“Quick Tips” and the return of Torley

There was a time when the words “Torley Linden” and “Second Life” were synonymous with one another. His was frequently the first Linden name and voice users would encounter on entering SL, where his weekly TuTORial and Tip of the Week videos were a much-loved and enjoyed Thursday event through the old (and vibrant) Second Life website.

That’s how I started a post back in November 2012, both celebrating Torley Linden’s presence in SL over the years and lamenting the fact that of late, we’ve rarely heard from him other than via his profile feed (I think the last “official” output from him which was in any way visible to many was a TuTORial video in July 2012).

In that post, and elsewhere in this blog, I made mention of both Torley’s video TuTORials and “Tip of the Week” videos which over the years helped many an SL user (old and new) make better use of the viewer and get deeper into the many and varied things which can be done in SL.


An early Tip of the Week video from Torley Linden

The Tip of the Week videos were often an anticipated part of people’s SL on Thursdays, and were, back in the “old” days of the SL website, a featured part of the SL home page and (for a time) the TuTORIAL videos did actually feature on the dashboard.

Then LL, in their wisdom, saw fit to stop the production of these videos and remove them from the dashboard. In doing so, something was lost in terms of getting people  – especially those new to SL – familiar with both using the viewer and getting around and doing things in-world.

Now, it seems they are back in the form of a new “Quick Tips” series of videos, the first of which launched yesterday, and which are once more hosted by Torley himself.


The first of the new “Quick Tip” videos

The new video is designed to give beginners a quick overview on how to use the Avatar floater to quickly change one’s own appearance.

At 1.01 minutes long, it is a very superficial soundbite and doesn’t touch upon the deeper nuances of avatar customisation – but this doesn’t necessarily detract from it. In a world where people want instant answers and have short attention spans, it provides enough of a kick-start to get people playing with their appearance – particularly since the Avatar floater was (wisely) replaced as the “open by default” floater by Destinations when the Basic and Advanced view modes were merged – so the ability to change your in-world appearance isn’t that obvious from the get-go. If there is any niggle with the new video, it is perhaps in that it references another without indicating where it can be found (because it has yet to be released …), which might cause some frustration*.

The blog posts indicates that the Lab intends to release a series of these videos “over the next few weeks”, which suggests there may be a finite number of videos in the run. Hopefully, this will not be the case, and the Lab will continue the series beyond a “few weeks”, giving tips, tricks and explanations in much the same way as the Tip of the Week videos used to provide. Given that the company has recently taken the plunge with Amazon and will shortly be linking-up with Steam, it is important more guidance and support for new users is provided in some manner, particularly as the new user process is still (for the time being at least) very hands-off.

In this, the question as to how visible the videos are / will be is a concern. Simply posting links to them to the SL dashboard potentially isn’t enough. The videos – and the YouTube channel carrying them – needs to be more fully presented, preferably in a dedicated panel in the dashboard where they might have a higher visibly than on a rolling list of blog links. It would also be handy – and assuming the current new user process isn’t going to be massively overhauled – if the videos could be made available in-world at the current Destination Islands, to at least provide some guidance to new users the first time they arrive in-world (although this would perhaps be more informative if more basic guidance on “getting started” were also covered – such as using the Camera floater and controls).

That said, and even if LL don’t fully leverage the videos, and assuming broadcasting YouTube videos within SL is less of a challenge now than it was following changes at the Google end of things, the videos might hopefully be a useful resource for the various help islands and mentor areas run by groups and communities within SL.

As it stands, it’ll be interesting to see where this new series goes, how long it lasts – and how effectively LL will try to put it in front of new users. In the meantime – Friendly Greetings, Torley, and welcome back!

* Update: Having just dug around the SL YouTube channel, I wonder if the reference is to this video, and we’ll be seeing it resurrected in the near future? The video is apparently e-mailed out to new users on signing-up (although I didn’t receive it when I last signed-up for the purposes of keeping an eye on the “new” Destination Islands), so are the new “Quick Tips” also going to be mailed to new users?

11 thoughts on ““Quick Tips” and the return of Torley

  1. For the past year, Torley has been making feed posts about SL almost every other day. He’s been VERY visible, very active, and very engaged with us. Just some folks still refuse to look at their feeds, even though it -is- the profile system now.

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    1. Yup, don’t dispute he’s not been “hidden away” – hence why I commented on his feed myself (which I follow). How many people involved in SL as a whole, however, who routinely follow feeds (or use their own) is a matter for conjecture :).

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      1. Probably not that many sadly. I wish it were more as it is so great for screenshots and finding places. But it needs seriously better “content/people filtering” first. 🙂
        It is however, pretty much the last place left you can get regular access to a linden. Mostly Torley, but now and then some of the others too.

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        1. Probably the seocnd best for access. The best channel remains the various user groups – which are limited to those who can mee the times the meetings are held, admittedly. Totally agree on the content/people filtering!

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      2. OK, just what is this “feed” thing you’re talking about?

        (Pretty well sums up the whole problem, doesn’t it. New way of talking to customers, I suppose, but it’s not something they bother to tell customers about. Some of the blogs, still on the Dashboard page, haven’t had a new post since mid-2011.)

        (This post has been edited by the author for use of the word Belgium)

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        1. You’re not aware of what the “feed” is? Well, Belgium, man! If you expect to be sassed as a hoopy frood who REALLY knows where his towel is, you should remember it is my.secondlife.com …

          (Either that or simply get yourself close to the maddening crowd – there, two literary references for the prices of one :).)

          As to the blogs, the lack of new material is one of the tourches I’m frequently picking up and waving around. No-one at the Lab appears willing to see, however…

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  2. I will never really understand the desire to *buy* shapes. One of the things I have always liked most about SL is the ability to make a truly unique YOU.
    Did you really look at the Buying Virtual Currency video? What experienced resident would wear that dress improperly fit like that (at least I hope it was not intended to look that way in the bodice / cleavage area!).

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    1. TBH, I didn’t watch the “currency” video all the way through, the voice was enough to put me off after the first couple of minutes. In pointing to it, I don’t condone it, merely that it is there and might be what Torley is referring to in his Quick Tip video. My personal view is “I hope not”.

      I’m not so anti buying a shape, tho. So long as it is MOD, a purchased shape (if proportionally made) can be a decent first step on the way of creating a unique shape that looks good.

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      1. The big problem is that a Shape is two different things in one cumbersome package.
        A lot of the data is the face, something that might take a lot oif work to get right, and is very much part of the individual.
        The body shape, neck downwards, is where AVs get poorly proportioned, and where rigged Mesh forces changes just to get things working.
        I suppose I am lucky, using a furry AV most of the time, since I don’t have to worry about the facial details getting changed by a Shape needed to make a particular rigged mesh fit. And it’s not too difficult to make a note of the numbers that define the neck-down shape, and manually transfer them.
        Has this aspect never been noticed by the Lindens?

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