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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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shockwave yareach

SLCC, SLxB, RFL, BurningLife, these are the ONLY marketing tools SL has. Or had.

You want to get new people into SL? They have to know SL exists first. Trust me, I learned this one the hard way -- you can have the most fantastic product on Earth, but you'll get zero sales if nobody knows about your product. And considering LL spends less on advertising than I do for replacement shoe strings in a year, these large events which got attention far and wide were the only outside marketing LL had. And now it's gone.

How much smaller will the grid shrink before LL admits its many mistakes and corrects them?

Ezra

"but asking them to spend $1500 or more on registration/travel/hotel while we're still amid a recession seems like a non-starter."

A fee fine to expect in setup fees to press the on button of a new region though.


"But the real problem, I think, is that Linden Lab has lost any real interest in being involved with the user community."

I think so too. It just doesn't seem incidental at all Linden Lab is silently cancelling without much reasoning their involvement in community events and the only time we get blog posts, as infrequently as we do, it's from "Linden Lab".

The company has become drastically less personal with us in just a year's time. It's like we're all in a walled garden with an inner walled garden the Lindens reside.

How SLCC benefited the users aside, it was also a time of getting some big picture insight from Lindens and especially the CEO. I think we're all usually a bit more patient not hearing about things because we know SLCC will eventually happen and the Lindens will have something to say, but now there's the void of that.

Flipper Peregrine

I'm sorry to see it go, having been one of the original founders of the SLCC, but it was always a fairly thankless job to run. So much armchair quarterbacking! :)

Great memories, however...like the first time I met Hamlet!

Iggy

I'd hoped, when Rod Humble came aboard, that we'd have some revival of the community spirit I recall from earlier times.

While he seems a decent fellow with a lively sense of humor, that toga should have been a giveaway!

But what could Mr. Humble do, anyway, with SL's battered educators? We were given a nice song and dance by Philip a few years back at SLCC when he stopped into our annual meeting there. This year, if any of us showed for a talk by LL brass, we'd probably be hurling rotten tomatoes.

Kim Anubis

Avacon did such a great job -- I was looking forward to what they'd come up with this year. This is disappointing news, but I'm not surprised. I had already been thinking it was awfully late to be booking rooms and travel.

As for the way the Lab has distanced itself from its userbase ... Also unsurprising. Rather than a Wonka-like Philip or the enterprise-hunter who came after him, LL has a CEO now who comes from experiences with walled gardens and automation. So that's what we're gonna get, unsurprisingly. At least my avatar still doesn't have to pee.

Beyond that, for a long time now, every time they put their heads up, the Labbies get kicked. They get dogpiled. They get flamed til they are crisp. At some point, that starts to hurt productivity, and perhaps it became clear that no matter what the Lab said, vocal users who felt they couldn't trust the Lab's word anymore would still scream on and on in a morale-harming and embarassing and new-customer-offputting way. So maybe they're just gonna do their best to quietly address user concerns while they hide in the flameproof bunkers. It's no wonder they put out notices without a specific Linden's name attached, and one can only be thankful they haven't already cobbled up a cheesy imaginary character to be their flameproof figurehead.

Anyway. Huge bummer about SLCC. I had such a great time last year, huddled with the rest of the Lindenaires Club plotting construction of a secret clubhouse while freezing on the patio after everything was closed because we were still having too much fun to call it a night. Again, great job, Avacon, and thanks!

froggie

Since LL types "love innovation" why not just have 2000 people just "show up" at the offices those days... I'm sure they can find a cup of coffee for everyone who shows.

Metacam Oh

Well if we look back at the year since the last SLCC nothing has happened, only LL working on the non-SL products they announced at the last one. Maybe I'll go to the next MineCon, btw Minecraft is above 34 million registered users and still growing.

Saxon

I remember being at the Chicago SLCC. During the weekend, there was a fantasy football convention going on as well and the attendees were a bit full of themselves.

On the way to the "Leather & Lace" ball that Stroker Serpentine and his gang worked so hard on, I'd passed a couple of football people in line for their party. As I did, one turned to the other while staring at the SL people (looking as you might expect), and said, "Clearly, I have the wrong fantasy!"

Regardless of the whys of how we got here, I will always be grateful to the many organizers, volunteers, Lindens and residents for some incredible experiences and warm friendships. I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

"We'll meet again,
Don't know where,
Don't know when.
But I know we'll meet again,
Some sunny day"

BTRIPP

It's not like this wasn't coming for a long time. Following the 2008 convention, my former employer Simuality/Liminati felt that the "business" side of the SLCC had become so disrespected in favor of "furry fun", that we tried to develop a competing event, SL-BASE (Second Life Business And Social Expo), which unfortunately ended up still-born thanks to the truly sucky economy in '08/'09 (soon followed by our company folding mid-'09).

I wonder if SL will have a renaissance if and when the economy improves, or if its window of opportunity has passed. It's still a very special place, and it's a shame that it never grew into what so many of us thought it could "back in the day".

Starlight Harbour

Linden Labs is abandoning the long-term and settling to keep milking money while it works, then shrug and move on to something else. Anything else would take actual "management talent" and "business sense."

Meanwhile, I imagine essentially all the serious content developers have learned their lessons well, and are doing all their development OUTSIDE Second Life, importing the final product, pending solution of the question of how to retain IP control in other virtual worlds.

But as soon as THAT problem is cleverly solved by someone, overnight the dominant role of "The Marketplace" will evaporate and, lacking that grip on users, and lacking good will and rational pricing, Linden Labs will be history.

It's sad, given what it could have been, and given the almost 100% market share it once had, that it has frittered all the good will, enthusiasm, and offers of free labor away.

Like the Big Three auto makers, world dominance is, SURPRISE, not due to a genetic superiority of their management. Once the momentum is gone, it ain't coming back.


Shirley Marquez

Fleep Tuque, one of the Avacon board members, posted a personal note about this: http://www.fleeptuque.com/blog/2012/07/personal-perspective-the-end-of-the-second-life-community-convention/

Hanno Tietgens | Xon Emoto

It was SL which got me triggered on the idea and potential of a 3D Internet six years ago. In thirty years in journalism and the creative industries, having managed rock bands as well as consulting some very brick-and-mortar market leaders in broadcasting, financial services and others, I have never seen customers so diverse, creative, and devoted to one product or company as the Second Life residents – many innovative educators being the ones I have had the pleasure to build relations with.
It was a surprising and rewarding experience to be a part of this, and SLCC as well as SLB and other virtual events have strongly contributed to the emotional connection. Thank you everybody who has actively helped to make these possible. (Fleep being one of them – I was deeply touched by her blog post referenced by Shirley and Daniel.)
It's sad to see relations between the Lab and the residents develop into less than customer-client-normality; it's a pity that the unique and invaluable asset represented by the SL communities does not seem to be acknowledged by the providers of the software, and platform, and world any more. And if it were only for marketing reasons: Companies spend millions and even billions of advertising dollars, and never achieve something similar in terms of customer engagement for their brands.
Good thing so many other exciting developments have occured in the past years and months, the Web 3D already here for some of us, and just a mouseclick away for so many others.

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