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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

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Jo Yardley

Mr Altberg already has a non Linden avatar and has already gone trough the signup process and noob experience before he started work at Linden Lab.
He was not impressed.

Michi Lumin

I'm... not so sure that saying "screw the existing userbase" is a good way to grow SL.

SL *used to* spread by word of mouth and the userbase had a very good image of the company. I'm talking 2003-2006.

Since the userbase is established, it makes them reluctant to leave. That doesn't mean that the existing userbase's opinion of LL doesn't hurt LL, and hurt SL.

I don't understand why everyone is so against trying to recover a bit of goodwill with the extant users of SL. Ever since "a few CEOs ago" the focus has been "Nevermind the customers we do have, lets focus on the ones we don't have."

So basically this is "old new advice" that tells LL to still keep-on-keeping-on with poor customer service, ignoring customers, and absolutely disregarding their input.

Not only do I find this offensive, I find it counterproductive. It's ludicrous to ignore the power of a happy userbase recruiting more users.

But that's what's happening -- a constant try for SL to "be something it isn't" (usually some kind of 'social network' or 'gaming app store' clone) to try to capture a userbase that currently is completely uninterested in SL.

I also wouldn't be so sure about the definitiveness of SL's userbase never leaving. I've been doing this for 10.5 years and I currently still run the longest-running (oldest still-operational) community and business in SL. (You can do your research, if you want to call me out on that.)

I'm getting more and more tired as time goes on. The source of that is the constant need to have to do battle with LL on an implementation that wasn't tested, or shows zero insight into how SL is actually used.

Don't tell me that I'll stick around no matter what. It's getting wearying - and that's why we had hope that Mr. Altberg may change things. Eventually the investment of effort vs. return will cross a threshold, and we'll say screw it and move on to something else.

Nobody ever said there would be an exodus, but you even mention the dashboards: there's not just a lack of signups, but there's a steady and constant dwindling of regions and logged in users.

(I, by the way, DO use the official second life viewer, and more and more people these days I know, also do. Firestorm still may be king, but that's beginning to wobble, due to late implementation of many features.)

I understand you wrote a book. That I suppose gives you a degree of credit and notoriety.

But as a resident, community operator, business owner, creator (in every sense; scripting, mesh, sculpts, texturing, land development - you name it) -- and a social coordinator in SL since 2003, I have to strongly disagree with your assertion that the existing userbase should be disregarded.

I live and operate this every day and have for a decade - as long as SL has been around. No, I haven't written a book, but if anything qualifies me to have a viewpoint on the subject, I'd think that being knee-deep in every aspect of the grid since the beginning would do it.

Your other comments are IMO, well taken.

But: no. About LL being "okay" to disregard customer service (which is currently abysmal and I'd even call adversarial or hostile) to its existing userbase is completely off the mark.

Michi Lumin
Luskwood Creatures / Luskwood, LLC
Since 2003.

Ajax Manatiso

I agree with Hamlet here 100% (which is scary). I also want to remind everyone - and the new CEO -that SL got rid of last names and went with Resident for everyone (must have just beat out Occupant) because it was suppose to increase new user sign-ups and retentions, but since it was 0% successful at that and totally successful at annoying and confusing everyone to some degree, how about going back to last names? Gonna cost LL nothing and make lots of folks happy - maybe even bring back lost customers who didn't want to be a no-name resident.

Lani Global

1. Fix the TOS problem.
2. Add HyperGrid to SL.
3. Make the $Linden Dollar exchange work in the wider metaverse and other games.

-Lani Global

Iggy

As much as I've said "the future is mobile" SL can't really be experienced at its fullest that way, and no one is going to try building on a tiny screen. But a Linden-built iOS and Android client for casual users would work well.

You forget one, Hamlet: change the name. Someone mentioned that in the Blocksworld post, and I agree. You won't lose existing users and a new name will not be tainted by the associations and jokes around the term "Second Life."

As for those who stick around? Indeed, "the existing userbase is never going away." True enough. Who'd want us? :P

Metacam Oh

Hamlet, you hardly use SL anymore correct? If the new CEO took your advice and did those things you suggest, you would go back and use it more? Hard for me to believe that these suggestions would push the needle either way for SL.

