SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

The basics – 03 – How to fill out your profile

The basics – 03 – How to fill out your profile

This post is the third in a series aimed at newbies in Second Life. In the series, I hope to be able to answer all those questions that newbies have in-world and yet might not want to ask of anyone around them, for fear of appearing silly or noobish. There are no silly questions here; we all wondered these things when we first appeared in-world. *g*

In Second Life, we have two distinct advantages over Real Life. Firstly, we need never remember someone’s name, because it’s hovering above their head all the time. Secondly, we can read their profile and learn things about them, things they like to do, places they like to go, people they care for, languages they speak, and lots of other things. Imagine going to a Real Life party with the benefit of profiles! You’d never be at a loss for conversation…

Many newbies don’t even realise they have a profile, but we all have them. In this post, I’m going to go through each tab on the Edit Profile option, explaining what each bit is and means, and giving you ideas of what to do.

Hop behind the cut for more info.

First of all, you need to open up your blank profile. You can reach it in two ways:

1: Right-click on your avatar and select ‘Profile’ from the pie menu;
2: Use the menu options of your Second Life viewer: Edit > Profile…

You’ll see a new window on your screen, and it probably looks pretty blank, but you can see that some stuff is already filled in. Your name, the date you were born (we call this your Rez Day or rezday), and your account information (which I’ll explain in a minute). I’ll deal with these tabs one at a time, starting with the first, which is…

2nd Life

(Why is my name pixelated in that screenshot? Well, it’s not hard to find me in-world, but I’m not going to put my full SL name out there for spammers and griefers to grab!)

At the top of this tab are two things you cannot change: your avatar name, and the date your avatar was created (your Rez Day/rezday – which people celebrate in Second Life just like a real life birthday!). If you don’t use the American format for dates, please be aware that your ‘Born’ date is in that format: month first, then day, then year.

Under that is your ‘Account’ info. This is something else you can’t change by yourself. It will change when you register payment information with Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life, and then when you use that payment information.

You’re listed as a ‘Resident’ because that’s what we all are.

IMPORTANT!

If you happen to run into someone with the surname of ‘Linden’ in-world, then take a look at their profile. Where yours says ‘Resident’ theirs will say ‘Linden Lab Employee’. That way you know you’re dealing with an official representative of Second Life. Nobody but those people can have the surname Linden. You might run into someone with the word ‘Linden’ in their first name, such as JoeLinden Bloggs, and he might try to convince you he works for Linden Lab. Don’t believe him. He doesn’t. ALWAYS check the profile of anyone claiming to be ‘a Linden’ or ‘working for Second Life/Linden Lab(s)’ and if you don’t see ‘Linden Lab Employee’ there under the Account bit, someone is trying to con you. That is an abuse-reportable offence. (Also, many people get the company name wrong and call it ‘Linden Labs’. There’s no ‘s’ at the end; it’s simply ‘Linden Lab’ and no real Linden would ever get that wrong!)

At the end of this tutorial, Torley Linden explains, “Don’t be fooled by fake ‘Lindens'” – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhYxXTqNpdk

OK, so what else is on the 2nd Life tab? Well, you have two big blank bits: Groups (which will stay blank until such time as you join groups in-world), and About. And this About section is where you start to tell people all about yourself. The 2nd Life tab is the one that loads first by default, so when someone right-clicks on you and chooses ‘Profile’ from the pie menu, they are going to see what you’ve written there.

What to put? Well that’s entirely up to you, but whatever it is you only have 500 characters to say it in. You can list your interests here, or just say, “Nothing much to say here yet. I’m still exploring and having fun” to begin with, until you get to grips with Second Life a bit more and have something you want to say here. At least put something there, so that people have something to read, even if all you put is, “Mind your own business! :p”

Under the About section is a bar that says ‘Give item’ next to it, and inside it are the words ‘Drop inventory item here’. You can actually drag an inventory item anywhere on someone’s profile and it will be given to them, but I always aim for this bit.

Lastly, there’s a checkbox to ‘Show in search’. Beside that is a little ‘?’ button that explains what this does.

Web


The Web tab is where you can put the URL of your website or blog, if you have one. You don’t have to fill this in if you don’t want to (indeed, you don’t actually have to fill in any sections of your profile that you don’t want to).

Interests

In this tab you’ll find lots of checkboxes where you can indicate what you might be interested in doing in Second Life. The checkboxes are: Build, Meet, Group, Sell, Explore, Be Hired, Buy, Hire. There’s also a blank text box underneath that section, for anything else you can think of.

