Update on Linden Lab Blog Revamp

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.

About Robin Linden

Be the Change. You must be the change you wish to see in the world. ---Mahatma Gandhi
This entry was posted in Announcements & News, Community, Resident Experience. Bookmark the permalink.

90 Responses to Update on Linden Lab Blog Revamp

  1. JZ says:

    Just curious by passing the logons to a 3rd party how are we able to feel protected from any kind of password violations that may happen via this new blog / forum service.

    We have been told over and over again.. do NOT give your password out. Well isn’t this exactly what we will be doing under your new plans for the blogs/forums?

    Call me concerned!

  2. Scared says:

    So, with SSO and another company managing the blogsite, that means another company will have your username and password? This comforts me to no end.

  3. Ann Otoole says:

    Oh yes. Very good. Anonymous comments and impersonation comments on the blog are never a good thing.

    If people are too afraid to say it using their own account name then they should not say it at all. I know there is a crowd that won’t like this at all so I expect to hear some negative comments.

  4. Goedeke Messmer says:

    @JZ

    Any competently designed single log-on system will *not* pass passwords from one system to another: instead it passes cryptographically produced hashes that assure the system that a correct log-on has been received and that the forwarded credentials are not forged. (There are many variations on how this occurs, but the key is that a PASSWORD is not one of the things that is sent from system to system).

    Think of it as “second hand” credentials. As long as you trust the source to verify identities correctly, you will accept that second hand promise.

  5. Barefoot Ballinger says:

    I am particularly impressed that you realize the need to spend more time on your core business. Everyone benefits, and it’s a great start.

  6. Beezle Warburton says:

    Needs more cowbell.

  7. Jessicka Graves says:

    “To improve the information you get about Second Life and enhance our dialogue with you.”

    Blog posts are fewer and far between since the “blog upgrade” idea, so you’re doing quite the opposite of enhancing dialogue. Plus, most of the posts read as they were passed through a legal filter, and sound more like a sales pitch to junk we don’t want or don’t need.

    “We’ve put a lot of thought into how best to expand the usefulness of the blog…”
    You’ve narrowed the usefulness of the blog considerably. You used to announce information everybody wanted, like RC updates, full viewer updates, and actual thing we want to know.

    “One foundational change we are making is adding in authentication so it’s there for the blog as well as forums. ”
    I like the idea, but judging about how well you all have handled things before, I am curious how well it will fall into place. Same with SSO, it sounds good, but can you guys handle it?

    “…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.”

    A 3rd party company running your blog makes me quiver at the thought of password protection and other security worries (which are most likely to be posted about “not to worry” and “we trust these guys”). Not only that, but it sounds like a major cop-out, regardless of how you put it, which is further backed by the next statement.

    “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.”

    I thought the blog was to enhance dialogue with us? So it’s /really/ for impersonal announcements about any change in policies, and whatever might be deemed “important” by any Linden (which only seems like a handful)? Yeah, The statement sounds contradictory to the former at the top, or maybe I’m just not reading it right, but if I am, it sure speaks loud and clear what the blog is now for.

    “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.”

    Does this mean Torley is coming back? I never watched his videos, but a lot of people counted on him, and were heavily disappointed when he disappeared. You’re blatantly pushing residents to other blogs to keep your “public face” clean, and there is no question in that.

    I know I’m being harsh, but these all are huge red flags to me, and in reading between the lines, Robin, you’re saying a lot more then you may realize.

  8. justanalt magic says:

    I would like to raise some concerns about this as well.

    Since the last move of communication from the _OPEN_ blog to the *CLOSED* forums, the information has been diminishing and vanishing for us that rather polls the blog via RSS than logs into the forums all the time. That means in clear words that the information has become less and less available. Will this change now?

    Another thing is the question about censorship. How will criticisms be handled in a closed system so tightly connected to the accounts for the world? Will a forum ban also ban from the world, thus effectively silencing all that has opposite views then the official LL line? Or will communication still be open enough to allow blatantly anger in the comments without getting banned and kicked for good? Will the blog/forum solution have it’s own moderation and eventual banning without being connected to the logins to the world? Tell us!

    Finally, Ann, you missed one thing that will be good to see lesser off.. all this crossposts, backtracks and pings, Aren’t they a bigger problem than the anonymous complaints actually?

    Finally for the security issues…
    Change passwords after each login to be safe 😛

  9. Robin Linden says:

    Hi all. A couple points of clarification:
    The password authentication is the same step we take today when you log-in to the forums. We’re extending it to the blog, the advantage being that you only need to log-in once and you’ll know who is posting. It’s a secure pass-through, using encryption. Our partner will log you in, not store your passwords.

    The main blog will be for information and updates that affect all Second Life users. In addition, we’ll have more informal topic blogs for Lindens and Residents interested in specific topics. When there’s a need for deeper dialog than can be accommodated in a comment format, we’ll link over to the forums for a better two-way conversation, as we have in several recent posts.

    We have no plans to change the way we moderate. As the guidelines say, if posts are off-topic, abusive or violate the guidelines, we will remove them without comment. We understand frustration; it’s how you express it that counts. 🙂

  10. @ Just-An-Alt Magic
    “How will criticisms be handled in a closed system so tightly connected to the accounts for the world?”

    If your feedback/criticism is actually constructive in some way, I have found in the last two-years that Linden Lab does NOT censor. If you keep the language clean, actually provide constructive criticism then your comments will remain.

    Frankly, I used to cringe and completely have PITY for anyone with a Linden name who made a post here because of the vitriol that would be slinging back at them for really silly stuff.

    Unfortuantely, because this blog is all but completely shut-down, likely in part due to that garbage feedback, we now don’t see Torleys videos, or John’s tip of the week pointing at the wiki, or Katt’s upbeat whatever it is she wants to shine the spotlight on this week, or any of the other positive, interesting what-ever-is-happening behind the now closed-tightly-iron curtain.

    Oh well. That means the only news we get that we can count-on is through Tateru Nino at Massively. Everything else is my freind told me their friend told metheir friend told me type stuff.

    But oh well. Good things don’t last forever.
    I’ve been getting the feeling the whole grid has been calming down and turning mundane over the last six-months. Old “M” Linden is turning the thumb-screws on the Lindens no doubt.

    but that’s his job. 🙂

    HEY ROBIN: Good to see you are still around. LOL

    ~winks~

  11. shockwave yareach says:

    Hash:

    Sorry, but a hash table for password protection does not protect you when you entered the password in the clear in the website. The website you visited and entered the password into will have it once you press RETURN. And thus website X will have the password to your SL account.

