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Friday, March 02, 2012

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shockwave yareach

You simply have the regular assigned names in a pulldown menu, and have the option of OTHER.

When Other is selected, you may enter whatever name you wish.

The page does not progress to the next data entry screen until the name passes the "acceptable" and "Unused" checks on that name.

Thus people can have both Regular names like we had way back when, or any last name they wish. Both camps are happy, and this is what everyone asked for years back rather than everyone having the same last name "Resident".

Why exactly is this so hard to figure out?

Pussycat Catnap

Databases can be merged, tweaked, adjusted, and so in.

I can accept that the work would not be easy, but it is not impossible.

I don’t buy the excuses and backpeddling one bit.

R Linden let his IT folks sell him on a cop-out so they could avoid doing the work.

Moments like this are what eLance.com is for – get some outside IT consultants, and when the job is done, make a new IT department out of whoever got stuff done.

I read also that it was ‘shocking’ how many lost signup the old system had. I can tell you straight up why.

People like me would hit refresh on that page a hundred times, or on community portals we found through slnamewatch (remember them?) – until the right last name popped up.

For each of my 5 premium acounts, you can find possibly 99+ signup fails… so 450 of those are me.

Was this proof that last names were a failure? Or just proof that the selection method to get your last name was a failure?

I’d argue that its actually proof that last names were a great success – strong attachment even before becoming a resident – but that the method to get what you wanted was convoluted to the extreme.

Some will say “you’re an experienced user, you don’t count. Most folks just hit the signup page and gave up.”

Again I am counter proof of that – when I made this account, I knew of SL from some hype in 2006 and had made an account I’d logged in with twice back then. But it was during the great gray bug so I’d left.

So SL was something of vague awareness to me in 2009 – I googled it to figure out if it was still out there, and how to join it. slnamewatch was right up there on the search results and so I started to think about who I wanted to be.

I am an exception to the new user in that I then re-used my old 2006 account while thinking about that name… and then on discovering nekos in SL (having known of both Japanese, Egyptian, and Native American like themes beforehand) – figured out what I wanted.

But even if you say ‘no real new person does this’ – you can be sure countless alts did, as well as countless ‘let me remake my account’ folks.

- Point being that the data for false signups is skewed and bad no matter how you look at it. Even if all those people looking for a name were not newbies, us oldbies did that so insanely often that we destroyed their records…

So no… I don’t think people gave up when they found no name they liked. I think genuine ‘didn’t even google this thing’ folks just went with a choice, while the rest of us hit refresh so often we made it look like people were giving up…

And LLs IT is now using that, likely knowing full well its bad data, to sell R Linden a bill of goods, and shove it down our ‘wackadoodle’ collective throats…

Shame on them. Outsource the punks. Plenty of folks in India who need jobs.

Toady Nakamura

The reason people abandoned during sign up was that the Linden webpage froze up solid if the name you picked was already taken.

I saw this in my own registration and also helping other people register while sitting over their shoulders.

To get back to the selection page, you had to reenter the website. Apparently those were designated as "abandoned signups" by some bean-counter at the lab who never tried to use the system.

I know for a fact that I froze or crashed at least 10 times trying to sign up for SL the first time. It took so long that my friends who were waiting for me to arrive in SL went to bed before I got finished.

So there's a 10 tries to 1 signup, which is pretty much the ratio they've been saying since M Linden's crew started this whole "display names/no real name" situation and blamed it on the failing signups. They were told then about the website, and never fixed it until the day it was converted for "newname.disaster" system.

They were told in blogs then, they've been told in JIRA now, and someone in the Lab still doesn't get it... it was their webpage that was broken and giving incorrect data - not a reality.

They said they lost millions of new signups. OK, 2 million fails becomes 200,000 users at the 10 fail to 1 success at signup.

So those imaginary "Millions of Lost Signups?" Those are us, the users who finally managed to find a name that wasn't already used.

But the lab is still chasing their lost millions without realizing the millions are us... their user base now, who is begging for real last names to be returned.

I'm with shockwave on this... List of last names plus box that says "other." If you don't pick a last name you get "Resident." Leave display names, they're essentially useless but some people like them.

