Friday, May 09, 2014

« Linden Lab Adds Wizard of Oz Content to Blocksworld | Main | Top Six New World Notes Posts from Last Week »

Second Life Isn't Dead (Yet) -- But SL's Strongest Supporters Need to Know Its Survival Is Now at Stake

Second Life is not dead

Update, 5/15: Welcome, iO9 readers! For more context on why I say it's too early to write Second Life's obituary, see the recent integration of SL with the Oculus Rift, and a new cloud-streamed version of SL for mobile and low-end laptops

"Second Life, to me, is pretty much dead", is the core takeaway from a blog comment made by longtime SL content creator William Reed Seal-Foss which has gone fairly viral recently, as on /secondlife here and echoed by former SL supporter Mitch Wagner here. Reed's post hits most of the points we've been making here, but contains some extra firepower, coming as it does from a veteran 3D content creator. Excerpt:

Second Life is literally still plagued by the same problems users were dealing with in 2007. Group chat is still broken, seven years later. Users are still restricted to a very narrow definition of 3D content, mainly in that what you make for Second Life pretty much can only be used in Second Life. The fact that mesh import only supports an antiquated version of COLLADA, and that any sort of animated mesh must be rigged to the proprietary Second Life skeleton is absurd, especially when you look at other platforms of the day like Unreal and Unity, even Cloud Party. I can literally save a file in Maya and simply open it within Unity. It’s that easy.

All this is true, and even then, I disagree Second Life's position now is as dire as he thinks, for many reasons I've also discussed in recent posts.

At the same time, this must also be added:

Second Life's strongest enthusiasts need to start confronting the reality that Second Life's survival is at stake in the next year or two, and will require many substantial changes and additions to survive. I've also discussed those solutions at length, and it's striking to see so many SL enthusiasts still insisting things are fine, just fine, even in the face of overwhelming evidence. Joe Essid points out a recent SLer comment that fits that bill perfectly:

Nothing wrong with being a niche. We live in a finite world, the myth that growth is infinite and can continue forever and that triple digit yearly growth is required for 'success' has got to go. There's nothing wrong with finding a niche market and making steady money off of it, year in and out.

But, in fact, Second Life is a niche making less and less money every year. And saying all of the above is pretty much like yelping "I'm not dead!" even as the cart approaches. To survive requires facing reality, accepting where we are -- and advocating a strategy for slipping away before we're bonked on the head.

Please share this post:

 

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

melponeme_k

Back on the second life is dead or dying.

All the whiners can move on to the plethora of Virtual Worlds out there.

OH WAIT...There are no others! LOL

Well there is always the backwater worlds of opensim. They can sit alone on a sim of their own. Maybe someone will arrive and buy their junk. LOL

Cory Edo

Just within the last hour or so I was in a conversation about all the things that were guaranteed to kill off SL over the last 10 years, and yet for some reason, its still chugging along. Its a long way from fine, but its really no further away than its ever been before, and in some cases a lot better (the ability to import mesh at all is a big step forward from 2010 and earlier, so complaints that mesh upload itself is not sufficiently advanced enough to keep SL from dying off is kind of ironic to me).

It really feels like the long and storied history of playing Cassandra with regard to the end of the grid keeps getting mucked up by people signing up and logging in, and by artists that still earn anywhere from pocket change to a legitimate living, both groups which largely keep doing what they enjoy without getting too concerned about what might be happening right around the corner. And to be honest, there's not much that the userbase can do to promote SL's longevity besides doing exactly that - its otherwise entirely in the hands of LL, who have somehow managed to do something right up until this point.

Ha!

Well at least I know I was right.

Adeon Writer

Second Life will not die provided it has no rival.

However, the lack of a competent rival is why Second Life has no reason to improve.

melponeme_k

@Adeon

Exactly. What we are dealing with here is an outlier. The same reason why World of Warcraft can keep chugging along and sucking the air out of the room for other mmorpgs. Second Life is the only successful VR EVER.

You know what all this whining is about? Its about the fact that SL did not turn into Snowcrash or Diamond Age. It did not become Ready Player One.

The fact of the matter is...it is not the people of Second Life or Second Life itself that has to change. It is people like Mitch and pals that have to change. NO ONE WANTS SNOWCRASH! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT!
If these people want a VR, they have to come to terms with the fact that the dystopia they all pleasure themselves on is not going to happen. It isn't. People want Club Med. They want Club Med in Tolkein themes, in Sci Fi themes, in just plain reality themes.

This is what we have to work with...To Linden Labs credit, they stopped trying to push the fantasies of techies on the rest of us.

