Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life
I’m going to start this blog with a disclaimer … well, more of a refining description. In the past few days I have been called a “reporter” regarding my posts on the goings on at Linden Lab. I am most definitely not a reporter. A competent and professional reporter stands amidst the fray, rarely if ever becomes involved, and files stories which are supposed to be devoid of bias or personal agenda.
Instead I am a “pundit” or “theorist” if you will. I may be standing in the fray, but I am far from detached … and I most assuredly reserve the right to slant my posts based on my own personal perceptions and conclusions. I render here my opinions of what I see happening and how I feel they will turn out. Any reporter that does that is just not doing their job properly. I think I would be doing this job poorly if I didn’t render up what I perceive and deduce.
So … with that outta the way …
Day Two – Return of the King
Perhaps it was inevitable, but I must say that I am somewhat aghast at the level and dimension of the emotions being expressed by every faction, special interest group, individual and collective involved in Second Life. There is a sort of “keep your hands off MY stuff” attitude that pervades everything said and posted. The past two years of the Kingdon Regime taught a lot of people to be fearful of anything that might be happening inside The Lab. Continue reading “Early Days of Hope in Second Life” »»
In case you haven’t heard yet, this news was posted by Philip Linden on SecondLife.com:
Mark Kingdon is going to step down as CEO, and I am going to return as interim CEO, working side-by-side with former CFO Bob Komin, who is being promoted to COO.
This is a big, tough change but one the board of directors and management team deeply believes in. We owe Mark great thanks for the many things we’ve accomplished in these last two years — most notably a great improvement in the stability of Second Life, and also the hiring and nurturing of a strong team of new leaders who are now ready to do some amazing work together.
Our thinking as a team is that my returning to the CEO job now can bring a product and technology focus that will help rapidly improve Second Life. We need to simplify and focus our product priorities — concentrating all our capabilities on making Second Life easier to use and better for the core experiences that it is delivering today. I think that I can be a great help and a strong leader in that process.
It is an honor to have a chance to help more directly again, and I come to this mission with energy, excitement, and an open mind about what we need and how we need to do it. I want to see Second Life continue to grow, amaze, and change the world. It’s what gets me up in the morning. Despite the challenges of such a big change, I am happy to be drafting this blog post while sitting in our San Francisco office, surrounded by the many Lindens who have made it all possible.
More to come, as soon as we all get settled and figure out how best to work together!
Personally, I think it bodes well. However this is far from the end of rough seas, so in my typical conservative fashion, I’m only opening one bottle of champagne. 🙂
All those years ago when Philip Rosedale started the experiment that has become Second Life, it seemed as though he had nailed the desires of a lot of people. As I discussed in “The Facebooking of Second Life“, the explosion in Second Life players was unprecedented and probably because it brought more people into the Creator role than any other game/web site had before.
However, since the entrance of Mark Kingdon on the scene, the “air” of Linden Lab has changed dramatically. Some of this is of course due to Kingdon’s different “Corporate Upbringing”, but there is another scent in the air that is becoming stronger all the time … kinda like that skunk that wanders past your window late at night.
I mentioned before that When Linden Lab took over the ill-fated Xstreet SL (which had previously been known as SL Exchange), one of the first changes they made was to remove the Forums. On the surface that seems a reasonable change for purely technical reasons. Since the Forums were based on a stand-alone “package” (much like this WordPress software is separate from the DGP4SL web site and Wiki), it made sense they would “personalize” it by replacing it with their own Forum software. But upon closer examination it has a much more sinister intent. (Yes, I mean to use the word “Sinister”.)
Filed under: Technical Info
There’s a lot of text flying around these days regarding Copybotters and IP Thieves … and specifically aimed at the first and most reliable system available to detect the viewer clients meant to steal content: Skills Hak’s CDS. Skills is a member of the Emerald Development team, so obviously knows a thing or two about viewers for Second Life and how they work. It’s not inconceivable that she has managed to figure out a way to accurately detect copybot viewers.
But that’s not really my point in this blog entry. What I’m trying to get at, to understand, is exactly what it is about copybotting that could be detected and how a system could be created that would without fail detect illegal IP theft yet ignore routine operations such as Copy/Paste or ownership transfer (meaning, giving something to someone).
We have all heard or read people talking about how Second Life is becoming more and more like Facebook. It is a clear path identified by the management at Linden Lab, so there’s no mistake in those prognostications. But the perspective we all get trapped into using is the ‘Customer Perspective” on Facebook; we forget to look at the business model Facebook turned into a success.
To really understand it better, let’s go back in time a bit … to the early days of Web Portals. Take for example Yahoo. They created a business by providing a Web Portal that had a number of attractive features to draw customers. Games, chatting, searching … all services and pastimes they presented on the web. As a result of the traffic they drew, they found they could attract advertisers and additional income.