    The only way this can be secure is if the logging in is done on a LL machine which then redirects to the subcontractor’s machine. If the password is entered into another company’s website, there is nothing but good faith preventing them from sharing names and passwords to the web at large.

    Didn’t that credit card incident teach you anything?

  12. Raul Crimson says:

    Thanks, Robin, for sharing this.
    I like the project of giving more life to the blog, is much more easy to follow than forums and ant kind of autentication is a good idea under my point of view.
    Anyway this blog was almost dead lately, please, get it back.

  13. Spencer Diesel says:

    Hi Robin, I’m all for streamlining and the SSO sounds great. My only concern is password security and will the login page(s) be https?

    Also what’s the release date for the SSO?

  14. Danielle Harrop says:

    Yes, by all means, keep all dialogue in the forums, where a Linden will stay and post as long as there’s bunnies and light being scattered about, but if the questions get too hard, or the user base isn’t blowing sunsine up in the dark places, there isn’t a Linden to be found.

    No need to soil your “public face” with truths or hard questions. 😛

  15. Duckling Kwak says:

    Hi, Robin!

    (1) I join others who have commented on the positive aspect of LL having considered the impact on internal resources to develop the new communications capabilities. Focus on core competencies – that sounds like a good plan.

    (2) The bit about passwords ought to be a non-issue. As Robin points out, there are mechanisms to handle this. And cross-site authentication is nothing new to LL; many 3rd party sites (completely outside LL’s control) use it. If LL implements it incorrectly, of course it’ll be an issue. But let’s not assume that LL will implement it incorrectly; they do have a proven track record of doing this.

    (3) It really concerns me that this posting is about communications, and the posting deals with a bunch of technology and extremely little about communications! How will the user experience change and/or improve? We currently have a SERIOUS lack of communication from LL. It is now a challenge to find relevant information and requires checking multiple places to find information – assuming there is any to find. LL have significantly reduced their communications. New viewer releases – ZERO mention of them in any of the usual places. Downtime and service interruptions – again, ZERO communications. And this push for forums is utterly useless. The relevant points are quickly lost in a deluge of ranting. Sure, give people a chance to chat and vent and interact – I have nothing against that. But don’t do it at the expense of facilitating succinct communications about the service.

    Overall, LL has demonstrated time and time again a lack of expertise developing and supporting user communities from the social (human) side; there’s an over-focus on the technology. I hope there will be future communications that give us a better idea of what’s coming. I know that LL does take our input into account – we’ve seen evidence of that many times. But without putting the issues out in the open for feedback, well, it’s hard to give feedback! Lovely communication about SSO – I’d EXPECT LL to do that. Now, please tell us more about the user experience. If all we can do is talk techie, then please share your user stories for the new system.

    -DK

  16. Ciaran Laval says:

    Maybe if you used the main blog to tell people Torley can be found in the tutorial blog tucked away in showcase the bring back Torley campaign could be somewhat satisfied.

    Does this mean that the main blog will be information only with no comments and that comments will only be allowed elsewhere? Will it just be a feed to sub blogs similar to WorldofSL?

    The beta testing of the forum communication hasn’t exactly gone down well, you need to send your minions into the forums, minions have many uses.

  17. Why not let people speak? says:

    talk about lindens wanting to silence voices…this is just another move to prevent honest expression of opinions…i dearly hope the people in sl will have a progressive future…but this linden policy by pr flacks and the ceo is only designed to manipulate information to their advantage…just watch how long it takes them to dust my comments…sad but true

  18. Darien Caldwell says:

    @8, justanalt magic, Can you elaborate how pings and trackbacks are the biggest problem on the blog? That is the first time i’ve ever heard this assertion.

    As for the announcement, It’s nice to hear thigns are proceeding. I’m in fact working on the same sort of single logon for my upcoming website and forums and can sympathise with how technically challenging it can be, especially when working with disparate software packages.

    I’m eager to hear more as it nears realization.

  19. justanalt magic says:

    @9 “We have no plans to change the way we moderate. As the guidelines say, if posts are off-topic, abusive or violate the guidelines, we will remove them without comment. We understand frustration; it’s how you express it that counts. :)”

    Well that sounds somewhat relaxing, compared to the previous visions of shutting down the accounts of non-ok comments that has been suggested and put into spotlight. I’m fine with the idea of removing abusive comments, but not blocking accounts.

    @10 “If your feedback/criticism is actually constructive in some way, I have found in the last two-years that Linden Lab does NOT censor.”
    I know that it at least previously have been impossible to put out well formatted criticisms on the blog here if either a) the company name or b) a company residents name was metioned in the blog post. Can you please explain how that is not contraproductive and equals to censorship?

    16 said: “Maybe if you used the main blog to tell people Torley can be found in the tutorial blog tucked away in showcase the bring back Torley campaign could be somewhat satisfied.”

    HEY! Is there other blogs around than the main blog and the grid status blog? since when and why hasn’t that been told at this blog?

    /me grumbles over too many blogs without proper ways to find them.

    And for the password security… as long as it will be a paragraph in the tos about that LL will be responsible for any damage made by passwords on the loose thanks to the 3rd-party involved, I’m happy 🙂
    LL and security in the same scentence? Now that is not common at all, but they are getting there these days, so maybe, just maybe there is some hope that this will work better than what the userbase is suspecting by experience.

    But the more communicative thing again, will there be a possibility to continue polling the info via RSS/atom-feeds without having to mess with logging in all the time?
    It would be nice to know that, honestly.
    (Forums are really only for those with lots of time, others have easier scanning through the blog for info.)

  20. justanalt magic says:

    @18, isn’t it called that, those comments only telling that the blog comment is echoed on another blog?

    There isn’t one in this comment thread yet, but look at the older posts some time back and you’ll find them.

    At least in my mind they eat up a lot of the creative rightful comments when there is a certain limit, like in this place.

    (And I’m sorry to have taken 2% of the available comments by now :p)

  21. Escort DeFarge says:

    Don’t give away my password or force me to give it away. Thanks!!

  22. G.W. says:

    @20 I agree with that. Many blogs have a separate section for trackbacks for ease of viewing and most blogs have no comments limit but I’d just be content if LL fixed it so that trackbacks didn’t count against the limit or preferably upped the limit to something more reasonable since 150 when you have so many residents is ridiculously low

  23. G.W. says:

    @11 I agree if they’re hashing the actual password to send but if they’re halfway competent they’ll use a hash of whatever your internal UID is and send it across and if they want to be really secure they’d sign it to prevent man in the middle login attempts.

