Where to Find Updates from Linden Lab

Hi, Katt Linden here with a roundup of our main methods of communicating with you. First, I want to acknowledge that I have heard your concerns and complaints about the changes to the blog and the login screen. In answer to your questions about where to find key information, please see:

  • Second Life Grid Status Reports. We are collecting all information about the status of the Grid — known issues, new server and viewer software and, very important to those planning events, a calendar showing planned outages, such as rolling restarts. We collect this in one location so that those needing this level of update can find it easily, without having to sort through blog posts on unrelated topics. You can subscribe to this by RSS or Twitter, which means you can have updates sent to your mobile phone.
  • Official Second Life Blog. You can subscribe to the Second Life Blog by Email or by RSS or Twitter.
  • Video Tutorials by Torley are being updated regularly. Find the latest, or search for the topic you’re interested in learning via the category Browse or Search tabs, in the Tutorials section of the Showcase. You’ll also find these Tutorials on the Second Life Wiki Video Tutorials page. To be updated whenever there is a new one, subscribe to the Video Tutorials using RSS.
  • New Releases. When we release new versions of the Viewer, you’ll see the announcement on the SL Grid Status Reports, and Release notes can be found in the Release Notes section of the Wiki. In most cases, we will also provide a link to a forum discussion thread where we read and respond to comments over several days. We use the forum for this because a discussion there can continue for several days, allowing Residents from a variety of time zones to participate.
  • As you may have seen during Burning Life, we created a special web site for the yearly event, in part to showcase the year-round events which will take place there. We anticipate continuing to build sites like this for special situations.
  • The “Message of the Day” is the notice you see during the login process, (one or two lines of text, under the thermometer progress bar showing your login progress.) We have recently used this for a variety of announcements, from Linden hosted events like the Second Life 5th Birthday and Burning Life 2008, to optional testing of of new viewers, invitations to join in a localization project and occasional security announcements, as well as for tips on using Second Life. We’ll start noting new Tutorial Videos and Knowledge Base Articles here as well.
  • As many of you have noted, we are not currently showing blog headlines on the Login screen. These will return, as part of the process of updating our blogs, but not for some time.
  • Torley Linden and Katt Linden both have Twitter accounts you can follow. We’ll be experimenting with using these for additional, informal updates, and we’ll be happy to hear your feedback.

As Robin said in her recent post, the main, Official Second Life Blog will continue to hold our formal announcements and posts from our Executive team. We’re working to post here more often.

This official, main blog will be joined by a variety of other blogs, authored by Lindens, where we’ll be able to go deeper into specific topics. It is our intention to communicate with you more often and more broadly, but we ask for your patience during the process of updating the blogs.

We very much look forward to our ongoing conversation with you, on the blogs and elsewhere.

This entry was posted in Blog Improvements, Community, Events, Other Blogs, Resident Experience, Tips & Tricks. Bookmark the permalink.

63 Responses to Where to Find Updates from Linden Lab

  1. Dekka Raymaker says:

    a line space between the bullet points would have made that much easier to read

  2. Harper says:

    Most blog software doesn’t do that. WordPress keeps bullet points together of a certainty, and this blog is currently running on wordpress.com.

    We now return you to your regularly scheduled comments.

  3. ZenWarrior Fuosing says:

    Greatly informative post, Katt. Thank you. :^)

    (Now, if only we can get people to actually read the Knowledge Base and view Torley’s videos.)

  4. Katt Linden says:

    Ok, line breaks it is. Took a bit of html.

  5. Jonnyfx Pontchartrain says:

    So basically, you used to have one easy to find location for pretty much everything you’ve listed here, and now it’s distributed over a bunch of different locations some of which are linked from and some which we have to dig around for.

    And this is an improvement how?

