“Today Marks The End of Second Life”

“Today Marks The End of Second Life” is the title of a blog post by Darrius Gothly. I recommend reading it but I don’t recommend going all the way with his plan, which includes: “4)Abandon your Sims and Rental Land.” But since this whole JIRA thing started getting to me, at least I’m considering “5) Look for somewhere else to enjoy Virtual Worlds.” Was September 6th the end of SL?

<Yordie Sands’ human speaks>

I was smart enough to become the 2nd in command of a software engineering organization, one which went public, raised nearly $150 million in public offerings. I was the only woman in the original seven who formed that company. I grew the software engineering team from 17 to 30, but I mention this because I had a very collaborative relationship with our chief technology officer. Our CTO was a visionary and he possessed those qualities of passion, relentlessness and inquisitiveness. He knew what our product was and despite all the noise coming from our CEO, CFO, marketing, product development, he never lost sight of what mattered. He wasn’t a Steve Jobs, but he was grown in the same soil. I don’t know Philip Rosedale but from what I know, I believe he was grown in that soil as well.

Technology visionaries create products so unique that everyone understands the achievement. They are not people who hang around in board rooms for a few days a month, brainstorming ‘big ideas’ and strategies and missions. They are people who engage — Engage — in the creative process. The funny thing is, these are the kind of people who venture capitalists try to discover during grueling interviews and background investigations.

I don’t know what happened with Philip Rosedale and the LL board, but it doesn’t take a genius to see the result. The board was still envisioning the 1996 vision of a virtual mall or some such thing, and they basically replaced their visionary with an adult, Mark Kingdon. Kingdon seems to have been a good exec and implemented the boards’ virtual business experiment. It failed completely but Kingdon’s legacy lives today in the Viewer 2 debacle. There are business and technology geniuses on the LL board, but there is no sign that anyone there is Engaged or even gives a darn about the product they created.

This is the last time I’ll say this, but I have to make this point one last time. In the 1970s and early 80s, the Xerox Corporation brought together the top computer scientists in the world at their Palo Alto Research Center. That group invented the future of technology for the next 20 years and even to this day. If you don’t know the story of PARC, you really should read about it because there was a day when they invited the young Steve Jobs to visit.

In the public television special, “Triumph of the Nerds”, Steve Jobs was interviewed about that day. He was electrifying in his description of what he saw. Jobs talked about objected oriented programming and revolutionary network technology. But Jobs said he didn’t care about any of that because all he could think about was Xerox’s graphical user interface, the windowed operating system. Jobs was handed the future! As you know, Jobs introduced the MacIntosh in 1984 and went on to create a new future of 21st century technology. The failure of Xerox management to understand what they possessed or how to capitalize on it has been written about by many. If you want to truly understand what happened,  “Fumbling the Future” provides an explanation.

I doubt that the Linden Lab board has an understanding of their hallmark product. And yet, LL continues to make decisions that adversely impact this treasure.

Philip Rosedale created a global community, a virtual economy, almost a virtual Disneyland. He seems to have acted with the passion, inquisitiveness and relentlessness required to bring many technologies and ideas together. He and his team created this thing, this Second Life. Maybe Rosedale lost his way or lost interest or was tired of being second guessed.

When Rod Humble arrived on the scene and spoke about his quest to understand Second Life’s “secret sauce”, I bought in completely. Rodvic had the right attitude. CEO Rod sought to understand the treasure he was presiding over. However, somewhere in the past year it sounds like either he couldn’t figure it out or he was directed toward goals set by the board.

Are LL board members engaged in Second Life?  Of course the board isn’t engaged in SL. So, it comes down to LL management, are they engaged? And if they are, are they maintaining anything resembling virtual lives, engaged with virtual communities or struggling with the endless new technologies that cause so many inworld problems.

Second Life “Residents” built spectacular content and created a world of many unique communities. And today, we now know that LL no longer cares what happens to those people. If land fees weren’t so expensive, perhaps more would be able to create even a more spectacular world.  If you ask any resident what Second Life is, I’ll bet you get a very board range of answers. I’ve tried to define the “secret sauce” in the past but as LL began to close its doors to its users, I just gave up the project.

Where is Second Life’s Steve Jobs? Where is the guy who’ll visit the Lab and see what is going on, then invent our future? If Rod Humble or one of the Lab’s other top people is our Steve Jobs, why are they hiding behind the curtains that are drawn so tight?

It’s a virtual global community, stupid! It needs leadership from someone we can believe in. Canary Beck has written about community issues and her partner,  Harvey Crabsticks has suggested we need a government and more equitable taxation. There are many others with great knowledge and opinions.

This is the last Yordie Sands’ human will be speaking about this topic.

