So, my brain has had a crazy new idea again that might help SL hold on to those new users as retention still seems to be a problem.
Many people join SL but after a short while give up or lose interest and leave again.
The community gateway is a new initiative, a very good one, but here is another sort of idea, that I mentioned before a bit, but I had another think about it;
How about every (yes every) new user to Second Life gets their own little piece of land?
I know sounds expensive and a huge hassle right?
Hear me out
When you join SL you arrive on a bit of land, 512 square meters for instance, could be smaller.
It can be on mainland (plenty of available land) it could even be a skybox.
This is your land, it is just a room, maybe just a field.
On it you find a basic tutorial, a few signs and perhaps videos explain how SL works, a bit like a small version of the community gateways and general starting places.
Besides being smaller, it also is very private.
You get to learn SL on your own, no grievers, no advanced avatars who perhaps intimidate with loud voice chats or rude gestures and also quite important; a lot less lag.
After all, it is just you in your skybox.
At the end of the tutorial you know how to rez and build but also that this plot of land is now yours to with as you please for one month.
You are asked to push a button that will let you claim the land or to discard it.
After all, those of us who aren’t really new to SL but just there as an alt or are about to be teleported by an experienced SL friend to a sim, don’t need the land.
If you discard it or teleport out without claiming it, the land is reset and given to the next new SL resident.
If you claim the land, the tutorial prims will all be removed and the empty land is now yours, for a month.
On your own, in peace, without being bothered or distracted, you can experiment with building something, rez a house you bought, have a nice private place to change your clothes, personalise your avatar or bring your friends to.
Not only will you have a safe, private place to get used to SL, you’ll also avoid those truly horrific encounters many of us had; finding yourself as a noob amongst scary, weird and often loud and rude chaotic crowds of avatars.
After a month or so, you’ll be reminded that your time is up, you’ll have to go out into the world and find a new place to live.
Maybe this is where LL brings up the offer of becoming a premium member, meaning you’ll get a new piece of land or maybe get to stay on the land you’ve been using for free.
Once you leave, the land is reset, the tutorial rezzed and it will be fresh and smelling of daisies for the new user.
This will of course have to be automated, we can’t expect a whole bunch of people to take care of the noob parcels and clean up after them.
There used to be something similar in SL, years ago, called the first land programme.
But that land you had to buy and it was also land you could keep for ever and even sell on, opening the scheme up to abuse.
Just another crazy idea, what do you think?