Second Life Pet Peeve #3: Vendors with changing pictures

Second Life offers a lot of wonderful opportunities, limited only by our imagination… and the the technical issues. As we know, all textures must be sent from the server to our client, so dear retailers, freebie donors and people who put posters up: I know you want to save on prims, space and make the best use of all visual real estate. It makes perfect sense. I do too!

When you make a vendor, or board with alternating textures, you might want to consider making it slow enough so that the image can fully rez. You have a lot of really cool stuff that I’m sure a lot of us want to see, but if your whole display goes from unrezzed to grey, to unrezzed to grey, I’m sorry, I’m not waiting around for it.

In an overly commercialized word that has been carried into a commercial meta-world, we consumers and tourists are just as annoyingly demanding. If our attention isn’t caught in the first few seconds, we aren’t staying around long enough to see your wonderful display. We miss out on the opportunity to see what you have to offer, and you miss out on the opportunity to show it to us.

Other that slowing the rate of texture changes, I can’t offer you a better solution. Wish I could, so sorry, but please keep it in mind. The worse that can happen if you come up with simper or innovative new solutions is that people get the full value of what you are showing them if you do.

Second Life Pet Peev #2: The “Friendship” list

Gentle reader:

I understand that we are all new at some point, and that you want to offer someone a self-esteem boost for the day, and so it’s natural that when you see a button that says “Offer friendship” it’s an instinctive thing. I totally understand.

The Truth about Second Life Friendship list: It is, generally speaking, a dark evil whose name is a lie. A better name for the “friendship” list is “Trackable, Traceable, Pounceable Contact List”. I think of it more as “The Stalker Intelligence Gathering Function”. It makes it so that you can see each time someone logs on or off, or can find them on the map and just kind of show up–whether you have asked or not.

The friendship list is a “live” list of business cards. Think of it this way: Offering friendship is like asking for someone’s personal home number, there’s a time, place and way to do it. When you accept someone’s friendship, you automatically get their calling card anyway, so the only difference is the “real time information” aspect. When you meet someone new, consider instead of offering your card (Right click -> More… -> Offer card)

Put another way: The friendship list is a Buddy List. Same as MSN, Yahoo or other such chat programs. Now, we’ve known each other for less than 1 hour and you want to be on my buddy list why?

Some background:

I’m a newcomer helper at New Citizens International, a pretty female and Read the rest of this entry »

Second Life Pet Peeves: Bright Lights!

OK! That’s it! I need a forum to vent my Second Life Pet Peeves! (SLPPs). Today’s Pet Peev is:

Too many bright lights!

Dear friends, in pre-windlight days, adding a subtle light to your face (face lights) tended to smooth out some of the harsher edges on our face. Those days are over. Now, all the lights do is to make your face really bright.

By the way, did you know that there’s a limit of 6 lights that can be simultaneously displayed in Second Life? So, when YOU are the one wearing 3 on your face, one on your lower body, then two behind, you’ve either turned off everyone’s lights next to you, or they aren’t shining to not do the thing they can’t do any more anyway.

Please remove your face lights.

And if you do wear one face light, please keep it subtle. Do not be the walking halogen light of death! Set the diameter to no further than the distance of your face, and keep the drop off relatively high, at least 50% of the distance. There’s nothing quite like being absorbed in a build to have a living atomic explosion come and scorch your pupils out and render your build an amorphous blob of glare because you think you need the light to look good.

Really: I accept you as you are. Now turn off your light!

Oh. And by the way: light cannot be blocked. It goes though all prims, at infinite layers and even though other avatars. They are omnidirectional. Trust me, if you are using vanity lights to enhance your appearance, we’ll like you so much more for your courtesy than your lack of shadowing.


2008-10-14 Update! you can turn off the avatar attachment lights if you are using 1.21 RC or later! Check out Torley’s Video on it How to turn off those damn facelights!

2008-10-17 Update! I’ve written up a detailed article about the theory, correct use, misuse and creation of face lights.