4 months at the Lab

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.

What’s next?

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.


M Linden

This entry was posted in -Miscellaneous, Announcements & News, Creativity & Ideas, Resident Experience. Bookmark the permalink.

150 Responses to 4 months at the Lab

  1. Jeska Linden says:

    Don’t forget to continue the conversation in the forums!

  2. Pingback: “M” Speak. 007 Still Doesn’t Know the Mission « Common|Sensible

  3. Beezle Warburton says:


    How about them near-daily asset server problems?

  4. things are certainly improving, however, an easier registration process will never be enough. the whole interface needs to be completely changed if this is supposed to reach normal people. one client for creators, one for consumers, i think that would be the only way to go.

  5. Argent Stonecutter says:

    The distinction between “creators” and “consumers” in SL is fuzzy at best. And that’s one of the best things about SL. 🙂

  6. It’s a nice post, M, but you might want to get someone to proofread your writing before putting it out in public. There are several errors. It’s a shame to have the meaning of your words degraded by minor errors.

    I hope someone will give some thought to the problem of a user that doesn’t speak English having to look through their inventory and see names of items all in English that they can’t read. Objects, textures, etc., all need to have multi-lingual name fields. Machine translation needs to be embedded in the chat system and throughout the interface.

    It’s good to see the attention given to translanting the interface and the LL volunteer groups efforts towards translating things. Quite a challenge to take on.

  7. Vint Falken says:

    Any chance you’ll share which these are?

    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.

  8. sylvie matova says:

    The concurrency peak is almost entirely due to the record number of bots/models/alts etc in use in virtually every “popular” store and club.

    Boasting about a false statistic is completely pointless.

    Congratulations on the crash stats because they’re actually real numbers and have some relevance.

    Now do everyone a favour and bring Torley and other important information such as new viewer and service annoucements back to the blog where they belong.

  9. Pingback: Dusan Writer’s Metaverse » Linden Lab Announces New Viewer for Second Life

  10. dusanwriter says:

    I’m with Vint – we look forward to the “traveling road show” on your strategic focus so that Residents can get engaged with building the future.

    I’m also curious as to what “product” means in the context of the Lab and SL. Is SL the product? Immersive Spaces? SLim? And will a product focus mean a change to the organizational structure at the Lab? To JIRA?

    You’ve whetted our appetites and it’s exciting to see and hear about the progress, and what seems to be 4 months in which you’ve kept your priorities clear and consistent. Thanks!

  11. Pingback: M. Linden states ‘Progress’, but forgot to mention a few things? | VintFalken.com

  12. Ric Mollor says:

    It’s interesting to see the contrast between concurrency numbers and ranking of Secondlife.com as reported by Alexa.

    Alexa is showing traffic down to roughly one third of what it was a year ago in a steady decline. (Click on my name then choose ‘max’ to see)

    Would any armchair analysts care to speculate on this? Are there really that many bots in SL or are people just never looking at the SL web pages anymore?

  13. Christos Atlantis says:

    Good job M. Linden, seems like you are heading things in the right direction, I have been following the recent LL hires and I have to say I am impressed, I am glad to see that you have brought in top industry executive to help with the growth.

  14. Localizations for all major markets? That means my private translation will be replaced… I can’t sit here anymore. sl-dev I’m coming!

  15. Jessicka Graves says:

    I really hope this doesn’t mean screwing with the viewer again. There are so many exclusive bugs (in that they didn’t exist in the 1.19 series) to the previous series of RC clients it was laughable, along with how many RC viewers there were. The number of bots and the like are surely messing up the stats, just like the number of voice hours. Actually used versus just being turned on (especially by default, which surely added a ton of time). The registration process 2 years ago was as easy as signing up for anything else on the internet (Orig. register October 3rd, 2006), so the so-called simplification of the sign-up process leading to anything is just silly o_O. I dunno what localization is, but it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be handled well….Please just leave the viewer alone.

  16. Whoelse feels like a dog? 4 months feel like a year, it is probably the speed of Second Life that let’s you experience literally millions of things in a short period of time.

    In April 2008 SL was a mess, 10% failed deliveries, inventory loss, downtimes …you name it.

    When M took over the wheel he had to be a noob at first which is probably the best case scenario, he experienced all the things by himself combined with his business background and his passion for design so many things have changed that the average joe wouldn’t even notice. His team has made long overdue adjustments to dozens of things like creating a role to moderate the group chat to name just one. The stability is a lot better and the Open Space land is such a motivation for many people with smaller pockets to create their own business on low costs but lots of space which keeps them longer in the game, motivates others to follow to do the same.

    I am glad SL is now seen as a product and not as a vision anymore, SL needs fresh people because otherwise in a year we will only have creators and designers and that wouldn’t support the economy i suppose 🙂 Keep em coming we are ready 🙂

  17. Chez Nabob says:

    A fine note and we all appreciate the update.

    Of course we all also have our suggestions as to what would make our SL experience better. So I’ll throw my own pet issue on the pile as well.

    How about giving creators better tools and support so they can protect their intellectual property rights more effectively?

  18. Gil Druart says:

    Things have improved. They really have. Remember that. Because by perverse bad luck you put this out on the night that tps fail, the database eats our inventory, regions mysteriously vanish .. etc etc
    Ok .. that’s just really unfortunate timing.

    What’s not unfortunate but inexcusable, it’s that this has been going on for four hours plus without a word on the blog. Doesn’t anyone in there notice when SL is broken?

  19. cyberpink says:

    Teleport failures have declined for who? I know loads of people who still can’t even TP to their home lands. I sometimes have TP issues, I crash more times than I care to even think about and with upside down floating cats currently drifting around my home, I’d say that SecondLife is getting worse, not better.

    It also amazes me that what has to be one of the biggest and hottest JIRA topics, the infamous ‘More than 25 group’ issue still hasn’t been sorted. Yes, it would take a major effort to fix this oversight, but don’t we have a right to get these issues resolved as paying customers?

  20. Darien Caldwell says:

    Looks like SL is heading toward becoming a real business. They certainly have the lingo down. 😉

    Cautiously optimistic, as always. 🙂

  21. Pingback: Reducing your Second Life lag : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  22. Ciaran Laval says:

    Ad farms were actually banned in February, sometimes actions speak louder than words.

    Crashes have generally been less problematic for myself and I am experiencing less teleport failures so it’s good to see the stats suggesting that’s more the norm.

    Good news on recruiting Tom Hale, that sounds like a positive step, it would be nice to hear more about this strategy project.

    Group limits, they are a serious pain, rethink the whole system, some groups don’t need land permissions.

    SLURL’s not working in the forums is frustrating, especially when a recent blog was highlighting their usefulness.

    The lack of updates here has coincided with a lack of comments. Bring back the old blog, warts and all, it generated more interest. Moving the status updates elsewhere hasn’t worked well and most of all bring Torley back to the blog!

  23. Sabine Geiger says:

    4 months in the office
    then it is time to take all the complains about the grid serious for exsample fopr about for months we have bouncing cams when somethingor someone is behind us I know many have complaind about it in here as well in bug reports.
    when the asset server is down we wont get warned when transactions dont work we dont get warned inworld but when we step in a updated sim we get anoying warnings why giving the useless information but not the warning that when you spend money your buys wont arrive
    Why is every upgrate still a disaster after so many years you would think people at the Lab would have learned from their mistakes how naief am I
    but now your here for four months maybe you still are ambitious enough to something about all this and if you want to add something uefulls give us a way to lock off IM’s
    I wish you a lot of succes for the nest four months

  24. Pingback: M Linden announces new Linden Lab Senior Vice President | Primforge

  25. torridluna says:

    Wow, an award winning interactive design firm, building a new user friendly client, that sounds cozy.

    But wait, do they have enough Mac and Linux developers on board?

  26. Sue Saintlouis says:

    The latest Mac clients (both general release and RC) are unusable! They crash way too much! Crashes from immediate to after 55 minutes of use. Try to build and runs businesses like that! It is especially frustrating when there is no indication of a crash: here I think I’m doing something, only to relog and find that I’ve wasted my time. Trying to start a voice conference is a sure crash, left-clicking on an object is a dangerous adventure (!!!) TPs now require taking a deep breath and hoping to arrive!
    Oh, and bring us back Ctrl G with edit! Bring us back the tools menu visible even if not in build mode!

    Agreed on the need of more than 25 groups! Been saying that for over a year!

    It does seem that new people are better informed and not so lost when they first join.

  27. Curtis Blanc says:

    Has anyone noticed the lack of questions and descent among the commenters here?

    Would you like to know why?

    It seems that Linden Lab has stopped these people from commenting because Linden Lab has no answers for valid questions.

    What does that say about Linden Lab in general and M Linden in specific?

    I wouldn’t put much faith in what M Linden says, seems to me if he could back up his “assumptions” he wouldn’t have put out bogus numbers saying how great things are.

  28. Bob Bunderfeldd says:

    The Numbers Say WHAT?

    I find it increasingly frustrating that the so-called NEW CEO at Linden Lab spins the numbers to make them look as if everything is alright in the world.

    Let’s take them point by point shall we?

    First Hour Experience: This is the load of crud you tried passing off on the community last week, but you shied away from answering them, will you us now? You think that the SLURL program will make the FIRST HOUR experience so wonderful for New Residents. How man New Residents did you speak with to see if they even knew what a SLURL was? Comparitevly how many New Residents where there in the time you were speaking to these other phantom New Residents? I ask this because college statistics say you must meet at least 7% to get a decent sample. Did you obtain 7%, and just how did you do that?

    The problem is, and you can verify this for me, is you didn’t talk to a SINGLE New Resident about this program did you? I kind of know what New Residents are thinking, I have been doing a New Resident Q&A for over 5 years now, and from experience, because you see I asked them, NO New Resident that I spoke with last week knew what a SLURL was in their first hour. The only one that knew it the first day, was someone doing a Search and found them that way. So, let’s drop your pretense, and get back to work, this time you should actually TALK to New Residents, instead of just assuming what they might want. You would be surprise what their answer is!

    MAINLAND IMPROVEMENTS: I’m sorry to ask this question, but just how many more PRIMS have been added to the MAINLAND and did you survey the Residents that live around these “improvements” before acting? Did you actually check to see if any of those Residents wanted those “improvements”. Let’s not forget, the more PRIMS you guys stick in the world, the slower it gets for those that live around where your so-called “improvements” are. While it’s nice to have a finished road after 3 years, does it really work out in the end? The only thing I can see Jack Linden doing is adding MORE LAG to the GRID.

    Experience Localizaton: Since apparently you don’t know what this person really does, you just gave us a fluff piece. There’s nothing to see here, please move along.

    Product Focus: Well, you said a mouthful there. The thing that worries me is the “Product Enhancement” line. You see, everytime your “competent” staff tries to add something to the world, it either crashes and kicks everyone off the Grid, or your “competent” employee’s let slip a number of bugs and have to remove the newly added “enhancement”. Just how many tries was it to get version 1.24 in place? 5 or 6? If you really are thinking that this is a good thing, well then we all know you are nothing more then a mouth for Philip Rosedale to talk thru.

    Now, let’s go back to your “celebrating” some of those numbers. You brag that Viewer Crashes are down, but have you compared the viewer count to people who have decided to get a 3rd Party viewer and say at a lower level of version since that is more stable then the one’s your “competent” staff have brought out? If not, why not? Have you noticed that as online numbers increased, the more lag and crashing the rest of the world is doing and the number of failed logins are occurring during this time period? Why not? You see that would be something to celebrate, but since you didn’t mention that, I assume you know those numbers and are afraid to announce them.

    Finally, your cash issues. It seems to me, and to most merchants in-world, that the Linden Dollar has dropped off and people are buying less. There was a time in-world that the money passing hands was greater to then the money made by Linden Lab from fee’s, Islands, etc. Can you give us that number now? Or do you know what us Merchants know, that the SL Economy is in a recession?

    You can hide all you want Sir, but I will always be around to call you out on these things. Robin, I’ll be seeing you tomorrow with these questions, please be prepared to give me detailed answers.


