"Listen with an open mind, but don't try to remember this stuff. There's no quiz at the end." Jack Kornfield

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Why Are New People Harassed?

******************************Where we come from**************************
Today in our virtual world there are a couple things that bother me... things that degrade our cumulative experience of Secondlife.
Here's the deal, visit almost any of the so called Welcome Areas or the Infohubs. You don't have to go as a new account, just drop in, walk to one side, set your preferences so you hear voice from camera position, and listen. Often you will hear a steady stream of negative and or demeaning comments both to and about various new accounts.
Why? Am I looking back a couple years with rose colored glasses? Was it always this way everywhere?
I don't believe it was, yes we have had a couple of WA's with a bad reputation, but today the verbal teasing and or harassment seems pervasive.
I'm wondering if I've hit on a reason... well a couple reasons.
{If you're super happy with "display names" and "resident" as a last name stop reading here.}

AOL chat room type names.... ie: 123coolguy... Sweetbuns16.
There have been studies done in California some years ago that indicated that people tended to drive much more courteously when their car license plate was their name. Now I'm not and advocate of real life names in virtual worlds but many of us that came long before the "resident" names really identify with our names, brinda Allen IS ME.
This last year or so has seen a very big difference in the way new people tend to act... do these people talk to and about the newer people because that's the way they were treated?
Are we producing a resident population where only the "thick skinned" rule... until they're bored?
In this latest push to appeal to the FailBook/Farmville crowd are we making Secondlife a "throw away" passing faze?

A solution? Sure, first return to the old legacy names. In my case Brenda was't available... lower case "i" was fine. Next... hire one Linden who's job it is to manage an Official Mentor program. We don't need 1600  Mentors, (I think Doc Gascoigne told me that was the approximate number), a couple hundred to start with should be able to randomly cover the places where our resident idiots gather to prey on nooblets.
Monitor those Mentors... log the times they actually mentor (no tag hunters). A good reason for Lindens to actually come in world... if wearing a Linden tag is a problem? Don't.
Figure out a way to document harassment in voice.
How about write a line or two of code that tracks new accounts and if those accounts don't return... if they log out after just a few mins or a couple days, send them and e mail asking about their experience.

I believe Secondlife can return to the community it used to be...
Yes, it's rather geeky.
No, it will never be easy.
But if we make new people feel we care... I think it will grow.

And so it goes
My love to all, brinda


  1. Ooooo excellent suggestion about the email, Brinda!

  2. I love helping people out, but I always get irritated by the insensitivity and rudeness of the people in voice. And I used to always get jostled, my avatar I mean. It's better since I have movelock on at all times, go Mystitool! So I help in group chat or if I meet people who need help when I'm exploring SL.

    When I was new and bald, I was teased. People would say I needed an AO, but none of them would help. They'd just laugh at my duck walk and one of them called me "Buddha". That person can still be seen at a prominent WA. I always ignore him.

    Yes, bring back legacy names!