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Thursday, February 10, 2011

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JoJa Dhara

Great interview only miss one question

"Do you have a Lindenbear?"

Wish all the luck and see what the future holds. We just doing our best to make the 3 D internet shine on the other sites of the globe.

Loki

Nice words, although Kingdon said nice words at the start. In a years time i want to be able to look back and say "yes Humble improved my Second Life experience as a content creator and SIM owner."

Chestnut Rau

I like the words I am hearing but words are insufficient after all this time. I want to see sustained, concrete action.

"Acta, non verba"

Trella McMahon

It is most promising words flowing as long needed warm winds on a cold dead planet. But I can say customer service as well as knowledgable support is far from in place. I have the data on hand of on going cases never addressed 'yet', such as over charging & branding abuse as well as slander. The lab will not answer a question, then hold your creations hostage, they will even sale your work while you are blocked from doing anything about it, they will make a decision that can be very wrong & you have no way for them to hear the right side. You have to accept their decision, right or wrong & pay it 'before' they will ever reopen your creative door back to the grid. Onr door shut on one avie or a few means nothing for it is easy to keep what is done to them by the lab quiet. We're watching & hoping these new words actually hold future water.

Aquarius Paravane

Thanks for the mention, Hamlet. Re cloud rendering, bandwidth could be an issue with today's technology. I'd rather see a WebGL client - then it would run on anything with a browser and we wouldn't need to wait for mobile clients.

Arcadia Codesmith

"...point-and-click avatar movement..."

*facepalm*

No, no, no, BAD! Point and click is for 2D/isometric top-down games like The Sims with two axis of movement. WASD/arrow keys or mouse-based movement is for immersive environments with three axis of movement. 3000 meters up with no reference points, point and click means you ain't going nowhere.

If you want to develop it as an option and it doesn't take a lot of time away from more important priorities, go for it, but it should be an opt-in for 2D junkies, not the default.

While you're at it, build a full-fledged MMO-style interface for new users coming into SL from that side of the shop. We desperately need more cross-pollination between social worlds and game worlds.

Crap Mariner

That's a nice pizza he's tossing.
Almost got your mouth watering, does he?
Fresh ingredients, less cheese this time around.
Let's see if he delivers.

-ls/cm

Hitomi Tiponi

Just to point out (as I have done before) - Point-and-click' avatar movement has been available in SL for some time. In Viewer 2 you go to 'Move & View' in 'Preferences' and select 'Double Click To' and 'Autopilot'.

Despite you trying to slant it to your own agenda Hamlet I thought Rod answered the questions very well, and it gives me great confidence for the future now that he is in charge.

Flo2

On the contrary, with much disappointment I can see no real answers to the questions. (Especially to the question by Judi Newall.)
Mr. Humble speaks not like a CEO, but like a back-office manager. I was hoping for a new concept, a realistic fresh vision so badly, but customer support and lag-management is not a concept. :(

And personally I become more and more desperate because of this Facebook-maniac approach of things. Me, who are not on FB, and never will, will never understand those who want to share their RL details with the whole world. And vice versa, FB-fans, it seems, will never understand that I don't want to share my private ID, or want to be "tracked" easily. "Facebook integration" makes me to become an outcast.

Pathfinder

I wish you had asked him about the growth of Opensim and interconnected virtual worlds via Hypergrid.

Would be interesting to hear his thoughts about how he thinks SL fits in to a bigger picture of interconnected virtual worlds.

Rusalka Writer

Second Life— the only technology in the world that neither improves nor gets cheaper! Join today!

Adeon Writer

Great interview. But on cloud computing, I really don't see many people wanting to pay for SL cloud (its unfeasable as a free service) while SL on the web is great, facebook games are popular in part because they are free.

By the way, SL has a click to walk feature. No one knows this because no one uses it, no one uses it because it's a bad system for what most physically active avatars want to do in world. (which is pretty much everything besides walking in straight lines.)

Arcadia Codesmith

Stability, performance, and customer service may not be sexy and bold, but they're what will keep the platform afloat when ambitious initiatives crumble. Nothing improves "vision" quite like a rock-solid tower to gaze from.

Robustus Hax

Point and click interface! no!!!!! Don't turn SL into Blue Mars!!!! Everything is clickable in SL, I don't want or need my avatar walking over to everything I click on. Good grief.

Ananda

Okay, lovely, he's dashing everyone's hopes except Hamlet, who's the only person I've ever even heard of actually liking point-and-click.

This is not a 2.5D mmo! It's fully 3D and nearly everything in the environment is potentially interactive! Attempting point and click would be stupid, stupid. Mouse movement (holding the buttons down to move forward and steer) on the other hand, might be a good thing. It actually works in 3D, sort of.

Wizard Gynoid

that's no inspiring "I have a dream!" speech. i will just wait and see. glad to hear that Facebook won't be crammed down our throats. if that happened i would flat out up and leave.

