On Wednesday, November 11th, the Lab announced a new beta programme – Second Life Places.
In essence this allows region and parcel owners to create a web browsable page for their location(s) in-world where they can be shared through blogs, websites, etc. Included with each page are buttons to allow visitors to the page to launch their viewer and teleport directly to your location (assuming they are Second Life users – if not, they’ll have to sign-up via the provided link to the main sign-up process).
In order for people to be able to use the Places pages to promote their own locations, certain criteria must be met:
- You must own the parcel / region in question OR you must be assigned a the group ability to Toggle ‘Show Place in Search’ And Set Category within the group owning the land
- About Land > Show Place in Search must be checked (recurring fee of L$30 a week).
The announcement itself was – frankly – vague. Whilst explaining the purpose of Places, and the fact it is beta, the blog post itself doesn’t actually provide information on where to find detailed information on the new pages – such as how to get started or even how to view the new pages. While there is a link to a forum post, it also isn’t that much more informative on where to find information for those unsure of how to proceed. This being the case, here are the key links:
- Home page for Second life Places – you’ll need to go here to get started.
- Places Knowledge Base article – where the meat and bones information resides.
As a quick run-down of the basics, providing you meet the criteria for establishing public Places page(s) for your parcel(s) / region(s) as defined above, you can get started by:
- Visiting the Places home page – note you may have to log-in to it.
- Hovering the mouse pointer over your name (top right of the page) and selecting My Places from the displayed drop down – this will list all of your parcels and regions. You can then select those you wish to edit, and follow the instructions in the Knowledge Base article.
- Note that A Places page for a parcel can also be “hidden” at any time by unchecking Show Place in Search in the About Land window, while all Places pages for a region, regardless of parcel settings, can be hidden by checking World > Region/Estate > Region > Block Land Show in Search.
Within the pages are options to embed image slide shows, machinima videos and include social media buttons to Facebook, Twitter, Google+ for those wishing to use them, as well as basic information on the location itself. There is also the ability to include a 360-snaphot banner / hero image, and to include links to the Places pages for locations / venues within the current location. For example, Loki Eliot’s Escapades Places page includes links to the Places pages for venues with his Escapades island, as shown below.
All of which make the pages somewhat flexible. And while they are fairly basic at present, they could evolve into exceptionally useful items and make the L$30 a week search listing fee more than worthwhile.
Note, however that as a beta, capabilities are both limited and subject to bugs. The Lab is welcoming ideas and feature requests, and asks that specific bugs (the linking to places described above is buggy, for example), are reported via JIRA. General feedback and observations should be given via the official forum thread,
I’m not sure how many actually have access to the beta programme, or whether this initial deployment is restricted to those who actually OWN regions. However, I’ve been unable to access those parcels / regions where I have the required group rights as an Estate Manager and the land is listed in Search. Others in a similar position to myself have also reported they cannot view the Places pages for their regions. This being the case, and in addition to the screen shots above, here are some Places pages links for those wanting a closer look at things: