Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Three-Hour Tour - Last Stop: Where to Find More Information

I started the Tourist Information Office because I was tired of picking up notecards that said things like "Cool Places to Visit" only to find that the information was outdated and/or didn't contain any of the places that were my favorites.

Since then, I've found a number of places that do have more up-to-date information.

Community Cultural Hub on Inspiration Isla

Inside Expedition Central
The Community Cultural Hub on Inspiration Island has landmarks displayed by theme. I confess I did not visit Inspiration Island for a long time because I thought it was going to be one of those "Today is the first day of the rest of your life!" places. The description "The Home of Whole Brain Health and the Community of Creative Elders in Second Life" didn't do that much for me, either; however, it turns out that it is a center for "Education for Life-Long Learning" and it has a lot of good content. Their teleport locations are shaped like big lightbulbs to reference the "Aha" moment when you do get inspired. Here is a utube video which will show you a lot more. Learning can be fun.

Another great collection of landmarks is in a large can-shaped structure floating above Chilbo. This is Expedition Central which I believe Cyrus Hush helped set up. He used to lead groups of academics through Second Life on educational tours. There are over 100 destinations pictured on the inside walls - click the picture and get an information notecard. Don't miss the the large box labelled "Gateways to Thinking" which, when touched, will unfold another palette of destinations.

Other ways to find new destinations to explore:

The in-world Second Life Destination Guide is worth trying. I find that the online webpage is easier to navigate, but sometimes it seems as if it is hard to sift through the listings to find places that I enjoy. I also find that some of my favorite places are never mentioned.

If you want to go beyond the destination guide, or perhaps find specific interests: just google* "Second Life _______" (insert the name of the thing you are interested in in the blank space.) You may find that someone else has a blog about that particular interest, and you may want to subscribe. 

There have also been many books written about Second Life. I would suggest seeing if you can get copies from your library before buying them; however, as things change so frequently that their information is often outdated before the ink is even dry. Check the SL and SL Universe forums and archives. There are often lively  discussions about current SL concerns, and I have found the forum members to be very helpful when I have questions.

Before you make a bug report go to the JIRA and see if someone else has already reported it. Second Life also has a Suggestion Box, but you have to look for it. 

If you see something inworld you like, click on it to see the creator profile, and see if the creator has listed his shop on his 'picks'. If you like to shop, joining one of many inworld hunts will let you explore different shops and perhaps get free samples. Search under 'groups' to see if you find one that seems to have your same interests (here, you might also want to check how many of the members listed are online, and if there have been any notices sent. There are many Second Life groups that are inactive now. If you find a group that seems to have your same interests, and seems to be active , you might want to join them. 

Be sure to make a landmark of places you visit, with something in the title to help you find it again. When I make landmarks I also find it a good idea to add the date I visited, for example "6-15-16 Bay City Arboretum of Atypical Veget" (note that this is a temporary exhibit).

Above all, have fun, and don't judge Second Life by just one or two destinations, or one or two encounters with residents.

*or 'browser' it...

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