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Friday, December 23, 2011

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Ann Otoole InSL

LL is using the money we pay for SL to do things we never asked for. And to make matters worse LL's Oz Linden appears to support the stupid idea we should pay LL to work on non SL stuff and also pay fired LL devs to fix LL's defective programming. /me shakes head

Skylar Smythe

YAY!!!

Completely agree with you Hamlet! With all the success and rapid growth of gamified communities it makes perfect sense for them to diversify and then feed into the central community.

I see Linden Lab recruiting new users with simplified games. Creating advanced users by familiarity with both Linden Lab and with the concept of avatar identity and 3D social networking... Those advanced users (a percentage of them) will look for the next level of interaction or recognize other potential for commerce in Second Life.

We know why retention is low in SL. It's a complex game (I know... I used the bad word) but in comparison to other digital environments it is. And it requires an investment of time to become engaged with not just the user features of the grid, but the community (or interest groups).

If they are to be entry level gaming worlds... it will be something like Linden Lab nurturing new users on easy plaforms first, and enabling their migration to the more complex grid of Second Life.

YAY! YAY! YAY!...

Did I mention YAY?

Skylar

Tateru Nino

I'm sure the plural form 'products' was used at SLCC.

Nanu

it was in the air...

option 1: make SL mass-market-able (which would mean to completely change its architecture and lose its current users).
option 2: keep SL as a niche with low attention at the side as long as it still earns some money and concentrate on new products.

option 2 won !!! SL is officially a niche now !!!

Ann Otoole InSL

I suspect skylar will be bummed out when LL turns SL off, tells the SL residents to go be "misfits" in some other world, and to go to hell, and focuses on childish 2.5D facebook games. But tablets are the future so kiss your delectable looking avatars and immersive worlds goodbye. Money is all Kapor and Gurley care about. Not sl residents. We do not matter. Never did actually.

shockwave yareach

@ann - I heard people predict the end of the desktop in the mid 90s when laptops first came out. I also heard people predict the end of the desktop when the PDAs came out. Then when the smartphones came out. Then when the tablets came out...

Surprise!! Go to any Frys and you'll see that 2/3 of the computers for sale are STILL desktops! The death of the desktop has been predicted for almost 2 decades and they haven't been right once. They never will, for the same reason people still have ovens while they own microwaves and still own big SUVs and little compact cars as well -- we do some stuff with one and other stuff with the other.

Metacam Oh

I wish Rodvik was hired a few years ago, he is really doing some good things. Emphasis on customer service, the new gaming functions and features to enable us to create more stuff, is dead on target for what needs to be done, I just hope it is not too late.

I do agree about the non related SL products, with them leaving features like Mesh broken and having the customers pay someone to fix it. However if it does lead them to a new source of revenue so that they can allow for the customers to host their own servers and end this ridiculous closed garden nonsense where landowners are paying the price it costs to lease a car for 1/8th of server rental.

Inara Pey

Actually, and without nit-picking.

Rodvik actually used the term "productS" (plural) at SLCC-2011. His exact words were:

“You are going to see Linden Lab working on other products as well as Second Life,”

Ergo, no real surprise that he again uses the plural in his blog :).

Jack Pitts

Well there goes the neighborhood.

They need to simply fix the product that got them here. SL is broken has been broken and will continue to be broken until they get their heads out of their asses and realize it's broken.

I mean when people logon and see nothing but water because the viewer chooses not to render the rest of the world. There is something wrong. When voice randomly doesn't work without having to relog. There is something wrong. I can list a million things. 90% of which have existed for years. Does anyone fix them ... Nope. We just sit and hope and grumble about them.

If they want the user base to grow the simple solution to that is LOWER THE PRICES! then you'll see it grow. 295.00 per month for private regions w/ 1000.00 setup fee is just unrealistic, to expect continued growth.

I guarantee you if they lowered the prices. People would flock. Existing people would buy more. But to expect people to keep paying a car payment for virtual land is just nuts.

