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Announcing Second Life "Behind-the-Firewall" Product on Nov 4th

by Linden on ‎10-28-2009 05:26 PM

In April, we announced that "Second Life Lives Behind a Firewall," and that our new product was in Alpha. Since that time, the Enterprise Team has been hard at work evolving and deploying our software into many organizations--both as an Alpha and closed Beta. Now, I'm proud and excited to share that we're ready to announce general availability of the Beta product next week.

On Wednesday, November 4th at 11:15 am - 12:00 pm PST, Doug Thompson (SL: Dusan Writer) will moderate a mixed-reality panel at Enterprise 2.0 in San Francisco and Metanomics inworld with Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab's CEO, Neil Katz, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director IBM Virtual Spaces, CIO Office Innovation Initiatives, Steve Aguiar, Program Manager at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center's (NUWC's) Metaverse Strategic Initiative, and Douglas Maxwell, Program Technology Lead also at NUWC's Metaverse Strategic Initiative.

As shared on the Metanomics site,

"Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab, will unveil “Nebraska”, a stand-alone solution based on the technology that runs the popular Second Life virtual world. “Nebraska” is the much-anticipated behind-the-firewall solution which will allow enterprise to host their own virtual world environments within their organizations. Mark will talk about the benefits of the platform, the intended audience, and how it fits into the broader challenges and opportunities of “enterprise 2.0”. Mark will be joined by a number of customers who have used Nebraska during the closed beta phase of development. The panel will explore the benefits, lessons learned, barriers and opportunities which arise from integrating virtual world solutions into the enterprise.The event will include panelists appearing live in San Francisco and others who will join from the Metanomics Main Stage in Second Life."

So, mark your calendars and come join us--physically in San Francisco at Enterprise 2.0 or virtually on Metanomics that will also include a webstream, courtesy of Treet.tv, starting a bit earlier at 11:00 am.

For additional details, check out the Metanomics site.

Looking forward to a blockbuster announce!

Comments
by Member Brenda Connolly on ‎10-29-2009 02:51 PM

Sounds like those folks were sent to "Nebraska" just like those stupid team building weekends and other "feel good" nonsense my cubicle dwelling friends tell me about having to put up with.

I'll have some of your popcorn if you don't mind.

by Member Nika Talaj on ‎10-29-2009 03:02 PM

*laughs*  The ways of Linden marketing are beyond the ken (or even the barbie) of mere mortals.  Go get some wine, I will too, and I'll meet you in the thread someone will no doubt start to come up with a better name for Nebraska!

by Recognized Resident Raddick Szymborska on ‎10-29-2009 03:24 PM

Ok, 'dear', you are a small business troll and a writer.  Fair enough, but I have unwantingly encountered your complaints about SL for years, to the point where I think of you as one of those annoying shoppers you keep running into at the grocery store while you try to work your way, aisle after aisle, through your shopping list.  You are a serial complainer, and ant-nest stir-er, and it gets tiresome.

So what if the lindens have acted on some of your JIRAs?  Spew enough DNA around and sooner or later an egg is bound to be fertilized.

Yes, I am cynical about SL's continuing relevance.  They are making it harder and harder to enjoy the environment, as you are well aware and have spoken about at great length.  The last innovation from LL that I can think of where I said 'wow!' was Windlight, and I would much rather that they fix technical issues like sim crossings and estate bugs which have been ignored for years.

I dont know what IBM has in store when they put development effort into SL... but I doubt Kumbaya is the desired end product.  Although it could be as simple as 'kids these days!  We have to grab their attention with Shiny Things, so lets bring virtual worlds into meetings!'

by Member Zena Juran on ‎10-29-2009 04:19 PM

So this is what the "talent" has been working while the main grid has been suffering.

I wondered why so much Main Grid support was being outsourced. And I thought LL was just trying to curb expenses during a recession.

The Main Grid needs some serious TLC before it becomes project OHIO!

by Contributor Ceera Murakami on ‎10-29-2009 04:25 PM

I also see nearly zero needs for any corporate entity using Nebraska to ever interface to SL, providing that they can buy virtual goods from XStreet. 

Personally, that is one prospect that I absolutely would NOT want to see. I would absolutely NOT want to see XStreet-SL as the sole or even "preferred" export/import gateway for existing SL merchandise to any and all other grid destinations.

If I had gone to the trouble and expense to set up a behind-the-firewall grid, the absolute LAST thing I would want would be for people on my squeaky-clean grid to have access to purchase all the not-safe-for-work-in-the-slightest content that is for sale on XStreet-SL, let alone all the copyright infringing or stolen content there. I would want to have approval on all the content allowed on my clean grid's asset servers. I would want to be certain that 100% of the assets available were "safe for work" content.

On the other side of the coin, if Content Providers who sell on XStreet-SL are offered only a Yes/No switch for "May customers on XStreet-SL designate other grids than the SL Main Grid as the destination for your product?", I think the vast majority of the honest merchants will say "H*** NO!". If you were selling merchandise, would you allow an open export to any and all possible export destinations? Including those that are known to openly flout copyright laws and act as havens for thieves selling ripped off content? I certainly would not. I would be happy to negotiate an export license for specific products, to specific grids, AFTER I have reviewed their asset controls and policies regarding copyright protection. If an organization that I trust wants to arrange for permission to have my content on their grid, I'll negotiate that. I will NOT give carte blanche to any and all possible grids, including "Pirate Bob's hacker haven.".

