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Friday, February 28, 2014


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Adeon Writer

I came very close to abandoning ship when I signed up in May 2007. It's still somewhat of a blur what made me decide to keep at it, back then it was the norm for SL to crash every 10 minutes or so, so their "user filter" was in full swing back then weeding out anyone who has an issue with that kind if thing.

I think I had 4 or 5 crashes before I made it off tutorial island.


I don't have inside information from insiders that matter, other than the people inside of SL. I am forced to wonder if a potential resident can't find 19 seconds worth of patience...

Even though this busy girl on the go world moves at the speed of light, things like the opening day of Collaborator 88 don't really move that fast for me.

But if I just agree to believe inside information from outside the inside and agree to not discuss the inside out here on the outside, I have to say that you are absolutely right.

Project Zipper is great and just what SL needs.


Also they need to add immediate access to the world through guest account before asking people to sign up. Allow land holders to check if they want to allow guests or not on their land.

Allow sim owners and land holders the registration api and minimize the Second Life brand on it allowing people get people signed up to SL through their own website and deliver them in world to where that entry portal is set.

Also, files. Why can't we set up a physical representation for a file in world and allow files to be swapped and downloaded. Very odd SL never added file transfer.


What SL / Linden Labs REALLY NEEDS is a Browser Based viewer for general users. Easy to use, low learning curve, runs in MSIE, FireFox, Chrome, Safari. While not fully featured as an "installable application" such as Firestorm Viewer, it would allow for user retention with ease of use and acceptance. This also reduces the "system" requirements of CPU/GPU/RAM making it much easier to connect and use from various hardware platforms. Consider the increasing volume in Tablet & light Netbook use versus conventional desktops or laptops... Time to meet the client side "common denominator" !

Broad Public accessibility, appeal and acceptance can bring the people in. They can always "upgrade" to using full installable viewers if they wish but for many that would not be a "requirement" to interact, socialise and to spend currencies in-world.

Guntram Graef

I wish that what you are saying was true, but I am unable to share your optimism here. I simply don't think it matters. How long do you think somebody with the patience / attention span too short to wait for a small piece of software to install is going to last in Second Life after log in? IMHO, you are at most delaying his drop out by a few minutes.

Instead of trying to attract a casual "mainstream" audience that is never going to stay in Second Life, it would make a lot more sense to focus on what makes Second Life attractive for its current active user base and market it to similar people. It is futile to spend resources on delaying the inevitable drop out of people who will never have the time, patience and dedication to make it through the Second Life learning curve.

Linden Lab should choose the battles it can win instead of wasting its focus and resources on chasing the wrong goose. While I do welcome a faster install process I consider it only a minor improvement that is not going to have a measurable impact on growing the active core user base. The way for Second Life to grow again is to listen to its active dedicated customers, improve their experience and you will see that organic growth will return simply through word of mouth, just like in the pre-hype days.

Pussycat Catnap

I really think they're looking at this wrong.

People don't give up during the install - they give up before it because they never meant to install. They aren't people, they're web-bots from spam houses.

LLs needs a Captcha system on its registration page. It will create two effects both of which are positive even if one seems bad:

1. Account registration will drop by about 90%.
2. Accounts that register will increase in stickiness by a vast margin.

- This is good because:

1. Real users will gain access to names that bots would have taken.
2. Spam attacks will vanish. Spam attacks are a crippling problem for LLs web services right now. Just log onto the forums or feeds and say:

"oh hai guyz, lets talk about Mumbai"

And watch the reactions... :)

3. Stickiness of the registrations going WAY WAY up because the bots are gone will be the sort of thing LLs can take to marketing and investors and say "people actually really, really, really like our product."
- Which is true. The people that join SL, actually do really, really, really like it. But LLs has been unable to tell this truth because the spammers make it look like 90% of new users leave...

As for speeding up the install, I don't see this as a direct good itself, but if it hints at the adoption of a more Agile Development process internally - that will be the kind of good business practice that could keep SL around for another 10 years.


I have to agree with "D". I was part of a game-platform startup back in 2007 and our single biggest hurdle was just convincing people to install software. Just a download link is a substantial filter…


I'd say the difference between the old viewer install and the new one is less time and certainly less clicks than signing in to comment here via Twitter ;)

My view on this is that if this part of a larger project that will install viewer performance then it's well worth it, but on its own I don't see the big fuss.

As you point out, there are another 3-5 steps after install and the next big one is logging in and waiting for the world to rez, someone who doesn't have the patience for such a small client install as the SL viewer is hardly likely to be impressed about how long the world takes to appear.


Ok let's try this again because my original comment is missing words and has words that I didn't intend to type in it! Not sure how I managed that.