I had hoped that this issue would be a turnaround for the Lab, but unfortunately, More of the Same, "How to Fail While Success is Waiting."

Ajax Manatiso

Dead-on Pussycat. It's another case of figures don't lie but liars can figure. I too had a couple dozen failures when I first created my user name until I hit on the right name so it looked at though there we 20-30 failures for each success -- but actually they were all me -- all one person. Its an epic failure of Rodvik to understand the meaning of the statistics.

Hamlet Au

"Was this proof that last names were a failure? Or just proof that the selection method to get your last name was a failure?"

Or is it just an isolated illustration of a hardcore SL user trying to get the last name they wanted, and not reflective of the millions who tried SL but gave up? Or the copious first-time user tests and surveys Linden Lab conducted? It's important not to assume one's personal experience is universal.

Stephen Venkman

OMG, I can't believe the bullshit for an excuse. We all were there and yet they give us skewed data as a reason to not have last names again?

the reality in the answers we get these days is just.. oh well this platform is being shelved anyway.. so here, swallow this and we don't really care if you choke on it.

Whimsy Winx

I think they're (LL) not reading their data correctly. While there MIGHT be initial confusion about how to make an avatar, and how names works in Second Life, this could easily be explained at sign up more effectively. In additional any complaints regarding lack of names, I have to admit that when I joined I was only denied a First Name with Last Name combo if it was already taken. Later when I made other accounts, I noticed that even if I chose a First Name Last Name combo that I knew wasn't taken, my choice of first name sometimes wouldn't "jive" with my last name selection from the drop down. This indicated there is a flaw on the LL side, that could have been corrected. Bring back the option of last names, while protecting our current heritage names.

Xander Ruttan

Why not have every new user's last name be "Resident" until that account hits a certain number of user hours? This would identify noobs as such, and give people time to ponder an identity switch drawing from either suggested surnames or a custom name?

Sera Lok

I disagree about older users wanting to 'restrict' freedom of name choosing - adding back last names would give people much more freedom to have a first name they liked, without having to add a bunch of silly numbers to it. My two cents.

The polarization that should be focused on is inworld, between those with a last name and those 'without.' It stratifies users and many feel underclassed because of "Resident."

Pussycat Catnap

Or is it just an isolated illustration of a hardcore SL user trying to get the last name they wanted, and not reflective of the millions who tried SL but gave up? Or the copious first-time user tests and surveys Linden Lab conducted? It's important not to assume one's personal experience is universal."

Bull.

I'm a dedicated user now. I wasn't then.

Thought I made that clear in my comment, but it appears you've got just enough linden left in you to ignore reading the actual comment and instead zomg onto one portion that can best enable the context to be missed.

Look at my comment, AND all of the others. Folks who might normally disagree over just about everything all seem to be on the same page on this one, or at least in the same chapter of the book.

Ciaran Laval

People will still signup and then want a different name, they should be looking to move to a system where an account name and an inworld name are not the same, like World of Warcraft. This thn means people can signup easily but still get to choose a name they like or a name for their alts linked to that account.

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-6212

Hamlet Au

"People like me would hit refresh on that page a hundred times, or on community portals we found through slnamewatch (remember them?) – until the right last name popped up."

Again, most new users are *not* like you. They don't hit refresh a hundred times or even three times, let alone go to a community portal (which they don't even know exist). That's what someone who fits the hardcore SLer profile does. The vast majority just quit during the first or second friction point.

Seymore Steamweaver

SL people sure like to bitch. lol.

Vex Streeter

I don't quite see what is preventing Linden from implementing a simple sign up procedure that converts the user's desired name into something satisfactory for the backend. It just isn't that difficult (I wrote up one such example in https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/WEB-4198).

Seven Overdrive

"Again, most new users are *not* like you. They don't hit refresh a hundred times or even three times, let alone go to a community portal (which they don't even know exist). That's what someone who fits the hardcore SLer profile does. The vast majority just quit during the first or second friction point."

But how would LL know who was a new user and who was a current user name shopping for a new anonymous alt?