And what about those merchants who will not or can not sell via XStreet-SL? Should they be locked out, because they can't sell or properly support their product without providing links to websites that Linden Lab won't allow to be mentioned?

by Honored Resident Mo Hax on ‎10-29-2009 04:30 PM

Good points Prokofy. I can tell you field trips to SL are very tough--especially for beginners. I mentioned a forward-thinking idea from a collegue to bring SLers into internal Neb grids to show off why they would want to be in SL. I discussed some problems with that in comments on http://imohax.com/nebtragety (where I can keep a thread no matter what the future of this one).

By 'sorta gave up on that' I was meant ' the internal Neb-born newbies' for the reasons I listed. I feel bad abandonning them, but it they really care enough they will make it to SL and I can help them there. It was an ROI thing for me and my volunteer time that I talk about in http://imohax.com/momoveson but is more a personal thing. I think we need to wait for the announcement for the most important conclusions, even then it will be several case-studies later before we really now how this shapes up.

by Member Nika Talaj on ‎10-29-2009 05:19 PM

I also see nearly zero needs for any corporate entity using Nebraska to ever interface to SL, providing that they can buy virtual goods from XStreet. 

Personally, that is one prospect that I absolutely would NOT want to see. I would absolutely NOT want to see XStreet-SL as the sole or even "preferred" export/import gateway for existing SL merchandise to any and all other grid destinations.

If I had gone to the trouble and expense to set up a behind-the-firewall grid, the absolute LAST thing I would want would be for people on my squeaky-clean grid to have access to purchase all the not-safe-for-work-in-the-slightest content that is for sale on XStreet-SL, let alone all the copyright infringing or stolen content there. I would want to have approval on all the content allowed on my clean grid's asset servers. I would want to be certain that 100% of the assets available were "safe for work" content.

On the other side of the coin, if Content Providers who sell on XStreet-SL are offered only a Yes/No switch for "May customers on XStreet-SL designate other grids than the SL Main Grid as the destination for your product?", I think the vast majority of the honest merchants will say "H*** NO!". If you were selling merchandise, would you allow an open export to any and all possible export destinations? Including those that are known to openly flout copyright laws and act as havens for thieves selling ripped off content? I certainly would not. I would be happy to negotiate an export license for specific products, to specific grids, AFTER I have reviewed their asset controls and policies regarding copyright protection. If an organization that I trust wants to arrange for permission to have my content on their grid, I'll negotiate that. I will NOT give carte blanche to any and all possible grids, including "Pirate Bob's hacker haven.".

Hmm.  I think you and I have a very different vision for how a Nebraska deployment would work.  My assumption is that a Nebraska grid is not very like SL.

I would want to lock my corporate grid - let's call it Fred - down so that only designated builders could import 3D content from XStreet to Fred.  A Fred builder (probably an IT employee) would buy, make, or negotiate rights for copy/trans items for Fred, or contract with creator(s) to make them custom. These would be reviewable purchase decisions, like any other.  I further assume that XStreet would have a "business" area or filter, and that my company could choose to limit XStreet access for even their builders to products in that area.

My employees would furnish their spaces from content that builders make available in Fred for free, or build new content themselves inworld. They would be trusted not to bring in textures etc. that are copyrighted elsewhere, obscene, or in any way counter to corporate policy (just as they are trusted not to do that on company BBs or email) ... and if an employee does not comply, they would be reprimanded and eventually fired, same as for any other abuse of company resources.

And as for an SL creator making content available to Nebraska-based grids, surely that would be their decision, indeed on a grid-by-grid basis.  Each Nebraska asset server would be managed by the company's IT dept, and presumably would authenticate itself uniquely to XStreet.

As for Pirate Bob's Hacker Haven, why would anyone pay Nebraska's doubtless hefty license fee just to get control of an asset server so that everything on its disk would be their very own, when they could get all that content in SL already?  What, has other copying technology mysteriously become more expensive than Nebraska?  YAY!

by Honored Resident Mo Hax on ‎10-29-2009 05:56 PM

To be fair, no, they were told if you want to participate in the formerly physical-world Academy of Technology and other formerly high-cost conferences and such that they would have to become proficient with Second Life ("virtual spaces" they call them here) including Nebraska. I will openly admit I like that this is happening. From my chair, it seemed spontaneous interest in virtual worlds had all but died until such events rekindled a cautious interest. People who normally would never give any virtual world technology a chance are required at least taste it if they want to participate in internal communities they already value. This is a positive step forward. Some have reported experiences socializing and meeting others at such internal virtual conference.

The dilemma is that they don't realize just how much richer the experience could be and will be when it isn't a room full of boy-and-girl-next-door avatars with no profiles filled out watching an uploaded PowerPoint presentation on an underpowered, crashing corporate-issue laptop. These are good steps forward but I think more will find real value for themselves personally and professionally if and when they get a good introduction to the rich, full-grid of Second Life or equivalent.

by Member Maggie Darwin on ‎10-29-2009 05:57 PM

Making a list of recommended furniture stores that I have no stake in (only one of them happens to be a little store rented by tenant and it's obvious from the land ownership) is hardly "advertising".

"...do not allow...the promotion of specific merchants..." There's a list of specific exceptions.

All about "governance" except when it hits to close too home, I guess.

They can decide what you can do here (even if its stuff they do themselves) because it's their blog. Being a blog owner,you understand that, right?

by Member Maggie Darwin on ‎10-29-2009 06:08 PM

Project Wonderland is still pre-beta, and code commits are happening daily. And actually I expect to be using it at my day job (I'm a software engineer for a geographically diverse company) in a very Nebraska-like role once the codebase stabilizes and 0.5 is released.

Right now Wonderland is not offered as a stable public service anywhere I'm aware of and thus is not ready to be used as entertainment (any more than the current Google Wave preview is a suitable forum for conducting general public discussions).

But then, being like the main grid is not Nebraska's mission (as I understand it) either.

