Jessica’s Future of SL Event at SL11B

Jessica is putting on an event to discuss the future of Second Life in the Fascinate Auditorium in SL11B. The region is full 80+. So, you won’t get in. I made it in, lucky.

Safia and Jessica at SL11B Event - Future of SL 2014

Saffia and Jessica at SL11B Event – Future of SL 2014

In a couple of hours the video will be up on YouTube,, and others. Watch here and the Firestorm blog for links. The link is inVideo Jessica’s SL11B Event

I’ll update this post every few minutes. Well… meeting is over and I have made a post meeting edit.

I was typing and listening. So, this is not as accurate as it could be. I was curious of there would be some new information. There really isn’t, well a little bit I had not heard before. I already new that Jessica’s take on Ebbe’s comments was slightly different than mine.

In the following I tried to catch the points being made. I wasn’t transcribing.

My post-meeting comments are a different color.


Jessica relates that the third party developers were surprised. Watching the video you can tell it took some time to soak in.

Jessica says people are taking away ideas that were never put forward in Ebbe’s comments. I’ve seen this and it was present in the comments flowing through chat. Even while being told SL would continue for years there were those sitting there saying Ebbe was killing SL and it will soon close. What does one do with those people? They are so disconnected from the reality around them, there is little to be done.

Jessica is pointing out that open source is not being closed out. While developers will not be able to contribute code, for now, they will be contributing to the new virtual world. Here there is room for some confusion. Jessica later in the meeting voices concerns about the Lab not including the community in the planning now. But, there is also the idea that developers will be contributing. It is hard to integrate the two ideas. The problem is it is not readily apparent how that will work. Are developers part of the community? WIll they ONLY contribute as a user, as opposed to a developer? We don’t know and that complicates what we can understand from this.


Saffia talks about Salems drowning of witches being used in a study of human attention. The story of early America’s drowning of witches in Salem was related with many details of the events. Follow up testing revealed  people only remembering the drowning witches and none of the other details. They had been talking about people taking away from the conversations whatever they wanted to or whatever touched their deep fears. Saffia was supplying information that we have about knowing people do these seemingly odd behaviors.

Jessica asked a question in the Firestorm blog article ‘Is SL doomed?” Many seemed to take this as a statement that it was doomed. She is trying to reverse that misunderstanding with the SL11B event. Jessica has taken some heat for her article. Some founded but most of the heat is unfounded, at least from my perspective.

Saffia provides the YouTube address for TPV Dev’s meeting where Ebbe released the news. This is the original source for all the rumors and stories going around.


Jessica is bringing up the concern of what’s left for open source developers. It is a concern for Jessica. As it is now, it doesn’t look like there is a place for third party developers. Ebbe has definitely said that in the beginning the new world will be closed source. So, they will not be submitting code.

Jessica talks about the people talking about protesting by not buying things because they are shutting down SL. That makes those people the agents of the SL demise. Jessica relates a series of examples. One being; why buy food? You are just going to eat it and it will be gone.

Jessica pushes the idea, live in the moment. She presents this idea well. Her shoe example is good. Why buy shoes? They will just wear out and be thrown away. So, fo get buying and go barefoot.

Peolpe are angry because they think SL is going to close. But they are the ones that may force it to close by withholding participation and not buying. Many of us are surprised that so many are totally convinced SL is closing. All the evidence is to the contrary. I suppose we should not bother them with facts. It works for manmade global warming. 


Jessica points out that we don’t know if the new world will succeed.

We have years in SL. We will have SL as long as it is profitable.

Also, how confident are you that the new world will replace SL? Do you really believe Linden Lab can succeed in enticing all the SL users to the new world? Jessica has her doubts they can pull that off. Do you think Facebook could pull 20%, 50%, 80%, 90% or 100% of SL users to their new world? If you doubt that is possible, then you believe SL will likely be around for some time.


If you are selling a popular product, are you going to close out your sales in SL? Or will you sell in both places? This also applies to the Lab. If they are making money from both worlds, why would they close one?

Jessica is talking about how her blog post has affected people. Some tell her she should have and should tell everyone that everything will be OK. Basically lie. But, the future is uncertain. We don’t know that everything will be OK. The Lab is taking a risk. The new world could fail. Jessica fells providing real information about the future is important. Also important is that people understand the information. Today’s event is outreach to help people understand.

1:27 PM


Jessica points out that for the first time since Philip, Ebbe is allowing Lindens to socialize with residents. This is a bigger deal than many may understand.

