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Friday, January 29, 2010


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Tried to set up an account, but the site generated errors. It now tells me the email is in use at AU, but when I try to log in with my email, it tells me I can't log in- even after resetting password. So much win.


Problem solved by using different email address. Actually sent me an activation code this time. Yay.

Nine Warrhol

Just signed up a few minutes ago. So far it'd good. Page loads are a little slow, otherwise not bad.


Being that I'm not familiar with YoVille, I can't really comment as to the similarity or lack thereof to Avatars United. However it does seem like LL is attempting to lure their residents away from the popular social networking sites to their own.

Zauber Exonar

A lot of functionality is broken under Firefox and Google Chrome. Worse with google chrome, because some things (sign-up, adding avatars) causes chrome to crash. The feedback link fails to load under chrome, while under firefox the feedback link and avatar dropdown menu fails to work at all.

Botgirl Questi

I wish them well, but the kludgy information design makes it almost useless at this point. I've been registered for more than a year and despite loving the concept of connecting multiple online identities, I never could find a way to make it worth more than an occasional check-in.

It looks like there's a flurry of new signups with the announcement, but then what? Are people going to bail out of Plurk, Facebook, Ning, Koinup, etc. for a site that doesn't seem to do anything better (or even as well).

I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and stay open to upcoming improvements. But as the saying goes, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression" so I wonder about the big announcement before they had all their ducks in a row.

M Linden

@Hamlet -- haha. I was eager to try out the gifting option and I bought you the MOST expensive gift in the collection, Birthday Cake! I guess you set your bday to today because there was a notice on my profile page.

Think of it this way...Avatars United is just the beginning, not the end-state. Look at it not just as a destination site, but as the beginning of a larger social initiative. We want to create connections between these properties so that all can flourish. The ecosystem is powerful and the more interconnections, the better. AU has a nascent developer program. I'd encourage folks to start thinking about fun apps.

Adric Antfarm

I think this is a good thing (more so would it send a verification to any of the addresses I have used) but I have to wonder why Linden ignores the cries from the grid for improvement or our Xstreet protests and instead focuses on things like this. Is the goal for us to spend more time off the grid?

Nice cake for Hamlet however from M.

Peter Stindberg

I'm a user of AU since April 2008, when Vint Falken initially blogged about it. From the various websites claiming to be "the Facebook for avatars", AU came closest to what I expect from a social networking site. However there still is a lot missing what I know from other sites, and also the website could react much faster (and no, it is not just tonight's rush - it was always slow). What I liked in the past is that the development team had good ideas and communicated them fast.

Ann Otoole

There is potential here. But the whole profile thing needs to work like the wordpress system does. Like on my blog: http://annotoole.wordpress.com/

Multiple rss feeds, configurable columns, positioning of the widgets, no forced positioning of LL widgets on top, removal of any widgets we don't want on the page. Etc.

I had added in the Whitehouse feeds and suddenly it looked like I was the President. Not good. Had to delete them. Severe protocol violation.

And NO CHARGES FOR CUSTOM BACKGROUNDS! Sheesh how stupid is that!

Then the profile needs to be the web profile for our avatars. And then be the profile for our in world avatars. And then extend this concept for marketing of SL businesses.

So yea it has potential.

But SL isn't going to be "mainstream" until it is accessible from console systems and ipad (3D style client).

Long row to hoe.

Delinda Dyrssen

pouts I didn't get a cake from M :-(

jokay Wollongong

It looks ok but really finding it hard to imagine myself heavily engaging in it in lieu of twitter, flickr, facebook.

My main criticism.... I cant see a way to link my various avatarised identities easily?? Having a seperate page for each avatar across several vws/games platforms seems to defeat the purpose to me. Why cant I have one page that I link my SL identity, my WoW avie, my ReactionGrid avie and my AION avie to?? It all seems like to much hard work.

Net Antwerp

Re-printing my comment on the Linden Blogs:
So Mark Kingdon, Tell us, exactly *how* is this unknown social networking website supposed to fix all of SL's problems?

Yet another pure Marketing move from a Markting-Orientated CEO.