I have an experimental instance I bring up on demand and have invited a few selected friends in to play. It's not ready for public use yet, But then, the OpenSimulator project was started in 2007, and it's only seeing significant commerce now. (Of course, they reversed-engineered what a Linden server does, and Wonderland is a new architecture based on some existing Java projects.)

As for Powerpoint...well, I don't do Powerpoint and never have. I did do my first computer-based presentation with Grasp back in 1986. I prefer S5 for that sort of thing, when you have to do it.

But in general I agree with Edward Tufte about such things:

    http://www.edwardtufte.com/tufte/powerpoint                          

You should enjoy the cover illustration.

by Member Wynochee LeShelle on ‎10-29-2009 06:10 PM

This looks like a Robinson -, Captain Nemo, or Atlantis-, Cloister - Version of SL. Made for fans of perfect cocooning. While we small bubbles are building kind of a foam structure on the grid, or as grid, this will be the opposite - the single-bubble-SL for closed/secret societies or singles...We are bubbles too, but the average "resident" is more or less a social diaphanous kind of bubble/sphere. Maybe the firewall-edition is the ideal meeting point for sectas, members of cloisters for virtual contemplating sessions, like a confraternity of monks. Like the early ascet-athlets left Alexandria or Athen and started a living in the desert, far away from metropolitan areas.

While RL and SL are more or less global synchronized (traffic control signals are everywhere green and red - as one example of millions) this firewall thing seems to be an experiment to create de-synchronized areas like the world saw them some thousand years before the final step of globalisation started by latest: Columbus.

I am not sure that the building of castles with moats will be the fitting developement for the RL/SL future since borders and other strange restrictions are becoming to be worldwide obsolete (beside some last exceptions).

But we will see. As long some people have fun with it and as long it brings no trouble to the rest of the (SL) world, it may happen like it want to, even while my personal view is that it looks like being out of fashion to exist disconnected in any meaning.

by Member Deltango Vale on ‎10-29-2009 06:14 PM

In my opinion, deploying Second Life as a communications platform for large-scale RL organizations is using a nail file instead of a screwdriver to assemble a desk. Second Life's primary virtue is a self-projecting metaphorical interface (coupled with a sophisticated property-rights structure) that promotes individuality, creativity and entrepreneurship. The primary requirements of large-scale RL organizations are control, conformity and compliance.

Since 2007, Linden Lab has sought to adapt Second Life to the requirements of large-scale RL organizations. This has generated friction with the residents by undermined not only the budding entrepreneurial economy but the metaphorical interface itself. The fact that another blog addresses avatar dress codes for the 'corporate world' demonstrates that Linden Lab is unable to perceive the paradigm shift.

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 06:27 PM

Um, you're trolling, as they call it, deliberately being vicious out of some sort of past baggage and your general dyspeptic view of anything I wrote.

If I were advertising merely my own rentals (actually, we're allowed to put ad tags on other forums, I guess it's stripped out here, whatever), or only one other person's, then you might call it "advertising".

But posting A LIST of varied furniture stores isn't some sort of partisan activity. The context is clear: arguing that in fact there ARE furniture stores where one can shop!

You are so busy Fisking the letter of the law here that you aren't grasping the larger spirit of the law -- it is intended to stop spamming, to prevent people from posting mere ads, from peddling their wares. This is a list of a variety of stores which is something *helpful*. Somebody else could post 12 *other* stores. The point is that Kim Anubis *cannot be allowed to say that there are no furniture stores in Second Life, and she and her fellow 'solutions providers' have to make them from scratch every time*.

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 06:35 PM

A very thought-provoking post.

When the island concept was pushed by the Lindens back in 2005 -- it took awhile to get them working better -- there weren't that many people on them. Many people didn't like them, they were expensive and unstable back then. Then they took off like hotcakes because people fled from the Lindens' laissez-faire attitude to property value destruction by allowing the Bush Guy and other ad-farmers and extortionists forcing people to "buy back the view" on 16 m2 plots.

At the time, I saw those island enclaves as "an archipelago of egos" which far from being necessarily sealed off, would merely be insular and inward looking, but actually highly susceptible to the spread  of memes as various power players or influencers would still be able to drop memes into their ponds through vertical IMs, forums, blogs, etc. And indeed that's how it has been.

You can observe a meme like this spreading verticially right now through all the horizontal Plurk locked silos of close-knit friends and island enclaves, and that meme is regarding the  "Stroker did it to himself to get attention" notion that the "motherlode" of content theft the other day at Burning Life was staged by him as a stunt. There's absolutely no proof whatsoever of that, and every evidence to the contrary, but in the absence of an open society with actual parliamentary debate, a free media, etc. it is very hard to counter.

You're right about the ascetes. I think of it as a lot of Orthodox monasteries. The corporate ideologies they come with are purveyed at all those seminars that the road warriors go to where they study Seth Godin's totalitarian models for management and all those other "thought" influencers. So unfortunately, SL will prove to be an incubatory for those undemocratic and collectivist ideologies through Nebraska just like now all of SL itself is an incubator for the Lessig and Anderson "free" ideologies -- and worse.

Is this overstating the way these things will roll out? Perhaps, but it doesn't hurt to speculate and dope it all out. The reality is, there isn't any public commons where these things can be hashed out.

The scary part is that the only thing remotely like a public commons is Amanda Linden's thread right here. It's not like we all go to the same watering holes in San Francisco.

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 06:49 PM

Well, in part I agree that SL is a "self-projected metaphorical interface". But that's an awfully fancy way of describing what is for a lot of people "just a world".

Lots more people simply accept the "worldness" of SL than you might think. They get jobs, houses, friends, neighbours. They replicate RL. And that's ok!

