Friday, November 11, 2011

2013 HELP: Private communications in SL, Forums, MySL, IMs

Kit: Private communications in SL, Forums, MySL, IMs
MySL home page
Click image to enlarge
Forums: On the web, public and private, lacks integration with inworld
MySL: On the web, public and private, increasingly integrated with inworld
IMs: Inworld, private, partly integrated with the web
Forum messages
On the forums pages you can click on a name and
  • open a page about that person's forum activities
  • send a private message to that person.
  • ask that person to be your friend.
ask that person to be your friend.  This request seems to be limited to a forum-based friendship.  Unless things have changed very recently, using this route does not result in a friendship invitation inworld.  I don't know of any benefit from this forum-based system  It has a potential social harm, in that a newcomer might try to use it as an invitation to inworld friendship invitation and, receiving no response, might feel rejected.
Experienced Second life users would not be troubled by the absence of a response, of course.  We are accustomed to such communication failures,  would assume another Second Life bug, and would try an alternative route (friendship offer inworld).
send a private message to that person.  You can indeed send a private message.  I get a few a month.  Regrettably, I get no notification of these messages.   And I don't check my messages very often.  So the messages I see are usually a week or more out of date.    Too late to answer.
MySL messages
Within MySL, you can click on a name and:
  • open a page* about that person.  
  • send a private message to that person. 
  • ask that person to be your friend.
In this case 
  • the page that opens is the person's profile, the same as you see inworld.  
  • the private message appears on your MySL profile.
  • you get a notice about the message
  • the invitation to be your friend works like an inworld invitation of that sort

MySL, Private messages, offline

Inworld IMs and friend offers
Usually the recipient sees the message inworld or in email (if email the recipient has email delivery turned on).  IMs are capped if the person gets a large number of IMs at one time.  In that case, IMs are silently lost.  IMs can also be lost in other ways, such as a sim crash on login, before the incoming IMs are read.  
Compare and contrast
Forum messages and friend offers
As currently set up, forum messages and friend offers don't work as people would expecta and seem to be of little use.  They would be useful if the link pointing to them went to the person's profile, as does the link in MySL 
Inworld IMs  and friend offers
These usually work as expected, except when IMs get capped.  In contrast to MySL, the inworld message system, keeps no permanent record of the messages; Users can have permanent records only by keeping their own logs.  
MySL messages and friend offers 
These seem to offer the most useful for serious communication. Probably more reliable, web based, and with a preserved record.  

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  1. Hey, Selby, I love your blog and scoop it regularly at my Virtual Worlds Education rag. Wanted to let you know your blog is up for Blog-o’-the-month for December at ISTE Island’s Blog-o’-the-Month. You can see more at and good luck!

  2. Scottmerrick: Well thank you. I have noticed an increase in traffic, though much of that is going to my annotated screen shots on Viewer 3.2

  3. Scottmerrick:PS -- I have listed your blog on my blogroll.