    Bob Bunderfeld

  29. Rooke Ayres says:

    IMO, SL has been a lot more stable for the last month, but the asset servers are still wonky from time to time, and there are things in the 1.20 and 1.21 viewers that used to work in the 1.19 viewers which no longer work – Save Back to My Inventory and Save Back to Objects are two that come to mind. There are others.

    Making the viewers more stable and operational will go a long way in making builders a lot happier. 😀

  30. Craig Solzhenitsyn says:

    Bob Bunderfeld – Nice input – abeit laden with attitude – nice work on the Q&A.

    Q&A sessions, Surveys and Market Research are useful tools in the modern world, I’m still asking LL to do a ‘customer hardware survey’ along the lines of Valve’s Steam network one, if they know what people are using to connect, they can make it more attractive for those people.

    I agree with with all your comments, but believe the SL economy recession is more to do with the world recession atm than SL based.

    here’s an idea LL, your in San Fran, have loads of computers in base and vehicles available right? why not go to a nearby college, and bung them a cash donation for use of a room for a term, and use the students as test subjects? Simply having free drinks and cookies etc would bring them in – then you will get open minded truely ‘first time’ users and can see how they react with your product?

    Toy manufactures do this all the time with nursurys and sweets, chocolate and fizzy drinks firms use UK colleges to scope for Q&A peeps.

    The product mid to end life usability is virtually sound (well except for the bugs and glitches), is the start that needs attention on usability.

    Ill put this one other way, everyone I know that has tried it said ‘they didn’t get it’ or ‘it was too confusing’ at the start and haven’t gone back, that market is going fast, do it now and you might capture those people that watch the re-run of CSI.

  31. Georgie says:

    (1) I have never ever had so many TP timeouts and “you have been logged out of SL”, or “you have been sent to an invalid region” crashes than I have endured in the past week.

    (2) I have had to stop using my Mac Pro+8800GT in Second Life because of the constant cyclic freezes. These bugs in the 1.2x.x clients are way over the top compared to 1.19.x.x. —> Macs with 8800 graphics are supported and recommended? Pull the other one.

    (3) Overloaded sims that sit on frame rates as low as 0.0 and 1.0 for long periods. Check out Burning Life some time.

    (4) Constant group IM failures.

    (5) Search results that fill the search window with trash.

    (6) It’s irritating that my UI settings, and items positioned on the HUD, like the Stats Bar and Lag Meter, and my advanced sky setting, must be restored at every login simply because these are not remembered following my copious crashes and forced logoffs.

    (7) I almost never had Macs quit “unexpectedly”. These now happen several times daily and I do not even see the “unexpectedly” excuse any more.

    (8) I am no longer accorded the respect and opportunity to add my own comments to crash logs on relog.

    The last six months of SL has been a deteriorating experience. Has increasing concurrency and bots been the root cause? Yes, and the constant updating with “improvements” without fixing core issues is deplorable.

  32. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    I simply haven’t been “on” to second life for nearly two months now – I’m waiting for a double, triple, quadruple and pentuple confrimation of stability. As to the lack of comments going against the Linden Labs “line”? I made a comment on an earlier thread about supression of speech being similar to how it was in the former Eastern Bloc. This after a comment of mine in a yet an earlier thread was deleted. That comment has remained while the previous one is still deleted. It appears that the majority of Linden’s have not changed their attitude – they only want to hear, and subsequently want us to hear, the “official” line that everything is going just fine. Just the the American Economy, huh?

  33. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    Another comment to make – this one about ‘bots. At one stage – and this is only going back a year ago, ‘bots were – officially – illegal and abuse of the system. However, approximately five months ago one Linden went on record as saying thay ‘bot’s were good for “Traffic data”. So therefore, even though ‘bots are “officially” still an abuse of the system and terms and conditions of second life, Linden Labs are implicitly condoning and supporting their use, just as they appear to be implicitly condoning and supporting the actions of griefers, thus going against the very rules they themselves have set up for us to comply with. Sort of makes you wonder, huh?

  34. What bothers me most, is Linden Lab releases a “Look how good we are” Blog Posting about once a week, yet the majority of the community is saying the opposite.

    I guess if you want to stay out of touch with your community, that’s ok, until someone comes up with a viable alternative to Second Life and suddenly 75% of your community disappears over night.

    That’s where it’s heading I fear, and there will be only one entity to blame, that being Linden Lab themselves.

  35. When the ship sinks you must blame the captain of the ship!!!

  36. First of all, thank you M Linden for your post. We really appreciate the effort you have been doing to keep us posted. We hope we get to hear more of your plans in the future as we are passionately interested in them. SL is part of our life after all.

    My SL so far has been mixed, depending on where I am. Even if my work and home connection is from the same ISP, I get horrible connection at work, no matter if everyone else at the office is using the internet or not. While at home I am happily breezing on by, even if I’m on a wireless network. So probably SL isn’t properly attuned to remain stable or usable in a connection that fluctuates, and let’s admit it, it always fluctuates.

    With the group limit, there are a lot of third party products that have managed to take advantage of that limit and do something about it. Products like Subscribe-O-Matic and Hippo (among the few) works like a group in a way it distributes announcements and objects. The real need to belong to groups now is if you are part of estate management team or the like. Most businesses adopt the 3rd party system instead of creating a group in SL nowadays if all they ever need is to distribute items and send out announcements.

    The beauty of SL’s limitations is the ability of creative and enterprising residents to get past it and do something about it. Sometimes its those limitations that bring about ingenuity.

    What I so hope is that LL listens to those creative and ingenious people and not shut them out–because it will make their work easier.

    I believe that M Linden is doing his best, let’s try our best to support him and SL. All we need to do is to remind them frequently what needs to be done, AS THERE IS SO MUCH TO DO, but do it with less “i’m better than you” attitude. This VW is the first of its kind, so many problems spring up that are new and many of those problems’ solutions are not documented yet. We have a lot of growing up to do.

  37. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    I’m sorry Isadora, but SL is not “the first of it’s kind”. The original virtual, online world was AOL which came out in 1996. Admittedly that had major problems that largely had to do with technology at the time. The first Virtual World that was anywhere like SL was EA/Maxis SimsOnline. I understand this, too, had it’s problems. So to say that SL is the first of it’s kind is naive and shows your lack of knowledge in regards to the history of virtual worlds. I had never played AOL or SimsOnline, but I have played both the original Sims and the Sims2 games and can tell you that the basic ideas Linden Labs have for building and avatar design come directly from the work of Wil Wright and the Maxis team. Essentially, SL is far from “original”. The only thing that I can see Linden Labs has done that AOL and Sims Online did not do was introduce realworld business and economy transactions. However, this hardly a call to claim that SL is a first.

  38. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    In regards to the problems, Isodora – these problems have plagued SL since its inception and all that has been to solve them has been slap on paintjobs to cover the cracks in the foundations. But then again, this is what you get when you have amateurs with bright ideas and no idea how to impliment them in an efficient and effective manner.

  39. mcp Moriarty says:

    I was at a hub the the other night and there was more identical noob looking bots sitting idle than actual live users. I really think the numbers are misleading. Also deleted accounts are not really deleted far as I can tell. I can find so called deleted users in the new search. Even an account I had back in 2006 still comes up. What’s with that?! Why are these account not purged from the system after 90 days? The website led me to believe that when I closed the account it would be REMOVED.

  40. The Great Sandwich Debate says:

    Maybe you should change your name to HMMMMM Linden…..While stability has improved a lot that does not mean its impressive because SL had been so broken it was unreal.

    Mainland improvements are very welcomed and hope this continues as mainland is really ugly on the whole with some amzing diamonds in the rough.

    Product focus? well as long as like the recent messeging offering and having an ex adobe employee onboard this doesn’t mean bloatware.Sl should be a slimline client,we do not need auto updaters,we do not need browser plug ins and we do now need any processes that start with the operating system.

    What we need is more control over mainland parcels so we can remove overhanging prims ourselves.Also i think if newcomers couldn’t figure out getting on to the grid they are not going to last long a simplfied sign up will just benifit bots.If you cannot figure out how to sign up for SL then im pretty sure signing up for e-mail or even turning comp on was a bit to taxing for 1 day to carry on.

  41. Jayme, i believe it’s the first of its kind to offer SO MUCH options as far as creativity and commerce goes, but yes, i’m new to VWs and I appreciate what everything has been done so far. I’m familiar to The Sims and i was such an avid player, but only thought of it as a game. SL isn’t a game for me, but an opportunity.

    It’s not easy, whether SL is the first or not. There is a lot of organizing and growing up to do, and I’m sure they are doing it now. You say that LL needs more efficient and effective in handling ideas and maybe this stage we are in right now with M is a step in the direction we are wanting them to be. I’m sure they also see the potential to be better if they become more efficient and effective, and will get on it, knowing that everyone is watching their every move and learning from their mistakes. It is a different ballgame now, with so many people interested in making their own virtual world.

  42. Tegg B says:

    Jessicka Graves Says: “I really hope this doesn’t mean screwing with the viewer again. There are so many exclusive bugs (in that they didn’t exist in the 1.19 series) to the previous series of RC clients it was laughable, along with how many RC viewers there were. ”
    Nope change is good, personally I can’t wait for the next big thing, without change we wouldn’t have flexies, mono, sculpties or many other features.You have to ride the wave or stay in a pond. Activeworlds may be a better pond for those who can’t handle change.
    Sorry but I don’t want SL to be the same in 10 years time.
    And if you don’t like lots of beta viewers, simply stay with the main viewer.
    Seriously though M, this infinate anomous accounts deal has to be under control somehow, is our 6% rise more residents or just more bots?

  43. Calin McKinney says:

    Valuable comments Bob in #28. These are the kinds of residents…the ones taking the time to comment here, that you should really listen to in my opinion (including me of course)!

    Here is my input…

    1. Banning ad farms….Excellent

    2. New residents…assign them a buddy resident for the first hour to show them around. Give those residents willing to be buddies some kind of incentive….like reduced land tier percentage based on the number of new residents they take on.

    3. Remember when the Linden economy was really booming? It was tons of fun back then. You should focus on how to help merchants in-world build their businesses and extend them out to the RL. It would do two things….increase business inworld and bring in new residents who see the advertising say for either RL or SL products.

    4. Gambling was so fun..and good for the economy…isn’t there a legal way to bring this back…maybe a second monetary system that say cannot be turned back into RL cash? For example…If the second monetary system was called…say…L2’s…then they could only be spent inworld. So say an SL pre-fab house price would be in two denominations….5000 L or 8000 L2’s. It would just be fun to try to gamble to buy stuff inworld…wasn’t that the only legal issue…being able to re-convert it to RL money?

    5. Another way to boost the economy is to reduce land tier. You flooded the market with land, so much so that land prices have never recovered even close to what they were at, and yet…land tier prices remain the same. How do you expect folks to want to continue to invest when now it is just about making tier each month and not about making any profit…where is the incentive for those wanting to invest in land? You dropped land prices, but kept tier the same, and now have a depressed economy on your hands….kinda like what the U.S. government is about to do…bail out the big boys and still leave the little guy holding the bill. Your big guys are yourselves…keeping land tier high…and the little guys holding the bill…are those of us still paying the high land tier prices each month. Well..you tell me…is it working for you?

    Please…talk to and take advice from your concerned, long time residents. We want SL to be great…really!!

  44. Calin McKinney says:

    Oh…and one more thing…

    Definately bring Torley back and keep him close to you as you seek advice on how to make SL better. He knows the residents and has his finger on the pulse of what many of us want and need! I recommend he take a major role at all of your “How do we make SL better” meetings/conferences.

    Hooray for Watermelons!!

  45. Roman McCullough says:

    Nobody in real life is going to take Second Life’s user numbers seriously until the hundreds of thousands of lapsed accounts are done away with, bots are permanently abolished and the search results include real traffic numbers (it would be great to have a number next to each site listing that shows how many folks are currently in a particular world at any given moment) rather than the farcical figures we see now.