Cory Edo

What makes me wonder though, is there's never been a time when SL's future wasn't at risk - its a unique tech platform in an age where unique tech platforms last two or three years if they're lucky, in an industry where bleeding edge and the next big thing are the most important factors, and despite how uncool the post-hype SL is supposed to consider itself, there's a huge non-US base of residents who don't seem to care all that much about our Snowcrash rating and just want to hang out with friends and buy stuff.

SL's lasted through the Great Recession, a ridiculous hype and even more ridiculous backlash, three CEOs and massive layoffs, and more premature public funerals than I can even count. At this point I'm more liable to believe that it can't be killed than that the end is finally, actually, near - this time for real, you guys, I swear.

Morwen Blaisdale

Ultimately, most of the population in SL is not there for the graphics but for the social aspect. SL needs to update badly, but insofar as it's chat with pretty pictures and neato 3D art, it's fulfilling the dream of its creators quite nicely.
My concern is mostly that the thing will have the plug pulled by some corporation for the same reason so many popular things get locked away in an IP closet to gather dust.

elizabeth (irihapeti)

i think that sometimes some people think that SL is doomed bc they cant see any future for themself in it. This thought pattern is most prevalent in artists I find. Well those who think they artists of the tortured emo angst variety

crafters on the other hand rarely if ever think this way. For crafters there is a box. There is a set of tools for making stuff that fits in the box. So they make stuff that fits in the box with those tools. And sell that stuff to others in the box. They dont worry or even care to think about making stuff that dont fit in the box. bc crafter and not tortured artist

when crafter cant fit what they want to make in the box then they make to fit in another box. Crafter is happy to work with many boxes. bc they craft to make stuff that is appreciated by others and if can get some loot then even better. Crafter dont look for or even care that is not one box to is/be the box of/for all things. There is no one box. There is many boxes. SL is just one of the many boxes

is many artists who also crafters. They do fine bc they accept the limits of the box and craft within. bc crafter and many boxes

Skate Foss

Second Life is not dead or dying. As long as there is a dedicated base of people who love this virtual world, Second Life remains. It's the partnership of Linden Lab and the residents of Second Life to ensure new residents can easily learn how to be in SL and find a world that welcomes and amazes them. Until some other Virtual World can do what Second Life does, then maybe we can discuss funneral plans

reed

I'm not entirely sure why I'm commenting here. However, Kim let me know that I'd been mentioned, and I feel compelled to reply, mainly because only part of what I was saying in my original comment is being presented here and elsewhere. There are quite a few points that I can see have been missed, judging from how people are responding here.

I said Second Life is dead for me, because it is undeniably stagnant, due in no small part to a very obvious lack of development. Second Life will be truly dead when they shut the servers down, obviously. Until then, Second Life can keep breathing on life support, indefinitely I suppose. I gave Ultima Online as an example of another MMO, that predates Second Life by nearly a decade and has also been stagnant for quite some time, but due to a hardcore set of fans is still economically viable. That doesn't mean it will be getting any Game of the Year awards, or even breaking new ground any time soon.

For the equivalent of the down payment and monthly installment for a new car, you too can rent a single core from Linden Lab on which to run your region. On what planet would anybody outside of a die hard fan base even consider doing that? I'm fairly confident that my cell phone has more processing power than what Linden Lab is offering for that trunk full of money.

No, there aren't any other popular platforms out there that do everything Second Life does. There are, however, many platforms that do things that Second Life does, and they are much better at them than Second Life is. I don't really feel like getting into technical details, but I'll say working in Second Life is like punching myself in the face all day long. Anyway, if an all in one solution is really what you're looking for, and you think Second Life is going to always be the only game in town, you're sadly mistaken.

Cory Edo

I read reed's comment as well and I also feel he was at least partially misrepresented - and I certainly don't see why his comment plus the slight decline in private region ownership constitute the foundation for a clickbait headline. There's been a decade's worth of people that have gotten over SL - that's a totally legitimate position to find oneself in. SL as a platform is a headache and its got a lot of room for improvement - I've been working in SL since 2006, I completely agree with that assessment. But I really think SL is as far away from "dead-ish" as it is from Game Of The Year, and don't see why at this late stage it's being cast as the former or should be aiming for the latter. Its profitable and people still enjoy it, and when those two things stop being true it'll close its doors. And I have yet to find anyone that thinks SL will always be the only game in town - I have however seen a LOT of people prematurely bury it, and yet here we are.

Iggy

Hamlet, you may have misunderstood my post, or I said things poorly.

Niche products can thrive, but to do so, the makers need to cater well to their core customers. Mazda does that masterfully with the Miata sports car, now in its 25th year. The car has only undergone performance changes but it's really the same car.