Up4 Dawes

I couldn't agree more with Michi. And the first post by Kirby Crow is a how to alienate your user base of course with him it appears to be collateral damage and acceptable. You may want to make your customers happy sounds like a old fashioned idea but there are real reasons the customers are unhappy many addressed by Michi. I'd say the main reasons are New users enrollment numbers, Grid performance and a disregard to event promotions based on the greater good of content creators their customers and the financial importance of these transactions to the economic health of all. I would take a really serious look at the editorial staff their relationships and interests and methods of scheduling events to both the viewers destinations guide listing,the splash screen editors picks( the Web splash holds only 32 slots yet there will be listed 50 or more events in a category so some are losing the exposure to both. The biggest feature to work toward in my opinion is One Click Immersion from web pages and face book or other sites directly into SL. This can be at pre arranged places with and without themes but not just hubs actually any spot in the destinations guide on a rotational basis would spread out traffic. Advertise and work with television, movies toward product placement free sim development for studios releases if SL LOGO is carried on films promo to let people know there's a immersive platform available with direct links for people to buy additional film product of DVD's. The power of broadcast push is immense we did this with Pro-TV in Romania that brought a crew to Old Europe filmed and interviewed us for broadcast TV. The metrics for that month in March with on average new users 3-6% rise for many countries for Romania was over 100% with people coming in and asking about things they had seen at the sim on TV. Oculus rift could bring new users. One of the largest markets in Sl are women and their main attraction is fashion which will not be much of a enhanced experience with Oculus and actually probably fashion is viewed very well as it is. The female market also tends to be multi-tasking taking care of and attentive to children, other apps, communicating with others all much easier then with a Oculus rift strapped on their heads. Oculus rift with gamers may be novel at first but there will be games with much better performance than SL so the expectations may outweigh the reality. The users that are leaving are the established user base it appears LL has decided to lose the 1-2-3 sim owners in a controlled descent favoring the Land barons which are now flexing their influence beyond land and into events creating a homogenized experience with the usual players in control of events and media outlet access. I would say it's the Land Barons that are more entrenched and less likely to leave. The Charities have grown too large and ever expanding to the detriment of independent event organizers and others. Good luck; the Cubs are a fine team and maybe you'll be able to lift the curse..D

Hamlet Au

"I'm... not so sure that saying 'screw the existing userbase' is a good way to grow SL."

I didn't say anything like that, but this does illustrate my point about SLers being angry no matter *what* LL does. :)

Pussycat Catnap

1. Ignoring existing users because they aren't going anywhere...

A: Bad idea. Sure we might not give up, but we are also the only indicator of what is wrong, and we are the voice of the thing. The voice that new users hear. And frankly new people come from the same types of folks as the existing ones - but are not yet hooked... Think about that. How many would leave right now if LLs deleted their avatar, their inventory, their land, and all their friends and places they like to go: and told them to start over...

2: Avoid the Linden name.

A: Good idea. Get a regular account, hang out with people - get to know your customers when they are not ranting at you - so you can find out not just what they are mad about, but why they stay anyway. That will tell you what needs to be propped up, preserved, and otherwise assisted.

3: Oculus Rift is so awesome it should be president of the universe.

A: Um... no. In a facepalm kind of way. Most people don't like living life with a scuba mask mounted on their head. Things like this and pocket protectors are cool to the tech geeks... but they lack mass appeal. Until I don't have to look funny or feel bulky - the thing will not be mass adopted.

4: More MMO, less MUSH.

A: Sort of. Game tools are nice but we need to recognize that the fundamental structure of SL is not suited to many of them. The task of making it have lively NPCs, engaging action, and reliable rapid movement - those three things are just not compatible with the way SL was put together.

But gaming tools still have a place for other kinds of gaming. Thought needs to go into what kinds of tools would serve this format. My initial recommendations would be the ability to display and adjust text without needing a web-hookup or 78 prims to spell out a single word...

And the ability to do likewise with things like chess boards / other game boards.

Pussycat Catnap

Big Up to Michi Lumin for bringing furries, and pretty much the very idea of avatar customization, to SL.

