As we’ve discussed several times in this space, improving the “first hour” experience of new Residents is one of our primary goals. As our use cases and base continue to diversify, it’s important to begin tailoring the Second Life experience to the specific needs of our audience and reduce the time it takes to access and begin exploring the virtual world. One of the ways we can address this is to look at how first-time visitors are finding and accessing Second Life.
It’s with that mission in mind that we are launching Direct SLurl, an improved web address vehicle that enables first-time visitors to arrive directly at a location within Second Life, as their first location, by clicking on a Second Life URL from the Web, email, etc. Previously, all new Residents were directed to Help Island upon registration, where they went through orientation before they began exploring Second Life. In this new model, a first time visitor will be directed to www.slurl.com where, on that page, they click “sign up” and quickly register, download and login to the viewer, and arrive at their originally intended destination. A quick tutorial will open upon their initial arrival.
All existing SLurls will be enabled with the Direct SLurl extension effective Thursday, September 18th, 2008.
While Direct SLurl will mostly affect first-time visitors, the tool has significant existing benefits for current Residents as well. For example, if you are hosting an event inworld it will be much easier to recruit and attract non-Residents, as you can post your SLurl to your blog, email to friends, etc., and then attendees will be sent directly to your location.
Furthermore, Residents have the ability to create and brand their own page within slurl.com. When a new visitor clicks on your SLurl, they’ll be directed to a page with your content, further extending your inworld brand(s) to the real world.
While all SLurls will be Direct SLurl-enabled, the same security measures and land ownership protections will still apply. If your island is private and not accessible to the general population, it will continue to be so unless you indicate otherwise. If a first-time user is trying to access private content they will be advised of its status and be directed elsewhere.
It’s our belief that taking the steps to make it easier for new visitors to sign up and begin exploring Second Life will improve the usability of the platform for everyone. Further tailoring of the “first hour” experience can be expected in the near future with Direct SLurl being the initial, and very important, first step.
* How do I invite someone who isn’t currently inworld to a specific location?
* I followed a SLURL and it took me to the wrong place!
View Torley’s informative Video on Direct SLurl