Ann Otoole InSL

@shockwave what is "frys"? The bestbuys here are minimizing desktops (and associated components) and mainly carrying ipads. The desktop era is over. So are heavy graphics video games.

You will like 2.5D or will be ousted as worthless to the corporate borg.

DD Ra

I would like to be as enthusiastic as Hamlet, but my opinion is more akin to Miss Ann Otoole's.
Let's hope the progress announced by Rodvik will take place and the Lindens will continue working on SL and, as much as possible, with the residents.

Serious Starsider

I see a lot of organizations, including my own, that did RL work in SL moving to the OSGrid or some Unity based environment. So soon enough I think that will really catch on and you will see a migration from SL that leaves behind SL for entertainment only. That's it's big feature now. They drove the nonprofits out with huge fee increases. SL has all the people and all the content but if OSGrid catches on you will see a massive migration. I run my own two island sim on a home server for absolutely free. So Linden really is making the right move here I think, they have to try something else.

Josain Zsun

How are they going to support more product(s), if their SL programmers can barely keep up with bugs introduced/re-enabled with their occassional client updates and their "Technical Support" has yet to learn what the industry standards are for Customer Services?

shockwave yareach

@Serious - I spearheaded an approach where we were going to simulate assembly in a fake hanger in SL to get the documentation correct before the prototype stage, saving millions of dollars and half a year of development. However, LL's bait-and-switch actions caused me and my company to abandon the idea and we chose to make small 3d plastic models on a Makebot instead. We did this because we could not do business with a company that wouldn't stick to a contract and repeatedly unilaterally changed them.

And it'll be a cold day in hades before we consider ANY product by LL for anything we do. The company cannot be trusted to stick with a contract -- how can we do business with someone proven to break contracts with their clients whenever the mood strikes them?

Paradox Olbers

"For landowners, existing land tier pricing will not go up in 2012." - Rodvik
At last, a stable tier policy for a year, not the 68 hours notice given in November 2006 of a 50% increase in tier (hastily changed to 15 days notice)!!! Or the 100% increase in educational regions' tier by ending the educational 50% discount in late summer 2010, *after* most universities had set their academic year budgets. Or the 'void islands'/low-prim abrupt changes in between.

Avs who depend on land for their economic model are more likely to stay now.

-Paradox Olbers

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Even though I recently returned a project to SL, I've got my Plan B in place still. So it's time to pop some popcorn and watch.

Whatever happens, a chapter in the history of the Internet is about to get a new and interesting twist. I agree 100% with Hamlet that the land-sales/tier-based model proved to be a mistaken turn. To be fair to LL, back in the utopia-now days of Philip, we all drank some of that Kool-Aid.

Hope you are taking notes for that next book, Mr. Au.

shockwave yareach

@ignatious - I actually think that paying for the area I call "mine" is a good approach. I need more area for my mazes and games, so I should have to pay more. Where I think the problems are: 1, the price is too high and has not come down over time like the hardware and "premium service" warrant. 2, the price should be a flat rate per square meter. Not this ridiculous leveling system where adding a single m^2 to the 8K parcel costs the same as doubling it.

I personally don't have an issue with paying for land except it's too expensive, not logically priced, and while server performance is 32 times greater since 2003, the sims have the same bugs and limitations we had almost a decade ago. For such large fees, I expect far better performance than SL delivers.

Dizzy Banjo

this is great!
Im excited about a fresh wave of innovation that could flow though Linden which would benefit SL too :) Look forward to what these projects could be..

MIstletoe

Clive's sake, how much mileage are you going to get out of that photo?

rikomatic

Color me curious about what these new "Products" look like.

