The Second Life team already do this to some extent – as a geographically split company on both coasts of the United States (operating out of both San Francisco and Seattle on the West Coast), and having a support centre in Georgia, the company frequently uses its own platform for staff meetings and the like. There are also, of course, the various in-world weekly user group meetings that hold as well.
However, starting on Friday, September 21st, the Lab is starting on what they are calling their Dog Food Days.
It’s not clear how frequently these will be held, but the idea is for members of the Second Life team to use the platform in ways outside of what they might normally do, and see things more from the perspective of users – including the pain points people might feel when using the platform or learning about it; as well as how the limits of the platform are being pushed creatively.
Alexa Linden, as one of the instigators of the idea, offered an example of her thinking around it:
One of the reasons I wanted to have Dog Food Day … it that a lot of people [at the Lab] have still not gone through the process of meshing up their avatar … I’ve done it on all of my alts, and it’s a learning process; it’s not an easy thing to do. And it’s something we need to understand as new users come in, it’s important for us to understand their frustrations, the learning curve, what people are creating, what the quality of content is, etc.
– Alexa Linden, Product Supervisor, discussing the Lab’s Dog Food Day idea
Given this, Alexa is interested in receiving constructive suggestions for what might be considered for inclusion in these Dog Food Days. One suggestion already put forward was to have Lab staff run through the SL sign-up and on-boarding process from end-to-end, including going to the Learning and Social island and experience the entire process from a user’s perspective – and this has been taken on-board.So, if you do have a suitable idea, please consider dropping Alexa a note card.
Also, every Tuesday, Alexa runs an in-world tour of public places on the grid for Lab staff. She’s always interested in appropriate recommendations – places where staff will feel comfortable going, etc., – and welcomes suggestions on possible visits as well (I’ve actually passed on a few myself). So again, if you have ideas for interesting / photogenic / fun locations, drop her a note card with landmarks.