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Friday, June 25, 2010

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Komuso Tokugawa

RT: @judyking: RT @KomusoTokugawa: ahem...You do realise the BOD would have signed off on firing 30% of #ll staff don't you? - and other decisions! #sl

-> http://lindenlab.com/about/management

spyvspyaeon

Before voting I had no clue about optimistic it is for much of us. Just because, he is the founder and even after all the controversy on the past. Philip still the Icon for SL for a massive number of residents. I guess he is more in touch with the residents needs, communications (like yesterday) etc. Should we call this (faith refresh)? well let's see the results of this survey.

Wizard Gynoid

i'm invested in Second Life. i have no alternative but to hope and pray that Philip can pull it off.

Komuso Tokugawa

You do realise the BOD would have signed off on firing 30% of #ll staff don't you? - and other decisions! #sl

-> http://lindenlab.com/about/management

Oh, look who is chairman of the BOD! It's...oh...uh..oh...*carny music starts up*

Smoke and Mirrors time again folks...

Komuso Tokugawa

Do I need to repeat myself?

You are living on Planet Naive if you think the last couple of years fiasco has all been due to the Botox Boy from the Hamptons, M Linden, asserting his Or-Thorr-A-Tie without the full backing, consent, and no doubt odd-gentle-directional-push/shove from the BOD.

Marmottina Taurog

I think we all need to keep calm and remember the original excitement that we had about Second Life. I know we've been put through the wringer recently, but the more pessimistic we are the more it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. I for one, want Second Life to flourish. I love the creativity and the posibilities for future development. Let's hope Philip can get us all enthused again.

Komuso Tokugawa

rofl.

It's got nothing to do with "keeping calm" or "pessimistic" or "enthusiasm".

It has everything to do with transparancy, truth, and reality as opposed to spin, misdirection, smoke & mirrors. (which actually applies to a lot of things in RL as well, but lets not go there)

I'll just remind you that the best years of the SL Live Music community (ie: pre-M linden) had NO support from LL or Philip - and a lot of us tried to many times to give genuine feedback and were ignored.

Personally I don't need Phillip to "get me enthused", as I already "am enthused" - in SL or whatver platform I use.

Onwards and Upwards...

argo nurmi

It has certainly been a roller coaster ride for the last two weeks and who says its over? RT and Komusa T are correct -- the 30% layoffs, the change in leadership and jettisoning the Labs various initiatives all required the BOD signoff. Phil's returning marks another dangerous time for LL. Right now expectations are very high that residence will see some fundamental changes in the quality of the user experience. This is how Phils SL7B speech is being viewed. If there is no such change these same expectation can quickly turn to anger. The question now is can the Labs muster the focus, leadership and depth of commitment required to make it happen? What LL just went through could easily sink a company, for one moved by creative talent and energy it was a body blow.

MarillaAnne

Frankly I don't see that Philip gets the things that cause me to hesitate to encourage my friends and family to join SL. The Lab has killed the enthusiasm by complicating every aspect of my SL endeavors. I really don't feel the need to beat a dead horse and make a list here. We all know the list. All except LL leadership.

The one point of opinion I want to state clearly is this: It's not the wall of complexity that keeps people out. It's that those of us already on board are so busy bailing out our sinking endeavors ... endeavors that are sinking under the weight of poorly planned, poorly executed, poorly communicated changes by the lab ... we are too busy bailing and far too concerned to encourage friends and family to hop on in to what feels like a sinking ship.

Metacam Oh

Exactly, when every business in SL is struggling to pay their rent to Linden, it kills the economy. 295 a month plus premium membership is way too much to pay for a sim of land shared with 3 other sims of land on ONE computer. In real life when this happens people kill the rich and take over the government, in virtual worlds they just leave.

paypabak writer

I'm going with "doesn't change my opinion." I am not invested in SL in terms of a business. I derive my income from writing about it ... but that merely covers my high-maintenance SL-style. My faith lies in the creative people in SL and it worries me that they are concerned about the lack of clarity in communicating with LL. A lot of the "communicators" have been let go, so that's not such good thing.

spyvspyaeon

@MarillaAnne I guess it not Lab who "killed" our fair in the past. It's just the lack of clear communication and the real focus. Frankly Philip has a vision time and dedication to the community, as far as he wants to maintain the Second life philosofy. Focus on resident needs, Grid needs and the grown on the platform as needed. I am myself a hude critial guy, but as far as the things change I change my negative overview to something constructive, after all Philip really knows how to communicate with the residents and his speech "runs" much closer to what resindent expect from them, and what SL expect from us. So my opinion stays firmly on a positive side. So let's us just give him a chance to make it happen, I really do beleive that Philip wants more than anyone the survive and grow of the Platform.

