First hour experience

It just occurred to me, that the problem of first hour experience can be solved easily, in a way that brings money to Linden Labs, revitalises the economy and solves the problem of ‘What am I supposed to do in this game?’. Learn that this isn’t a game, but a global resort town, for one…

Sell the Help Islands off. To the highest bidder. Under certain conditions:

  1. The islands must fill the purpose of orientation, that is, teach people the ropes.
  2. Whatever place advertising they choose to put there and whatever price they ask for, a non-profit advert of a location of Linden choosing must appear next to it.

And that would be it. The islands would be sold for a certain period, like maybe three or six months, at the end of which the auction would happen again, with the current owners having some kind of bonus.

I’m willing to bet retention rates would rise from 20% to at least 60%.

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6 thoughts on “First hour experience

  1. “Customer Satisfaction” needs to be surveyed though, by statistically monitoring online time return rate and maybe economic power of the new users. Also random interviews would probably be necessary.

  2. I imagine that’s how the bonus to the current island holder would be determined, yes. 🙂 The ‘bonus’ to their auction bid that they don’t actually have to pay would be directly proportional to customer satisfaction and return rate. This would allow people who are successful in running such an island to keep more profits and would be a great incentive for them to make it actually helpful.

  3. “Learn that this isn’t a game, but a global resort town, for one…”

    I completely agree with this statement. One thing that brings me much satisfaction in SL is helping new people become oriented with the environment, and the first thing I tell them is that they need to realize that SL’s so much more than the average video game. It’s like every social networking medium (myspace, facebook, chat, email, amazon, forums, youtube, etc.) put together and then injected with steroids. In other words, it’s a virtual extension of the physical world. While I don’t know if selling off the help islands is the answer, I do know that the islands should be staffed by people who have a genuine interest in bringing people into this world. My personal retention rate (based on newcomers I’ve oriented) is right around 60% 🙂

  4. In my experience, it takes far less effort to keep a genuine interest in anything if you’re respected for it, and being paid actual money is one of the forms respect can take. 🙂

    What’s interesting about selling the islands off is specifically the ‘What am I supposed to do here?’ problem. Like in a resort town, you aren’t actually supposed to do anything, and come there for your own reasons, possibly with the intent to have an enjoyable time. Once the ‘supposed’ part is gone through someone’s explanations, should they be forthcoming, another question raises it’s ugly head, ‘So what CAN I do here that is fun?’

    Answering it is not easy! See forum threads that pop up regularly, for example. The three big organised answers Second Life offers, beyond looking on your own and stumbling into a social situation, are, playing with your avatar like a barbie doll — fashionism — engaging in a more complex designed roleplaying setting — roleplayers, armies and related — and consuming art by visiting beautiful builds. And all of these pursuits involve someone profiting from them through sale of products or services or ego boostage.

    And all these content and service providers are hungry for exposure, and providing the answer right where people are looking for it, in hopes that they will turn newcomers into paying clients if they just give them a taste of what they’re offering, is just what they all need. And for this they would gladly pay people to explain newcomers that there is no ‘should’ but here’s a list of what you ‘can’ do. Which is what the ‘owners’ of the Help Island would be doing.

    The non-profit clause is to allow Lindens some measure of control so that in cases when something is deserving to be showcased (as in Showcase) but can’t support an ad, it would still be on the big Directory Wall Of Fun Places To Be.

  5. Pingback: first experience « Portia Munz

  6. Nice that you’re contemplating such issues.
    I would suggest doing the same thing on the other end – just before people hang in the towel, helping them stay instead of giving up.
    I’m new to SL too and sometimes I feel like maybe it would have better if I never got here. But now that I’m here I can’t go back I think it’s a question of how you perceive all of it and the type of person you are. Eventually you have to create your own SL and I’m afraid some people are just not up to the challenge.

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