They actually have a greater shared set of conventions than anyone seems prepared to admit. Houses should be locked, there should be privacy, space is needed between two people and you shouldn't step on someone's head, etc.

I'm also thinking that there isn't just a classic vertically-run RL corporation that will use this new product. There are all kinds of workplaces that have evolved into the workplaces of the future, like Linden Lab has (or thinks it has). One can debate all that (and I do) but you can't characterize all kinds of start-ups and enterpreneurial green businesses and non-profits as being run in the same way as the Ford Motor Company or something like that.

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 07:00 PM

I sympathize.

When I first came to Second Life, I couldn't fly very well and spent an entire evening trapped under the rocks at the Ivory Tower of Prims nearly weeping because I couldn't get out. A mentor tp'd me to her friend's store to get me to buy clothes and I felt shamed into spending $250 of my scarce stipend because I didn't know anything was free except for the stuff back then in Stillman and the Gnubie store which were -- meh. I kept crashing into buildings and drowning in water and once got stuck in a store selling bits unable to find an exit. People shot at me and harassed me and taunted me -- and that was just the Lindens (they had a sort of gauntlet to run). I couldn't understand how to operate the guns despite trying so I ended up buying a big Axe of the Leviathan, my very first purchase and first inventory object which I keep to this day.

Night after night, I would struggle to fly (there wasn't direct teleports) over the rocky path to this friend's house where I would try to rez prims, furious that they kept returning to me no matter how I tried to set up groups or individual membership on the land (there was no deed button back then). I took an excruciatingly long time to learn how to rez a prim and line them up with their numbers. I kept landing on various empty pieces of land and right clicking and trying to buy them, the way you can in the Sims Online, and nothing would happen. My first newbie firts-land purchase ended up being "waterback" that was merely a sim edge near temporary water soon to be turned into another sim, and my lovely seaside property turned into a swamp over night. I kept going to get freebies, opening the box after pulling it off my head, only to find it was women's clothing, even though I had made a male avatar.

After about 30 or 45 days of this, nearly giving up again and again, finally I sold that soggy ex-waterfront to a neighbour who wanted prims. I finally found a parcel on the auction and sold half of it to Anshe and then cashed out real money. I was lucky I had some friends to help me from another world and I made new friends. I was also lucky that on my first day and first hour, I landed in a townhall and heard Philip speak encouraging new real estate business, and was very inspired.

It is hard, but it has gotten better. Yes, you need a friend and something to do or it's pointless. But...you need that anyway.

by Member Deltango Vale on ‎10-29-2009 07:07 PM
I'm also thinking that there isn't just a classic vertically-run RL corporation that will use this new product.

I agree. Far more interesting is whether Linden Lab will permit a wealthy Plato to use SLINABOX to construct the "Virtual Republic" or a corporate Moore (yeah, I know) to construct "Virtual Utopia". If I win the lottery, can I create Delavista and operate it as an alternative to SL? Is Prokworld permitted under the licensing terms of SLINABOX?

by Honored Resident LeVey Palou on ‎10-29-2009 07:32 PM

Prok said:

"Does anybody at the Lab even sit around and think about these things strategically so as to mitigate their inevitably disruptive effects, or is this another experiment by the Lab on people?"

Of course they have. But their end goals are not ours. The big businesses have money and that has been the only carrot that the Lab cares about. When Phillip stepped down the Utopian dream stepped down with him, sadly.

The notion of creating a snow crash metaverse ended there and the the corporate push to build a new global power free of traditional borders who profits from an unending supply of virtual resources began...less Snow Crash and more Brave New World.

Back during SLX I had stated on many occassions that the ship was sinking....slowly, too slow for most to notice. I think in the next year or so the realization that what we consider to be Second Life is indeed dead....dying....dead...terminal.

Expect the traditional grid to become less and less of a concern to the Lab as it turns its resources and man power towards supporting private enterprise. The Lab will not be concerned with a few hundred of mom and pop's money each month when big biz is giving them thousands... hundreds of thousands....millions. Big Biz will dictate the direction of the metaverse, if in time they even still hold the notion of a metaverse.

This is not doomsaying...it is just observation. I think there are many of you who are also coming to the same conclusion. I think we are all seeing the push to make this platform corporate and to weed out the novelty and fancy of the little people living out their dreams and fantasies on their servers.

And I believe we will see this happen exponantially...by next year we will be looking for a "new thing".

Just my thoughts

be well.

by Member Deltango Vale on ‎10-29-2009 07:38 PM

After flying out of Ahern as fast as possible (the place still gives me the creeps), I spent my first month looking for good hiding places to log out. I thought our bodies remained inworld and I didn't fancy my avatar getting felt-up while I was ofline. Eventually I found a deep hole in a barren landscape where I would go to log out. I was fortunate enough to meet Ceera, who took pity on me and gave me a home.

How do you explain this aspect of SL to the HR Department of BigOrg.co.uk?

by Member Nika Talaj on ‎10-29-2009 07:51 PM

Since 2007, Linden Lab has sought to adapt Second Life to the requirements of large-scale RL organizations. This has generated friction with the residents by undermined not only the budding entrepreneurial economy but the metaphorical interface itself. The fact that another blog addresses avatar dress codes for the 'corporate world' demonstrates that Linden Lab is unable to perceive the paradigm shift.

Or, perhaps Nebraska demonstrates that LL has perceived the conflict you point out, and is therefore acting to separate the "self-projecting metaphorical" uses of SL from RL collaboration and training uses?

