Long Road Behind, Long Road Ahead

Our mission is: “To connect everyone to an online world that improves the human condition.” Though work at Linden Lab can be hard and sometimes frustrating (and this week is certainly no exception with its downtimes), it is inspiring to pursue such a goal. What is interesting is that we recently changed the wording of this statement. The old version said “Create an online world having the exceptional property that it advances the capabilities of the many people that use it, and by doing so affects and transforms them in a positive way.” The difference between these two statements of mission isn’t huge, but I think important in looking at our history and then looking at how we need to change in the future to best fulfill that mission. Let me give you some thoughts on that.

 

I started Linden Lab in 1999 with the dream of finally being able to create an online world that was truly an alternate reality – a place where you could do anything. I had been thinking about this general idea for a long time, because as a kid I was always dreaming up things I wanted to build that were difficult, expensive, or impossible to create in the real world. And along with being creative, I was also very into computers and science. So in my mind, the ultimate thing you could do possibly do with computers was to simulate reality – to create a place where you can make anything you can imagine and share it with others.

Although I started thinking a lot about both the simulation and interface technologies to build Second Life in the late 80’s when I was in college, my hunch was that networks and computers weren’t fast enough to make something that could really be appealing to a lot of people. But in 1999, all that changed with the rise of broadband and the introduction of the first cheap, generalized 3D cards. So I found our first little office in a warehouse in San Francisco, convinced our very first employee to take a break from his PhD work in physics, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Anyway, back to that mission statement. In the beginning, it was pretty clear that actually demonstrating that a virtual world could be compelling was going to be a big, hard problem. It was very difficult to raise money or hire people, because no one really understood what we were doing. Also, we figured (correctly) that this was a very large software project, and that if we tried to carefully design it all up front, we wouldn’t even come close to getting something working before we ran out of money. So we were a classic ‘lab’, in both name and behavior. We worked very fast and were very focused on getting enough of the system working so that people would be able to see what we had been dreaming about. Now, 8 years later, I think we have clearly passed that test. We have managed to create a virtual world with the magical properties that we all knew were possible. If Linden Lab were to disappear tomorrow, this work would still go on. The rocket is lit. Virtual worlds are finally real.

So what should come next? Taking a look at the last few years, we’ve gotten many of the critical features working and scaled the world just enough for people to believe. We have managed to create the first really viable virtual world, but how can we be relevant in the future? Our goal initially was to quickly make things work… for example avatar animation, a scripting language, buying land, or voice. But now we seem to have reached a point where the rapid addition of capabilities is no longer the key challenge, and indeed can be counterproductive. So we sat down and thought about this together, and concluded that the first mission statement was complete, and that we needed both another mission statement and probably a different way of doing things. That change came at about the same time I stood up at the SLCC conference wearing a “Missing Image” T-shirt (sadly I’m sure most of you get the joke) and talked about how all too often Linden Lab is now simply ‘in the way’. In the way of you creating your Second Life, or having a collaborative meeting, or keeping your virtual business running. I promised that we were listening, and that we would change from being a ‘lab’ trying to bring SL to life into a company that keeps SL growing and scaling until everyone in the world is online. See how that all goes together?

Looking back at the last year or so we’ve seen lots of challenges, and I think, though they’ve been hard, we’ve been able to weather them: Second Life has grown enormously faster than our systems have been able to support, we collected European VAT charges in a clumsy way, we restricted different types of activities to comply with the law and our own principles, and we suffered through far too much downtime and instability. But we’ve also started to change in the way I had promised in September. Our downtimes have been lower for September and October than during the summer, we have done a better job communicating and handling the release process, we’ve identified and fixed some sources of content loss, and have a solid plan and work underway for substantially reducing both client and server crashing in Q4 and Q1. It may sometimes seem like we are not listening, but I can tell you that we are. We are changing, for the better, and I think, for a company of almost 250 people, we are doing it faster than expected.

Looking ahead, some thoughts. As I mentioned above, our weakest link is now clearly crashing (both client and server), and we are going to very substantially reduce it over the next two quarters. Our update to our physics engine, which is now in beta testing, is one visible example and will hopefully greatly decrease server crashing. Stability is what we’ve got to be all about in the first half of 2008, at the cost of other work. Beyond stability, there is one new platform feature that still seems really important to deploy given the rising use of SL for education and collaboration, and that is being able to browse the web easily from in-world. So we have a small team of people working hard on that right now.

Looking further out, three things: First, We need to seriously reconsider how the UI and more broadly the user experience for SL works, especially for new users. We aren’t there yet in terms of the interface for virtual worlds. There is now a small new internal team doing nothing else, so expect real progress. Second, we need to keep opening SL up, as we’ve started talking about lately. This means formats, source code, partners, and more. We are working on turning our clear vision on this into more detailed plans. Virtual worlds, in their broadest form, will be more pervasive that the web, and that means that their systems will need to be open: extended and operated by many people and companies, not just us. Third, we need to create new and different ways to communicate more often and more clearly with the community. For my part, I will start writing monthly blog posts like this to let you know about some of things that are on my mind.

If by chance you are still reading this and feeling like you didn’t get enough value or inspiration for your time, how about if I you just watch this video, or this one, both created by Robbie Dingo. I’ve already watched that first one about 100 times. Thanks very much for listening.

 

 


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151 Responses to Long Road Behind, Long Road Ahead

  1. thegrimmling Snook says:

    I still cannot log into SL at all.

  2. Elendir Axon says:

    One must know failure to understand the value of success.

  3. Bailey Dazy says:

    I know you are always thinking about SL and what the future holds for it. I think that you guys are so close to really grasping the potential for what SL could be…. but I don’t think you are there yet. Keep working hard and moving forward. It’s amazing to see all the differences between SL one year ago,and today.
    Congrats.

  4. Sweet Primrose says:

    A lofty vision, and this participant is encouraged. 🙂

  5. Lorac Farella says:

    Nice article – however I also cannot sign in. Still.

  6. Shaddup says:

    No one cares. Get SL back up.

  7. Kris says:

    Well, isn’t that just swell.

    I WANT to feel all warm and gushy about your post, but right now I am seeing red.

    I have been unable to login in for OVER 7 HOURS! I am losing precious time that I need in-world. The performance of SL over the past several days has been unbelievably retched and this is the icing on the cake.

    Can someone please give an update on what the effing hell is going on with the login issue? Something OTHER THAN “The Ops Team estimates that the Login Issue resolution may take up to 5 hours.”

  8. Sandar Gausman says:

    I certainly hope that STABILITY is really going to be a goal. No more creaky new features that slow down the whole thing.

    I just hope STABILITY is really and truly a goal. Right now some logins are disabled, and that is really annoying. I hope to see less of that kind of thing and a more stable environment going forward

  9. Doris Haller says:

    “It may sometimes seem like we are not listening, but I can tell you that we are.”

    Show me

  10. Max M. says:

    Glad to know LL has big plans; dreaming is always the first step! Just please…. Fix the login issue! :p

  11. Jensen Dawes says:

    Good for you PL. Systems crash, things go wrong, I personally think everyone should try to remember that without you guys we wouldn’t have this amazing place at all. Keep doing what you are doing, it can only get better.

  12. Freespirit1 Freenote says:

    Don’t feel bad. I still cannot log into SL either. Keeps saying the inventory system is unavailable. Too bad for those of us who are builders, huh.

  13. Jmengate Kawabata says:

    Thanks for explaining your vision on where you want to go. I wish you the best of luck. Be sure to make sure all you Lindens enjoy Thanksgiving!!!!

  14. Maldoror Damone says:

    Sure the “scheduled downtime” may be less but the individual downtime of either an AV crashing, unable to log in or a sim going down more than makes up for the “scheduled downtime” – It’s all just there but just not “officially” recognized anymore.

    Plain and simple – SL is going to hell in a handbasket and the users are screaming all the way down……

  15. Miriam Shoastakovich says:

    How lofty.

    When will I be able to log in? It has been a long long time, and I am getting discouraged with SL. Perhaps another online activity would be more reliable for me to spend my time with?

  16. Aubrey says:

    I still can’t log in either, but I do find your statements encouraging. I also enjoyed the videos by Robbie Dingo. Thanks

  17. JackL says:

    I’ve got many years of expertise in deploying big, complex systems and keeping them up and running 24/7/365. I work as a consultant.

    Months ago I both sent a resume to Linden Labs and got in touch with recruiting staff there. Though I was told that my background was of great interest, I was also told that someone would get back to me after voice launched.

    I’m still waiting.

    And so are SL residents. A focus on stability and availability in exchange for new features (what are the voice usage stats anyway?) is long overdue. Best of luck!

  18. I have seen second life inprove over the time have have been in second life i have met some grteat people and have learned so much from second life im just wondering when will the log in issues be repaired so i can log in and enjoy my Second Life

  19. Yay Philip! Yes, you’ve pushed virtual worlds beyond the tipping point. You’ve power-enabled the world community to meet and work in a whole new convincingly present way. It’s a chaotic process, and this is in a world where “chaos” has moved from myth to science… we know you can’t control and manage chaos… but you CAN participate in and influence it by communicating persistently and on signal. Kudos for your newest communications including performance stats online, and this blog. Site

  20. tani Darkstone says:

    My congrats to the team. you all deserve a pat on the back. I understand the shear magnitude of expectations you have created for yourself and others and think you have done a wonderful job thus far. Crashes… blah blah… hell… Vista still has issues.
    Lets think, what if SL wasnt here before moaning and groaning about the “cant log in” issue. 5 hours? i’ve experienced worse on other platforms with other apps
    Well done mates

  21. BigSexy Cuttita says:

    dont care about the history fix it im borded

  22. Kunoichi says:

    This “great” vision is unsubstantiated due to:

    a) current facts proving the LL approach totally wrong.
    b) ignorance paired with incompetence turn potentially interested parties away and
    c) it take some guts to post a CEO meesage like above at a time when the team again successfully “lindened” the grid.

  23. Ken Chihuly says:

    That is quite true, ‘crashing’ is the main problem now, It was never the problem for some time for me, I use to be able to log in as soon as the window popped up now I have to wait a bit & even when I do the client instantly crashes as soon as I get any visual (Meaning I cant interact at all) I haven’t a clue what it could be. It may be the client itself on my connection though it isn’t dial up anymore. I just wish I knew what it could be, Hopefully LL can fix it so I can get back in

  24. ActionJackson says:

    Oh, well. I’ve been telling my SL friends goodbye for a week or so now as I really can’t waste the time. There are other services (web and otherwise) that are more reliable and fun, and I suppose some of them will agree to meet there.

    I’ll be canceling my account within another week.

    Sorry, PL, but too little too late.

  25. I agree with you ken i miss my Second life

  26. RoseTyler says:

    Awwwww that is really nice… but I think you might have wanted to wait to post your thoughts on the future of sl until all of us unable to log on were fixed. Was thinking of becoming a paid member, but I am really tired of all the log in issues lately. Seems like it might be wasted money.

  27. Ravanne Sullivan says:

    This is so not the sort of post you should be making at this time. You should be posting about what has gone wrong and what you are doing to fix it and prevent it from happening again. This is just one more example of how totally out of touch LL is with its customer base.

    AND WHEN THE HELL IS SOME ONE GOING TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT ALL THE POSTS SAYING SOMETHING IS RESOLVED WHEN IT CLEARELY IS NOT? YOU HAVE LOST ALL CREDIBLITY.

  28. Good at all Master of nothing says:

    I still cant log on either. I think that it would be better to work on getting the servers back up then telling us what you plan on doing :/

  29. shells blackadder says:

    Through word of mouth from friends who have been on second life for a long time I chose to join up a bit ago. It is nice to be able to know about improvements made from older versions of the game; however, it is hard to see these improvements when most of the time the only thing that one is able to do is read the blog about how it is not working. Yes, I am one that understands things occur and yes I do have a life outside of sl, but in same regards it is frustrating to not be able to log in after 5 hours of time prepared for this fix.

    There are those who complain about the rolling restarts, in some ways they are justified. Because if most of the time we can’t show our creativity, are not allowed to build or improve anything we have invested time, money ect in, it becomes an issue on whether or not any investment should be made.

    I myself am at a medium right now. I do pay monthly on a level to not only support the game, but my own wishes for game activity. There are so many reasons to want to stay with second life, but when so much is happening where there is not a real chance to see the game most of the time, it becomes a struggle to wish to continue.

    I from my own personal viewpoint am grateful a game such as this exists, but I am also frustrated that most of the time what is offered is slow logins or not at all, bad rezzing of things, and just being able to read the blog.

    It makes one consider how important this game has become and should it remain as important to them or be put on the back burner for perhaps a more better game out there.

  30. JFK Peccable says:

    On the bright side the beta grid seems to be working flawlessly. 😉

  31. Action awwwww dont leave sl its the best web site and people that leaves always cames back

  32. Xingyun says:

    congrats-Youv’e created a wonderful experience, online has certainly come a long way in a short amount of time since q-link.

    Glad to hear your focusing on stability. Please keep up with YOUR WORLD, YOUR IMAGINATION policy (people freely interacting & creating without too much censorship or controls) let’s keep government regs to a minimum here, it’s one of the best features of sl

    thanks & best of luck

  33. Little Ming says:

    You know, as much as I grit my teeth and bare my fangs at LL, it’s not because I hate Secondlife. It’s because I want to see it be all that it can be. I see it having a lot of potential, and while it can sometimes be quite frustrating with its kinks and quirks, it is by far the best virtual world platform I have ever seen.

    That said, the LL team does deserve a big pat on the back for not only providing something truely innovative and intuitive, but for providing it for free, and sharing their knowledge with the world.

    Philip, you are a man of vision, and while Linden Labs has made some mistakes in the past, I truly believe that you, and the people at LL simply want the best for SL as a whole. Besides, accidents are life’s best teachers. If we don’t mess up we don’t get the chance to learn and grow from it.

    I see the truth of your words, every day. SL is moving forward in a very positive way. Constantly progressing, growing, expanding, and becoming better. Not only because of the work that LL puts into the software, but because of the content the users develope as well.

    In short, thank you, and I look forward to reading more of these posts from you. Very well written, and it kind of puts things in perspective as to what I can expect from LL in the future. 🙂

  34. JessiMcCaw says:

    I can log in on my “main” account that i never use… but my ALT has a “no_inventory_host” login failure… anyone else???

  35. ZigZag Freenote says:

    I just don’t understand this logic. Issue announcements are quickly covered by less important topics, splash screen says a green ONLINE, not to mention that it shows wrong time and no recent blog entries (actually a good thing at this moment, but surely not intentional).

    I am not sure I would trust the Online Now number either (on home page, where it might be more current). Well, guess statistics on http://taterunino.net/statistical%20graphs.html will be wrong, although even as it is, they show a pretty grim picture. Wonder when we will get October results on http://secondlifegrid.net/resources/service_metrics. Were they that bad?

    I am not ranting because I cannot log on. I have plenty other things to do. Submitting bugs to jira for one 🙂 Or watching Torley’s videos. Though I’d like to try some things right away…

    And why are comments off for issue entries. Any discussion on other topics is simply ruined by angry users. Well, including this one. (errr, this user or this topic?)

    Anyway …. nice to hear a confirmation on the vision. Turning a large boat takes some time and many will have some more chances to complain before the results are here.

    I do hope that this week was one biiiiig pile of misfortunes. Let’s all write to Santa to bring LL some much needed luck. BTW, Windlight also packs impostors, which could improve performance in crowded areas. Fingers crossed it won’t crash and burn.

  36. Rob says:

    can I suggest with regard to crashes, firstly, head hunt some guys from Xbox Live. Second, sell land based upon the complexity of objects you can place in it, NOT square meters. Selling by the meter leaves peoples graphic boards screaming for air, the polygon count is just nuts for live feed over broadband. If people had x amount of complexity but space, it will cool everything down and up the frame rate, which is appalling.

  37. Kilik Liotta says:

    Oh the predictable stall…

    Sorry, we couldn’t repair the system in 7 hours but we brought you some youtube videos and plans for the future. Stop wasting time posting history and continue fixing the log-in issue; if we wanted that we’d be on wikipedia.org instead of secondlife.com

  38. Kiboe Munro says:

    do us a favor and show us that you are listening!

  39. Hiroaki Rhino says:

    For over a year I have been in SL trying endlessly to understand what’s most attractive.

    For many who have ability and sense to create objects and fashions, attraction of SL is creation and feedback. For those who cannot create, it was about purchasing and meeting with others, and there have always been deep gap between these two groups. And so far it seems SL only welcomes the former kind.

    I want fair ground for non-creative people.

  40. Sean Heying says:

    Go back to your ivory tower Philip. You have clearly lost touch.

    Shocked at this vehemence? Then listen to this and the other posters

    Fire half the staff, especially people who post poorly thought out and vague restrictive policies on a Friday, things like ageplay, gambling, VAT, IDV at al.

    Force your staff to leave these comments open

    Force your staff to read them

    Take voice out, it screwed up SL so much it’s not funny

    Work on Bug Fixes, not new features. Stop Windlight

    Improve Server Infrastructure

    Use a decent DBMS

    Improve Support

    Make the Lindens spend time in world talking to people

    gah, why bother… this list is so long and now you have done your single yearly posting for this coming year you will go back to the bahamas with your swags of money that you should be spending on making this work.

