Category Archives: Getting Started

Starting a new business in Second Life

Most residents sooner or later get into buying land in Second Life. It took me now more than two years to give it a consideration (I did have land before under my main account, but not as Caroline).

However, I am not buying land for recreational purposes. For that I have a my little moor in front of Toni’s home, which I am paying only 400 LD per month and Toni. Lest me generously use his property as I see fit. I kinda moved in there and brought even my furniture with me (much to Toni’s enjoyment). Reminds be that I am overdue I think!

So what do I actually need land for?Well, I have a new business project. Some time ago I was talking to Jude Walter (my ex Head of Media Sales) about opening some kind of a classy swinger club in Second Life.

Here is the concept:

The business concept is basically similar to what other clubs in Second Life do: A members only club. To become a member someone would pay a small entrance free ( 500LD) and in return can use all the facilities and participate in special events hold on the property on a regular basis.

The concept has been proven very successful for places like Turtles Adult Beach , PLAY or even Franks Elite Club , just to mention a few. “Prove of concept” in a certain market is always a nice thing to have.

Of course, there is competition out there, and you have to offer something of rather good quality and something that is different from what they already know for people wanting to become a member at yet another venue.

Oh and Jude is not part of this, he simply hasn’t got enough time due to RL commitments and as I always say: RL is always first life.

Here is the USP (unique selling preposition):

I want to open a rather classy and elegant adult club. Most adult clubs or swinger clubs have typically a rather simplistic design which evolves around the same themes all the time: beach, nude beach, sex beach or alternatively around bdsm, rape and get laid fast.

I want to combine the adult theme with a similar atmosphere and elegance like certain stylish music clubs and ball rooms in the style of Franks Elite Club. It will not be yet another nude beach or “Dirty Dive” like place. I am targeting people with a sense of class but who are also open minded with regards to sexual play in Second Life.

The regular events will cater for different preferences. There will be “couples only” evenings, CFNM events but also live performances by Second Life artists and DJ nights.

Due to the very nature of a swingers place, escort services will not be offered! In fact, escorts are typically a no-no in the swinger scene. It is a contradiction to that lifestyle and just like at any other swinger club, escort services will be strictly banned on the premises.

How to finance this?

You know that Caroline started in Second Life with a purpose. It would defeat that purpose to use use money from my main, or from a credit card, It would feel a bit like cheating. However I did not make enough money In-World yet, to be able to finance such a project.

The answer is actually simple: an investor!

Just like in real live, if you don’t have the capital yourself you need to find an investor and share the profits with him or his company. That is what I did. I presented the idea, including a concept and my plans to advertise it, to a couple of people and one agreed to finance the start up. It is not a huge amount, but enough to get started.

The investor is someone I know since my exploration of the escort scene in Second Life. Yes, a client actually. For the time being he wants to remain anonymous, which I respect of course. By the way, we do invite additional potential investors to have a look at the idea with a view to raise more cash. My partner is fine with that too.

So here we go: business plan ready, initial finances sorted and in my next article I tell you the story about me ending up with an entire region for this project!

Questions to my dear readers:

What you think about it? Is it a compelling concept? What do you think the odds are, that we reach our goal to make at least 1.000.000 Linden Dollars in profit for each of us with this?

By the way: Pre-opening memberships are available for free. Hurry up if you want to become a member. Either leave a comment here or contact me In-World for an invitation.

Home Sweet Linden Home!

Yesterday I woke up (logged in) at Paradise Sex Beach, simply because it was my last location. My original intention was to have some kind of steamy sex adventure on the beach. Especially that bar area caught my attention. I thought it could be a lot of fun, to turn a casual conversation on a beach bar into some sexy scene.

But things went slightly different. Nathan the Noob was online and we got into chat via IM. He has been out shopping for furniture for his new Linden Home!

Yes, he got himself a Linden Home!

What is a Linden Home you might ask? Basically it is a marketing strategy of the Lindens to get Noobs to sign up for premium membership in Second Life. The approach worked well on Nathan. He signed up for premium and claimed his free Linden Home. Yes free!

Whats the deal with Linden homes?

It’s actually quite simple. When you sign up for a Second Life premium membership, you are entitled to the use of 512 sm of land on a dedicated continent without additional fees. If you want more land, you pay what is called tier fees. The special deal with Linden Homes is, that you not only get the 512 square meters of land, but in addition a prebuild house which is rooted to Governor Linden land.

