Letter to Second Life Residents

Greetings. I’ve been here for almost two months and have still just scratched the surface of what Second Life is and what it can be. You know this because you are inworld frequently. Second Life continues to expand each and every day. New Residents are joining, artists are creating amazing content, new businesses are springing up, big companies are entering for the first time, educational institutions are building virtual universities… and the list goes on. Everyday I learn of something new, something bold, something you’ve created.

The possibilities of Virtual Worlds have attracted a slew of entrepreneurs and even some Internet giants. Some are offering a simple, visually appealing chat solution. Others are more ambitious. Second Life offers something no ones else does – an astoundingly rich array of user-created content and a large, diverse and ever-expanding virtual economy. The content and economy reflect the diversity of the Resident population. Your creativity covers 1.5 billion meters of space that’s taken more than 500 million hours over the past five years to assemble. It’s a mammoth undertaking.

Our growth has come at a cost which you felt, and still feel – platform stability, viewer performance, lag, inventory management, etc. It’s important for you to know that we are ALL OVER these problems and that we’re making progress.

Our next viewer, when it comes in full release, will offer a much better inworld experience. With more than 50 crash fixes, you’ll have fewer viewer failures and we’ve fixed some irritating elements in the interface. You can download the release candidate now and give it a try. We also launched a new initiative to completely redesign the viewer from top to bottom – recognizing that new users don’t need such a dizzying array of features, and experienced users, land and business owners and content creators need better tools that are more thoughtfully designed and organized for their needs. Everyone needs better inventory management and search is due for an overhaul. We hear you. We’re on it.

The most significant thing we’ve done on the stability front, by far, is shipping and fine tuning Havok4. It has reduced our simulator crash by over 80% compared to pre-Havok4 levels. On the reliability front we have created a full failover of the asset system, providing safe and continuous access to inworld content in the event of catastrophic loss of one of the asset clusters.

We’ve invested in a variety of areas of our registration process to make the platform more stable. And, we are actively improving the key databases to improve performance. Our efforts are paying off. I expect we’ll break through 70,000 concurrent users soon.

We have redesigned and rebuilt the registration process to make it easier for new members to join. Although it is still in testing, we’ve seen a significant improvement in registration levels. Significant. That, plus press attention outside the US have allowed us to hit some new registration records for the year. Very exciting. In addition, we are reworking the first-hour experience for new Residents to help them become more quickly acclimated and connected to Second Life and able to enjoy the richness and experience earlier.

In addition, Torley Linden has produced a library of 150 video tutorials designed to make it easier to do everything from teaching new Residents basic skills to putting media on their parcel. The videos are currently displayed on the blog and organized by category for easier consumption.

Support continues to expand its services to the Residents; in the last quarter we have redesigned the Support Portal interface in response to your feedback, to bring key components of our service front and center so they are more accessible. For basic members, we continue our review of “Hot Spot” problems like inventory loss, and add them to our special issues queue to get you quick service for difficult problems as they arise. The launch of the new Land Store now allows you to purchase new regions and have them delivered in moments. Projects like the Department of Public Works and Bay City are adding tremendous value to the Second Life Mainland.

Fortunately, Linden Lab is very solid financially, as you noted if you read yesterday’s blog post. We’re profitable and generating cash that is comfortably funding the investments we are making to ensure Second Life is the most vibrant, rich, diverse and immersive economy experience in the metaverse.

The Virtual World space is entering a new period. The viability of Virtual Worlds has been proven (look at all the players on the scene today!) and I believe the next three years will be a remarkable period of innovation. Today, we are seeing uses of Second Life that are world changing in the way we communicate with each other, work, learn and express ourselves. I have no doubt that Virtual Worlds are going to be an important part of our day-to-day life and I’m proud to be a part of it.

Thank you for your passion, your support, your energy and commitment. Yes — even frustration. I see it, feel it, hear it. Together, it keeps us energized and focused on what’s important.

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151 Responses to Letter to Second Life Residents

  1. Ann Otoole says:

    Thanks for the letter. Always nioce to hear from you so we know you have not been overwhelmed by all of this.

    I am still curious as to what the 5 year plan is for Secondlife. It has been acknowledged that tier is a primary revenue stream for Secondlife. Why is Linden Lab placing such a high priority on giving this lucrative Revenue stream away to open grids? Somehow this move fails to make sense from a business position. So I wish to know what Linden Lab sees Secondlife is 5 years from now.

    A lot of us have bet quite a bit on this and it looks pretty shaky given the many directions your staff chooses to take on their own initiative.

  2. Fos Dagger says:

    Wow, Lively has you that worried? Still, glad to hear about the improvements and wish you, and all the residents, the best over the next year. I know SL can win out. The user created content is what makes SL so special, and will continue to do so as long as LL provides the platform. I for one will be sticking with SL 🙂

    Um, go M and stuff!

  3. cosa nostra says:

    ‘Thank you for your passion, your support, your energy and commitment. Yes — even frustration. I see it, feel it, hear it. Together, it keeps us energized and focused on what’s important’

    I dont see it, I dont feel it and I dont hear it .. on the grid !

    cosa

  4. Tiny Mind says:

    Don’t worry. I have tried Google’s test of “Lively” (in Open Beta), and so far from the limited exposure to it… Linden Labs has NOTHING at all to worry about over it. 😉

    Tiny Tester.

  5. slbraun says:

    When you ignore Economics 101, you will inevitably end in ruin. An unlimited supply of land and flat demand means lower prices. Those who invested in land get hosed. A downward cycle is created which is difficult to reverse. The honeymoon is over Mr. CEO. Get to work. Me…I am heading over to check out the new Lively.

  6. Tarius Auxarmes says:

    I dont usually comment but I have to say it sounds like you guys are finally paying lots of attention to what is important: platform stability; instead of adding lots of bells and whistles.

  7. Jay Townsend says:

    Best communication I have seen in a very long time. Thanks

  8. cosa nostra says:

    ‘Thank you for your money, your money, your money and money. Yes — even RL frustration. I (wish I could) see it, feel it, hear it. Your money, it keeps us energized at LL and focused on what’s important …. making money !

    cosa

  9. JenzZa Misfit says:

    Thank you M Linden ! I for one look forward to the future and appreciate the information you have shared with us here today. After 2 years in world, experiencing the changes as they occur – I remain ever optimistic and amazed. Best of luck to you as you embrace this ever evolving ‘culture’.

    🙂

  10. While appreciated, mention of the IP issues and how they’re being actively addressed would have been nice.

  11. Thanks for the heads-up, M! It’s great to see you’re embracing your new role at Linden Lab with passion!

    This was a very interesting week for virtual worlds in general, lots of new announcements in a single week… and it’s just Wednesday! I can’t fail to notice that a new momentum for the building of the Metaverse (or InterGrid, as I prefer to call it) is reaching a new high. And, this time, it seems to be a positive one.

    It’s also important to understand that LL is re-focusing their efforts on other areas. Education, research, and specially the corporate world have been neglected — they have adapted as they could — but there is still a lot to be done. However, none of these areas will mean much if there is not a strong, creative community and an even stronger and active economy. Leveraging both will be a challenge.

    As for Lively, well… @slbraun is an optimist 🙂

  12. Having been here for over a year and a half it is nice to see good communication. Like JenzZa we’ve seen changes come and go, some good, some bad. Nice to know in regards to some areas LL listen.

    Looking forward to the changes in the new few years.

  13. Ciaran Laval says:

    There’s a rule of business that you shouldn’t leave your customers feeling poor after doing business with you, which is something you should be ensuring Jack and Zee understand.

    The potential here is absolutely massive, it would be a great shame if something like Lively took the attention away from a project such as Second Life but there are lessons to take note of, social networking being one glaring example.

    Another being that you can’t keep the entry bar too high technically, education won’t keep up with you, I can assure you, sometimes you need to be patient to get to the promised land, don’t throw too many aside in the great leap forward.

    Very positive move on the first hour, it’s crucial but people need to be able to find something to do quickly to keep them engaged, that’s something that needs working on.

  14. Linda Sauterau says:

    Thanks for the update! As for the negative comments…you’re damned if you do (let us know what’s going on) you’re damned if you don’t….so keep communicating and working to make Second Life better. I have many years executive experience and things are never as simple as they seem from the outside…resource allocation is a difficult thing to do well. Congrats for taking on a very difficult and complex task…managing a technology company that is “enjoying” exponential growth.

  15. Hyddin McMillan says:

    It cant be an easy job for anyone at LL,..your either seen as doing too much or not enough! The fact remains, it has gotten better and will continue to improve. These things take time and there are some of us out here that understand this. I cant wait to see whats coming! I still hope to see my shadow all the time one day! 😉 M, to you and all there , thank you for doing what ya do!

  16. Alexander Regent says:

    Thank you for the letter.

    Indeed there has been pain. And I of course have thrown more than my fair share of rotten eggs.

    But your letter is communicative and factual.

    It goes to great lengths to help.

    Thanks again.

  17. Joker Opus says:

    It’s very comforting to hear from you, and how assuring it is to hear you hearing us. Communication must be a preliminary factor in this company’s operation and it gets fulfilled 100%. Thanks mark for listening to our needs, I have high hopes for you!

  18. Flame Swenholt says:

    I think it’s cool that Second Life has gone a long way. I mean, there’s other things out there (World of Warcraft, IMVU, etc) that everyone uses, but all of that is also in Second Life, and unlike many of them, Second Life can be used for free. Sure that means you can’t own land or buy anything, you can still create and learn. Second Life is like a non stop demo, in the sense that once you think you have learned something, you realize there’s more left to uncover, and because we are a giant economy, everyone teaches each other, and that is the real key towards the true experience with Second Life, a place where people around the world come to share their ideas and watch their dreams come to life.

  19. The LL engineers have done a phenomenal job keeping SL going whilst improving the underlying infrastructure and the UI etc during massive growth. There has been a fair bit of frustration for users during this period but that’s the price you pay to virtually live on the bleeding edge.

  20. QaPla Xie says:

    “On the reliability front we have created a full failover of the asset system, providing safe and continuous access to inworld content in the event of catastrophic loss of one of the asset clusters.”—

    really? I scripted for 3 hours today, took objects into inventory with the scripts..returned tonight. The boxes were ghosted prims on the sim. We restarted the sim. All my work is lost. Kudos!!

    and no, they are not in my inventory either.

  21. Master Quatro says:

    Linden lab did a phenomenal job of stabilizing the L$ when it was wildly fluctuating in a wide range. You MUST get the land issue under control. We MUST have stability in land operations. Your company had the gaul .. the nerve .. to raise sim prices by 50% and in less then a year lower them again below where they were originally, and you called it a “business plan”. Please bring some stability to land in SL. Those of us who invested thousands of $ in private regions at $1675 were badly mistreated when we lost over 40% of our assets overnight by your decision to reduce prices so drastically. How do you expect us to feel? We trusted you to keep some semblance of price stability.

    It’s true that SL has undergone some very significant improvements in overall stability. I for one am excited about future prospects but only if you get the land issue under control. Please put someone in charge that has a plan .. a real plan not jerking us around with such incoherent manipulations of the virtual estate market. Please no excuses. Don’t call such failure a business plan.

  22. The Great Sandwich Debate says:

    Inventory and database issues have been a priority for around 2 years now according to LL so i will wait for action before i pour the champagne but here is hoping.

