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Dresden Ceriano

Hello from Linden Lab’s New CEO

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:

 

Its like if you rent a house to someone and in the contract the landlord write he can come in your house whenever he wants

That is a standard clause in property rental contracts.

In countries where they have such things.

Wooja...trustalawyernoway

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Dear Ebbe,

 

Once upon time SL enjoyed a near 100% marketshare of private sims owned in the known metaverse or leased to be more accurate.  It was inevitable that competition would arise and it did.  However, LL have always maintained a technological edge over their competitors even though the tools and utilities they have added were behind what was available in a lot of other popular games and platforms if even in sandbox mode in those games.

Last year SL fell below 50% marketshare for the first time in metaverse history and I think is now hovering around  40%.  Not an unrespectable marketshare in most forms of retail, but sadly it would seem that this is just another milestone in a consistent downward trajectory for SL.  Why is this so then?  SL arguably has more and better tools, better stability, better hardware and software support and a higher profile than other worlds in the metaverse.

The main differences I would suggest between LL and other worlds are price, new user experience and customer service.

As regards pricing the order of magnitude between LL's pricing of a sim and other available worlds is simply startling.  I won't place examples otherwise I'll just get accused of being a fanboy for other worlds and I'm sure your marketing people can provide you a list of your competitors' tariffs, which the majority if not all seem to more accurately reflect the cost of modern server prices.  I have 4 accounts across 4 different worlds SL being one of them and have bought land in three of them again SL being one of them.  In addition to sims being cheaper elsewhere the prim allocation is considerably higher too.  I can literally have nearly 17 times more sims and nearly a 120K more prims in two other worlds combined for 50% less than the price of one in SL and a measly 16K prims.  Other worlds are now almost on a par with SL in what they offer as regards things like mesh, a good physics engine and reliability.  Creators can make their mesh models offline or build on other worlds import their creations into SL put them up on Marketplace without the need to buy or rent land or even become a premium member and collect their L$ and just use SL as a social space for meeting and chatting with their friends.

As regards new user experience and customer service then other worlds have an inherent advantage over SL in that they have smaller populations to deal with and can be more personal and attentive and they expressly need to listen and to react to what new users experience and what established clients require for future retention.  However, LL's treatment of new users and established customers goes beyond the simple adjective of woeful.  The previous CEO once boasted that SL gets in the region of 100K new users per month and yet the active population remains constant if not dipping a little.  So LL is either losing 100K new customers per month or it's by great coincidence recruiting the same number of people per month as it is losing.  Either way it's not good news for you.  If you want to observe what it's like to be a new user in SL then find a friend of yours who has no previous experience of SL or virtual worlds, invite them over, sit them in front of your PC and without any prompts from you ask them to create an account and go inworld and watch their frustration build.

As for customer service then just start again.  What you have is beyond repair and really needs a root and branch reform.  All forums are replete with your consistent failings, but also replete with things you need to do to have something you could call a customer service.  The quirk of it all is that you need to do so little.  90% of the problems people run into are solved or answered by other users in forums or by experienced friends.  However your lack of transparency, engagement and communication and response times in matters that only LL have control over ranks amongst the worst in online entertainment if not beyond, really, it's that bad.

Apart from the people posting here in the desperate hope of a reach around or recognition from you there have been some valid points made, which you should at least look at, but don't rely on this place as a font of wisdom or being representative of the SL population.  99% of the posts here probably represent 1% of the users and engaging here regularly will only task your mental state, patience and faith in humanity.  Then again it is one of the few places where you can give people the moon on a stick.  As Ima said though in an earlier post, we know that your first responsibility is to your shareholders, and your fat cats need us cash cows milked, your job will be to know how best and how far you can twist our nipples before more of us cross the road to greener pastures.