I REALLY think LL is making a mistake in terming this offering "Second Life within the FIrewall".  It's NOT the Second Life we inhabit.   There will be no minotaurs at Ford's meetings.  There will be no commerce on Ford's corporate grid.  BUT, it could be used to train line workers much more cheaply than currently -- Exxon has done this very convincingly.  One could use something very like an SL store to do surveys on desired product features.  One could prototype new manufacturing processes very quickly.  These things may seem worthlessly mundane to you, but I assure you that, in the markets to which LL is pointing Nebraska, these possibilities constitute a paradigm shift as well.

In my opinion, deploying Second Life as a communications platform for large-scale RL organizations is using a nail file instead of a screwdriver to assemble a desk. Second Life's primary virtue is a self-projecting metaphorical interface (coupled with a sophisticated property-rights structure) that promotes individuality, creativity and entrepreneurship. The primary requirements of large-scale RL organizations are control, conformity and compliance.

FIrstly, I'm unsure that Nebraska is aimed solely at large-scale organizations, as Prokofy points out as well.  Time will tell.  Secondly, your view of RL organizations is simplistic - many large organizations foster incredible creativity (technical and otherwise) within physically uniform, even drab, spaces.  They struggle to break down the "control, conformity and compliance" that middle managers frequently propagate needlessly.  If you walked up to most executive teams and tell them you have a collaboration tool that is deployable within their firewall AND promotes "creativity and entrepreneurship", you would be making a damn good sales pitch.  Doubtless, something like those words are part of LL's sales pitch for Nebraska.

by Member Deltango Vale on ‎10-29-2009 08:06 PM

Very good points. Thank you. If SLINABOX is successful, do you think LL will undo the damage of the past few years and restore the virtual world to where it was in, say, May 2006? Or has LL killed the cat to feed the dog?

by Honored Resident Aphrodite Tagore on ‎10-29-2009 08:11 PM

Well, I will have to attend the conference, tho it is scheduled for a different time period than would be my druthers. I have quite a few concerns, to say the least:

  1. What countermeasures are available for Nebraska?
  2. Can Nebraska get in my baffles and close, even if I am using a towed array aft?
  3. All Victor class inercepts long ago changed sound when Toshiba sold a nine-axis milling machine in violation of ITAR. I have never received the new identities while playing SL. Will these be available soon in world as sounds?
  4. Are identity files available for Nebraska?
  5. Nowhere in the Wiki does it explain how to rig for silent running in the current production viewer, so, I simply observe SOP, generally avoiding unneeded noise. Are these notes to be released soon?

Oh, and if given liberty, be sure to stop by Pearl's in Saengseon, for a very fun club experience!!

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 08:11 PM

Well, I know all that.

But...do the math. The $500 million miracle comes from the moms and pops now, not Big Business. SL knows that.

No more than 25 percent or 30 percent perhaps of the grid is sold to Big Business -- and they aren't big time spenders, buyers, etc. Unless there's something we haven't heard lately about the economy.

The switch from a prevelance of Big Business on the grid is going to take awhile.

I'm the first to say their aim is to do exactly as you say. But we need not roll over. And we need to fight, and they need to understand the transaction cost for them of stepping on us.

If their plan is not to hand it off to Big Business but merely to hand it off to Bigger Smaller Busines inworld, that's wrong.

I'm for them keeping a level playing field. They should be thinking of how all the captains of industry on the grid who take care of their customers can be helped, rewarded, encouraged etc. instead of harassing them and picking out only a few to deal with.

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-29-2009 08:12 PM

Well, I made a point of telling my newbie scare story precisely because 9/10ths of the problems I described are gone now. SL is better. It works better, it is easier, it doesn't have so much hardship and there are more helper networks.

by Member Nika Talaj on ‎10-29-2009 08:14 PM

You give corporations too much credit for coordinated evil - their goals are much more modest than this!

I really don't see much threat to SL here.  Simply put, LL must show some success with enterprises to be regarded as anything more than a video game by the rest of the world.  However, it would be delusional to think that corporations will ever bring LL the revenue that the current Second Life grid can bring, if fostered properly.  You say big biz will bring LL millions of dollars -- we already do that!

The day that the business-to-business collaboration and training market outstrips the entertainment market is the day that hell freezes over.  I know, I've put in my time in B2B. 

It's possible, but unlikely, that LL doesn't know that.

by Honored Resident Allison Selene on ‎10-29-2009 08:22 PM

The day that the business-to-business collaboration and training market outstrips the entertainment market is the day that hell freezes over.  I know, I've put in my time in B2B.

It's possible, but unlikely, that LL doesn't know that.

I agree, I've done my time in B2B as well, and while the revenue always appears great on paper, in reality, selling to enterprises is a completely different game, with long lead times, project cancellations/postpostments/changes, etc.  I'll take the entertainment market anyday over B2B.

by Member Nika Talaj on ‎10-29-2009 08:58 PM
  1. What countermeasures are available for Nebraska?
  2. Can Nebraska get in my baffles and close, even if I am using a towed array aft?
  3. All Victor class inercepts long ago changed sound when Toshiba sold a nine-axis milling machine in violation of ITAR. I have never received the new identities while playing SL. Will these be available soon in world as sounds?
  4. Are identity files available for Nebraska?
  5. Nowhere in the Wiki does it explain how to rig for silent running in the current production viewer, so, I simply observe SOP, generally avoiding unneeded noise. Are these notes to be released soon?

1.  /me offers you Las Vegas

2.  If you have vertical stabilizers (aka stiletto heels), then no matter how large your towed array is, your baffles will not close.

3.  No, they are available now as ectoplasmic oreo cookies.  I believe you can find these at Pearl's in Saengseon.

4.  SSH.  You are number 6.

5.  No.  But, your avoidance of gestures is to be lauded.

by Honored Resident LeVey Palou on ‎10-29-2009 09:21 PM

lol, I am replying to myself.

