The New Welcome Island Regions


The New Welcome Islands

Linden Lab are currently working on the new user experience for Second Life at the moment which will be rolled out in the months ahead. All new residents joining Second Life today still go through the Learning Islands followed by the Social Islands. Soon new residents will most likely be sent though the new revamped Welcome Islands.

The new Welcome islands came online on 27th June 2021. I would imagine the lab will add a big cluster of these Welcome Islands at some point in the near future near the social/learning islands.

At first glance there new Welcome Islands main areas seem half the size of the current Learning Islands/Social Islands. I suppose the good thing is that the tutorials/orientation there will be pretty new and updated. At the moment there appears to be three Welcome Islands (Welcome Island, Welcome Island Build and Welcome Island QA). The Welcome Back Island region is linked with the Welcome Islands. These are closed to the public as the lab are testing them currently.

The New Welcome Island Guidebook

The new Welcome Island Guidebook is available to view by using the default Second Life official viewer (6.4.20.560520) which is apart of Viewer UI Project now. The new Welcome Island Guidebook covers the basics from how to move your avatar & camera, how to use nearby chat, IM and voice, interacting with objects, changing your avatar, avatar attachments and finding places to go. There is the ability to click next or back when going through the guidebook sections. There is a small toggle in the top right which brings up the Guidebook Menu to skip whole sections. There is a clickable image to return to Welcome Island which is not working yet.

The new Welcome Island Guidebook has alot of useful pages to click through with updated screenshots of the UI and the basics. The lab have not released any ETA for when the new welcome islands will open to new users.

New User Experience In 2021

Current new user experience through the Learning Islands/Social Islands

My New User Experience Back In 2006

I remember when I signed up to Teen Second Life back on 31st October 2006 when I was 16 years old and I had to go through TG orientation island. After that I was teleported straight to the welcome area (Lewis) where I started my virtual adventures. There was actually a few Teen Help Islands back then but they were never really used/disabled access.

The starting point back then was through Orientation Island 5 and the Orientation Island TG was used as a overflow region. The TSL Volunteer Island was used for a few years for the TG mentor program but then the program was closed down. I know many started on Orientation Island followed by Help Islands then after that landing on various welcome areas across the main grid. Tutorial Island is still open which is a copy version of the Ivory Tower Library of Primitives.

I took this screenshot of the TG orientation regions back on 31st May 2008

The New User Experience Today

I know many started on Orientation Island followed by Help Islands then after that landing on various welcome areas across the main grid. Today there are just two existing Help Island Public regions which are open to everyone to revisit if they wish. Orientation Island Public is still open today which is near a welcome area called Waterhead.

Over the years the lab have rolled out many different new user experience regions from Help islands, Greeter islands, Discovery islands, Learning/Social islands and now with the new Welcome Islands launching very soon. Some methods have worked during the past 18 years and some have not worked well.

I think having a Welcome island is definitely a good thing for new residents joining Second Life and I hope at some point the lab will bring back the mentor program revamped.

The old new user experience regions

I will post more soon about the new user experience when further developments take place.

SL18B Ends Next Week


This year’s SL18B celebrations will end next week on Tuesday 6th July 2021 when shortly afterwards the SLB regions will go offline for another year. This is a great opportunity for everyone to revisit the exhibitions and explore while the regions are quieter. The live events at SL18B ended on Sunday 27th June 2021.

This year has been very successful for the birthday bash from the music fest, meet the linden talks along with all the live performance events. The preview of the new Fantasy Linden homes theme region has pretty popular during the past few weeks. Hopefully for next year at SL19B and then for the big SL20B celebration it will be amazing once again.

The SL18B Shop & Hop event is still open until 6th July 2021 featuring 320 merchants across 16 regions. There are deals, discounts, new gifts and exclusive items around the shops over there. This is a huge shopping event featuring well know brands from across the grid.

See here for the SL18B Shop & Hop landmarks.

