Saturday, December 20, 2008
This is great news, as it had been feared the USS would have to close down because of the OpenSpace fiasco.
Congratulations to Linden Lab and USS for working out a compromise!
Now, with this precedent set, let me be the first to ask, just WHO can the rest of the OpenSpace people turn to, to get Linden Lab assistance to keep their OpenSpace SIM converted to a "joint community project"? Is Linden Lab going to help every single person that got screwed or does Linden Lab only care about the "BIG MONEY" people in Second Life?
I will of course be asking Linden Lab this very question, but I doubt they will respond. As we all know, Linden Lab and the employee's that work there only talk, they don't listen, and they certainly won't answer the difficult questions put forth, so please don't expect a response.
I'm glad that Linden Lab helped out the LARGE group USS, but I'm unhappy to NOT hear of any help going out to those OpenSpace users that don't own 130 OpenSpace SIMs. Once again, Management has spoken, they care only about MONEY, not about what's fair.
I must therefore point out again, "past behaviour predicts future actions", Philip was the CEO at REALNetworks and it was run into the ground, I guess Second Life is next.
Friday, December 19, 2008
An interesting quote from the post is this:
"and many thoughtful conversations with the community"
Before we get started lets take a look at the definition for "Conversations":
"informal interchange of thoughts, information, etc., by spoken words; oral communication between persons; talk; colloquy."
From we need to now look at what "Communication" would mean. once again we look up the deginition at dictionary.com:
"to give or interchange thoughts, feelings, information, or the like, by writing, speaking, etc.: They communicate with each other every day."
Now that we have those definitions, let's take a close look at that quote by Jack Linden.
Jack Linden is trying to stretch the truth when he says that Linden Lab had many thoughtful conversations with the Community. The act of Conversing requires Communicating, which means as we see, the EXCHANGE of ideas, not just asking people for their feedback and then walk away and refuse to listen to the feedback and act upon it. Instead our friends at Linden Lab decided to blame the problems the OpenSpace SIMs were having on those that own OpenSpace SIMs; their paying customers!
The Failure of Linden Lab to Communicate with the OpenSpace Community has led to a flood of those in the OpenSpace Community to abandon their SIMs. The rumor is, and yes even a friend at Linden Lab chimed in, that 2000 SIMs were abandoned in November and that number has already been reached for the month of December. A friend of mine, who was a large OpenSpace SIM customer, did some math and just the 2000 abandoned SIMs in November would have made Linden Lab $1,000,000.00 a month. It's interesting to note that in this time of Economic Downturn, that Linden Lab can give up such a large revenue producer. I guess Linden Lab really doesn't need or want the Second Life Community.
Once again I must say that Linden Lab is working hard to destroy the world of Second Life. This blog posting today only goes to hurt the OpenSpace Community; not to try to heal it.
Thanks Philip, once again you and your employees are working hard to do the WRONG thing!
This is just another way that Linden Lab is trying to keep people from talking about the mess of the OpenSpace SIMs.
As you know, our wonderful incompetent management at Linden Lab announced that the OpenSpace SIM's would be reformed and re-priced at a higher rate of course.
What Linden Lab Management failed to mention was they alone were responsible for the OpenSpace SIM mess. Linden Lab sold OpenSpace SIM's at a lower price then the regular Private SIMs and gave those that bought them 3700 PRIM Limit. the Community of Second Life quickly bought up MANY of these OpenSpace SIMs and used them as any other property. Some became Landlords, some put up Commercial property, others put a bunch of them together and raced their sailboats. It goes without saying that the OpenSpace SIMs were a hit. Unfortunately, the Management team at Linden Lab didn't like what OpenSpace owners did, and decided to blame them for the lag in the world.
The REAL story though is that Linden Lab employee's and the Management team FAILED to watch what people were doing with OpenSpace SIMs. Now, to be fair, there were RULES that were supposed to be followed when you bought an OpenSpace SIM. The problem is many didn't read the fine print and did what everyone in Second Life does, use their land to the maximum. Linden Lab employees, including the Management Team, failed to investigate the OpenSpace Community to see what people were doing. IF the Linden Lab employee's were doing their job correctly, they would have contacted those people that were breaking the rules and inform them that they can't use these OpenSpace SIMs in the manner they were.
Instead of doing the RIGHT thing, Linden Lab decided to scrap the whole program (thowing out the baby with the bath water) and RAISE the price of OpenSpace SIMs along with telling some OpenSpace SIM owners that they would have to upgrade to a regular Private Sim if they continued to use their OpenSpace SIM in the manner they were operating now.
Of course, there was an outcry by the OpenSpace Community and more then 95% of those that spoke out were against this new Police announced by Linden Lab. This got the attention of our wimp leader and CEO M Linden and he announced that the Policy wouldn't take effect until June of 2009, giving OpenSpace SIM users a reprieve of 6 months.
I would like to point out that the responsible CEO knows that he needs to lead the Company in such a way as to make a Profit. Unfortunately, M Linden is apparently not trying to do this, because in November Linden Lab lost 2000 customers and the month of December might surpass this as OpenSpace SIM owners abandon Second Life for other places like OpenLife. Instead of making a Profit, what Linden Lab has done was run off PAYING Customers.
This is a sad time in Second Life. As Linden Lab employee's brush off Customers like flies at a picnic, and the Linden Lab Management team turns a Blind Eye. I fear that Second Life will soon, instead of LATER, be closing and the Second Life Community will be left with nothing but bad memories of how Philip, Robin, Blue, M, Tim, Howard, and the rest of the Management Team FAILED them.
It's time to start looking for a new home, one place that people can check out is OpenLife. It looks like they are moving forward and making progress. They are still in BETA, but you can already purchase Land there, and a full SIM will cost you $59USD a month, that also gives you 45000 PRIMS to use.
While it's sad that Second Life is failing fast, at least we have options to turn to. There are more placed then just OpenLife, if my readers know of these, please put a URL in the comment sections so others can find a new home.
As for Linden Lab, I guess you all have finally done it, you have run Second Life into the ground and pissed off the Second Life Community. It's too bad, you had a good start, but for the past three years you have failed the Community and Second Life. Instead of listening to the Second Life Community, you merely pretended to be concerned with the Community and their problems. Linden Lab failed to realize the most important rule of running a successful business; keep your Customers happy. Instead Linden Lab did everything they could to run our Loved Second Life into the ground and Failed the Second Life Community on all sides.
I wonder just how much of this mess has been caused by Philip's idea that Second Life needed to be on the bleeding edge. There's just one problem with that philosophical ideal, eventually you run out of Blood and your creation dies.
Good Job Philip, Robin, Blue, M, Tom, Howard, and the rest of you, along with your employee's, you have not only failed to listen to your customers, you failed to keep your own creation, Second Life, along with the Second Life Community.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Linden Lab in their infinite wisdom gave BigSpaceship, a web design company (in the most liberal of definitions) the contract to design a new and more "New Resident" friendly website. Portions of that website were unveiled on Monday and Tuesday, and it looks like a 5th graders first Web Project. You can see the Screenshots of the monstrosity here.
Second, and something that flew under the radar, mainly because I was trying to get some answers from Linden Lab employee's, is the new Community Gateway project.
When this was announced, Linden Lab said they were moving forward with this project based upon the positive response of the New Residents that entered through the Gateways. I of course asked Robin Harper to provide some hard numbers instead of these generalizations that Linden Lab likes to throw out. Robin passed my request onto Glenn Fischer, who told me the numbers were small, but still average out to be in the positive. I re-iterated to Glenn that hard numbers would be nice, especially if I was going to take a more active role in the Community Gateway program. It took nearly 5 days, but Glenn finally got back to me. NOT with those numbers as requested, but instead, passing the buck ONCE more, telling me I should contact another person if I was interested in the program and they could answer my questions.
Now, I'm not Rocket Scientist here, but I have worked in the Corporate World before. When my boss would forward me someone's email requesting specific information, I would respond to the request by providing what the customer had asked for, not by pawning them off to someone else. This is the MAJOR issue at Linden Lab. They can't do the right thing and provide HONEST information that is requested by their Customers and instead of just saying, "Those numbers aren't available", they pass you off to another uncaring employee.
Once again, we see Linden Lab pretending to practice "Customer Service" when they actual are burying their head in the sand and begging those who ask questions to go away and leave them alone.
Well, I for one am tired of listening to the lies and disrespectful tones of those at Linden Lab, therefore, I no longer will be asking Robin, Philip, Blue, Glenn, etc., for information before blogging, since all they care to do is hide their heads and disrespect their customers with the WORST Customer Service in the industry.
Now we know just why REAL Networks failed while Philip was at the helm, and as Dr. Phil is known for saying, "Past behaviour predicts future performance". Too bad for Second Life and the Residents, as we tried to build a constructive Virtual Reality, those in charge at Linden Lab are doing their gut level best to destroy it.