  6. No news to me hasn’t this been going on for a while now?

  7. It really would be better if everything was in one location. I now am subscribed to the Official Blog and the Grid Status RSS feeds, but it’s really annoying. I’d rather have one RSS feed which lists all communication attempts, rather than following 3 feeds, 2 twitters, 1 forum (do you still block people there? If so, it’s not worth anything), 2 websites, 2 viewer messages (of which one is skipped, as I use the -login parameter, because the viewer itself doesn’t allow multiple accounts easily).
    I understand you wanted to change things, but the plain old everything-on-one-blog method you used to have is so much better than anything we have now. Sure, you had 100 “fix stuff now”-replies, you can still post on the blog and allow constructive comments on the forum, if you have to. But PLEASE just put everything in one place, this just doesn’t make any sense at all.

  8. Sorry to say that, but to me it seems that you have become experts in “formal announcements”. These “par ordre de mufti” are p(l)ainly visible on the blog, everything else we have to seek on different pages. I am quite versed in using the internet, visiting forums and blogs, but the different websites of Second Life always remind me of a treasure hunt when I am looking for a specific information.

    And as long as my post isn’t deleted as OT, which it isn’t, or offensive, which it isn’t either, please answer me one question, Kate.

    Doesn’t it seem strange to you that you use such nice words like “formal announcements”, “communicating “, “respond”, “participate”, β€œMessage of the Day”, “conversation”, but you never use the very simple word DIALOG in your well-phrased post? Dialog with your customers is what I am missing and what a lot of others here are missing, too, if I read the forum correctly and I guess I do even though I am no native speaker of english.

    I hope this post does not otherwise “bust the rules” and gets deleted as happens all too often to posts at this blog that ask critical questions.

  9. Firelight Simca says:

    You don’t mention press releases. Apparently, M did a press release to a reporter, but it didn’t show up on any of these communication channels. Since it was about the recent price increase, I think a lot of people in the SL community would want to see it.

  10. Adam Spark says:

    I don’t get separating everything either.

    Go to secondlife.com. Link from there to blog.secondlife.com for news. Period.

    Using sites like Twitter and Flickr for different things is cool – but communication would be improved greatly if we didn’t have to surf the web for 20 minutes to read up on everything. I don’t mind scrolling through a page of posts – but going from one site to another to another is annoying.

  11. hernworsley says:

    Moving Torley’s excellent and helpfull videos off the main blog is maybe not the best idea imo considering the very people who need him the new players should be able to access him from the most visible locations. Also he just helped put a rather more cheery outlook on SL that seems to have deserted us more recently *cough*
    I think that making one of your best assets harder to find and thus lowering exposure is never a good idea.

    Other than that its not rocket science to find other info but for new players who need him most i would like to see him back on the blog.

  12. dirktalamasca says:

    @ 10

    Scattering information willy nilly is the way they keep track of things.

  13. Doris Haller says:

    I once read a sign at an airport where a company was offering its baggage deliver service like this: “We take your bags and send them in all directions”.

    You way to hide the information from us reminds me of this. πŸ™‚

  14. pantaiputih korobase says:

    why not one ‘communication’ site where from you can navigate to blogs, grid status, forums etc. etc with the current most recent entries clickable as headlines? would be much easier to navigate instead of spreading your communication on different places of the SL site. It was ever confusing to find certain information hidden here or there. e.g. it took me ages just to discover that THERE are forums at all πŸ™‚
    you also could include a ‘communications FAQ section’ including a ‘what to find where’ on this page.
    at least you brought back the blog to live. for me, it was (and now is again) the most important source of quickly to find SL info including but not limited to the current mood your residents are in (even if it is often whining)
    p.s. I feel stability really got better the last months. to work on this further, i.e kepp stability and reduce lag is the most critical task for LL in my eyes, so keep on with that!

  15. Your attempts to hide bad news are amusing. LOL

    BTW. one of your links just gives a 404 error. If I was feeling helpful I would say which.

  16. bigjay says:

    Bring everything back to the blog. It was very useful to just check the blog and find all the information. Now we have to check a number of websites. Its even more difficult for new users, who need the information most. Especially the excellent videos by Torley.