Check out the SL18B section on the Second Life Destination Guide for places to visit and explore.

Catch Up With All Of The Meet The Lindens Episodes At SL18B


For anyone that has missed any of the SL18B Meet the Lindens series episodes then here are all the catch up videos in full to watch again. The 2021 Meet the Lindens sessions at SL18B have been pretty popular this year and have all gone really smoothly without any major technical issues. Saffia Widdershins and Strawberry Linden along with the rest of the team have done a great job this week interviewing many well known Lindens/Moles.

Featuring Oberwolf Linden, Patch Linden, Grumpity Linden, Brett Linden and the Moles. I would imagine everyone will be back next year at SL19B scheduled for mid June 2022. The SL20B celebrations in 2023 will be huge as that would be a big important milestone.

All these episodes featured below are at least one hour to two hours long. Find out about the roadmap for Second Life, the next Linden Home theme, the passing of Ebbe Altberg, latest updates on the SL Mobile development and much more.

Live events at SL18B will end on Sunday 27th June however the SL18B regions will remain open until Tuesday 6th July 2021. There is plenty of time to explore the birthday regions and exhibits during it’s quieter days ahead.

Monday 21st June 2021 – Lab Gab SL18B Special / Linden Lab Leadership Team with Oberwolf Linden with Brett Linden, Grumpity Linden and Patch Linden

+ The Second Life Book Club with Draxtor Special at SL18B with Philip Rosedale & Tom Boellstorff

Tuesday 22nd June 2021 – Patch Linden – VP of Product Operations

Wednesday 23rd June 2021 – Grumpity Linden – VP of Product

Thursday 24th June 2021 – Brett Linden – VP of Marketing

Friday 25th June 2021 – The Moles – Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW)

Please spread the word about all of the SL18B talk sessions. Well done to everyone that made SL18B a huge success. Yay.

Meet The Moles At SL18B


On Friday 25th June 2021 marked the end of the special SL18B talks. Saffia Widdershins speaks to a whole bunch of Moles during this episode. It’s a really interesting show with some history, current projects and whats to come. This episode runs for 1 hour and 52 minutes.

The Moles are apart of the Linden Department of Public Works (LDPW) focused on improvements on the mainland and across Second Life. The LDPW worked on the old Linden Homes which is now over 12 years old for Premium residents. They were widely popular, mostly prims and was cloned four times.

The Moles main focus now is the expansion of the Bellisseria continent which includes many theme types and covers hundreds of new Linden Homes. Bellisseria first formed back in April 2019 and now connects to the main landmasses. The new Fantasy Linden Home announced at SL18B will be released later this year and it will be on it’s sub-continent. The lab are still deciding where the place the new area.

There was talk about the games on the grid and the annual events that the Moles works on. The seasonal events include isle of view, Halloween, winter wonderland and the yearly birthday events. For anyone that is interested to apply to be a Mole – drop your resume notecard to Derrick Linden. More information here.

The Moles focus turns towards the expansion of the bellisseria continent and the Halloween event once SL18B ends early in July 2021. During the past year the Moles have been very busy at making Second Life more awesome.

Overall the Moles/Lindens do such a great job building new areas and organising events on the grid. There is still lot’s to look forward to including another 3-4 Linden Home themes and new various improvements over the next 12 months. Next year for SL19B in June 2022 it will be interesting to hear about all the changes made.

The SL18B talks this week have been most interesting once again and I guess there is loads of things to look forward to during the rest of 2021/2022. The attendance levels have been high this year inworld and on the live YouTube streams.

Can’t wait for SL19B next year.

Meet The Lindens At SL18B: Grumpity Linden & Brett Linden


For anyone that have missed Grumpity Linden Meet The Lindens 2021 session at SL18B then here is a summary below. Don’t forget to check out the SL18B Birthday Calendar for great upcoming events.

