Given the accelerated growth recently experienced within Second Life, it’s needless to say that the Linden Lab Community Team has been thinking a lot about scaling. I’ve been especially focused on ways to scale and improve the Resident volunteer programs in particular, many of which started as loosely knit grassroots style groups, created to help other Residents, new and old alike, learn Second Life.
It seems clear the Second Life Mentors and other volunteer groups within Second Life are important to the fabric of the Second Life community; as such I wanted to share some exciting plans currently in progress which should help with some of the current growing pains.
Our plan for the short term is as follows:
1. Additional Linden Support – Liaison Kenny Linden is now assisting with managerial tasks to help scale the volunteer programs.
2. Clarified Direction – Immediate creation of Mentor Principles in collaboration with the Mentor community, proposed principles below to be refined and distributed to all current and incoming Mentors.
3. Improved Orientation – Design and creation of a volunteer orientation program to help introduce the volunteer program to interested Residents when they are accepted to the program.
4. Quality Maintenance – Currently all volunteer members need to keep and maintain a clean Linden Rapsheet, which has previously been maintained in a quarterly review of volunteers. As we grow, we will monitor this more closely and frequently to allow for higher quality volunteer experience.
Longer term thoughts and plans:
1. Education – Implementation of an ongoing educational training program for all volunteers
2.Knowledge Sharing – Creation of a knowledge sharing/ information gathering location in-world for all volunteers to add to and use.
Several members of the Mentor group have already created a fabulousVolunteers HQ in Tenera.
3. Volunteer Community – creation and implementation of further community building within the volunteer community, including but not limited to more social and team-building interactions
When these new plans are combined with useful features and tools currently in progress, the Second Life volunteer experience becomes even better. For example, the new group tools greatly ameliorates large-scale social networking and transitioning Second Life’s support documentation from the clunky current wiki to a future knowledge management system makes it a lot easier to find the answers you’re looking for.
Throughout the history of Second Life, the excellence and success of the volunteer program has endured because the volunteers have always been community-driven. I’m excited about helping the volunteers continue to grow and flourish as Second Life does.
– Jeska Linden
Proposed Mentor Principles
We believe this important first connection can make all the difference in the early SL experience. By hanging out on Help Island, the Welcome Areas and other spaces in-world answering questions and handing out information, you provide a crucial step in weaving the Second Life community together.
When you put your Mentor title on, you are representing the Second Life volunteers as a whole and the Mentor group in particular. Mentors embody all of the best things available in the Second Life community; keeping the following Principles in mind will empower you and your fellow Mentors to continue creating an even better Second Life for all.
Be inclusive, active, and encouraging. Demonstrate and communicate tolerance, respect and civility to all Residents. Promote a sense of community and foster the formation and growth of communities in Second Life, and with your fellow volunteers.
Be helpful, answer questions. Communicate with your fellow Residents. Turn data into useful, relevant information. Provide information, not misinformation. Show other Residents how and when to report abuse. Learn from each other!
Be informed and informative. Keep up with in-world bulletins and forum announcements. Maintain good communication with your fellow volunteers and don’t be afraid to share information. This includes using the mentor group channel for good, not evil.
Be positive, courteous, professional and pleasant. Smile. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. Be welcoming, fun, and helpful.
Be reliable. Do your best to represent the community in a positive way. Maintain PG standards of appearance and manners when wearing the Mentor tag. Live your Second Life by the Community Standards as a shining example to others.
Be accepting of other nationalities, cultures and subcultures. Inspire curiosity, open-mindedness, and let the diversity of Second Life be your guide as you help fellow Residents.