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Saturday, February 14, 2009


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Those ideas will result in....

1/ A growing user-base who access SL using one of the ad-free clients that will spring up EVERYWHERE. Remember the client is open-source?

2/ See previous answer.

3/ This is a codehead blind alley but few seem to realise it. Even if you achieve it you'll get Lively v.2 and it will be of as much interest to the general populace and will last as long. There are several technologies and initiatives driving the required graphics hardware down to a more affordable level - SL will have its day and some patience will pay more dividend than shoehorning the SL experience into a web browser ever will.

4/ This will almost certainly happen, whether it should or not is debatable. Hasn't Second Life taught and encouraged more people to learn basic 3D design than just about anything else ever has? If we fill SL full of pro-level tools you'll alienate the new user - but if you allow import of third-party objects we'll get amazing content made by pro's. It will all look a mismatched mess because there won't be any uniformity of technique - but maybe that's a price worth paying? It will certainly change it all forever, at least I agree about that one.

Ann Otoole

The pro tools that create static scenes take a long time to render. LL has made a lot possible in SL that is impossible in the expensive pro tools. As it stands the "pros" can import a lot of their work already. It is apparent this is already happening as we have "designers" that know zero about 3D modeling somehow producing professional quality overnight. As in they got the models off a dvd. Plenty of that in certain sectors. Amazing rl style boots from someone that tries to pass off a photoshop hacked texture as a "bake", etc. Yea right. Fact is the 3D works can be and are being imported. And flexible sculpts are on the horizon. You don't see flexible anything in those highly regarded "pro tools".

No it isn't going to go down the way some people are wishing it would. The existing designers will not be obsolete anytime soon.

The hunts and freebies are a symptom of something lacking. The in world search is useless for the most part because it is gamed. traffic and profile pick payola has ruined it. There is no substitute for a metadata repository with proper classifications and categorizations culled from properly written descriptions. So basically someone has to step up and make a web based catalog for Second Life since LL is pretty much too busy. Why? because the hunts and freebies are manifestations of people desperately trying to gain visibility. So yea more cataloging bots hanging around. Actually the merchants would likely be willing to drop a cataloger object on the parcel to do the work but the back end would be hammered lol.

There is no google for Second Life. the google appliance is an epic fail because people that support deceit and con artistry put the rules together and supported the gaming and subsequent massive impact on the grid from bots and the uselessness of picks data because picks are bought. Doesn't cost that much to get 500 accounts with your location in picks. So now we need more than 500 picks and the picks arms race increases accordingly. It is a fail.

So we need a Second Life catalog that is controlled by people with a commitment to high ethical standards. Interesting challenge eh? LL has the data in the data warehouse. it is a matter of priorities and making it so even a dba at LL cannot influence results. I.e.; proper logging that even a DBA cannot bypass. And subsequent enforcement of policy that mandates ethics first over "partnerships" of any sort.

More SLevolution is required. This show is just starting.

AnthonyFontana Chevalier

To Jovin,
1) This is a bad thing? We need more people to innovate on the current client build. The few out there are doing great things already. Also, L$ could be paid to the users continue to use the LL client in order to feed consistent users with new $L when they are reluctant to buy their own.

2) Ask any 18 year old if they'd accept 10 advertisements via SMS on their phone in exchange for a lower phone bill and the answer is an extreme "Yes!" If I'm going to receive lower land prices because people use a tastefully designed LL client with 1 or 2 ads at log in (instead of pictures of snowmen and snowball fights) I would actually be promoting others to use it as well.

3) Lively had its own problems, most of which had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that it was in a browser (it was made with kid appeal, it put limits on what could be imported from Sketch-Up, the devs didn't listen to the community of users it did have...)

Second Life already has a strong community and an extremely huge number of non-return users who tried it and for one reason or another did not come back. Shoehorning users with a browser based client... I'm not sure I follow you here. LL has stated it is dedicated to being a "Lab" intent on driving its product to new heights in its graphics capability. That's shoehorning an audience (into buying more powerful computers). Meanwhile, in this economy, people out of work will be looking for innovative new areas for growth, NOT buying computers. I believe, SL and virtual worlds is one of those areas. Give them the tools... Please!

(By the way, I am a machinima artist working at a University who would benefit greatly from those advances in graphics... I still want SL in a browser!)

To Ann,
4) You make some very interesting points. Saying that we shouldn't allow objects from other programs to be imported just because we can't keep track of them... doesn't sound right. Yes, things can be imported, but sculpted prims are a temporary solution at best. It's lazy and backwards and like everything else, a Linden Lab solution that doesn't play well with others (LSL anyone?).

Universities across the country are NOT going to be teaching with SL's modeling tools anytime soon though. They will continue to teach with the "pro tools". With this in mind, it is great that SL is able introduce new users to the 3d modeling artform. However, to build an richer economy, virtual or real, I would say we need an educated workforce, not a self-trained one.

I agree that bots should not be used to catalog the world, though. Perhaps since LL has purchased, Xstreet and OnRez, and current search lists all objects for sale on a parcel, the cataloging of objects in-world is closer than you think.



(Dontcha just hate posts with numbered lists?)

1/ I didn't say it was a bad thing - it would be great, I could use a client that blocks or hides all your advertising, no complaints here. I doubt many people will pay for that advertising tho'.

2/ So your strategy might work in a virtual world which appeals to 18yo's - that again rules SL out. You won't receive lower land prices because of advertising, it will simply be another revenue stream for LL. Land prices right now are almost as low as they've ever been - so are you buying up acres of SL in preparation of the land rush of 2009? :-)

3/ By shoehorning I mean you will have to reduce the SL experience to get it into a browser window running on last years $500 laptop. All the graphics elements which give SL a degree of realism - Windlight, local-lighting, flexi-prims etc - will have to go in order to reduce the overheads. You're proposing flattening SL to a 2.5D experience (tho' I doubt you'll admit it) and that isn't what made SL successful so far.

Very interesting article in NYT about why Google kills certain products, including Lively (click my name to read the full article) with this quote:

"Lively, Google’s entry into three-dimensional virtual worlds, was publicly unveiled last July. Four months later, when the company decided to close it, only 10,000 people had logged into the service over the previous seven days. That was well below the targets set by Google’s quarterly project review process, and far behind Second Life from Linden Lab, which had about half a million users in a similar period."

I could give you a slew of reasons why virtual worlds into web browsers should never go, but I'll spare you the details for now... :-)

There are a lot of things we could do to stimulate SL but the key is to see what's made SL successful to date and extend that. All you're proposing is plastering every bit of blank space with advertising - you think the same Residents that complain about land-cutting and ad-farms will smile sweetly while you do that?

The land market is (one of the) cores that drive SL - make it easier and cheaper to own land and we'll make a huge difference to the inworld economy. I've previously suggested we give new signups a small piece of land for an introductory period - try before you buy. To further expand land-ownership we need to remove the requirement of a Premium account to own mainland - it's nothing but a tax on land, get rid of it! Any (payment-verified) Resident should be able to buy mainland and pay tier direct to Linden. If new Residents have land in SL they'll spend more time inworld and therefore spend more on content, fixing up their avatar or creating their first build. You'll make the inworld economy healthier by increasing the amount of user-hours - unwanted advertising everywhere will probably do the opposite.

I'm not against advertising but it should be the kind of advertising people actually want and seek out - your IKEA catalog for example is advertising but people choose to read it. There are advertising solutions that would work in SL but they're going to have to be a lot smarter than billboarding the login screen.

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