  41. Dirk Talamasca says:

    Keep on Chooglin’!

  42. Seiph Harbour says:

    I have to echo Jensen’s comment. SL is a massive undertaking and it’s amazing how much progress has been made in a little over 7 years. I’m a paying member with a pretty large investment of L$ in this little enterprise, so I’m always disappointed when things like this happen. But I understand that they happen despite the best efforts of the development team. Carving new paths in unexplored territory is always risky and often painful. To those of you who have little patience for these inevitable “learning experiences” that the founders are going through, I would say by all means, jump ship! Teach ’em a lesson! Cancel your SL account and sign up with SL’s biggest competitor! What’s that you say? There’s no other alternative that even approaches SL, yet? Hmm…..

  43. Rhaorth Antonelli says:

    Those videos are amazing, love the starry nights one. I thank you for putting your thoughts and visions out here, at least we know that you know we are having issues and many problems.

    I wonder what it must be like, to look at Second Life through the eyes of Phillip.

    After all it was your vision, your dream Phillip, to see it as a reality must be pretty darn amazing.

  44. Beeeshiss says:

    You folks wouldn’t have a second life if it weren’t for LL. So be patient. Some of you are definitely right about being the wrong time to make a blog about this though. Thats for damn sure.

  45. Midnight Angel says:

    Please Please get SL back up

  46. Kiboe Munro says:

    for those that are having problems, your pc sucks, i got in fine, and i have eben on fine for the past 5 hours, so there, and, if worse comes ot worse, log in via windlight

  47. Tony says:

    Yes great strides have been achieved but you really should read Robert X Cringely’s book about “Accidental Empires” because right now you’re more likely to be a Gary Kildall than a Bill Gates.

    The choice is yours, do you want to be remembered as that guy, what was his name, the one who pioneered virtual worlds or do you still want to be at the forefront of this bandwagon?

    Amateur hour is over Philip, it’s time to take yourselves seriously, dust down the business suits, invest in customer service and enrich this beast you’ve unleashed for the long term good before someone else comes along and takes it off you.

  48. DragonsXPS says:

    I cannot login. Every time when I try to login I get a “Login Failed: The Inventory System is Currently Unavailable” message.

  49. Jerico Moody says:

    The natives are restless…

  50. Gaybot Blessed says:

    Thank you for the long, thought out post. It’s good to know things are being worked on, however, I don’t think anyone cares about the mission statement right now. Sadly, there seems to be a hardware failure at Linden Labs which houses assets/avatars. It would appear that newer avatars cannot log in because they are housed on this crashed/broken server. The youngest avatar I was able to log in at present has the creation date of May 15, 2007.

    The biggest thing I think LL should be working on right now is stability of the grid, reliability, and redundancy? This month has been horrible for this service. I enjoy this platform, but this kind of unreliability is turning a lot of people off; I’ve seen a lot of goodbye posts in the forums lately. I am kind of startled that LL only has 250 employees…
    I was just wondering why on October 31st 2007 there was a planned maintenance period which was canceled, but it seems that it was not rescheduled for Early November. Why is that?

    On a brighter note, thank you for bringing about this world Philip, it has brought a lot of people I know great pleasure. Please keep working to make it better for everyone.

  51. Cocoanut Koala says:

    I like the stability part, but not the “opening up” part, which generally consists of choosing “partners” to give a big chunk of the whole pie to, or selling us and our interests out to the highest bidder.

    We individual business people in SL ought to mean something to you, and I feel we don’t anymore.

    coco

  52. Xzodia says:

    He tells you a story of a dream, and half the replies are. “I still cant log in”. How amusing 😉 Just remember that it F***ed me off to, coz thats when some1 important came online. However just remember that step by step they are improving this. So if you arnt prepared for an uncomfy ride as they constantly strive to improve it, you could always try something else. I made a new account called For example, So i could continue. Others may try a new game ==^.^== Remember this isnt your average “Game” I struggle to even call it that.

    I am sure all these constant promises to fix lag/crashing/disconections will soon be at an end, as i am sure they shall be. Then you can complain about the next issue, ooh i dont know… Perhaps You can blame them for bad graphics too or maybe even not loading your inventory once in a while. Ah well have fun :p

  53. Mr Greggan says:

    Linden Labs statement is so far reaching, it will serve to inspire generations. Our children’s children will be as comfortable with virtual worlds as we are with telephones today.

    The future will be a better place because of Philip Linden and all his friends.

    Thanks!

    By the way, that first video “Watch the World” is amazing. I encourage everybody to take a look and enjoy it!

  54. Nok Cale says:

    God – what a whinny bunch. OK performance sucks and not being able to log on for hours sucks more – but hell my bank has longer outages – curb your bad tempers and look at the benefits – and if the promised stability is delivered – whoose gonna come back on here and post an appology?

    Nice vids btw

  55. taotakashi says:

    Great post and I think Linden Lab already has managed to do great things. I am even quite surprised actually that you really take the step to open that open standard (although not too many people seem to be jumping on that yet). We see such efforts to get a more decentralized system also in all the social networks right now. It’s good to see that this happens rather early in the Virtual Worlds area.

    Regarding user experience one big thing is of course also finding your way into Second Life. I think it’s still too many people who don’t know what to do actually after they finished orientation.

    At least some hints for cool places might be given (yes, this will impose that somebody has to choose them and some might be unhappy etc. but I don’t see any other way). These places could actually be choosen based on country they came from (and thus language) and by some interest (which they have to choose from).

    Of course there is also the “create your own orientation island” solution but I think the main problem here is costs. Not everybody might want to (or is able to) pay US$295,- just for getting an entry point for their users. But actually I have no idea how to solve this problem 😉

    (OTOH is usability of the client would be that easy you wouldn’t need orientation anymore or actually it could be build into the client directly, sort of learn-as-you-go).

    Beside I think many people who are waiting for the next big thing after Second Life (I only meet such people if they are not totally turned down by just the idea of virtual worlds besides gaming already). Now for me it still looks like actually SL will be the next big thing after SL as somehow I don’t really see any competitor which offers the same. So keep it going!

    — Fanboy

    PS: I think you need to work more also on the PR front.. I really would like the SL Grid Architecture Working Group to become more known also outside SL but even here some simple things are missing such as a memorable name (best would be without SL in the name) and a memorable URL. As for SL in general I think more local PR would also be needed.

  56. Wagahai Oddfellow says:

    A nice statement, but when you choose colo facilities on cost instead of reliability, use unreliable products in making the VPN and databases stable, it falls short. It’s like saying “we hope to feed the world!” and buying 100 cheeseburgers, cutting them in half and handing each of 200 people 1/2 of one and saying “look at our goodwill!” ..if you’re out to be noble, then invest the time and effort to do it right.

    If doing it “right” also means take SL offline for a couple weeks for a full upgrade instead of these patch after patch style on a fully running system, then do that too.. 2 weeks of downtime would be better than the excessive problems day after day, month after month…

    Take the time to improve (fix) SL before improving the human condition and the world..

  57. Ariallyn Heartsdale says:

    While the lofty vision espoused in the mission statement is a very noble goal, as in all such goals baby steps need to be taken. If you (Linden Labs) make the goals manageable steps towards the biggest issues in Second Life, server stability and login issues, then I am willing to suffer through minor downtimes to fix issues. On the other hand, not being able to login for over a quarter of the day is ridiculous. Why is there not better communication as to why we can’t login? That would go a long way to establishing some credibility in your mission statement.

  58. Happy Thanksgiving! It’s good to hear from the “big guy” again.

  59. Darek Deluca says:

    I enjoy SL very much and appreciate how hard it is to create a new service. Please remember many of us are paying Island Tier, Classified Ad fees, and Premier Membership fees without any compensation for frustration, lost service and missed sales except numerous apologies.
    This is a business for many of us as well, don’t forget that.
    Your vision is complemented by the creativity, imagination, and loyalty of the users of SL without which SL would not exist either.

  60. JacobAlan Markova says:

    In response to Kiboe Munro…Thank-you for your obsevations..but keep them to yourself. I for one am will to bet that My computer is far, far, better than you could even think a computer could be set up.

    And I still can’t get logged in… It’s not always a computer that has problems logging in…It’s servers 90% of the time. If you had understood that, then you would have never left the post you left.

    You can log in…Good for you, I’m truly happy. But not all of us can, because of the servers in certain areas. Have fun while you’re online, because it must be lonely without friends.