Friday, November 28, 2008
After being completely embarrassed by their handling of the Open Space fiasco, the faithful Linden Lab machine is now churning out one feel good story after another about how good Second Life is.
The funny thing is, Second Life itself isn't the problem. Linden Lab fails to realize this, but every single person I've heard complain concerning things, doesn't complain about Second Life, but instead about the fools running the company that develops Second Life; Linden Lab.
It must be a strange feeling, working for a company that has a wonderful product, but is so widely despised by it's Customer Base. I understand why these "Corporate Loyalist" continue to try and make themselves feel good, they certainly aren't getting KUDO's from their Customers.
It would be nice though, if some of these NEW kids on the block, wouldn't introduce themselves by trying to blow sunshine up the skirts of their customers. Tom Hale, M Linden, and the rest, seem to think that if they just ignore how badly things are right now, that all will be forgiven. Just how many times can you screw your Customers before you understand it's NOT the right way to do business?
Lastly, and something I've been saying all along, these people posting Blog Entries at Linden Lab are nothing more then mouth-pieces of Philip Rosedale. Don't believe that? Ever hear of any Linden Lab employee speaking out against how things are going at the Lab? Don't you find that a bit strange? I mean, either Linden Lab has a CULT like following amonst their employee's (which I know isn't the case) or the employee's are being stiffled from speaking their own minds.
Just once, I would like Linden Lab to come clean from their position and speak to their Customers like Adults, you know, the 18+ Adults we are all supposed to be. Any takers out there? No? Go figure :)
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Well, to be fair, M did post a new "proposal" but after reading through it, one finds it's the same as the old proposal, just different names applied.
I find it completely amazing that those at Linden Lab really thinks the Second Life Community is so stupid to fall for the "Let's give it a new name and call it new" idea. This alone shows how far Linden Lab is from their Customers. The other thing M pointed out, mistakenly, was that before this mess:
"we were riding high in user satisfaction so we know you have recognized and appreciated the improvements we’ve been making."
It's time I call "Bullshit" on this. I demand that M, or some self respecting employee at Linden Lab, show their cards on this. Where's your DATA showing you did some sort of User Survey concerning "Customer Satisfaction" before this mess? In your Polling Data what was your percentage of Users Surveryed compared to total Users of Second Life? Did you obtain at least a 7% sampling? M likes to stretch the truth, and for that, I think it's time he either shut up or be fired.
One other thing conspicuously absent from this post was ANY admission of responsibility for causing this mess. First by overselling a product and second by NOT watching over what was going on. Linden Lab employee's themselves used (and over-used) OpenSpace SIM's in Natilus. You would think a bit of HUMILITY might overcome our embarassed employee's at Linden Lab, but no such luck.
What can we say about a Company that thinks introducing a "new" proposal in which it merely changes the name of the product but gives us the same numbers that caused this uproar AND refuses to admit any culpability in the problem they cause? Well, I've said it before, so why not say it again, POOR CORPORATE CULTURE. Linden Lab is without a moral compass, a Management Team that knows what is right, a Chairman of the Board that sits idly by and watches; it's time Linden Lab either die off or get bought out.
"Cecilia you're breaking my heart, you're shaking my confidence daily. Oh Cecilia I'm down on my knees, I'm begging you please to come home, come on home"
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
We allowed the only person there NOT talking about the recent OpenSpace SIM Pricing Change to go first, and then, well, shall we say an ordered bit of Chaos broke out.
If you have never attended an Office Hour, a lot of times it's like talking the fastest you can, before someone hijacks the conversation to whatever they want to talk about. Of course, this Friday, the rest of the group wanted to talk about the OpenSpace SIM issue, and while some might have been a bit "touchy", the group mostly kept on task and gave Robin what she asked for, "How can Linden Lab fix this?"
I must admit, when Robin asked this, I was completely shocked. For the first time I've ever seen since 2004, here was a Linden Lab employee ASKING the Community, "What can we do to fix XXXX?"
There were a lot of different ideas tossed out into the mix, but as time wore down and people began seeing the different difficulties with each solution, most agreed that Linden Lab needs to Grand Father EVERYONE that has an OpenSpace SIM, stop selling OpenSpace SIM's immediately, and set the attributes on any further OpenSpace SIM's to not allow for so-called "Abuse". Further, this contributor asked, no, demanded, that Linden Lab take responsibility for its' part in this mess. Without Linden Lab selling the OpenSpace SIM's and NOT keeping control over them, this problem could not have happened. Furthermore, Linden Lab employee's themselves used OpenSpace SIM's to create Communities, that rivaled or surpassed what others were doing, who were being called "Abusers". Robin was told that Linden Lab needed to "step up" to the plate, admit its' own culpability, and apologize for causing the mess and then saying it was all the Customer's fault. Most people in the group said nothing when this was being said, some agreed, none spoke out against it; not even Robin.
That was Friday, Oct. 31, and today is Monday, Nov. 3. What has happened? Absolutely NOTHING. This is where once again, Linden Lab has shown it cannot function as a TRUE corporation, as if it did, it would know that the OpenSpace SIM issue is the NUMBER ONE issue that has come along in its' existence, and instead of tackling it head on, they sit on their collective BUTT'S and do nothing all weekend.
So, let me help the "Management Team" at Linden Lab and suggest what they SHOULD HAVE done this past weekend. Right after Robin's meeting in-world, there should have been a HIGH LEVEL meeting with Philip, M, Robin, et al., including Jack Linden, and they should have discussed the pro's and con's as to what the Community is demanding. In this meeting they should have also formulated a new Blog Entry coming from Philip and the rest of the Linden Lab employee's, apologizing for this current mess and apologizing for calling the Customer's "abusers" of the OpenSpace SIM's. Furthermore, in this Blog Post, it should have examined the "thought process" of Linden Lab as it stood now, concerning how to FIX this issue and should have said the previous Blog Entry announcing Price Changes is now retracted and at this point in time there are NO plans to change prices, and won't be until a compromise between Linden Lab and the Community can happen.
Here's the sticky point, the Community really isn't in the mood for a "compromise" and while Linden Lab should wave that flag and see what happens, Linden Lab should also be prepared to say the OpenSpace SIM users right now will keep operating "as is" without pricing changes, but any further OpenSpace SIM's will have restrictions placed on them, so their "primary use" will match what Linden Lab thought it should in the beginning. Further, any orders in the system for OpenSpace SIM's will be fulfilled and Grand Fathered into the solution as well.
Now, that's what the "Management Team" at Linden Lab should do, what they will do, I'm sure will be whatever they think is in their best interest and to hell with the Community. Why do I believe this? Look at the past 48 hours! Not a single word out of Linden Lab, even though it's very existence as a 'Virtual World" provider is at stake. This isn't the wisest course, matter of fact it's the only course I would suggest they take IF THEY WANT TO FAIL. Clearly, the Management Team is paralyzed and the PR Team is Blind, Deaf, and Mute.
Yes, I said it, Linden Lab has an actual PR house that is supposed to be in front of these types of things, and yet, we still see Linden Lab doing the same thing over and over and over. There comes a time when Linden Lab must realize that this PR Team had led them into shark infested water and Linden Lab is bleeding; not a good combination. I've been so appalled at the PR Team Linden Lab has that I suggested to Robin that I would be happy to step into the position as PR Person for Linden Lab. I would require that ALL Communications to the outside world pass through my office for inspection, stopping any more calling the Customer's "abusers" or anything of the kind. Unfortunately, Robin has declined my offer, and well, after 48 Hours I think we see that this was another mistake on Linden Labs' plate.
So, where do we, the Community of Second Life go from here? To start with, everyone needs to seriously start looking for another Virtual World to move to. You heard me say it, it's time to seriously start looking at the alternatives. Linden Labs' has proved time and again, that they really don't care what the Community wants, they (Linden Lab) are going to do whatever they choose even if that means driving the Company straight into oblivion. I'm currently looking at OpenLifeGrid for an alternative, you should choose your own Grid and decide what's best for you.
Linden Lab's actions over this past week have shown me one simple thing, that Linden Lab is about to become, "Dust in the Wind".
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Blog at Linden Lab has an interesting post concerning changes coming to the Linden Lab network, the growth and Direct Link to Data Servers that are happening, and should help with a lot of the LAG and PACKETLOSS.
FJ Linden is to be commended for his Blog Post that read more like a Status Report then most Blog Posts brought to us by Linden Lab. This was a well written, well thought out Post, and everyone that reads it, should understand just that. This post wasn't designed to hide anything, to communicate with the Community of Users in a dumb downed manner.
If only the rest of our friends at Linden Lab will take lessons from what FJ Linden has done, communicated to us in a "OPEN and TRANSPARENT" manner. Now FJ Linden can be on my on my friends list anytime!