The whole idea that having to choose a last name causes friction during signing up just doesn't jive at all. Many still do not get the name they wanted to have and names are still already taken. I don't see how someone could WANT to be named Johnny123456. Obviously those people had to settle for a name they didn't want.

Every online service and game I have ever signed up for has caused some friction with getting a name I wanted, but if the game was compelling enough, I still managed to find a name I liked and signed up.

Perhaps SL just wasn't compelling enough for the vast majority of failed sign-ups to pick a last name.

SL has problems and it is not because people had to choose a last name.

foneco zuzu

As i say, try to sing on here:
http://www.osgrid.org/index.php/auth/register
See how much it takes.

Saffia Widdershins

I'd say I made an average of 3 - 5 shots to get my first and second avatars (Saffia is my second; the first was an avatar I made for my rl job). That's been the general rule with all the alts I made back in 2007 - 2008; not problems with the names I was offered, but huge problems with that web-site kicking me all the time.

As you rightly say, all this evidence is anecdotal, but the fact that so many people struggled so much, and others made deliberate attempts to get the names they really wanted does suggest to me that it's not necessarily a simple story.


Kim Anubis

At first, reading Pussycat's post, I was thinking, "Yeah, I refreshed that thing zillions of times myself!" But then I remembered something else: the automated message I'd get when I tried to create more than the allowed number of accounts. The signup software can tell someone returning from someone new.

Websites put cookies on your system, and some track IP addresses. Even el cheapo web hosts offer statistical breakdowns. Folks know when you return to their site, they know how often, they know what links you click. I would be unsurprised to learn that Rodvik has a spreadsheet in front of him right now that tells him just how many times people did refresh the signup page.

That said, I wouldn't want to have to have a dash in my name in an online community where the oldbies don't, or at all. I'd rather see two fields on the form instead of one, and let people make up their own last names.

Vax Sirnah

This is pretty disappointing. There have to be better solutions than this.

Pussycat Catnap

Hamlet: The excuses for them ring shallow. the "well most people aren't like you" ring shallow in the face of folks saying more or less that they were exactly like me.

What idiot would give up on the sign-in page? I've dealt with end-users for a long time - not tech-geeks, and they do not give up that easily even when we all might wish they did.

During the hype bubble of 2006 one might have had an argument. But by 2007 info was widespread and anyone with Google knew the list was not exhaustive to the 5-10 it would show at a time.

There's an old saying in web-work that people will give a page X-second before they give up. But the reality is not so much that they give up - but that they go to a competing search result instead. They don't just shut off the computer, turn out the lights, and sit there in the darkness sobbing at their computers... they 'try some other method' which lands them on a faster competitor.

I may have tried 100 times and that is excessive - because I knew what I wanted. But even normal users would try 4 or 5 times.

People who knew they could have a different name hit refresh to get it. People who didn't know, had no reason to think of any option but type in a password and hit register.

*********************************
BUT, far beyond that...

Its too late for this lame cop-out.

The time for that was months ago when R. Linden first hit on the last names and promised us then that they would be back.

Now, only now, does he try to pull this lame excuse out of a hat, and you jump in there to defend him.

That's flat out pathetic customer relations.

If there was a not-technical reason to not have last names, the time to make that case is way past. A promise has been made.

And now broken.

Revealing just another shallow Linden willing to dismiss his wackadoodle customers...

And the technical reasons ring equally shallow - given that both last names used to be there, and folks in the know can still make accounts with them now...

Hamlet Au

"the 'well most people aren't like you' ring shallow in the face of folks saying more or less that they were exactly like me. What idiot would give up on the sign-in page?"

The other folks like you also fit the hardcore user profile. I've talked with the Lindens about the sign-up process, the attrition level during that stage has been huge. It's even huge for Facebook games -- a large percent quit just waiting a few seconds for the Flash file to load.

Pirmin Jupiter

So it's okay to be bullied for being just "Resident"(forever?) with an un-SLish Johny77 name, but not okay being bullied because other using an 3rd party viewer show you run "Viewer 2" - because of bulling?

