Where do newbies come from

No, they aren’t brought in by a stork, that would actually make sense.

In a recent discussion, the issue of newbies randomly appearing far more frequently at the Forum Cartel hangout has been brought up, and I think I know the reason.

You see, it has recently been announced that Orientation Islands disappeared under the sea. For those who rezzed before or after these things existed, they have been highly problematic indeed — a place where nobody can go, exclusively populated by the newly created residents, where they cannot go back to, where nobody can answer a question, and where you have to prove you can read to an inanimate object by clicking through a tutorial and explicitly doing exactly what it says, or else it shall taunt you a second time. They were half the reason that I completed the tutorial once and then didn’t come back to Second Life for a whole year.

Until you completed the tutorial, there was no way to get off the Orientation Island, other than by receiving a teleport invitation from a current resident, and according to some misheard statistics, the drop out rate was 80% right there.

And now, all those 80% of newly created residents that would have dropped out otherwise have a random chance to stumble on a search function to type in “hangout” (which brings out the Forum Cartel hangout as the first result) or randomly click on the map and up in an even more “wretched place of scum and villany.”

In effect, Linden Labs let loose a large population of people who have no idea what are they getting into unto the unsuspecting residents, which might raise the online numbers, but will have even more interesting effects rather soon, as Abuse Reports start trickling in. 🙂