NCI Snow Country!

NCI acquires Snow Country!

NCI is opening a new brand new space, dubbed NCI Snow Country, located in Hughes. We are very pleased to thank Cory Flanagan for his very generous donation of 30,000 tier free square meters of beautifully landscaped snow land.

See the announcment here.

Second Life Newbie Help Places

Looking for help in Second Life? This is a list of verifed places Second Life Help Centers in all languages that I can find. I am actively soliciting more information on newbie help centers. Please leave a comment if you have some, including the slurl. I’ll check them out, and if they’re valid, I’ll add them here. Thanks!

Additionally, you can always IM me in world for a copy of this as a note card with with embedded landmarks.

Free Second Life Skins at Fleur

When I first came to Second Life, I had the look of the time: About 3 feet tall, ugly red mesh hair and pasty skin. I was born as a Ruth, the default avatar shape. My vanity being what it is, you can quite imagine that as soon as I saw some of the prettier AVs at Ahern, that I wanted to change my look.

When you’re brand spanking new, you have no money, no clue. You just don’t know where to start. I was lucky enough to find Tete a Pied, a store that gave away a really nice skin for newbies under 30 days. CJ Carnot who now runs Fleur (use to be Tete at Pied) continues the tradition of giving away an excellent free skin for Second Life beginners.

I’d like to thanks and honour CJ for this. Of course it’s good advertising, of course it creates loyalty and good will. More importantly, though, it demonstrates a community spirit, and attitude of giving, sharing and generosity toward newcomers.

Free Skins for Second Life newbies at Fleur

Free Skins for Second Life newbies at Fleur

Thank you.

So come and get your lovely free skins at Fleur.

Second Life Newbies! Get Free Stuff here!

A short list of freebie places for newcomers in Second Life. We all start with nothing, we all want to look good, and we all want to explore what is possible. These freebie places are actually part of the learning experience. I went though this phase, and I’m willing to bet that most have as well. This listing is about as complete as a handful of sand next to a beach. Freebies are one of the nearly unlimted things in Second Life. You don’t *need* money in Second Life.

Some of these places are very well organized, tidy, categorized and clean. Others are a bordello of stuff randomly scattered in barely recognizable categories. There is SO MUCH of it, that just setting these things up is a massive task, so I can understand that a generous sim owner would have limited time. At the same time, these “messy” place are kind of fun, in a bazaar kind flavour. Dig, root and discover!

The first of course, if you are new is to visit New Citizens Inc. to find not only freebies, but great training to get your Second Life started in style. If you want to learn, find our main centers, if you are primarily interested in the freebies you can find the InfoNodes. Find a list of of NCI locations here.

A short list of Second Life Freebie places: More than you can handle. NOTE: stores often change places, just as websites often move pages around. If one of these links does not take you to where it says it should, please let me know so that I can update this page. Bonus points if you give the the new updated SLURL. Thanks!

MIA – West World Pixeldolls Tom Boy  Pixie Dolls Unusual
Tonnes of freebies of all kinds. Clothes, shoes, boots, bikes, toys and even a hobo romani. Even has a couple free Sexy Walk replacers. Looks like a bunch of merchants and freebie givers have banded together. Fun place. Check it out.

Tooter Claxton Avatars and Vehicles main store
The store with vehicles and avatars is in the stand outside, inside the salon, next to the stage are the freebies. Visit for news and info. It’s not that tooter has a greater quantity of freebies, but rather that he creates an “interesting” ambiance. I like the place and his style.

The Free Dove
This place is one of the older and better known freebie store. Lots to offer, skin, jewelry, clothes, hair and AO’s.

The GNUbie store
I remember this place fondly as I started my career as an obsessive shopper in Second Life. Not only is the stuff super cheap (free and dollarbies), but it’s really good too! I have great affection for this place. Once located in Indigo, it’s not in Powder Mill. Where else can you buy an entire 799 prim prairies church for L$1? Also a great place for dozens of free furry avatars.

YadNi s Junkyard – Newbie Paradise – SINCE APRIL 6th 2004

FIRST ORGANISED FREEBIE STORE IN SL -6500 Clothing Avatar Object Texture Anim Script Vehicle House Sculpt Money Tree LEARN AREA. I remember scooping up all the shiny pretty things even if I didn’t know what it was. I got my first wings here. *sniff*.

Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise!
This place is old as dirt and gets bigger by the day. Another fond memory. This is a place where you can find pretty much any kind of thing that exists in SL. A must go-to.

Freebie Dungeon (In Deva Loka)
At the time, this was the orginal freebie bordello. I remember being totally blown away by the sheer quantity of stuff. And it was all in piles and heaps, wedding dresses next to pose balls, next to wierdo BDSM stuff next to scripts next to… I think you get the idea.

This place is large, well organized, and has stuff that I haven’t seen elsewhere. It’s a German sim with a really great feel to it. It’s obvious to me that the builders here are skilled and thoughtful people. Free cosutmes, free avatars, free eyes, free shoes, free clothes… you name it. As an aside, they have some really great walking animations!

And the ower of the above store (Ralfi Beaumont) sent me to this place.

