‘Wynd’s Tips’ Posts

 

Wyndavere's Website newsSelf Promotion – “Am I begging?”

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The big Question:

“If I Promote my products and services am I a begger?”

 

Answer: No, you are showing your support for YOU.

I’ve been a maker, Diy -er, artist, creator, inventor or  whatever you want to call it for many years.
I think I’ve been making things since I was old enough to hold a hammer and a nail  in my hands.

 

Field of dreams

Field of Dreams Image credits: Wikipedia

When I was younger I genuinely believed

“if you build it they will come” -Field of dreams

I thought that my work should speak for itself.

People should  know how great it was without me having to go out in the world scream at the top of my lungs

“hey look at me.”

I’m a bit older now, and age brings wisdom. I’ve learned this idea , though romantic , is not only a bit arrogant, but counter productive 🙂

 

I’ve also learned, that I am not alone!

 

In 2003 I founded the artist community “Rendervisions” also known as  “The Art Door.” Later in 2007, I founded the community in Second Life, as an extension of the community on the web.

I’’ve been blessed by having the opportunity to connect with over 40,000 creative people throughout my lifetime.

And guess what? Most of us are in the same frozen state.

  • We doubt. “Is it good enough?
  • We justify “ I don’t need to promote it, it’s great and I know it!
  • We make excuses “I’m just no good at marketing.”
  • We resent “Why is everyone so excited, I developed the same product 2 years ago and no ones cheering for me!

We are so overwhelmed by the constant bombardment of media and advertising.that we are cautious to Self Promote.

If you don’t  tell the world how great your product or service is,

or at least have someone else do it for you (which is usually an even better idea),

you are setting yourself up to bury that great idea in a box in your attic, because no one will ever know it existed!

The biggest hurdle is learning how to ask for  moments of someones time without feeling like a begger.

Last week  I was discussing this very topic with my fellow creator and good friend Selina
She said:

I want to ask for feedback and reviews from my customers but “I don’t want to sound like a begger.”

The research lover in me  just had to test this!
I contacted  10 of my past customers with a simple but  PERSONAL message with a request to review a product  they had purchased from me, Some of them were customers of mine as far back as 2 YEARS AGO!

Guess What?! not one of those 10 were angered by my reaching out. None felt like I was begging, and not a one felt as if I was intruding on their time. In fact, they were HAPPY  to have the chance to help!

  • 8 of those 10 customers went straight to the link I provided and reviewed the product they had purchased.
  • 2 of those 8 I got to sit and chat with, building relationships with each through common interests and shared tales.
  • 1 of them even gave me a gift.

Turns out  folks enjoy knowing there is a person behind a product and having the chance to connect with a creator of it.

They Genuinely wanted to help, it made them feel good to do their part is showing their support for creative invention and designs!
I was not invading their time at all.

Not only did I get some really great feedback but I got a deep sense of happiness, the kind that only comes from connecting and interacting with new friends.

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Wynd's Tips #4Wynd’s Tips #4 SEO it’s for SecondLife too!

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Wynd's Tips #4

SEO Search Engine Optimization

 

 

 

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for you! If you Optimize it they will come!

Second Life is a search Engine no different from Google. Grab your customers & the SL Search engine’s attention by giving your products User-friendly/Search Engine friendly Names, descriptions, & don’t forget to check off the “Show in Search” option on every new creation! Be Seen & Heard!

If you don’t know what Search Engine Optimization is, think of it as the thesis statement to sum up a story. You want the search engine and  your customers to know exactly what it is you have to sell , at a quick glance. Pick the most important Words for both people and the Sl search to know what it is you are selling and why they should buy it.

Look for a Full 2 part series for both in-world products and  SecondLife Marketplace listings  Next Tuesday and then the second part  2 weeks from then.

OOooorr you can even contact me in world for a one on one chat over a cup of coffee at Wyndavere’s in SecondLife.

 

Best Practices for the Second life Builder Part 2 -textures

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Oh Finally, Our Linden Gods have answered our  cries! There is now a Building 101 wiki for Second Life.

None-the-less I give you my guide to texture creation for the virtual world.

This guide will  help the Second Life builders.

