SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

30 (and more) things every newbie should know before starting Second Life

Edit: OK, the number is increasing now. Scroll to the bottom for additional suggestions, credited to those that suggested them :)

Just a list, as the items have come to me. No doubt the number of items will increase (got something you think should be on the list? Leave a comment!)

Hop behind the cut, for 30+ things every newbie should know before starting Second Life.

1 – Nobody can ‘kill’ your avatar. If you happen to be in one of the rare ‘damage-enabled’ zones, the only thing that will happen if your avatar loses all health (which it only has in those rare damage-enabled areas) is that you will be teleported to wherever your Home location is set.

2 – If anyone tells you they are ‘a Linden’ or that they work for ‘the Lindens’ or for Second Life, unless they have the SURNAME of ‘Linden’ and their profile (right-click on them and select ‘profile’) has, under the ‘Account’ section, the words ‘Linden Lab Employee’ – they are LYING. Impersonating a Linden is an Abuse-Reportable offence, so if someone makes this claim (especially if they are threatening you with it) and they are lying, right-click their avatar and select ‘Report Abuse’ from the pie menu (you may have to dig down a bit for it), or you can choose Report Abuse from the Help menu of your viewer.

3 – If you feel at all uncomfortable, then simply teleport away. Same thing if you are being hassled or griefed: simply teleport away. If, for some reason, you can’t teleport (such as you’re getting an error message because the area is busy or teleports are down) then log out and log back in at your Home location, or any other location (see #9, below, for how to do that).

4 – The first place you teleport to after leaving Help Island when you first arrive will be the place that is set as your Home location, until you change it. You can only set your Home location at a Linden Lab infohub, or to certain areas in certain groups that allow it when you are a member of that group. eg: if you join the New Citizens Inc (NCI) group – a newbie-helping organisation – you can set your Home to one of their campuses. (Eloise also points out in comments that you can set your Home to any land that you own, and you can also set it to land that you rent, assuming your rental group allows this – which most do.) UPDATE: You can also set your Home location to your Linden Home, if you have one.

5 – Following on from #3 and #4 the quickest way to teleport to your Home location is the keyboard shortcut CTRL + SHIFT + H.

6 – Many of the Welcome Areas (which are where you will land when you leave Help Island, and which will be set as your Home location) contain griefers (people who get their kicks from harrassing newbies). Try to find an alternate home, such as NCI or ‘Help People!’ as soon as you can, to re-set your Home location (you will usually have to join their groups before being able to set their locations as your Home spot). That said, some of the bigger Welcome Areas are worse for griefing than others. When leaving Help Island, keep clicking that ‘Ready to start your Second Life?’ sign until you have several landmarks for locations. Discard the ones for Ahern and Waterhead, as those are two of the worst for griefing. Quieter locations, such as Ambat, are preferable.

7 – Ladies, be aware that choosing a female avatar will make many men gravitate toward you, even on Help Island just seconds after you first arrive in Second Life. It can be unnerving to try to learn a whole new online experience with some guy insistently chatting to you and asking you where you’re from, what your real name is, etc. Two ways to avoid this are: simply tell him to go away, and to pick a male avatar when you first register (you can always change this to a female one at any time later on, using the shapes in your Inventory’s Library folder). Most people don’t check the names above other’s heads when they first arrive, but they are drawn to a female shape. Having a male shape will enable you to get through those first few hours without feeling hassled.

8 – Be wary of offers that you receive for items and group invitations, especially those that are sitting and waiting for you the minute you first appear in Second Life. The only offers you should consider accepting at first are ones that are clearly from people such as the ‘Help People!’ institute, official Second Life Mentors, and the NCI people. Use your common sense. Some people think it’s fun to grief newbies by offering them something that will do something stupid.

9 – A ‘relog’ (logging out of second Life and then back in again) will fix any griefing problems. If you are being griefed somewhere (such as a sandbox) and relogging only sends you right back there, then when you fire up your Second Life viewer, open up the Edit > Preferences menu (top left) before you log in, and under the ‘General’ tab, check ‘Show Start Location on Login Screen’. It will appear at the bottom of the viewer, under the place where you type your name to login. Change it to ‘Home’, or type in the name of any sim in Second Life (it’s handy to have a few names of quiet sims to choose from at moments like this, so if you find one, note it down somewhere). When you login, you’ll be at whatever location you chose. Please remember, this setting will persist until you change it. ‘Home’ will always log you in at your home location, ‘My Last Location’ will always log you in where you last logged out, and <Type Region Name> will log you in at the centre of the region/sim you choose. If you’re using Viewer 2 (or a third party viewer based on it) then you also can set your Preferences to allow you to log in at any of the landmarks you have on your Favourites Bar.

UPDATE: If you can’t find your Preferences while logged out, then your viewer is set to Basic Mode. See this post on the new SL for Nowt blog for how to change it to Advanced Mode, which you’ll need in order to access your inventory and all Preferences.