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Upon learning this, I followed Prospero's instructions to post any questions one might have concerning the program on a Forum made available just for that purpose; I asked the following three questions:
- In the Original Beta we were more then happy to help Linden Lab find and squash as many bugs as we could in the time we had, now you are asking for an Open Ended commitment from us? Will you be paying us? Will you be offering LifeTime Accts to those that attend regularly and jump through the PJIRA hoops?
- So just exactly what are you offering? Are you going to LISTEN and COMMUNICATE with those that participate, or just do your usual brush off routine?
- Will you treat these BETA testers better then you did your OPEN SOURCE developers? Many of whom have abandoned the project because Linden Lab Employee's openly trashed their coding. Will you be any more "Professional" this time around, or act the same way?
Prospero Linden commented that:
"I have deleted several posts from one poster, who keeps coming back and posting ever more offensive posts complaining about the deletion.
To be clear. I'm happy to answer (or, if necessary, try and fail to answer) hard questions. What I'm not happy with is people who post questions in an aggressive, attacking, and insulting manner. There is a difference between asking a hard question and stating a half-rhetorical question that implies that Linden Lab is a bunch of screwups who never do anything right. The former can lead to constructive conversation, the latter is a troll. Please, let's keep the conversation constructive. "
It seems that if you ask Hard Questions they are immediately thought of as being an attack against Linden Lab. This is a new tactic now being employed by Linden Lab Employee's, "cry foul if you can't answer the questions". This tactic along with Censorship is nothing more then a smoke screen trying to divert the Second Life Community User from realizing the simple truth, Linden Lab employee's are afraid to take on the Hard Questions that now plague Second Life and the Second Life Community.
I tried several attempts, each a bit more sharp then the last to get Prospero Linden to answer these Hard Questions, and at one time he commented that he wasn't afraid of Hard Questions and would attempt to answer any and all that are presented without any vitrol attached. In response, I asked the following, again:
- In the Original Beta we were more then happy to help Linden Lab find and squash as many bugs as we could in the time we had, now you are asking for an Open Ended commitment from us? Will you be paying us? Will you be offering LifeTime Accts to those that attend regularly and jump through the PJIRA hoops?
- So just exactly what are you offering? Are you going to LISTEN and COMMUNICATE with those that participate?
- Will you treat these BETA testers better then you did your OPEN SOURCE developers?
I suppose this experience shows something about Linden Lab Employee's. Either they are very THIN SKINNED and can't handle any type of criticism or they're too incompetent to answer Hard Questions from the Second Life Community. I think it's probably a mixture of both of these characteristics. I can understand being THIN SKINNED, seeing the type of Management being practiced, but being scared to stand up and at least trying to answer the Hard Questions put to them, seems like a scared rabbit is at the helm of this latest Beta Program.
If we look at past actions with Prospero Linden, predicting future behaviour tells us that the Beta Program will fail, that when the new server code is "installed" it will run for approximately 1 hour before being shown it's not ready for prime time. Let's not forget the fiasco of 1.24 install, being reversed 5 times and being re-installed 6 times until it was done right. I suppose this is probably the thing that makes Prospero Linden too scared to answer these Hard Questions, as if he shows he has no idea about them, then it shows he's still failing in his job, and for any management personnel that might be a bad thing to notice.
So, today we learned that Prospero Linden isn't someone that's going to stand up and do the right thing, no surprise considering those that went before him. One must ask, just who's left at Linden Lab that will be willing to answer these Hard Questions?
M? Aunty Robin? Uncle Philip? Blue? Prospero? Seems to me we have covered quite a lot of the departments there at Linden Lab. I suppose we could ask Bub Linden, although we all know his answer. The only Linden Employee left that has more experience then myself at Second Life is Benjamin Linden, although I could be overlooking one or two that don't come in-world.
Benjamin? Do you want to try and answer the Hard Questions being asked by the Second Life Community?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
I've been a part of the Community of Second Life for over 5 years now, and for the most part, it's been a wonderful ride. Most of you know of my situation, I suffer from Arnold-Chiari Malformation, to which complications of the disease has left me suffering with excruciating pain in my Neck, Shoulders, and Back. I've tried many different drugs, my latest is Lyrica, which seems to interrupt the pain signals coming from the nerves, but interrupts a number of other signals as well, leaving me stumbling around like a drunk and not being able to read most prints because of the blurred vision Lyrica brings along with it. Although, I freely take Lyrica (Free of Charge from Pfizer because I'm dirt poor), because the alternative is about a foot away from suicide. The physical pain I'm in is something that can be explained by science and I'm sure many of you will send helpful ideas, of which I will try most, to see if I can't alleviate the pain, but again, this pain can easily be explained. When I had my Decompression surgery, the Neurosurgeon found that my Forum Magnum, the bone that covers where the Brain-Stem and Spinal Cord meet, was elliptical instead of round. This told the Surgeon that my Cerebral Tonsils must have been in the Forum Magnum upon development (in the womb for you that haven't figured that out) and therefore I've always had some blockage of my CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) into the exterior spine (where all the nerves are). As I grew, the blockage grew, until it was completely blocked, to which, the nutrients carried by the CSF were no longer being delivered to the Nerves and eventually the protective cover surrounding the nerves broke down and caused my problems. See, all my physical pain can be explained by science, isn't that wonderful!
So, today, I want to talk about something I've been brooding over for the past couple of weeks. It's taken me this long to write about it because I didn't want to say something so damaging that I broke something else; a friendship. When someone has been involved in the Second Life Community as long as I have it's natural that there comes a time when you make friends that are more then just Second Life friends, they become friends of your Real Life. It's impossible to keep your Real Life and Second Life separate that long, unless you spend a lot of time lying or deceiving (means the same, look it up) people, to which I'm not the kind of person that would do that. People know this about me too, that I'm straight forward, easily given over to sharing my Real Life if asked (sometimes even not asked). I believe this is what most who have come to know me more then just casually like about me, I say this because some have actually told me so. I too have become familiar with many people in the Second Life Community, past their Second Life Alter-Egos, and I like that just fine. The problem with this, when you allow someone to know your vulnerabilities, they can hurt you in the heart, something that can't be explained by Science.
In my time in the Second Life Community, my heart has not just been broken, but ripped to shreds on three different occasions, the last being two weeks ago. I won't mention those people that have hurt my heart so bad that I just close off that part of me, they already know who they are, and each of them, I let in, close, and each chose to take actions that destroyed me inside. I used to be the kind of person that if you hurt me, I hurt you back. I was very good at this too, I could make most people cry, and once made a whole family cry; but let's not go there. I have grown up, in Real Life and in Second Life. I don't have the same reactions as I had when I just started and that's natural as well. The one thing that hasn't changed in me though is the more I let people know me, the more the risk they can not just hurt me, but destroy a part of me. As I mentioned, on two separate occasions, I let two people within my inner-circle of emotions, and what I received in return was a complete ripping of my soul, so much so, that I just closed down those areas of my life, Real and Second, and refused to let others in. Two weeks ago, it happened again, and once more, I began closing down that door until I realized if I do I'd be completely closed off from everyone. I learned in counseling that building emotional walls leads to more pain and trouble then it's worth. Today I realized that again and have chose NOT to close down, instead to struggle on.
The natural question you want to ask is, "Is it worth it? The whole Second Life experience compared to the pain and anguish people can cause you?". That same question must also be asked for Real Life as well, and when you do, you realize there's just two choices. Close down, be alone and let no one know you, and you know no one, or, struggle on and hope that there are those that will come along and lift you up in your times of struggle. Many people will argue that "playing" Second Life is easier as you don't get hurt, because no one knows the real you, but that presents it's own issues, you are living a lie, even though it's a lie in a Virtual World, it's still a lie. I can't live like this, my moral compass and ethics aren't tuned to be like that and I pity the people that do practice this, as they are missing a wealth of Love and Friendships out there in the Second Life Community.
Yes, when you let people in, they can hurt you, but, opposite of that, letting people in, they can lift you up, even in a Virtual World, and you can fly on their love, and enjoy Real Life and Second Life, that much more. While I let my heart heal through this latest hit, I ask that those of you concerned about me know this, I will return to the world of Second Life eventually, I just need to let my Heart heal a bit, as I don't want to go in-world and "do unto others as they have done unto me".
When the Heart is Breaking, life, Real and Second, hurts a lot, BUT, the love poured out by those that know you, is a nice soothing balm to your pain. If you haven't allowed yourself to experience the whole gamut of Second Life, by being real with people and they with you, I pity you. Until you have your Heart breaking you won't ever know the true depth of Love that others can show you, and if you never know that, in Real Life and Second Life, I beg you, don't let that part of you saying "it's to protect you" win out. The only thing that you are allowing are walls to be built up around your true self. When you let people in to see your true self, you will be surprised that they don't turn away in horror as you expect, but approach and show you Love, a healing balm for all your Heart pains.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
So, anyway, now that's out of my system, I recently received an E-Mail from a Game Company that's asking it's Users just what they think about a certain subject. Instead of acting on what they want, and then trying to sell it to the Community as an enhancement or a great addition, or ever good to improve the New Resident experience.
