Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Join the Brand New Steals, Deals & Freebies Group in Second Life!

Did you know that you can help support my work on this blog (as well as the Metaverse Newscast show), and get some great rewards in return? Here’s how.

As you may know, I have decided to significantly scale back my coverage of Second Life on the blog, which means that, alas, I will no longer be regularly blogging about Second Life steals, deals, and freebies (although I do reserve the right to report on a truly exceptional bargain when it pops up, of course!).

But fear not! Instead of the blog, I have set up a brand new Second Life group, just to share with you everything I find as I scour the grid for freebies! Here’s the description of the new group:

Ryan Schultz (the uncrowned Freebie Queen of Second Life, and writer of the popular Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies blogposts on his blog, has started a new SL group in order to share news about the best bargains and freebies in the virtual world of Second Life, including hunt prizes and lucky chairs!

The logo of my new group

To join this new group, click on the following link and it should open up the group join window in Firestorm or whatever other SL viewer you prefer: RyanSchultz Steals Deals & Freebies. If that doesn’t work, then copy and paste the following group URI into the text chat window of your Second Life client software (type Ctrl+H to pull that up):


If all else fails, just do a keyword search for “ryanschultz” (yes, all one word) under the Groups tab in Search. That should definitely pull up my new group!

After some careful consideration, I have decided to charge a nominal group join fee of L$50. Yes, if I charge money for my advice, it means that I can now call myself a professional freebie fashionista!* For that small fee, you will receive every single tidbit of information about steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life, the very best advice on the grid on how to outfit your avatar for nothing or next to nothing, and still look like you spent thousands of Linden dollars!

And you will wear the group tag of Freebie Fashionista, to proudly proclaim your allegiance to everyone you encounter in your peripatetic travels around the grid!

Ermmm, maybe that should be a “Freebie Fashinisto” group tag for my main male avatar, Heath Homewood (lemme think about it…). Please note that I will be covering freebies and deals for both male and female avatars in this new SL group.

Note that this group is actually a spin-off of an internal group to which Vanity Fair (my main SL avatar), Heath Homewood (my main male avatar), and my small army of alts are subscribed, which turned out to be the most efficient and effective way to share SLURLs, notecards, and other vital freebie information between avatars. Unfortunately, that particular group was set to private, and I was unable to switch it so that people could search for it under the Groups tab in Search. Hence, this new group.

And you should also know that being subscribed to the group is even better than following this blog for news of Second Life freebies! Why? Well, you might be surprised to learn this, but I only land up blogging about 10-15% of the freebies I find on the grid! In many cases, I decide it just isn’t worth it to write up a blogpost for just one single freebie, even if it is a nice one (although I have made exceptions in the past, such as this post).

If you subscribe to the Steals, Deals, and Freebies group, you will receive all of the unfiltered, unvarnished news about free items and great bargains from my fevered brain! (While I intend to sharply curtail by blogging about Second Life in 2021, I do still log into SL just about every day, to scout out the latest freebies.)

Now, a few ground rules. Like the blog, the communication in this group will be a one-way street, at least to start. I have decided to turn off group chat and group voice chat for this new group, at least for the time being, as we get set up. You will not be allowed to post your own items to the group (although I reserve the right to change my mind and allow some members to post items, if I think it will be a net benefit the group). As with the Discord server, which I have been running for quite a while now, please know that I will not hesitate to step in and moderate if any problems arise. I expect you to treat each other with kindness and courtesy, even if you disagree.

I do hope that you will join us as we embark on an exciting new chapter of Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies! My coverage of Second Life freebies is still, far and away, the most popular part of my blog, according to my WordPress statistics, and I think that it only makes sense to use a communication method within Second Life itself!

One final note: I have recently updated the compilation and distillation of all my best advice for finding freebies in Second Life, which you can find here. Enjoy!

*Also, Vanity Fair needs new shoes. 😉

Editorial: I Need to Become More Business Minded About This Blog

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

I really do owe an apology to the truly wonderful folks over at Sine Wave Entertainment, the company behind the virtual world/social VR platform Sinespace, and its corporate cousin, Breakroom.

You see, it was almost exactly one year ago today that I entered into an agreement with them, where I would become an “embedded reporter” for Sinespace, and write sponsored blogposts about the people, news and events on that platform.

And while I got off to a rather strong start, I have really fallen down on the job over the past four months. My last real sponsored blogpost for Sinespace (a report on the Geek Weekly event at the Localhost Connection Café) was back in July, and since then I have only done one blogpost—and I screwed that one up! (Sorry, Sinespace.)

There are a couple of reasons for that lapse (the coronavirus pandemic, and the demands of my full-time paying job with the University of Manitoba Libraries), but part of the problem is that I have not been paying sufficient attention to the company or its products, so this is an apology, and a promise to do a better job!

I just find it ironic that I am writing much more about Second Life (when they aren’t paying me) and next to nothing about Sinespace and Breakroom (when they are!). It’s time to pull up my socks, pull my head out of SL, and focus. What started out as a tiny little hobby blog devoted to Sansar has grown and evolved over the past three years, and is turning into a business.

And if I really do intend to to follow through on my dream to become a full-time blogger and vlogger covering “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse” after I retire from the University of Manitoba Libraries, then I need to become a little more business-minded about what I do here.

As I say on my Patreon page:

My plan is to earn a side-income from my blog containing “news and views on social VR, virtual worlds, and the metaverse” (which is the tagline of my blog) when I finally do decide (hopefully, at some age before 65) to take my retirement. I already have a small but devoted following, and I want to grow that audience.

