So the other day I was reading a post at New World Notes, that was about a recurring annoyance with Linden Lab and their website images. It was an add on to an article earlier written by Iris Ophelia about the same topic, and some pointers on how they may have gone about it differently. This got me to thinking, and I contacted Iris to ask if she thought it would be ok to tag onto this article, which she said yes to.
It is not that many if not all Second Life residents don’t balk at the Second Life websites mainpage, we do. I remember when it used to be all about Your Life Your Imagination, and it was great, showing pictures of people flying, and people just doing things that they could in SL. Then there were the links to movies of things such as Robbie Dingo building the guitar that Suzanne Vega would be using in a Second Life appearance as an avatar. I remember watching that video after already being a resident, and being so proud of Second Life and all it can be, and how it did showcase such incredible talents such as Robbies. His store is where I actually bought a Didgeridoo, which I still have, and went to his store because of the video, in September of 06.
It was things like that that inspired people to be part of something magical. Showing creations made by residents that joined Second Life because of the possibilities, not because things were already laid out for them like a theme park. So back to the topic at hand…again thinking this over, I thought about the other viewers, and remembered that it is often the third party ones that have their own images they use on their log in screens. One viewer used to actually share the info of the location, so that you could visit it, this of course encouraged people to explore Second Life further, a bit like the destination guide in search, but for some reason those thumbnail pics just don’t seem to inspire as much or as often.
Then I remembered my Flickr Group. Second Life Stock Images, and I thought about Flickr and its hundreds if not thousands of Second Life themed groups. In the Second Life Stock Images group, the people that submit images for others to use, are encouraged to submit freely, and in doing so are giving others the rights to use them for art work, vendor pics and other background uses – they cannot sell them as images though. If you go through the group, you will come across people adding in comments that they have used the group, and sometimes even include the image that they created with. Example 1, Example 2, Example 3 . I love using the images to enhance my own pics, and often go to the group to use them for Pile Ups, as it can mean everything is from Second Life that way.
So why doesn’t Linden Lab make a Flickr Group too, I know there are Second Life groups, not sure how official they are, but what if one was made and a rule was that images submitted were given with the express permission of the creator/submitter to be used with full authority on the Second Life website. Then anyone that wants to share pics of their avatars in theme, single or group shots, location or created images, can do so. Then next time the Lindens are in need of some inspiring work, they just need to go to the flickr group and pick out something appropriate. This would also be an entertaining glimpse at the mindset of other residents, and what they think would make a great home page attraction.
There are moderation settings, as well as an area to be very explicit about the rules of submitting an image into any group, so the Lindens could really make sure that all their i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed.
I hope they consider doing something like this soon, I woke up today to an offline that suggests to me they are thinking forwards now, so maybe just maybe, things will be more inviting on the homepage soon, and I for one would love to be proud again of the website and what Second Life still has to offer everyone.