  61. Porsupah Ree says:

    I still consider the Starry Night production a showpiece for how classical artists’ visions can protrude into a new frontier such as SL – a superbly moving piece, and quite an accomplishment, even if, sadly, only ephemeral.

    I’m pleased to see acknowledgement that the VAT issue was horribly handled. One thing I’d like to see come out of that train wreck is a commitment that substantive changes in the T&C must only come after a sensible period of notice – at least one full month, preferably two.

    Of course, that’ll only be so much of an issue as long as LL wishes to focus part of its efforts on being a hosting provider; when individuals can run their own sims as easily as a local copy of Apache (bandwidth permitting, of course – we all know SL can take up quite significant bandwidth), we’ll enter the second age of Second Life.

  62. Sydney Niekerk says:

    It is exciting to read about your vision and plans for the future.
    I am impressed and excited about the entire project.
    But, as much as I would like to be right up there walking beside you as you travel into this new frontier, I feel like you are dragging me behind you. suffering the travails of your failures.
    Help me up, hold me closer, so I can walk beside you. I want to see the future with you, not from behind you.

  63. Dnali Anabuki says:

    Well, SL changed my life and the lives of my friends here in SL in a very positive way. We laugh more in RL; we are more creative and grateful for what we have.
    SL helped us remember how to play and how to be creative again.

    For some reason, all the growing pains don’t bother me..I pretty well think they come with the territory and I think you’ve done really well considering how big the creature is that is being born.

    I just love surfing in the wake of a visionary. Thanks Phil..it was my dream to as a kid and you made it happen.

  64. Kilik Liotta says:

    JacobAlan is right on the dot; the issue is serverside and has nothing to do with how big and bad the thing sitting next to you is. Linden Labs needs to focus on stability first and foremost, as was also mentioned previously. Finally, the News and Announcements section needs to include DETAILED explanations of the issues and leave them open for discussion.

  65. I found that very interesting indeed. ^_^

    I didn’t know LL came from such a dinky little place. 😛 I guess everything must start somewhere and at least you know where you want to end up. 🙂

    The old mission was very long the new one is much better. XD

    I’ll certainly look forward to some stability improvements, that and windlight would make me a have happy resident. 🙂 It will certainly be awesome when you’re done, not that it isn’t already. 😛

    Hope to see you around, XD (lol)
    SDF

  66. Kris says:

    @60 LOL

    That about sums it up. Thanks for the laugh. 🙂

  67. I too believe that SecondLife is just as real as our FirstLife. I have stated with others in SL that I think the issues that SL is facing now are just the proof that things are greatly improving. In all walks of life. we all have faced our difficulties, but we constantly go forward in our life. I know that SL can do the same thing. Even I have been frustrated with all the lagging and other bugs within SecondLife, but I have not nor will not give up on it.

    For me, I have recently graduated from a technical school. I am working hard to get my career started. Since we are both working for the future, we just might have our paths cross. My biggest strengths are writing, photo editing, and I am sure I could do graphic creativity. All I need to do is learn how to use the graphic creative softwares need to create new things using a computer. I see great wonders with SecondLife as well as Linden Labs because I see great wonders in myself and my future. Thank you for creating this wonderful world for all of us to use. 😀

  68. Philllip Collins says:

    Hey Philip,

    Cool to see you on the blog, you ought do it more often.

    (bit shorter mind then more peeps would read it all the way through)

    Could you do me a small favour and encourage someone to write up some docs for mulib and eventful and package it up so its easier to install and use.

    http://ulaluma.com/pyx/archives/2007/09/rest_to_lsl_via_python_and_comet.html

    This is so cool and would be utilized by more people for great content!

    BTW Thats a pretty bold mission statement, not quite as bold as googles but bold – good luck with it, Ill be supporting you all the way

  69. TaraLi Jie says:

    The first thing I noticed is that the new mission statement reads more like something a human being would say, and less like a corporate committee would say. Less puffery, less over-blown, less legalistic.

    Awesome! A positive trend!

  70. Johnnys Ninetails says:

    I don’t know how QA is managed? As a QA consultant/manager I would say: Maybe you need to redefine business risk and requirements because past issues looks like your worst nightmare.

  71. Farallon Greyskin says:

    As with what nearly everyone else has said, it’s the constant, day by day week by week problems that SL has had for years now that are not getting any better and in fact geting worse as time goes on that worries us most.

    Logins, teleporting, inventory, asset availability, friends ist, IMs… These things have been slowly degrading over time. And those things and those things alone does a majority of the populatin care about being fixed.

    HTML on a prim? Nice. Necessary? NO.

    Bettter UI? Nice, necessary? NO.

    What is necesary is reliable services, all of them. You guys have had a lot of “dead” time with very little population growth to get ahead fo this problem and you havent’t at all.

    We hear so much more about “Windlight” and other “Nice, but given the current fagility of the sysem, totally unnessary improvements and almost nothing at all about how you are in the next 3 months going to make it so that logings never again fail or thouseands of regeons are not ever again down because of a VPN that probably should not even be used in lieu of dedicated circuits.

    You’ve managed to “keep up” with growth but you are always about 10,000 users BEHIND the necessary level to keep things running smoothly. We want to se SL running ABOVE weekend capacity, not at or below like it has been for the entire 2 years I’ve been on. And lately… It seems like some sort of critical mass of complexity has been reached where there is SO MUCH hardware in use at full capacity that daily something has to break.

    So… please excuse us if news about HTML in world, windlight, new UI etc go out with less than great enthusiasm, I’m sure they would be if the entire system did not suffer substandard service 4-5 times a week 😦

    Well I’m looking for the turnaround, I just hope that the appropriate atention is being paid to the unglamorous, unfun, unvisible and unsimple world of getting the core infrastructiore ROCK SOLID in the next 6 months… At least give that issue equal blog time with the other nice but unnessary features that we all need daily to be in world.

  72. Ehvee Effingham says:

    Shees… the vitriole…

    This is a complex thing, people… its gonna break, sometimes often. Chill! Certainly there is more to your personal life than SL… go hug a puppy or something.

    Interesting comments Philip and your foward looking thoughts seem headed in the right direction. One concern I have is cost as the scope of the SL world expands… I’m fairly new here and so much of what I am surrounded with is merchandising by other residents. I feel like prey for Linden seekers sometimes and pray for zoning controls!

    Obviously you have to pay for all the amazing stuff and people behind this. I hope your strategy will include minimizing the user costs so that residents will not be so driven to make money inside that the world becomes even more advertising-littered.

    I’m enjoying SL (well not at this exact moment, of course) and appreciate and am awed by what you’ve created.

  73. Gando34 Blessed says:

    Please get SL back up, i’m not able to log in.

  74. Abbey says:

    I miss my Second Life.

    Congrats on creating such a wonderful virtual world. I have become rather fond of it. Please can the login issues be sorted very soon. I have been pining for hours.

  75. Jazzman Jibilla says:

    I agree with just about everything written above, but it is hard to believe that LL listens very closely when blog comments are often closed or open only to a few selected bloggers who then generally parrot the official line.

    SL isn’t bad, it’s just drawn that way.

    A mission statement..HA..I’ve worked at enough major corporations in my life to have seen the dawn of the Mission Statement..and it’s inevitable sunset. If there was ever a more laughable idea it’s “The Mission Statement”. Just tell your employees what to do and pay them well enough, don’t try to bamboozle them with touchy-feely mission statements.

    Stop thinking up mission statements and get your hands dirty again Phil….fewer cocktail parties more late nights coding again will solve your problems.

    Cheers…I love this place anyway…warts and all.

  76. Pingback: When Smokey sings, I hear violins

  77. Thank you Philip for your communication with us resis. You have created a wonderfully emmersive environment that millions of us (no pun intended 😉 enjoy. Keep up the good work; and thank you for listening to us about the core stability and reducing the shinies.
    This has tremendous potential 😉 Let’s not see it go to the wayside…

  78. Cyall Akula says:

    Ok Mr Linden, were you bored because SL was down, and found time to change the slogan? *grin* I jest, I like the new mission statement better, it’s clearer. Like you say, however, there is a long road ahead, and here are some of the points that I feel need addressing. I have 2 major gripes:

    Crowding on mainland and many rental sims is not an improvement on RL. In fact it’s somewhat worse than RL.

    Privacy is far below RL standards.

  79. Sapphire Fullstop says:

    How do hermaphrodite furry avatars yiffing in public places, virtual brothels, and bondage-rape dungeons with scat themes improve human condition? Helping people hide their deviancy and helping ‘the human condition’ are very different things to me.

    I’m not here to judge those people, but this whole ‘bright and shiny’ PR spin Linden Labs seems to put on everything when you look at this website doesn’t fly for me and I’ve only been playing for a couple of months. Compare SL in it’s entirety to any other online game and SL is one of the most gritty, seedy, and nastiest places on the internet.

