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Thursday, June 24, 2010


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Chimera Cosmos

Hmmm...cause or effect?

Could M Linden going missing from his SL7B talk have fueled the fire of wishful thinking rumors? Or is there something to this?

Time will tell...interesting...

Blobbob Wind

firing drama...

Dirk Talamasca

We already have the machine Philip. Bring back the love!

Graham Mills

There were apparently alarms going off at LL that might explain the non-appearance: http://twitter.com/sealinden/status/16861130801

Marianne McCann

I've been hearing lots of people saying they'd want that, and it might make some sense. Will it happen, or just wishing thinking?

Lalo Telling

As immersed as I've been in the World Cup, Philip's first speech prompted me to Tweet: "Philip shows M the yellow card." Might've been another, "away from the ball" as they way... and two yellows make a red.



Little Lost Linden

Holy ****ing roller coaster Moly!!!

If this is true, it will certainly make this the world's most incredible roller coaster ride ever. On the very day of SL's 7th birthday no less.

All I can say is...Holy Moly!

Little Lost Linden

Wizard Gynoid

um, i don't think philip ever really left. it was my understanding that he has always been on the board of directors.

Frans Charming

I would be stunned if a joke we make in the morning suddenly becomes reality at night.

Adric Antfarm

I'm not even going to go the Phil worship route you expect and say it's more important we end and get past what near everyone agrees was a choice in leadership that was not a good fit (nor would it ever grow to be).

Phil is that dreamer spark you want during the start-up and never seemed all that comfortable as businessman sometimes. At this point he needs to be here however. I think even he knows if this goes down and he is at least not on the bridge he'll regret not being there.

His speech the other did have some more business taste to it and we all grow as people, so Phil needs a clean slate and our faith from day one (something we have to admit M did never got from many).

Most of all he needs the acceptance he is not being handed a ship in smooth waters with the boiler room free of flame , the engine not making an odd sound, and my feet would not feel soggy.

Let's man the buckets before thinking about jumping ship.

Tuna Oddfellow

I want to believe in the Lab, again. It would probably take some one like Philip Rosedale, a belief in his original vision, and a little magic.

All we can do now is wait for the pieces to come together.

GoSpeed Racer

We're missing details here. Missing his speech and Philip's asking for forgiveness doesn't necessarily imply M's departure. Are there other clues we are missing Hamlet?

Little Lost Linden

"I want to believe in the Lab, again. It would probably take some one like Philip Rosedale, a belief in his original vision, and a little magic.

All we can do now is wait for the pieces to come together."

I think many people feel the same way. When will we know if this is true or not? When is the press release if it is true?

Little Lost Linden

Marianne McCann

@Tuna "I want to believe in the Lab, again. It would probably take some one like Philip Rosedale, a belief in his original vision, and a little magic."

I'm totally with you on that.


Thought the emergency at the lab was a medical one?

Jago Constantine

It's the second coming prophesied by the First Church of Rosedale!


Philip wasn't ashamed of the users and I always got the feeling Mark was. Being a dreamer, even a failed one, is something I can appreciate. I'm a dreamer myself, and even if it doesn't work out a lot of the time, it's a lot more entertaining than being an accountant :)


P.Rosedale is the one abble to offer a "Second Chance to Second Life".

Mork linden

If that is true. That M. Linden just digg his grave, i really don't feel anything with philip returns but well let's see what the holidays made on him. Ps: hope m. Fall down the bloody cake

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Once, again, it's Apple Computer's history in overdrive. Gil Amelio jokes, anyone?

Patasha Marikh

As for the dreamers create then the business types take over to manage. I agree that's a good model. But it has to be played out properly. Personally I think SL was turned over to the business types too early. The infastructure wasn't mature enough to be a serious business platform yet.

A vast majority the problems we have seen over the past couple of years are basically created when people were sold on the idea that here was a business tool they could use for generate real income, but really it couldn't, not on a large scale.

Sure you had a handful of people making a living in SL. Somewhere along the line it went out into the world that it was common for people to come into SL and make a real world income to support their real life, and it just wasn't true beyond a very very limited subset of the population.

