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Introducing Kim Salzer, Our New VP Marketing

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Wallace Linden

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kim_linden.pngLinden Lab recently welcomed a new addition to its executive ranks: Kim Salzer, who became our Vice President of Marketing, at the beginning of August. Kim (known as Kim Linden inworld) joins us from Activision Blizzard, where she was Vice President of Global Brand Management for properties like Guitar Hero and Call of Duty 2, among others. Kim brings a deep background in gaming (including experience at Electronic Arts working on massively multiplayer online games and hit sports franchises), and in online learning, and we’re excited to have her as part of the team. As an introduction to Residents, I asked Kim to tell us a bit about herself in her own words:

Q: What’s the one thing you bring from the gaming world that will be most useful to you in your position at Linden Lab?

A: Working in gaming taught me a lot about just how creative and  passionate that audience can be, and I think the same is true for the  Residents of Second Life. And SL provides so many great tools to enhance  and bring out that creativity, I’m really looking forward to helping foster that as we move into the next phase of the platform’s growth. I  want to see if we can make the range of what’s possible in Second Life  even broader.

Q: What are your goals for your new position as VP Marketing at Linden Lab?

A:  What I really want to do here is help the Lab figure out what the “X  Factor” is going to be for Second Life. When I was working on games, I  always tried to choose a single idea to focus on and bring out, an X  Factor that helped people get into the game and helped them discover all  the rest of the possibilities there. If I can help bring that kind of  focus to Second Life, I’ll be happy about how I’m doing my job.

Q: What excites you most about working on a product like Second Life?

A: I’m excited about the prospect of helping to build a product that  really empowers people to express what they’re about, and that can make a real difference in their lives. I think we’ve only just started to see  what can be done here, and I can’t wait to see where we and our  Residents can take things from here.

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Welcome to Second Life, Kim.  With music & gaming in your background you will find lots of fun venues to explore. There is a real need for your talents. Please don't hesitate to get to know us and I'm sure we will have some ideas about the X factor too. ;-)

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Welcome Kim. (/me wonders how LL scored you lol)

Hope to see you in world learning what it is that makes us tick.

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Welcome to SL, Kim. I think you will find that a decent percentage of Residents aren't gamers at all - and the creativity comes from many different directions because of that.

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Hi!

I'm so glad we're done being told SL is "not a game". It has been very tiresome these last six years hearing that, especially given all the game aspects like "Lucy and Peanuts and the Football".

Can you make SL a game now?

Like for example group job objects like we had in The Sims Online.

The dollars earned could show as credits on Xstreet and be a bonus to merchants they could use to pay tier.

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Welcome, Kim.  With your arrival we're one step closer to that gold standard of kewlness, having an ad for SL done by William Shatner!  *WOOT*

Your background seems very much in line with LL's renewed dedication to SL as an entertainment platform, certainly SL's sweet spot.  Is it the final death knell for enterprises in SL?  Or am I missing something in your background?

ETA: also, re: "I’m excited about the prospect of helping to build a product that  really  empowers people to express what they’re about, and that can make a real  difference in their lives.".  Keep in mind that human reinvention often involves expressing, sometimes extremely, what people are NOT YET about.  SL is very different from classic games in that it has no built-in goals and thus is very freeing, very capable of being a sketchpad for new RL traits and accomplishments.

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Hey there, Kim and welcome! Your knowledge and energy are sorely needed.

I believe you may have hit on the X Factor of Second Life from the get go. Creativity.

Creativity in business, in the arts, in social interaction. International, always on, free, transformative, and something for everyone.

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@Prokofy

Hey maybe skilling and greening for linden dollars will help with new user retention too.

 

@Kim

Welcome Kim.  I hope you will take the time to use SL and try to experience it in the many ways the residents do.

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Welcome to the mad house Kim :-)

It's generally a good mad house though - you know ... like the funny, cool mad people as opposed to the scary, dangerous mad people (although there are probably one or two of those too!)

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Welcome Kim. I do hope can take the time and effort to create an alternate account and spend some time in Second Life to learn more about it first hand. I can assure you that this will be time well spent in order to help you in your decision making.

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Welcome to Second Life Kim!

 

I'd like to take a moment and give some Good Advise.

I'm a Gamer too there are actually some Combat Sims in SL they are a mix of Combat and Role Play most mainly push RP but they have Combat Meters for Health and Stamina etc etc..

Some of the Meters used are DCS, CCS those are big ones. The problem with combat in SL though instead of a massive user played game where the content is basically on the CD when you buy it, SL has user made content so.. Theres a bit of Lag involved with the Combat(actually a lot!).

