Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day America!

Celebrate Independence Day and participate in a good cause at the same time at the 4th Of July Street Fair RFL Event sponsored by the Old World Artisan Guild.  The beautiful old world style sim has shops and booths from over 50 designers and creators with gatchas, free gifts and more.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


The Second Pride festival is going on now through July 2nd celebrating gay pride in the Second Life community.  This is the 12th year for this worthy event.  Don't miss the awesome party with live performances, rocking DJ's and tons of activities.  There are amusement rides, a Japanese Garden, shopping and much more.  See the full schedule here:

Come show your pride or come support the LGBT community and celebrate diversity.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Making Money In Second Life For Beginners

Several months ago, our team wrote a complete guide to making money in SL with suggestions for making pocket change or SL shopping money to earning enough Lindens to cash out and pay a few real life bills.  I received a message from a new resident who had read the blog.

     "Hi, I read your blog about making money in Second Life and followed the instructions about
 starting off working in a club as a host or dancer/stripper.  No one would hire me because I look like
"A noob".  I shopped at freebie places to find skins, hair and clothes but still it was not good enough. I can not use any real life money to buy the new avatars and accessories so I have to earn it in SL, yet I can't get hired anywhere without an updated avatar with expensive mesh body, skin, hair and clothes.  How can a newbie earn money to buy a new avatar if no one will hire a noob?"

That's a great question. 

If you are just starting out in SL and can't or do not want to buy lindens with a credit card or paypal, there are several things you can do to earn and save enough money to buy a nice looking avatar.  None of these will give you a lot of money quickly but with patience, you can earn enough to buy a nice mesh body, skin and hair in time.

Money Tree's:
This is great for all new residents in SL since you must be under 60 days old to earn $L's from a Money Tree.  Find money tree locations and wait for it to "bare fruit" and get paid. (Note: There are not many money tree's left in SL so if you use search and type in money tree, you may get locations that no longer have one.)

  The E2L Network is easy but time consuming.  You complete online surveys and web offer's and get paid $30-$350L.  They also have Pay4Visit offer's.  You visit select places in Second Life and stay there awhile and get paid through their HUD into your SL balance.  This is a good way to explore SL and get paid doing it.  Also, Pay4Picks.  You put a place in your "picks" on your profile and get paid after it has been there for 30 days.  Sign up to E2L and begin earning today.

Gold Hunt:
  You go to select sims or a Gold Rush Event and hunt for gold coins .  You get a free Land Finder Hud on SL Marketplace here: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Linden-Gold-Hunter-HUD-Earn-Linden-by-hunting-for-coins/2265556
There is also an online Gold Hunt Lands List.  Search and find gold coins then go to the Gold Tokens ATM machine and cash out.  For more information visit their website here:

There are several different fishing games that you can earn lindens.  One is the "Fish Hunting Game".
Go to one of the many sims hosting a Fish Hunt buoy and start fishing and earning lindens.  Get a free starter fishing pole and worms here: https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Linden-Fish-Hunter-Beginner-Rod-Yellow-Earn-Linden-by-hunting-for-fish/2617200
This a progressive game. The more you fish the more earn.
Find more information on their website here: http://www.goldtokens.net/
"Virtual Fishing" is another fishing game that earns lindens.  You can wear a HUD for locations or get them from the website.  This fishing game earns less than the Fish Hunting Game by GoldTokens but you can earn around $5L at each buoy.  Get your free Virtual Fishing Kit here:
"SuperFish" is another fishing game that earn lindens.  You are limited to 30 casts per locations and the average earnings for each location is $10L.  Get your free SuperFish Rod and HUD Kit here:

Magic Crystals:
This is an easy way to earn Lindens but a little time consuming.  Find the crystals locations then click on a crystal.  It will start count down, Say 225 Seconds.  Stand next to the crystal and after the 225 seconds, the lindens will be paid directly into your account.  Get your free HUD here:

Gold Piggy Hunters:
Find a location with a gold piggy here: http://www.goldpiggyhunters.co.uk/goldpiggyhunters/locations.aspx
Click the gold piggy and wait 5 minutes and earn $1L, then you will get a suggestion for the next Gold Piggy location.  If you have time to spare, you can earn around $10L per hour.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Basic Building in Second Life - Easy Step By Step Instructions PT. 1

When I first started Second Life I went through the steps on Help Island to learn how to edit items, and what the red, green and white tiny squares and arrows did, etc.  I wanted to learn to build and purchased a book online called "Second Life: A guide To Your Virtual World."  It was a good book and has helped many creators learn to build but I am a hands on learner.  I needed to be instructed step by step.  What I needed was a "Building In Second Life For Dummy's".  Then I met someone who was willing to teach me.  She made it easy by not assuming that I already knew terminology or even the basics.  I have returned this favor with many residents through the years.  Recently, I had someone ask me if I could write these instructions on a notecard that she could read and learn on her time frame.  So I am putting these instructions on the blog to hopefully help others.

Beginning Basic's:
You must be on land that you can create objects or a sandbox. (A sandbox is a public sim or parcel that anyone can build or rez items.  Just search "Sandbox" and choose one.  If it's too crowded then teleport to another.)
*Please note that menu's may differ slightly from the picture I have depending on your viewer.

1. Point your cursor to a spot on the ground and right-click.  You will get a pie chart, choose "Create".  A menu will appear and you’ll see some geometric shapes that you can use to create.

For this lesson, click the box/cube shape then click the ground again and a prim box will appear.  The box will have a light wood texture.  Congratulations, you just made a prim box! 
Now right click the box and the pie chart will appear again.  This time choose "Edit". You will see Red, Blue and Green arrows.  These arrows allow you to move the object to the left, right, up and down.  You will also have the long gray dialog box with tabs that say General, Object, Features, Texture and Content. In the General tab write something like "First Box" in the name slot, then click the "Object" tab.  This tab is the one you will use for most of your basic building.

Below the Features and Texture tabs, you see the word "Box" this is the shape of the object you are editing. Touch the arrow next to the word "Box" and you will get a drop down menu with different shapes. Scroll down to "Sphere" and click on it.  See what happens?  The box is now a ball shape.  Now select Box again and its back to the cube shape.  On the Object tab you will also see "Positions (Meters)  this will become important when you learn advanced building.  SL uses the metric system for measurements.  The position values tell you where the center of the object is relative to the basepoint of the sim you are on. The X increases as you move from west to east, the Y from south to north, and the Z from down to up. Below that is Size.  The box default size is .05 or .25 meters. We will discuss that in part 2 of this building lesson.
Now back to your box.  You want to make it bigger. While still in edit mode press Shift and CTRL at the same time.  The arrows are now small box shapes in red, blue, green and white.  Click on the blue square and while still holding Shift & CTRL left click and hold it down also, now only the blue square shows up.  Drag the blue square up or down.  See what happens?  You made it shorter and taller.  Also the value increased and decreased in the Position and Size dialog box.  Bring it back to it's original size and lets try the green square the same way, this will allow you to stretch the box from the left side or right side.  Try the blue square pulling it towards you or away from you.  As you can see pushing the blue square flattens the box like a poster or picture.  Now try the white squares.  As you can see this keeps the box's shape but makes it larger.  For this lesson, make the box larger to about 1.17500 x 1.17500 (Does not have to be exact for this lesson).
Congratulations.  You can now stretch and resize.
Now we will texture the box.  While still in edit mode go to the Texture tab.  You will see the color is the default white and the texture is the default like wood.  Put your cursor on the white rectangle and push.  A color chart will pop up.  Choose the dark red then click "ok".  Now your box is red and so is the rectangle under color on the menu.  Press the rectangle again and when the color chart pops up choose the dark blue now your box is blue.  Touch the rectangle again and choose the white color from the chart and your box is back to the default light wood.  Now below the color is Texture with a square that has the light wood.  Put your cursor on that square and press.  Now your inventory shows up on a side menu that says Pick:Texture at the top.  For this lesson we will be using a texture from your SL library.  Scroll down to Library and choose from the Fabric folder.  Choose Fabric - Zebra Skin, then "ok".  Now your box has a zebra fur texture.  Notice the square on the dialog box under "Texture" also has the Zebra texture.
Congratulations, you now have a zebra skin box!