Jjccc

Rodvik this is what you do, now listen carefully as this will make you alot of money. Develop multi stack sim environments to make 100,000 seater stadium's in second life, imagine having a super group like u2 or Duran Duran wanting to do a gig in second life to that many people all at the same time and streamed out as well one gig could be watched by millions of people world wide, are you seeing the possibilities. It is possible for this to happen right now, its up to you to make it happen simple im sure you can do it, or some one else will do it and leave you behind

elizabeth (16)

"Clive's sake, how much mileage are you going to get out of that photo?"

ya lol

like whos that dude with hamlet

jhejejejeje (:

Hamlet Au

"how much mileage are you going to get out of that photo?"

I bet Rod is wondering the same thing. That "thumbs up" is just SOOOO hard to resist.

Vanessa

If you read the LL positions vacant site here http://lindenlab.com/careers, it would appear that SL development is NOT ceasing, SL is NOT disappearing, and new products are on the way, along with specialised improvements to the current SL that we know and love so much. I'm a bit over doom and gloom forecasting of the death knell of SL, which I have been seeing for 5 years. Get over it people, SL is not going away. Not everyone uses SL simply to have a short term entertainment buzz. The possiblities are as endless as ever, but not for those who use it for a quick buzz. This is what Facebook is for.

DMC Jurassic

Second Life appears to be re-positioned as just a game now. And, it's very niched - too niched.

We will support SL into 2012 and we will remain open to serving a role as possible LL solution provider operating within SL.

However, with an interest in building a new Internet and Virtual Reality business, we are not seeing the vision for virtual environments really being pioneered by LL through SL anymore.

I look forward to seeing what new products/services the Lab has to offer, yet I think my company will be moving past relying on LL technology - it's time to develop our own!

Yes there are new features and gradual improvements in SL, but the core functionality to make SL mainstream and massively-boost concurrency and performance capability is just not being addressed in SL.

Having grown up in SL (as a part of our startup journey) we really see our future in being able to use our observations and experience learned through SL to create our own online network and virtual environments.

SF.

Ezra

Yeah it seems the hiring page is our best indicator right now of the scope of whatever Linden Lab is working on.

Since they haven't hired any artists, designers, writers or musicians, it seems safe to assume they're architecting another platform moreso than something Zynga-like since that's about all a bunch of engineers alone can accomplish.

It'll be interesting to see what Linden Lab does. I wouldn't be opposed to an outright successor virtual world to Second Life. I'd like really ambitious projects more so than the run of the mill 2D/2.5D experiments loathed in comments above.

Tateru Nino

@DMC I've yet to see signs that the Lab has repositioned Second Life at all, in the last couple of years.

James OReilly

Google Trends: Minecraft, Opensim, Second Life http://www.google.com/trends?q=minecraft%2C+opensim%2C+second+life&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0

Casper Jideon

the problem is not land, the problem is price

DoctorEigen Flow

I see outsourcing. Content outsourcing, network outsourcing, planning and logistics outsourcing... Linden will go about this change by oursourcing. What is the pay for a SL camper nowadays? Lindens, per hour, and going to the Chinese will be the only ones who can do that. When the all NEW SL gets fully up and running on Chinese efforts, the Chinese will buy it. Think not? Think again.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

DoctorEigen boldly proclaimed: "When the all NEW SL gets fully up and running on Chinese efforts, the Chinese will buy it. Think not? Think again."

Doc, you are a genius. The old WW II vets in my urban neighborhood used to gripe that "the Chinese will rule the world...mark my words, you just wait and see, etc."

They were right! It will just be a fake world.

Randie Jigsaw

I think the fact that LL is looking at alternative projects is indicative of a company struggling to survive with what they are currently doing.

If Second Life was a strong stable product one could say they were positioning themselves for the future. However, the SL product is filled with bugs and problems. With that in mind they are taking attention/resources away from fixing these problems. Lay-offs that took place a year or so ago indicate there is not enough revenue to support the current project.

Turnover rates indicate a lot of internal friction.

SL is on life support. I look for LL to sell the project, or kill it in the next couple of years, or go under.

Aeonix Aeon

*laughs*

Rodvik is totally predictable.