But at any rate the ability to have combat in SL is great in contrast to other games because of the user created content it takes the after combat scenario to a new level. Instead of respawning you lie gravely wounded on the ground and thats where the Role Play begins.

Marketing and SL

You could attract Gamer types IF Combat was enabled more. Meaning helped out by Linden Labs. The reason for most of the Lag in combat is because the SIMS run off a single CPU and most likely 8 Sims run off of 1 Server.

So shared resource and not enough power to run the combat effectively is the problem. I would suggest to attract Gamers of Combat orientation is... To have a Special Program for the Combat Sim owners where as they could have a Server dedicated to what they are doing >> Combat.

I know its a lot to ask, but Combat could be a huge marketing area for Second Life. Its currently not.

Furthermore Marketing and Second Life, in the past there were people like M Linden the CEO many who thought well his ideas might work for Facebook or Twitter or Yahoo messenger they didn't quite work for Second Life.

Now the reason they didnt IMO is because he didnt know the product very well. He just thought he could apply his past marketing experience to Second Life. Which turned out to be a waste of time effort and resources.

To my point. Your job if I understand it correctly will be VERY Important. Word of Advise would be to get yourself in touch with the TRUE Second Life which from the naked eye is what M thought it was just some kind of Social Networking with Avatars. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So that is why I suggest talking with the OLD Lindens as much as possible, the programmers the code junkies the ones who actually use SL in their off hours from LL. They will have a wealth of knowledge to pull from and may be able to give you some Landmarks to go see this or that in SL.

 

Thank you and Welcome once more!

Klint huet

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A very warm welcome to you Kim!

One thing to consider is the reinstatement of the mentorship progam.  An ongoing issue for recruiting and retaining new residents is the level of difficulty they encounter accessing "community" in Second Life.   Community does exist by many definitions in just about every possible category of user interest but finding these groups and becoming engaged with them takes a great deal of deliberate effort which often proves to be "too much work" to the average new user.

There are many individuals willing to devote some of their free time in world to supporting new users.  I recommend that you consider the different communities which already exist including the prolific (sorry for the bias *wink*) literary and journalistic community.  Your graphic artists and people interested in developing skills in content creation.  Business and commerce support groups for persons interested in experimenting with the creation and sale of products in Second Life.   A simple directory on secondlife.com could list mentors by these categories, promoted in a welcome message at the time a new account is created.

Mentors not only educate and provide a "tour" of our communities but also serve to protect a new user from being abused during their very impressionable first few weeks.  When I entered Second Life I was griefed immediately in Korea.  I didn't return to the platform for months I was so put off by the experience.

You will find that volunteerism on The Grid is very high.  Those of us that have been around and actively engaged know how important it is to recruit and support the development of new residents from a social and economic perspective.  We love the platform.  We want to see it succeed.  It means something to most of us and to our lives.

You don't have to convince us that we are stakeholders.  We know we are.  Utilize the residents keen on making an altruistic contribution to the community and lets build something better together.

Sincerely,

Skylar Smythe

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I'm not sure this is a combat-specific problem. And I have my suspicions that the solution suggested is going to need major software development. But if the tech side can make things work for Chamonix City and the ice-hockey, there's a whole range of possibilities that could be sold. Yes, I ought to get a better computer. This boat-anchor here is good enough for the social stuff, but a crowded sim is hell.

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Welcome, Kim!  Hope you get a chance to get in world and meet the very committed enthusiasts of Second Life. This is great news for Linden Lab. They were sorely in need of fresh marketing direction. Best of luck!

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Multi threaded...maybe something to look into, I love SL Combat I really do. Maybe call it a Class 8 Sim and SL loose a few bucks but gains more customers. Would be a good trade off.

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Welcome Kim!

Please do not focus solely on clothes, as past promotions have, I don't think too many come to SL just for the clothes. You would do well to engage the merchant class, as we could be SL's best and most diverse tool for marketing to the net. This won't be very easy, as many of us have fallen out of favour with SL. It has been a tough year for LL, all the bad decisions are going to be hard to over come.

Good Luck!!!!!

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Welcome, Kim.  With your arrival we're one step closer to that gold standard of kewlness, having an ad for SL done by William Shatner!  *WOOT*

ETA: , very capable of being a sketchpad for new RL traits and accomplishments.


LOL... and i agree. Almost. I think we'd be better off with Takei. Seems more SL-ish.

And great point, SL has helped a lot of people learn things they otherwise would not have learned, such as 3D modeling, Photoshop, scripting, breaking out of a social anxiety, that an audience likes their music, etc. A good thing to emphasize.

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