UPDATED! The Wall Street Journal Launches a Four-Part Podcast Series on the Metaverse and Second Life

The Wall Street Journal has launched a four-part podcast series called How to Build a Metaverse, with the introduction posted on September 19th, 2022:

We’re in a metaverse déjà vu moment. Companies are spending billions of dollars creating new metaverses, imagining a 3D virtual future. But there’s a metaverse that’s already been around for decades. In this world, people have started businesses, built homes and fallen in love as avatars.

In a new four-part series from The Journal, producer Annie Minoff heads back into that largely forgotten metaverse – Second Life – to tell the story of the metaverse we already have and what it can reveal about the one that’s coming.

Start listening to How to Build a Metaverse on Friday, September 23rd.

You can listen to this podcast via The Wall Street Journal website for the podcast The Journal (here’s a link to the first episode), or via your favourite podcast service, such as Apple, Spotify, or Google. I will definitely be listening in!

As I often say on this blog, Second Life is the perfect model of a mature, fully-evolved metaverse, which newer companies entering this marketplace would be wise to study, learn from, and emulate. This seems a rather appropriate time to share an image which I discovered while browsing on the r/SecondLife subreddit over on the social media website Reddit, directed towards all those newer metaverse wannabees (looking at you, Meta!):

UPDATE Sept. 27th, 2022: I listened to the first instalment of this podcast on Sunday, and I can recommend it highly! Annie Minoff interviews many different people—including former Linden Lab senior staff like Philip Rosedale and Cory Ondrejka—and it’s clear that she has immersed herself into Second Life and its culture a lot more than most reporters! I look forward to listening to future episodes of this podcast.


Thank you to Zella Jane for the heads-up!

London City in Second Life Remembers Queen Elizabeth II

Screen capture from BBC coverage of the Procession to Laying-in-State today

The State Funeral of Her Majesty The Queen will take place at Westminster Abbey on Monday 19th September at 11:00 a.m. BST (here’s a guide from the BBC which outlines all the events from today leading up the funeral). If I were a Londoner, I suspect I would be getting away from the city to avoid the throngs of visitors who want to witness such a historical event. However, for those of us who prefer to stay away from the crowds, virtual worlds such as Second Life (which has always had a strong British community) offer another way to mark the occasion.

Bixyl Shuftan of the blog Second Life Newser wrote on September 8th, 2022:

Queen Elizabeth of Great Britain [has] died…The reaction in Second Life has already started. At London City, a memorial was set up. It included a British flag at half staff, along with a crown on a pedestal with a flame at the base, a guestbook with candles, and three pictures that gave a slide-show of Queen Elizabeth over the years.

So I decided to pop into London City (website), a region of six sims which offers residential and business rentals, and has been a welcoming region for people new to Second Life for many years now. As you can see by the green dots indicating avatars on this map, it’s busy 24/7/365! People are commiserating with each other via both text and voice chat (I usually have voice chat turned off on my viewer; it’s much more common for avatars to use text chat to talk with each other in SL).

The memorial to Queen Elizabeth II (SLURL) is located in the northwest corner of the main gathering spot, opposite the long-running Freebie Megastore.

There are three large signs, each with a slideshow of images from the Queen’s life, a wreath, and a memorial flame.

Next to a set of votive candles (you can light one simply by clicking on it), there is a book of condolence which, if you click on it, you can add a message:

Nearby is a box where you can pick up a free memorial ribbon for your avatar to wear:

Like me, you may wish to come to London City, sign the book of condolence, and chat with other Second Life users around the world about the life and accomplishments of the Queen. Please check the official London City blog for updates on news and events in the region during this time of mourning.

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: New Group Gifts from Nuve!

If you want even more news about fabulous freebies and bargains in Second Life than what I write about in this blog, may I recommend the Second Life group I maintain, called the RyanSchultz.com Steals, Deals & Freebies group? The group costs only L$50 to join; more information here.

If you have a LeLutka Evo X or an Akeruka ADVX female mesh head on your avatar, then do I have a sweet deal for you! Join the Nuve group (it’s currently free, for a limited time), and slap the vendor panels under the VIP Gifts sign to pick up a fatpack of Hailey skin, plus a fatpack of Hailey eyebrows, and a fatpack of lipsticks!

Nuve skins include both the head and body skin, in 15 different skintones, each in versions with and without the eyebrows (there’s also a box in the folder to unpack to get the matching ear skins). The Hailey eyebrow fatpack includes tintable eyebrows in six colours (white, blonde, ginger, red, brown, and black) to use with the browless version of the Hailey skin. The Hailey lip tint fatpack includes 16 shades of pink and red, plus two shades of grey, which you can tint any colour you wish!

But wait, there’s more! MUCH more! On the wall behind the front counter of the Nuve store are all the previous group gifts, which include human and fantasy skins for Catwa HDPRO, Genus, LeLutka Evolution classic, and LeLutka Evo X heads, plus eyebrows, eye shadows, eyeliners, and lipsticks. Among these gifts is the Amanda skin, which like the Hailey skin is a complete fatpack with 15 different skintones!

Please note that, according to the Nuve group notices, there is a notice dated Sept. 10th, 2022:

Our VIP group will be free for 3 days only. So if you have friends on a budget, spread the word.