Ciaran Laval

This Facebook obsession is getting silly, there's even a new plugin on the homepage now. Mr Humble talks of people being able to be who they want to be, getting immersed in roleplay, whilst the website is shoving Facebook down our throats left, right and centre.

Patti

he's got a really bad texture on that wall behind him, he needs a better builder...

Judi Newall

TY for asking the question, shame about the answer. The "magic of SL" comes from the content creators, I'm NOT one of them though! I have very talented friends in Madcow Cosmos & Lorin Tone and I do some 'gofering' & text for the incredible Madpeas, but I concede that LL prides a great engine for all users, when it works.

I'm with Robustus (& others) on the point & click, but he said it best "I don't want or need my avatar walking over to everything I click on. Good grief."

Hamlet Au

We had a discussion about point-and-click a couple years ago, and interestingly, the example I cited was the one that Rod Humble worked on: The Sims franchise:

http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2009/11/how-to-make-sl-mass-market.html

As Rod reminded me and my readers did back then, there already *is* a point-and-click feature in SL, it's just not very well implemented or exposed. But presumably that's what he means will be fixed soon.

Hamlet Au

Thanks for the correction, Judi, I've taken out "content creator".

Ann Otoole InSL

Why get hung up on adding one movement option? It isn't going to hurt anyone that doesn't use it.

I hope Rod does well with SL. He certainly has the right credentials for the job. Now we get to wait and see what happens over the next year or two.

Robustus Hax

I really don't see anything wrong with avatar movement in SL, in fact, the agility and ease of movement (when there isn't massive lag of course) gives SL a leg up over other virtual worlds where the avatar is clunky and walks in straight lines when you click on something. I hope a lot of resources won't be tied up in this sort of thing, I really don't think click to move works in this setting or is clamored for, but that is just my opinion.

Ordinal Malaprop

I quite like the idea of somebody coming in who _doesn't_ have some sort of master plan, and happily says "well I can't say right now what the best course is". Of course he doesn't. Nobody would. Anybody who said, at this stage, in an interview, that they had a detailed plan for SL would be immediately very suspect.

These references to "ease of use" worry me a little (the problems with SL are not the controls) but I have a feeling that they're being said on a quite general basis because, well, if one is new to something and being asked for a goal statement, "make it easier to use" is always something that sounds good.

No point and click movement by the way, for heaven's sake. We are not living in a Lucasarts adventure.

Toxic Menges

Point and click like The Sims is a bad idea in anything but the most noob flavoured viewer. I am sure as Mr Humble gets a grip on the culture and usability of SL, this will become evident.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I have railed against the SL name for a while as "tainted" (my term). But what if it's more than the name? A reaction in a class today showed me some visceral dislike among Millennials for anything with a degree of anonymity and "play."

I was going to post a looooooong reply here, but I'll leave that as a post over at my blog. Click over and flame on, if you wish.

Bettina Tizzy

Hey Mr. Humble, howdy and welcome to our pixels. There are as many opinions on how SL should be run as there are residents, but if there is one thing we all have in common it's that we are weary of empty promises.

This resident's thoughts:

I am TIRED of adding value to a platform that is run by a company that goes out of its way to dis-empower content creators, educators, NON-PROFITS, small businesses, etc., etc. One step forward, two steps back.

Word has it that the Lab is planning on removing megas as SL transitions to mesh. Oh, that's just dandy. I guess we won't be upgrading Chakryn http://www.flickr.com/photos/bettinatizzy/2887316754/after all. I'm not going to spend one more minute of my time, or one more of my REAL dollars if you are going to delete our creations. Leave the bloody megas alone.

Also, what Pathfinder said re: the Hypergrid! We're not East Berlin! Kindly TEAR DOWN THE WALLS.

Thank you.

RivenHomewood

When I first started in SL, I wanted point & click. This was partly because I was on a very slow computer and walking anyplace took forever. Especially since I was using the mouse and clicking arrows on the little movement window.

After a few months in SL, I learned how to use the arrow keys. coordinate them with the mouse, and allow for lag. I also got a much better computer. Movement got easy & intuitive,

On Blue Mars, I used point & click seriously for the first time. It was very frustrating. I kept clicking on an object and finding my avatar moving there. Meetings or events were a jumble of people bouncing all around and walking through you because they had clicked on something. I did not like it and longed for a fast enough computer to use arrow key movement effectively.

That said, there is certainly no harm in offering point and click movement as an option for new residents who are used to doing it. Just please don't foul up the current movement options for the rest of us. (In other words, please don't let any of the Viewer2 development team anywhere near this project.)

Judi Newall

TY Hamlet, I don't want to lay claim to talents I don't possess :)

Scarp Godenot

Just FYI everyone. Double click to Teleport is a VERY useful feature for moving around in SL. If you haven't enabled it, you should go in there and do it right now. Seriously.

It is FAR FAR better than double click to Autopilot, which walks you in a straight line to something.

ctrl P, Move and View, Double Click To, Teleport

Just sayin....