Many Game Developing Company's think that they know all and know best about their game. This of course has ALWAYS gotten them into trouble when they decided to screw with one class or another and find themselves having a revolt on every server. Maybe that's what it will take for Linden Lab to finally ASK their Community of Users just what WE WANT from them. Of course, if you have been reading M Linden's latest "4 Months Old" Post, the Community has spoken in spades, but I still doubt anyone at Linden Lab is listening. From the post itself you can tell that M Linden is doing nothing more then trying to sell a sinking ship to the worlds press. Unfortunately, it seems the number speaks volumes about the condition of Second Life, unfortunately there is no competent employee at Linden Lab to read those numbers.
There is one more "number" I wanted to bring up, that our faithful CEO fails to mention, and that is from a friend of mine, who asked me my opinion of whether I thought it would be a good idea to buy a private Island from Linden Lab at this time. I spoke in my usual dulcet tones and told him that if he was planning on having a rental business or something to that effect, then he should NOT do it. With all the downtime we occur anymore, he would be the one his customers turned to for rebates when outages occurred. Linden Lab has made it perfectly clear in their TOS that they are NOT going to give any refunds or reimbursements. So, I think this is a BAD IDEA right now. Well, apparently that's not what he's going to be doing, just wanted a place for himself to play without the griefers, and that's ok, I can see that happening then. Well, I spoke to him a couple hours later and said, "good luck with your Island, just when did they think they would have it up and running?". My friend, with me in shock and dismay, said, "It's already up. They had it operational in two hours!" Now most of you would think, "Gee that's great customer service", but those of you in the know, are thinking, "Oh crap". For the former people, the problem with this is, when Linden Lab was at its HEIGHT in popularity, it took "3 to 6 weeks" to get a private Island up and running. Now, they can do it in two hours. This tells us two very important things. First, Linden Lab must have an awful lot of unused servers sitting idle now, and second, there's a whole department that used to take care of turning up Islands, I wonder just how many are doing it now if it only takes two hours to accomplish? One or Two Peopl? This goes to show you just how far Linden Lab has fallen in its popularity and likability with customers.
I HOPE someone at Linden Lab reads this with the intent in which it's written. I want Second Life to exist for a good long while, but the only way that's going to happen is when Linden Lab stops futzing around and begins to LISTEN to its Community. We are the Customers they need, and if they won't listen to us, then there's going to be a time that we will stop listening to them too.
Anyone at Linden Lab care to comment? As for you Gordon, screw off.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Today I found this rarity and wanted to share it with everyone. The only trouble is the identity of this person is not known, so let's just call him/her Customer Support Super-Hero (CSSH for short).
Anyway, the problem I have been experiencing was a strange one indeed. The issue began just after our Linden Lab GridMonkey's put a new version of the Simulator on Kissling, without notifying anyone. We noticed this because whenever you would fly into Kissing, it would say "There is a different version of the Simulator here" or something like that. It was then I noticed that my main Store in Kissling was no longer showing up in the search, and the option to make that happen wasn't checked. When I asked the Land Owners, on two seperate occasions, to turn on the option for me, they did, but it never had an effect. It was at this time, I got online with the Live Chat team and after explaining my problem at length, and getting frustrated in the process, the Live Chat operator came to the area, and said, "The option isn't checked". Well, he/she finally checked the option and then restarted the SIM. Of course, it took two tries to restart the SIM, but it finally occured. Anyway, a long story is involved which I won't go into, but the next morning I noticed someone closed the Ticket I had filed, saying the problem was no more and my main Store in Kissling was now showing in the Search. Of course, I went into Second Life to check, and for sure, it was there.
You all know me and my distrust for Linden Lab, so I went back into the Ticket and opened and asked for an explanation for what the problem was. Today I got this reply from the CSSH at Linden Lab:
At no point did I ever say you were wrong and I was right. What I did do was visit your location to see if I could reproduce the issue. Since I was not able to do this, I provided you with the exact steps I see took that resulted in a successful search. Nothing was done to fix this, when I visited your location it was already working. Why it was not working for you, I do not know. It may have been a simple oversight of an option or a temporary issue with Second Life. There is no way for me to find out. I understand this may not be an idea answer and for this I apologize."
As you can see, this employee knows how to speak to the CUSTOMER, which certainly is a rarity at Linden Lab, IF they ever speak at all. While CSSH does say he has no idea why things just started working, he does it in a way that is non-confrontational and apologetic. Which is how ALL support should be. See my last post for how things usually are at Linden Lab. But for now, this CSSH should be congratulated for a job well done.
Congratulations CSSH, you did your job, and you did it professionaly.
Friday, September 26, 2008
When asked what the problem was, I explained it to him in detail, and he of course, wasn't paying attention and asking questions that I answered in the first message I sent to him.
I was experiencing a problem on the Land where my Main Store is (Builders Choice Premier Textures) in Kissling. The Live Chat Operator FINALLY came into the world to "inspect" my problem. Then he told me what I had told him just seconds before. This of course, led to my frustration and I, in no uncertain terms, let the Live Operator know I wasn't impressed with his work.
Eventually the Live Chat Operator asked me to file a Bug Report.
So, let's look at what occured here and see where Linden Lab can improve upon their service.
- Linden Lab should train their employee's better, and give them a course in Customer Appreciation. When you include all the necessary information in the first message to the Operator, you shouldn't be asked 20 questions about what you already included in the First Message.
- Live Chat Operators apparently don't spend a lot of time in-world during work or their time off. My Live Chat Operator didn't even know HOW the Land Payment for "Show in Search" was handled. He actually asked me to pay it so it would fix the problem.
- Linden Lab doesn't pay their Residents to File Bug Reports, but expects them to file a Bug Report to get anything fixed. This seems to be a counter-productive process. Why can't the Live Chat Operator file the Bug Report and let the Resident get back to what they want to be doing in-world. To say "if you don't file a bug report, nothings going to happen", just shows how out of touch Linden Lab is with their Customer Base. The Residents in world, for the most part, aren't those that were here 5 years ago and were in BETA and didn't mind filing Bug Reports. The Community today is different, but Linden Lab thinks they are the same. Linden Lab employee's who are told about a Bug, SHOULD BE the people to file the Bug Report. Most Users don't want to be bothered with this process, and quite frankly they shouldn't have to be. It tells us a lot about Linden Lab and their policies, and the most grievous tell is that Linden Lab Employee's are woefully lazy.
This is where Linden Lab has failed and has drug every department into a non-customer based attitude. For example, have you looked at some of the Linden Lab employee's profiles? Most of these say that if you have a problem, contact support. Well, this would be alright, if Support wasn't so lazy, so many people just don't do anything when they find a problem. In order for the Customer Support/Service to change, it will take someone who understands how to treat customers, someone who has been trained in Customer Support and knows that the Customer is the most important commodity in Linden Lab.
There are other failures at Linden Lab too. The Bug Squashing Dept., has policies made to NOT get many bug reports or have to view the ones that do come in. In an Open Office Hour, Benjamin Linden said, "we won't even look at a bug report if it doesn't have re-producable steps with it". At first glance you might say, "Well gee that doesn't sound too bad", but think back to when you had a bug, could you reproduce it? If not, then it won't even get looked at by the Bug Squashers. Then we have another policy that states, "we work on the bug reports that get the most votes". In other words, Linden Lab Bug Squashers will work on the easiest problems first, and those critical bugs won't ever get fixed. Just think back to when the Asset Server began having problems, well over a Year and a Half now, and it still is having problems. I guess there's not enough VOTES to get it fixed. These two policies in the Bug Squashing Dept., shows the lack of initiative and purpose in their employee's and their managers.
Who's to blame for this lackadasical attitude and posture by Linden Lab. Well, I think we can directly follow that back to Linden Lab former CEO and current Chairman of the Board, Philip Rosedale. In a TownHall meeting, Mr. Rosedale let it slip that the employee's choose what they want to work on, instead of having a manager assign their case load to important items might get fixed first. Mr. Rosedale also let it slip in a KEYNOTE address, that Linden Lab won't slow down to fix bugs, they will continue to inovate in the industry. Now I have no problem with the idea of staying invovated, but what happens when what you are innovating doesn't actually work? By announcing this Policy in his KEYNOTE speech, it shows that Mr. Rosedale is the problem, and nothing will get fixed until Mr. Rosedale either changes his ways, or just leaves Linden Lab. With Mr. Rosedale as the Chairman of the Board for Linden Lab, one must question just how much input he has on the day to day operation and if he isn't pulling the strings still from behind the scenes.
