SLCC: Destination Guide – highlights

Speaker

  • Brett Attwood (Brett Linden), Managing Editor, Linden Lab
  • Contact e-mail: editor@lindenlab.com

Focus

The Destination Guide – what it is, how it works, how to be a part of it. Note this is not intended to be a full transcripts Brett’s presentation.

  • The Editorial Team at Linden Lab comprises Brett (four years at the Lab), Gabrielle Linden (relative newcomer) and the inimitable and beloved Torley Linden
    • The team collaborates in helping and supporting Linden Lab initiatives and the community in getting news and information out about venues, events, etc.
    • Specifically focused on the Destination Guide, but also do support for messaging and the secondlife.com website,  producing the Lab’s own promotional videos and touches on the blog and social networking
    • Showcase (click to enlarge)

      Highlighted the various promotional opportunities for users, not all of which are the remit of the Editorial Team, but which include the Destination Guide, Events Calendar, Classifieds, SL Groups, my.secondlife.com, the SL YouTube channel, blogs, forum and social networks

    • Reviewed the origins of the Destination Guide in terms of the old Showcase feature (right), which itself arose from the 2006 machinima of the making of Suzanne Vega’s guitar (see below)
      • Video seen as a demonstration of the power of SL, which LL should be doing more to promote
      • Showcase performed two functions: providing a means for users to find things to do & places to visit, and also offered LL the means to showcase SL activities simply and quickly to the web at large
      • The showcase feed and data is still available for viewing at http://secondlife.com/app/showcase, while the new Search is also available directly on the web at Search.secondlife.com

  • One of the aims of the Editorial Team is to have new destinations highlighted in the Guide daily, including looking at real-world current affairs (used the example of the Middle East situation as an example, when related destinations in-world were refreshed and highlighted)
  • Destination Guide comprises one master feed of data, which can be broken down and used – third-party use included – to provide multiple channels of delivery:
    • Secondlife.com
    • Viewer 2 log-in screen
    • Inside the SL Viewer, both Basic and Advanced modes
    • TPVs
    • Maps.secondlife.com links
    • Widgets and RSS feeds
  • A significant portion of the Destination Guide audience comes directly from the web – seen as potential new users, and thought is given to how LL can inspire / tell a story in order to get people to sign-up (something that has been a focus of mine in the recent past)
  • LL aware of the mixed viewers from users on the inclusion of the Facebook “like” button on web pages Destination Guide. LL do not view the button as being about Facebook integration; rather it is seen as a means for peer-to-peer promotion outside of SL of venues as people opt to “like” entries
  • Alongside Facebook, indicated that the Guide could be integrated with new Profiles at my.secondlife.com “but that’s something we want to hear from you about”
  • As a part of the channel delivery concept for the Destination Guide, it is now available via the Viewer 2 Search, where it can be presented in multiple ways

One feed – multiple channels

  •  A “hot” icon (flames) indicating how popular a location is in terms of avatar presence has been added to destination listings
    • No flame = not many visiting; deep red flame  = very popular
    • Coded so that very busy sims are not over-prioritised in the listing to help throttle the number of visitors
  • Destination Guide central to the Basic Viewer mode to encourage people to explore & recognise the experiences available in SL, and where it uses a “newcomer friendly” channel
  • Destination Guide seen as a means of supporting high-impact events (such as SLCC), through the creation of limited-time categories within the Guide that contain relevant information (locations, etc.)
  • Create Ad Widget

    For those with entries in the Destination Guide there is a Create Ad Widget – this allows the code and image for the entry to be displayed and edited or taken for embedding to a website or blog elsewhere

  • The Destination Guide within the Viewer 2 log-in screen is “version 1” and will be subject to revision, with feeds a mix of editorially-managed and automated
    • The What’s Hot section operates so that id a sim exceeds 40 avatars, the entry “goes away”
    • The idea is to connect people quickly through the log-in process
    • LL want feedback from users on this approach
  • Venues, etc., can get on to the Destination Guide in a number of ways:
    • Via user recommendation using the on-line Destination Guide form
    • E-mailing the Team at editor@lindenlab.com
    • Being involved in the official blogs
    • The team also actively monitor user’s blogs, social media (Twitter, Facebook, my.secondlife.com, etc.), YouTube, etc., in order to identify what is catching attention
  • There are pros and problems to getting noticed and addressed (below)

Destination guide – getting noticed pros and problems – remember, Destination Guide is not a classified ads page!

  •  The Team monitor Destination Guide both on the web and its in-Viewer use to see which categories are popular month-by-month
  • The Destination Guide is a non-paid, editorially-moderated tool and should not be confused with classified ads
  • In addition to the Destination Guide, the Editorial Team are engaged on promoting SL machinima via the SL YouTube channel and into locations such as the website log-in page, as machinima recognised as a valuable tool for SL promotion in turn (something else I wrote about some time back)

Further information

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