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Saying Farewell to Avatars United

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Jack.Linden

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In January of this year, Linden Lab purchased Avatars United as part of our social strategy and a larger ambition to integrate powerful social networking capabilities into the Second Life experience -- to make it even faster, easier, and more fun to find friends, build vibrant communities, and share the richness of Second Life with fellow Residents inworld and friends outside of Second Life. We purchased Avatars United for its underlying social technology -- the ability to create social networks, communities and groups.

In order to focus our resources on integrating that technology to Second Life, and to minimize the confusion between the Second Life and Avatars United brands, we will be taking down Avatars United, on September 29th, 2010. We will roll out new Resident Profiles in the coming months -- including the option to share more about your inworld identity and infused with social networking functionality -- all under the Second Life banner. The most “back to basics” building blocks of Second Life -- the heart of what makes Second Life so special -- is you, and we’re committed to using the Avatars United technology to help you build richer communities and create stronger, more dynamic relationships with each other.

If you have a profile on Avatars United, then we encourage you to use this week to save any pieces of content (such as pictures, friend’s names, etc.) that you want to keep. AU members will shortly receive an email version of this post that will also update them directly on their AU Coin refund, for those that have an account balance.

We would like to thank all members of Avatars United for participating in our community, and being part of the Second Life family. And, we hope we will see you again, in Second Life!

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Probably a good decision, I never found any use for Avatars United, it was just one more place I had to update and try to keep up with and I mostly did neither.

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Why do you guys have to ruin everything for the residents.  1st it was OnRezz, then OnRezz Market, then XStreet, then Emerald, and now another awesome thing will be gone.

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So the Lab wades into the house that Enemy Unknown made, splash your paint all over the walls and then decide to burn it down? I hope you've adequately compensated those guys who spent three years putting together something you managed to wreck within eight months.

What about the other 90 virtual worlds communities? Will the whole site disappear, or just the Second Life resident userbase?

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Same here.. I didn't understand the point.. I can see it now.. "Facebook Connect", Twitter, Diggs, Buzz, etc. buttons, all over our profiles.. Muwawawahahahaha

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Just give us permanent inworld email adresses and all will be forgiven.  Using IM windows to communicate about coming and going is very dicey.

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I've never commented on a post before but I just had to say this decision sucks. If avatars united was simply a SL site that would be fine but it encompasses a lot more than that. If LL wants to use the tech in game, cool use it, but you don't have to destroy the AU community to do it. If it's too much hassle to run the AU site, then sell it off but keep the licensing rights for the tech you want to use in world. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the plan all along buy it out just to shut it down.

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I can only say I will really miss it, as I have used it to keep in contact with my friends when I cant be online and to share information with our group.....am really dissapointed.....

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You don't need a social network for something that can be considered a social network by some (Not me) It was meant to crash, I never even registered, I don't need another spammer, Hope to see better profile improvements

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SL certainly needs things like better group management and calendars. Not integrating those in SL itself, but having AU as a stand-alone "Facebook light" was a spectacular misfire. So for SL, getting AU out of the way and pulling people and functionality closer to the core (and letting Facebook do the facebook thing) certainly is the right thing to do, though it is of course not fun for those who used AU for other games.

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I enjoyed having a place to keep all my MMO characters together. So people could see what all I played and enjoyed. Seems like such a waste just to shut it down.

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Ah well back to SLProfiles site then, opps unless LL are going to buy that and close that too.

These new Resident profiles had better be good is all i am saying and worth the wait. I personnaly havent seen much progress lately just more restarts.

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I wouldn't be surprised if this was the plan all along buy it out just to shut it down.

No, it was a very bad decision in the first place by someone no longer at LL. (If only the vast majority of residents' voices crying, "No!," had been heard at that time, quite a lot of money would have been saved.)

