Blondin Linden goes

Blondin Linden (With thanks to Ciaran Laval)

Blondin Linden appears to be the latest departure from Linden Lab. His reasons for leaving are unclear; there has been no official announcement, nor has he revealed anything via his own Twitter account – neither of which is surprising.

Blondin joined Linden Lab in May 2008, by way of the Electric Sheep Company, the former operators of On Rez, which was purchased by Linden Lab a few years ago and shut down.

Working out the East Coast office (Boston), Blondin had responsibility for Zindra, Bay City and Nautilus, and first came to major prominence when Zindra was being set-up. At that time he found himself pretty much in the firing line between the Adult user community and Linden Lab, as the latter started to effectively back-out of promises and understandings relating to land allocation on the new continent, etc. While Blondin carried a lot of the blame, the fact of the matter was, he did not have the seniority to make decisions, but was pretty much locked into the role of messenger, running back and forth between users who were growing increasingly frustrated and a line management at Linden Lab that increasingly appeared as if it couldn’t give a hoot.

Recently, Blondin has appeared out-of-sorts at Zindra user group meetings (something Ciaran Laval commented upon to me), which have themselves come across as fractious affairs, something which could not have made Blondin’s life any easier. Nor could the fact he reported into Amanda Linden who, when all is said and done, appears to be both embarrassed and frightened by the Adult elements of Second Life – whatever form they take, be they in-world or reasonable discussions (or indeed, entirely innocent words) in the official forums.

Whatever the reason for Blondin’s departure, there are many who will miss him. Despite often being hampered in his work, Blondin did participate in-world, attending parties and events, was well as chairing office hour meetings and, later, user group meetings. In this, he was very much part of a rare breed at the Lab and for this – as much as all his efforts with Zindra, Bay City and Nautilus – he will be missed. His departure also leaves a burning question – who will now run the Adult User Group meetings?

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12 thoughts on “Blondin Linden goes

  1. Well I hope he’s gone because he had a better offer, Americans seem to work on fortnightly notice, whereas I’m on two monthly notice in my job, so things happen quickly.

    If it’s some restructuring, then I’ll be disappointed, Blondin was great for communities.

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    1. He took a lot of stick (I know, I threw a few of them), which was unfair, given Jack in many respects put him out there as a sack to be beaten by disgruntled Adult mainlanders. Like you, I hope he did get a better offer elsewhere.

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  2. My best wishes to Blondin for his next endeavor. I hope the next community manager will actually manage relations with all communities rather than just those created by Linden Lab.

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    1. Hear, hear!

      Although I have a feeling that as long as “community management” remains a remit of “marketing”, that isn’t going to happen, sadly.

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  3. Maybe we should take this change as an opportunity to invite Linden Lab to revise its policies and relations with communities. What happened to the community partnership program, for instance?

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    1. We certainly need they to show a willingness to engage positively. Rodvik is doing a grand job on Twitter, but we need more – well, commitment, frankly – from them in areas beyond Twitter – like seeing them more in-world and revitalising things like the CPP, certainly. This does mean more of them being willing to follow Rodvik’s example and *get involved*.

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  4. Was never a fan boy. Never will be. In my cranky, not-so-humble opinion, he was a corporate shill and a liar (I called him out on the Adult Content Policy being the first step of merging the Grids in LL’s official blogs. 2011 we have a merged Grid). Oh he attended community events and put on a happy face when attending community events. That was his job. Toodles, Blondin. Don’t let the door hit you in the a** on the way out.

    I did read with some amusement of Amanda and others being frightened about Adult content. Oh for goodness sake, I wish they’d grow up!

    If it were me, I’d be more frightened for my job having marginalized and ghettoized a very large segment of my market — adults 18 years and older with disposable income and credit cards. Last time I checked, 14-17 year old kids don’t have them.

    Ooopsie! Shot that golden goose but good.

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  5. About the silent on the reasons: I don’t think it’s a “significant silence”.

    Being more silent than in the past about new employees being hired and especially old employees going away seems to be a recent general trend at Linden Lab. A formal or informal policy about this may have been adopted.

    That looks coherent with other changes:
    employee-centered Office Hours moving to topic-based User Groups,
    removal of many employees’ Wiki User Pages,
    employees changing their Twitter usernames to their real names…

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    1. Not sure where the “significant silence” is coming from; I actually remarked that the lack of comment from either party was not surprising. As Tateru pointed out a while back, and you refer to her, the Lab has been stepping back from making announcements (or even cleaning-down the Profiles of departed staff the moment they have gone) for a while now.

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  6. Somehow this doesn’t surprise me but then nothing that happens in and around Linden Lab surprises me any more. I actually had the chance to interact via email and back channels a bit with Blondin and he really was between a rock and a hard place. I sympathize fully. He got twisted internally by his superiors. He would try to do something the community wanted, say it was going to get done and then have the rug pulled out from underneath when the higher ups would backtrack.

    Yes he acted as the corporate shill but then that’s what he was paid to do. From someone at his level, it’s pretty much ALL you can do. Which sux because employees like Blondin are the ones on the front lines with the community. Amanda and others often seem to see the community (aka customers) as annoyances who don’t “get” it — whatever their definition of “it” is at any given moment. Ick.

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