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Viewer 2.5 with Web Profiles Has Arrived

Q Linden



Today we launched Viewer 2.5, now out of Beta. The most significant update is a new, web-based profile system, which allows profiles to be viewed and edited both on the web and in the Viewer. For example, here's mine. Please note this is just a starting point for the web-based profiles; we’ll be doing a lot of work to refine the usability and make them richer over time.

In response to your feedback from the early beta versions of Viewer 2.5, we've added some privacy settings that will allow you to control just how public your profile is. Once you’ve logged in, click on “Privacy Settings” in the upper right corner of your profile. Group settings set in the Viewer will be overridden by these group privacy settings.

  • "Everyone" means that the information is available to the whole Internet and can be picked up by search engines.
  • "Second Life" means that the information is available to all Second Life Residents who are logged into the website or inworld. This is the default for all existing Residents using Viewer 2.5.
  • "Friends" means that only your Second Life friends can see the information on the web and inworld.

This is why we have a beta process--to address concerns and improve your user experience. We will continue to iterate as we get more feedback. Thank you for all your help and comments. Please attend the Viewer 2 User Group meetings if you would like to share your thoughts and feedback directly with me and the Snowstorm team.

Viewer 2.5 also has some other new features. The one I like best is that you can now have your Favorite landmarks also appear on the login screen, so that you can log directly into your favorite locations. Torley made a video about this, so check it out! We've also improved some texturing performance and fixed another batch of bugs. Watching the internal data, we've already seen a noticeable improvement in stability and performance--on par with Viewer 1.23.

Download Viewer 2.5, try it out, and keep the feedback coming! And, if you Twitter, please use the hashtag #slviewer2.

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Thats a great point that is kinda funny, also, in a way.

When was the last time you had this many people bitching in a forum, saying "PLEASE Linden Labs!!  Link our SL to our RL!!!  We love Facebook, make us more like that!!!"   *rolls eyes*

I guess they never got the memo that the majority of SL'ers keep SL & RL private and seperate?

I think they're skipping all the BS we want and are thinking with $$.
And while losing only a few members and gaining alot more could be well worth it, some of those older members are the ones who are dropping serious cash and also MAKING LL serious cash also. 

I've only been around SL for 2 years and have easily spent over 200,000Lindens inworld.  Last night I ran into a huge group of newbies at a newcomer sim and most of them were complaining how boring it seemed and didn't get the concept (as most do).... so I'm curious the percentage of those who join to those who actually stay on?

They need to get their heads out of their ass (i.e. Lindens) and listen to those who have been around for the longest and have used and come to know and love the virtual world viewer.

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I am always very positive when a new version is released. I have commented many times on the good job you go and report some bugs. but it's rare i have something really bad to say.

This release however, I cant believe it passed testing (if it was tested at all) and is actually an official release. If this release was a beta I would still think it was shocking how bad it was. There are MAJOR bugs, bugs that make it nearly impossible to use the viewer.

Profiles take ages to load (if they load at all, which they don't half of the time) and when they do there is no pictures, no links, no groups and NO PICKS. I hated it bad enough when you made search web based, now profiles take years to load too.

Please stop pushing facebook on the residents. Most people come to SL to escape RL for a while. That's what is so appealing with SL to begin with. Facebook is for keeping in touch with RL friends and family. I think it's rare anyone uses facebook for anything else. Make this feature OPTIONAL. So those few that want this feature can have it.

You cant type in map locations at all anymore. As soon as I press enter after typing in a sim name it all just goes blank again.

I think the lindens make some great choices, and do some great things. But I also think you need to spend more time inworld with people to learn what's actually needed. Your focus couldn't be more off most of the time. The profiles was working so wonderfully as it was, why do you ruin a great thing? =/

Here is the only good thing I have to say about this release: I like the auto updates a great deal.

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My profile is ruined, the about is blank now, they lost my profile, those bastards.


This is such a comedy of FAIL its not even funny anymore.


wwaaaaaaaaa, i just checked with phoenix and its gone, omg, haha.

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Oh, believe me I know that 200k is NOTHING compared to some in SL.  But as just a part-time user who isn't a sim owner, huge business owner, etc... just a random player whose there for fun.... its alot of RL money to throw towards a virtual world.

But you have to think... me plus.... however many who have been in game long enough to know how/where to spend cash.... its racking in quite a bit.  -- and this is just the "average" user.