    Look, LL has dropped the ball… many times and I’ll be in line right after Prok in many cases to criticize them here and on the forums but I don’t think even LL is stupid enough to use a system that would send your password to a third party. They’ll send your other personal information to third parties whenever they feel like it for ID Verification programs but short of them being hacked… again I don’t think even LL is that boneheaded.

  24. Katt Linden says:

    To answer a few who have asked, passwords will be secure.

    Only Linden Lab will actually “see” your passwords as you log in, not the partner.

  25. Katt Linden says:

    @ 16, Ciaran
    and
    @ 19 justanalt

    For more of Torley’s great tutorials, see the “Video Tutorials” link near the top left, in the left column of this page. It is a link to the Tutorials section of the Showcase: “http://secondlife.com/showcase/tutorials/ ”

    RSS: Yes, we will offer RSS (and also email subscription) to the blogs.

  26. I hope the *new look* blog will return to being INFORMATIVE!

    There are so many things happening out there that we NEED to be aware of, but that information hase been shunted off to other pages and lost from further scrutiny.

    – Bring back Torley’s video annoucements – IN THE BLOG
    – Bring back the Knowledge Base Tip of the Week -IN THE BLOG
    – Bring back grid status reports, server upgrades and roll-outs, client updates – IN THE BLOG

    Why did this vital information get removed from the Blog? It feels like you are trying to *hide* this information… out of sight, out of mind??

    If the purpose of this Blog is to just be a LL PR Blog, then fine, be up-front about your intentions…. and I won’t bother re-bookmarking this page for future visits. 😦

  27. Once again you pull out the Goal of “Improved Communication” with the Community.

    A year and a half ago you promised “OPEN and TRANSPARENT” Communication, and you couldn’t even do that. Just how difficult is it for a Linden Lab employee to comment in these Blogs? I see many of them doing it regularly, so why can’t Robin, Philip, M, or anyone else that have questions put to them in the Blog Comments respond?

    You can promise what you want, but if I were to believe you this time Robin, I would be a fool. When you start with your “OPEN and TRANSPARENT” Communication, then I’ll believe your goal is “Improved Communication” with the Community.

  28. The reason they are going to the “Login” of the Acct before posting comments, is simple. If they don’t agree with your criticism, then you have no way of hiding behind an anonymous login.

    Sly, but true eh Robin? They just want the real names of people complaining so they can Communicate more “Open and Transparent” with them through the BAN Emails they will be sending out.

    BTW Robin, I always sign my real name, so go ahead and do your ban thing when you want.

  29. Amilie Anatine says:

    Im very happy you L-peeps are still making improvements based on what residents are saying good job 🙂 (after reading a comment above im wondering if using your company name in my last blog attempts caused me to get banned) how about posting some rules, or at least giving a little “blog is down” monitor on the side. We are used to down time, so i think we can handle it.

    I would like to see the blog links back in the viewer login page, and not just 4 at a time, rather 10 at a time. Sometimes i read them once a week, then i miss good headlines if i only see 4 at a time. Why did they get taken out anyway? there is a ton of space there, the picture isnt the greatest i’ve ever seen, im anxious to get in world or in blog and see the real view. i say “real” meaning, not to be confused with the real americans (sorry i just had to say that lolll)

    looks like there is no censorship today, so far, thats great, and people can post very long responses, great again..

    and more yellow L-peep responses today, yay.. looks like the blog is getting better so far…

    I would like one login yes, and i would like more of a connection from blog to forum. these links are on opposit sides of your page, and its so hard to find where the blog comments are supposed to fall in the forums, after scrolling down down, tech issues, down.. newbie issues scroll down.. sigh..

    but im just one opinion, just look and you will see what i mean.

  30. Duckling Kwak says:

    @26 – Bravo for expressing these valid points so eloquently!

    @27 – While I disagree with your tone, I do agree that your point has merit. LL did make a big deal in their response to the community’s complaints, and there was progress made for some time. All that progress is lost now, and trust has been eroded.

    As @26 points out, it really does *feel* (nobody is claiming to *know* the real intent, so let’s nobody take an accusatory tone or perceive one) that LL are *hiding* the information; and that’s an end result of the way in which the flow of information has been (mis)managed. And, outright, some important information is not being posted anywhere. That’s a flat out failing on LL’s part.

    In a previous post Robin did say that an advantage of the outsourcing strategy would be to get the experience of people who know how to run blogs & forums. And by that I hope that we’re not just talking the technology – that’s the easy part. I hope it also means that the people who will be involved understand HOW to communicate with large user communities. This is clearly not a LL competency; it’s a serious liability in LL’s case. So, perhaps, this 3rd party company can help build a bridge between LL and us. If it works, that’s wonderful. If it doesn’t, however, then all that will have been accomplished is create further distance between LL and us; and we’ll all see how well that will work…

    -DK

  31. JZ says:

    No I am afraid… Katt just made a statement that we all should worry a little about..

    Only Linden Lab will actually “see” your passwords as you log in, not the partner.”

    If passwords are secure from Lindens why would she make a comment like that. Run for the hills everyone!

  32. Duckling Kwak says:

    [The thread is relatively quiet, so I’ll use up another 1.33% w/o silencing others’ opinions…]

    @32 – I agree that Robin’s job performance (given her title) leaves much to be desired. Like it or not, the fact is that Robin continues to be employed by LL; and we can either work with her to help her (and us) succeed, or we can complain and accomplish nothing beyond creating more frustration for everyone. You raise very good points, and I share your skepticism – let’s get some action items vs. stop at the satisfaction of LL bashing.

    I also thought of the point that you raised, about LL having to answer questions. A prerequisite for success is that the intermediary MUST moderate the communications from LL to the user community. That’s critical. If LL are merely outsourcing the hosting component, Robin’s project will fail. Flat out, plain and simple. I agree with you 100%.

    But if the 3rd party have expertise building, nurturing and managing user communities, then their job will be to help translate LL’s messages into consistent and meaningful messages to the user community. I am *not* suggesting censorship, but I am talking about a type of “message crafting” that is appropriate for large-scale communications. The difference between sending an e-mail and managing large-scale communications is a subtle point that completely escapes LL, as demonstrated time and time again.

    But you’re also correct to point out that we need more than just a bridge. If LL doesn’t “get it” that “hiding” information from its users is a really bad idea (and, therefore, never communicates the information to the 3rd party “bridge”), well, we’ll have a wonderful blog/forum platform devoid of useful information – and, again, Robin’s project will fail.

