User:Zai Lynch/Mentoring At OIs

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Linden Labs stops the usage of the Orientation Islands. Residents are currently starting at improved Help Islands and might soon start at new InfoHubs, so called MegaHubs. Please read the VTeam Blog (in particular this posting and the following Q&A with Blue Linden, as well as future announcements on this topic.


This page is a collection of topics, suggested for the Mentoring at OIs part of a proposed Mentoring Basics Class. Because of the similar topic, the content has an overlap with my Mentoring 101. While every Mentor will find a unique way of mentoring, none of the stated suggestions are really required to adhere. They are just thought to be proposals and it's up to every Mentor decide what's best.


In order to become familiar with the surrounding and with the tutorials new Residents are asked to take, we ask new mentors to do at least one of the following:


The regular Orientation Islands are restricted in many ways. Mentors need to know about these restrictions, to be able to provide the best help for new Residents. These restrictions are:

  1. Once a new Resident left an Orientation Island, there is bascically no way to return.[2]
  2. New Residents can't TP by using the map (map just displays a blue area, no sims) or via search (the TP button in search isn't highlighted/clickable).
  3. To be able to TP someone to an OI, that person needs to be either a Mentor, a new Resident at another OI or a Linden and view admin option needs to be activated. Show admin options">[3]
  4. The latest Orientation Guide HUD (2.13) can only be attached at restricted Orientation Islands. Scripts of this HUD can't be reset and the HUD detaches outomatically in case the avatar wearing it isn't on an OI anymore.[4]

Best Practices

How to raise attention on an OI

New Residents are often quiet. Some are shy and welcome a topic to chat about. Many Mentors reported that some special gimmick, a weird pet, some exciting appearance (furry, robot, flowerpot, hamburger-avatar,...) can draw attention and help to break the ice. Others might not be able to figure out how to chat at all. So a hint on how it works might be helpful. In case the OI isn't to busy, there is time to greet new Residents by name. You can also invite them to ask you in case they need help. There are even tools available like changing titlers which might be used to explain the tasks of a Mentor. Greeting guestures in different languages can help too.

About leaving the OI

While there are lots of exit doors and the Help Island LM giver at the OI, many Residents still can't find the way out. Some are stuck for days, weeks and even month. In case a Resident asks about how to leave an OI, please inform them that there is no way back and ask them if they'd like to finish the tutorials first (in case they didn't do so already) and offer help in case they need it. However, it is not a Mentors duty to glue anyone to an OI. Whoever wants to leave should get the opportunity to leave. Tell them about alternative OIs (e.g. the Orientation Station in Scholar) where they can still finish tutorials in case they want to. So in a nutshell: Tell them about the consequences of leaving without scaring them about it and then help them to get wherever they want.

Welcoming other Helpers

While you're standing at an OI, it might happen that another Mentor drops by. Please remember that we're Mentors, not Highlanders, so there can be more then one! In fact, Mentoring as a team can be a fun and functional thing. You'll have someone at your side to chat with in case it's becoming boring and you'll also have someone to assist in case it's becoming busy.

Glitches with some new Avatars

Some of the new default avatars might cause problems for new Residents. The prim based avatars will make it hard for them to alter their appearance, since they can't just click on their body and choose "appearance..." like the tutorial suggests.<sup class="TablePager_nav" style="font-size:75%;" id="fn_5" title="Please consider voting on VWR-808 in order to change it.">[5] They will have to click their name instead. Please explain to them how to easily switch outfits via drag and drop from the library.
Another current issue is, that Residents who chose the new Girl Next Door outfit might be eyeless because of MISC-1390. Handing out freebie eyes (or explaining how to take the ones from the library) is welcomed much =)

Dropping Freebies

We all know and love freebies, but bombing new Resindents with free items isn't really helpful. Please select carefully what you would like to hand out and vary it depending on the Residents needs and favour. If the Resident would like to be a feary for example, you'd most probably make her/him very happy with some wings and a particle poofer. While just randomly dropping boxes with "500 free dresses" and "7 million wings" has a good intention but might just overwhelm the Resident. Btw: Dropping boxed items at OIs should be avoided anyway since there isn't any spot to unbox. Please drop freebies either one by one or in folders. In case you would like to drop single landmarks, make sure to instruct the Resident not to click the teleport button. Since the landmarks are popping up by default when received, the Resident will otherwise most likely poof within the blink of an eye and not be able to finish the tutorials.