I also get why they're linking to Facebook, I think most people do....  its Facebook.  There are over 200 million active users on it.  So sure, LL was bound to jump on the bandwagon... but as I stated, they're missing the biggest, most important "pull" of Second Life.... anonymity.  We join SL to get away from RL.  If we want FB, you can be sure that 90% of SLers already have it.  If we want to mess with Facebook, chances are we are surfing it WHILE playing Second Life.  Theres no need to link the two considering most of us don't want to be found.

If LLabs ever feels the need to keep its most faithful users, they need to turn up their hearing aide.  Thats all.

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I am not saying that I agree with the changes LL is making, only that I understand why they are being made.  The one thing I don't have anyway of finding-out is the actual income of competing services like Its Making Voting Unnecessary.  However, I would be willing to bet good money that Linden Lab does have access to the kind of information that would say to them, "If you don't get on the Facebook bandwagon, you're going to be buried by other services that are."  Facebook is HUGE and there are a gazillion people who love it along with a gazillion others who at least use it.

I truly do not mean this to sound snarky but 200,000L$ is peanuts in real dollar terms.  I've been on SL for over 5 years and I have spent far far more than that, and that amount is peanuts, too.  The only people who directly contribute serious cash-flow are the landowners with dozens and hundreds of sims.  Ten thousand dollars may be a lot of money to you and me, but it's legumes to Linden Lab and their operating costs.

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Crys, I think I am not making my point clear at all, and I apologize for my lack of verbal skill.

What I have been trying to say is that all the people on SL who "join SL to get away from RL,"  who don't want Facebook, etc., all the faithful users... are not who are driving the changes in Second Life.  Linden Lab is making a deliberate effort to recruit new users who do want Facebook, etc., whether or not that effort costs them existing customers.  Part of the existing customer base will probably not go along with most of these changes, and LL is taking the stance, "Well, that is too bad, and we will miss you, but we are going to make these changes anyway because for every one of you that leaves, five (or ten or twenty or whatever their projections may be) will join because we did make these changes, and that revenue stream is just too juicy to pass up."

From that standpoint I think LL's approach is understandable.  We may not like it and it may not work, but apparently it is a chance they are willing to take. Such an approach will almost certainly change the face of Second Life beyond what you and I recognize today.

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Well then that goes back to a previous comment I made about ... curious what the percentage is of those who join as to those who actually stay on.  If they join thinking its something like FB, then they'll be surely confused and misguided in that sense.

Another thing is, a big portion of FB users aren't going to flock to something like SL (in my opinion).  I see more Sims players and WoW players venturing towards SL than FB.

Users on FB are there to connect, not fly around sims, spend hard earned cash and clothe an avatar.  (but then again, thats my opinion)  I jsut don't see the coorelation here other than networking, and even then... if you think about it, Facebook doesn't allow "fake" profiles.  They've been taking down quite a few avatar pages because they don't represent real people (which I am in total agreeance with).

And you would also think, LL would like to keep existing members as we're probably the ones who are spending more cash compared to new people (who are more likely to leave within the first few weeks of signing up)  ... but hey, what do I know? lol

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Web Profiles - Privacy Settings for See my online status, See me on the map, Edit, delete or take my objects  are not working in a timely fashion

With implementation of web profiles on Viewer 2.5  the only place to set   See my online status, See me on the map, Edit, delete or take my  objects is on the web profile, either on the internal browser or an  external browser after logging into  the SL website. However NONE of the  above 'Privacy Settings' has any effect on the actual settings inworld,  when  either done from internal or external browser for a considerable period of time.

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Oh yea, I get what you are saying.  I know how LL operates, and none of that is going to change by anything that anyone says here.  I won't argue that.

BUT...this is one of the few avenues that LL customers have to expess their concerns or frustrations (or heap praise if they so choose).  And, as has been the case in this very thread, Lindens DO read these responses (at least one), whether they decide to ever do anything with those responses or not.

Sometimes people just need to be heard, and whether or not they actually are heard shouldn't invalidate their feelings or concerns one iota.

Linden Lab would be wise to take a listen and try to understand the feedback here.  This is what good companies do, and I've worked for many of them. Trying to understand the concerns of your customers, along with their wants and needs, is what keeps companies strong, not some personal vision that Linden Lab may have for the future.

That personal vision for the future ain't gonna mean squat if there aren't any customers around to support it.