    The point here being that technology for the sake of technology totally misses the point of communicating. Communication is an active process, not a passive one. Building a car and not using it (correctly) doesn’t get you anywhere. You need to use the car and know how to drive; otherwise, you’ll either stay put or crash & burn.

    So, I go back to my earlier point to Robin. Okay, LL can only technobabble. Fine. Let’s technobabble; I’m fluent as are most in this thread. Please share with us your user stories. We’ll help you flesh them out to ensure that the project is successful. We *WANT* you to be successful, Robin. Please let us help you! It’s obvious that this blog post was well-intended, and we appreciate it. But it sorely missed the mark. We’re happy to help. Let’s work together and help all of us!

    Robin, I have a suggestion/challenge. Create a top-level JIRA project for the new blog/forum. Post your user stories as JIRA entries. And we’ll comment on them. That way you’ll have everything you need, the process will be open and transparent, and you’ll get valuable user input into the project. Of course you’ll never please 100% of the people 100% of the time. But maybe we can all get ourselves closer to something that we all like if we do it together. Too radical a thought, or do you accept the challenge?

  33. Shadoe Landman says:

    When I joined in April, the blog was full of useful goodies like Torley vodtuts, tips, updates, issues, status reports, and such. There was something new almost every day. It was great to stop by and see what was going on all in one place. Now it’s practically a graveyard. This will only be an improvement if you can bring back this one-stop-shopping experience.
    You had a huge event going, Burning Life, and even that was hardly mentioned after the initial post. Yes, there was information elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t mention it here after it started.
    I do like the idea of having areas for less formal topics, as long as we can still find the most useful information all in one place.
    Why weren’t we told before where Torley’s videos were? Many residents have made comments in the forums wondering what had happened to him. That would have been useful information, but better would be to put him back here along with the other goodies that are now missing.
    Sorry, I don’t mean to complain too much. At least there IS information here today, and thank you for it.

  34. Pardon my skepticism, but during this process of “improving” and “enhancing” the information we get, you guys have completely done away with any semblance of useful or honest communication on this blog.

    It has been nearly a week since 1.21 was released, yet for all this blog says, it doesn’t exist. The only official mention of it was buried among the service issue posts on http://status.secondlifegrid.net.

    It has been over two weeks since a mandatory security update was released. No mention here on the blog. The Message Of The Day at that time instructed users to _perform a search on the forums_ to find out what was going on. Apparently such information wasn’t deemed important enough to the users to make it onto the blog.

    What with all the marketing fluff and corporate ego stroking going on these days, I can barely tell the blog apart from the press releases page. I have no idea what audience this stuff is supposed to be targetted at, but it sure as heck is not the users.

    So I’d suggest taking the money you’re planning to waste on that new-fangled blog system, and use it instead to hire someone who can think up a user relations policy that makes even half a lick of sense. Anyone — your customers, your users, even your employees — can see that your policy is far more dysfunctional than your blog software.

  35. The Great Sandwich Debate says:

    Sorry Linden Labs your move is taking away free speach as some may want to expess opinons thier avatar wouldn’t,Your blog has now turned in to pat on back and a promotion site meaning to me its now lost any credability,All anyone wanted was sidewinder and prospero honesty but even they have been muted,torley has been silenced.

    So continue to pat yourselves on the back while the real blog users sit here wondering how much better your login page looks,how issues no longer show up anywhere and how communication with your users is probably lower than i have seen in coming close to 4 years use.

    Anyway back to the real SL sites that actually address and inform us of SL issues.

  36. The Great Sandwich Debate says:

    Sometimes good ideas over brain storming coffee session do not work with users,read this blog see if its wanted by the people that have bothered to read the blog.

  37. McCabe Maxsted says:

    “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.”

    Enhancing the dialog by disabling a communication resource without any word until *after the fact*?

    Since when was it standard practice to disable the old model before the new one was ready? Would it really kill your *communications director* to continue communicating during the transition? Or are you trying to train us to get used to even more limited communication, because that’s what the past few weeks have felt like.

    You keep saying that you “get it,” then you do things that show the exact opposite. You’re not inspiring any confidence in your customers here.

  38. Matt says:

    I wonder if Linden Labs even understands that proper communication requires both parties to actively participate?

    Thus far it seems like both parties are preaching to the choir and nothing is actually getting done. Almost another year has gone by and no improvements in the communication between residents (you know, the people who PAY you) and the ever absent lindens.

  39. Isadora Fiddlesticks says:

    Ari mentioned a lot of weekly posts that used to be in this blog. I’ve always wondered WHY you took those down. It fulfills the last two or three paragraphs of your post, Robin. When Torley’s video tutorials, KBAOTW, etc. was keeping this blog active, it looked more well maintained and shows YOUR presence and ability to send your customers to the right information and updates. Since this is your OFFICIAL blog, I reckon those posts are acceptable as they are from the prominent Lindens. Those posts show SL and LL in a more positive light…isn’t that what the OFFICIAL blog supposed to be?

    As for the forums, I welcome them because there are so many topics under SL that we want to discuss and the forums will be a great place for that.

    We all hope that your endeavor will be successful.

  40. Taff Nouvelle says:

    @40
    “We all hope that your endeavor will be successful.”

    It will be, but that does not mean that it will be useful.
    Successful in making SL look like a great place where nobody is unhappy.
    Or,
    Successful in making SL a great place where people are happy.

    Both will have the same results on the blog itself, new people will see a nice happy page,
    All I want to see is the BIG PROMISE being upheld, Transparent and open communication. I had taken part is many forums lately, I have now given up because , for the first few days, LL answer the nice happy questions, and not the harder ones. Then after a few days, there is no LL involvement other that censorship.
    This is NOT open communication.
    thisngs are moved to the forums to promote dialog, I believe that means discussion, which takes both sides to accomplish.
    OK I have drifted off topic here.
    It used to be a habit to log into SL , and to first look at the headlines on the login page, and check out anything that looked important on the blog. that SHOULD be brought back.
    OPEN COMMUNICATION means also answering questions that WE want the answers to, even if you dont like the question.
    Please, Please just treat us as paying customers, not naughty children who should be seen and not heard.

  41. An Immersive Workspaces setup for users would be nice, or one for the volunteer groups, or just any way I could get to try out the Immersive Workspaces thing would suit me.

