Keep it Simple, Stupid!

It's funny how the simplest little things, can really make your life easier, Even in SL.

I was helping a friend put up a skybox the other day and as we were flying around trying to pick out a good spot, elevation wise, she asked me a question. "How do I know where my land borders are?"

I just floated there. I really didn't have an answer for her. Fortunately, another friend of ours did. He whips out this fantastically handy little gadget, called the "Skybuild Land Border Detector V2".

This is such a handy little tool, I had to ask him bout it. He sent me the link to where he bought it on SLExchange (which btw, is now called XStreetSL? whatever! :) ). Under either name, its still my favorite way to shop in SL!

Now, placing ANYTHING in the sky, can be somewhat of a challenge. I suggest that once you find an altitude you think you like, click the build button, and drop a prim out. This way, you can rez things like skybox rezzors, or land border detectors.

So, this is REALLY simple. You rez a prim, at your desired altitude. Then rez the "Skybuild Land Border Detector V2". It comes out as a green trangle. You just click on the triangle, and a menu pops up, and you click "Find Border". THAT'S IT!

This little tool will run off, and find the corners of your lot, then come right back to you. It puts a marker on each corner, glowing, so you can see it (going to midnight will help with this). ALSO, you can click the tool again, and tell it to put a 'string' between the corners, so you can actually SEE the lot lines, at ALL altitudes. It is VERY VERY cool.

Once we had that out, putting up the skybox was a breeze. Moving it so that it fit within the lot lines, was SOO easy.

"Skybuild Land Border Detector V2" was created by Christi Whetmore. Christi not only sells this fantastically handy little tool on XStreetSL , but also has a cute little shop, located in the Telea SIM.

I want to personally THANK Christi for this little tool. I cannot believe I have put so many things in the air, WITHOUT IT!

So the next time you are even THINKING about putting something in the air over your land, go see Christi first, you will not be disappointed.

OH! and the best part? its only $99 Lindens! WHAT A DEAL!

Go get it, RIGHT NOW. And get one for a friend while you are at it!

Show Me The Prims!

For a long long time now, I have considered myself a prim whore. Its a title I have given myself, and wear it with pride.

My first skybox I ever rented, had I think 300 or so prims available. I really didn't know what that meant at the time, but it became clear pretty darn quickly.

As most of you know, "things" in SL are made of prims. EVERYTHING, or almost everything, is made of prims. When you look at renting a place, or buying some land, you will find that they list square meters (the area of the place), the tier (or rent), and the available prims, which is another way of saying how much STUFF you can have on your land.

I am sure there is a formula somewhere, on how they figure out the prims available, but after I learned what that really meant, I started to always use that prim count, as my gauge on what land I wanted.

Now, as I said...I have very expensive prim after running out of prims on my first rental pretty quickly, I really started to look around more. That was when I found that there are some sims, that give you more prims than others.

There are double prim sims (my personal favorite), 1.5x sims, even 1.1x sims. I even created a spreadsheet, that instead of calculating lindens per sqm, which is how most people list land, showed me what I was paying per prim. It really helped me find the best land, for my tastes, at the best price.

What's interesting about all this, is that I get asked a lot about land, cause I talk to a LOT of people, and having the experience I do, they want to know what I know. When I talk about prim counts, I usually just get a glazed look, and that part gets passed over. I do try and stress it, but I think its that they have NO idea how important it is, till they experience a prim shortage on their land.

So I am talking to a friend last night, and she admitted to me, that when I first brought up the issue of prims, she thought I was kinda nuts. BUT..she has owned land since then, and I have watched her go to progressively larger lots, cause she wanted more prims. I didn't say anything, cause nobody likes a bragger, but I did laugh to myself quite a bit.

She calls me over last night, cause she lost some prims...and I am an ACE prim finder, and we are chatting along. She says "I know I teased you bout your thoughts on land and prims, and I want you to know...YOU WERE ABSOLUTELY right!" All I could do was smile..:)

Anyway, so here is my advise to you. If you are looking to rent a place, or buy some land, you might want to get a prim count on the house/furniture/toys you are gonna want to have there, and make sure whatever place you get, has enough prims. OTHERWISE, you are gonna be moving sooner than you think, so put that new hot tub in you have your eye on, or that helicopter you want to park on the roof!

It's ALL about the prims, baby!

Pay it forward!

You know, when I first arrived in Second Life (SL), it was pretty overwhelming. Given that its different than most computer games, where there are defined levels, rules, and procedures, SL reminded me of the old west, were you came, and you staked your claim, and made a go of it.

I have mentioned before that I meet and talk to lots of people during my SL travels. A fairly large part of that group, are NEW people, avatars that have only been around a day or so, or even just a bit longer, but still learning the ropes.

