Second Life University – Land & Group Basics with Izzy Linden


For anyone that missed the new Second Life University – Land & Group Basics episode with Izzy Linden then here is the full video which lasts for 25 minutes & 1 second. There are many interesting topics covered in this video including general information about land tips, region capacity vs parcel capacity, region settings override, buying mainland and much more.

I think the Second Life University video series so far has been great as there is important information for new beginners who are starting Second Life. It’s good for those that want a tutorial refresh that have been around in Second Life for many years.

In general it’s good to see interest from Linden Lab towards the existing, new and potential customer base. If the Second Life University can keep on the same levels as the famous Torley Linden video tutorials that would be awesome.

For anyone that missed Second Life University – Viewer Basics here is the full video below. Topics include text chat, the new guidebook, destinations, lag tips, snapshots and much more.

Please spread the word about the new Second Life University video series. It will make a positive difference and will provide to be pretty useful.

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Second Life Year In Review 2021: August To December


This is a special blog post looking back at what happened in Second Life between August 2021 to December 2021. The last half of 2021 has been busy at times for big news pretty much and here is what happened below. So much has happened this year including many good memories and some not so good ones.

I hope 2022 will be another great year for Second Life in general terms and that it continues to grow in size. The new management team have recently announced the 2022 roadmap for Second Life which sounds very promising.

August 2021

On 2nd August Linden Lab announced the end of the use of gacha machines within Second Life and they must be discontinued by content creators by midnight SLT on Tuesday 31st August 2021. There was huge discussion about this news on the Second Life forums for some time. The lab put together a useful FAQ on the main blog post soon after.

In early August Linden Lab rolled out the new look join Second Life page with new gender selection options. New users can select the GENDER-VARIANT/NON-BINARY tick box for their starter avatar when they log into Second Life for the first time. The new look join Second Life page has the usual required details to fill out including username, password, email, date of birth, security question/answer and starting avatar gender. 

On 13th August the new Fantasy sub continent got released and a handful of regions were released. The Moles are working on the coastline orbit adding new homes and new areas.

Andrew Kertesz (Mojo Linden) became the new Vice President of Engineering at Linden Lab from late August 2021. Andrew has more than 20 years experience in the games industry and he is an expert in building teams and launching ground-breaking games across genres that push respective platforms.

On 20th August marked three years since the first SSP batch of regions arrived on the grid. Back in August 2018 there was just 80 SSP regions and since then thousands of regions have been added to make up the Bellisseria continent we know today.

Start of the SSP development phrase of the Bellisseria continent in mid August 2018

September 2021

The Firestorm Project reached it’s 11th anniversary in early September 2021. The Firestorm viewer is one of the most popular and most used third party viewers out there today. 

Firestorm Viewer Log On Screen – September 2021

In late September 2021 Linden Lab announced an additional way for Second Life residents to protect their accounts. The Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is available to all residents and it provides an extra level of security.

October 2021

Linden Lab announced new Halloween limited edition last names in early October. The lab was very pleased to see the responses to the limited edition last names.

The Arcade hosted it’s October 2021 mini pop-up round featuring Halloween treats and a new way to play.

BURN2 2021 opened to the public in early October featuring a whole lot of events on the playa. Once again the event was a huge success. More events are planned for 2022.

Linden Lab paused development of the Second Life mobile app for iOS and Android. The team is still actively working on a new direction which will be talked about during 2022.

After reviewing the current state of the SL Mobile Viewer and the helpful feedback from residents, we have decided to pause development on this branch. The team is actively working on a new direction to take from here. We should have some news on that soon.

Avi Arrow in Second Life sadly passed away at her home on Saturday 23rd October 2021 surrounded by her family. Avi Arrow was the administrator of the Ivory Tower in Natoma. Avi primarily managed the property and the Ivory Tower of Prims group. Avi Arrow was my friend in Second Life who has been a resident for over 15 years now. Avi was talented, generous and very clever I think. Avi helped so many people over the years on how to build in Second Life and much more.