  42. Kuchiki Xue says:

    only LL are stupid enough to constantly ignore what thier users want. thats not how it works. you say you listen but you don’t. you say you have good lines of communication but you don’t.
    Quote “All anyone wanted was sidewinder and prospero honesty but even they have been muted,torley has been silenced.”
    agreed.
    It’s not too late. forget you delusional dreams of attracting big companies and focus on your existing users, or better yet, listen to your userbase and attract new SL users, not big businesses looking to milk SL dry or money.
    Please don’t kill SL, that would suck.
    I used to read the blog for news and info before logging into SL. it’s now harder to do so.
    Just because you think something is better for us residents doesn’t mean it is. Ever tried asking people what they want? ever bother to read the blog? nah, didn’t think so.
    After reading all the comments (not that you’ve probably botherd to do so) it appears that your users think this is a bad idea. any normal company would then ask for input then make changes accordingly. you however ignore your users and go ahead and do it anyway.
    if i didn’t like SL as much as i did, or have fun with great people on there then i probably wouldn’t be on this blog saying this.

  43. FireFox Bancroft says:

    Seems comments are broken, posted a comment, submitted it, it never showed up, so I reload the page and attempted to re-post the comment only to be told that I already posted the same comment but it still doesn’t show up. Broken broken broken.

  44. Actingill Igaly says:

    26 said it all. If you are going to revamp the blog, bring back the useful elements of it that actually made it worth reading. I would be surprised if there is a single one of your customers that thinks the blog has improved over the last 6 months (feel free to correct me). Providing a place to conduct a meaningful dialog with your customer base, where critisisms are heard and if merited, acted on, is surely a far better PR tool for you than just sweeping it all under the Grid Status Report, sorry, rug.

  45. Tegg B says:

    What an end to alts, advertising and offensive names on the blog? 🙂

  46. Sandor Balczo says:

    The more days I spend reading blog posts like the couple appeared in recent days, the more I feel the next step will be removing all current residents from Second Life and replacing them with…well, nobody. Corporations ignore LL blatantly, old users have left for ages, current users who still like the Sl experience try to ignore the damage LL is doing to them by enstranging them, but there is a limit to everything.

    Guess where I am spending my time in Sl these days? On Help Island. And guess what the most frequent question from newbies is? It is: Why should I be here? What is the point of this GAME?

    That is the question anyone should ask: how can we keep new users into SL if we do not know how to reply to this basic question, because we are not sure of our future?

    LL, perhaps you could improve your communication skills by adding more mentors in Help Island rather than monitoring the blog and outsourcing it at the same time.

    Sandor 🙂

  47. Sandor Balczo says:

    Ah, the second question newbies ask is: why is everywhere so deserted apart from Help Island?

    This should also be food for thought.

    Sandor 🙂

  48. Pingback: Linden Lab announce blog revamp: same old? : The Metaverse Journal - Australia’s Virtual World News Service

  49. Drusilla Galicia says:

    I have to admit that I can’t understand why the little announcements on the log in page were removed. I often would go right off and find out about some issue before I loged in because of those messages.
    And the routine messages in the main blog about rollouts, problems, Torley, etc. were far more useful than wandering all over the place trying to find out whats up. I also don’t want the blog to only be the party line. I always thought of the main blog as an index to the real discussions.

  50. Lindal Kidd says:

    @17: This is why logging on as yourself will now be required. Sheesh.

    OK, we should all use our SL names and passwords to sign on. I’ve got no problem with that. But I don’t care how many times you “reassure” me, Robin, I am VERY worried by LL’s outsourcing important functions.

    Age verification: Outsourced to a firm that’s a known data miner/seller. And it still doesn’t work.

    Forum moderation: Abandoned to volunteers, now to be outsourced.

    Management of the blogs: to be outsourced.

    These are all important functions of a social networking operation like Second Life. True, they are not the grid. But the grid isn’t everything. Do you understand the relationship between data and metadata? The blogs and the wikis and the forums and the security systems are all metadata in relation to the actual Second Life grid.

    My concern is twofold. One, by ignoring these important aspects of Second Life, LL is demonstrating that they don’t understand and don’t care to/know how to control the universe they’ve invented. And two, I am very concerned that the security of our personal information is at risk. Frankly, I do not believe your assurances.

    If you really want to improve the blogs and the forums, don’t give them away. Hire some people in house to do the job. Make it their ONLY job, not some part time “when I feel like it” additional duty.

  51. Ghosty Kips says:

    I think that it’s great that you’re removing the ability to leave anonymous commentary on the blog. What’s unfortunate is that you continue to allow anonymous accounts on the grid. 😡 Something is very backwards, there.

  52. Renee Faulds says:

    Just a move to silence the criticism and provide a PR tool for all the big corporations Linden Lab wants to go to bed with.

    Putting a big smiley face on the blog and continue to censor the posts that reflect the true state of the grid. So when tp’s fail, inventory items go missing, can’t rez, can save, can’t upload,or can’t even login the blog will be full of nothing but great praise on how well it is working.

    Log on your 75 employees big corps for that inworld seminar because you will find NO:

    Lag
    Region Full
    Crashes

    You will rez right away and be able to walk or fly the whole region in 20 seconds cause everything is honky dory on the blog.

    Pity

  53. Kara Spengler says:

    Ummm …… give out an account name/password that has real money and credit card information to someone I did not give it to in the first place? No thanks!

  54. Renee Faulds says:

    @ 29 “looks like there is no censorship today, so far, thats great, and people can post very long responses, great again..”

    I don’t know, my post just went from #53 to #52

  55. Hodgey Hogfather says:

    Since we have had an official communications specialist, the information stream and communications have only deteriorated. The splash page is now less cluttered, but useless. Remember the good old days when we instantly knew there were rezzing or purchase problems, prior to logging in and without having to go searching some blog or forum? Remember when we knew at the splash page when a restart was going to occur, or when TPs were a problem, or, or….? Now, nothing. How is that a communication improvement?
    I agree that commenters should be using true SL names (would be nice if you didn’t hide behind alt Avis, as well). However, once logged into SL, there should be no more logging in required to get to a SL blog or forum, or any other SL area. Keep our passwords inhouse. You get the login once…just pass an ok to the next app.

  56. majya sands says:

    you are right Renee, perhaps it is still happening.

    I just want everyone to know that i am an OFFICIAL ALT and yes i am legal – and if i am disabled, i will fight it, so please do not touch me.. i do not have a life, nor am i interested in alt-drama (lmao) i serve only to test my new builds and group abilites, a ginea pig, i am a glorified bot in that sense.