Set the box aside for now and we will begin lesson 2.
Point at the ground and right click and choose "Create" again from the pie chart only this time choose the sphere shape then click the ground.  You now have a ball with the default light wood texture.  Let's texture the ball.  Repeat the steps above but this time let's choose "Fabric - Basketweave from the library fabrics folder and click "ok".  Now click the color and choose a light blue color and click ok.  It should look something like the pictures below:

Now we are going to take this ball and make a bowl. Click the objects tab again.  You see the shapes dialog box now says "Sphere".  Below that is "Cut Path" and below that is "Hollow" with up and down arrows.  Click the "up" arrow and keep pressing it until the dialog box says 95.0000.  What happened was the ball is no longer solid, now it's hollow.  Now go up to the Cut Path arrows and press the "Up" button until it reads 0.5000.  This should have cut the sphere in half.  Now open your inventory tab and go down to Library, scroll down to Misc Textures folder and find "Blue Plasma"
Drag that texture to the inside of your bowl.  Now it should look like the picture below.

We want our bowl to be more shallow, so right click, choose edit from the pie chart and while holding Shift and CTRL and left click to get the little stretch squares and drag the blue square down until your bowl is the depth you want.  Congratulations, you just made a bowl.

Now we will do a little more advanced building with your zebra skin box.
Right click on your box and choose edit again from the pie chart.  We are going to duplicate the box so that we have two zebra boxes exactly the same.  While holding down the Shift button, left click on the blue arrow and drag it up.  This will copy the zebra box.  Now you should have two zebra boxes.

We ant to flatten the top box. Hold Shift and CTRL buttons down to get the red, green and blue little squares again that we use to stretch.  Click the top blue square and drag it all the way down until the box is flat.

Now edit the bottom box and hollow it like you did the sphere. In the objects tab, on the "Hollow" dialog box, click the "up" arrow and keep pressing it until the dialog box says 95.0000.  Now your box is hollow but you notice that it doesn't have a top or bottom.

Move the flat box down into the hollow box so that your box now has a bottom, you will need to make the bottom a little smaller so it doesn't poke out of the box.  Right click the flat bottom and move the red and green stretch squares in a little until the edges no longer show on the outside of your box.  Now you need to link the bottom and the box together.  Right click and edit the flat bottom piece.  Hold down the Shift key and move your cursor to your hollowed box and while still holding the Shift key, left click the box.  Now look at your grey menu box and you will see the Link and Unlink buttons, choose "Link".  Now your box and bottom are linked together so if you move itor take it into your inventory and rez it out again, it will stay together.  You notice that your one prim box is now two prims.  Congratulations, you just made a opened box.

Now we will make a snowman : )
Right click the ground and choose create, choose the sphere shape and touch the ground again.  Now you have another ball shape.  Open the texture tab and press the texture box on the dialog menu, choose from the Library file, Primitive Island - Snow1.  Now let make our snow ball a little larger by holding down the Shift & CTRL keys at the same time and dragging the little white square out a little.  Now your snowball is slightly larger.  We want to duplicate/copy this snowball so that we have 3 of them.  Hold the Shift key, put your cursor on the blue arrow and left click and drag up then repeat.  You should now have 3 snowballs as pictured below.

Now we want to resize the snowballs so that the one on the bottom is larger, the one in the middle a little smaller and the one on the top a little smaller than the middle one. Right click and drag the little white squares in or out to resize the snowballs.  Now stack the snowballs on top of each other to the way you want your snowman to look.  Edit the bottom one, hold shift, then move your cursor to the second ball while still holding Shift, left click it then the same with the top snowball and in your dialog menu choose "Link".  Now all 3 snowballs should be linked together.