The problem with Linden Lab today can be summed up in one simple word: LAZY. The employee's are too LAZY to file Bug Reports. The Bug Squashers, Coders, and Grid Monkeys are too LAZY to choose the hard jobs. Management is too LAZY to actually Manage their own people.
It all comes down to that simple little word, LAZY. Until Linden Lab Management understands this, I fear nothing will change, and we will continue down this path until the Residents either get mad and demand change, or just leave in disgust.
For my money, I would like it if everyone would rise up and demand fixes to the whole of Linden Lab, the alternate will only close down Second Life, and that's the real innocent victim here. Our world will cease to exist unless Linden Lab Management will wake-up and smell the stink coming from their own creation.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Apparently though, someone tossed a curveball at the end of the interview, and I quote:
"VB: Does the recession have any impact on the virtual world industry?
MK: We’re not seeing it. It might affect the startup world."
For all you business owners in Second Life, perhaps now would be a great time to help our new CEO understand that he's full of SHIT.
I really don't mind so much that the Q&A was filled with softballs and the usual junk answers, but how can a CEO who's been on the job for more then 3 months be so out of touch with his own user-base, when he himself says he comes from a user intense experience at Organic?
Seems to me MK, that you just dropped the ball, of course, you can do like your predecessor and ignore it, which we all expect, or you could re-state your answer and clarify it a bit more, cuz if you think Second Life isn't in a recession, then sir, you need to quit, because you have failed miserably, and in only 3 months!
Friday, September 5, 2008
It used to be the motto of Linden Lab that a person must follow the rules of the land they live in in Real Life. I'm certainly not an International Lawyer, but I doubt that any of the countries represented by Residents in Second Life have any kind of laws concerning "AdFarms".
This is a very scary announcement from Linden Lab as it sets a precedence of handling Land on the Mainland. What will Linden Lab do next? Perhaps they will set a Maximum land price for Mainland Land?
This shows all of us that Linden Lab is truly what I've been saying, "The Laziest and most Incompetent Corporate Culture ever seen." Linden Lab is choosing to make decisions based on the group of people that can make the most noise, instead of seeing what is right and what is wrong and basing their decisions on that.
I understand that Linden Lab is currently trying to repair their image, but I don't understand how they plan on doing that by taking away the rights of a group of land owners, because another group of Land Owners yelled louder about it.
Congratulations Jack and Linden Lab, you have taken the first steps down a very Slipperily Slope. What other rights are you willing to take away from your Customers when others yell loudly about it?
Death to Ad Farms, Death to Freedom, Death to ......, fill in the blank and get a group of people to yell loudly about it, and watch it go away.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Ms. Harper was espousing the up and coming changes to the Second Life Blog system, whereby Blog Postings will be categorized, and comments will tie into the Forums, and new Blog Comment overlords will be present for all of us to cheer and jeer.
What Ms. Harper fails to mention was that her Blog Posting was a direct reply to an email written by yours truly, where I once again assailed Linden Lab's ability to practice "Open and Transparent" communication, as recent Blog Postings were once again closed to comments, mainly because many of the Blog Readers have no other outlet to voice their opinions concerning Linden Lab and Second Life.
Today, after Ms. Harper's eloquent Blog Posting explaining all that is good and wonderful at Linden Lab, I pointed out to her in an email that Linden Lab might once again be walking down a path that ends in peril.
You see, while Linden Lab says it wants to practice "Open and Transparent" Communication, they also say they listen to their Users (Customers) feedback, emails, office hours, etc., before they act on anything. Perhaps I was on vacation, or maybe I just missed the email that asked me if I thought the Blog Postings/Comments should be changed and if so how. Oh wait, I didn't miss it, it doesn't exist!
It seems that Linden Lab is incapable of doing what they say their own goals are : "Just as the Residents of Second Life rely on individual and collective resourcefulness to achieve their goals in a complex, vast and ever-shifting virtual terrain, so the Tao of Linden helps us achieve ours".
In my email today to Ms. Harper, I asked some simple questions, and perhsps she would like to reply to those here as I shall list them:
- How many individual Customers did you get feedback from before changing the Blogging Software?
- How many individual Customers did you contact and request feedback from before changing the Blogging Software?
- What is the User Base Population Number you are using when making certain you have covered at least 7% of the Customer Base?
- How many individual feedback did you receive from Customer's through other channels?
Oh, one last thing I've been waiting on from Grant Linden, that sort of ties in with this same thread, just how many different feedbacks did you receive, through all different channels, concerning the New UI changes.
Quite frankly, I expect to receive absolutely no response to these questions, as while the employee's at Linden Lab, while saying they live by the "Tao of Linden Lab", they've been showing quite the opposite. I wonder if this is one more thing that Uncle Philip can blame on Cory?
Friday, August 8, 2008
While this would normally be just another news story, let me remind you that Cory was probably under one of those non-compete clauses when he was fired from Linden Lab.
This ruling allows Cory to be hired from any firm that is in direct competition with Linden Lab's Second Life.
For the everyday Resident of Second Life this is very good news, for Linden Lab this is probably their worst nightmare coming true. Cory can now join a firm that has the resources and staff to build another 3D Virtual World, and do it better then Linden Lab.
It should be interesting to see just how Linden Lab will change their attitude and service once they realize they have real competition to deal with.
Here's to Linden Lab, I for one hope Linden Lab takes off their Rose-Colored glasses and starts addressing the real problems in Second Life. Otherwise, a company with the resources and staff like Google, might update their current "Chat Program" into a fully fleshed out Second Life type world, if that happens Linden Lab will be behind the 8 ball, and I doubt they can win a head on fight with Google.
I personally would hope that this little news story would cause Linden Lab to change things. it would be a shame to lose Second Life. I thoroughly enjoy Second Life, the people in it, and even some of the Lindens; it would be too bad if Linden Lab did not recognize what they are facing. Now's not the time to stay on the "bleeding edge" but to make the Grid stable, to fix the Asset server, and practice REAL Customer Service.
Just what do you think? Share you feelings here, unlike Linden Lab I will not moderate your comments, so tell me what you think!
Friday, July 25, 2008
As we all know, this has a happy ending where the Hero at the plate smacks a game winning double.
Unfortunately for Residents of Second Life, this is just a fairy tale when it comes to installing Major Release 1.23.
Yesterday it was announced that 1.23 was going to be installed and 1/10th of the SIMs will get the first rolling restarts and then they would watch and see if other problems exist.
Within minutes, it was quite easy to see that Linden Lab was going to strike out and the Hero, becomes a bum.
This is the FIFTH time that Linden Lab has attempted to place the infamous version 1.23.3 onto the servers, only to have it fail all 5 times. I'm pretty certain Linden Lab is taking the lead as the WORST developer in Gaming History. This certainly will give Atari's production of E.T. a run for it's money as WORSE game ever.
It seems our friends at Linden Lab is having POST-CORY issues with this Release, and now it's been delayed again, giving us all ANOTHER attempt on Monday.
Bets? 0 and 5 so far, will they continue their proud tradition? Only time will tell!
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Apparently the start was a bit late on the start time, and, once people began noticing MAJOR BUGS in the release, our friends of course asked the users to give them REPRO steps and file it in JIRA. This is Linden Lab idea of the community helping Linden Lab. I just wonder why Linden Lab expects people to come to their aid. By their own admittance, they have chosen to bypass a number of bugs to stay on the bleeding edge. I mean if Linden Lab wants to slash its own wrist, why should I really care?
I've asked TWO Linden Employee's to explain this latest fiasco, Prospero, who was apparently in charge of this weeks mess and Joshus Linden, who apparently is Prospero's talking stick.
This makes the THIRD time for Linden Lab to try and install a major release, and have failed considerable. I would LOVE to hear Uncle Philip to explain how this is a good thing, and not a bad thing; or is he too busy pulling strings of a certain new CEO?
IF the Linden's in question dare to answer and be truthful and blunt with the community, I'll report it here, but if I were you I wouldn't hold my breath waiting.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
I would LOVE to hear Uncle Philip, Aunty Robin, or maybe our NEW CEO M explain this interesting fact.
If you would like to know how I know, I suggest you read the blog about a certain Linden being pissy with a Resident and apparently not getting into any trouble about. Blue Linden said, "the logs are corrupted", when approaching our Resident that was upset by BUB LINDEN telling him/her to "BUGGER OFF".
I would like to be assured by our friends there at Linden Lab that this corruption problem won't happen ANYMORE when it comes to showing just how shabbily their Employee's are treating their Residents!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I was quite excited once I was connected back to the rest of the world, and quickly logged in to Second Life to find, to my amusement, that nothing has changed.
Apparently the change of guard at Linden Lab hasn't had the desired effect we were hoping for. As I browsed the "Official" Blog of Second Life, I noticed the same old things, "trouble logging in", "Asset serve not working quite right", "Don't spend $L right now", "Rolling restarts", etc., et al.
