So Linden Lab started a meme of themselves (without noticing it probably). Follwoing other blogs examples, here are my answers to their call to share stories:
What are you doing in Second Life?
Apart from the social and exploring side, I run a company offering translation and copywriting services for SL companies.
How long have you been in Second Life?
How did you find out about Second Life?
I read some report on BoingBoing.net as early as 2005. It looked interesting, especially since I had a background in 3D design. However I saw the potential addictive factor and did not sign up back then (I think there were no free accounts either back then). Still the articles on BoingBoing.net caught my eye, and eventually I signed up in late 2006.
What were your original goals when you became a part of Second Life? Have they changed?
Having a background in 3D design, I thought it would be interesting to check out. Admittedly also the business aspect was attractive for me. It turned out however, that the building tools ware way inferior to what I was used to, and that of course conducting business was hyped in the media. What I did not expect though was to find many great people in SL, so the immersive and social - and later emotional - aspect became by far my biggest motivation to stay. And even though I am an SL entrepreneur in the meantime, it's the aspect of having real and close friends - as far as that is possible in a virtual world - which makes me stay.
Was there anything in-world that surprised you, something that you may not have expected?
I did not expect that SL is pretty much oversexed. Especially as a male, I feel under special scrutiny regarding my motives when talking to female residents. Innocuous remarks get met with the suspician that I am only after cybersex - which I am not.
What do you hope to achieve in-world?
Make a lot of nice aquaintances, get a circle of really close friends and virtual family, and make the lifes of residents better.
What is your motivation?
I really care for people, and enjoy meeting new and interesting ones. I am also the "hands on" type of person, so SL offers me a great opportunity to use my creativity.
How many Residents frequent your island/business? Daily? Monthly?
I don't own land, and honestly I don't believe in traffic as a means to measure attractiveness anyways. My office gets a fair amount of visitors each day, so does the island it is on.
How do you measure your success in-world? Is it by money or another means?
The commercial success of my SL-company is of course measured in money. But I don't want to accumulate riches or cash out regularly. Making money in SL is a means for me to maintain a rather care-free in-world lifestyle.
My social success I measure in terms of the interesting conversations I have, the good people I meet and comments on my blog.
What are some of your favorite places in-world?
For the longest time the Hobo place at Celleta was my home. I enjoy the tropical island Pele (on Forsaken) of my SL sister Chey. Black Swan, Chakryn Forest and Straylight are highlights of landscaping and content creation. Virtual Dublin is still one of my favourite hangouts.
What do you think makes Second Life interesting?
The residents, their social interaction, and their creativity.
What are the pros and cons of doing business in Second Life?
Pro: It's incredible easy to start a business, and the risk of failure is low and in any case not existential threat.
Con: People mixing RL expecations wiht SL reality or expecting that you work/produce for free. Unclear strategy of LL - you knever know how your business gets affected next, or whether your account might be frozen one day, or how they change SL and ruin your business model.
What do you see in the future for Second Life?
Ambigous question. Linden Labs task is to make SL more stable and upset its residents not too much. I hope we get better ways of interacting with the environment, and help new residents to make their first steaps easier. It hurts to think how many interesting people give up simply because their starting experience is too frustrating.
I personally would like to go on like this, meeting people, finding friends, doing my share of making SL a place worth visiting.