  17. @ 15 , I noticed that 2 lol but I didn’t feel like being helpful either πŸ˜›

  18. Shyie String says:

    Finally some kind of “list” of which way the information went.

    (Some people says it went < —- that way though…)

    It is a good thought with separating different issues, but that is as far as it is good.
    Information must be easy to find, and not have to be searched for at who knows how many places? I’ll second Daedalus (@7) on this!

    Also forums are a nice idea for deeper talk, BUT as far as for searching for information they are useless – especially since they need to be logged into. The blog is much easier to get the information from as searchengines indexes it as well.
    My own personal experience abuot forums is that they (unfortunately) narrows the information exchange down to a rather small clientele compared to open exchange like the blog. This way many voices actually gets lost and creative comments might never get aired.

    Sure there are troubles with all the “fix this now” messages on the blog, but why not reshape the blog to allow more messages, but for a limited time? Like 500 messages for up to 3 days or someting? That would make it easier for all that isn’t comfortable with forums, for whatever reason.

    And although there is a (rather small) linklist at the top of this blog (the upper left), make a better summary of ALL information channels that are sticky.
    And that on ALL blogs etc… So whichever information channel one visits first, the others are as easy to find. Of couse that includes surfable web addresses as well as feeds.

    LL needs to improve the reputation among a lot of the customers, and one good way to go is to really work on making the communication easier, more of a dialogue, and not so constrained by obscuring diversions and hiding behind logins.

    Finally as a closing comment… Don’t rely on thirdparty networks for information such as twitter. Not everyone cares about them, uses them or even knows about them.
    Plain simple information exchange on one easily findable place is always the best.

    And oh… don’t forget to update the info often, as even minor things can be of interest for the general public πŸ™‚

  19. Walentine Andersson says:

    Another good way for Linden to keep the customers informed would be to use that,,,,hmmm whats the name???,,,,oh thats right,,,MAIL!

    Like for example when you start to screw us and decide to destroy our business and raise tiers with 66%, then mail would be a perfect way to use mail instead of just posting to a blog

    Or is your mailserver down, but you are working on it?

  20. Winter Ventura says:

    first link.. 404’d

  21. iliveisl says:

    Thank you Linden Labs for being real. It’s a business and it’s also about people. You guys are doing great in my book! =D

  22. Alisha Matova says:

    I am looking for Jack’s update.

    gotta be here somewhere…

  23. Meph says:

    I’ve read several times that there are changes coming to this blog. Maybe it’s also a good idea to change the them for this blog. There are many very good themes around for wordpress with a much better view than this long listing.

    As example the Mimbo Theme
    http://www.darrenhoyt.com/2007/08/05/wordpress-magazine-theme-released/

    And here the Revolution Theme
    http://www.revolutiontheme.com/

    Ok, it’s a bit tricky to work with custom fields but you have much more possibilities to have a well designed and clear blog with all informations on one page. For my own blog i’m using the brandford magazine theme, also free available for wordpress It’s based on the themes above and my visitors tolds me, that it is easy to navigate through the site.

    I can understand you that you try to seperate all informations, but for a good comunication and dialog with your users it isn’t the best way.

  24. Cliff Dieffenbach says:

    The blog here is a single source location for all things SL. I don’t see why there would be a need to take away from it.

    Where I’m really shocked is the split for grid status. The blog here provided immediate (almost real-time) feedback to you Lindens. There have been NUMEROUS times where Lindens found out about problems remaining when the grid went nutty & [RESOLVED] was posted. Granted blog posts are capped, but a lot of the time that’s all the comment space needed.

    Putting the Grid status announcements on a sister location without comments seems counter-productive. I can understand the precious jira, but come on now. Grid status was immediate notice and immediate feedback and EVERYONE knew where to go.

    Are we working together? It seems we’re growing further apart.

  25. ZoHa Boa says:

    where do we find updates about the new price change of the OS sims.
    I have been to the meeting of Jack Linden ; I had 3 questions over there. They never gave an answer to it but they did promise that they will look at it.

    A lot of people have a lot of questions without answers….

