The Second Birthday week is a time of celebration, a time when people can express what SL means to them and promote how it can be used and enjoyed.
Throughout this week, and besides the inevitable parties and the like, we have a range of thought-provoking talks and presentations on a wide range of worthy subjects: disability, education, machinima, art in Second Life. The list is impressive.
Except that something is missing.
I’ve already commented on the lack of any real Linden presence at the SL8B opening, and while that may well be dismissed as grumpiness on my part, there is a bigger issue here.
SL8B represents a marvellous opportunity for LL to reach out to the user community and communicate with us – so where are they?
I’m not talking about glad-handing or getting involved in in-depth discussions about who, what, when, where, how and why; rather I’m talking about getting up on stage and giving an overview of what is coming down the road, things like:
- What is happening with Viewer 2?
- What is Mesh going to look like? (Given many haven’t see the results from the Beta Grid)
- What is happening around service improvements like Group chat and server-side lag issues?
These don’t have to be massive Q&A sessions (and can be set-up from the outset as such), but the opportunity to inform, particularly given LL’s reticence to actually consistently use its own “communications platform”, isn’t one to be sneezed at.
Again, I know that LL do turn out in force at SLCC year-in-year-out and talk about these very things but the fact is however you look at it, the SLCC audience is pretty closed-off. Even with videos of the presentations being streamed live & available for viewing after the fact, it’s fair to say that SLCC doesn’t quite have the reach or immediacy that SL itself potentially has.
In short, by not turning up at SL8B Linden Lab is again missing an opportunity for positive engagement with its users on a global scale. Lets face it – I can make it to SL*B events a bloody sight easier than I can make SLCC – and I think it fair to say that the majority of people who are involved in SL are in the same boat as me in this.
It’s not only a missed opportunity, it’s also somewhat ironic. It is not that log ago (a year, in fact), that Linden Lab were loudly touting Second Life as the tool for virtual meetings, and that given it now has media on a prim and other goodies, it makes a excellent tool with which to bring together people from geographically disparate locations and communicate with them.
So why on Earth isn’t the Lab using it’s platform to this end at an event people want to attend (and are attending in droves) to actually get out there and be seen and to talk and engage?
As it stands, the only Linden presence in any official capacity this year seems to be Kim (who, with due respect, was gone in the blink of an eye) and Rodvik. Hardly a massive tunr-out.
And, with the greatest of love and respect to him – Rodvik is someone I genuinely admire enormously – I do have concerns with his appearance.
You see, he’s due on the Main Stage at 3:00pm SLT on the 23rd June. But that is also the time FedoraJones Popstar is due on stage, which leaves me wondering if Rodvik’s appearance won’t actually be a quick duet before his is whisked off stage…
SL8B is a great opportunity for celebration; but it is also an outstanding opportunity for LL to be seen to be communicating and showing an interest in the platform, rather than hovering off to one side. And in this latter regards, they have once again failed to understand the medium at their fingertips.