    While user are capable of great feats of creativity they would not be able to do in any other game, they are also free to indulge themselves completely at a whim. I know LL is running a business and they just want customers, so why try to put a pretty face on it like ‘helping the human condition’ when as any business understandably would, they are just trying to suck in everyone they can. LL seems to focus completely on the beautiful aspects while silently stuffing the rest in a closet that they hope no one will ever open.

    That’s my opinion of it anyway, and I’m sure many will disagree, having not stumbled across the things I have.

    Let’s forget about that for now and pretend it really is a beautiful place in SL that is helping the world grow or whatever. I can’t log in and I notice that -no one- can actually log on at the moment, yet for some reason the front page of the SL client and website both say 40000 people are logged in. This number seems to fluctuate randomly but it always stays relatively the same. The pattern is that of a randomly generated number around 40000 rather than people logging on and off by the thousands every second.

    Also, why is it that when I try to log in, time actually reverses according to the SL clock? Why does it say ‘Online’ when it’s clearly been ‘Offline’ for the larger portion of today? Why is it showing between 10:20 am and 10:29 am PST when it’s currently 5pm PST?

    If you’re going to put a status panel in your stupid client, at least have it reflect the real status of SL. 8 PM PST OFFLINE 0 PEOPLE LOGGED IN.

  80. Jake Amdahl says:

    I think many of us are so focused on the occaisonal tree (ok, trees…) falling that we fail to see or remember the forest. So it’s nice and encouraging to read your blog, Philip, because it shows me how clear and how strong your vision is of that forest, as well as your determination to make all those trees flourish. Kudos to you, sir!

    And – I have to say – paring down the mission statement, sharpens the focus on what I hoped Second Life would always stand for – making my first life the better for having lived a Second.

    Thanks, Philip!

  81. Dandy Davies says:

    I appreciate your comments today… But it sounds like SL has a problem with growth… not in terms of development, but in terms of popularity… Maybe, the time limit for one to join free should be limited… I have enjoyed me experience here at SL and quickly joined. Try a limited trial period. Thanks for the blog today. And keep the dream alive.

  82. Joshua Philgarlic says:

    Okay, I was upset about the bad performance of SL in the last few weeks. But the main thing is: I’m proud to be a resident here. If one day all works as it expacted I can say: I have helped just by beeing here 🙂

  83. Dytska Vieria says:

    ~ I have been logged in all day and just finished a large build ~

  84. Karensa Karas says:

    I’ve been on Second Life since April this year – first I’d heard of it, and the stumbling over it was pure boredom…just looking for something novel to do at 3am one morning. I clumsied around the first and second day, but by the 3rd I was as addicted as the rest of you guys. My one driving thought was how utterly ingenious this whole program was…how exquisite and beautiful were the fresh, unique, spectacular landscapes and scenes loading in front of me, what an amazing dream like quality it all had…I’d never seen anything like it.

    I watched a video awhile ago where you – Philip – were discussing SL (forget offhand which it was, sorry) but even then I’d already experienced SL and found the whole talk you gave very inspirational.

    A LOT of people bitch and moan and complain, and I’ve done my share of bitching when I would get booted off, and I can understand where some of the madder ones feel justified since they’re part of the economic motor and don’t want to lose money…but all in all, on a personal note, I can forgive the growing pains and make allowances for the bugs and problems and recognize that ya know, *I* couldn’t create something like this even if I tried…I’m really appreciative of this vision you had and have, and would be more than happy to help in any way to make it “reality” (whatever that is anymore!).

    I think Second Life rocks. It’s not for everybody, obviously…and no matter who gets on here complaining, just smile when you go to bed each night knowing that first and foremost they’re just as addicted to this place as the rest of us…else they’d close it down and find something else to do. This addiction is one we all willingly embrace because we do *see* what you’re wanting to accomplish and we believe that in the long run it will be worth it.

    Maybe some day I’ll have the good fortune to run across you in world and if I stopped to say hello, you’d hang out a few minutes and let me pick your brain…but in light of that, just add me among those who send you big hugs and much thanks for having the genius and the fortitude to create Second Life and share it with all of us.

    Happy Thanksgiving…and same to the rest of you SLers out there. Be well!

    KK

  85. RainbowEyes Undercroft says:

    You people don’t seem to understand. Quit acting like spoiled brats. “omg itz downz FIX ITZ!11”

    Know what? if they wanted they could just shut it down completely or make it availible for ONLY paying people again.

    it is an honor to play in such a world for free as well as even paying to play in a world where you can be anything you want.

    Stop whining.

    Bold vision, I doubt you’ll read my post, but I’m a developer of games myself and I respect your dream.

  86. Cappy Frantisek says:

    Keep on keeping on Linden Labs! Don’t let the naysayers that have no idea about the complexity of this platform get you down.

    On a side note, I’m still downgrading my account to basic and will limit my time on SL, but that is because there just isn’t much to do here anymore. SL has become the most expensive 3D chat room I have ever been involved in.

  87. Kiboe Munro says:

    midnight: i am getting in fine

  88. JacobAlan Markova says:

    You are one of the few that is logged in Dytska….while you ther…why don’t you look for Kiboe Munro…He’s lonely, and doesn’t have any friends to talk to.

    People that are logged in…please stop posting that you are. Be happy with the lack of people in SL…go shopping in peace….the only thing I’m worried about is you being in my SL house….but anyway you look at it….the world is your’s to explore!!!

    Happy hunting.

  89. Kilik Liotta says:

    RainbowEyes Undercroft says: [You people don’t seem to understand. Quit acting like spoiled brats. “omg itz downz FIX ITZ!11″

    Know what? if they wanted they could just shut it down completely or make it availible for ONLY paying people again.]

    …and then the number of SL residents would go back down to what it was when they began; slim to none. The resident is always right; and people arent spoiled for demanding a working system; especially where real life money is involved. Get off your pedastel.

  90. richard says:

    BOY DO YOU PEOPLE HAVE A LONG ROAD TO GO DOWN ON !!!!!!!

  91. Nano Ashby says:

    i think it’s all wonderful. i’ve created much art with Bryce3, in the years of early pentium, and i dreamed of being inside my rendering, i created places, and ‘moved’ about in them by rendering new scenes, and now with windlight, i feel i’m inside bryce for real (real, get it) i’ve just been windsurfing off Bora Bora and i’ve had the best time ever.

    it’s not perfect, and it breaks yes, and i can’t log in either, i have a mandatory update which won’t download – but let’s all remember how complex this is, how much sheer machinery is involved, the amount of discrete programs must be staggering, can we have a head count? 🙂

    this will eventually be room sized 3d immersive tactile that is interchangeable with reality, science fiction has pointed a very big finger and i think Second Life will one day be looked back at by historians as the birthplace of virtual worlds.

    now i’ll go away and try to log in :-p

  92. Macken Toshi says:

    Watch the videos. They capture the spirit of SL better than anything I have seen. Despite all the aggravation of technical problems and human/corporate maladroitness it’s a spirit worth preserving and nurturing. Without it SL is lost.

  93. Tree Kyomoon says:

    great to see Philip posting some wisdom!

  94. Freespirit1 Freenote says:

    I have to laugh at some of the responses I’ve read here, like the one person saying his computer system was newer, etc. It has nothing to do with a person’s PC. Our avatars and inventory are stored on the servers at LL. I wish we could store them locally, but I see why that isn’t done. People have a bad habit of not backing up, and their HD would crash, or they would delete the file, and then be trying to blame it on LL.

    As for the beta grid, I’m also on the beta, and have Windlight. The only thing I can say for both is, they are truly art in motion. When I first logged into Windlight, with a hi-def monitor, I was truly blown away! I can only say kudos for the excellent work that has been performed at LL.

    As for personal issues, I also have paid for land usage on a private sim, and feel like I’m losing money when I’m not able to access it. If it continues to be an issue for a long period of time, then a rolling restart may be the best solution. What concerns me at this point is, it’s 7:00PM my time, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Are there people actually working, or are we out of luck until Monday? If that’s the case, even like the phone company, many of us are due some kind of credit for time lost. I applaud R&D, but let’s concentrate on getting things back on track in the present.

  95. There is still something wrong with quality control. However, it is good to have a vision of the future. For me, Second Life has great potential to create virtual meetings, which I currently use to share information about the real world environment, in hopes of reducing the crises that are likely around the corner.

    To that end, more stability, the ability to get more people into a meeting space without lag, and the use of other media types especially Flash (there is SO much good material available in Flash format, very little in QuickTime) are the most crucial.