    I do agree Havok 4 has made SL much more stable though.

    Shame mainland is so ugly with Adfarms that most Noobs won’t enjoy exploring like i did when i joined in 2005.

  23. Ralf says:

    Besides Lively there is also Twinity….

  24. Ourasi Ferraris says:

    This exchange of messages μ Philip but I believe that I am nostalgic. You have a more marketing SL is good but for creative and dreamers can be too serious…

  25. Brenda Maculate says:

    I’ve looked at IMVU, and it’s not even in the same league.

    Today, I looked at Google’s Lively. It LOOKS nice, but it doesn’t seem like it stands a snowball’s chance against Second Life. Movement isn’t terribly intuitive (I was messing around for 20 minutes before I realized that I had to drag my avatar around to make it walk!), and so far as I can tell, I can’t build things from scratch or script anything.

    I’ve looked at maybe three or four different programs that are supposed to offer a “3D Virtual World experience”, and Second Life is the best of the bunch, by far.

    Perhaps the next person that complains about the lag SL experiences should spend an afternoon dealing with Lively. After a half hour, they’ll be *begging* to come back to SL…

  26. Hi and thanks for the letter but I am wondering and no offense meant, how much time did you actually spend inworld as a complete unknown even to your staff before writing this letter?

    My comments are few:

    Better training is needed for the customer support people in the concierge team.

    Stop taking credit for technology that Linden Lab did not develop, such as interoperability as in yesterday’s blog.. that was developed years ago by Thom Kidrin’s worlds.com

    Stop playing with the economy/land prices/client stability as if we the residents of SL are mere chess pieces and Linden Lab are the gods of the Titans.

    Take content theft seriously .. protect the creators here.. impliment a new permissions system.

    Get rid of the adfarms since most are extortionists and it clutters SL. This is one reason that many prefer to rent land with a covenant as opposed to actually owning Linden Land. Land smaller than 512 should not be allowed to sell and land smaller than 512 should not be allowed to eb subdivided.

    Hire Ann Otoole .. she will help you get LL together.

    Finally, we need mirrors.

  27. Eloise says:

    Whilst I’ve enjoyed the communiques from Philip, and derided several other posters, it’s nice to see a professional looking, but still slightly quirky post for the new big boss at Linden Lab.

    It would be lovely to see the next release really massively improve stability – it’s been the longest RC cycle of the lot I think does that indicate a new internal policy and a drive to really get it right? Lets hope so.

    Forgive me if I wait and see before rolling out the ticker-tape, but the signs look good. Here’s to another five years!

  28. GiGi Burgess says:

    Really glad LL is in the money but if you consider land value has nose dived yet tier remains the same, that really does not do much for the average land holder. I personally own a 1/4 sim that is now of little to no value because of the land saturation by LL. My plans were to gradually sell and then save to purchase a sim. Now i cannot give it away and the auctions have been halted (wondering if they open with the same low opening bids). If the user experience is the focus of LL then please comment on our lost land investments. LL stated in a previous News Blog that they were manipulating the value of land. I understand the various components being addressed. I am simply stating that the issue that i have been facing is not being addressed. Lost investment. How about a stimulus check????? ((trying to keep my sense of humor))

  29. Chance says:

    Do not impact our virtual sex.

  30. Coon Surya says:

    Woo! Long Live Second Life!

    Keep up the good work M. Make us proud.

  31. As a builder Second Life has given a whole new meaning to the work I create. Its like nothing like other 3d platforms I’ve worked before. The word “Modding Games” is old to me now.

    Before jumping into Second Life I was working on other 3d game platforms and a friend of mine kept bugging me to join Second Life and bragging how cool it is for 3d artists. Anyway, after trying out Second Life for the first time I immediatley thought it was a joke. The first impression was the awful graphics. The other 3d game platforms I’ve worked with had much much richer 3d graphics. It literally took about 7 tries till I liked Second Life and finally left working on modding other 3d game projects. If you ask why I finally made the switch, its because the work I create in Second Life is seen by many many people worldwide. This is great for builders, architects, and designers of all areas. Instantly we can see and share our design ideas without taking long expensive trips.

    I see some great things coming this futur……..

    P.S. Please get SpeedTree added!

  32. Lina Pussycat says:

    Lively isnt really that much of a worry Fos 😛 As its navigation is poor and unless they allow bringing in models from Sketchup you cant even make your own content heeh. No streaming media etc…. Im glad to see a letter like this come up its nice you hear from you guys :).

  33. Well, it seems the CEO is trying to understand, and trying to fix. I think the most important thing I got from this letter was he recognizes we the creators and residents are the most important part of this, and is working to fix things for us. And an inventory fix is something we ALL would like, and I have seen an improvement since havoc 4. Keep fixing things, and and keep letting us know what is going on. I know promises have been made and lost, but this is a new CEO, give him a few more months to get the ropes in his hands. Then we will can start throwing rotten fruit and vegetables.
    As a note to those who invested into land, you are going to lose money, period, time will drive prices down, figure it out and stop worrying about IF its going to happen. Until a serious social revolution occurs and puts a minor halt to the industry, that is the variance of technology. You are not buying real estate, you are buying server space, and it will drop in price over time. Its the same as whining over how you paid 5000 for a computer in 1992. Consider it an investment into the new area of VR, and a loss. Otherwise you are barking up a tree that is destined to fall over, and then you are just barking.

  34. Chaos Mohr says:

    I’ve been on SL for over a year and half now (more time than some, less time than others), but in that time I have met wonderful people, seen some incredible innovations, and an amazing amount of creativity. And yes, I’ve suffered through lag issues, inventory issues, downtime, viewer bugs etc, all with the knowledge that these things would over time get better. I have also seen an improvement in communication between LL and residents, although it still has a good ways to go.

    It is nice to see an informative post which highlights some of the things we as residents can look forward to, and while certainly some of the comments hear are negative, many of them are from people who are passionate about SL, who have poured their hearts and souls into creating things here, and who have invested time and a nice chunk of $$, so you can bet when these people, the passionate ones, the ones who really love what SL is supposed to be feel slighted, or screwed over, that they are going to speak their minds.

    I guess what I’m saying, is that I hope you will see many of the seemingly negative comments for what they are, not all rants, but rather pleadings for help from people who actually support SL and LL and hope to see improvements in things that have been ignored for far too long, or mismanaged.

    Take some time and visit more places in-world M, talk one on one with as many people as you can, get a real ‘feel’ for the passion that exists here, and please, keep us up to date on what is going on 🙂

  35. The CEO is blowing hot air up your skirt.

    He understands that Philip is his boss and he will move his mouth as Philip tells him.

    Blah Blah Blah…same old line for the last two years…and it took you TWO MONTHS to memorize it. Sheesh, the could have just hired an actor to play your role.

  36. Shire Pony says:

    What a delightful and heartening blob post. Perhaps it was spurred by the specter of competition from some unnamed “Internet Giant”, but whatever the cause, it seemed an excellent summary of the accomplishments and shortcomings of SL.

    I guess sometimes it’s useful to look back and realize just how far this place has come since the old days, and what there is to look forward to in the future.

    I for one am looking forward to the seeing these stability and feature improvements in the months to come.

    Great post M Linden!

  37. Frank Northmead says:

    Thank you for the positive comments. I look forward to your promises being put into action we can see and feel in world.

    One negative comment:

    “I expect we’ll break through 70,000 concurrent users soon.”

    This is not an acceptable goal. You should be looking forward to breaking the 100,000 concurrent users soon, and 1,000,000 concurrent users in the foreseeable future – as in years, not decades.

    While I personally am quite negative about LL’s ability to pull this off and survive, I am hopeful that the emerging competition will light a fire under management and bring about the changes so desperately needed.

  38. votslav hax says:

    ..thank you…

  39. Linda Brynner says:

    New accounts are joining, not new people.
    Please publish the Ratio Account / RL people Ok?
    Now…… Damn… get the Land business under control.
    It is a huge desaster !!
    44% Land extension does not correlate to other developments ok?
    Get your ass together !!!
    Oh yes right… LL is just interested in Tier which is revenue no. 1
    despite all efforts ! They don’t care about residents, really !!!

  40. Deltango Vale says:

    From the moment I read an article in the Economist in October 2006, I knew Second Life was the biggest leap in IT and social media since the introduction of web browsers in 1995. If properly managed, Linden Lab will shape the development of the 3D web. In terms of revenue, prestige and social responsibility, the stakes are very high.

    Transforming Linden Lab into a professionally managed global company will not be an easy task. Linden Lab is not a software startup, nor is it even a service company. Second Life is a new commercial entity, more akin to a national economy than a firm. The closest historical parallel would be the Virginia Companies of London and Plymouth (1606) or the Massachusetts Bay Company (1629).

    The key difference is that Second Life is VIRTUAL, VOLUNTARY and ADULT. Engrave this on every desk, paste in onto every computer and print it on all your letterhead.

    VIRTUAL – VOLUNTARY – ADULT

    If you can remember these words, Second Life will be the biggest success story of the twenty-first century. Lose sight of them and SL will become a sidebar in management textbooks about the guys who had it all and blew it.

  41. Dwayanu Weyland says:

    Most happy to see some attn being paid to ‘First Hour’ experience.

    Advise, extend that attention to the Welcome Center experience. For example, the Ahern or Morris centers. Total PeeWee Herman zoo, mostly because some SL non-newbs work hard at being ‘impressive’ in front of newbs, to the point of griefing. Constantly. Intimidating.

    Seems little that the Mentors and other SL helpers there are able to do ?

  42. Siiaas Saarinen says:

    I also tried Lively and was not impressed. For some reason, it runs much worse than Second Life and yet seems to be 5% as complex. Not the mention the fact that you are more or less stuck on a platform which constitutes a “room”, moving is not intuitive as mentioned above, and the people I was with spent 20 minutes debating on if the bear avatars should have clothes or not because they technically already have fur lol. I’ll stick with SL for the time being.

    One thing I do wish you guys would finally address are the ways in which SL handles animation and attachment points. Most 3D apps worth their salt attach the animation points or objects at the joints, not in the middle of the limb like SL does. Seems if you guys could create a toggle to switch between the old (current) SL attachment style, and a new, better one that is based on actual skeletal joints, it would make everyone happy. Better attachment and animation options, better accuracy, and all the work up to now making attachments and animations would not have to be lost as you could toggle between the two methods.

  43. Linda Brynner says:

    Please break through 1,000,000
    Around 60,000 we already had at Dec 2007.
    Then plummeted to 50,000 due to many factors. Nothing new.
    70,000, well, well, wow ( LOL ).

  44. fd spark says:

    I am definitely looking forward to better content tools, inventory management.
    I am very curious what will be happening next.

  45. Soap Clawtooth says:

    I would have to agree with 37. But I would also have to add that Linden Lab has been going about fixing things up in entirely the wrong way. Windlight was a new initiative and Dazzle started shortly after it so as soon as the Windlight was brought from Release Candidate status to Main Candidate Status, Dazzle then became the Release Candidate. Do you not think that this was a complete waste of effort and resources? Wouldn’t it have been more efficient to simply have merged the dazzle and windlight initiatives and released both as one entity?
    The fixing of the other problems that beset us in-world is a headache at best. Jira is fundamentally flawed since its fraught with the problem of people voting for the niggly little issues that they and their friends want fixed now rather than what actually should be fixed now, which brings unimportant fixes to the forefront while more important problems are left with us today.
    The Premium Account needs a complete revision of what it should be offering. There simply isn’t enough there to attract people to want to pay $70 odd a year for 512 of land that’s practically useless and a $L300 stipend. While premium users get more Support, that too should be investigated for streamlining. From my personal experience a 3 day turnaround for getting your ticket read and dealt with renders the system totally useless if the problem happens to be more immediate.

