The big SL event of the week is the third anniversary of Bellisseria, celebrated in the form of a village fete at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds. It opened yesterday with a speech by Patch Linden at which (as well as name-checking The Gazette, which pleased your editor immensely) he announced the new Sakura Theme for Bellisseria homes in Japanese style. Please follow the previous link to Patch's Flickr to get SLURLs to the demo regions. For ourselves, we can't wait to see the new Sakura community centre!
The 3rd anniversary event is continuing throughout the weekend so be sure to go along and take part in the celebrations!
The organisers have commissioned a special event stamp for your Bellisseria, Mainland or Generic SL passport. Don't miss the opportunity to collect that and also to take part in the special flight tours being run during the event.
You might also like to check out Inara Pey's report on the event and her thoughts on Bellisseria and its future. She mentions the BBB as an example of an active group in the Bellisseria community, for which we thank her.
DO YOU REMEMBER?
Do you remember your first day in Second Life®? It can be quite a culture shock! I have no statistics for the newbie attrition rate, but "onboarding" (acquiring the skills to move from "noob" to established user) is not easy. It's fair to assume that many SL-curious visitors simply don't return after their first look around.
Many SL veterans have forgotten those difficulties. Most of us try to "pay forward" the help we got as noobs, but still it's easy to underestimate the difficulties new residents face. In some ways they are greater than they were in our day. Before mesh, it was easy to have an avatar as slick (!) as the one used by SL's inventor. Now there's a mountain to climb (and many $Ls to spend) to look as soigné as experienced avatars. Some SL residents can be snooty about noob avis, which does not help.
We established residents have just as much interest as Linden Lab in making SL a success. The fun, friendship and creativity we all enjoy here depends on new residents both arriving and deciding to stay. So how can we help reduce the newbie attrition rate?
- I make a point of IM'ing anyone I meet who is less than a month old to say "Hi, welcome to SL. How are you enjoying it so far?"
- Having struck up a conversation, explain that SL is quite literally what residents choose to make of it. It's not a game where everyone has the same goals and progresses by the same rules. They probably won't enjoy it here until they've found like-minded friends. Ask them about their interests and, if you have useful suggestions for groups to join or places to visit, make them.
- Don't assume you are going to be one of those friends. You have found a path in SL to suit your personality, interests and skills. You may sometimes get lucky and make a great new friend but in reality, the chances a random noob will follow the same path as you are small!
- By all means tp them to some of your favourite places to show them why you love your Second Life®, but see (3) above!
- Before you say goodbye, send them to the experts: the enthusiasts who staff the 25 "Newcomer friendly" places in the Destination Guide. They have learning resources targeted to newcomers and some of them are language-specific. However good our second languages may be, most of us find it easier to learn – especially to learn techie stuff – in our native tongue.
My personal favourites are the Firestorm Social Island New Resident Help Area and one I first visited to write this article, Door to America. Both have good resources and greeters to sign visitors up to their groups. Both are staffed by volunteers who have dedicated some of their time in SL to "onboarding". They'll do a better job than you will!
These are my suggestions, but I am sure you will have your own. What is your approach to helping newbies feel at home? Let us know in the comments please!
Article and photographs by Dave.
There's a very special new stamp this weekend for the Bellisseria 3rd Anniversary event at the Bellisseria Fairgrounds. As always with events, the stamp will only be there for the duration - in this case, for this weekend. So don't delay!
The other locations this week are all very different, but have one thing in common – their names are very descriptive. The Folkdance Center is a center for folk dancing, for example.
There are two new stamp locations in Corsica this week. Firstly there's the Butterfly Conservatory and secondly there's the Corsica Tourist Center. Again, both names rather speak for themselves!
Finally, not a new location but please note that Neural Networks Art Gallery & Café has relocated. The Gazette Online Travel Guide has been updated accordingly.
Enjoy your virtual tourism and – as always – don't forget to pack your passport!
|Bellisseria 3rd Anniversary / April 15 - April 17 BE|
|The Folkdance Center PE|
|Butterfly Conservatory CA|
|Corsica Tourist Center CA|