Revival of Second Life?

Until last autumn we Second Life residents witnessed many negative things facing us. Linden Lab’s Jira was closed. The last names were not brought back despite of the numerous voices of the residents. Content creators were spitted on their faces, as Linden Lab made them swallow the new terms of service. Decline of the land mass also shed a shadow over the future of Second Life.

But then Linden Lab got a new CEO, Ebbe Altberg, appeared and seemed to take residents’ concerns seriously, even if many considered that just a “honeymoon” of the new grand leader. But does he really listen to his people? Would he see Second Life as an unique platform of digital culture instead of just a capitalist back box of making profit?

Jira Re-opened

The first concrete signal of the emerging new era was received, when Second Life Jira was re-opened in February 2014. The residents were able to read, create and comment on tickets again. It’s now possible to vote for and comment on some important issues, like SVC-472 (Region Crossings Fail), SVC-7125 (Bring Back Last Name Options!), SVC-2820 (Allow group IMs to be muted) and STORM-1716 (Mesh Deformer for tailoring mesh clothing). Wow!

Land Markets Refreshing

I’m not sure, if it’s just my subjective observation, but I would say, that Second Life land business is doing well. Just have a look at United Sailing Sims area, located east from the Blake Sea, and you won’t see many free parcels available there anymore! The same applies to the Confederation of Democratic Sims. Has the decline of land sales turned finally?

Yellow is not a dominant color anymore in the USS area

Yellow is not a dominant color anymore in the USS area

Terms of Service Revision Dawning

In April 11th, 2014, an interesting notice was posted in United Content Creators of SL group, quoting NuVibez Magazine:

I (Altberg) am working with legal council to figure out the right wording so that they have what they need to protect them, but that ensures that we all own the rights to our content and what we create. they even now and when the tos was announced, had no intention of ever taking our stuff nor was it their purpose.

Content creators, that are aware of their rights, should find this as a really amazing piece of news. This would be the first time in Linden Lab’s history, that I’m aware, that the lab corrects its prior decisions, showing that they listen to people. I’m impressed!

Still, we have not seen the outcome of the change, but there is true hope now instead of just hot air.

The man and the prim

The man and the prim

The Future

Second Life has really a potential to be The Platform for content creation and creativity, but will they be on that position in the future or become just another mass-entertainment-oriented company? Well, that will be seen, but at least the current trend looks promising.

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6 thoughts on “Revival of Second Life?

  1. Hello Timo. Thank you for your thoughts and the summary update! I didn’t know about the recent Jira reopening and status of some of the most prominent issues. I think these reversals in policy are positive reminders by the Lab that they are aware of both the negative perception of their management of customer issues, and the real practicality of: “Are we doing this (running the business of Second Life) more for the customers who use it, or more for us, the company?” I know striking a balance between commerce and the wide array of customer desires can be a big challenge at times, but leaving a door open for receiving customer comments and discussion over aspects of the product that are important to the customers is a great indication that the Lab is here to serve the people and not only themselves. It doesn’t take much business acumen to know that if a company doesn’t produce a product the customer wants, they’ll just go shopping somewhere else to find what they are looking for or find something else more enjoyable. I’m looking forward to what the days ahead will reveal. Wouldn’t it be great if all the issues you mentioned where finally cleared to everyone’s satisfaction so we could all move forward to put our attentions on and energies toward the next new, great challenges that could make Second Life even more fantastic?

    • Hello Dahlia and thanks for your great comment! Let’s hope, that Lab would take their customers a.k.a. community seriously and listen to their wishes. What could be a better marketing method than satisfied customers?

  2. I had many doubts about Ebbe at first, but have been impressed so far with the sensible changes he has made, so far. It’ll take a lot to roll back the damage that M did during his tenure though.
    The Marketplace, inworld search & classifieds, and the Linden Homes, all need attention. However, tier is probably the the most important. Hopefully Ebbe does his history enough to learn of the time when SL had too much land growth, and M artificially limited it with Homesteads pricing and perms (and favored the largest estate holders to the detriment of everyone else).
    Generally, I feel I am starting to feel excited again for the future of Second Life. After all, VR is coming and SL is the world’s biggest 3D playground. Ebbe just might be the right man to handle it – only time will tell ;)

    And yes Timo, nothing is better marketing than a happy satisfied customer. I shudder at the number of companies that seem to think customer service ends at the point of sale.

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