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Monday, March 30, 2020

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Telling it like it is

Whoever thought it was alright to greenlight giving Mankind Tracer/Seth Regan 4 whole sims to have a 50% personal fundraiser 50% charity event should be nixed. LOL.

Alicia

I have to disagree entirely with Anne's visionary proposal.

I have nothing against her, but Strawberry Linden (Singh) would actually be the worst person to appoint as CEO of LL. That's like throwing a pup into a lion's den. Just because someone gets appointed CEO doesn't mean they know how to run a company effectively. Marketing's job is simply to market the game, and the problem with Second Life is that you really can't market it to anyone. Everyone knows the problems LL and SL have, and they're all well documented and known.

Folks, I'm just going to flat out say it. Second Life has, in fact, ran its course, and no amount of Machinima, youtube, FB, etc. will help it at this point. In fact, it's really not helping.

Acacia Merlin

I was at the Mankind Tracer event and it was 100% for the World Health Organization. We could contribute directly to that site. Almost 250 people were there and $1,800 was raised for the cause. It gave me a glimpse of what is still possible through Second Life.

vwfan

The comment monster is getting a bit insensitive with my posts or someone is taking it out of context. Let's try again...

Just because someone has experience playing dress-up doll, has engaged with community and has created tutorials doesn't make automatically make them CEOs. I think Strawberry is fine doing what she's currently doing. If she wants to voice opinion from the sidelines, that's great.

LL needs someone with industry proven experience to take on the challenges and push their products above and beyond. Someone with a creative and engineering background to better understand both sides and make strongly informed decisions. Someone who doesn't let projects drag out and hires people when needed to get the job done. Someone who doesn't give creators so much freedom that it creates a market saturated with spoil of poor craftsmanship and just lets it slide until doodoo hits the fan and they have to put out the fire they let happen in the first place. And someone who actually thoroughly uses the tool they are in charge of. Am I suggesting Ebbe is that person? Of course not.

Let's also not forget that there's the Board of Directors. As Ebbe put it, he and the Board are "one voice."

There. Hopefully the comment monster feels better now.

irihapeti

if there was to be change of Second Life CEO I vote for Oz Linden

Second Life is a long established and proven product. It just needs to keep on being that, and do its job for the resident customers and for its shareholders - which is as a cash machine operating day in day out on a steady and sure path with incremental improvements

Linden still has Tilia to excite the excitable among its Board and shareholders. Tilia now has two customers, one more than yesterday. If there is a growth path to millions of connected users for the excitable, then a clearing house for micro-transactions is where the millions are

and if I was appoint a Tilia CEO to go down this path, which I would if I owned it, then I would appoint Ebbe, answerable to the Linden Board directly. Tilia's growth path is uncharted and it needs a person like Ebbe to drive it

Second Life's path is not uncharted, is a known steady as it goes path, so Oz Linden who knows the product and its users intimately

Hurana

Patch Linden would be the best CEO and hope for the Lab. SL needs to be remastered and Patch already has a plan to fix everything but the Ebbie cash stealing machine blocked him at every turn. SL can be renewed, but it needs to be done by a Professional. Oz is NOT that person. Work with him and you will know why. Oz gets his advice from Patch, everyone does that is in the business.

Anonymous

This sounds insane, seems some people has lost their brain with the lockdown and the covid19 thing at LindenLabs.

Strawberry is a doll player. It stops here lol. Got hired by Linden ? ok thats a cool chance for her.

But making her as CEO, this sounds like a joke. Seems someone want to destroy Secondlife. Running a million dollars company requires high business management skill : mastering accounting, mastering taxes, mastering risks analysis, mastering entreprises strategies, technical bacground into servers, programming, high scale networks architectures, good marketing vision, the knowledge of customer mind scheme and risks, mastering game industry with validated past projects, mastering budgets management, mastering sourcing, mastering legal and laws, etc. etc.