How to explain

New Residents are not familiar with the language of Second Life yet. Instead of telling a New Resident to 'Open your inventory,' try saying instead, 'Please open your INVENTORY by clicking the blue Inventory button at the bottom right corner of your screen." Some people are not even familiar with key strokes. Telling them to "CTRL-R" might suffice for some nerdy types, but most likely they might need to be told to "Press and hold the CTRL button on your keyboard and tap the R key once. Then let both of them go." Don't treat them like idiots, but make no assumptions -- they might not be as adept as you.

Prepare for basic FAQ from new Residents

Prepare yourself for basic FAQ like "How can I make money?" and "Where to find a job?". Try to provide a variaty of possibilities so the Residents are able to choose the answer which fits best for their needs. The "How can I make money?" answer for example could be answered with (using keywords here, would need further explanation for the Resident)

  • Sign up for a premium account to receive a weekly stipend
  • Exchange US$ for L$
  • Camp
  • Money Tree
  • Job
  • Create and sell content
  • You don't need to spend money since there are lots of freebies too

From my point of view, the "create and sell content" point is the most important one, since the possibility for any Resident to create own content is what makes Second Life the exciting world it is. Tell them that they got the ability to create any object they are seeing around them and that SL even got an own scripting language. Direct them to Help Island to learn more about building, in case they are interested in it. While staying at an OI, remember that you are not glued there. You are - of course - free to leave with the Resident in order to guide and to mentor him/her. Mentors are not only there to answer questions when asked but also to introduce to the world and to teach (in case they like to).

Typing anim and strong AOs

It is a quite popular gimmick to disable the automated typing animation via the debug menu or to use an AO with high priority standing animations, to overwrite the typing... This might confuse new Residents, in case you tend to use long sentences. They might start to think that you stopped helping them and will leave or start feeling uncertain. Pleace concider to either turn typing anim on / change your AO, while you're at the OI or brake your sentences down into parts, so the new Residents can notice that you're continuing to write.

OI related FAQ from Mentors

When I leave an OI or HI, my Home destination is the first place I TP from there. Any chance to avoid that?

No. You can only TP to your Home location first (CTRL + ALT + H) before going anywhere else so your new Home equals the old one. This is just for the restricted OIs and HIs not for OIP and HIP.

What should I do with someone who is advertising the own business / passing Landmarks to own businesses at a restricted OI?

Talk to the person. Ask politely to stop it. If s/he doesn't stop, AR (if you feel comfortable with it) and let LL decide on it.

What should I do if an underaged (< 18 years) is on the main grid?

File an Abuse Report, include the relevant chat which makes you think they might be underaged and they will become redirected to the Teen Grid. There is no chance that s/he got accidentally on the main grid 'cause you got to enter your date of birth during the registration.


  1. ^ Note that the HUD shown in the video is out-of-date. The recent HUD has no stars to mark completed tasks, since the feature used to be buggy.
  2. ^ There are some rare exceptions when a Resident is able to return to an OI. Residents might return by (accidentally or intentionally) crashing the viewer prior to their first log off on mainland and then logging back in to their last location. They can also TP from one Oriantation Island to another (only by TP invite!). Last chance to return with the same account is, to become a Mentor.
  3. ^ Activate admin options with CTRL-ALT-V on a PC or CMD-OPT-V on a Mac. Or go to Advanced -> Show admin options
  4. ^ You can obtain a recent Orientation Guide in Neovo's Kiosk #32 in SLVEC
  5. ^ Please consider voting on VWR-808 in order to change it.
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