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Monday, April 06, 2020

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Foot Held

He is right, but many of us are just waiting for the next cloudparty, it's not just a poor new user experience while Luther is trying to help, many like Luther are long gone, replaced with a dollhouse culture, many people finding noobs will automatically ban them, too many years' linden lab letting grievers run wild.

I never thought I would buy a VR headset, but the order has been placed, I want to discover a new world, one managed better, one where everything does not have an underlining monetary cost.

If noobs go on the forum, they will be laughed at for asking questions that seem reasonable, be called a troll & likely the thread will get locked.

I remember many were helpful like Luther in the sandbox once upon a time, my oldest account is not much younger than steller sunshine they even have my name as an alpha along with other alphas in stone on a monument in some forgotten corner of the mainland... I guess when I move on I can just consider that my headstone in a forgotten graveyard.

The new user experience is horrible because the platform is neglected and a shell of what it was & the only thing linden lab is doing now is making sure they get a paycheck at each weeks end with its sudden new interest after 5yrs.

sirhc desantis

'Do Most New Second Life Users Not Know It's Mostly User-Created?'
Actually, front page of secondlife dot come says it all is. Sort of anyway (hover over the Creativity panel as not fussing with image upload as too early) 'Everything in SL is created by people just like you'. Maybe they need to put it in a bigger font. Or require basic reading ability. I can't recall ever Not knowing that.

Mocked in the forums? Nope, don't see that too much. Lot of regulars there provide an awful lot of help. Matter of fact the forum has been a sea of calm for a few years now. Relatively speaking.

New user experience? Yeah, some valid points so ask why the various expts were shut down (recent ones too).
Oh, and by the Labs own logged in figures, signups are over 60 million.

OK, now I am a total nood compared to these vets but what is the obsession of users of ahem a certain age with pixel parts? Not seen a good dong attack in years, myself.

Galatea

I have to wonder about a platform that won't make building things simpler. There's no middle ground between basic prims and going offline to use Blender. Why? It's not like there can't be much simpler, in-world mesh creation tools. Ever played with procedural parts in KSP (the stock fairings are an example, but they've been around since modders introduced them long before Squad)? SL could be a mecca for creators looking to make beautiful things without needing to learn complex tools, but for a little support from LL...

And don't get me started on the problems with creating in-world games and spaces to play them in. There's so much potential there, but the tools are half-baked and never end up getting fixed and refined. My dreams along those lines died with Dogfight Atoll...

So much of everything is half-baked. I used to marvel at the fact that, to put on a pair of shoes, I needed to (to use a simple example) not only attach the prims but also an alpha layer. In any game designed to be user-friendly, as I content creator I would create a bundle consisting of everything needed, and end users would simply wear or unwear the one item. In SL wearing a single Bare Rose outfit often involved juggling more than a dozen different items.

Depressingly, I could go on with a dozen more examples of features released half-implemented and never finished from a polished game perspective. It's like they want to get the cool toys in people's hands without worrying about the user experience, and then never getting around to that part. Soon it accumulates into a huge jumbled mess that no new user can comprehend. And it's frustrating because, so often, you watch them get so close, but then never bring it across the finish line...

