Ever since I could recall, I enjoyed the possibility of helping out in Second Life as a volunteer. When I applied though, times were tumultous - the programme was undergoing a revamp, the full effects of which weren't obvious then, and even now. I'd heard horror stories about how the average volunteer could expect to wait several months on top of their usual required SL experience before they could tag up and join the legions of Mentors and Live Help. I was very surprised when a whole month of intensive 8 hour days in SL turned into a invite to join in late January.
There are others who have helped longer than me. Hell, there are people who are more passionate than me (yes, you there in the back row, stop laughing on the latter). It has been a swell 2 to three months. I've made my mistakes, but out of little more than misguided stupidity or unawareness about the way things work in any world.
As I type this, SL is beginning to wind down Help Request in world. In its place will come a structure that follows the simplest and yet hardiest of mantras any metaversal explorer could have, whether it is mere HTML or all-singing, all dancing primmage:
There have been postings on the forums and in the offiical blog about the changes to be wrought: a gradual shift from Linden Labs as a mere San Franciso startup/upstart to a full 24/7 service on most, if not all, matters, the reworking of pull channels for knowledge such as the Knowledge Base and SL wiki, the introduction of a actual 'system is down' report to alert gridmonkeys more directly to unwanted griddeath.
And the usual 'the end is nigh' BS. I need to reiterate this since it seems to have gotten lost despite repeats:
Live Help is not going away totally.
Blue Linden has noted in meetings about this sea change in how we help Residents make sense of Agni that there will always be room for people to help each other, and the death of Help Request is not going to mean he becomes less busy. Far from it - one of the new priorities in SL now is to find ways to help Residents help each other better, to help themselves better. I fail to see exactly how that is a bad thing.
Well, maybe I do... I for one am going to miss dispensing advice and sweetness (and the occasional foambatting) to people who need it, anywhere within SL's 70,000+ regions.
I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Ahhboxes self-replicating in sandboxes like rabbits on heat. I've watched Lindens bling in the sunlight near the Tenera Train Station. All those moments will be lost in time, like cache losses on crashing regions. Time to concentrate on Real Life for a while.
I'll see you guys on the other side. Don't forget to send me a private IM when I'm on if you need help, okay?