Kingdon wrote:
"When we talk to the users who sign up but then decide not to stay, they say they left, in part, because they had a hard time finding people to hang out with. Either their friends weren't there, or they have a hard time meeting new ones inworld, or sometimes both"

These so-called "social networking" Markting websites isn't going to fix the problem. Newcomers need to be directed to appropriate hangout areas, not those meaningless 'help islands' and newcomer-unfriendly/empty infohubs.

Mark Kingdon needs to realise that people are unlikely to add/befriend strangers on "social networking" sites, unless they're out there to advertise their service or product.

Note that Twitter, Plurk etc is *different* because of it's bite-sized 'status' updates.


Content Developers WANT CUSTOMERS.


What is it with these folks....

Lalo Telling

I'm with Botgirl on this one. ning.com has more functionality, and all for free... but we'll see how this goes, with the huge influx of new members and infusion of fresh Linden dollars, so to speak.


Can someone smarter than I am tell me what all the fuss is about?

What has changed here besides a strategic purchase that could amount to nothing?

Potential for what?

Did we already forget this snippet made on Thursday, April 23, 2009 on this very blog:
No plans for a Linden-sponsored social network. "Community happens where community wants to happen" (T. Linden).

Ann Otoole

Plenty potential. Unless they buy, implement, and abandon like they did with windlight and voice.

If they extend the functionality to make the AU profiles more like a full fledged blog done right like wordpress and that becomes your profile on the web and in world then the ramifications are huge.

But LL has to keep at it and not leave it like they did windlight and voice with unfulfilled promises.

Time will tell.

As for the blog games LL likes to play well it is now officially out and proven how they work. They need to stop that unless they like being laughed at lol.

Simeon Beresford

Portal? Scary!
In many ways second life is not a social networking tool. It is an environment in which people socialise. yes it is likely that these people would not have met elsewhere. but few people join SL specifically to meet and connect with specific types of people. They don't join to Talk about The Blues,Software Design or Great Literature. Their primary purpose was not to stay current with web page design trends and opportunities. or even to check on dad or the kids. They join for the most part expecting no more than casual chatter.
which is just as well for the tools to network are few inside SL.

Out of casual chatter,communities - social networks grow. Many people never or rarely network further than asking their neighbour if he can recommend a plumber for them and for them SL is sufficient. but for others social networks are opportunities to be exploited.
And just as In RL the web is the way to do it.
Is Avatars United the way to do it? No more or less than blogs Or plurk or podcasting. or a million other forums an soapboxes. but its a valid way and one both markets the SL platform
and neatly sidesteps the "avatars are contemptible" attitude of platforms like facebook.
So in conclusion AU is not a key or core product but has the potential to be a useful add-on. and one that proves LL is occasionally capable of joined up thinking.

Pyewacket Bellman

Avatar names are not verified - nor do they seem to be unique.


Web based Social Networks are a step backwards. If online worlds are going to admit they can't attract users without the web, then the genre has already failed.

I understand the need to grow revenue streams, but taking a step forward would actually encourage the existing base that the company was committed to advancing VW's instead of admitting their limitations. This is another case of pursuing short term profit objectives first.

Focusing on UI simplification and augmentation, server performance, client-server interaction and enhancing the status of content providers would do more for expanding the genre than social networks.

Along with my fellow dreamers I envision a day when VW's ARE the internet.

I realize I may be straying from the central issue for SL of avatars and social networks, and I can see their desire to "raise the status", so to speak, of Avatars on the net, but it really does come off as being a "me too" kind of strategy rather than leadership.

Maybe this is something that people want, but I only have ONE avatar, located in ONE world and all the social networking I want happens there. Of course my preference would be to see that world GROW. Until then I will socialize with those who care to share my feelings on the matter.


So first Wallace posts and suggests his rather interesting post was nothing to do with the upcoming plans of LL.
Customers/residents lied to again?

Secondly the Lindens aren't on there (or the Linden alts) there's already customers connecting with 'fake' accounts and other customers feeling the NEED to sign up to protect their virtual identity. Bad move.

Thirdly though community building is great and something many people have asked for over the years it's yet another shiny thing amidst a tidal wave of unfinished projects the lab have started. People are disappointed. The tools on the website are also lacking, the feed app for example - clicking a link wont bring you to the post, if you're lucky it will reveal some of the post, looks terrible in IE.

Every where you click on that website there's adverts for any virtual world except Secondlife.

