic both inworld and on Xstreet SL! I also enjoy making Linden Bears and since starting at Linden Lab I have made about 40 Linden Bears (love to Nicole Linden for creating this wonderful collector craze). I especially like making the special edition bears such as Rockstar Mentors, International Translators, Land Expo, and Helen Keller Day being the most recent ones. I have already completed the next Halloween Linden Bear for October. I love Halloween in Second Life. I also help Lindens looking for things inworld and have even helped some Lindens put their avatar look together. And it's never unusual to find me making content for upcoming events just because I love doing it so much. And when there are no events (hmmm...can't actually recall when there aren't any...LOL), I scour the world of Second Life for great content, beautiful places, and more.

Why did you choose this particular look for your avatar?

MiaLinden.jpg
Well, I do change my looks often, which is a result of my love for shopping. I have been Punk, Steampunk, elegant, tiny, furry, Fairy, trendy, and businesslike just because Second Life lets me be whatever I want to be and it's so much fun putting these looks together. I recently was able to put together an array of avatars for an upcoming project. It was also my first time putting together a few male avatars too.

If you could fly in RL, where would you go first?
Instead of flying I would really love to have TELEPORTING. If I could teleport, I would teleport to Resident events around the globe as I am able to do inworld. For now I am happy flying each year to wherever the Second Life Community Convention is held. There's no greater thrill for me than seeing my fellow Lindens, my Second Life friends, mentors, volunteers, musicians, artists, educators, business professionals, writers, and the many people that represent just how diverse our Second Life community is!

What album/song is in your playlist rotation right now?
Listening to Train--"Hopeless"--which is one of my favorite songs and going into Pink--I'm not Dead. My playlist of favorites includes Metallica, Seether, Nickleback, Kings of Leon, Shine Down, Lil Wayne, Rhianna, Paramore, and the list goes on indefinitely.

Some of you have noted in previous blog discussion threads that we could use additional help when it comes to keeping up with your valued comments and questions. Some have asked us to staff up. Others have suggested that we secure some free interns to handle the extra work. We considered these ideas carefully, but we decided that we needed to come up with something better.

And then it came to us. Who is the best source of expertise to help us answer your questions about Second Life? You!

After searching for a way to manage some potential projects, we've decided to try out a company called LiveWork, an organization designed to help companies to outsource ongoing projects to a distributed team of experts. This would be a pilot project, managed by Lindens but staffed by Residents.

Basically, here's the LiveWork process:

1. Interested "experts" register on www.livework.com and create a profile that includes a summary of skills and other pertinent experience.

2. Registered experts sign in and search for projects that interest them. Each project is broken down into a number of "tasks," each of which will earn an expert a fee upon completion.

3. Once they find the project they want to work on, they apply.

4. The project manager reviews applications, hires the number of experts needed, and works with them throughout the duration of the project.

Because our community experts live and work all over the world, it seemed like the perfect way to get more help from a distributed workforce. This way, we can all pitch in to add strength to our workforce--and you could get paid for your expertise!

As I already mentioned, this is a pilot project. If all goes well, we plan to add more projects to the LiveWork platform. So, if this first project is not your thing, there could be other tasks down the road that suit your skills.

So, keep your eyes peeled--we'll be launching this pilot very soon!

Tescalation Life

by Linden on ‎08-06-2009 03:16 PM

Tickets and tools and crash logs--oh, my! It's all in a day's work for the fearless four of the Tescalation (tech + escalation) team at Linden Lab. Collectively fighting the good fight to fix internal and external issues that get escalated their way, each team member brings his specialty into the mix. Each day they individually log in and where it goes from there is anyone's guess.

TescalationPhoto.jpg

The Tescalation foursome (left to right): Data, Garry, Kyle, and Fritz.

Mr. Fixit

So, how did Tescalation get started, anyway? That would be thanks to Fritz. Originally handling everything from internal tools to external issue escalation, Fritz eventually cried Uncle and asked for some help. Once we figured out that he was doing way too much for one person, his job was refined and more Lindens came aboard to form the Tescalation crew. (His three-year anniversary at the Lab was August 1--happy rez day, Fritz!)

