Why LL fail to help themselves

The leaping-off point for this blog post is Rod Humble’s announcement about his promised round table, due to commence this week, as posted on his profile feed. To whit:

Hey folks, as I mentioned to some of you over the weekend I am going to do the next roundtable stuff in private one on one’s rather than as a free for all. That makes it more low key and doesnt turn it into something which is contentious. Thanks for all the feedback.

On the one hand, the reaction might seem understandable; the response to the news that last names won’t be making a return was massively negative which was itself pretty negatively voiced. That it wouldn’t go down well is hardly  surprising given the number of people supporting the move either via blogs, blog comments, on his own profile field, the SL forums and other forums (some of which Rod Humble himself frequents) or directly on the associated JIRA.

However, the backlash shouldn’t have been unexpected. Indeed, from the preamble in Rodvik’s post on the matter, it would seem he was aware that it was going to hurt, hence delaying the actual bad news until a good way into the post itself.

But this is no reason to suddenly shut-up shop when it comes to further discussions on SL and what might or might not happen. Yet that is precisely what has happened. When I read the profile post, I was struck by two things:

  • No details as to how people might engage are present in the profile post
  • Rod indicates that he has already spoken to some people on the matter over the weekend.

While the latter could simply be as a result of Rod responding to questions people fired at him on the subject of the forthcoming discussions rather than being anything deeper or more significant – taken together, and again, given the way LL has tended to operate in the past – does raise questions as to whether a “star chamber” for the discussion has already been formed, which itself could feed feelings of exclusion – and such feelings are never a good thing to present to a former audience.

Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose

The decision to remove the discussion from more open participation is also a little sad, as it stands testimony to the old adage that the more things change; the more things remain the same. A lot has changed for the better within and around the Lab over the last 15 months. Looking back at a some suggestions I made last March, it’s interesting to see how some have indirectly been implemented, although not as I’d imagined a year ago, admittedly. We’ve seen improvements in many areas and attempts to get major technical issues under control and / or improved.

Unfortunately for the Lab, we’re a contrary lot. As such, we find it easy to overlook the positive (or even view it with a degree of fear and loathing) and continue to focus on the negative. As such, the removal of this discussion to some unspecified medium involving a select few is going to reinforce the negative attitude many feel towards LL.

When it comes to the matter of Last Names in particular, LL actually have no-one but themselves to blame, because the bottom line is, they bungled the issue from the moment Rod posted on the matter at the end of last year – a move that placed them in an impossible situation. In doing so, they once again fell victim to their own massively misplaced management of on-going communications with the user community as a whole.

Again this isn’t new nor surprising. God knows I’ve been hammering away (rather pointlessly it sometimes feels) on the subject of broader Lab / user communications that I sometimes think this blog reads like a scratched record.

And while it is true that repetition doesn’t necessarily make a point any more valid than the first time it was mentioned, the fact of the matter is that LL’s track record when it comes to what I call “corporate-level” communications pretty much speaks for itself. I’m also far from alone in this; others have also long been trumpeting the need for better, more focused communications from Linden Lab. In this, I’d take time out to point you to Ciaran Laval’s excellent piece on why, when it comes to the “shared experience” of Second Life (itself a source of recent controversy), it behoves LL well to actually lead the sharing itself.

So, rather than repeat myself yet again, I’ll attempt to put it in a forthright nutshell: Rod, Lab, get a bloody grip and for heaven’s sake start engaging with us through constructive, on-going communications through your own open channels. Like the blog. 

Carry the message; don’t hand the baton elsewhere or hide it up your collective jumpers through “closed door” discussions. At that does is put us in the FIC of things.

At the same time, please understand the scattergun approach doesn’t work – the last names situation should amply demonstrate that most effectively. In pumping out blog posts (with comments disabled), then shoving people off to the forums before making profile feed posts, all that again happened is that corporately, LL shot off yet another toe in falsely setting expectations.

Obviously, the flip side of this is that if LL attempt to listen to everyone, no matter how carefully they tread or in what format, they are going to end-up pissing-off someone. After all, as has been said often enough, ask 10 users for their views on X or Y and you’ll get ten different answers. Multiple that by just a few hundred impassioned users, and the chances are you’re going to take a right royal kicking from some quarter or other…

But again, this doesn’t necessitate slipping informal discussions behind closed doors. The risk of setting false expectations is one that can be handled by simply and clearly caveating such discussions with the fact that they are explorations of ideas, and that they don’t automatically equate to any promise on LL’s part to implement anything coming out of the discussions. This may not result in everyone being happy – but conversely, it could end up with more than a few happy faces and a renewed feeling of involvement if the outcome of such a discussion lead to LL realising that X or Y could actually be implemented and then doing so.