In no way do I think Linden Lab is cultivating its core customers as well as, say, Mazda has for Miata fanatics. To do that, the Lab would need to do many things, such as increasing performance (as with the new client--a good step) but also by reducing tier enough to keep more of the loyalists around.

Oh, but that would reduce the flow from the monthly milking of the slowly deflating cow.

Never mind.

Marianne McCann

GOM killed Second Life years ago. ;-)

James OReilly

Low Fidelity SL is not written in stone. Use Case Requirements stand above the Tool, it is not vice-versa.

We need 2014+ Opportunities, not legacy Vendor Interests > How to become Resilient from Virtual World Vendors http://ht.ly/w9Qvk

Pep

And Ebbe is just the right man to kill it off completely!

Pep (A history of failure at Microsoft is exactly the cv needed; he is stymied at LL as there is nothing similar from which he can steal ideas.)

Cyberserenity

As a virtual pilot i do a lot of flying in the Vatsim community. Flight simulator 9 came out in 2004 and there are still companys pushing the software and creating and selling new things for it. Everyday there are thousands of flights. You can take courses and become a better pilot or controller. There are a strong infrastructure thru out the community.

I do not think Second life will continue to be around for years. What we need is a way for developers, designers and companys to upgrade the software. Create new fantastic stuff like the Rift.

Maybe Linden lab will disappere. They are not very good at this. But Second life will survive i new shapes and form. Maybe it is better if Linden lab did not really owned it any more?

Dartagan Shepherd

Agree, although some of the argument seems to be around the definition of "dead".

Dead to me is that growth left the building a long time ago, as did its relevance. I don't see it as a reversible process, we passed that point a few years ago.

Obviously the pricing model is outdated at a time when expensive software is going subscription in order to keep customers buying. We tried to warn them for years even though you got continuously less hardware for the same over bloated pricing as reed said.

I remember in the boom years, meeting professionals from all walks of life and watching them leave because the product didn't have polish. After all these years it still doesn't have polish. LL stuck to its guns and called it good enough for amateur use.

That's fine, but in the doing, they lost more of us over the last years than the population of SL today. Some of us stuck for longer than others waiting to see if there was any change of course by the company. On a business level obviously they weren't interested in going down roads that would have gotten them much further ... the money was good and it's still good enough to profit on.

As reed said, it's the only large virtual world in town but it's not the only choice in town. And that's where some of are out here, using technology that is not only up to date but improving at a rate that LL could never manage to attain.

@Hamlet good advice about keeping an exit strategy on the back burner. As a fan of your blog would love to see you eventually branch out to some of those other avenues.

We get closer to many virtual worlds every year, and those of us that wanted to pioneer something that knew how to innovate rather than iterate are still dabbling.

Getting SL out of your head is part of being able to see the future of virtual worlds. This was but one pass at what they can be and it was extremely limiting by design and even more so by the company.

James OReilly

Henry Jenkins, communications professor at MIT, talks heavily about the 'Black Box Fallacy' and how convergence affects older media.

For example Jenkins talks about how 'Cinema did not kill Theatre or TV did not kill radio' but rather each medium was 'Forced to coexist with one another'.

Henry also talks about how old media is not being displaced, but it's status has shifted by the introduction of new technologies.

The black box fallacy argument is that all media content will eventually flow through one 'black box'. The reason why the term was coined is because we see more and more black boxes around our homes and workplaces (VCR, DVD and CD players), but these boxes over the years have started to converge and have multiple uses.
http://convergence-culture.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Box_Fallacy

anon

It honestly seems like there's some denial in this comment thread that reflects Hamlet's video. Are you trying to convince Hamlet he's wrong, or yourself that you're right?

Account Deleted

I've been around longer then most of you being a pre-beta the old SecondLife is dead and what replaced it is nothing but a zombie corpse.

It's nice many of you are so adapted to being spoon-feed but the case of the matter is your just old sows being milked for every last drop.

All in the land of 10,000 bots active
a zombie population run by linden lab itself!

Account Deleted

@ Cory Edo
It is so nice to see after all the special treatment lab employees have gave you over the years your giving back >Bravo<

melponeme_k

@anon

All anyone has to do is look at the state of the VR MARKET.

Only Second Life is available. That is it. The other contenders GONE.

So am I going to wring my hands at the death of Second Life that isn't happening? That is ridiculous. Especially when the next contender, High Fidelity, isn't even in the build stage yet and could still be a big fat failure. And Opensim isn't going to amount to anything. Its been given years in a wide open market and it hasn't even made SL break a sweat.