Now we want to make a face and buttons for our snowman.  For the eyes, mouth and buttons, create another ball shape, color it black (Open texture tab, click on the color rectangle and choose black then ok) Then copy/duplicate that ball until you have 9 black spheres.  Resize them to make them small enough to make eyes, a mouth and buttons and move 2 of them to the top snowball to where you want the eyes.  Now link the eyes to the snowman using the steps above.
Now we want to make the carrot nose. Choose create from the pie chart and choose the cone shape.  Color it orange from the color chart and stretch the cone to make a long carrot looking nose.  Move the carrot nose to the face and place it where you want it.  Link it to the snowballs and eyes already linked.  Now move 4 of the black spheres to form the mouth and three of them down the middle ball for buttons and link them all together.  If done right your snowman should be 13 prims all together and look like the photo below.

If you have gone this far then you may want to make a hat for your snowman.  Create another shape only this time use the Cylinder shape.  Color it black and copy/duplicate it until you have 2.  Resize the bottom one to make it larger then flatten it like you did the box bottom.  This makes the hats rim.  Position the other black cylinder shape in the middle of the flattened rim and link them together.  Drag it up to the top of your snowman's head.  If you need to resize the rim or the hat top to fit your snowman better, you need to edit the linked parts.  To do this, right click the hat and in your grey menu box, check "Edit Linked" then touch the part of the hat you want to resize then hold Shift and CTRL down at the same time and drag the little white square to make that part of the hat larger or smaller.  When you get the hat just right, uncheck the Edit Linked.  Now link your hat to the rest of your snowman.  Congratulations!  You just made a snowman!

Now you have learned to create shapes, stretch the shapes, hollow the shapes, cut the shapes in half, color and texture your shapes and link them together.  Practice with different shapes and don't be afraid to experiment with the different tools.  You can always delete it and start over.  Make a habit of making a copy of all parts you create and have fun!

I will be publishing more advanced building tutorials in the future including more shape manipulation, sculpts, scripts and advanced texturing so stay tuned.




Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Buying And Selling Items In Second Life

Shopping in SL is fun and if you are a regular player, it is necessary but shopping in-world and on SL Marketplace can also be very frustrating.  We talked with several heavy duty shoppers and merchants to get some tips to make your buying and selling experience go as smooth as possible.

Complaints and Advice from Customers to Seller's:

" If I am shopping, I will only buy items that are copy and modify.  I usually only shop on the marketplace so if I want to transfer something to a friend, I will send it as a gift.  I have several sims and a club so I am always buying furniture, buildings and d├ęcor.  Nothing is more frustrating than rezzing something out that doesn't appear or looking for an item that SL ate and there isn't a copy!  Also, many times I will get an item that is a little to big or too small for what I need it for, I want the option to resize it.  Creator's can set their items to copy/modify but no transfer."

"  I hate it when a photo of something looks nothing like the actual product.  Recently, I bought an outfit because it looked so good in the photo.  I don't know if they photo shopped the picture or what, but the actual outfit was hideous.  The fabric looked like burlap, not the nice tan suede like in the picture and the details were burry and not set right.  I wasted $L550 on something I can not wear."

" Stop putting non related keywords in the descriptions of your merchandise.  If I type in "swimming pool" in search, I don't want to see a sofa, a fountain, window treatments, etc, on the same page as swimming pools."

" Clothing designer's need to always offer a demo.  I learned from experience never to buy an outfit without trying in on first.  An outfit that may fit and look good on my friend, may not look good on my shape.  I see really cute clothes that I would buy if I could try a demo first."

" Good customer service is important.  If I have a problem with a purchase and send a notecard to the seller, I expect a response within a reasonable amount of time.  I have bought things that didn't work, only to find out the seller hasn't been in Second Life for a few years.  If you can not provide help with your products, take them off the Marketplace.  I have even bought items that didn't get delivered and contacted the seller, never to hear from them or get a redelivery."

" I will find something I like and then it won't have a prim count listed.  I wonder why it isn't listed.  Is the seller trying to hide something, like high prims.  I stopped buying anything that doesn't have the prims listed."