As it is, by making closing-off this discussion – whether as a result of a realisation that they “got it wrong” in the first place when it comes to last names or not – comes across as “evidence” that the Lab is no longer willing to engage with the user community, but rather hand down edicts from upon high.

Muddying

Certainly, it adds to the overall muddying of the waters that has been so much a problem where attempts at communication have been made. Again, with due respect to Rod Humble – who has, in many respects been more of a communicator than his predecessors – that he himself chooses so many different channels for engagement leads to confusion.

In this, there is a very thin line, admittedly; there is absolutely nothing wrong with using profile feeds, Twitter and other forums with which to broadly engage with users – as long as the content of the communication is balanced and accurately reflected back where it should be: through LL’s own blog channels. But time and again, this isn’t the case – just about anything else but the blog is used.

Again, LL don’t help themselves when they do blog – and promptly close-off comments. While no-one likes negative feedback – and sadly (dons her own tin hat and hides under the desk to continue typing) we SL users can be a pretty negative lot when it does come to giving feedback, even when it comes to what might otherwise be regarded as good news) – the truth is that shutting down channels of response simply enhances the feeling that you “don’t want to know”.

There’s a further knock-on effect to all this, because it means that where LL employees do make the effort – almost pleadingly so – for people to give the Lab a chance, their requests are met with a degree of derision that isn’t really called for.

Of course, this doesn’t mean one-to-one conversations don’t have their use. But it does come down to a matter of balance – and right now, things are decidedly lop-sided. Again, this creates issues wherein even when an individual from the Lab is speaking with the best of intentions on their part and the full weight of the Lab’s management behind them – their words are dismissed simply because (in many cases) the Lab’s performance as a corporate entity where communications is concerned has been so lax, people naturally distrust what is being said.

Which brings me to a final point in this rambling. In announcing the round table, one of the things Rod stated was that:

Conversations with many old Lindens and Residents have led me to conclude that we have lost something of the old frontier feel.  Like we were exploring the world together …

Yes, “we” and “together” – these were key to the old frontier spirit within SL. It’s somewhat ironic then, that in actually taking up the discussion Rod has, for many that might have wanted to participate, opted to remove the “we” from the equation.

Circles

When it comes to the matter of broader communications and engagement with the community as a whole LL do face something of a vicious circle of achieving engagement while facing negativity and suspicion. However, it is a circle that can only be broken by LL itself. The company needs to bring focus to its efforts to communicate and start being consistent in its approach. It needs to take the lead and – while things may initially hurt in terms of potential feedback – be front-and-centre about things and stop:

  • Stuffing items away in forum threads because they aren’t deemed to be “of interest”  – it smacks of evasion. If the company has something to say that has the potential to impact the community, it should say so openly, and allow individuals to determine how it may / may not affect them
  • Going out and vociferously using other channels at the expense of their direct channels (blogs)  – it dilutes the message and leads to confusion. Use other channels by all means, but use them to support your central channel, not instead of
  • Determining that things need to be closed-off simply because what is being said isn’t what you want to hear  – it blurs issues and raises suspicions. Stand by what you’ve said and accept the fact that you’re not going to please all the people all the time and that criticism isn’t something to be afraid of

Obviously, any change in approach on the part of the Lab – were it to happen – isn’t immediately going to be met with cheers and flag-waving. But that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be tried; given enough time and a more focused, structured and pro-active approach to communications and engagement will yield more benefits than problems.

23 thoughts on “Why LL fail to help themselves

  1. Over the years, LL has given the impression that the entire business of last names is a matter of the highest complexity. I don’t think that they’ve attributed as much technical difficulty to any other problem they’ve undertaken to solve. In past years they were repeatedly stumped by our requests to be able to change our names, going as far as to call it “impossible.” When they took our last names away, it must have been so freaking hard to do, that unwinding it, even a little, must be like solving Fermat’s Last Theorem.

