I’m very, very excited about being able to announce this. This is by far the most exciting thing I’ve ever done with Second Life. Here it is:
At practically any moment, there are tens of thousands of people logged in to Second Life. And yet…ever have trouble finding someone to do something with? Ever wish you could somehow search for resis who share interests with you, or who live near you in First Life, or for your ideal dance partner? Ever wish you had a little HUD you could use to find someone who was around *right then* to go fishing or shopping or dancing or to hang out and talk with?
Meetaverse will let you do those things.
With the help of some talented friends, I’ve been working harder than I’ve ever worked before in my life throughout this past summer to create a system to let people find each other in Second Life, whether they’re looking for activity partners, shopping buddies, business partners, people to talk to, dancing partners, mentors, game opponents, or even lovers. Now Meetaverse is nearly ready to launch, and I’m looking for volunteers to use the system, for free, as a test before I release it to the world.
Meetaverse exists partly on a Web site and partly within Second Life. The Web site is a little like a dating site, except that it’s just as good at finding people to do things with as it is at finding Second Life dates – in fact, you can turn all of the romantic parts of the site off with one setting if you’re only looking for friends. Here’s a picture of one of the screens (look at the menu on top of the picture for an idea of what else the site can do).
Meetaverse is designed from the ground up with the understanding that you have both a First Life and a Second Life, and you answer questions separately for each life – but only the questions you choose. You don’t have to give *any* information about your First Life at all unless you want to – not even your name or e-mail address. Meetaverse verifies your identity with your avatar in-world. You can have separate accounts for alts if you like, too.
Your Second Life Meetaverse profile lets you say if you have different avatars, different genders, or different types of creatures as your Second Life self; whether you only want to meet people who are the same gender in First and Second Life; how often you’re online; and a lot of other things that you can’t put in a normal Second Life profile or MySpace page or any other kind of profile I’ve ever seen. You can upload pictures for your Second Life, your First Life, or both. By the time the testing period is over, all new profiles will be checked before posting so that there will be no spam.
The most important part in-world is the Meetaverse Notifier, an attachment that sits in a corner of your screen and lets you know whenever someone contacts you through Meetaverse, lets you say when you’re available to do things, and gives you links to the most important features on the Web site, which pop right up when you click Notifier buttons.
One of the most important things about the Notifier is that it lets you just click a button to turn on or off your availability…that is, to let everyone else know if you’re looking to meet someone or go do something. Once you click the lightbulb, anyone searching on the site or from within Second Life can find that you’re available and send you a message inviting you to do something. You stay completely anonymous – not even your Second Life name is revealed! – unless and until you want to reveal yourself.
After everything is released, Meetaverse will be available to all Second Life residents at no cost, and everyone will be able to have a full profile, upload pictures, respond to messages from other members, and so on. Anyone who decides to have a full membership, which costs L$700 a month, will be able to contact other members without being contacted first (which at the moment is the only important thing standard members can’t do).
Meetaverse will preview with a testing phase for volunteers, who are given full memberships for the rest of the year at no cost, within two weeks, possibly as early as this weekend.
If you’d like to help test Meetaverse out (using real information and looking for real friends), please contact me one of these ways with either your e-mail address or your Second Life name:
* Respond to this post in comments
* E-mail me at meetaverse at gmail dot com
* IM me (Kate Amdahl) in Second Life
If you’d like to put this information on a notecard (or for me to send you a notecard like that) and pass it on to friends in Second Life, that would be great. Once we have enough volunteers, I’ll close the offer down. It’ll mostly be first come, first served.
What do you think? Questions? Flames? Awe and amazement? Scorn? Surprise?
^^^\ Kate /^^^
I’ve been mostly out of Second Life for two or three months now, and most of that time I’ve only come in-world to take care of things, for instance to drop off objects to people or to sell land (we were so thrilled when our friends Ferretherder Kitsune and Mailia Medby took over our former home! We don’t need it to stay the same, a mausoleum to the Sylphs, but for it to still exist and be “in the family” just makes me sleep happier at night).
(By the way, I’m going to veer a little into fashion in this entry, but it’s not important if you haven’t fallen in love with your own wardrobe, so do skip paragraphs however you like!)
This past week, I’ve been in three times. I’d wondered if Second Life would start feeling a little silly and thin if I were away for a while, but that certainly hasn’t happened, which strengthens my belief that people who think virtual worlds are games don’t have any relationships to speak of in them, and that people who do have meaningful virtual relationships-friends especially!-aren’t going to “grow out of them.”
