So things have moved on and I finally had a look at Help Island as a friend of mine signed up and hasn’t hit the maingrid yet. So now I also saw that Help island is indeed just another sim next to Orientation Island. And I also found out why I did not visited it. I actually was able to fly and thus got over that edge to the actual exit. But he has not read that notecard apparently and didn’t know about flying. So instead he followed some path to Help Island.
And I also saw that choice and can slightly remember to have seen that before but I think I though back then that I’ve learned enough.
So I looked a bit over his shoulder when he was moving (now flying) over Help Island. I also told him to maybe talk to people (not many around at that time though so we only met a group of three). One mentor was actually showing somebody how to link prims together (which gave question from him like “What’s a prim”, I showed him and even how to link). The the mentor said “lol show I show you how to link the prims” which reacted in him flying away as he thought that “lol” was a name 😉 So much for newbies who might seem a bit impolite 😉
I was also thinking about the Welcome Area a bit more. So people being there might actually be a good thing as you might not feel alone in the world. OTOH I never got warm with those people there even not after a while. So this in fact might not be the best experience again. There have been other times though when some people have been there who were quite helpful. The ideal might be that there are some greeters who say Hi to newbies just arriving (just the question if this is possible with voluntary work).
Also the ways to help might be checked out as every person might have a different way of learning. As I basically read all the notecards on Orientation Island my friend apparently did not. So you will miss important things like flying or camera control. For me OTOH all the notecards in the WA seem a bit shattered and the big signs on the top of the buildings sometimes hard to read as a) the camera usually points more downwards (and some SecondCaster also mentioned that the thing you should build with most care is probably the floor because of that 😉 and b) sometimes the ceiling itself is in the way of reading it. But this is only a minor point. Regarding the notecards I found the New Citizens Plaza a bit more convenient as there’s a least some sort of Matrix with all the help texts at one place.
One might also think about the client itself. Apparently not all the information needs to be in-world but can also be inside the client. IMHO it does not help though to have just links to webpages there as I personally find it a bit annoying to change the application. Also the help texts for Basic Help might need some overhaul and maybe the text on Orientation Island should be removed completely as you are out of there. Instead there might be some FAQ or maybe a better way of “Tip of the day” with a “Show next tip”. So more a tip of the login type of thing. Maybe also some builtin videos might help as in-world video is not always working (and again maybe a bit hard to find at the WA).
I don’t know how much of these things have been discussed already actually but I though I just spit out some brainstorming as it comes to mind 🙂
(maybe a teleport option to the Shelter would also be cool as people there helped me a lot, same is true for New Citizens Plaza. Both are actually made for newbies but they are not directly obvious for the new players).
And to show that also good stuff is happening let me tell you a little story. It was a while back when I was visiting Ahern. Many people there of course and also a guy called Einer who was talking to a newbie explaining things. Basically he wanted to change his outfit to look cooler 🙂 So what did Einer? He gave him some Lindens so he was able to get his first outfit. Then the question came up where to actually get it. In the meanwhile I was invited by Einer to join the little chat as I apparently also was interested in where to get things.
A little later he had IMed a friend who was coming around shortly afterwards. She knew where to go and where to get which sort of outfit and after a while he had all he needed (and me some landmarks more) and he was happy. So her name is Linda Bailly and she’s a very helpful person who also signed up for being a mentor and is (although still waiting for her approval) hanging around at the WA and trying to help the helpless. So give her a cheers if you see her!
The story of Einer though could have been better for him and us (and hopefully it was a good decision for him) as he noticed that SL is demanding far too much time from him which won’t work for him and his work and family. So he made the brave decision to leave SL which was apparently not that easy as he just by then noticed how many good friends he made in SL and how much they mean to him. But he still made it (after some reappearings and discussions about this topic) and while it might sound like a bad story I hope it’s a good story for him (and I am quite sure) as having work and family is surely more important than SecondLife ever can be. Still we miss him..