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    1. I’m not doubting the technical complexities or otherwise. I’m commenting on the way communications on the subject were handled.

      If the issue does suffer from massive technical complexities, these must have been known about (as you indicate from previous comments that LL have made) and as such, perhaps the wiser course of action would have been to hold-fire on what was released at the end of last year and put out something more neutral in tone, “We’re looking into this, but can’t promise anything either way. There are issues here we need to examine in detail. Rest assured that if anything can be done, we’ll endeavour to do so. In the meantime, we’ll look to update you all in January, when we’ve a better handle on the situation.”

      This is the point; LL need to focus on clear, open messages, and be both unambiguous and avoid promising the world when they do. As it is,they seem to trip over themselves time and again by leaning too far into extremes. In this case, the massively upbeat post from Rod, pre-Christmas suggests they were leaning too hard towards wanting to bring cheer. Can’t actually blame them for that in many respects – but doesn’t change the fact something of a more open approach might have been better.

      Of course, there is the argument I semi-touched on that no matter what LL say someone, somewhere is going to start brandishing a cricket bat / baseball bat; we are a contrary lot. However, most of us are also reasonable, and when presented with openness, do tend to respond in kind.

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      1. We’re such a contrary lot because they’re so tight lipped.

        Like it or not though, when you’re in the business of community, you need to communicate.

        They need to have a daily blog going, regular open discussions, and a lot of back and forth.

        Whether or not last names was hard or easy – not talking about it between promising the return and backpeddling on the promise makes that backpeddling very hard to swallow.

        If it was so hard to do, they needed to be there with us through the whole process of talking about it internally – showing us over the course of time what makes it hard.

        If not, they needed to still be there with us, talking it through, so that they would have heard our solutions to the problem and been able to implement the one that shows why it is not hard.

        Either way, hard or not, its a missed opportunity that they failed in communication.

        Now we feel as if they both lied to us and broke a promise – when we might not feel either feeling, and even have the same result of no last names; had they only been communicating all along the way.

        Two wrongs made, because one right was not followed.

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  2. Nice rant 🙂 The whole thing remembers me more and more of this very excited manager speaking: “So… feel free to wear your casual Friday clothing – pretty much any day of the week. And if anyone wants to be C-F-O…? *employee gets a crying jag* …anyone??”. From the movie: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.

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  3. I’d have less issue with LL being just bloody honest. Each year they say they’re going to be more transparent, yatta yatta, and they’re either baby steps forward, or like discussed above – Scattered around incorrect/different mediums; giving confusing importance, and typically an improper way to discuss the topic (or it simply gets closed)…Or simply they’re even less transparent than the dark dark tint they already are.

    Been playing for 6 years now, they’ve never been that much more transparent than a mud-splashed window with the wipers comically flailing at a high rate of speed, smearing it all over.

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  4. I think it is human nature to distrust the folks in charge. I see the parallel on my job and elsewhere. I am not defending Linden Lab, but what could they do to get folk to believe they are transparent? I am not sure that anything would work.
    I don’t get all that upset about changes, and find adapting myself to them to be the challenge.
    If you are listening Rodvik, I think that holding Town Hall meetings in world is the way to go. Relay chats and four sims together could provide access (there are a lot of ways to do this). I know that the rabble will come, but dang, if people disrupt the proceedings, I kind of figure you have ways of dealing with that. Thanks for listening.

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    1. What would go a long way would be some sincere participation in the SL forum, or some meaty information on the SL blog. There was a very very brief time when M Linden got into a thread in the forum which was quite negative about him in particular. The tone of the discussion changed completely. It was much easier to speak badly about someone who was completely absent, but once he began replying and commenting, the negativity stopped.

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      1. Mark Kingdon takes a lot of stick – and frankly – not all of it is deserved (but that’s maybe a topic for another blog post). One of the things that impressed me was that when he did hold an in-world with a group of residents, he came across as someone who perhaps actually understood SL as the majority of users understood it far more than he was ever given credit.

        Yes, he did lead the company in a particular direction that was seen to do more harm than good. Whether the direction was his choice, or the one he was employed by the board to lead the company in is debatable – and the two are very different in context.

        It would be nice to see more engagement in forum discussions – and even leadership there. Why not use the forum for a round table discussion rather than a profile feed? One might argue that the latter gives a more focused response from fewer people. Equally, it runs the risk of only getting the same feedback from the same voices. A forum-based discussion means that the input is liable to be far broader and potentially more open to louder voices of discontent – but is this a reason not to try and engage?

