A couple of things have caught my interest this past week. The Linden Monthly Meet Up held at Basilique and the discussion about the Altas Obscura article.
I find the Meet Up fascinating because of the chaos and ambiguity of what was going on. What happens at a meeting where the agenda is to say, ‘Hi’? No one ever just says Hi… you can’t eat just one potato chip… or in my case Cheetos.
Sometimes I get lost in trying to define something. Usually things I can’t get a solid grasp of. The meet up is probably one of those things. It is whatever it was and that was likely perceived a bit different by everyone. Huckleberry Hax has written about his experience of the event as has Canary Beck.
Huckleberry describes the event accurately, IMO. He uses the word ‘surreal’ to describe it. I didn’t find it surreal as I have attended numerous large events but I think I can under what he is saying. I found his article best describes the event as many will have experienced it.
He also mentions the problem of carrying on a conversation among 100 people. Local chat is chaotic even in small groups. Using it well is a learned skill. Much like talking in a crowded room there are parts of the overall conversation we have to ignore. Lag makes it difficult to respond in a timely and coherent way. It also means we often must state who we are talking to by using their name: Sally, good idea.
Canary’s article has personal aspects of what it is like to host a Meet Up. Mostly it is about the pictures of the event appearing on Flickr. She, like me, wonders about the format of future meet ups.
Is there a better way to do these? Yes. And what are we/they doing? I’m not sure anyone knows. I can’t see spending Linden time, which has a very real dollar cost, without some well defined expected return on the investment.
Canary, like me too, wonders how long these Meet Ups will last. For now it is a novel experience. But, novelty wears off quickly. Canary sees the events growing. Well, sort of… this one was much better publicized. So, it seems reasonable to me to see more people showing up. But, some substance is needed to carry the Meet Ups beyond just the novelty-attraction-factor.
I may be over thinking this. The Meet Ups may just be a monthly office break for employees with the goal of getting employees to experience the result of their daily work. After all how many times have we, users, pointed out that Lindens have no clue how Second Life is used? Lots.
You may have noticed that Lindens seldom change clothes. They build an avatar, probably like they build code, and use that avatar without change for a long time. A few Lindens change appearance from time to time. But, I don’t know of any that change clothes as often as I do. That may be a perception based solely on the small collection of Lindens I interact with. But, it could explain why some problems highly annoying to users are given a low priority on the Linden-fix-it-soon scale.
There is no doubt that Lindens experience Second Life differently than we do. So, these Meet Ups may be an effort on the Lab’s part to change things and give employees a better sense of what they are building and how it is used.
Future meetings and how they are handled will give us clues to what the Lindens may be learning and trying to accomplish. If you attend the Firestorm Q&A meetings, you know they tend to announce those just minutes before they open the doors. While they promote the meeting’s date days ahead they don’t announce the time until just hours before the meeting. Usually using group chat. The time of day varies.