Bringing Your Community into Second Life
Linden Lab provides several opportunities for you to bring existing communities or groups in to Second Life. You may also want to find a solution provider who can assist you in creating a presence, building your Orientation Island, or building the entire process from website to community activities.
Creating your own content and space in Second Life
You can engage your community in Second Life by creating a space for them to meet, interact, and engage with your content or content created by your community. Options range from highly public space in the Mainland to completely private islands that are only available to your community. Many communities provide housing (for a fee) as a way to further engage their residents and, as in the real world, to provide local traffic, as well as holding events to enable meeting and sharing with other community members.
Bringing your community into Second Life
Linden Lab offers a Registration API that you can use to register your community for Second Life accounts from your web page, with your branding. When they download the Second Life viewer and log in, they are at an area that you designate (for example, your Orientation Island). This gives you an easy way to bring your existing community into Second Life and engage them with your Second Life content.
Bringing a larger community into Second Life
The Community Gateway program offers you an opportunity to publicize your community to people registering for Second Life on Linden Lab's registration page. This enables you to reach out to people interested in Second Life and engage them in your community.
Creating a custom Second Life experience
The Open Source client offers you a way to completely customize the user experience with Second Life, from branding the viewer itself to the configuration and functionality. Through our Viewer commercial license, you can create your own version of the Second Life viewer to distribute to your registrants.
After they arrive in Second Life
The path to bring your community into Second Life is important - without that, you won't have any of your community in Second Life. However, you also need to think about what your community will do once they join Second Life. What will they do after they leave your Orientation, and what will bring them back again and again? How will you help them find others to engage with? How will you point them to other resources in Second Life they will enjoy or find useful? Many communities have found volunteers who can be available to help newcomers get oriented are helpful. Scheduled events give people a reason to come and visit and meet others. Classes and other structured events can provide useful skills and also serve as social activities.
Monetizing your community
Most of you can't afford to support your community for free. So how do you make money? The three most common ways are to sell sub-divided land to residents (just like in the real world where a developer buys vacant land, landscapes it, adds houses and other amenities and resells it for a profit); to rent sales space to vendors (which also can help you create revenue opportunities for your community and provide them with needed services, like avatar skins, clothing and home furnishings), and to sell advertising space to people who want to get their message to your community.