10 – You don’t have to do anything in Second Life that you don’t want to.

11 – If you come across red lines saying ‘NO ENTRY’ or you’re bounced away from somewhere or get sent a blue dropdown flag saying you have tried to enter a banned area, don’t take it personally. People value their privacy in SL, and can set their land to bar entry to everyone except themselves or their friends if they wish.

12 – Following on from #11, please respect the fact that most of the homes you see in Second Life will belong to someone. While there are some people who don’t mind others walking around their homes (especially if they themselves aren’t online) others will view it in a manner similar to an intrusion in their real life homes. ESPECIALLY do not walk into someone’s home if they are there and with friends or a lover. If you do blunder in and are asked to leave, apologise and make a quick exit.

13 – Following on from 11 and 12, DON’T use the poseballs you find in someone else’s home. That’s about as rude as shagging in their real life bed. Just don’t do it.

14 – Child avatars aren’t perverts or underage users. Many people wearing child avatars enjoy the innocence of being a kid again. Don’t be too hasty to abuse report them as underage, because you could quite literally ruin their Second Life. If you’re hasty to abuse report someone for being a pervert, you could well ruin their real life, too. You should only abuse report that if you see someone clearly roleplaying a sexual situation between an adult and a child avatar (and even then, be aware that many people in Second Life have young-looking avatars but are not child avatars). The only ‘ageplay’ that is banned in Second Life is sexual ageplay; not simply making your avatar younger than you actually are in real life.

15 – That said, don’t be afraid to abuse report people who are harrassing or griefing you. The worst thing you can do in these situations is retaliate, as often a griefer will hassle you to try and get you to retaliate, at which point he will abuse report YOU.

16 – It’s very likely that, at some point, you will receive the following message in a blue dropdown menu, completely out of the blue:

“Fangs [Thirst::Bloodlines] 2.8: (Avatar Name) would like to give you a Vampire bite. This will register you with The Thirst::Bloodlines system, and you’ll get a FREE pair of bite marks. If you accept the bite, you don’t have to play, and if you get bitten, you don’t have to drink a potion to undo it. Say Yes to accept!”

You don’t have to say ‘yes’. Bloodlines is a pyramid ‘roleplay’ scheme and it annoys a lot of residents. The vampires use a HUD that scans an area and tells them who has not yet been bitten. They tend to hang out in newbie areas, because most newbies won’t understand the offer and are more likely to click ‘yes’. If you are bitten, or have been bitten, then you are not automatically a vampire. You don’t have to play along. You especially don’t need to buy any kind of potion to ‘heal’ yourself.

When you are bitten, your avatar name is entered on a database held at the Bloodlines site. It lists your ‘soul’ as ‘belonging’ to whichever vampire avatar bit you. If you have been bitten, you will no longer register as a potential victim to any other vampire on their HUD. If you don’t want to be a potential victim, there is a FREE (never pay for it anywhere; it’s offered free at a lot of places*) ‘garlic necklace’ that you can obtain in-world, wear once, and then discard. This will add your avatar name to another database that means the Bloodlines HUD will disregard you as a potential victim, as though you were bitten.

*UPDATE: Here is a link to buy the free (remember: never pay for it!) garlic necklace on SL Marketplace.

I’m leaving out opinion about Bloodlines here, and sticking mainly to the facts. A great many people find it annoying, and the use of the Bloodlines HUD is increasingly being banned, especially in newbie areas (but that still doesn’t stop it from being used: I’ve had three bite offers recently at Sarah Nerd’s Freebie Paradise, where Bloodlines users are warned not to use their HUD). You can read much more in the official forums, especially in the threads: “Okay, so I read a lot about Bloodlines…” and “Tired of vampire bites? Read this!”

17 – The ‘mute’ button is your friend. If someone is harrassing you, either right-click on their avatar and select ‘mute’ or search for their profile and click ‘mute’ on that.

18 – Torley Linden’s video tutorials are absolutely invaluable. Make sure you watch as many as you can.

19 – The official forums are a great starting point if you have any questions, especially the Resident Answers sub-forum. Be prepared, though, to have your thread derailed. It’s sort of a tradition there ;) Also, be wary of asking questions or making outraged posts about: Gor, furries, or child avatars. These threads come up very often, so try searching the forum first. Especially do not bug the Resident Answers people to take any surveys you’re doing. If you ignore that last bit of advice, on your own head be it ;)

20 – One for the guys: don’t bug every female you see for sex. Especially don’t attach your ‘freenis’ (freebie penis) and run around everywhere. You WILL get laughed at.

21 – If you’re freebie-hunting, remember your manners. Don’t like a freebie that a store owner has placed out? Don’t bitch about it, and don’t bug the store owner to give you a different version, or one in another colour. You got it for FREE, and they didn’t have to offer it at all. Just delete it from your inventory if you don’t like it, and move on.