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Ebbe has certainly lived up to the reputation that preceded him

He has posted more times in a few days on here than all his predecessors all together

except maybe for Philip in the 1st year when he was running support himself from the forums bc nothing else seemed to be working for that part back then (:

so all good so far I think

+

i quite like the straight answer on IP ToS. At least everybody now knows where they and LL stand on that. People might not agree with LLs stance but it is what it is. So at least is some certainty about how people can go forward from here 

what the edge cases might be is pretty interesting. Lots of people are gunna speculate on that I think

+

is all good on the communications part as well. Thats going to make the SL media and commentators happy. Maybe even a regular briefing session will eventuate for them

that be pretty good as a lot of them are well-respected by us bc of their analysis and understandings of the ways of LL. So we read the official communications and then we read it again through the filter of the journos who cover SL to get a different perspective on it other than our own

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Wooja wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:

I'm wondering if, in addition to more conventional anti-spam measures, a facility to hide posts from a particular author wouldn't help mitigate the problem,


I am sure that such a forum muting facility would be welcomed by the tiny vocal minority of overly-sensitive participants, in addition to those merely bored by uninteresting advertising.

Wooja...believeidlosehalfmyaudienceifsuchafeaturewasenabled

If some forum regulars who clearly can't stand each other were to put each other on ignore,  I certainly wouldn't complain that their interminable tirades against each other had stopped appearing in the middle of otherwise interesting threads.

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Trinity Yazimoto wrote:


Ebbe Linden wrote:

Nobody knows what may happen in the future. But we have no intent to steal your stuff. I can imagine scary scenarios that are more likely to happen, that none us have control over,  that would concern me more. I don't see how SL as we know it could be successful if we started to steal your stuff. I certainly don't see a business model based on stealing stuff that could last very long...so I don't really see the logic in this conversation. It sounds scary to some of you but how it could really become a real problem I don't really know. 

Well, Ebbe, maybe you dont see the logic in this conversation, but if you dont need to use our stuffs for "whatever purpose" then i dont see the logic for its writen in the TOS.

 

 

Its like if you rent a house to someone and in the contract the landlord write he can come in your house whenever he wants and for whatever purpose. Then of course when you both will sign the contract, he will say to you that he will never come inside your house and it would be bad for his business if he does, and then he dont see why its a problem for you. Would you still sign ? Except if the landlord is a really close friend or someone from your family and you can give to him a deep trust, you wont sign such contract bec who knows what can happen in the future...

Its asking a blank check. A contract should protect both parts, and not, like this one, protect one part and put the other part in danger.

I totally share your sadness about the trust broken. But, your turn to trust me, believe me we have good reasons for that. Rodvick treated us with a huge lack of respect and this, indeed, will take time to heel and i know its a huge challenge for you.

However, by looking at your history, i believe you have the skills that LL management was missing. Just by the fact you came here with humility and willing to talk to us, you won my total respect. For the trust, dont take it personnaly but it will require more time after the disaster caused by Rodvick.

But yes, after your first week at LL i can say im optimist and hopeful again. I just really really hope you will keep that way and dont turn your back to us one day. I value a lot what you did in this thread. Of course, you won't be able to please everyone with the decisions you will have to take, but communication is the key. With communication we can get ride of a lot of misunderstanding and frustration.

As you can see in this thread ppl had a really urge to talk and to be heard.  A huge one. So that's a first step and a pretty well done one. 

Nice job Trinity :-)

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Ebbe Linden wrote:

It's sad that we lost your trust.

Obviously I will do what I can to regain that trust.

I have no intent to steal your content. 

It saddens me too, Ebbe. I want to emphasize that I trust you, and all the Lindens I've met, personally on this. The problem is that no matter how much I trust you, in order to use the service I had to agree that you could take all my stuff. Align the legal with the intent and I'll be back in a heartbeat. I know that may be easier said than done, but somebody actually went to the effort to break that trust; the previous version of the TOS was fine, and so far as I know no third-party site had problems with it either. This isn't something the community suddenly discovered it had a problem with; this is something that Linden Lab went out and did, didn't announce, and when we discovered that it'd been changed in the metaphorical dead of night we felt betrayed.

There is speculation that this was done in order to let us sell our content on Desura. If that's the case, then we have the communication problem again, and also we have a disconnect between what rights are needed for Second Life and what's needed for Desura. If we need to give you more rights to provide more services, then let us opt into those services and cede the rights then. For those of us who just want to build experiences in SL, the old "necessary for the operation of the platform" should cover it, shouldn't it? You don't need rights "for any purpose whatsoever" if there's only one purpose we're agreed on.