On Wednesday 23rd June Grumpity Linden talked with Saffia Widdershins at the SL18B Auditorium about a variety of interesting topics. These included the roadmap for the next 12 months, open source viewer development, SL Mobile and more. Grumpity is the vice president of product and the interim vice president of engineering at the lab. She became a full time Linden in 2014 and now she is apart of the Second Life product team (UI design and layout).

Grumpity talked about Ebbe Altberg who sadly passed away recently and how the team has worked well since Oz Linden departure earlier this year. She talks about how the AWS transition work went smoothly and the advantages that it brings. The move is to ensure the longevity of Second Life.

Grumpity then went on to the roadmap for the next 12 months. She mentions that there will be experiment’s taking place on the simulator side of things. There will be potential in the near future for new land product offerings. The lab will continue to work on open-source development for the viewer. The beta version of the Second Life Mobile communications app for iOS should be ready soon for release. The Android version is still in development which will be released much later.

There was some new SL usage metrics mentioned after the hour mark. Grumpity said that Metrics and infographics tend to be given to journalists. The average daily concurrency averages 40, 000 with the peak concurrency normally hits 55, 000. The daily active users is approx 200, 000 in Second Life. There was mention about the account limits where Grumpity pointed out that there is no longer any limit on how many accounts any one can have.

Run Time: 1 hour / 26 minutes / 50 seconds

On Thursday 24th June Brett Linden talked with Saffia Widdershins at the SL18B Auditorium. Here are some things to mention. Brett is the vice president of marketing in terms of communication and publicity. It’s worth a watch if you have a few hours spare. Brett Linden started with Second Life in July 2007.

A brief summary…

  • The pandemic has been tough for lab employees / significant spike in user registrations and user concurrency last year during first wave / it’s been a crazy year
  • The new user experience surveys have been done to improve the overall experiences
  • Alot of great partnerships made during the past year (NFL Alumni, Adult Swim Partnership & Titmouse). A few more partnerships coming in later summer 2021 / it’s a year of experiments
  • Share feedback for the Marketing team to editor@lindenlab.com
  • In two years Brett hopes that Second Life is more accessible in the early stages to the wow moment
  • Bellisseria development success 1. having a Linden home & 2. sense of community
  • The marketing team is fixed in the US / primary office based in the US / moles are adding to the overall picture
  • Linden Lab promote / work with Facebook – Brett would love that / risk of Facebook removing pages / accounts
  • Long term plan after the pandemic – hope that those in Second Life stay & the lab are testing alot of win back ways for returning residents
  • Twitch – Streaming from Second Life – on-going discussion with Twitch to resolve the issue / Second Life is on the restriction list / concern about the adult content being streamed
  • Data plays a big part of marketing for Second Life / some data points not shared for statistics / there is a fair amount of public statistics out there
  • Over 70 million registered accounts, 200, 000 users across 200 countries (average daily usage), GDP/US $600 million and over $80 million US in creator cash-outs

Run Time: 2 hours / 50 seconds

Meet the Moles live session at starts today at 1pm SLT over at the SL18B Auditorium. Stay tuned for more updates soon.

Meet The Lindens: Patch Linden At SL18B


On Tuesday 22nd June 2021 Patch Linden (Vice President of Product Operations) appeared on the first Meet the Lindens talks at SL18B interviewed by Saffia Widdershins. The episode runs for almost 2 hours full of interesting discussion about Second Life, Linden Lab and current projects.