I thought to myself, there's no way that Second Life could be the same after two long months, so I decided to go in-world myself and see. Thankfully my IM's weren't capped, thanks to some very nice gremlins who logged every day's IM's into a notecard. The first thing I saw was that Havok 4 was apparently going in! This is exciting, I must admit, even I am a bit awed that Linden Lab employee's actually got this to work! I was about to write Uncle Philip and Aunt Robin to congratulate them on this achievement, until I read a couple of the next days of IM's. Seems that the new Havok 4 has broken the BOAT SCRIPT that runs my speed boats. I guess I know how Linden Lab got Havok 4 going so quickly, they chose NOT to test it thorougly. Just like before, here we go again!
After discovering this dismal thing, I started to send IM's to my long lost friends, to tell them how much I have missed them. In our conversations I learned that in the past 2 months, sales have been sliding down due to the mis-management of Second Life and the usual seemingly daily disruptions of the grid, not to mention the constant lag and packet loss. This made me shockingly at ease, I guess it's the idea that I haven't missed much, and things continued as they once were. You know, that's not a bad thing, if your product is sparkling and a great working piece of software, but in this case, we once again find that Linden Lab is either asleep at the wheel or just downright incompetent to keep Second Life going; one wonders just what M Linden is doing there.
To top it all off, a friend of mine passed along two stories, that really shows Linden Lab at their best; unfortunately at their worst. First, a friend of mine, and probably yours, was ASKED by our Linden friends to create something marvelous for the 5th Birthday celebration. When asked to do this, no restrictions were placed on the creation, no "don't do this" type of things, just "Create us something marvelous!" Well, our friend, as usual, did just that. I won't get into why this friend is such a good builder, but quite honestly, I'm jealous :) Anyway, after his creation was finished, the Lindens that asked him to create this apparently started to pick it apart IN PUBLIC chat. They first didn't like the size of the creation. They also didn't like the use of the MEGA-PRIMS, and some other things. Then, the rumor mill took what they said, and it found its way to our friend. Our friend was quite upset, not at the criticism, but that these Lindens didn't have the respect to take these issues up with him, but instead, let the "rumor mill" make their feelings known. You know, my mother used to say, "don't look a gift horse in the mouth", and I now understand what she meant. I've been saying this from day one, but MOST Linden Employee's do not have the knowledge or skill of Customer Service. This is another shocking, but usual, effort of our Linden friends. Well, in case our Linden friends are reading this, let me tell YOU what the "rumor mill" is saying. You will NEVER see another creation from this person, or will he spend time working on something for Linden Lab; go figure!
Another story passed to me, happed during our friend Socrates Linden Office Hour yesterday. Seems that a new person in the group didn't know the "rules" of how things ran, and asked a question out of order. The person who apparently had the floor, told this new person to "shut-up you fucking 'tard". Socrates Linden was quick to act though, and told this rude person to "watch your language". Of course, that's exactly what you expect from Linden Lab employee's, since the TOS makes no mention of interaction between residents or harassment or even hate speech. Perhaps Socrates Linden should take another look at the TOS. If someone had done that at one of my Q&A events, the offending party would have been tossed faster then you can spell relief.
Truly, this is one of the biggest problems at Linden Lab today. Well, either this or their general incompetence, but seriously, it seems that MOST of the Lindens that are in-world, have NO IDEA about how to treat the customer or even what to do when something happens that requires immediate action. I would like to suggest to Mr. M Linden, that you send your children to Customer Service school. Honestly, if Linden Lab Employee's would deal with the Residents with more respect, they might find that things would get a bit easier. But then again, how can I expect Linden Lab to do anything considered forward thinking.
Mr. M Linden, when I was a coder, a very long time ago, my boss use to say, proactive rather then reactive is how we should be. This has always stuck with me in everything I do. Perhaps Linden Lab employee's might try to be proactive instead of reactive, and perhaps, just perhaps, your employee's might learn how to respect their customers, before one day you wake up to find no one left to treat badly.
Glad to be back, and I know our Linden friends are just peachy to hear I'm back, turning up the heat once again. I just wonder when will start thawing out this mammoth.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
While I completely agree that you should Trademark items that directly relate to your company, I have a problem with doing while your own hands are "dirty"
There's an old saying in the Court System of our country, "You cannot bring action against someone if your hands are dirty". Basically that means you cannot sue someone for knocking your teeth out if you are responsible for starting the fight.
Trademark laws are all good and well and Linden Lab has a right to "protect" their interests, but they seem to overlook one of the MAJOR problems within Second Life, and that is simple, Linden Lab refusal to work with Content Creators to make it easier to protect their Intellectual Property rights. For the past couple of years, Linden Lab has insisted that Content Creators in Second Life file DMCA claims against those people that appear to be in violation of someone else's Intellectual Property rights. While this may work for large corporations in the Real World, it's not exactly clear what, if any, filing of DMCA claims will do for Content Creators. I've heard, from more then one, that filing DMCA claims have done nothing to stop others from the continual stealing of their Content.
It would seem that a company like Linden Lab, that relies on their Customers to create the world, would do more to help Content Creators protect their investments. I don't see the logic in having a Content Creator filing a DMCA claim, which can take months, against someone that is in essence stealing. I guess in my twisted idea of Reality Linden Lab would investigate these claims on their own since Content Creators are a MAJOR component of the Second Life world.
It seems to me that this is another way for a "Lazy" and "Incompetent" staff to "pass the buck" instead of doing real work. This isn't the first time Linden Lab has implemented this Philosophy, actually it is deeply rooted in their Corporate Culture. For instance, the Bug Squasher say they will not work on a Bug Report that doesn't have reproducible steps. In another instance of this "Lazy Corporate Culture" our friends from the Bug Squashing team have left it up to the Customers of Second Life to "VOTE" on which bug should be fixed first. Perhaps this is why the Grid remains unstable, the Asset server remains unfixed, and the Teleport Bug goes on forever, we just haven't produced enough VOTES to get them fixed. There are more examples of this "Lazy Corporate Culture", like telling your programming and development staff that they can choose what they wish to work on. There are no assigned projects at Linden Lab, you just choose what you fancy. I wouldn't mind having a job at Linden Lab, as I would choose to "browse the web" all day as my project, and seeing just how poorly many of the new features go into production, and how many fixes actually break more then they fix, it's safe to think that many people at Linden Lab have chosen the same as I.
Now that CEO Philip Rosedale has decided to step aside and let another person become the CEO of Linden Lab, we can only hope that Philip's replacement will be someone that takes far more interest in getting things done, than his predecessor did. It's my hope that whomever is chosen for the CEO position at Linden Lab, it be someone who will "crack the whip" a bit more and run things with the most important thing in mind; the Customers.
Well, here's to our newest Trademark portion of the TOS, and to those that continue to get ripped off while Linden Lab chooses the "easy way out". HIP HIP HOORAY!
By the way, I have decided to Trademark my name. So when you are speaking and you use my name, please be sure you give me credit for my Trademark.
Friday, March 14, 2008
With that in mind, and in quite a shocking manner, CEO Philip Rosedale has announced his resignation as CEO of Linden Lab, and will instead be the Chairman of the Board of Trustees to Linden Lab.
Many of you will think I would revel in this announcement, but I don't. What Mr. Rosedale has done is one of the BRAVEST and most COMPASSIONATE things a man can do. Mr. Rosedale had a dream 9 long years ago, and instead of letting that dream pass him by, Mr. Rosedale took brave and courageous strides to achieve that dream; Second Life.
While I won't pretend to know how Mr. Rosedale feels about his departure as CEO, I do know what it means to have to turn over your dream to another, and you pray it goes right. No one wants to see Second Life die, Mr. Rosedale especially, but Linden Lab had become too large for the Laize Faire management style employed by Mr. Rosedale. In order for Second Life to succeed Linden Lab will have to ask its employee's to begin tackling the very things that the Second Life Community has been complaining about for over a year now; Stability of the Grid.
While many at Linden Lab are anxious in this decision, I think what Mr. Rosedale has done, is the right thing, not just for Linden Lab, but also for Second Life and himself. I have had the opportunity to speak with Mr. Rosedale in Second Life a number of different times. Each time I did, during Beta testing mostly, Philip Rosedale struck me as a person with a dream and vision, and a great desire to see them through. The problem was that Philip Rosedale, the visionary, watched Linden Lab grow and he was stuck trying to run a Large Corporation, while at the same time trying to see his vision through. This is neither a slam to his Character nor a complaint of any lack of Character, to understand one's self and know where you do your best, shows remarkable foresight, determination, character and bravery. I can only hope that with the everyday running of Second Life behind him, Philip Rosedale can once again enjoy his creation with those who love it just as much as he does, the Second Life Community.