There is quite an argument fail from LL there, isn't it?
This whole big FU with display names at the cost of a family name will now be burned in data-legacy forever.

I suggest strongly LL to "hyphen-bound" all pre-Resident epoch names to be to "Forename-Surname" (like Pirmin-Jupiter).
Else they will just create a 3rd caste of people (the "-"'s) being bullied. And even better, let all "Resident" choose a "-Surmane" so there will be no more bullying at all! :/

And by the way, why not hide AV age and PIU also?

I'm just joking!

I do not care about bulling - just do not let you do it. Mute them and teleport away, so you even get a laugh from it :)

I believe the problem is rather LL should explain a bit what such a name means in SL as you register - that - if you get hooked up to SL you cannot change it. (with a short funky Torley video maybe :)

Stop with this overforced minimalistic designed pretty webpages where PR and webdesigners take away functional information just to look as simplosh as an iPhone. (i call that "the iDiot UI paradigm" :)

Like the Market Place - nicer layout + a bit larger pictures, sure - but such a PITA to navigate through :/


Ezra

'Growth'? Even after canning last names, offering many many more starter avatars and making the website glitzier, completed registrations have improved only 50% or so, no? Before last names were canned there was above 10,000 registrations a day, it rose to above 15,000 under Rod.

But who cares? Completed registrations isn't 'growth'. What else has improved by 50% or more? L$ supply and monthly user to user transactions? Region count growth? Concurrent users logging on?

The lack of last names making it easier to sign-up is short-sighted. We don't think about our avatar names once and then forget. We need to be satisfied with our choices for the long run.

I think Rod's been concentrating on that one single metric of completed registrations waaaay too much. He's been at the Lab more than a year now and it'd be great to start framing these issues through the lens of more important metrics that have to do with actual active users and retaining them.

Sera Lok

Let's not forget that many of the registrations were not "new," but simply older residents wanting to dominate a particular name so they could be "so and so" Resident so no one else could have it, and all the business names that were created during the time where people were creating new user names like crazy, business names, etc., because people were afraid their business name would get taken by a griefer/competitor. Regardless of whether that fear was valid, lots of people signed up to accounts that never, ever get used. You know there are user names that were created simply so they would turn up in popular search terms? Silly, but true.

DBDigital Epsilon

This is very disappointing. Personally I see more and more cases of Joe454353232 And why? When you ask them they say "well I tried for over half a hour trying to get a name that it would allow me to use". That proves that their current system doesn't work and people get frustrated so they add a ton of numbers then get in as a result. How many people just give up on the current system? They cite loosing to many new users and the current system works better, but where are all these new users? Shouldn't SL be really growing then? Sadly all I see is it shrinking. And we were growing with the old system.....granted that is not the only reason but it does make one wonder.

Why not do this: Have a first name or name and a option to get a last name from a list IF THEY WANT? That gives the best of both worlds truly does it not? And very simple to do. Just have a slight mention on the site "having trouble getting the first name you want? You can try adding a list name by clicking here ---->

Seems like a perfect fix to me. But I guess we will never get it and only see longer and longer and longer names where you have absolutely NO CHANCE of ever remembering.

Kim

The arcane practice of providing arbitrary "last names" for new residents is one that ONLY diehard, longtime residents embrace. But not all of them embrace it.

My business in SL depends heavily on bringing in new users. The removal of this "feature" was the removal of a great burden on the avatar creation process. This is supported by my own experience and by LL's internal numbers.

LL gets a lot of things wrong. But they nailed this one. Kudos, LL.

Now, let's see last quarter's stats... LOL

Missy Restless

I too refreshed several times when signing up. I'm not a hard-core anything. If refreshing during signup in the "last name era" of SL was not taken into consideration when making this decision to not bring back last names then the decision was made on bad data. Or, perhaps refreshing to get a new list of last names did not skew the data. I don't know. All I know is that this is a very disappointing decision by the lab.

elizabeth (16)

a dash is dumb. make it a space. one space. it can be parsed for in the signup. is machine-readable just like any other character and yet the appearance to the user is way way way way way better than a dumb - or ~ or . or # or @ or whatever

getting rid of Resident being returned by the servers is cool

Alberik Rotaru

Really simple answer. Ask people. Do a survey and publish the results.