Crap Mariner

Until now, I didn't believe anything about the refocus on the customer base. M was brought in to lure businesses in, he failed his mission, and he was going to be kept on by the board?

Saints VC don't tick and tock that way, and it struck me odd.

Now, I'm starting to believe it.

M was the wrong man for the CEO job... likely wrong man for a COO job, too.



I think Philip didn´t leave voluntarily. The investors were not satisfied with the performance of SL and made Philip step down as CEO. An indicator for that is, that he was playing around with other projects first which have been rather... well, not very philip-like. It seemed to me that he didn´t really know what to do. The investors brought M in and now since M didn´t do a good job, they want Philip back. M is a nice man, but he is a marketing guy. He sees a product and tries to sell it to as many people as he can. That is what we saw the last months. Philip is less of a marketing guy. He is a visionary with a technical background. He is the only one that can make SL to what it is supposed to be: a state of the art platform for all kinds of 3D content, open for everybody and available everywhere, kind of the Matrix;)

Summer Seale

I've been hoping (and vocal) for this change since a year. I'm really hoping it is true, and I've been really loud about it happening since a long time.

M was not only the wrong guy for the job, he also didn't know what the hell he was selling. Philip may be a dreamer, but at least he knows what the hell the platform is. He's not there to reshape it into something it isn't, and quite frankly he can be "one of us". Having a CEO who listens to *customers* and considers us customers, and who actually is publicly accessible is a step back into the right direction.

M doesn't treat us like customers. He treats us as commodities. We pay his effing salary and he treats us like we're numbers to be played off for a big sale or something. So screw him and his frigging cold business ways which obviously didn't work and drove a major chunk of users away. Philip definitely can screw up too, but he's not a bastard about it and he always tries to fix what he messes up in the end.

If this report is true, and I know it's to be taken with a grain of salt right now, it will have made my day, week, and month.

Ricepot Rincewind

M needs to go. He is single-handedly destroying Philip's entire empire and his legacy. This is what happens when you try to mesh two people with two dramatically different visions - not to mention the one taking control came on board long after the ship had already set sail and attempted changed directions so abruptly that he's nearly tipped the ship. Mark is not a progressive thinker. He is not an innovative leader or a pioneer of the future. Mark does not love Second life and has no passion for it - evident in all he's done.

Mark only know how to milk something for dollars, how to monetize the hell out of it. He is purely mechanical. He is all about the process. As we are so early on in this virtual world revolution and Second Life remains the first, best and only of it's kind, it was the wrong time to make it an assembly line process. It was the wrong time to remove the people who DO love and charish the world and the vision from it completely and replace them with robots who perform a task, collect a check and go home.

They want it to reach Facebook status; hey keep saying they want BILLIONS of people in Second life. That's outrageous, and impractical. Just 7 years ago, Philip was happy with 100 people being in Second Life at once. Now it has to be BILLIONS. It has to be all of Facebook's community and all of twitter's... and Second Life can still not have 30 people in one place without crippling itself much less BILLIONS.

If we look at Second life as a gestational process in human years, it's about at it's 4th month. It can't breathe on it's own, it hasn't the arms or legs formed enough to tread water with Facebook, Twitter and communities like that who are expecting results - and mostly for free. Thats another thing Linden Lab has forgotten, the demographic they are wanting plays their facebook apps and social media exchanges for free. Second Life is in no way free. You might get a few low quality freebies signing in, but the world is costly and so are Lindens.

Phil had the ability to forge into new territory and make Second Life slowly into something that has even more global appeal that it already has.

Mark Kingdon just took a wrench to the entire machine, beating it until it resembles something he can fit into one of his template molds of moneymaking, destroying everything SL stood for in the process. Mark would rather chase the million or so of us out to reach billions out there.

And what of community. Mark has such little interest in Second Life that he didn't he both attending the annual anniversary of the platform launch, or addressing a community that truly needed to hear from him during this sensitive time. Instead, he further distanced himself from the community as a whole. Now with most of the community people gone- in fact almost every public facing person gone but Torley (*boggle*) the community has no voice on the ground anymore. There is no shared space between the Lab and the user. In getting rid of people like Blue, Mia and the likes, the have dug an effective chasm between themselves and the rest of the world.