Forou Freebies Store & Game Center
Probably the easiest freebie place to browse that I’ve seen yet.

Here are more that I’ve become aware of since.

Enjoy! And remember! Inventory management is a survival skill in Second Life!

And if you want to keep up to date, and get annoucements for free skins, clothes and you name it, go in-world and join The Freebie Telegraph, as well as checking out The Freebie Telegraph’s interweb-bloggy-thing.

How to find New Citizens Incorporated in Second Life

How do I find help in Second Life? Where do I go in Second Life to find answers to my questions? How do I learn things? Are there classes, tutorials or primers to learn how to do things in Second Life?

New to Second Life and looking for some basic newcomer (newbie) tips tricks and tutorials? New Citizens Inc. Is just the place to go. NCI’s mission is to help newcomers integrate themselves into Second Life in a wholesome, safe, peaceful and fun environment. We offer dedicated experienced and knowledgeable helpers who other than having been around the block more than once, are patient, courteous and IMO generous with their time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Teaching Newbies in Second Life

I’m a helper at New Citizens Incorporated. I like to do it. And along the way, I’ve learned a few tricks. Just some random thoughts at the moment.

Keep focused. The objective (IMO) of a helper is to bring the newcomer, specifically the new-rezzed to a point of competence in the basics skills of SL as quickly as is possible. The shorter you keep your training, the easier it is on both of you.

Now, YOU are the helper. It’s up to you to take charge. YOU set the frame for the interaction. Keep structured, if you let Them Who Know Not What They Do take charge, you will be helping them for hours on end. This goes against our mission, and honestly, sometimes our (and their) patience. I’m a helper, but I live there, so when I like to hang out with my friends and build, it’s nice to help someone move on quickly.

Have a structured tutorial for the basic skills. I’m in the midst of writing a formal version of one that I use and adapt right now. I’ll post it at some point.

When teaching someone basic skills, start off with the very simplest granular piece, then progressively build on it. Walking: Arrow Keys. One tap = one step. Running. Just like walking. Control R toggles walk/run. Flying: just like walking. Page up. arrow keys. Tap tap. Page down. Sit on the ground, sit on a cube.  Sit on a pose stand. And so on and so forth.

Teach them what they need to know now. When you teach them to use the camera, for example, use the alt/option click. Don’t bother with shift-alt/option and control-shift-alt/option. It’s too much detail to take in at once. Teach them to focus on your nose (torso is usually a bigger and easier area, so they *always* pick that. Yeah. Boobs. It encourages them <<shrug>>). Then teach them to look at the back of your head. Then teach them to look at their face. That’s the part they love the most. Then teach them to read a poster far, far away.

As you are teaching, teach them WHY things pay off. Your camera skills are important, because you get to see everyone from far off. Ever notice that oldbies don’t walk into each other’s faces? Nothing says Noob like being Nose to Nose. Now you can stand at a comfortable distance! +1 coolness points for you!

And encourage them at every action. Yay! Running! Now you can sit and stand! Good job! Trust me, this goes a long way. It keeps them motivated, positive, energized and feeling good about acquiring new skills. I believe that positive experiences with polite, courteous, supportive and generous teachers up front creates for good citizens. Remember: YOU are one of their templates.

Use metaphores based on experience that they understand. A landmark is like a bookmark. You’ve surfed the web, right? Ever bookmarked a place? Same idea, instead, just like we can bookmark a site, we can landmark a place.

When meeting a newbie, quickly assess their skill level. Ask questions right up front. Are you on a Mac, or a PC? What is your skill level with computers? Don’t take it for granted that they are either competent, or incompetent. Ask pointed questions to know how to direct their attention.

When they say “I need help” ask question that are specific: “To do what?”. Then wait. And listen. The next few words will tell you everything about their skill level.

When they say “I’m new”, don’t respond with “Obviously”. That’s just not nice. Welcome them to Second Life with energy and a cheery smile.

Working with a group is actually easier than working with individuals. Not only do you have pack mentality at work, but they help each other out and each other’s successes encourages the other.

You want to make sure that they can move, communicate and use their camera. In that order.

The next level is that of understanding the fundamentals of inventory, rezzing and taking. Then the search feature, teleports and how to use common objects.

The next steps after that are the very fundametals of culture and etiquette.

At this point, they are well equipped to go out in the world. You can set them free! If they come back, the questions they will ask you will be so much more interesting. They usually involve houses, land and money (they’ve discovered shopping).

Helpers get asked the same questions, over and over. Have some sort of text-macro software with pre-made answers.

Sometimes it helps to have two people relay help. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just don’t seem to have the language, or the right conceptual frame to ‘splain something to that particular someone. It’s often useful to have another person bounce ideas in a new way, or catch it from a different angle. But make sure that your partner understands what direction you are going in.

Take every single helping instance as an opportunity to streamline your teaching matter. Take the time to consider how to sequence ideas and phrase them so that the shortest sentence drills it into their mind. This is a repetitive task. The shorter and more impactful you can make it, the funner it will be for you in the long run.

Hope some of these ideas help. I’ll post more as I think of them.

PS: I am WAAAY open to new ideas and suggestions on this theme. Let me know!