I'm officially designating April as "Help a Noob Month".
Of course it will carry on to the other months too for me : )
It seems the noobs are finding me this month in droves anyway, so I might as well go with it. I do try to make a point of helping new avatars whenever I see one struggling which is often, and I guess I tend to be a noob magnet as even in a group noobs will like SEEK ME OUT to ask for help. Guys and girls alike. They can see it on my face- that I can't say no and will help them to the ends of SL and back to get settled in properly. I'm basically a permanoob myself, so I do take much pity on new avatars who need help. I feel like the learning curve for new avatars can be a tad high in SL and have noticed some people are not keen on hanging out with or helping new avatars who are maybe a little awkward and not quite as aesthetically appealing as people who have been around for a while. My thoughts on that (and have proven to be very true) is that noobs might/and have, turned out to be some fantastic people, some sweet, some skilled, some cool in a variety of ways. They just need a little start up help and time. I've found that most people have something to offer me too in the ways of friendship. And I might have something to offer them, especially when they are new.
I have some friends who occasionally say, I (they) should help new avatars more. I'm like, "Then do it." Noobs are all over and you can spot them a mile away and easily differentiate them from returning avatars (alts) of seasoned SL residents. (previously blogged sings of an alt here: http://karasecondlife.blogspot.com/2010/08/my-alternate-identity-crisis.html) Of course I am also close to someone who has no patience for helping new avatars and doesn't see how I can do it, so helping new avatars really isn't for everyone. A certain amount of patience is required.
So.. I challenge everyone to try to make a point of being more friendly to and trying to help new avatars a little more this month.
There are some tricks of the trade. If they and I have time, I tend to discuss and/or show them some basics such as:
(First I ask a few questions like what their interests are, what they want their av to look like, what they might like to do in SL, if they are wanting to spend $ in SL or not, etc. Usually I have to let them know some options about what is in SL, since they know nothing).
*Often I will initially just take them to a fantastic sim to chat so they can be amazed by SL while I am preparing to help them by asking above questions or educating them a bit on some of the points below.
*If they have payment info on file its easy to show them around to great shopping places but if not I tend to show them the fabfree web site info that includes a list of free things for avatars under 30 days old. Many stores have free great quality merchandise available only for new avatars. Check out their site here: https://fabfree.wordpress.com/fabfree-30-days-list/
*I show them the SL Marketplace website
*How to better outfit their new av skin/shape if they want a different or more unique look or like their RL selves, and they usually do immediately want that and to not look like a new avatar even though the SL new avs looks pretty good these days. (this usually includes full help/lessons on opening boxes, where a person can rez things, etc)
* How to get the free Tutys (moderate sim) or 1L Vista AO (pg)
*Remind them to chat and be friendly vs or prior to just sending a radom person a friend request without talking. (a noob tonight did that to someone and that person very rudely shot him down immediately in local)
*I also remind them to be very very careful what to accept or not from strangers or they can be bitten by vampires or get products that have something bad attached. That's a hard call for anyone really. If they want to play vampire they can figure that out later too.
* I usually pass them a free dance and show or tell them how to work dancing as dance clubs are very social and will help them to meet other people who will help them more to find their way around SL and enhance the quality of their time spent in SL.
* I briefly show them how to search and work groups and ask what their interests are and show how they can find almost anything in SL (often including stuff from their own state or city or something from across the world) or work on making something if its not already here.
*I talk a little about landmarking to a place they can build/open boxes or even set to home.
*I keep a little noob help package I often hand them that includes some info. and a few freebies or even a fun gacha item I no longer need or something from my inventory I think they might like. We all know I have way too much in there anyway.
*Yes, the sex issue regularly comes up (no pun intended) and I let those know I'm not here for that and wont help them out with that stuff, but that plenty others will if that's what they are after.
*SL destination guide and and last but not least I show some of them, if I feel they have the rest of the basics pretty well under control, my own blog here and how to use the search line to look for explore, or other things.