The main key points from the session…

  • Ebbe Altberg meant a lot to Patch. He was always fun to work with
  • The new Fantasy Linden Home theme will be released “soon” with the ability to choose from homes with open plans or with rooms. The Fantasy release will be on a sub-continent that will be part of the Bellisseria continent. There will be seasonal cycles and there will be at least 3 more themes to be announced
  • There has been no work yet on retiring the old Linden homes
  • The Moles are building the next two LH themes (one is in almost continent complete and the other one is coming along)
  • There will be a new user experience soon (within weeks) with a new region layout with new tutorials, new viewer and web based support
  • New starter avatars are being considered as the default new starter avatar (mesh/bento/bakes on mesh ready) & Ruth toggle between V1/V2
  • There have been increases in the LindeX and GDP
  • Linden Lab support have been enjoying the general turn around time for issues, enquiries and the satisfaction rate

Roadmap for the next 12 months

  • Expansion work for Linden Homes including “V2” home type (the surprise)
  • New avatar work and the new user experience
  • A new possible game (mid-late next year)
  • New land products and new land prices possible

After 1 hour and 16 minutes the talk turns into a Q&A session which is worth a listen for anyone that has not watched this session yet. Some interesting things to mention here…

  • The Tapestry of Time region – The lab updates it yearly to come back with the annual birthdays. Bear Island makes a return every five years.
  • More groups – At some point
  • Underwater Linden Homes – Don’t know if the lab will tackle it
  • Adding Linden Homes to Zindra – Adult Linden Homes could be something to consider and think about
  • AWS – Performance gains, region border crossings much improved and there has been alot of upside to it
  • Barrier of content creation – Something the lab should tackle (3D Modelling etc)
  • Linden Lab railway across continents – Possible expansion of SLRR
  • Bellisseria airports – The lab do drop one here and there
  • Option for faster download speeds in the viewer / option for texture cache – Probably
  • Higher level premium – Premium Plus put on hold / No plans for move forward with it
  • Disney world regions – Would love to do it / It would be a significant partnership
  • Mermaid aquatic avatars for new starter avatars – Possible after the coming new starter avatars
  • More Prims – Have to look at testing it at Linden Homes and Private Estate offerings etc
  • Second Life in 18 years time – Patch sees it much larger, potentially being part of vernacular and regularly talked about. On all sorts of devices in 18 years everywhere we go. The sky’s the limit for us and Patch hopes to take it there.

The Meet the Lindens series continues until Friday 25th June 2021 with a variety of well known Linden/Moles. Stay tuned.

Brad Oberwager and the Leadership Team At SL18B


Brad Oberwager appeared on the special SL18B episode of Lab Gab along with the Leadership Team on Monday 21st June 2021. This was the first time that Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) talked directly the the Second Life community. I thought it was a great show generally speaking and it was nice to hear about Brad’s plans for the future of Second Life. It was good to hear that Brad has gone in-world with his Oberwolf Linden account at least a few times and he does have alt accounts. Brad alt accounts were not revealed during this episode.

Brad is the Executive Chairman at Linden Lab and is one of the three investors (J. Randy Waterfield and Raj Date) who acquired Linden Lab during mid 2020. Brad is taking basically a “four pillars” approach in terms of decision making from what is going to bring in new users?, what is going to make existing uses happier?, what will lead to more engagement? and what is going to offer Linden employees to be happier?. This is a interesting road to go down and hopefully will lead to Second Life becoming even more popular in the months and years ahead. Brad mentioned during the show that the long term success of Second Life will be through feedback like in the new user experience and growing the Second Life user base.

Patch Linden, Grumpity Linden and Brett Linden deal with the product decisions at the lab which are supported by the senior management team including Brad and his team. Apparently Linden Research is now owned by LLC company formed by Brad Oberwager and Randy Waterfield. He mentioned that Tilia was not in competition with Second Life and still has a future.

Brad did mention that he doesn’t expect to see change for change sake for Second Life in the short term however change will come over time. I just hope these future changes will be good ones for the Second Life community.

I hope that Brad and the leadership team will continue to invest in the Second Life platform and carry on the success that Ebbe Altberg managed to achieve over recent years. If the Second Life user base grows larger and the overall user experience improves within the next year or so that would be nice. I do think Second Life needs to be more in the press more along with more improvements being made. The Second Life economy is still going strong and hopefully that will continue.