  46. David Kline says:

    Yeah that is all good and all Mr. Linden but i want to ask you will you really deliver that? Lag has gotten worse lately NOT better… the problem is you keep pouring in new users without a solid server system to be able to handle it. Second life’s overall experence i would say is getting worse not better. still crashes…still worse lag then ever…missing textures..takes FOREVER to rezz anything

    you need to fix the fact that the cache system does not work..you still have to re-rezz an area that you visited 4 minutes ago if you log out…

    it really is frustrating…oh and theres bugs where you remove users from yuor buddy list they still show up…the fact that the support system for abuse is catered towards those who spend gobs of money a month and the rest of us still have to wait forever to get any help

    the fact that yet today i noticed another underage teen who has been on the main grid for a year…no way to really combat that…if you required payment info from everyone like you used to do it would cut down on the lag and reduce greifers…and alt abuse.

    the problem is i see a new “leader” but i see not much really being done. First i would say you owe most of us who have been in sl for a while a big apology. an apolgy for the inventory loss issues the lag, the mising textures, the crashes….i lost 3,000L one time thanks to bugs and that problem…

    Sir the problem is i challage the question are you really in this to help make second life a better safer place. or are you just in it for the money? because second life could really be a wonderful platform if some of the MAJOR issues that have plagued it for the past few years can be fixed…

    right now its busted, broken, and buggy. and it seems you are more interested in money and numbers of how many droves of people are in second life rather then trying to work on the main problems that most users are frustrated over. cant tell you how many good conversations i lost because the people crashed and coudnt get back in!

    we dont need words we need actions. Please assure us that these major issues will be fixed and not like the age verification thing which has been talked about for over a year now and not yet put in full effect…just somethng to blow smoke.

    thanks.

  47. Moose Maine says:

    M – Behind the scenes – we lowly avatars have said to each other that it’s apparent in the last two months stability has improved 100 percent. Coicendence? We think not! It’s clear that the ships captain has a firm handle on the wheel and now is communicating with the crew of SL! As a side note – we’ve been blessed by Torley’s communication skills, and what ever your paying him, it’s not enough! M – Keep up the great start you’ve shown and PLEASE – Keep talking to us. This one letter makes a world of difference!

  48. M says:

    M here. Thank you for your kind words and comments and also for sharing your concerns. One topic mentioned several times in your comments was Land. Land is an integral part of the inworld economy and one we are taking active steps now to improve. We are putting new processes in place to allow for more thoughtful product planning, management and support specifically focused on Land.

    It was also said we should be looking forward to breaking the 100,000 then 1,000,000 concurrent user threshold. Indeed we are! I mentioned 70,000 in my post because someone mentioned that figure specifically in the comments section of yesterday’s blog post. 1,000,000 is a nice round number. Let’s hit it together.

    Thanks all!

  49. Charlotte Bartlett says:

    Thanks M. Our first complaint was communication outwards to residents and the increase is marked and timed with SL5B well received. Now if you can do office hours/town halls monthly and repick up SLDEV focus for us on that side, we’ll be smiling for sure. We completed a large non-profit project a few months back and the solicitation of feedback etc was completed by Linden Labs and what we felt could be improved – much appreciated.

    Our second complaint was stability and we again see improvements and these continue.

    Our third complaint was IP rights and protection in terms of unique content being created within SL. Also the issue of people reproducing products that breached IP rights. You did touch on it briefly in your opening statement so we will be looking forward to this in your next letter hopefully, This affects a large population of residents and normally “older” residents who have developed into creators. I.E. the loyal customer.

    Thank you for the letter, it’s such a huge improvement let’s hope we continue this pathway.

    Finally, after being jaded to some degree for the past year, SL5B restored my spirits. Politics aside, the sense of community was really uplifting. Group chat dominated and it felt like the old days. More community driven gridwide “events” that also link the Lindens back to their grass roots and the residents please it gave us a lot of purpose – sadly something that can be hard to establish here 🙂

  50. Happy Camper says:

    @ Chance SEX SEX SEX Second Life is more than just SEX. I wish I was a fly on the wall when one of the big companies is holding a Board meeting or teaching a class and some gor dork comes in disturbing them with a chain of bimbo’s behind him.

  51. Mr. Sans says:

    I agree wasted resources are being spent on “new features” like winlight and voice which are nice and good but that are not that nessicary.

    before you keep piling on new features you need to work on fixing those which need work now…

    like the lag…the rezzing issues, the missing textures ..,.i mean whats the point of having someone spend all that time and money on a sexy avie when half of the people cant see it because of missing textures and lag?

    and oh my pants are missing now for some reason in sl…thanks

    Sir you need to stop blowing smoke and give us real results..show us real ways of how you are stepping up to the plate and instead of what Mr. Philip has done thrown out all these new cool neat ideas that really havent done much for the place…and really FIX the issues that are really causing major ssues.

    number ONE proiority should be stability and lag. those are key

    if it keeps crashing people can get done what they want to get done..and lag just prevents everyone from really enjoying sl.

    it seems to have gotten worse only lately not better.

    well i just hope someone at LL will step up to the plate and get things rolling because i get tired of reaeding these blogs about all the singing and dancing about “this is what we are going to do to make things better ” and then nothing really gets changed.

    i put way too much money into sl then i should have and it would be nice to see some major improvements being done down the road …for all of our efforts of supporting it all these years…even when it has been really really frustrating.

  52. SharpKnife Beaumont says:

    Hmm Mr. Ceo,

    LL has lots off money, I wonder where this money comes from,
    third time in a row f…k.. the land prices, i loose about 2000 u$ now just on one sim that is if folks wouild buy it at 5 L$ A METER!.
    Otherwise I just have to dump the land and loose even more, to get rid of the tier payment. How about your first concern is to make a stable land price , so folks are not affraid anymore to invest real amounts off money in the game, And lets face it 44% land grow , thats about 1 sims for every unique avatar in SL??

    I really like SL and most off us are addicted to it, but the fun is fast gone with loosing this amount off money!

    No hard feelings, but pls look in to this, it could save our/your world!

    Anyway welcome, your new to LL, so give it your best shot for the residents and LL.

    Regards,

    Sharp

  53. Happy Camper says:

    we dont need words we need actions. Please assure us that these major issues will be fixed and not like the age verification thing which has been talked about for over a year now and not yet put in full effect…just somethng to blow smoke.

    We have age verification? Where?

  54. Loydin Tripp says:

    Nice words, very nice words. It is interesting the timing of this letter at the release date of Google’s Lively. From this you have little to fear. The original hope that Google or some other concern might offer real competition to Second Life is, for now, on hold. Lively is little more than another compartmentalized attempt to gather the ever chased demographic of 18 to 14 s. Little more than a 3D chat room.

    Even with the experiment of teleport to IBM’s servers, Second Life and Linden Labs is far from the eventual need of a virtual world platform. This requires many abilities beyond just technology: rule of law, transparent transaction systems, the removal of personality injections, non-dependency on land sales, lastly, and most importantly, multiple suppliers and hosting agencies There is another type of communication like this, its called the Internet. There is clearly a need, a compelling need for a 3D internet. Developing stable and robust technologies is doable and achievable but I fear that the problem with Linden Labs and by default, Second Life, is more about poor judgement, limited business models and the flawed policies that will continue to bedevil the expansion of their version of the virtual world.

    Words and promises are great, maybe better than nothing. I am happy that Second Life is profitable. Maybe what would really impress the residents and the struggling businesses of Second LIfe would be that you consider returning some funds to the companies that have invested heavily in Second Life only to have their investments shut down or marginally operational.

    It fascinates me that you feel that your TOS gives you a complete ethical coverage to not providing a service that many residents pay for. 50 cents, even 10 cents on a dollar of loss may seem, at best, symbolic but it go a long way to impress us, us who pay, more than promises and kind words.

  55. Beast Mauvaise says:

    M, it’s good to hear you talking about issues that some of us have been kvetching about, publically and privately, for ages now – like the slightly clumsy content-creation tools, like Search, like the clunky Inventory window… the SL client IS vastly better than it was two years ago when I came aboard, and y’all are to be commended for making the thing work, especially given that we’ev seen two versions of Windows and three of the Mac OS just in those two years – and yet, it still works. Would that Microsoft were able to say the same thing…

    Of course, saying you’re aware of these issues ain’t the same as actually _doing_ something about them, but I’ve seen enough over those two years to believe that we WILL see improvements. I think what we (the residents) all want is to know that LL is listening to us and will treat us as adults, and keep us in the loop as things change.

    In the meantime, I’m happily creating content as fast as I can (RL _so_ gets in the way) and enjoying both the social environment and the drop-down-dead beauty of this real-though-not-tangible world, and wondering what the metaverse will be like in ten years’ time. 🙂

  56. Zena Juran says:

    Thanx for the letter M. Keep an eye on IBM at all times!!!

  57. cosa nostra says:

    As SECOND LIFE supposed to be a communication platform, they succeeded with there ‘non-professional actions’ to create more people going into isolation and even creating more frustration and hatery on the grid, it is easy to see if you spent enough time in sl!

    Again one of the biggest triggers/mistakes with the increasing land amounts (1.5 billion meters) is that people are going further and further away from each other, social contacts get completely lost …. it looks like everyone is hiding somewhere under there own one-prim tree just to make sure that they dont meet someone else on the grid.

    It is absolutely terrifying to see, to feel, to hear this ! Only look to the giantness of this world, it is scaring to see this amount of land looking like an empty desert … with on the main map seeing complete sims with 1 green dot on it for hours !

    Again I would cut land and reduce the world with 50 – 70 % and force in this way people to communicate with each other, to be social active on the grid … businesses closer to the customers, make people discover the creativity in sl (for newbies arriving on the grid it is like being dumped somewhere in the middle of the atlantic ocean), a smaller world will therefore trigger more curiousity in general !

    give people only a 2 week pass to discover SL, after that a premium account is acquired or the account will be deleted. This will automatically remove the scum or <18 age from second life.

    the solutions and the success of a business are sometimes to be found in the BACK TO BASIC approach methods where most nowadays CEO’s dont have a clue they exist !

    So M …. u know what to do … good luck …. and dont forget in SL you can FLY HIGH but in RL you must stay with your feets on the ground or ya will crash hard 😉

    cosa for CEO

  58. Qie says:

    It is indeed good to hear from the CEO on priorities and challenges.

    And the 70K concurrency figure is important because the 64K plateau is months-old now, and ultimately sale of new land is driven by *growth* in that number. That is, just for LL revenue to remain flat, the number of residents owning land must grow at a constant rate, all other things being equal.

    So it is very good to see specific mention of the very serious database scaling challenges that recently have prevented higher rates of concurrency at usable levels of service. Getting past this hurdle is make-or-break, and progress is very good news indeed.

    Finally, note the numerous comments about adfarms, and the very negative effects they have on residents and on LL’s Mainland business. I’d want the CEO to get familiar with this particular problem and its practical implications. In the rarified air of the CEO suite, this may seem like a small thing. It’s not.

