As promised I wanted to share what we're doing on ALA Island to inform our visitors as well as inform ourselves about our visitors! The most obvious need an island with our "open" design needs is a teleportation systems and our SJSU team recommended using the Punky Nerd Productions teleporter system. It took some "practice" getting all the teleport buttons (green balls you see on the accompanying screenshot) to stay at those locations, but this is a relatively easy system to set up and remains reliable now after months of use.
For presentations, we used the Clever Zebra (CZ) presenter, which works similarly to a laptop using Powerpoint. It's a free product that would be worth paying considerable amounts! You export a PPT slideshow to JPG files that are automatically numbered. Upload them to SL (so there is a cost involved!) and then load them into the Content folder of the CZ laptop (right click on it and use Edit, then the Content tab). The "laptop" automatically projects to a screen that is part of the package and there you have it. Buttons on the laptop let you control the slides.
Another neat presentation gadget is the metaLab Whiteboard (see my photo gallery for more screenshots of island devices), which is given away free to nonprofit organizations (although there's nothing preventing you from making a donation to the creator!). The Whiteboard allows collaborative work by avatars at the station we've set up on the island. Along with video monitors and url-dispensing Web monitors created by Bucky Barkley, we feel we've covered a lot of the needs for making information about our organizations' many units available to visitors.
We use a half-dozen strategically placed kiosks created by MechanizedLife to provide visitors information about events going on all over the island. The kiosks can provide daily, weekly, or biweekly listings on events. The kiosks are fed by a Google calendar that ALA staff can access and program, so no one needs to own the kiosk or visit it to update it! It comes in three different sizes for the same price and is copiable. And you can name various copies and thereby give them different Google calendar feeds. I was lucky to discover that our ALA logo texture made a great replacement for the kiosk's attractive texture. I can't guarantee you the same experience but make a copy and experiment with textures. I also use a personal CogHUD that provides me the ability to program my Google calendar from inworld.
But how about tracking visitors? How do we measure how we're doing? MechanizedLife again provides a very nice product called the StatsCollector that allows you to place an invisible prim on a location where you expect traffic. It works either via collision or sensor mode (I'd recommend sensor settings). When it rezzes, it gives you a feed address that you can customize for your use. This is where giving you the url will tell you more about the product than my poor writing skills can possibly achieve: our main landing hub.
If you resolve the feed, you get a Web site that allows you to see a listing of all visitors for the past 30 days along with their SL profile information. Choosing advanced statistics provides graphical information about visits by day of the week, hour, age per month, payment status, and so on. I like being able to compare up to four different feeds. Most important because you can only track the last thirty days of visits is the ability to export the data to Excel format and save your data. Over the past few months, it seems like creator Alidar Moxie has been updating the features of this product regularly, making it more friendly and adding great new features.