Monkey Aeon

Tickets that take MONTHS to respond to. Outsourced CSR's who give you useless rubber stamp responses. Vast amounts of mainland abandoned and estate owners selling up in droves.

The Customer Service in Sl would cause most companies to fold & Community Standards enforcement is non existent - yet you come up with "Facebook integration with a cloud-deployed version of SL with single point-and-click avatar movement."???????


Are you freaking kidding me?

2 of the LAST things anyone would want to see in SL.

Hottie Something

Welcome Rod. I love the Sims so I look forward to seeing what you have in store for us as far as the interface goes. (I am also a native Vancouverite so I have known several people who work for EA and I am not surprised you made the switch! LOL the people I know who work for LL are much happier on average than the people who worked for EA!)
I think a Facebook like avatar profile environment within the game itself would be very cool and I dare say your top priority should be fixing the group chats already (I pray to the great God Linden every night for that one!).
But as the owner of a moderately sized land business in SL (Segarra Estates) my top priority is of course land issues. We currently enjoy the benefits of paying $18,000 usd per month to LL in tier. But we dont yet have the benefits of some of the larger land dealers in that we cant get new sims at grandfathered rates. We have a very few old sims at the grandfathered rates but I would give that pricing up in a heart beat if we could just even the playing field for everyone and do away with "grandfathered rates" completely. There are plenty of other bones you can throw the land owners who you want to reward for having large estates. And contrary to what people might say it is possible to profit on a Homestead sim when your tier is $125 a month. We have 5 homesteads at that rate rented and in profit. But we only managed that because we have a fantastic reputation worth paying more for. Mostly we stay out of homesteads completely and when people ask us how much they cost we say "too much" and refer them to other land owners who have grandfathered rates. And so we lose business. Our goal is to double our business this year but we are just not seeing the growth we used to see before the changes to grandfathered sim policy. Some of the other businesses out there acs are basically able to offer land for less than our cost. Its getting harder and harder to compete with that.
Dont get me wrong, we are not going anywhere. Our customers love us and are very loyal. But we want to get new customers and its a lot harder if these big "Walmart" estates can charge less than our cost for their sims. LL should be careful not to put all their eggs in one basket, even if its a big basket lined with thick wads of cash! I urge you to encourage growth in all land dealers big and small.
I promise you if you level the playing field just a little, then when those millions of new customers come flooding in we will be ready!
Other than that we would love to see some changes in the long term in how the estate ownership is managed. Think in terms of a business owner like ourselves. If we want to get to the point where we pull back and let a manager run the business we want to be able to give them the keys to the office and the safe. So we want them to be able to manage sims in our name (more fully than just EMS as they are now), to buy and sell sims in our name, buy and sell lindens in our name etc. Of course there is inevitably some risk to this but if we kept control of cash outs separate from those things then the risk gets smaller--and like any business if we hire someone with those responsibilities we would have their personal info and decide whether to make those risks with that person or not. But do you understand where I am coming from on this?
Anyway I hope you read this and get a few insights into Estate Owner concerns :) We are planning a trip to SF possibly this summer to meet with our fav Linden and talk business...if you are so inclined you are welcome to join us and learn all our super cool secret business plans! LOL
Cheers
HS

Sera Lok

I hope Rod Humble is paying as much attention to the comments here as he was to the interview questions :)

Nice article, thanks. I have a good feeling about this guy. It's been awhile since I had good feelings about who is (or isn't) in charge at LL.

Linda Paine

the most important for me is the statement "I think people in a year’s time will want to come to Second Life because they know they can be who they want to be..." It's what SL make: Your World-Your Imagination. I hope, it's what Rod Humble mean.

Only the facebook blah makes me worry.

sirhc desantis

'point and click' sure publicise what is already there, if you must. totally pointless but still...and purlease drop all the FB crud - by the time LL gets its act together, not only will it be something that very few want it will already be outdated and (hopefully!) buried in its own inanity.

Overall, the guy seems to be doing it right. Everything else sat well with me.

smiles large

... [It’s also important to note that we are going to remove the “voting” feature in JIRA in one month. Today, we do not use voting to triage or to make product decisions and the last thing that we want to do is set false expectations. So, when you are interested in what action we will take on a particular JIRA, use the JIRA “Watch” feature so that you will be immediately updated in email when there are new comments on that particular JIRA issue. We will continue to use the number of Watchers as an indication of the level of interest.]

JUST NOW ON THE BLOG

http://bit.ly/fWhKSR

With the above, as announced today, Second Life as we know it is officially OVER.

Hitomi Tiponi

Please, please look at it in Viewer 2 Hamlet - and submit a JIRA if you think the way 'point-and-click' works or is exposed needs changing (and I would agree that the description 'Autopilot' is not very good).

That is, after all, the way ordinary residents do it (and I have had success doing this in the past) - who knows, you may even get some support for it. Bringing up minor UI changes while interviewing the CEO does not seem the best way to progress with this.