cheers

Dnali

I'm optimistic because of Phil's apology about chasing the corporate dollar at the expense of the creative community. What I am hoping for is support for amazing creators like Desmond Chang and Komuso as what makes SL a destination.
To me SL is special because it is a vacation from RL, a place to expand and get away to. Just a brief tour seeing the creativity of others here is refreshing.
I don't have a business here, I'm one of the shoppers, I only spend here and I find on the forums, people like me aren't heard from much.
I would like to have links on the SL webpage to outstanding sims and events so new Residents have a way to experience the best of SL. There should be a link to Caledon as well as some of the other established communities, there should be a link to the live music events. Yes, people will complain and see favoritism but I do think that people who have invested money over a long period successfully should be seen as role models. I would like to see the Emerald viewer team and Desmond Chang hired as consultants as to how to build community and what do SLers want. They are successful. They have answers. A rising tide lifts all boats. If the successful creators here are supported, the smaller businesses will benefit.
So yes, I'm optimistic if it means supporting the creators and understanding what brings money spenders like me here to SL.

EileenK

I don't think I really care one way or another what goes on in Linden Labs front office as long as the platform functions and seems to be improving, and so far, I would say that is the case. I have fewer "force quits" and downages. I've been ghosted once in the past six months.

The only reason all of care about the Lindens is that in the MU** tradition, they are the Gods and Gods make themselves visible. By contrast, the folks in Yahoo/Geocities and MSNGroups (Yes, both of those services are defunct.) executive suite stayed hidden.

On a large platform the company running it is a monopoly landlord, and unlike a typical small apartment complex, you really don't know them and they also often have capitve tennants. In real life you can theoretically pull up stakes and find another apartment. With plain web space, you can also find another provider and put down virtual stakes fairly easily. This captive audience and monopoly makes for an adversarial relationship. We are powerless, and fortunately they are distant.

As long as the lights are on and the walkway is not full of holes, the machinations among the super (manager in other parts of the country) and owner aren't really going to effect me.

Mycroft


Komuso Tokugawa provided a link to the LL management page still listing the former CEO. That will probably get updated this week –that makes sense for there to be a short delay of a few days.

For LL I am most ashamed that BP is still being prominently listed as a success story. I saw residents goofing about that “BP Success Story” a month ago:

http://blogs.secondlife.com/message/231150

I noted that particualr resident forum post because I clearly remember shouting at the Lindens involved with promoting BP over a year ago:

http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/workinginworld/blog/2009/04/07/graduating-in-second-life

Infact LL remained harmfully stubborn for another BP promotion as recent as a few months ago:

http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/press/blog/2010/03/05/in-case-you-missed-it-second-life-press-highlights-from-the-week-of-march-1

At this point in time I think most toddlers can formulate the two words “BP bad”.
And still today LL has BP prominently listed as a success story:

http://work.secondlife.com/en-US/successstories/

I sincerely hope that this next week one of the Linden’s responsible for that particular Success Story page deletes the British Petroleum listing. Perhaps if we all wish collectively a single neuron will fire in that Linden’s brain, and help him/her recall that when s/he was having his/her nails done last week s/he heard a toddler say “BP Bad”.

Nalates Urriah


I voted unsure. I’m not sure what Philip may have learned in his time off, if anything. Founders and creative types are usually replaced as an endeavor grows beyond their ability to manage it. I expand on that idea in http://bit.ly/dfviuE

While many think the loss of LL’s communicators is a problem, I can’t see it that way. LL has never been good at communicating, at least in my 3 years with SL. I don’t see Philip R. as that great a communicator either. So, I don’t see communication getting worse or improving with these changes.

While I think Philip understands SL I am not at all convinced he knows how to make it grow or effectively communicate to non-residents what SL is. He has already had years to accomplish that and it has not happened.

I guess one could argue that the 2006-2007 growth was under his direction. So, he should know how to grow SL. But, management style has to change at various growth milestones. So, I’m not at all convinced he has the ability handle a larger SL.

I am convinced he is creative. Whether creative ideas are needed to grow SL is debatable. That some idea may fuel SL into the mainstream is possible, but it seems pretty hit or miss and trial and error.

For now… I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt and wait to see. The slope of the growth charts for SL and OpenSim show that something is going on. http://bit.ly/b660f9

Crap Mariner

Komuso, I agree. The list was not written up by M because he and T were on it, just given more time to pack their stuff than many others.

The longer Phil remains as CEO and Mitch as puppetmaster, the worse off SL will be for it.

The platform and company need a CEO manager-of-managers and then the managers to lead the employees through their project identification, resource-management, and completion.

Lovemachine days are over. Time for peer-review to end and the managers to do their jobs and get those jobs done.