While I do not think there is a big evil corporation drive to assume control of sl I do believe this has been for a long time the goal within the Lab. They would rather run a grid of corporate accounts than a grid of individuals living out their fantasies on their servers, as I said I think that notion left when Phillip did.

I will agree that entertainment is a bigger biz than B2B but I think that the Second Life as we know it is losing pulse. I think the individuality will give way to corporate run themes where we are allowed to spend our money and behave. I think that the "azure colored fourth planet from the sun that we are not allowed to mention" is a good example of what this world would be like.

The Lab is putting efforts into showing big business that the platform will support them on their own terms and not repeat the dismal Microsoft and Dell sims of the past. We have already seen many of the sims for art sake vanish after the homestead shake up, which mind you the Lab profited on both sides of that attrocity. Many of the talented names of builders you would have reconized a year ago are gone. If Lab is investing in "us" are they showing it? Because what I am hearing them get really excited about are things like "business avatars" and "gated deed restricted business communities".

I really hope in a year I am dead wrong and all of you can say "oh Lev you were so foolish to think that we could not trust the Lab". I really really do. Like many people I bought into the slogan "Your World Your Imagination". Hmmm, now why can't I seem to find that on the main page these days?

(scratches head)

Be well.

by Advisor Jenni Darkwatch on ‎10-29-2009 10:30 PM

Too little, quite likely too expensive and bluntly put too late. We may yet use a 3D environment for our purposes at work. SL won't be it. Why not? Because its privacy and permission system is worthless.

by Member Chaz Longstaff on ‎10-29-2009 10:55 PM

Hi.
I work for a few RL corporations who are in SL. Registered as non-profit corporations, that is.

We need to be on the main grid, because that is where our outreach is. Without that, there's no reason to be on SL.

But it's great that for those corporations who don't have to be "customer-facing" that they have the choice.

Our RL funding says we are "customer facing", so that's where we will remain.

by Honored Resident Thunderclap Morgridge on ‎10-30-2009 01:49 AM

Actually, Gwyn, Nebraska is a fairly dull place. Unless you are a cornhusker.

by Honored Resident Thunderclap Morgridge on ‎10-30-2009 01:51 AM

That Prok hasnt actually been to nebraska. (Name it aftre a state, and you get jokes.)

by Member Prokofy Neva on ‎10-30-2009 04:52 AM

I have actually driven across the RL state of Nebraska several times, as I noted.

by Member Brenda Connolly on ‎10-30-2009 06:19 AM

I will give The Devil his due and agree with him 100%. LL wants athe SL that you describe , because it is easier for them. The corps will police themselves, they have their Gray Flannel maifestos to guide them.Phil was a goofy dreamer, but he's gone, I can imagine M and M gritting their teeth just hoping for the day they would be rid of him.

The Lab doesn't want a grid full of Phils anymore. They can't mange us. As tech types they don't have the social skill sets. all of their failed attempts at soical engineering prove that.What they want is an SL where a corporate mindset will prevail, and all it's residents will be the same beige wearing, mass consuming lemmings we are in RL. We will go from Residents to just some company's marketing demographic.

"Your World, Your Imagination" will become "Take it or Leave It".

I hope I am wrong, too. I've derived great entertainment from SL over the past 3 years. I would hate to see that end. I don't need "Real Life 2.0" I can barely stand v1.0 some days.

by Member Maggie Darwin on ‎10-30-2009 06:34 AM

The Lab doesn't want a grid full of Phils anymore. They can't mange us. As tech types they don't have the social skill sets. all of their failed attempts at soical engineering prove that.What they want is an SL where a corporate mindset will prevail,

Um...so, you're saying Linden Research is full of Phil-geeks with no social skills, or full of M-suits who will corporatise everything?

Can you have it both ways?

by Member Brenda Connolly on ‎10-30-2009 07:37 AM

Yes I can. My world, my imagination. I never said Phil was without any social skills, I said he was a goofy dreamer. he seems very personable from the little I know of him. But I think a lot of the movers at LL are not up to the  task of socially managing SL. And they answer to the suits, like M and M and T..why can't these guys have names?.....who can be very personable, and can sell you anything if you let them.

These are merely my rantings, as someone who doesn't  move in either technical or corporate circles. I'm just a regular person who has fun playing SL. And I have a feeling that it isn't going to be as much fun in the coming months.

by Member Meade Paravane on ‎10-30-2009 07:37 AM
The Lab doesn't want a grid full of Phils anymore. They can't mange us. As tech types they don't have the social skill sets. all of their failed attempts at soical engineering prove that.What they want is an SL where a corporate mindset will prevail, and all it's residents will be the same beige wearing, mass consuming lemmings we are in RL. We will go from Residents to just some company's marketing demographic.

I don't think this behind-the-firewall thing and the main grid are mutually exclusive or even in conflict. Except for the resources at LL that this project has taken up (and the ugly issues of IP protection, which I sorta doubt they have made bulletproof for Nebraska) this shouldn't have any impact on your SL.

"Your World, Your Imagination" will become "Take it or Leave It".


/me thinks about the happenings over the past year. Er.. Aren't we already there? Do you, as a resident, think LL cares if you stay or not? Between openspace pricing, adult content, SVC-4196, content theft out of control and a dozen other problems, I sure don't. I especially don't like the new & improved communication strategy of ignoring everybody that's not a cheerleader. The "let's all just put on happy faces and maybe it will be ok" thing is really getting tired.

by Linden on ‎10-30-2009 10:38 AM

Hey all, Thanks for the great questions! Some of them are now going into our FAQs. I'm neck deep in launch planning and logistics--but just wanted to let you know that I'm here, listening, and all will be revealed very soon!

