Some of you know about the changes that have been going on in the resident run and volunteer help groups. Some months ago Linden Lab disbanded the existing Linden run help groups because stats were showing new users getting help from the group were less likely to stay in Second Life. So, some other type of user support was/is needed.
With the forum changes we are seeing an effort to reshape the community and support systems. We have a new knowledge base and an answers section in the community forum… blogrum… wikrumog… whatever that thing is we have now. Also the team responsible for getting it working is having open meetings, office hours. You can find them at: Community Tools User Group
One change was to rename the Identity and Relationships board to Lifestyles and Relationships. O.o OK.
The replacement for the Help Group is the Resident’s Help Network, which has its own portal. Oddly named: Resident Help Network Portal. There you will find several resident run volunteer groups. Lexie Linden announced that this portal is going to be seeing more activity, whatever that may mean they aren’t saying.
The wiki has this description of the Network:
The Resident Help Network (RHN) program is designed to promote “the best of the best” volunteer-run help groups inworld through a cohesive network. Linden Lab reviews each group through an application process, and each group that passes muster is added to our approved network. The first groups into the new searchable network are listed below, as well as in the Destination Guide. The current listings are especially helpful to new Residents. RHN groups can assist quickly and offer the high-quality help needed. Give them a try!!
They seem to think new residents will find them via search… I wonder if anyone told this team search is broken? Whatever, the wiki page is a good place to send new residents. Plus making a note card with the SLURL’s of the in-world locations of help islands would be handy. The SLURL’s are listed with each group.
I did not realize there are translation issues with the new blorumki (yeah, I’m trying our new words for the Blog/Forum/Wiki thing). The Lab’s team is working with Lithium, the people that made the software for the blorumki, to correct those problems.
Wiki to Forum
I don’t follow this group close enough to be sure what is actually going on. But, they are moving articles from the SL Wiki to the blorumki (I kinda like that one). I don’t know what that is about.
The team has asked for user feedback on wiki articles that need to be corrected or updated. Send the information to Amanda Linden. Uuummmm… there are wiki pages that the community can update. Any resident can login and make a change to those pages. Some pages are more sensitive and the Lab restricts the editing. So, make changes where you can, there are guidelines for making changes, and send Amanda a note when you can’t.
Forum UI Changes
There is apparently some tweaking going on with the wifolog (another one, may be wifolo is better) to make things easier to read, new smileys (which I would like – tongue in cheek is always needed), a radical idea to put reply buttons at the bottom of threads, removal of Answers comments, and others.
One change is supposed have been around a few days, the Quick Links in the right side navigation.
I still find this one of the most awkward forums to find things in or navigate that I’ve come across.
Torley has a tutorial out on how to use search in this… wifolo… wifobl… ikorlo (first 2 or second 2 letters of each word not really working). It is four screens of how to. That’s pretty intuitive. Torley does a good job but he has to work with what they give him. I will give Lithum that this is a sophisticated search tool. I usually complain about the brain dead search tools in most forums. This one isn’t.
Check it out here: Get the Most Out of community.secondlife.com Search!
Amanda has asked that forum moderators notify residents when they remove a thread. If a thread is removed the author and, I think, participants will get an email notice. If your thread is missing and you did NOT get a notice, use search to see if it was moved to what the moderators feel is a more appropriate topic area.
Via the Community Tools Group residents can get the Lab to modify forum moderator behavior, to some extent. The Lab has rules that are unlikely to change, but how they are implemented is open to improvement. So, we are starting to see legacy posts telling people where a moved thread went and more moderator posts stating what the problem is with a post, thread or issue.
No… not L$, the other kind. Amanda pointed out that Lindens are in SL all the time, most of the time they are wearing an unknown Alt to avoid the paparazzi. Being famous is so hard…
New Director of Support
Amanda announced that the lab has hired a new support director recently. I’m seeing fewer new resident posts complaining about support… but that is pretty much empirical experience on my part. I do think support has improved over the last several weeks. At the 4/28 meeting they did not have the director’s name yet. We probably won’t hear it until he survives his first day at work without filing for disability insurance at the end of the day.
The SL spam traps are getting better. I can attest to that. I used to see a load of L$ offers every day. That has mostly ended.
You may not have realized but the RSS feed for the entire blikirum (now that is cute) seems to be non-existent. It apparently is missing and is being added, if I understand correctly. I like that I can subscribe to sections of the blikirum like Mesh and not have to hear everything. But some people want to get the whole thing.
There is lots of effort going into the KB, HTML changes, and content. If you have tried to add to the KB you may have found you were blocked. Only advanced residents could add or edit information. The Lab has lowered the level so forum members with MEMBER status can now add to the KB.
New Resident Discussions
…about them, not with them. In the 4/21 (at 13:24) and 4/28 meetings this subject has come up. The Lindens are really into it. They want to know what can help new residents to use the Community Forum (obviously adopting one of my nifty names for it would give it a big boost… well.. maybe not). What will help residents be more comfortable with SL, help them connect with friends and make new ones, and find interesting places.
Amanda believes that SL now has lots of great features that are just not getting to new residents at the right time.
The Welcome Islands (WI) are good but once one reaches the end of them, new residents are kind of dropped. So, many have the same question, what is there to do? If you read through the minues there are a load of suggestions.
I think the primary problem remains how to keep it simple and get the ton of information available to new residents.
Whatever, will hear more on this and the new user experience will continue to change until the Lab finds something that improves player retention. We will see changes to the Basic Mode Viewer.
This is another group that is taking resident feedback and acting on it. They have certainly had to take some heat but they seem to be getting past it.