We were all newbies once. It has always been difficult for someone just starting in SL to find a place where they fit in and are comfortable. The problem seems to have gotten worse since I first came, the vastness of our world can be intimidating. Most people in Second Life will take at least a few minutes for a newbie, offering advice, freebies, landmarks, etc. Linden Lab is trying to help in their rather institutional way; providing “what’s happening now” links on the login page and a lot of good stuff via the website.
The problem is that it is all so overwhelming. The social conventions are not known, so there is room for newbie imaginations to run wild; will I get shot?; captured?; exploited or conned in some way?
SL residents are mostly a friendly lot, we remember being a newbie all too well. Talk to people, when someone says “Hi” respond, don’t run away. Do not be afraid to ask questions, even of strangers.
Use the tools the Lindens provide to visit places and learn about Second life.
Map hop. This is one of the best ways to find places and people. Simply open the world map, check the boxes for Person, Infohub, Events (G & M to start). Use your scroll wheel to back out as far as you can and still see the green people dots. You can left click and drag the map around the window to see more. Click on an infohub dot, or an event marker and click teleport. Poof—–you are there. Infohubs are always safe places but if you find yourself in a place where you feel uncomfortable, Ctrl+shift+H will send you quickly home or in an emergency (I really have no idea what really would be an emergency, but–) simply log out and back in to home. For all of the helpful tools and resources available, almost everyone I know used map hopping to explore SL when they were new. Some of us still do 🙂
Linden Lab CEO Rodvik Humble, aka. Rodvik Linden announced yesterday that “August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years!”. There are more newbies in world than there have been in a long time. Those of us who have been around for a while need to pull our weight and help them find their way, the Lindens can not do it without us. Be helpful, perhaps visit a welcome area.Make a folder of landmarks and freebies to give to newbies. Having more residents helps Second Life stay alive and provide customers 🙂