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Well, the whole subject is one that we can only make assumptions about, for now.  However, as I mentioned in my first post (and the thing that got me to thinking in the first place) was seeing how many users were on Its Made Voting Unnecessary this afternoon compared with Second Life.  If a business model works, then it works and there is no point in Linden Lab burying their heads in the sand and hoping that their original business model would come out on top in the long run.  From what has been going on and announced so far, it would seem that someone, or a group of someones, connected with Linden Lab has decided to take the plunge, essentially admitting that perhaps the original model needs to be changed to keep up with the rest of the virtual worlds out there.  I should assume that the decision was reached after considerable study -- not even LL would make such profound changes without having reasons that would satisfy a Board of Directors and investors.

Actually, I fully expect to see a much more restrictive attitude about Adult stuff on SL in the not-so-distant future, and following that, an effort to open SL to younger residents (I consider the merger of the Teen Grid with the Adult Grid a test-run of that process).  These are models that other virtual worlds are already using--Second Life simply is not technically ready for them at this moment, but there is no reason it couldn't be made ready, as has been pointed out numerous times by people who know far more about the inner workings of the software than I do.  Of course the current residents would be outraged but the "original" Second Life is incompatible with a broader, all-ages range of users--but the potential pool of customers is vast.

By the way, are you aware that some other virtual worlds have been using what we've been calling "mesh" almost from day one?

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OK - I have loved all the changes being made to the viewer until now.

The web based profiles are hard to get to, take space on the screen when you are trying to watch something AND what happened to my NOTES?!?!?!?!  The notes are invaluable to keep track of when you met someone, where they live, what they like and when we first got together.  I may not be in the majority of SLers on the notes thing but I bet it's a strong minority!

Bring back the notes!


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how exactly are web profiles and the way they are implemented making SL more attractive for people who like facebook?
again, they could have the same functionality like they have now or even more, but could still get shown in the sidebar. there is no real need to show them inside a browser inside SL.
and a "show in browser" button would be perfectly fine.
why adding a sidebar like that to have all the info in there, and a few month afterwards they start ripping it apart again?
it appears as if they absolutely have no idea what they are doing and not as if there is some brilliant master plan behind the decisions they make.

sure it's not the worst idea to make your product more appealing to the "masses"  but maybe you should have a product first which can handle the "masses" of people when they arrive? where are they suposed to go when the sim they arrive at can barely hold 30 people without everybody rubberbanding or not beeing able to move at all?

first things first!

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I agree with what you say, but then, you're kind of preaching to the choir.  The whole point of what LL is doing is to ensure a much larger, more viable pool of customers and potential customers than they have now.  Why would LL care about their existing customer base if they expect to attract five or ten or fifty times more people with their new paradigm?  Frankly, if I were the one doing it, I wouldn't care either, not from a business point of view.  As I said to Crys, these changes and shifts aren't things that LL decided on a whim, no matter what anyone says.  Second Life as a whole has been moving this way for a long time now... poor old M Linden got replaced because he didn't move it along fast enough to suit the money people (remember how disappointed the money people were with the debut of Viewer 2? Without that fiasco, we'd have seen these changes being made months ago, maybe even earlier than that, but the interface was not solid enough to allow for it.)

As far as I'm concerned it's all an intellectual exercise.  I may 100% wrong but if I'm not:  Remember, you heard it from me first!

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That's the HUGE problem with the new profiles - some of us used the NOTES constantly to keep track of relationships and preferences.  BRING BACK THE NOTES!!!!

And I would also like the profiles back in the viewer - much more consistent and easy and fast to get to.

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I agree that there is a master plan behind this whole fiasco; however, there are more friendly ways of accomplishing their ultimate goal than the way they've been handling things.  They are ass backwards when it comes to figuring out how to roll out betas and how to program the UI to satisfy existing customers plus getting new ones.  The least they could do is test their viewer on a few different machines and a few different browsers.  I mean, really???  They can't even do that?  Unbelievable.

The problem with this is that a lot of existing customers who are frustrated are the ones that spend the most money in SL.  We have land, we build, etc.  I'm very frustrated with it, and am now back on Imprudence once again until something comes out for the Mac by Phoenix or Imprudence.  And frankly, I'm re-evaluating the need to be in SL at all anymore.  Is it really worth all this frustration?

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Well heres the thing....