Luther Weymann

Thank you, Hamlet, for encouraging others to step up and help new SL residents get started.
This is why I'm questioning Linden Research's commitment to their technology and to their users. I'm an old man, almost in my mid-70's, and SL is the only real hobby I've had in life. I did not start in SL until I was 56 years old in 2004, which by then, my business was mostly being managed for me by others, and leisure time became available. But you have to take into consideration that for over four decades, I've been a tech geek, so finding a virtual world that I could script and build in was a perfect fit for the only hobby I've ever had. I spent four decades in the software business retiring at age 63, and if you do the math that starts for me in 1972 with a brand-new engineering degree and a job at Amdahl, then VAX then IBM, then Sun, then Computer Associates, then my own three software companies. My first software company failed, the second one sold for not much, and the third one sold was solid gold. So, here is the deal with me questioning Liden Research. I've worked in the top tech companies, and I've been in the senior management of some of those companies, and I've owned my own software businesses. Those companies and my companies don't let our bread and butter applications go stale. We obsess, yes obsess, about getting new customers, getting new customers off on the right foot, so they stay with you, and keeping existing customers really happy with our company. Those three things, all sales related, keeping the product refreshed and competitive, getting new customers and starting them off right, and keeping old customers really happy. Those three things dominate almost every senior management weekly meeting in tech companies. So, without any doubt, we can all see that Linden Research is not keeping the product refreshed, not giving new customers an excellent first-week experience, and not keeping their old customers happy. After my life experience in the tech business, working directly with extraordinary captains of the industry, it's tough for me to see that Linden Research has a serious commitment to us, you and me, their bread and butter, the people they get their paychecks from. All of this sales and customer retention decision making process I have written about, all comes from the executive board of Linden Research. My life experience says that something is just not right, and I'm afraid one day we may have a very unsettling attempt to log in, followed by a shocking realization.

seph

Linden Lab won't make the new user experience simpler because they value content from 2006 working at all way more than they value content made in 2020 working great.

It's a tall ask for new users to understand the difference between a default 'Ruth' body, Linden Lab's starter mesh bodies, and the many user-made mesh bodies. It's complex to understand the difference between a system shirt layer, sculpty shirts, mesh shirts with pre-fitted mesh rigging that may or may not be standard sizing, the intermediary 'liquid mesh' shirts and modern fitted mesh shirts...and then what body that shirt is rigged for.

There's no limit to how much technical debt Linden Lab is willing to rack up by insisting to keep around old features or worse, make new features reliant upon ancient features; like bento reliant on ruth, animesh reliant on bento, bakesonmesh reliant on system clothing layers, the newer but now old mono engine using LSL instead of C#, etc.

No one in software or services does this. Twitter had no issue breaking third party clients we all loved and used to improve the website and official app experience. Facebook had no problem canning its Games section no matter how popular Farmville once was when it was obvious it was a legacy feature. YouTube didn't stubbornly keep friend lists, five star ratings, Google Hangouts integration, a design favoring 4:3 aspect ratio vs. widescreen, and so on.

Most services and software we use improve constantly and keep up with new abilities of the platforms they're on, and are ruthless towards old features that've racked up limiting technical debt.

Every decision Linden Lab makes is making sure derelict mainland builds over a decade old are preserved moreso than improving the quality and usability of what's built, sold and experienced today.

Breaking old content sucks, especially when its paid for, but the salve for that pain is to make sure the new features gained outweigh the losses. This is how it works with every piece of software and service ever; update while killing off old technical debt and its fine.

Until Linden Lab is willing to break old content in as pleasant ways as possible, most users that sign up for Second Life will quit within an hour or two with some box stuck to their right hand after failing to put on a new shirt. The new user experience will always suck because there's 5 ways to do everything in Second Life, and the most current way out of those 5 is difficult and hampered with compromises to support the other 4 ways still working.

Alicia

"Oh, and by the Labs own logged in figures, signups are over 60 million." - over how many years, and how many of those 60 million are still there? Roughly what, 25,000 - 50,000 on off and peak hours? How many of those are alt/bot accounts? If I had to guess, SL is actually closer to 10,000 - 20,000 during off and peak hours, when you remove all the alt/bot accounts.

"I have to wonder about a platform that won't make building things simpler. There's no middle ground between basic prims and going offline to use Blender. Why? It's not like there can't be much simpler, in-world mesh creation tools. Ever played with procedural parts in KSP (the stock fairings are an example, but they've been around since modders introduced them long before Squad)? SL could be a mecca for creators looking to make beautiful things without needing to learn complex tools, but for a little support from LL..." - The reason why people use programs such as Maya, ZBrush, Blender, etc., is because those programs were created to create mesh objects such as buildings, avis, weapons, vehicles, etc. You simply cannot put these into a game and let a novice have a moment of euphoria due to the fact that they just gained the keys to the Batmobile. People have to learn how to use these programs effectively, and then bring them into an actual engine that can compress, and give you that low poly/high quality item... and don't say it can't be done because it can with an actual game engine.

