Musings - One By One
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A regular column by Hyper Anthony concerning current events. This week's musing is about helping new users learn how to build.


Disillusion is an easy concept to embrace in the Active Worlds Universe. At the time of this writing the current user count is 105, which is a far cry from years past where many more hundreds of users populated the worlds. Recalling the enchantment we, or at least, I had -- the first days learning the intricacies of the browser -- it's rare for me to still have such a good time in the universe today as I did many years ago when I first arrived. However, that certainly mean it still can't happen with new users, and that subject is something that spun a fun session for me yesterday evening.

The circumstance was casual enough. I was building in SW City as is my status quo -- SW Comit had been working up a storm and introducing some new concepts about SW City Interactive that a group of us got really excited about. At about that time a tourist named "cobres a" showed up on the Alphaworld Global Chat. "Who wants to help me in build?"

Simple enough, although in my experience such a statement usually goes unnoticed or ignored. After thinking for a moment and finding myself with nothing better to do, I opted to join him. I was all the better for it. We spent an hour building near each other and I showed him some techniques for building in the house I built and answered some of his questions. He was especially impressed with v4 particle water. It was a fun hour and I was happy to build there with him, introducing him to organizations such as AWSchool and the SW City Builder's Academy before we finished.

Following that experience I went to bed, and I couldn't help but begin wondering. What if I did that everyday? If I spent some of my AW time every day helping some tourist, how many of them would be more likely to stay on board because of my influence? It's important to keep events like this in mind, because in these days in our universe is it so easy to become disillusioned -- the dwindling numbers are very daunting. Despite that, by sharing your experience with a new user you help expand and encourage the user base. Once disillusioned, many stop doing their part because they fail to see the point anymore.

From this disillusion, grumbling arises. A lot of people complain -- and with some justification -- that AWI doesn't do their part to promote the universe. It's important that even if that is the case, we don't follow suit and not do our part. We as individual users or organizations might not have the same reach that a legitimate marketing campaign might, but by doing our part to help the new tourists and citizens, we can keep the things we all enjoy about the universe continuing through a new generation.
And after that thought arose, it would only be a convenient happenstance that I would find myself in AWGate this afternoon and find another tourist wanting to build. "Zoebunny" in AWGate was very enthusiastic in wanting to learn how to build, and asked us in the Gate to go with her to AWSchool. I followed her and so did Vera, a Senior Teacher of the world. Vera's teaching Zoe in AWSchool as I'm writing this and I can only wonder what having two people wanting to help teach you how to build must be like! It's certainly rewarding on my end to know that I'm helping someone. I'm not even formally involved with any sort of official teaching group. These are the sorts of things that you can do individually, and taking advantage of the excellent infrastructure that places like AWNewbie, AWSchool, or the SW City Builder's Academy provide can only further to help your experience teaching new users, and their experience learning about the browser.

With that said, I'm going to challenge you all today. When you find yourself bored with your projects, why not hit up the Gate? Sit there and wait for someone looking for building help, and then escort them off to build -- they may never leave the gate otherwise! Take them to other worlds -- show them AWSchool or Alphaworld. Apply for a teaching role with AWSchool. One by one, each new user that receives help from us as a community will benefit us, and that's surely a worthwhile thing.

Hyper Anthony is a Community Leader and Staff in SW City.

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