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    2. The irony is, that Rod has been one of the most open communicators in so many respects; that is something not to lose sight of. He’s stepped-in and helped countless numbers of people with issues and problems. While there is a certain mistrust at the direction in which LL are going (“gamification”) from some quarters, I’m not sure that’s the issue. By-and-large he’s trusted.

      The major problem is the whole corporate approach the communications. That really undermines his own efforts and those of the individuals at LL who do try very hard to be open and put things on the table for discussion.

      Townhalls are something I originally mentioned in the piece, but removed for length / context – but they are a valid point. While they may not have achieved a significant amount from the corporate perspective & at times proved raucous, they did give people a feeling of participation where LL and the user community was concerned. They gave (dare I say it) the illusion of partnership and of being “in things together” with LL. It really doesn’t matter if this was actually the case or not – it’s the perception that counts. Over recent years, that perception had been systematically removed alongside any form of message leadership from LL as an entity (rather than through individuals). We have a blog that has a mass of articles that are a year or more old. Even the “news” articles are becoming increasingly brief and generally backwards-looking rather than actual announcements. This has left people with the perception that LL simply aren’t interested. And that’s not good.

      On transparency, I agree, the company is on a hiding to nothing in many respects. The recent reactions elsewhere to the news that the quarterly economic stats demonstrates this. LL is up-front about the reason, but on Twitter and elsewhere people immediately jump on the idea it’s “really” because the company is suffering a fiscal melt-down. Another classic example is all the conspiracy theories relating to the 2010 lay-offs, wherein it was ascribed to everything from poor financial performance through to an “unexpected tax bill”. People simply weren’t prepared to accept Philip Rosedale’s statement on the matter – that it was a part of trimming the fat and get the company re-focused on core activities. Yet the proof of the matter was there for people to see: during the 15-18 months prior to the layoffs, LL had taken on 125 personnel; that’s a 50% growth in numbers, a huge expansion in anyone’s terms – and one which yielded little or no growth in their product base in terms of users numbers or significant interest from the business sector.

      However, transparency in communications is another thing, in fairness. As I stated in the article – and as other have pointed out – LL need to be leading the charge where news and information about their platform is concerned. Their blog should be a vibrant place of news and information – TuTORials, updates, frequent round-ups. They should be more willing to push things to these pages rather than burying them in the forums under this or that excuse (“XYZ won’t interest the majority of our users” is an excuse, not a reason); where necessary, foum threads can then be linked directly to the articles in question to encourage on-going discussion

      By all means use Twitter and profile feeds and the like to follow-up on things, to support communications, to point people to the blog. But these should always be additional outlets for communication that point back to the SL website, not “the” channels for communication. Not everyone is engaged on Twitter or plurk (as big as the audiences on those mediums might be); not everyone is willing to use profile feeds – but everyone more-than-likely has the dashboard in front of them, if only to check to see who among their friends is on-line prior to logging-in.

      There was a time when LL had a very vibrant website supported by a lively forum – not everything was positive; not by a long shot – but they did give clarity and focus for communications.

      /me puts soapbox away again.

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    3. Look to the WoW community forums.

      People slam their ‘Blue Posters’ (blizzard employees) there all the time – but at the same time respect them, and generally respect the company…

      For the simple reason that they are there every day posting and talking to their 10 million customers.

      Even when what they have to say is very hard to swallow, they back it up with charts and numbers and 300+ page long forum threads with everything from praise to personal threats…

      They stick it out, everyday, right there in the front lines with their customers.

      So that by the end of the day, only the real ‘whackadoodles’ are left taking it personal, and everyone else ends up feeling that ‘even if they didn’t take my stance on this issue, I can respect where they’re coming from.’

      Really, you can’t throw us -all- out because there are a few prokian-types out there who won’t listen to -anything-.

      You’ve got to accept that you can’t win 100% of folks, and focus on speaking to 90%. Hiding out with a select 1% will get you nowhere…

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  5. Great article/rant/vent Inara. In a way I’m not fundamentally opposed if they want to go the “focus group” approach, but I’d like to know what kind of demographic they were choosing. Of course though, this sounds far from a focus group and more the return of the FIC again. Well fine, just let us know LL “who” you are talking to so they stand equally culpable with you if anything goes “tits up” and I can also begrudgingly applaud them if it goes well.