I have a huge doubt about Strawberry skills to meet all what listed abouve, also who ever have setup this idea seems to not be at the correct position !

irihapeti

@Hurana

that's we where we differ. I am not a ex-employee. I am a customer. There is a place in upper management for Patch Linden for the good ideas he can bring to the table as a No. 2. I have mentioned this before on here

Linden has had a succession of CEO's with plans to fix everything. SL doesn't need to be renewed or remastered, it needs to stay on the stable path that it is on

Oz Linden in a few months resolved the insanity between the 3rd-party viewer devs and Linden that had been going on since the viewer code was open sourced. He put structure and rules in place that initiated a good relationship between the 3rd party devs and Linden

Oz Linden put his hand up to continue taking responsibility for SL, thru the dark years for us as customers and kept it up and running, when most of the then Linden staff demanded and did jump ship to the new shiny Sansar

Patch Linden is a good person. He may very well have a great relationship with his work colleagues. But is not a popularity contest in which staff and ex-staff get to vote

George Stickler

In the 21st century it's absolutely critical that every website is responsive so it's viewer friendly on every device. I keep clicking the link to read your blog, but my phone shows the normal site, rendering super tiny text. I refuse to zoom and move it around. Please fix this...

Anne Frank

I'm happy this inspired a conversation. I'm American. I think we tend to think that we pick really horrible qualities for leaders and it ultimately takes us repeating failure. Is Strawberry Linden CEO material? I don't know, but the proven recipe of looking for industry-regurgitated success vendors has been disastrous.

It all has to start with some kind of genuine love for the product. I don't think SL has had that since Philip. There's plenty of people capable of working the systems. That's not leadership. Leadership is vision.

It's ironic that I chose Strawberry as an example, because I think what LL did with her was a mistake. She used to be such an earnest promoter. She was a force. She was The Good Witch of The North. She spread the SL love all about like fairy dust. LL dropped a house on her and squashed her true value when she became on of them, instead of letting her teach them how to become on of her.

Anyway, nice conversation.

vwfan

@irihapeti
"Second Life's path is not uncharted, is a known steady as it goes path"

It's known steady path has been seen in a historical user concurrency graph with a downward decline. That doesn't seem like a very good known steady path to me. There's a spurt of growth at the moment but we'll have to see where that goes in the long-run.

@Anne Frank
"It all has to start with some kind of genuine love for the product. I don't think SL has had that since Philip. There's plenty of people capable of working the systems. That's not leadership. Leadership is vision."

I agree. I like visionaries but you have to tread carefully and not lose sight with reality when pursuing great ideas. There's cool stuff and then there's cool useful stuff. It's the latter part that people seem to miss the most. Love for the product is also very important and plays in with vision. You know someone has a love for the product when they critcize it (even their own work) or think of ideas off the top of their head.

BEEBEE

New member logged in yesterday. Three PPL, INCLUDING ME, spent two hours trying to get her dressed,and into a body and head. Her system couldn't handle the platform and at the end she was half naked, bright red shin and MISSHAPEN AND she left.
Three senior members couldn't help this newbie. That is why people sign up but leave. Linden has allowed unregulated designers to develop complex bodies, heads, and clothing SYSTEMS and some even BYPASS MP... More greed, gutting years of others businesses), all built outside a WORLD,that can't handle any of it,and the elite charging a fortune for one top, forcing fat packs to get a decent texture!!! While inworld building, the very reason second life existed, has no tools to compete. Every sim is crowded with naked avis WEARING these systems, and nothing REZZS. IT'S A BORING naked, laggy MALL. IT'S MESSED Up. Fire Ebby.

Lina Pussycat

BEEBEE it sounds like maybe that person's computer was woefully underpowered and even if efficient bodies were made it would still likely have problems. Just because you have a pc doesn't mean it will run shit well

Lugan

LL and Ebbe don't have vision. Never had any vision and won't suddenly get vision.


They aren't fooling anybody except the cash machine kitties.

Lugan

Skylar Smythe

What exactly can be improved with second life? Sure it's old technology but it seems to work just fine. Marketplace works just fine. there are lots of creative events and classes and artistic things going on both musical and in all genres. Why shouldn't they make money for providing the infrastructure that our community is built on? Don't we value the friendships there and the experiences that we have? None of that would be possible without linden lab. So why are they constantly attacked?