  59. Happy Camper says:

    give people only a 2 week pass to discover SL, after that a premium account is acquired or the account will be deleted. This will automatically remove the scum or <18 age from second life.

    YAY!!! Best point made yet.

  60. jacquelinetrudeau says:

    Mr M, the residents thank you for your communique. While your words and stated commitment to the stability of the system are welcome, can you tell us when we will see tangible fruits of the effort? Beyond physics related sim crashes that effected a mininal subset of the population, that is. Specifically the sad story that is posted on your grid status page:

    “We have reports of sporadic unavailability of some services such as login not working, transactions failing, and land store down. We are aware of the problem and are working to bring these services back online as quickly as possible. This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008 at 5:29 pm”

    “One of our inventory databases is experiencing overload. This can produce issues with rezzing objects and inventory issues. If you are experiencing inventory issues, please hold off conducting transactions until we give an all-clear. This entry was posted on Monday, July 7th, 2008 at 11:32 am”

    “We are currently experiencing connection issues, mainly for users whose internet connections pass through the UK. This is a known issue with our bandwidth provider and is currently being investigated. Please watch this blog for any further details. This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 8th, 2008 at 5:28 pm”

    “Our website is currently redirecting to our registration page. Registrations are unavailable while our developers correct an issue we are experiencing. Please go directly to our support page to access other website features until this issue is resolved. Support This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 at 10:36 am”

    “We have reports of sporadic unavailability of some services such as some residents not being able to log in and not being able to access inventory. We are aware of the problem and are working to bring these services back online as quickly as possible. This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 9th, 2008 at 1:35 pm”

    These are just one weeks worth. Daily outages must not be very encouraging for your “companies entering for the first time”. Don’t worry, we early adopters, “marginal and dispossessed” as we are, continue to hang in there with you. It’ll take an awesome effort from some entrepreneur or internet giant to draw us off. But by that time, as I believe one of your key investors has assured you, the “enterprise sector” and “pragmatic users “will have taken our place.

  61. Linda Brynner says:

    LL just changed the Cache name from “Cache” to “Texures”.
    I was seeing grey tectures for a few days only when I cleaned my
    cache during relocation and found oot about the change.
    What a mess !!! Ermmm Communication right ?

  62. Pingback: Massively.com SL news

  63. Linda Brynner says:

    Not mention the other mess !!

  64. Shire Pony says:

    Best and easiest way to improve the value of land is to finally bump the outdated 15000 prim cap to at least 25000. Great shouts of joy would be heard all through out the virtual world. Heck, you could even turn it into a revenue source by allowing sim owners to purchase a prim increase as an upgrade.

    As for this whole concurrent user threshold thing, that’s meaningful only if the infrastructure can handle it without an associated leap in lag and stability. A larger population is welcomed by vendors, but not if it means a greater number of outages. And frankly, Joe Avatar probably doesn’t care at all if there are 50,000 or 250,000 concurrent users.

  65. Firebird Nightfire says:

    I’d like to suggest a change to the user interface – specifically the object tab in the build editor. Path cut and profile cut are too similar, and are confusing when you’re trying to follow along in a build class or tutorial. What I suggest is this: rename Profile Cut to Lathe Cut. Not only is that much less likely to be confused with Path Cut, it also is more descriptive of what the function does. Path Cut can be renamed to Slice Cut or Section Cut, and that would also be more descriptive of the function. This should be a minor fix – simply change the labels on the respective fields. It’s already been done with Radius Delta, now simply Radius.

    Thanks for your attention!

    🙂

  66. Yosemite Aero says:

    This communication is a small step in the right direction. You talked the talk, now you need to walk the walk.
    Inventory loss, stability, content theft, everything mentioned above are issues you need to be addressing, and apparently are.
    So far no one has mentioned griefing.
    The vast majoirty of residents are not here as serious content creators, land investors or anything like that. We’re casual users, PAYING casual users btw, here for the social interaction, meeting people, joining up with others in groups sharing mutual RL interests, or maybe just a diversion from everyday “real life.” Others get involved to a deeper level.
    But the constant griefing and Linden Labs’ apparent lack of motivation in getting a handle on it are really a disappointment to me. Linden up to now has treated griefing as not much more than childish pranks, and the punishments meted out reflect that attitude. When I am hesitant to visit some of my favorite locations because I fear I am going to be caged, it takes the enjoyment out of the experience. Some of the attacks of the past several days, had they taken place in the real world, would have been classified as hate crimes based upon who the targets were. Likewise, I have had to rebuild one home because of a griefing attack that went unpunished although it was by a repeat offender. It’s vandalism, it’s hacking, DoS, it’s a CRIME, (just like content or intellectual property theft) and should be treated as such by Linden Labs.

  67. Dreena says:

    Great news! Thank you for sharing…maybe along the way you can also fix the fact that I get billed constantly out of the UK instead of where I live here in California where Linden Labs is…

    I get KILLED with bank charges every single time I do a transaction and yet the only LAME excuse I get from your billing department is – “Well the billing bounces so where ever it ends up is where you’re going to be billed from.” I’m sorry, but what the hell is that?? Oh yah, and of course I’m told to talk to my bank who is supposed to wave all charges because Linden Labs runs their business this way…

    Incredible and SO horrendous – and I am supposed to believe that LL actually gives a damn about me when they don’t even care about how they bill me.

    Great…

  68. Pingback: Letter to Second Life Residents - SLUniverse Forums

  69. Guitar Edman says:

    A simple Web based interface is the only thing Lively currently offers that even makes me curious. Imagine having that functionality, no building or anything big just basic text based communication with a visual representation of surrounding and avitars as they have been designed in SL! That would so ROCK! That and keep up the work on the open sim interaction. Embracing that and open projects like it keeps SL in the drivers seat! By allowing private individual servers to link to SL (Someday Avitar and property in tow) SL truely becomes the seed of which the next generation Internet can be built!

  70. shibaritwine says:

    Don’t impose fundamental christian morals on the world.

  71. Linda Brynner says:

    Excuse me M.
    Ermmm have you been occupied at PricewaterhouseCoopers?
    Excuse me, but as an ex Ernst & Young… I’m not very much impressed actually… LL has a lot of work to be done… and not a little. I do hope you get their ass together…. and not a little… !

  72. Pingback: Dusan Writer’s Metaverse » The Second Life Hit Parade Continues

  73. I don’t believe that that was M Linden.

    1) No last name.
    2) no yellow highlight.

  74. Ann Otoole says:

    Yea we need everyone on the internet to pay an access fee to every website. That will keep the scum out eh?

    Sorry but the basic accounts constitute a major chunk of the Secondlife Economy. Calling them names is class discrimination. Some estate owners are now charging for access thus telling poor people to get lost. What a nice friendly greetings that is eh? Their sims their business. If you don’t want basic accounts in your sim you already have the tools to limit access. There is no further need to throw insults at basic accounts. You already have the tools to prevent them form entering your parcel and/or sims.

    There needs to be serious enforcement in several other areas as a priority ahead of people playing games on one another. Like ad farms and traffic falsification. Those 2 problems need to be stomped out of existence by cataloging the people engaged in those businesses and then deleting the associated accounts without any warning. They already know they are unethical and do not deserve any warning. Then there is problem areas like the showcase which provides unfair commercial advantages to friends of Lindens. Fair Trade needs to become a concern for Linden Lab since there is a real economy and we should be setting a good example. If LL does not wish to open paid access to the showcase then they need to restrict the showcase, both in world and on the website, to registered non profit activities. Don’t really want those Fair Trade problems hanging around right?

    Secondlife is all about Entertainment. Secondlife would not exist without entertainment. Secondlife needs to be managed as a 24*7 entertainment business. People from the entertainment business need to be brought in as management. Ignore and discard entertainment and your not going to have much interest in your monstrous server farm lol.

  75. cosa nostra says:

    WHEN IS THE FIRST REACTION GOING TO BE POSTED HERE FROM LL or M …… ? STRANGE IT IS SO SILENT RIGHT NOW !

    THOUGHT YOU PROMISED TO WORK ON THE COMMUNICATION (transparant communication) IN GENERAL … IF SOMEONE HAS BALLS AT LL, PLEASE POST SOME FIRST SUMMARIZED REACTIONS ON THE FIRST 70 POSTS !

    cosa

  76. Linda Brynner says:

    Lets have have new super sims at 30,000 prims per 65,336 meters.
    That will boost the land business !!

  77. Aeper Jie says:

    now only if something could be done to impove the teen grid. :)?

  78. Linda Brynner says:

    Of course at price of 1675 USD or so !

  79. looking at the few competitors there are id say SL is on a very solid way, even with all its current problems. Just hold your course steady and dont drift off…

  80. Linda Brynner says:

    The graphics are not telling the whole story.

    Important stats are not published.
    I record the stats based on the stats published by LL.
    Population change: the monthly growth shows a continuous down trend since June 2007.
    Residents login last 60 days shows a continuous light down trend since June 2007.
    Online at the same time was 40000 in 2007, peaking 60000 in Dec, dropped to 50000 and now at 65000.
    The number of alt accounts are not published.
    The growth of user hours follows the trend of 2007 users spending more time in SL ( What I see inworld is 65% 2007 avies).
    Average price per sq.m… the trend: sleelpless nights !

    And btw… PMLF is not Profitability !

    Realistic:
    SL is in the game to collect tier as much as LL can; it simply is their 1s business. Teir is their 1st priority rather than surveille the inworld economy and protect the value of assets of it’s residents. LL will pull any trick to boost their revenues on tier.

    Having said that, it means that the economy of SL is a pyramide one, it really is. So, all we do inworld is speculation… and pray.

  81. Pingback: Views from a Second Life » Dodged a bullet

  82. SHanti says:

    Competition can breathe fresh life into a stagnant situation, so instead of people fearing new worlds and all their fabulous implications, i hope instead that the competition propels this one forward into strong changes to its weak structure points and provides the impetus for real action on the points of SL that have been acknowledged in the past as Achilles heels but let slide because it was “good enough” and they were making money. With real competition we very well may see some real action if they want to be leaders as they say.

    I withhold judgment and merely hope. :)) They have a ton of experience, if they simply have the courage to initiate some much needed structural change and the pizazz to woo the public through the rocky roads through open communication and a bit of understanding things COULD be very good a year from now.

    We will see 🙂

  83. cosa nostra says:

    @74 – yes 98 % of the basics dont spent a penny in here ……. what is SL …. a charity organization or something ? do you think that we simowners are going to keep investing in sl … we dont do it for major profit but we are trying to built the world with our own money not LL’s money !cause LL is not going to do this ! I hope u agree on this point ?

    I find it completely normal that a filter should be applied to this platform to STOP … griefers, content thieves, minors <18, multi multi accounts, bots, etc …. accessing and disturbing this creative world. People need to understand that nothing in here is for free, and that a jointed approach can make SECOND LIFE better.

    as I see you are in business also, but probably you are one of the few that are making ‘loads of money’ into SL …… and to be honest I know the ones that did make money and now loose money … due to the basic accounts NOT SPENDING 1l$ in here !

    hope they ban CAMPING SOON TOO …

    cosa

  84. Ryu Darragh says:

    M! You forgot to flag your post for “Highlight” so we know you’re really a Linden 😀

  85. M Linden says:

    #48 was indeed me. I wasn’t logged into WordPress, so my comment didn’t show up in yellow. I am here. I am listening. Thanks everyone!