    I also mention these needs because the represent what I see as your next chance for growth: musical concerts with large crowds, large conferences, university lectures, corporate virtual retreats. All these ideas will raise the potential of Second Life, but they all need the stability and performance, and greater media flexibility. In that light, access to the Internet (which may indirectly lead to Flash access) is a terrific goal.

    Please make sure QA is handled correctly – it may save your reputation from unnecessary negative reaction, and clear many obstacles you seem to face today.

  96. Fabulouz Dawg says:

    Ok it is amazing how much SL has improved!
    But, i have been trying to Log In for 4 Hours now and the only message i get is “Log In Failed! The Inventory System is Unavailable”
    or something like that! so moving onto the next issue i have been having! TELEPORTING!!! Yessss.. Bigggg issue for 5 days…
    I have not had one successful teleport for the last 5 days.. which is very stressful.. it gets half way thru the loading bar and I crash..
    So if i could get a little bit of help with that i would appreciate it alot..
    thanks, and no offence towards Linden Lab in any way!

  97. Ellle Thursday says:

    Ya know, I luv SL to death….it’s been quite amusing at times…but honestly, when i’m paying for a service…it’d be nice to actually be able to use it when I choose to.

    I understand downtimes and such….but honestly…. when I walk away and come back 9hrs later and it’s STILL down? It’s making me rethink renewing my paid account. *shakes head in disappointment*

    However on a more positive note, in the past year despite the decreased stability there has been tremendous improvements to the features in SL.

  98. richard says:

    WELL YOU KNOW WHATS GOING TO HAPPEN ,THERE IS GOING TO BE A BIG CRASH TONIGHT AND IT’S THANKSGIVING ,THAT MEANS NO ONE IS WATCHING THE STORE, SO NO ONE IS THERE TO FIX OVER THE WEEKEND AND IT WILL BE TILL MONDAY THAT IT WILL BE FIX,NO SECOND LIFE OVER THE WEEKEND.

  99. Brendan Cale says:

    You’re only unable to log-in if your avatar is less then 3 months old. It’s been confirmed.

  100. Ellle Thursday says:

    lol @ 98…..at least SL isn’t an essential service!

  101. Xenas says:

    LMFAO

    Complex? They can’t even get the damn stats right on the opening page!

    Get your heads out of LL’s rear ends. People are bitching about the SAME STUFF they have been bitching about since SL started! A little progress isn’t too much to ask for.

    Holy s***

  102. michi lumin says:

    Thanks, Philip.

    The road isn’t at it’s end yet.

    In this whole process, sometimes we all disagree, we fight for what we’re passionate about because we believe in the path.

    There’s still a lot more to learn. Just one more point in the journey.

    Robbie’s video was really poignant. Something I can show to people who claim they “don’t get SL”.

    Nobody ever said this was going to be easy.

    But if it was easy, then I don’t think we would push ourselves to reach our potential.

    On that note: Onward.

    -Michi/Luskwood.

  103. Hang on a minute…. walk through your world … save a picture in your mind … walk a little more …. take a rest on a bench…. and then?

    Realise… this is still YOUR IMAGINATION

    From deep in my heart, thanks for all your work
    thanks for the currage to get us in line
    thanks for a feeling of my own life
    thanks for never beeing rude
    thanks for a world ….

    thanks LL and thanks Philip

    Cris

  104. miles says:

    The inventory system is still not available…..
    Love the world!

  105. Kilik Liotta says:

    Guess that means we’ll have to stream porn to our RL tv’s tonight boys.

  106. Fabulouz Dawg says:

    so what am i supposed to do just sit back and wait???
    i made up a new Av and it got in fine!! but my Main Avatar wont log in!!! pretty dumb if u ask me..
    plus neither one of them can teleport at all!!!
    ur gonna say its my PC! cause i know it isnt!!

  107. Storm Chatnoir says:

    Fix The World.

    Dear LL;

    I’d be a lot more sympathetic to your problems and ‘thank you for your patience’ messages if you hadn’t made this situation yourselves over the years.

    The fact is, SL isn’t going to get better quickly, and it won’t get better *AT ALL* if LL doesn’t sit down and fix the basics, as the community has been begging them to do for years. We could have waited for the bells and whistles, and the ice cream on the cake, We understood that SL was to be a work in progress, constantly evolving.

    Why didn’t you?

    It took a long time for me to move from ’slightly annoyed’ to ‘Furious’ and it will take time for this paying customer to get back to ’satisfied with my SL Experience.’ –

    Show me you’re listening.

    Show me you’ve changed.

    Show me you care.

    Show me I’m doing the right thing by standing by you, SL.

    Show me I’m not waisting my time.

    Fix The World.

    I first posted that both here on the LL Official Blog and in my profile a few months ago, after I had reached a peak of frustration with SL and LL, hoping that someone within the company would simply listen.

    This post by Mr. Rosedale seems to be an answer, of sorts.

    Well, the proof of the pudding, as they say, is in the eating, so I’ll wait and see.

  108. JacobAlan Markova says:

    Not true Brendan…I’m less then 30 days…no luck

  109. Renee Faulds says:

    Thanks Philip,

    This week has killed business people in SL. Might have got you complained at but we lost a lot of money and traffic. Today’s extended and continuing outage has really hurt. Happy Thanksgiving to you, most of us have no thanks to give.

    Renee

  110. Jamie David says:

    It is nice to see that Philip is still alive and thinks about us. Now sir can you please enthuse your staff and work on the communications with us. We get nice postings on how communications are to be improved and that is it. Big fluffy postings.

    Get rid of support ticket system. Weeks go by with no response.
    Get rid of JIRA. It is unuseable by a normal person.
    Bring back forums.

    When LL staff promise something in the Blog they should follow up on that promise. The VAT issue was quietly wiped under the carpet with online meetings that no one was aware of. Answers for the general population have never been forthcoming. Answers on Verification likewise. Promised over a month ago and still nada.

    The latest addition, search, is not ready for release but that has not stopped the implementation. So now may a store, person are missing. Poor little content creator trying to promote their place.

    LL forgets that there are are a lot of dedicated people out there trying to make SL better. The little content creator. They get squished at every turn. We need a public roadmap that shows what is coming when and how.

    3 times in past month I have been ready to tell concierge to take my islands back. There was the request for rollback because a bunch of prims went missing.
    “Jamie,
    In the past 24 hours, I see a fairly steady object count of about 12,800. Inworld, the environment took a minute to rez, but seemed largely complete, minus a ceiling and wall on one building.
    We reserve rollbacks for emergencies. Can you estimate about how many prims disappeared? Less than a few hundred should be replaceable and would not require a rollback.”

    I pay and this is the service I get? I am accused of wasting time and resources. Takes but few min to organize roll back, takes days to recreate prims and buy the parts that are now missing.

    My account has been put on hold, 4 times in past 3 months because of bad billing practices that has gone on since June. To try and get it resolved has cost me at least 24 hours in calling Bank, going to bank, calling LL, opening bank account with new bank, getting creditcard just for LL and it is still not resolved. I write ticket after ticket but they are never read. The reply will not answer the question asked.

    The only thing keeping me around are the people in SL, and the fact that I would be throwing away the money used to buy the islands. I am a patient man, and I am at wits end. Good thing there is not a island return policy.

    Currently SL is a monopoly. That time will come to an end eventually. Then SL will see the love of the residents. Their loyalty as they run for the door. Currently we have 90% loss rate of users.

    Do you really care about the future of SL or was this posting more fluff to hide all the other Blog entries about system troubles?

    A very battered and abused

    Jamie

  111. Gando34 Blessed says:

    I purchased Premiumn today, and about 1000L$’s. I wih SL was back up…

  112. Slartibartfast Magicthise says:

    Its common that when people get used to a technology, they take it for granted and expect it to perform reliably on a constant level. It’s hard for some to remember that this technology is in its infancy and there really is nothing to compare to it.

    Sure I get pizzed off sometimes when things happen, I get frustrated and angry. I shout curses at my computer, and mash the Quit button.

    But I’m so grateful that there is a Second Life to come to.

    I know that when I get home from work, I can launch SL and it will still be there for me. Sometimes, it’s not. I can accept the downtime and bugs knowing that things will improve in the future, and some day, it may be as reliable as (or more so than) my phone, TV or internet service.

    I believe in this. We are experiencing a dramatic shift in the way we communicate and socialize – globally. For some, it’s no more than a way to meet with friends, for others it’s the only way we can walk or talk and not be seen as outcasts or invalids.

    What has SL done for me? Lots. I agree with Philip that it has improved my life, and the lives of others in MANY very positive ways that were not possible before.

    Thanks guys, and keep up the great work!

