Who in Second Life has a clue?


I put the graph of Concurrent Logins in this post to show how little these people know. These are the low information people of Second Life™. The graph directly refutes Linda’s comment. Ebbe has had no influence on the trend in this graph. Well, he may have slowed the decline but it is hard to know and saying so is a stretch at this time.

End of the pier

End of the pier

Does Ben & Jerry’s comment imply they think SL is not being improved? Do they not know why the decision was made to build Sansar? Very simply SL will never be able to generate the frame rates needed for VR headsets and maintain legacy compatibility. I don’t mean we can’t use VR headsets with SL. The point is that it is going to be a second or third rate performance. The Lab is building Sansar to provide the best possible VR experience with today’s tech.

We have more viewer updates now than any part of my time in Second Life. Server updates have recently slowed, but we still have a couple every month.

Shaun apparently has no idea who the team is that is maintaining and improving SL. The people working on SL are fewer, but they are those interested in SL. Oz Linden, I forget his title but basically the guy in charge of SL, fought for the job. Most of his people wanted to be on the SL project. So, while we believe we have fewer people working on SL than in the past, and no one that knows the real number is saying, they are motivated people. Because of that motivation I think we are getting some of the smartest changes to SL that I’ve seen in my time.

That Shaun thinks High Fidelity has a high barrier to entry… that thought is likely based on the current state of HyFy development, which isn’t even to my idea of an Alpha level of development, is amazing. That he thinks VR has no use case is ostridge thinking. Does this guy live in a social and information vacuum? Google ‘uses for VR’. The result is 45 million hits…

A.J. doesn’t get that Sansar is an effort to save the Lab. Second Life is NOT growing. Basic understanding of the world around us is that nothing remains static for any length of time, especially not if left alone. The 2nd Law of thermodynamics applies to social systems as well as physical systems. That means something has to be done or the Lab’s days are numbered. The new project doesn’t mean the Lab will save itself, but it gives the Lab a better chance than not doing anything and only working on SL, which will likely get left behind as more people move to VR.

A.J. is typical of the entitlement generation that forgets things have to be paid for and doesn’t mind insisting others pay for them. The Lab has to turn a profit or cease to exist. But, he is representative of those that support Bernie and Hillary and looking forward to all the free stuff they promise without any consideration of how it will be paid for… Bill promised that those making less than $250k/yr they would not see taxes raise. But, they did for the money he needed not even the 1% had enough if taxed at 100%. They upped taxes on people into the bottom of the middle income brackets.

Clean Him Up must have missed the various polls about Sansar. But, even with those polls it is hard to know what people are thinking and even harder to know what they will actually do when the time comes. My point is he is speaking from a place of ignorance but as if he knew. So, I’ll also assume he has no idea how Ebbe is managing the Lab or what the board of directors has told Ebbe to do. Talk about a low information person…

Humperton  is referring to Prokofy’s question: “There are persistent rumors that LL plans to merge sims with lots of abandoned land, moving existing owners to other sims. Is that true?

Prokofy’s question is valid. But, to build conjecture on her question about a rumor and then use it as the basis/proof for statement about what SL residents are thinking is ludicrous. Rationality requires far better thinking.

While Wolkenreiter is more positive than the others, Wolkenreiter isn’t keeping up with the Ebbe interviews and what is being said about Sansar. I will concede that much of what the in-Sansar-world building tools will be like is unknown. But, that there will be in-world building tools so people can avoid learning Maya and/or Blender is an existing Ebbe statement.

Wolkenreiter idea that nothing has improved user retention has some apparent truth. But, to drop from 1.2 million active users to 900,000 is not a bad seven year retention. WoW has gone from 12+ million to about 5.5 million in a year.

Will there be anything the Lab can do to improve retention? The Lindens are trying. Two new things are on the table; Avatar Complexity Information (ACI) and Community Gateways. I’ve been writing about both. They may help with two things that are considered to cause retention problems. ACI may make a BIG dent in lag. It will take time, but it has the possibility to drastically change SL performance. Whether that possibility will be realized is a question. If it does, that will be a major improvement to an objection many have to SL.

Community Gateways may contribute to the interaction of users and improving person to person interaction is a proven way to retain users. Things similar have been tried in the past and apparently didn’t work that well, in the Lab’s thinking. But, things will be a bit different this time. The Lindens are a different generation and the Lindens working with SL are a much more motivated and interested in SL group. So, we have a good chance of seeing better results.

But, as always, only time will tell and we will still have to deal with the clueless low information people pushing their personal projections.

…and no, I don’t think these people are exemplary of Hamlet’s readers.

