Last names back in January?

Dec 13 22:45: post updated with new information at the end.

Well…here’s interesting – and with thanks to Daniel Voyager, who is ever-vigilant on so many fronts, for picking-up on it and relaying the news.

It seems that the campaign to see a return of the last name option has gained traction in Linden Lab. As pointed out by Daniel, Rodvik commented on the last name situation via his web profile feed, thus:

This is excellent news – not only do last names seem set to return, Rodvik has gone so far as to indicate a planned implementation of early in the new year (albeit with the caveat of “hopefully”) – see update at the end.

This revelation is excellent news and demonstrates that in some areas, LL are still quietly listening and taking things on-board – so kudos to them.

What is especially interesting in Rodvik’s post is the comments on identity – these would seem to suggest that the new last name facility might be free-format (rather than selecting from a proscribed list that changes periodically, as with the “old” last name system), or that it might include an option for people to use their real name as their avatar name on signing up. If this is the case, then Rodvik’s comments on identity make perfect sense – people need to understand that providing their real life name as their avatar name is not a requirement of SL, or those that do need to understand the possible implications of doing so.

So – last names are set to return – good news indeed!

Update: 22:45 BST, 13 Dec

As this news has been spreading, Rodvik has made a further post on the subject:

Just to be clear Jan is when we will be giving a timeline/ plans on what we will be doing 🙂 Expect Q1 2012 for it actually to be done.

So the actual change will be later in Q1 2012 (quite possibly mid-to-later Q1, I suspect, given Rodvik’s clarified caveat).

7 thoughts on “Last names back in January?

  1. I’m really happy about this and so is the SL community now after waiting so long for answers since the JIRA went up in early July 2011. I hope other big issues get sorted out in 2012 when last names returns officially.

    Rodvik has done great things as CEO this year and I hope that trend continues in 2012.

    Thanks for mentioning me. 🙂

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    1. Thank you for highlighting the fact Rodvik had mentioned it – I’d totally missed it on my feed until I saw your comment and then glanced at you blog post!

      I’m very curious as to the meaning behind Rodvik’s comments on identity, given that isn’t really an issues with the sign-up process as a whole; does suggest to me that we’re going to see something more free-form than before.

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      1. Could just mean they recognize how much weight people put into the names they pick – and how poor choices can hurt retention while good choices can aid it.

        The moment you pick a name and log in, you start building an identity around it. Any change needs to handle that with care – allowing you to better explore the identity you choose rather than hinder it.

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        1. The fact that they’re bringing last names back could just be that recognition – long overdue tho it may be. Even so, Rodvik’s comments on identity are interesting when you take into account his previous statements on the subject, particularly in regard to Second Life. It gives pause for thought as to the mechanism that’s coming (i.e. totally free-format, first & last?).

          As to building an identity in the broadercontext you mention, you’re spot on – and that’s reason enough to bring the format back, with or without preordained last name lists of the kind we used to have.

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  2. I’m loving this! Having a last name is really what helped to create your own identity in SL. I was annoyed when last names were taken out. Glad to see they’re going back in.

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