    When my main got banned from commenting yesterday i restarted my browser, nothing.. so i alted. viola! comments working again and i was able to continue the discussion. Lindens, please! you are not shutting anyone out by putting limits on the number of posts a person is submitting. i know you are doing this. my alting out proved it.

    i say, remove your weird censoring rules on post counts, because we are too smart for that stuff. this isnt yahoo. (oh wait, yahoo doesnt censor) how about give us 200 comments, or more, and then when 2 days go by, send us to the message boards?

    this blog is too small for this big world. and we are only 60k logged in at any one time. whats going to happen when we grow?

  57. Justa Lemon says:

    I’m not personally worried about my password being unsafe as a lot of people are. There are a myriad of websites that already do this.
    Yes there is a little concern because in the past there have been security breaches and this will leave a sour taste in peoples mouths for a while to come. But everyone deserves a second chance (or is is third now ? hehe)

    My only concern is that the blog is not even a shadow of its former self anymore.

    When I first came to the grid in 2006 there was excellent communication with the lindens. You had all the forums and in world live help which proved to be of no end of help in many instances.
    But they killed off live help and then pretty much snuffed the forums too. I understand the reasoning behind this as the number of users registering compared to the number of lindens that were available to help at any one time was vastly unfair. 20,000 people trying to contact a handful of lindens at once was counterproductive to say the least.

    But now it’s becoming painful to get help with anything. Support for anything other than account or login issues is reserved for the paying members. I understand that people can turn to the forums for help, but if there are no lindens there who is going to help them ?

    Even after two years here I still have problems, and I used to love gleaning information from torleys tips, there was always something to learn even as an experienced user. The blog always used to post useful and helpful information about the grid and things that were happening to it. But now, it’s just being used to promote LL as a potential investment for corporations, and a way for them to say “hey look at us we’re great”.

  58. Andromeda Quonset says:

    What Justa Lemon #57 has said is interesting. I am a paying member, and have been for 2 years. Before that, I was a free member. I should enjoy a high-level of support, since my paid membership entitles me to concierge-level, and my owning an island also entitles me to concierge-level. So, I have 2 levels of concierge level support…..and I cannot ever reach anyone at LL Support!

    I don’t like making telephone calls, but the few I have tried to make to LL have gone unanswered by man or machine.

    The Live TEXT Chat via the Conciregie support web page seems to work…except nobody ever responds. I’ve waited for hours on several occasions…sometimes just letting it sit open and waiting for someone to come on….other times I’ve gone ahead and typed my problem, but nobody comes on and deals with the problem of the moment that way, either.

  59. Sedary Raymaker says:

    as long as it will be a paragraph in the tos about that LL will be responsible for any damage

    Ahahahaha! That’ll be the day.

  60. Ah, communication with residents… since 2004 that we have struggled with that 😉 and nobody ever was happy about any of the solutions: neither LL, nor the residents.

    IMHO, the problem is mostly “different expectations” by different people. For instance, I liked the clear separation between “technical difficulties” (on the “SL Grid Status Reports” blog) and “policy information” (what this blog mostly is). I’m not the hugest forum fan — it takes a considerable time to keep up to date with zillions of threads and gazillions of posts per thread — but I understand it’s a welcome choice for many. I love the quiet, cosy, familiar, informal feeling of the in-world office hours, even if I manage to miss almost all of them because I’m totally unable to keep updated on them (my fault). I loved the Town Hall meetings. I loved the original blog — on the olden days where each Linden would basically have their own section and talk about what they did (a few, like Torley and Babbage, still keep their own personal and unofficial blogs up). I didn’t dislike the idea of pushing all these employee blogs into a single one, and get 3-4 interesting items worth reading about, although I understand that the overall message was not clear (the blog entries were too wildly different in style to make it inconsistent).

    So hmm I disagree that LL is not making an effort to communicate; in fact, the mere changes over the years shows that the effort is ongoing, always tweaking things to make them work better, always trying new things out. It’s a good sign. Stagnation — sticking to one single way of communicating and never adapting to anything else — is worse than the alternative, ie. constantly reinventing new ways (and bringing back old ones, like the forums!) to be in touch with residents. For me that counts a lot!

    Now I’m pretty sure there will never be a “one size fits all” solution that will please all residents. Nevertheless, two things could be attempted, if I might be so bold as to suggest them:

    1) @ Duckling suggested using a JIRA entry to propose a new plan for the blog/forums use. I like the idea of having a public discussion on that. It sounds very democratic, and, who knows, even some good ideas pop up. Better even than a JIRA entry would be a whole series of discussions — in-world, on the forums, and perhaps even on blog comments (in-world is a must! This is Second Life after all! If we can’t trust to this very same tool to do constructive discussion and communication, how can we expect new residents to believe in us? 😉 ). Do it in a structured way. Launch a public request for proposals: “What would you do if you were in charge of organising the new blog/forum communicatin structure?” And run the ideas through the new company that will run them, see what they think.

    2) Put the proposals to the vote. We know that only a tiny number of residents will ever come and vote (as you can see from the JIRA… almost nobody votes on the proposals). But you can cheat: you can put links on the blogs, forums, and even when logging in to SL to the location where people should go to vote. Make sure everybody knows about it. Still, few will bother to vote (that’s the problem with all democratic methods — absentism), but at least nobody could complain about not being properly informed.

    Look at how the new features in WordPress 2.7 are being discussed. WP users are allowed to vote on surveys to give feedback on how they would like the backoffice to look like. It doesn’t matter if the end result is done by professional designers, ignoring the voting: the important point was, all proposals for change were discussed — everybody wishing to have a stake was allowed to have one — and they were put to the vote. Ultimately, it’ll be Auttomatic that will pick a design and implement it.

    A similar thing would definitely work out. Sure, many people will disagree on what the “best” method is, and, repeating myself, most people here will never agree to a single, best solution. As a realist, I can only advise to pick a solution that makes a majority of users happy, and that is not totally obnoxious to the minorities. But there will always be unhappy people.

    For myself, I have sadly to agree that these days Tateru Nino seems to be able to inform us better at Massively on what’s going on in SL than Linden Lab — and I very well know that most of her constant (daily?) requests for further information go unanswered and ignored by your PR agency. So I can only hope that Lewis PR is also going to be involved in the process from the start — but I hope that they’re not going to have a final say in everything 😉

    Oh, and interesting CSS on this blog, by the way 🙂

  61. amilie anatine says:

    Everyone gives very good feedback and ideas here, but for me, at the end of the day, there are no office hours, because i login to SL AT the end of the day and all office hours are stranglely held early in the afternoon when im in first life. 3pm who came up with this time?? half the first life country is still driving home from work.

