Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Watch This Video if You Want to Know Why Second Life Isn't Growing



How could more than a million new registrations in 2011 not add up to more Second Life active users? This video I shot a year ago is a clear demonstration.

15 comments:

Apmel said...

After close to a decade it STILL looks the same!

Lizzie Gudkov said...

I have not create a new avatar in a while, but the feedback I get from new residents (I am a mentor) reflects exactly what you show in your machinima. What is this, how do I do that? A countless number of questions with no answers. Some are lucky to stumble upon people who are willing to help (and I don't just mean mentors; many SL'ers are helping new residents on a daily basis as well). Others give up while asking the most common questions I have heard in all these years "What is this? What can we do here?" and adding at the end "this is lame". We try to explain that it can be very interesting, but that is kind of difficult when the new resident runs back and forth, jumps and constantly walks out of chat range. It's not easy for either side and this DOES mean that improvement needs to happen!

Unknown said...

Great vid, Botgirl. I could feel the frustration. I had no idea the welcoming process had lost all the tutorial phase. I guess it's assumed that in today's world everyone knows gaming basics, but SL peeps aren't necessarily gamers. And wow, when she right clicked it was spooky what kind of confusion would follow.

Pussycat Catnap said...

Would be better to see a video recording of not just a new account, but made by a new user.

Some of the frustrations in that video are likely real, others are the impressions of an old user projected onto the new account experience.

Would take seeing a new user on a new account to untangle that.

Botgirl Questi said...

Apmel : There certainly is a lot that is the same, a lot of which is good and still unique. They have also made a lot of improvements. Which makes it such a shame that they haven't figured out how to support people through the learning curve.

Lizzie: I agree. As I commented on Reddit: The banner clicker probably expects something like the similarly advertised Facebook games or 3D chat platforms. Or something with the refined interface and fast graphics of an xBox game or the easy learning curve of the Sims. So the issue isn't only whether they can figure out how to move around, but how long they're willing to spend trying to figure out how to "play vampire".

Yordie: I think people are familiar with gaming basics, but Second LIfe is anything but basic. There's not only the challenge of knowing how to do things, but also an ongoing question of what to do.

Pussycat: I agree. I'd love to see videos of real newcomers going through the whole process. That siad, I did sincerely tried to imagine myself as a new user. I probably erred on both sides. Some things a new person may have figured out more easily. And other things I took for granted might have been confusing.

Moni Duettmann said...

I understand what you want to say with this video. There certainly is no alternative to personal assistance. However, my first experience with SL wasn't much different from this, but it didn't stop me from staying in and returning to SL. But if I had not had a friend in SL, who helped me in the first weeks and even gave me land to build on, I don't know what would have become of me. There should be some way to introduce newbies to experienced users, like a list of people, who want to help.

I just want to say this: SL does not need any user it can get. A certain persistence to overcome obstacles and a willingness to go through a learning curve must be assumed, if you want to be an active user in SL.

Botgirl Questi said...

Moni: Actually, I don't think personal assistance is the answer, because it doesn't scale. At least one key part of the answer is integrated step-by-step and contextual tutorials. For instance, IMVU does a great job at walking new users through the features and functions of the site.

On your other point, I agree that a certain willingness is needed to get through the learning curve. But where does that willingness come from? A lot of it should come from the confidence that one's efforts will result in something desirable and a clear idea of the path and the benefits.

Botgirl Questi said...

Moni: Actually, I don't think personal assistance is the answer, because it doesn't scale. At least one key part of the answer is integrated step-by-step and contextual tutorials. For instance, IMVU does a great job at walking new users through the features and functions of the site.

On your other point, I agree that a certain willingness is needed to get through the learning curve. But where does that willingness come from? A lot of it should come from the confidence that one's efforts will result in something desirable and a clear idea of the path and the benefits.

Miss D Ember said...

Look at this charming newbie experience video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzkJA-pz8rE

Asil said...

I routinely send new users to Virtual Ability for their walking tour of how to use the SL GUI. Why the Lab hasn't co-opted this simple and intuitive tour is a mystery to me. Here's the link to their land page: http://world.secondlife.com/place/d399b38c-8ce9-a5a3-d8d8-f82150a2bc81.

Asil said...
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Asil said...
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Botgirl Questi said...

Miss D: Thanks! She was clearly trying to give it a fair chance. It was interesting to see how quickly she realized the kind of time commitment required to have a "Second Life". Like many people recount, the kindness of strangers can have a big impact on a new user's experience. In her case, it was mostly positive, but not enough to see Second Life as worth her time.

Asil: Thanks. I'll check that out.

Jessi Firethorn said...

At least the "noobs" aren't directed to the info-hub hell-holes, anymore, to be preyed on by the SL "community," which is only a "community" in the sense that prison gangs are a "community." Asil had a good suggestion - that virtual ability tutorial is the most helpful one I've found on the grid. Beyond what SHOULD happen on the first log-in, Torley's videos are really great for learning the basics.

Great video demostration. It would be interesting to capture the activity of a person who has literally never been in SL before - I'm sure most don't ever get as far as Dakota did.

Jessi Firethorn said...

At least the "noobs" aren't directed to the info-hub hell-holes, anymore, to be preyed on by the SL "community," which is only a "community" in the sense that prison gangs are a "community." Asil had a good suggestion - that virtual ability tutorial is the most helpful one I've found on the grid. Beyond what SHOULD happen on the first log-in, Torley's videos are really great for learning the basics.

Great video demostration. It would be interesting to capture the activity of a person who has literally never been in SL before - I'm sure most don't ever get as far as Dakota did.