I want to trust the Lab again, Ebbe. Give me an excuse.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:


Wooja wrote:


Innula Zenovka wrote:

I'm wondering if, in addition to more conventional anti-spam measures, a facility to hide posts from a particular author wouldn't help mitigate the problem,


I am sure that such a forum muting facility would be welcomed by the tiny vocal minority of overly-sensitive participants, in addition to those merely bored by uninteresting advertising.

Wooja...believeidlosehalfmyaudienceifsuchafeaturewasenabled

If some forum regulars who clearly can't stand each other were to put each other on ignore,  I certainly wouldn't complain that their interminable tirades against each other had stopped appearing in the middle of otherwise interesting threads.

+ 1 user agrees. Such silly childish schoolyard tip-tapping.

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I had avoided bringing up some specifics partly because I know there are many people here who have their bucket lists of things they'd like to see happen and I knew that could become overwhelming.  But I do have one I'd like to bring up because you mentioned "customers" in another response.

Customer Support sometimes is like going in circles.

Take for instance this Club Owner.  Short story is her club is listed in featured events with the wrong Land Mark.  She contacts Customer Support. Customer Support tells her "we can't help you."  She asks CS who can. They tell her to E Mail a certain Linden.  60 days later it is still not fixed.  You can read the long story, all the circles she has gone through in the linked thread.

I have my own incident.  After what the first person I contacted said would happen did not happen I contacted CS two more times and both times was given a link to the Terms.  When they told me that the charge to my account was correct I asked them to link me to the specific item in the Terms that covered my scenario neither of them would or could. 

I'm willing to accept that I am wrong and that the charge is legitimate.  But reading through the Terms I have been unable to find it.  Sure it is only forty dollars but to me forty dollars is a lot of money. 

I responded to the 'customer experience' survey I was sent afterwards stating my question was still unanswered and let it drop because as far as I could see all I was going to do was go in more circles.

Does anyone ever follow up with the Customers about these unresolved issues?   I understand it takes manpower and manpower costs money.  But how much money has LL lost because people abandonned their land over unresolved issues?  We do see quite frequently people posting they are abandonning their land over these things. 

I would suggest that a higher level of Customer service would actually cost you less.  If the first person I contacted had answered me acurately I would not have needed to try two more times.

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Ebbe

 

Please don't tell us that our worries about the current ToS are illogical, it is outright rude. We have all rights to worry about our content, and we have all right to be upset about the rescource sites that decided to cut ties with LL because of the change in ToS. The ToS has already brought us problems, so it's not a case of "maybe it will, maybe it won't".


What is illogical, is the change in ToS itself. Other user content sites manage to have a fair ToS, but for SL it's impossible?

We aren't buying it.


Secondly, you say that stealing our content and misusing it would not be good for LL, but we have learned the hard way that LL quite often decides to saw off the branch they are sitting on. Removing the discount for educational organisations, was one of those decisions. They packed their bags and left - those still interested in virtual worlds turned to open sim instead. Then we have the switch and bait with homesteads. etc. People that LOVE SL have left in droves, over LL's hamfisted decisions.

After all that, trust is not what you get, it's something LL has to earn back. You can start with revising the ToS.

 

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Ebbe Linden wrote:

Maybe the German museum would have been willing to pay the creator to keep it going? Not sure if the creator tried? And if they did, why didn't it work? 

There's a business model problem here. Museums and other public art institutions around the world are struggling, and they have their hands full trying to ascertain the ROI for the things they're already doing. Some of them may be looking beyond the "tried and true", but funding an SL art installation could be problematic. If there's no audience, the effort is wasted. If there's a huge audience, are they competing with their own RL efforts? SL hasn't established credibility as a marketing mechanism for RL businesses.

There are only 24 hours in a day. If I spend them in SL, I'm not spending them in a museum.

I think art in SL and SL itself must survive on its own, in competition with art and life in RL.

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Please give generously to the McMasters Institute for the Advancement of Harmless Flirtation™

Give generously? We're taking donations now? I must have missed a memo :-).

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Ebbe said that didn't cover the edge cases, and so it doesn't meet the criteria.

I might have missed something but, what exactly is an "edge case?"

In the design of anything, whether a bridge or TOS, you try to maximize what you can get from limited resources. Do you elevate the bridge to clear a 100 year flood, or a 500? Neither case is typical, but ignoring them could spell disaster. Designing for every contingency could be entirely to expensive. So, you must balance the cost against the risk. Edge cases are our attempts to locate operating situations which are possible, if not probable, and might be expected to reveal flaws in the thing.

