Sunday, June 20, 2010

Today is surreal

Well friends, today is the big day for me, and to be honest, it feels quite surreal.  I knew this was going to be a hard day emotionally, after 7+ years in a place, one tends to make a lot of good friends, and the prospect of not seeing those friends on a daily basis any longer, has me feeling a bit blue.  Enough to re-consider my departure plans?  No, sorry, even though I'm feeling "blue" I cannot in good conscious stay in a Virtual World where people, especially those who say they want to protect my IP rights, are STEALING my hard work.

To my friends, I understand the sadness you are feeling, believe me, I'm feeling it too.  There are some things that I must do though, and even though it's causing us both stress and sadness, it must be done.  You know me, I'm a principled man, one that cannot just sit and watch anyone do wrong to others, or myself.  With that said though, I want you all to know, that the past 7+ years have been the best years for me.  Without Second Life I doubt I would be alive today, you were here for me when no one else was, and I only hope I was there for you when needed.  I love each of you, and pray that everything you do in the future will be a huge success for you.  Thank You, each of you, Thank You.

Sorry Linden Lab, today I give up the fight, and in so doing, will waste no more words on your Ethics, or lack thereof.  I'm sorry Philip Rosedale chose to destroy the best thing he ever created, I'm sorry Linden Lab wasn't able to understand that the best asset they had were their customers.  I'm sorry Second Life can no longer be a safe haven for so many people that need it.

I of course, as I've said before, am remaining active in Virtual Worlds, specifically, InWorldz.  You can find me there, under the same name.  If you don't find me online, you can always email me.  So, with everything else being said, I suppose there's only one thing left to say.


Friday, June 11, 2010

Linden Lab Continues Lies and Bullshit Campaign

Well, I probably wouldn't normally respond to Linden Lab anymore, but when M Linden sends out a mass email full of the usual LIES and BULLSHIT, how can I not respond.

Let me make one thing perfectly clear before I respond to this lying asshole, I love Second Life.  Second Life is a wonderful Virtual World that has been DESTROYED by Linden Lab.  Oh certainly you can't see the destruction on the Surface, but look under the glitz and glamor and you see the ugly truth.

M Linden wants us to believe that Linden Lab has OUR interest in mind when he gives the OK to STEAL everything everyone has created in Second Life.  Listen, I don't give a rats ass as to WHY they want to use my creations, I would have just gone on living in Second Life unabated if Linden Lab said, "we just want you to know we might use pictures with your content showing in promotional materials", but that's NOT what they said.  Instead, M Linden gave the explicit OK to STEAL from each and every content creator.  M Linden now writes to say just how well the company is doing, and how they appreciate the content creators.  Well, here let's just let the letter speak for itself:

A Message from M Linden


Yesterday was a challenging but historic and important day for Linden Lab. We undertook a strategic restructuring to strengthen our business and enable us to move faster and with more focus on the things that matter. While it will have important ramifications down the line for Second Life, rest assured that there are no fundamental changes planned to our experience or platform, and that both the company and the inworld economy remain in a very strong position.

M Linden is wanting to be sure everyone knows that Second Life is safe, mainly because there has been a great mass migration away from the Second Life Grid.  Let me explain to everyone exactly why M Linden is wrong here and what he's NOT telling you (lying by omission).

M Linden doesn't want anyone to realize that the current mass migration from Second Life is being led by their Oldest Customers and Content Creators.  What does this mean?  Simply put, the world of Second Life will soon be devoid of many places that Residents have relied upon for Hair, Skins, Clothing, Textures, Structures, Sculpties and more.  M Linden doesn't mention this because he knows full well that if you, a normal everyday Resident, realized that Content Creators are leaving Second Life, you too would start thinking of abandoning the Second Life Grid as well.

M Linden wants you to believe that the INWORLD economy is "in a very strong position", but think about this, with the Content Creators leaving, just how long will that be true?  But here's what Linden Lab will wind up doing, and mark my words on this one, Linden Lab will dip into their Backups, even after the Content Creators leave, and take the Content they have Stolen and begin to operate their own inworld Stores, selling STOLEN merchandise, in a feeble attempt to keep the Second Life Grid strong and significant.