" People need to take their old, outdated stuff off the Marketplace.  I hate having to choose the "newest to oldest" category instead of "relative" then I get items on the page that have nothing to do with the item I searched for."

" I do most of my shopping inworld, it's one of my favorite activities.  My biggest complaint is getting lost in big stores and having the landing miles way from the actual store.  I don't want to waste my time walking around an entire sim looking for a shop.  If I haven't spotted it within a few minutes, I tp out and go somewhere else.  Giant warehouse stores that don't have departments clearly marked is another gripe of mine.  If you sell men's and women's clothing, shoes, hair and other accessories, there should be a teleport system right at the entrance that takes you to each department or large signs that can be seen from the front door.  I am there to do some serious shopping, not mark up traffic for you."

" I hate creator's that are rude when I ask a question about one of their items I bought.  I paid them money not the other way around. And saying to me, "No one else has had a problem with it and I sell hundreds." does not correct my issue.  I will not buy another item from a seller that get's rude to me for a simple question and I will warn all my friends about them."

Complaint's and Advice from Merchants to Buyers:

" I try my best to put out a quality product and double check the permissions, on the rare occasion when I missed setting the permissions as advertised then get a 1 star review instead of a message from the buyer ticks me off.  We are human, we make mistakes and I know buying a product marked copy or modify only to find out it isn't is an inconvenience and frustration but I am online around 14 hours a day, I will fix it for you right away.  It's even more maddening to get the review while I am online.  Contact the creator before writing a bad review.  Many times they will gladly fix the problem and in some cases return your purchase price or give you a gift card or free product for letting them know."

" If a product is marked copy, do not ask for a refund, you will not get it from anyone.  A no copy product can be returned but not a copy of one.  And please try my demo's before buying.  I offer demo's of most all the clothing I sell both in-world and on SL's Marketplace, don't buy it and then leave a bad review because it doesn't fit your body."

" Beware of thieves. Products that have been illegally copied and resold without the creators permission will not be supported by the creator or updated but it can be reported and Linden Lab will remove the item from the grid and your inventory.  If you buy an item from a seller that is not from a reseller kit and lists someone else as the creator, let him or her know right away."

"Read the instructions carefully before contacting a creator.  I am very busy and have hundreds of customers daily.  I get contacted several times a day with questions that can simply be answered by reading the included notecard.  I don't mean to sound rude but I don't have time for an hour long conversation or to give someone the same step by step instructions that are already in the notecard."

" Do not stand in a store telling everyone that you only need $50L more to buy an outfit.  This is an old scam and if you are approached by someone asking for money in a store, please contact the store owner and let them know.  Many top designers and store owner's have a "blacklist" that we share with names of beggar's to help stop this annoyance.  One scammer bragged on a blog that they made hundreds of dollars USD per week running this scam."

Helpful Tips Summary:
* Always try a demo
* If you can help it, do not buy no copy items
* Contact the creator before leaving a bad review
* If a product gives copy permissions, you will not get a refund
* Only buy items that have the prim count listed
* Report suspected theft

Use all the provided tools when navigating the SL Marketplace.   Choose a category and sub categories.  For instance, when looking for a tuxedo, choose "clothing", then the sub category Men's clothing, then the sub category men's formal clothing.  You can also filter your search by "Relevance" " Highest to Lowest Price", "Lowest to highest price",  "Newest to Oldest", Oldest to Newest", etc.
Narrow down your search by using keywords.  If you are looking for jeans to fit a TMP mesh body, type in Jeans, TMP, mesh.
If you only want to buy items with copy and modify permissions, check it in the side menu.  Same with prims.  If you only want product that are  20 prims or less, type in 1 prim to 20 prims and if you are on a budget, you have the option to type in the highest amount of money you are willing to pay. If you wont pay a dime over $500 then type in $2 to $500.  Putting $0 or $1 will give you endless pages of demo's and some freebie items.

If you have a shopping tip or advice for SL merchants, leave it in the comments below.