Also, our next office hours is next Thursday at 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm PDT--where we'll be discussing Nebraska and answering your questions live. Mark your cals. (SLURL: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Cirano/106/29/25)

by Honored Resident Mo Hax on ‎10-30-2009 11:21 AM

Thanks Amanda. I hope you know how much we do appreciate the work you do and hope you understand the energy behind this topic discussion is because we care so much about this and the people involved. I really do mean that.

by Honored Resident Valradica Vale on ‎10-30-2009 12:05 PM

So this is weird - does everyone out there think that uncle Phil was the only dreamer out there? That the dream of Second Life died when he "left"? Are you kidding me? Are we so dependent or small minded that somehow his leaving robbed the rest of us of being able to dream?  I heard someone say recently that "you only get old when you lose your dreams!"

Look, we have scripts, physics, textures, prims of all shapes, sizes and physics, we have the land to terraform, we can sell and trade things... There are dozens of external tools, software, hooks into and out of this world, the combination of which creates a dizzying array of possibilities to dream against. The dream of taking pennies on the dollar and building something extraordinary that I could never touch in RL is what drew me here and keeps me coming back. If they took away any one of these things, there would still be plenty to dream against.

The wiki's are full of impediments to the dream, whether deliberately implemented by the Lab, oversights, physical impossibilities or just not implemented for time's sake - I run into them all the time and have to dream my way around them. Everywhere I go, I see evidence of people doing the impossible because they dreamed their way through some challenge. This is what dreamers do, the clever, the inventive, the persistant, the interested, the inquisitive.

I have been here three years and feel like I have barely touched the hem of the garment of possibilities and everywhere I go, I see the work of dreamers and I realize that my dreams far exceed my capacity to learn and to implement.

I refuse to get old and lose this dream. Linden Lab can't take away my dream unless I let them - Seriously - Phil's leaving does not have to take away my dream. One dented dream gives me an opportunity to dream something else if I am a true dreamer. Dreams are bigger than SL, so even on its demise there will be dreams applenty. THAT is the heart of the dreamer, and Phil did not own THAT domain.

Whatever is going to happen in Nebraska cannot touch my dreams unless I let it - like the tornado that tears through a town in RL Nebraska doesn't change the vision I have where I live. It might even afford me an opportunity to expand my dream as they open the Nebraska Territories - "Go west young man"

While I appreciate other's fears, (lets work and fight for what we have and want), don't think for a minute that just cuz "the Lab doesn't want a grid full of Phils anymore" that its going to be easy to get rid of us, and if they stoop to poisoning the island soil, we will be planting somewhere else - should I rule out Nebraska?

"To create is to Live" Valradica Vale - somewhere in the 90's

by Honored Resident Mo Hax on ‎10-30-2009 01:12 PM

Anyone old enough to remember the emergence of the 2D web server market? Remember what happened to Netscape when it put all its attention on the high-priced Netscape Enterprise Server product that all the big companies had for a while? Remember what happened when the grassroots demand and interest that couldn't afford NES stepped up to bring Apache out of alpha stage eventually to enterprise robustness while Netscape slept? Remember the Apache revolution when those simple, grassroots apache users brought Apache into the enterprise with them booting the overpriced NES? Remember how ugly it was watching Netscape, the one-time Wall Street darling, wither and die with no revenue stream because of earlier corporate short-sightedness? Anyone else see the 3D equivalent of this history repeating itself a little bit? Boy I hope not for LL sake. But there are big enough differences, the biggest being community.

by Advisor Jenni Darkwatch on ‎10-30-2009 02:34 PM

The Netscape analogy would hold if there was an "Apache" in the SL scenario. There isn't as far as I can see. For one thing, there's no W3C, no standards, no nothing. And the technology of all 3D worlds seems to come from the stone age of virtual worlds. The separation of server+(protected)content vs. client+(unprotected)display hasn't occured to the creators yet. Permission control is stuck in the stone age of computing. The most simple and basic communication controls don't exist. It's like LL (and other 3D world developers) want to reinvent the wheel - while pretending there wasn't even a wheel so far in history. Pretending that 3D somehow makes it a whole new unprecedented thing is just dumb.

by Honored Resident Blue Linden on ‎10-30-2009 02:42 PM

Deleting a comment that runs afoul of the "Advertising" section of the Guidelines which say....

  • No Advertising or Commercial Promotion. Except as expressly provided below under “Exceptions,” we do not allow advertising or the promotion of specific merchants, marketplace listings, products, services, or commercial websites, including offers to trade, “wanted” posts, charitable solicitations, and posts on affiliate or referral programs.  “Advertising” and “commercial promotion” include promotion of your own business as well as others’ businesses.  A persistent focus on a particular merchant, listing, product, service, or commercial website is also considered “advertising” or “commercial promotion.”  A “commercial website” is a website where you can buy, sell, or trade any product or service.   


To read the rest of our exciting Discussion Guidelines, click here.  Coming soon for Kindle!

by Honored Resident Dusan Writer on ‎10-30-2009 04:35 PM

I guess Nebraska itself is exempt from that policy, correct? HAHA. Sorry, couldn't resist.

by Honored Resident LeVey Palou on ‎10-30-2009 06:50 PM

Valradica Vale

So this is weird - does everyone out there think that uncle Phil was the only dreamer out there? That the dream of Second Life died when he "left"? Are you kidding me? Are we so dependent or small minded that somehow his leaving robbed the rest of us of being able to dream?  I heard someone say recently that "you only get old when you lose your dreams!"