And the space within all the edges the design is intended to handle is called the "envelope". I'm sure you've heard that term before, if only in reference to test pilots "pushing the envelope". In this case, the thing may not be well enough understood for anyone to be certain that a design's intent has been achieved. So we test the thing with unlikely but possible situations and observe the results. Kids do this all the time, testing the edges of their personal space and growing the envelope as they do.

When Ebbe said "The edge cases and the potential cost to us in certain scenarios are quite substantial.", he's describing a belief that there are potential IP rights situations that, although unlikely, are sufficiently dangerous that the TOS had to be modified to bring them all within legal protection. The result appears ugly from our perspective, but the threat may appear even worse from LL's.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:

Please give generously to the McMasters Institute for the Advancement of Harmless Flirtation™

Give generously? We're taking donations now? I must have missed a memo :-).

Yes. However, I welcome every donation...

Fishing for Compliments.jpg

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you are getting a clear view of the whole between the information provided by the Lindens and by the users. i hope this knowledge you are absorbing at the beginning of your road will help you to establish a clear foundation to start your projects on.

you have meet various personality types helping you be more aware of the challenges you are going to work with in the future, dont let the awareness of those problems discourage you, instead, use them as helpful tools to plan your road ahead, to take steps to minimize and hopefully cease those problems existence. and maybe, build better solutions without those obstacles.

i trust that you have the knowledge and the skills to overcome those obstacles with a well planned strategy, and once those problems get minimized, that you have the vision to bring innovative ideas to push Second Life to be a better place for residents, and to make people that havent use it yet, aware of the benefits that this unique and flexible platform can give them.

thank you for listening to us, keep up the good work, wish you success in your plans for the future.

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I'm not sure what metric you use when you say 


Sy Beck wrote:

Last year SL fell below 50% marketshare for the first time in metaverse history and I think is now hovering around  40%.

The only measures that particularly interest me are the number of active users and the size of the economy, and -- or so it seems to me -- SL continues to dwarf even its most successful competitors.  Whenever I look at the concurrency figures for the different grids, many of them seem to have about as many people logged on in total as would be pretty healthy for a single mainland sim in SL.    How many competitor grids can claim to have 500 unique log-ins during the course of a day? In SL, that's the sort of number of unique visitors a single popular attraction might expect a day, I think.

To my mind SL's great strengths are the number of people here, the goods we create, and the opportunities for social and commercial interaction we have.   I'm in SL because I enjoy meeting people and playing dress-up, and because I enjoy making scripted items and selling them.   SL is where my friends are.   SL is where I can meet new people, and where I can choose from a huge array of clothes, hairs, skins and so on.   SL is where my customers are, and where my animator business partner is, and where we can buy components like mesh or scultpies that we don't have the time or skill to make for ourselves.

If I wanted huge tracts of land and enormous prim allowances for very little money, in a sparcely-populated virtual world, then SL wouldn't be my first choice.   However, enormous tracts of land in an almost deserted virtual world isn't what I want, and what I (and, I think, most people) do want in a virtual world -- lots of other people and a developed market and economy -- are to be found only in SL.   

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I agree, I would love to pay less tier and get more prims and more land, but in the end how many people visit my sim matters more.

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About the new user experience:

 

This is about education, because navigating SL requires significant learning. Hire a professional educator or other expert in task analysis, someone who is not only extremely familiar with SL, but who can design a complete "curriculum" for newbies -- identify performance objectives ("The new user will be able to ______."), break down each needed skill into smallest steps, prioritize these skills, and have a means of evaluating the effectiveness of the process, so it can be fine tuned.

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

I'm not sure what metric you use when you say 

Sy Beck wrote:

Last year SL fell below 50% marketshare for the first time in metaverse history and I think is now hovering around  40%.

The only measures that particularly interest me are the number of active users and the size of the economy, and -- or so it seems to me -- SL continues to dwarf even its most successful competitors.  Whenever I look at the concurrency figures for the different grids, many of them seem to have about as many people logged on in total as would be pretty healthy for a single mainland sim in SL.    How many competitor grids can claim to have 500 unique log-ins during the course of a day? In SL, that's the sort of number of unique visitors a single popular attraction might expect a day, I think.