Phil need to come back and see his legacy through to it's final incarnation before pushing it out and handing it over in it's embryonic state to some Mechanical Thinker. He needs to redeem the mess Linden Lab has found it in. The community is deeply unsettled, the media thinks that it's a joke and their peers who run other virtual worlds find Second Life under Marks leadership laughable because he's digging it into the ground with each decision he passes down as Phil stands by watching.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Apple Inc., 1997: After Apple's three-year record-low stock price and crippling financial losses, Steve Jobs is called back to lead the company again.

June 2010: Apple becomes the most valuable IT company in the world, surpassing Microsoft, and becomes the #2 largest US company.

Bringing back former CEOs beloved by customers to restore the past glory often leads to huge success :)

But it would be a very crippled Linden Lab with Philip as CEO and without Cory, Pathfinder, Robin, Blue, Babbage, and the other hundred Lindens who were irremediably lost...

Summer Seale

I couldn't agree more with Ricepot and Gwyneth. M needs to go and I've been saying it loudly for a year. And the fact that this may only be a *rumor* so far but is giving almost all of us such tremendous hope is a huge clue as to what has to be done: Get rid of M. Even if it's just a rumor, it's the only bright news that any of us have heard in two years almost to the day.

Get rid of M now. He's a total disaster. He has nearly destroyed what WE have built. M hasn't built anything; he's just ruined everything. On the other hand, anyone who has made and contributed anything to SL has helped to make it the rich place it is today.

M should take a hike now. He's made his millions before and he should bloody well leave us alone. And instead of kicking out tons of good Lindens who were trying to contribute as well, either with code or with a face on the company and helping others directly as best as they could, they should have booted M first.

Clue for you if you're reading this, Mark: Get out of our world. We made it and you didn't. Most of us want you to go. It's your name on the Ostraka pottery and we want you out of the city gates. Get lost. Vamoose. Scram. If you had bothered to actually contribute instead of tearing down, we'd have a completely different opinion about you, regardless of how short a time you were with us. But you're the cause of the loathing we feel towards you. SL can be a really forgiving community, but you've gone way too far and you've destroyed too many dreams and hurt too many good people for absolutely nothing good in return.

Crap Mariner


Funny you should mention Cory... heh.

And as long as Joe is a Linden, there's still hope.


Arcadia Codesmith

I think some of the Kingdon backlash is over the top. He's not a melodrama villain in black cape and top hat. I just think this world and culture are a poor fit for him.

Linden Lab is, at its best, a lab. It's a place to experiment. It's R&D. Nobody expects R&D to turn a huge profit, (and when it does, it's often detrimental to the research).

Innovate, create, refine, polish. And if it comes time to mass-market and profit, perhaps that should be a new but connected world with cleaner lines, simplified interface and more hand-holding, keeping the SL grid intact as a chaotic, bubbling cauldron of innovation for those of us allergic to plastic.

Giulio Prisco

@Lili "I'm a dreamer myself, and even if it doesn't work out a lot of the time, it's a lot more entertaining than being an accountant :)" - this is a great comment!


Assuming M is on the way out, I'm a little surprised I've not seen Cory's name dropped.

I'll admit I didn't buy his generally anti-intellectual property philosophy, but I think he was a key part of SL's success.

If someone would get him to sit down and talk with Epic's President about IP issues ("we already saw the impact of piracy: it killed a lot of great independent developers"), I'd fully endorse bringing him in as CEO.

Nexus Burbclave

Arcadia, I like your vision, and could not agree more. Kingdon isn't Snidely Whiplash, he's just a suit at a point in time when we still need lab coats directing the vision. The tools in his utility belt aren't the tools that Linden Lab needs to execute on the future vision laid out during the layoffs. That vision will require a product person to bring the moving parts together, and Kingdon was brought on because the board thought they had passed the product person stage.

I've been highly critical of our CEO in many of my comments here and on my blog, but hopefully Kingdon of all people can appreciate that "It's nothing personal. It's just business."