"Since I've done just about everything in Support, I'm often going to meetings and trying to help internal teams figure out if and how something can get done," Fritz explains. "Every day is different, from adding new categories to the ticketing system, running reports, blogging internally, troubleshooting--you get the idea."

Among the many systems that he manages are ticketing and live chat, which he updates himself and supervises vendors to make sure that existing features work and new features get built. In addition to building and fixing the tools, he also tracks usage and feedback from Residents and Lindens alike--streamlining the process for our RESI and Concierge teams and ultimately making Second Life more livable.

The Enterprise Guy

Kyle begins and ends his day with our enterprise solution, which allows a company to employ all of the benefits of Second Life from behind their firewall. Handling all tickets that come from enterprise customers and coordinating their requests with all of the other Lindens who are working on the project, Kyle is at the center of everything enterprise.

We keep Kyle pretty busy: validating creation rights, scrubbing and prepping company islands for transfer from the Main Grid to the behind-the-firewall solution, managing installations, reviewing administrative and end-user documentation, delivering upgrades, tracking enterprise JIRAs and tickets, and attending enough meetings to choke a corporate avatar. It's an ongoing process for each release of the product. Oh, and did we mention that in accordance with the Statement of Work signed with all customers, Kyle strives to respond to all requests within 24 hours? Yep.

"Our enterprise customers often have different needs from our Second Life Residents," says Kyle. "For example, one company was finding that at large-scale meetings, everyone was leaving the Talk button on--and it was getting annoying for the meeting attendees to hear everyone sipping their coffee remotely. We discovered that this was a problem for other companies too, so we needed to find an answer for everyone." Now in the enterprise solution the Talk button cannot easily be locked "open," making it a lot easier to focus on the speaker, not the sipper.

The Ticket Wrangler

Logging in from Europe, Data begins wrangling tickets for Residents around 3:00 a.m. Pacific time, making him the first Tescalation Linden on the scene on any given day. Data is first in the Resident-facing Tescalation queue (or as he likes to call it, the "department of weird tickets"), handling odd Resident requests that were escalated by the RESI and Concierge teams. He digs through crash logs and viewer logs, tries to make repros, and taps the Development team when things get really weird.

"The Development team often cringes when they see my name come up in chat," Data explains, "because they know it's going to be something really bizarre." But he's quick to add, "I'm the final solution, though, so if we can't fix it, blame me!"

He usually does figure it out, though, which is one of the reasons that Residents love him. Another reason is his personal, undivided attention to each Resident's issue. "If I don't have enough information, I'll go inworld, IM the person, and we'll talk about the problem together. And if that doesn't solve it, I find that I often discover the solution while I'm sleeping."

Welcome to Garryland

And what if there's a Tescalation escalation? That would make its way to Garry, Tescalation Manager and world domination hopeful. Garry keeps in close contact with his team, pitching in with anything that needs an extra hand. Along with Fritz, Garry is the "go-to" Tescalation guy for internal needs, tackling special requests, generating reports, and also working a project manager for new initiatives--including a localization project to keep an eye out for in the coming months.

Garry often acts as the liaison from Tescalation (and from overall Customer Relations/Support) to the rest of the Lab. As the representative from Support to the triage team for PJIRAs, he helps determine where and to whom the Resident-requested projects get assigned. His project and people management skills not only help him with his Tescalation work, but also aid him in his other goal: to take over the world.

The Garryland army, also known as Garry's Moose Lodge, is now composed of a cyber-ninja army and armada with support from Residents and Lindens alike. If his fictitious forces ever were to stumble upon world domination, he says he would have liked to name it Garryland, but in the interest of keeping his Tescalation generals happy, he would name it "TescaNation."

"But seriously," says Garry. "These guys have so much to do on a daily basis, and they never complain. We enjoy working together, and we are all on board with shenanigans."

Well said, Garry. Tescalation rocks. (And I'm not just saying that because I'm afraid of your cyber-ninja army.)