Boo Hoo, SL isn't what you want it to be. It isn't Snowcrash. So flounce off like Scarlett O'Hara and the rest of us will just wave and enjoy what we have now.

I understand the frustration. We all want something new and cutting edge. But that isn't how reality works. Look at WoW again, it is losing money and subscribers but still nothing has toppled it yet. I don't think anything ever will. VRs and MMORPGS are backwater hobbies. Maybe they always will be. So you can take part now in the only one available or sit and wait. You may be waiting a looooong time.

Account Deleted

@ melponeme_k

You were not around child as copybot laid waste to so many lives but after 11 years its stronger then ever.
Whiners are those of you who came many years later who helped build nothing but are just lazy consumers.

Watch what you say melponeme your much safer in SLU because the truth will sting & hard

melponeme_k

@Drift

I've been around SL since the height of its popularity. I was around for copybot.

Yes, LL should do more to protect assets. But I think some have made more of a big deal of it then it really is. There are still people out there making stuff, selling and getting pocket money for it.

The fact that the "creators" who are crying about SL failing (when it is the only successful VR) screaming that the people who use SL, buy stuff and populate the sims are just lazy good for nothings. Well THAT right there is your problem. We are your audience baby. There is no one else. And it won't matter if we get a more cutting edge VR. It will be the same people inside it. US, the lazy people who don't build anything.

As I've said before, it isn't us that have to change it is the people who are complaining who need a reality check.

Eddi Haskell

I highly doubt if Second Life is actually losing money. Operations were pared to a minimum several years ago. Usership is not declining, it is flat, and land ownership is stable -- with empty sims being consolidated.

I think that Second Life generates income for Linden Lab's owners. They have been investing some of it in expansion products, and are probably using some of the profit for investor payback.

Remember that Second Life is privately held; we have no idea what the top investors like Mitch Kapor are expecting in terms of future payback, or what whey would want for a potential sale. I think right now they may be feeling bullish with all the attention being paid to the Oculus/ Facebook deal.

Second Life will never just have its plug pulled, if worst comes to worst, we will have some consortium pick up Second Life and run it on a non-profit basis, much like IDIA Lab of Ball State University in Indiana has breathed new life into Blue Mars with 8 new attractions open this year.

I only see good things ahead -- and, at worst, the current state of Second Life for the next three years continued. After that time it is anyone's guess. But please, stop thinking that the end is near.

Emperor Norton

"and even then, I disagree Second Life's position now is as dire as he thinks"

Yes, but you are an ex-Linden, and Lindens are notorious for self throat cutting, which is what you get in a corporation whose CEO is part of cult consider wacky by California standards.

Account Deleted

@ Eddi

Your right it is a business, a cold sterile product and has been for a long time!

Once it was a product with soul but now its just a perverted 3dfacebook wannabe.

I like many of you suffered from over attachment with a game addiction. but at the end of day suffering from virtual stockholm syndrome will do no one any good. this company needs a good swift kick in the ass to get itself strait not pudding eyes cuddling it

Tyler Banks

I have used SL off and on for seven years now and sadly it doesn't advance as much as I would like. Not sure why, as it has a great community.

It is a diamond in the rough, and I would hate to see it disappear.

Can someone explain to me why it has not advanced as quickly as it should have ... why Project Sunshine wasn't implemented earlier?

Tracy RedAngel

I can't be worried about something when I have absolutely zip, zero, zilch control of it's fate. Linden Labs are the only ones who can shut out the lights. The onus is on them, not the users.
I still enjoy Second Life, but if something comes along that's better ...great, sign me up.
There is so much that is outdated about Second Life. For one thing, the default avatar is wretched, and not just the outside. The skeleton is horrible, just try making poses and animations, you'll realize it pretty quickly. Yet for some reason ingenious residents make mesh parts, skins, animations, and poses that do a fairly good job of compensating for those shortcomings.

I pretty much like Second Life for avatar customization and I enjoy SLphotography. There just isn't any other virtual world out there where I can do those the way I can in Second Life, even with it's shortcomings.

CronoCloud Creeggan

Hamlet, if you quote me, you might want to mention my name. Since it is me, that Educator Iggy quoted on his blog.

I've been in SL since 2006. I've heard that "SL is dying" phrase pretty much since the beginning. First it was "Stipend changes will kill SL" and then "All these free accounts will kill SL." or "Copybot will kill SL" or even "Voice will kill SL."