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Giulio, as we've discussed before, you and I have different dreams, but it's still a good time for dreamers.

Thanks, Arcadia, for noting that M is not some villain. Perhaps in a different economy he might have succeeded. Unlike the Gil Amelio years at Apple, SL is not losing market-share to a Microsoft. SL has competition but the analogy is not apt (unless lots of former SLers are suddenly playing FaceBook games).

Philip Rosedale cannot walk on water. But he dreamed up this crazy thing we all enjoy and assembled the team that built it. Even if he does not sit in the CEO's chair again, I hope his presence and energy can rally LL and take us to the next step in SL's evolution.

brinda allen

I for one am hoping. I have always found it hard to believe that Phillip left voluntarily...Secondlife is/was his dream.


Dear M Linden,

The difference between "involvement" and "commitment" is like an egg & ham breakfast: the chicken was "involved"- the pig was "committed"

In reply to one of his statements when he was first hired. "I will be involved"

Velvet Bikcin

I did notice something interesting yesterday, which makes me think the above story is true. In the notice about the viewer 2.1 beta being ready for download, there were a couple of paragraphs tagged on at the end saying, essentially, we know you're not happy with viewer 2, so don't forget about Viewer 1 which is still available or the nifty new 2nd party viewers.

This is a dramatic change in the cheerleading previously for viewer 2.

I think viewer 2 was Kingdon's baby, and has beeen a bit of a bust. I wouldn't be surprised if the above story was true.


Do I need to remake this ALREADY?


Ricepot Rincewind

I think we in the community are as hard pressed to find anything positive come out of Linden Lab or Second Life during Kingdon's reign, Arcadia.

Viewer 2.0 was a massive hackjob attempt to influence new customer into staying by making them more comfortable. If failed massively, was widely criticized and for many it nearly destroyed the linear process of creating and navigating SL without imposition.

Critical, lomg term employees who joined SL in it's embryonic phase and enjoyed the process of seeing it through by Phil's vision left the company- Robin, Everett, Kat, Zee, Ginsu. They were people who worked with the community to figure out where we wanted it to go. They were spearheading the SL revolution that would never come under Kingdon, who wanted a square peg ina round hole.

The XStreet fiasco, with new fees, the disparagement of freebies and charging people monthly per item was a horrible decision. Countless people rippled huge inventories from XStreet in protest and moved onto third party exchanges.

The laying off of public facing employees along with 30% of the company body. Many of whom had been with the company for 5 years. There is no community body now at all. Who have we got? Courtney? Who doesn't know a prim from a hole in the ground as is testified by anyone and everyone at SL7B? Community "Conversation Manager" who has never one single time actually reached out beyond his twitter to host any conversation whatsoever. He is not a bridge, he's been a wall.

Second Life has taken a very public scrutinizing since Kingdon. moreso than any single person at Linden Lab. Where once the vast majority of the community had no awareness or concern about Linden Lab ongoing, Mark's changes and blatant ignorance with regards to how we function in SL and use it cause those people to sit up and take notice, and with they did so with outrage.

He has been trying to change the entire platform into something it is not since joining the company. He removed all bridges between Linden Lab and the community, the customer base and sought to milk them dry and impose upon the experience dramatically by changing the rules and tools as well.

Phil need to come back and salvage it. Linden Lab may have monopolized virtual world territory for this long, but one day a true comparable will arrive on the scene and people will leave SL in masses because of Mark's disregarding mismanagement.

Loraan Fierrens

Apparently, M is stepping down. This was posted about 20 minutes ago to the SL blogs.


Kara Spengler

@Marianne: I'm totally with you on that.

For sure!!! Before M I was a supporter of LL. Okay, they made some decisions I did not like, but they were balanced by ones that I did.

Under M ... well, everyone knows the drill. I wanted to believe in the lab, but almost all of their decisions I completely disagreed with. The few I liked usually came with a caveat ('no traffic bots .... but trust us to find them and do not AR them'). Even decisions that may have made sense in some ways were done in a callous way that did not help their case (like getting rid of the mentors, technical changes, or how certain Lindens were let go). It became pretty hard to defend the lab to people. I went from being online pretty much all the time I was not at work or asleep to a few hours per day (and AFK for most of that).

