Get a (Second) Life!
2. Find a Second Life mentor, and visit the TechSoup space on Second Life. TechSoup created a virtual office in Second Life, where nonprofits can meet and share ideas.
She also encourages newcomers to attend TechSoup’s weekly virtual meetings each Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. PST. “A kind mentor can help show you the ropes,” she says. “You don’t have to be a techie to succeed — you just need an imagination.”
3. Don’t buy everything. Once you get inside, you’ll be faced with plenty of offers to buy this and that. “Sign up for the free account,” Tenby says. “There is plenty of free stuff out there.”
4. Don’t be put off by the snide remarks by those who just don’t get it. Some people are wary of virtual worlds and question them because they originated as places for entertainment. Even “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart took a jab at Tenby and SL after she testified to Congress about the virtual world and its importance.
“It’s very easily mocked,” Tenby says. “People are afraid of it.”
Tenby compares it to Games for Change, which provides support, visibility and shared resources to individuals and organizations using digital games for social change.
“There are games like Grand Theft Auto and others where you … kill and steal,” she says. “Why not games for social change?”
5. Be ready to put in your time. Tenby urges users to spend one to two hours per week getting to know the virtual world. “Don’t just think you can slap a sign on a wall [in SL] and think you have a presence there,” Tenby says. “Invest time. You must be there to be there.” FS
Related story: Converging Technologies