They created the most successful virtual community in the world that has endured for what 17 years now? I applaud them. I thank them for providing the software that allows me to connect with so many valuable friendships that I've built in second life and business relationships.

If they really wanted to monetize second life they would make it a mandatory monthly membership. That's the path that many online communities have gone to support the data management and fixes and patches and customer support and monetary exchange and all the other services they provide.

And why is it that people who spend the least amount of money on a monthly basis and second life are the most vocal about second life making money through their enterprise? You always have the option of using the platform for free. Always.

And after 14 years of listening to this crap I'm a little tired of it. Don't like it, pack your dollarbie flexy hair and stop logging in. I think they do a great job.

Gabe Ghiby

me I tend to agree with the author of this blog and article, I assume wagner james

I feel bad I just recently found this blog-news considering I'm what some may call an oldtimer in SL since 2006, with a few failed attempts starting in 2004... I'm just introducing myself, just to show I have something to compare with, years and years of being with SL under different management teams, starting with the original Linden team...

my bottom line comment is simple:

it's great they finally got rid of Sansar, it was a losing proposition from the start, I can't even begin to understand how come their researchers - assuming they have some on duty - didn't figure it out, we the users-residents of SL, we won't embrace, support and use an environment with no Adult-Mature content and where creators can't really make money... and we, the residents warned them, yet still, they didn't listen at all until it brought them to the brink of bankruptcy...

like the author just said, like we, the little people we're supposed just to go with the flow and accept it and make their work fun, while they're earning significant salaries off us spending our money in SL

so, it's good they got rid of it, so they can finally focus on SL as it should be done, out of respect for its residents...

everything else is crap, in my opinion, especially the so-called move to the cloud, it will end up costing them a fortune, and they'll give up administration and management control of the servers, so of the grid, all that at our expense, once again, the SL residents will have to pay the price one way or another...

look what happened recently with portals controlled by just a few hands in a third-party service provider agreement, like Steam and Origin, of EA, or even Blizzard and no only, they all crashed with outages due to overload 'cause people-players-users were logging in more often than before with this "social distancing" trend

similar things will happen with the cloud move, the grid will soon be managed by others, the grid (or portions of it) will be down, and Lindens will say "don't blame us, it's the cloud" - but they'll still charge us...

dropping Sansar was/is a good move while moving to the cloud is a dumb move and it will cost us all

the much expected "names" improvement, to change-choose name, will also be a cash machine, a cash cow, considering will charge at least $20 per name change, when it should be free, as it's not the "Resident"s fault they had no last-name to choose from when they signed up...

me, personally, I'm so sick and tired, I barely find the drive to log back in SL but, I still do it to keep in touch with my longtime friends and to watch speechless and with my jaw dropped the latest developments...

@ wagner james
keep up the good work on maintaining this blog with SL news, it's great there still are some journalists like you... well done...

Brian lumins

I have been in sl from the start seeing from the great amount of people and places which they have from the start to the amount of people which is less and less good places to explore, in the past you can fit over fifty in a club with zero issue and with no lag and now is even less you can fit with huge lag issue and scripts yes mech was good but it still a major issue, what LL need to do to keep mech going is to fix their programs to handle mech, the system what they have now was only for the old avi, and the people that have been in sl from the start know this very well

patricia mcmath

As someone who has been "playing" for almost a decade I have two things to say. 1. You always need to treat paying customers with the respect they are due; you would be here if not. That means getting back to basics and making sure the machine is working. I don't care who is CEO WHAT I CARE ABOUT IS THAT I PAY TO USE THIS SERVICE SO IT SHOULD BE WORKING PROPERLY. What are they offering that is current or bring it up to date? With today's technology things like lag should be long forgotten.
For some reason we are still having the same in world issues as we have always had and the game has not been a good value for the money we pay to play it. How many premium members are still expected to pay for old builds while others are getting beautiful communities. Start with the PEOPLE who keep your business alive and do something for us to give insentive to continue playing. WE Are the reason you can spout you are a million dollar company. You are in essence in partnership with your players...when was the last time you asked us what we need to stay and then really do what needs to be done. 2. Get up to date with the platform: how is it that we are still experiencing so many glitches and sub par service not to remention the fact it can't seem to support new devs. You keep upping the price while lowering the standard of play... As I said, I don't care who is CEO, what I care about is value for my money. If you want to continue growing and getting better it has to start at the top and it needs to start with LL not looking at his customers as cash cows. Start respecting the people who put you on the preverbial map and start working for us or you might just find yourself a company that WAS...