Welcome home Philip Rosedale, we, the Second Life Community, look forward to your leading us into new and wondrous ways.
Thursday, March 13, 2008
One must wonder just when the Casino's will be back, but from someone that thinks they got a bad shake the first time around, WELCOME BACK!
Let's all follow in Linden Lab's own footsteps and start holding our OWN Lotteries and Chance Gambling establishment. We'll come together as a Community and with Linden Lab will stare down the steely gaze of this US Govt!
Good job Philip and Robin, I'm glad to see you have done the right thing in this instance!!!
An "angel" in many software company's, especially gaming company's, are people that provide needed startup capital, even before the product is proven or gone into production.
The amazing part of today's requiem is that Second Life had their own "angels", yet according to Linden Lab, they matter little any longer to them.
You see, during the Beta Process of Second Life, and before Linden Lab could go "Gold", they asked their Beta Players to do something extraordinary. Not to find more bugs, or help decode this or that, instead, Linden Lab, in a personnel plea from CEO Philip Rosedale, asked that the Beta Players buy LIFETIME Accts., to help Linden Lab raise SEED MONEY so they could go GOLD.
Many of those Beta Players answered that call back then, and were presented with an acct., that gave them 4096 sq meters of free tier and $500l a week. Back then, there wasn't any differing support channels, so these "angels" weren't given a choice between LifeTime Support or what they were offered.
Today, these "Angles" are known as Charter Members, you can see that in their Profile on the General Tab, and while it seems Linden Lab has forgotten their efforts to bring Second Life into GOLD, I only hope the Second Life Community won't. Many of these "Angels" not only bought ONE Lifetime Acct., but multiple accts., and that's a very big step of Faith, as Aunty Robin says.
It saddens me though, that the Charter Members aren't granted the same attention to support as say someone who came later, but paid out more. Linden Lab got an $8,000,000 gift early into Production, and I would imagine if that person wanted an acct, Island, and personal helper, Linden Lab would give him all that for free. This is the part that saddens me, that the first givers in Second Life have been forgotten, over the big givers. If it weren't for the First Angels, there wouldn't have been any Second Angels to follow them. Perhaps Linden Lab should remember that?
Here's to those Fallen Angels of Second Life, if you see one, thank them, because Linden Lab has forgotten their sacrifice.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Now, usually you would think I would write them a nasty and mean worded letter, but instead, I asked them to lean on their Business Respect and respond to me as an Investor, since I did buy 6 lifetime accts., when asked to help SEED the Linden Lab Gold Production.
You would think, that when asked by someone who was NICE enough and GENEROUS enough to help get their business going that these people would respond. Apparently, that's not true, as neither of these "Business People" could find any retort to my questions.
Have you no shame CEO Philip Rosedale and Robin Harper? Do you now turn your back on your generous investors? What does that make you? Business People or Thieves?
Saturday, March 8, 2008
So, before everyone gets really excited about this, let's explain the Valentine Party.
You see, during the Valentine Party for the Volunteer's on the Isle of View, Bub Linden showed up, either in a bad mood or drunk, probably both considering his actions, and made a complete ass of himself by telling a Female Volunteer to "Bugger Off" when she asked for Bub's Teddy Bear. Then later, when Bub saw this same Female Volunteer getting a kiss from another Female Volunteer, he proceeded to rez between them and announce he was having a "Mentor Sandwich".
So kids, you should ask Uncle Philip or Aunty Robin if Bub's coming, and if he is, I wouldn't plan on attending.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Today, Linden Lab continued to show how it has Dazzled us all with its ever growing incompetence!
First with this, then with this, and followed by this!
In one day, we get a very clear picture of just how ill-prepared or incompetent the Coding and Networking people are at Linden Lab.
Seems to me, the mistakes have grown more intense and in number since Cory's departure, I wonder what "reason" Uncle Philip will give us for that.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Needless to say, it's time to turn off your Media Files playing, until we once again get some sort of response by Linden Lab.
Knowing how Linden Lab really cares about their Customers, that might take quite some time too.
Word has it, and you can trust me on this one, that a certain Linden was feeling none to cheerful this Valentine's Day and instead of just staying away from the "Isle of View" he/she chose to attend and proceed to insult and even make a volunteer so upset they were shaking and crying.
The story goes like this. A certain Volunteer, and one of the most passionate Volunteer's when it comes to helping New Residents and others, was mingling with the others attendee's at the Isle of View, and asking the Linden's in attendance if he/she could have their specific Linden Bear (You see there was a time when every linden made their own "teddy bear" and they were supposed to give them out when asked, or when they saw something that someone did that deserved a bit more attention then just "attaboy") This Volunteer positioned herself in a strategic location so he/she could see who "popped" in and then if the person was a Linden Lab Employee, would ask them for their "bear". A certain Linden (whom I shall not identify at this time), popped in, and our passionate Volunteer sent him/her an IM asking if he/she could have that certain Linden Lab Employee's "bear". The response was "BUGGER OFF". For you American's that don't understand the meaning, think of "F*CK OFF".
Needless to say, this upset our passionate Volunteer and so, he/she did not pursue the matter further. Instead our passionate Volunteer went about mingling and giving and getting kisses from those in the "Valentine Mood". There came a time when this passionate Volunteer was getting a kiss from another passionate Volunteer of the same gender, and our "BUGGER OFF" mate decided to position himself/herself between the two and stated in Public Chat, "Looks like I'm having a Mentor Sandwich". As if telling a Volunteer to "BUGGER OFF" wasn't bad enough, now this Linden Lab Employee had decided to sexually harass this passionate Volunteer.
Needless to say, this set off our passionate Volunteer, who then began telling this Linden Lab Employee just how he/she felt about them, of course, in Public Chat. After he/she had her say, and our Linden Lab Employee chose NOT to respond, he/she then turned to his/her "supervisor" who said "oh that's just how he/she is". This was NOT enough to calm down our passionate Volunteer, who then decided that he/she would file an Abuse Report on our "BUGGER OFF" Employee.
After the posting of the AR, "BUGGER OFF" Employee then chose to IM our passionate Volunteer to explain how he/she was only joking, and he/she is always like that and meant no harm. Well, not being one to hold a grudge, our passionate Volunteer spoke with "BUGGER OFF" Employee and explained to him/her how he/she was having a bad enough day and came into Second Life to relax and enjoy the gathering of his/her friends, and that "BUGGER OFF" Employee had now ruined that for him/her. As they continued to talk, our passionate Volunteer calmed down, and eventually our "BUGGER OFF" Employee apologized and chose to add our passionate Volunteer to his/her friends list.
I will say this, MOST Linden Lab employee's are nice people and rarely would they say a cross word to anyone. There are a few that I've run into though, that seem to think that they are above everyone, and they don't have to worry about Customer Service or watch what they say when speaking to Residents in-world. The most egregious act is though, that these Employee's continue to be Employee's.
I myself have filed one complaint concerning a Linden Lab Employee, complete with Chat Log to back-up what I was complaining about, only to have Ms. Robin Harper tell me it was my fault this Employee acted in the manner he/she did. I wonder what excuse Ms. Harper will give us this time for her Employee's acts, and even more so, will this Employee remain employed after committing such an atrocious act? I'm sure Ms. Harper will once again rely on the old-standby of saying, "We cannot discuss employee matters with Residents", even though it is the Residents who are being mistreated by the Employee's.
So Ms. Harper, would you mind telling us just what will happen with Mr. "BUGGER OFF"?
This new "Department" was supposedly going to be staffed by the TOP 10 Builders in Second Life, whom Linden Lab had hand-picked. This was an effort, once again, by a company, that is taking on water and ready to sink, to calm the residents after another abysmal month of low quality service.
The idea was a simple one, to let these 10 builders go around and FINISH what the Lindens themselves had started. Such as the roads, the railway (although the original railway was started by Athos Murphy), docks, and so forth. This of course, would make it seem to future New Residents that Linden Lab really does have itself together and is running a wonderful world in Second Life.
Apparently though, there has been a HITCH with this new Department, because today, this once "CLOSED" process is now being "OPENED" to all.
This brings to my mind two simple questions.
First, why do all the comments in this "opening" process seem to think that Linden Lab is doing the Residents of Second Life a great favor by "opening" this process. If you think this is such a good thing to happen, what were you thinking when Linden Lab first announced that this "Department" would only be open to whom Linden Lab chose. Were you upset with that announcement? Did you write your comments in the blog and demand this process to be opened? You see, this is a very clear picture of how Linden Lab has manipulated their Customers to have you believe that Linden Lab is a wonderful organization. They first start a process that seems to have all good intentions, then Linden Lab changes the rules completely and make them seem congenial. All in all, the Residents who voiced their affirmative opinion concerning The Linden Public Works Department and then did the same when Linden Lab "opened" the process, are taking two direct conflicting stances. First you hooray for being left out of the process and allowing Linden Lab to create another class of players, who by the way would have been considered greater then the rest of us, and then you cheer when this process is "opened" up. It really does make the Community seem a bit foolish when we allow ourselves to be manipulated in this manner. But then again, lemmings will do what lemmings do.
