In my first Looking forward post i expressed thoughts on New Users and how the forthcoming experience permissions could give current users tools to make things easier for newbs first arriving. I had some awesome comments by the way 🙂 thanx.
Of course learning how to use Second Life will not fix the user retention issue if you can’t find anything worth staying for. In an interview with Draxtor Despres Rod Humble hit a pretty major nail on the head “discoverability”.
How do you and your friends discover new items of interest in SL? Via group chats? The destination guide or external blog posts? is it easy or can you go weeks without knowing anything new about Second Life? now imagine you are new and are not part of an SL community how do you find anything you might be interested in?
At the start The Lab has many portals named by possible interest through which you venture forth and arrive somewhere that might have no apparent relevance to the subject you chose… and thats it.
An answer to Gridwide discoverability probably isn’t something that can be meshed up and scripted in world, it might have to be an entirely new system. It’s a topic I’ve ranted about before where i dreamed of a new group and social system that could allow better sharing and discovery. Of mobile apps that might encourage discovery.
About this time last year Rodvik asks on SLuniverse forums “Assuming SL improved performance enormously, from region crossings to lag to render times. (big assumption I know but roll with me here) What would you do to insure new users ‘stuck’?” And the community as you might expect gave their thoughts. Now we are at a point where i think performance HAS improved not just because i got a new computer, so does that mean the lab might turn their minds to making new Users stick?
My own thoughts are that there needs to be a new system that marries users interests with communities. There needs to be an easier way to find and join groups. There needs to be easier ways to share and receive information from those groups. If a new User can find a community and feel they belong to it within an hour then i believe thats how they will stick.
So again looking forward I’m hoping discoverability will finally be addressed and not just by adding a Facebook plugin.