It is hard to know what to say about the Adult Content group. I think since sex sells and sells other things as well the adult content in Second Life has the biggest possibility for increasing player retention. Understand it is not the escort services or hookers that I think will keep players coming back… I suppose it will draw some. But, it is the excitement and anticipation in meeting new people in an environment with a sexually charged edge that entices people. The adult content I’m thinking of is not the hookers on a street corner. It is adult things like eHarmony, nice night clubs, church-based social functions and all the other fun, safe, meeting places.
It seems some level of the Lindens have recognized adult content has possibilities and are attempting to shift perceptions to take advantage of it. But, I’ve never been able to figure out from the Lindens’ discussion and comments what they are trying for. I’ve had to make the above mentioned assumptions and work some ideas out for myself to put a frame around their goals. I have no clue if I’ve gotten it right. But, maybe.
I think we can all understand escort and dating services are both services for adults. But, the nature and feel of the two services are very different. While different they similar in that they focus on hooking people up. Somewhere in these adult activities there has to be something that is adult fun but does not require I attach a male (or female) friend. I suppose I can label those activities adult social recreation. I may find someone I want while engaged in social recreation but I’m not there for the sole purpose of hooking up with someone.
I think the use of the term adult social recreation with emphasis on ‘adult’ is appropriate because people consider there is some need to have social recreation activities and services segregated by an age limit. Obviously prepubescent children, newly pubescent children or teenagers if you want and the adult or at least socially and sexually experienced people all handle their social interactions differently. Having adults walk on eggshells to avoid inappropriate comments in front of children or having to constantly deal with the childish insecurities, jealousies, and unthinking passion of teenagers is a bit of a wet blanket for most mature adults.
So, my conclusion is the Lindens, while obviously unclear in their communicating their adult content goals, are equally unclear in their thinking. But, they are attempting to shift toward the more mature activities that are less about sex than fun. I suspect they are mostly clueless as to how to deal with sex in SL and just have some nebulous feeling they are trying to implement. So we’ll probably see them stumbling from change to change hoping residents figure it out.
Since the change in ownership of the Adult Content User group we seem to have what I’ll characterize as the Keystone Cops trying to run things and organize the group. That characterization may be unfair. But, I’ll stand by it because of the following.
I suggest one read the new rules they have put up for conducting the User Group meetings. See: Proposed Adult User Group Meeting Format and Rules. I’ll point out that as far as I know no other user group has had to post rules. I don’t see the Adult Content User Group as any more contentious than some of the user groups who’s meetings I attend. The rules however will fail to solve the problems.
There is a voting thing for agenda items. That adds overhead to the meeting and agenda process. I doubt that will work well. Discussion in the 8/1 meeting touched on lots of problems. It also revealed the voting would take place in the meeting, thus burning up precious and expensive meeting minutes getting nothing done but the clerical work of ordering the agenda points. Also, the penalty for breaking the rules would be ejection from the meeting.
This whole voting thing was not thought through. The plan for to voting on the agenda order for the next meeting at the end of the current meeting assumes all of the items for the next week are on the agenda by the end of the meeting. That means from the time an item goes on the agenda it will be one meeting away from being placed in order in the agenda and thus won’t be considered until the meeting after. What a slow cumbersome process.
Then they decide they’ll try the idea and fail to order the agenda before adjourning.
If you look at the group’s agenda in the wiki, you’ll notice it is the most difficult of all the groups’ agendas to add an item to. Especially for non-wiki-editing person. I am also pretty sure I have not yet seen an item leave the agenda since I started watching.
There is also an unenforceable item in the proposed rules. The idea is all group members will agree to NOT share their personal agenda preferences… yeah… just try and enforce that one. Fortunately discussion got the Lindens to agree to remove that part. But, that it ever made it in it shows a lack of understanding what Lindens can and cannot do with residents. Taking on or even considering taking responsibility for a rule without a means of enforcing it shows a lack of understanding of management processes. But, everyone starts out not knowing these sorts of things.
Then there is the subjective issue of personal attacks. Those are to be curtailed. But, sometimes personal attacks are needed and justified. So, the task is not as simple as it may sound. The Linden chair took someone saying, ‘Resident-A does not have the confidence of this audience to be the chair’ as a personal attack against Resident-A and issued a warning, which would lead to ejection if the Linden made another similar call. But, what if it is true and Res-A doesn’t have the group’s confidence? Making that person the chairperson would lead to more conflict. I think this is an example of the inexperienced trying to handle complex issues they are ill prepared to handle. In the long run such heavy handed moderation leads to ineffective meetings that must over look some serious issues because members can’t discuss them.
Later in the meeting when things got abrasive and moved into what I would consider personal attacks, there was no comment by the Lindens.
So, if an inept Linden is to be a facilitator, we will likely continue to see ineffective meetings.
Also, the meeting is currently planned to have a chairperson and a facilitator… O.O This is a matter of someone not having a clear understanding of responsibility and authority. A resident will be the chair and a Linden the facilitator. A chairperson has to have the authority to control a meeting. Only Lindens or region owner/estate managers can actually control a meeting. Only a Linden can control the wiki the agenda’s home. So, authority lays in the hands of the Lindens. Also, facilitators are supposedly neutral. Since the Lab has goals the facilitator will be trying to implement those goals and by definition cannot be neutral.
The lines of responsibility and authority are so confused this meeting will likely continue to be more about the meeting than the issues facing the Adult Content Group and the Lab’s goals.
The 8/1 meeting spent 60+% of the meeting trying to decide how to conduct the meeting. As best I can tell there was no decision made about anything except to try the rules as written and try the agenda process. The group’s wiki page (Adult Content User Group) is two weeks behind and there is no hint the meeting has rules or that the agenda will be voted on. So, anyone new showing up at the meeting will be clueless. Wonder how well that will work?
Slaton Linden is trying to get group ownership of Vortex, the Zindra help area, setup. Now the next problems are which group, who gets to belong to the group, and who controls the group and thus Vortex.
Very quickly the subject of Zexpo moves into bickering and reverts to previously dead horses being beaten to a new pulp. I think that alone shows there is no effect leadership.
So, in this group the Lindens are trying to lead from the rear. I suggest it is now a group that no participating Linden understands nor sees the possibilities for converting Adult Content to mature social networking. It is probably something they have been assigned to and would like to get out of… at least it gives that appearance to me.
While I would like to see Adult Content reach the potential I think it has, my belief is that until this is so painful someone in upper management with foresight and vision has to step in, there is not going to be much progress. Until the Lindens get someone running the show that understands how to lead and listen the residents this will be a keystone cops comedy.
yes, Nal, and all of this goes on while SL at large is adjusting itself to become more essentially a social networking venue altogether- mesh is just a distraction from the real direction of SL. Note that Linden does not know how to make this happen (or really, facilitate it) and neither does Google, both of them large organizations whose future will depend on figuring it out. Do the roadway engineers tell us where we can drive or what our destination ought to be or with whom we should travel and what roadway games to play and what snacks to carry with us?