Ten SL Newbie Mistakes

Honestly, we’re laughing with you, not at you! I was guilty of quite a few of these myself…but no, I’m not saying which ones…

  1. STEP AWAY FROM THE TELEPORTER, MA’AM…MOVE ALONG…yes, move away quickly from the spot where you teleport into the sim, especially if you got there from a group notice.It’s no fun to have people land on your avatar, and even less fun to transport in and land on top of someone else’s avatar (which sometimes leaves your avatar stuck midair, struggling to reach the ground but unable to make it).
  2. Pardon me, but did you know that you’re…in your birthday suit? Even if you’re just switching an outfit, your avatar might be embarrassingly naked in public while the clothing switches out (not to mention, in many areas public nudity is against the rules).

    Possibly, no one has told you where to go to change your avatar’s clothes in a more modest setting (as examples: fly high up in the sky, go underwater, go to one of the public dressing rooms, buy a dressing room for free or low $L on XStreet SL Marketplace and open it in a public sandbox (search for Sandbox in SL or on the secondlife.com website’s maps section).

    Yes, there are ways that some people spy on avatars despite these precautions, but at least you’ll avoid embarrassing yourself and outing yourself as a  totally clueless newbie.

  3. And while we’re on the subject of modesty…if you have a female avatar and it’s wearing a prim (floaty, loose) skirt…after you try it on, walk. And run. And sit. Look through at front view as well as the back view.Currently, my avatar has on a lovely outfit from a really great free section of a popular store. However, the outfit is entirely immodest when I’m walking. There’s something called “glitch pants” – usually short pants in the same color as a prim skirt, which helps keep an avatar modest while moving (similarly, a very short system skirt in the same color could work). This outfit didn’t include a pair of glitch pants or a short skirt (on no, instead it has a pair of thongs!), so I had to find something from another outfit.
  4. While you’re checking your avatar’s appearance, you might want to angle from above and check to make sure you don’t have bald spots showing through your hair. You may need to adjust the position and/or size of the hair if that’s the case.
  5. Sims and online groups have rules. Take note of them when you visit or join. And, in order to build positive relationships, try to avoid being defensive when someone points out the rules.
  6. I can’t find anything because there’s just too much in my inventory!!! There are a number of places for newbies to load up on freebies, with so much available that you’re tempted to grab everything you see that you can remotely consider using. But that’s a big mistake. Because of how SL’s inventory is visually organized, it’s hard, hard, hard to trim down your inventory (so says the woman who has over 23,000 items in that folder right now, and that’s after several inventory reduction sessions). The less you pull in on impulse, the less you’ll have to go through later. And on a related note…
  7. Overloading on low quality items. Upon landing at one of the big freebie locations, or browsing XStreet SL Marketplace, a newbie may be unaware that some of what is available may not be the quality of items they could find for free, $1L or low Lindens elsewhere. This is yet another good reason not to pick up everything on impulse at some of the big freebie places when you’re new.

    If you’re at all interested in clothing and continue past your first few days on SL, you’re likely going to find out about this whole quality thing. At that point you’ll likely be glad your inventory isn’t flooded with low quality items that you have to sort through.

  8. Assuming that “you don’t need money” in Second Life. The second that you click on something that is supposed to be a “Gift” but actually costs a Linden, you’ll find out that literally having NO money is somewhat problematic in SL. OTOH, if you are focusing on free and low cost items, you can go a long time on 1000 Linden, which is about $2.25 US dollars. So take the plunge, and purchase some Linden. And if you don’t plan to either hook up to PayPal or put billing information into SL’s database, be warned that your purchase of Lindens may take a few days to be credited to your account.
  9. You don’t have to be “friends” with everyone who asks. And it’s likely a good idea to be rather choosy. Better safe than sorry.
  10. I’m lost. SL isn’t all that newbie-friendly. If you need more information, start checking out the sources that can help you…the wiki and forums at secondlife.com, various Second Life blogs, etc. And join groups in SL. You’ll be limited on how many you can join, but there are some that will be very helpful for you, and in addition will alert you to freebies and promotions.

For great tips on how to survive as a newbie in Second life, see this article at Natalia Zelmanov’s Second Life Adventures.

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