Good to see your perspective, and I would be very surprised if anyone can challenge that statement on the longest running community in SL.

Desmond Shang

From what I've seen Hamlet, the SL userbase actually *is* going away.

I've got years of estate and community gateway stats, up to and through recently.

Tyche's stats are solid, and 'doesn't show things quite as bad' ~ but also it's fairly general, and doesn't show user patterns that grass roots, engaged, everyday residents can see.

SL is fading. And the land market is a good, if imperfect bellwether of grid spending overall, and interest overall.

We are lucky, however, that it's a fade and not a classic 'fall off the cliff' curve. At least not yet.

Carl Metropolitan

Ignore most of what Hamlet says. He is correct about not using a "Linden" named avatar. I will give him that.

The existing user base is shrinking--and are buying less land. Have someone there pull up the stats of percent of Linden Lab mainland occupied over time, and number of private islands over time.

Hamlet's also obsessed with the next new shiny. SL on a tiny mobile device screen is never going to be a huge revenue driver. Just take a look at how much money Blue Mars has made refocusing on the mobile world. Oh wait. They haven't. Sure an app would not be a bad thing, but that's not where growth is coming from.

Nor are VR glasses about to be the next big thing any more than they were the last three or four times they were about to be the next big thing.

SL makes a very bad MMO. Game mechanics add-ons may be fun for the tech types at LL to play with, but they are not where you are going to get growth. People who want to play an MMO have hundreds of choices. SL is pretty close to unique. Why spend developer time and money trying to compete in a hugely crowded field? The people doing MMO-like things in SL are taking advantage of what SL is best at--person to person communications--and using it for role-playing games rather than monster killing games.

Ezra

The existing user base is going away in the way that matters most; giving you money.

It's free to keep the viewers and check in from time to time. So yes, you're less likely to lose us in that way, but as you can see from shrinking region counts you're losing us as tier payers. You may want to shift primary focus back onto us.

Also on Hamlet's third suggestion, do you want to make games or make tools that allows us to make games (and every other kind of content we make)? You can be an enabler of or competitor to your customers. I suggest putting everything into being the former. Linden Realms and Linden Wilderness did little for you. You aren't a company that hires artists, writers, music composers, game designers and etc. Stick to what you do well, building a platform for creatives. Leave the building on the platform to us.

Oink

Philip Rosedale complains 00:04 about needing ONE HOUR himself as SL creator to get his audio in Second Life running, next to crashing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rv91AwOkJQ

Oink

Philip Rosedale complains 00:04 about needing ONE HOUR himself as SL creator to get his audio in Second Life running, next to crashing http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0rv91AwOkJQ

Oink

Philip Rosedale > Please join Immersive World Angry Noob http : // ht.ly/tyRr8

Oink

Check it out, our New Out-of-Box Feasibility Project!

This Event has No Set Time Schedule. Feel Free to Post Your Contributions Here!

Who left Second Life and faced Total-Cost-of-Ownership, the real final McCoy on your budget sheet, Live Consumer Detriment in Action? Please come forward, we welcome Your Story - this in preparation for a future programme at Designing Worlds!

http :// ht.ly/tzPVN

zzpearlbottom

Michi, Ezra,Desmond and many others,made very good points.
I can only ad one more, See Bethesda Elder Scrolls franchise tutorial intro games (the mandatory quest ones has to give before starting the main quest).
Any new user created account would have to start on a region, do some tasks, like how to use the build tool, to learn how to edit your avatar, wear and add clothes and so on!
Only after that it should be allowed to move out of the region!

Tracy RedAngel

My advice to Ebbe: Stay out of Bukkake Bliss :P

Guni Greenstein

Speaking for the team at Anshe Chung I can't stress more how much we agree here with Michi's assessment. Like Michi we are not happy with Linden Lab's never ending quest of trying to make Second Life something that it is not and market it to people who are not even marginally interested in it.

