Monday, November 3, 2008

Dust in the Wind....

Last Friday, I had the pleasant experience, well mostly pleasant, to be in the group of people that knew Robin Harper's Office Hours would be held at Noon PDT.

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".

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