This is a good start I think and it’s nice to hear Brad passion/energy for Second Life. He wants everyone moving towards a sense of joy and not fear.

  • Stay Safe – Stay Virtual

New Last Names For SL18B and Fathers Day


On Thursday 17th June Linden Lab announced new limited edition last names for SL18B which will be available until 9th July 2021. The Father’s Day last names will only be available until 25th June 2021. This is all apart of the Second Life 18th birthday celebrations and again there are some interesting last names on the list.

The following names are in theme with SL18B this year and are only available until July 9th.
Mystic
Fae
Mote
Woodsprite
Silvius
Fyrewik
Padfoot


The following names for Father’s Day are only available until June 25th.  
Daddy
Pop
Sire

If you want to change your last name in Second Life you have to upgrade to Premium.

Available Last Names as of 19th June 2021

Here is the Premium Membership breakdown of prices below.

Annual – Best Value

  • USD 99.00 per year

Quarterly – Most Popular

  • Billed Quarterly – USD 39.56

Monthly

  • USD 14.39 per month

Here are the benefits of Second Life Premium

  • Weekly L$300 stipend*
  • L$1000 sign-up bonus** for first-time Premium Account subscribers
  • Priority entry when regions are full of avatars
  • 1024m² tier allotment for use towards a Linden Home (subject to availability) or a parcel on the Mainland
  • Expanded live-chat customer support
  • Premium virtual gifts
  • Exclusive access to Premium areas and experiences
  • Increased cap on missed IMs
  • Increased group membership limits
  • Voice Morphing

There will be more last names added to the overall last names pool in the near future.

SL18B Main Attractions To Visit


There are many cool places to to visit this year at the Second Life 18th birthday celebrations. Here are some of the main SL18B attractions worth exploring to get started. Click on the SLURLs below to teleport different areas of SL18B. The birthday celebrations continue until Tuesday 6th July 2021 so that’s plenty of time to look around.

SL18B Map

The exhibitor regions can be found here.

SL18B Welcome Area > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Awesome/236/108/54

SL18B Main Stage > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Wonderous/212/47/22

SL18B Auditorium > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Awesome/24/241/23

SL18B Demo Region – New Fantasy Linden Homes Preview > https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Mesmerize/196/225/45

SL18B Tapestry of Time > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Impressive/7/129/24

Ebbe Altberg Memorial > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Impressive/68/122/24

SL18B DJ Stage > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Spectacular/251/214/23

SL18B Pod Tours > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Magnificent/54/169/23

SL18B Games Area / Skill Gaming > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Magnificent/102/13/24

SL18B Gifts Area > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Magnificent/198/120/34

SL18B Official Second Life Events > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Enchant/178/128/23

Shop & Hop Regions > http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Gilded/130/127/23

Have fun exploring SL18B. Feel free to pass this SL18B attractions guide to your friends.

Next Linden Home Theme Is Fantasy


First Preview of the new Fantasy Linden Homes

Patch Linden officially announced the next Linden Home theme during his opening address at SL18B yesterday morning. Fantasy now becomes theme 8 and more will be said about the new Linden Home theme during Meet the Lindens series next week. As many know already Patch Linden will be live from 1pm SLT on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 over at the SL18B Auditorium talking with Saffia Widdershins. It’s best to arrive early as the regions will full up pretty fast. This session will be live streamed across the metaverse (see below for the live stream link).

Fantasy Linden Homes Preview > https://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SLB%20Mesmerize/196/225/45

Fantasy homes from above

From the information I’ve seen so far on the Linden Homes section on the Second Life Forums about theme 8 is that there will be four home styles (Amberbrooke, Rosebrooke, Mistbrooke and Stonebrooke. The new houses on the demo region are not the finished houses and will be changed slightly during the release later this year. So far the overall feedback on the forums seem to be very positive and many love the new Linden Home theme.

4 days and counting.

More details will be announced soon.