Danielle

Hamlet, how do you reconcile Second Life, where everyone has an alternate identity, with Facebook, which does not allow alternate identities?

How can you recommend a site whose privacy is so bad, the founder of the company has a stalker?

Adeon Writer

Danielle, I believe the point is not everyone who uses SL intends to have an alternate identity.

Hamlet himself for example, does not.

Sveid Heidenstam

The "best" first fix for SL? I'd say this is highly debatable considering how much in SL needs to be fixed.

Simply put, I'd say hiring a Creative Director or consultant would be a fine step. Someone who can explain to the lab exactly why issues such as SL's abysmal camera placement and poorly scaled and proportioned avatars are such a problem.

Next I'd see about hiring some social media experts to address SL's social networking woes. I'd argue that improving account profiles, group functionality and such would go far further than any sort of "Facebook integration".

Hamlet Au

Yes, Adeon. And in any case, it's totally possible to share Second Life content on Facebook without ever connecting your SL identity on it. The mistaken belief that Facebook and Second Life are mutually exclusive stems from the flawed assumption that you need to create an FB account for your avatar. You don't. (Though many have, and maintained them for years.)

Indigo Mertel

I am with Rusalka on this.

Rod, you really need to reconsider land prices. They are killing us. There is an abundance of abandoned land on Mainland because the cost of tier is too high. Alternative grids offer full sims at a fraction of the cost paid in SL.

Reducing tier costs may revitalize the land market, which means more land sold by LL.

Communities should receive incentives and land discounts. They usually control large areas, several sims wide, provide stability, organized content, improve the quality of SL experience for a large number of users.

Please, take this into account.

JR

I'd like Facebook and SL to stay on opposite sides of an iron fence made of tigers, but that's me.

I move in SL like I move on other video games, WASD or arrows; I'd think someone from EA would see the sense to that, but I guess not.

cobalt

Facebook integreation? Seriously, that's the first, best idea you had?

Not fixing the disastrous 2,0 interface? Not better shader integration? Not something the public are actually screaming for?

Facebook? No, never.

Never, ever.

DO NOT WANT.

...and Blue Mars had that click-and-move setup. It was terrible. I'd even go so far as to call it a joke. Clunky, cumbersome, and almost uncontrollable.

You wasted a golden opportunity. You had the man's ear and you filled it with drek.

Garmin Kawaguichi

At the press meeting on February 4, Rodvik said his avatar was not "a Roman senator", but "a Greek philosopher" :)
But this text is very interesting, because as said Loki: In a year I'd like to have the same positive opinion.!!!

Garmin

Ty Bombastic

What worries me is the apperent lack of understanding regarding such things as exsisting land/sim owner's issues and a "implied" dumbing down of the entire SL experience. Reading between the lines- expect a new viewer soon... Totally missing the target..

Doe Silverspar

I want to know if Rod is enjoying SL. Not the work, the world. Are you, Rod?

Katsii Tennen

If you've got this guy's ear, tell him to put back the discount for Non-profits - they are leaving in droves. Putting in teens and taking out libraries, schools, art galleries and musuems....hmmmm. If you have to raise their prices, do it gradually and ALOT of lead time so they can seek grant support for the change.

Latif Khalifa

I'm very disappointed to hear Rodvik agree with Hamlet on point and click Sims like navigation. I know Halmet's long term insistence of linking RL identities, linking to Facebook, etc. The features most active and paying users of SL not only don't want, but will actively be factor in reducing the number of paying customers.

But I thought that the times of Facebook envy were gone with M Linden and his crew. It gave us viewer 2 that took us out of the wonderful world and gave us Facebook like toasts, etc. The result: fewer people bother to login at all.

Now Hamlet wants to make SL into another Farmville clone on Facebook. I really don't know why he hates SL so much? Is it because his other project failed?

Abdul Lenroy

I can't comment much on this interview Hamlet, Rod Humble seems like a good CEO, but how can a CEO shine without a proper Team?
Take for example all of the succesful CEO's all around the world, Google's CEO is a good CEO because he has a good team backing him up.

Rod Humble sounds very interesting as a CEO, hopefully the Team behind him will be able to fix some of the main things in Second Life, like lagg. You can't always count on the CEO only, it's all of the team that is held accountable for.

Some of the problems I would like to be delt with?
The physics engine
The lagg
The sim crossing(hopefully a sim that is 1024 * 1024) Which in my opinion could reduce the lagg overall because we would need to cross sims less times which would require less power for the server.

Other then that, you should of asked him about Mesh and what kind of effects it will have for land

tree kyomoon

sorry, but uninspiring words from a boring guy. SL is a virtual world with some of the most diverse, intelligent, and talented people on earth roaming the virtual landscapes. Principal Skinner running the company will not inspire growth, vision, and imagination. It seems like the accountants are running the show now...always a bad sign. I wish Phillip was back. SL needs a charismatic visionary motivated by making the world a better place...not bottom line.

tree kyomoon

Don't get me wrong, a guy with his talents should be a part of the team and could contribute as head of "user experience" or accounting or something, but not CEO. The bar is much higher for CEO. SL needs a Steve Jobs, and I always thought Phillip was that guy.

