Firestorm to host “the future of Second Life” Q&A with Lab staff

Update: The promised transcript is now available.

Jessica Lyon has announced that the Firestorm team will be hosting a Q&A session entitled The Future of Second Life.

The session will take place on Wednesday July 2nd at 07:00 SLT (that’s 7:00 AM PDT – I’ve always used 24-hour clock notation in this blog)  at the Firestorm Auditorium, with seating on a first come, first serve basis.

Oz Linden: SL's Technical Director
Oz Linden: Linden Lab’s Technical Director of Second Life

In attendance will be Oz Linden, Technical Director of Second Life at the Lab. Peter Gray, the Lab’s Director of Global Communications may also be present as well.

Note that the focus of the session will Second Life – the session will not be a forum for discussion of the Lab’s  next generation platform. Opportunities to discuss the latter will doubtless come through various mediums once the Lab more solidly release details about it.

So if you want to learn more about what is planned for SL, this may be a meeting you want to attend. However, if you can’t attend, the blog post points to the following:

  • The event will be recorded and made available after the fact
  • The event will be live streamed though I do not have all the details yet. Stay tuned to this bullet for edits.
  • If you have questions to ask concerning SL’s future, please leave them in a comment on the Firestorm blog. Jessica will attempt to ask as many as she can. Please do not leave questions here, as they unlikely to be collected and asked at the session.

I’ll also most likely provide a transcript of the meeting as time allows after the event.

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16 thoughts on “Firestorm to host “the future of Second Life” Q&A with Lab staff

  1. *sigh* I wish the Lab would finally realize that 7 pm on the west coast of the US is not exactly a good time for much of their customer base. Not to mention this idiotic insistence on doing stuff in voice that cuts out yet another part of their customer base who need to wait for transcripts.

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    1. 1) 7 AM, not 7 PM. And with a global base, ANY time won’t be good for a large group of people.

      2) There won’t be room for more than 50-80 at the meeting anyway. In real life only a handful of people actually attend press conferences but everyone learns what’s said eventually.

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    2. Just to be clear, the time is actually 7 AM PDT, not PM; I’ve always used 24-hour clock notation in times in this blog.

      Voice is actually a lot easier to convey outward information to an audience, given it is a lot more rapid than trying to type everything. It also doesn’t prevent attendees from listening and asking questions in text – which is precisely what happens in the Firestorm meetings and in meetings such as the Lab’s TPV Dev meetings. It’s actually a preferred approach, as it stops people talking over those who are either speaking or who are already addressing questions.

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      1. Ok, I messed up the am/pm thing …. not that it really matters since I would not be able to be there either way. As to voice being ‘better’ … *****. They are still excluding a huge segment of the community (not to mention not having an official log of exactly what was said). Questions in text are often ignored too.

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        1. With respect, I didn’t say “better”, I said it was “easier”. There’s a difference, and in the circumstances, it is understandable where time is limited and there is potentially a lot to get through. It allows a lot more ground to be covered than is the case when matters are restricted to text, and a lot more feedback to be given and questions to be more fully addressed.

          The meeting will be recorded and will be livestreamed and, as I’ve stated myself, I hope to be there to record and to produce a transcript – just as I do for things like the Firestorm meetings, or with Ebbe Altberg’s VWBPE address, as I’m aware that many find it easier to read than to listen. So far as possible, I’ve always tried to include questions in text – unless they go unaddressed, in which case reporting them isn’t that meaningful.

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          1. What I meant was that the Lindens pay more attention to voiced questions that textural ones … something I have seen often where anyone conducts a meeting using both modes, the people using text are made to feel like lepers. While people are thankful to you and others for the transcription it is not available in real time and from the Lindens (or it they give a log, it is not until much later) … making it useless for participating and LL can go back on anything they said in voice.

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      2. Voice-only just means that a bunch of us (myself included – I’m deaf) who COULD attend, won’t. There’s a lot of mental filling-in-the-blanks and guesswork that goes into sussing out what is the current point being discussed and then typing out one’s own thoughts or questions, hoping it’s not too late to get an answer. But Inara, you have posted transcripts in the past and they have been extremely helpful – so if there is an opportunity to ask follow-up questions after the transcript is posted, that’s not ideal, but it’s reasonable.

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        1. Yes, I’m not denying that voice causes issues; sadly, given the medium, it is still the easier means by which topics can be covered in a limited time span.

          I believe Virtual Ability have the capability to run text to speech; perhaps for future events of this nature, we can encourage the Firestorm team to liaise with Virtual Ability to see what support could be offered to address this problem?

          Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to offer feedback on whether there will be opportunities for post-event follow-up questions, as I’m not one of the organisers.

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          1. Sometimes VA have brought in someone to do a transcript for their events but most of the time it is VA staff, I have even done it once (trying to keep up talking with someone copy/pasting text is hard work). The problem is if the Lindens want to be inclusive they should be the ones to pay a professional for it rather than passing it on to their customers to pay for it (in money or work).

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            1. I don’t disagree that accessibility to information is as important as accessibility to the platform, and could be addressed in multiple ways – but that is a broader issue than this meeting, which has been organised by a group of Second Life users, who are working within the constraints of the platform as presented to us.

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              1. Well, the constraints of the platform involve text. 🙂 It is the Lindens who push for meetings to be done in voice and they conduct all of their own meetings that way (not giving a fig to the fact that it excludes people). True, in this particular case it was initiated by users, but the Lindens are using it to get the word out (and attending) so providing the ‘terp would make good sense for the lab. Does anyone think for a moment they would show up if they knew this discussion would be in text-only?

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                1. I attend meetings run by the Lab on a weekly basis, and I can assure you that they do use text as a preference. Only one meeting is exclusively conducted in voice and that’s the fortnightly TPV meeting.

                  But again, the issue is one of scale, not any attempt at “not giving a fig” about anyone. Text doesn’t easily scale when you’re talking in terms of more than perhaps 20 users. Not only do you have those making a presentation typing away and trying to be understood, you invariably have people in the audience typing comments, asking questions, responding to issues others raise, making asides unrelated to the topic (gestures, etc.) – all of which can disrupt the flow of a meeting, making it harder to follow, harder for topics to be covered in any depth, etc.

                  There is no attempt to exclude anyone; as I’ve repeatedly pointed out, while it is far from ideal, voice is the easier method by which someone within SL can address a large audience in a specified time period. That’s why the Firestorm team run all their public meetings (which are intended to address around 70% of the active user base in SL in terms of viewer users) in voice.

                  There’s nothing nefarious in the preference towards voice, and I’m not sure why you seem to persist in leaning in that direction (i.e. your earlier comment that “LL can go back on anything they said in voice.” and here, “Does anyone think for a moment they would show up if they knew this discussion would be in text-only?”, which seems to point in the same direction). It is simply the most convenient tool available on the platform.

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                2. I seem to remember Metanomics had a very nice system where weekly presentations were given with text using something called a chatbridge, and they had this set up in multiple locations along with video screens. You could tell which was the main presentation text and which was the ‘backchatter” by the colour of the text, and it was incredibly useful and wonderfully inclusive. The main presentation text was transcribed by Virtual Ability staff. I looked forward to each presentation and the backchatter was as worthwhile to read and participate in as the main presentation. The Metanomics hosts would watch the backchatter for any “QUESTION” inquiries and pose those questions to the presenters at the appropriate times. It was such a shame when those presentations stopped.

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