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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

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Shava Nerad/Shava Suntzu in SL

Is that quicksand under my community?

This feels, somehow, like the culmination of the "business" decisions of the past year-ish -- gambling, "age verification," outside certification for financial services,... I can't say I disagreed with the problems so much as the tone of the solutions.

In every case, the tone was about tearing down SL's position as a neutral platform, and turning it into a game with a real money economy, with strong policing and first consideration for ease of the company and not the future of the community.

I am glad that LL managed to get the grid to the point where it has a potential to clone and grow. I am sad to think that the tragedy of the commons in SL was perpetrated -- not by pressure blowing up the residents -- but by the pressure of the outside world causing LL to turn it into just another game community that needed to be manageable.

Hope I'm wrong.

Orange Montagne

Her departure is a real blow, I think. How can you replace a founder in terms of vision? From meetings and interactions with Robin I agree that she really cared about the actual user, and talked from the perspective of being "in" the world. I'm concerned that SL would ever come to be managed like "all the other" vertical virtual worlds which have, by comparison, only a fraction of the vision and potential. She's already missed.

Arcadia Codesmith

It always mystifies me when companies recruit management from other companies (or worse, fresh out of school) rather than promoting up through the ranks. Then they stand there scratching their heads while the new management team, who hasn't a single solitary clue as to how the business works, proceeds to drive it into the ground with their newly-minted paradigms.

It doesn't always work that way. Sometimes the business model has so much momentum that even a Havard MBA can't derail it (no matter how much they try).

I suspect that Second Life doesn't quite fit that bill. It is destructable. I further suspect we would be much better served if Linden Labs hired exclusively from the ranks of successful SL residents, regardless of their RL resumes.

Best wishes to Robin, and it'll be worth seeing where she lands.

Pavig Lok

It's sad to see Robin go. I believe she still had more to contribute, but I trust she'll make waves elsewhere now free of the restructured lab. :)

I'd thought the lindens insane for hiring outside the virtual worlds arena (they're mostly web, buzz or big iron infrastructure) and have been vocally critical. Maybe this is a good move though. The hires may not know much about virtual worlds, for that they've a fresh eye and some mistakes to make, but they all seem to know web strategy and foundation.

A large missing piece of SL has been that it is a dead end on the internet. I don't believe virtual worlds are the best platform for web content, but then again they're not the best platform for a lot of content the web does better. If SL could take stuff out to the web when appropriate and bring things in from the web when that makes sense, suddently it would be a fully fledged internet citizen. At the moment it's kinda fetishy.

Most of the content we view on computers is flat.. in the real world too.. tv's are flat.. paper is flat.. advertising is mostly flat etc. The internet is probably the most powerful delivery mechanism for flat media yet invented... but when we go into SL our access to that flatness is extremely problematic. Only 3d things exist. If we're going to live there, or meet there, flat stuff is important.

So if all these new web folk can bridge between the flat world and the 3d one they may be on to something. Considering these initiatives:

* webkit in SL - an overhaul of the browser engine
* http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-1086 web servers from within sl scripts (which would solve a LOT of problems)
* het-grid, which is basically oursourcing some bits of sl architecture to web servers
* the new slurl.com ... which is more web.
* a lot of web strategy hires
* _insert_favorite_web_initiative_here_ (There's a lot of them)

Looks like the lindens (or M) may be trying to integrate SL tighter into the web - or looked at in another way, tighter into the internet as a whole. This may be a good thing. Oh well.. it remains to be seen.

Well just my two cents as always, and if you're reading this... Good luck and fond regards Robin!


Geo Meek

Robin I'm happy if you are and i do hope you are. if you find some time do pop in from time to time please say hello. Good people like you are vary hard to find in any life.

Laetizia Coronet

We had our *strong* differences. And still finding this out (late, I am not very active anymore) is a bit of an unpleasant surprise.

T_S_Kimball

I remember working with Robin a bit in '05 and '06, due to my forum activity and brief stint as one of the ResMods. Good times back then, but as others above mention, SL is heading in new and even more interesting directions.

Best of luck to ya.

/salute
--Tim Kimball
inSL as Alan Kiesler

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