Jessica believes that when the TPV Dev’s asked about the Lab talking more with the press, the news on the new world sort of slipped out. Jessica believes this was not the best way to let this information out. I believe it was a spur of the moment decision. Did Ebbe realize that an interview he had given meant the news is out there? We’ll never know for sure. I think that thought crossed his mind and decided to let the developers in on it. Personally I believe there are lots of good reasons this was the best way. But, I also understand why many think it wasn’t.

1:37 PM

Saffia is pointing out that parts of her inventory will never be used again. We gradually replace our inventory over time. I think this is an excellent point. I know that recently I have been looking through inventory and throwing stuff away. My once favorite dragon boots will never be worn again. People used to ask me where I got them. They were hot in 2008. But, not now. I’ve been sentimental and not thrown them away. But, I may as well because I would never wear them again. How much of our inventories are like that?

So, why are we fussing so much about whether inventory will transfer? Human silliness.

1:32 PM


Jessica points out someone will create a new world. She would rather that it be Linden Lab rather than Mark Zuckerberg. Amen.

Jessica is rooting for SL to pull it off. Me too.

Name transfers… Jessica assures us that the Lab understands the importance names. Ebbe has said that name/identity transfer is being built into the new world.

Jessica thinks the new world will be mesh based. No prims. I expect there will be some type of simplified building system for new users that will be as easy or easier than building with prims and it will be an in-world system. But, that is all speculation on both our parts.

1:36 PM


Consider a hair do with 250 prims and two scripts in each prim that slows everyone’s viewer to a crawl. Do you really want that stuff in the new world? Several people have brought this up. I know there is stuff I think should not be brought in. How will the decision be made as to what can come in? By computer or by people? If people, then which people? It is complex and the Lab has not sorted that out.

Jessica is pointing out that Ebbe has not said they will not allow stuff to transfer. He has said they are thinking about how to possibly import things. It is NOT a solid yes or no.

Saffia is talking about the Catery (sp? someone that makes cat-pets) having the cats in a database and suspects they can transfer your cats to the new world. They too are avoiding saying that will in FACT happen, but that they hope it can.

Comments are showing lots of people unhappy about not being able to transfer inventory. They seem to be missing the point that they are not being forced out of SL and that it will be here for years. Jessica gives her word that LL will not attempt to force people to a new platform. As long as SL is profitable, they will not shut it down. Jessica gets into the Lab’s inability to force us to do anything. They must entice us. If we stay on SL and keep spending money, SL will stay open indefinitely. Going tot he new world will be our choice

1:42 PM


Saffia brings up ‘small team left behind.’ When Jessica asked about whether they transferring staff or hiring, Ebbe said both. We know that the Lab has hired 40 to 50 new employees. No one knows what was meant by ‘small’. There is much speculation about this and then it is built on. I keep pointing out the possibilities for small and that it was ‘small in comparison to the last couple of years’.

Jessica says Oz Linde believes in SL, enough so that he is rumored to have fought for his current position. This is the thing I did not know. I have no idea where this information comes from. Jessica is the only I’ve heard mention it. But, Jessica is a straight forward person. We may see things different but she doesn’t make up raw information.

Oz and Peat Linden are going to be at a Firestorm Q&A this coming Wednesday (July 7 ?). The Lindens have a road map for improving SL and they want to talk about it. Apparently they are also open to suggestions and thus Jessica’s article asking for help in the Firestorm blog.

1:46 PM


Oz has told us they are doing more than JUST maintaining SL. They plan to keep SL open.

Saffia points out the new world will be closed source. She does not particularly like that idea. But, her purpose today is to assure people that SL will live on and Firestorm will stay with it. She is not going to throw her arms up and give up. This means we will continue to get new versions of the Firestorm viewer. I suspect the same is true of most other third party viewers.

1:49 PM

Saffia is going to be talking about the new world in Sunday’s show. Sorry I missed in which show.

Jessica points out that SL was not open source in the beginning. Jessica is a big open source person. But says if she were starting a new project she would not open source it either. Once well developed, then she would open it to open source developers. So, she is not surprised the new world isn’t open source.

1:52 PM

Jessica voiced a message to Linden Lab. Firestorm has the majority of the SL user audience. (Like 60-75%) She rhetorically asks if that is because it is easy to use? Better graphics? Faster?

The secret to its popularity is the teams openness with the community. They interact with the users. Jessica feels that creates ownership, community, and pride. All this is centering around how they treat their users. Another big thing is FS live support. Jessica feels the SL mentor programs of long ago were a big help to player retention. I agree with her points.