    I would especially like to remind SL that with people looking at the activities of companies with eyes more jaundiced more than ever, more traffic transparency would really do SL’s reputation a world of good.

    Also, in the new RC, the camera now moves in an ellipse and not in a circle, making it impossible to use it for a real in your face close up when you are changing your avatar’s looks. Please fix it soonest!

  46. Jessicka Graves says:

    @42 Flexi has been around since before I have, back when SL actually functioned fairly well. Mono has been a big bust, heavy traffick sims under Mono or Havok4 tend to be heavily, heavily laggy (such as Lost Angels), all because of server-side problems, so called “updates”. Sculpties hasn’t impacted my experience too much, because when used, they usually end up being too laggy to rez past the ball/oval shape. I like balls and all, but it’s just silly to see.

    I do like change, don’t get me wrong here, but change that breaks the game? Change that makes the game virtually unusable? Change CAN be a good thing, but in SL’s case, it usually ends up the opposite, or at least for the recent “changes”.

  47. Elwin says:

    Firstly, thank you Mark for an informative post.

    There have certainly been some improvements in SL over the last few months. It is pretty clear that you aren’t a miracle worker, nor have a magic wand to wave over SL.

    To the many people who have commented about specific issues still detracting from your (and my) user experience I would like to say this; Yes these things are still happening, but let’s be realistic, you can’t expect a new CEO to magically fix longstanding problems in just four months! Life’s just not like that.

    I’m just as annoyed at the many failures as you are. In fact so annoyed that I took a bath on selling my mainland plot for half what I paid for it and I have downgraded my account to a free basic one. But that doesn’t mean SL is all bad. I still have fun out there and I still buy things from merchants.

    If there is a downturn in the SL economy I would suggest that it is strongly linked to the downturn in the global economy. Blaming Linden Labs for that seems rather pointless.

    Why would I say these things? I’m not a secret LL employee spouting the ‘party line’. But I am someone who is getting really tired of all of the negativity in the comments made by many contributors here. This is not the way to move us collectively forward. Emotional outbursts don’t help advance the cause but instead make sure that your (often very valid) comments are brushed off as just another hotheaded outburst. Far better to report factual information that LL can act on.

    M Linden, I want to encourage you to keep flogging the crew until they get it right and all of us nay sayers out here are silenced.

    Carry on!

  48. I actually agree with Isadore, we should do our best to make Second Life what we dreamed it could be that first time we ever logged on.

    We should also support all the Lindens that are “Open and Transparent” in their communication with us; as they promised they would be last year.

    This of course leaves out just about every Linden who’s posted on the Blog, with the exeption of Torley. So, I support Torley Linden in all that Torley does.

    As for supporting M Linden, Philip Linden (Rosedale) and Robin Linden (Harper), when they stop pissing down my back and tell me it’s raining, then I’ll give them all my support, as I’ve said all these years.

    Don’t get me wrong, I love Second Life, and have since I first logged in back in April 2003. But I’ve seen Linden Lab change in their attitudes toward the community and their non-professional manner in which they now handle those tools of Second Life, such as the viewer, SIM versions, etc. The change I’ve witnessed is not good to say the least. While Second Life client became more and more bloated (There was a time you could download your client easily, as it was only 10MB), the Second Life Grid groans more loudly by the day. Remember the VOICE CHAT installation and being down 48 hours straight? This is the kind of thing that shows me that someone at Linden Lab either needs to be fired or given a chance to start doing their job correctly. Enough said about that, like I said, when M Linden stops blowing hot-air up my skirt, then I’ll trust him and support him.

  49. Laraya says:

    @28// Bob: Great post, I could not possibly have summarized it any better…
    … and @31 Georgie: There are loads of people I know myself (incl. myself) who could report the same.

    So what are we doing now at the Labs at this moment? True seems to be, that there has been some investment and increase of hardware, since otherwise the number of avis online at peak times would kill the system completely (now it just only strangles the system).
    I also find the situation (in comparison of avis online at same time during peaks) is r e l a t i v e l y improving (which means although such increases, it has not become much worse than before).

    But we are far from a stage where residents (especially ones who spend or at least try to spend several hours inworld daily) would cheer now, that SL has become a stable system. It has not.

    So… what I read in the Lindens’ blogposts is, that you now declare SL to be a better experience by definition? That is nice. Really nice.
    Following that path of thinking, you also could put the people in the USA at rest and tell them “Folks – the banking crisis does not exist – we have everything under control….nothing to worry about, honey!…”

    If you, M, liked to know the truth about SL inworld experience, use a normal PC, not one year old, with some several hundreds of GB, newest graphic card, 16000 bandwith internet (so all far from being outdated)…and then…teleport and… crash (with a computer which is normally good enough to watch movies in realtime and TV- quality online).

    You also could have a look to the post in that so- called Grid Status report. The things posted in there and their frequence as such were already bad enough, but I think many other residents will agree that according to what we experience inworld, the things posted there are maximum one third of what indeed happens (in regards of malfunctions).

    Summarizing I’d like to say, that I appreciate the efforts apparently having been taken. But please do not talk your product better…please…make it better.

    Thx + good luck – Lara

  50. RichD says:

    Hmmmm Over 45 Comments and not one response from LL. Speaks Volumes doesn’t it? People bring up a lot of interesting and valid points, its a pity they never seem to be addressed.

    @12.. Interesting point about the decline in traffic, but i think that it only points to the lack of interesting and relative content of the web site, not the access to SL by clients since that’s probably not counted in those stats.

  51. Laraya says:

    [@48, Bob…regarding transperancy pls don’t forget to mention Prospero]

  52. Balp Allen says:

    The last week’s i have seen more crashed that in ages. The viewer crashes, ann version i try 1.20.15/16, 1.21.RC2/3, CoolViewer builds of 1.20.15/16. The funny part is that nothing in the client side changed.
    Yet the crashes all are clear client side bugs. This and the security problem this week make me liking point again to a fear I have not verified yet in the code. The code, especially the network code, is written in a lab environment, the client trusts what it gets from the server. Mind you but ANY crash that comes from an internet packet IS a security problem. Just waiting for an exploit. My advice to LL would be put much much efforts into this field, it not only increases the resident experience and stable viewer, but also makes the viewer more secure, and in that way keeps potential error hidden.

  53. Balp Allen says:

    “hidden” is not a good translation to English of what I wanted to say. I mean there will not be any security scandals if one is proactive in this field. The OpenBSD have some good tactics here.

  54. Gumby Roffo says:

    Thanks for the update M. Good to see you are settling in. I have one request. Could you see that the stickers at the front counter look a little more impressive than just “SL” I put one on my car in Australia and now folks think I’m from Slovenia 😛 What happened to the hand logo?

  55. itsmartin reallymagpie says:

    Do the statistics really concern me? No SL looks as empty as it did 6 months ago. If you want to draw ppl in how about fix the current issues. Word of mouth can go either way. Asset server issues are a “Show stopper” I am sure you are also familiar with that catch phrase “M”. Just remember we don’t work for you. “m”‘kay.

  56. itsmartin reallymagpie says:

    ps; #28 Bob you so rock my socks 🙂 love ya darlin.


  57. Nikki Shinn says:

    Wow. Welcome to Second Life. I’m on my official 3rd and final avi. My first was noob clueless so I had to ditch her, the 2nd one was contantly hounded and spammed from an old group = this one is rich with lesson learned mentality. Third time’s a charm.

    I see there are many more complaints here and this time I have to agree with them…not the general whiners but the ones who have been here all along pointing to the specific issues that never seem to get fixed each time another RC comes out. I found SL back in the spring of 2006. I am happy to be here, I love SL, I’ve owned a sim, I’ve spent a ton o cash here but I enjoy it. I’ll end up getting another sim here shortly (well, provided the Amerikan Empire doesn’t completely go offline and wipe us all out but that’s a whole other economical rant). In all the time I’ve been here, the one single version that worked for me was the v1.19 – I went days and days without crashing, minimal lag, no lost inventory, no slow to death load times.

    I was forced into an upgrade and it’s gone straight to hell each time. I can’t even visit the mainland sims because the whole machine locks up. It’s a gray zone for several minutes, I can’t move, half my stuff doesn’t show up…teleport failure, crashing worse than it was doing back in April 2006 when I first loaded whatever version that was. I mean it’s been absolutely horrendous even bothering to do anything at all in SL. If I land on the mainland anywhere it’s a guaranteed crash. Private sims are way easier unless they have lots of crap there.

    So PLEASE focus on whatever causes this and don’t say it’s my graphics card. I went right out and grabbed one of the recommended ones and it worked great while I was still using .19, but no longer. What is going on?

    Is someone smoking crack while working on these viewers? This is ridiculous. I thought we wouldn’t be forced into an upgrade but it happened. I can’t even go back to .19 because soon as it’s installed it forces me to upgrade again.

    Please FIX this stuff. I’m definitely seeing a tremendous lapse in people in SL, it’s turning into a ghost town! The PR will improve when the QUALITY OF END USER EXPERIENCE improves. If your residents are telling you this for years now, isn’t it about time to listen??

    Thanks for choking down my 2c.

  58. Burgess Miles says:

    The increase in traffic is no doubt, as many here points out, due to the ever increasing number of bots and alts camping everywhere. The camping issue and the way traffic is calculated must be dealt with if SL is to be taken seriously.

    And the constant “improvements” and “updates” only leaves ppl behind. Linden lab aims for volume of accounts but updates are done so frequently that the only ones who can have a full SL experience are the comparatively few with the latest pc gaming comps. Mac users are increasingly left behind…problems on macs are more frequent now than before.

  59. Mozy Pera says:

    Well I find myself feeling compelled to add my 2 cents here. First I will say that being involved in something as interesting and complex as Second Life has been amazing for me – This has had a huge positive impact on my first life. I really am trying to hold on and ride the waves just as most of you – I read as much as I can about it, I try to keep up with new changes, the Jira, the blogs, the articles, the server and viewer updates, bla bla bla, etc, etc…….I can’t begin to know what “M” really has on his plate but I do know this: SL is barely useable now. I used to be able to build, buy & sell land, tp to other sims, stay in world for hours and hours a day, explore the grid, write about SL things in the press, take pictures, and so forth. Now, I am able to log in “sometimes”, stay on for MAYBE a few minutes, click on something or turn and it’s a sudden death crash. I have tried every possible fix – After doing this about 6 times each morning, I now just give up and return to my first life. I feel so detached and yes, I am going thru the pains of separation anxiety. I miss being around for the residents on my sims…I miss seeing someones new build…I miss SL. What has happened here ?

  60. Mozy Pera says:

    Burgess, I think you are right when you said, “Mac users are increasingly left behind…problems on macs are more frequent now than before”.

    Sad but so true! Though I definately have no interest in switching back to the other platform.

  61. First of all, thank you, M Linden, for continuing to give us some your thoughts for us to brood on. What we mostly need at this stage is a roadmap of where LL thinks Second Life currently is, and where it is going. You’ve been helpful in helping us out to understand that, in broad and vague terms — what would be the strategy. We might appreciate the tactics too: specifically naming each step on the road ahead and how you plan to implement it.

    Traditionally LL was never good with timelines and “promises”. It’s a corporate-cultural-thing: the Tao of Linden enables developers to pretty much do what they want to do, regardless of what they need to do. Four months is still little time to see any changes on the management direction that we hope to see soon.

    On the other hand, of course, SL in 2003 is not SL in 2008. Any kid with a PC at home can successfully manage a mini-grid with a few hundred OpenSim-based regions, and handle a few hundreds of simultaneous logins. Grow that to 30,000 regions and 71k simultaneous users, and no amateur will manage that. The repeated claims that “SL was so good in the past” and “support was so extraordinary” or “Lindens did really work miracles in the Olden Days” are, well, just throwing sand in our eyes. SL was so much smaller, easier, and uncomplicated back then. The asset server didn’t even require a database! It was so simple, crude, but elegant and efficient. But it only needed to handle a few million items for a few dozens of thousands of users.

