Aug. 19th, 2010

shirleymarquez: (Default)
I sent the following email to Philip Linden in response to one of the points in his SLCC keynote speech. Here it is for your edification, with one error corrected and link to the dress added. No personal data here, so nothing I can't post in public.

In your speech at SLCC, you said that LL would be eliminating the existing orientation in favor of allowing people to immediately come in-world to interesting content. Although that approach may lead to an improved experience for some residents, I am not convinced that it will be a better experience for everybody.

I think back to my own experience entering Second Life for the first time. I spent HOURS at Orientation creating my avatar, and although the work on my outfit went to waste in short order as I went out and bought better clothing, the time spent on my body shape and skin tone did not. Although I have made further adjustments to my shape as I learned more about Second Life and how to use the tools effectively, my current shape remains a close relative of the one that I designed on that very first day.

For me entering Second Life was as much about creating the SELF that I wanted to be as it was about hurrying off to some event, and I don't believe that I am alone in that. I worked as a greeter at Virtual CSI:NY, where we got a lot of visitors who were new to Second Life (CSI was a registration portal). Although the majority wanted to learn how to use the crime-solving tools and get to that as quickly as possible, a significant minority had questions about how they could change their avatars. (The CSI orientation, unlike the standard Second Life orientation at the time, did not include that information; instead, you got to choose one of twelve predesigned CSI avatars when you signed up.) Like me, I think those people wanted to bring their virtual selves into alignment with their visions of the selves that they were (or wanted to become) before going out into the larger world.

What I'm trying to say is that, as in so many other things, one size does not fit all. Some people may indeed be better served by a new user experience that is more focused on immediate activities (concerts, meetings, etc.) And some people may not. We need to think about how to offer new user experiences to cover the ENTIRE range of the community, and that probably means offering more than one kind of entrance experience.

I'm glad you were able to attend SLCC in person. (So was I; it was my first SLCC. I live in Boston; the expense of traveling to past conventions was daunting.) I'm sorry we did not get the opportunity to talk; maybe next year. And I know you were at the Avatar Ball for a while; hope you liked the polka dot dress!


shirleymarquez: (Default)

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