In my first year of SL (as just an average user, nothing special, no business's, no sims, nothing).... I spent an average of 100K Lindens.
In my second year of SL (renting land, now owning a small business, etc) .... I couldnt even calculate how much money I've put into the game.

So a thought for ya....

Out of the new joiners (who just happened to see this thing called Second Life on their FB and honestly know NOTHING about it, nor even knowing the changes, etc) .... say.... 10 join.... 3 or 4 stay on (hell, I'll even say 6 to be nice).... in that first year of those new members.... wouldn't you think that 3 or 4 or even 6 OLDER users will be spending more money inworld than they will be?

My answer would be yes.

This just means that their calculations of LINKING FACEBOOK = MORE MONEY doesn't equal at all.  Keep the ones who have been around longer... chances are, our land plot(s) we own, business's we have going, our shopping at more expensive/known stores.... will be/are helping them more financially in the long run than the new people who just happened to run across a "liked" profile.

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Oh, don't feel that I am arguing against your point of view, because I am not.  I am just saying what I feel Linden Lab is trying to do.  Somebody at LL thinks that being affiliated with Facebook and Twitter and who-knows-what-else is going to generate FAR more traffic than the movie Avatar did--the money people were disappointed about that, if you recall.

Sometimes volume does more than make up the difference between spending levels.  Unless everyone currently active on Second Life is spending a LOT more money than I think is the case, the volume vs. spending-level comparison isn't even a contest, not when LL is in the situation of having 5% of their users generate 95% of their income (the big landowners)--that's not meant to be a "real" number, of course, just an example of what I mean.  And those big landowners aren't going to ditch their investment in SL so quickly, especially if LL is correct in their reasoning and they do attract a vast new crowd of people who decide to stay.  Right now there simply aren't enough people spending enough money in or on SL to make Linden Lab happy--perhaps the margin is slimmer than we realize, considering the huge layoff and the lack of customer services that we would like to see.  It could be a case of "we cannot afford to do better right now, we just don't have the money."  But that's just a thought, not a statement of fact.

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Yea well, preaching to the choir does give me the option to say "I told you so" when things go south.  They won't be able to say that their existing customer base didn't try to warn them.  It will be a lesson learned.

Again, I have worked for many companies over many years, and the ones who did well listened to their customers.  They did not always agree with said customers, and they certainly didn't make decisions soley based on what their customers thought, but customer feedback played a huge role in how things were implemented moving forward.  Companies can't survive without customers, and LL is taking a big risk here.

Again, Linden Lab would be wise to heed the warnings of some very well intentioned existing customers.

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i think it took round about a year until i felt like i know how SL works, lol.
not every facebook kid is a designer, programmer or 3d artist.

SL is way too complex for casual gamers. they want instant fun.
they don't want to have to learn how to walk sexy or how to get stuff out of boxes. and most kids i know like to look cool, and when you arrive in SL you look everything else but cool. lol

ipad, iphone games or facebook games are so successfull because you dont have to read books or watch videos about how to operate them.

not everybody is dedicated enough to invest the amount of time it takes to get used to SL.

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By "preaching to the choir" I meant that I, personally, agree with you already--you don't need to convince me

I just have the impression, from the metrics that I have seen, that LL and SL are both stagnating in terms of growth, perhaps not at a complete standstill but certainly not where LL wants to be.  And given the apparent success of other approaches to virtual worlds, LL wants to emulate some of the practices that seem to be driving that success. If the entire existing customer base were to disappear and was replaced by one an order of magnitude larger, LL would be a very happy corporate entity.  Whether or not this can happen is beyond my ken.

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All 3 of you have a point.

New SL'ers who happened to find out about it by ways of networking sites probably won't have the time it takes to be put into SL and figure things out.  It took me a great deal to get used to it all and learn the ropes.  And even know, with a full time RL job, SL has been pushed down to "nightly" and "weekends only".   There aren't enough designers/photoshop pros/scripters/etc who play around w mundane "friend" sites who will take the time out of their schedule to become one of the mass producing avatars we are used to hearing of.... i.e. Vista, etc etc. 
I honestly think most of SL's population is geared more towards gamers and money makers (those who have the time to put into it anyways).  So they'll gain the attention of those who end up veering from WoW and Sims.

I do understand WHY Linden Labs is doing this but as Cody says, you really need to listen to the customers who have been around longer and actually implemented the changes and used the features on a regular basis.  We're the ones bringing in the money NOW. 
LL would be better off if maybe they at least tried to listen to us SOMEtimes but it seems as tho every word we seem to scream at them goes at the bottom of the pile and what happens is....  this mess.