    Moving towards a huge infrastructure that supports millions of users (and never forget that almost nobody in the industry talks about active users vs. registered users; Skype claims 240 million registered users — I just use it for an hour per year, on average. Am I an “active user” or not?) is a completely different step. Here I really appreciate the vision and forethought given to hiring people like Frank Ambrose who has ages of experience in managing similarly complex infrastructures very successfully. With due respect to the past network engineers and system administrators at LL, we have gone way beyond the kid-with-a-PC-at-home stage, and I, for one, am thoroughly happy to know that the bridge at the Linden Ship is well staffed: a captain who understands where to lead the ship, and a Chief Engineer who understands how to keep the engines happy. And, of course, Phillip will always be the Columbus on the deck pointing to the future. But he won’t need to be captain and chief engineer at the same time he shows what lies in the future.

    And then it’s time we understand the views of the silent majority. The number of people that are vocal about SL are infinitesimal. My best estimate is that a mere hundred thousand are “actively vocal” about SL: they read and write blogs, they join meetings in SL, they discuss on forums, they make their opinion felt — and, invariably, they’re thinly spread across a lot of online resources. A very tiny group comes here to complain. Always the same group, complaining as loudly as possible for a few months, then, after one day getting a new computer, a new Internet connection, or clicking on the correct checkbox or installing the appropriate driver — they suddenly find that SL, after all, works flawlessly for them, and they disappear into the “silent majority” — the millions that log in regularly without trouble at all, but also don’t feel the urge to boast about it. They just use it. My GSM mobile phone from Nokia works (most of the time…) with few crashes, but I don’t feel the urge to blog about it. I just assume it works.

    So it’s an even tinier minority that bothers to talk positively about SL. That’s just part of human nature. We’re irate and passionate when things don’t work for us (or for our close friends and family), and that passion drives many to be very vocal — for a while. Sooner or later, two things happen: things start working again for them or they leave (blessfully so!) SL forever. Most return after a few years again — usually after having upgraded to a different computer/connection — but this time have no problems at all. It happens to all of us.

    Seriously, no one stays in SL for 4 or 5 years to complain every day unless one has a serious mental disorder (those cases are exceptions).

    On the other hand, the very tiny minority that actually brags about how cool SL is remains around for years (and hopefully decades) and will always be happy about SL, no matter how much it crashes. Yesterday I was at the launch of Orange’s Innovation Week. On one location (there are sometimes interconnected events) there were 52 people attending. 20 were visible on my viewscreen (since I was watching a presentation I wasn’t seeing the whole of the audience). I had 12-13 FPS on my underpowered iMac. For me it was simply an awesome experience. For someone sitting next to me it was a “lag nightmare”. We all have incredibly different expectations! Teleports failing? Just log off and log back in, directly on your destination — it takes almost the same time as waiting for a slow teleport to complete. Does it “lower the expectations”? Not if you have an optimistic mindset! Webpages also sometimes fail to load, and we don’t blog or comment about how “the Web is so slow today”.

    Thinking positively about SL is actually what the silent majority does — those 500,000 that log in to SL in a week, and those 71,000 that are in-world simultaneously. Among those, 20 or so take the trouble to come to blogs and forums and complain every day. 4 or 5 write positively about their experience. But it’s the same SL for all of us. None of those (neither the pessimists nor the optimists) do really reflect what the remaining 99.99999999% feel about SL.

    The silent majority just enjoys SL. In peace.

  62. Richard Trigaux says:

    well, since I joined two years ago, it is true that tremendous progress were made, mainly banning casinos and add farms, or adding open lands.
    I also noted a consistent reduction of griefing incidents or rough visitors. It is difficult to say what is the cause for this, but one of the reasons is likely that Second Life has now a much better repute, of a place where persons are respected. Other causes may be a bettering of private security groups and methods, which makes griefing much more difficult and less “interesting”. However griefing cannot be eradicated without an active Linden Labs effort to check new accounts and alt abuses, a thing that residents cannot do. (often griefers use new accounts).

    Crashes and other unpleasant incidents have bettered, but since 2-3 weeks we have a rash of chat lag and errors. Seems that the chat server is overburdened, and when a chat starts anywhere, it is soon stopped with errors and lag. We still have problems like Windows scraping endlessly the hard drive while loading/unloading data in its dreadful swap file, occasionating freezes of 30 sec and more. This especially happens when we open profiles or objects. Is it possible to set correct priorities to Windows????
    I understand that these technical issues are difficult, but having a stable experience in world is the key of our satisfaction. So, with a financially healthy Linden Labs, it would be possible (and urgent) to hire good programmers, quality specialists and methods engineers, and review the viever and servers to make them much more consistent and maintainable.

  63. Hi Mark!

    Surely, the availability for Second Life is getting better; I now rarely have problems going inworld. It’s nice to see that your activities for better reliability are paying off!

    Also, it seems to me that your engagement in the mainland is giving results: There are less extortion-based content, and the ad farmers are beginning to clean up.

    And I have the impression that land prices are stabilized at a sensible level, although the tier/price ratio is perhaps now a bit high.

    I do have a few items on my wish-list for the future:

    Please remember that user-created content is the key differentiator for Second Life. Other virtual worlds with greater control over what content is available and restrictions on who is allowed to create what kind of content will never be the same. In your work to grow the user base and make it simpler and safer for new users, don’t guide SL away from that core.

    You need to ensure that key decisions on development directions are made in forums with people actually living in SL, loving SL, using SL. Don’t leave it to web interface designers and game developers.

    When doing the viewer simpler for first-time users don’t take away features or change the metaphors unnecessarily. Look at what’s being done in the OnRez viewer: Items are hidden until the user is ready and needing them (build tools etc), but they are all there. I read this note(http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Landmarks_and_Navigation_Project) from a meeting where one suggestion was to remove landmarks and user picks in favor of a bookmark model, just to make things “simpler”. Please don’t. Concentrate on the interface, in this example the Inventory interface, to make a simpler version for first-time users, but leave the underlying features there.

    Technically I wish the viewer could be made more stable on slow and unstable connections. A lot of us works mobile; we want to be able to access our inworld business and customers on the road even if it does not give us the full user experience. Also, I have a strong suspicion that network problems are a source of many general problems people have with SL: If you designed the client interface so that it could work on a mobile line, I would guess it would be more stable on a broadband connection also.

    And last but not least: Could you please make OpenSpace SIMs available also for those of us not having a normal SIM? A full SIM is just too costly and unnecessary complex if you don’t want to use it for business purposes, but even so a lot of us would want one for personal use if we did not have to be at the mercy of some middle man.

    Thanks for the first 4 months, look forward to see what the future brings for Second Life!


  64. International Commerce says:

    The best thing you could possibly do M , is to keep things STABLE. No more new policies or half-cocked rules. Every time you change things, you bankrupt hundreds or even thousands of your own customers. Enough is enough! NO MORE CHANGES!

  65. Foxxe Wilder says:

    You DID however FAIL to mention that the grid economy has gone from recession to depression from your gambling ban folly. I STILL say it would have been a far better and saner idea just to MOVE the LL offices to a state FREE of such extreme conservative rulings.

  66. AWM Mars says:

    The number one target of every department in LL must be Stability and Security.

    Whether LL like it or not, SL’s residents are developing some very delicate business strategies of their own, many of which are being marred by the lack of stability in the Grid.

    There are always going to be days that vary, after 4+ years, that is something we have come to expect. What is proving unacceptable, are these long periods of instability, I am talking the past 6 months.

    Security is also a high priority issue. Out of the 60+ staff you are recruiting, I can only hope, a portion of those are going to be addressing, the blatant theft, by some of the less scruplous users. It can take months to even get a responce from LL. For the most part, even with unmitigating evidence, the stance seems to be one of careless. If you don’t want to police this, give the people that power.

    To conclude your report, it would have perhaps been prudent to offer a breakdown of the future strategies/goals, so that your people can plan ahead.

    Thank you for the post M.

  67. Life Ra says:

    Welcome Mr T 🙂

  68. Linnie says:

    Yes i agree with you. i still wait for the lindens to recover a dancehood with dances wourth 50K to be recovered to my beloved one, a support ticket has been issued.. twice and it is still missing.

    Lindens you should recover lost assests at least once a month, i’m sure it will keep a lot of your residents more happy than they are at present time regarding all the asset problems.

    If someone can tell me how to disable the smoke before a avatar is rezzed it will make me very happy, i do much preffere gray muddy avatars to talk to than a cloud of smoke.

  69. Sierra says:

    Let’s keep in mind that there are legitimate uses for bots, not all bots are campers. I use bots for NPCs and I also use it to interact with the world in ways that LSL can’t such as changing group and land settings.
    Also if I’m not mistaken, OpenMetaverse (Previously called libsecondlife) sends a different client identification string then the main SecondLife client and I doubt that campers bother to change the default. If that’s true do you filter the numbers for Official clients based on this identification?
    Campers can change this string, however, there is no real reason to if you only plan to use it for statistics.

  70. The XO says:

    @ Mozy Pera #59:

    Not wanting to sound like I’m patronising but have you checked over your machine carefully? I’ve not had these problems and I’ve not heard of a mass of people yelling about it either.

    I would nuke your PC and start again. Also run some diagnostic tools on your video card and memory – such as MemTest 86+ or something like that. Random sudden crashes are quite often related to RAM or Video issues.

    For the ultimate test, borrow someone else’s PC (the beefier the better) and give it a try on there.

  71. Richard Trigaux says:

    I also saw two incidents last week, of open land sims suddenly becoming very laggy, without appearent reason. In one of the example, this much perturbed an event (a race which was going through several sims). The reason much probably was that one of the other three sims (open lands are four per server) was very busy with some event or mall receiving many people.

    To adress this, I see two possible solutions:
    1) people buy open sims by four, so that they are responsible of the use of them, in place of having to bear the burden of other’s large events.
    2) if people buy only part of the four, they are limited in number of attendees or prims.
    3) people wanting to have large events could loan sims for a short time, for their own use. (this would also overcome one of the shortcomings of SL, the inability to run large events).

    Otherwise it is very unfair for everybody if open lands are used abusively, like plain lands, with the burden and lag supported by others somewhere on the grid. The purpose of open lands is to offer large space with no crowd, solitary space, calm landscapes, etc, not to offer cheaper place for malls or night clubs.

  72. MarkByron Falta says:

    By creating a viewer that is ‘new user friendly’, can you confirm that you’re not going to dumb the viewer down and take away existing functionality and/or making it difficult for experienced users to accomplish tasks such as creating and modifying content? An example that you already tried was hiding of the Tools Menu; that was a bonehead idea. You would do far better to assign Torley to edit his video tutorials into a cohesive new resident video presentation and restructure your byzantine support pages.

  73. Sandor Balczo says:

    To all those who say that we should use the official version of Sl instead of the RC: you should thank us (especially those who use Macs) if we ALSO use the RC because WE CANNOT USE the official version because it is the most instable piece of crap ever experienced.

    To LL: you want to MAKE A NEW VIEWER? Unless your appointed magical problem-solving graphical genius of an outsourced company is owned by God Himself, I am quite skeptic that the server-side and the client-side problems ONLY YOU ARE LIABLE FOR may be magically solved by cosmetic surgery.

    I have stopped purchasing anything in SL since last June. The reason being that I do not see the point of buying furniture for my home if I STILL see a quarter of it due to server asset problems or what have you EVERY DAY!

    It is clear at this stage that you should HALT SL for several months if you really want to make it stable, rewrite the 1999 code you constantly patched up with buggy features over buggy codes while ingnoring residents’ input and apologize humbly. But this would mean that you should also have to refund the premium subscription fees pro-quota and damage SL business in general, not to mention the costs of rewriting the code which to me is the only thing a decent programmer should do. But SAYING IT, saying that whatever we say YOU ARE NOT GOING TO LISTEN would be far better than insulting our intelligence.

    This is the only comment your blog entry deserves, Mr. M.


  74. Ben says:

    @61 Gwyn:

    I don’t want to go into what is good and not good about SL. I love SL inspite of all it’s defects. I never felt interested in posting in such blogs here, but you got me out, Gwyn.

