Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mentor Meeting Mention

Once a month we have an official Mentor Meeting. We had one on March 26 at 10 am and 5 pm SLT.

Our Vteam (l to r) Mia, Amber, George and Lexie

We all meet at Center Stage at SLVI West.

The dates for these meetings are listed on the Vteam blog
There are always 2 times slotted for the monthly mentor meeting so you can try and get to at least one.

I have heard recently that many newer mentors never knew we had them. I do not know why this is, but it is time to get the word out.

So where were you during the mentor meeting this month?
Our Vteam Mia, Amber, Lexie and George hold these meetings to keep us informed of goals,
policies, expectations, announcements and to spend some quality time with us.

Brett Dumont at his first Mentor Meeting!
You never know who might show up.

Nava Muni styling and profiling!

Taryn London is hypnotized!

Doc and Golan at the meeting!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great New Volunteer Shirts From Simone and CSI NY in SL

We were most grateful to get the most gracious and talented of designers, Simone Stern to make for us exclusive Volunteer shirts. When someone so talented donates time for those who give their time so unselfishly, it is a by and large a complement.
The shirts are available at no charge to Mentors and are at SLVEC on the side of the Buddy Bungalow (across from the Buddy Center).
Feel free to drop by and pick yours up.
Also if you have not met Simone or seen her work, stop by her store
I have known Simone for years and she is an SL institution. Her store was featured on CSI NY in SL last October and will be again on Wednesday night March 26, 10pm et/pt
Down The Rabbit Hole: A woman's murder sends Mac into "Second Life," the internet-based virtual world, to track down the killer in both the real and cyber world.

For those who were not on SL in October or did not watch it

CBS has a site with additional things to see

CSI NY has themed sims in SL which have an OI
Also using Search go to Places and type CSI for further locations.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Buddy Mentors Meet The Buddy Bungalow

The Buddy Bungalow was reserved for Mentor Buddy Materials.
Slowly but surely we have added a few resource items to it and some cool Buddy shirts as I have mentioned before.
I am issuing a call to arms for Buddy Mentors to donate some tools, gadgets and and resources to fill the Buddy Bungalow. If you have any items you would like to donate for the Store please IM me.
The Buddy Bungalow can be found across from the Buddy Center on SLVEC.
The great sign was made for us by the lovely and talented Skye Galileo.
We now return you to your regular mentor programming...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Friday Night Protest SLVEC/Diagnosing Visual Issues

Recently on Friday nights (around 7 PM SLT) a peaceful protest/sit down/mentor chat has been going on at SLVEC.

We started this quite suddenly one Friday night when we were at SLVEC sitting on a wall/protesting something that I cannot recall/having a chat.

SLVEC is for us to use and enjoy. Why not on Friday come on down and meet some mentors, Lindens and sit on the wall and peacefully protest whatever issues at the sit in.

To find SLVEC open your Map and type SLVEC.

Visual issues and diagnosing them-

Often as a Mentor Buddy I will get an IM from a mentor who is trying to help a resident with a visual issue.

There is a certain degree of support as a mentor you can offer. Anything above and beyond that issue may be user error and or require further technical support with the computer and or a support ticket. Desktop support is best handled by those who are certified to perform it.

If you are at all uncomfortable with desktop support always refer the resident to a more skilled mentor or to file a support ticket.

Here is a list of information you should get before you try and diag a visual issue.

What version of SL?

Minimum hardware reqs met?

When were the graphics drivers last updated?

Cache emtpied?

How old is the computer?

What OS?

You can keep up on visual issues affecting the grid by checking the Issue Tracker on

also check the Blog and Jira.

Happy Mentoring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Explore Help Island Public

I often say that Help Island Public (aka HIP) is the best training area. I am biased. I work and train mentors and other help groups there. Not everyone will like training there. Not everyone will enjoy mentoring there either. You can however with a little bit of patience and the right amount of communication excel there. HIP to me is the right amount of diverse topics, situations and opportunities rilled into one. The fianl product is good well rounded mentors.