    Put EVERYTHING on the blog with links to the different websites.

    Then we only have to check the blog and we can read what we want to. I don ‘t have the time to visit 10 different websites several times per day to see if there is something interesting for me.

  26. Ener Hax says:

    well, i want to say more, so same person two diff wordpress ids (derr on me)

    as a sim owner, i understand the “mean” comments here, but it’s a response from fear and all that stuff. i was bummed too with that OS stuff

    but this post is not about that, i want to extend my heartfelt thank you to you and Torley for continuing to make SL more successful and keep it as the leader in virtual worlds

    keep up the great work and if SL was not so important to so many people, you’d never get bad comments

    hopefully i may be able to thank you in person next month when i am onsite πŸ™‚ *hugs Katt*

  27. Christos Atlantis says:

    TY Katt for the update, you M and Jack are taking allot of bullets lately and are doing so with lot’s of dignity most of those attacking you would lash back with name calling and childish anger, as they do with each other in the forum arguments, for I comend you.

    I as some others do agree though that a central page with all the news would be a better solution, one page the will be used as your portal to communicate with the world, not only your users, I see a page like yahoo, MSN news page.

    Whatever your choice though, we are always looking forward to hearing the great things, sometimes unpopular things, new things Linden Labs is doing.

  28. Cliff Dieffenbach says:

    …and the first link is http, not https.

  29. Argos Hawks says:

    If there isn’t 1 place to check for all relevant information, the system is broken.

  30. Juko Tempel says:

    It is a helpful list, but also evidence that you’re not listening.. earlier feedback already indicated that people are looking for consolidation.. it would help for telling new residents where to find information too.

  31. Vittorio Beerbaum says:

    Hi Katt, whenever i think that most of us are “smart” enough to use the new form of communication, i believe that important ones, especially if they gonna change the terms of a service (indeed im referring to the recent OS price policy…) that is regulated by a RL law, should be communicated in the proper way, i don’t mean you need to send letters to the ppl (if you live here in Italy you should! πŸ™‚ ), but at least emails, to inform anyone about it.
    I know many SIM payors that are just payors that doesn’t login so much, or doesn’t read this blog at all.. and i can imagine the “surprise” when they look at their credit card with an unxpected debit.
    So it’s ok to tell us here: hey we gonna look into the VPN… blablabla… it is NOT to use this blog to communicate to a CUSTOMER that you are charging him +67% more.. i believe that any court would agree that a internet blog is NOT the proper way of communication between the parties (especially because it is not between them, but you post here and you expect that anyone will read it.. no > you need to inform any single customer “personally”).
    Cheers.

  32. Darien Caldwell says:

    It’s the stuff they don’t post in the blog, forums and on Twitter you should be worried about. :p

  33. Jayden Emmons says:

    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s useful information.

    Might I ask that if you change where information can be found in the future, you inform people through the location where it was previously found? I don’t log in often, but need to know when new updates are released because I am in charge of supporting a number of people who cannot update their own viewers (because they don’t have administrative access to their machines).

    Twice now, I have been following a resource (the old viewer updates mailing list, which has now been deleted, and the Second Life Blog) for that information, and there has been no indication that information about new releases has been moved to another resource. I didn’t find out until the users I’m supporting told me that they couldn’t log in (as in the case of the last security update) — and they’re usually trying to log in because they need to do work or attend a meeting — which they then couldn’t do until I could come around and perform the install.

    Keeping people updated on where they can find information really helps everything run more smoothly.

  34. It would also be cool if the viewer’s log in screen could contain some useful and current information. Maybe like headlines from the last few blog entries, or from the last few grid status messages. Or if nothing else, then this list of bullet points and links, would look just fine on the viewer login screen.

    Just saying. It is kind of one place that everyone who uses SL is bound to see them.

    The pictures of wide empty landscapes are a bit boring, after all.

  35. Taff Nouvelle says:

    Great , now if you can just actually uodate the grid status page to reflect the grid status, that may just be slightly useful.