    I agree to some points you mentioned, and I also dislike, when people talking everything negative “on principal”, without any second to think about the positive things – really on your side for that for 100%.
    But I certainly disagree also to some things you said. I don’t want to go into that too much, but please – just 2 aspects for your consideration.
    1) QUOTE GWYN:” Teleports failing? Just log off and log back in, directly on your destination — it takes almost the same time as waiting for a slow teleport to complete. Does it “lower the expectations”? Not if you have an optimistic mindset!” UNQUOTE

    That reminds me a lot of Bill Gates philosophy, what you say here. When it is dark somewhere, where it is expected to be light, Mr Gates simply declares darkness to be the new standard by definition – and thinks the case is solved. Besides that, please imagine that quoted sentence of yours spoken with the voice of Torley Linden…it really sounds like some advertisement…sorry ,-)

    2) QUOTE GWYN:”None of those (neither the pessimists nor the optimists) do really reflect what the remaining 99.99999999% feel about SL. The silent majority just enjoys SL. In peace.”

    This one was really a good one and I still have wet eyes. This on the one hand implies, that you must know most of such 99,99999999% personally, since otherwise you really dare a lot to speak for all of them. I believe everyone speaks (at least, ought to speak) here for oneself only and about ones own experiences, and should not arrogate to oneself, to be the voice of an unheared majority or minority or whatsoever.
    On the other hand that sentences of you do not consider the possibility, that quite often the silent majority might be just too lazy (or to afraid of consequences), to raise their voice (I mean, even to raise it in some constructive way), or to d o something. Silent majorities – as far as I experienced them in my life (I worked in some ambulance team for some years when I was young) – are those bunches of people watching the victims of a car accident without helping – and even standing in the way of people, who want to help. (But this is just a private opinion, of course).

    For those 2 reasons I have a strong feeling that I am not willing to belong to those, you might possibly like to speak for, regardless what the factual subject might be.

    Anyway…good luck to you – no hard feelings

  75. Neptune Shelman says:

    I would say Jack Lindens MAINLAND IMPROVEMENTS are very welcome new roads buildings etc. may add prims and have a small affect on the rest of the Sim users affected, but no more than the lands prims would have caused if owned by any other user.
    The roads and buildings were always expected, in answer to Bob @28

    Further improvements expected with regard to Adfarming in the next month or so, starting tomorrow.
    Lindens hiring extra staff and expecting to become effective estate managers, again very welcome news.

    The introduction for new users was one month ago, very poor and quite a turn off, I don’t know how much this has changed but a more involved mentor or buddy system for welcoming new users, would be a great way forward.
    I have yet to have ever seen a mentor, although I know of their existance.

  76. Saii says:

    I’m glad to see that development may take a turn into another direction.

    Perhaps there’s hope the prolonging amateurism is now soon history.

    Since the whole system is evolving around data, it might be a good idea to use a real database and not rely on a database that is developed in spare time by some enthusiasts for small websites….

  77. Cube Republic says:

    To be honest the release candidate is buggy, but the official client is as stable as a stable thing with a degree from stable university. I LOVE SECOND LIFE…glad I got that off my chest. The only % that is unfortunately not down is the amount of people moaning. As for earlier comments on economy, I hear this every year…people spend less during the summer as they are not on computers as much. Looking forward to 100k users on!!! 😀 I LOVE SECOND LIFE xxxx

  78. Darien Caldwell says:


    More likely, the silent majority has either:

    A) Given up on trying to get LL to listen. (I can count myself in that group.)

    B) Never believed LL would listen in the first place.

    C) Have no idea who LL is or even how to find the blog.

    Saying the Silent Majority enjoys SL shows you’ve never actually talked to residents. Through my business here in SL, which I have been running for nearly 2 years now, I’ve talked to literally thousands of residents. And one thing I know is, There are very few who are satisfied with SL’s performance and LL’s behavior.

    However they get by despite it, as do I and everyone else. Yes, we enjoy SL with a grumble and mocking joke toward LL, But we do enjoy it. 🙂

  79. Ryanne Pessoa says:

    Congratulation on your four months. I’m sure you haven’t even put your arms around the big picture yet. Keep up the good work.

    As a multi-sim owner and business person in SL, I spend many hours in SL (but who doesn’t..lol). We, your users are your biggest assets and although stats are nice, it really doesn’t matter if your user base is growing, if your current supporters are unhappy. I think this is one mistake that alot of business’ makes, they focus so much on bringing in and rewarding the new clients, that they forget who got them there in the first place.

    Take your experience and stop and listen to what your users are asking for (ie. groups, crashes, mac support, Torley, inventory asset issues, blogs blah blah blah). Where in a company can you get free advice from such a wide range of people who want to see SL just blossom. You can’t put a price tag on the free resources you have in front of you. Listen to them.

    Again, congrats and keep moving forward.

  80. M, the grid and view are much more stable and some good changes have been occuring. But why is it taking almost a month now for LL to accept my wire transfer?! How many comments and tickets am I going to have to make and how many calls to billing before Linden Lab’s system recognizes my wire transfer??!! I would have expected prompt response for payments…

  81. Rocky Rutabaga says:

    Product focus?

    Wrong, wrong, wrong. You do not sell a product. People are buying a service. Hire someone who knows about customer satisfaction, not software. Look outside the narrow tech world at companies with wonderful customer service and hire the people responsible. We don’t need more tech-heads on this bus.

  82. atom hykova says:

    what about to start to cancel 30.000 concurrent fake users (traffic bots) from the official statistic data?
    maybe to change the system and the rules to calculate the sim’s traffic, and avoid the presence of tousands of fake users, could be make the system more efficient, I know it’s a pity for the lindens’ statistic official data, but would be better for everyone here 😉

  83. Ann Otoole says:

    Just let us know if you are going to run the small businesses off so the can’t create “businesses” like millions of us and rivers run red will be the only ones allowed to create content. All the real artists will instantly leave and SL will be history. Choose your sides carefully because the big companies that didn’t even exist before sl that want us out are the people that need to be ignored.

    Work on ethics for a change. Cancel office hours and completely revisit the way LL obtains feedback. Remove the “inner circles”. Get rid of influence groups. Mature the company. The 60’s are over.

  84. Andrienne Constantine says:

    You know, all the progress thats been posted is fine and good. Its good to know someone is working on making things better but I think its time you went back to basics on a few issues. Take today for instance. Grid is down. Why? Well, lets go check the status page! Status page is down…? Lets check the main site. Main site is down? Blog? No information. Okay well I will just waste my day, refreshing secondlife.com and hoping it comes up. Oh really, I have nothing better to do with my time than wonder why SL is down and hope that it returns soon, and constantly refresh web pages hoping to see a change. It can’t take more than a few minutes to reboot a server right? Well I have been saying that to myself for the last 2 hours. I know that these things happen but is it really that hard for someone to get on the blog or the grid status report page and let us know whats going on? You might think my log in woes are unrelated to M Linden’s initial post, but considering the tooting of horns and saying the experience is getting better in the face of such faulty customer service practices seems a bit ridiculous to me. If some noob with no computer savvy can conceive that maybe redundant grid status sources is a good idea, then whats the problem with SL’s team of developers?

  85. Danel Voyager says:

    Great interesting post, M Linden. 🙂

    The first time you came to TSL was back in July 08 for the TSL Birthday celebrations.

    Here are my questions, I would love to ask you:

    What did you think of TSL when you visited? Are you coming again anytime soon?
    What are your plans for Teen Second Life?
    What is the TSL Concurrency statistics for TSL?
    Will TSL and the MG be merged in the near future?

    Thanks M!
    I just think TSL is being left out, so I’m making my voice heard. 🙂


  86. rio luik says:

    “It’s a corporate-cultural-thing: the Tao of Linden enables developers to pretty much do what they want to do, regardless of what they need to do.”

    i am all for letting creative people create, but there comes a time when developers need to be told what to do / and when to have it done by. and if they don’t produce, be shown the door.

    time to put down the bong and dig into the JIRA.

  87. Connie Darcy says:

    “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.”

    Uh, you may want to speak with your staff. That did not happen, in fact people complained & Jack backed down, but did add a few new inferences based on clause 4.1 of the ToS, promising to look at them next month.

  88. Masuyo Aabye says:

    QUOTE “registrations are continuing at a healthy clip, existing Residents are spending more time inworld”


    More greifers are signing alts up with to cause trouble in world, Camping bots and zomie traffic bots are being used more.

  89. Tegg B says:

    Overall SL runs pretty good for me and I suspect a lot of others, I haven’t seen a regular T”TP failing” or “Login Failing” since Nov06. I does seem to be the same people have problems for 12months, some of them refusing to swap ISP’s or upgrade/check their hardware. Some complain about the bugs in older viewers but refuse to upgrade to a later version unless forced to. Maybe SL works better from Australia for some reason I can have a person in the US next to me who can’t rez or move properly when I have no problem other than sim crossings.

  90. Wit Sondergaard says:

    What is this post about?

  91. jamie cheeky says:

    Glad to hear that everything is peachy on the linden side, however I havent been able to log in for 3 hours – and zero blog post on the issues, even though live help have told me its a known issue. Maybe lindens havnt quite done enough for the customer experience yet, a simply post to say we are having issues would be nice!

  92. Roland DSabatino says:

    It really doesn’t matter how well the system works or how clever and unique future “improvements” are because you are potentially leading to a dead end. I say this because the lag has been getting worse and worse and users need better and better computers and they aren’t buying them. I see this every day .. in various competitions .. such as Bull Riding, Barrel Racing and Steeplechase competitions. No longer is the participant’s skill (hehehe! the ability to us arrow keys! lol ) the key to winning $L prizes, but alas! instead it is one with the best computer that stands the best chance of winning. I have a very good computer, but it saddens me to see competitors lose because of “lag lag lag”! And … Lo AV Cost matters little, nor does Minimum Graphics Display help them very much either. There must be away to genericallty reduce lag ,,, My wish!

  93. Pingback: MixedRealities :: Tom Hale to lead important transition at Linden Lab

  94. Sofar i’m encouraged by the work of M.
    71000 online finally went well now due more stability and ( so it seems ) improved scalability.
    SL more than anything needed a longer term strategical approach with focus on core matters.
    Let’s not take over Philip’s tendency to look numbers bigger than they really are.
    Ermm, my worry is still that the marketing side would be forgotten.
    The monthly development of newborns in sl has never been so low ( i keep stats ).
    Expansion of user hours is mostly due to 2007 borns which is clearly seen inworld ( i think a higher rate of addiction ).
    Another reason is i think of more bots and alts online… not to forget the campers…
    WOW, IMVU, There, Google etc, etc, definitely are taking more market share.
    The problem still is that SL has a huge image problem in RL.
    Who would dare to say that they are in SL. I do, but i am more than sure a majority wouldn’t even consider it to say it outloud in RL.
    How about a world wide commercial campaign on Tv like WOW, etc.

    Just being critical here… Sofar… both my hands wave at M…
    And kisses for the lovely work *blush*.

    But… don’t forget the mattes above… 🙂

  95. Ohh… btw… any word yet about new mainland… protected beaches
    ( and without a silly Linden road at the front or back! )
    Prices are going totally skyhigh here now… and it blocks real estate reseller margins. No reason now to speculate with land which is worth while spending much time in SL for that matter.
    Don’t wait too long, but also don’t spew out Tons !!
    Most appreciated 🙂

  96. @81 – Let’s hear it for Rocky. I agree 100%, that Second Life is a SERVICE PROVIDER, which means they need to be more customer concentric then they are today.

    M’s post clearly shows he has no real idea what his own customers want, and even though he claims all these wonderous numbers and news, he has failed at his most important job, getting the Linden Lab staff to be more Customer Oriented.

    Your grade M after the frist 4 Months is a dismal D. I won’t flunk you yet, we’ll see what you do in the next 4 months, but beware my CEO, things need to improve greatly for you to bring your grade up.

