Monday, April 7, 2014

Advice for Second Life Newbies

Strawberry Singh's Monday meme challenge this week (see here) is near and dear to me because it is something I think about often: What advice would you give a new Resident in Second Life? I meet quite a few newbies during the week and I can't resist giving out advice. Clearly I'm practicing for the time when I'm a little old lady that just can't keep her opinions to herself.

From Noob to Boat Owner in 7 Short Years
Meme Instructions: List 5 pieces of advice you would give to a newcomer that has just joined Second Life. Don’t forget to leave a link to your post or advice in the comments.

"Remember That There is a Person Behind Every Avatar and Like in Real Life They Are Often a Total Ass." But how do you know? Talk to people. Read Profiles. Don't just assume something about a person because of they way they present themselves in-world. Sure, an avatar's appearance was probably chosen as a representation of some aspect of that person, but go deeper. If they remain enigmatic or the Real Life portion of their Profile is blank/cryptic, your job may be harder but not impossible.

With that in mind, my second nugget of wisdom is "Keep an Open Mind About 'Who' You Are." At least for a while. I've known quite a few people that after investing a fair sum of Space Bux on a realistic human avatar went on to discover their inner Furry or even changed gender. Second Life is akin to a second chance to be someone that is hard for you to be in Real Life. I started in Our World as part of a therapist-guided program to learn socialization skills and to overcome some phobias. I've met post-op Transgender women who have used Second Life to practice the outward manifestations of their inner selves and thus have a smoother transition in Real Life.

This process could lead to an Inventory disaster – things all over the place, hundreds (or even thousands) of items named Object, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together... mass hysteria! "Start Organizing your Inventory Now." I wrote about this in an earlier meme (see here) but let's go over some of it again.

  • Create special folders inside the Objects folder (Vehicles, Pets, Furniture - Home, Furniture - Outdoor, etc.)
  • Created special folders inside your Clothing folder (Swimwear, Tops, Accessories, Trampwear, etc.)
  • I have folders for Animations, Avatars, Body Parts, and the like plus folders for activities and places (all my Bay City stuff is in Place: Bay City with subfolders as needed).
  • Create a folder called Objects: Storage for the next step.
  • Make a cube (or other shape) and call it Storage:. Take it into your Inventory then put it inside your Objects: Storage folder. Drag it to the ground and fill it with up to 100 items you want to backup in case of disaster (for example, when you unpack a new outfit, take the original box back into your Inventory and then put it in a Storage: box and add a description after the colon). If you don't have the original box or the items weren't delivered to you as such. put them in a cube (or other shape) called Box: (then add a description after the colon) and put that in the Storage: cube.
  • Organize your Landmarks, into descriptive folders, as well, but don't save too many. I tend to not save a Landmark unless I visit a place often or I want to tell there about it.
  • Get into the habit and stick with it ... you play the way you practice, athletes always say.

You'll need a place to do this so find a good sandbox (try Search or check this list) and take the time to "Explore the The Library Folder of Your Inventory" while you are there. It is loaded with a bunch of crap but there are quite a few gems, too, especially in the Clothing folder. With what you find here and the masses of free items easily found in-world you don't really need money to live in Second Life. At least not right away. You'll get cravings to buy stuff and buy more stuff and find more freebies. Aren't you glad you started organizing your Inventory right away?

More about money. "Really, You Don't Need Money or Land to Live in Second Life." I've always had friends that let me park my avatar on their land to log out or even let me treat their home as my own when I did not have a place of my own. My wife in SL hasn't owned land in ... ever? I've always given her a home (when I had land) or we've lived with my brother. Or you can use any of the fabulous public properties around Second Life as "yours" if you want (like the Coastal Waterways). Belong to a group? You can probably use one of their locations as a home.

Groups are also handy for finding free things, too. Just use Search to find "Lucky" groups or ones with "Freebie" in the name. Ask people, too. Not for money. That is very tacky. Ask if someone knows where you can get nice items for free.

Much of this advice is all related, if you think about it ... explore people, your surroundings, and your Inventory. That's what Second Life is all about, isn't it? Exploring. If I had to give just one nugget of advice it would be "Explore Everything!"


Strawberry Singh said...

I really wish that someone had told me as a newb to "Start Organizing your Inventory Now" if only!!! Very thoughtful and important advice Uccello!

Uccello Poultry said...

Thank you, Strawberry! Always a thrill that you peek in at my blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Berry...where were you when I started out? :D

ZZ BOTTOM said...

The fact that i used rlv since i joined SL was the best lesson in how to manage the inventory i ever had.
So i forgot to add 1 to my list, don't be afraid and use rlv as soon as you start the big step, moving from LL viewer to a tpv.
Uccello advise is the one any that uses rlv for more then to be restrained will give and why LL should made it as an option on its official viewers.

Tabby West said...

Ohmygosh yes. All of this. Especially the inventory organization... I started when I hit 20k items and couldn't find anything after a year in world.

Uccello Poultry said...

@ZZ I've heard nice things about RLV for Inventory management and was able to test a friend's Web access to same, but I find that most newbies are confused by TPVs, particularly the Power User type. My tips can be used with any viewer, though.