    I would like to be a member of a group that sends notices saying “office hours now, IM me for a tp!” but there is no such group that i know of. Our new volunteer mentor-created and open enrollment Live Help group is the closest thing we can find to such a thing to bridge tech support (volunteers) to people who need help (this is a shameless plug for it – IM me in world if you want to join our group) on the other hand, i cannot join anymore groups, ive maxed out at 25 (hint hint)

    Jira is great in theory, but so tedious to navigate, small font, non-intuitive categories, i avoid it usually, just watching and getting emails from the issues i am watching, it takes days to follow these things properly, and i do depend on the blogs for latest news (put links back into the login page!)

    I wish new Jira issues (submitted by the community) were submitted to the blogs, that way im more in the know. Right now i spend 20 hours a week developing in SL and feel i dont know whats going on at all, not even with developer news! (read past posts about my surprise hearing about RRR)

    in summary: LL-community communication leaves much to be desired even for an oldbie like me.

  62. Ciaran Laval says:

    Gwyneth the updates here lately have been pitiful, Torley has been taken away, the knowledebase article of the week has been taken away, even the information about the new client isn’t here on the main blog where people have become accustomed to seeing such updates.

    That’s what people are complaining about. There has been a marked increase in communication via the blog.

    The client information being available on Massively before it was available here really was an odd thing to see to say the least.

    This week has seen a marked improvement in use of the blog. Long may that continue.

  63. Ciaran Laval says:

    Umm marked decrease that should say!

  64. I agree, this blog has been giving me (and many others, I assume) less and less reasons to check it out on a daily basis.

    The one SL log-in message to “search forums for the update…” was laughable. Was everybody expected to immediately log off and go on a wild goose chase for your upgrades?

    Sandor wrote: “Guess where I am spending my time in Sl these days? On Help Island. And guess what the most frequent question from newbies is? It is: Why should I be here? What is the point of this GAME?”

    If you can’t answer that, Sandor, stop hanging out there. That’s an excellent opportunity to extol the virtues of SL. SL means a lot of different things to everybody. If you can only answer with “LOL, dunno”, you need to get out more often.

    Sandor wrote: “…the second question newbies ask is: why is everywhere so deserted apart from Help Island?”

    Another easy question (one of the reasons people go to help islands, to HELP) – this one can be answered by simply clicking your Map button.

    This blog page has become the equivalent of a non-helpful person on Help Island. It should be a place where people (new and old) can learn something new on a daily basis, but it has become like a frustrated user that’s not interested in putting forth any effort to help at all.

  65. Gofy Collas says:

    Ok folks, let’s stop the panicking and lets think about this logically. Do you really think LindenLabs would not of thought about the whole “handing out” your password thing? Looking at it from an outside prospective do you think a multimillion dollar company would put their security at risk as well as holding the reputation of handing out our details etc?

    Come on peoples relax enjoy yourselves
    As for the whole revamp “rawk it” SecondLife ‘If’ this pulls off it seems that it will offer allot more than is already on offering looking forward to seeing it.

    Oh one last thing? Can we maybe think about fixing HUDS that disappear ? kthanks my TARDIS is now lost forever in space and time commonly known as the inventory server.

    Oh and I think you should give Torley a pay rise and a coffee cup with his name on it… ALL HAIL THE GREAT TORLEY LINDEN SHAMERLAMADINGDONG!
    I know my spelling and grammer sucks but you know what “I AM STILL AWESOME”

    Goffy Collas for CEO of Linden Labs – VOTE GOFFY

  66. Raff Magic says:

    Hi.
    I’m a developer and I know the technology under “Single Sign On” systems (although I studied them years ago and there are some technical details that I don’t remember very well). Simply speaking, SSO works in this way:

    – you login in the site you trust;
    – the site generate a secret code;
    – the site send the secret code to your browser and redirect you to another site;
    – the code is given to the other site and the other site verifies if it is valid;
    – if so, you login automatically in the other site.

    So the only thing the other site will know is the secret code, that is generated randomly and doesn’t contain any personal information about you.

    However I’m not a Linden, so I don’t know if this is the technology that they effectively use, but there aren’t any technical reason to not use it.
    Instead Linden Lab can have legal problems sharing password and account informations (is a privacy matter), so I think that they use this technology.

    Hope this help to clarify what “Single Sign On” is 🙂

  67. uh-oh says:

    Easy enough, create an account for blogging with a seperate password that is different from your main accounts password and you should be safe.
    Also use a different machine with a different IP address and again you should be safe from any attempts to hack your account.

  68. Novis Dyrssen says:

    Do we finally get the possibility to set passwords that are separated from our accounts?

  69. Ambergris says:

    “We are on track with a multi-stage process of upgrading our Web presence, including both the Blog and the Forums.”

    Does that include returning the BBcode to the forums and keeping the ability to attach pictures as well?

    We never got a clear reason why the code was taken away in the first place, and attaching pictures feature is intermittent at best; which is unfortunate considering that is a vital tool for the classifieds.

    And so is the ability to simply click on SLurls, blog links and such.
    I do hope working on those two features is also part of your goals.

    A big reason why the media panned on the Second Life site was how archiac and odd the forums looked without the code. I personally do not care what the media thinks, maybe you do at LL.

    What I care about is usability and being able to use a resource that has its basic components in working order.

    ty for listening
    -AB

  70. Jonathan Snow says:

    To all your positivo’s about logging in. Read the LL tos from the forums. If you say something wrong about LL, you can loose your inworld account. No wonder nobody dares to say its opinion. we slowly have adapted to the idctatorial regime. Stay polite always to the gods and think your own and you will survive in SL

  71. Actingill Igaly says:

    I take it all back Lindens. Communist Labs just proved the need for blog censorship. How about kicking him back to the pre-teen grid where he so obviously belongs.

  72. We’ve been so well behaved that isn’t it a coincidence that there’s suddenly lots of spam?

  73. Cute, well my speed reading times improved drastically.

    Sugar

  74. I might have my disagreements with the company’s policy, but communist they surely are not. 😛

    On the topic, this sounds good. At least I won’t have to keep track of this WP logon I only signed up for to be able to make “logging into the blog” easier.

    Also I am sure they’re not going to just give customers’ passwords away to a 3rd party, in any case. Just like any business, they want to stay IN business. Giving away customer information rather defeats the purpose, does it not? 😛

  75. Robin Linden says:

    Sorry for that onslaught of nastiness, everyone.

    @74 – It certainly does, whether inadvertently or on purpose. Protecting resident accounts is of paramount importance.

