Blogger Challenge: Expanding Your Horizons

At the beginning of this year, I started making some mental checklists of things I wanted to accomplish in 2009. I learned a lot, last year. And there are many things I got the opportunity to try that I haven’t, before. But this year, I want to do even more.

Recently on plurk, I posted a set of personal goals that I’m holding myself to.

1.) At least once a week, make an effort to go out and make a new friend or two. Particularly, a newbie.. someone thats brand new to SL and isn’t sure quite what to do, yet. Take some time to talk to them, maybe drop them a Landmark or two for some cool areas they might not otherwise know about.

2.) At least once a month, attend a class. It really doesn’t matter what the subject matter is. There are dozens of classes available all times of the day or night. Even as I write this, there is a class being held at NCI (New Citizens Incorporated) on Consumer Skills.

SLurl to NCI: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Kuula/55/168/28

I started this project last week, myself. I didn’t get a chance to attend any classes yet, but I hope to do that very soon. I did take a tour of the newbie areas, though. I spent the weekend visiting places like Ahern, Waterhead, and Violet. Those official areas were literal nightmares. I’m sad to say that it was mostly an uncomfortable experience. A lot of people hang out at those areas to pick on each other, or start trouble. But I hung in there, and ended up meeting two guys who both seemed nice and genuinely curious about Second Life. One of them offered friendship, which I accepted. I haven’t gotten a chance to talk to him again, but I’m curious to see if he sticks around. The other one was a student, and joined SL as part of a class project on socialism, if I remember correctly.  I gave both of them a landmark to the Destination Station. I don’t know if the first guy ever made it over there or not. But I have seen the student on Corona Cay, so I’m optimistic that he’ll stick around after his class project ends.

Slurl to Destination Station: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Corona%20Cay/128/100/26

Tymmerie Thorne and Jerremy Darwin have a terrific place set up for newbies, called Starting Point.

Starting Point Slurl: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Moodle/108/213/27

Starting Point was set up as a sort of ‘next step’ for newbies under 90 days old. There are a set of dorms, so residents will have a place to call their own while they are still learning their way around Second Life. I imagine its also a good place to hang out and visit with other people who haven’t been in world, very long. I stopped by there last weekend, and met a girl who rezzed in shortly after me. We talked for a few minutes, and I gave her a Landmark to Destination Station as well. She thanked me, and took off to go exploring.

I remember when I was new to SL, for the first month or two I would spend a lot of time wandering around the same areas, because I simply didn’t know where else to go. I remember feeling so frustrated, because I KNEW there was more out there, but I didn’t know how to find it. The search feature only works if you know exactly what you are looking for. And I didn’t. Chugabug and Radar gave me a notecard with a list of landmarks, and that was a huge help. But the Destination Station is even better. I think the first couple of weeks in the newbie experience is critical.. if someone doesn’t figure out pretty quickly how to find fun places to explore, or th ings to do to keep them entertained, I imagine the majority of them might log in a few times.. suffer some abuse at the orientation areas.. not find much of anything to do. Then ultimately, they probably get bored and give up- just leave, and never come back.

This is where all of you come in. Here is my two-part blogger challenge:

1. Expand your horizons. Take a little bit of time once a week or so, and go talk to some newbies. Find out something about them, what brought them here. What they’re looking for in SL. And show them something neat, that you wished you knew about when you first rezzed in world.

2. Learn and grow. Attend a class. It can be about anything. Even if you think you know all there is to know about building or scripting, go listen anyway. You might learn something new. Or better yet- hold a class yourself!

There is no time limit on this blogger challenge. In fact, I encourage all of you to make this a regular practice. Its easy to get into a routine. This is your chance to step outside your usual pattern. And whether you just do this once, or on a regular basis- I would love to see blog posts about your experiences.

You have a chance to expand your areas of interest, or learn a new trade. Or make friends with someone who may have just been about to quit SL. Bring them along to a class with you, for that matter!

I look forward to hearing all about it. 🙂

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~ by Nika Dreamscape on April 2, 2009.

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