And have they ever heard of word of mouth?

Poor newbies will be joining, making friends who have been around for a while, and then hearing the huge pile of complaints and even explaining the "brand spanking new" features that wont allow them to keep their new second life private. 
Way to kill that wonderful idea that Second Life originally attracted people in the first place!  ... seems as tho it might just push them away.

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Yea Fender, I hope you don't take this as me tryin' to tell you stuff you already know.  It's pretty obvious that you know what you're talking about and understand what's going on.

I guess I'm hoping for that .00001% chance that someone who matters will see something that I (or others) have posted and a lightbulb goes off.  They can grow without losing the existing customer base.  It's what the best companies in the world do.  I'm not sure LL understands just how important their existing customer base really is.

I think LL is going to be very surprised to find out that the new customer base they are attracting won't replace the existing customer base for long, regardless of numbers.  It's a different generation, and I think they are going to find that their dedication to the SL world pales in comparison to the customers who have made SL what it is.

Just my opinion, of course.

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Wait! This IMVU thingy, wasn't this the virtual world that's all about this thing with the 3 letters e, s and x? If that's the deal, the adult maturity level was the biggest fail ever - or wait! I have a vision: In a few months, you don't need to provide payment info or use Aristotle to age verify - a link to your Facebook profile will be sufficient!

Despite that: Nobody ever said anything about acquiring more users. But: The whole misery started with the release of Viewer 2 that actually should attract more retaining users on it's own - a failure we all know. And it's not about link your profile to your Facebook account so your RL boss can see you're a naughty person in SL. If somebody wants to do that I don't care. But there are lots of people who don't like that. Or don't like other things. And here we come to the main reason because LL is failing: They don't give users choices!

Let's take the profiles as example: People are forced to use web profiles no matter if they don't like it or not. And the solution would be so simple: Make a setting in preferences where users could choose if they prefer old style profiles or web profiles. They didn't! Result: People complained about various issues. For instance privacy: Why can't there be an option whether my profile should be "Like"-able or not? And what did LL? They knitted some weird privacy extension to it with the result that when I select my profile shouldn't be visible on the web people with viewer 2.5 can't see it - old inworld profiles work fine!

Another example? People complained about the Viewer 2 UI for over a year and lots of them want a UI close to old Viewer 1.23 style. What did LL do? Nothing! They invented some other weird stuff instead of creating an optional close-to-old-style UI. Want to see how this works? Well, have a look at Firestorm!

Question to LL (although I doubt anyone of LL will read this): Why do people get stuff shoved down their throats despite lots of complaints instead of making things optional? Is this so complicated?

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Lulu, I personally don't see a friendly way of doing what LL wants to do, because people like you and me came to SL for what we perceived as the way LL did business and ran the grid.  Changes to that perception are painful, no matter what the reasons behind the changes may be.  For now LL is depending on everyone currently active in SL to take a "wait and see" approach, thus giving them time to drum up a new user base with the new features they are implementing and will implement in the future.  I don't like the way things are headed either because it's not what I wanted when I joined but I am forced to the conclusion that this is the way things are going to be, regardless of my preferences.

I stopped eating at Ruby Tuesday's because they changed the recipe for their once-delicious burgers.  I can part with SL without becoming rancorous about it because things change and not always the way I would like.  If LL keeps up with the kinds of changes that they have announced, I will simply move on--no yelling, no screaming, just a friendly wave and a "thank you" for the pleasant times I did have on SL.

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I think you may be confusing It's Made Voting Unnecessary with another world (concurrency now over 140,000).  There are places which fit your description but they aren't one of them, from what I have seen.

Of course they've said things about acquiring new users, over and over.  And the whole "misery" didn't start with Viewer 2, it started long before that, slowly working it's way to what we have now.  Viewer 2 was made the way it is so that LL could integrate it with things like Facebook--the other UI features that people love or hate are incidental to the viewer's purpose.

I'm not arguing your comments or anything although I am a bit unclear if you really meant to reply to me.  The whole issue with LL not listening to its users is a longstanding one in the SL community but if LL had listened to us, they wouldn't have been able to move their direction in the way in which they want to go.  And if that is what LL feels they need to do, well, it's their company and perogative to do so, just as it is ours to leave if we don't like it.

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