Visionary doesn't do that. Visionary can see the challenges, but can't chart the course through them. Especially when the board sees Facebook and says "We want those numbers, too." They see LegoWorld and thing "How the heck did they go from plastic bricks to computer games and virtual worlds, MAN, why can't we have those numbers and captive audiences from childhood?"

Never mind that this will never be a Facebook. It'll never be plastic bricks that Johnny grows up sticking up his nose. Vision only gets them to the table and putting up one ante, but hunting for user n+1 while pissing off the other n users doesn't work... it's hard to do, and they're going to need someone that has done it.

Not many out there, and certainly not at bargain rates like M was.

Buzzwords and marketing BS under M without any front-end progress didn't fool anyone. (Well, okay, it fooled a lot of people. But this platform was and still is as business ready as Enron's Broadband Division)

Phil looks at Music and thinks "It's hard to set up the stream" and "Sim limits are limiting crowds" while acts get fewer and fewer audience members from a broken Search, broken Events, 25 group limits, etc.

We'll see if Phil follows through on acta non verba by embracing that "temporary" title or ends up shaming the Merchant Marine by echoing their words in hollow, short-term fashion.

-ls/cm

Valentina Kendal

I'm not sad to see this change at the top at all, since I'm one who also thinks SL has been headed the wrong direction(s) for a while now, but i will agree with Philip about one thing in regard to the two Kingdon years - SL *has* gotten significantly more stable during that time - remember back to 2007, 2008? crashing, hours off line, rolling restarts monthly. You never see those graphs anymore that Hamlet would publish showing the amount of time SL was unusable - that's at least one improvement on his watch IMO

Bumble Parx

Fiddle, clicked the wrong button which helped increase the most popular answer. Meant to select the first option - hasn't changed my opinion much regarding the future. Too early to say what the motives are behind the interim return...

Allison

Philip understands SL in a way that Kingdon never could, and as such, the soul and heart of Second Life was MIA the past two years. At the very least there is someone in charge again who "gets it" about SL.

Daniel Smith

I am optimistic for a few reasons...

I think that Phillip was in a fine position to observe and learn over the last 2 years. Hopefully he has learned that he needs to blend his utopian streak with that really needs to be done for the platform to succeed.

It is also good that Cory and Robin are out of the picture. Cory was not a leader, did not adequately address stability, and made some pretty questionable technical choices (LSL being a glaring example). Robin had a hard time introducing any new policy decision without having to go back and rewrite it or explain herself 2 or 3 times (seriously, go check her history on the blog) -- she was in over her head.

So I think the combo of Phillip + a competent CTO + better choices in policy (no more pricing favoritism would be an excellent start) would bode well.

The other factor in play at the moment, which was not a big deal two years ago, is OpenSim. If LL completely blows it, and SL withers, we still have the prospect of a thriving OpenSim grid based landscape. LL may be the major player in the metaverse story, but thankfully, they are not the only one.

Lili


I may be wrong, but I believe Philip understands the long-term users. I think he knows we're not interested in turning Second Life into something else, because Second Life is the reason we came here to begin with.

As for some of the newer users, I'm not sure I even understand what they want. They came to Second Life under different perceptions. Since Philip left, the focus seems to have been promoting Second Life as an alternative to other things-such as the sims, facebook, etc… Talking to a lot of newer users, I feel the different perception. They seem to be more into following fads, like facebook. Standing in one place and voice chatting seems more important to them than creating. Then you have the "play mafia" types, which I feel is an offshoot of the myspace and facebook type of games. Ok seriously, like I said, I don't really understand most newer users, so forgive me if I am wrong. It's just a feeling I have from interacting with them. They were sold a different play-space than I was :) I read an article a year or so ago, not sure where, but it stated that "Generation Z" doesn't understand Second Life because they want to go to places that are already built and experience it, not build their own experience.

This is what makes me personally optimistic though. I feel like Philip understands those of us who want to make our own world. Your world-your dream.

I don't want to exclude the heavy communicating facebook/twitter crowd, but I have often felt forgotten and left by the wayside since Mark took over. I'm not old, but it makes me feel old in Second Life. I guess this is what people in their fifties and sixties feel like in the real world. So come-on, Philip, save this twenty-one year old from feeling as an old woman :) Make it easier for me to build, cross sim borders, pay the tier and make my little world. Let's get back to the mechanics of Second Life. Give us bigger prims (at least up to 100 meters), lower the tiers (even if it's just till we're back on our feet again), and fix the problems left forgotten since 2006! Because really Philip, if those of us who own land and memberships don't make places; where are all those free noobs going to go? Why will they even come in the first place?

Arcadia Codesmith

We don't need traditional office hierarchies and profit projection charts. We need some Burning-Man- fueled creative chaos. Integration with social media is fine right up to the point where it demands constraints on content, at which point the media moguls can go tweet themselves.

