Saturday, December 15, 2007

Goodbye Cory...Goodbye Second Life?

This week it was brought to light that Cory Linden had been asked to leave Linden Lab and therefore, Second Life.

Before I dwell on the consequence's of this, I want to say this to Cory. Thank You for your hard work, your many hours of devotion, for your vision and strength to see them through to fruition. Your leadership of Second Life cannot be understated and your devotion to the Customers and the World itself will be missed. While I have from time to time rode your back for the way things were going in Second Life, I hope you know we both have been striving for the same thing, a stable and wonderful world of Second Life.

Now friends, let's examine this very closely. Cory Linden was (reported to be) the fourth person hired by Philip Rosedale. Cory actually wrote the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) and had his hands in so many pieces of Second Life that it's an understatement to say that he will be missed; it just may be that Second Life itself will suffer greatly because Philip Rosedale couldn't see how much Cory cared about the world itself.

While I have called for drastic changes in the management of Second Life, I never, nor would I have ever, thought that firing Cory Linden was a good idea. The problem with firing Cory Linden is that HE was Mr. Second Life. His hands have touched every single part of Second Life and his brilliance can be seen throughout the world. Not only that, but the employee's under Cory Linden were devoted more to him then to Mr. Rosedale and therefore we may see more departures in the near future. This is my largest concern at the moment. Just how many unhappy Linden Lab employee's will decide not to stick around since Cory, their boss and their vision giver, has been shown the door. If too many of the staff decide to look for other opportunities, I fear Second Life will be in even worse disrepair then it was, even more so then in November 2007; the "Black Month" of Linden Lab.

Personally I think, and have held my tongue until today, that it should have been Mr. Rosedale that stepped aside and let someone else take control. Cory Linden would have been a wonderful choice, except Cory Linden had different ideas about where Second Life should go. We can only guess what those different ideas were, but we can extrapolate some thoughts based on what we have seen thus far. Mr. Rosedale has been pushing for the complete commercialization of Second Life, instead of letting it be a world of creative output and social harmony, Mr. Rosedale would rather Second Life be a virtual Shopping Mall filled with all the big name companies. Therefore, I must assume that Cory Linden's "different ideas" would rather have seen either a total and complete residential world, or probably would have rather seen some half and half world, where Residential areas reside with commercial areas. It's been no secret to the "old-timers" that Mr. Rosedale has been trying to commercialize Second Life, even from the very first year of it's existence. While I understand how appealing that might be to the bottom line of the balance sheet at the end of the day, I am compelled to say that without people to visit and live in the world, then all you will have is one empty shopping mall.

Whether you agree with me or not concerning the idea of commercializing Second Life, I think everyone will agree with me when I say that saying Goodbye to Cory Linden might not just be hard, it might be prophetical ; the next Goodbye just might be to Second Life.

Goodbye Cory, and I hope it's the last big Goodbye I have to report for a very long time.

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