Linden Lab, again with little or notification, have added a new feature to my.secondlife.com – Direct Messaging.
The new feature allows you to send personal messages to your friends via your and their Web Profiles. These messages do not appear on your own Feed or that of the friend you are messaging.
Here’s how it works.
Sending a Direct Message
Log-in to your Web Profile at my.secondlife.com and click on your Inbox (/mail) tab and click on the MESSAGES tab at the top of your inbox (if necessary) to display your direct messages.
Now click on the NEW MESSAGE button – this will open a page requesting the name of the person(s) to whom you wish to send a direct message (they must be on your Friends list). Enter the name in the format first.last – or simply click on the desired name from the list that is displayed as you type. Finally, enter the message itself in the box provided and click SEND.
Note that you can also use the People tab on your Web Profile and then scroll through your list of friends, select the person you wish to DM then select Send a Message from the “Pen” button on their Web Profile page. However, the above option is somewhat quicker.
Receiving a Direct Message
How you receive a DM depends on whether or not you are in-world.
If you are not logged-in to SL at the time a DM is sent, notification is only received by your Web Profile in the form of a numbered icon appearing in the Inbox tab (see right).
Note that this is the same icon that is displayed when receiving other notifications via your Web Profile as well, so it may not always be indicative that you have received a DM.
To view any new DMs you have received, click on the Inbox tab to open it. New DMs will be displayed directly on your Messages Tab with the text in bold (see below). Note that if you have received multiple DMs from a single person, only the last DM they have sent will be displayed on the Messages tab.
To view and reply to a message, click on the name of the sender. This will open a further page. Note that the DM may be displayed on its own (if it is the first you have received from the sender), or as a part of an ongoing exchange, in which case the entire exchange will be displayed, with the most recent DM at the bottom, together with the option for you to reply (below).
- Tip: If you are exchanging a number of DMs with a friend, click on the page refresh option of your browser each time the Inbox notification appears – this will refresh the message list & display the new incoming message on your screen (clicking the Inbox tab itself will take up back to your Messages tab, requiring you to click on the sender’s name yet again to open the DM exchange and view their most recent comment).
If you are in-world when a DM is sent to you, an additional notification will be displayed in your Viewer (see right).
In-world, notifications appear as a pop-up with a link to the message itself. Clicking on the link will open your Web Profile in either your Viewer’s browser or your default web browser (depending on your Preferences) and display the message and reply option as shown above.
- When viewing a Direct Message from in-world, you may have to additionally log-in to your Web Profile – once you have done so, the message page will automatically be displayed
- Some V1.x Viewers garble the incoming notification, for example: “xxxx sends you a messagehttps://my.secondlife.com/inbox/messages/4e948648ab2a18000100d6” – note the lack of any space between “messages” and the url. This causes the link to fail when clicked. If this happens, delete the extraneous “message” in front of the “https” in the browser’s address bar.
The Delete Button
The Direct Message option includes a button to delete exchanges. This is useful for removing old conversations, but should be used with care.
If you delete an ongoing exchange, the other side is not informed of this by default. They will only find out you have left the conversation when they:
- Either refresh the page, which will display a message that informing them you have left the conversation
- Or they return to their Messages tab, where they will see your name now has a strike-through, indicating you have deleted the exchange.
Similarly, if the other side of your exchange deletes it, you will not be informed until you either refresh your page, or return to the Messages tab.
Note that in either case, messages can still be sent by the party who has not deleted the conversation. However, the messages will not be delivered or any notifications given.
Once a conversation has been deleted, the NEW MESSAGE button on the Message Tab must be used to start a new exchange.
While this feature doesn’t (yet?) allow for direct DM-IM-DM exchanges to take place, it nevertheless adds another layer of communications options to SL users, and could prove especially useful in enabling conversations between friends when one or other cannot easily get in-world while avoiding the lag created by e-mail. It will be interesting to see if further enhancements are added along the way.