So.. you’re new around here. You’ve just been dropped into some sim with a bunch of other new people.. and you have no idea what to do, where to go, or who to ask for help.

The first things you probably want to know are: What is there to do around here? What do I need to do to look better, and why do I walk like a duck? Those questions are usually closely followed by: How do I make money?

There are several helpful groups in SL, some are even solely dedicated to helping people get started in a virtual world. There are also a couple of excellent places to get started with learning how to make the most of Second Life. If you get stuck, and need a question answered, there are usually helpful folks at these places who are more than happy to answer your questions.
Ivory Tower of Primitives:  http://secondlife.com/destination/ivory-tower-library-of-primatives
Caledon Oxbridge University:  http://www.caledonoxbridge.org/
Builder’s Brewery:  http://buildersbrewery.com/

To begin to answer some of those questions, look at the tutorials section on this page. The tutorials listed are some of the best I’ve seen, and have helped me along my way. I have them categorised by subject matter. If a particular blog covers more than one topic, it will be included under more than one category here.

Happy reading!

CREATING AND EDITING OBJECTS
Second Life is a wonderful platform for you to try your hand at creating content in a virtual world. There are a lot of tutorials out there on making everything from clothing to furniture to wonderfully interactive art installations.

Brandy Darkrose’s Blog
Mermaid Diaries

CLOTHING CREATION

Designs by Piper Shan
Mistress of Design
INDI Designs Basic Tutorials

There are many useful You Tube videos demonstrating clothing creation.

Whether you take photos in SL and want to edit them a bit or want to put a pretty texture on a prim, you’ll need a graphics program. I recommend using Gimp for the creation of  SL graphics. Gimp is an open source program available here. It will do pretty much anything photoshop will do if you’re a beginner to computer graphics creation. As you advance in skill you’ll find other good open source graphics programs.

There are a ton of Gimp tutorials out there, just google “gimp” to find more than you’ll ever need. be advised that most SL tutorials are written for Photoshop. As you gain experience with Gimp, you’ll be able to follow Photoshop tutorials more easily using Gimp.
Pick up Gimp here:  http://www.gimp.org/

If you’re interested in creating mesh items in Second Life you will have to take a Second Life crash course offered by Linden Labs. There is no way around it. You will also have to have payment information on file with Linden Labs. For a free graphics program with which you can create mesh products, I recommend Blender. It’s effective and it’s free.
Pick up Blender here:  http://www.blender.org/

PHOTO TIPS
Bryn There, Done That

PLACES TO AVOID
Second Life is a huge community, and like and large city, there are definitely places you want to avoid. This list includes my personal preferences, this doesn’t mean that they are wrong for you. However, my experience in Second Life has taught me that there are venues that attract the kinds of people who take advantage of other people, who’s goal is only to take from the community, and who tend to make new accounts and hide behind a variety of avatars in an attempt to game the system.
In short avoid:
Places with VooDoo-SL ‘sploders
Your privacy is compromised, and you risk being banned from a variety of sims and businesses. VooDoo-SL has a history of false positives in bot and alt identification, unfortunately they don’t share this fact with businesses that use their products.
Adult sims that emphasize porn
Again, you risk your privacy being compromised in the worst way. Be careful who you choose to “tango” with. Linden Labs started permitting children onto the adult grid a few years ago, and that gorgeous avatar that seems to be an absolutely amazing 25 year old male/female may just be a 14 year old child.
Shops that sell stolen goods
You risk being banned from SL, and the goods may be taken from your inventory by Linden Labs without a refund. If you see a skin you love, and it’s 900L$, then you find the same skin selling for 100L$ in a different shop, it might just be stolen. When in doubt, ask the designer of the item in question.
Additionally..
Be very careful about going to external links sent in world that require you to input some kind of information. Some of these links may masquearade as the Second Life website, and when you input your name/password, your account will be stolen. There is moderate amount of fraud in Second Life because Linden dollars can be traded for real life money. Be smart, and safeguard your account! The link to your Second Life account can be found under the first tab at the upper left hand corner of your window when you are logged in to Second Life. Linden Lab staff will never ask for your password in world.