Our decision to restructure the company was based on our feeling that we were moving too slowly on important strategic initiatives, so we have decided to consolidate software development in the US and combine our product and technology organizations into one. We have also streamlined customer support so that it can scale economically as we add users. These decisions resulted in significant job eliminations and this tends to be what press and bloggers focus on because of the human dimension. It is indeed difficult for us to see our colleagues leaving.

M Linden says that Linden Lab believed they were moving too slow on "important strategic initiatives", yet, they were able to STEAL everything from the Content Creators overnight; another lie, or just an oversight?

So, once again Linden Lab says they are restructuring Customer Support. Each time Linden Lab says this, I must remind them that they have NO Customer Support to restructure. Perhaps Linden Lab's first objective should be to offer Customer Support, real Customer Support, to ALL Residents.

M Linden finally explains why he's firing all the OLD STAFF. Why? well, we still aren't sure, he just says he's sad to see them go, even though he's the one that's firing them. Have you heard the latest joke? Do you know when M Linden is lying? Any time he communicates!"

I am writing to you directly because I want you to know that Second Life – and Linden Lab itself – is in very good shape. As a company, Linden Lab remains financially very stable. Our balance sheet is strong and we are well-capitalized. We will close this year with record revenue and hopefully record users, and – with your help – record user-to-user transactions and record landmass. In May, we recorded more than 1 million logged-in Residents, 37 million user hours, US$52.8 million in user-to-user transactions and 31,800 enabled regions. Second Life is sound.

Once more, here M Linden is doing his best to assure everyone that Second Life is sound. I agree in as much as the Virtual World of Second Life is sound; it's the Developers that are a mess, a lying, stealing, stinking mess.

As a platform for the world's most robust virtual economy, Second Life remains as vibrant and healthy as ever. By bringing new people to Second Life, and by increasing the ways in which people can interact with the world and with the people, places, and things within it, we are paving the way for more growth. We remain committed to supporting and improving the SL Marketplace, to pushing forward on IP protection, and to growing the number of Residents that participate in the inworld economy.

M Linden keeps on telling you how wonderful Second Life is, and will remain. I think M Linden protests too much. But seriously, if Linden Lab would just keep their hands off Second Life, it would be a wonderful Virtual World, the problem is, every time M Linden and staff does something, they act out of pure greed. Linden Lab hasn't looked out for the better of the Second Life Residents for over 4 years now, and it's only going to get worse; especially now that Content Creators are leaving en masse

It is during times like this that partnerships are tested and I – as CEO – want you to know that we value our partnership with you and that Second Life and Linden Lab are solid. This kind of transition is difficult for any company, but it need not be difficult for our customers. Our restructuring leaves Linden Lab in a stronger position; Second Life remains the creative and inspiring platform it always has been.

M Linden values your partnership, so much so that M Linden wants to be sure your Creative Content, your hard work, are backed up forever and always can be used in Second Life. Of course, M Linden fails to mention that in order to make that happen, M Linden had to STEAL all that Content, but again, did you really expect M Linden would tell you the WHOLE TRUTH?

Best regards,

M Linden

Well, once again, there you have it. Once you take a close look at what M Linden is saying, it's fairly easy to see he's doing nothing new here. Lying, Stealing, it seems to come natural to M Linden. It's a shame that Linden Lab got lost along the way, but I, and many others, have given Linden Lab enough time to straighten out the path they are on, and how does Linden Lab award us? They Steal our hard work, they lie to us directly, they continue to be driven by greed; is it any wonder that we are leaving Second Life en masse?

I do hope that there will be a time in my life when I meet M Linden in person, so I can tell him to his face, directly, that he's nothing more then a Thief and a Liar. Just to be sure M Linden knows this, I'll be emailing him my remarks here, I would hate for him to think that I was a coward like he was. I've fought to keep Second Life going, I've fought to see that Second Life was the wonder we all knew it could be, I've fought, I've yelled, I've screamed and all the while, M Linden couldn't see past the Dollar Signs. This is your greatest mistake M Linden, by not recognizing that it's the RESIDENTS of the world of Second Life that make the world of Second Life, not the other way around.

