One of the most common things I’ve seen on forums about Second Life is that people came, saw and then stopped logging in because they couldn’t seem to make friends or find things to do.
I personally find that astounding… SL is just like life, there are places to go and a wide variety of people so surely you’re bound to find someone like-minded? However, I do want to encourage noobs to come and get old like me, so I’m going to throw in some ideas for how to get involved and feel a part of things.
1) The search function is your very first friend! Yes, this handy little Second Life widget is what is going to make you the life and soul of the party – or club – or group – or crazy sex sim -you get the idea I’m sure.
Here’s how the search function might look in the Second Life Viewer or in my recommended viewer – Firestorm.
Thanks to Liana Linden for the second image.
So, one of my points is made clear already – Firestorm has a superior search interface, although they both contain exactly the same information. I’d suggest copying your chat and IM logs over to a spare folder for now, then uninstalling the Second Life viewer completely and installing the Firestorm viewer which you can find on the Firestorm Downloads page.
The reason is that when I first started Second Life, the ‘normal’ viewer was much different to the way it is now. Linden Labs decided that they were going to overhaul it some years ago and make it more like an app, more user friendly and easier for noobs to get to grips with. In my opinion that didn’t work, I find more confused noobs wandering around with one shoe on due to the Second Life viewer than a few.
I’m not on a commission for recommending Firestorm – and it’s irrelevant to how many friends you make – but it does have an easier search function I think. Here’s a pic of the sign in screen on Firestorm, notice that in the bottom right of the screen I have shown you the word ‘Phoenix’ in a drop down menu box. Make sure yours says that too before your first sign in and hopefully, you’ll find it as easy to understand as I do.
Or, you could simply get to know the Second Life Viewer better :D. Either way, let’s begin your journey towards making more friends in Second Life.
If you look at the first image – Firestorm’s search function – you’ll see tabs across the top reading People, Groups, Places, Land Sales, Events and Classifieds. You’ll be mainly looking at two of these tabs – Groups and Places. So go ahead and click on one of those and then perform a search, you’ll only be shown results which relate to your search term and that category.
2) Searching for RP Sims – If you think you might enjoy roleplay, you can visit RP sims and read the instructions of how to take part. There’s a very wide variety – Harry Potter for instance, furry themed sims, or sims dedicated to family life, schools, colleges, universities, retro themed eras and last (but not least) sexual roleplay sims. I would say though that if you consider a roleplay sim as a way to make friends, sex ones are probably the least useful in terms of long term relationships. Some are more active than others, so it’s worth asking the owner or manager via IM or notecard how busy it gets and what times are best to come along and join in.
3) Searching for musical genres – There are a ton of clubs in Second Life. There are rock clubs, jazz clubs, indie clubs, 80s clubs, disco clubs, goth clubs, punk clubs blah blah blah clubs. I know of a KPop club! There’s sure to be something that floats your boat and the huge bonus of this is… you’re hopefully going to find people who like something you do too!
4) Searching for creative outlets – There are communities who get together to discuss writing, to do writing, to do art, to see art, to discuss art. Of course, you’d search for ‘art’ or ‘writing’ to find these – and check out the group tab as well as the places tab! There are discussion forums on various subjects too – maybe see which appeals to you after doing a search on ‘discussion’?
5) Searching for active pursuits – If you’re the sporty type, there are teams and leagues and casual opportunities for sports in Second Life. Think surfing, sailing, skydiving, wrestling, football (soccer), driving, horse racing and I’m sure even more that I’ve not come across personally. Simply search for the sport that interests you and see what places and groups come up in the results. Don’t be shy to IM the group owner to ask for information.
6) Go to classes! Firestorm run classes for new residents to teach them some of the tricks of their viewer and of Second Life. You might meet other new residents who are finding their way too. You can find details here on the Firestorm website.
7) If you add someone to your contacts list, do IM them and find out how they’re doing and get to know them, don’t be offended if they can’t reply straight away. Remember everybody has a RL too and sometimes it drags people AFK. It’s totally acceptable in SL to ask your new friend ‘What are you doing?’ or ‘What are you up to today?’. It might lead to them inviting you along.
8) Don’t expect to be taken to their hearts after one visit. Going back multiple times is key because groups of existing friends in these clubs, groups, organisations and communities get used to people dropping in once or twice and then never coming back. So be the exception to that rule, stick at it! Wherever you go, you might have to go back a few times and – horrors – talk in chat in order to become a regular and make friends. Don’t forget, friends are not a list of names in your contacts but rather people who know you and talk to you on a regular basis. Who cares where you find them?
Edit: On the subject of where you might find them, a friend of mine (Nodnol – thank you) has just made a good suggestion. Some people use Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Flickr etc. to make new contacts and friends. It helps to give a different perspective. Some people have profiles in their avatar names even though this is contra to the conditions of joining most of these services – just sayin’.
Finally, I’d just like to say a huge good luck and have a great time to any person reading this who has just joined Second Life, or maybe who has been there a while and hasn’t found a niche into which they fit comfortably. My final suggestion is that if the thing you’re interested in doesn’t exist yet – why not consider creating it yourself and inviting people to come and join you?
What to wear in Second Life today?
Visit | Briarhaven
Pose | An Lar Comfy Sit 02 (an lar Mainstore)
Bag | #187# Car Handbag Hippie, prev gacha, try (#187# Mainstore)
Glasses | Izzie’s Retro Sunglasses (Izzie’s Mainstore)
Shoes | Storybook Gothic Pink for Maitreya (ShoeBox Event)
Skirt | [Cynful] Play Back Mini Skirt [Mait/3Bell/2Sli] (Cynful Mainstore : Cynful Marketplace)
Top | Vinyl Joy Velvet Halter [Mait/2Sli/3Bell/TMP] (Mesh Body Addicts, Sept 10 – Oct 1)
Hair | [KoKoLoReS] Min Bayalage HUD (Hairology, from Sept 10 – 30)
Vinyl’s Joy Velvet Halter is the softest, sexiest and cutest thing I’ve had on this month. It’s available in 15 diff colors and each color comes with a bonus Zebra texture. Joy is HUD Operated & compatible with Lara, Venus, Isis, Freya, Physique, Hourglass & TMP.
A cute short hairdo can make you ready for anything, I always think, and KoKoLoReS’s Min is so sweet. You can get it in a ton of HUD options – each HUD having many generous colour options – from Hairology right now.
Cynful’s newest release – the Play Back Mini Skirt – is a denim mini with a wee split in the back. It also comes in some really gorgeous colour combinations, plain colours, ombres etc. Their textures are so lovely. Anyway it’s a mainstore release, so go visit them soon!
Storybook’s Gothic Shoes are for Maitreya feet and come in a selection of subtle gothy colours – with a skull on the back – I felt I should say this just in case you hadn’t noticed, but I’ve shown it in detail below. I love the lacey texture of the shoe and I swear, I had no blisters after 2 hours of rambling around this gorgeous sim.
Here’s some more pics plus a ‘well lit, no shit’ shot. Click to see them larger.
And finally, a jigging for the rigging video – you might think by now I’d know that I don’t fall out of these clothes but you can never be too sure – and there could be alpha gaps or something!!!