Not too long ago, Linden Lab committed a bit of a faux pas when they registered a new trademark – Dio – which was quickly linked to what appeared to be a beta site for a new product that had been inadvertently exposed on the web.
Something similar appeared to happen again earlier today. It started when Rocky Constantine dropped a link in a Tweet:
The link lead to a couple of images which appeared to show that the official Linden Research website is about to undergo a facelift. One of the images showed the revised page on which people can sign-up to participate in LL’s new product beta testing (which I covered here), and the other a snapshot of an updated home page.
The images themselves were credited to one Amber Xu, whose Behance and LinkedIn profiles reference her as working for Linden Lab.
However, it was Botgirl Questi who noticed the really interesting thing about the home page image – a reference to something called “Patterns”, under the section entitled “Products”.
Now, the whole thing could be a hoax – but it seems unlikely; the images would appear to be a genuine re-working of LL’s rather bland corporate website. What’s more, almost as soon as people started Tweeting on the images, they were removed from Behance, in much the same way the Dio website was closed-off as soon as LL realised what had happened. Although the thumbnail of the main page remained on Amber Xu’s Behance pages for a while after the main images had been removed, it also now appears to have been pulled.
If the home page image is genuine, then it is interesting to speculate as to whether “Patterns” is a genuine name or a placeholder – although one suspects the former. It is also interesting to speculate as to where it might sit in relation to Dio and its associated website.
While “Patterns” and “Dio” may well be one in the same, it is worth pointing out a couple of things.
- At the time the Dio Trademark and the leaked website hit the news, they were seen as being related to interactive fiction and thus linked to LL’s acquisition of Little Text People (LTP), owned by Emily Short and Richard Evans.
- However, in response to speculation elsewhere related to the LTP acquisition and LL’s product development, Rod Humble did pass comment that LTP’s work was separate in nature to the work already under way on a product specifically aimed at content creation and what we come to refer to as “share creative spaces”.
The tagline for “Patterns”, Build something amazing in Patterns (I’m ignoring the rest as I confess to cringing when I read it) does suggest it is perhaps more aimed towards shared creative spaces than it is interactive fiction – which would suggest it is separate from anything Short and Evans are developing, although not necessarily divorced from the overall Dio brand.
It’ll be interesting to see if anything more comes of this. In the meantime, have fun speculating!
With thanks to Botgirl Questi for the use of the redesigned Linden Lab web page screen capture.