Kim

Elizabeth--

You've got it. Allowing a space solves everything in one fell swoop!

Ann Otoole InSL

Proof LL does not care what customers think. Keep crapping money at LL. The sooner people stop and LL goes chapter 11 the sooner then rosedale effect is proven and Phillip can be shunned into obscurity.

William Gide

"I've talked with the Lindens about the sign-up process, the attrition level during that stage has been huge. It's even huge for Facebook games -- a large percent quit just waiting a few seconds for the Flash file to load."

So rather than fix the web problem they quite disruptively (and I mean that in a bad way) changed how naming/identity works in SL. Brilliant.

elizabeth (16)

Kim,

yes lol. can see why people wants to slap linden with banana skins sometimes

if have a dash them have to parse for it anyways. otherwise like

me: hi ------, need any help?
----: u r chat to me?
me: yes (:
----: oh! cool! i thought u was chat to some1else bc my name is ---- and not -----

jejejejjeje (:

+

also a dash not solve the actual problem. the classism still remains. mary-brown is the new marybrown.resident. hyphenation the new divide now !!! and will linden have to check "mary-brown" at signup against oldskool "mary brown"? yes, or is going to be bedlam

just allow a space linden please. classism disappears automagically for most people this way. and people like me who wants a single name, or a number even, can just not enter a space and be happy as well

Arcadia Codesmith

Provide the option. People who want it will appreciate it. People who don't want it can skip it. People who don't want it and don't want anybody else to have it can go take a flying walk off a short pier.

Adeon Writer

Why not let us type in a first and last name by typing a space, and the username uses a hyphen instead?

KittyMel Noctis Ivercourt

You simply have the regular assigned names in a pulldown menu, and have the option of OTHER.

When Other is selected, you may enter whatever name you wish.

The page does not progress to the next data entry screen until the name passes the "acceptable" and "Unused" checks on that name.

Thus people can have both Regular names like we had way back when, or any last name they wish. Both camps are happy, and this is what everyone asked for years back rather than everyone having the same last name "Resident".

Why exactly is this so hard to figure out?

Posted by: shockwave yareach | Friday, March 02, 2012 at 09:07 AM

OMG!! I so agree with you shockwave! Truly a answer to LL and LL should read that answer and do something about it for once. I been in sl for almost 3 years and I enjoy my last name being Ivercourt. Just bring back the last names PLUS the option of OTHER and BAM! Both parties satisfied! Resident is just getting so damn old to see as a last name in my personal opinion.

Karma Avedon

Am I the only person who thinks that someone who is not capable of figuring out how to select a last name at sign in maybe should not be bothering with Second Life to begin with?

This announcement by Humble, especially after his previous comments to bring back a last name option, and then hi long silence on the subject, makes him come across as deceptive at worst and unreliable at at best.

I am not one ofthose who feel there is some sort of "legacy" or familial aspect to having a last name. For me it is just common sense. Individuals have LAST Names. I could care less if it is picked from a list, or if it done as simply as allowing someone to use a space. But give the people the ability to pick a simple full name for themselves. I guarantee you that more people are frustrated by having to use "123Steve321" then were ever frustrated by the old process. This could not have been handled much worse and humble deserves all the bitching and complaining that the older residents are going t o give him. I was recently informed by someone that an employee of LL stated to them that LL thinks its customers are "whackadoodle". Humble's behavior goes a long way towards confirming this viewpoint.

August Chrome

I believe Mr. Humble still doesn't understand the history and evolution of SL. Any possible awkwardness in the account creation process was the least of our worries back then. We entered this strange place called SL where suddenly we were surrounded by female avatars dressed like prostitutes (later we got used to the small miniskirts and the voluptuous avatar shapes), we initially found no purpose or guidance for the whole experience, many times we could not even login or enter some regions, etc. I could complaint about 20 things that annoyed me when I started using SL before mentioning the forced last names scheme.