Camilla Tigerfish

As a member of SL for over 10 years I absolutely agree that it desperately needs some vision and direction to bring in new users (and keep them in..) and provide long term residents with some much needed incentive to remain in SL. Long term members have been taken for granted, accepting the poor performance, high prices and self-driven entertainment for loyalty to SL and friends made there, and the creativity of other users - when as customers we should be expecting more from Linden.

Its time to stop relying on users making the content to bring others in and put some work in to keep it relevant and comparable with the rest of the market with similar platforms, MMOs etc. In a recent interview with an in-world member (it was on Youtube?) the marketing lead had no answers for how they plan to market SL to a wider audience. Most the marketing I have seen for SL is aimed at businesses and educational organisations, realistically with Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Slack etc they will never compare. Focus on where SL excels, as a social leisure activity.

The 'Why should I care about "the cloud"?' feels a little misinformed. While some of the recent interviews have been disappointing a move to cloud is long overdue from the ancient servers. Even with a high end spec PC the lag, frame rates are a huge issue. Done properly..a move to cloud will bring reduced costs, scalability, load balancing and an overall improved experience for us. Private cloud will allow for Linden to remain totally in control of their own infrastructure and also improves security. They have however been saying this for some time, what progress has been made?

irihapeti

@vwfan wrote:

"It's known steady path has been seen in a historical user concurrency graph with a downward decline. That doesn't seem like a very good known steady path to me. There's a spurt of growth at the moment but we'll have to see where that goes in the long-run."

Second Life has been growing since May 2018. Tyche Shepard's independent data bears this out

since May 2018, region numbers have slowly increased. Concurrency has slowly increased. Marketplace product listings have increased. Yes there has been a concurrency blip gain in the past week or so due to RL stay-at-home orders. The underlying stable growth is there tho. Not meteoric, just steady and stable

P373R Kappler

In my opinion building creating in sl got harder and harder with the time for most people.
We have to use blender or other 3d software now to make objects.
We have to use external tools to make animations.
What in my opinion is very good in sl is the scripting engine because you can test your changes instantly, unlike sansar where you had to compile the region to see if your stuff is working.

My 5 cents to improve SL.

1.Replace prim editing with a mesh vertices editor. Should not be that hard. You can create a sphere torus or a box with so and so many faces and edit the vertices.
This could be expanded with UV baking and painting. That will get people again in to building together not alone.

2.Build in a Animation editor. Make a pose , add a key frame make another and interpolate between them.Rig could be editable too in the editor.

3. Baking ground texture with all the shadows from the objects if real time shadows are too taxing for the system. Could be viewer side with upload option.

4. New Avatar with proper baking BOM (Bake on Mesh).which is kinda half included already.

5.The Scripting engine is one of the easiest in the industry which is good. Sill it could use some attention. More keys in events for example. Passing variables between scripts in faster ways than messages.

6. altering of movement like speed jump height and so on within a region..
Mainly interesting for gaming community's. Make sl more agile or gaming regions behave differently then normal regions in terms of movement and ray casting for example. Some work should also be done on the physics.

7 Viewer gaming mode( harder to cheat ). No mini map no developer commands like de render stuff and so on, forced by the region.

8. Proper avatar hit boxes.(Not sure it can be done with the client animation structure. Probably only client side).

9. Client side 3d particles gun traces laser beams and so on.

10. Speech synthesis for npc characters since we have animesh now which is pretty nice. Not sure if this can be done without some kind of a AI translating every thing. Usually the quality of non AI solutions is kinda poor.