@Luther Weymann, to everything you said, perhaps a move away from Linden Lab is what's best for everyone in SL.

Mac

I totally agree with Luther. Linden Lab, please take note.

ItsNicci

" I don't understand what the thinking process with this Linden Research company is."
Most of us don't understand the thinking process of LL is, and how and why they choose the people they do, and make the decisions they do, that has not only stunted SL's growth, but destroyed Sansar's.

Now they insist on going back to the old cow and trying to milk it, when it is aging and drying up, instead of encouraging its users to prepare for the next version of SL.

In the end, LL may be laid to rest soon while more superior and professional companies with vision will move forward.

vwfan

Agree with Luther, Galatea and seph. This particular line by seph stood out the most to me.

"Breaking old content sucks, especially when its paid for, but the salve for that pain is to make sure the new features gained outweigh the losses."

This is a key point Linden Lab needs to be aware of. If you evolve a product to outshine and compete with the features of itself and other products, people will look past the old ways of doing things. People will be willing to drop all their old inventory knowing that something amazing is ahead. If people (or perhaps most) are willing to drop their old system layers for mesh bodies and appliers, imagine what they would do if you innovated your product with intuitive, creative engineering.

Luther Weymann

Keep in mind that SecondLife is extraordinary. The amount of assets created is a spectacular example of what is obviously the world's most fabulous virtual world created by residents, along with Linden Public Works and the Moles. Within the scope of the contents created, no other virtual world comes close to SecondLife. If the actual hours of work that has gone into the creation of everything since day one were published, it would be a stunningly colossal number that would be mostly uncomprehensive in size.

So, something like this could be used as a catalyst to make new sales revenue for Linden Research. Two separate systems, SecondLife and ThirdLife. Not using the same technology, but ThirdLife engineered to accommodate certain facets of SecondLife. In SecondLife and ThirdLife, you are asked which world you want to login to, and when you log out, asked if you want out of both. If you login to SecondLife, getting to ThirdLife is easy, it's a menu item, a portal, a prim you click on, a teleport. But your SecondLife avatar does not go to ThirdLife, only your SecondLife name does because you are already pre-registered, and what happens is that the system seamlessly logs you into ThirdLife. You appear there on your screen as if you teleported. I invented "software factories" within mainframe database applications back in 1984 that solved most cross-platform login problems and most cross-platform data-sharing issues. And I pioneered the first neural network for the US Government that integrated disparate operating system applications when everyone said it could not be done. So, yes, of course, you can create a parallel new ThirdLife application that allows you to go from one virtual world to the next. You'll be a different avatar in both, but the name, money, friends list, and a whole group of things could go back and forth. Let me explain something. Back in 1985, within the IT group of the 3M company in St. Paul, Minnesota, these people integrated reporting across every op sys they were using company-wide. That's right; 35 years ago, smart people were making diverse applications on different operating systems that no standard communication channel pass really usable vital data back and forth. They were producing great company reports that came from applications on all different op sys. It's being done today almost everywhere you look on the web. So yeah, SecondLife and ThirdLife is a highly viable cross-connected virtual world that can be done. And it can share some database assets from SecondLife to the ThirdLife database if the new world is coded to allow some legacy stuff to be used. My opinion is that Linden Research has not missed the opportunity to capitalize on the world's need for a new virtual world by using the legacy of SecondLife. But after watching such a small company as Linden Research blow fifty million dollars on an obviously wrong decision, I'm thinking the executive board of Linden Research does not have the "will to live" anymore. I'm thinking that fifty-million dollar loss was a near-death experience for SecondLife. What's really sad is that they don't care enough about all of us to prove me wrong.

Joey1058

"If you login to SecondLife, getting to ThirdLife is easy, it's a menu item, a portal, a prim you click on, a teleport. But your SecondLife avatar does not go to ThirdLife, only your SecondLife name does because you are already pre-registered, and what happens is that the system seamlessly logs you into ThirdLife. You appear there on your screen as if you teleported. I invented "software factories" within mainframe database applications back in 1984 that solved most cross-platform login problems and most cross-platform data-sharing issues."