Will Szymborska

@Toady Nakamura, you could not have said that any better.

Toady Nakamura for Secondlife CEO 2012. I had the same issue's with the Signup page in 2006. I also remember leaving and re-entering the page to try to get different last names when the webpage broke. Seriously, some LL summer intern must have told Rodvik that SL had so many 'failed' signups in hopes he would be getting a full time job in the marketing department with a good 401k.

Are the 2k+ votes on the JIRA for bringing back SL last names NOT enough?! It's like one of the most Watched/Voted entrys on the entire site! I painfully was notified of EVERY comment of that JIRA to my email for months in hopes my 1 vote would be just enough to get it really noticed by anyone at the lab. I was REALLY looking forward to SL last names especially after Rodvik said they were going to 'bring it home' and finish the job.

Its something so simple... if there was really a debate on how to do it, it would have been better if no one from LL had ever mentioned they were going to follow through with it. Now I'm just gutted. I've been a customer of LL's for almost 6 years and this is one of the largest disappointments I've ever had to put up with.

Looks like instead of noobresident2008, we will see noob-resident2008. How much more confusing do we need to make remembering peoples names in SL? Why would anyone contest to having to pick from a long list of decent names to go with their own custom first name?

SL was so creative, names were so witty and people sounded so real. Now its sounding more like a mini-game for Facebook then an actual game. This isn't the Sims Online, this is Secondlife, the virtual world!

Nina

The amount of people annoyed by a list of last names that didn't have the name they wanted or was taken is small when compared to the amount of annoying people, old and new, that hates to be called "Resident". And on top of that, some "veterans" are so full of sh*t they BAN "residents" from their sims.

The dash name COULD be useful IF the last name "resident" was removed forever, so I could be, instead of Nina_Whatever Resident, just a Nina_Whatever. THAT would be a compromise, whereas keeping the "resident" bit is just as damaging.

I think this CEO is just being a lazy arse...

Nina

Ops, where it says
"is small when compared to the amount of annoying people, "

Please read

"is small when compared to the amount of annoyED" people,

The orthographic corrector didn't have "annoyed" on the database. Go figure.

Will Webb

Okay, I don't often comment here, but this is such a ridiculous response I just have to.

Hamlet, I agree with you that we cannot expand our personal experience with the registration process to a universal one.
Maybe the new registration IS better than the old one at retention. Let's not argue on that for now.
But the lack of choice in "Resident" first names will increase until it is an unmanageable mess.

Please, Hamlet, answer me this:

Why can't we keep the signup process as it currently is? Yes, controversial, I know; let's keep it as it is, but with the addition that it is made clear to users that their chosen username will be visible to others, that they will be addressed with it in world, and that (under certain circumstances) the last name Resident will be appended.

There.

Then, why can't LL put up another registration page, one that is not obviously found by newbies. But one we know about; where we can create avatars with the old Firstname Lastname system.
Or better, let them reopen the registration API. Let the communities offer sign-up pages for those who want to have an oldfashioned name.
LL can still choose the last names available.

Why can't we have it both ways?
Why can't we compromise like this?
Why does it have to be Black or White?

Please Hamlet, tell me why this would not be a viable, simple, solution that will satisfy both LL AND its valuable community.

Phantom Republic

I'm surprised that the obvious compromise ... allow people the option of having a last name, and to actually create it themselves (rather than the pre-determined list) is itself not an option. I'm one of the oldies that like last names, although I never liked the list thing (which means I could never create an avatar that has my RL name ... which would have been nice).

AbbyFraserSL

First of all, sorry about the late comment. I just discovered this article today...
Well, i can confirm what Toady Nakamura wrote about the "abandoned names". LL didn't understand there were some other problems during the sign up process. Yes, i remember the website did sometimes "crash", and another problem was: They used to send out an email with a verification link that you had to click. But i never got this email, for some reason. I tried several times, with different e-mail accounts, and now i have 4 accounts floating in "Limbo" since 2011 and i can't access them.
But that doesn't matter now anymore. I just wanted to mention that, because it brought back some memories when i read that.

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