If you have a Facebook profile for your Second Life avatar, you probably already know that the SL community on Facebook is very friendly and active. Everyday that I login to my SL facebook, I am greeted by at least 5 to 10 friend requests from other SLers. I always accept, as long as I can clearly see that they are in Second Life, because to me that’s what social networks are about: friending and socializing and sharing. However, as your friend list grows bigger and you like more and more facebook pages you will start to lose control of your newsfeed and might even miss important things in there that you definitely do not want to miss. So I thought I would do a quick tutorial on how to fix a few of your FB settings so you don’t miss anything important from close friends or your favorite facebook pages.
I have a few close friends on Facebook and I want to make sure I don’t miss what they are posting because I’m always curious about what’s going on in their lives (and also cuz I’m a total stalker). So all you have to do is go to their profile and hover over the “friends” button on their cover page and you will get the above menu popping up. From there you can activate “close friends” and make sure “show in news feed” and “get notifications” are also checked. But don’t worry, Facebook doesn’t tell your friends that you’ve done this and are stalking them in any way whatsoever. This way you won’t miss anything they post on Facebook and can stalk them like a pro!
Favorite Facebook Pages:
Did you know that Facebook doesn’t always show you every update a Facebook Page makes? So if you’re a fan of a Facebook Page and you want to support them or just want to stay in the loop, getting notifications is the best way to do it. All you have to do is go to the Facebook Page you want to follow (here’s a link to mine). Hover over the “Liked” button and make sure to activate “Get Notifications” and “Show in Newsfeed” this way you’ll never miss any posts from them. I’ve done this to a few pages I want to keep track of: the Second Life facebook page and also some pages of designers and bloggers that I don’t want to miss posts from.
Today’s post isn’t really Second Life related, but I figured I’d blog about it since I did a few months back when they were introduced inworld, and also because I am having so much fun playing it on Facebook right now! :D
Back in November I did a post about the Strangelings. For a quick recap, Strangelings is a real world game of a genetics based pet design where players have 3D pets which breed and produce offspring with unique traits based on genetics. The brilliant team behind Ozimals has teamed up with two former Lindens and a financial expert to form Flying Monkey Interactive, Inc. The team at FMI have been developing the product platform called Toto for several months now and Strangelings is their first game.
I’ve already breeded mine a bunch of times and had many babies and now trying to learn about all the genetics and how to breed some cool looking strangelings. Once I do that, I’m looking forward to participate in the Auction House and possibly make some real money in the process! The Auction House is in beta right now, but should be going live soon.
I’m so excited about this that I had to share it with you guys. A couple of years ago, a very dear friend of mine made a logo for me which I adored and have been using since then on my marketplace items. However, there were some aspects of the logo that I wanted changed. I wanted to keep the same concept but just add more pink/purple color to it (which are my favorite colors btw) and I wanted to add more “berryness” to it. This is all I told LiquidH3ll Carter and he came up with this so quickly. He really listens to you and gives you exactly what you want in a very professional manner. I’m so pleased.
If you’re looking to get a new logo, banner or ad for your brand or business, I absolutely recommend him! You can check out more of the logos he’s done for others on his flickr and contact him inworld for a quote.
I often get people asking me which blogging platform to use when starting a blog. I refer them to my Fashion Blogging 101 tutorial (which is a bit dated now, but still has a lot of good advice). I also say that I have tried and have blogs on all three: wordpress, blogger and tumblr and my preference is definitely WordPress. That’s just what I prefer though, mainly because of all of the features and customization it has to offer, but I also do like blogger and tumblr as well. I find this article comparing the two platforms, blogger and wordpress, very informative and unbiased: Blogger vs. WordPress @ ComputerWorld They were pretty fair with their comparison and didn’t bash one or the other. Once you read that, you can decide for yourself what you prefer.
Self-Hosted WordPress Blog
If you decide on wordpress, you can create a free blog on wordpress.com and start blogging right away at no extra cost or expense. However, because I wanted my own domain and hosting and wanted to be able to really customize and have ads on my blog, I decided to go the self-hosted wordpress route. I currently use GoDaddy for all of my domain and hosting (which I’m thinking about changing) but here’s an article that can help you find a good wordpress host: How to Choose the Best WordPress Hosting? I also want to add that WPbeginner is one of my favorite blogs. I’ve learned so much from them!
Three WordPress Plugins I Love!
So once you have your self-hosted wordpress all setup and you start blogging, I really recommend you install and use the following three plugins. They are, in my opinion, must haves and the best plugins for wordpress bloggers!
Jetpack – This plugin is a must have! It brings you so many features, especially those beloved ones you loved while using wordpress.com. You can check out the Jetpack.me website for more details but this plugin provides me with awesome statistics, free and easy to use contact forms, useful widgets, and so much more but my most favorite…the awesome social media buttons and the “like” button at the end of each post so people can like and share your posts (and my sincere thank you to all those that do)!
WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache – These two plugins are supposed to speed up your load time. I am not familiar with this technology, however in the 3 years that I’ve had a self-hosted wordpress blog I’ve used both of these plugins and they both worked well for me for the most part. Except, one time something happened with W3 Total Cache and it was buggy and slowed down my whole site. I couldn’t figure out what was happening until one of the guys at my hosting place told me it’s one of my plugins. Since I disabled and removed that, my blog’s been working fine. I have a feeling I probably did something to the plugin to mess it up though, since I’m not that familiar with it so now I stick with Super Cache because it’s simple and easy for me to use. I also found a great discussion about these two on the wordpress forums a while back that you guys might find useful and informative: WP Super Cache vs W3 Total Cache.
WordPress SEO by Yoast – I recently started using this I have to tell you, I am loving it. It took me a long time to understand and grasp everything, a lot of reading! But once you have it all setup and working, you’ll notice that it really makes a big difference. I learned so much from the plugin itself just by going through all of the features. I recommend reading WordPress SEO resource by yoast for an in-depth guide. I also learned a lot from Canary Beck’s posts on irez.me she did a few months back. She covered this topic well in three separate posts, you can read them all here: Search Engine Optimisation for your Blog Part 1 & Part 2 & Part 3. Part 1 and 2 are great for those that don’t understand SEO at all and need a simple “what is and how to guide”.
And a few more Plugins
Those aren’t the only plugins I use, but I do feel those are the really important ones that everyone should have. I don’t use many plugins though, I’ve been told that it’s not good to have too many plugins running as it can really slow down your site. I am currently using less than 10. Another plugin I use a lot is Akismet. However I actually switched to another plugin for spam recently but went back to Akismet as I felt it was working better. I also use a plugin for my blogroll page, lame I know, lol but I found it helps me keep it kind of orderly. And the last plugin I wanted to share but definitely not a must have is the Follow Button which lets you have that little follow button that you’ll find at the bottom right hand corner of my blog. This plugin encourages your readers to sign up to receive your blog updates via email, which I hope you guys do! :D
Another thing that I love about wordpress is the new reader they have implemented. If you have a wordpress.com account, this link should take you to their reader. I have linked my wordpress.org and wordpress.com accounts so now I can use the reader with ease and add and follow all of my favorite blogs on there. You can like and comment directly from the reader as well. I admit, since the sad news of Google Reader going down, I have been trying out many different readers in hopes that one will catch. These days I’m kind of liking wordpress but there are 5 or 6 others that I am also switching back and forth with. I am planning a big post about readers very soon and will tell you which one I like best and have decided to go with once I’m done all of my investigating. But for now, wordpress is definitely a good reader to try! Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like on my screen so you can get an idea.
I think that’s about everything I wanted to cover in this post. I’ve been thinking about writing this post for a long time since I get so many questions from people who want to start blogging and are not sure how to go about it. I hope it’s not too confusing or overwhelming. If you do have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments and I’ll try and address them if I can.
This isn’t really a typical tutorial but I think I will add it to my tutorials page just because of all of the recommendations in platforms and plugins. Thanks for reading, I hope you found it useful!
The Drax Files: World Makers, by Draxtor Depres, will be a monthly show on YouTube examining the creative people behind the avatars who continue to move the virtual world of Second Life forward with their passion and persistence.
Mixed reality interviews form the basis of very personal stories that profile designers, game-makers, role-players and fashion aficionados, musicians, artists and social-issue activists: for these dedicated residents the avatar is not just a separate pixelated entity, but a true extension of their identity with which they navigate the digital space.
The show will utilize real-life footage and Skype interviews as well as machinima from within Second Life and feature a range of creators from self-taught hobbyists to dedicated pros from all walks of life, from all over the world, cutting across gender, ethnic and generational divides.
This is a world solely made and nourished by its residents – therefore truly only their imagination can be the limit!
I had the honor of having a five second guest appearance on the first edition of The Drax Files World Makers. It is about the talented man behind the Straylight sim and Botanical store, Kriss Lehmann. You’ll also get a glimpse of his beautiful and talented wife, Shai Delacroix, whom he met in Second Life.
I couldn’t help sharing one of the pictures that Drax sent me. It is an outtake from when I was shooting my part with both him and Kriss. All three of us were cracking up on skype and saying goofy things to each other inworld so it popped up on the chat bubbles. Drax happened to catch Kriss at exactly the right moment in the shot below, LOL!
Look out for more episodes of The Drax Files coming soon. I think it’ll be a really eye opening and interesting series showing a positive side of Second Life and its talented residents. If you become a fan of the series, like I am, you can pick up some official show merchandise on the marketplace at this link.