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life
As some of you may be aware, Linden Lab is on the verge of releasing their latest software experiment .. the vaulted Marketplace 2.0. Shortly after Colossus Linden made the public announcement of its imminent arrival in the Staff Only blog pages on their blog/forum site, another Linden Staffer, Grant Linden posted and “chaired” a discussion thread about the upcoming release. You can read that Discussion Thread here.
Marketplace 2.0 is designed by LL to replace the popular and successful Virtual Goods Sales Portal (VGSP) called Xstreet (http://www.xstreetsl.com) Since LL purchased Xstreet from its founders last year, they have done a few things to personalize it to Second Life, stamp it with the Linden Lab style and merge the money system with that used in Second Life itself. This latter change was a blessing for many people as it immediately removed the confusing and often frustrating task of having to “Register” with the VGSP then transfer funds from Second Life into the VGSP’s coffers in order to buy anything. Obviously this was a very wise move on their part and it was pulled off without much fanfare or trouble. Yay Linden Lab.
There were a number of really neat features about Xstreet that were promptly removed though. One of them was the New Products forum, another was the Merchant and Customer discussion forum. By closing those resources, they forced Merchants to seek out other venues for promoting their new products. Needless to say, this immediately scored some major increases in LL’s income stream because people had to start paying for advertising. Or so you would think …
After much fanfare, followed by a chorus of crickets from the LL Dev and Commerce Teams, it appears that the new Marketplace 2.0 is on its way still. A post in the Second Life forums by Colossus Linden states “We are very excited to report that the SL Marketplace Beta, the redesigned online shopping site for Second Life, will go live in two weeks.” (View the full post from Colossus here) This is indeed very good news as it means that the Marketplace developers survived the recent slash in Linden Lab staff, and it also signals that this is a direction they are committed to taking.
Anytime a company takes on the developed product of someone from “outside” such as happened when Linden Lab bought the Xstreet SL site last year, there is always a sense of “Not Invented Here” that permeates and at times pollutes further development on the product. The fact that many of the features and functions of Xstreet that have been needed (and loudly demanded) by both the Merchant and Shopper segments have been long delayed or pushed off till “Real Soon Now” is ample proof that the LL Dev Team has had their fair share of NIH Syndrome.
Now it just remains to be seen what changes will be wrought on the existing listings in their move from the old Xstreet format to the new Marketplace 2.0 format. LL’s official Blog Post left little doubt that some massive changes were in store. As more and more information was provided, the future seemed to be getting darker and darker. At least now we have hopes that someone up ahead has a torch and we might just be headed out of the tunnel after all. When LL cut the primary “Go To Gal”, Pink Linden, many of us threw up our hands in frustration. Let’s all hope and pray that they’ve managed to maintain some level of continuity despite their taking an axe to their staff.
July 7th thru August 7th, 2010
One of the newest “Things You Gotta Do” in Second Life is an activity called a “Hunt”. The name pretty much says it all, but there are some nuances and tricks to them that I never knew about. Thanks to the patient tutelage of Yasmine Alvord, I’ve started learning more and more about them. It’s beginning to look like they’re great ways to bring traffic to your store, but it remains to be seen just how many of those come to look at other stuff, and how many come to grab the freebie and run.
As a result of her gentle nudging (and a nicely worded notecard sent to the proper people) I have signed up for and been accepted into The Unknown Hunt (their Blog is here). Since I’m such a n00b at these things, Yasmine was nice enough to explain to me that the people organizing The Unknown Hunt also happen to be some of the best and most experienced around. I’m beginning to believe that as I get more and more information from them and realize what all goes into this process.
This will be quite the experience and education. I’ve already sent them the Freebie Gift that I will give away. Figuring a lot of the folks on this hunt will be after apparel and related items, I chose to make the gift a complete set of The Replacers. Now, I just have to find a good place to hide it.
Oh, while I’m thinking about hiding things, if you haven’t used Wireframe Mode to search for the Gifts on a Hunt before .. try it out. It’s a bit disorienting at first, but once you get the hang of it, you can really spot things you never saw before. The keyboard shortcut to enable wireframe mode on most viewers is Ctrl+Shift+R; once to turn it on, again to turn it off.
We at DG Products for Second Life have been threatening to put up a blog, a wiki and a few other neat goodies for some time now. Just recently we moved the site to the new domain (http://www.dgp4sl.com) and now we’ve begun fleshing out some of the tools and features we’ve always promised ourselves. Bear with us as we work out the kinks. At the very least, it promises to be entertaining. (But isn’t it always fun to watch someone fall flat on their face? LOL)