Debs Butler (Debs Regent inSL)

An interesting perspective and certainly a new and different Captain at the helm. From this interview it would appear that Mr Humble perceives Second Life as a 'work in progress' or a journey in transit.

As Industry Guru Martin Butler said many years ago, technology has to be "faster, cheaper and easier" to achieve mass adoption. Will Rod Humble make Second Life faster, cheaper, and easier? I for one certainly hope so.

I hope it will be faster to use through a browser based interface, for the learning curve to be easier for new users, also for the platform to be cheaper for fee paying customers. Customers for whom the platform is free might not appreciate the massive cost commitment that 'landowners' make to Linden Lab.

With a product that is in one way ahead of its time and in another behind, Linden Lab needs a good hand at the helm. One that steers towards the far distant horizon with one eye permanently on the compass to ensure a safe passage and perfect navigation. Good speed and good weather to Rod.

I am sure we are all watching his progress with the good ship 'Second Life' and willing him to steer her (and us) towards a safe and prosperous harbor.

Hatter

"Customer Service they Deserve"

Awesome. Cause I have been locked out of my account for 2 months now. I called the support line, they told me to submit a ticket, so I did.

1 MONTH LATER! (no joke. 1 month 6 days to be exact) I got a reply, asking for all sorts of information. They might as well have asked for my mother's social security number and my dog's middle name. I replied with what they wanted.

A week after that, I got an email saying the ticket was closed due to failure to respond. Which is un-true.

So, I submitted another one. 1 Month ago, now. I am not exaggerating these dates one bit.

I have NEVER come across such pathetic customer service. I mean, I've seen bad customer service in the past, but this is just down right pathetic.

My account was closed, due to a screw up somewhere (not even sure where), with the payment for my premium account. I was under the impression that it was a F2P Game with a premium option plus RMT. Guess not, since it won't even let me log into my account on the website to resolve the issue.

Yeah bud, fix that "Customer Service". You can start by firing every person you have working in your "Customer Service" department. You can not honestly tell me that this kind of treatment is not pathetic. I don't care if I've put $0.50 into the game or $500 (which it's somewhere around that).

Jean-Marc Larroque (Newbab Zsigmond)

Rod Humble: “I think it’s a very innovative business model, and I think the idea of customers being able to develop profitable businesses with each other is really the secret sauce... When it comes to the land model itself, I think our job is to develop features which people use to develop. I wouldn’t want to radically change the model, because I understand the costs involved. I’d like to increase the value for people who use SL, land owners and everybody.”

How Linden Lab will consider all the work of communication to bring in new people provided by some companies or nonprofit organizations that will be too profitable to Second Life?

A new customer, a new visitor of these organizations is also a new user, customer of Second Life.

The current model is very innovative, indeed, the organization pay for a tool to attract an audience that is necessarily a customer of its furnisher, Linden Lab. Good deal for Linden Lab!

Is not this the point to start thinking about participation, for example in case of strong communication of these organizations, especially on the area outside the U.S., Linden Lab not having media plan international and for multiple business sectors?

Starr

I think the first thing that you should work on fixing before going to facebook is actually the customer service.

I think it is rediculous when you call into the 1800 # and can only discuss billing issues.

Submitting a ticket takes weeks to get answers from and sometimes it is so much easier to talk to someone verbally about a problem then it is to talk to them through an email based ticket submission.

Also too when you do have an issue that occurs it's sometimes a feeling of shoot first ask questions later. And then linden labs does not respond back. They do not see both sides of the story.

With technology now adays people could doctor any documentation to make another person look bad. As this has happened to a few of my friends.

I think they should have a court system in sl that allows both parties to go before a judge and appeal there case. But this is my personal opinion.

Rawst Berry

All of [this] makes reading very [difficult] and gives the impression of [putting words] into his mouth... Just [post the whole] damn interview.

Sveid Heidenstam

Hmm, I'd thought I'd posted last night on this topic. at any rate, I do hope Mr. Humnle brings some of this videogame design experience to SL. There are many areas where LL's lack of experience in developing entertaining, interactive virtual spaces has limited SL's development and success.

Yes, click to move at the expense of WASD movement would be terrible, but click to move in addition would be nice. Also, yes, SL could, and should, be easier to use. This can be accomplished without losing any of what makes SL great.

Details such as camera placement and scale, the quality of LL's own in-world locations such as Welcome Areas and Infohubs, these are all extremely important.