Having all that lag free would make sl a competitor to things like unity and so on for many people and also boost up group creativity which was sl´s strength from the beginning.


vwfan

@irihapeti

"Second Life has been growing since May 2018...The underlying stable growth is there tho. Not meteoric, just steady and stable."

Well, ideally, actual growth for me would be when the graph begins rising substantially higher and sustaining it. Like a noticeable V- or U-shaped curve. A slowed decline or steady & stable doesn't mean much to me.

Alicia

I'll answer your ten questions as follows, @P373R.

The answers to questions one, two, three, five through ten all have to do with Linden Lab having to put an actual game engine into SL, which literally breaks every ounce of LSL scripting, which is SL specific only, whereas LUA scripting is everywhere else. Unfortunately, LL will never do that so those nine points literally become moot and pointless to discuss.

The answer to question four is already in SL in the form of the SLink bodies, as Siddean and her hubby put out pure BOM bodies where you don't need any onion body cuts. Granted, you're back to using alpha layers, but you can make your own quite easily and simply put... the Slink Classic Redux body can wear anything fitted for Maitreya. Actually, correction... the SLink Classic body, regardless of whether it's onion body or BOM Redux, CAN wear anything fitted for Maitreya… with exception to shoes of course.

P373R Kappler

Sl is a game engine.. It has physics server side player controls. But those have not been touched for a decade or longer.

And why would a ani editor, or mesh editor , ground texture baking or gaming mode break lsl?

Alicia

"Sl is a game engine.." - no it's not. SL is a game that is ran and was developed in a reverse engineered, custom built engine with components from the Havok Engine, which is middleware.

"And why would a ani editor, or mesh editor , ground texture baking or gaming mode break lsl?" - all of that would require LL to develop a new engine that can actually handle that; and the reason it would break LSL is because every script in SL runs on LSL, which is SL specific only. There's a reason why those are not, and cannot be included into SL, and it all has to do with how SL was developed. Engine... coding... you name it. Why do you think its better to create specific stuff using separate programs that are far more capable (IE: Blender, ZBrush, etc.)

History lesson @P373R Kappler, Cody understood the engine's capabilities and limits, so he knew full well that the engine could never handle mesh. Why? He developed the engine. He knew the problems, but was either fired or forced out by Phillip. Even with a supped up gaming PC, there's still lag in SL. Do you really want SL's already poor performance to become utterly detrimental to everyone to the point where LL may as well shut the game down. Do you really want to give the keys to a Lamborghini to someone who doesn't know how to drive? I don't think you do and I definitely wouldn't recommend it.

P373R Kappler

Right So do nothing then .. Or just make every thing new .. We saw how it went with sansar;>

Or maybe just fix stuff step by step new server with better physics engine ..

New geometry pipeline and so on. LSL is a wrapper for a set of server functions . you can leave the names of the functions the same while rebuilding the system. Adding a new graphic pipeline does not require a change of the server system. A prim box or a mesh object is still a bunch of vertices;>

Something needs to happen ^^ The one thing sl has to offer vs other worlds is the in world real time building. you lose that you are like any other vr world that uses unity which is rather complicated to the normal user.Let the n00b be creator again ;>

Weird is i do not see any posts which specify what could be done .. Its just what can not be done ;> I guess we are d00000med;>

TDGunner

As if Strawberry could do a worse job than the Ebster!

Tara Li

I think the biggest problem with SL has been the moving of content creation *out* of the world to importation. As one poster mentioned - an in-world animation editor would be a great improvement. Allow recording voice to a sound asset would be great. Add an option (possibly re-purposing the particle system call) to create new one-prim Linden Plants from L-Systems the way they're already created. Allow editing of sculpties in-world by dragging vertexes. Create meshes with CGM of prims in-world. Some way to do texture painting would be nice. LSL calls to adjust animation priorities and speeds would be cool, and a better way to syncronize them would be nice. Even adjust audio asset play-back speed would be cool. All of these are *relatively* simple.

It's important to remember that Second Life is *not* a game. Games can be built in SL. Chat venues are in SL. Educational projects are in SL. Mental Health and Spiritual Consultation is done in SL. The SL client is a 3D rendering engine. It's not a game engine.

