Two weeks ago I went to my first Adult Content User Group (ACUG) meeting. You may know that Blondin Linden was in charge of the group. In previous days it was thought of as Blondin’s office hour. But, Blondin has left Linden Lab and Office Hours are converting to User Groups. This has left the Adult Content group in apparent disarray, IMO. There are some things happening and moving forward. I’ve listed those things I find interesting and that may be useful to you.
Viale Linden chaired the meeting. The previous week various group members were providing the new chair and other Lindens information on past agreements, plans, and requests.
There was some confusion has to how things were to be placed on the meeting’s agenda. That seems to be an ongoing problem with this group. It does not seem to have been resolved in 3 weeks. Whatever the case…
Zindra Region – I’ll try to be clear when I mean the Zindra Region or the Zindra Continent. Viale says the Lindens have plans for making the Zindra Region more welcoming.
Part of that effort will center on the concept of elevating the discussion of Adult… in messaging… beyond just the SEX part. Messaging will evolve into more grownup stuff… Viale says they will deliver the new plans on how that will look to the group in the coming weeks. …now if that sounds like politically correct rhetoric designed to sound good for management, we’re on the same page. I have a hard time not making phallic innuendos and double entendres about elevating and grownup.
If you are asking what might be grownup content, think Ice Hockey… Then there is the Zindra Speed Build… (9PM SLT Sundays). The Zindra Vortex is a sandbox with mentors, sometimes mentors. So, one might think grownup stuff they are talking about is the stuff you find on the main grid in Moderate (formerly Mature) areas. (See: Maturity Ratings)
The maturity ratings state Adult Content is content that is sexually explicit, intensely violent, or depicts illicit drug use. Ice Hockey!?! I never thought it ALL THAT violent.
So, while those in ACUG may understand what they mean by Adult Content, I suspect most of the rest of the world has a different idea about Adult Content. From the two meetings and a few transcripts I’ve read, I’ll say the ACUG members are not all on the same page either.
That the idea is to elevate the Zindra message from just sex, suggests they are going to promote violence and drugs? I doubt that. May be they will figure out how lost they are and how far most of the rest of us are from being able to feel them.
What Works – It seems like the Lindens are walking into another wall. Would you think to look in the Adult Regions for hockey? In advertising the most basic and direct ad criteria are used for Yellow Page Ads and landing pages in web sites. One has about 2 to 3 seconds to tell the one seeing the ad/page that they are in the right place. If one is looking for sex, sex beds, and etc. then one needs to present breasts to guys and romance to women (OK a sexy suave chest works.) A hockey rink is not going to do it. I’m not sure how sophisticated one can be about Adult Content.
Zindra Region Name – There are a number of reasons to rename Zindra Region to help people new to Second Life and to those unfamiliar with Zindra. Things like Zindra Promenade and Zindra Start have been suggested. The idea is to give residents and idea of what to expect when they find Zindra by in-world search or map search.
Zindra Region Use – The next problem is what is to be in Zindra Region. There are a couple of problems. If the region is set to an adult region level some people will likely not figure out how to get in. We are hoping to see more new people coming into Second Life. That means more SL users will have no idea about needing Adult Verification to get into an adult region nor know to change viewer setting.
From the Lindens point of view the worst thing for the Zindra Region is it being a deserted region.
There is also the problem of who is allowed to do what there. I imagine a shop owner with a store there. They are likely to have more first time traffic then they would on any other region in the Zindra Continent. So, as much as I hate to use the word fairness, there is a fairness issue.
Age Verification – Did you know the age verification process in Second Life has changed? See: Verifying your age. Now one visits a page and says they are 18 are over. See the page: Second Life Dashboard Age Verification.
That is quite a change from what I went through. It is much easier. I also understand the age verify is part of the signup process too. So, people are age/adult ready once they have signed up. This does not completely fix the problem of it being difficult for people to get into adult regions but it does make is way easier.
Destination Guide – The Lindens are working to make it possible for Adult region owners to add their regions to the Destination Guide. Filtering will be by the user’s settings. If you don’t want to see adult destinations, don’t enable them.
Viale says there is an ad widget on the Destination Guide that can be placed on a web page. That gives one another promotional tool. Slaton Linden said, “For Destination Guide ad widget, go to any DG entry page and click ‘Ad Widget’ hyperlink under ‘View on Map’ button.” You will want to look at the Destination Guide FAQ. The destination suggestion page is here: Second Life Destination Suggestions.
You RL ID is required to make a submission to the guide.
Profiles – Viale Linden said there will be a talk on SL Profiles at SLCC. So, we know some of what will be announced at SLCC. While none of the Lindens are talking much about it, they do seem excited.
First thing out in this meeting is the Zindra region name will not change for now. Something lame about keeping ‘its ranking’ in search.
The Lindens have sicked the creative team on the problem of how to promote Zindra without being tacky. I suppose we will have to stop saying hookers and skanks and say sew workers and escorts. (Please forgive me if your in these trades. I am still annoyed with the ACUG meetings.)
Once an appropriate message is found it will permeate Zindra Help and How To pages. I suppose eventually the FAQ pages. This is supposedly to come back to the ACUG as recommendations, which seems confusing. Recommendations and plans are given to the Lindens, the Lindens read then (may be) then give the group recommendations… this could go on forever.
Ginette Pinazzo announced that the ZEXPO will offer a business networking system. It has an automated side so that it is useful in times where there are no ongoing events. Any two collaborators that can show a collaboration from the ZEXPO will get a reward.
Sandbox Management – The Zindra Votex needs more managers. The Lindens are looking at how that can be setup. For the Speed Build Contest some return-control and griefer protection are needed. Because it is Linden owned land there is no simple way to grant limited control. The Lindens are working on a solution.
Zindra Experience – The Lindens are seeing a number of people finding the Zindra region/continent and leaving disappointed. They want to correct that problem. I would say their motive is part of the Lab’s player retention focus.
This meeting started off with more confusion over how the agenda is to be handled and what was or wasn’t on it. The next 25 minutes were burned up trying to figure out the meeting format… I was left wondering how this group is going to deal with any of the grownup stuff. Sheesh!
There are 13 User Groups now and this group is the most disorganized and contentious of them all. Hopefully the Lindens will get control of the meeting and facilitate it. Allowing people that make personal attacks to remain in the meeting with no consequence is not going to work.
There was discussion on changing the Zindra region’s name. The previous week it was said a name change was not in the cards for now. But, that was forgotten.
This meeting was pretty much useless. I’ve read through the transcript, twice, trying to find something positive that was accomplished.
There are people that want to develop businesses in Adult regions. Linden Lab has an interest in how Second Life is perceived and Zindra carries a disproportionate share of the perceptual weight. As best I can tell the Lab simply pushed the SEX and VIOLENCE problems into a corner without an in depth plan and covered it up with the name Adult Content. Now they are trying to take a hands-off approach, not run the ACUG, give the Zindra land owners control, support the owners, and yet change the perception of Zindra and keep the ACUG civil. Right.
For now it seems no one knows what is needed, desirable, or how to achieve it. It’s like the IRS taking over the Nevada brothel for not paying taxes on profits and driving it into bankruptcy. Who else could be so incompetent they could go broke selling sex and booze? The answer may soon arrive.
May be someone will wake up and lead. Until then I have to find something more interesting. One would think sex would be interesting.