I hereby nominate Luther Weymann as next CEO of LL. :-)

Cross

I am not as old user on SL as the good sir in the post might be, but I am WAY old enough to agree to what was said by his side. In short - LL created a platform, threw people in, maintain it long enought for users to grab the ropes on how and why, then abandoned it in a sense. The user can only do as much untill they can't anymore.
I was an active member of LL damage 'military' community for a good amount of time, I saw rises and falls of activity - but a little before the so called TEEN grid merge, the activity fell to 'hell'. No other way to put it.
My point, if LL would of keept maintaining what they've created -the game would be even bigger succes and not yet fall as it is. Most of old commumities and users left, new joins and know not what to do.

irihapeti

Linden are like Microsoft. Microsoft upgrade their OS periodically, but do it in a way where older apps can still work alongside newer apps

there also always calls for Linden to be more like Apple/Samsung and break stuff. Phones tho have a limited shelf life relative to PCs. Also too, phones often come with in the phone company packaged offering. Sign up for 2 years and get a free phone

i think that Second Life is still here after 17 years because Linden is like Microsoft

has been lots of move fast and break stuff strategic approaches in the user generated content 3D world space over the same period as Second Life. None of those approaches have endured. Mostly because people who do actually make content in Second Life are hobbyists, and don't want the stuff they have put their efforts into broken

irihapeti

on the new user experience. Back in the day I was a Second Life Mentor for quite a few years. Spend most of my inworld time on the starter welcome islands with new users

the greeter/mentor role was actually needed back in those days, as the then V1.xx viewer had no in-viewer help system. Most of the questions on the Welcome Islands from new users where about how to use the viewer. With V2 arrival and now V4 the viewer context help is comprehensive and users are in the main able to work out for themselves how the viewer works

there are still the lost lambs like Luther comes across in world, but there are less of them comparatively than there used to be

the big change reduction in the lost lambs numbers, was Linden made the Social Island when onboarding the Home of the new user. Which provides a known and recognisable space to return too, when the new user comes across something on teleport which disconcerts them

unlike the earlier days when exiting the starter welcome island, no Home place was set and the new users randomly ended up all over the grid, with nothing that looked familiar each time they pressed the viewer Home button

irihapeti

also as well

i recently learned that Social Islands 1 and 2 have been closed to olbie accounts. The other Social Islands still allow oldbies

the only oldbie accounts now allowed to go to Social Island 1 and 2, are members of the White Tigers Mentor group as I learned/understand. Many of the White Tigers are ex-Second Life Mentors

so this is not bad thing to happen. As I mentioned above, as has Luther, there are still the lost lambs, who can always do with a kind word from somebody a bit more experienced in the ways of the world

