I’m happy to report that we have some great things ahead for the Linden Lab Blog. We are on track with a multi-stage process of upgrading our Web presence, including both the Blog and the Forums. Our goal? To improve the information you get about Second Life and enhance our dialogue with you.
We’ve put a lot of thought into how best to expand the usefulness of the blog and forums without slowing down the efforts of those working on grid stability and reliability. And, we’re making great progress with the project. One foundational change we are making is adding in authentication so it’s there for the blog as well as forums. This is valuable because it adds better security and uses Second Life names in a consistent way.
One major goal is to implement single-sign-on (SSO.) This means Second Life Residents who log in with their avatar (account) names, for instance to comment on blog posts, would also be logged into the Second Life Forums. This seemingly small but fundamental change will, over time, allow us to greatly expand the convenience and utility of the blog (and in the next phase, the forums).
The work to match up and perfect authentication and passwords for SSO to the blogs and forums has added time and complexity to the process, but when it goes live it will enable us to acknowledge and showcase active participants, including those across key international language groups.
We aren’t announcing a specific timeframe for the completion of each phase of the project right now, but we will keep you updated.
Here’s some security (and other) benefits of the new system:
• Linden Lab employees won’t need to set up or maintain the blog servers or software, so we can stay focused on our core priorities. Instead, the blog project will be managed by a company whose strength is that kind of work, and thus, the system will be secure, robust and fully scalable.
• The new blog will feature authentication systems, a plug-in architecture, clustering and multiple database options.
• The backend will also feature everything you would expect, including regular vulnerability assessments, intrusion detection, and fast response times in the event of any type of problem. And because it’s a hosted solution, it will also offer managed monitoring, proactive software upgrades and daily backups to our secure storage area network, as well as full redundancy.
As we have said before, the Official Second Life blog will continue to be Linden Lab’s public face, for policy and other important announcements, and updates from our executive team members.
The goal here will be to keep you informed about our major efforts. We will also introduce a set of community-facing Linden-authored blogs. These will cover topics of interest to specific groups, for instance, activities and information for new residents, builders and scripters, solution providers, educators, business owners and so on.
They will be less formal, and will allow Linden topic experts to talk about their areas of expertise, and hear your feedback and ideas. You’ll find familiar Lindens as well as meet new Lindens in these blogs. We will also continue to invite conversations into the forums, as we’ve done recently, to allow Residents from all time zones to participate in much more involved conversation threads with Lindens and other Residents than is possible in blog comments.