Fogwoman Gray

......and it is now official.
It will indeed be interesting.

Joshua Philgarlic

It's not a rumor any longer: M packs his job and Philip returns as CEO.

Ann Otoole

Message for Phillip:

It's just a love machine and it won't work for nobody but you!


Jack Abraham

It's official: Philip's back.


that only proves that something REALLY went wrong. Why ex-CEO come back after Mr. M announces. I don't beleive that it was because of residents "lack of faith" but rather a "wrong path" that M. did.

Much more the faith on SL, at least I beleive that SL will recover the basic philosofy.

But anyway it is not so good as can be. while all that happens might be people who are tired of so many changes (maybe not so big impact), but might let them think a bit before.

I wonder that Philip continue some of the work done already while "attend the real residents need" after all RESIDENTS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT MARKETTING THEY HAVE!

Hope the web(thing) continues (it is important, yes).

Metacam Oh

SL Viewer 2.0 was a grenade, and M is the guy falling on it.

Rev. Samantha Poindexter

He is rezzin'!

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Well, I have to say this was rather unexpected!! Of course Philip is just back as "interim CEO". A first reading of that means "we're looking for someone else to become LL's CEO but I'll hold the fort until then". It would be ironical if Cory would be invited...

Then again, mmh, Jobs also returned to Apple as "interim CEO"...

Chimera Cosmos

A-Mazing. At 12:30 AM SLT I would have bet it was just a hopeful rumor - albeit one that was flying all over teh interwebs. A few hours later...wow.

Petr Vanbeeck

Its official - M is gone.

Annamaria Button

Second Life was attracting until it was what it was espected to be: a dream. A dream where every one of us was able to do what he liked most without obstacles deriving from anything which conditions us in RL and without spending a bunch of money. A dream where it was possible just to have fun, but also to make money, REAL money, but understanding SL's philosophy (and we know well how a lot of RL minded businesses had to leave SL with losses).
People need dreams to go on, all over the world. Second Life maybe is not such a great dream compared to dreams come true of South Africa natives, but it's still a dream ... and it can also work as a good, profitable business if it goes on being like this, if we never give up making people understand its philosophy.
Starting from the 2nd half of 2007, instead, getting new users, no matter if they were really able to understand SL's philosophy, using any possible means, has been a priority for Linden Lab, but this has been done copying other internet media which were, and are, miles away from our vision: MSN, with introduction of voice (and who is not italian can't even imaginate how much damage did abuse of voice chat cause to the sense of community) and now Facebook, with Viewer 2.0.
Now, maybe, somebody at Linden Lab is realizing that what has happened these last years didn't bring so many new users into SL, enforced the position of who wants to use this wonderful platform ONLY as a means of communication between RL people (like kinda of 3d MSN or Facebook), destroyed original SL's philosophy, and it's also starting to annoy old residents and make them angry.
So ... down with all that Facebook-like shit! SL is SL, and it doesn't need any justification for its existance. It's like arts. It is. And that's enough. And LL will be able to start over "selling" SL to the world only if it will be sold for what it is ... a dream .. something unique ... we will always be losers running after Facebook, at least because of higher costs and uneasy usability for noobs who barely know how to use a web browser or for people who doesn't succeed to achieve any RL friends but using the internet.
I hope Philip is really coming back ... he also made his mistakes, but we need a dreamer like his to have the dream come true again. Bye M Linden, I think nobody will shed a tear ...

Hitomi Tiponi

I did think they may give Mark the chance to find another job and retire from Linden Labs gracefully while they found a replacement, but clearly they wanted him out of the way as soon as possible.

There is even more cause for celebration at Second Life's seventh birthday.

Fuzzball Ortega

I read the official announcement on the SL website before coming to Hamlet's blog.

I have to admit, I'm not a bit surprised of Phillip's return. Perhaps I was thinking of Steve Jobs returning to Apple as an "Interim CEO" back in the late 90's and comparing recent news to that.