  97. Foxxe Wilder says:

    #70 XO: The CAUSE of random crashes is ALWAYS attributable to SL… I took a month off and had NONE AT ALL!! Upon my Return, CRASH AFTER CRASH AFTER CRASH!!

    #68 I agree 100 percent! Those MORONS deleted my ENTIRE WARDROBE worth WELL OVER $700 US dollars. I complained but did I get EVEN ONE APOLOGY?? HELL NO!! But THAT is what we get for trusting INCOMPETENT PENCIL PUSHING CORPORATE JERK OFFS whose ONLY AIM in life is the mere collection of the quick buck! Once they get THAT, you are JUST another useless face to the MORONS.

  98. Praetor Janus says:

    Hello Mr. M. Linden,

    I would like to agree with you and empathize with your optimism, regrettably, I can’t!

    I’ll not enumerate the problems they were well spelled in several previous posts.

    I agree that Rome was not built (or rebuilt) in a day but the mistakes done since the summer of 2007 until June 2008 almost killed SL and the current world economic situation is not helping either, so I would have expected more corrective moves by now.

    As I once wrote here, the keyword is Economics “lato sensu”.

    I’ve been far from canceling what to my Company is the “SL Project” but I’ll give LL the benefit of the doubt and some more months.

    I sincerely hope that you succeed in turning things back,

    All the Best

  99. Shai Khalifa says:

    I’ve found in the last 4 months or so I’m spending less and less time in SL and more and more in WoW.
    I put some thought to why this is happening and came to the conclusion that SL has become a boring place for me.

    1) I can’t start any new projects because I already own 3 sims and can’t afford to start anything as EVERYTHING costs money and I’m not getting enough return on my sims & business to afford it.

    2) There’s never anyone around in most places (on Aus timezone the grid is deserted), so I just talk to the same friends I’ve been talking to for months and years – which is lovely, but …..

    3) I can’t develop my main sim any further because then I wouldn’t even be able to support 35 avatars there during live music events.

    4) At the moment, I just want to be entertained – not have to learn new skills or fork over any more money.

    5) Neither of my kids (both adults) who attempted SL has the level of technology needed to support SL – and their exploratory jaunts started with OOO and AHH isn’t this nice – and immediately followed with – but there’s no-one around to talk to or to do.

    So, I guess I’m a bit of a defector – Sad but true

    I’m one of the ones who’s spent considerable time and money (in my terms) to be able to create in SL building an environment in which my friends play.

    I’ll keep my hand in and probably my sims going (with help from my friends), but SL does not hold the fascination for me anymore that it did – and I’m tired of the freezes and crashes and constantly battling growing lag on my sims regardless of the fact that I haven’t added or changed anything and regularly clean them.

    M – have you thought of surveying people who leave after a long association (over a year) or downgrade an account?

    Find out where they went, why they left…you might find that the issues raised over and over being mentioned.

    Or survey all active long-term accounts? Ask them direct to tell you what the main good and bad things are for them – not a survey with closed questions – give them a chance to openly tell you. You never know, they may have solutions your relatively small team may never have considered.

    One last point – it’s all very well and I understand the need to be mindful of the financial bottom line but your customers here in SL are the ones who are creating the world that you’re marketing. The level of service provision is very sub-standard considering the cost of that service.

    Giving a bit of incentive to your customer base occasionally would go a long way to garnering some support and confidence – something which has been sorely lacking from residents.

    Oh, and when are we going to see some women in your senior management? or is it always going to be a boy’s club?

    Good luck – you’ll need it.

  100. richard says:

    POWER TO THE BEAN !!!!!!!!!!

  101. Richard Trigaux says:


    although there could be some legitimate uses to bots they can become very nasty:

    -they are not game partners for us. What most people want in SL is friends or buddies to chat, play, hang out, love. Bots can more or less fake this (or they soon will) but it is basically a gross counterfeit of a real human relationship. especially if we don’t know they are bots.

    -camping bots or traffic bots are completelly USELESS to ANYBODY. However they cost resources to SL and are a burden in terms of lag and other grid problems. Worse, the scruppleless land owners who allow them in are more likely to use open lands, thus hampering other legitimate sims somewhere in the grid.

    -realistic bots are already used in 2D chat to simulate a love relation, and steal email adress or money. This is legally a RAPE of which the bot owner is legally liable.

    I hope Linden Lab’s next target in world will be camping bots, traffic bots, sex bots. The key for this is a better monitoring of real life identities and IP adresses.

    Please vote and discuss the bots issue here:

  102. Richard Trigaux says:


    I regularly see people claiming to do business in SL.

    I just don’t believe that what takes place today in SL is real business. The day where there will be real business, businesspeople will be able to hire workers. And today (in France for instance) the minimum legally allowed hour wage is about L$4350. Not to speak of charges such as social security, which come in more. It must be understood that, if we spend (real) time in SL to work, we have to pay for real food in real life, real housing, real clothes, etc. Today it is nearby impossible to be hired in SL, and not at a credible rate. (to make “escorts” or dancepole at L$50 an hour is clearly a game)

    What takes place today in SL is a business game. The only legitimate work I see is people who create things like clothes and furnitures to be used by residents. I strongly doubt that any are really able to earn a real life living from this (if some do, congrats), but at least I hope that they get paid according to the time they spent drawing and creating the things they sell. remember: L$4300 an hour, twice to be honest.

  103. Richard Trigaux says:

    intellectual property theft

    This is a plague for any business in SL. There is no absolute way to twart this, but if Linden labs wants to be efficient about this, there are some basic steps to be taken:

    -any copyrighjted resource (mostly textures or sounds) should be registered and clearly marked as copyrighted, with the right owner name and the various granted/refused permissions. This is a delicate problem, as delinquants have sophisticated tools, for instance to ripp textures off objects (textures are stored in the cache of our computer, where they are easy to retrieve and reverse-engineer). A marking into the texture file should be used, and even a coding of the texture, so that it could not be reverse-engineered even if retrieved from the cache. Of course the decoder must not be “open source”… (a good technical tip is to encode the texture when sending it to a viewer, while the key is sent for this session only)

    -Linden labs must implement efficient means on this, not just rules. So any copyright infrigement claim must be received and examinated, and if found legitimate, punished at the level of the real account. This is costy? yes, maybe, but users will prefer to pay a bit more for a service which works, than having a cheap havok. And oh, fines are to pay for the law and police services, aren’t they?

    NEVER FORGET: this is a game. Yes. But we are REAL PERSONS, and we spend real time and real work. And more, we put our dreams in there. And having our dreams stolen is still far worse than having our money stolen.

  104. Tucker Quandry says:

    Sounds like all motherhood and apple pie to me. The fact of the matter is: Linden Labs has lost, and will continue to lose, approximately 85% of its customers. Of the remaining..alts, bots, and hype.

    SL is the best virtual world out there…but OpenSim is coming. We, those serious about the technology, need to embrace OpenSim, and make it the future. We need control of our stability, security, and content. OpenSim is the way to get this.

    Of course a new user-friendly interface – for the users – fine. For those serious about the technology – the technologists – the tools need to be more robust, we need to be able to move content in and out, we need our own control of our destiny.

    Sounds all well and good Mark – but the words are not reflective of the actions, or what is being seen.

    Regardless of how many logins, and new accounts, and more, people come and go quite quickly…never to return.

    Stop directing new users to the “places of crap”. Direct them to schools, libraries, art galleries, research, and more. If they want the “places of crap” they can accidentally land at them on their own. Show folks the real potential of the technology rather than how to further pollute the internet with more nonsense.

    OpenSim so we can control our own Destiny! What is land worth now on the mainland? Is it back up to $2 sq m? Want more customers to stay, pay, and further the technology – lower the tier, and go for the volume!

  105. Zi Ree says:

    @103 Richard Trigaux: Encoding / Encrypting the texture does not work. It will be displayed on the viewer and thus reside in the machine’s memory without encryption. It’s very simple to save it from there. There is no way to protect *any* content that is meant to be used in any way.

  106. Smoothie Perl says:

    Deploying servers one after another and releasing clients the same way, isn’t the path for a better experience or resolving major problems. For me, the first priority is to improve the beta tester’s team and shouldn’t LL wait from us (the customers) to discover bugs or security holes while we are working or making real money transactions.
    Stats always depend from which point of view and what’s the interest of the observer is.

  107. Coventina Dalgleish says:


    We spent untold hours working on poses used in wearable toys to be smooth and not break the pose when walking. Your latest server release works with no viewer the old server at least works with the oldest viewer and Nicholaz.

    You as a group are the most poorly organized bunch it has ever been my pleasure to observe If this is supposed to be advancement then I will just quit because we are not going to rework several 100 scripts to follow you down the incompetent unorganized convoluted path you have selected.

    It is time you wake up and realize that all of your misdirected efforts are doing only one thing, destroying the game

    This conglomeration of viewers and servers is the absolute worst I have seen in 3.5 years.

  108. Coventina Dalgleish says:

    Disregard my stupid rant it seems that this version works much better than the older slower server platforms it seems that I had more than one AO running and under the old systems they were too slow to interfere with each other well the new system seems to be super quick and so obviously drove me nuts for an hour or so. So slap me around and I apologize to all

  109. Georgette Whitfield says:

    Guys the Lindens aren’t responding here because the discussion is continuing in the forums as Mark pointed out.

  110. Richard Trigaux says:

    quality of the viewer or rendering

    There is a staggering difference between what we see in a game like Oblivion (walking into photorealistic 3D grass blades and bushes, FPS constantly over visibility) and what we see in SL (boxes, bugged transparencies, poor fps, freezes, just what we had in a 1995 VRML world). I know that the job of the SL viewer is more difficult, and that a game like oblivion is “optimised” (why SL should not be “optimized” too?). But with my opinion that don’t explain such a dramatic difference. Especially both viewers probably use the same rendering libraries. This makes that many gamers just laugh when they see SL, and artists residents are often frustrated.

    I think there would be a serious rework of the rendering part of the viewer, but also in the way prims are coded. Without touching to the today prim system (which allows completelly untrained residents to build nice things without learning) we could add for instance the ability to import real meshes (from 3DSmax or other modeling softs) which would allow for a much better quality at a lower cost (less burden, less lag). Please see, comment and vote http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/VWR-8145

  111. uh-oh says:

    1. 43 Calin McKinney Says:
    “1. Banning ad farms….Excellent
    2. New residents…assign them a buddy resident for the first hour to show them around. Give those residents willing to be buddies some kind of incentive….like reduced land tier percentage based on the number of new residents they take on.”
    2. I agree getting rid of the ad farms is a wonderful step.
    3. Another great idea, the buddy system. When I first entered the world I had to learn a lot through trial and error
    4. 101 Richard Trigaux Says:
    5. “-realistic bots are already used in 2D chat to simulate a love relation, and steal email address or money. This is legally a RAPE of which the bot owner is legally liable.
    I hope Linden Lab’s next target in world will be camping bots, traffic bots, sex bots. The key for this is a better monitoring of real life identities and IP adresses.”
    Another great point to get rid of the griefers or other deviant behavior. I would not hold your breath though; they have age verification, the viewer fixed so that it works. Have you seen any places with adult content flagging parcels with adult content? I have not.
    In fact some of the goriest RP sims filled with violent sex that is not permitted in SL refuse to flag their parcels. Linden Labs must be quite busy to do any thing about it. Richard, if you see this type of behavior or land not flagged properly. Do the right thing and AR the person or the sim owner that refuses to flag their parcels so that LL knows about it.

  112. Hi Mr.M.The in world was extremely stable recently.It is your splendid result.
    However, do not you forget Japan?The many Japanese resident is troubled.

    Please show the Japanese SL Web site.
    Does the red robot have a meaning in SL?Is it the place where a child plays?My islands ARK(region name) is wonderful. Please look. But,There is not the place that can publicize such a splendid place.Please do not forget Japanese existence.Thank you!

  113. Pingback: Massively.com SL news

  114. Lucien Franciosa says:

    I agree with the constant call for improving reliability. My MacPro (6 GB RAM) with ATI HD3870 freezes almost every 30 minutes when trying to run SL. Nothing else does this. It’s driving me away.