Siris Vulpecula

I think the other issue is the total lack of support for creators in general. Each and every day there are fewer and fewer creators which inevitably means less and less to new and exciting things. There are a number of reasons for this but it all ultimately boils down to a lack of care and support from LL and the communities that have been fostered by their actions in Second Life. First is the barrier to entry, yes to be competitive you have to know an external program and be versed in the outdated art of OpenGL rendering but those skills are surprisingly well documented on places such as youtube. There are also several groups (maybe enclaves is a better term) of builders who are willing to teach the tricks and arts of texture, modeling, and scripting. As a creator starting out now there are far more resources available than there was when I was learning though granted you must also go out and find them. The other barrier is costs. It cost to upload and if you are building a complex model you're going to be doing a ton of uploading per project and devoting a lot of time to said project. In my case I work primarily with vehicles and if you look at the quality of some models and compare them to other platforms you see similar detailed and quality builds selling on other platforms for $30-$50 at firms where a 3D artist can make upwards of $20 an hour. Meanwhile on SL you're paying a platform to display and selling your product for something on the order of a starbucks coffee's worth of cash to what is very much a niche market. When you mix in how LL has nurtured communities and their own reaction you now contend with a reception as a creator that ranges from utter indifference to down right hostile. There is little to protect a creator from all this toxicity that tends to float around them inevitably so any work you see in world that clearly has some effort put into it is a true labor of love. Outside of perhaps avatar creators, clothing creators, and (lets face it) pixel porn creators if you are in Second Life to make cash creating you're fighting an uphill battle. Now you need a place to play so where are you going to do that? Well sims are not a small chunk of change by any means and few people are willing to foot what is the equivalent to a significant portion of a real rent payment or even have it sufficiently pressed upon them what the costs are. A good example of this was a discussion I witnessed in one of the many aviation groups where a large and popular region of sims announced its closure. The discussion became dominated by cries for someone to build a new one somewhere else, how it should be created, and where. But the moment someone brought the point of who would pay up the discussion was instantly over. People do not want to pay for their second life to exist or for their spaces to play in or for their favorite creators to continue. So the communities and Lindens seem to have this misguided belief that if they build it they will come. The problem is creating the platform or putting a group of people together is not what brings the creators to the table, they need incentives and if you are going to stop from burning them all out they need to be more than a blank canvas upon which to spread their mind, especially when that canvas has a tendency to double down on the drama cesspool and bite them. So coming to my last point of issue here is you inevitably create a culture where there is no incentive or care so it is maximum payout for minimum effort and this is where in many circles you will find your controversy. What is the fastest and easiest way to make nice pretty creations that will net you profit without having to go through the necessary steps? Simple, you don't and as long as a group is getting their nice fancy pretty thing you've got a loyal army at your disposal that will open their pennies to you and attack any who oppose you because you have the shinny thing. It does not matter that you aren't contributing to the group in any way, or even giving a space for them to use their shiny thing it only matters that they have it. And thus coupled with the either unwillingness or inability for LL to police the platform we have become inundated with stolen assets. After all if I can find a download for a game model and just pop it into Second Life then I have lost nothing more than the few minutes it takes to press the download button and wait. And if I can do this fast enough I can release models at the rate of several a week rather than one every month or two meaning I am the only one who can be seen on the market. And if people do not believe me I challenge them to go on Marketplace right now and do a quick search and I will guarantee you will find something from another game or website with very little effort. Now to tie this whole long winded rant together what does this have to do with the new user experience? Well I think it is safe to say you talk to anyone who has been on the grid for a long while each and every one will have fond memories of just simply exploring the grid, literally just wondering from place to place seeing all the neat things and ideas people had created. I'm sure we would all have a story of finding that one beautiful gem that sadly has disappeared now, or maybe even laugh at the time when we accidentally wondered into the wrong place and situation on some private parcel. I invite people to do that now and what you will find will be disappointing. The mainland is riddled with private parcels, security orbs, large tracts of abandoned land, and half done prim builds from probably ten years ago and very little new is showing up to make things interesting. Private regions are closed, personal shops that look simply like any mall I might visit in real life, or simply just personal homes, or more often then not empty clubs. I can understand why a new player would not know what to do or care to stay, the regions look like desolate wastelands and there is little to no incentive to make anything of the empty space. If I were just starting out and hadn't already learned from the welcoming group I was fortunate to fall into when I joined (god bless the old Balance crew) I would leave too.

Toe Held

I think it's high time Ebbe Linden give three interviews, On here with Hamlet, on Virtualverse & the Official Forum. instead of hiding on discord, small talk on youtube, he needs to address the issues once and for all to real customers not some tech site.

We have all watched him for the last few years feaster away in his ivory tower in this dire necropolis. he needs to address his customers if he really wants things to move forward otherwise the SL Rebellion will keep growing Inworld until the entire customer base is in REVOLT.

It's much more forgivable to really address the community in a carefully spoken way then hide away.

