“Dear Ebbe”

Colins Land, September 2013Collins Land, September 2013

Dear Ebbe,

As today marks your first official day at the helm of Linden Lab, I’d like to formally welcome you to the hot seat and wish you every success!

Thanks to Twitter, you’ve already seen that we’re a pretty passionate bunch – which can be good and bad when it comes to company / user relations, as you’ve no doubt experienced in the past!

Crystal Oak Falls, December 2013Crystal Oak Falls, December 2013

I’m not about to offer-up sage (or otherwise!) advice on what needs to be done with regards to “fix” Second Life and its direction. You’ll be aware of what the board is seeking, and I appreciate you need time to gain familiarity with everything that is going on at the Lab and with its partners in terms of products and services before determining courses of action. However, I would like to say a little something, if that’s OK?

Through those Twitter messages, you’ve likely also already caught-on to the fact that company / user community communications are a concern to many.

Black Basalt Beach, August 2013Black Basalt Beach, August 2013

Truth be told, there are areas within the Lab – most notably within the technical teams managing the servers and the viewer – where communications are excellent, and the people responsible deserve thanks and recognition. However, over the years, broader communications have been left to wither on the vine. This has led to frustrations, upsets and misunderstandings which could so easily have been avoided with a positive, outward communications policy. So, with this in mind, I’d like to encourage you to:

  • Encourage the board to see broader outward communications as a positive thing which helps both company and users
  • Get a team together who can drive positive outward communications through the SL blogs, the forums and e-mail in a consistent, open, and informative manner – and who can listen as well!

Colins Land, September 2013Calas Galadhon Park, December 2013

We don’t need to know absolutely everything that’s going on, but even a monthly round-up of news is better than prolonged (and painful) silences which have been the hallmark of the Lab’s attempts for the past few years. And if folks in the Lab tell you the blog isn’t used because no-one reads it; then rest assured, if posts are provided, and Twitter, Facebook, Plurk and the SL feed, etc.,  are used to promote them, people will come and read. The same goes for an e-mail newsletter (and how better to reach and woo those who have perhaps stopped visiting SL?).

We’re a supportive bunch at heart, and we want SL to continue to thrive and grow. Just give us the word, and we’ll be ready to help. We might even have a few ideas to help with some things; we just need to know someone is listening!

Looking forward to seeing you in-world on occasion – and if you want a guide to some of SL’s wonders, feel free to give me a call!

Best regards,

Inara

... and as I know you enjoy Formula 1, here's a Ferrari (sorry, couldn't find a Merc or McLaren) from 2010 by SL user Timmi Allen
… and as I know you enjoy Formula 1, here’s a Ferrari (sorry, couldn’t find a Merc or McLaren) from 2010, by SL user Timmi Allen
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10 thoughts on ““Dear Ebbe”

  1. I can imagine that there are a lot of content creators that hold back with creating great content, just because they are unsure about the Labs plans for SL. Better communication and ensuring them about SLs future would lead to them spending a lot more time on SL projects, which would translate to more and better content which would translate to more residents which would translate to more money for Linden Lab.

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  2. Dear Ebbe.
    Inara is a diplomat. This time quite mild too.
    If you read the above combined with that knowledge you should be able to take conclusions.
    Communications from Linden lab are non-existent. Various lucky bloggers get a news-scoop once in a while followed by absolute silence from Linden Lab.
    I assume Linden Lab can be able to communicate with it’s clients but that hasn’t happened in the past three centuries, except the announcement that somebody from Volvo-land is joining Linden Lab.
    For that I am sorry Inara placed an image of a Ferrari with this blog post.

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    1. Oi! the Ferrari was entirely in context! Well, OK, would have been better if it had been a Mercedes F1, but still in context! 🙂 .

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  3. Can’t help with a Mercedes F1, but how about a W210 E-class wagon? Got one of those to go with the one I have in RL. 🙂

    Seriously, you’re dead on about communications. I should write a blog entry about that from the TPV developer’s viewpoint.

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  4. I wholeheartedly agree with the point here. How hard would it be to have someone from LL say something once in a while in Second Life’s existing communication channels? I was reminded of something that happened not long after Rod Humble became CEO. He posted in the SLU forum. Nothing at all wrong with that but he’d never posted at all in Second Life’s OWN forum. It ruffled some feathers. One of the forum regulars started a post asking Rod to make an appearance: “Dear Rodvik. Please phone home.” It grew to twenty pages, but Rodvik Linden did in fact finally respond in the thread. Not only that, but shortly afterwards we started seeing posts by Lindens all over the forums, answering questions, explaining things, or just commenting. The forum suddenly became an entirely different place and I for one loved it.

    Unfortunately it gradually stopped happening, and we now have the silence you describe.
    Scylla’s thread is still in the archives, if you’re interested: http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Forums-Blogs-Answers-and/Dear-Rodvik-Please-Phone-Home/m-p/796031/highlight/true#M2614

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