I'd say the difference between the old viewer install and the new one is less time and certainly less clicks than signing in to comment here via Twitter ;)

My view on this is that if this is part of a larger project that will improve viewer performance then it's well worth it, but on its own I don't see the big fuss.

As you point out, there are another 3-5 steps after install and the next big one is logging in and waiting for the world to rez, someone who doesn't have the patience for such a small client install as the SL viewer is hardly likely to be impressed about how long the world takes to appear.

Eugeny Sivakoff

Well, with new hardware SL installs in no time. The problem is that new users will have to deal with what comes after installing, since it's a total mess. There are certain ways to improve first-time experience, but all of them will take serious revision of SL client as well as addition of more LSL functions.
One of the ideas is a sort of "training ground", running the local region on user's PC to provide some tutorial, along with godmode functions which will guide new person through(to eliminate online lag and keep the newcomer away from "imminent sl genitalia shock", at least for some time).
Given that it took LL whole year just to roll back the client's chat tab back to somewhat 1.23-ish look, it may take a years, the time LL doesn't have.


LL needs to remember, Sl is the best sandbox tool ever and many will only know that after being in World and learning it!
So create, like any Bethesda player knows, a tutorial zone, where new users will be, will learn how to walk, to make use of the build tools, how to dress, offer some really good quality avatars, have live music and exhibitions on those spots as well!
Make those new users see that Sl can be all, and make them learn the 1st steps!

Desmond Shang

This is just mindboggling. How much can they forget as a company in less than five years?

19 seconds shaved off the install. 19 minutes of being subjected to idiots and griefers solidly intact.

Honestly, if they want to change retention, take the *exact same staff* working on the code, and have them simply available to be helpful, friendly, and defend new residents from jerks. That will 'move the needle' more than *anything* they could ever possibly code.

All they are doing is getting new residents to the 'what's going on and why am I being griefed' stage *even faster than before*.

Fantastic misallocation of resources yet again. They know this. They *knew* this. For years and years.

ZZBottom in the comment above me has an interesting idea... "a tutorial zone, where new users will be, will learn how to walk, to make use of the build tools, how to dress, offer some really good quality avatars, have live music and exhibitions on those spots as well!"

Just imagine something like that... with maybe, you know, communities and stuff participating... hey, maybe even a successful place would have its tier covered, from making Linden just all *kinds* of money from the retained residents. Wild idea! Imagine if someone thought of that several years ago... hmmm...

Hitomi Tiponi

Anyone who gives up waiting for the viewer to install is certainly going to give up while they are wating for textures to load, or working out how to do things.

The people who leave SL because an install takes too long wouldn't be long in SL.

Magnet Homewood

19 seconds matters? Don't make me laugh. As many have said above, if they can't wait 19 extra seconds for install, they are not going to cope with the realities of SL.

Including, but not limited to:
- textures downloading while you stand in a world made all of grey.
- teleporting from club to club looking for somewhere where you might actually find a single lonely soul to talk to.
- when you found someone, 19 seconds is much shorter than it sometimes takes for them to reply to whatever you said to them, because they: have 5 IMs already going at the same time; went to feed their dog/cat without telling you; went to the toilet without telling you; are having sex in another IM while they are hedging their bets you might be the next on the list; they didn't even notice your IM because they are new too; they are ingoring you because they don't care for your nooby skin.

But what do we know. We only USE THE DAMN THING.

Ajax Manatiso

Once again they are not seeing the forest for the trees. 19 seconds makes no difference. The big problem is that the official viewer is unusuable -- Singularity is so much easier to use LL should just abandon their own viewer and have new users get Singularity.


A long download (though my net connection has improved) before the install is likely filtering out the impatient. Are Linden Labs able to distinguish between those deterred by the download time and those put off by the install time?

A slow install might be a sign of other problems with the installer, and if so it's a good thing to have fixed them. But unless every install is signaling a lot of personal data to Linden Labs (or the NSA) I am wondering how the heck they can know people are giving up at that stage of the process. How many times have we all downloaded and installed new versions of the viewer?

There's some truth in a lot of comments here. I'm inclined to think that this drop in the install time is something of a red herring.

Where there may be a more significant problem for the new accounts is the start-up time for the Viewer. Click and wait computing.

Michael Wilk

Okay, it's not that I don't appreciate the faster download and installation time for a viewer most SLers stop using as soon as they find a better one like Singularity or Cool VL Viewer, but this again demonstrates the warped priorities at Linden Lab. Instead of addressing the very real danger of revenue collapse from over-inflated prices, the new CEO is, like his predecessor, focusing on minor stuff that doesn't actually improve the overall experience for people who use Second Life.

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