To my mind SL's great strengths are the number of people here, the goods we create, and the opportunities for social and commercial interaction we have.   I'm in SL because I enjoy meeting people and playing dress-up, and because I enjoy making scripted items and selling them.   SL is where my friends are.   SL is where I can meet new people, and where I can choose from a huge array of clothes, hairs, skins and so on.   SL is where my customers are, and where my animator business partner is, and where we can buy components like mesh or scultpies that we don't have the time or skill to make for ourselves.

If I wanted huge tracts of land and enormous prim allowances for very little money, in a sparcely-populated virtual world, then SL wouldn't be my first choice.   However, enormous tracts of land in an almost deserted virtual world isn't what I want, and what I (and, I think, most people) do want in a virtual world -- lots of other people and a developed market and economy -- are to be found only in SL.   

SL has a huge moat.  We are so invested in SL -- both emotionally and financially -- that it is going to be extremely difficult for anyone to offer significant competition.  The only thing that could possibly compete, at least for the near future, is High Fidelity, and only because eveyone is going to look at whatever Phillip Rosedale does.

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Sassy Romano wrote:


Treasure Ballinger wrote:

I'm actually glad this spam crap happened while Ebbe is in here talking to us, nothing like seeing it for oneself.  

Yes indeed, the daily public face of SL is "mumbai prostitute spam" and my JIRA about it was closed as "unactionable"...

Its actually an easy problem to fix.

Half of which is as simple as putting one of those Captcha things onto account creation, and then a first-post moderation scheme (your first ever post has to be manually approved, after that you become a regular poster).

The spammers are automated bots - they won't have someone manually make a post if they get rejected, they will just keeping filling up a spam queue until that account is de-activated.

Furthermore, they have more reliable IP-addresses than us. They post from spam farms; if you block one by the second level IP, you can wipe out thousands of them in an instant and not hit a single valid user. Some of these spam houses have had consistently reliable IP addresses for months if not years at a time.

111.222.333.444

Block from the 333 on down to get a few hundred of them, block from the 222 on down to get entire spam companies.

- They don't bother changing this up often beyond that level as they're targetting on a very wide scale and a few thousand websites blocking them won't hurt their business model.

Captcha: kill about half the spam

IP blocks: kill about 90% of the spam

The 'bullet' fix solution is rougher - and requires having an analytics person on staff who knows how to make your analytics appealing to your actual target customer base and NO ONE ELSE. That will kill about 99.9% of the spam while at the same time driving revenue up - but also requires spending a lot to get back even more.

 

 

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Pamela Galli wrote:

SL has a huge moat.  We are so invested in SL -- both emotionally and financially -- that it is going to be extremely difficult for anyone to offer significant competition.  The only thing that could possibly compete, at least for the near future, is High Fidelity, and only because eveyone is going to look at whatever Phillip Rosedale does.

I agree with this, except that I don't think that High Fidelity will really constitute direct competition for Second Life. I say this because I think HF is going in an entirely different direction, with a particular focus upon "real life" applications rather than virtual environments. It's more like bringing the virtual into the real, than entering into a virtual world (as I blogged a while back <shameless_self-promotion>here</shameless_self-promotion>).

Quite possibly this kind of blend of AR and VR may eventually spell the end for purely virtual worlds like SL, but that will not be because it's providing an alternate world. It will be because the entire nature of virtual reality will have changed.

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A warm welcome from good ol' Europe, Sir!

 

Since I figured that this is the 'make a wish' - thread, I have only one simple wish:

Please stop implementing new features in Second Life, and really focus on fixing thousands of the well-known bugs and issues, instead!

 

Good luck and have fun as our new god : P

 

PS: I am very well aware there are one- or two-hundred developers in your team(s) who want to contribute their ideas and visions to SL, but there are so many things to fix which have been around broken or semi-broken for ages.

E.g. we really need LSL - the scripting language - practically re-done (LSL 3.0), as there are so many caveats that it takes many times more hours than it should take to create the most simple things, because you have to work-around known issues which cannot be adressed without breaking existing content.

The (legacy) avatar (Avatar 2.0) practically needs to be re-done (e.g. the left and right leg have been inverted since the first day of SL, the attachment-points are not symmetrical... and so on).

The sim-crossings need to be re-done.

...

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