Luther Weymann

I'm looking for any comments you have on this if you actually do have any comments. I started with my first avatar on January 1, 2004, while browsing the web waiting for the Rose Bowl to start on television. That's how I discovered SL. That was 16 years ago. Like many in SL over 16 years, there is nothing I have not done or tried. SecondLife became my only hobby.

So, during the last 8-9 months, I've been looking at the nearby avatar list wherever I go and finding lots of avatars that are one or two days old. I find them at Big Daddy's dance place wondering how to fit in and dance or in large retail stores, not really knowing how they got there or someone on the mainland just frozen, not knowing what to do or somehow on an island in the Blake Sea not understanding where they are. And in all cases, I send an IM that says, "Hi, I see your 1 day old, new to SL. It can be difficult getting started, is there anything I can do to help you?" The response is immediate and heartfelt. They don't know what to do. None of them know how to rez a prim, or have ever heard of the SL Market where you can search for L$0 clothing, none of them know how to change clothes or why their feet stick out of their shoes, or part of their body is transparent or what a sandbox is or where to look if you give them something. None of them, really none of them, know that everything they see except the sky and ground was made by SL Residents. And every one of them will eventually ask this question "Is this worth it?" because they have never been told this is a do-it-yourself world with no support or help getting started and it just seems so impossible for them to understand what is going on. If there is help getting started, the thirty or so folks I have worked with sure don't know about it. Most are women, a few men, and it's sad, it really is. I even ask, "are you here because your actually lonely in real life" and almost everyone has said yes. I tell them it can be a social world, but they have to make that happen, it won't come to them. I sometimes send them to the big NCI school but so many people there speak and do nonsense so that can be tricky. I mean, it's their first day in SL and guy avatars walking around hitting on girl avatars while the guy is naked with this huge dick sticking out is way more than an opening day person can understand. Too threating for most people. So I'm trying, but it very time consuming and frustrating to see how unprepared the Lindens leave these new registrations when they land on day one on the grid. You've probably heard me say this before, I've owned three software companies, the last one over a thousand employees and it just seems to me that the board of directors of Linden Research is not typical. I mean who has executive power in a nearly twenty year old software company that has let it bread and butter application languish for over a decade without trying to recapture some of those forty million registered uses? And what software executive in two decades does not entirely fix the new avatar on the grid situation so that they stick around? I have this CEO, COO executive experience of nearly forty years in tech, and I don't understand what the thinking process with this Linden Research company is. After almost twenty years of business, any regular business would do everything possible to make the first week of a new avatar really a terrific experience. Still, at SL its seems something is really wrong.

La’Kisha

Can you do an article on a lack of diversity in Secondlife and could you look into the amount of racism towards black people on the official forums and why we might need a forum safe space considering the lindens let certain residents AR Party any talk of discussion and they get together on none spammers everyday
https://community.secondlife.com/forums/topic/451778-spammers/page/6/#comments

A friend of mine brought up a civil discussion on it, it was removed to keep black people from having a voice, if anything strawberry is more of a token then progress.

Secondlife is not a safe space for black people.

Alicia

@La'Kisha, the only safe space anyone is guaranteed to have is one they themselves can control with an 360° radius around themselves (IE: within arms reach). You can't control anything that's beyond your reach, and that includes any type of message board or what anyone says. In fact, what you're bringing up with your entire post represents both racism and segregation in wanting safe spaces.

Like I said, the only safe space anyone is entitled to have is a 360° radius around themselves. No more, and no less.

Unfortunately, what your friend experienced on the SL Forums was the age old forum elitism. Basically, the forum elitists who control the discussions by telling the Moderators to delete this or that.

Mina

Things LL needs to do:

Update graphics
Find a good marketing strategy (starting social media with advertising to reach new people)

Nothing is better then jumping on the hype train started by influencers. That's it. I don't know how LL are so slow with going any steps further. It feels like SL is stuck in a developing gap for to long.
I still do enjoy SL but sometime it's just boring nevertheless since there aren't new people, it's laggy as hell and the graphics... Come on. It's time to evolve.

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