March 20, 2009

How to reach a Second Life resident via email and other means

Dublin Post OfficeThere are cases where you want to reach a Second Life resident with means other than offline-IM or notecard. The easiest thing would be to send an email - but what if the resident has the mail address not on their profile? The easiest solution would be asking of course, but if the resident is offline this kind of defeats the case. Here are some suggestions:

  1. From my experience, the majority of residents has email accounts for their avatar on Googlemail/Gmail. Most addresses follow the line of:
    Firstname.Lastname@gmail.com
    FirstnameLastname@gmail.com
    F.Lastname@gmail.com
    FLastname@gmail.com
    Firstname.L@gmail.com
    FirstnameL@gmail.com
    Please note that due to various reasons addresses from certain countries use @googlemail.com - however for receiving email, the @gmail.com works as well.
    Hint courtesy of Quaintly Tuqiri: the dot is optional - GMail is smart enough to deliver mails to addresses with dot even when it was omitted.

  2. While Googlemail is the most common webmail service among residents, other services are popular as well. So check out Yahoo and Hotmail as well. Please note that Yahoo uses country specific domains - you might try Yahoo.de for German residents for example. For French residents wanadoo.fr and for Dutch residents xss4all.nl are good choices too. For the address part, refer to the Google examples.

  3. In case these bounce, you might want to check if the resident has a Flickr account. In that case, you can send them a Flickr Mail. The system will send them a notification to whatever mail address they have escrowed in their account.

  4. You can also check if the resident has a user account in the Xstreet SL Forums or the SLUniverse Forums. For Xstreet SL it is easiest to check with a Google query along the lines of "Firstname Lastname inurl:xstreetsl inurl:Forums". SL Universe has an easily accessible member list. For both forums you need to sign up, but afterwards you can send the members personal messages - they get pinged by whatever email address they have in their account.

  5. You can also check if the resident has an account on Twitter or Plurk and send a message there - however it will be public and limited to 140 characters, but might be enough for initial contact.
As with all communication means, stating your issue in precise and short sentences is a good recommendation. A "hi, does this email address work" will not be appreciated. Instead, make a short text of why you want to contact them, and send it even in danger that it will bounce back.

The photo is the Dublin Post Office - I thought it would fit this article nicely.
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