22 – Don’t beg. It’s lame. There are few quicker ways to getting banned from groups and muted by large amounts of people, as asking them for “just 10L$ so I can upload a profile picture”.

23 – The easiest way to ‘get money’ is to register a credit card or Paypal account at the official Second Life website. If you can’t use or obtain a credit card, many countries have pre-paid credit cards you can buy.

24 – There is no ‘get rich quick’ scheme in Second Life. You won’t be able to earn enough money to give up your real life job. There are very, very few people in Second Life in that situation. Also, people with ‘click me for free lindens’ hovertext above their heads, or the ‘earn lindens fast!’ websites are mainly scams, especially trying to harvest email addresses for spammers. Use your common sense. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably IS.

25 – Lag is a part of Second Life, and we all hate it. There are alternate viewers you can use, and tips and tricks you can try that will reduce the lag a bit. Search the official forums for hints about those. Two excellent posts by Gwyneth Llewelyn will give you some insights: Anatomy of Lag, and Lag Myths Dispelled.

26 – When you’re getting changed, you don’t need to undress fully before getting dressed again. Clothing in Second Life comes on layers (undershirt, shirt, jacket, etc) so if you’re at all embarrassed about getting changed you can do the old ‘putting on your swimming cossie at the beach’ trick, akin to wriggling around under a towel. Want to change your shirt? Put on a jacket first, then change the shirt underneath it, then remove the jacket. And so on. (Read more on this subject at the bottom of the post: comment #33, suggested by Mitch Wagner.)

27 – A ‘yellow dropdown flag’ (as opposed to the blue ones you will encounter) is a money debit warning. If you receive one of these, think twice before clicking ‘yes’, as doing so will give whatever object it came from permission to take money out of your L$ balance.

28 – Not everybody wants a massive friends list, or to be chatted to by all and sundry. If you get talking to someone, or ask them a question and receive an answer, don’t just send them a friend offer out of the blue. Ask them first if they mind being friended, and don’t be offended if you’re turned down. Also, don’t be offended if someone accepts your friendship offer, then a few days later their name vanishes from your friends list. This most likely means they accepted because they either: didn’t want to hurt your feelings, felt awkward about saying ‘no’, or simply changed their mind about your friendship, and removed you from their friends list. If this happens, don’t send the offer again.

29 – Don’t be surprised if the female avatar you really fancy turns out to be played by a man (or the male avatar you fancy turns out to be played by a woman). People gender-swap in Second Life more often than you might think. So don’t assume anything (like you wouldn’t assume that the cute little bunny rabbit you’re talking to is a REAL bunny rabbit). Having said that, though, please don’t demand that every avatar you’re interested in ‘voices’ with you (uses the voice chat facility) to ‘prove’ they’re the gender they say they are. You’ll offend them, and what you hear might not be them anyway (voice-changing software is freely available, and is very effective at making a male sound female and vice-versa).

30 – I’ve left what’s probably the most important thing until last. Please, remember that behind that other avatar is a real life person. A human being with feelings and emotions just like you.

Extra suggestions from the comments section

31 – If you take snapshots, create Objects and take them into inventory, or upload textures – be sure to give them meaningful names at the time of creation. And if something has a name that is not helpful or descriptive, rename it to something that makes sense to you. (Suggested by Crap Mariner.)

32 – Don’t get offended or mad at someone if they won’t share their RL info with you. Many people come to SL to run around as the person/avie/whatever they are. Some consider their RL info very personal. When they’re ready to share, they will. (Suggested by Dakota Rosca.)

33 – Further to being embarrassed while changing clothing:

1) Find the items you want to wear in your inventory. Right-click and select “wear.”The new item will replace whatever you’re currently wearing in that place.

After you’ve done that with everything you want to wear, you’l be wearing your new outfit and avatar plus a couple of pieces of the old one.

2) Click on the search field at the top of your inventory. Enter the text “worn” The search results will be everything you’re currently wearing.

3) Right click and remove anything you don’t want to be wearing.

If you already know what you want to wear, changing clothes or avatars using this method takes less time to do than it took you to read this comment. And you can do it anywhere, without ever making an unseemly show of flesh. (Suggested by Mitch Wagner.)

34 – Don’t dismiss the idea of joining a group. Even while flying solo in the Metaverse I have my group chat window open to keep up with people that share my interests. Groups are time savers when you are looking for specific answers, places or products, and you can always close the window if they get too chatty. (Suggested by xannaziskey.)

35 – Join the Fashion Emergency group, whether you care about fashion or not. A very well run free group that can usually help with just about anything. You will save enormous amounts of time shopping. (Suggested by xannaziskey.)