Her concern about new platform is that planning without the community participation resulted in SL Viewer 2.0. That really shakes confidence in the success of the new project. I agree it is a great concern. What we don’t know is how well Ebbe and the Linens will work with the community. I wonder what we would tell them that we haven’t already?

Jessica feels having the community involved in planning is the most important time in engaging the community. Jessica lacks confidence in the new world because of this issue. Thus she believes that SL will be around because the new world is going to be like Viewer 2.0. I think we have well told the Lab what we want. While I remember and point out the Viewer 2.0 disaster, this is a very different scenario. I am not at all sure how we would help with anything they are going to be doing in the next year or so. But, community likes to be asked their opinion.

Jessica says, ‘Don’t panic. SL will be around for a long time.” I agree completely.

2:00 PM The End – 96 present

14 thoughts on “Jessica’s Future of SL Event at SL11B

  1. What has been written in the Firstorm blog (announced in the viewer itself) may sounded alarming, starting from the title (and most people just read that, it seems), and there was lots of misunderstandings. Most people believed Jessica was calling for help to save SL from its doom, as LL was about to ditch SL for a new platform and shutting down SL because it was no longer profitable, so we needed ideas to save the SL business. Most comments were in that direction, or even worse, panicking, telling they will stop buying things etc. (now this will really damage SL! I agree) even if many people tried to tell them it was not the point and they should read the blog better. And now I was surprised as well to see what those people wrote in the chat, in the video.

    Anyway there were good comments too. I share many of the ideas there, included the mentors. And I’m glad that Jessica tries to give voice to SL people and listened to the comments and she exposing those ideas. I wish LL can do the same.
    I guess even the new starting avatar would have been better now. Look at what TheMeshShops did: you have a fitted mesh body and you just need to wear the dress: no more alphas, sizes and appliers (for the clothes at least). The dress fits your body and your shape, and moves according your movements and your physic.

    A point that many missed, but few pointed out, was that SL is seriously outdated and it is a pain to update it… and you know, at each change, people groan. Ultima Online is still there since 1997, but after many attempts to improve it and to make a sequel, it is mostly the same. It is not easy to modify something that is well established.
    But if SL was designed now, we won’t need any alphas, base hair, \base shoes\ (that are actually the true shoes of the original avatar).
    In order to improve SL, they inserted stuff for which SL wasn’t designed for. Even fitted mesh is another work around, and it would be much simpler to rig now if it SL was designed for it from the start. Those and other ugly hacks make SL less user friendly.
    Now it is probably easier to try something new from scratch, than struggling to improve SL. Someone said \don’t fix what isn’t broken\. They can’t even see how much broken SL actually is. Although I love SL, besides the problems I said above, group chat is broken since at least 2007, sim crossing was never good, else the roads in the mainland would be plenty of bikes and cars now (it is wonderful to travel there, but frustrated by sim crossing), and so on.

    Folks, even Firestorm itself jumped boat from Phoenix to FIrestorm, because it wasn’t practical to maintain it. And LL can’t just be tied to a design conceived between 1999 and 2002 and hoping to thieve forever. Things change fast and companies have too look at the future instead.
    I don’t think SL will last forever, nothing does, and SL is already declining (between 2009-2010 you had people online peaked to about 90k, now it peaks to 55k, with a minimum about 30k). but SL isn’t poofing anytime soon. The Lab will keep it alive until it stays profitable (directly or indirectly) and useful for their businesses or until LL itself closes.
    As for the inventory, I agree about that too: I have stuff that I won’t use again, but it is there because of the memory, or because it was a gift of some friend for my rez day or xmas, and so I feeling an attachment. In SL I had homes that I changed, because there were more convenient places etc. I took many screenshots each time, so I kept the memory. I will do the same, if I leave SL itself.
    I think it is right that LL explores other possibilities in the meantime. And honestly I’m pretty excited and curious to see how it will be, as I was for Blue Mars, Cloud Party etc. We don’t even know if it will be a success or another meteor.

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  5. Everyone talks about Content Creators and Developers, but people forget about the \Service Providers\ – those who own a plot or sim that is a Club, Game or Attraction (in my case Adult). I would like to know if Linden Lab has set policy for the new SL 2.0 regarding Adult and Violent content. If they say no to either, then a large part of Second Life will be left behind as people move over… and a very large portion of what people will be want will be missing in the new SL 2.0. Please get an answer from LL on this. Thanks – Aprille Shepherd

    • If you read Ebbe’s comments you’ll see he addresses the issue of adult content.