That approach obviously failed and it is time for a change. That change could be to:

1. research who is actually using (and financially supporting) Second Life and how they use Second Life

2. focus on supporting those user groups, their main use cases and improve Second Life for what it is actually used for

3. refocus marketing on the types of people who actually tend to stay in Second Life instead of wasting money and time by trying to market it to everybody. We don't need more random signups but signups by people who will matter and to whom Second Life will matter.

I even believe that we had more high quality growth in Second Life when Basic Accounts still cost $10. Even though the number of signups was much lower then, those who did spend the 10 dollars and signed up would find a much more welcoming community and start Second Life with a much better newbie experience.

According to a survey we did with our own paying customers in Second Life, less than 5% are interested at all in something like Occulus Rift support. People who spend money in Second Life don't play it for an hour and then log out. They tend to spend 40+ hours per week in Second Life. 90% describe themselves as "residents" or even "citizens" and not e.g. as "players" or "visitors". You don't do 40+ hours per week that with scooba goggles on your nose.

What people really want is a technical revamp of Second Life to bring it up to date, possibly with viewers running on tablets. Lag, stability and performance are still main concerns, as is the quality of support and governance.

A.J.

Michi Lumin lands a quadruple lutz with this posting. "SL *used to* spread by word of mouth and the userbase had a very good image of the company."

It's the "community" part of SL that's the glue holding all of the technology and narcissistic self-appointed experts together.

Most people I know in SL were born into this world by a friend, not a book or gadget. It's so much easier when you can bond with a person and learn.

Duh, we're people. This is the way we do it.

CronoCloud Creeggan

For my sake, I think Guni's on the right track and I'm fairly sure that Luskwood is one of the oldest, if not THE oldest communities in SL. It was old when I joined in 2006.

It'll probably turn out there's several sub-groups of people who spend money and use SL heavily.

Pussycat Catnap

@Tracy: "My advice to Ebbe: Stay out of Bukkake Bliss :P"

But... but... but that's where all the bliss is! :)

Hmmm...

On a serious take of the same point: its a good one for an actual non-humor reason. Who goes to places like that are more likely the short term less invested users.
- You can market to them with 'XXX-toys' if they're low enough in price. But they're a fickle sort who are here today gone tomorrow.

Not where the business model wants to rest if it hopes to stabilize. That said they should not be ignored either. The 'free 3D xxx' angle on SL really does drive a lot of new people to it. And a good number get their fix, and then wake up one day and realize they're a neko ras... er um... decide this is more than just a random thrill and there's something here to look at, something to explore, something to share with others, something in which to find ones true self.

(Which is to say that some of us sneak into inner personal growth through the side door in the alley - and SL is great for that.)

The main focus should be looking not at those 'bliss' places - but at the long term communities.

*****
On is land ownership shrinking - a thought just occurred to me as I note that abandoned land doesn't seem to be growing and yet less people seem to own land. I think we're seeing the people who remain grab up more of it. When I bought my first plot 512m seemed fine as its what everybody else made do with. Now I have about 12,000 to 16,000m (its split up and I'm not sure). Most of my land holding friends have a lot more than me. Neighbors where I go don't buy small lots - they start grabbing up every vacant piece of the sim they're claiming. And they're not renting that out. People have left the renting business either to the 'noobs who read an online article' or the big players that can work it.
- The long term emotionally invested people are propping up the land tier for LLs, but there are a lot less of them - ergo the community with a stable attachment to SL is shrinking even as the amount of land it holds is 'not shrinking as fast'.

*****
We've had four seriously major players in SL's history post up above me. From the person who brought us avatar customization to a person from the largest land-holding company in SL to SL's most vocal and connected land baron to the founder of so many efforts to integrate new users...

Those are voices that count.

They're all agreeing on something.

That's a wake up call.

Oink

Making Virtual Reality Less Virtual > From Real to Virtual to Real

Second Life never took off as predicted. Despite many efforts at overhaul, founder Philip Rosedale and his company, Linden Labs, couldn’t get the user base to grow.

