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Friday, November 18, 2011


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Metacam Oh

These problems were going to be inevitable the minute they decided to use the name "Second Life". I've said before, to the average person, you think you only need Second Life if you don't have a real life. To ignore this very fact about the name is like saying "I named my virtual world Loserville, why isn't anyone breaking down the door to get in?"




A common response I get from RL people when I tell them about Second Life is, "I'm fine with my first life, I don't need that." (Another is "I barely have time for my first life, let alone a second life.") Many of these people would have been willing to try SL and would have liked it, if not for the name.

I resisted trying SL for years, for the same reasons: I was satisfied with my RL, and I had plenty of other ways to fill my time, so I felt no need to pursue a "Second Life."

That said, I think Rosedale's response to those who repeat the "failure" myth is perfect!

Eddi Haskell

I do not agree. What Philip was saying was clearly inappropriate coming from a CEO of ANY company. As CEO. Philip has a responsibility to his investors, including those of us who spend much time and money inworld, not to say things like this to the New York Times.

There is no way anyone could think that Second Life is successful reading these comments. And it will scare away potential investors.

My guess is Philip is very disillusioned with Second Life, and probably has had arguments with other key investors about its future direction.

Remember, Second Life is privately held. Who knows? Philip could be trying to sell out his shares now so he can invest more in his new company. In fact, there is no way that a CEO of a publically held company could say this and NOT be sued by stockholders.

He DID imply that Second Life was (in his words in the New York Times nonetheless)
“Smart people in rural areas, the handicapped, people looking for companionship, they love it"

Well guess what! People in urban areas, who are the majority of users, like it just fine too. And although people with disabilities are represented in Second Life to its benefit, non-disabled people are in the majority. As I wrote last weekend, his overall tone was one that would scare away ANY potential investor.

I will stick to my guns and say that Philip, as CEO, should have spun things much much more positively to outside world, even if what he is saying is correct -- which it is not.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Which "rural areas," Mr. Rosedale?

We have farmland in a very rural county, some 40+ miles from the nearest population center with widespread broadband. The county is losing population, slowly: a reason we could afford land there.

Internet means dial-up or satellite connection, except for a lucky few along the major roads. Don't think of running SL under those circumstances.

Maybe Mr. Rosedale thinks of places like Telluride as "rural."

Johnny alt

Secondlife IS successful in many ways. But Secondlife is not as successful as it should be.

Secondlife IS the 3Dweb right now and in truth it should have 10 million active users and concurrency in the 100's of thousands.

It's an amazing medium, driven in to the ground by inapprpriately high tier costs.

Until tier costs come down substantially, Secondlife will remain a curiosity, niche product.

But Secondlife is NOT a niche product, it is the forerunner of something outstanding, not fully defined yet.

Low tier cost = high volume sim sales
High volume sim sales = an energised system
energised system = high concurrency and healthy ecosystem

Secondlife could easily be more successful than themed game worlds like world of Warcraft. It's only high tier costs that are holding it back


I cannot agree with Philip Rosedale.

People who love adventures and travels and arts(especially digital art) have their own reasons to love SL too.

Celebrities who cannot do whatever they what publicly have their reasons to love SL; people who cannot have children or want to go back to childhood have reasons to love SL; writers and curious people who want to experience other men or women's lives or different eras and cultures and fantasies have reasons to love SL too.

Diverse people have diverse reasons to love SL.

It's impossible for Linden Lab to know an avatar's real life. Even Pillip Linden wouldn't know.


"Secondlife IS successful in many ways. But Secondlife is not as successful as it should be."

Good point!


Meh, I'm sure Philip didn't just walk into a room and blurt out that paragraph and a few choice more. It was up to that article writer to establish context and unfortunately it veered towards negative when it came to Second Life.

I wouldn't read that Times article and cease thinking that Philip believes we're all fellow frontiersmen on a virtual continent, some first attempt at the metaverse of Snow Crash, or something more practical like a 3D web instead of a text one.

There's a lot of better ways he could've described Second Life users in a few short words, but its obvious that he was listing some off-the-cuff examples of the type of people that'd be more willing than uaual to put up with Second Life's technical barriers in very practical terms. I wish he would've instead described the simple need to imagine, create, share and experience that really drives Second Life usage regardless of its performance and pricing problems. Its the more simple and accurate truth.

Breen Whitman

Ener Hax (iliveisl.com) interprets the comments correctly. Period.

What she has called him on is his marginalizing comments.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia above identifies this too.
Eddi Haskell(above) is correct. They were inappropriate comments by an ex CEO.

Heres how Philip should have worded it. Instead of
“Smart people in rural areas, the handicapped, people looking for companionship, they love it. But you have to be highly motivated to get on and learn to use it.”

The correct wording is:
"Virtual Worlds face a challenge hitting a mass market penetration beyond the 15% of early adopters that any tech product gets quite quickly. The challenge is crossing the tipping point to get uptake from the majority."

Its not hard to use inclusive language. Hell, it might enhance your user base right there.

Canoro Philipp

this is my view on it:

Philip is promoting his new company, and Second Life is a mark in his life, he will get questions about it every time he is interviewed, because is a very unusual product, and its also a product that got a bad reputation.

Philip needs to separate Coffee & Power from Second Life, as they are totally different things, he needs to be seen as the CEO of a successful company, and to be taken seriously, he needs to bury his past, a product that is seen as one that didnt live up to the hype, and for not doing that, is considered a failure.

i dont think Philip likes Second Life anymore, he dont want to be related to a product that is considered a failure by the mainstream, so he dismiss it as a mistake from the past and try not to talk much about it.

