Second Life comes to the seventh birthday (SL7B) with headlines all focused on the recent wave of dismissals and the apparent abandonment of the directions taken more recently (as with the viewer 2). Not an easy period for the Californian company, whose founder, Philip Rosedale (aka Philip Linden, now president and no longer only operational roles within the group) took advantage of opening day to give a speech with which to reiterate that Linden Lab is focusing on “core experience” trying to make it more simple and effective. Between the lines we can understand that Linden Lab will somehow grab the trend toward mobility, or think of some application that can connect users of iPhones and iPads to Second Life community.
Immediate discussions arose among users, particularly on the social network Plurk.com decidedly livelier same Avatars United for the buzz around Second Life and Linden Lab. “What they now need is someone to talk back of them” sentenced Tateru Nino, years careful chronicler of events related to the virtual world developed by the Californian group. “Linden Lab seeks some “wow” and this does not happen if you can not be talked about other people”, adds Tateru.
“Acta, non verba” retorts C:\ Mariner, according to which buzz only generate profits and short-term as they tend to cause atrophy in the long term, so the only solution is to make things work. Linden Lab, adds Tateru, must realize that the economy has shrunk, revenues have shrunk and expect that tomorrow things will improve, as it seems Philip would imply, is a time too far. Linden Lab “needs to at least bring retention back up to the point where it is not less than attrition” and quickly back to work on the viewer and Orientation Island and perhaps some other stuffs.
“Protect IP, stabilize the grid, increase the maximum of groups that can be entered over 25 (perhaps through Avatars United), fix the search engine: this should be the core business” offers still C:\ Mariner, collecting approval of Tateru (and ours), that on the issue of search engine adds: “bring it to the level, theoretically, it’s about 5 days work, and a big pile of testing”.
Codebastard Redgrave concludes, for now, the discussion around the inauguration speech of Philip Linden at SL7B: “I listened to the whole speech and basically what it says is: be patient while we keep screwing around”. A speech which frankly sounds out of time and that does not add much to the proverbially modest management capacity of Linden Lab; of course we hope to be contradicted by the facts, rather than by words, and to soon make a record of the most interesting installations of SL7B. Hoping that in the meantime someone in Linden Lab seeks to give substance to the hopes once again served up to users from reviving founder.