      Also, a service in-world is a type of content. Don’t assume that Ebbe just meant tangible-like virtual content.

  6. While I appreciate Jessica and Saffia’s attempts to calm us down and acknowledge that some of my previous comments may have been panic-driven, the comparison with the case for man-made global warming is a particularly unfortunate one, given IPCC’s massaging of the data on that topic and repeated cases of research fraud in making their case. Might have been nice if that particular metaphor had been avoided.

    But in general, why would one want to go away from an open source world towards a closed source one?

    That’s what Brian Shuster did when he left SL to found Utherverse, and in general what you have there is everything that’s wrong with the closed source model; I just went back there to visit friends who aren’t SLers, and nothing changed from when I left – you have a very top-down set of rules that tries to control every possible social interaction, and now I notice that the Universal Welcome Centers that used to be a great way for new users to be with current users are either closed to old users or just empty of new people. (When I visited Utherverse a few months ago, there was a vetting system in which VIP users – the ones who can have cartoon sex and initiate private messages – actually had to pass an examination by Utherverse staff to ENTER the Welcome Centers).

    I just hope that the current openness and freedom of Second Life are preserved in any new iteration of it for Oculus Rift. If that hardware platform’s all that great, I don’t see why backward compatibility’s even an issue – 3D modelling ought to be 3D modelling. Of course, there are physiological issues involved, as Nintendo discpvered with Virtual Boy (I still have a pair of those I bought for my sons, and yeah, they do play with your equilibrium and give you headaches) with 3-D video goggles.

    But how, really, do the actual 3D models for flat-screen SL and Oculus Rift SL differ so greatly that backwards compatibility between the worlds is an issue? I’ve had a little experience in video hardware AND what used to be called \Computer-Aided Design,\ and it seems to me that transferring objects from one 3D modelling environment to another shouldn’t involve sacrifice of inventory to SL residents.

    So what, precisely, did Ebbe mean by \backwards compatibility wouldn’t be a constraint\? Inquiring minds want to know.

    • In the global warming debates facts have very little if any influence on people’s thinking. No matter how many times the UN is caught lying and/or distorting facts, some significant number of people continue to believe them. My point was facts have little to do with changing minds.

      I think the idea that closed source is best for rapid development has great merit. It also has the potential for disaster ala Viewer 2.0. But, the new Linden openness and the pattern that Experience Tools is following suggests a difference between SL Viewer 2.0 and SL World 2.0 development styles. So, while there is risk there is also hope.

      As to 3D model compatibility… they will be compatible. The best information we have, sort of an explicit statement by the Lab, suggests the SL2 will be mesh based not HyFy’s voxel based. The incompatibilities are most likely for sculpties, primitives, animations, and avatar accessories. An SL1 mesh building will likely import well to SL2. But, we have no idea what they are going to do about the physics models. Doing physics for buildings is awkward. Animating doors in SL1 is awkward. There is potential for change and thus incompatibilities in these areas.

      Sculpties and primitives can probably be easily handled for transfer to SL2. Animations and avatar related items are likely going to be lost. The avatar mesh layout and UV Mapping is very likely going to change. Along with mesh the armature/skeleton is likely to be changed, thus requiring some serious changes to animations and model weighting best implied by saying incompatible.

  7. I suppose you’re right and (sniff, sniff) we’ll have to say good bye to all the stuff we bought in current SL. In a way, SL is already a metaphor for consumerism, just we don’t need landfills to handle our trash.

    Part of the decline in SL isn’t, I don’t think, an artifact of its current structure – people are having to work two jobs (or for the first time in their lives, actually work demanding jobs) and don’t have as much time for SL or other time sinks as they did pre-2010. The recession didn’t really bite into most people’s wallets till AFTER 2008.

    And given that disposable income is going to be less, not more, as the monthly bill for \Change\ comes home to most people in the US (still, what, 60-75 percent of the SL population?) who’s going to be plunking down as much for the Oculus Rift as they now have invested in their PCs (until the Pacific Rim pirates their hardware and firmware and starts knocking off cheap versions of it)?

    It just seems to me that the core business of LL might find itself suffering as workers are moved over to a project that might not make great economic sense.

    • Anyone that knows how to actually check the numbers the government hands out knows the economy is a mess. With the potential for WWIII growing and the USA’s EPA doing all it can to remove cheap energy from the marketplace, the world wide economic forecasts are not good. But, that could still be turned around.

      Companies try to improve or offer new products as that makes more sense than trying to survive with old products, which we know from history doesn’t or rarely works. Risking investment in a new product to live makes more sense than waiting to die.

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