    Usually when I have a representative “talking for me” I’ve usually elected them and know their name. I suspect though, as usual, it will be those who own a significant amount sims who are being courted for their views.

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    1. With respect to the withdrawal from the public forum, it is the cries of “FIC!” that concern me – hence the allusion to it mid-article :).

      But that is a problem; LL are seen to withdraw and become reliant upon nebulous (to the eyes of those outside) advisers / representatives; this breeds feelings of suspicion such that when outcomes if / are announced, even when offered with the best of intentions, people move from suspicion to mistrust (or outright conspiracy theories – again, see my comment herein relating to the 2010 lay-offs) – and so the circle is perpetuated.

      Anyway, I’ve probably ranted enough on the subject :). That wasn’t the intention here – although I guess I’ve been harping on about the matter (and hopefully more constructively so in the past) for so long that a degree of frustration did bubble through into this article.

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  6. Imagine for a moment 1-2 million users and 50-70K users on at any moment. Your a company of 100-200 people trying to make this massive community function. 2-3 years ago we had constant grid wide crashes, viewers that barley worked on maybe 50% of computers, and massive legal concerns over gambling and age restriction. They have come a tremendous distance. This can be measured by the fact that as grumpy as every always seems to be, they continue to vote by staying in SL vs jumping ship. (i’m sure people are going to argue details here. not listening).

    These are people to. We treat them with such tremendous disrespect without remembering that SL is one of the most impressive MMPO’s out there. We all know there is magic in the social structure, but very few people tend to appreciate the monster of computer architecture they have taken on. As an end user i can’t think of the last time they had a time when i wanted to log in and i couldn’t. (yes bring on your data). Back to my point of disrespect, we do nothing but say the most non-productive critical nonsense to these guys. I wouldn’t open it up either because I would not be able to bear the emotional abuse we tend to show.

    The name thing likely got untractable. Leaders made leadership statements. They ask their technical team leads to do an analysis of the situation and they likely reported back that way to much of thier companies peanut butter would need to be spent fixing the name thing (viewer, billing, lindex, marketplace, servers, databases, security) and they ultimatly decided they needed to back track. Well, what would the fearless leader have learned? To be less communicative. Get his teams commitment before saying things. But isnt’ that exactly what we’re pissed off about?

    LL’s biggest struggle is getting projects worked on without high distraction. Work on everything and nothing gets done. They are more than aware that they have tremendous struggles in their user community. They realize there is compoetition and innovation and if they don’t keep making SL more intersting (projectors/mesh) people will start to find other opportunities. Investing time hearing people frankly whining isn’t going to get one additional thing done.

    So put your time where your mouth is. Join an opensim. Learn to program. Make content for a new world better than SL. Ohhh geee everyone tried that and then hated it. Time to give LL some credit for making one of humanities most amazing social and technical machines the world has ever seen and let them go home feeling they did something amazing rather the crap everyone seems to shovel their way.

    —Stef

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    1. I’m not disputing the fact LL have come a long way – I’m one of the first to stand up and defend them when it comes to this and other aspects of their track record. They do deserve credit. I actually get annoyed myself when they define their intentions (as happened at then end of last year), then implement a couple of “quick fixes” along the way that are easy-to-do and stand to benefit people – but the immediate response from sections of the community is a rather caustic “Wow, so glad they did that when X, Y, Z needs fixing!” – as if it’s always an either / or choice when clearly it’s not.

      In this respect, its fair to say in part where communications are concerned, we reap what we sew, and the community at times hasn’t helped in matters.

      But, with regards to communications as a whole, LL have relinquished the message. They don’t have to be in-world to reach 60K-70K of concurrent users at peak periods. They don’t even have to be in-world to reach the more average 30-40K of users. They have channels for corporate-steered communications through the website and blogs which are languishing. Even when they do have information to impart and news to give, it rarely makes headline news on their own website, but ends up buried elsewhere.

      And this is where they hurt themselves. SL still has a strong message to give, and LL really need to be the ones shaping that message and pushing it outwards openly and positively.

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  7. Excellent post Inara. Again proving why I listen to you closely.

