Over the past years I’ve often thought about posting a “best practices” guide for writing group notices in SL, but didn’t have a good place to put one. Now that we have a wiki there’s a space for it! I thought I could outline some thoughts here, and then move them to a wiki later when they are more organized.
If your notice references an event, include the calendar date, and SLT hour in the title.
Second Life’s group notice delivery mechanism can be very fickle. Sometimes you might receive, or be aware of a notice until some time has passed since it was originally sent. For this reason it’s important to figure out if that interesting event already happened yesterday, the day before, or is happening right now. Help your readers find out if the events applies to them right now.
If you include a notecard, summarize it as much as possible in the group notice text.
A lot of people receive group notices from Second Life forwarded to their email. When you get an email-forwarded group notice, it only shows you the text description of the group notice, it does NOT show any attached notecards. So if you don’t summarize your group notice properly it will be received like this:
Group Notice From : myCoolGroup Subject: Hey guys, read this! <notecard attached>
This is a waste of everyone’s time. Don’t do this to your group members! Always summarize your notecards into the group notice description, so email forwards will be useful.
Explain why the notice is important to the group it’s posted in
Some people (you know who they are!) will copy the same notice verbatim without changes to a number of different groups. This can be a little rude. Always explain why the notice is important to the people specifically from that group. Recognize that the uniqueness of the group you’re posting in.
Archive your notices outside of SL, and put the link in your group description.
SL will delete your group notices after 15-30 days. If you want to keep a better record of them (and you should!) also post them to some other external account, such as twitter, blogger, facebook, your own website, and make sure that the people in your group know where to find this info. People trying to research or keep up with what your group has been doing the past months will thank you!
Happy Group Notice Posting,