36 – Best money to spend on updating appearance? Skin. Hair. These are the most difficult items to find free in good quality, although the Fashion Emergency group can probably tell you if there are special offers about. (Suggested by xannaziskey.)

37 – You CANNOT get locked inside a house, cage or otherwise. If you find yourself seemingly trapped, simply teleport away. If teleports are down, log out. (Suggested by Dazz Anvil.)

38 – Better than search for worn [to find things you're wearing] is searching for (worn – that gets rid of those items with a “worn” in their description. (Suggested by Angel.)

39 – Further to cages, tps being down etc. If you want to get away and back in somewhere else, start Second Life, go to Edit>Preferences and check “Show Start Location on Login Screen” you then get a drop-down box and can choose home or another location (e.g. a sim by name) and you will log in there. (Suggested by Eloise.)

40 – You don’t have to move your avatar to get a closer look at things. Use “Camera Controls” from the View menu – and practice with them until you’ve got them mastered. It’s a much faster way to browse big walls of stuff in stores. (Suggested by Tara Yeats.)

41 – If you use a Mac for SL, join the group “Macintosh Users” – it’s the go-to resource for Mac-specific SL issues (and they’re are lots of them). (Suggested by Tara Yeats.)

EDIT: My God, I can’t keep up with you all! OK, to anyone coming in and reading this now, please check the comments section for further useful tips. :)

January 30, 2009 - Posted by | do's and don'ts, hints and tips, mar's ponderings, newbies, second life, sl basics

62 Comments »

  1. great list!

    Comment by Thema Felix | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Thelma! :)

    Comment by Mar | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  3. Suggestion: If you take snapshots, create Objects and take them into inventory, or upload textures – be sure to give them meaningful names at the time of creation.

    And if something has a name that is not helpful or descriptive, rename it to something that makes sense to you.

    Comment by Crap Mariner | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. Thanks, Crap. That’s a great idea!

    Already the count goes up to 31 ;)

    Comment by Mar | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. Wonderful!! I wish I had read this when I started in SL :)

    Comment by .: Naive :. Officially Sweet Team | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. nice post!

    Comment by rightasrain | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  7. Thanks, Naive and rightasrain!

    Comment by Mar | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  8. Best. Post. Ever! Too bad the new residents will not read this until they discover it by their own. I am so tired of ejecting people of my SLhome; people that a few minutes after being ejected IM me saying that I am rude (because I ejected when they were building stuff on my beach or were inside my tree house – and I am rude? – right!)

    Comment by Ana Lutetia | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  9. Oh lord, Ana, I know what you mean. And once newbies learn the camsit/primsit tricks, there’s little that will stop them from barging in and demanding that you chat to them, because you’re another avatar and this is a social platform, innit?

    I think one of the problems for newbies is defining exactly what SL is. Some come in with thoughts that it’s a game like familiar computer games, then they get bewildered when there’s no actual sense of purpose, no bosses to beat etc. Others want it to be a 3D MySpace, so friending everyone that so much as walks past them is a must. And others want a 3D instant messenger, others want free cyber, and so on and so forth. It’s precisely SL’s ambiguity and multi-purposness (is that a word?!) that creates half of these problems!

    Comment by Mar | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  10. This is a terrific list, and we appreciate you taking the time to compile it. Thanks!

    Comment by Robin Linden | January 30, 2009 | Reply

  11. Thank you, Robin! :)

    Comment by Mar | January 31, 2009 | Reply

  12. [...] honey no: Professional begging When I made my post about 30 things every newbie should know before starting Second Life, number 22 on the list [...]

    Pingback by Oh honey no: Professional begging « SL for Nowt | February 1, 2009 | Reply

  13. I agree with all the positive THANK-YOUs above. And hey, thanx for mentioning video tutorials too! Glad to know they help… they originally came out, in part, of my own frustrations understanding the world.

    I’m working with the Documentation Team to make the Knowledge Base more visible + useful. In the meantime, if you ever need a shortcut to “Second Life’s manual”:

    » http://secondlife.com/kb

    ^ Easy link huh?

    And oh, Mar, I’m going to add your list to http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Sletiquette since it’s so awesome. The more people we can help with your list and others, the more happier Second Lives shall be. =^_^=

    ROCK ON! *heavy riff*

    Comment by Torley | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  14. OH, and easy link to the kewl video tutorials player:

    » http://secondlife.com/video

    It’s better than the YouTube link — has nicer search and crisper videos.

    If you or anyone reading this wants to come hang out at Documentation Team office hours and chat directly with us, check out:

    » http://torley.com/docteam

    (It redirects to a longer addy.)

    Comment by Torley | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  15. Thanks, Torley! I’ll edit the post to include the better vidtuts URL. Those are awesome and should be required viewing for every newbie :)

    Comment by Mar | February 2, 2009 | Reply

  16. Brilliant list!

    How about something to the effect of: “Don’t get offended or mad at someone if they won’t share their RL info with you. Many people come to SL to run around as the person/avie/whatever they are. Some consider their RL info very personal. When they’re ready to share, they will.”