    But on the subject of them giving communication a “try”, I would add that the period of “trying” needs to be more than one or two posts and a few days. It needs to be a focused, documented (internally at least) and strictly enforced plan of engagement involving (as you correctly point out) the Blogs (and Forums) and lasting for 6-12 months. No matter what is said, no matter what ensues, no matter how the community responds … it cannot supply any realistic measure of success until it has been allowed to run for a very long time (in internet time scales) and is understood by the entire community.

    In the past we have seen them “try” a few times. They’d make a fairly open and honest blog post with comments enabled, collect about two pages of flames and then shut off comments and drag the whole issue back into the hidey-hole. Perhaps the failure was due to the fact that the initial blog post was so clearly not borne from a knowledge of the community and only based on their internally focused myopic view of “What SL Is Really”, or perhaps it was because they expected rousing acceptance and were shocked that they got char-broiled in the process.

    Expect the start of the “Try” to be very rocky. After so many years of complete disconnection, even aversion at times, to the truths behind both camps (LL and the SL Customers), it would be a miracle if LL got it right to begin with. But over time, with more being shared, expect the two camps to draw closer and closer. But again … that’s only AFTER the initial nuclear devastation at the start.

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    1. Persistence is the key. And in fairness, a willingness to at least give LL the benefit of the doubt on the part of the user community is also needed. Such a process would be painful for the company, but I do believe it would be worth while persevering with attempts.

      There are certainly those within LL that have the enthusiasm and also the kudos within the larger community to potentially make the passage towards more open communications smoother. Torley, for one (I hope he is still there, as it’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from him through channels). Simply having someone like him rounding-up news and stories, providing hints, tips and tricks – dare I say even producing the much-missed tuTORials would go a long way to repairing bridges and opening doors.

      Beyond that it does mean more engagement in things like the forums; obviously times here is more of an issue. The time spent in the forums by a subject expect is time away from the job, so to speak – but the flipside is, at least where technical issues are concerned – time spent in the forums may well encourage more discussion of broader topics there and thus ease the load on places like the JIRA (something that LL has been trying to achieve), so there is potential pay-off here as well.

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  8. All we have to remind is that the improper use of the combination of 2 names could be lead to real life actions (Anfelina Jolie, Barak Offama and so on).
    Using resident it will avoid, i think, as im not a lawyer, many of those problems.
    Although the same process on Os grid takes less then a minute and last names are still in effect, i gather the lab played safe in there.
    About communications, i rather prefer to not know who is the Ceo but see my problems solved fast (as they where all in the past by the online support team).
    About listen to the community, I should make a note that is not any Ceo job to listen to the users of its products, but to ensure that the ones designated to do so in behalf of my company, will address them and if not, would report them to me..
    But a Ceo needs to remember always that, the users of the product he/she sells, are in the end, the ones He must listen to, cause not doing so will mean they will move away.
    So I hope that the Lab will keep reading and listen to the ones, once called, adverse to inovation, but still the ones that keep the business alive!
    Cause more and more, on the “small” niche of virtual worlds, Sl is not alone!

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  9. 2 comments:
    1- Rod’s “win/win or nothing” approach was doomed from the start. In the end we got the expected “I can’t please everyone so I will do nothing”! A return to the system more or less as it was would have been a 90% win.
    In addition Rod’s habit of dropping hints here and there in a social networking way is counterproductive. He is the guy in charge! Starting rumors is bad leadership.
    2- Contrast Rod’s communication with Oz’s. Oz frequently attends meetings with various resident groups. He has handled the new TPV rules in a respectful and dignified way, admitting to imperfections in the rules and deferring implementation of true online status until the legitimate uses (most workarounds for delivery failures to off line avatars) can be rendered unnecessary by the system working properly.
    No one is perfect, but Oz’s approach is proving more productive than Rod’s.

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    1. A lot of hard-won communications from individuals within the company is undone by the more scattergun approach. The TPVP changes are a good example in this: Oz laid the changes out openly for discussion – then the announcement came via a forum post.

      Whether or not the forum was used because it was deemed the news wasn’t pertinent to the community as a whole (and therefore “not blog-worthy”, if I might coin a term) is irrelevant. By shunting the news to a forum, LL gave the impression they were trying to “hide” or “bury” the news – and again, that’s not a good impression to give. Far better to have had the news front-and-centre in, say, the technology blog.

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