  115. Coventina Dalgleish! =D

    I hope it’s not that bad!! There are problems. Yet, personally I enjoy the many improvements over the last “4 months”. I still imagine things are going to get even worse before they get better. Lets hope there aren’t any cotastrophes because a lot of people have created a lot of things and spent a lot of time, money, and effort here. I’d hate to see them upset and leave.

  116. Harmony Deschanel says:

    Quote: “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%.”

    That’s great .. but what about the loss of nearly 10,000 premium accounts this year (those that can purchase mainland) and the huge increase in the mainland area…

    You’re streamlining the sign up process, what are you doing to get them to sign up as a premium account member and help them out and make them want to purchase mainland? Aside from trying to drive the initial purchase price below what Linden Lab even sells it for, ignoring that it’s the month to month tier fee that’s keeping them from it.

  117. Saii says:

    4 years at the Lab:

    Year 1: Asset server issue’s
    Year 2: Asset server issue’s
    Year 3: Asset server issue’s
    Year 4: Asset server issue’s

    Doesn’t take a rocket-scientist to calculate the improvement rate.

    Sorry to be sarcastic, but I just lost items again in world, and 2 hours of work. but… hurray for the improvements!

  118. Cappy Frantisek says:



    Quote: “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%.”

    Doesn’t even begin to state that when concurrency gets this high anything in world is iffy at best. Growing pains for sure but come on what ever happened to throttling based on pay. I wouldn’t even care to get booted, I downgraded a year ago, so that paid accounts can get the service they are paying for.

    My two cents, open sourcing the viewer was a mistake and they are now paying for it in the form of bots.

  119. Saii says:

    Sorry to vent my frustration here, but being a software developer for more then two decades now, the fact that database management is not 100% (items can go missing) is just… unbelievable.

    Items (read assets) are the core of this system, it’s the basic of the basic in coding, and yeah, the system can be complex, but really, database coding is nothing compared to other stuff.
    How on earth can this fail, again and again? It’s just amazing…. It’s like watching water burn…. incredible!

    I like making stuff in SL, I like the concept and possibilities. But the possibilty that your stuff can go missing is unacceptable.

    If they want new residents have a jaw-dropping experience, i would suggest Linden Labs to get the basics under control, otherwise the jaw-dropping only occurs when they lose their stuff.
    Then, if you send a ticket, you get someone shrugging and saying sorry, taking no responsibility to a clear system failure.

    This may be in the Terms of Service (TOS), as a risk of service. But who would expect that something you spend money on, would get missing without a valid reason?

    It’s like taking 100 dollar to the bank, coming back the next day having an employee shrug at you saying: “Sorry, we only have 50 dollar left, no idea where it went!”.

    This kind of instability and the lack of taking responsibility is what makes a lot of people leave. Content creators specifically.
    I think most of you know the story about Arcadia, losing most of her inventory… and i can sum up a few more…

    To be honest, I’m really patient, but the same thing over and over again and then the lack of serious response is just about to reach my threshold.

  120. Skate Foss says:

    M,first let me say we are all behind you. We all love SL. We all want the Lab to succeed. As you see the majority of the comments here are not as rosy as yours. The inWorld experience continues to be plaqued by bugs and poor performance. Every viewer upgrade seems to aflict each resident with different headaches. From all out crashed to little quirks.
    But if anything, any event inWorld with more residents then the server can handle is a joke. FPS rates drop to unhealthy levels, avi’s crash, sims crash. If Second Life is to succeed, the user experience MUST improve.
    M, I speak as a Mentor and resident about to celebrate my 2nd rez day.
    Skate Foss

  121. Chaffro says:

    You bore me with your lies.

  122. Jeff says:

    Lots of movement in the ‘business’ end of things it seems. I’m curious what the deal is with the depersonalizing of the Linden staff with new ones only being ‘T’ and ‘M” and so on.

  123. It’s sooooo easy to make numbers lie… But let’s face the truth, for once:

    > Yesterday, the peak hit 71,232 – that’s an increase of 6% in less
    > than a month.

    We have been around 70k peak users before summer already… Not much of an improvement since there are less people connecting during summer. They just came back from vacation…

    > Year-over-year, peak concurrency has grown more than 38%.

    A poor achievement when compared to the growth experienced in 2006 and 2007… I remember the days, back around October 2006 when the peak concurrency was only around 7k…

    > 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.

    Irrelevant because way too short a period to make any sensible statistics… One number I watch everyday is the “Last users logged in last 60 days” figure on the login screen of the viewer… The all time record was around 1.500.000 at the end of 2007… Since the start of 2008 it is stagnating at around 1.200.000 +/- 50.000, proving that the growth in number of active users stopped in 2008.

    There are now has much users leaving SL than there are registering in it.

    > Plus daily user-to-user transactions in Linden Dollars continue
    > their steady climb.

    Not sure where the L$ are going then… Perhaps it’s just because more of the active users are opening businesses… but if you ask to each resident running a business, my guess is that they will tell you that their business is stagnating, at best.

    Don’t take me wrong: I do appreciate the recent changes in SL’s policy (better communication, user feedback better taken into account, good work toward a better software stability…), but there is still a loooong way to go to achieve the same growth as the one experienced in SL only two years ago…

  124. amilie anatine says:

    I think its great that M is addressing real fundamental issues like user experience and that this is at the forefront of efforts. Before M came it was a different focus i think, blogs from the big boss were about coding and architecture. While i really love the new windlight and i definitely wouldnt discourage new technologies and developments, physics, mono and the like, really dont affect the common citizen all that much, unless they are testing, or buying new faster weapons to play with. When freebee boxes at help island dont work, and all those notecard givers in the welcome areas are out of date and not giving properly, why would a new user struggle through the harassment to login for a second session?

    when i saw M was a newbie, i rejoiced. good job M. great job on remaking newbie avatars! and thank you for revamping logins. I really hope the grid can take it. this week has been BORKYYYYYYYYY

    now, about that “gold package” in the SL grid developer program… hmmmmm…. well lets just keep talking about that

    btw the new release today, i couldnt install it unless i was running as the original administrator account on my vista computer (even though my personal account IS administrator) and the error messages didnt help me for 40 minutes of fussing with that. oldbie experience?

  125. amilie anatine says:

    ahh yes, my first group IM of the evening, no post, chat lag, and got an error message.

  126. Hulk Ah says:

    How about an improvement in user experience from the users that are already there, working their but off but get stolen from, and LL does nothing about it?

    How about finally deleting stolen material from the asset server instead of single locations, which is close to useless?

    Maybe just an idea that would actually help to improve the SL experience…

  127. Hunter Trommler says:

    Hmm…so you’ve made the registration process easier you say? Well then why after almost two months of waiting, and being told “oh, ya should be a week more until it gets done” has the Canadian Cell Phone Companies NOT been re-added to the new sign up page? Oh and not to mention that the same goes for many other countries, to what I’ve heard. Have you wondered why your new registrations have only been people in the US, not Canada, not the UK, not anywhere but the US? Well i hope you read this and realize why, I’m starting to think that you guys are not wanting new registrations outside of the US…why would you need localization then? I mean if theres no new registrations outside of the United States then you might as well fire T Linden his job will be pointless! Save yourselves the money, even though its not like you need to save…you make enough per day to feed like 1000 poor starving African kids…now I’m getting off the subject but you get my point. Please fix it, before people start boycotting SL.

  128. Xavier Felwitch says:

    @111 Umm so your going to AR someone for not setting their parcel to age verified when you think they should? when did they put that into the TOS?? that could seriously get you banned for submitting a false AR. How about this for an idea, if you dont like the way they are doing thing, leave and dont go back… who are you to impose your beliefs onto others?

  129. Pingback: Dusan Writer’s Metaverse » New Second Life User Interface: With Vectorform, Will It All Be Surfaces?

  130. Coventina Dalgleish says:

    Tonight and old friend returned to the game only to have to endure the insult that her computer no longer was advanced enough to play. This is an area where with all your bells and whistles you have failed. Not everyone in this world has the ability to upgrade a two year old computer just to play a GAME………. and you are nothing more than that I might remind you.

    With careful tweaking of the graphics parameters it was possible to give her a decent view of her surroundings but she has little ability to navigate on her own. Do not you creators of this existence surmise that it might be advantageous to create a viewer that many could use.

    I find it arrogant that this is designed for only the elite users when less than two years ago average was good enough

    The game, while impressive when it runs properly, is far from perfection that equates to a requirement for superior equipment.

  131. Sweet says:

    M do you log in much? Do You TP around to different areas? Im not seeing where the crash rate is better?? Im not seeing where you say database issues are better… Sunday for fact when you had 70k users in the whole thing when to hell in a basket….. inventories broke and wouldn’t load until today. TPs were broken then, Monday all the Issues again every time after a overly busy day why do they have network issues….I have had more crashes since you put mono in than I ever have I have so many broken scripts since mono and god help me if i get tany help on fixing those 1000’s of L dollars lost on custom ordered scripts that just don’t work now i find this place a very risky place to do business still after almost 3 years i just really do not see where things are better……

  132. Chaffro says:

    Which of the following is more likely to make my client crash?

    1. Typing something into chat.
    2. Standing still after having walked the SL equivalent of approx. 4m.
    3. Someone walking towards me.
    4. All of the above.

    Because that’s what happened to me, not once, not twice, but four times on the same day (within the same 10 minutes) just two weeks ago. I like that you feel it necessary to report that the numbers are going up; I just didn’t expect it to mean just the good numbers…

  133. Tegg B says:

    Coventina Dalgleish Says:
    “Tonight and old friend returned to the game only to have to endure the insult that her computer no longer was advanced enough to play. This is an area where with all your bells and whistles you have failed. Not everyone in this world has the ability to upgrade a two year old computer just to play a GAME………. I find it arrogant that this is designed for only the elite users when less than two years ago average was good enough

    The game, while impressive when it runs properly, is far from perfection that equates to a requirement for superior equipment.”

    You don’t need elite equipment to run SL, but your average wordprocessor PackardDell office box isn’t going to run SL when it’s 2 years old, some new ones can’t even run it, keep up or be left behind, why should SL be limited to retain compatibility with dinosaur machines when it is supposed to be the leading edge. there’s always ActiveWorlds………………………….

    This is a race, we can’t wait for everyone………..

  134. Richard Trigaux says:

    M Linden, please look at post 120 Saii: it was written by a true professionnal, not by a ranter. It is guies like this you should hire, and put them at the direction of technical maintainance and development. Hire 120 Saii, and fire three geeks, you will save money, and work will go thrice faster, and you will not have to correct the geek’s blunders. And you will have 700 000 visitors connected, like WoW, not 70 000. Also rewriting the viewer and servers according to real computer methods will show much less costy than constantly patching them.

  135. Coventina Dalgleish says:

    Well Tegg B that’s something I hear all the time but 2 year old equipment is not out of date today it takes a newer machine to achieve a normal existence here. I am still on the same machines I was using 4 years ago but updated with old high tech items. The point I am making is the bulk of the market does not use quad core dual nvidia 8800’s people are going to find out soon enough that a computer is an expense that can be skipped as the economy’s tighten. Also it is just sensible, and good, marketing to try and address the largest consumer base as possible. I would also point out it is most important now that SL is beginning to show signs of aging. Yes, they show a concurrence of 71K online but this is a very slow growth certainly not what they were expecting. Oh and by the way Packard Bell could never run second life but many Dells can and could. To answer your question why should this be limited to the new machines, well if they could ever make it work as it should then maybe they could accelerate from the bottom of the pack in computer gaming. If they were as good as they want us to think they are there would be more than one level of viewer so all could enjoy the GAME. Many of the items added over the last 4 years are quite impressive but as a business it seems to be lacking fore sight.

    By designing a game that makes a machine that worked just fine in 2006 obsolete in 2008 seems to me to be an odd business plan.

    As far as Active worlds have never been there no concept of their structure.