    Lately. I’ve had a couple of new SLers get into a huge snit with me (or friends) over the A/S/L questions that I refuse to answer. There’s really nothing to hide on my part, but I only share it when I feel like it and with whom I want. SL is neither an AOL chat room nor MySpace/Facebook and, in most cases, most people not there to social network for RL purposes until they get to know you a lot better.

    Besides, the “SL me” is probably a lot more interesting to know in Second Life than the “RL me.” :-)

    Comment by Dakota Rosca | February 2, 2009 | Reply

    • Agree totally especially with the final line, lol.

      Comment by allan mogensen | August 21, 2011 | Reply

  17. Great list.

    Suggestion on #26 – even simpler way to change clothes or avatars without first getting naked:

    1) Find the items you want to wear in your inventory. Right-click and select “wear.”The new item will replace whatever you’re currently wearing in that place.

    After you’ve done that with everything you want to wear, you’l be wearing your new outfit and avatar plus a couple of pieces of the old one.

    2) Click on the search field at the top of your inventory. Enter the text “worn” The search results will be everything you’re currently wearing.

    3) Right click and remove anything you don’t want to be wearing.

    If you already know what you want to wear, changing clothes or avatars using this method takes less time to do than it took you to read this comment. And you can do it anywhere, without ever making an unseemly show of flesh.

    Comment by Mitch Wagner | February 3, 2009 | Reply

  18. Thank you, Dakota and Mitch! I’m in a bit of a rush right now, so I don’t have time to edit my post to include your comments at the moment, but I’ll do so as soon as I get home from work today :)

    Comment by Mar | February 3, 2009 | Reply

  19. Advice I wish I’d had?
    1) Don’t dismiss the idea of joining a group. Even while flying solo in the Metaverse I have my group chat window open to keep up with people that share my interests. Groups are time savers when you are looking for specific answers, places or products, and you can always close the window if they get too chatty.

    2) Join Fashion Emergency, whether you care about fashion or not. A very well run free group that can usually help with just about anything. You will save enormous amounts of time shopping.

    3) Best money to spend on updating appearance? Skin. Hair. These are the most difficult items to find free in good quality, although the Fashion Emergency group can probably tell you if there are special offers about.

    Comment by xannaziskey | February 5, 2009 | Reply

  20. You CANNOT get locked inside a house, cage or otherwise. If you find yourself seemingly trapped, simply teleport away. If teleports are down, log out.

    Comment by Dazz Anvil | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  21. haha i learned a few thing!! thanks!

    Comment by callie cline | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  22. Thanks, xannaziskey and Dazz; I’ll add your suggestions later today! :)

    @ callie: Glad to be of help *g* There are sooo many things to be learned about Second Life that I think it’s perfectly possible to be a member for years and still miss something that another person would consider to be ‘basic knowledge’.

    Comment by Mar | February 6, 2009 | Reply

  23. Better than search for “worn” is searching for “(worn” – that gets rid of those items with a “worn” in their description. I got this suggestion a long time ago from a Torley comment :-)

    Comment by Angel | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  24. I agree that Torley Linden’s videos are very useful.
    But is the guy annoying or what?!! lol

    Comment by Greg Withnail | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  25. That’s a great guide! I wished this would have been out when I joined. :)

    Although, I can’t fully agree to not to send a friendship offer again when deleted from the fl.
    I once deleted a person from my fl because I thought she would just “collect” friends and then I’d never hear again from her. She offered friendship to me again and is now one of my very best sl friends! :)

    Comment by Chakalak | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  26. @ Angel – Thank you! I’ll add your suggestion to the list.

    @ Greg – Aww, I can’t help liking Torley. His enthusiasm never fails to make me smile.

    @ Chakalak – Good point about re-friending. In your case, the friend you removed wanted to re-add you. The reason I mentioned it in this list is that being re-sent an offer of friendship when you have already deleted someone can make you feel awkward. Do you accept, only to delete again (and then wonder if you’ll be sent yet another offer) or do you simply decline and accept that you might be on the receiving end of a, “Why don’t you want to be my friend?” IM (at which point, alas, tip #17 might come in handy)?

    Comment by Mar | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  27. Further to cages, tps being down etc. If you want to get away and back in somewhere else, start Second Life, go to Edit>Preferences and check “Show Start Location on Login Screen” you then get a drop-down box and can choose home or another location (e.g. a sim by name) and you will log in there.

    Also, although correct at first, your list of possible homes misses out any land that your avatar owns on the mainland, if you decide to buy land. You can also, of course, create a group so your friends can set that place as home but only if you want to.

