Before any first hour experience is possible, there must be some event that motivates a neophyte to register. Since many new registrations originate with a Google-powered ad, I decided to role play as a Twilight wannabe. I clicked one of Linden Lab's vampire-themed banners and followed it all the way through to my new avatar's first rez in Second Life.
Everything went very well at first. I expected the banner link to just dump me at the secondlife.com home page. Instead, it sent me to a nice vampire-themed landing page that led me through a series of simple steps to register. Very well done!
The trouble started when I logged in to Second Life. Although it did rez me within a vampire RPG area, I was left alone with absolutely no help in figuring out how to use the client or to make sense of the environment I was dumped in. I gave it a reasonable try, but only lasted about five minutes before giving up and quitting.
You can see what happened for yourself here. I think it's probably a pretty good representation of why so few people end up transitioning from new Second Life registrants to active participants. Maybe instead of talking about the first hour experience we should focus on the first ten minutes and work out from there?
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