And yes, another thing I need to do is completely rethink the benefits that I do offer my Patreon supporters (another group of people to whom I owe an apology). And I want to once again, express my gratitude and appreciation for my existing patrons.

Part of my business on the blog is writing sponsored blogposts and selling advertising space, which (in addition to the financial support of my wonderful Patreon patrons) allows me to cover the cost of hosting this blog on WordPress, among other things. I also run WordAds on my blog, after I had finally given up on Google Ads in frustration (you can read through my misadventures in dealing with Google’s automated system in this series of blogposts).

Between all of these ventures, I make a small amount of money (but you aren’t going to see me on the cover of Forbes anytime soon!). And I may tinker a bit with other ways to monetize what I do here, more often. For example, did you know that you can express your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee?

You can show your support by something as simple as buying me a coffee!
(Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash)

Editorial: In the Wee, Small Hours

As I write this, it is a cold (-9°C/16°F) 4:45 a.m. on a Sunday morning, November 1st, here in Winnipeg. I am exhausted—emotionally, mentally, and physically—and yet I am unable to find comfort in sleep. Tossing and turning, I finally give up and go to my computer.

Some people use their insomnia to read or meditate, or perhaps play a game of solitaire. Me, I do what I usually do when I can’t sleep: I turn on to the Spa stream of soothing music, load up my main Second Life avatar, Vanity Fair, and continue to weed through the very oldest items in her voluminous, 241,601-item inventory, trying on and deciding whether to keep decade-old apparel, footwear, and accessories, or throwing the items away, knowing I’ll never, ever wear them again.

I’m currently in the F’s, trying on all the 10, 11, and 12-year-old FallnAngel freebies I picked up at various hunts (and throwing almost all of them into the pixel recycling bin).
Now, on the other hand, I think I will hold on to this beautiful system-layers-and-flexiprims kimono by FallnAngel…

And aaaaah, yes, the irony does not escape me that I, infamously relaxed housekeeper that I am (“slob” is such an ugly word), that I am spending the wee hours of my morning cleaning and organizing Vanity’s virtual wardrobe, while a large pile of Ryan’s real-life unfolded and un-put-away laundry sits next to his bed, his unironed dress shirts are hanging from his exercise cycle, and several towers of dirty dishes and unwashed pots rest on his kitchen counters and in his sink, just waiting to be loaded into my dishwasher.

Why do I do this? Why do I make these choices?

Well, Second Life is one of those hobbies which occupies my time, generates a flow state, and makes me feel happy, and I need to find those happy places wherever I can find them lately, in these distressing and disorienting times. When I clean my apartment, fold my laundry or load my dishwasher, my mind tends to wander, and I tend to get stuck in a dark cloud of anxiety, despair, or depression, despite my best efforts and intentions. Achieving a flow state, or a good mood, is something that I have decided that I want to maintain as a priority, so if something makes me feel good (or at least, feel better), I tend to do that first.

This is how I am choosing to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, and I am not going to beat myself up if I happen to have a pile of dirty dishes on the kitchen counter or dust bunnies hanging out in the corner of my bathroom. I am the one and only person around, and I will simply get to it when I get to it. If, at the end of my day, I have not disappeared into the black pit of depression, then I consider that day a success, regardless of how many crumbs lie under my kitchen table or how many dirty pots sit in my sink. I am choosing to focus on my mood, and to forgive myself for any misplaced priorities.

As you might know, the circumstances of my life and my career have unfortunately forced me to put the blog on the back burner these past three months, while I attended to other projects, problems, worries, and crises, but it is now November 1st, 2020, and I am happy to say that I have successfully navigated through the huge pile of work that I have had to do, and met all the deadlines that I have had to meet.

I now have a blessed (and believe me, very much-needed) two-week vacation from my full-time paying job with my university library system. And I intend to use that time, not just to do a little housecleaning in Second Life and in real life, but also to attend to the somewhat neglected blog.

Stay tuned for further announcements as I ponder and plan my next steps for the blog. The past three years have been an unexpected but wonderful adventure, and I cannot wait to see what the next three years will bring!

Photo by Randy Tarampi on Unsplash

UPDATE 11:56 a.m. Well, after a good long sleep, I have finally loaded up my dishwasher with the first load of the day, and I am back at cleaning up my inventory.

This being the day after Hallowe’en, I leave you with yet another wonderful blast from the past from Vanity Fair’s ancient inventory that’s a definite keeper: this gothic Carmen-Miranada-esque Hallowe’en outfit from Comme Il Faut, complete with hat, hair, shoes, jewelry, and skull maracas! The only modern aspects of this avatar are my signature Catwa Kimberly head and Slink hands; everything else is system-layer clothing, prims, and flexiprims on a classic avatar. The outfit still holds up perfectly well after more than a decade.

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Housekeeping Notice: See You in November

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Guys, I’m really sorry to do this to you again, but I am just absolutely swamped with work at my full-time paying job as an academic librarian at the University of Manitoba Libraries, with a lot of time-sensitive deadlines that I must meet, from now until the end of October. I’ll be pulling a lot of evenings and weekends, so something has to give.

What that means is that I am, once again, putting the blog on hiatus until November 1st, 2020. Hopefully, once I have completed the mountain of work in front me, I can return to blogging “News and Views on Social VR, Virtual Worlds, and the Metaverse”, as the tagline of my blog states.

See you in November!