I do like to talk to these new folks, cause I learn interesting things, such as how they found SL, what do they think so far, what have they liked, disliked, etc. I am always curious as to how different people view this amazing little world of ours.

Probably one of the more common questions I get, even from people just hours old, is "How do I get money in here?". I think its a valid question, I guess I am just surprised at how quickly that becomes an issue.

Not really sure why it is either. I know I spent quite a bit of time just looking around before I started stuff. Maybe times have changed?

Anyway, from my experience, there are a couple of ways to "earn" lindens, so lets talk about each of them.

1. Camping - Basically someone pays you to stand/sit/dance in a spot. They do this, to build up their traffic numbers, so their little corner of SL, be it a club, a shop, or an entire mall will show up on a search higher (sort of like a google rating). I don't really know EXACTLY how that all works, but that is basic idea. I have seen lots of different amounts paid for each block of time, so you really just have to look around. Searching on "camping" should be a good place to start. I have even known long time residence, to create an alt, sometimes even several.

2. Begging - Not particularly in favor of this one, but I have had it happen to me. I have been hanging out with friends, and there would be someone in the group, usually a newbie, that would see that I have lots of toys, or a nice house, and ask me for some lindens, cause OBVIOUSLY, I have TONS. This would be like someone standing on a corner, begging for real money. I work hard for it in RL, so why would I give it to someone else, unless "I" decided to.

Now granted, I buy things for friends all the time, but it is MY choice. I like doing it, it makes me happy, but these friends never ASK for them. It is MY choice to do it, nobody else's.

(OK, breath....sorry :) )

3. Games - I would normally call this "gambling", but officially "gambling" is prohibited in SL, so its not referred to as "gaming". Lots of ways to "win" money in SL. Tringo, Zyngo, etc, seem to be all the rage right now. They are games of chance, but because of some technicality, they are not considered "gambling". Who knows.

4. Getting a job - Now, this is where things can get interesting. Having talked to a lot of people, it seems that men and women approach this task very differently. Almost all of the guys I talked to, did camping. A few, were trying to learn to build things, or write scripts, to sell, which is an admiral goal. Nothing wrong with camping mind you, I just like to see people exercising their creativity!

Now, as for the women I talked to: I dont know if its advise they are getting, but it seems a LOT of newbie women, end up trying to be dancers. And again, nothing wrong with that, I just find it interesting. Tips can be very good being a dancer, but its not a slam dunk, by any means. You have to be able to get hired at a busy club, you have to have a good looking avatar to even GET hired at a busy club, and you HAVE to know how to communicate with your clientele. Not every woman can do that, but it seems to be a popular starting point.

There are a number of women, that take it a step further, and become escorts. I have known a few escorts, that have done VERY well for themselves, but as I mentioned above, you have to have a knack for it. You have to know how to communicate with your clientele. You also have to BUILD that clientele, which is of course marketing. Not a quick cashflow job, but can turn into a nice recurring cash flow business, if you do it right.

What about Male escorts you ask? Well, I have only HEARD of a few, and I stress FEW, that have actually been able to make some good lindens at it. There are plenty of male dancers, and more and more women only clubs, with male dancers and such, popping up in SL, but from all the people I have talked to, its NOT an easy thing to do.

What does that say about the difference between men and woman in SL? Well, I think I will save that for ANOTHER entry...:)

So, that is a few ways to make some lindens. This VERY small list is by no means all the ways to earn Lindens, but some of the more common ways I have seen.

Want to hear how "I" do it? No? To bad, I am gonna tell you anyway.

I basically just buy lindens. While I do like to create things, I really am not in a place where I can build something, market it, and all that it takes to launch a product. I consider SL my hobby, so just as any other hobby, I spend RL money on it. That is my choice, and I do not look down on anybody that does NOT do that. Many people in SL, are not in a position to spend RL money inworld.

But, I do post this thought I occasionally have. On average, I think 250 lindens, cost bout 1 USD (it fluctuates, so that is a guess). So, for the price of a GOOD cup of coffee, you could build up your SL bank, pretty quickly. Is it just me that has this thought?

Now having said that, I will admit to something. When I first started SL, I did not spend money in here. I didn't think I would be inworld all that long. After being inworld longer and longer, I started to spend a little cash here and there. So, it was a progressive thing for me. I also had some very nice people, help me along the way, helping me get better skins, and clothes, spending THEIR lindens on me, cause they were very nice, and wanted me to fit in better. It was very sweet of them, and I thank them to this day for their help.

Which brings me to the "pay it forward" part of all this. I help newcomers all the time, it does make me smile to show someone what SL is capable of. I enjoy watching them grow in here, and have made some of my closest friends, from just helping a newbie. Not all of them stay, obviously, but the ones that do, I hope they will help someone else new, down the line.

Till next time!