  76. Qie says:

    Well, when they clean out that mess, it should free up some space for comments, so here goes:

    I’m hoping there will be some framework that structures navigation among all the various blogs, forums, jira issues, knowledge base, etc. Or, at the very least, among the blogs, so to the general user, it looks like a coherent collection of information, not a bunch of hidden-by-separation, disconnected destinations.

    The fact that there are (or will be) RSS (and ATOM?) feeds from all the blogs makes this need a little less urgent for users with their own aggregators, but that’s not the most important audience for much of this information.

    A suggestion relevant to SSO: It may be worth considering OpenID for authentication to blogs, forums–and SL itself.

    Robin, be reassured by the fact that folks are eager to know about SL happenings and want to provide input. If they didn’t care and stopped talking, the game would be up.

  77. Ciaran Laval says:

    That onslaught of nastiness was a good example of why our comments should be tied to our inworld accounts.

  78. Sandor Balczo says:

    @64:

    I have spent a huge part of my Second Life (seventeen months) touring SL and going to the most incredible places and I always recommend quite a few to those who ask.

    I think you slightly missed the point of my post, which was surely not admitting I do not know how to answer those questions. My point is, I quote:

    How can we keep new users into SL if we do not know how to reply to this basic question (what’s the point of this game?), because we are not sure of our future?

    In my humble opinion, LL is getting estranged and I believe our future is at stake.

    I would REALLY appreciate it if people read my complete post and eventually commented on the whole content rather than snipping parts and pasting them on personal criticism out of context or just plainly wrong.

    I go to help island to HELP, especially non-English speakers.

    As a matter of fact, there are a few pseudo-mentors there who publicly express their dislike for my eagerness to help because they spend time in Help Island to chat or to move their power weight around, when they do not correct my language when I am helping someone (it doesn’t matter that I speak English well, they just do it for the pleasure of disrupting my service). Those are the ones you should criticize, actually, not me who help people in Italian, French, Spanish AND English.

    Sandor 🙂

  79. Taff Nouvelle says:

    @ 70.
    Read some of my posts, I say what I think, if I think LL are wrong, then I say that, you will not be banned for disagreeing , but you may be for being over the top about it, Politeness is not a part of the TOS it is part of life. If you attack a person in RL, expect to get a reaction, the same applies here 🙂

    @ 58.
    I have used the Live Text Help many times and have never been kept waiting for more than a few minutes. The staff there are always very helpful. Even when I have been somewhat rude, as I am afraid I have been at times. That is the one part of SL customer support that they have got right, and I would like to say thank you to all the people on there.

    @ Sandor.

    A lot of new people still come to SL expecting to be taight the rules of game play, how to WIN the game. They are not used to a virtual world platform, just computer games, which SL most certainly is not.
    They either ” get it” quickly, or leave.
    a little O/T.
    The ones that leave after a few hours, of which that are many, are still count5ed as live accounts, that is one thing that does need addressing, any account that is created, used for leass than say 5 days in the first month should be deleted after an email is sent informing the user. That is one very simple way to make more sense of account numbers.

  80. My apologies Sandor, I should not have used you as an excuse to make a point.

    Keep up the great work. Your efforts make a big difference and I should never discourage you simply to make a point about the blog becoming less helpful. I guess it could be considered a cheap-shot on my part, and I’m disappointed in myself for it. When we depreciate the hard work of others, it diminishes ourselves and the community.

    But as far as the hard work being done on this blog – grrrr, don’t get me started. Haha 😉

  81. Phantom Ninetails says:

    It would be nice if you would start posting blogs about what is new in server and client releases again. How about you start by posting information about all the releases you have missed up until now; I think the last one was when Mono was released? We’ve been through several versions since then, no?

  82. Jasmine Chemistry says:

    A couple of personal points –

    First point –

    I have been a victim of identity theft, and it was due to my corporation having outsourced to a third party some activities that involved employee information. Someone broke in, stole computers with data, and three days later “I” suddenly showed up in a part of the country that I don’t live in.

    I know there are many ways to protect security, but I am very uncomfortable with putting my SL name and password in anywhere but directly into a Linden site, especially with some of the scam sites that have popped up. I have payment information associated, and I really don’t want to have to fight fraud issues again.

    Second Point –

    I have been with many companies that have said “we are going to focus on our core competencies” and there have been some issues with that which were not identified until later. The issues revolved around defining what was a core competency and what was vital for supporting that core competency.

    Is your core the grid?
    Is it the creative environment?
    Is it the ability for communication?

    What is needed for those core competencies to actually be effective?
    Quick Updates?
    Training?
    References that are searchable?
    Volunteer Support?

    Third comment –

    I find the easiest way to support new user experience is to give them easily accessible information. One of the ways was putting some links on the login page – seen every time, refers them directly to a place for more information, and there was plenty of screen for doing this. I know when I started, this was a great way to learn what was happening on the grid, what new learning opportunities there were, and any “blah blah” notices that someone needed to put out. I appreciated frank and open comments about what was going on. It was so nice to not see every statement being something that a lawyer would have regurgitated (nothing personal about lawyers, but as a class when involved with communications it’s too liability bound and information content limited).

    To reiterate:
    Very nervous on introducing a third party with login information
    Make sure your core competencies include your support functions
    Keep a common overview, such as the login page, to coordinate all those lovely tidbits of extra information we need.

    I wish I could be more erudite, more capable of getting important points across, to let you know that some of your improvements are good while helping you see others seemingly detract because there is less informational content. This is the best I could do.

  83. Katt Linden says:

    No third party will have login information, that will remain with Linden Lab.

  84. Katt Linden says:

    @ 81 Phantom, you’ll find Server and Client Status information collected on the Second Life Grid Status Report page, at https://status.secondlifegrid.net/

  85. Phantom Ninetails says:

    The status report page has information about beta server updates, and information about final client releases, but nothing about what’s new in each release candidate client or in each server update on the main grid. In fact it seems there was even a server update recently without a message posted on the status page at all.

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  89. Robin Linden says:

    @86 – Comments were turned off because we were experiencing an onslaught of very nasty spam.

    @88 – It was a mistake to offer a date initially. Sometimes these projects take longer than you hope. Ultimately we’ll be better off for taking longer, because it will be more difficult for someone to post the type of incredibly offensive “comments” that showed up yesterday.

    If you have more feedback or would like to talk about the blog further, please feel free to join me in my next office hour, 31 October at 12:00 PM Pacific.

  90. Pepper Haas says:

    Well, I think communications HAVE been improving. After over a year of people complaining about it, LL finally removed the annoying Release Keys button from our screens!! So someone is listening!

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