    It might seem like a race but it is a business and the once untouchable position is now with in reach. Take a look at this years convention in Florida 1/2 of the attendance of Chicago.

    You can interface with most very popular games on several levels depending on your equipment.

    Second Life Your World Your Imagination oh sorry your open wallet also.

    oh just one more little input I have dinosaur’s they are called Altair’s
    8800 processors running at 2 MHZ with 64k of RAM and 8 inch floppy’s ))

  136. Richard Trigaux says:

    #129 commenting on #111

    Where to set a clear limit of what is acceptable or not??? Until now I supported Linden Labs in banning casinos, paedophilia, images of real child abuse, add farms, etc. There are still some things to ban, like griefers, open land burdening, and bots playing as humans and using resources with no purpose.

    But if we continue banning more and more, at a moment, we shall start to infringe on freedom of expression. And if we go to regulate “violent sex” (BDSM) and gorean play, we enter into a shady area where it is not clear (at least there is no common agreement) if we are still protecting residents or repressing them. Most people set here limits which are based on their conceptions or feelings, not on protecting other users. Especially on sex, where tastes and conceptions vary so widely, not to speak of politics or religions. What makes a lot of the interest of SL is precisely this ability to allow us live situations which are impossible or problematic in RL. So I think that on my target list, bots and griefers are the last.

    We should not lose of our mind that most SL users are here to ENJOY what they do in SL, that they cannot do in RL. At a pinch, if letting a paedophiliac do his thing in SL saves him to do it with real children, it is better to close our eyes than to crack down on him.

    So if you don’t like BDSM or gorean play, just don’t go in their sims. In my group, we forbid these things publicly. But people are still free to do what they want in other places, or in their private homes.

  137. Richard Trigaux says:

    @ 111 and 129
    As to residents not reporting unflagged areas, it seems that most residents don’t feel to be a kind of sex police. Especially that they don’t see any relevance for this on a grid which is anyways not allowed to teens.

    With my opinion, rather than having a separated teen grid and a main grid without clear separation between public of mature content, we should rather have only one grid, but with three kind of clearly different sims, together with a clear permission system:
    -teens only sims,
    -every public sims,
    -mature sims, where -18 people would not be allowed (or with the authorisation of their parents: the more than 18 laws were never intended to repress teen sex, but only to bring a control they are supposed unable to do by themselves).

    This is because there are fantastic things on the main grid, and I don’t see any valid reason to forbid kids to see things like the Space Museum, Svarga or the Elven Lands, which are very interesting places viewable by everybody, even by young children, even schools could visit them. The only reason why these places are not allowed today is because of not clear separation with the neighboring mature sims, not enough age verification or no parental authorisation. (I am not age verified, but I was never warned or banned when entering a mature sim).

  138. 137 Richard Trigaux Says: October 2nd, 2008 at 1:46 AM

    “We should not lose of our mind that most SL users are here to ENJOY what they do in SL, that they cannot do in RL. At a pinch, if letting a paedophiliac do his thing in SL saves him to do it with real children, it is better to close our eyes than to crack down on him.”

    138 Richard Trigaux Says: October 2nd, 2008 at 1:46 AM

    “With my opinion, rather than having a separated teen grid and a main grid without clear separation between public of mature content, we should rather have only one grid, but with three kind of clearly different sims, together with a clear permission system.”

    Besides it being totally off mark on the comment on M’ post, it’s also apalling to even suggest.

    Sounds too much like “Let’s the children please pour in, it’s so nice looking for them here.”, while vile predatorial eyes lurk from the inSL(tm)-dark.

    What ARE you thinking ? Besides, these remarks relate to nothing concerning M’s post.

    Still … children, in any form, have nothing to do on the main grid until the larger part of this ‘community’ attributes to some sense of RL moral (no human child harassment ever in any form) and implements it, instead of screaming for change on the behalf of a few.

    Ow.. and M ? Drop the newspeak. It’s old-fashioned and reduces credit.

    Full stop.

  139. uh-oh says:

    Xavier Felwitch:
    “What if I come across very mature content on land that does not ban unverified adults?
    As has occurred in other cases, we expect our Residents to report such activity. As has always been the case, Residents are morally, socially and legally responsible for their actions and content in Second Life. Clearly, any illegal activity or content will be investigated and appropriate action will be taken. We expect the community to continue to be effective and responsible in ensuring that Residents are sufficiently protected from potentially inappropriate and/or offensive content that is adult in nature. ”


  140. Darien Caldwell says:

    The only problem is, Age Verification is completely non-functioning. As usual, LL’s wiki is out of date in comparison to the reality of their platform. Try setting a parcel Age Verified, People can access it, verified or not. So what is the point exactly?

    And BDSM is not “violent Sex”. That shows a complete lack of understanding of BDSM. You should probably look into it and stop getting your information from TV shows. :p

  141. uh-oh says:

    I was only pointing out the policy. I have no plans to go sim to sim checking to see if they are flagged.
    People like Richard Trigaux who are in favor of age play and in the same blog would like to have teens on the adult grid is a clear example of why it is needed. Enough said.

  142. Richard Trigaux says:

    @140, please read the posts as they are, until their end, before “understanding” them, and don’t suggest people you disagree with have dishonest ulterior motives or are off topic. Others may do the same with you, and you would not like it.

    But I agree with your remark that allowing teens on the main grid will first require to efficiently curb griefing and other nutters. Age verification is only a small step in this direction. Any bad deed on the grid (griefing, sexual assaults, copyright theft…) should be tracable to the real person who committed it, and we should be able to procecute this person, or at least efficiently and permanently remove him from SL.

    This said, SL will never be perfect, no more than RL. Our kids are not totally safe of sexual predators when they go at school or play in the street or are entrusted to holyday camps or educators. This is not a reason to forbid them to go to school. Same is true for SL. There is not enough waranties today for allowing children in SL, and so LL will not do this. But we can work in this direction, by steps such as curbing griefing and identifying abusers. And at a moment we shall be able to show our dream houses and gardens to our kids, safely enough.

    There is something really odd in doing our public life in SL, and keeping our kids away of it, as of a shameful thing. I hate as much as you do this total absence of morals, this grotty-punk/geek mentality which prevails on Internet, where everything is allowed under the coward cover of anonimity. I hope M Linden will understand this too.

  143. Richard Trigaux says:


    (143 was written before 142 appeared)

    you seems to confuse everything, ageplay with presence of children, ageplay and paedophilia…

    What I was speaking about is allowing children in general public sims. Not in mature sims.

    Ageplay is an adult playing a child. There is NOTHING forbidding this, so long as it is not sexual.

    paedophilia is a sexial relation between an adult and a child. paedophilia is forbidden in real form, because it is harmful to children, not because it is sex. Linden Labs also forbad it in SL, even simulated by adults, because it sets a bad moral example.

    Please keep these definitions in mind before posting insulting comments about what people don’t say. Any further lie and I report you.

  144. Richard Trigaux says:

    Defamation like above is also a form of griefing which should not be allowed on this forum and on any other. In real life there were cases of so called “anti paedophily” actions, which were in fact led against innocents by puritan people, and are in facts motivated, not by child protection, but by religious fundamentalism, anti-women discrimination, sexual mutilations, etc.

    No chance Uh Oh, the first case of griefing I ever witnessed in a virtual world was of this kind. So I remember…

  145. Eurydice Barzane says:

    “All are indications that Second Life is becoming more relevant, more usable and more reliable.”

    What was that about relevance, usability and reliability?

    I felt all warm and fuzzy for a moment. Then I remembered the main viewer is memory leaking, crashtastic failure, and the new Release Candidate – which is threatening to be the next main viewer – is so unstable it’s crashing during installation.
    I’m all abuzz with disenchantment, and (since reading comment 137) horror.

  146. Richard Trigaux says:

    If balanced and mitigated statements are an horror for you, or enjoying our experiences, yes, it is better not to go in SL 🙂

    As for me, yes I do enjoy my experiences in SL, and I don’t do BDSM or gorean, sorry for this.

  147. shockwave yareach says:

    I’ll tell you why (I) dropped my premium account. Because SL is so broken that I feel that I’m throwing my money away and getting nothing in return. When the game works reliably again and Asset becomes something other than a roach motel, I may reconsider. Until then, I’ll just buy my lindens as I need them and rent – premium membership offers me nothing but a warm fuzzy feeling that I’m supporting the buggiest, brokest high tech program to ever escape into circulation by crawling down a drain.

  148. Jayme Llewellyn says:

    In relation to the “dinosaur” computers – My computer is about five, maybe six years old and runs a GeForce4MMx 440 graphics card with an AGP8x (whatever the hell that is). My processor? 2 Intel Pentium 2.8 GHz processors. Before people (like Zi Ree) start telling me “oh second life won’t run on that graphics card, no wonder you’re having problems”, SL does run on that graphics card because it is one of the cards listed under “minimum system requirements”. I had no problems with regular crashes when i first joined up a little over a year ago now. It was only when ‘bots and bludgers started turning up at Mr Lee’s Greater Hong Kong (RIP) that i started crashing. After taking a short break in January (3 weeks) i came back to find MLGHK gone, but I had no crashes. Once february came and we had yet another client/viewer update, i was being hit with 2 crashes a day. I got used to that. All i did was adjust my graphics settings and bandwith – I am content to put up with the resultant slow rezzing. When June came I suddenly went from 3 crashes (pleasant) to a minimum of 5 crashes – a session. Some sessions would last only an hour I would get so frustrated with the crashes. Yet I can run the Sims2 on my computer – no problems. I can run Simcity4 on my computer – no problems. I can play videos from youtube and other similar places on my computer – no problems. It is only with Secondlife that I have problems. And I am not the only one. There are people with computer less that two years old who are having problems with second life crashing. This is telling me – a person with very little computer savvy – that there are serious issues with the way secondlife has been put together and is run. As i have stated in numerous other blogs, the SL designers are only interested in adding new paint jobs to cover over the glaring cracks in the foundations. SL is just a game – like The Sims, like SimCity, like WoW – pure and simple. And as I have said before, the people who created Secondlife had some great ideas (if albietly stolen from the likes of AOL and SimsOnline) but they just did not have the practical know-how to impliment those ideas in a way that is efficient and effective.

    I agree, there needs to be platforms for all systems built since the year 2000 and in all formats that way many more people can enjoy the SL experience. But i do not see those elitist boffins at Linden Labs doing this. They are moving so far ahead without thought for their customers that very soon no one will be able to run secondlife unless they are prepared and able to go out and buy a brand spanking new PC with all the top-of-the-line gadgetry every upgrade. That is just not feasable for the majority of people – in the world.

    Finally, The Linden Lab team are becoming elitist and nationalist in their attitudes. There is the constant moving ahead without thought to customers as previously stated. Then there is the fact that LL’s server has become picky as to which ISP it will communicate with on a consistent basis. It seems it would rather have everyone go with an ISP that is going to rip of the customer in the hip pocket region so that only those who can afford to fork-out AU$50 a month for a 1GB Broadband service can have a decent connection to SL. I am not with the major Australian ISP (Telstra) rather I am with a the biggest ISP in the Australian Southeast (Grapevine through TransACT) and am paying only AU$29.95 a month for 5GB with a 1.5GB overload bracket. I would rather pay that than pay 20 dollars extra for a fifth of the dowload capability – as would anyone in their right mind.

    When Linden Labs can get in people who actually know how impliment the ideas effectively and efficiently, when they can impliment multiple tier servers enabling all users to enjoy SL and when they get their act together and get a server that will recognise, acknowledge and interact with all ISP providers, then and only then, will SL become a place without fault. And it will finally be the place we all dreamed it would be.

  149. Gracie Foden says:

    Second Life has been the very very best program in computer history.
    Not only is it perfect for business and creativity, it is fantastically good for a vacation, it is perfect therapy in helping with the grieving process due to losses of loved ones, it is a best medicine during health challenges, etc. If it were not for Real Life, there would be no Second Life! Thank you all at Linden Lab for the best gift ever to all of us—Second Life !!

Comments are closed.