Culturally, the virtual world has become a bit of a joke: References in The Office, The Big Bang Theory, and even the occasional Disney show make the site seem like a refuge for creepers and only the dweebiest of dweebs

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/making-virtual-reality-less-virtual-183300242.html

Kim Anubis

I authored a book about SL, and co-authored another ... both "official guides" written with the cooperation of, vetted by, and even owned by the Lab (they hold the copyrights). That's along with my experience as a SL Resident, content creator, merchant, and owner of a top "Solution Provider" company over the last decade. I don't agree with you, Hamlet, about your views on user retention. I agree with Michi, Des, Guni, and the others who have posted here in disagreement with your opinion.

Based on the Lab's choice of Ebbe, I think they disagree with you, too, Hamlet. Ebbe's already out there engaging the userbase. And while some people were upset by an unfortunate flippant word choice in the quickly famous "leaked memo", what I see in it is a guy talking about emulating competitors' features that his customers want so they'll stick around -- about giving the customer what they want and hanging onto existing customers. It is my hope that Ebbe is still that guy. If so, he's exactly the CEO we need now.

Philip is off building us "SL 2", with people like Ryan and Andrew there to help put the platform under his feet even where they don't touch the ground. Will we really want to mess with Oculus when HF is ready, or when people just want to be able to do things with a mobile device? Hmm. Anyway, while he's off doing what he does best, we are in a post-Better World SL that needs innovative vision less than it needs someone to fix customer relations and improve the corporate and product image and user retention and STABILITY. Let Philip work to bring us another shiny new future; Ebbe needs to stabilize. And address the TOS revision we were promised.

Armany Thursday

Greetings and welcome to Ebbe Altberg as the new CEO of Linden Labs and Second Life! No doubt, he will have his hands full with all of the various problems and challenges facing SL. My partner and I own and operate an art gallery and live performance space on the grid - DNA Arts Fusion. Our business depends upon creators being allowed to retain their licensing rights. I hope the most recent ToS will remedy that situation. The unique aspect of SL has always been that it was user created and creators owned the rights to their creations. It really should remain so in my opinion. Once again, if you're reading this...welcome, Ebbe! :)

Iggy

@Oink, the Star Trek franchise was quite profitable before its mass-market "reboot" (which this TOS Trekker really likes). Paramount had the loving support of "the dweebiest of dweebs" for decades. Don't know about "creepers."

What LL has never done, for the dweeb or mass markets, is market their signature product well. They relied on others to get the message out, or let the brand be represented in ways that reinforced stereotypes (didn't LL give permission to The Office and work with CIS on episodes?).

Now they have the chance for a reboot. Unlike ST, they could begin with a renaming as well.

Armany Thursday

OOps! Since I can't edit, what I meant to say is that I hope the most recent ToS will be changed to return licensing rights to creators, or at least not make them automatically sign away full licensing rights. We would like to invite new artists to exhibit in our gallery, but no serious artist gives away their rights to images blindly, completely, and without credit or compensation.

INF

I guess they're never going to lower tier, so they need to stagger it, create more options.

If they're too scared to lower the ridiculous $295/month private region cost in order to stimulate the land market, keep that as is, but add more prims.

Then add 4 or 5 other options for a private region at lower prices. Avatar number restrictions, less prims.

I have a small circle of business owner friends and 6 of the 9 have gotten rid of their private regions in the past year due to costs. I may follow soon if nothing changes.

Connie Arida

Personally, If I want game mechanics and levels I will go play a game..sheesh!

Issa Heckroth

People get bent out of shape about game mechanics way too much. Yes, it would suck if it was imposed on us all with no choice, however my understanding is that this is more as a tool for people to make their sims more compelling to visitors. One of the biggest criticisms of SL by new users is there is “nothing to do”. The option to add game mechanics to Roleplay and Game sims would be a huge bonus for those communities and is probably the best shot we have at increasing NEW user retention.

Guni Greenstein

Here is the problem with cheap land: Worlds become empty of people, littered with less appealing content and die. From Active Worlds to Blue Mars to Twinity to Cloud Party they all failed in large part due to this.

For a virtual world to be successful, there has to be a certain density of people in the world (means: not too much land in relation to active users) and putting out content must have a cost/limitation to ensure a minimum of quality/relevance and to make people keep it updated.

Guni Greenstein

>Personally, If I want game mechanics and levels I will go play a game..sheesh!<

I think Hamlet's suggestion was excellent for the newbie/learning phase of Second Life.

