Please someone also post this in Announcements - I don't have access to post there. Which is where this should be ideally.
A week ago on June 19th Wellington Beam, myself and many other administrators, founders and managers of various Help and Education organizations in Second Life met with Ebbe Altberg called Ebbe Linden inworld. He is the CEO of Linden Lab.
The subject of the meeting was to introduce ourselves to Ebbe, let him ask questions of us, and for us to put forth what we need from Linden Lab in terms of support, help and other things.
A little background on how this all came about:
I had heard the keynote address he gave during the VWBPE conference. (http://danielvoyager.wordpress.com/2014 ... -3-videos/)
And I found it a tad distressing that he had no idea in-world educators existed, but once he was schooled on the subject he did say that he was interested in meeting us, and getting to know who we are.
So I took him up on the offer and IMed him directly on my 10th rezday. I told him who I was, what the NCI was, and gave him a link to the RHN to see other Help & Education orgs, and also mentioned our sister orgs like Oxbridge and The Shelter.
My IM was brief and I also sent him a note card with three short paragraphs fleshing all that out.
I hadn't expected him to return my message, or even contact me at all. Or if he did, it would be like weeks or months later. Turns out it was less than 24 hours later he IMed me back directly and told me which Linden would be his liaison and to work with him to help set up the meeting.
So I did, and with Wellington's help, and Carl's and many of the staffers and members of the NCI, I was able to get as comprehensive a list as possible of all the active Help & Education orgs - specifically IN-world - and contact their administrators and founders.
Overall it went well, there were a few minor hiccups and I had to "yell" at Ebbe when he basically dissed anyone and everyone who'd been helping Newbies over the years. He's really stuck on the issue of "who to trust" with Newbies.
Oh I dunno, how about the people and organizations who've been working tirelessly and thanklessly for YEARS?
I was miffed, I tells ya.
But the end result of the meeting was this:
We will meet again sometime in the middle or more likely near the end of next month. I mean to get that ironed out for sure - a date and time by next week.
We are to put forth a To Do List of sorts for what we want to see happen. I'll hit the highlights of some of the items proposed already for that list - in no particular order right now:
1. Give us Lindens. We want a liaison Linden or Lindens who will be assigned to work with us, support us, help us.
2. List the Help & Education orgs prominently on the Destination Guide targeted at new users, those just signing up.
3. Help and support with security issues; back us up in dealing with griefers, harrassers and trolls.
4. Give us the perks, tier breaks, fee discounts etc that RL education orgs receive. A separate application/qualifying process may need to be created, we asked to be a part of helping to set that up.
5. Be mindful of the impact changes can have on Newbies and those who help them. I advocated to have everyone see group tags turned back on as default, and for LL to alert us to other changes in the UI ahead of time, and hopefully we'd have a say in letting them know how those might impact us, both negatively or positively.
6. Bring back payment for Instructors ($L500/class) I believe it was.
7. Know that we are an asset. That we have value. That we bring money to Linden Lab by way of simply doing what we do. Our output is happy, educated residents who the bulk of go on to not only stay in Second Life, but become paying customers. We've been doing this for years, emptying our back accounts, donating our tier, asking for donations, running fundraisers etc and many of us will be unable to continue unless we get backing, support and help from Linden Lab.
There are things on that list (not all of the items I listed, we are still consolidating) that LL can start doing right now, and there are others that might take longer. The idea is to keep them on task, to build bridges and relationships.
Those groups and their representatives present at the meeting/invited to be a part of this ongoing process:
Happy Hippo Building School
Ivory Tower and Library of Primitives
NCI/New Citizens Incorporated
New Resident Services/White Tiger Mentors
Little Blue/Fermi Sandbox
If you know of any others - they must be active and currently educating and helping new folks - please do let me know.
At the moment these are English speaking orgs, we have indicated to LL that we'd like their help in including the non-English speaking helper orgs as we go along/get a more solid foundation.
The goal is to have this become an ongoing process, something that becomes a high priority for Linden Lab, or at the very least acknowledged by them as something extremely important. We can do information exchanges. We already have what LL keeps spending money and doing endless testing on: The Secret Of User Retention: How To Help Newbies/Why People Stick.
The sooner they come to realize that the better it will be for all of us.
That is the goal of this relationship building process between the in-world Help and Education orgs and groups and Linden Lab.
More updates to follow as they come in.
Again, someone who can, put this in the Announcements section too.
This information is for everyone, as it affects everyone, Newbies, Helpers and Staff alike.
Important Announcements about NCI and these forums
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