SL Birthdays and Missed Opportunities

(Copyright Linden Lab)

The Second Birthday week is a time of celebration, a time when people can express what SL means to them and promote how it can be used and enjoyed.

Throughout this week, and besides the inevitable parties and the like, we have a range of thought-provoking talks and presentations on a wide range of worthy subjects: disability, education, machinima, art in Second Life. The list is impressive.

Except that something is missing.

Take a look at the Main Auditorium schedule I’ve linked to above and the other major stage (Main and Cake) event pages. You’ll notice that the name “Linden” doesn’t appear once.

I’ve already commented on the lack of any real Linden presence at the SL8B opening, and while that may well be dismissed as grumpiness on my part, there is a bigger issue here.

SL8B represents a marvellous opportunity for LL to reach out to the user community and communicate with us – so where are they?

I’m not talking about glad-handing or getting involved in in-depth discussions about who, what, when, where, how and why; rather I’m talking about getting up on stage and giving an overview of what is coming down the road, things like:

  • What is happening with Viewer 2?
  • What is Mesh going to look like?  (Given many haven’t see the results from the Beta Grid)
  • What is happening around service improvements like Group chat and server-side lag issues?

These don’t have to be massive Q&A sessions (and can be set-up from the outset as such), but the opportunity to inform, particularly given LL’s reticence to actually consistently use its own “communications platform”, isn’t one to be sneezed at.

Again, I know that LL do turn out in force at SLCC year-in-year-out and talk about these very things but the fact is however you look at it, the SLCC audience is pretty closed-off. Even with videos of the presentations being streamed live & available for viewing after the fact, it’s fair to say that SLCC doesn’t quite have the reach or immediacy that SL itself potentially has.

In short, by not turning up at SL8B Linden Lab is again missing an opportunity for positive engagement with its users on a global scale. Lets face it – I can make it to SL*B events a bloody sight easier than I can make SLCC – and I think it fair to say that the majority of people who are involved in SL are in the same boat as me in this.

It’s not only a missed opportunity, it’s also somewhat ironic. It is not that log ago (a year, in fact), that Linden Lab were loudly touting Second Life as the tool for virtual meetings, and that given it now has media on a prim and other goodies, it makes a excellent tool with which to bring together people from geographically disparate locations and communicate with them.

So why on Earth isn’t the Lab using it’s platform to this end at an event  people want to attend (and are attending in droves) to actually get out there and be seen and to talk and engage?

SL8B Main Stage 3:00pm SLT 23rd June – Move over, Dean and Frank?

As it stands, the only Linden presence in any official capacity this year seems to be Kim (who, with due respect, was gone in the blink of an eye) and Rodvik. Hardly a massive tunr-out.

And, with the greatest of love and respect to him – Rodvik is someone I genuinely admire enormously – I do have concerns with his appearance.

You see, he’s due on the Main Stage at 3:00pm SLT on the 23rd June. But that is also the time FedoraJones Popstar is due on stage,  which leaves me wondering if Rodvik’s appearance won’t actually be a quick duet before his is whisked off stage…

SL8B is a great opportunity for celebration; but it is also an outstanding opportunity for LL to be seen to be communicating and showing an interest in the platform, rather than hovering off to one side. And in this latter regards, they have once again failed to understand the medium at their fingertips.

7 thoughts on “SL Birthdays and Missed Opportunities

    1. Well, he’s prone to wearing a kilt rl… (FedoraJones, that is. Not sure on Rodvik’s tastes outside of SL 🙂 ) … it’s not precisely a red dress, but…


  1. There are two places I don’t want to see anything substantive discussed by the Lab. Those would be SLB and SLCC. I just don’t think they’re appropriate venues for the Lab to do serious talk.


    1. Depends on how you described “serious”, really. As I said, in-depth, two-way exchanges, with Q&A sessions – no. Major policy or product announcements – again no (not that they ever would).

      Provide updates and a peek at thought processes and ideas, however – well why on earth not? They do so at SLCC, and it generally goes down very well (item: Esbee, Q and OZ whetting people’s appetites with the move in emphasis in Viewer development & the implementation of Snowstorm last year). In terms of giving users an insight into thought processes, this was very much a part of early SLB events with senior members of LL’s management / members of the Board coming along and making presentations.

      Given the fact that LL have become increasingly reticent to use any other channels of communication they have (again, you yourself have pointed to the lack of anything coming through the official blogs as an example), it would seem to me that SLCC and SLB do provide the opportunity.

      At the end of the day, it provides LL with another string to the bow where communications are concerned (assuming things will pick up on the official blog front), and provide them with an opportunity to be seen and heard by the community in some capacity. Given that one of the biggest complaints we’re all guilty of making is that LL are seated in some ivory tower and either “don’t understand” or “don’t care” about SL – that really can’t be a bad thing, can it?


  2. Agreed, Linden Lab are often accused of not advertising and here is their birthday event, with the events listed on an external blog, not their own blog and not their own forum.

    They should be sending this info out to those interested in it anyway, getting the SL blogsphere talking about the events and tweeting away what’s happening with reaction, opinion and engagement.

    I don’t agree about not making announcements at events like SL8B or SLCC, Blizzard do engage with their users at Blizzcon, it’s the perfect time to do it.


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