    Comment by Eloise | February 7, 2009 | Reply

  28. Thats a really useful guide. thanks

    Comment by sarah stewart | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  29. @ Eloise – Thanks for those! I’ve added your suggestion and edited the part about setting home to include that. :)

    @ Sarah Stewart – Thank you! :)

    Comment by Mar | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  30. This is a great list, well done, I wish it could be made widely available…
    one thing you find out quite quickly, and rather expensively…… when shopping for clothes….
    The picture on the wall does not necessarily reflect the quality of the garment.

    Comment by soror Nishi | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  31. Absolutely true, soror. In fact, only yesterday I picked up a couple of items that I spotted while I was on one of the grid hunts. The pictures on the boxes looked great, but when I tried the items on they were less than stellar: both had those little single-prim skirt sections, and both of them were stiff, solid prims. No flexi at all, so when I moved I had these two stiff half-cylinders swinging about me. Luckily, the prim parts of both are adjustable, so I can set the flexi settings myself, and invert the prims to adjust for that.

    Comment by Mar | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  32. Wonderful list, Mar! Here are a couple of additions:

    - You don’t have to move your avatar to get a closer look at things. Use “Camera Controls” from the View menu – and practice with them until you’ve got them mastered. It’s a much faster way to browse big walls of stuff in stores.

    - If you use a Mac for SL, join the group “Macintosh Users” – it’s the go-to resource for Mac-specific SL issues (and they’re are lots of them).

    Comment by Tara Yeats | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  33. Thanks, Tara :) Great tip about the Camera Controls (I use those all the time!) and thank yoooou! for the tip aimed at Mac users. I always feel bad when I write tutorials, because I don’t know the equivalent Mac commands for the Windows keys and shortcuts.

    Comment by Mar | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  34. You may be banned for no apparent reason, or because you have been seen with another avatar. Don’t take it personally, just move on. If you must, visit again as an alternate account. Not everyone who owns land or islands is fair or sane, it all comes down to who can pay tier. Be aware that if you are reported for abuse, Linden Labs has a built in conflict of interest between collecting tier from avatars that own a place, and judgment of what constitutes harassment. The rules regarding harassment are vague, best idea is to remember SL is not a democracy, more of a feudal monarchy, and that you do not have the right of free speech that you might in RL USA. Therefore, be very nice to landowners.

    Comment by Bronsen | February 8, 2009 | Reply

  35. If you have land and a house and value your privacy, get a security system! Orbs are less visible and just as effective as those ugly red ban lines. Then you don’t have to worry about uninvited guests in your house using your pose balls. All it took was for that to happen once to me (finding someone in my house when I logged in) when I was only in SL for a few months and then I was given a security orb. Problem solved.

    Comment by brielle | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  36. As an add on to #31, if you have something which the creator called OBJECT or some other name that doesn’t work for you, and it is no modify, you can put it in a folder and rename the folder.

    As an add on to #40, not only *can* you use Camera Controls, but if you are in a presentation with an audience, you *should* use camera controls instead of walking up close to the presenter’s slides, so that you don’t block other people’s view of the presentation.

    Last but not least, I know this is covered in orientation, but it is worth mentioning multiple times – click the Communicate button to pop open a window with the public chat, so you can see what people have been saying that you may not have seen when it scrolled by the first time. Also be sure to check the upper right hand corner for pop-up messages. Sometimes they are important, and you may need to clear the ones in front to see the ones in back (or click the small forward arrow button on the pop-up).

    Comment by Perplexity Peccable | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  37. Looking for something interesting to do? Learn to use Search and the specific tabs for Events, Places and Groups for things that appeal to you. Have you met or read about an interesting person? Search the People tab, look at their Profile and their Picks tab. They may have a location in their Picks that would interest you. In person, you can right click, choose Profile and do the same thing.

    Comment by Corcosman Voom | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  38. Wow, you sure make SL sound more annoying than fun.

    Comment by pattyb | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  39. [...] me take a break from my jaunt across the mainland to comment on this very helpful list of tips from SL for Nowt.  I found it reported in New World Notes and I have to say it’s a great list that I will [...]

    Pingback by Living with the me… :: 30 (and growing) tips for new Second Life residents | February 9, 2009 | Reply

  40. Be very careful to keep your inventory organised as without careful attention it will very quickly become a confusing mess.

    First come up with a system of folder names (and create the folders) that makes sense to you. Like one folder called “Hair” to keep all your hairs in and maybe sub-folders inside that for different styles (I sort by styles rather than by colour).

    Secondly create a folder called :New Stuff, or something like that, (the “:” will make it appear at the top of your inventory).

    Be fanatical about moving new things (folders and objects) into the :New Stuff folder as soon as you get them. Use the “Recent” tab at the top of your inventory to find things you have just received. Doing this will prevent your inventory being filled with folders arranged in the order of whatever random name the creator gave them.

    Don’t be afraid to rename new things to something that describes what is inside.

