2011: “That was the year, that was” (part 2)

Continued from Part 1

September

October

The Ninth Circle – Rebeca Bashly’s “Inferno”
  • Code relating to Direct Delivery started arriving on the Main Grid and Direct Messaging came to Web Profiles and we had some reasonably good economic metrics for Q3; things then went somewhat awry with another grid-wide megaprim removal
  • The Lab somewhat surprisingly launched a private region sale which, while not stopping the weekly losses of sims from the grid, actually did much to reverse losses to date; unsurprisingly, those who had made a big song and dance about revenue losses in September failed to comment on this reversal of their doomometers…
  • The Adult Gateway situation continued to boil when a notecard circulated in-world revealing the winning bid while LL kept quiet in meetings; meanwhile, and in contrast to predictions that LL were trying to “kill” Adult content, the Adult Forum “went public“, joining a number of other moves through the year to make Adult content more visible & accessible
  • Following on from September, Lee Quick announced a Crowdfunder project to try to secure the survival of Kirsten’s Viewer
  • The marvellous Login2Life had its premier at long last, followed by a week-long free streaming on German TV channel ZDF’s website
  • It emerged Will Wright had joined LL’s Board sometime in late summer

November

December

Destinations

2011 also saw me resume my travels around SL, some of which I blogged about over the course of the year. On the high seas I visited Black Spot with its pirate theme, and the 3-sim wonder of the SS Galaxy. Architectural masterpieces such as Alpha and Omega Points, Al Andalus Alhambra  and Mont Saint-Michel were all on my itinerary, as were photographer’s dreams like The Looking Glass, World’s End Garden and !Lost World! I also relaxed in scenic sims such as Calas Galadhon, took time to visit living museums including the International Spaceflight Museum and historical sims like the Duché de Coeur as well as a number of SL historical sites.

A Personal Perspective

Despite code breakages, cock-ups on the Marketplace, the angst and drum-pounding over region losses (Rodvik, if you’re reading this – that’s your Moria Moment, not the new UI 😉 ) and the like, I personally feel that 2011 has for the most part been on the “good” side of the balance.

It hasn’t all been plain sailing, but Rodvik has done much during his tenure over the last 12 months that I believe has been to the good of SL as a whole, and that while there are going to bumps and bouncing to come, the future is actually brighter now than, say, 12 months ago. Certainly, the company continues to report strong revenues ($75 million), and are generating good profits.

Mesh house from Islay Novocaine: 91 prims *fully furnished* (house structure: 27)

Like it or loathe it, there is no denying mesh is something users have been demanding for years and has at last been delivered. While the initial uptake may well be slow, I’ve little doubt it will make its presence felt in 2012. We have new tools for creativity coming on-stream, and unlike some, I don’t have a problem with LL positioning SL as a platform upon which games can be developed. Let’s face it, games are a large part of the SL experience – from role-play through combat to board and table-top games. I also don’t I don’t begrudge LL rolling-out and promoting the tools via Linden Realms or with their statement that access to the tools will be gated – although I do caveat the latter in that we’ve yet to see what the gateway will be, but I doubt it will be as hideous or segregating as some are already predicting.

For 2012 we’ve been promised lots: more efforts on performance and stability, yet more tools, the arrival of Direct Delivery, and so on. However, one thing I really would like to see next year is a resumption of direct, informative and open communications between LL and its users. Communications this year seemed to dry up faster than a puddle of spilled water in the Atacama.

It’s going to be interesting to see exactly what LL are going to present to the world in terms of new products. Of course, the doomsayers have already used LL’s pending diversification as yet another hook on which to hang their end-of-the-world pronouncements. So, here’s my prediction for 2012: All predictions of SL’s forthcoming demise will be comprehensively proven wrong.

Again.

Happy 2012 to one and all!

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3 thoughts on “2011: “That was the year, that was” (part 2)

  1. There are certainly concerns going into the new year, I think Second Life will definitely appeal to developers in 2012 but it also needs to manage to appeal to consumers, of course giving developers more options should in theory attract consumers but the two don’t always ride together hand in hand.

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    1. Gah…I knew I forgot to comment on one thing – the “directed experiences” that LL have / are / will be working on to try and encourage greater consumer engagement (although a little hard to say too much, as so much of it appears to be vapourware at the moment). We do, however, know that LL have been looking at ways an manes to reduce the time between someone joining SL and actually engaging in the economy (buy buying L$ & goods), from “weeks” to “days”; mention was also made as SLCC 2011 about helping people mor directly engage in activities, etc., in-world (and I certainly hope that goes beyond just shoving the Destination Guide front-and-centre and advertising what is apparently popular at the moment (e.g. breedables, then vampires).

      The bumps and bouncing will be there, and I tend to think that there *will* be changes coming that many are *not* going to like over the nextr 12 months (not talking about the new tools, either) – but *if* LL engage more fully with the comunity on ways and means to facilitate easing the route from “new arrival” to “engaged user” (myraid though the paths might be), then the balance on appeal will probably even out.

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