Calubious

In the Facebook TOS it requires your account is created by and for a real life person. A large amount of people who use SL like to keep it separate from RL. I have a fake Facebook page and i never use it, but i am breaking their rules. (with fake accounts allowed it opens the ability for advertisers to take over, with their spam, think Myspace). I doubt Facebook integration will even work with most SL communities. And as for point and click movement yes it is already in the viewer, and the way it is now , with normal key movement is how it should stay, point and click is just moving backwards. All I know is in my experience as a user of computers and software, anything worth doing takes learning and practice. If you make SL too easy , it will attract the wrong crowd, mostly people who crave instant gratification from a game.
P.S.
As for the name PLEASE CHANGE IT!
I feel like a loser telling people i spend so much time on a design platform creating things for a world called Second Life, as if my first one inst good enough or, I'm trying to get lost in a new life, I'm here to create, not to escape, just happens this platform is online and i can share it. Second Life is not a Game.


Oh and a final note, with this whole mesh thing, forget importing please please work with Autodesk and get an editable mesh INSIDE the world , i know you wont make as much money but , the whole process of designing since sculpties came out, its so tedious and takes more software and its a real pain in the ass just to make something simple come out clean inside of SL. Also take some hints from the phoenix viewer team, they have implemented so many good additions to the viewer that it is asinine that they arent in the normal viewer.

Betty Tureaud

The biggest problem in SL is the login system. Each time you try to log into SL you cross your fingers, is it now possible.

And what about this message you are now logget out and must wait to clock 0:0 Pacific timezone for a logg in again.

Thats not fun when you are kissing nice girl lol.

Point and click no way, but i like somtimes TP jump, but that only Phoenix Viewer who deliver that as far as I know.

Memphis Dancer

Can you try and do something about the object IMPORT EXPORT system.. I am a Solidworks and Rhino user and get to make some interesting things in 3d in RL as my day job.. I would like to be able to bring them in to SL.. but there isn't a way that I have found yet....

TigerLily Soulstar

NO point and click, NO FaceBook, these are really bad ideas.
Change is good, but not if it is only to make changes for the sake of making changes!

jason adams

Who can afford to buy a sim, pay the rents ( cable is cheaper) the world has had a financial melt down , SL does not seem to know ? hence thousands have left SL , would like to know the real figures

Chimera Cosmos aka Liz Dorland

Have to echo the others on "point and click" to move. I shuddered when I read it. It's one of the things I really hated in Blue Mars and Metaplace. That and the feeling of going from silo to silo rather than being in an integrated world. I don't get what Hamlet sees in point-and-click at all. Ugh.

Danielle

@ Hamlet - Your mistaken belief is I would ever create a Facebook account with any of my real life details, given how cavalier they are with people's privacy. It's alternate identity or nothing for me.

Nej Xue

Nice words, but I want to see results. Customer service for sim owners is awful for the most part: the tech issues don't really ever get fixed and the reps are rude on top of it. It is nice to see a Linden who actually goes in-world to, you know, be in the game every now and again. I suppose we shall see. Yah and scrap the Facebook thing and point/click is a bad idea, which is why i don't use it.

Ze Moo


Very interesting interview, thanks Hamlet. And welcome in SL Rodvik!

With Calubious I must agree here: Rebrand "SECOND LIFE"!

From the moment I rezzed in SL for the very first time about 4 years ago, I realized 'Second Life' is a very wrong brand name for this fantastic virtual world.


Especially when it comes to convince 'RL' friends, family, collegues & others to enter SL as well. For some close friends it took me years to convince to sign up this amazing communication & creation platform because "I don't need a second life, my first life is fine". But finally after months or even years 'lobbying' SL to them, some are very active contributers in SL now. I'm sure with a different brand name they would have signed up years before. Actually I probably would have signed up SL years earlier myself!

Ze Moo

Three main reasons why i.m.h.o. "Second Life" should be abandoned as a brand:

1. - MISCONCEPTIONS & PREJUDICES

The brand 'Second Life' doesn't do right to the medium very well, to say the least. This platform is not about ANOTHER 'life', but about extending/expanding/enriching existing forms of communication between people close & far away. This can be using old or new identities. Everything we do is part of REAL LIFE, including _real_ time spend in SL. With real information / real thoughts, real interactions / real experiences / real emotions / real game play, real art... and so on and on...

2. - STRONG DEFINITION OF OLD WORDS
It is a very bad idea to have a brandname consisting out of the very popular existing words 'SECOND' and 'LIFE'. Because these words often already have far to many associations and values for many people before they even hear of the metaverse 'Second Life' to have 'space' for a possible whole new definition.

3. - TWO-WORD BRAND?
It is a bad concept to have a brand name or product name consisting out of two words. Ideally it should be one word i.m.h.o. Or an acronym that becomes a popular 'word' in daily use, all with there own (international) value and image. Like for instance Mp3, IRC, MSN, RP, SMS, DVB, DVD, CD, TV, BBC, NBC, CNN, GM, AM, PM, FIAT, VW, IBM, NGO, IMC, KM, KLM, BP, CIA, FBI, NY, LA, UK, US, USA, UN, PR, IQ, BDSM, PG, and so on... And SL!