Second Life trended on Twitter in late October from the Facebook Meta announcement. Facebook is focused on moving away from social media to the metaverse.

On 31st October marked my 15th Rez Day in Second Life. Read more here about my journey so far. I still think Second Life is the best virtual world out there today and as the lab has said many times Second Life is here to stay for many more years to come.

November 2021

In early November April Linden departed Linden Lab after 8 years. April Linden helped moved Second Life to the cloud (Amazon AWS). Good luck April.

The new Fantasy community centre was open to the public in early November. It’s worth checking out if you have not been so far.

The Drax Files ended after seven years as viewers declined over time. Drax produced many amazing podcasts over the years covering a huge range of Second Life topics.

Linden Lab gives Second Life search a facelift after many years. The lab have not changed the algorithm that the search feature uses in any way. More changes are due to happen in 2022.

December 2021

In early December the 2021 SL Christmas Expo opened to the public featuring over 150 stores spread over 15 Christmas regions. On 6th December the new Linden Home theme was revealed to the public. Modern homes was showcased on the Linden Reveal region in the north east corner.

Linden Lab announced email preference changes which involved receiving group notices in email. Receiving group notifications went live from 15th December and there is a option to opt-in or out.

Linden Lab announced new Winter last names which are still available until 5th January 2022.

  • Snowflake
  • Kringle
  • Yule
  • Fruitcake
  • Ninnymuggins
  • Humbug
  • Hollyberry
  • Jinglepaw

On 8th December 2021 Patch Linden confirmed that the old Linden homes will be phased out and/or repurposed. Patch Linden at the moment does not know the timing on when that will be.

My Second Life 2022 Predictions

  • Linden Lab will allow for more groups
  • Larger 2048 m² parcel sizes
  • There will be at least two new Linden Home themes announced/released
  • Land Prices lowered slightly
  • Announcement about old Linden Home continents closing down or possible upgrade instead
  • Avatar 2.0 to be rolled out
  • More user group hours introduced

2022 Events Ahead

I can’t wait for 2022 to arrive. I will blog about the news and events along the way as I have done in previous years. I have no idea what the new year will bring but I am sure it’s going to be a good one.

2022 is almost here 🙂

Linden Lab Looks Back At 2021 & Looks Forward To 2022


On Thursday 23rd December Linden Lab released it’s 2021 – Second Life Year In Review blog post mentioning some of the main highlights of the year. The lab reflects on the key accomplishments for 2021 from the succesful migration to the cloud, performance improvements, new features, new user experience improvements, the release of two different Linden Home themes and more.

2021 Key Highlights

  • Improved speed and cadence of updates in performance. Overhauling the new user experience (welcome islands/new user guidebook), various UI and search improvements
  • The infrastructure in the Cloud improved throughout 2021
  • Chalet and Fantasy Linden Home themes were released. Newbrooke will be available very soon
  • Receiving group notices in email
  • More time limited themed last names became available through 2021
  • Support for multi-factor authentication was introduced this year
  • New 360 Snapshot Tool enables 360-degree snapshots
  • Over 140 Second Life Marketplace updates and fixes. Like these highlights like “tying Marketplace into the overall single sign-on (SSO) system, adding a “Save For Later” feature in the shopping cart, adding bulk redelivery for merchants, as well as fixing several issues and improving speed and stability”. 
  • And more!

There was mentions of Ebbe Altberg who sadly passed away earlier this year and Oz Linden who retired earlier this year. Brad Oberwager (Oberwolf Linden) stepped in as the Executive Chairman following the succesful acquisition of Linden Lab by an investment group run by Randy Waterfield.

Linden Lab mentions the 2022 roadmap in the blog post which sounds pretty interesting. Stay tuned for more Lab Gab episodes and weekly user group office hours which are planned. The annual shopping and larger popular events will be happening next year.

  • Avatar “expressiveness” that brings camera-based gestures and movement to your avatar for a whole new level of interaction and connectedness
  • Premium Plus – a new upgrade option with added features and extras
  • A new mobile viewer to enhance and improve your Second Life experience
  • Improved group chat reliability
  • Viewer and script performance improvements 
  • New user avatar customization and improvements
  • Updated mesh optimizer
  • Search engine improvements
  • Improved materials and terrain
  • Adding web marketplace variants
  • …and much more!

