Category Archives: Newbies

The Spirit of Second Life


Second Life Past:
Do you remember: Telehubs? — Rubberbanding? — When selecting Help in the viewer menu would access an actual Linden, who would then come to you in world and help? — Swarming penis attacks (green with a Santa hat at Christmas time)? — Weekly grid wide shutdowns so they could “bang on things”? — 88,000 users on line? — Your avatar stuck with her head between her legs and hair & shoes in her ass? — A large bump in users right after Christmas as people got their new computers up and running?

Second Life Present:
We’ve come a long way since those early days but there are still problems to solve:
The Avatar, or should I say avatars. With 3 classes of avatar to choose from (Basic, Linden Mesh and resident creator Mesh) I don’t know how newbies cope. It would help if LL finished their mesh avatar so it is fully adjustable, including all head adjustments and with at least as much facial animation as the default avatar.
Mesh Clothing. What can I say, the present situation sucks! Once you find an item you like it usually will not fit YOUR shape, or your avatar class/type. Shoes often require special mesh feet, which then will not blend with your skin. I could go on and on, it is extremely frustrating. In fairness, the clothes look great once you find something that fits.

Second Life Future:
Oz Linden has been doing a good job of overseeing SL development. He knows the problems and maintains good lines of communication with the resident community. My only concern is that there is a tendency to become enamored of the latest toys and ideas. Oculus Rift and it’s ilk are toys for the privileged and adventurous few. I still doubt that experience tools will have much of an impact on most people’s daily second life.


2015 will bring our first glimpses of a new virtual world from LL “in the spirit of Second Life”. Given that SL pushed the boundaries of what was possible back in 2003, I wonder if today’s Lindens still have that same courage. I remember that few people could run SL flat out, it was clunky, we bought new computers and got better Internet connections, it was only gradually that the world became truly comfortable to live in.
My expectation is that without the sword of reverse compatibility hanging over their heads, the present avatar and clothing problems will be a thing of the past. But will they have the courage to bring us something like this? or perhaps some kind of facial sync like Philip is developing at High Fidelity?
One concern I have is regarding land. Will there be someplace like the Mainland, where we can “own” land (without setup fees!), paying our tier in US$ directly to LL vs. L$ to a landlord who could change his mind at any time . While some people put the Mainland down, those of us who live there find it’s haphazard anarchic community more interesting than the carefully controlled uniformity of private islands.

2015 should be another interesting year for Second Life, I look forward to the adventure.

“It’s a bit like The Matrix . We provide the land, and the community builds the actual world, which gives everyone a huge sense of being pioneers in a great experiment.” Philip Rosedale

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Filed under Linden Lab, Newbies, Second Life Community, Second Life Development, SL History, Uncategorized

An interview with Flat Ebbe


Strawberry Singh suggested that we should share our thoughts about second life with you. Thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule. I hope you are comfortable talking at our office here in Brocade.

Interview with flat Ebbe_004 cropped

Since you are still new to Second Life, I would like to take this opportunity to explain my perspective of why most people who are in SL for more than a look around stay.

Whether we see SL as therapy, fantasy, business or entertainment; we are almost universally fulfilling in a virtual sense what we can’t or won’t in RL. The graphic artist who sits under-appreciated in cubical all week gets to express themselves and perhaps make some money. The frustrated business person who will never make it beyond lower management can prove themselves as a land baron or marketing executive. The socially challenged often find that they blossom in SL. Those who long, from a stuffy apartment, for a home of their own can build castles, or live on a tropical island. Yes, for some it is about the sex they would rather be having in RL. I could go on and on – – .

There has been much made of the new user experience and how SL is hard to learn. More to the point, people need more information about what Second Life is! Much more needs to be done with advertising and publicity to overcome the tawdry reputation we have gotten due to Linden Lab’s lazy PR. You need to be asking who stays in SL, not for a day or two but for months; these are the people who keep the SL economy going, and who are most likely to move beyond the most basic accounts. It is a hard nut to crack, I know. A positive attitude and PR promoting the best aspects of SL will go a long way.