Luther Weymann

I sell scripts and give away prim builds on the SL Market and with my inworld store. I give away prim builds because I can't compete with the really lovely mesh builds, mine are highly practical but simple. The reason I say this is because my CasperVend sales log proves that 99% of my sales are from the SL Market. People like doing things on the internet and having them show up in Secondlife, like when you get that new thing in your received items folder. A few simple things that Liden Research could do would be to establish a really nice self-doing, self-learning center on a couple regions, with the SLURL links to each individual learning section on a web page with a to-do list for learning the section. You read what you can learn on the web, how to do it, what the steps are, and off you go to do it. 99% of my SL sales come from a web site, don't you think a web site for DYI self-learning might work too? And here is something near and dear to me. I have traveled the grid extensively, looking at the projects the Linden Public Works and the Mole teams have built, and it's mostly world-class virtual world stuff. I have a folder with close to one-hundred landmarks of LPW and Mole projects, but wouldn't it be better to have a web site dedicated to their best works? That rustic horse trail that goes up that mountain forest across five regions is terrific. Have you seen the Great Wall of SL? A webpage with an explanation about the project, credits to the individual Moles who worked on it, pictures, and with the SLURL? I pass a folder with a couple dozen landmarks to noobies in hopes they will go and see the greatness that can be found in SL, but sending them to a website would encourage many other web surfers to explore in the SL world. And Hamlet, you are so right about Mindcraft. Can you imagine if PewDiePie did videos comparing prim building in SL to his many Minecraft videos? SL would get a ton of new builders. These are just a few of the easy to do web-based things based upon the fact that the SL Market web site is also the preferred way for SL Residents to use for shopping. It stands to reason that self-learning and exploring inworld could get more traction utilizing a web site to lead people there.

(and more ocean please, dude, people are trying to sell 2048 parcels on the edge of Blake Sea for $1500 to $2000 USD, it's insane!)

Pulsar

Just a couple of days ago, in the landing zone of Social Island 10, there was a newcomer feeling lost and asking for basic help in public chat. She got no answer. People around there just kept having their crazy fun like you used to see in info/safehubs. Even after the mentor program ended, old users still used to give an hand at least, years ago; I'm not sure if this happens so much nowadays, but that's Linden Lab's responsibility: if users help newcomers that's kindness, not a granted free user-support.
In LL minds, new users are supposed to follow the path in Learning Island, which eventually leads to Social Islands and then you have the usual portals to newcomer friendly, popular, etc places. Putting the portals on the other side of the region didn't work so well though and other things may need a rethinking. With nobody helping and the not so efficient path alone, it's obviously not enough for a good first user experience and for user retention.

I was very sorry for her, especially now, in these COVID-19 days: there are articles written about MMO games and how they give relief during the lock-downs: you can socialize a little, recreate a birthday scene... (Ars Technica, The Verge...). Yet, they talk about World of Warcraft, Minecraft and even the Sims. There is no mention of Second Life, that is supposed to be precisely the right tool for that or at least more social and capable to simulate anything, compared to a typical MMO game.
Only a couple of readers in the comments reminded that SL exists too.

But then, when someone comes and tries Second Life, they are basically left on their own. And the few that don't just give up and finally find a popular place, within the few seconds they are just thinking "Oh! What a nice pla..." they are abruptly ejected, this by several avenues, until they are 30-60 days in SL. I guess someone ends up abandoning quite earlier than that.

Eventually I directed the poor soul to a newcomer friendly place (usually I point at NCI or the Firestorm Gateway). It is Linden Lab in first place that should make a newcomers area with a couple of employees and a showcase of various things to try out to get a glimpse of anything you can do and create in SL.

Skye Hamsun

There used to be resident mentors. Can we bring that back?

Alicia

Why is it that every time someone brings up this "You'll be a different avatar in both, but the name, money, friends list, and a whole group of things could go back and forth." or any equivalent comparable to... that I want to scream.

Why?

If "You'll be a different avatar in both, but the name, money, friends list, and a whole group of things could go back and forth." were done, then there is absolutely no point on having new users, or having that day one feel AT ALL!

There's a reason when new MMO's (Traditional or Social) come out, YOU START AT DAY ONE. You do not bring anything over into the new game, period. You will destroy the new user experience in its entirety if this sort of reasoning ever happens. Game developers want people to start from Day One as it gives that person the basic information they need to play, create, etc. Do you get it, now? Do you finally understand why this exact reasoning is absolutely wrong for MMO's in every shape and form? It's talk like this that will ruin the new user experience. For any MMO veteran, like myself, we relish in that day one feel, and we fully understand that the day one experience is absolutely essential as we're all on the same level. That day one feeling is almost euphoric to anyone that's ever played a game... and don't give me that crap about Second Life not being a game. Second Life is... has... and will always be a game first. Second Life is a game, within a game.