I've said this before on this very site that SL is the Queen and Champeen of virtual worlds having survived all competition. The only things that come even close to competing with SL are based on SL's own code! (Opensim and the mini-SL's like AviNation, Spoton3D and others)

I'm pretty much with melponeme, the only people who think SL is dying are some bitter valleywags and a few oldbies upset that SL didn't become their Snowcrash fantasy. The reason SL didn't become snowcrash is that only a few techies "with loud internet voices" like Mitch Wagner want that.

Account Deleted

@ CronoCloud

OpenSim does not share the same code at all! only the viewers share protocols the rest was created in a completely different code language
from scratch.

Your right and since the beginning we have heard the same out of touch people like you proclaim its all just a tiny minority.

Regardless who is right or wrong when a company still bullies its customers to this very day it will be doomed sooner then later

Example you need to provide linden lab documentation if you reach a certain level of cashout or they ban you!

Sure the law says they have to stop cashing out at that point but no law says they have to ban you that's them bulling their customers with strong arm tactics

Oh do not rush to defend lab if you were seller on ebay and the same law apply's to them then once you reached the cashout limit if you did not provide the info you could no longer cashout.

ebay nor paypal would not ban you. you could only buy things but nolonger cashout from sells
its the same law

Again its all just policy's by a king drunken with power but many of us know the kings alt is the fool of the court.


Account Deleted

@ CronoCloud

You Wrote
The only things that come even close to competing with SL are based on SL's own code! (Opensim and the mini-SL's like AviNation, Spoton3D and others)

Get with the times young man your making us both look old

> Gmod with a million users
> Sims Online with 30 million users
> IMVU with 2 million active users
> Project Spark 500,00 Active Users
> Everquest Next Landmark
> Inworldz Grid
> MeshMoon

> Cloudparty will return
> High Fidelity
> Facebooks upcoming 3D Universe of a billion people it will happen as its being built by secondlife's other founder

Dartagan Shepherd

@CronoCloud Dead not as in closed. Dead as in dead except for die hard users or those who have no need of anything better.

On the other hand for some, it's already dead.

Where are the solution providers customers for example? They haven't stopped biting at solutions, but they're not using SL as a tool. There are better options.

Where are the people planning on indie games? Not here, they've moved onto better options.

Where are the people looking for alternative presentation and meeting options? They've moved onto better choices.

And on it goes. Customers looking to socialize and enjoy SL at its current level are here and some are fine with it as it exists as SL slowly declines.

And the rest are gone. Like I said, SL is not the only choice if what you're looking for is a 3D or alternative toolset to the web.

Yes it's the largest virtual world. But if you think the customers it has now were the only type of customer, that would be wrong. To those people it's already dead and irrelevant.

For those looking for something more virtual world-ish as a product, those are done as in-house solutions or using other technologies better suited to the job.

If Facebook does indeed do virtual worlds, those are the people it will draw, provided they don't botch it horribly. I'd venture that SL users would be the minority by far there.

The metaverse vision I think you're referring to isn't just about an alternative to SL that's very like SL. It's different, varied and spread over many technologies as you'll probably be seeing in the near future.

We don't "need" an SL clone as such, although they get easier to build every year so you'll be seeing more virtual worlds with varying degrees of success.

Everytime this discussion comes up, someone equates it to the "sky is falling" and it's going to close tomorrow. That's not what's being said by the "complainers". That's what's being said by people evaluating a technology and judging it unsuitable for many needs, solutions and customers.

So if you're in it for more than casual socialization and amateur applications ... it's dead already, Jim.

Mikyo

It was once believed that all sharks had to swim constantly in order to breathe.

melponeme_k

@Drift
All of those worlds you listed are backwaters with the exception of Sims, IMVU and Everquest Next. Sims and IMVU are radically different from VRs of Second Life's ilk. Everquest Next isn't even open yet so forecasting its success is like forecasting for High Fidelity...mere speculation. I will tell you that I'm not interested in a world where I'm locked into avatars and a decorating scheme. I suspect there are many of the same opinion in SL.

Cloudpart is a FAILURE. They sold out the moment there was an offer because it was EMPTY. I know, I was there. I even rented land from them. It was like living in a Hyperbaric chamber.

@Dartagnan

All those examples you give, you have to come to a more practical answers. It is not cost effective for business to hold meetings in VR. It doesn't make sense. Not when Video conferencing is much easier. Game makers can go on to cheaper GAME platforms. The SL audience is interested in networking/gossiping not game playing. We have WOW for that itch.

You are the one looking at VRs wrong. This, what SL became, is what we have now. It had big hype and when the dice rolled this is it. We will see the same thing happen again. Its all pump and dump hoping for suckers born a minute.

But keep waiting for your dream world. It will be like waiting for the ONE without going out there and doing something about it.