Thank you for coming Ebbe, you are a very good listener.

Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner

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Filed under Advertising SL, Blogger Challange / Meme, Linden Lab, Newbies

Anticipation and Prognostication


November is upon us, and if recent history is any guide Rod will soon declare the Lab’s projects and goals for the coming year. I will jump in slightly ahead of him with my suggestions, wishes and expectations.

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Terms of Service agreement as it applies to the Lab’s rights to our content. There are pretty clear indications that they are taking a second look at the latest TOS with an eye toward respecting OUR intellectual property rights and their related responsibilities. With a little luck this could be resolved by the end of the year.

Lesson to be learned: This and similar decisions need to be run by some people who “get SL”. There are very few such people left at the Lab (Rod; You think you are among those few, it is clear that you are not.) Typically Lawyers, Upper Management and those who’s primary qualification is “a background in gaming” do not understand what SL really is.

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The Year of the Avatar! The SL avatar has not seen a significant improvement since – – well, ever! It is past time for Avatar2. Some suggestions:

1-More and better bones.

2-Toes and animatable fingers.

3-Skin/clothing layers reconfigured to reduce distortion.

4-Face configuration that blends more smoothly.

5-More and better facial animations.

6-Integrated Mesh Deformer*

It should be possible for SL to have 2 coexisting avatar formats. If Avatar2 is done well it will be possible and acceptable to remove support for Avatar1 after a few years since it will see minimal usage. The trick will be to maintain as much inter-format compatibility as possible while creating a truly new and upgraded Avatar2.

*This does not necessarily mean the mesh deformer developed by Qarl. I am sure there are several possible ways to accomplish this, it is the Lab’s responsibility to select, develop and implement the best one.

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Last Names. This is one of my pet peeves. The feeling within the SL community of a new/old separation based on names persists in spite of our best efforts. This CAN BE FIXED! It will not be easy and no solution will satisfy everyone, but it would heal a wound in the SL community. My link to Rod’s decision is blocked, suffice it to say he set out all the good reasons for bringing them back, then went into a rather childish whine before saying he would not do it.

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Eye-in-Hand Logo. If the company lawyers need something productive and profitable to do, have them work out a licensing agreement so the easily recognized SL Logo can be bought on the usual range of t-shirts, Jackets, coffee mugs, etc. Believe it or not we will pay to do some of your RL advertising that way.

Some of the best lessons are learned from past mistakes. The error of the past is the wisdom of the future.”Dale Turner

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Filed under Linden Lab, Mesh Deformer, Newbies, Second Life Community

Phoenix/Firestorm Expands Support


I visited the new Phoenix Firestorm Support island yesterday. I am impressed! I am reminded of the old Welcome Island from 2006; there is a path from the landing point with signs and a few playful challenges. There’s no beach ball but there is a fence to jump over and a kind of a tunnel to fly through.

The central island has a live helper. Several existing help groups will be assisting Phoenix/Firestorm support personnel.

They are still finishing things up and are open to suggestions so of course I had a couple of minor nits to pick 🙂 – – Say “region” or  “region (sim)” not just “sim”. Just because we get lazy and use the wrong word is no excuse for not teaching newbies the right way. – – We can no longer say “everything is built in world” mesh and most sculpties are made outside SL.

It looked to me like it would work for someone on the LL default viewer and if it serves as a gentle promotion for Firestorm so much the better.

This is a big step in the right direction. I will be sending newbies there. You should visit, add your 2 cents worth before they finish. Take a moment and talk to the Phoenix then stop at the center island with some encouraging words.

I hope they soon have a standard notecard and LM giver that we can put out pointing newbies there when we are off line.

May you live in interesting times.

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Filed under Newbies, Second Life Community, Veiwers and tech stuff