  86. Tegg B says:

    Thanks M, keep the communication coming from you and Phillip, any new shiney coming up when you’ve finnished ironing out what we have, including adult verfication? 🙂

  87. cosa nostra says:

    @85 Finally someone that listens !

    cosa

  88. Nacre Swindlehurst says:

    A couple of comments, before I add my own.

    @52: If you really want to sell land at 5L/m2, by all means talk to me.

    For all the land “investors”: With the number of new members, new land is needed, or it will get so expensive that only a privileged few will be able to afford land. Yes, some people did buy when land was high, and now have to live with much lower prices. This is not a unique problem. Pick a stock market, or the US housing market to see examples. Investing in anything exposes you to a thing called “downside risk”. It is not any fun, but don’t expect someone to refund your money when you gamble on land prices. Oh … wait … gambling is illegal.

    On content theft: This is just ugly, but you also have to look at root causes. When I sell *a* skin for 30000L$ (I don’t, but I have seen it), something is going to push back. In this case, people will say “nice skin — not worth it”. SL is not a thing to make money (although you can make money with SL). Put a price onto content which will make people say “That is cheaper than I could do it if you count my time.” and you will see the end of content theft.

    On the recent gambling/age play hooorah: SL is an relatively open environment, and LL has tried to keep it that way in spite of (I imagine) a huge amount of pressure to ban all kinds of things. LL, please keep up the good fight. But, if we are looking to ban more things, I think accordions should be next. Who would object? Then perhaps spinach. Oh, and perhaps (once we have the principles established) we can look into censoring the chats, and taking all those nasty non- out of here as well. The two band (which were met with screaming) we don’t out of, perhaps, fear of legal reprisal. I don’t know about the age play, but there are still lots of gambling places around. Just ask any land baron.

    On the assert server problems: Has anyone thought about having some kind of competency test somewhere. Obviously, there is a problem. Could a fix be as simple as another provider?

    Nacre Swindlehurst
    Hir Nos Mornnawar

  89. dusanwriter says:

    Thank you M. I’m not sure the residents needed assurances that Lively is going to eat up the Grid – it’s cartoon chat, and we live in a Windlight world (for better or worse, depending how you see it). However, your broader assurances are nice to hear, and maybe you guys really MEAN that you’re improving the new user registration and “first hour”.

    There are tons of problems, and I’ll rant about them some other time I’m sure, my main issue being Philip’s hair – didn’t you negotiate authority over attachments as part of your job description?

    With regards to an easier-to-use client as a way of improving retention and decreasing the learning curve, I would love to show you what some of the Second Life residents have come up with, and cordially invite you to attend a review of the UI contest finalists and to hear their rationale. Some wonderful residents have put some astonishing work into thinking through the UI and they’d, I’m sure, look forward to the chance to trade notes on the subject. 🙂

    July 19th – mark your calendar! 🙂 (Shameless plug over, but it’s for the good of humanity, I swear).

  90. Dacob Paine says:

    So I’ve read a lot of the blog postings over the last 6 months, and I must say this letter is the most straightforward and clearly written post I’ve seen yet. Bravo M, it seems clear you have a well defined vision for the future of SL, which is encouraging, to say the least.

    I think everyone can agree that stability has been much improved over the last 2 months. I only wish to point out that stability is a relative term — SL is by far the most dynamic and complex 3D simulation that is accessible by thousands of users in real time. The simple fact that SL exists, and is stable and accessible to *most* users with an uptime above 95%, is astounding. I, like all my fellow residents want SL to be “perfect” or rather, to work as we expect it to, constantly, 24/7, without every any hiccups. Will this ever happen? Probably not, until the underlying hardware contained in all the co-locations can have infinite and instantaneous failover support. Um, that might happen when we all have quantum computers and all log SL on a direct fiber line. So, from my perspective, SL is doing just fine, and all of the technical problems we all experience and know about are simply inevitable.

    But one aside, echoing some of the other comments — IP theft, in the form of copybot and the residents who knowingly steal designs and resell them without modification, could eventually be a cancer that significantly slows or stops the growth of the retail (IE clothing, skins, etc…) economy. The content creators are the lifeblood of SL — each time one leaves or stops creating new items, we all loose, and there is no way to directly measure that loss to the diversity of SL. I have no idea what the answer is to this issue, I know that LL requests residents to follow DMCA procedures but I’m concerned that forcing residents to try to patrol 1.5 billion square meters of virtual space is, clearly, far to onerous. However, LL also faces the problem that all the items of SL are just UUID’s, and without seeing the original and stolen item or design next to each other and rezed in world, I don’t see how it is at all reasonable for residents to ask LL to only delete or remove the correct UUID’s for the items that are fraudulent, without ever accidently removing a legitimate item from some unsuspecting resident’s inventory.

    The world of SL, in legal terms, is truly a new frontier as we simply lack legislative mandates that are specific enough to be applied directly to so many new situations being encountered in SL every day, and so we truly are, all together, making history every time we log SL and interact with our fellow residents.

  91. Ryu Darragh says:

    Hehehehe..

    Anyways, what I was going to comment on was M and LL has nothing to “fear” from “Lively” or the other new players in the 3D unverse beyond healthy competition.

    Although, as Ann and Argent point out, sharing “IP (Intellectual Property)” and Copyrighted Assets will require a signed system before an “Open Source” system is allowed to download assets from SL (or anywhere else such assets are similarly protected), it can be done. It will simply mean that not every Joe Programmer that creates a server system that can be inter-operable with SL will be alloed to have some assets sent to it from the SL (or other) Asset Servers.

    Those groups capable of such a system will have done the whole “Signed Certificates” and other silliness that will be put into place to protect your assets from being stolen.

    Those groups that have not will likely have a warning show up before a user carrying or requesting assets will either be allowed to teleport while wearing them or succeeding in rezzing or downloading them on the unsecure servers.

    The only option then would be assets you own that are fully mod/copy/transfer (meaning you have full rights) or ones *created* in an unsecure server.

    In any event, as someone else pointed out, have seen Lively and it doesn;t appear too lively as of yet. Some parts are good, many are sub SL standards.

    Then, too, as M alluded, there are portions of the Client (and your video cards) being totally *unused* that can make SL a better looking place as well as more stable. I sent a link a while back to LL about the Lightsmark Benchmarking system that can render full shadows and rediosity using nothing but the shaders in realtime (which are underutilized by SL).

    It’s a good bet the redesign will involved a more modular approach to the client that will allow it to look and work like the 1.19 client with the ability to add, as a users system can handle it, Windlight, Shadows and Radiosity and more.

    Keep up the efforts, M (and Zee, Sidewinder, Prospero and the rest of the crew). We’ll back you 🙂

  92. Kamachi says:

    I know I might get called Mr. Buoyancy, but are you going to fix Havok4 buoyancy anytime soon? A considerable amount of content is broken since havok4 went in and there is no single trace of a sight of a maybe possible date for a fix…
    (SVC-2013 and SVC-1792)

  93. Joshua Sao says:

    Hi M!
    While I’m sure everyone appreciated the intentions of you letter here and you have addressed some of the important issues, I was wondering if I could suggest something for an area that you didn’t really touch on. Would it be possible for Linden Labs to figure out a way to make money that doesn’t hurt the game as a whole. When you decide to crash the land market in order to make a profit it hurts every aspect of business in SL. It puts people out of business, causes people to lose their investments, and leaves the little guy feeling the pinch while Linden Labs fills their wallet. I’m not against capitalism at all I have a very successful business in game and I am greatfull for that, but I am positive that it would be better for second life, better for the residents, better for business in all aspects if you could find a way to make a profit without causing all this havoc. You know your actions will cause some of your biggest paying residents to lose money and some of the smaller businesses to go out of business than you do it anyway without concern or regard for that. It causes residents to leave the game, it causes residents who are desperate to keep their investment afoat to rip other people off, it causes a lot of bad things. I would think there is a better way, more subtle with less impact that doesn’t harm the community for you to make a profit.

  94. Jed Gregg says:

    LMAO MAY I SAY I THANK LL IS FULL OF IT AND BLOWING SMOKE UP ALL ARE BUTTS

  95. Blinders Off says:

    You know, glad to hear some of the things you mentioned in this blog. Redesigning the cumbersome interface, being “all over” the stability issues… that all sounds great. And I’m really hoping that Linden Lab is turning a new leaf, because frankly, the past three years have left much to be desired.

    But as regards Linden Lab being solid financially and all the rosey paint.. that BLOG you mentioned from yesterday also leaves much to be desired.

    For one thing, you folks claim greater concurrency and greater user numbers… yet your PREMIUM USERS figure has dropped what, seven percent over the past seven months? That means LL has lost 7% of its paying customers. Why is that?

    The post spoke of land mass increasing, and it surely has, but with a 7% drop of paying customers, one wonders exactly if that growth is beneficial for anyone but the LL bottom line.

    The blog spoke of an increase of L$ sales from 65 to 85 million and boasted about such. But it didn’t mention the prior data from 2007:
    2nd quarter 2007 — 104 million
    3rd quarter 2007 — 78 million
    4th quarter 2007 — a ONE YEAR LOW of 65 million

    Which means that 85 million isn’t an increase… it’s a DROP from the previous 104 million a year ago.

    Further, LL discusses an increase in L$ sales, but those sales are not in proportion to the 40% increase in land mass… and MERCHANTS aren’t seeing that increase. Merchant sales are down all over the grid. Facts are that a lot of merchants believe a great portion of those L$ sales are through new rentals since the Open Space sims came in… and they aren’t really all that healthy to the Second Life Economy in general. A lot of that 7% loss of Premium members… was a loss in skilled merchants who finally just got tired and gave up.

    So forgive me for bursting the bubble, but SL is not all the positive skew PR claims it to be. Frankly, we customers can handle that. We understand growth pains and bugs and problems. What we don’t appreciate is unwise growth that taxes the asset servers to poor performance, we don’t appreciate focusing on eye candy when the platform is shuddering under our feet– and we don’t appreciate BS PR announcements and claims that we already know to be false.

    We’re able to read statistical sheets just like the next guy, and we’re able to follow trend analysis just like the next guy… and to be truthful, we’d rather Linden Lab just be honest with us and stop trying to paint everything rosey. When your company starts focusing AND FIXING the stability and platform issues, then we’ll be willing to boast along with you. Until then… claims of “we’re all over the problems” have been heard for ages, and the problems still exist. When group chat and notecards don’t work, we’re not impressed.

    Bottom line: IMO you should fix the platform first, then brag.

  96. Amity Slade says:

    So all the past promises of improvements were soft promises, not really serious because there was no direct competitor to Second Life.

    The new list of promises are now hard promises, because there is now a direct competitor?

    Every resident will have her own opinion. As to me, Second Life has really squandered any goodwill from me over the past year-and-a-half.

    I hope this does lead to serious improvements for Second Life. But I certainly have no emotional commitment to Second Life’s survival.

  97. Toy LaFollette says:

    first off I would like to thank M for the post. Many who know me have known I have been very negative towards LL for the last year. I still feel it was warranted. Now Im am feeling a slight change. Perhaps things will changew, I am now at a show me stage. Ive been here going on 5 years now so have seen much and also been disappointed a lot. Now there seems to be a slight glimmer of hope. I hope it stays.