    By the way where do we find the latest statements from Jack?
    Is he back from his holiday yet??

  36. nekosl says:

    You have an RSS for the main blog and the Grid Statue page, will the other ‘coming soon’ blogs have their own RSS? How about an RSS for new Tutorials, one for the Knowledgebase, and an RSS that includes all the other RSS feeds into one.

  37. ChatNoir Moonsoo says:

    One way of providing for timely updates would be *not* to censor posts in open blog entries before making sure that you understand the issue at hand, Katt.

  38. vidd says:

    Would be nice if you provided one page that aggregates the latest content from all the various sources (even if just the RSS feeds summaries or some such?). And from there, easy to navigate to the various blogs, etc when one wants to dig deeper.

    At a later stage, if the content you put out becomes that diverse, maybe even allow each user to customize said page with the content they are more interested in. I’m jus’aying… I dream of a future with my own selection of jira+wiki+blogs+grid status+forum+kitchen sink all neatly displayed to my taste in one single page (that i dont have to code myself). That and a sexy, low maintenance, robotic maid.

  39. GarGraVarr Rau says:

    Will Torley’s Vid ever be on iTunes again, that was a most helpful when I was able to download them and view offline

  40. menubar says:

    Um, it’s called a “Progress Bar”, not a “Thermometer”.

    Sorry, just a pet-peeve from doing UI design all these years.

  41. Joshe Darkstone says:

    yes, I was censored again. so i was off topic. what do you expect when you ignore the biggest mess you’ve ever created?

    ON TOPIC: it would make sense to not have to post blogs about a list of where to find things because you had a list of where to find things easily accessible from your website, instead of burying it in the blog archives tomorrow.

  42. xavion says:

    i wish theyd make a part of the website a lil area with a list of projects going on like mono havok 4 etc so we know what big project is going on atm like rumors were that there working on dynamic shadows or flexi sculpty prims and something about new bump mapping i dunno if this is true but im going by rumors

  43. Bishop Simondsen says:

    Somebody said something once about how intelligence isn’t really so much about what you know inasmuch as it is that you know WHERE to find what you are looking for.

    With that said, I now say: “Thanks, Katt, for showing us where to go for the information we’re looking for!!”

  44. How about putting the RSS headline back onto the login page. Makes it VERY SIMPLE for people to see some current news. Why make people do the run around to stay updated with things. How come its almost 2009 & we cant have a RSS button feed inworld up by the L$ button. Make it light up when updated news is posted to the sites. Click it & see what recently has been posted. Once people are in world most do not want to go looking at websites all day long to find out that L$ transactions are stale again. Make things a little more easier on people.

  45. Katt Linden says:

    Jack’s latest update: http://blog.secondlife.com/2008/10/29/update-regarding-the-openspaces-announcement/

    Press Releases are here: http://lindenlab.com/pressroom/releases

    We will be putting the RSS (blog) headlines back on the login page, after the new blogs are launched.

    You can get to Torley’s videos from the Official Second Life Blog, see the link in the top left column.

    Once we launch the new blogs, I’ll set up a single page for all the subscription links (RSS, Twitter, etc.)

    “Progress Bar” — Check! Thanks!

  46. Windy Lurra says:

    City of Heroes has a digest section, which collects all postings made by the developers and staff. That makes it a LOT easier to find messages posted by the staff, especially in topics where there’s a couple thousand responses. Is there something like that available already? If not, it might be a worthwhile feature to add to the forums.

  47. Anny Helsinki says:

    we need a notification inworld when LL sends a new blog , and we need inworld-notes when LL see some disruptions of services.

    huggs
    Anny

  48. Hodgey Hogfather says:

    The list you made is helpful, Katt, but points out the problem, too. Many of us just want a simple brief info phrase and link to the appropriate place where we can read more, on the login page. You know, the latest going’s on …click here, like there used to be before you improved the communications via RSS, twitter, etc. We don’t all use that high tech stuff…too much for my old pea-brain, anyhow. eh eh. So, can we get some good simple info links back on the login splash page? Please?

