Staying on top of metaverse news and developments is hard. And getting help when you need it can be even harder. Fortunately, there are several online communities where OpenSim users share information and advice. Join in, ask away, and help out when you can.
OpenSim Virtual and other communities on Google Plus
OpenSim Virtual has rapidly become the go-to place for discussions about OpenSim, with 605 members.
Lots of discussions going on here. People post links to useful articles, share content, post event announcements and special offers, and ask for advice.
It’s a friendly, open and welcoming community.
Other useful Google Plus communities include Second Life and other Virtual Worlds, with 496 members, Virtual Outworlding with Thinkerer, with 230 likes, Virtual Identity, with 210 members, Virtual Pedagogy, with 209 members, Arts in Virtual Worlds, with 177 members, All The Worlds, with 85 members, OpenSim Bloggers, with 82 members, the Arcadia Asylum All Around, with 53 members, Opinion Outpost, with 40 members, AviWorlds Grid, with 39 members, Selea’s World, with 34 members, AuroraSim/WhiteCoreSim with 34 members, The Next Reality Grid, with 32 members, OpenSim Medieval Roleplay, with 14 members, and Craft World, with 10 members.
You can also follow the Google Plus Hypergrid Business page.
A few sites have come and gone, trying to become the central meeting place for OpenSim users.
For content sharing, OpenSim Creations is the number one destination, with a wide variety of content, a large number of contributors, and an instant chat function. (They also have an active Google Plus page with 86 members.)
OpenSim City is still active, with a forum, a place to share content, personal blogs, and a multi-grid events calendar.
A newcomer in this space is OpenSim Users, from the same folks who brought you OpenSim Creations. Since it’s new, there isn’t much material here yet, but if you’re looking for places to post press releases and event announcements it wouldn’t hurt to add this site to your distribution list.
Many of the larger grids, both commercial and non-profit, have forums or discussion boards on their websites. These forums are often excellent resources for events, content, and advice.
The OSgrid forums are the most comprehensive, and a great resource for any OpenSim user, including those on other grids and running private grids and regions. It’s very active, with event announcements, technical discussions, building and scripting help, tutorials, viewers, and more.
Mailing lists, Twitter and IRC groups
And, for educators, the SLED mailing list is a must, and people discuss both Second Life and OpenSim. You can sign up for SLED here. A more OpenSim-focused list is the Opensim Educators Mailing List, with 26 members. You can sign up for it here.
And when I first tried to set up my own mini-grid, the IRC chat rooms were a great, fast place to find help — if people are around. You might need to check in a few times, however, to find a time when there are people on who can help. The OpenSim IRC channel is here. The OSgrid IRC channel is here.
Many grids and individual OpenSim users also have Twitter accounts — too many to list them all! However, for your convenience, you can check out my Virtual Worlds Twitter list which follows 449 people and companies. You can follow individual accounts on this list, or just follow the entire list — it currently has 109 subscribers. A slightly more narrowly-focused list, of just OpenSim grid accounts, is my OpenSim Grids Twitter list, which covers 75 grids and has 14 subscribers.
There are several large groups on Facebook where people discuss virtual environments and related issues.
Singularity Network, with 10,247 members, is a closed group that you have to ask to join.
Virtual Worlds, with 5,126 members, is an open group, that covers Second Life and beyond. Virtual Worlds Association covers Second Life, OpenSim and the hypergrid, with 824 members. And there’s another group also called Virtual Worlds, with 444 members.
More OpenSim-specific, there’s New OpenSim, with 593 members, Open Simulator, with 185 members, Opensim Standalone & Co., with 162 members, and OpenSim News is also pretty active, with several recent announcements and 125 members.
Other groups include Virtual Worlds – Best Practices in Education, with 1,525 members, Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable, with 1,081 members, Immersive Worlds Plus, with 1,280 members, and Virtual Reality, with 482 members, which seems to have started out as just a group for Virtual Reality Grid members but has grown to encompass a wider array of people. There’s also Immersive World Education Outreach, with 468 members, Virtual World Educators, with 310 members, and Federal Virtual Worlds Challenge, with 114 members,
Facebook is also a popular place for grids to post news and event announcements, since more people check their Facebook feed than visit a grid’s home page.
Grids either have groups with members or pages that people can like — including InWorldz Creators & Builders, with 1,840 members, Avination, with 450 members, Another World, with 389 likes, Logicamp, with 367 likes, Kitely, with 252 likes, Everything about InWorldz, with 215 members, Craft Grid, with 182 members, OSGrid, with 166 members, InWorldz.com, with 164 members, the Unofficial InWorldz Advertising Group, with 151 members, Island Oasis LLC, with 136 likes, 3rd Rock Grid, with 109 members, VIBE, with 92 members, AviWorlds - Brasil, with 91 members, GermanGrid, with 90 members, Metropolis Opensimgrid, with 65 likes, FrancoGrid, with 61 members, Virtual Worlds Grid, with 50 members, Avination Live Music, with 33 members, and Littlefield Grid, with 16 likes.
For the more professionally inclined, LinkedIn also offers some resources and professional networking opportunities for OpenSim users.
You should also check out the LinkedIn pages for Virtual Worlds, with 4,134 members, Virtual World Professional Networkers, with 1,595 members, Virtual Worlds Roadmap, with 915 members, Virtual Currency, with 872 members, Serious Games and Virtual Worlds, with 802 members, 3D Serious Games and Simulations For Training, with 730 members, OpenSimulator, with 506 members, the OpenMetaverse Foundation, with 147 members, Kitely, with 42 followers, the MOSES grid, with 68 members, and OpenSIM – Virtual Worlds, with 9 members.
There’s also the Hypergrid Business LinkedIn page, with 177 followers.
Are any communities missing? Please add them in the comments!