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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Department of Book Reports 67: Second Life

This week, I'd like to talk about a couple books about Second Life, and also about Second Life itself. SeattleDan and I have been there a little over a year now. The General's Cafe Wellstone is attended by a great group of folks and it's been fun getting to know them. You've been seeing them around the comments lately. If you've been wondering about trying Second Life, I hope this Book Report will encourage you to take the plunge.

There's a lot to figure out, and it's far too easy to second-guess yourself at the beginning, so it's good to have a easy to follow guide. Second Life for Dummies by Intellagirl Tully Robbins and Typewriter Tackleberry Bell (Wiley, $24.99) nicely fits the bill here. It will walk you through the download and start-up, and touch on more advanced topics like building and buying land. It has handy links to websites you can find answers at when you're completely confused. The sections on using photoshop layers to build an image that can be uploaded onto Second Life helped me make the sign for over the doors of my store. There are a few simple steps you'll need to take to fine tune each session, and while they become second nature after a while, it's nice to not have to ask your friends for the fourth time, "How do I turn up the music?"
I recommend this as a good beginner guide. Between watching a few Torley vidtuts and this book you'll be all set to dance the night away at the Lonely Yak in no time.

Ok, the next book up is How to Make Real Money in Second Life: Boost Your Business, Market Your Services, and Sell Your Products in the World's Hottest Virtual Community by Robert Freedman (McGraw Hill, $21.95). Riiiii-iiiight. Anytime you see a title this long you KNOW the book is going to be GREAT!

Ok, to be fair, there are some basic facts that are well presented here. And he does try to tell the audience that if your dream is to buy land, open a store and start making enough Linden dollars to sell back and generate an income; dream on. The truly fun part of this book was recognizing someone I know! Right there on page 75, our buddy Stormbear! Stormbear's RSO hall is used as an example of a business approaching Second Life intelligently and thoughtfully. His Quonset Hut styled dance hall is a place that is offered to deployed soldiers overseas to meet and dance with their spouses back home. And the donations to the venue fund a Books to Soldiers bookdrive.

And, speaking of bookdrives, we've partnered with Hypatia Eames and Zathrus Aferensis on their Loneman School Project. Her students would like to stock a library on the Pine Ridge Reservation and send every child home with a book of their very own this summer. We're offering 30% off new children's titles, stock on hand, while we transition into online only bookselling.

As always, these books are available at Jackson Street Books and fine Independent Bookstores everywhere!

democommie™™™™™©®ç åü has been working on a webspace for the GOPNamblats called "Conservepaedophilia" and was unable to assist with this book report.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.