Reflect on your experience: How would you describe your first steps? What were the technical issues, if any? What did you feel about the avatar you chose? What was orientation island like? Could you find help as needed? Where did you go? Did you speak to other avatars? What would improve the experience, if anything? What previous knowledge and skills helped you?
My first steps where of discovery and wary. I felt like on those video games where to get to the goal you're suppose to overcome some pitfalls, to figure out the correct button combination and to discover hidden prizes, ammunitions and goodies.
I must admit that my first steps where some of boredom (please don't get me wrong here). One has really big expectations towards SL (and all that 3D virtual paraphernalia), but after a few minutes in the (promised) land you don't find much to do other than wander around with not a clear purpose.
About my avatar, even though I didn't really chose it because, in my rush to create an account in SL, I manage not to see the corner where you choose one and then I end up we the default, I'm sort of identified with it and I've striven to set it up much as myself (short, native indian eyes and hair (black), big belly, etc.) so my avatar is a closed reflexion of myself in SL.
About the technicals, I have a small problem, the firewall at work (University) does not let me connect to SL, so my sessions at SL, so far had been at home. I'm trying to sort it out with the people responsible. No luck yet. They argue that the port where SL connects may open the door to all sort of demons (sapos y culebras in spanish) and I don't know if that is true (I'm not a computer geek so I can not argue much).
I didn't profit much about the Orientation Island maybe because I prefer to follow instructions (step 1, step 2, ...) than to wander around and discovering. Nonetheless, I could chat with other avatars (even in private sessions in parallel to bigger reunions), I got help when needed from other avatars (hair and clothing). I could fly, drive, .... I'm building high hopes on what I could do in the near future, just by seeing and listening to what other do and say they do in SL.
To improve the experience I would add to the Island a "robotic oracle" where you could go 24x7 with all your questions and limitations and get easy and quick answers.
About previous skills, I guess my kids would do much better "first steps" than me. Why? not precisely computer literacy (which I am) but rather computer (internet) culture and communication skills associated to it. Learn by doing and sharing. By setting up social networks to master new "worlds".