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well i hope they dont expect us to be in rush to adopt any new ideas they have, those who put in the effort just get slapped in the face when LL decides to change thier mind on it,

was a good way to network with other SL'rs outside out SL especially since i was banned from facebook for having a avatar account,

(sorry Aenea i didnt mean to reply directly to your post its 4am here i guess i should go sleep)

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I never understood why LL bought AU in the first place. It was another one of M's plans for "SL as Facebook" and I couldn't see that as a good direction for SL. Farewell AU.

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Cool! So does this mean we can get rid of the stupid chiclets in Viewer 2 and kill off Cartoon Corner down in the right hand part of the screen?

Can we get back a communications interface that works please?

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Just give us permanent inworld email adresses and all will be forgiven.

Have someone send you an inworld IM which is forwarded to an e-mail address specifically created for your avatar. As long as the incoming e-mail is text-only, you can be reached via e-mail with a reply to the IM's return address.

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I'm sure the vast majority of AU users, who were from games and virtual worlds not associated at all with Second Life, will be thrilled with this, and will have so many wonderful things to say about Second Life and Linden Lab. Such a wonderful PR move by the Lab! It is an action that is sure to make lots of friends and converts in the gaming community, and with other virtual worlds. *facepalms*

This is a major PR faux pas. It's akin to buying a major gaming store, trying to convert everything to one trading card game that never was very popular there, and then burning the place down out of spite when the gamers didn't flock to your product. Or did you already drive most of the original users of that site away because of your single-focus-on-SL approach as their new landlords?

The ethical thing to do would NOT be to shut AU down. It would be to find a buyer to take it off your hands, who was willing to undo the damage you have done to it while you owned it, and restore it to what it was before you bought it - a FaceBook-like site for GAMING avatars, from many different gaming systems.

As for the new "Resident Profiles" ... Will we also have the "option" that you took away from us in the 2.0 Viewer, and be able to choose NOT to see real world info on people when we look at someone else's profile? Many, perhaps the majority, of your customers DO NOT WANT to mix real life social networking with their SL fantasy life, but you just don't seem to get that.

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The e-mail address applied to a forwarded in-world IM has a limited life. It expires after a set period of time and can't reliably be used for future e-mail from out-world to in-world.

Though I am sure that soon zenwarrior.fuosing@secondlife.com and dharma.galaxy@secondlife.com and joebob17206sy63.resident@secondlife.com will all soon be valid e-mail addresses, able to receive e-mail spam. That certainly looks likely as one reason for the lab's insistence that our "User Names" will be dropped to lower case and with a dot between the first and last name, as part of the new Display Names initiative.

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I won't miss it.   The "recommended friends" picked seemed utterly random, quickly tired of the daily deluge of "unite us" requests from people that were treating it like a pokemon "gotta collect'm all!" game.

'meta-MMO-registries' should be run by a neutral organization not one MMO in particular hoping to recruit people that play other games.  I think the AU mission was not helped by being made part of SL.

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Typical LL response -- rather than work to make something functional, just abandon the project and all the money we spent acquiring it.  Sadly typical.

AU failed because you did absolutely nothing to make it into "A VR Facebook" like you stated you wanted it to be.  There was no blogging.  There was no commenting or discussing with anyone except one way writes on a wall (making following a conversation impossible).  There was no calendar so that anyone in a group could announce happenings and everyone following that group can see what's happening for the next week.  There was no way to operate groups.  There was no way to have offline conversations with group members.  All there was, Jack, was a photo upload area -- and Flickr works far better.

You told us you'd make it into something awesome.  Yeah, yeah, we've been hearing the same garbage inworld for the better part of a decade.  And just like inworld, the moment things get tough, LL pretends they never had any real interest in it to start with and pulls the plug.  I don't know how much cash you guys have left in the bank, but I suspect all the LL screwups over the past few years are draining the coffers dry.

Yes indeed; a sadly typical response when LL cannot actually fulfill a promise.  Or a contract.  And you wonder why we think of SL as a game when you yourselves treat it like one?

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