So, hurry down, join the Nuve group while it is still free, and snap up the fabulous freebies! Also, in an earlier group notice, I learned that the store is giving away free weekly store credit:

Y’all keep forgetting to click the reward terminal! So, this is just a reminder. Reward terminal is at the reception desk (tablet on the desk). You can receive L$75 of store credit every week. Terminal resets every Monday.

Store credit accumulates, you won’t lose it. It can be used on every product at [the] mainstore, except products released exclusively in weekend sales.

Here’s where you can find that VIP reward terminal in the store, right next to an assortment of free gifts for everybody who drops by (no group join is required; they are mostly skin tints and Windlight/EEP settings):


This is what the Hailey skin looks like (this avatar is wearing the ivory skin tone, with the blonde Hailey eyebrows and one of the redder Hailey lip tints).

Looking this stunning for zero Linden dollars? Sign me up, honey!

Other styling credits:

TOTAL COST FOR THIS ENTIRE AVATAR LOOK: Only L$250 (for the Atenea Bakes on Mesh kit, but I’m pretty sure I bought it for L$197 back in the day).


So, as you can see, joining the Nuve store group is a no-brainer! The proprietor is very smart to find a way to get potential customers coming into her store every week. And I will definitely join store groups where they give out free credit to group members every week or every month!

Happy freebie shopping! 😉

Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: Free Gifts to Celebrate the 12th Anniversary of the Firestorm Viewer!

Second Life is probably unique among metaverse platforms in that the most popular viewer software is not a product of the company that makes Second Life, Linden Lab! That would be the Firestorm viewer, created by the community itself by a non-profit company called the Phoenix Firestorm Project:

The Phoenix Firestorm Project Inc. is a non-profit, incorporated organization whose mandate is to improve the user experience in Second Life and other virtual worlds by providing an advanced open source viewer with greater features, options and interface flexibility than the standard offering by Linden Lab. The project has approximately 80 volunteers working for it and are managed through departments divided up as Development, Support, Quality Assurance and Gateway. We provide live support 24/7 in nine different languages inside of Second Life through our support groups and on the web via our issue tracker.

And to celebrate its 12 anniversary, Firestorm threw a big party yesterday, Saturday, September 3rd. And in a circle around the four-sim event stage are free gifts from Firestorm and other Second Life vendors for you! All gifts are free and you do not need to join a group to pick them up.

The present from Firelight Hair is a new unisex fatpack of hair called Glen/Gwyn, which comes in both male and female versions, rigged and unrigged, plus a HUD with 32 different textures:

Firelight is also generously giving out the same gift to SL users that it put out a year ago, for Firestorm’s 11th anniversary! This shorter unisex hairstyle is called David/Davina, and also comes in male and female versions, both rigged and unrigged, with a texture HUD as shown below:

Next up we have a casual outfit featuring three more free gifts:

The T-shirt is the present from Addams, and it comes in a wide variety of sizes to fit most female mesh bodies, and in two colours: white as shown above, and black. (Note that there is also a men’s T-shirt gift, which also comes in black and white!)

The gift from Firestorm is a fatpack of this unisex baseball cap featuring the distinctive Firestorm phoenix logo, with comes the the HUD shown below, where you can mix and match the colours of the cap and the logo as you please. There are two versions of the baseball cap, one for smaller heads and one for larger heads, and both can be resized simply by clicking on them, which pulls up a menu. It’s the perfect accessory for any fan of the Firestorm viewer as your avatar strolls the grid!

Finally, there’s a very nice gift from virtual shoemaker Versov, these wonderfully detailed sneakers, which comes in sizes to fit men and women! These special-edition Firestov sneakers come in sizes to fit feet for the following mesh bodies: Maitreya Lara, Signature Gianni and Geralt, Legacy (male and female), Belleza (male and female), and Slink (male and female). There’s also an unrigged pair in the folder, which you can adjust and resize to fit other brands of feet. They are a keeper!

There are also many gifts for you fans of breedables (which I am not). Here’s the blogpost on the official Firestorm blog listing all the free gifts. I’m not sure how long all these gifts will be available, but I seem to remember that the Firestorm 11th anniversary gifts were available to pick up for at least a month after the events held at the stage. As I said, the event stage is a circle covering four adjoining sims, with the same gifts available around the perimeter of the stage in each sim. According to the event listing:

SLURLs: LOAD BALANCING! If your first initial starts with…click a corresponding SLURL:
A-J http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Firestorm%20Ghost%20Town/14/240/3902
K-R http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Firestorm%20Aerodrome/238/15/3901
S-Z http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Firestorm%20Dow%20Forest/237/238/3902

Since the big party was yesterday, you could choose any of these SLURLs and you shouldn’t have any problem getting in! I wouldn’t wait too long to pick these wonderful presents up, though.

PRO TIP: Did you know that you can pick up many other free gifts at the VERSOV main store, including three fatpacks of high-quality unisex sneakers of various designs and colours? Join the VERSOV group for free to pick up the fabulous freebies, which are located on panels at the front counter of the store…here’s your taxi!

Happy freebie shopping! 😉