Could this be you? Sure it could!

So take Doc's advise and let us go visit HIP.

Help Island Public is a great mix of avatars. There are every type and category. You can expect to see something you never saw before up on the platform.

You will find all kinds of things happening in the Sandbox. Sometimes some of them should not be happening there. Gun fire, loud explosions and distractions. I usually tell people who are building huge items or firing weapons or driving vehicles that I have a landmark to a bigger sandbox, the weapons test sim or the vehicle sandbox so that they can have more space and so that HIP can have more peace.

The Demo area is full of space for you to show people how to unpack a box. Make a chair. Rezz or resize an item. Fix their appearance.

There is a tutorial area that you might find interesting and instructional for yourself or to recommend to a new person. When you go there look these resources over.

The thing most people ask me at HIP is what do I do here. My number one answer is go to the Freebie store. Often Mentors donate much of the items available to the Freebie store.

The Gallery of Second Life is there to browse. If it a quiet section of HIP. People often do not know about it.

When someone is ready to leave you can give them some landmarks or suggestions to explore or you can tell them to click the Exit sign. This usually takes them to a Welcome Area.

Here we are back at the platform with the same old familiar faces. Maybe one day you should drop by and see how we do it "HIP style" Just open your map and type in "Help Island Public".

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SLVEC: the tour

For those who are new or have not had a tour of SLVEC, strap in and enjoy the ride. I am going to take you on a guided tour of our Volunteer Education Center. The hubbub at the hub is for a good reason. We have been given the best shared resource of all, a place of our own to go and posse with our own kind. Many of our best resources are housed there. Many tools and gadgets, handouts and notecards. The Buddy Center. I digress, let’s go for a visit.

When you land at SLVEC you will be at the Central Area. A Teleporter is there to help you get around.

The Central area is full of Stores or Kiosks with Mentor Educational items and resources. You can browse these at your leisure. Lots of good stuff there.

Next is the Linquist Center. This is where the different Language speakers have set up their Stores and Kiosks with lots of helpful resources for all the different languages.

The Buddy Center is your next stop. On the totems are pictures of Mentor Buddies that are online and available to help. You only need to click on their picture and the Buddy Communicator System will page the Buddy.

If you have any questions about being a Mentor Buddy please contact me I am the Mentor contact for Mentor Buddys. Any Mentor Buddy can help you with questions. You can find a Mentor Buddy by going to SL Mentor Group and going to Roles.

If you want to Become a Mentor Buddy please sign up for that role here There is also another Teleporter there.

The Sandbox Area. This is our own private space to build with a 2 hour return.

The Theater Area is our next stop. This area is reserved for educational classes for Mentors. Check the classes available for furthering your Mentor education here

We now move on to the R&R area. You may ask yourself what goes on there. Well anything you can imagine really. Mentors come there and chat. Fly planes, sky dive, bumper cars or just sit and relax. It is for us to use to get some R&R.

The Orientation Center is the place where Apprentice Mentors go to do their orientation classes something I am very proud of. If you have not attended an orientation or want to brush up on what the class has to offer please check this link
This class area can be used to any class when no orientation is scheduled.

If you have any suggestions for Vteam or want to reserve a Store or Kiosk there is a drop box located right behind the classroom area. Here you can drop a notecard to our Vteam.

Well there you have a quick tour and some things to explore. IM me sometime I will tell you some more.

Doc has left the building...

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Future is so bright we ought to wear shades

Today it was announced our poppa, our daddy, the father of all things Linden is to step aside as CEO of Linden Lab.
What does this mean for mentors? It means that our mission is even more important than ever.

I always say that being a mentor is insurance. Insurance in the future of our Second Life.
When you go to those Orientation Islands, Help Islands, Info Hubs and Welcome Areas. When you teach Orientation, Be a Buddy or a Coach, you insure the future of this palatial paradise you call your Second Life. You make a concerted effort to show new people that this is a great place that they can help make even greater.