That means the prims of the house (about 70 prims) do not count to your usual 117 prims available on such a small piece of land. So in reality you end up having a home worth 187 prims. If you add to this the amount of landscaped public areas, trees and other stuff available, you really have for the price of the premium membership a parcel, that easily compares to a 1024 sm parcel on the mainland. If you take all the other benefits of being a premium member into the equation (such as 300 LD in cash every week) you end up owning a home for very little money compared to mainland markets or even the market on private estates.  A pretty good deal!

Whats the catch owning a Linden Home?

There are few substantial restrictions compared to owning on the mainland.

  • You can’t make modifications to the house and the land, it is as it is.
  • No commercial activities permitted
  • You cannot resell the land
  • Neighbors have the same house
  • Little to no privacy

What are the advantages of using a Linden Home?

  • 117 prims for furniture available
  • Free of charge (other than premium membership)
  • Great to practice your interior design skills
  • No horror designs on neighbor parcels
  • No advertising , no malls

I think Linden Homes is a great way to make your initial steps of owning land in Second Life. It’s a good deal and you don’t need advanced building skills to have a nice place to call your home in Second Life.

Eventually your standards will raise and you will move to a place where you can be more creative, or do business or whatever you have in mind. Remember its your world, your imagination. Linden Homes however are the Lindens World and the Lindens imagination.

Back to Nathans Linden Home

He unpacked the furniture he’s got and placed them in the house. My God this man will never win a price in interior design. The sofa combination is a pseudo Gorean style sofa and the bed rather modern style, all that in a wooden cabin on the Tahoe sims.

Snapshot_004

Never mind. He is a very fast learner and I am sure he will progress in no time. In fact I have never seen a noon before who progressed that fast.

Did I mention I was in a certain mood?

I came from Paradise beach still in my new sexy bikini and I know quite well what impact that has on Nathan. So after a while sitting together on the new sofa and moving stuff around, I decided to take the initiative (he never does for whatever strange reason) and started to undress him and to emote how I start to caress his now naked body….

I show you in another Post how it all went. It was very hot actually!

Nathan and Caroline in a Linden Home in Second Life
Nathan and Caroline in a Linden Home in Second Life 

 

 

Nathans evolution strongly reminds me to this video

 

 

Here more information about Linden Homes:

Official Page for Linden Homes
http://secondlife.com/land/lindenhomes/

Tutorial about Linden Homes
http://community.secondlife.com/t5/English-Knowledge-Base/Linden-Homes/ta-p/700103

Discussion about Linden Homes
This is a very interesting discussion between Second Life residents about the impact of Linden Homes in the low end rental market in Second Life.
http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Land-and-Sea-General/Linden-Homes-to-Launch-February-17th/ba-p/653837

Blogpost by another resident about Linden Homes
http://caracali.blogspot.de/2011/05/home-sweet-linden-home-part-1-weeks-1.html

Linden Homes verus renting  – a discussion
http://www.sluniverse.com/php/vb/general-sl-discussion/80100-linden-home-vs-renting.html

Kuula New Citizen Incorporated and Nathan the Noob

Today´s post is about a place I should have written about a long time ago, simply because it’s one of the best noob places I know. In fact, it was the first region, after orientation island I happened to land on when I first started with my very first avatar back in 2007.

It is called Kuula – New Citizen Incorporated. The name really says it all: It is a place to help new Second Life residents to get started.

Here is the Taxi:
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kuula/68/147/28

Before I tell you what I did there a couple of days ago; I show you what’s on offer there:

Socializing & Coaching

Sit together with other new and old Second Life Residents, ask questions,  get help and make your first social contacts in second Life. There are always some experienced residents around, willing to coach and assist interested new residents.

NCI Kuula New Citizens Incorporated Socialising

Take Courses

Kuula offers a wide range of courses and tutorials for new and experienced residents alike. Tutorials about Second Life culture, etiquette, recommended places and even scripting and building courses are available and schedules are shown on a huge panel.

NCI Kuula New Citizens Incorporated Courses and Seminars

Use a free Sandbox

A sandbox is basically a parcel on which the owner allows visitors to rez stuff for the purpose of building and scripting. This is very useful if you do not own land yourself in Second Life, but you would like to start building items or practicing your building skills. Most sandboxes auto-return rezed items after a certain time (usually something between 3 and 5 hours) but its commonly expected that you clean up before you leave.

