Linden Lab has quietly launched a complete rebuild of the Social Islands in Second Life. These are the spaces new Residents visit after they leave the official tutorial islands. I spent some exploring time at Social Island 9 (SLurl) with friends and was quite taken with the beautiful architecture and the brilliant instructional activities.
To encourage you to visit I’m going to limit myself to one picture (for now) but I will mention some highlights. When you arrive, a HUD will attach and almost guide you through various experiences – building, using a boat, dancing, learning your camera, and more – and pays a special version of the Linden spacebux that can be used in the Social Island shop. I write almost because the exploring is very free-form with no help from a plethora of weasels.
This fourth iteration of the Social Island concept is by far the most peaceful and lovely one. There are fewer attractions than the previous one (blogged about here), much more useful than the second one, and lacking the sandbox of the first. If you search diligently, you should be able to find at least one copy of all these old islands. The Lab is clearly aiming to increase Resident numbers with this rebuild, an early part of the revived Gateway program that lets in-world groups solicit new Residents.
As you tour the new Social Island you might come across things that could be better (like I found some issues with the items for sale in the shop) or you might just have suggestions. Feel free to leave comments on this post and I’ll direct them to various folks I know that might be able to help. Now get out there and have some fun with this new experience!