Is it just me or is there a lot more criticism of Linden Lab lately? I’ve been reading a number of recent articles in top ranked Second Life news & views blogs, and I’m noticing a lot of criticism being aimed at the Lab. Also, friends have spoken to me about SL being in decline, and I admit I’m feeling a growing sense of loss each time a great sim closes or a friend leaves.
Some posts I’ve read are disturbing, like Will Linden Lab Ever Do Anything Right? by Metacam Oh. Others are humorous and reflective, like The Second Life Diaries, a lighthearted post about some of LLs struggles in the past, by Tateru Nino. Nonetheless, each of these posts has helped me fit a couple new pieces into my own mosaic of who and what the Lab is.
Frankly, in my SL lifetime I thought the Mark Kingdon era was a disaster, so I became relatively hopeful with his departure. Although I knew nothing about Rod Humble, I was very impressed with his keynote speech at SLCC this past Summer. I feel that Humble has a unique perspective, so I’m on board with his leadership.
But my own inworld experiences and the many recent published criticisms has left me wondering if LL is really aware of what’s going on.
So, last night I was lucky to find a Linden who had a few moments to chat with me. And I asked if there was an awareness of the recent Lab criticism out on the SL news network?
To my surprise, my contact was somewhat surprised. In fact, my contact felt it was odd and cited some of the positive developments, such as LL meeting development rollout targets, focusing on issues we peeps have wanted fixed, plus positive Economy stats (recent growth of land and users). That was it, just a brief chat and it was late, so I went to bed still mulling all this.
This morning, I woke with this question of “what is going on” still making my organic multi-tasker buzzy. Are recent criticisms uncalled for? Is Linden Lab just not listening?
I find many criticisms I’ve read to be valid; however, some criticisms seem overly harsh. I find Linden’s focus on moving forward to be valid; although I think it’s a mistake to have no view into the criticisms. (Do I sound like a Gemini yet?)
The reason I mentioned Tateru’s post is that she created a snapshot of the Lab inventing the future, and that’s what Linden Lab is doing, btw. Going from a — Yo’ dude “snakes roaming the servers are awesome” — virtual playground to today’s vast virtual world has been a journey of invention. Tateru’s humor resonated with me because I come from a tech startup background (yes, little ole me). So, I’m now tending to see that the Lab is in a race to stay relevant in a rapidly evolving gaming & social networking land rush. In short, I’ve gone kinda neutral on the harsh criticism thing.
For those of us who just want to enjoy a relatively seamless virtual world, the negativity, problems & criticisms take their toll. Ntl, I’m personally pretty happy right now. I know some great places to go and events to attend. I have a great new home. I have a lot of hot clothes and fab hairstyles. I’m also loving the Wintry, Christmastime season. And hey, most of my good friends are still here and making new ones every day.