    Leave things in the :New Stuff folder until you can unpack them and decide whether you want to keep them or not. Pay attention to where seams join up on top of your shoulders and under your arms – don’t keep things with badly mis-aligned seams just beacuase they were free. If you aren’t totally certain that you want something delete it immediately – there will always be newer things and you don’t want your inventory full of stuff you don’t use or that doesn’t look good.

    Being careful to always use your “New Stuff folder will keep your inventory organised so you can find things easily while the “New Stuff” folder becomes an Aladdins Cave of wonders – I often find things in there I had forgotten about. It also gives you something fun to do when you have some quiet time – and it’s fun to sort inventory with a friend.

    Comment by Faerie | February 10, 2009 | Reply

  41. All land in SL is owned by someone and most people are spending RL money to own it. Think of it as RL land that you may walk on and enjoy but which isn’t yours to litter or build on or rez that 756 prim spaceship and then abandon it. Most of all do not start arguments with people you meet there and then be surprised when you get banned. You do not have a right to entry. If you find a lovely area don’t fly high and expect to be welcomed when it’s a work platform. Someone who appears to be doing nothing may be wading through 10+ IMs trying to answer queries or working with scripts. if the owner wants you there they will provide a teleporter at ground level. Be polite, be cautious at first and you will find some wonderful builds and wonderful people too!

    Comment by Judi Newall | February 10, 2009 | Reply

  42. [...] points to a new advice guide for Second Life on the SL for Nowt website. Items include “Don’t start out with a female avatar because [...]

    Pingback by Learning Street Smarts for Second Life | Workplace Learning Today | February 10, 2009 | Reply

  43. This is a fantastic post!! Bravo!, Many Cheers, thank you and I’m sure many will in time. One thing I think might be well worth considering; when your no longer a noobe, go do some random act of “noobe helping” at a Info Hub or some other place.

    Comment by Gary Kohime | February 13, 2009 | Reply

  44. This is such a great list, worth that i too try to add my 5 cts worth of tips & tricks:

    Group chat (#34): Unfortunately, closing a group chat window will not prevent it from popping up again at the next best entry.

    Group Notices: some groups tend to spam your SL life (and your EMail box) with group notices. You can switch off recieving group notices on the ‘General’ tab of the Group Info

    Finding back people you once talked to, remembering what you talked about: even if you haven’t added someone to your friends list, you might want to remember the other person. You can use the other person profile page “My Notes” for your notes, or you can switch on logging of the chats (preferences > tab “communication”, where you also see in which folder on the hard disk the logs will be saved) Logging chat is of course not recommended on public computers.

    Comment by Papperle Papp | February 13, 2009 | Reply

  45. When I came into SL, it was in part to find a “chat place” so that I wouldn’t be so alone when working on a contract from home. Thus, I am at one end of the spectrum of liking group chat, while many are at the other. I founded a couple of very large groups, and manage another. I think group chat has value, but understand that the UI relevant to group chat can be annoying, so I put the following on a notecard that seems to help a lot of people. (See especially, the “tear-off workaround”).

    HOW TO DEAL WITH GROUP IM’S WHEN THEY ANNOY YOU

    Until we have more options, all residents of Second Life need to take some personal responsibility for managing group IM’s, rather than expecting the group to manage them for us. In very large groups, it is always amazing to me that so many people are so self-controlled! The downside of all this is that we don’t have a lot of great on-topic discussion in groups that are designed for that purpose.

    For background on this issue, see http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/MISC-64

    People are bothered by a couple of things in Group IM’s:

    First is when Group IM information fills their “Local Chat” window. To resolve this problem, go to Edit, Preferences, Communication, and uncheck the box for “Include IM in Chat History”. You may also wish to uncheck the box for “Show Incoming IM in Chat Log.”

    Second annoyance is when the Group Tab is repeatedly sounding in the Communicate Window. Simply closing the window for that group does not work effectively, since the window will reopen, ding, etc. as soon as there is a response, and you will have to close it again, and again…..

    Personally, I tear off the chat window for the group, using the “Tear Off” button next to the X in the upper right corner of the Communicate window. I then move the window to the edge of my Second Life screen, usually lower right, and push it off the edge until only a small corner of the window is showing. Then each time a new person enters information, I don’t even see the tab. I can pull the window back onto my screen any time I so desire, and review the chat for any relevant information. Or, it will simply disappear once I Quit Second Life. Yes, you still have to respond to that first “ding”, and hopefully we will see other options in new releases of Second Life.

    Setting your Busy Mode is also a possibility. With Busy Mode you will receive individual IM’s, but not new Group IM’s. You will not receive Teleport offers, and any inventory given to you while busy will appear in your Trash, without any message to that effect to either you or to the sender.

    Although people have consistently suggested muting a group, I cannot seem to find this as an alternative. If someone has additional information on how that is possible, please let me know.

