Socialising Second Life

**As per suggestions, I’ve raised a JIRA on this idea – hopefully in the right place, as this is my first time actually raising a request! – if you support the idea, please go and vote! **

OK. It *is* possible someone else has blogged on this elsewhere. I’m also cross-linking from my D/s blog, as this has relevance.

While Mark Kingdon and the Facebook push may have (thankfully) have gone from LL, we still hear much about SL and “social networking”, with much of the emphasis being on pushing people out from SL in order to Network.

In doing so, they are looking in completely the wrong direction.

Recent events in my Second Life (which I needn’t go into here) have caused me to re-evaluate my “goals” and “desires” within SL, both in terms of my general interaction and also the D/s side of my life. What has come out of this is the realisation that, when you think about it, finding what we seek in terms of personal interaction on the level of relationships, etc., is pretty much hit-and-miss.

Yes, we can find places and group that might serve our needs readily enough in a broad sense. But when we are looking for someone specific – say, when we’ve been here a while and (like me), the world has gone utterly topsy-turvy – actually settling on trying to find someone with whom you can relate to and perhaps build something new with – is a matter of blind chance. We either:

  • Review friends, socialise like mad and hope something comes up
  • Start group hopping and sim hopping and…socialise like mad and hope something comes up
  • Start pouring over the profile of every person we meet in the hope something turns up
  • and so on and so forth.

Now, of course, it’s not always as frenetic as all that – or as desperation-driven as that sounds. But the fact is, there is no alternative medium for people to find people.

Linden Lab, you’re missing out!

In talking to a trusted friend and confidante – Sylvia Portal – it struck me that, rather than pushing people out from SL with hooks to other apps and the like (or even to Avatars United), there is potential here for LL to fill a real need among all sectors of the community, and make money.

Personal Classifieds.

Simply charge a small, flat fee (weekly renewable on a manual basis) to let people post a suitable advert electronically. Let the ads be categorised under a series of broad headings, and with sub-headings (so you might have ADULT with MEN for WOMEN, WOMEN for MEN; BDSM (with its own sub-categories) etc.). And…

  • Make it searchable.
  • Have it on a website, so that within search, just the summaries appear and people click a link to go to the website to see the full ad.
  • Make it subscribable (by sub-category)
  • Have “channels” deliver those categories someone has subscribed to appear in links in their Viewer 2 sidebar (“New in the last 24 hours”) – that again links to the website & the specific category
  • Control access to ad categories on the basis of Age Verification
  • Make the website directly accessible for direct browsing.

Technically, I appreciate this would be a lot of work. But providing the fees charged are balanced (say X for 1 week, Y for 2 weeks, etc.), I’m pretty convinced a lot of people would use the system in preference to what amounts to blind luck and prayer. And yes, there are some potential issues – but they don’t add up to anything more significant than we all face when roaming SL anyway.

So why not, Linden Lab? The service would be appreciated and you’d not have to continue pushing people out from SL to do some of the things they want to do.

Just remember where you read about the idea  – I’m willing to negotiate and fee for this idea! :). And that goes for any other entrepreneur who fancies a shot at doing this sans Viewer interaction!