I.m.h.o. the word for a good brand name word should have almost no meaning when it is launched and it will gain it's own meaning among people. And hopefully even used as verbs in daily language (not only in english!). Some brilliant brand examples: Google/googling/googled, Skype/skyping/skyped, Twitter/tweets/tweeting/tweeted.


NEW 'LIFE'

My suggestions: Please stop using 'Second Life' as a brand. But simply use 'SL' as a brand. I love "SL": it is so short & simple. (no spelling issues, misconceptions or translation pains). It is a 'word' with no other meanings for most people and already gained very popular use over the years, not in the least with SL residents/customers.

Or even a completely new word! Frans Charming suggested more then 5 years ago: "Esselle". And I also have some cool suggestions for a new brand name. (but not publishing those yet)

This 'rebranding' could make way for a new refreshing era with all needed improvements in SL being encouraged, technically as well as socially and marketingwise.


Once I had the pleasure of meeting Mark Kingdon personally when he was Linden Lab's CEO. I also explained these views on the brand "Second Life" to him. He replyed something like: "Surveys have proved 'Second Life' a well known brand name". For not waisting this (historic) value I suggest naming a region or even a continent at the SL grid to be named: "Second Life"!

.)

Ze Moo

And Facebook integration? Please stay as independent from Facebook as possible!

http://my.secondlife.com/ze.moo is an improvement from the old SL profiles on the 2D web, but could still be much improved as a social networking site integrated with the 3D grid, especially for mobile use.
(Wish it was something like http://zemoo.*newbrand*.com)

Web 3.0: Rez we can!
.)

[Some free advice above for Rod Humble & the Linden Lab team, i'm hoping my limited english is making some sense... - /me points at his L$ tipjar and winks]
,)

Libby Farleigh

All I hope is Mr Humble doesn't think better customer service is just about getting through queues. It's about the *standard* of service the customers are receiving.

Point and click is useless in SL until our avatars can magically circumvent walls and obstacles on their own.

For me making SL better has nothing to do with Facebook integration or new movement techniques. Lag isn't even that much an issue, for me at least, these days. What needs to be done isn't about technology really at all. Make SL a place that rewards the people who input their creativity and money, make SL a place where newcomers are made to feel welcome (by, and I know this a strange concept, Linden Lab!), open up communication methods on a ground base level with Lab staff and pay attention to what long term residents have been telling LL for years about what is important to them. Those are the ways Mr Humble can make SL better.

SL doesn't need a CEO whose first priority is the technology of SL, SL needs a CEO whose first priority is the *people* who have made SL what it is today.

Ze Moo

Well said Libby! Yes, even unelected leaders should listen to The People...
,)

brinda allen

@Ciaran Laval:
"This Facebook obsession is getting silly, there's even a new plugin on the homepage now. Mr Humble talks of people being able to be who they want to be, getting immersed in roleplay, whilst the website is shoving Facebook down our throats left, right and centre."
It's not only getting silly...it's way beyond silly!

And jeeez.... PLEASE STOP ADDING STUFF...how about we fix what we have?

Lurchy

If Linden Lab improves customer service they are on a good way. I know many people that are frustrated with the poor customer support and some left SL because of that.

Dale Innis

"Facebook integration with a cloud-deployed version of SL with single point-and-click avatar movement."

Ewwww, zero for three! :) I suppose that's what makes horse races, but I have to wonder if these are things that you would actually like, or if you're speculating that some hypothetical Masses will be drawn into SL by them. These would be far, far, from the top of my list, either for myself, or for getting more people into SL. fwiw...

Sinead McMillan

customer service! since 300 lindens have been made redundant, these days around a week is a good length of time till a member of the remaining resi-team may show up.

"point-to-click"? leave it optional. double-click-teleporting is wonderfull but there's no need for a general bluemarsification of sl.

(btw, regarding hamlet's bias: very well spoken, Latif Khalifa!)

Vivienne Graves

"Facebook integration and a point and click interface."

Um, no.

The former is something a probable majority of long-term SLers probably don't want (unless they maintain a separate social networking identity for SL), for reasons that Rod Humble at least seems to understand (as evidenced by this from another interview):

It’s not unlike the persona I portray on Facebook I suppose. I mean, I’m very deliberate about what I post on Facebook. It’s a persona. I’m not sure it’s a construct, but it’s certainly an aspect of me.

Now, Second Life lets you really extend those dimensions, the ways you can show yourself.

I don’t want to get all geeky about it, but I sort of see this day coming when there’s a formalization of identity that happens. We haven’t had the tools before to formalize our broken up bits of identity.

See, there’s the me who goes to school meetings with my kids and that’s a very well established identity. And there’s the me who plays shooter games online and I don’t want those separate identities to mix up. It’s not appropriate.

As to point and click, in a 3d environment it's far inferior to mouse and keyboard navigation. The point and click movement in Blue Mars was one of the things I most loathed about it.