  98. Blinders Off says:

    BTW… for those who for those who above poo-pooed the new Lively system as no danger to SL or LL… I think you folks need to learn a lesson from history. There is no end to the American people’s– and the world’s– love for SIMPLIFICATION. Just because something isn’t as complex or involved as SL doesn’t mean it won’t take over the market. The vast majority of users on SL don’t build, or script, or do anything but chat and dance. And news flash: they can chat and dance on any VR platform that has avatars and music.

    Not to mention the fact that Lively is only one of dozens of new VR platforms scheduled to appear in the next two years. So reality check: Linden Lab needs to start doing some real rushing and some real policy changing… because the VR food fight is about to begin. Lively is just the tip of the iceberg.

  99. fatz scheflo says:

    The interopability with OpenSim was reported over a month ago. P2 posted a link about it on http://www.secondsurvivor.com complete with screen shots of Linden Lab avatars.

  100. torridluna says:

    Wow, new, configurable GUI sounds awesome. It also gives me a good feeling to hear that Linden Lab are financially well, although it is my money (and my customer’s, harhar^^).

    But we want Moar! Better, faster mail, http and xmlrpc connections into world, Mono on the main grid, and real HTML on a prim, not that nowaday’s cheap surrogat. And why not mirror any kind of applications output on a prim, somehow, as soon as klicking coordinates works? The guys who did that to opencroquet are rich now.

    Thanx for the future, M! 🙂

  101. nina says:

    dont get excited.
    this happens with new employees at ll. they post about all the things they want to do in excited tones, then….
    nothing.

    i dont know if something internal discourages them, or if they simply discover ll is a place that doesnt really require ppl to do any work, but for whatever reason their plan and idea never gets past the discussion phase.

    this is just more lip service.
    nothing to see here.

  102. Rebecca Bournemouth says:

    Dear M,

    Great post, glad to see you’re on the job! I like the directness of purpose and embracing of the challenges you have.

    Please continue to push for excellence. I am happy that there are competitors, a nice goad so SL can keep on getting better. (BTW Lively sucks, but Google has a lot of money, heh heh)

    You always welcome to visit us at Happy Clam Island, where the best in Sl can be.

    (:)) -Becca

  103. Moll Dean says:

    M. Linden

    Thank you for the letter.

    I, and all those who post comments here, am really not happy with what SL has becoming.
    With all those bots that clone things and produce faked stats…
    With all business and creators leaving SL
    With all new users (not bots) that don’t stay here
    With US$ 300 mothly tier
    With so many time we talk and no one answer
    With everyday’s crashes
    With a support center that do not give us support

    What you said do not reflect our reality, but we love SO MUCH SL and we want it to work again!

    I suggest you:
    – low monthly tiers and let business get more incomes.
    – increase prims sizes
    – increase group limit to be joined
    – realease a VERY LIGHT view (basic feature only)
    *remember ICQ? how more feature, more heavy, less users!
    – STOP COPYBOT! PLEASE! The creators deserve respect.
    – Give new born users a defaul house (see 3d world: http://www.IMVU.com)
    *ppl need privacy and safe place to be = HOME
    – allow us (bulders) to create in off-line and upload later (offline sandbox software).

    Today the Google (TM) realeased their new 3D world
    http://www.lively.com
    It is possible to embed their viewer (light viewer) to any website!

    We still have the power for make amizing things and our avatars are much better 😀

    Second Life is dying in your hands and our community is here not to put you down, but to say what we need and which direction you have to take toward.

    And! Most important than all above. 90% of investiment to FIX SL,
    Fix SL first.

    If you don’t listen to us, remember, hundred of media professionals (jornalists), Entrepreneurs and 3D World programers are here every day… Reading and understand very well our needs.

  104. Dear M–

    Not bad. Can I make a suggestion, though?

    The hugest and most fundamental mistake that Linden Lab has made has been overemphasizing the economic aspects of Second Life.

    Second Life is not an economy as much as it is a creative medium. It is a creative medium that some people can make money at, yes. But just as not everybody who picks up a guitar is assured a rock star life, not everybody who enters Second Life is going to turn a profit on their creative endeavors.

    Funnily enough, the people who bitch the most seem to be people who don’t actually create anything, but find out that speculating on virtual land, running an illegal casino or reselling crap from a Business In A Box is not as viable a means of income as they expected.

    So quit yammering about How You Can Make Money At This and you won’t be dealing with the inevitable backlash when that fails to materialize. Put more emphasis on the ability to be, do and create just about anything you can think of. That’s amazing stuff right there.

    Just as the medium of film can be used to create training instructions for businesses, the medium of Second Life can be put to use for business. That’s not a big deal. But nobody sensible thinks that Peter Jackson needed to knock it off with that Lord of the Rings stuff and do some more corporate work.

  105. IAm Zabelin says:

    Thanks for the positive letter, and for recognizing the obvious value content creators have added to SL.

    I’d like to see more commitment from the top on pushing IP protection initiatives, we’ve been promised improvements for years, but nothing delivered.

    Other than technology to assist with this issue, there needs to be a special ‘IP action force’ implemented to deal with theft issues effectively so that the message is clear.

    Many content creators have just given up when their IP gets stolen and redistributed – from pure frustration of trying to have anything done about it, and while its true many more artists join each day, its not good to loose that experienced talent base. They will move onto a platform as soon as one offers them more IP security.

  106. nina says:

    anyone that thinks ll has nothing to fear from lively are fools.
    a large number of ppl view sl as little more than 3d chat.
    for those ppl lively offers less opportunity to break things, runs on any acrid old computer, and it is… FREE. as in you ‘island’ is free, your clothes and furni are free. and this is being developed and promoted by the largest and most popular web destination on earth; google.
    if i were at ll i would be in panic mode right now.

  107. Xibeta Kauffman says:

    I like to know that SL in growing and u’r paying more attention to some problems in it. It would be great that u also pay some attention to claims!

  108. Razrcut Brooks says:

    M, good blog post and thanks..but did you REALLY have to mention Torley and his prolific accmplishments?

    Geez. this guy is so overexposed ! 🙂

  109. Billington Chaffe says:

    Thanks for the letter, AND THANKS FOR MENTIONING TORLEY!!! The most impressive, global ambassador of SL. Hats off to Torley!

  110. Morganne Darkstone says:

    Good lord, people! Lively? Have you SEEN it? What a joke. AND they’ve completely excluded those of us who prefer platforms other than Windoze. Savages. Secondlife has its issues, I have to admit. There are times I’d like to commit virtual arson…but I’m sticking with the best virtual world I’ve found anywhere to date, and that is this. Thank you M for the update. Thank you for working to improve our experience inworld. Thank you for making my secondlife a reality.

  111. Tabliopa Underwood says:

    Ive been in SL a little over a year. Paying premium each quarter. Have changed to annual from my next billing date. I’m here to stay.

  112. IAm Zabelin says:

    The biggest advantage SL has atm over other launching platforms is the content. But if LL do not put in any effort to protect that advantage, it’ll be lost, and artists will jump as soon as competitors start offering better IP solutions. No artists = dead SL. Stop IP theft.

  113. Marianne McCann says:

    Dear M,

    More like this, please.

    Also, I don’t know how much time your getting to spend in world, but I *highly* recommend it. Grab an alt and head on out. Explore for a week, as much as you can. see what residents see — not just the troubles, of course, but the wonder. See not only the universities, but the little start ups, the folks a little off the beaten path, the successes of Second Life that are only successes *because* of Second Life. Get a feel for this world beyond the confines of 945 Battery and just enjoy the world for what it is.

    It’s a good place. 🙂

  114. Elliott Eldrich says:

    I’d like to take this opportunity to mention some of my biggest concerns with SL:

    1: Content theft. This is a biggie. It would be very encouraging to see a team of Lindens dedicated to investigating and acting on those who flat out steal content from other developers (not like, “I made a three handled widget, and so did they, so shut them down!” but more like “I developed custom textures, custom sculpt maps, and created a complex build, and they have copied it prim for prim, ripped my textures and/or sculpt maps, and are reselling it!”

    2: Browser stability / crashes. I’m on the OS X client, have been trying the 1.20 “Release Candidate” viewers, and there’s a problem with freezes that has been going on ever since 1.19.1.4, basically everything since WindLight came out. Would be a great relief to see that bug finally squashed.

    3: Sculpty support: Sculpties are, IMHO, the single neatest idea ever for content creation. In-world residents have crafted some very impressive tools for making sculpties, and content creators such as myself are using them to make a whole new generation of content that has a look and feel to it totally unlike anything that existed in SL before. However, there are still problems with how sculpties render in world, sometimes they flat out don’t load, and one needs to set up custom settings in the viewer using debug tools to get them to display properly at any distance (rendervolumeLODfactor). Sculpties are one of those things that puts LL way out ahead of the pack, now you need to work on supporting them better and making sure they display properly for everyone.

    4: Land Values. The current land market is in turmoil, there needs to be more stability in land supply and land pricing.

  115. Folks trying Lively might want to stop by vivaty.com and try Vivaty.

  116. M, it’s like post 34 says, many of us are frustrated due to various reasons as mentioned in these posts and previous other blogs on SL and also off of SL .. of course we love the community of people because that is what we have here is a virtual community.. communities withing the greater common community.. voices who feel that have not been heard, slighted, some even injured or insulted by the very people who we help to support their salaries.

    We do not want to migrate to yet another community.. we prefer to stay here and fix things. That can only happen if LL actually opens an ear or two to listen.

    For the record, concierge customers should not be treated differently than any one else. Having a premium membership doesn’t even qualify for phone support. It shouldn’t be that way. Customer support is greatly lacking on the concierge team.

    Furthermore, do not underestimate the value of the non concierge premium and basic member accounts. the majority of SL residents have basic accounts but greatly support the community and even the company LL by renting/owning covenant lands .. which enables more users to own multiple islands/sims equates more dollars for LL ..buy items in virtual shops from SL residents.. once again equate more dollars for LL due to merchants needing land for their shops, etc.. more users means greater corporate and other outside interest in SL such as educators, non profit groups, music and so on .. etc . As you can plainly see the average basic account and or even premium account is very significant to the success/survival of SL and this group of people should not be made to feel that they are worthless, dispensable because without them SL as we know it now would crumble just as Rome did.

    Look into hiring people from the gaming industry as they have experience as to what it takes to make a virtual community thrive and to be a success… plus dealing with customer support issues.

    Finally, please stop taking credit for technology that does not rightfully belong to LL. Please give credit where credit is due. In the end, you will earn more respect this way. Thanks for listening.

  117. isadorafiddlesticks says:

    Hello M Linden, great to see a very lengthy post from you!

    With everything said and the concerns expressed, I have nothing more to add than my support to you and the company as you move along. Please continue to communicate with us and you won’t hear us complain too much. I believe that you will be able to continue to lead LL and turn it around in the years to come.

    I also tend to agree with Ann, what are your goals? As residents, and likewise clients, we deserve to know. However, I think you guys are being mysterious on purpose. 😉

    Dusan, I think Philip’s “stubborn” to change his hair and is being nostalgic. He created all this after all. 🙂 He represents the beginnings of LL, and M represents the present. 🙂 There was a time when I fantasized giving him a makeover, but now I’m at this point where if Philip changes his avatar, it would feel odd. I’m fine with good ol’ spiky haired Philip! 😀 I also look forward to your sharing notes with LL about UI ideas!

