You've just started Second Life, or your wondering, "What can I do in Second Life?", or you're looking at all those other avatars out there and noticing their lips move, or people keep calling you a noob and it's hurting your feelings.
Lets get you some help.
First, check out some of the dictionary, which will explain those odd terms people keep using. If you run across a word you're not sure of, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. There's also basic skills webpage, which covers a lot of skills in video form. I strongly suggest traveling to Caledon's Starting area to run through the basics actively as well. If you want some perspective on building an avatar to realistic proportions, here is a good tutorial (and here are some free shapes) and here is a fantastic guide to creating an individualized avatar for yourself. Also, if you're having difficulties with lag, here's some changes you can make to fix that. If you can't see things well, check out this camera tutorial as well. If you've tried editing your avatar and most of the sliders don't work, than you might have a full mesh avatar and I'll be looking for a tutorial to help you as soon as I can.
There are many resources for getting things inexpensively or for free, because no one wants to be badly put together when they're out and about meeting new people, but buying Lindens your first time can be unnerving! One important note is that these are gifts that creators give to users, not entitlements. At no point should you contact a creator to complain about a free item, even if you don't personally like it. Sometimes delivery errors do occur; remember if one does that it is not the fault of the creator. Check the creator's profile for contact information (some creators have store managers), then send a polite notecard or instant message to them explaining the error that occurred. Some creators will provide customer service for free items, but others won't; if they don't, then just accept it philosophically and move on.
Now, onto the goodies (and man, a lot of them are goodies!).
One major resource is a list of links under "freebies and cheapies" on my main blog. These are people who collect and share free and cheap resources, and I often draw from them to decide where I'm spending my time. Some of the things listed are time sensitive, and you'll also run into mentions of "mobvends" and "hunts" there.
Mobvends are boards which register the amount of people around and drop their prices accordingly. I'm not listing mobvends because a critical part of them is being able to mobilize a lot of other people, which is usually done through groups.
Hunts are organized events where a single store, several stores on a sim, or a variety of stores across the grid hide a similar/identical object in their stores. Some store owners become positively sadistic in their hiding spots, while others tend to place them within easy view. Hunts are a more challenging thing, and if you're new to Second Life I'd recommend you give them a pass unless you have a high level of tolerance for frustration!
Free/Cheap Item Lists:
Just-Rezzed (usually under 30 days) Gifts Info and List
Midnight Mania Info and List
In Store Gift Info and List
Lucky Chair Info and List
Group Gifts by Elysium Hynes
Posts I Made that I Think Are Helpful:
ICHP: Anatomy of a Blogpost: Part One
ICHP: Anatomy of a Blogpost: Part Two
ICHP: Anatomy of a Blogpost: Part Three
Groups, Groups everywhere and not the Space to Think: Analysis of Groups in Second Life
Inventory Organization Tutorial - Making Folders
Inventory Organization Tutorial - Day to Day Maintenance
Ratio Photography in Firestorm
Field of View and You
Helpful and Newbie Friendly Sims in Second Life:
B.A.Ks Freebie Store ~Newbie Center
Helpful Outside Links:
EverrAfter Resident has some wonderful tutorials on the basics.
Thinkerer Melville's new player information
Across the Grid with Lindal Kidd (Basic information about things like editing your shape and how prim and system clothing work)
Newbie Blogger Information Forum (Posts about techniques to beginning as a blogger)
Tips and Tricks (Additional information in Second Life)
Second Life Wiki
Inventoil Made Easier (An inventory management trick)
OhMai's Inventory Made Visual Tutorial