Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Let's put some points to a final rest

OK friends, it seems my last Blog has found an audience, and while I'm forever a skeptic, I will allow Peter to say he has no attachment to the "Lab" what so ever. But, I think I should address some interesting points that Peter does raise in his comments, and perhaps even try to see why us "old folk" seem hell bent on getting what we pay for.

First, Peter wants to lay some ground work to his Comment, so let's see what that is:

"I am not particular to what size/complexity the software/hardware system is that runs SL. But I am pretty sure it is HUGE and COMPLEX. Whether it needs to be so complex and whether the complexity is more of a burden these days is open to discussion by people more qualified than I am. But we can safely assume it is huge and it is complex"

While I agree that the System's that run Second Life might be "massive", I won't give any sort of ground because a company's product is "massive" or "complex". Linden Lab chose this to be their Product, and in doing so, have an ETHICAL commitment to provide that Product without issue. This is one of the arguments that many people bring up when first coming to the "defense" of "The Lab". Let's find us a suitable Product where we can draw some distictions from. How about your Cable Router, that seems to be quite a "massive" and "complex" network, and yet, people don't want to hear how an engineer failed to correctly input and test new router code this morning, which caused just 1 hour of minimal service. How about your Television Networks, would you be glad to hear that one of the Television Engineers accidentally put in his copy of "Debbie Does Dallas" and broadcast it just for 38 seconds when your kids were supposedly watching the new episode of 90210? Everyone who deals in "massive" and "complex" systems understands that they need to be careful of what they do, else it will not only cost them their job, but it could also cost their employer's a LOT of money. So, while "The Lab" runs a "massive" and "complex" system, doesn't excuse them for the mistakes we see, no matter how small they might be, on a weekly, and sometimes a daily, basis. Furthermore, "The Lab" while admitting mistakes are made, apparently aren't doing a good job of making certain that all employee's need to test, re-test, re-test and re-test some more, because every little item that goes wrong, adds up after a while; which is by the way, the WHOLE POINT to the last few threads.

Peter goes on to say:

"I am following the grid status blog as well, and the service interruptions are usually minor. Dividends delayed for a day, group payouts delayed for some. A few regions offline. I recall one emergency patch deployed. But now showstoppers."

I agree that no "show-stoppers" have recently come to light, but my point is again, that if you add up every little bit that goes by each week and day, you begin to see a pattern of Failure. It's like what happens when you drop a toad into boiling water, he jumps out. But, put a Toad in room temperature water and slowly raise the water temperature, the Toad stands there as if nothing is going wrong. We, the customers of Second Life, are like the Toad who've been standing in the water so long, that we EXPECT Linden Lab to mess something up and no longer do we hold them to their task. Linden Lab hasn't been getting better over time, it's been getting worse. While there may not be any "show-stoppers" going on, there are still failures that are being repeated weekly, and yet, because we are used to Linden Lab failures, we just sit idly by and accept that they will fail us, happily, like the Toad. Yet, one of the MAIN REASONS we loose New Residents is because of the FAILURES of Linden Lab. The New Residents aren't used to be treated so shamefully, so they take exception to what "The Lab" is doing and leave. One thing we can say for sure, when people try out Second Life, then leave, and they put in some Forum that we, the current Residents of Second Life are foolish for staying in a system that fails as much as Second Life, they are right, even though it might hurt me to say, they are still right.

Now Peter goes on to say that "The Lab" is great about communicating failures, and he's sure other complex systems fail as well, but they just don't say anything about it, actually I should let Peter say it in his own words:

"The point you completely miss here is that the Lab actually COMMUNICATES these issues! If group payouts are delayed for some residents, they could just as well "hush it up". But no, they actively and timely communicate it on the grid status. I am pretty sure systems of similar (or even smaller complexity) have a similar number of small glitches - only you never hear about them."

The problem with this argument is Peter assumes there are daily failures at other complex and massive systems, but we never hear about them. Well, I can't speak to that which I never hear about, but I can say that my Phone works, My Cable Router works, My Cable TV works. When there are interruptions, while they are apologetic, at least my Cable company will give me rebates on the cost when I can't use their service. One thing I can speak to though, other Company's that run massive and complex systems don't keep people employed who routinely fail at their job; is that true at "The Lab"?

Finally though, Peter explains the issue he has with my recent post:

"If we would have a showstopper every week, I could understand your position. But focusing on those minor and noncritical things seems a bit over the top to me"

As I have pointed out before, my issue is that we have these MINOR (and in your words) non-critical things going wrong week after week after week after week after week after week. When do you consider all these little things that go wrong weekly to add up to a Biggie? Apparently Linden Lab cannot keep Second Life going for a simple 7 days without any issues, minor or major. Not only that, but they haven't been able to keep a clean slate for quite some time now. What other conclusion can I come to except that the employee's at Linden Lab are either to lazy or incompetent to do their job for which they were hired? IF these are MINOR and NON-CRITICAL issues, why can't they seem to fix them? Please don't give me the tired argument of it being "massive" and "complex", as I've done a fairly substantial job of removing that as an argument. So, what is it about Linden Lab that they can't keep their own PRODUCT going without one single issue, major or minor, for a simple 7 days? While we are on this subject, why hasn't the Asset Sever issue been fixed yet, it's been three years and still the problem exists?

Peter, I don't know if you are a friend of mine in Second Life or not, but, if you know me in Second Life you would know I have already raised these crucial points with you there. I am no longer going to keep calling Linden Lab out for their poor service, as they seem to have given up on it themselves, otherwise, why after a year, does Linden Lab STILL have an F Grade from the BBB? Since I can see that Linden Lab is unwavering in it's own incompetence, what's the point of me continually asking someone from Linden Lab to comment on it? What's most amazing is how Linden Lab just continues to walk by like nothing is wrong, yet, we, the Customers, can see that the Emperor has lost its clothing.

1 comment:

Peter Stindberg said...

No, we never met in SL, and I have no idea how I found yur blog :-)