  118. Insky Jedburgh says:

    Just want to thank you for communicating back to us in this form and addressing obvious issues that only used to get silence from the LL end in the past.

    This is exactly the direction I hoped you would take M Linden, and I appreciate the responsiveness. Do it more often if possible.

    I am sorry to say that the slumping economy both inside and outside SL forced me to swallow my pride at being self employed in a virtual world and seek RL employment in my profession once again after working on my own in SL for amost 2 years, but I will say SL is still the bigger bread winner for me.

    @post 103 Cyfishy: for the kind of art I like to do, I have never found another medium that allowed me to pursue it like I do in SL, and actually make a livable wage from it. Perhaps not everyone can carve such a niche out for themselves here, but for creativity, getting paid helps energize the process. SL really has paid off both financially, and in a kind of creative revolution too.

    @37 Frank Northmeade: I agree about concurrency, in fact it should have reached the 200k level at least by now, had SL realized it’s full potential. So don’t feel too good about 70,000 concurrency, it is long overdue. IMHO 1 million concurrent users in 3 years should be our goal now. Scaling up should be one of the Hot Issues on the fix it table.

    I want to agree with post #1 by Ann Otoole, we would very much like to hear a 5 year plan, because many of us do have So Much invested in the dream that is SL.

    I plan to invest much more. Keep talking to us. Thanks again.

  119. Chaz Longstaff says:

    M. do not underestimate the ability of this generation of North Americans to feel hard-done by and to feel that every single one of their complaints needs to be heard, which is even more dull, gah.) They didn’t have my grandmother from Nova Scotia. I hear you; there are issues; keep on them and resolve them; I’m with you. Just make sure LL never gets in the way of my doing work and we’ll get on fine :}

  120. isadorafiddlesticks says:

    btw, i forgot, I AM A BASIC MEMBER, and if LL limited access then I wouldn’t be here now and enjoying SL. For a while I also thought that perhaps still allowing free access is a detriment to SL, but now I found that line of thinking selfish. So easy of thinking that way now that we are already in SL, hoard the experience to ourselves while everyone deserves to experience SL. Tsk, tsk.

  121. Hulk Ah says:

    Good to hear M. You sound sincere, which i like alot. Please make changes in the way LL deals with theft. We really need changes there. It’s growning on and on, and we’re just filings dmca’s all day long now, and thereby loose alot of time and joy we once had in creating. This is such a downside that really should be changed in some ways. I have the strong impression we’re just stuck with the DMCA notices that don’t work on the larger scale. Please M, stand up for all the creators that made this world to what it is . This is unfortunately indeed a cry for help on this matter..

  122. Greta Umarov says:

    You aren’t going to like this..but I STILL can’t write a ‘ticket’ when something goes wrong! I’ve tried phoning LL but in spite of my explaination of my predicament, I was told there was ‘no other way’ to contact tech support, and that I was being ‘unreasonable’ when I became frustrated and said so.

    I had to finally get hold of a Linden IN WORLD, and explain my difficulty. The problem was solved immediately..as with most services, there needs a way to be able to contact a REAL PERSON when services break down, without being told we’re being ‘difficult’.

    When is the company going to ‘get it’? You lose so many people because of frustration with your system.

    G

  123. Pol McLaglen says:

    Despite the bugs and stuff I still love SL. Let’s be honest, even though SL is not perfect there is not anything else out there that can rival it for shear flexibility in an emerging VR environment. Any prospective rivals to Second Life have a hell of a long way to go before they can even start threatening SL’s place.

    This does not mean LL can sit on their laurals though…

    Yes, this might shock many people but the bottom line is always money, so of course LL are going to be concerned with their own profitability and fiscal viability. So stop bitching about the capitalist ideals LL are espousing because without them nothing would ever get done in this world.

    And as for land prices, it is all just a fiscal gamble and you got to think in terms of “This money I am paying to buy this land is a business/personal expendature that I may not get back at a later date” before buying that parcel of land. Your primary concern should be “can I afford the tiers and do I actually need the additional prims/rental space it would supply me with” (depending on what you want the land for). If you are not willing to risk that money and potentially lose it, don’t spend it. It is always investor beware in all markets, and this one is no different to any other in that respect.

    I respect the fact that M has decided to communicate with us on key issues to do with the grid, and I hope to see more, regular, communications from him on all aspects of Second Life.

    So let’s just remember that nothing is perfect in this world or any other and get on with creating neat stuff and having fun. And if we do manage to make some money along the way, all well and good. Personally, I am here for the giggles and the long term. If the former remain constant than the latter is guaranteed.

    Pol McLaglen.

  124. Brodie Rothschild says:

    Thank you for the open letter. It is true that we have seen a big improvement in stability, especially the weekend outages that occurred for about 10 weekends in a row. I have been on the SL ride now for over two years. It frustrates me, entertains me allows me to be creative and is my number use of free time. Here are my areas of concern:

    Stealing of creator content will kill SL. When vibrant creators lose hope or the will to create because they know it is not safe, then SL will fade.

    AD lots, ad farms and “advertising” are DESTROYING the mainland. It must go. I see it everyday and it is gaining momentum again since your announcment awhile back to diminish it.

    My suggestion: any lot under 512 will have no prims, but when combined with other lots they will add to the total prims at the normal rate.
    It is too easy for the ad splitters to litter and destroy many sims with little tier paid.

    The land ups and downs have been bad. A slow, but steady stream of new sims will help to stablize the land supply. 10 new sims every 2 days for 3 months and none for 2 months is not a good way to maintain the land supply. Maybe you had servers that had to be used I don’t know but full on and then full off is not a good approach.

    Anyway, welcome, thanks for the letter and stop by sometime. I can tell you alot.

  125. Elvis Orbit says:

    Thanks for this this letter. I would be great to get them from you once or twice a month. Again thanks.
    Elvis

  126. Lourdes Laysan says:

    While the letter i oddly timed with the release of ‘Lively’ I can honestly say that I am wholeheartedly happy to be in SL. I’ve tried the beta, and its clunky at best, the best and only feature of itis its direct import of youtube videos. But then torley showed us how to do that in Sl fairly easily too 🙂

    The one thing I did notice and am happy to see is an interface for new, ‘I dont wanna build stuff’ users, that should be easy to navigate and get around with. I think lively has a good option on that, small download, boom you’re in, have a nice day, if sl has something like that it would be so much easier for new folks to get over the proverbial hump.

    One think I would like however to see along these lines would be SL- Lite for the Wii 😉 Being able to access that market share would be brilliant, and if I could login from my Wii, walk about and talk point click n buy, I think that would be a truly killer app for that platform, let me tell you, and you might find alot of casual users stopping in and using SL even more, its a Win Wii situation 🙂

    Aside from the above, I really do love the complexity and the detail added into Sl and the new rc viewers are quite well fixed and don’t require my fx5200 nvidia card to be chucked for the latest and greatest, as I had feared would happen with windlight’s emergence.

    All in all M. please keep in touch and letting us know whats coming and what you’re thinking, because we’ll do the same. We’re a forceful marketing presence each and every one of us users. and if we can make SL be accessible to casual users as well as us designers and makers, then you’ll have the cake (its not a lie.. I built it!) and we’ll be able to eat that cake too (which I did, no more left.. it was high in mineral content).

    Thanks for keeping in touch and really thanks for not shutting out the userbase.

  127. BrightAngel Summers says:

    ok M. Linden …I sat read what you had to say ..but I have to disagree with you on some things..firstit was a nice letter ….

    Now, the disagree part 1. conciege payees get better first hand help , but me like most do not get that treatment as I am on on basic membership and still waiting for a response from any of the lindens on my lost inventory before the new update comes out because then my ao will be lost for ever in the data base … two lindens found it before once .. everyone has ways of doing things but i uninstalled the program and reinstalled it and its simply not in inventory after logging in and all detachements were gone thats not my fault it is sl glitch .. another thing is the skirts do not appear after waerring them ..the regular ones not the prim ones …. there are other problems and I have seen these bugs on and off on each update , I have been an active member for two yrs and now we do not have in world live help but send in a ticket and wait wait wait wait wait for LL to decide to fix things … I am sure if i wait any longer I will turn 60 before I get a response and help .. especially when the residents get haressed all we get is anto response of LL is looking into the problem but no avie to avie LL help or even a kind IM just auto robot generated emails …I didn’t invest my hard working money to get auto responses … yes I was a premuiming payee but I still didnt get any help even then …so tell me ..how long will i have to wait to get help ?

    truely a nice speech but sorry I don’t buy it ….

    signed BrightAngel

  128. Cocoanut Koala says:

    I’m glad that you are speaking to us, the residents here, and I’m happy to hear some appreciate words toward the residents, and all their creations.

    It’s refreshing.

    And better than being told that that we are marginalized people with nothing left to lose; too much time on our hands; victims of backwards regimes and too much rain; misfits; or yesterday’s news.

    Keep it up and I will become a big fan of yours!

    coco

  129. Mr M. As soon as I posted that, I knew you were going to turn out to be the real deal. /me uses search to find a sunny side up egg to attach to head, then rotate into position…

  130. DhouZhang Fhang says:

    Don’t mean to sound Cynical, M, but I and my alter-ego’s have the jibe about stability being fixed and crash fixes before only to see it all crash and burn in a matter of days. When I can actually see hard proof then I might start thinking about giving linden labs some praise – but not until then.

  131. Alvi Halderman says:

    Thanks im really happy that your talking to us, the residents that makes second life ™ ® the place that has more imagination in it than in any place in the world™ ®. Im so glad to see that SL™ ® is going bigger and bigger each second.
    I hope that in the future you will make Light viewers for CellPhones iPhone™ ® and some viewers for the amazing Nintendo™ ® Wii™ ®.
    i Hope SL will be much stable in the future……….
    Whatever.,, thanks a lot for talking to us!

    Alvi Halderman

  132. I’ve no doubt that if the same amount of resources that went into Windlight were to go into stability issues, SL will be a completely different and better experience.

    “new users don’t need such a dizzying array of features” – One word – WOOT!

    Thanks for the concise letter.

  133. Denise Hian says:

    Google is into virtual world too…….and it is free.
    Lively.com here i come………
    May ask my partner to disband the “homeless group” and abandon the the land, given the pathetic state SL is now.

  134. Darien Caldwell says:

    Lively isn’t very lively. That’s all I have to say. Great for couch potatoes to sit and run their mouths. That’s about it. 🙂

    Second Life is miles beyond and will continue to be, given the reasons M outlined. I’m proud to be here, even though it makes me pull my hair out sometimes. 🙂

  135. Eric says:

    Regarding the blog post ‘Second Life Virtual World Expands 44% in Q2’and
    also relevant to this post:

    #5 Nibb Tardis Says:
    “July 8th, 2008 at 12:30 PM
    LL’s policy of increasing land surface regardless of economic demand is reckless. The number of empty parcels on private sims has never been so high. Something is very wrong when there are 20000 sims for 60000 concurrent users. That’s 12 users for one server.”

    The number of empty parcels on the mainland has never been so high either.

    #26 Zee Linden Says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 1:44 PM

    “Mainland: Recently, we posted that we stopped expanding the mainland to allow the market to absorb excess mainland inventory. It appears that the price has stabilized & has started to increase again.”

    It has not really stabalized and it’s still very low.