Another common use of a sandbox is to rez so-called boxed items you may have purchased somewhere. What the heck is that you might ask!

NCI Kuula New Citizens Incorporated Sandbox

Here a little explanation:

Very often you buy things in Second Life which the owner has comprised in a prim. This is called “boxing” and is the equivalent to “zip” something to send it by e-mail or make it available as a download. You need to “un-zip” these boxed items in Second Life.

The way you do that is:

  1. Go to a sandbox
  2. Drag and Drop the item from your inventory on the ground of the sandbox
  3. Right click the item and choose “open” in the context menu
  4. Click on “copy to inventory”

That’s it!

Now you have a new folder in your inventory, which contains the stuff you bought and in most cases some instructions and a landmark to the shop were you got the item in the first place. Do yourself a favor: read those instructions it will save you time and hassle.

Lots of freebies

Click through the panel and find useful stuff, including stuff you might find useful when you start building things in Second Life, such as textures, building parts, scripts and the lot. You also find clothing and even complete new avatars totally free of charge. I hope the people who run and own this place don’t get tired of it. They do a great job for new residents.

NCI Kuula New Citizens Incorporated_003

Ok, I know what you guys think: Carol, come on stop lecturing and start telling us what happened there and who the heck is Nathan the Noob?

All right!

I was jumping around regions yet again to find something to write about. I do this quite often to see were I can meet interesting people, recommendations for places to visit and write about and of course to get into exiting things and adventures to write about.

That way I ended up in Kuula and followed a conversation between Janet, an instructor or coach and a crowd of noobs in Second Life. This is the part where I got involved (more or less like this):

Janet: Ok guys, there is a lot to tell about Second Life, you need to ask me what you are interested in, otherwise I don’t know what to talk about.
Caroline (me)with tongue in cheek: Come on Janet, all noobs have one thing in mind, when first getting started here: SEX.
Nathan the Noob: Sex? Are you kidding me? I can’t even figure out how to fix my hair and you suggest I am thinking about sex?

Ok, so I IM-ed him and step by step, we fixed his issue with his hair and started teaching him a couple of things. First I explained how to use camera view and what it is good for. Oh boy, that was a difficult task. So for the first time Nathan was able to look at himself from the front and able to zoom in and out on objects. Actually I suggest to teach a noob the camera view function as soon as possible, it makes such a difference!

I also gave him some basic free skins and shapes to play around with. Those are not top notch sexy looking skins, but better than what he actually was wearing hence yet another improvement. However I have yet to find really nice free skins for males. So far the only way I know to get a male avatar looking good is actually buying skin and shape from a good designer. My personal recommendation would be Redgrave design, they do really good stuff and their skins look very realistic.

Next: TP to Dirty Dive to collect some freebies. A basic animation overrider should be top of the list. The movements of the starting avatars are just horrible and identify you on first sights as a noob.

Then a funny topic: getting a penis!

Nathan was a bit astonished about that one. He asked why he would want to have a second penis. Well, it’s your first one mate; the avatar comes without your little friend. That was so funny, but next question was even better:

“What for do I need one?”

Suggestions anyone?

My answer was, imagine you go to a nude beach and your avatar is missing this part, wouldn’t that look strange? What if you want to have sex with somebody – it might help to be “equipped” right?

Then we worked out how to actually put it on and how it looks like. As Dirty Dive is an adult region, it wasn’t a problem actually to have him take off his cloth and learn how to attach his parts.

Then he asked: Can I see your Pussy?

I had a lot of fun that day, as you can imagine, and inquired: “Did you never see a naked woman in Second Life?” “No, never” he replied. So I took him to a nude beach (my favorite Sunset Beach) as I felt a bit uncomfortable at Dirty Dive.

Here he received his next lesson: How to use intan pose balls for dancing.

So there we were, dancing naked in the sand at sunset and I asked: “So, how do you feel now dancing with me nude?” – “Comfortable and aroused to be honest,“ was his expected reply. I continued: “This is the idea of places like this, and some people take it even a step further”.

“Let’s take it a step further”, he suggested and that´s when Nathan the noob lost his virtual virginity. So both initial issues sorted. Did I mention I have a hair shop?

Stop acting like a Noob!

Second Life is not a game! It is a virtual social environment – a virtual World. The avatars you see are not just pixel dolls being put there for your own exclusive entertainment. Behind each one of these avatars there is real person with real feelings, with real believes, real attitudes and expectations which might differ from yours!