Canoro Philipp

i know my commnent is hard to accept and controversial, but is another angle to see it.

Philip dont seem to like being related to Second Life, he once said the he was "stuck" as a chairman of Linden Lab, because he is the original creator.

Amanda Dallin

Neither SL or anything else will be the 3D web as long as our primary input methods are a mouse and Keyboard. These devices are designed for the 2D web and until we have tools designed for 3-D that are as cheap and easy to use, 3-D will be a side show.

Hamlet Au

Conoro, do you have a source for that quote?

Arcadia Codesmith

Lonliness and isolation are strong motivators. People who aren't motivated don't bother with learning curves -- they remain backwards and ignorant.

There's no crime in saying as much.

Giulio Prisco

Second Life and other immersive 3D environments are not for ADDers, and today most Internet users ADDers (ADD = Attention Deficit Disorder). Today's internet users want to click once, two clicks are too many. They also don't want to read help pages and expect everything to be immediately undesrtandable.

For non-ADD users who learn how to use the interfaces fluently, Second Life and other immersive 3D environments can be extremely interesting and even ADDictive.

But today's Internet business models require large numbers, and the base of hardcore users is too small.

What I would recommend to SL and all 3D VR environments is developing alternative interfaces for casual users and visitors, which run in the browser and can be embedded in websites and social networks, without editing options and other extras, and ridiculously easy to use without any learning curve. Of course this is easier to say than to do.


I don't think Phillip got the point. Learning curves might somehow matter, but the fact is WOW players also have their own difficult "monster-killing curves" and even more exhausting time-wasting tasks to conquer, why WOW players still engage so much in that game?

I'm afraid that new residents are actually frighten by SL's boredom much more than the high learning curves.

Sometimes people just like a little bit crisis and dangerous drama which are invulnerable for their real life but will cause "real" losses in their virtual life. Those exciting potential losses make a player need to get back again and again or to complete a certain thing to maintain his virtual life and asset. Accordingly, a player will be engaged in that game.

But SL is on the opposite side, some people love SL because of its freedom, if they like to be engaged by any given adventure and task, they'd choose WOW but not SL.


LL and Philip took a percentage anyway..any quality... the failure is in the belief that SL was built on quality.

Eddi Haskell

I have a better name for Coffee and Power. How about "Second Chance".

Metacam Oh

how about we rename "Coffee and Power" "Sweatshop and Coffee" see if people show up.

foneco zuzu

Im glad I belong to a rather "despicable minority" that takes ome time to read and learn how to use software before using it:)

Pussycat catnap

If he thinks his company is such a success, he should be careful about slamming his userbase.

Sure its true that the handicapped, rural smart folks, and those seeking companionship use SL...
- But sadly portraying it as a platform for those types of people makes it sound 'un-hipper than disco.'

Despite the fact that such crowds contain amazingly wonderful people... branding is everything - even to those crowds of people..

In Marketing / Sales the first lesson you can learn is that some political correctness is needed; don't sell 'Sambo' dolls.

The second lesson you learn is that some politically -INCORRECT- messages are needed; the Swedish bikini team method of sales...

- Got to be cool and yet appeal to all. These things seem like direct opposites, unless you learn how to be savvy about it.

Don't demean your customer - which can get very tricky when you have a customer who just be identifying them in a slightly wrong tense, can seem to be demeaning.

Better might have been to say;

SL can appeal to a wide variety of people, and has been particularly helpful getting isolated communities together with each other and a wider audience.
- though that still needs refinement.

Pussycat catnap


"But SL is on the opposite side, some people love SL because of its freedom, if they like to be engaged by any given adventure and task, they'd choose WOW but not SL."

- SL has these games. And they're not too hard to find.

BUT... something about them makes them feel hard to get into.

I don't know what it is... but I've tried several times to join a RP community with a variety of different avatars, and I just can't seem to find the right angle of approach.

I'm actually hoping that the new Adult HUB's CARP/RP area ends up having some wider themes added to it and be turned into an 'easy approach' to RP in SL, so I can find a hook there, and then maybe branch out to more 'regular' RP...

shockwave yareach

Second Life has limitations, yes. But they are primarily managerial rather than technical. In the seven years I've been inworld, computer power has skyrocketed while the costs have plummeted. But has the server code kept up? Can we have 100 people on a sim now, hmmm? We could have had 100 people on a sim on day one -- it's called interleaving. But the lab is perfectly happy to ride the gravy train without fixing the tracks. And when it crashes, hey, then they'll consider a fix.

Second Life could and should be so much more than it is today. But LL took a decidedly draconian and adversarial attitude with us, the people who are paying to be here. The top dollar costs HAVE to come down if you are going to get more widespread acceptance anywhere, be it rural, urban, or corporate. The first adopters who believed LL when it said we would own the land, we paid the big bucks. Now that we don't, nobody is paying the big bucks anymore. Interesting, yes? Why LL thinks they can keep losing people and sims and not rethink their pricing strategy to get greater volume is beyond me.

And I wonder how many Teens he has in his Coffee Power station...

Ian Murray

Linden Labs never recognized the importance of non-profit and educational institutions. If it did, the idea of raising the rent on educational space by 100% in the middle of university budget year would not have happened.

If user adoption is of concern you don't force people to download and install new software every time they try to log in.

If revenue from commercial land was a concern, why move sales to a web site?

If retention of preminum users was a concern why dump their inventory when their fees are late but not if they have a free account?

Krinkles Q Klown

Nah. It's just in a The Big Rut! LOL

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