Friday, June 4, 2010

2 Weeks and Counting

It's been an interesting 7+ years and as my ride starts winding down, I'm melancholy, happy, sad, angry and relieved.

When I look back on my 7+ years in Second Life, I'm happy with who I am, who I've become, and the legacy I will leave.  Not only will people remember their New Resident Q&A Events, where they could get all their questions answered, honestly, but there are a lot of people in Second Life today, who are paying it forward.  One thing I asked everyone that I helped, especially when they were New Residents, was that they remember what I did for them, and when they were in such a position with others, they do for others, as I did them.

How can I not mention the greatest asset of Second Life, the people.  Over the past 7+ years, I've discovered new best friends, old friends thought lost, lost friends to the ravages of time, and discovered that some friends were only my friend because of what I was doing for them.  I wouldn't change anything I went through in Second Life, as I learned valuable lessons in my life, learned some very important life lessons, and will leave Second Life a richer person for the friends I've met and made here.

Linden Lab started out with the right "Frame of Mind", and many of you will say as they grew into a large Corporation, Linden Lab had to become what they are today.  Today, Linden Lab thinks only about how they can make MORE money.  Today, Linden Lab thinks only about how THEY can use people to get what they want, like some friends I know.  The sad part about the story of Linden Lab is that they didn't have to grow into this Corporate Monster that many make excuses for.  Linden Lab could have been a Corporate Entity that made money but also cared what their Customers thought.  Linden Lab chose to change for the worse, too afraid to be different, too afraid to listen to their Customers, too afraid to be a part of the minority.  Linden Lab, and the Employee's, made their choices as to how they would treat their Customers, as to the Lies they would tell, as to the hard work they would Steal.  I know it's an antiquated way of thinking, but there was a time when a Corporation was kept from being a total douche by the employee's that worked there.  A Corporation can only go so far as the employee's allow it, which speaks volumes about the people who bought into the lie of Linden Lab and kept the ship trained on the path of Corporate Greed.  Linden Lab employee's have asked me to lie when answering questions as a Mentor.  Linden Lab employee's have Suspended my account. in violation of their own Rules, merely because they didn't like what I was saying.  Linden Lab employee's have done favors for myself and others, merely because we were, at the time, thought of as preferred customers; while "features" were not granted, our lives were made easier, and we were given an advantage over other Residents.  This is the type of employee that Linden Lab has, one's who say it's too inconvenient to do the right thing, so they go along with the wrong.

Second Life is a wonderful world, one that I was proud to be associated with.  Second Life was a world that, despite the Developers, was a world made good by the Residents.  Second Life was able to help people, educate people, make people's lives easier, allow people from all over the world to experience each other in a way a simple chat cannot.  Were there people who used Second Life for their own immoral purposes, who used Second Life just to make a quick buck, who used Second Life to hand out their own brand of frustration and mean?  Yes, and they, along with the Developers, did everything they could to tear down Second Life, and while their actions received more press, it was the actions of the small group of people, who after hearing their friend hadn't ate in over a week, sent food and money so that could be rectified, that will live on in the annals of the Second Life Community, long after Second Life dies.

The only reason I am leaving Second Life, is because of Linden Lab.  It's ironic that because of an individual at Linden Lab invited me to beta test Second Life that I was here at all and it's the actions of a CEO who wants to own it all, that have shown me that Second Life is no longer the world that is safe for Content Creators as it once was.  Please don't insult me today and tell me that Linden Lab is only claiming ownership of my Content to use in a small subset of circumstances.  The fact is, I don't care WHY they chose to Steal my Content, it's the fact that they chose to STEAL my Content.  Why is it we allow a Corporate Entity to Steal from us, and yet, if a person did the same thing, we'd be screaming for Justice?  My justice has been announced, I will not stay in Second Life, where those that run the world have chosen to STEAL.

Goodbye my friends, I hope you all the best, I pray we continue to be friends, and that you will join me over at InWorldz, where I will now call my new Virtual Home.