I think Avatar “expressiveness” sounds like it’s going to be pretty big and i’m sure going to be awesome. Premium Plus is a big one to watch as many have wanted this for some time. The new mobile viewer is still happening so that’s great to hear. The other improvements listed under that will make Second Life sound pretty good during 2022.

Linden Lab mentions the metaverse relating to the big name change announcement from Facebook to Meta recently. From the sounds of things there is “genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space”. Let’s see what happens in 2022 and 2023. It’s still early days yet.

Marketing the “Metaverse”
So, perhaps you have heard of this new thing called the metaverse? ;)  Unless you’ve been living under a rock (virtual or otherwise), you probably already know that Facebook recently changed its corporate name to Meta as they work on their own vision and version of a “metaverse.” While we appreciate that this development has super-charged interest in virtual worlds, we also know that there is genuine concern about Facebook’s plans in this space given its spotty reputation on many issues including consumer data privacy and protections.

At Second Life, we’re proud that we don’t monetize, sell, or share consumer data – and we’ve been heartened to see the mainstream media reevaluate our own virtual world amidst the heightened interest in all-things-metaverse including a renewed recognition and celebration of our pioneering contributions to the concepts of virtual economies, cultures, and communities.

What have been your highlights of 2021 in Second Life ? Feel free to share in comments below. Have a great Christmas everyone.

Linden Lab rolls out new look Join Second Life page with new gender selection options


Recently Linden Lab have rolled out the new look Second Life join page which has gone live. It’s worth pointing out that the lab have added new gender selection options which is a rather interesting move. New users can now select the GENDER-VARIANT/NON-BINARY tick box for their starter avatar when they log into Second Life for the first time. There is a blue avatar behind the signup boxes surrounded by a black background.

The new look join Second Life page has the usual required details to fill out including username, password, email, date of birth, security question/answer and starting avatar gender. There is a tick box to receive news and special offers and the box to agree to the terms of service. Once signed up there is a likely chance new users will land at the new welcome island to get started in Second Life.

The main Second Life homepage was revamped back in April 2021 and has been improved slightly with a new animation at the top of the page since then.

Welcome Island: The New User Experience Goes Live


New Welcome Island

This weekend it appears Linden Lab are bringing in new residents through the new Welcome Island in Second Life when using the default Second Life viewer. For many years when new residents join they go through Learning Island and then the Social Island. The new user experience has been completely been revamped with a new layout and a new Welcome Island Guidebook.

I decided to join Second Life today under a new account and see if the lab have started to roll out the new user experience. I was amazed to arrive at the new Welcome Island as I thought it was still being tested / QA.

Welcome Island is open to new residents joining Second Life. The Welcome Back Island appears to be open to the public which is the same layout as the Welcome Island is. I would imagine in the weeks or months ahead the lab will add a whole lot more Welcome Islands on the grid. Keep a look out just in case.

Once new residents log into Second Life they will now arrive at this starting point on the new Welcome Island. The new Welcome Island Guidebook will appear on screen where they can get started going through the basics of Second Life. The Welcome Island is split into many areas with free gifts, seating areas including a new bar and more. See the snapshots below.

I have to say the Welcome Island new user experience is alright compared with previous versions of the new user experience the lab have rolled out. This version is faster for sure and is mainly focused on the new Welcome Island Guidebook rather then going through different physical tutorials.

I just wonder how many new residents will stay with Second Life after finishing this new Welcome Island. I think that more improvements could be done like more tutorials to interact with, a huge map of Second Life with key landmarks to visit, support resources and more.

Preview of the new Welcome Island
The new Welcome Island Guidebook
Free Gifts Area
Bar Area
A New Coffee Point
The Search / Destination Guide Board
Second Life Globe v1.0
New seating area

Let me know what you think of this new Welcome Island experience in comments.

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.