Why can't the Lindens be innovative like they once were and hire the people to run up a facebook/myspace/plurk clone professionally made and integrated into the current software? Or better still finish some of the projects they seem to have left by the wayside before following a dying trend.

Outscource after outsource and each day it's becoming more and more fun to go find web entertainment elsewhere than it is to play around inside the buggy virtual world.

Dedric Mauriac

I like to think of it as extending a 3D platform into the 2D internet.

Site has been crashing a few times today. I've lost friend requests, profile image changes, group joins, status updates, etc. Seems they roll the database back when there is a problem.


I didn't get a cake from M Linden either. Clearly I need to be more corporate.

Ciaran Laval

I like it, it respects avatars, unlike Facebook, which should now be sent to the dustbin of history.

We have to face some facts here, people have been asking for more than 25 groups for ages, it hasn't happened, this is a way of dealing with the social side of SL, it's a welcome move and as I said earlier, negates the need to use Facebook.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

"I didn't get a cake from M Linden either. Clearly I need to be more corporate."

I got a rock.

Rodion Resistance

I wish there was a way to use L$ instead of AU coins--I don't use Paypal or have a credit card--usually, most of my inworld money remains inworld.


Ann Otoole

Excuse me but we want 25 groups



I give it another 72 hours before people stop going there. The only reason to be there is to get your name established so people can tell it is really your account and can spot the fake ones.

Another shot in Kingdon's assault on anonymity no doubt. The troll war in the forums has been exposed so they need to ratchet it up to get a larger mob going demanding an end to anonymity. The fact anyone can impersonate you on Avatars United is quite hilarious yet childish and certainly exposes the quality of what Kingdon invested in. That and the fact the website can't handle a minor load lmao.


Ann Otoole

*more than 25 groups lol

Sorry today has been a day of complete lunacy with forum trolls running rampant all over LL's blog. LL appears to be allowing certain trolls to blatantly insult and violate every rule so it looks to me like Linden Lab has completely lost it.

Time for a drink I think.

LL really needs to hire a staff to work weekends. It is obvious the place runs on auto pilot as soon as happy hour hits on Fridays.

Fogwoman Gray

1. Mark Kingdon is not interested in content creation. He is a businessman, he is interested in business. "Social Networking" was in the news a lot last year. So now LL is jumping on that bandwagon. Philip was about content creation and building a 3D world. He is gone.

2. AU is a pile of steaming and redundant redundantness with enormous spam potential and little else.....EXCEPT

3. Anyone can create an account and be you, several anyones can do so. Anyone can create an account and be M Linden, or any other Linden and many can do so. On a LL owned site. Anyone else see the problem here? Ordinal did.

4. How can anyone besides LL make any money if all your customers have gotten pissed off at the lag and broken functions of SL, and logged off to chat with friends on AU?

Vax Sirnah

I think it's a good move, but there is a lot of functionality (in itself and in terms of in-world integration) that needs to be developed. While building a developer eco-ssyetm like places like Facebook have is important, I think it would be a big mistake for LL to hang their hopes on that.

_If_ LL really puts the work and funding into AU (and integrating it into SL), it could be something really extraordinary and even profitable.

Things I'd like to see:
* Make profile customization free.
* An option for a person to connect some or all of their own avatars together publicly.
* Modify in world profiles so they can pull info from AU (example, so people can use the blogs app or something similar instead of using their picks as a makeshift blog)
* AU integration with the forums (if nothing else, just a place set aside to put your AU address in your forum profile)

Lap Liberty

Is there no escape? Must I share all my Virtual Spaces with Magnolia Hugnut?
The log thru technology has been around for some time. I guess the price was finally was sutible.
At times I feel as though Im playing the board game RISK, moving all my men (avatars) around the world, trying to get a hold on a territory or make a claim for rights to the business concessions.


every thing that we know with in socity as we learn it is set up for us to in our lives is set up for us to be munipulated in the future of our lives for many reasons mostly for control. socity is set up to explain away what is actual in other words reality as we know it is most all lie designed for it to be munipulated, groups in power control knowleage by using boundres set standards to confine our ability to furter our selfs in all aspects.


Linking avatars from various platforms is a convenience. However, why not use several different avatars and user names/profiles for different platforms?

These virtual worlds are very different and it doesn't make sense to use the same avatar or profile for all of them.

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