PostHeaderIcon Inside the Horse's Mouth: No Rotten Teeth...Yet

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="179" caption="M Speaks. And its all pretty. The world is good. Calling all journalists to repeat."][/caption]

"M" posted another blog entry on the Second Life blog, his second in as many months.

It's a good read. highly detailed and a lot of information. It highlights a couple things for me: Not in what's said, but rather, what is said.

I'll explain...

It's a very long post. Of course, he's the Chief Executive officer (CEO) - you know, the big kahuna. Obviously he didn't make the post himself (well, maybe he did, in which case I'll be really impressed.) Rather, he more likely sat in his office, built a bulleted list, passed it off for his assistant or secretary to write, he to touch-up then off to the PR firm for a good vetting then back to the blog to be posted under his name.
'M' sez:
"As the leader in virtual worlds — in terms of numbers of users, user hours and the size of our virtual economy, revenue, profitability and brand awareness — we take our responsibility seriously. We will continue to invest in innovations that benefit our current and future residents as well as the entire industry."

Hey, nothing wrong with this. He's a busy guy. And I would rather he spend his time directing Linden Lab and Linden Research (is he CEO of that one, too?) rather than spending an hour or two dreaming up such wonderful and hopeful words to be posted on the Second Life blog.

However, I for one do appreciate his effort. It is pretty rare that the CEO of a company would even think of, much less actually communicate directly with his end customers. At all.

I applaud Linden Lab for it.

However, nothing was said. The CEO's blog post is all marketing spin. The communication isn't really intended for you or I. It's intended for the media. Journalists scrape and monitor that blog every single day, likely all day long.

So, 'M', you haven't really said anything worthwhile to the residents. You were feeding the news media and there's nothing wrong with that. It's all good information and positive news. Only the positive. The flip-side of the coin in the lowering of virtual land-purchase pricing, (specifically: estates,) has put a real damper on the virtual land portion of the economy.

The open space simulators are what's doing it. as an estate owner, I would sell or lease land to residents. many of whom are just looking for a nice place to plop a virtual home, some looking for a place to plop a larger retail place or an event center of some sort, such as a virtual club.

Well, to cover my monthly tier (sim hosting fee) - I have to charge enough monthly Linden Dollars to cover it. However, with the low cost of these open space sims, it's easier to just buy one of those and own it. Why lease space from another estate owner?

So, though my tenants were very happy, with the real world economy getting shaky with oil prices and such, people are taking a break from Second Life  (not to mention the usual summer slow-down already kicking in) - so when they leave, they aren't coming back. A parcel that has gone vacant used to be snatched-up within hours. Now, the same parcel will sit for a week or two as those potential tenant choose instead to purchase open space sims. on top of that, with the mad rush to sell land  - specifically the flood of Governor Linden land placed for auction - the land search is flooded beyond comprehension.

Now all of this is conjecture and opinion on my part. But it's what the virtual world appears like from my own perspective.

So the warm and fuzzy, yet highly detailed message from Linden Lab's CEO is really just a polished rock. If you follow the news and blogosphere around Second Life, you already know just about everything that was mentioned or talked about in 'M's post.

So, Mister CEO, What I'd like to see you post about is this: what is the direction you intend to take Second Life - with regard to its residents? What is the news on the grid stability front? The new viewer is leaps and bounds more stable and functional than past versions, and there are some really nice usability features, but what's next?

How is Linden Lab's business model changing (as it must change) with regard to the opening of the grid paradigm? after all, you are now primarily the end-all provider, but when interconnectivity between grids and micro-grids become a reality, you will be nothing more than a hosting provider, much like a web site host.

Sure, perhaps you will be the company that manages Linden Dollar economy and assets. But when users go from hundreds of thousands to million to billions concurrently... how will you handle that? What is your answer to Microsoft eyeing the grid and looking to interject their identification-tracking technologies?

What are your answers to all the other grids and server alternatives that are popping up all over the place? We, as residents and consumers are sick and tired of the VHS vs. Betamax and Blue-Ray vs. HD DVD wars. 

Certainly you don't intend that. But when other companies like Microsoft and whomever else decides they can do something better, they will come out with competing, albeit incompatible technologies. Then the 'format wars' start up all over again.

Remember Netscape, Novel, Lotus, Word Perfect, Borland? All leaders in the computing industry. All number-one, defacto standards when at the top of their game. Now?

Novel barely hangs-on as an also-ran. WordPerfect is a niche product, Borland is practically unheard-of, Netscape is not even the same product any more and Lotus doesn't even exist.

What happens to Linden Lab when all this convergence occurs.

What are you doing to keep Linden Lab on top? What is the direction you intend to take us?

Don't tell me what I already know. all the feel-good news around the world and how the economy functions. I don't care about the the economy, other than how it affects me directly. I don't care about a lot of the other things happening on the grid.

Just like the real world, I care about the weather in my home town and what's happening here. However, I do keep an eye on what the federal government is doing, because it affects all of us, including me.

So, on your next post, tell us what will happen that affects all of us. yes, I expect it to all be polished spin, but if it affects everyone, I'd sure like to know about it because, like everyone else, it will affect me personally.
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