Xiola Linden, Lead Community Manager for 'Second Life' dishes on the 15th Anniversary Celebration

Second Life celebrates 15 years with shopping, a concert-filled Music Fest and more with "A Tapestry of Time" theme

Second Life, the augmented reality world is turning 15 on June 23.  More than 57 million accounts have been created in this place where creativity reigns. Exciting celebrations for this Crystal Anniversary are going on all the place in Second Life and some look too good to miss.  These activities include concerts, free gifts, shopping, parties and even a costume ball. And Xiola Linden is with us to tell all.


Here is a brief description for those not aware of Second Life.

Second Life is a free, 3D online virtual world, developed and owned by the San Francisco-based firm Linden Lab and launched on June 23, 2003. The users, who are called Residents, create virtual representations of themselves, called avatars, and are able to interact with places, objects and other avatars. While Second Life is similar to massively multiplayer online role-playing games; however, the Linden Group is emphatic that this creation is not a game: "There is no manufactured conflict, no set objective."

Now, some of these celebrations include life concerts.  Second Life is always ripe with live entertainment. Some people only perform in-world, while others are actually names in real life, but the diversity of the acts available to experience from your computer is otherworldly.

It is definitely worth checking this happening out.

From June 22-24, Second Life is hosting a Music Fest where some of the most popular acts will be playing. There will be pop, rock, standards, classics and more.  Check out the official schedule here.

For people who like shopping, there is a huge bazaar with more than 80 merchants participating. There will be exclusive items for sale that will disappear on July 2, so be sure to check out all of the deals from your favorite Second Life stores.

SL15B Shopping & Gift Event Photo by Linden Labs

Also, for those who like free gifts, in celebration of its 15th birthday, Second Life is giving away a different crystal-themed Birthday Gift every week beginning on June 18. While Each week’s prize remains a mystery, they are definitely worth checking out.  And, there is a super-special prize in store on the 15th week, but residents need to log in and collect the previous 14 weeks of prizes to get is, so make sure you visit at least once a week to collect your swag.

We recently connected with the impressive Strawberry Singh. Fans of Second life also have fun interviews with musician Oblee,  songstress and burlesque performer Telima, Second Life video journalist Draxtor, coming soon.

Xiola Linden, the Lead Community Manager for at Linden Labs connected with Michelle Tompkins for TheCelebrityCafe.com about all of the cool things going on in Second Life including how to get started for people who haven't experienced it before, what kind of events are taking place for the 15th Anniversary including Music Fest and more.

Xiola Linden Photo by Strawberry Singh

Michelle Tompkins:  What is your name and title?

Xiola Linden:  My name is Xiola Linden, and I am the Lead Community Manager at Linden Lab.

Michelle Tompkins:  How long have you been at Linden Labs?

Xiola Linden:  I have been a Linden since November of 2011 - so coming up on 7 years!

Michelle Tompkins:  What does your job entail?

Xiola Linden:  I would say, it varies from day to day in many ways. For example, right now with all the events we have planned in celebration of Second Life’s 15th Anniversary/Birthday, I have been doing a lot of coordination with our community participants in those events.

I touch everything community-related for Second Life, handle our social media accounts, curate and promote the incredible user-generated content we have from our community and work closely with the Support and Product teams to help highlight any community feedback and issues that I hear or see.

That’s just the surface though - as anyone who is familiar with Second Life knows, there is always so much going on - every day is an opportunity to do something new!

Michelle Tompkins:  How many people work at Linden Lab?

Xiola Linden:  I don’t know that number, to be honest. We have a pretty distributed group, with many of us working in the headquarters in San Francisco, and many others spread out across other states and areas. It’s hard to say for sure, but our LinkedIn profile for Linden Lab might have a guesstimate. [Note:  The number of people employed by Linden Labs is 245]

Xiola Linden gives tips for new residents

Michelle Tompkins:  For people who don’t know what is Second Life?

Xiola Linden:  Second Life is this phenomenal thing that is difficult to explain, but I will do my best. First off, it is a place. A place where you can come and be whomever or whatever you want. Your avatar can become part of your identity that you can explore and experience virtually through Second Life. People who maybe are unable to walk, can log in to Second Life and instantly connect with an identity that may go dancing, walking, running and exploring all over what we call “the Grid.”