    Comment by Bjorlyn Loon | February 14, 2009 | Reply

  46. [...] “30 (and more) things every newbie should know before starting Second Life,” by SL for N…: A great set of “unofficial” guidelines you won’t find anywhere on the Second Life Web site! [...]

    Pingback by A Writer’s Guide to Learning About Second Life | WRITERS IN THE (virtual) SKY | February 18, 2009 | Reply

  47. [...] OMG, siccome non riesco a tenere il passo con tutti voi, si prega di consultare la sezione dei commenti per ulteriori suggerimenti [...]

    Pingback by da una nota di Biancaluce Robbiani in facebook…30 COSE DA SAPERE PRIMA DI ENTRARE IN SECOND LIFE « SaliMar Blog | February 18, 2009 | Reply

  48. Another good tip: ‘Goreans’ are not fans of Al Gore.
    Don’t find out the way I did.

    Comment by Jane Primrose | March 22, 2009 | Reply

  49. @Jane: The mind boggles. (Do I even want to know how you found out? *g*)

    Comment by Mar | March 22, 2009 | Reply

  50. The “my notes” tab on -your own- profile makes a convenient notepad, especially for stuff you don’t buried in your notecards in your inventory.

    Comment by Firebird | April 26, 2009 | Reply

  51. If you rez something, anything, on someone else’s land, pick it up when your done with it! Either take it into your inventory or delete it. But don’t leave it laying around, that’s annoying! This goes for sandboxes too, someone owns the land.

    I’ve done several hunts where I’ve encountered prize boxes left behind by inconsiderate people. Some vendors even dropped out because they were tired of people leaving trash on their land.

    Comment by Firebird | May 6, 2009 | Reply

  52. Umm can someone help me cause everytime i buy somthing new when i try to wear it its just the picture please help!!

    Comment by Claire kira | July 7, 2009 | Reply

  53. Claire, it sounds as though the items you’re trying to wear are packed in boxes, which is the way many items are sold in Second Life.

    This tutorial, all about unpacking boxes, should help you out:

    The Basics – 01 – Getting stuff out of boxes

    Comment by Mar | July 7, 2009 | Reply

  54. I have a few more for you, clothing specific:
    1. Always remember to wear the shoe base (that little brown thing that looks like a shoe) when you wear prim shoes.

    2. Be careful about wearing items that have bling (that sparkly flashing thing that goes off). Lots of users think it’s newbie looking or annoying.

    3. A system skirt (the icon that looks like a pink skirt) will always make your butt look bigger–male or female. If this bothers you (as it does me), make a separate shape that has the hip width, butt size and saddle bags (under “Legs” the edit appearance) dialed down.

    4. Fill out your profile with something interesting about you–it doesn’t have to be RL personal data. It may be your favorite ice cream flavor, why you are named what you are, etc. Empty profiles make it harder for others to make a connection with you.

    And finally, THANK you for the remark about not complaining about what is given for free. Countless people ask for color replacements, etc. Someone put time into that item at one point, even to set it out or pay for the land it’s sitting on, but somehow that’s forgotten. So thank you.

    Comment by Harper Beresford | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  55. Sooooo many great suggestions in comments here!

    @Harper – Those are all really good ones. And I agree heartily on the not complaining about freebies issue. I see so many cases of what I call ‘freebie entitlement’ when I’m hopping around SL, and it drives me barmy to think some poor person took the time, effort and money to make an item and set it out for free, only for someone to snark at them that they don’t like the colour, or something. Grr!

    Comment by Mar | August 6, 2009 | Reply

  56. [...] other primary type of vampire is the Bloodlines player. I mentioned Bloodlines in my 30 Things Every Newbie Should Know Before Starting Second Life post, but basically, it’s a pyramid-style game. The wannabe vampire pays approximately 600L$ [...]

    Pingback by Newbie Notes: “Help! I’m pregnant!/a vampire!” « SL for Nowt | September 28, 2009 | Reply

  57. [...] 30+ things every SL Newbie should know [...]

    Pingback by OOC – SL Information and Help Links « Tea and a Whisper | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  58. [...] only this advice were offered up to people as they acclimate to the Second Life platform and “community” [...]

    Pingback by WHAT IS THIS CRAP? » Thirty (One) Things | May 15, 2011 | Reply

  59. [...] SL for Nowt Newbie guide – SL for Nowt made a very good list for newbies. Just about everything a new person needs to know just starting out. [...]

    Pingback by Resources list and brief description « Edcom–Wenbo Wang | January 8, 2012 | Reply

  60. I think this is a wonderful list. I am less than 48 hours into SL and had a lot of questions. This list answered a lot of them for me and was able to lead me in some great directions for some of the other questions I did have. Thanks for the fantastic resource to everyone that contributed.

    Comment by Hazmat9000 | September 29, 2013 | Reply


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