Many of the people behind those avatars do take their Second Lives pretty serious. Some might have a business in Second Life, many have a virtual home and most have made friends and established other social relationships within Second Life.

Also bear in mind that Second Life is not an “American only” thing. People from all over the world, from different cultures, races, countries, educational backgrounds and languages are present in Second Life. This is what makes Second life diverse and interesting.

It also requires some sort of “etiquette”. Sounds weird to read this, doesn’t it? No, it only sounds weird,  if you are under the misconception that Second life is a game. This is so important to understand that it bears repeating:

Second Life is not a game!

Once you have accepted this little but all important fact, you will understand that certain typical noob-like behavior is boring at its best and downright annoying at its worst, to regular residents of Second Life. We all have observed certain behavioral pattern of noobs over and over again and if you want to be taken serious, accepted and respected by other residents you better stop doing those things immediately.

Here a non-comprehensive list:

1. Step off of landing points as soon as you can. See the people hovering over you? They’re waiting for you to get out of the way so they can land. More are coming. Move.

2. Don’t ask everyone you meet if they “wanna fuck” and don’t tell every female avatar that you meet that they are really a guy. Some of them are guys (and vice versa)– so what? It’s their choice and not yours to judge.

3. Pay attention to region maturity levels and don’t walk around naked or in XXX attire in General areas. And put your cock away. It is not a turn on for anyone when being in a music club and a naked noob runs around showing off his pixel erection.

4. Don’t push people and don’t walk or bump into them. Don’t shoot at them, no matter how cool you think that new AK47 is, which you just got at a freebie warehouse. And NO, activating a nuclear weapon in a night club is NOT funny!

5. Check your screen for helpful IMs from the people around you and have the courtesy to answer them.

6. Learn and practice some of the etiquette of the new culture you are in. Utilize some of the etiquette you learned in real life in Second Life too. Words like “please” and “thank you” are not unknown in virtual worlds.

7. Not every woman that refuses to dance with you is a lesbian. You got rejected? Deal with it in mature way.

8. Do not send random friend requests or teleport invitations. Get to know that person first and ask before putting them on your friends list!

9. Do not beg for Linden Dollars! Linden Dollars are not habbo hotel credits. The Linden Dollar is an exchangeable currency which you can buy and sell at the Lindex Exchange for real US Dollars. Treat it like real money, because it is convertible into real money.

10. Do not insult people and don’t be a judgmental intolerant asshole. This one might sound like an obvious one, but its worth to be put on this list. Nobody asked you to come to Second Life to judge other peoples live styles, believes, hobbies, outfits or sexual preferences. It’s none of your friggin business! If you don’t approve of a rather liberal environment – leave, then Second Life is not for you!

11. Invest in your appearance. There are hundreds if not thousands of skins, eyes, shapes and other body parts available for very little money, compared to other hobbies. A nice, individual look will cost you something between 10 and 30 USD.

See ya In-World. I am on the run for some screenshots of typical noob-like behaviour 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

Caroline at the Dear Prudence Rock Club

It has been a long time since I actually login into Second Life with a brand new account. Things changed a lot I noticed. The good news was, that I don’t have to do all the stupid tasks again which were kind of mandatory years ago. Instead you land at a place called Destination Island.

What still remained the same is, that you start of with a very basic avatar. Call me vain, but I thought I  could not start my journey looking like one of those standard starting avis. So my first visit was to a place called Freebie Galaxy.  I grab lots of free stuff there: skins, shapes, cloth and hair and off I went to Help Island to go to the sandbox.

It was a disappointing exercise to try on all those different shapes and skins. One looked worse than the other and after a while I gave up and decided to use the standard Avatar called “female Student” for the time being. I just dressed a bit different as the cloth the avi comes with, are totally unacceptable.  I hope I will meet people on the way, who can advise me on better places to get free stuff.

Then I asked people on help Island for a recommendation of a noob friendly music club and got my first landmark from somebody. Immediately I TP-ed to the place and found myself in very busy rock club. I did not have much time to get into conversations at the time, but at least I got a starting point for this trip and made a screenshot to give you guys an idea of how I look like now.

So here I am, in a raunchy rock club, called DP or Dear Prudence Rock Club.

What you guys think? Should I rather quickly get a new look or is this ok for the time being?

Any comments, criticism and suggestions appreciated.