  49. rightasrain says:

    Katt–a blog is a tool not communication in and of itself. Like email is useless if the other party doesn’t read it or respond. We know some of you at LL are trying, but it sure feels like LL communicates by either tossing crumbs out or hitting us with cattle prods (ok, some of us like that).

  50. It’s nice to at least see this information documented here, but I think we’re all wondering why the new version announcements, video tutorials, and other useful things aren’t just posted here on the blog anymore. Why spread them out across so many sites and services? It seems to me that doing so just dilutes your message and serves your customers less effectively.

  51. Amilie Anatine says:

    AND it would be call if ALL THESE LINKS were in the main viewer login screen when you start up second life!!!!!

    wow what a concept!

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  53. Amilie Anatine says:

    how about a link to a policy page so we all know what all the new rules are, what land prices are, and where we can go to get the info when lindens make all their decisions before consulting with the community

  54. Inara Pey says:

    I’ve heard of “divide and conquer” – but “divide and obfusticate” is a totally new one on me.

    Congrats again to Kat and the gang at LL for clarifying the senseless muddying of LL’s methods of “communication” by making it clear that things are…muddied…

  55. Ciaran Laval says:

    The City of Heroes digest section sounds perfect for the main blog. Man I miss city of Heroes!

  56. Eva Ryan says:

    How about a link in ALL the pages that point to all others. Do you realize how many clicks it is to get to the LSL Wiki page from the account page? Just list them all as a sidebar…how hard can that be?

  57. Raudf Fox says:

    I am grateful for the update, but I have to say, you’ve manged to take something that was mildly useful and made it completely useless. You’ve decentralized your communications and made it harder for us to find things in the process.

    My suggestion is this: Allow the non-executive Lindens to post a small blurb of what they’re covering on this blog with a link to their individual blogs for an in depth discussion. Because I can’t see the executives having the time or the inclination to post here very much, removing the main function of this blog.

    Alternatively, bring back Linden Announcements to the forum so we can see when something is updated without all the RSS feeds. I have enough of those as it is!

  58. Ewan Mureaux says:

    Was there not a blog months ago telling us new forums in october? It’s november now.

    Any I don’t think you should need to post various lists and links as a refresher there should be one page constantly with important news and links to the more detailed sections. People don’t want to check 10 places they want a digest like this blog used to be. so maybe something like secondlife.com/news would have all of the recent relevant news whether its servers or viewers or more things you discovered down the back of the couch.

  59. Shatter Roundel says:

    Wow tough crowd eh Katt? I guess I can understand the price increase has my rolling also. Either which way thanks for the update. I for one know you and Torley and alot of folks in LL works your hinney’s off trying to help. Thank you for the info πŸ™‚

  60. Jessicka says:

    I thought you were trying to make the blog easier? You’re making it rampantly more difficult to access all the important information, and pushing residents away onto other blogs, and the forums…

    Do we embarass you?

  61. Jessicka says:

    I’m sorry for the double post, I hope someone else pointed it out to you Lindens.

    But the fact that you have to make a blog post to tell us where all the information we want is; should be a very clear, very glaring, and very blatant statement to your entire company that you all are making communication unnecessarily more difficult, contrary to what was said earlier (multiple times) that somehow, in some way, scattering information all over the website, versus how it was all in one link…Is more useful, efficient, and whatever nonsense.

  62. Thanks for the clarifying post Kat, but still not good enough 😦

    The BLOG was, and should return to being the main communcation tool that we residents expect it to be.

    Announcements of grid down time, server upgrades, client upgrades, rolling restarts, new Torley videos, new Knowledge Base articles, they all need to be announced HERE, in the Blog.

    If there is a lot of detail to accompany the announcment, sure, provide a link to the applicable side page, but the Blog should the the MAIN SOURCE of information.

    Anything less is just an sad attempt at hiding unpleasant news 😦

    Wish I wasn’t growing so disenheartened with SL…

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