6 thoughts on “Who in Second Life has a clue?

  1. I might be wrong, but since some weeks I have the impression, that LL is faking SL’s landmass by keeping those regions and mainland parcels up and running, even if tier wasn’t paid since months or account of the owner got disabled. Whatever, just my current impression.

    About SL and Sansar, I fear LL will fail with both, just by being too weak and slow for two huge projects. I’m dreaming of one open, affordable and easy-to-access virtual world following open standards – pretty much like the WWW but in 3D – but LL is the exact opposite.
    The current situation is pretty discouraging, because SL’s groups/communities are shrinking. Most of my close friends gave up SL already. I would prefer a world without Sansar, but with all my friends. Any world without my friends is nothing.

    p.s.: is it possible to implement a Human Verification without Flash? I just notice, it works also by clicking on the ‘New Puzzle’ button… all ok 🙂

    • I am not sure why you think faking or not faking land mass makes a difference. Prospective new users have no idea what land mass is. Existing users either want land or they don’t. So, what difference does it make?

      Linden Lab is over 200 employees. Minecraft was developed by 3 people and they now have 54 employees (per Wikipedia). Well known game development companies tend to have over a thousand employees, but they have to build ALL the content in the game. SL and Sansar content will be built by users, so shouldn’t we add in the 900,000 SL users to the employee count? Or at least some portion of them? If we do that makes the Lab one of the largest game developers going…

      You say they should have open standards. SL has an open source viewer and in general the Lab is pro open source. We can build anythng we want in SL. For the rapid development needed for Sansar open source is too cumbersome. But, Ebbe uses a comparison with Sansar to describe what they are developing toward. Those of us working with developing WordPress driven web sites understand his meaning to make Sansar an Apache-like app. So, it could well become a standard like you are describing. Web sites aren’t free, but they are cheap. Ebbe says they are planning to do the same. Few people customize Apache or WordPress (WP theme builders and web developers). It doesn’t make much difference to the majority, almost all that use Apache and WP, that they are open source. Users are interested in building their content. So, I don’t see how you hold the idea Sansar is the opposite of the current Apache/Unix driven web?

      Even with all the stated and supposed similarities to Apache and WordPress, we can’t be sure they will succeed. There is no guarantee this will be THE BIG THING hoped for. Only time will tell. But, the Lab has the most experience running a virtual world and managing a virtual economy of any company in the world. Those years give the Lab a very strong competitive edge. Also, they are not starting from scratch. The Lab has made its mistakes in SL. They know way more than did when starting SL almost 10 years ago.

      If virtual worlds with user created content are to be as popular as web sites, the best bet is the Lab will do it.

  2. One thing I don’t see addressed here (maybe it has been elsewhere) is people like me: I’m not a builder and most likely never will be. I’m happy to have a little parcel in Eden, where a friend built me a house, and I landscaped and decorated. If I didn’t have a builder friend, I could have installed a prefab house and been happy with that. I’m fairly certain many SL residents are just like me. I pay my tier, I tip venues and performers, I buy stuff from brilliant designers, I enjoy to the fullest the world SL users have built. But I don’t quite see how Sansar would accommodate people like me. Is it going to be a collection of exclusive worlds where you have to already know someone inside in order to gain access? Walled communities like those red hearts on the SL world map? If so, i say bah!

    • I think you misunderstand. In SL the Lab did not target developers. That was the plan but it didn’t work out that way. Over the years they have learned more about why it didn’t workout as planned. With Sansar they are correcting some mistakes.

      Sansar is targeting builders. But, they are also figuring out how to make 3D building within Sansar far easier than it is in SL. At first it will be for Blender and Maya builders. But, as time passes they will have more tools for the hobby builder.

      With SL there is no way to build a place/experience and get people to it from the web. Many think this is the primary reason SL has never taken off. That is being corrected in Sansar. The result is Sansar will be more like an easy to use Unreal or Unity game developement platform, which is what SL was designed to be. While many do not use it that way, many do.

      The result will be a number of games/experiences that one may not even realize is part of Sansar. But, there will also be those experiences that are tied into others. It is hard to imagine what will be built. What I am very sure of is that there won’t be just one type of experience but many ranging from stand alone to multi-region-like worlds with multiple owners.

      Deciding that Sansar is not for you is a bit premature. You don’t actually know what it is going to be. I can understand that what you are imagining is not for you… but that is what YOU are imagining, not what it is going to be.

  3. I love how Natales writes as if she knows absolutely all the answers about LL.

    Self-delusion in action ladies and gentlemen.

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