Ahuva Sides With Darwin

It seems that for the last 2 years many in the SL community have been discussing and debating user retention. One of the first discussions that *I* remember was back in, I think, the fall of 2008, or maybe it was early 2009. Gwyneth Llewelyn , one of my favorite bloggers (who seems to have been very quiet lately), talked about the SL experience in terms of tourists and emigres. Then came Mark Kingdon and Viewer 2 and the discussion roared into high gear – How to ‘make’ users survive the first hour experience. Then Kingdon left and Rod Humble, known to the SL Twitter community as Rodvik, arrived. Rodvik has been (surprisingly) communicative with SLers via Twitter and many folk have taken to tweeting him suggestions for user retention. Skate Foss in particular has been tweeting suggestions for making the first SL experience more useful, pleasant and appealing. Crap Mariner has spoken out on this. Botgirl Questi has blogged her thoughts. Tateru Nino has blogged numerous times(actually, I even commented on one of them). Lately the conversation has focused in particular on Orientation Island, Help Islands and the horrible experiences at Ahern (one of the Welcome Areas) and the abolishment of SL mentors. The most recent discussion I’ve seen was on Lalo Telling’s blog.

I believe that, come the revolution, everyone will have an avatar in one or more virtual worlds. But I don’t think that this current version of SL is that be all and end all. I find that more and more I consider the first hour/first day experience to be a natural selection process. Those of us who belong there stay despite the griefers and idiots and hardware issues. Those who don’t aren’t going to stay even if they come thru NCI, which was wonderful. Melissa rezzed into SL for the first time within 24 hours of my rezzing. She is the one who found NCI. She was an experienced chat room user and grasped the basics much faster than I. Yet – I stayed and she didn’t. It wasn’t the viewer. It wasn’t the welcome area. It wasn’t the lack of knowing about things – the NCI folk educated us both. It sure as heck wasn’t because my computer had sufficient hardware to run SL. Natural Selection. *I* belong in SL. Apparently she doesn’t.

Published by


There's not much to say about me. I discovered SecondLife by accident, wandered in, and decided I wanted to stay. This blog was a chronicle of my adventures and misadventures in SL. It also includes stray thoughts that occur to me as a result of my time in SL. Both I and my avatar are female. We both love water and the beach and gardening and parties and hanging out with friends. Updating this after quite some time. I haven't appeared in SL in many many months (probably over a year by now) but SL has remained in my thoughts. I do miss my SL, but at least I still have contact with some of my friends from there. In the meantime.... this blog has evolved to be about my RL adventures. :) Nowhere near as risque as my SL but I do keep busy. I still like all the things listed above. I didn't have any cats in SL (only ducks and a panda) so my cats feel that they should play starring roles in my posts. :) I didn't do much eating IN SL although certainly food and drink accompanied me in RL while I roamed inworld. Cooking and baking have become more fun and interesting once I redid my kitchen. That renovation took longer and cost more than if I'd done it virtually, but I'm thrilled to have a tangible new kitchen! I hope you like food and drink as well! Thanks for reading!

4 thoughts on “Ahuva Sides With Darwin”

  1. I recently ran through the sign-up process.

    It doesn’t explain Usernames or even mention Display Names

    It doesn’t explain that you can switch to and from Premium status later.

    It’s prettier, maybe, but I can’t say it was designed to be helpful. Nobody at LL seems to be able to put themselves in the shoes of a naive user and say “Huh?”

  2. That’s a great insight; the whole new-user process has always been designed to filter out normal people!

    Explains alot. 🙂

    (I was hooked in like the first 15 seconds…)

  3. The more time passes, the more I agree with you: Second Life is really not for everybody. People get filtered out, eventually. Most go after a few minutes or hours; a large group gets filtered out after a few weeks; then, the majority leaves after 2-3 years, which is a “standard” in most social networking sites (and it will be interesting to watch Facebook and Twitter dealing with that). After that, in theory at least, you’ll never turn back. Mac users will never return to Windows after using Macs for over 5 years; BMW drivers will never buy anything else again; WordPress users, after those 2-3 years, will never again try a different CMS.

    And the same applies to SL residents 🙂

    (I’m silent, yes, or my PhD supervisor will think I’m not doing anything for my thesis and wasting time blogging 😉 *sigh* — and oh yes, my academic work is naturally all about SL, or I wouldn’t even consider studying again… 😉 )

  4. @Wolf – thanks for the comments. i think i’d agree about the “naive user”. it would be harder to find a user more naive and inexperienced than i. otoh – i stayed….

    @Dale – so you really want to go on record as saying that the people who stay aren’t “normal”? *grin*

    @Gwyneth – Wonderful to hear from you!!!! I’m so glad you are alive and well. Inertia is a wonderful thing – we get used to what we have and don’t want to relearn. Or don’t want to imply that we made a wrong or bad choice first. /me dredges up B-school theory and comes up with the term: Cognitive Dissonance. *grin*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s