However, most of the best practices apply to all virtual creation.
No matter if you are creating textures for gaming, graphics for websites, or even photos for your blog, these guidelines will help you  create  faster loading graphics no matter what you are creating.

Of course we all want best quality, but performance matters too.

Your images are streaming to someone else’s computer over the internet. If it does not load fast, they leave your website, blog, or are unable to play your game.

You have about 5 seconds to make an impression…and that’s stretching  it.

 

If your graphics or textures do not load… they toss away your item, or even leave your Sim. Who cares how pretty it could be, if the average user can not see it !

Basic guide for all texture creation in Second Life.

 

TEXTURES CAUSE LAG for you & your Sim! It’s not only scripts but texture load too!

Build smart, fast loading creations, and watch your visitors AND customers  RETURN.

Test Your Textures:

  • Test your graphics on MEDIUM. Just because you can run on “ULTRA” does not mean your customers can. The average Second Life resident can not run above medium setting, and many more run on low.
  • Clear your cache. If you are testing how well your textures load always clear your cache to have a true representation of load time.
  • Leave the LOD alone! Changing  your LOD from standard to 4 + just so that sculpts appear higher rez is great for YOU but is not a true representation of how your  creations appears to  other residents. Always test on the default, as many new users will not know to change  their LOD in the debug menu. Heck they probably have no clue what the develop or advanced menus even are.
  • Max size is 1024×1024 but you should avoid this in almost all cases.
  • a 256 x256 or 512×512 with a sharpen filter, will give you same effect as a 1024×1024 and its ¼  or ⅛  the  file size!

File/texture types used in Second Life. 

File types

  • .tga (32 bit alpha) or (24 bit opaque )
      • 32 bit have a 4th channel for alpha, where as the 24 bit do not contain alpha or transparencies.
      • The best choice! They have 0 compression prior to upload, giving you crisp image quality with low graphics burden on your customers.
  • .png (24 bit alpha)
    • smaller bit alpha files. If you use a .png file type as a solid texture, it will still flicker in world when  against a transparency texture. we call this double transparency, where one texture disappears when near another. Best for simple transparencies and a wysiwyg outcome unlike a 32 bit .tga
  • .bmp
    • Outdated and large file format.
  • .jpg .jpeg
    • Second Life already compresses all images and since both  .jpg and .jpeg are compressed already, the quality will drop too. That being said, I do use these quite often, the trick is to save these files at max quality, in your prefered graphics program.

Texture types

  • Sculpt maps: no sculpt map should ever be more than 64x64pixelsortheproportionalequivalent in case of oblongs.
        • 64×64
        • 32 x 128
        • 16 x 256
        • 8 x 512

    BIGGER IS NOT BETTER your sculpted creations  will be big balls to everyone who has not previously cached the object and the bigger these files the longer they see these awful balls. You get no added quality to your sculpt maps.

 

  • Tileable textures: IT”S TILEABLE.
    • Which means you can  tile it as many times as you want so it does not need be big.
    • 128×128 is all you need or be a rebel and even go smaller! but be sure to check the lossless compression on upload, to avoid  further compression of you already tiny file.


When to Go big

  • Skins are  the one place I can see you needing to use a 1024×1024 texture.
  • complex mesh creation  with a single face or even repeated on all 8 allowable faces.


DO

  • Weigh your options and file sizes to see which is best. In rare cases it is better to load 1 1024×1024 texture, in luo of 8 512×512 textures. Do your math, test it, and see which is more effective.

DON’T

  • cover an object with 8 , 1024 x1024 textures! It will never load fast enough, and it will tax out the user graphics reserve on their video card making it so they can not load ANYTHING once that graphics threshold is crossed.

IN conclusion: 

The smaller the file the faster it loads for the other residents. Always shoot for the  balance between quality and size, test and re-test

 

Wyndavere's in Second Life

Wyndavere’s in Second Life Graphics Credit : ME 🙂

 

If you have  comments or questions post them in the comment field below or better yet!, Stop by Wyndavere’s  in-world!. Lets work together to make Second Life a little less laggy, more beautiful, and an enjoyable place for you, and your customers to live in!

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