Under that is a checkbox section for any skills you have. You might think that, being a newbie, you don’t have any skills, but maybe you do! Are you a bit of a whiz in Photoshop? Check the Textures box and try your hand at making textures to use in-world! The skills checkboxes are: Textures, Modeling, Scripting, Architecture, Event Planning, Custom Characters. And you have an extra text space there, too, where you can list any other skills you have.

Lastly, there is a box where you can list the languages you speak.

Picks


Picks are the other main tab most residents will look at when checking out your profile. You can add anything here, from loving eulogies to your friends, to picks for your favourites locations or stores in-world, to your roleplaying information, etc.

To add a pick, first you need to be in the place you want to add, because when you click the ‘New’ button, your pick will be created with a landmark (teleport point) to exactly where you’re standing, so be careful not to set all your picks when lounging around on the bed in your SL home! Anyone can view and use that teleport, and you don’t want them landing in your bedroom…

Most places will automatically load the default image for that location, but you can override that. Click the image and a new window will pop up. You can browse your inventory for snapshots or textures to use instead of the default image loaded by the owner of that location. While you’re new, you might not have many snapshots (each one costs 10L$ to ‘take’) but if you have some, then by all means use them.

You can change what the little tab for that pick says by erasing the text in the line below the image and typing something else. If you want to order your picks, then give them numbers, or if you just want to push one important pick to the top, put an exclamation mark (!) at the front of the title.

Then, in the large text box underneath, write whatever you like, from, “This store is great for cheap and good-quality skins!” to, “Make sure you check out all the hidden pathways in this forest sim,” or, “This is [Name], my best friend in SL,” etc. Or, if it’s a store or location, you can just keep the supplied description as it is.

Once you’re done, just click the OK button.

Classified

You probably won’t need to use the Classified button until such time as you perhaps have created some items, have rented or bought a plot of land and put up a store, and want to place an advert in Second Life’s Classified listings.

1st Life

This is the tab many people worry about. You don’t have to fill this tab in at all if you don’t want to. You can even write something there like, “I’m in SL to have fun, and I don’t want to talk about my RL here with anyone,” or simply, “Please don’t ask for RL info.”

If, however, you don’t mind giving out real life info, then this is the place to do it. You have a limit of 250 characters here, and you can put a picture here, too (the same way as you changed the picture on your picks). You don’t have to use a real life picture of you at all; any picture (or no picture) will do.

My Notes

This tab is useful in two ways. One is that you can use it to make quick notes on the fly of things you want to refer to and remember again, without creating a notecard, then having to remember later on what that notecard was called, where you filed it, etc etc.

You can also write notes on other peoples’ profiles. Note: They CANNOT read what you write about them there, and nor can anyone else. Only you can see what you’ve written about other people on their profiles. The notes section is useful for remembering where you met someone, or something important they told you, or anything else you want to be reminded about when you open their profiles.

Lastly…

Even though people can usually see you right in front of them when they’re checking out your profile, they might just be doing it when you’re nowhere around. Perhaps you posted a question on a Second Life forum that intrigued them enough to look you up in-world, or maybe they spotted you on their radar, or they want to send you something/IM you/mute you (let’s hope not the latter, because you are behaving yourself, right? *g*)

It’s great to have a nice pic of yourself on your 2nd Life tab, so find yourself 10L$, whether you buy it, pick money trees for it, or camp for it. Find somewhere nice (Botanical Gardens at Straylight, maybe, or a lovely beach such as Caribe). Use the camera controls (View > Camera Controls) to zoom in on your avatar until you have a nice close-up headshot, then click the Snapshot button at the bottom of your viewer. Quickly check the little preview image (yes, avatars do blink, and I’ve ruined more than one snapshot by missing that I had my eyes closed!). If you did blink, click ‘refresh snapshot’. Once everything’s okay, click the ‘Upload (10L$)’ button. You’ll hear a camera shutter sound, and your avatar will go through a funny raise-hands-and-smile face (they’re taking a piccy, after all!)

Here’s Mar (in her spooky, Halloweeny glory!) showing you how:

A few seconds later, the blue Second Life dropdown ‘flag’ will appear, telling you, ‘You paid 10L$ to upload’ and you’ll see your snapshot rezzing on your screen. Just as you did the picks photo, click the blank square on your 2nd Life tab and find the snapshot you just took. Click ‘Select’ and then ‘OK’ on your profile.

And you’re all done!

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October 24, 2008 - Posted by | hints and tips, newbies, second life, sl basics |

2 Comments »

  1. Very effective tutorial! Was able to post a photo very easily!!

    Comment by Steve | November 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thank you, Steve. I’m glad it helped you :)

    Comment by Mar | November 18, 2008 | Reply


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