</Yordie Sands’ human speaks>

From the beginning, I knew that if I became involved in the “issues” of Second Life I’d become damaged. No one knows everything, but I now know too much. I’m very disappointed with decisions Linden Lab’s board is making. I want Rodvic to create the future of virtual world and the Second Life global community. I fear that he doesn’t have time to understand the virtual world he governs and I’m certain the LL board doesn’t.

I know that I can’t withstand another Linden Lab outrage. I’ll have to find a way to become the happy girl I used to be. Maybe my human’s relocation is the kind of distraction we both need right now. I’ll try to seek guidance in Mr. Crap’s words, “It is what it is.” But I’m feeling more like “to hell with it.” (pardon my language)


About Yordie

I'm an avatar in Second Life where I star as the heroine of a virtual fantasy life. In the real world, I'm writing my debut sci-fi novel.
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9 Responses to “Today Marks The End of Second Life”

  1. >> It’s a virtual global community, stupid! It needs leadership from someone we can believe in.<<

    Well put. Great post, Yordie.


  2. Ellia Noel says:

    I loved the story and I agree we need people in charge that love SL. Leaders that can envision its future, see the magical side and spur growth…not people just wanting to make a profit.


  3. Gaga says:

    I feel the emotion in your words, Yordie and I have read your concerns about the future of Second Life before. I long since made the decision (at the time of the Open Spaces fiasco) to explore the open Metaverse and today I have one foot on either side of the fence with 2 RPG sims in SL that I wont give up lightly and sims in OSgrid and a private Opensim standalone. The virtual community is bigger than Second Life and some of the role players I know have been happily crossing the line to play in both worlds but I would hate to see SL die the death of a thousand cuts which seems to be what is happening. On my own blog I have explored this issue too and I think LL is taking a huge risk with Rodvik’s video gaming plan and it may or may not work out. The changes could save SL and even make the company richer which must be what the Lab wants but will it enrich the virtual world we all know and love. Somehow I don’t think so.


    • Yordie says:

      Hi Gaga… yes, i was emotional today. maybe i’m at a point where i really do need to step away from the cliff and just let things take there course. the things that keep me in SL are many, especially friends. but i feel other grids may have become a necessary step. i want a place for my imagination to run free. i hope Rodvic is successful but you are right, they seem to be taking yet another risk. Thank you for your thoughtful response. i’ve heard of your blog and need to spend some time there. but its late and i’m off to bed. hugs


  4. Well, I also did the step and even if i love and i’m proud of belonging to OSG (Why i would still host our 5 regions there all days, for more then 6th months already!) I spent now all my time back on Sl!
    The reason is only one, there are some things that i can leave without and only Sl is giving Me!
    Mainland travels, where i can grab a bike, from a small spot we bought and build on (Start using my premium rights to bid some land:))
    I can cross countless sims (yes i can get caught on some sim crossings for a few sec on the air spinning around, but where on Phoenix or any viewer, i would crash, on Niran i end back to the bike and to the sim i wanted to come in, and replace bike for plane, for boat or car and you see why i Love Niran’s!)
    Mainland buildings, so much and so amazing and only noticed if you really use a vehicle!
    Ppl, lots and lots still, be on concerts, on adult clubs, on exibitions!
    Sure, OSG community is amazing, in helping or welcoming new users!
    Sure, OSG can hold old computers, still allows imprudence to be the best viewer any can wish to use, as Firestorm!
    Sure OSG mesh is way better, building limitations does not exist, land can be completely free and endless (If a 6 years old computer can host a full 15000 sim as MY love one is hosting TTZZ, so many that now are getting outdated on SL can still enjoy virtual worlds!) and the quality of the content avaiable, much better now then it was when i joined and forget about that idea of all being stollen, there is much more to gain with copy bot on Sl then on any open sims grid!
    Sure, i can have a sim with 2 million prims to build with, a region of the size of 1024 sims (Its true both already achieved)
    Sure, bullets physics is on the final stages to be a choice for the ones that love sailing or just wish to have a better alternative to Havoc dated engine!
    Sure, Npc are a reality and they are amazing to create and see in world!
    Sure, scripts are much better, regions can hold much more users, live events are growing steadly, hypergrid are allowing any to explore the more then 200 grids already linked together, where OSG is only 1!
    But i do not believe in being in 2 places at once, it does not work for me that way and i made a choice, to be in SL!
    Future will tell if Im remain or if i go back to our lovely, free and endless regions on OSG!


  5. Dina says:

    Ahh, for me SL is all about the people. The mesh, the sailing, the building all take such a back seat to the human interaction and community. I can only hope that the techmeisters will leave us a place to play and interact.


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