Wednesday, January 02, 2013

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Top Second Life and Linden Lab News Items for 2012

Here's my most important Second Life/Linden Lab-related news posts from the past year (in my judgement), defined as milestones that will probably be the most significant for the future of the company and the virtual world it's still most known for. They largely reflect a single trend: Second Life remaining relatively stable in terms of users numbers, while slowly but consistently losing revenue, as Linden Lab invests the profits into broadening its portfolio of products away from SL.

If you're a hardcore SLer, you've probably noticed I don't mention the launch of Linden Realms, or the growth of mesh-based content, or other items like that. There's a good reason I don't:

While those were relatively significant events for long-time, active SLers, they've done little to grow the userbase or the world's revenue base, which remain the most crucial factors for Second Life's long term survival. In a similar way, Linden Lab's new products -- Versu, Dio, Patterns, and Creatorverse -- are also crucial to the future of both Second Life and the company. 2013 will largely decide the fate of both.

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Pussycat Catnap

Not sure on the comment that the growth of mesh has done little grow SL's revenue.

I would counter that given its absolute dominance in high-fashion and 'body parts' for both human avatars and furries over the last year (this blog itself has cheering on mesh attachment after mesh attachment - and its almost worth noting when a furry avatar these days doesn't have mesh), its near complete take over in the furniture market (the new stuff in top shops is almost always mesh. Sculpty stuff is slowly migrating to the discount bins), its rapidly growing presence in the vehicle market (many major brands are or have shifted to making mesh vehicles)...

Mesh has conquered SL's marketplace - both inworld and out.

-NEW- content of a sculpty nature is shrinking. Texture based clothing remains stronger than I would like, but I don't see much that is new there.

This should remind of one of the reasons LLs gave in defense of the move to viewer 2 back in the day: Without constant upgrades and availability of new tech, Sl would rapidly become obsolete.

Mesh has made SL look almost current in 3D quality. Its breathing life into the SL economy.

Its keeping the whole thing afloat now.

That may not be growth. But its the prevention of shrinkage.

It has allowed people to stay in business, and for some even launch new businesses, and its now the driving engine behind so much of the money changing hands in SL.

Metacam Oh

Maybe its just me but does it seem every post now on NWN is a list?

Top reasons I will visit NWN less in 2013:

1)Lists
2)Lists
3)Lists

Isadora Fiddlesticks

I agree with Pussycat Catnap about mesh breathing life into the SL economy. Designers already in SL since the start may need to learn mesh,and in the result refreshed their business with new life, but those who are already mesh-savvy...people who learned this in college or elsewhere, are coming in a lot these days. Mesh HAS introduced us to people who are experts already in this. In some of my interviews for AVENUE, the designers or creators are already knowledgeable with mesh and are already making mesh-made products in other worlds. Some make SL their main virtual world because SL is much better than the game they came from.

However, all those new shinies and the influx of new people coming in won't be enough if they don't address tier and increase protection towards people creating content in their world. The rise of copy bots and beggar bots in shopping areas around the grid is a still a concern. They are causing a lot of grief with a lot of personalities by wreaking havoc in their events and copying their looks and creations. Our sense of community is continuously being threatened by them.

People already established in SL are leaving not only because of rising tiers, but the feeling that what they have established with their own efforts are not safeguarded by Linden Lab by these griefers.

The company really needs to address a lot of problems if they want to stay in the business. SL is still their bread and butter, and they need to own that fact.

ZZ Bottom

Only conclusion i can take of 2012!
While there are alternatives and very good ones, Sl is still the "PLACE" to be!
Does it will be in the next year, i hope so and i do believe LL is also trying to keep it that way, now that offer from competition is growing steady!
Still they will have to do some about loosing land due to high tiers, they will cannot avoid that for muvh more time.

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