We need to be the party that they hope to be invited to, with everything from the egghead discussion on Proust in the kitchen to the sweaty tangle of bodies in the back bedroom. Weekly staff meetings with weakly MBAs pretending they're smarter than designers or computer programmers (or the bulk of the user base, for that matter) ain't gonna cut it.

Sidney Smalls

There are some very confused people above.

First of all, I have no idea what Philip thought of the layoffs, but it doesn't necessarily mean anything that Philip was chairman. The chairman gets one vote. Other than Philip I see two VC's and an angel investor (Kapor), and another corporate tool (Evans). Only one other person who has actually created a company. Probably M was on the board as well. It's pretty clear that the money guys and corporate tools were in charge.


Second, CEO's are not project managers. They need to hire good project managers, but I'd much rather have a CEO with good vision who can inspire people.

Sidney Smalls

*** Founders and creative types are usually replaced as an endeavor grows beyond their ability to manage it. ***

Actually they're usually replaced when companies are preparing to go public because the prejudices of the finance guys and other corporate tools involved demand it. "Professional management" is the world's largest scam, and if you aren't on the inside of it, you won't be let in easily.

Lap Liberty

I to am invested in Second Life. Not only in a financial way, but through the relationship between myself and an International community.

Philip was the Dream Weaver in my early days of Second Life. The only time I ever met him, he ask if I had a info texture for something on P Squared. I thought to myself, he is not caring about copying, but more about sharing.

I have made my money time and again on servers I purchased for LL and were to think they were mine. Now the Time has become as disruptive as the weave of the Dream itself.

As for keeping the faith in Philip's Vision, well one should never give up on one's dreams. Having said this i have already turned land back to LL. But I think I will hang tight on the rest for a few.

Welcome back Philip, and your agenda in this term, I think should be bringing the cost of following your Dreams, down.

Ananda Sandgrain

I don't know what to think about Philip as a manager, but the stat trends don't lie - massive growth when he was at the helm, stagnation when he left. Especially when he and his old buddies seemed to drop interest entirely!

I think we should not underestimate the impact of knowing the Original Dreamer is still invested, especially upon a world full of dreamers.

IntLibber Brautigan

I am aware the board signed off on everything Kingdon did. That said, I believe that I am more confident that more people will be more confident in Second Life's future with Philip back. Confidence breeds confidence, I can confidently say.

Komuso Tokugawa

@sidney

No one is confused, however you are making specious assumptions.

While you are correct that in theory P has one vote on the board, the point I am making above all else is the board must have signed off on ALL the initiatives while M was in control. While M as CEO is the public face of LL failure the reality is the buck stops at the board.

We don`t know the actual power distribution of the unseen board relationship network vs org chart, but it may not be too far a stretch to finger Mr Kapor as the controlling director (as posited by others), given he seems to have been the key seed investor for A/B stage investment.

There are any number of scenarios to do with P's original stepping down and replacement with a "businessman" (sic), from leveraged out (*
"I told you this would happen") to classic let the new take the heat so I don't burn my Street cred with my cult. Either way, he was Chairman of the board throughout the whole sorry M period.

@ananda
Another specious assumption and key VW world myth is that P alone was responsible for SL's massive growth when he was at the helm. Anyone who lived through that massive pr hypecycle knows this is fallacious, as SL was just the biggest rider on a huge wave of VW pr. It had more to do with irrational VW exuberance than the power of phil.
Please read "Fooled by Randomness" for more insight into this very interesting topic -> http://www.amazon.com/Fooled-Randomness-Hidden-Chance-Markets/dp/1587990717

Let me say I respect Phil for his initial vision and entrepreneurial skills.
However, having lived through SL since Feb 2005 I can attest to the fact that most of the key community successes that form the soul of SL were made in spite of LL/phil and not due to them. People took the platform as it was and did incredible things with it, with the expectation it would be professionally developed and the quality of service would improve to match the exorbitant price tag associated with running a sim.

Sorry folks, this did not happen under phil's watch, and it only got worse under M's - all the while BOD having oversight and signoff.
I have had recent gigs where the performance of the sim was as bad, if not worse, than anything back in 2006. Progress? Not yet.

I am neither pessimistic nor optimistic, I am a pragmatist.
I don't listen to what people say, I watch their actions to determine what they really mean.

Is SL still viable? Hell Yes. If they have the will and professionalism to do it....

We
Shall
See

Terrific McCrackin

You make me more pessimistic about the future of SL.

Simeon Beresford

M's big contribution to SL was that he lowered the Technological debt. every where we look in SL we see spaghetti code on top of spaghetti code.
Did he remove it all? not by a long chalk.Indeed it was his failure to remove it all that laid the the path to his downfall. the new viewer had too much debt when it was released.
That debt ultimately arose from philip's reign.
Will he tackle it this time I hope so but that is all I have. A hope.

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