Kit had this little black dress (“Ginny” from Last Call), and I had to run out and get it, which is shameful in that it’s stealing my friend’s fashion sense, but really, I only have about 4 LBD’s (Kit actually had to actually explain that abbreviation to me, but I think it’s because I don’t care much about First Life fashion and never watch TV!), and this one is (if you ask me) a minimalist masterpiece. It comes with a very nice trench coat that I’m sure I’ll wear over the dress some day, but isn’t the whole point of a Little Black Dress that it just sort of aesthetically vanishes and leads eyes to you? A trench coat does the opposite!
I have to admit, the timing for my coming back in-world a little more, even though I still only expect to be in once in a while, probably isn’t random. My First Life significant other and I decided to part ways, amicably, and so all of a sudden my social time no longer necessarily had to involve putting on a nice dress and going out. Actually, my Second Life wardrobe mania was, I realized, in full swing, and practically the first thing I did when I came in world was further cram my already ridiculously huge virtual closet with a few coveted items from old favorite spots like Last Call and Nicky Ree. Last Call’s clothing is gorgeous, by the way, and all on sale for L$100 again, which is a fashion miracle matched only by the similar thing that happened at Dazzle eighteen months ago, as the other old ladies on Second Life might recall. I have to admit, much of Last Call doesn’t exactly fit my style (I’ve used the phrase “Republican debutante” to describe it), but I gleefully snatch up anything that does. Nicky Ree, on the other hand, is full of things that suit my eclectic little preferences marvelously, but buying things there costs something approaching actual money, so I have to pace myself. 🙂
This is “Divine Sisi Empire Gown Emerald” from Nicky Ree, “Sisi” I think being a reference to a Bavarian princess whose nickname that was. Anyway, wow. Most of my wings fight for attachments with this, but I conveniently have my mini golden eagle wings from Seraphina Pinion, which I like having another excuse to wear.
Anyway, it seems all too easy to fall into staying up late talking with friends and going on wild shopping sprees. Of course, both the friends (for the human contact with people I love) and the shopping (for feeling pretty and having tiny little new experiences) are probably compensations in part for walking away from what was really, in most ways, a very nice relationship. And in the end, I suppose that’s not surprising at all: after all, if I had the option, I’d gladly spend time with my Second Life friends in the First Life world, with whatever First Life bodies and outfits they come in. I’m sure we’d all look less glamorous and wouldn’t dance as well, but we’d be able to put our arms around each other instead of the air next to each other (Second Life: lurch left, lurch right, end up mostly facing each other…there!), and no one would freeze and vanish unexpectedly. Anyway, what I mean to say is that I’m incredibly grateful for my Second Life friends, and I miss them when I’m off in my First Life, and I’m glad to spend time with them any way I can.
^^^\ Kate /^^^
So, Dryke (of whom I know nothing more than his name and that he made kind comments about my post on seduction) suggested I post about some places in Second Life where a person can meet other intelligent people. I’ve been giving the same question some thought, because at those rare times when I’m in-world and not with a close friend, it’s sometimes very difficult for me to find places to go to interact with new people whose company I really enjoy.
I did post some months ago on ways to make friends in Second Life, but in terms of going out and having an expectation of meeting someone fun and new–especially if you’re looking for a Second Life relationship or fling–it’s a very difficult, even sometimes impossible process unless you keep at it.
And I will say that if you want to meet someone interesting to go off and have private time with, you’re probably better off looking for interesting people without expectations than for people who are willing to go off into the bushes. You can always find people willing to go off into the bushes: just search places for free sex or terms like that and you’ll find convocations of barely-literate club male avatars and newbies brandishing freebie genitalia wandering around half clothed and abbreviating blunt requests for sex to each other. That’s fine if that’s your scene, but I think the chances of meeting someone intelligent and sensitive and funny and interesting there are…well, they’re not very good.
But back to places to meet intelligent, friendly people. There are definitely some great places to dance that have that kind of clientele: the Boathouse, the Bothy, the Elbow Room…there are others, too, but those are the first ones that come to mind. Sometimes you can find good places like this by looking at the Picks in the profile of a person you admire. In terms of meeting people, though, the problem with those is that it’s often hard to connect with someone new and interesting at those places. A lot of people are dancing and IMing and only occasionally contributing to the general chat, if at all. It must be a bit of a nightmare if you’re a wallflower, but even for people like me, who plow right in, the chance of making a new friend with whom you’ll really hit it off at a place like this on any particular night is dismally low.
And there are all kinds of wonderful clubs and groups. I have friends and acquaintances who make friends through virtual churches or virtual theater groups or role playing groups. This is a longer commitment too, though, and in the end it seems to me a lot like the dance club problem.
So for now, the short version of what to do, I think, is to keep going out and looking for things that interest you, be as outgoing as you comfortably can, and be yourself, and sooner or later you’ll start finding friends.
