Brett Linden posts about spring break, encouraging people to:
Share your favorites [in-world destinations] with us here OR ON our Facebook page [emphasis mine]
And then extolling people to:
Show off your freshest “Spring Break” look … by submitting your head-to-toe avatar shots to our Facebook page.
Now, I’ve recently posted on having no problem with some aspects of LL pointing at Facebook, particularly with regards to the web Profile pages. As I’ve said, there are SL users who use both FB and SL and who may well have no problem in establishing links should they wish. Granted, the system should be opt-in, but it shouldn’t simply be chucked out because Facebook=evil in many minds.
BUT…openly pushing people at FB, as Brett is doing here, is not in the same class of acceptability. It is openly pushing people to sign-up with Facebook in order to participate in what is ostensibly a Second Life activity. As such it stinks almost as badly as last year’s Valentine’s Day Hunt, when LL offered a cash prize – but only to those hooking up with their Facebook page.
The vast majority of responses to Brett’s post have challenged this latest push – and Brett has responded. But his reply is rather disingenuous, claiming people have a choice as to whether they post to the blog or to the SL Facebook page. But this is only true to a point: while people’s favourite SL destinations have the either / or choice over where they are posted – full avatar shots are being directed solely to the Facebook page.
As Gavin Hird points out, this exercise smacks of a cynical attempt on LL’s part to promote SL as a vibrant, exciting place to Facebook users in the (dare I say) forlorn hope of gaining new users.
In this, it yet an further continuance of the same failed philosophy that has marked most of LL’s attempts at “growing” the user base over the last 2 or 3 years. A philosophy that continues to annoy and upset the very hand that feeds Linden Lab.
And if LL claim that trying to generate such an image on FB was not their intent – why have they not given people a choice of venues in which to post, as they have with destinations? What is wrong with having people post pictures (in accordance with the ToS) directly in response to the blog post? Doing so would have avoided the largely negative feedback Brett has received and it would have potentially encouraged more people to join in the fun and ensured the pictures are more likely to be seen by an audience who actually care – other SL users.
It’s been said time and again: Second Life is not Facebook. It’s also not, in and of itself, a social networking tool per se. But that doesn’t meant that it cannot embrace such functions and activities – providing it embraces them in and of itself. Repeatedly shunting people out of SL sends entirely the wrong message, as it runs the risk of people slipping into a feeling that they are not actually wanted in SL, and so why should they even bother logging in?
And the feeling of not being wanted, when it comes down to it, is something that is already very prevalent among many users as it is, thanks to LL itself. The company is doing itself no favours by adding to it.