Now to the Second of my questions. Why has Linden Lab "opened" this process so quickly? The first Blog Posting was made to sound as if these first Top 10 Builders would do the main work and then slowly others would be added to assist. So, what conclusion can we draw from Linden Lab now "opening" this process so quickly? Once again, two things come to mind.
First of those conclusions is, the Top 10 Builders chose to NOT have anything to do with this process as they most likely saw that they would be doing all the work, and yet, the glory would be taken by Linden Lab when future New Residents saw how "complete" things are in Second Life.
The Second of these conclusions is, the Top 10 Builders chose NOT to have anything to do with this process because they have seen how poorly Linden Lab is at COMPLETING projects. There's a long list of failures you can uncover if you merely do some research using the BLOGS, the J.I.R.A., and speaking to some old-timers who've been around to see how Linden Lab has run things from the beginning.
Today Linden Lab gave us all a glimpse into how Linden Lab chooses to manipulate the Community, and how poorly Linden Lab is at completing projects. We have also seen that some people (The Top 10 Builders) recognizes this simple fact, and choose not to participate in it. I only wish that the rest of our Community would catch a clue and stand as ONE LOUD VOICE that demands a more Stable World and Less Bugs.
Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
I absolutely hated that answer back then, but I understood it. When the Linden's decided to become the sole judge, jury and executioner concerning these "Ad Farms", they also take the first slippery step on the long slope downward.
Let's give you some examples from our Real World shall we? We have at one time or another cried for our "Right to Freedom of Speech" when someone tried to hush us up, no matter what we were saying. That's a good thing, because many of our fore-fathers died protecting what the US Founders considered THE MOST IMPORTANT RIGHT FOR ALL MEN. That right is the FREEDOM TO SPEAK one's mind. No matter if I totally disagree with your position, I will FIGHT for your right to voice that position. Our own Supreme Court understands what it means to curtail Free Speech, as it has backed away time and again when presented with arguments as to why this persons speech should be curtailed but that persons speech shouldn't be.
Now, we have the great Linden Lab, the same people that thought releasing Cory Linden was a good thing, have decided apparently that they are wiser then even those sitting on our own Supreme Court. Linden Lab believes that they, and they alone, will be able to look into someones conscious and discover their intent about their "Ad Farm". Linden Lab apparently has psychic abilities, not yet known to other men or women, that will guarantee that they will be able to, 100% correct all the time, discern every single "Ad Farm" complaint.
Yes, it's quite sarcastic what I say, but tell me, do you honestly believe that Linden Lab will be able to discern every single person's intent? What about the times when it's not black/white? Will Linden Lab err on the part of FREE SPEECH or on the side of "who provides the most money?"
As a long-term resident, and one that provided the "seed" money Linden Lab asked for way back when by buying multiple life-time accounts, I'm worried about this proclamation from on high. I know it's impossible to be right all the time, and when Linden Lab gets it wrong, who suffers? We all do, because this is just one step down a very slippery slope, where we lose what was once perceived our "RIGHT" to do what we wanted on our land, to only God knows where when the smoke and dust have settled.
If Linden Lab is willing to take away the RIGHTS of the Land Owner, what next? How soon will it be, before they start taking away the Intellectual Property Rights of the Creators? You see, you think this is a good decision until you realize that Linden Lab can NOT BE RIGHT all the time. The one time they are wrong, we all lose. Not just our RIGHT to do what we want on OUR LAND, but every single RIGHT we were once granted by Linden Lab is now called into question.
There was a time when I would have said to those complaining about the "Ad Farms", to quit bothering the Linden's, not only will they NOT listen, but they shouldn't. Now I'm wondering just where Linden Lab will take us next? What RIGHT will be curtailed next? Where does it end?
For you that read this and say I'm just a complainer, well, read it again and understand that when you allow ONE RIGHT to be curtailed, you allow ALL RIGHTS to be curtailed.
It's a long slippery slope and at the bottom of the hill will lie the grave of Second Life.
At that time I was incensed, and I still am, by this philosophy of the Bug Squashing team, that they don't work on problems where there's NOT an easy fix.
Two weeks ago, I was kind enough to bring to Linden Lab attention, that there is a rather annoying bug on their website, specifically in the area of trying to send money to your PayPal account. The bug is simple that if you incorrectly type in your email address either in the first email address field or the second email address field, the next page you get says that the AMOUNT is not correct, not the address field that it should say. Being an ex-coder and HTML person myself, I know that this problem is quite easy to correct. Here we are though, TWO Weeks later, and the same problem still exists.
Apparently no longer does Linden Lab NOT work on issues without re-producable steps, they also don't work on issues that have re-producable steps. Just what does the Bug Squashing team spend its time doing these days? The so-called "fix" for the Asset Server problems still have left thousands of people without their items retrieved (myself included), their extra code to help find the Teleport Issue apparently hasn't turned up anything as more and more people complain about getting caught in the Teleport Loop.
Instead of commissioning some new initiative to have the "Top 10 Builders" in Second Life provide SIMs with Roads, Railways and other NOT NEEDED infrastructure, Linden Lab should be commissioning their own people to resolve the two problems that have plagued Second Life for more then a year!
Just WHEN will Linden Lab get around to fixing (and I mean completely) the Asset Server Issues and the Teleporting Issues. Months ago they announced initiatives that dealt with both of these, but those that announced the initiatives have grown strangely quiet. Apparently these two issues are just too hard for the current Linden Lab staff to fix.
So, once again we must ask: Just why was Cory fired? Was it the SMART thing to do, to release the ONE person that knew Second Life inside and out? Was it wise to let go one of the most passionate people that dealt with Second Life? Is it wise that Linden Lab is being run by a man that thinks to fix bugs means to slow down and stagnate, therefore our vision isn't on fixing bugs?
It really does seem to be getting worse by the week in Second Life. More people are reporting more and more problems, the Comments on the Blogs continue to ring with people asking for fixes, and Philip Rosedale and Robin Harper continue to lie, and worse yet, continue to NOT listen to their customers.
God Help Us, Cory can't!
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Region Data Corruption / Loss Problem Resolved
The interesting part of this Blog is when Hamilton Linden said that Linden Lab reported the BUG to the ISP where the problem was occurring and the VERY NEXT DAY it was fixed.
That began me thinking of how Linden Lab might take a lesson from their own experience's and begin offering the same level of excellence to their own customers.
This week in the world of Second Life has been rife with issues once again. Packet Loss is continuous, people crashing during Teleports has continued, people crashing using the Linden Lab client has increased, Rolling Restarts are becoming a part of our every day language, and I myself have spent more then one day "ruthed".
Where is this NEW VISION from Linden Lab, the one that promises us a Stable World, less bugs, and a more "transparent and open" Company? When with Linden Lab learn that Second Life is NOT a Social Experiment, it's a business and people pay their REAL MONEY to exist in the world?
I hate to say this, but "I told you so". I said in an earlier BLOG posting that the releasing of CORY LINDEN would be a MAJOR mistake, and with how things are now running, that seems to be the truth. Although it wasn't a reach by any imagination that Second Life would suffer even more after they released one of the BIGGEST driving forces behind Second Life. The real question is, who will Philip blame now that Cory is no longer around?
I've said this before and I continue to hold the same belief, it's time to change the HEAD; it's time for Phlip to step down and find someone more in-tune with the World of Second Life. Second Life needs someone who won't turn a blind eye and deaf ear to it's customers. Second Life needs someone who cares about the Community in Second Life. Second Life needs someone to do their JOB.
How much longer will we, the customers of Second Life, have to wait for a Stable World? How much longer will we be waiting for the "transparent and open" Linden Lab to actually be "transparent and open"? How much longer will we, the Customers of Second Life, have to wait before someone at Linden Lab actually cares about the problems within Second Life?
I invite ANYONE from Linden Lab to post the answers to these questions. I invite ANYONE from Linden Lab to actually DO THEIR JOB and FIX Second Life. I invite ANYONE from Second Life to be "transparent and open".
It's a shame that Linden Lab as a Customer gets excellent Customer Service, but they can't seem to provide anywhere close to the same level of excellence they received. If Linden Lab were provided the same level of Customer Service as they provide to their own Customers, there wouldn't be a Second Life, as Linden Lab would be down 24/7 and doing what the Second Life community is doing; screaming for real Customer Service.
Uncle Philip or Aunty Robin, just when will Linden Lab stop pretending? Just when will Linden Lab actually provide REAL Customer Service, and stabilize the World of Second Life? I only hope that when Linden Lab actually starts providing Customer Service, it will be while there are still people in the World of Second Life.