But I’ve also been working on a solution to this problem for some time. I think there should be at least one place in Second Life where whoever you are, newbie or veteran, male or female, PG or mature, you can go do something fun that requires you to talk to other people and them to talk to you, and that tends to attract friendly, clever people. So yes, I’m finally giving in to that ever-present lure of opening your own venue. First the store, now this. What will I do next, open a casino?
Anyway, back to this place: Eris and I are going to open a little venue that will have things going on where people talk to each other and are creative all the time. It should be a place where you can go alone or with your friends and always find something to do and usually find someone new and interesting to talk to. Last night I brainstormed with some clever friends about what kinds of activities would fit the bill, and now I’m armed with a whole list of good ideas. So what are your ideas?
Do you feel any need for a place like this? Do you think you’d go there if you had fun doing the things we were providing to do?
Is anyone interested in hosting events for us sometimes? It would only pay tips, because this won’t be a money-making venue, but it could be a lot of fun. What do you think?
^^^\ Kate /^^^
(Someone asked the very good question of what kinds of activities we were talking about. Here was my answer:
We’re still deciding, but here were some ideas: grown-up games that require talking (Pictionary or Trivial Pursuit are First Life examples), group creative activities like paintings or limericks, improvisations or role plays where people were given a situation and went up on stage to act it out, teleport scavenger hunts, profile scavenger hunts, and trivia games.
I’m sure we won’t do all of those and that we’ll do some things that we haven’t thought of yet, and I don’t know at all how many activities will be available at first, but that might give some idea.)
I don’t know about you, but defriending (whether I’m the defriender or the defriendee) always makes me a little sad. In case you don’t know about it already, defriending in Second Life is when somebody takes you off their friends list. They disappear from yours too, so if you think to look for them there, that’s how you can tell.
I’m glad it happens quietly and behind the scenes. Any kind of announcement, it seems to me, would be like a slap in the face to go with the defriending.
|Me (a la fae), Eris (off-camera), and my friend Shirley cliff-diving. I actually manage to spend time with Shirley every once in a while, so she’s not at all an absent friend.|
I’ve only ever defriended someone if I haven’t talked to them in a long time and feel we’ve parted ways, or else if I’m not comfortable with the person. I once had a new friend who stood me up for a date-can you imagine? I know, it boggles the mind! ;)-after asking me to wait for her for hours, and it was clear to me that we should end the friendship when she didn’t apologize about it. Fortunately she defriended me before I had a chance to defriend her, which made it easy. It’s always nice to be defriended by someone you don’t want to see.
And then there was the boy who used to teleport to wherever I was without asking first, or in one case even when I told him I was busy and not able to see him just then. With friends like that, who needs peeping Toms and process servers? Off the list he went, with no regrets.
So I guess defriending isn’t always sad. When it’s sad is when it’s someone you like but just aren’t in touch with. There are too many wonderful people in Second Life. My friends list is full of people I’d like to see more often and am not able to. One of them, whom I haven’t talked to in, oh, maybe a month, disappeared from my friends list recently: he defriended me. How recently, you ask me? I don’t know: I never get to talk to him, so I hadn’t been looking for him on my list for some time. Besides, whenever I used to visit him and his girlfriend, I always felt like a third wheel, even though I never had any designs on him. He’s not my type (too spiky), and I’m probably not his (too flighty?), but he’s a sweet and really interesting guy, and I’ll miss his friendship. But then again, I’ve already been missing it, because I haven’t had time to keep up with him.
I guess the thing is that when you’re defriended, it feels like you’re being singled out because of something you did. In First Life, when someone doesn’t call they might just be busy, but if they delete your number from their PDA, suddenly it seems like there has to be a reason. But there doesn’t. With all due respect to the song we used to sing at Girl Scouts Camp (yes, I was a Girl Scout. And no, I don’t still have the uniform.), if you make new friends, you can’t keep the old, regardless of which is silver and which is gold, because we only have so much time and attention in our lives, and any time and attention that go to one friend or activity are coming away from some other friend or activity. This is why I get mad at people who have six or eight or more children. They may love them all, but do they have time to spend plenty of time with each one, make each one feel special, notice little things that each one may need? Wait, that’s a different rant. Never mind. 😉 (And no, I don’t have that many brothers and sisters.)