Majority of the grid is celebrating. It's going to be very interesting to see what happens next.


I hope that "Your World, Your Imagination" is proudly restored to its proper place.

@Tuna "I want to believe in the Lab, again. It would probably take some one like Philip Rosedale, a belief in his original vision, and a little magic". Well said.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm cautious -- I don't expect Philip to be Steve Jobs. But can I supress a surge of excitement and hope at this news? No.

Welcome home, Philip. We missed you. Now let's get to work.

Galatea Gynoid

@Ignatius: The jokes may be apropos, but I think M was more like Sculley than Amelio. Not that the soda-pop king was any better (indeed Sculley was probably more responsible for the mess Amelio inherited than the further mess he made of it).

Gary Bukowski


I had all but given up on Second Life - with Kingdon at the helm, it was destined to end as a laughingstock. It's exactly as others have described: His myopic, confused view of the metaverse damn near destroyed the community and his delusions of a "3D Corporate WebEx" was on course to set the evolution of the metaverse back by decades.

Goodbye Kingdon.

Long live Second Life!

Frans Charming

I wrote a post about Philip returning here: http://bit.ly/cvqZIz
providing some history and reason why it could be good for Philip to return.

Robert Graf

The Messiah returns to save us all... Happy Happy Joy Joy! LOL!! same problems, same policies, same situation with tier fee manipulation(33.3% min. business advantage must be nice) in favor of oldies and large estates. Absolutely nothing has changed and never will. It's still the same team running the same tired playbook. The personality cult that has been built up around Phil and the Lindens is really twisted. Very North Koreanish... LOL!!! ;)_~~~

Angela Talamasca

Imnsho, it's a PR move and one designed to increase confidence among users and in sili-valley. You can't have a 30% staff cut without people wondering if they've begun their death spiral. At least, not here in the bay area. As for them letting Mark go? This is also not something you just wake up one day and say, yaknow, maybe it's time to change out CEOs, and then pick up the phone and say, "buh-bye". It was planned. All things considered, I'm in a wait and see mode. Am not sure Mark is the last shoe to drop. Whatever the case, afaics, they need a strong leader and visionary if they're gonna pull SL's goose out of the fire. Philip seems to have the visionary bit down. However, I would not characterize him as a strong leader. Still, he may be good soothing ointment while they're looking for the right CEO.


So as not to repeat... just posting the link of my blog to Elf Clan:



BTW Summer, loved your post... as well as several others here. I think you folks nailed it on the head, and it's what we all said in the beginning: they foolishly brought in an outside who didn't have a clue what SL is all about. I could have done a better CEO job that Kingdon with both eyes closed and typing one-handed. (Well, in truth, almost ANYONE could have done a better job than Kingdon.)

Hate to kick a guy while he's down, but he sure didn't seem to care about kicking the customers...

The Kingdon Legacy: 5,200 destroyed sims, regular stop-dead lag and putting the competition on the map. Good job there, guy.

Good news Philip: it won't be all hat hard to do better. ;)

But yeah folks, great posts. Too bad LL didn't listen to you two years ago.


*scuse the typos. Gah...

nyoko salome

;0 gosh, if for all the gratuitous criticism... markymark oversaw a huge amount of stability improvements over the grid. i cannot so glibly discount that... :0 in a lot of senses, that mightily improved the staying rate of residents over the past few years. :0 rw economic pressures i think had much more to do with the immediate 'ground level' economics of playing and commercing within the grid, past-type years...

i think he did a magnificent job, over a 'not at all failed project', with some very thankless tasks in the meantime! i really hope he would still have some place within the company, considering...

(more at my webpage bloggie; visit if ya wanna :0)

nyoko salome

;0 lol i meant 'past-type' to read 'past-hype years'. ;0 bleah, much too late and spent all tonight's energy on my bloggie post; read more there, if ya care to! :) take care have fun! :0

Noor Loam

This is the best news ever! Let's hope Phillip keeps on feeding the hamster's the right way, and all will be good.

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Ava Delaney SL Blog
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