I recently celebrated my fourth month at the Lab and it has been a terrific adventure so far. As the leader of this amazing company, what have I been focused on? Leading the company’s efforts to make Second Life more relevant, more usable and more reliable.
How are we doing?
We wrapped up a very busy and productive Summer here in the Northern Hemisphere with great results to report. First off, each week since August 31st has brought a concurrency high. Yesterday, the peak hit 71,232 – that’s an increase of 6% in less than a month. Year-over-year, peak concurrency has grown more than 38%. An even more impressive figure is the number of Residents who logged-in during the prior seven days. For the week ending September 19th, we had 505,839 unique log-ins – another Second Life record. Plus daily user-to-user transactions in Linden Dollars continue their steady climb.
What can we attribute this to? We simplified the registration process to make it easier for Residents to join, registrations are continuing at a healthy clip, existing Residents are spending more time inworld, viewer crash rates have declined, teleport failures have declined and database/network/simulator outages are down substantially (for the past three months, simulator outages were 24% of what they were the prior three months).
All are indications that Second Life is becoming more relevant, more usable and more reliable.
First Hour Experience: Shortly after I started, we kicked off a project to reinvent what we call the “first hour experience” (our web experience, the viewer, and the way we acclimate and acculturate users inworld) for new users. We’ve made great progress and will be working with an award-winning interactive design firm to help us complete the reinvention and bring it to life. Yes, we are creating a viewer that is new user friendly! Stay tuned for updates.
Mainland Improvement: Jack Linden has written several blog posts about what we are doing to make the mainland a better experience for Residents so I won’t go into much detail other than to say that we recently banned ad farming which was a blight on the landscape. Our Department of Public Works (DPW) is continuing to make the mainland more attractive by adding roads, parks, buildings and gardens and other great features. The mainland is a crucial part of the Second Life experience and we are taking a more active role than we have historically in ensuring the inworld experience is a great one.
Experience Localization: When I joined in May, I attended new hire orientation at Linden Lab. One of my classmates was the new Linden hired to lead the localization of our product (websites, viewer, support tools). She has made great progress. By the end of the year, the viewer will be fully localized for all our major markets.
Product Focus: Linden Lab, like many startups was born out of a fascination with complex technology. This focus brought innovation and allowed for the breakthrough thinking behind Second Life. We are now at a stage in our development where we need to add additional product strategy, product development and product management experience to help us better tailor our product offering for each of our key markets. We’ve found just the right person to lead this important transition in the company. His name is Tom Hale (he will be called T Linden) and he is a technology industry veteran, having spent the last 14 years at Macromedia and Adobe where he held a variety of product strategy, development and management roles. Tom joins Linden Lab as Senior Vice President, Chief of Product. Read more about T Linden here.
Linden Lab is buzzing with activity. We’ve just completed a major strategy project to define the areas of focus for the next 18 months and we are in the process of translating those strategies into tactical action plans. To support the strategic initiatives we’ve identified, we’ll be hiring 60-70 more people over the next several quarters. This is all part of our commitment to ensure Second Life remains the largest and most successful virtual world.
Thank you for your attention. I will meet you in the forums later this afternoon (sorry, I have meetings all day!) if you have pressing questions or concerns.