Pulsar

Alicia, I understand what you say (I'm interested in MMOs since Ultima Online, 1997), but you are making a bit of confusion...

Firstly, we aren't talking about a new game, but about updating SL. You can upgrade SL only so much. Then, if you don't even want to break the legacy content, you can do even less. But you can have both, this is what we are talking about: you keep the legacy SL and you make a new SL as a sort of radical update, running in parallel (and accessible from the legacy one):
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_running
By the way, Ultima Online did something like that with their classic and enhanced clients.
The other options are:
1) just letting SL slowly fade out, becoming inexorably more and more obsolete.
2) make a whole new and entirely separate world, with no connection to the legacy one. Is this what you want? Because it has been attempted already and it failed miserably (Sansar). Almost nobody of your users will join, because, among other reasons, their friends are all in the old SL. Meanwhile newcomers see nobody in your new one and they will get bored. This is a well know social dynamic. SL has both a gaming and a social platform aspects, you can't just ignore that and screaming doesn't change the reality. If you choose this option, you can only hope to find a new different user-base. As you could see with Sansar, that's not so easy; besides marketing and many other things, you need at least to be really original to find a new niche (and also some luck). Result: you didn't find any new user and your main product still declines.

Secondly, for a new user the experience is still new...
To an old user, the new system will appear like an interesting update available in "special regions", still within in SL. You will chat with your friends as usual, with your identity, money, etc, but in those new "special regions" you are actually using a modern client (switched automatically during the teleport), a more user-friendly system, "flexy" hair that gently flows on your shoulders like any modern game, a better architecture, possibly without sim crossing issues and all the rest of the buggy mess and better physics (so you can really attract who is into vehicle simulation, instead of people who still try despite all the shortcomings that SL has) a spectacular modern graphic, lands that encourage actual optimization, instead the meaningless "land impact"... and that would be Second Life.

Orca Flotta

"Or require basic reading ability. I can't recall ever Not knowing that."
That! And that!
The new users, I consider them mostly young people, millenials and,even worse, Gen Z. Their ability to read and comprehend written text is as low as never before in the civilized world. We're dealing with a bunch of hardly functional idiots and assholes.

When I joined, in early 2007, I learned how to walk, and took the earliest opportunity to leave the training parcour and escape into the real world of SL, the grid. Was a regular at Isle of Lesbos at the end of day one, went freebie shoping and became the prettiest girl ever on day a, became a whore in Amsterdam sim on day 3, was fired from then job on day 4.

And all that with no assistance by The Lab but together with my n00by gang of lesbian friends, who were all born around the same date. We inspired and taught each other. So we were really, like really really stupid! But we all knew at least the basic functions of SL - we could fly and parachute and TP - and its basic philosphy and that it's a self-made world for self-made avatars.

Oh, and we all figured out how to use the Search function. Else we'd never found our way to IoL and each other.

So if the modern n00bs of today failing to establish themselves in SL, it's only partially based on LL's - doubtlessly prevalent - inaptness but mostly the user's own stupidity.


killyanaslip

https://secondlife.com/destination/social-island-10


i learned alot here to start with/ when i first rezzed. when i didnt know, i went back here.

there are alot of places like this.