"Well, since nobody here after Philip can figure out what the hell to do with Second Life, and we can't seem to get it to grow, let's just move on and make video games that are unrelated to the job I was hired for as CEO of Linden Lab."

After all, when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like nail. Rodvik is a gaming guy from EA- all he actually knows is about gaming - *not* the Metaverse.

For all the people applauding this move, you don't seem to get it, do you? He's doing the exact opposite of what his job title implies, and now putting his focus on products unrelated to the flagship product and namesake of the company itself, because that's all he apparently knows how to do in order to appease the board of directors who want more money.

Rodvik can make a video game and create revenue from them that he can grow. The problem becomes the moment that those little video games (which will get increasing focus and resources) start making more money and become more popular than the namesake of SecondLife. If you think it's bad now, just wait when they start starving SecondLife for time and resources so they can concentrate on that new Facebook game.

In short, the writing is on the wall. Rodvik has put his tail between his legs and decided he knows jack-all about the Metaverse so instead of *learning about it to effectively govern it* he's decided it's better to just go off and focus on unrelated video games.

This news is the equivalent of NASA deciding the future is in selling Chinese Finger Traps on Facebook because people more easily understand the finger traps than the space program.

*sighs*

Mark this day on your calendar, folks. Rodvik just decided that Second Life and *you* aren't important enough to give his or the company's full attention to. More so than they already ignore you - now they just invented half a dozen reasons to justify it.

James OReilly

Opensim faces the same causal contingencies that Linden Lab faces, but does Opensim have the Gamer resources to meet the Gaming industry challenge?

James OReilly

Cinema Class - Gaming Industry:

Economic Data & Employment
http://www.theesa.com/facts/econdata.asp

Career Opportunities
http://www.theesa.com/careers/index.asp

Pep

New products:

* Grey-only clothing lines
* Rubber rings and surfboards
* Electronic car (top speed 20mph/crashes often)
* Auto-literacy s/w (replaces polysyllabic words)
* Automated helplines ("Clear cache" [repeat])
* Multi-tasking HomeScout bodysuit attachments
* Facebook recruitment agency (ex-LL staff only)
* iLove app: inmeeting or in transit cybersexing

Pep (would prefer reliable marketplace delivery and categorisation of "friends")

Skip Oceanlane

I am extremely happy that Second Life has decided to expand to different ventures for revenue. I don't think this will lead to them forgetting about or discarding Second Life at all. Having more exposure may actually bring in more users to Second Life. I operate a stock exchange within Second Life, and the more users that know about the game the better for us. Cross-promotion is usually a win-win situation.

Skip Oceanlane
CEO and Majority Shareholder
Capital Exchange
www.slcapex.com

Zed Essex

The real problem with SL is that, the people that create the most compelling content are PAYING to do so. So when their creations aren't protected, they move elsewhere. If you buy a sim and proceed to slap up a bunch of vendors, you deserve to pay full pop. However if you create a place where people want to be, if you become part of the reason why people want to be in SL at all, you deserve at least a discount.
If you want an increase in unique visitors to SL you need to start rewarding the people that are making that happen with better customer service to start, and discounts to follow. I think that the main reason that these "other products" are in the works is that Linden Labs aren't capable of getting SL where we all want it to be. SL is a kludge of disperate fragments of code, it's a wonder it works at all! Now an iphone app? THAT'S DOABLE!
In order for Secondlife to find it's Second wind, there needs to be a new framework based on TODAY's technology platforms, that delivers a vitrual grid like SL but in a more scaleable and stable way. Newer more efficient graphics engines, will allow programmers more time to innovate, with less time spent slapping band-aids on outdated code.

The other big thing that has to happen is that EVERY PAID MEMBER should have a space equivalent to 1/4 of a sim(in space an prim count) that is a private island unto itself included as a home base. This land would have all the rights and abilities of a private island. There is no reason why avatar counts of 60 or more wouldn't be possible on these 1/4 sim islands as well. The price of paid membership should increase from $9.99 to $14.99 to pay for server space/bandwidth.


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