Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: What a Little Moonlight Can Do

I don’t usually do this, but sometimes I feel like pulling together a look in Second Life and just taking a photo. And when you find an awesome freebie like this Franceline ballgown by Brii, you want to show it off!

This picture was taken at the Pino 1951 bar, which is all crushed red velvet, cigarette smoke, and spotlights for the strippers who are trying to make a buck while the rain is pouring outside in the alleyway. It’s a remarkably well-put-together evocation of a certain place and time in history. The music is all smooth jazz vocalists. You almost expect Frank Sinatra and the rest of the Rat Pack to stroll in and ask for a cocktail.

Here’s a view of this simply stunning gown from the back. It has materials enabled, and it really shimmers!

My avatar is wearing:

Mesh Head: the Altamura Leila head (free advent group gift which is no longer available; the group Altamura was L$50 to join, plus L$99 for the Omega relay; more information here)

Head Skin Applier: Omega fullbody skin applier, another free advent group gift from Altamura; again, this is no longer available; more information here

Mesh Body: the free Jenny mesh body by Altamura (a former Women Only Hunt gift; note that the Jenny Altamura mesh avatar body is also available at the Freebie Megastore at London City, however, you cannot remove the included head on that version as I did here)

Earrings: Perllina earrings by Lazuri (a free gift from a recent Christmas shopping event, no longer available)

Gown: gold Franceline ballgown by Brii (free gift at this SLURL; you must join the SL Frees & Offers group for free to get this group gift). This stunning gown with the golden sheen comes with earrings, bracelets and even a hair decoration! I decided to go with the Perllina earrings instead.

Hair: Aria by D!va (free group gift; group is free to join)

TOTAL COST FOR THIS AVATAR: L$149 (L$50 for the Altamura group join fee, plus L$99 for the Omega system kit for Altamura)

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Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Eight New Starter Avatars!

One place which is often overlooked by Second Life users looking for freebies is their default inventory. You don’t have to try to force your way into crowded stores or slap any lucky boards to get it; you already have it!

Linden Lab has recently released eight new starter avatars (you can preview them by selecting Choose an Avatar from the Avatar drop-down menu in the upper left hand corner of your Firestorm viewer):

Eight New Starter Avatars

Now, these starter avatars are classic system (non-mesh body) avatars, but the clothing is all modern mesh clothing. Here are a few pictures of the new outfits which are available, shown on mesh avatars:

Entire Outfit (Except Shoes) Including Hat with Hair, Bag with Dog, and iPad (from the Bitsy Starter Avatar)
Entire Outfit Including Manbun Hair (from the Ashton Starter Avatar)
Ballgown and Pearl Necklace (from the Gretchen Starter Avatar)
Tuxedo and Shoes (from the Leonard Starter Avatar)

One strange quirk of the starter avatars is that you do need to load them first in order to get the items into your inventory; then you can pick and choose what you want to use, or even mix and match between them.

So check out the Second Life starter avatars if you haven’t already done so. Load each of them up and take a good look at pieces of their wardrobe that you can reuse. Looking good doesn’t have to cost a fortune!

High Fidelity Is Spending a Lot of Money to Entice New Users: Will the Strategy Work?

Well, High Fidelity is certainly throwing around the money lately to promote their social VR platform and encourage users to join. On February 7th, HiFi is hosting its next BINGO EXTREMO event:

BINGO EXTREMO is back with an exciting 2019 update!

Everyone is a contestant at this VR game show with huge prizes and cash up for grabs.

The more contestants play, the bigger the prizes will be… so invite your friends. How BIG can you win? Prizes start at $350 but could go up to $1,200* every round, depending on the number of participants. Register for the event to get an extra $200 if you win.

The Prizes

Every round, you could win an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive HMD, or substitute prizes for cash*. Once you have a bingo, choose between the mystery doors for a randomized loot. 

High Fidelity is best experienced in Virtual Reality. Join in Desktop mode and score a state-of-the-art VR system for your home, or choose to walk away with cash.

* all cash paid in High Fidelity Coin

It would appear that High Fidelity is, for now, abandoning its monthly stress testing and replacing it with events with big cash prizes.

Now keep in mind that you can still withdraw your HFC winnings via the Bank of High Fidelity (the exchange rate is fixed at 100 HFC = 1 USD). Contrast this with Linden Lab, who recently announced that it would no longer allow prize and contest winnings of Sansar dollars to be exchanged into US dollars. They are forcing people with what they call “non-earned currency” to spend it all within Sansar.

And that’s not all. High Fidelity is also paying out money to people who promote their upcoming BINGO EXTREMO event on social media. Check out this recent post to Twitter:

Now, obviously, Philip Rosedale and his team at High Fidelity have decided that they are going to spend some money to build brand recognition. It remains to be seen, however, whether this strategy will pay off (pun intended) in the long run. Linden Lab is taking a much more cautious, hands-off approach to promotion—at least, so far (perhaps they have something up their sleeve?).

It will be interesting to compare events between High Fidelity and Sansar this year. Only time will tell if spending lavishly on promotions (and appealing to people’s greed) will lead to more users, and more importantly, more return users.

RyanSchultz.com Reader Survey

This morning it is -34°C in Winnipeg with a strong wind, so with the wind chill it feels like -50°C (which is -58°F to you Americans). Winnipeggers take a sort of perverse pride in the winter weather they can deal with, but even this is a little extreme:

Minus Fifty 29 Jan 2019.png

It’s a good day to stay indoors, stay warm, and write a blogpost before I have to bundle up and head off to work! I received some good feedback early this morning from a regular reader of my blog:

Have you ever considered paraphrasing instead of copying/pasting almost an entire article from someone else’s website? I respect your work but in every industry I’ve worked in, this is usually considered rude if not blatant plagiarism. And I never even read the copy/paste anyway (just click the link to the real article) because your copy/paste usually lacks any of the originally formatting (like bold, italics) which removes important context.

My favorite blogs in the past always only copied maybe one or two paragraphs, if any, then advised the reader to go to the original article for the full story, to support the original author of the story.

I know no one’s probably mentioned this to you before but it’s the one thing that’s always bugged me about your blog. I say it with complete respect, it would improve the quality of your blog 1) if you were more respectful to the original authors, and 2) the whole reason I go to your blog is to read your commentary, not just some massive quote from someone else. When one of your post ends up being just that, a massive quote, with only 2 or 3 sentences of actual original thoughts from you, there’s something wrong. IMHO.

This is why Inara’s blog is so good, it’s almost entirely her own thoughts and commentary, with very minimal quoting. She pretty much only quotes when it’s someone official like a Linden, to give added credibility to the information she’s sharing. Other than that, it’s all her own work.

And, I must admit, I probably did over-quote the Hypergrid Business article I quoted in my blogpost about Islandz shutting down. However, I want to make it clear that I always post a link back to the original source whenever I make a quote. (I also quoted a very long comment made to an earlier blogpost, which I felt was important to provide some necessary background to the story.)

But the comment about how much I quote made me realize that I don’t really know how my blog is coming across to my readers. So I have decided to do my first-ever reader survey, to get a better sense of what other readers think about my blog: