Loyalty, adoption, inspirational leadership … and SL

Simon Sinek probably isn’t a new name to a lot of people who may read this; nor, potentially, is his “Golden Circle” popularising the concept of “why”. But ever since Spikeheel Starr pointed me towards his TED presentation made last year (and now apparently the 19th most-viewed video on TED.com), I’ve found the ideas he expresses fascinating.

For one thing, I cannot help but agree with his example of Apple. This is a company that people like or loathe. Customers are intensely loyal and remain so, no matter what happens to dent the company’s reputation. Apple continue to top the charts with their products, despite the fact that – really – there is nothing that is that technically innovative about them. Why? Because Simon Sinek is right about their approach. It was apparent over 25 years ago, and it’s still apparent today. Take the famous Apple “1984” ad; it’s a visual demonstration of what Mr. Sinek is describing in first half of his talk: it’s an advert that creates aspirational desire, in this case using a positive vision of non-conformity.

Even today, the iPhone AirPlay ads may well have the “what” more obviously placed, but the appeal of wanting AirPlay really comes from the “We’ve done this, wouldn’t you like to have the ability to do it to?” subtext of the ad.

The Law of Diffusion

Further into his talk, Mr. Sinek touches on the law of diffusion of innovations, which caused me to think about Second Life.

In 2008, Mitch Kapor gave an address at SL5B in which he referred to the same law, and particularly the matter of what Geoffrey Moore refers to as crossing the chasm – moving a product from the status of early adoption to its use by an early majority (or “pragmatists”, as Mr. Kapor preferred to call them).

However, in his presentation, Mr. Kapor appeared to turn the issue of crossing the chasm entirely on its head. To him, it would appear that the early adopters – the “pioneers”, as Mr. Kapor called them – were anathema to SL’s future growth.

The early majority is gained through the early adopters

Yet, as Mr. Sinek points out – and Moore understood – the fact is that without the early adopters, the early majority will not actually follow-on and adopt the product.

In short, by suggesting the early adopters might need to stand aside, Mitch Kapor appeared to completely miss an opportunity – as LL itself did, as I’ve previously noted.

And it is here, while watching Simon Sinek, that I again feel a renewed hope for Second Life – and more particularly, Linden Lab. Why?

Because everything that appears to be coming out of Linden Lab does now appears to be geared towards crossing their chasm in a manner Moore recommends and Sinek indicates: by leveraging their existing user-base.

Anyone attending the Lab’s presentations at SLCC this year cannot fail to have noticed this; all of them were, in one way or another, focused on the user community as a whole. Both Mark Viale (Viale Linden) and Brett Attwood (Brett Linden) in particular gave insight into LL’s change in philosophy that stands to benefit the user community and the company equally well.

In this respect, something has changed within Linden Lab over the course of this year; and it’s pretty obvious that – and I say this without any desire to sound like a fangirl – the “something” in question is Rod Humble.

Rod Humble embodies much of what Simon Sinek discusses about good leadership. Hearing him speak at SLCC and elsewhere and when reading interviews he’s given, Rod Humble unabashedly talks about his personal beliefs. It doesn’t matter whether the subject under discussion is Second Life or on matter of virtual identity; he strikes that emotive chord that resonates within us.

In short: he inspires trust.

It’s why we like Rod Humble. More than that – it’s why we need him right where he is.

Linden Lab issue Adult Gateway RFP

Que Niango, fresh from the Adult Conent User Group reports that Linden Lab have issued the following RFP:

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Linden Lab’s Adult Gateway Proposal

Goal: Enable the adult community to develop and quickly iterate upon a Zindra welcome/gateway experience for Residents interested in exploring adult content.

Situation: With “Zindra” as a primary search terms for adult content in SL, people are more likely to find and start at the current Zindra sim today as a result of its top search ranking. Unfortunately, the current Zindra region experience fails to encourage curious Residents to explore further.

For a number of reasons, it appears unlikely that a successful gateway experience could be efficiently developed and managed as a collaborative effort among Linden Lab and the Adult Content User Group (ACUG) using the existing Zindra region.

The Solution: A Resident controlled group will assume complete control of a prominently promoted Zindra/adult gateway (comprised of four regions).  The ZExpo four regions present a relatively easy way to setup Resident group ownership of the adult gateway experience. Upon conclusion of ZExpo 2011, these four region will be reassigned to a new group. This new group would be required to make tier contribution (setup fees waived) in exchange for group governing powers along with the exclusive use of “Zindra” name to guarantee top search ranking and Linden Lab’s active promotion in the Destination Guide. As the single mainland gateway for adult content, these regions would offer a unique opportunity to channel qualified Residents into high-quality, adult-related experiences.

Details:

  • Resident group to receive full group ownership of the four ZExpo mainland regions.
  • Group must contribute tier and pay $195/month for ea of the four regions or $780/month.
  • Use of Zindra name will be reserved exclusively for four regions, guaranteeing top placement in search.
  • Linden Lab agrees to promote four new “Zindra” regions in Destination Guide, as well as work with the group to promote the regions in additional marketing channels.
  • Linden Lab’s promotion contingent upon the group providing a positive experience for all Residents interested in adult content and reserves the right to cancel promotion at any time and may take actions in accordance with its Terms of Service and related policies and procedures.

Open Call for Proposals

Linden Lab will accept group proposals from all interested parties through September 12th, 2011.  Send proposals to community@lindenlab.com with title “Adult Welcome Proposal”

Proposals should include the following details:

  1. Proposed group members responsible for tier – max of four member (1 for each of the 4 regions). Please include links to each profile i.e.https://my.secondlife.com/Viale.Linden
  2. Answer the question: how will you develop and manage a good, compelling gateway experience for all residents (new and existing) interested in adult content? 
  3. How will you promote adult venues within Second Life ~ mainland and private regions?

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This RFP may appear novel, but it is entirely in keeping with Linden Lab’s desire to help promote sustainable communities within Second Life, as outlined during Viale’s Linden’s presentation (video) at SLCC 2011. Even so, one cannot help but wonder at how practical it will be; the Adult Content User Group at times appears to be very divided. As such, it’ll be interesting to see how this approach is going to be interpreted and what comes out of the actual implementation once the new tier group has been formed.

BURN2 Selects art & theme camps

Burn 2 has issued an announcement about the selection of this year’s juried theme camps and art plots.

The announcement reads in part:

As BURN 2 starts up, one of the most looked forward to pre-BURN announcements of the selections for juried theme camps and art plots. BURN 2 follows the Burning Man 10 principles and gifts plots on the virtual ePlaya to groups who have submitted proposals to the BURN 2 Art Team.

The selection qualifiers comprise:

  • Cosmic Circusality by The ChangHigh Sisters Fireshow of Light, Life and Love, Yman Juran
  • Transitory Thresholds by Caro Fayray
  • Skelly-Mer by Maya Paris
  • Verisimo by Cienega Soon

The announcement goes on:

We are very excited to see what these camps and art installations look like! We aren’t giving out exactly what these camps will be…just that we think they will be amazing!

We want to thank EVERYONE who submitted an application for one of the plots. Your ideas ARE AMAZING. You made it incredibly difficult! We want to encourage you to grab your own plot now and build that camp! If you need sponsors to get that plot please reach out to us info@burn2.org and we will give you a few suggestions!

A further announcement detailing the invited artists for Burn 2 will be coming in the near future.

About Burn 2

Burn 2 – originally Burning Life – commenced in 2003 as an in-world extension / interpretation of the annual Burning Man event, dedicated to “community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance”, and held each year in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada.

Scheduled for the week of October 1st through 9th, this year’s Burn 2 event is themed as “Rites of Passage”, defined as “There are moments of crisis and frisson in our lives which inform us that we’ve somehow crossed an inner threshold and are changed. Thus moving from one state of being into an unknown other obliges us to face our innermost insecurities, and it requires faith, a willingness to leap off the ladder of ordered existence. Our theme this year invites participants to join with others in creating rites of passage.”

Further Information

  • Contact: Emcee Widget
  • Website: www.burn2.org
  • E-mail: info@burn2.org