Metacam Oh

Gotta love the people who will rip you if you even suggest anything wrong with SL. They are so far invested, so far gone to be anything but pretty opposite of paid shills, they are paying shills.

melponeme_k

@Metacam

I'm not saying there is nothing wrong with Second Life. Haven't you read what I've written? Heck, I comment pretty regularly on here and slun and no one would ever mistake me for a LL cheerleader.

I'm saying that what Second Life is...is what VR is, right now...at this moment and for the foreseeable future. That is it, with all its faults and all its good points. Everyone is getting delusional thinking that some kind of freak show glasses are suddenly going to change the people who already use VR.

That isn't going to happen. So either you work with what you got or you can keep flocking to dead worlds.

You know I hope the best for Rosedale and his new project. Just like I hoped for the best for Blizzard and their new MMORPG. Blizzard failed. And that was just the MMORPG genre.

You can't get lightening to strike twice.

Account Deleted


Very sad story here of another avatar murdered by the lab!

Did they tell people the lindex exchanges went against the 200 a year even if your not cashing out to paypal!

http://slnewserextra.blogspot.com/2014/05/what-happened-to-7seas-meissa-thorne.html

Now under linden lab distorted view of the law
if me being a seller on ebay that i went over my limit & i refused to hand over my info it would be legal for ebay to send someone to my house and murder me in Real life
(banning and closing my real life account)

This is linden lab going above and beyound the laws regarding tax and homeland security becouse they are a bully so if they went out of business it would becouse they ran their company like a drug cartel

Can we trust these same type of business practices in High Fidelity as well?

Account Deleted

Second Life Isn't Dead (Yet) -- But SL's Strongest Supporters Need to Know Its Survival Is Now at Stake

Have they amended the terms of service (TOS)yet?


2014

regurgitated article, new year, same story "SL is DOOMED I tell ya"

Who are these oldbies you are quoting from? Reed and who? Never heard of them, but reading the article, typical grumpy ass oldbie's who don't like that SL moved away from standing around on a sandbox making square boxes talking with you friends.

SL is flawed, no doubt about it, but with you oldbies, it could be absolutely perfect, and you'd still bitch about it.

Dartagan Shepherd

@melponeme: No harm, no foul? If you're enjoying your SL, more power to you. Partly agree with you in that every world is supposedly the next or better SL and that may not be the case.

@Drift: Same here, the partner is an accountant. Their take is that in 30 years of business and handling taxes, the LL restrictions and requirements don't resemble the real world or business in general.

And in as many years never once asked for photo ID and such. Not happening with us because it's just not how you handle things. Just no. I don't care how much money is involved.

And there's no way you can bring in a customer and expect them to swallow that ToS over their IP. Not that I'd ever ask anyone to. Not that I know of a lawyer on the planet that would advise them to.

@2014: Keep convincing yourself of that, heheh. Many of them used to be advocates and cheerleaders.

Shyriath

@Dartagnan

"So if you're in it for more than casual socialization and amateur applications ... it's dead already, Jim."

I broadly agree, except to say that I think even that's rather optimistic. That's about all I ever used it for, and it doesn't fulfill even that function anymore for me. The friends I made are hardly ever in-world now, the community we had has dwindled to near nothing, the land we used is empty even after being pared down. I assume others have had more luck, but about all I feel I can do in SL these days is wander through the memories. There's nothing really holding me there anymore.

I don't expect any of the alternatives to have the concentration of people to replace SL in that sense (at least not for a while), but at least maybe High Fidelity will have some better technology in exchange for the emptiness.

Pussycat Catnap

Just a week or two ago Hamlet posted something about 'oh, sim count is back to shrinking again, see chart' and people were agreeing with him.

BUT the chart was flat out wrongly read, and actually showed that sim count was stable.

Hamlet selectively posted from the low point in the month, and the month prior selectively posted from the high point in the month. Making it look like a rise was followed by a dip.

Reality showed that on the 10-15th of both months there was a rise, and by the 25th, a dip, which then begins to rise again.

A sinwave pattern - being used selectively to prop up a theory that the sky has dun gone and smacked us all downside the head...

Now lets turn to the article above.

First the person says group chat is broken. This right here signifies the individual has not used SL in perhaps more than a year...
- At that point, the rest of their perceptions need to be tossed.

The idea that anything in SL is still like it was in 2007 shows a serious disconnect with what SL now is and where it has gone. To the point of delusional. And it is more proper at this point to insult anyone making such a statement...

Even if you dislike everything SL has become, to say it is at all like it was in 2007 is to reveal delusional bias on the level of Fox News election night 2012...
- Ie: crazy.