The Grid is a sort of collection of these user-built spaces, experiences and events that comprise this virtual world. Almost everything that exists in this world has been created by our customers - which we prefer to call Residents. So you have this incredible place full of all these people - which is the other major piece of what Second Life is. It is a collection of communities and interest groups who have formed these amazingly strong alliances and friendships.

We have role-playing communities, students who come into Second Life to learn chemistry in a virtual classroom, support groups who assemble in virtual spaces to run meetings and meetups, Merchants who created virtual items and sell them in events that are entirely organized and run by other Residents. It’s so many things to so many people, that to summarize it completely would be very tough. I encourage anyone to come try it out and see what might be here for you. Like I said, there are some really impressive things going on every day in Second Life.

Michelle Tompkins:  How can people participate in it?

Xiola Linden:  It’s easy to sign up, for free on the website. From there, you can pick your ‘starter’ avatar from a bunch of default options. Once you download the viewer and log in, you can learn how to customize your avatar and make more like how you want it to look. You can also simply start looking around at experiences by going to our Destination Guide and finding a category of interest to you and visiting those places in-world.

Michelle Tompkins:  What are all the things people can do in it?

Xiola Linden:  I think I touched on this a little bit in one of the other questions, but there is really not much of a limit to what you can do in Second Life. You can go dancing, travel to virtual representations of real-world geographical locations, shop, go to support meetings, learn how to create virtual items and open up your own store and brand, play games, participate in a Role-Playing group, forge long-lasting friendships, find romance, take photos, film machinima, play dress up with your avatar and so, so much more. It really is a place of possibilities.


Michelle Tompkins:  Do you have any favorite tutorials for people to check out?

Xiola Linden:  One of our hopes is to re-visit some of our early tutorials. So much has changed over the years, though they are still very informative. I think we have some really dedicated Residents who have created wonderful tutorials and guides for all types of things in Second Life. We do have a curated list of tutorials from our Residents on our YouTube page - we’d love to hear from anyone who may find a particularly helpful one and we’ll add it to the channel list!

Michelle Tompkins:  How do Linden Dollars work?

Xiola Linden:  They are part of the LindeX™ Exchange - Second Life’s own unit of trade is the Linden™ Dollar. Residents use their Linden dollars to pay for goods and services provided by other Residents. The Linden dollar can also be exchanged for U.S. Dollars right here via the LindeX™ exchange. This and more information can be seen on our website.

Michelle Tompkins:  People can actually earn real money in Second Life, how?

Xiola Linden:  Residents can create and sell items or services in Second Life, basically giving them the freedom to create a business and brand of their own.

Michelle Tompkins:  When is the actual 15th Anniversary?

Xiola Linden:  Second Life first launched on June 23, 2003! Since then we’ve enjoyed celebrating the week, the month, and even longer in some of the really monumental anniversaries like 10 and this year 15.

Michelle Tompkins:  How can people get help if they have some trouble navigating around Second Life?

Xiola Linden:  We have lots of welcoming areas and “newb-friendly” areas for people to go to get help, as well as a pretty extensive Knowledge Base.

Second Life has many exciting events taking place for the 15th Anniversary "Tapestry of Time" that can be found here.

Note:  In the realm of everything is connected to everything, Strawberry Singh, who provided the graphic of Xiola Linden, recently interviewed her as well.  Please check it out here

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Michelle Tompkins

Michelle Tompkins is an award-winning media, PR and crisis communications professional with more than ten years experience with coverage in virtually every traditional and new media outlet. She is currently a communications and media strategist and writer, as well as the author of College Prowler: Guidebook for Columbia University. She served as the Media Relations Manager for the Girl Scouts of the USA where she managed all media and talking points, created social media strategy, trained executives and donors and served as the organization’s primary spokesperson, participating in daily interviews with local, regional, and national media outlets. She managed the media for the Let Me Know internet safety and Cyberbullying prevention campaign with Microsoft, as well as Girl Scouts’ centennial Year of the Girl To Get Her There celebration in 2012, which yielded more than 800 million earned media impressions. In addition to her extensive media experience, Michelle worked as a talent agent in Los Angeles, California, as well contracting as a digital content developer and her writing has appeared in newspapers and online. She is passionate about television, theater, classic movies, all things food and in-home entertaining. While she has lived and worked in NYC for more than a decade, she is from suburban Sacramento and gets back there often to watch the San Francisco Giants on TV with her family.

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