  113. Istephanija Munro says:

    Good article Philip and many people probably feel understood right now… for how long? Until the next issue there and people feel not listened to!! What can you do about it? Communication is the key and we all deserve to know whats going on and how long it takes to fix a bug. After all it is your pay check getting bigger and ours getting smaller but we are the people doing nothing wrong. Let’s face the fact that communication is LLs biggest issue, you should commit to keep the and that feeds you in motion instead of systematically cutting it off. After loads of hard work this last 2 weeks you have made no progress, you have restored some basic features again and the SL experience is still worse as before the latest rolling restarts, especially for merchants and builders. If we can grasp the feeling of commitment and be informed about when my hair starts ending up in my crotch or SVC-930 is gonna be fixed then we actually have a shot of planning things. Hell I love SL and i cant wait for the new search engine to launch officially and hope that popular places become actually popular for their content and not because of the most camping pads. SL has become huge and I appreciate that you admit that has become too huge in a too short time and I was always wondering if it wasn’t easier to build up a new technology from the scratch instead of dealing with the one you started coding in 1999! Sl rocks but please learn to communicate better with us and with each other, update the jira with informations ad ETAs and before you add new features make sure the esential things are working, don’t make server deploys too fast anymore… please

  114. Cale Vinson says:

    “To connect everyone to an online world that improves the human condition.”

    Across a number of forums and blogs I’ve watched as the debate rages as to whether SL is a “platform” or a “world”. The above mission statement indicates the latter, in which case I would ask: in what concrete way is LL working towards developing as a *world*?

    Its a personal perspective obviously, but it seems to me that SL development by LL, and the collection of projects that LL provide the most support/publicity for, is much more platform-oriented than world-oriented.

    The recent CSI project is a wonderful example of the potential for exploitation of SL as a platform, but I don’t see how leaking of RL TV shows into a virtual world helps contribute to it as a world. Much of the justification for voice was to support platform projects, such as traditional education & training, and business consulting. Voice works against avatarisation, one of the key components of a world. Will HTML on a prim add anything to the world, or simply provide another tool for people to take us back to the land of RL goods and services for sale? And so on.

    So, since this blog post was largely about big-picture visions, here’s my big-picture challenge: if world rather than platform is the goal, please demonstrate this to us in your development priorities, policy decisions, and leadership/inspiration.

  115. Kastro says:

    I was gonna purchase a Premium account and thought to myself “i’ll just grab some money now and UpGrade my account some other time”
    but now i cant Log in, and it has been 4 hours..
    I was throwing a party tonight.. but SL wont let me in..
    and the party that i am paying so much money for, host, DJ, Certain Items, Dancers, Clothes, Rent.. etc, etc..
    I cant even attend my own party.. which sucks so badly.. its gotten to the point where when i started spending money buying L$ my SL has gotten worse everyday! I Dont know how to even explain this… Its RIDICULOUS!!! no other word!!

  116. Ahalfa Carling says:

    OK. After the past couple of days I think it`s time for LL to do something pretty drastic.

    STOP ALL DEVELOPMENT and consolidate your position!!

    By that I mean stop development of new features in SL, and get the ones that we already have working properly!!

    If that means a planned outage of 2 weeks at some point, then so be it

  117. Bubba B says:

    Thanks for letting us share your dream, Phil.

  118. Yiffy Yaffle says:

    Just wanna take the time to thank phillip for everything. I’ve been a bit more pleased with SL as of lately despite the login failures but they are being worked on hehe.

  119. Kris says:

    So…I just did a nifty little experiment. I created a new account and guess what? I am now logged in.

    So whoever it was that said only accounts older than 3 months could get in-world….NOT TRUE.

    Of course, I still won’t be able to get anything done that I need to. VERY disappointed in LL. 😦

  120. In10sE says:

    [5:47PM PST] [UPDATE] The login error “Inventory system is currently unavailable” upon attempting to login is likely to last well into tomorrow. Further updates will be posted here as information becomes available. Thank you for your continued patience. – Kate

    hehe pretty cool , say bye bye for lets say 2 days or something… no more $$$ …

  121. I can say this. Thank you. Thank you for giving us something totally different then adult websites, pop up ads, & social blog networks. For all of my current SL frustrations, worry over articles informing us that our SL will end if drastic changes are not met, & a low sign up (& returning rate) I still want to say thank you. You put up with our crap & thats a big thing. Hopefully…if everyone can get creative & work together, then Second Life will be bigger then it already is.

    Thank you for being creative.

  122. timothy says:

    all i got is WOW…..i mean yeah its a little annoying, mainly cause im really bored right now, but other wise come on people relax, as someone else has said, go hug a puppy, take a walk, if your second life is this importaint, might be time to rethink the first one….so lets all take a deep breathe and enjoy a bit of reality…..

  123. Alicia Sautereau says:

    Oh c`mon Phil, SL has been basicly down for almost a week, how can the graphs improve?

    with all the server problems (login, assets, ISP, DNS) day after day, i don`t see how the code can be changed for the new client when no one has a clue what is going on, fix it first befor adding new code befor every is totally clueless what`s going on to fix

    only + side of all of this is the time given while being able to do nothing to play with windlight and go over Torley`s tip of the week again and play with every tiny bit of it

    if you would really listen, new code being implemented would have been halted to bring some stability to the servers in the first place, look at where we are now, MAJOR issue`s day in & day out

    what ever vision there is for Second Life, better set it aside for a couple of days/weeks and get the grid stable first along with new hardware, take it down if needed instead of rolling restarts to do it right or snap your fingers and add 100 regions on the live grid to test on befor implementing anything on paying customers wich brings us back to the current state of the grid (or gridded)

    good to see VAT being said, even an half arsed job looks great compared (hello login/asset servers) and the reason alot of land/regions (including my island) has been sold, level the playing field!

    last note:
    from paying Linden Lab $356 + members fee a month and brining in 200-250euro down to freebie and bringing in 40-50euro a month and lower my spending considerably, am not the only one

    your vision is for americans or businesses who have registerd VAT number with how everything was handled, GJ!!!

  124. Desmond Shang says:

    For what it’s worth, Philip, I share the dream.

    When people ask me what the metaverse is about, I show them Robbie’s videos too. Nothing else conveys it quite like that.

    Should you ever need beta test candidates or solid, actionable feedback, count on us in the little micronation of Caledon.

    Perhaps the feedback won’t be always positive, but it will always be honest and from the heart.

    Warm regards,

    Desmond Shang

  125. Delu Elytis says:

    I’ve tried my way in various art medias, pen, paper, paint, drawings and writing. I couldn’t use any media to express my creativity fully. I did find my media tho, as many others, Second Life. I could make something, it was easy, it took me less than an hour to figure out the tools and set my way to creating stuff. I’m proud when I show my creations, even those not finished, to friends and they say how awesome it looks.

    Me: “I found SL to be my creative medium.”
    A friend: “This i see, and o what a medium. You can walk though your creations, i just stare at mine.”

    And anyone can come and walk trough my creations, with your new mission, more will.

    There is just one tiny little problem, my creativity is limited by space. The canvas I have could be compared to a A4 where other artists make use of A1’s or even larger. Sims are expensive, not everyone can afford them. I hope someday I’ll have my own sim, well really, I wish I had a whole grid of my own sims, thousands of them.

    The future of Second Life as I hope it will be, will be without boundries, no edges, nothing limiting the space you can use.
    The rubber band we all know so well won’t be there.
    The water between the many islands will be traversed. Take a ship, your friends and sail into the unknown and find great discoveries among the many creations of the world.
    A sim no longer defined by such a small number as 65 536 square meters, make it into 65 536 square kilometers would be something.
    Prim limit? HA! Make such pitty limit extinct.

    “To remove all limitations for everyone.” I hope will be a future mission for you Philip.

  126. Karensa Karas says:

    PS….

    Re: all the bitching and moaning over log ins. Well, I haven’t been able to log in since the beginning of October…but then that’s because I’m in the middle of a move and my only net service is sucky satellite which doesn’t work with SL anyway…but given the withdrawals I’ve been having, I’d love to “not be able to log in” for an hour or even crash. I miss it ;-p It’s just part of this world and I, like a slew of others on this side of the fence, understand it and try to be a little more tolerant and patient.

    As for money – I’ve made investment in SL. I became an officially paying resident after one week, a land owner by my first month, I’ve bought goods and services and have – while the time lasted – even started learning to do something else to contribute. I’d get aggrivated with it ran slow or crashed, or when I couldn’t search or TP somewhere, or when I could TP I showed up without a shirt or hair…but maybe it’s me (and those others of us on this side of the fence), I’m still capable of recognizing it’s not *material* reality – it’s the reality of a virtual reality program. It’s got issues, it’s not perfect, but if you can’t afford to lose real money for a virtual product, then you don’t need to be here. Seriously.