Luther Weymann

Because I have poked into every nook and cranny of the grid for the past seventeen years, I have come to one inescapable conclusion. There is a humbleness that comes from many of the creations made by the residents of SL that cannot be dismissed with any argument. It cannot be criticized or misrepresented by any debate because it was the best work they could do. I have seen current houses that were made by residents fifteen years ago out of a hollow block with a misaligned roof, with block prim furniture they managed to get a wrong texture on. And they have paid their SL Premium account for fifteen years for this mainland location they have never moved from and all the mainland regions around them are almost totally abandoned. When they log in, they have a classic body and old classic clothes. And they love SecondLife. I’ve visited a thousand tiny shops where no sales may ever be made, where the ladies who own that shop put every ounce of effort they had in their being into attempting to make 6-7 pieces of ladies classic clothing more than ten years ago. Its sold on an SL prim that sells a copy of the contents, and the vendor texture can be very humble. They pay their rent for a decade for their humble shop, they log into to SL and they get to look at their “business” they own. They own a business and I’ve watched them reduce their prices to pennies just to get one sale a year. If you don’t know that billions of us on this earth lead lives of quiet desperation, you don’t know what the hell is going on with SecondLife. I met a SecondLife mole a year ago on a mainland region that seemed like no one ever went there anymore. She had finished a Mole project on this mostly abandoned empty region some months before, and I complimented her on it. I tried to chat with her. Her text went like this: “It’s my last day I’ve been laid off”. I asked if she was okay in RL and her text back broke me. “I’ve been a housewife and mother for almost 30 years and these mole projects are the only thing I’ve accomplished outside of motherhood in my life”. She was crying her eyes out at this loss. She was being laid off from a significant source of self-pride in her life. Things like this have stuck with me for a long time in SL. I know a tiny shop hovering on a small parcel on one of the first regions, and it’s owned by a severely disabled woman who has had the 512 parcel since 2003 with her shop. It has the year 2003-2004 block furniture, block bed, some particle things, one of those red pins used for landmarks. It’s her pride and joy that she could make this while almost blind, with parts of her body missing while she is in a wheelchair. When you question what you think is “crap” on the mainland, what you are doing is [redacted, it was way too harsh to say that]. SL has been a salvation for many people. It’s their only thing that takes them away from looking around where they are and finally escaping. The restructuring or closing of SecondLife would not be the most significant loss for just the big landowners and sellers. The real loss is to the thousands of really humble people who did their very best to make something and keep it up for sale or holding onto a humble place in world for years and years. For many thousands, this is the only time they ever had a business or made something or had a house, not an apartment, even if it's virtual, and to them, it is far more important than either you or I will ever realize. One of my former partners in SL had a house on her own land in SL. It was the first time in her 68 years of life she “lived” in a house. From her birth she always lived in an apartment, and one time for almost a year living with her mom she lived in a car homeless. This virtual house of hers was the greatest thing she had ever had in life and she told me that many times. The humble lives of quiet desperation are all around us. Be kind to them, speak to them when you see them, it makes you a better person.

Clara Seller

Luther Weymann, that was a really beautiful piece that you have written. It speaks to the problems of Second Life's evolution and the evolution of American culture, in general.

Why does Second Life have to make things so difficult for it's common user? It's supposed to be a place of imagination. The tools of creation should have become easier and more enabling. The hard work should have been placed on the tech creators. That's really where advanced technology always promised it would take us, but it doesn't. It just creates more hoops to jump through to get to any finish line.

I've grown tired of being chained to the bland and repetitive ideas of those who have been able to master the skills hoop competitions. How much fun,joy, and money have been sacrificed in turning Second Life into a game of Survivor Monopoly?

SL was much more fun, special, and lucrative when common users had legs for the race. Heart and imagination stood a fighting chance. It made us all better people. It certainly doesn't stop LL from exploiting the notion that SL gives legs to those who don't have any, as long as you are prepared to buy them for a premium price and accept their limited functionality by design.

D

User experience is king.

There really aren't any acceptable excuses for poor UX when it comes to a product that exists in the game/entertainment market. If your product has bad UX - you will lose.

It's a testament to how good SL's core value proposition is that it has existed for as long as it has with such bad UX.

Or perhaps the better way to look at it is that no one has attempted to compete with SL over the same value proposition (MMO sandbox platform with user created content, including adult content).

Therefore, SL exists simply because it has no competitors competing directly over the same value prop. No competitors = really bad UX with no incentive to improve.

One would think that making more money would be incentive, but LL decided to go all in on Sansar. Now that that adventure is over... will LL finally getting around to improving SL's UX? Depends on whether they want to grow its user base or simply maintain it.

From a user's perspective, it's too bad SL has no direct competitors!

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