When I speak at Orientation, I say this; "Second Life is a community built with user created content. You are a part of this community. It will be your knowledge and skill that helps others to continue to build and create."
Remember these words going forward. As this virtual world advances forward, we will evolve with it.

In the coming days people will ask you about Phillip Linden and Second Life and share with you their concerns. How you answer is your own choice. My answer will always be as it has been in the past, “I am still here, what does that tell you?”

The Future is what we make of it. Pixels, prims and scripts. One new resident at a time. Just you and I and 3500 or so like us.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

SL Love Connections

If my many years on SL I have seen people pair, bond, marry, partner and unpaired, unbound, and divorce. Second Life is mimicking real life. People feel the need to pair up. In my Second life I have myself a nice small harem of mentor wives. Those darling and daring ladies who cheer me on as I foray across the grid; in good times and in bad. To have and to hold; to IM till they get sick of me.
People often ask me seriously why I do not partner. I have my reasons. One of them is Shirley.
Shirley came into my There life in 2004. She was a funny, party going, bunny slipper wearing, bundle of energy. She was at a party sitting in the hot tub. She messaged me and said, “Look my boyfriend and I are broke up and he is here. Can you flirt with me so he will leave me alone?” I told her I would. Soon at every party were doc and Shirley and our ever growing little entourage of friends. We got invites all over There.
When Shirley and I grew tired of There parties, we upped and came to Second Life in the great mass migration of 2004. We hit the clubs like a rocket. We paid to TP. We bought clothes and settled into our Second Lives. Shirley and I still hung out together but we went along different paths. She found love with a few partners. I went and explored Second Life with my friends. Shirley told me she had found a RL connection and was going to be married in SL and RL. Then the day came when the SL/RL love went south. Shirley was most upset. I did all I could to console her. Her heart was broken. I was sad for her and mad all at the same time. She managed to pick herself back up for a time. Went back out and built another house and bought more things. The next relationship was good, then bad, then off.
She was not a healthy person. She had more a spiritual earth mother persona. She got depressed. Her condition snowballed and eventually her health failed and that was the way I lost my Shirley. April 2006. When she died in RL she took a part of me with her.
You can visit the Memorial Park I had built for Shirley. The Arbor Project built this project and they did a great job a few years ago. For my Shirley; from There to Eternity. I miss you.
Fast forward…Then you meet some new, great people. I cannot remember the first time I met her but I can remember that she was funny, party going, witty and took the piss out of me right out of the gate. She was a mentor and soon she became like my left hand. Yes the one that holds my beer opposite the remote control. Everywhere I turned this year in mentorland there she was. Before I realized it was as if she had always been here. Working with her was always a real joy. I continue to work with her a lot. Then one day she said to me, “Doc I want you to train my bf to be a mentor.” This is not an unusual request, many mentors ask me to train people they know as mentors. This is when I realized that my left hand had a SL partner. I know what you are thinking. It was what I was thinking. Who is this guy? Is he good enough for my left hand? If he isn’t what am I going to say? Well there he was standing at Help Island. So I spent some time getting to know the partner. Well???
They got married in SL a few weeks ago. I walked the bride down the aisle. I see lots of people partner in SL. These two mentors are in the SL dictionary under partnered. True friends, great people, and always there when you need them.
Congratulations Jezzie and Rock.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Here goes something...

It has often been said to me, "Doc make a blog." So here it is. My Second Life Blog.
There are so many cross connections to Second Life. So many places where different aspects cross over into another. In my time on Second Life I have made many friends, acquaintances, encoutered all types of people. (Remote Star Trek reference) The people who still to this day make me feel warm and fuzzy is our mentors.
Those who choose to inspite of the tough work go out among the people and spread some joy.
You can ask a mentor why they volunteer on Second Life. Some will tell you they love to help others. Some will say they like to be a part of something larger than themselves. I am one of those people.
My answer would be this; When you look across a welcome area and you see another mentor, you know that person and you are there to make a difference. When mentoring is good it is really good. When I sit in a mentor meeting with 107 of my own kind I feel a part of something. There is much to be said in feeling like your are part of something you enjoy.