I get the mesh complaints. I also get why SL made those choices. But yes they are signs of an aging platform.

Now we get to Hamlets oft repeated mantra that not driving at 100mph and adding 10mph to that every day means you are dead.

There is a symbol in between + and -... its this one: =

Being stable, being in a limbo, being a niche with a dedicated user base... these are not bad things.

Some MMOs have ridden stable niche since 1997 or so... Ultima Online I believe.

SL is not the replacement for sliced bread... nor is it consuming the entire world.

But frankly, the cyberspace of science fiction is just not something most people want.

But a fun 3D world to enjoy with friends - that's a dish a good number of people can enjoy.

Hamlet wanted to be 'The Newsman' for the replacement to reality, and he's grown frustrated that SL didn't become it. Just like Rosedale, who abandoned us all to make 'High Vaporware' that will finally get the customers he wants... he still fails to realize that once it opens, neko blingtard blond white girl avatars are going to show up... and buy digital fake boobs... and be happy with that.
- Because that is who really wants "the metaverse".

And there's nothing wrong with that...

The whole concept is a niche.

Pussycat Catnap

@Cory Edo: "SL's lasted through the Great Recession, a ridiculous hype and even more ridiculous backlash, three CEOs and massive layoffs, and more premature public funerals than I can even count."

If somebody wants to host a week "SL is dead, long live SL" funeral bash, count me in. :)
********************************
@reed:
"'m not entirely sure why I'm commenting here. However, Kim let me know that I'd been mentioned, and I feel compelled to reply, mainly because only part of what I was saying in my original comment is being presented here and elsewhere."

Thank you for clarifying. I posted before I saw - and if you're being taken out of context... then you do't deserve the insult I was tossing at you a second above.

Pussycat Catnap

"> Sims Online with 30 million users"

"All of those worlds you listed are backwaters with the exception of Sims, IMVU and Everquest Next. Sims and IMVU are radically different from VRs of Second Life's ilk"

Sims Online went Offline in 2008...

Maximus Tigerauge

Okay, so I have never commented here before but I read this blog all the time. I have been in SL in one form or another since 2007. Yes, SL is dying. So many users gone; so much abandoned land. It used to be fun but let's face it, the prices are too high! I have read all the reasons that LL needs to keep them high but in my non-content creating opinion it is the tier fees that are killing SL. Most of my friends are gone now, the once busting with avatars info hubs are mostly empty. Only the Brazilian community is growing.

LL needs to lower the tier fees to bring people back.

Account Deleted


@ Maximus

They are not close to broke they took millions of real dollars and went out on a spending spree for a few years buying company's then doing nothing with them..Avatars United.Desura..just google it over 15 company's in 5 years
All that money could have upgraded SL into the future

Now they are pumping in thousands a week into the new project High Fidelity

I do not drink the koolaid they say about tiers
opensim adds new features all the time with no money and volunteers and server costs are very low now compared to 5 years ago
Its all a smokescreen to milk the residents for as much as they can

Viewer side they get free development from firestorm team who is running their jira

Ebbe and the board out golfing lighting cigars with hundred dollar bills

Terms of Service fixed? Last Names return?
Lower tier? Fighting copybot? Restoring residents trust?

(Insert endless lab screw ups here)

Brace Coral

"SL's Strongest Supporters Need to Know Its Survival Is Now at Stake"
Nice headline but who exactly are those "strongest supporters"? And say if I WAS one, what on earth can *I* do about it?

You spend years reaching out to Linden Lab, letting then know what works and what doesn't, offering help, and even simply wanting an open dialog between Residents and LL.

You get ignored, resident help and support gets stripped away and then LL turns around screaming about plunging user retention rates, and losing money. Gee I wonder how that happened.

Are there any Lindens on staff older than three years? Doomed to repeat mistakes of the past if you don't historical context, or even learn from it, if you do.

Now I gotta be the one to do something after the chickens have come home to roost? I'll tell you what though, my hand is still extended and the ball is as ever, always been in LL's court.

Catchy tune Hams, but nobody's dancing to it.

Shockwave yareach

LLs failures to properly operate their product and to keep it up to date, are entirely LLs own fault. Was it the users who asked LL to claim ownership of everything uploaded? Was it customers who begged LL to ban a guy with ten sims because his credit card got stolen a couple days before tier? Did we folks demand everyone with a sex bed be forced off their PAID for virtual land and be crammed into Zindra?

I want SL to succeed. I do. But you can't keep shooting customers in the foot before they turn into EXcustomers. Sl is a virtual fantasyland and nothing more. It isn't ready to become any of the fantasized applications, and with the lack of interest in fixing the bugs we've had for a decade, it never will become those things. Sl is a virtual world where you can be anything and do anything. This is clear to everyone but LL.