***

The goals have changed within the Lab. When Phillip stepped down the "Linden Culture" which sold us on "Our World Our Imagination" died. No longer run by a dreamer and his ideas who sought to attract like minded users the administration has been replaced by a corporate mindset who does not want to babysit us. As I have said before there are some greedy individuals who have come into play since and like any change of management they are cleaning house, restructuring, and evicting. They are not evil, they are just corporate America. Which is to say the Lab no longer has our best interest in mind when they make decisions.

I think that within the Lab there are individuals who still believe in how the product was originally developed. I also think that they are hushed by the need to keep their comfy jobs.

I do not think Brenda was saying that on this side of the fence the dreamers are all gone. None of us would be here commenting if that were true. We have invested too much into this platform to not monitor, question, and intervene when we smell a foul in policies.

be well.

by Member Deltango Vale on ‎10-30-2009 09:10 PM

I believe Linden Lab is clawing thin air at the top of the arc. If the goal of SLINABOX is to decouple the IT platform (with its associated functions, norms and culture) from the virtual world (with its very different functions, norms and culture) then it is imperative that Linden Lab repair relations with the residents.

Many of us who brought capital, labor and imagination into Second Life in 2006 are not happy. We see a chain of events as follows:

1. The creation of anonymous accounts (June 2006)

  • an influx of kids and griefers via anonymous accounts
  • subsequent restrictions on roleplay to protect those kids
  • a significant rise in IP theft
  • failure to address large-scale griefing and IP theft
  • the introduction of an unpopular, document-based age verification system
  • the introduction of problematic definitions of 'adult' content and behavior
  • the *forced march* to Zindra

2. Failure to plan for success

  • high volatility of mainland prices due to mismanagement of supply
  • the sudden and dramatic policy reversal on gambling
  • the sudden and unexpected introduction of discriminatory pricing (VAT)
  • the sudden and indiscriminate ban on 'banks'
  • mismanagement of Openspace/Homestead product and pricing

Regardless of the merits of each point above, they have, in aggregate, generated three broad categories of complaint:

  • 1. Poor research, design and implementation of policy
  • 2. Failure to protect the private property-rights structure
  • 3. Creeping Disneyfication

While the technological infrastructure of Second Life has improved tremendously over the past three years, a significant percentage of entrepreneurs who entered SL with enthusiasm have subsequently left in disgust or, worse, indifference. These were five/four-figure investors. Of those I know who came into SL in the autumn of 2006, I alone retain my investment here; and I do so cautiously, nervously, conservatively. Twice bitten, thrice shy.

I think SLINABOX is an interesting gamble. Perhaps it will generate revenue and respect from the seven/six-figure players, but it is important to remember that:

  • less than 3% of US employer firms earn over $10 million per year
  • 0.03% of US employer firms have more than 500 employees

http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/smallbus.html

As with the RL economy, the few big players are insignificant compared with the multitude of small players. The biomass of Antarctic krill is 150 times that of humpback whales. SLINABOX is cute, but Second Life is a living, breathing rain forest. Don't turn it into a parking lot.

by Member Maggie Darwin on ‎10-31-2009 07:44 AM

The biomass of Antarctic krill is 150 times that of humpback whales. SLINABOX is cute, but Second Life is a living, breathing rain forest. Don't turn it into a parking lot.

That's an impressive analysis. Nicely done.

One thing to bear in mind is, an important impact to the bottom line is support costs. (Having worked in the support arm of a software company, I'm keenly aware of this).

Supporting one humpback can be a heckuva lot cheaper than supporting an weight-equivalent number of krill. Even if they have free...excuse me, "basic"...accounts with razor-thin support.

I don't say that focusing on that aspect is a good strategy, but it's a plausible one.  

Just remeber back when Dilbert and the PHB discover that 20% of the customers are causing 80% of the costs, and propose eliminating them.

"You mean the ones who actually use our products?"

"Yes, plus those injured by unpacking them."

by Honored Resident Net Antwerp on ‎10-31-2009 09:07 PM

Valradica Vale

I do not think Brenda was saying that on this side of the fence the dreamers are all gone. None of us would be here commenting if that were true. We have invested too much into this platform to not monitor, question, and intervene when we smell a foul in policies.

The dreamers *are* gone.

All that's left is hardcore linden fanboys/fangirls (who recieves seekret incentives from Linden Research/Linden staff), real-life "refugees" and curious corporate businesses.

Philip didn't resign on his own, you know.

by Resident Chris Kayor on ‎10-31-2009 10:37 PM

Frankly i wonder just how far this will go.   As more business and government agencies find out just how many lindens are under the influence of larger users or coerced to actions that damage the Labs credibility, it will become clear that there is little opportunity to secure even a detached simulation enviornment.   But with the number of rl spooks in SL it is no wonder so many know there is no real security here for their corporate or national security interests.   Many organizations have found to their detriment that their secrets are not secure in SL.   You need only look around the grid and see how many really expose themselves here, and how many have left after finding out.

by Honored Resident LeVey Palou on ‎11-01-2009 02:35 AM

All that's left is hardcore linden fanboys/fangirls (who recieves seekret incentives from Linden Research/Linden staff)

They are called "linden alts"

***

I disagree with the statement that the dreamers are gone.

I see this platform as a real time editor where an artist can share  their creations with others, even the experience of creating them. For you and others the experience here is probably different, which is the beauty of it. Every one of us is here to feed a need and that is what kills me about those who are running things these days is that they wish to homogenize this into an online corporate park-slash-disneyworld. In my opinion they lack any vision beyond the almighty dollar. The reason Second Life and business do not mix is because by its nature Second Life is a personal experience. In business you can take nothing personal.

I have learned to seperate my thoughts on this platform from my thoughts on those who oil the gears.

I rebuke your attempt to classify those of us who givadam as either a linden lackey, a loser with no life or a suit. By stating this you are doing what the Lab is attempting to do.

Shame on you.