    I understand the complaints, I truly do…but if you’ve got your whole financial security or your material security wrapped up in SL, the problem doesn’t reside with Philip or SL…it’s your priorities that are screwed up. If you can’t afford to lose it, then DON’T INVEST IT to begin with. It’s like feeding 20s to the poker machines then bitching when one blows a circuit that you can’t feed your gambling problem.

    It aint the machine. Even when it eats your money. Stable people feed money in that they’re fully prepared to lose for the exchange of whatever the activity might be, and if it sucks, then they know to QUIT DOING IT.

    Stupid people continue feeding the ‘beast’ and then bitching out the beast when it malfunctions and prevents them from feeding it…and then they keep right on doing it anyway next time.

    Philip, LL, and SL wasn’t created for the sole purpose of “so people can build an economic empire selling virtual goods and services” – that part was a by product of the ability and potential of what SL actually is. That some of you have become totally dependent on this program to maintain a business is the mismanagement of investment, not SL’s flaws and growing pains.

    No matter how buggy or crappy SL might run, SL and LL and Philip isn’t your problem and never was.

    And anyway, where are all you complainers in the real world pulling up the white house blog to bitch out the politicians who have THOROUGHLY screwed up this nation (if not the planet)…how come yall aren’t out there with these same kinda torches ready to lynch the real life ones who are actually destroying and ruining first life?

    Quit bitching and start helping.

    And happy thanksgiving again. 😉

  127. Funkfenomenon Felisimo says:

    I “was” going to purchase three new sims on Monday – you know, at $1,675 EACH. Well, today has pushed me over the edge. I just cancelled my premium membership and said to hell with giving you guys $5,025 of my hard-earned money if all you can do is offer me reliable unreliability. Have fun.

  128. Nubo Timeless says:

    As a newbie, I still haven’t quite decided whether SL is something I’ll stick with. I really do hope you make great strides in stability, as so far I’ve rarely gone a half hour without my client crashing. And often not much more before running into some online mischief that makes the simulation itself unusable or unbearable. I have to admit that I might not have tried SL if not for the free registration but I can see how much damage the concept is causing, I don’t find thousands of cascading screaming goatse porn images to be particularly improving of the human condition.

    On the other hand, I do think I sort of understand your enthusiasm, and it is illustrated nicely by your first video example.

    Thanks, and good luck

  129. hugsalot says:

    I guess if you keep changing your how you define what your mission is, you might eventually meet your goal. All you have to do is rephrase meaningless rhetoric to make it sound like you’re doing something, rather than actually DOING IT.

    Just downplay big problem issues and act like they are short term problems when they’ve been going on for YEARS (literally). Then you spin the meaningless issues that won’t help in the long run. And also talk about new features, functions, and “what if” scenarios for the future, when you’re barely acknowledging the present.

    A lot like how the Bush Administration has been handling their affairs.

  130. Lenny Looming says:

    Well folks, it was swell, but the swelling’s gone down…

  131. Kilik Liotta says:

    [5:47PM PST] [UPDATE] The login error “Inventory system is currently unavailable” upon attempting to login is likely to last well into tomorrow. Further updates will be posted here as information becomes available. Thank you for your continued patience. – Kate

    @127 \m/ Goatse \m/

  132. Does the “browse the web from within the world” mean “HTML on a prim”,or just having the existing browser fleshed out more fully, or something more?

  133. Lenny Looming says:

    [5:47PM PST] [UPDATE] The login error “Inventory system is currently unavailable” upon attempting to login is likely to last well into tomorrow. Further updates will be posted here as information becomes available. Thank you for your continued patience. – Kate

    – Welp, there goes my planned FAMILY get-together via Second Life with members of the family from across the country for Thanksgiving…

    Lord knows I’ve already struck the entire weeks of Christmas and New Years off the list as far as Second Life is concerned.

  134. Ricken Flow says:

    It is good to hear from the top that SL is looking for the the future. I have been a member for 3 months now and see great potential. 🙂 One day I hope to have SL as my career and living space along with RL. The future is what we make it. I understand the growing pains of growth and I am just glad to grow with SL through the good and the bad.

  135. element smirnov says:

    Thanks Phil, i have faith in you, as well as linden lab. your vision is very clear to me. I’d say you have already succeeded. From this point on can it can only expand and improve.

  136. justguess says:

    That change in mission statement suggests you’ve been wasting too much time watching the presidential candidate “debates”.

    It’s way too political sounding, and gives you a lot of prevarication to hide behind.

  137. Kilik Liotta says:

    Change the mission statement to “Login Failed — The inventory system is currently unavailable”

  138. Crusader Superior says:

    ~HEY! Finaly someone heres the moans of the people. THX THX for this statment because yes it does feel like we the people have lost contact with the Lindens in times of trouble. Sometimes I think they mean well but screw up. For example: They returned my whole business to me and it put me out of business and now 3 months later the games and business are legal (skill games)! I never thought about the great SL run by only 250 people..very impressive i must admit. I wont mention which Linden considering i wasnt so nice to him either after he returned everything..mwahahah Anyways after reading this statement im willing to give SL another shot. Even though i complain daily about SL, me, you and everyone knows its the best and always will be the best virtual reality platform. So maybe its you full filling our dreams as well and in a sense we have to take a few bullets with you along the way. I can deal with that..GOOD LUCK LINDENS! Work hard, stay honest and we will follow you where ever SL leads =D

  139. Thom Kidrin had a similar dream back in 1994 when he created worlds.com .. Housed some of the most famous musicians and stars.. Actually Thom was the first in the 3D world experience and thankfully he is revamping worlds as we speak..

    I will say this about Second Life.. I totally love it.. especially since Windlight.. Windlight has improved my Vista experience 100% Kudos for Windlight..

    Thanks for your blog Phillip.. hopefully we will see more of your voice in the community. Hopefully.. even more so you will listen to the voice of the people before we all end up migrating elsewhere.

  140. Ellle Thursday says:

    Well, it’s nice to know a timeframe…but my wish is that they would explain what’s gone wrong….or at least admit that they still don’t know.

  141. Maks Vendetta says:

    What can I say Phil? You’ve created a drug and we are all suffering withdrawals.

  142. I’m very thankful to have second life it is an amazing experience, Thank you phillip for creating it, I hope we all can continue to enjoy SL!

    And please don’t raise ISLAND tier PLZ! lol

  143. Kris says:

    @122

    Newsflash:

    Some of us are doing things in SL that have a DIRECT effect on RL. So take the holier than thou attitude elsewhere man.

  144. Lillith Anatine says:

    To all the naysayers: blah blah blah. Get your systems in line with the requirements. I live at the bottom until recently and NEVER had the kinds of issues you all did.

    To Phil and the rest of LL: nice job. If you didn’t do this, I had plans to and had already begun building my framework when I discovered SL (long, long before creating this av, about 1998/99, same time you did).

    You’ve done a much better job than I could have by myself. Salud, and thank you for this magnificent RL time waster 😉

  145. Marianne McCann says:

    Good to hear from you Philip: i had begun to think you had all but left this world. I’m glad to be proven wrong!

  146. Skylark Thibedeau says:

    Hey Guys do us a favor. Stop and restart the services and reboot the server!!!!!

  147. Hubba Habana says:

    #143…

    When was the last friggin’ time YOU spent just shy of FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS on a computer? That’s what my latest state of the art quad-core custom system cost me and aguess what? It doesn’t help me log in any faster than anyone else here so I suggest you whine elsewhere or all you’re going to do is get flamed (a.k.a this post).

  148. Raymond Figtree says:

    So nice of you to put stability first in 2008. Might have been nice to have seen that as the priority in 2007. Would have kept a lot of people from leaving. Retention would be a good thing to think about given how few new people are streaming into the pipeline.

  149. Rit Roff says:

    Cancelling my premium membership right now. That is if your system will acknowledge it. It’s slow too. Maybe that means I’m not the only one going through the cancellation process right about now???

  150. Dominic Milos says:

    Communications between LL and SL residents could use improving. They said five hours; it is now 9 hours and no update from LL. How come???

    Hope this is resolved before the holiday weekend or some residents will be justifiably pizzed off.

    Enjoy my time on SL, just wish I could get on it.

  151. Stroker Jonson says:

    Yeah, I’m fed up too.

    I’ve had nothing but login failures, prim problems, lag out the wazoo even with a 3 Grand Alienware setup and high-speed wired cable network.

    I’m heading over to cancel my premium account as well.

    Maybe then LL will start listening when they see several thousand people cancelling their premium memberships.

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