Allison

Why does the author of this blog seems to love Facebook and Blue Mars, and seem to often advocate making SL into an extended version of those two garbage heaps? SL needs to distinguish itself and embrace the entertainment aspect, and it does NOT need to be Facebook. It needs to be an ALTERNATIVE.

I hope Rod Linden avoids the Facebook advice like the plague.

NurseAJ Hotshot

my comment is that LL's had done so much advancing they forget there are poor people out there in the real world that can't get upgrades to their graphics cards and more to hold SL.. My advice is to drop some stuff down to where Any type of graphics card can hold SL there are friends i know they had to quit SL dew to they wasn't able to afford to get graphic's card to update their pc's i think that is a shame that the one game that they depended on to have a life they can't have in RL life for enstance someone that can't walk they can walk in SL and go places they aren't able to travel to in RL. now their dreams are crushed thanks to the so called updates and upgrades when it should be just left alone and re fix SL to be able to hold with any type of graphics card not just one type and above. More and more people i am hearing are quitting dew to the updates and upgrade that their pc's can no longer handle and my feelings tward this is everyone will soon stop using SL and the people of LL's will no longer have jobs anymore cause there is no one to play this game. Please rethink this out and the next upgrade needs to be a graphics card down grade back to when SL first started out. everyone could use SL back then why cut off someones dreams from them that is so sad. and so wrong.

Talvin Muircastle

The whole "We must integrate with Facebook" thing is evocative of the "Geek Social Fallacies" meme: http://www.plausiblydeniable.com/opinion/gsf.html

#4 and #5 seem especially to apply, here: Your friends in SL and your friends in RL--and your family, and your coworkers, and you know--EVERYBODY--simply must get together in one place and live happily together!

"Yes, Grandma, that woman with the name 'Kajira' over her head is my girlfriend. My boss wondered the same thing. So did a client that I friended. Nice, huh?"

Ann Otoole InSL

I hope Rod likes an empty grid and lack of income. The spyware epidemic has turned into a coordinated griefing operation intended to document all avatars and all alts in SL. They are placing spyware in every region on full sim scan. This is perhaps the largest coordinated griefing operation in SL history. And LL appears to support and promote it. No wonder the alternative grids are suddenly experiencing explosive growth as the legitimate people of SL abandon all hope after Rod said alt privacy was required and then proceeded to do nothing about the problem at all.

Ricco Saenz

It's interesting to compare the interviews that he's been giving. During his interview to Dusan Writer he actually answered your statement about "facebook integration with a cloud-deployed version of SL". On integration with Facebook, he said: "People don’t want other people to connect the dots from their avatar to their real life person [...]. People come to Second Life because they want a story [...] and we have an ethical obligation to protect that." And later he adds: "It’s not unlike the persona I portray on Facebook [...]. See, there’s the me who goes to school meetings with my kids [...] and there’s the me who plays shooter games online and I don’t want those separate identities to mix up. It’s not appropriate." On viewer discussions (which includes could-deployed SL), he said: "I’m way less interested in how we program viewers, although we can get into that stuff".

soror nishi

point and click....groan...
facebook.... facepalms....

What about improved building tools that, at least, match InWorldz, for a start.
Chat? and Search? I would have thought these would be the most popular first fixes, wouldn't you.

Cloud will be crap...sorry....

ColeMarie Soleil

Reduce land costs. Keep megas. Clean up the 2.0 viewer. Allow Profile Facebook connected options. Allow in world stable video chat for easy group conferences. Allow the linked prim distance to reach 256 m. Allow more than 250 linked prims for attachments. FINALLY fix and patch the enable animated particle textures JIRA.

Just sayin.

Doctor Shackleton

"Rod Humble went on to emphasize the magic of Second Life as a powerful retention force."

They are going to have depend on something a little more tangible than magic, I suspect.

Last week Linden Labs suspended my account without warning. I have invested a lot of time and money into SL and they won't even talk to me!

It's going to take a lot more than magic to convince me to spend one more $L in SL, especially since there are lots of virtual worlds out there now.

Cruxwork

Yes the lag problem and the customer service problems are hurting the experience of SL, what troubles me is the reference Facebook and SL as a game.

I hope Mark takes the time to understand the issues with lag, are systemic to the architecture and while improvements can be made, scaling SL up to millions of users will take vision, time and money to fix.

Some companies at this stage, either re-architect or go under.

I agree with Pathfinder, would have been nice to hear more about the interplay between the other virtual worlds.

Danaya Ellison

"How can we make interacting with a game enjoyable?’ We spent a lot of effort just making sure people can be pulled through the game. I think Second Life is almost the reverse... people who are quite comfortable with computers get totally frustrated [trying to use it.]”

This is so true. No matter how many years i have played SL and how much i think i know it always seems to frustrate me. I have played since i was thirteen and am proud to say that i am one of the few still active from that time period from the original TG

Marco Mugnatto

I found his posture very conservative, and I did not like it. I think we need a new player on the virtual world's market.

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