PostHeaderIcon Roadmap - Please Don't Get Lost

Snapshot_006I always have said that I stand behind most of what Linden Lab does regarding ideological policy and "code law". I have harped time and again that employees of, and Linden Lab itself as a whole are not tyrants (though a few likely are or could easily be cast into that category.)

I also have harped on the fact that Linden Lab turns not on a dime, but rather more like the Titanic or other behemoth, whether it really is or not. This is due to the nature of relationship Linden Lab has created and maintains with it's customers.

They are not wholly transparent (and people actually will whine and bitch about this,) but they are far more transparent and accommodating than (choose your country) your Federal Government, your Automobile manufacturer even the very ISP you use to connect to the internet proper.

Case in point:
Intellectual property infringement is a serious matter, and we trust that those developing copying tools will view it that way. The penalties for copyright infringement under U.S. law include damages in amounts up to $30,000.00 USD per work and in cases of willful infringement up to $150,000.00 USD per work.

[From Official Second Life Blog]

When landbots were taking advantage of careless users selling land for L$1 (yes, I really do believe and hold that it is the user's fault) and sniping land-sales causing those careless users to lose a lot of money, when people were griping to Linden lab at every blog post, regardless of whether it was "on-topic" about grid stability and even actually complaining that particular 'features' did not exist in the viewer or servers - such as "return teleporting" - Linden Lab does listen.

As in this example, though it was a long-time coming, Linden Lab is finally making their effort and ideas known, in this case with regard to Intellectual Property rights (and by the way, I like this roadmap.)

They don't always give the feedback in answer to the whining - and I suspect part of that has to do with how shrill some people can be. For instance, the return-teleporting feature was introduced quietly in a viewer update and people still were bitching about it - until others pointed out "hey, dip-shit, look at your chat history after you teleport the next time and stop bitching."

A roadmap is no guarantee of anything.

But it is feedback to the community at large that Linden Lab does listen. That they do pay attention to our concerns and they actually do try to satisfy our needs and wants.

I mean c'mon people. Thy aren't stupid. They are in business to make money and each employee make a living. Every decision that comes out of the 'Lab' is geared toward that end. The world, real or virtual does not revolve around you.

Take it or leave it. Either way, Linden Lab is going to do what they want or need to do to ensure business remains viable, whether you bitch about it or not, and rightly so.

Snapshot_019Thus, how about we all take a deep breath, and rather than shrill screaming and demoralizing shouting and whining and bitching at Linden Lab, we rather open a calm, informative and constructive dialog with them.

I know, the first "complaint" against this statement is "who do we talk to?" and so on. Well, for starters there are hundreds of blogs devoted to Second Life and how it affects us, how we affect it and how "the world turns".

And higher-ups at Linden Lab do read them. Not all of them to be sure, but there are many - it will be the ones that take a more serious, grounded approach to all these 'issues' we face.

I have always known this because I have received direct communication from many Lindens over the last couple years and it also is in the job description of the Linden Lab "Community Communications Manager":
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Develop a comprehensive strategic plan to increase awareness of key Linden Lab messages to internal and external stakeholders utilizing the tools we have available including the Linden Lab blog.

Identify trends, provide solutions for Resident communication and encourage community participation.  Develop metrics and tracking to validate community interaction.

Organize and provide oversight to Linden Lab blog, including the development of best practices, maintaining blog calendar, and editing executive blog posts.

Work with Communications team to ensure community initiatives messaging is consistent and to coordinate messaging and brainstorm ideas with Executive team.

Develop Community outreach plans for utilizing a variety of tools including MOTD, Login Screen, Showcase, Twitter, Forums, Plurk, and inworld events

Monitor blogosphere and Twitter keeping team up to date on Virtual World issues trends.

Provide oversight and monitoring of third party forum moderation consultants.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities:

Identify trends, provide solutions for Resident communication ...

Monitor blogosphere and Twitter keeping team up to date on Virtual World issues trends.

Provide oversight and monitoring of ...

[Abridgment, truncation and emphasis is mine.]

So, or starters follow those blogs that try in good faith effort to 'report' on 'news' from and about Linden Lab and the Second Life and other grids. Then, reply to those posts that interest you most. be respectful and clear in your meanings when doing so. And in doing so, Linden Lab will hear your voice.

And let's face it, we all get better communication, feedback and even avenues of communication with Linden Lab than with most other companies we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

So my comment to Linden Lab:

Million LindensMark and everyone else, you work hard and I know that. You are running a business and I know that. Your jobs are to ensure Linden lab and your products remain viable, are profitable and put food on your tables and I know that.

Thank you for providing a wonderful playground, and at no charge whatsoever, even. Thank you for working hard to make it better, even if we, your customers, don't all agree with all aspects of this.

My one request regarding communication, regardless of how it is made is this: in cases like the "BuilderBot" and "CopyBot" and other "highly-emotional" issues, at least throw us a bone and say "we know about your concerns, we are looking into it, evaluating the situation and will reply as soon as we are able"

...or something. And I don;t mean through some press release to Tateru Nino or Hamlet Au, but rather though your official blog. That way, most, if not all the Grid-related blogs will pick it up, rebroadcast and the word get out faster and farther.

For readers of this blog, I personally endorse, for good, serious and reliable news on the Second Life Grid and Linden Lab: Tateru Nino's reporting at Massively (Second Life-only category); Dusan Writer (who tends to ramble-on like I do!); Vint Falken at; Hamlet Au at New World Notes; And of course Common Sensible!

There are many other blogs to be sure. But for me, these are the reliable "news-oriented" blogs I read and follow on a daily basis. (And, just as I finish this post-up on Wednesday morning to Post Thursday, I see Tateru already is on the ball with her own report on this roadmap. Hence the reason I check for her reports religiously.)

So, if you had one chance to say one thing to Linden Lab or even Mark Kingdon, CEO, what exactly would that be?
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