Ll can get a good percentage of those who left to return. But not the way ll is running today it isn't and certainly not at the current price. Word is already out about how LL screwed over so many in the past, so there is a mighty deep hole to climb out of. And we the users didn't dig that hole...

Mark

Newsflash: Second Life has been dead and irrelevant for YEARS.

Kiyana

AS long as there are lonely people desperate for communication and interaction with other people, Second Life will not die.

Hell, there are still people on IRC after 20+ years

Tyr Rozenblum

Oh is it that time of year again? Is the sky falling? I forgot my umbrella. Anyone have one I can borrow? In all seriousness, yes, sl much like any game or virtual world is finite. All things are. It WILL end...........someday. SL's residents are getting younger (much like IMVU). Which is good for creators like me. I can tell you from a creator stand point that 2013-2014 has been my best year(s) thus far, and no, I don't mean I made enough money to go see a film. I wont get into hard numbers, but I will say I have a savings, and I'll be going to school this Summer because of second life. I am not a unique story here by any means. I also have no worry that SL is making back plenty from me, both in land rental and cash out/uploads. All in all I'd be more likely to feel real concern when someone like Truth Hawks uproots and leaves, before I would ever be concerned about a blog post like this (or most of the SL forums).

Account Deleted

@Tyr Rozenblum

Well that's great & good for you.

Tyr Rozenblum

I guess why I posted was, instead of listening to whatever "lead" creator (no idea who this person is), maybe take it from the perspective of a lot of creators.

In general though, just like RL, if you make something no one wants? People aren't going to shop. It's all about marketing yourself, and making things the community wants. Time is a great investment and I can tell you after 6 years, I am blessed to have had SL.

I'll be around until the doors close <3

QC

"And saying all of the above is pretty much like yelping "I'm not dead!" even as the cart approaches."

That doesn't make any sense. In the skit, the man is murdered. Are you saying that somebody is going to kill off second life? This is not mentioned in the actual 'article'. Maybe second life is sick and dying, but the man in the skit is not, but they do kill him. I don't understand.

Archangel Mortenwold

Second Life functionality must be improved, yes, but prices need to come down substantially as well. The economy is still in the toilet. People can't get jobs, or the jobs they have pay less and less, while prices everywhere keep going up. Second Life is an unaffordable luxury for more and more users. In a company where the majority of revenue is based on charging people money for virtual land, keeping the price of it so high is business suicide. Combine that with functionality issues that have yet to be addressed nearly a decade after they crop up, and the grid — and the company that owns and runs it — is in serious trouble.

Adele Ward

It's always strange to me reading this type of discussion because the points raised are nothing to do with why I have stayed on Second Life for more than 7 years. I'm Jilly Kidd on Second Life and run the Written Word group for writers. A few days ago when Maya Angelou died we dedicated each of our almost daily open mics to her and it was lovely to get together with people from around the world to read her poems and to read poems we had been inspired to write about her. Today I was at a fiction workshop where some of us are taking turns to workshop each other's novels in progress. We share our writing in other ways, on other websites, and we also communicate on Facebook, but there's nothing like sitting round a table on Second Life to get the feel of a real critique group. The open mics feel like real life events too and even helped me overcome stage fright I had for decades so I can now perform in real life, which is vital for a writer. These are the reasons I still use Second Life, and nothing else compares to it. You may say to go on another virtual world where the graphics are better, but the higher number of users on SL and the way the Written Word group has built up members over 7 years means it's much better to stay put. Other people will have many reasons for staying on Second Life. The things you criticise have no effect on what I get out of Second Life and it's also free for me and the other writers to use.

Christyle Bullock

Hello. I am in my second life. Half spirit half astral. Yes you are way advanced. Some stuff you can't take. But you half to. And just depends on what kinda person you are. On how you take it. I also have a light in my head. Met Good face to face. Like jacob did. Changed his name to Israel after the fact of being Holy. Christyle Bullock is my name. StolenAngel was the name giving to me. I was appointed to revelations where I was told I would never dye..... Soon my name will be across the globe. I am a artist. And will succeed. Still have hope. Still here through Christ everyday. Yea its hard. But never more than you can bare. Some may not believe. As a child I've saw. I died. More than 100 times. Diagnosed wit diabetes at 7. Before I got here God showed me the world an who my parents would be. If you dont know me. Find me. Im here to help. My email is Stolenangel92@gmail.com. lets go deep. And ask me questions. I'll let you know what you dont. All Love. S.A

Post a comment

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.