    “Island pricing: Many existing land owners expressed frustration when we dropped the price from $1650 to $1000 earlier in the quarter. Similarly we frustrated a number of users when we raised the prices to $1650 in the fall of 2006. I would expect the upfront price to continue to decline as the costs of the associated hardware decline.
    Perhaps not as steeply as we lowered prices this time.”

    The frustration was largely due to the way it was implemented. There was no advanced notice to existing owners whose assets were depreciated by this move.

    #40 Deltango Vale Says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 3:12 PM
    @25

    “By failing to implement a rational land management strategy, LL is
    sacrificing existing residents/customers for new ones. At best, it gives
    the appearance of incompetence; at worst, it smacks of a pyramid
    scheme.”

    Yep

    #80 Coventina Dalgleish Says:
    July 8th, 2008 at 8:35 PM
    “The unorganized chaos of the shell game in a smoke filled room with broken mirrors”

    Excellent observation.

  136. princess niven says:

    I feel a little worry in this letter. Guess what? Google Lively. Well, the content and features of it is not so competitive so far but you must not forget that GOOG is watching you.

  137. Financially there is no reason for any regular player to be a non-paying member, unless possibly if you can’t get a credit card and/or you just don’t want to reveal your personal info to LL. Even then there are other ways to pay: e.g., by PayPal and wire transfer. The stipend almost entirely makes up for the yearly membership, which is frankly not that expensive. And you get to buy and sell mainland and use the Lindex, which are two valuable privileges (even though I suspect someone will use one of the remaining 20-plus comment slots to gripe about the condition of the mainland.)

    Linden Labs is also NOT obligated to make the SL Grid be all things to all people. It is already restricted to adults (except on the Teen Grid) who have access to broadband. It is not that much more restrictive to say it should be reserved for people who are willing to pay a modest sum of money and who are also willing to reveal some details of their real-life identities to LL (though not of course to their fellow users.)

  138. Midnight Heston says:

    What do you have in mind for the banking situation? We who are Entreprenuers need a good and SAFE place to store our hard-earned Linden Dollars. I had enough to buy 4 islands and lost it all before i could buy a single one when Southern Cross Bank collapsed. I have friends whose losses pale mine in comparison. Is there a decent and SAFE banking system in the mix?

  139. BTW, I have become something of an expert on ad farms. They are ugly, but they are not destroying the mainland. I would reccomend some changes to the tier structure to make it less economically viable to hold huge numbers of uselessly small parcels. But anything more complicated than that would be a bad idea.

    Interestingly, most of the new small-lot dealers have stopped putting the ads up… they settle for simply charging too much and waiting. Occasionally they try extortion tactics such as putting ban lines and doing bad terraforming, but those are pretty easy to laugh off.

  140. Roblem Hogarth says:

    Actions will always speak louder than words… However, great letter. You realy do seem to get it. Its quite refreshing actualy. Sl, with all its issues, is a great platform. With a lot of work, it can be realy excelent, we will keep working at it, if you keep working at it.

    Now as for all the rumblings of “lively” here, Please. I left there.com a long time ago, I don’t need a there.com Light edition. If thats all your puter can handle go for it but realy it is like comparing apples and ping pong balls. -rolls eyes-

  141. Lose the showcase. It is nothing but a “good old boy” system, far from objective. The only way to get in it is to know the people who control it. I was told by someone who has a lot of land and business in LL that High Rollers who spend a lot in SL can nominate people for the showcase? is this true?

    Lose camping. There are much more efficient ways of giving your money away quickly and easily. Bots use up resources. Get a money tree or just walk around your place of business handing out 100L to everyone you see.

    There are so many content creators in SL that you Lindens have no idea about, and you never will…unless you walk every inch of the grid. Most of us aren’t Land brokers or flippers, we’re just humble users, some basic, some premium, some might own 2048 of land…but most of us little guys trying to break in are not your high roller players. Get to know us.

    As this comment session has been allowed to go way past the “standard 100” I”m thinking you’ve just opened it up to make us all feel as if we’ve had our say and been heard.

    I just have the above 2 requests. Either change the showcase to make it fair to everyone or lose it! Get rid of camping and bots.

    Thank you, and have a nice day.

  142. Wyald Woolley says:

    Please understand that we’ve had a lot of air blown up our skirts for the last 2-3 years. While your letter says all the right things, it’s the actions we look at.

    I am having a worse experience today than I did when I came into SL® 18 months ago with a brand new computer. So, when you say things are better, I have to wonder what you’re smoking because I want some of that.

    I’ve also tried the latest RC viewer and had a worse experience than I do with 1.19.1.4, for me the RC is less stable. How can that be with 50 fixes in place? I suspect that it may be because your programmers can’t contain themselves and fiddle with stuff that isn’t broken until they manage to break it. So, as much as I’d love to look forward with optimism to the next viewer, I am actually cringing.

    For me, the unexpected crashes are much more frequent than ever before. FPS is grinding along lower than ever before and THAT’S with my draw distance at a tenth I could run in the past. I go to walk or fly and my avatar hesitates and then flies or walks a sim length before suddenly snapping back to a few feet from where I began. What’s with this NEW feature?

    I really wish I could agree with you about an improved experience, but I just don’t see it on the grid.

  143. Kitte Munro says:

    Great report M 🙂

    Like many others, it’s reassuring for me that you have so quickly seen the potential and the pitfalls, Mr Rosedale surely can pick a good’un!

    You’ve mentioned that you’ve only been with us for 2 months now, but you haven’t indicated whether this kind or report will occur with any frequency. Personally I’d love to see a weekly or monthly report like this from you. It would be good for people to feel that they are included in someway in the business end of things and a report like this serves that objective well.

    Nice job!

  144. @#69 “A simple Web based interface is the only thing Lively currently offers that even makes me curious. Imagine having that functionality, no building or anything big just basic text based communication with a visual representation of surrounding and avitars as they have been designed in SL!”

    Hear Hear! Give Katharine Berry of http://www.ajaxlife.net a lot of that money you mentioned LL™ has to continue development. We need a Web-based interface for light usage. This would increase concurrency and decrease system lag. It would also show that LL™ is dedicated to supporting the Macintosh community. The new Lively shares a dislike of the Mac with other worlds.

  145. Razor says:

    Yay its great to see more and more people are getting annoying by the whole content theft thing. I wish it had been noticed earlier, I hope Linden Labs will finally take some more action.

    @88″On content theft: This is just ugly, but you also have to look at root causes. When I sell *a* skin for 30000L$ (I don’t, but I have seen it), something is going to push back. In this case, people will say “nice skin — not worth it”. SL is not a thing to make money (although you can make money with SL). Put a price onto content which will make people say “That is cheaper than I could do it if you count my time.” and you will see the end of content theft.”

    This is complete nonsense. You don’t HAVE to have a skin thats “too expensive” just because you are greedy. Thats like saying its totally okay to rob people because “i just NEED to have that necklace that paris hilton is having its not fair that its so expensive”. if you don’t find it worth the price, then just skip it.
    Most popular skins are sold at the price of 1200 linden, thats about 3 real life dollars, and they are beeing ripped. I doubt there are many people in this game who can’t afford 3 dollars. Its not an issue of money or not beeing able to afford things, its just a matter of ultimate greedyness, or losing out of touch with reality realising 1200 linden are NOT 1200 real life dollars. Even Nyoko body oil has been stolen, this item is sold for 80 real life dollar cent! Price has nothing to do with content theft.

  146. Da5id Zsigmond says:

    I’m sure I speak for thousands of avs

    The real challenge of an organization like LL is to move from the now conventional software development model into a company that offers what people really value – “customer service”. For some reason its been my experience that american corporations have been the worst for this most important aspect.

    In the closing statement of our new illustrious leader we got hit with the idea of moving from the frontier to the “pragmatic” stage of this ‘disruptive’ technology. Well pragmatic is, “If this is to much hassle and doesn’t work reliably we’ll use something else.” It would not be unusual that the company that did the leading edge work in a field is left in the dust by another that takes all the work done and runs with it.

    SL does have one trump card if it can recognize and play it – its Citizens. There is a skill set there that is amazing and if the VR interface is going to end up how we deal with the WWW (I think so !) its going to take a lot of skilled people to do the work. They are all roaming around SL now; glad to get a job that pays $1 per hour in real world currency. So my most positive suggestion to M is yes to platform development! but an equal emphasis on relationship development with the citizens – they should be looked at as an asset.

    Somehow SL needs to disupt SL 🙂 What if when you were having a problem you didn’t have to deal with the old paradigms of tech support like chat and telephone but rather – a Linden Came to You Inworld!. Interesting that they aren’t using the system they created, and espouse to others as a solution, – to solve their own problems. There is a lot of talk about education in SL but there is no LL training facility running continuous interactive courses on how to live and work in SL. Instead we watch videos (thanx Torley !!!!) on YouTube.

  147. blackcrow6667 Garmes says:

    Lots of talk about Lively.

    Being a Google product and all, Lively will certainly capture a significant audience to start and probably keep them around due to reduced system requirements and a simplistic browser-based interface which, I might add, can be embedded anywhere on the web including MySpace.

    Although, not a directly comparable substitute to Second-Life, the question is whether or not the majority of user who use Second-Life primarily for dress-up and casual chat, will find Lively appealing enough.

  148. Darien Caldwell says:

    @137,

    Why exactly do you need a bank? Your Lindens are quite safe in your own account. It’s not like another avatar can come up and rob you at gunpoint, like in RL. 🙂 giving your money to someone else, in SL, is foolhardy.

  149. Loco Mycron says:

    Over 80% reduction in simulator crashes since pre-Havok 4.

    Make that 100% for my 33 sim estate.
    For me – and I’m sure many others, not one single crashed sim since Havok4 was introduced. This is an outstanding achievement and deserving of many thanks to the team at Linden Lab.

  150. Jed Gregg says:

    Yes im going to bring this up so bitch at me if ya want to i would like to see a SL viewer that all ppl can use talking about if your comps a 2 or 3 years old and you still want give back to ppl in sl bucuse you cant bucuse the viewer is made for higher end comps AND NOT MADE TO UP DATE BS THINGS LIKE WINDLIGHT AND ALL THAT OTHER CRAP THAT HAS BEEN PUT IN THAT LAGS ALL AND I SAY ALL OF US OUT. i will tell ya this i have been around 4 years in sl and WINDLIGHT messed it all up for all of us nothing has worked right sence then. And in my last thing i want to say is LINDENS NEED TO LISTEN TO THE THE PAYING PPL ARE SAYING AS WELL AS THE PPL THAT DONT PAY LISTEN TO WHAT PPL ARE SAYING ABOUT LAG AND WHY MOST PPL THANK WINDLIGHT IS CRAP!!!!!!! JUST LISTEN AND DONT HIDE AND RUSH TO GET THE NEW VIEWER OUT THEN 100’S OF PPL GET STUFF LOST THAT TOOK LONG MAN HOURS TO MAKE SHUE IT WORKS 1 PLEASE thank you

  151. Cherry Czervik says:

    Hi M

    Bots
    Adfarms
    Bloated land at stupid prices, following on from lots of investment by people (let’s say the ones who are not in it for cash but for love of SL and wanting a home)
    Too much space, too little people

    Fix those please, as your next concern after the asset servers and other functionality. We want to interact with humans.

    *still willing to be won back from utter disillusion after 2 years of pioneering*

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