I have no idea how to improve defriending. I think Linden Labs has it exactly right as it is, silent and missable. After all, friendships aren’t agreements that have to be voided to end. They’re fragile, sometimes unpredictable rocks on a mountainside that might stay there for the next thousand years or crack apart on the next really cold day.
|Eris and our friend Tangent on his extremely cool, banana-yellow motorcycle.|
When I think of my once-friend who has defriended me, I suspect he’s just clearing up his list to make it easier to click on people who have had time to spend with him. Or maybe he’s just quieting things down for himself, with fewer messages that say “that friend of yours who never calls is online. If you’re looking for an IM from her, don’t hold your breath!”. Maybe he even closed his account! I’m a little scared to check, because that would seem sad to me, even though there are many good reasons for leaving Second Life.
Here’s a suggestion for an updated Girl Scout Camp song.
Make new friends if you have time to spare
You may lose the old friends if you’re never there
A circle is round, as you will know
If a new friend’s on top someone gets squished below.
By the way, there’s a neat post about old friends at Romi Lassally’s blog, which I stumbled on when double checking the words to the Girl Scout Camp song. Maybe she went to Girl Scout Camp, too.
Oh, and a long-overdue thank you to the lovely, talented, and fun Eris Fallon for many of the in-world pictures that show up in my blog, like the two today and the one of me and Endy from my last post.
I’m an impertinent winged girl. Here I am less than a month old and already blogging what I think the meaning of (Second) Life is, how to do things, and flagging things as important. I this is because of rule #3: don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself, and rule #4: be obviously and outspokenly you. That’s from my list of rules, which I didn’t really realize I had until today, about how to find friends in Second Life.
You probably don’t need my stinking rules, since you probably have already made friends in Second Life if you’re there, or read this blog only to guffaw at how seriously all we Residents-With-a-Capital-R take our big computer game if you’re not. But just in case you’re new and happen to be just on the verge of making a lot of friends, or reclusive, or just like lists, here it is: Kate’s rules for finding friends in Second Life.
Boy, I’m feeling very impertinent indeed in posting this–but I have some wonderful friends, so I guess that makes me cocky. 😉
Making friends in Second Life is harder in some ways than in RL (real life). You can’t read people’s expressions or body language, so you have to look for people you like based on what they do and say. At the same time it’s easier: there’s less danger or awkwardness if things go bad (just say a cheerful goodbye and teleport home!).
OK, the rules:
1. Be kind.
2. Be terribly, terribly attractive and charming. Attractive isn’t too hard in Second Life if you don’t mind spending a few Lindens and some time; charming is more difficult, but it’s a very nice thing to cultivate.
3. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. Seriously. There’s a much greater danger of hiding in your shell and never connecting than there is of doing something so stupid you’ll care about it in two days.
4. Be obviously and outspokenly you. If you don’t do the things you want to and say the things that are important to you, you won’t attract friends who like those things unless they have ESP or are incredibly intuitive.
5. If possible, have ESP or be incredibly intuitive.
6. Start conversations, especially with people who aren’t already having conversations.
7. But remember that someone might have 6 IM conversations already going on when you come up to them.
8. Find something that looks really remarkable and drag it around with you. People who think it’s cool will comment on it, and then all of a sudden you’re in a conversation with somebody who thinks something you have or are doing is cool.
I figured this out by accident-I love my wings, so I’m always showing up randomly at dance clubs wearing one or another of my favorite pairs, all of which move or flutter or glow. I’ve met a lot of friends through people noticing my wings, or by me noticing something strange and cool about the other person. It also gives boys who are interested in me an alternative pickup line to “nice dress,” although for the record, the preferred line is “Nice wings! And wow, nice dress!”
My friend Chastity is a bondage cat woman with a strikingly lovely face. My friend Lyddie puts together costumes for contests with a talent that transcends simple fashion sense. My friend RaH has big spiky hair, wears pink undies when he dances, and can turn into a little black kitten at will.
9. Conversely, think carefully about appearing completely normal. You’re not completely normal, are you? (I didn’t think so.) So why look it? You don’t have to blend in anywhere: you’re whoever you are, and if that’s not good enough for the people you meet, they can take their metaphorical Lindens of Friendship and shop elsewhere-you don’t need ’em!
10. If you’re not looking for sexual play, make that clear and obvious in a friendly way early on to prevent misunderstandings. If you are looking for sexual play, or are still deciding, I don’t think there’s any rush to make things clear. 😉
11. Go new places and try new things.
12. Don’t go places you don’t enjoy trying to find people who enjoy the same things you do.
13. It may take a while to find the right people, so if necessary, spend time by yourself doing things you really enjoy instead of desperately seeking out crowds. You don’t need friends right off unless they’re the right ones. If you tie yourself up with people you’re not really excited about being with, you’ll have trouble seeking out the people who really make you happy.
Impertinence or no, there’s the list. What did I miss? Leave me a comment.
^^^\ Kate /^^^