Cat Cotton

10 years later...us oldbies all agree. :) I think that speaks volumes. I am glad to see I am in good company *waves. I honestly believe the poor customer service and tier costs are what are driving a great majority of ppl out of SL. That is very easily rectified. As is the current TOS. Which IMO is insulting to anyone who creates content. A lot are leaving because their is an alternative to the SL grid now, its better in many respects, and defiantly a hell of a lot cheaper. It's a no brainier, honestly. When a company doesn't act like they care about their customers; their customers leave for where they are valued. It is that simple too. LL needs to get off their high horse and make some serious changes if they want to be competitive a year from now. The tide has turned. Advice for the new CEO, I have none, CEO's at the lab leave before I can give an opinion; good luck with your visit sir.

Jess 2.0


@ Cat U Wrote "A lot are leaving because their is an alternative to the SL grid now, its better in many respects, and defiantly a hell of a lot cheaper. It's a no brainier, honestly."

What is this great and wonderful alternative that is making many leave?

David Cartier

Not to get into a pissing contest but Tyrell Corporation/Nexus Prime, Venice, in Bonifacio sim and DarkWood have all been operating continuously since the 1st Quarter of 2003.

Cat Cotton

@Jess, many options as far as grids go; my personal choice. inworldz.com.

@David :) warm greetings. Agreed.

Jess 2.0


@ Cat

Inworldz is a nice grid I had a single region their last year for a store and testing

The forums at the time was run amuck with a RP group dominating it and they tried to force some Hello Kitty PG lifestyle on my customers so I had to leave, But if that RP was not their it would to me be worth it at least to have a store now that they have mesh.

Just like Linden Lab has favorites so do all these other grids on some level but with inworldz it was painfully obvious for any observer but hopefully that's changed for them as it would be a shame indeed.

Those 2 founders tran & legion of doom were very nice and professional so they still get Kudos from me.

Minty

Listening to the customers feedback is a basis when you want to have good sales. Deciding that customers are idiots when they give a negative feedback about a product is stupid.
I mean a negative feedback should raise some questions. Because this is the customers that makes the business being successful or not.

Jess 2.1

@ Minty

With linden lab requiring over the next 160 days anyone cashing out fill out tax papers it would show they have not a clue or care what residents think .. Smiles

Ok here is the news

{1} You own a sim

{2} You collect donations and your sales to cash out to pay your tier

{3} You never withdrew your money from SL but LL
is now reporting those who cash out even if its to pay your tier

{4} if your tier is $295.00 dollars each month you will be forced to pay taxs in 2015 on your tier regardless if you ever had the money put in your paypal account or just to pay your tier with.

One crisis after another if the sky is not falling then the damn floor has to be caving in .. Smiles..
We will see a bigger and faster region loss soon that's a bet i'll take up with anyone (>_<)

Its one thing to report those who withdraw money but to report those who never took money out of the game well that will be the bloody hole thru SL's heart and a good reason why high fidelity may never fly.

elizabeth (irihapeti)

about games and experience permissions

the biggest game by player participation in SL is making money for themselves and getting stuff. Is why most people play SL. Is lots of chat about community and all that and is feelgood. But underneath most people in SL want to make money or if cant then Ok will spend some money. But they rather make money and spend that instead of their own

for them that can make stuff that is what they do to make money. For them that can entertain that is what they do. For them that cant do those then they become a land baron ;p. And for them that cant do that then they grind it

grinding the shops to get stuff. Lucky chairs, MM, shop group gifts, etc. The biggest grinder game in SL is Shop Hunts

The experience permissions while will be able to make cool game games and stuff that goes zoom and boom!!! the player participation of all those games combined wont go anywhere near Shop Hunts

Experience permissions will add a whole new dimension to navigating and finding stuff in shops

Why I say this is bc there is already a game in SL which use experience permissions and can make some L$ off it. But is boring, even for a gamer. I know bc I play it heaps. It be less boring if I could shoot the other players if they try snaffle a blue off me, but I cant so just keep grind it. I only grind it so can go shopping. Same as everybody else who plays on it

Shopping is not boring. is exciting and fun! The people in SL who stick and buy tiers, would rather go shopping than play games. Unless is a shopping game, like shop hunts and MM and lucky chairs (:

so hurry up !!! ok (: is lots of shopkeepers wants them experience permissions like now. and even more lots of shoppers wants them even sooner

+

also. Loki Eliot (and he not alone in this) wants his own storefront on MP. And he says he be happy to pay more that 0$ for it like now. He even made a picture of his MP storefront on his blog. Give him one

+

also more. lots of people of the sticky kind, the shopping kind, wants a proper last name. A real persons name for the real sticky buy your tiers kind. Lots and lots of them want one. So hurry up !!! again and give them one (:

Bixyl Shuftan

Looks like the comments have continued to pour in. Here's my rebuttal to Hamlet: http://slnewser.blogspot.com/2014/02/commentary-ebbe-altberg-dont-forget.html

SSteamweaver

There are hundreds of fascinating, amazing places already built in SL. They are just waiting for more people to come along. The newbies who would love to hang out with the elves or the furries or the steampunk fans or the medieval buffs don't know these cool places exist. Heck I am still stumbling on them and I've been here 7 years.

New people get inadequate training and get dumped in a crazy place like Ahern or Arapaima and they run away fast. There needs to be a way to let newbies learn about the awesome places in SL and a way for existing communities to welcome them in.

This is not a technology problem. This is a people problem. And it is solvable. SL could have more business than it could handle if it turn more curious visitors into citizens.

Put some sociologists and anthropologists and psychologists in a room with some designers and marketers and come come up with some pilot projects to try out.

Lagomorph7

I've just celebrated my first birthday in SL, and really love the place, but, to me, the biggest impediment to retention of new users is the lack of an easily found and well-maintained source of user user information! This wouldn't require any extensive modifications, just a little bit of writing.

This is especially critical when it comes to how to modify an avatar, which is almost always the first thing people want to do. Far too much stuff has to be picked up from experience, or is hidden away in hard-to-find and frequently-obsolete forums. In particular:

*The difference between modifiable "skins" and non-modifiable attachments is not at all obvious. I spent a long time frustrated because I couldn't change the color of mesh hair with the skin modification menu.

*The way things need to be unpacked after they are bought and before being worn is not something that is obvious. It's frustrating and embarrassing to have a box attached to your body when you have no idea what a "sandbox" is, where to find one, and what it is for.

*The ability to move things around needs to be more clearly explained. When you buy things for your avatar, the default position when worn is often away from the avatar a bit so that the user can tweak the position. But if you don't know how to do this, it just makes you frustrated.

*The use of poseballs and the like has to be better explained. Lots of newbies want to use these, and yet their proper use is, again, not at all obvious.

*The difference between voice IM and local voice chat is not obvious, and spending time saying "can you hear me now" is not fun.

*A clearer explanation of the settings, and what the various trade-offs is needed.

As far as the actual functionality of the place, I think the biggest change I would like to see is direct pass-through purchasing.

That is, when I am exploring a sim and see a particularly cool item that I would like to purchase, it would be wonderful if I had the option within the object profile to immediately purchase it. This might be a huge deal to implement, but it would be much easier than trying to find the item by back-tracking through the profile of the builder.

This is the stuff that drives away newbies!! It isn't a lack of 3-D technology, it is because after spending 90 minutes struggling to get a box off of your head, or trying to change the color of a mesh hair you just bought, or figuring out what the heck a "HUD" is they simply give up.

John Kiser

What LL really need to do is have a heavy focus on revamping the client for better performance. Hardware has increased significantly over the years and yet the clients still lag, often have memory leaks and will out and out crash the OpenGL drivers on quite a few occasions. Replacing the base avatar with something more up to date while also allowing a toggle for the legacy avatar would also be a good move. We need better performance and to test if the client can start to use more than 512 mb of texture memory effectively (drivers shouldn't be buggy for a higher amount anymore) Optimizations are key and also implementing the game features would be good. This can be done through an LSL code-base + server back-end so any client can make use of them.

I will say it again Client Side Optimizations are the BIGGEST factor

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