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Axelfoxthefoxyfluff

What did SL do wrong during the early days?

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Simple Answer: Linden Lab broke new ground and suffered through a fierce learning curve. They are still here and have positively affected the whole Build it Yourself 3D community forever.

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SL did nothting wrong.  SL was the media darling and it was considered cool for organizations to have a SL presence.  Corporations assumed that they could market RL products to SL residents, so they set up sims.  Marketing studies done at the time showed SL residents did not want RL things intruding on their SL.  All the sims that the corps set up did not attract residents to them.  They became essentially ghost towns after the initial splash they made when they opened.   As time went on the corps realized they made a mistake and packed up and left.

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You can still see remnants of what Amethyst said in some sir names....secretspy, gossipgirl, etc. CSI franchise even had a "lab" set up after the "down the rabbit hole" episode that featured SL, though not realistically. Just with the SL learning curve, the casual players stayed away in droves.

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Axelfoxthefoxyfluff wrote:

Cause i have read in a book about sl,that many businesses actually set up shop on here,but afterwards,many of them left.

I wonder what SL did wrong.

Okay, let's say you're an inventor. You have a dog that's old, or has back troubles, and can't walk anymore, so you design a little electric car your dog can drive. It takes a while to train your dog to use it, but eventually he gets around pretty well.

Other people start seeing it and they ask you to make dogmobiles for their dogs that have trouble walking. Eventually you have a nice little business.

Then investors start seeing the "potential". Look at all those dogs out there! Millions of them! They could all have cars too! And of course, they'll want to trade their cars in every few years to get the latest features -- after all, who doesn't? The investors start putting up Dogmobile dealerships all over the place. Meanwhile, what about the huge untapped cat market?

But guess what? The Dogmobile dealerships can't do enough business and start going belly up. Is it a problem with the Dogmobile? Or could it be because...

Most dogs don't need, or even want, cars.

In a situation like this, who did what wrong?

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LL took a huge risk, with very little resources, technology that a modern cell phone would crush into the ground, investors wanting results etc etc. Just becouse a company or individual for that matter has the best thing since slide bread does not mean it will be a success, Betamax and VHS are a classic example. Looking back and seeing the faults is easy, anyone can do that, am sure many you made where a mistake and you regret them, thats just life. Personaly i think LL have done rather well considering all the problems they had to get over and i very much doubt they thought it would last this long.

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I normally do not post on the forums. Since I have been here so long I thought I might give you some insight of what has happened. I Joined SL in 2004. I remember when there was no lindex , no sale of lindens, no land auctions. I remember the prim wars. (Objects were allotted by sim and not parcel ) and a whole LOT of NASTY people that thought they knew it all. I remember when it cost you l$10 PER PRIM to rez an object in world. (You got the l$ back when you derezzed the object ). I remember land taxes. I saw the most Nasty grid attacks.  Sim Crashing scripts and a whole lot of nasty stuff. For around 5 years , I Had a very successful Fireworks business. Since in the early days everyone had to be premium and everyone had L$ to Spend money to access SL. Then Linden Labs offered free access. Almost Immediatly  Sales revenue started dropping. I still keep my 1 store open mostly for a novilty. I semi retired from sl about 3 years ago. I only come and go. Sl continues  to decline. I rarely see anyone around my place anymore. I do Check in at least once a day briefly. Most of my SL friends have done the same and a couple have passed away. So to answer your question, The biggest thing I think Linden Lab did wrong was to alow free, unconfirmed access. Had that not happened, commerce would have been stronger. Another Mistake was the Online Market place. It should have just been a directory and not a store. Linden Lab shot themselves in the foot because now people can sell for free , before you had to own land to sell merchandise.That further cut their revenue stream. Anyhow , It is what it is. I long ago went into other things. I do hang around once an a while to chat with old friends As for me , I have not created anything new here in at least 3 years. It was fun while it lasted but now I have other things to do. Eventually Second life as you know it will eventually morph into something else or disappear. It has been around a long time. What the future holds is anyones guess. We will just have to see.

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To answer the topic question: prim tax.

 

May I ask what book you read to get your source info that raised your question?  If it is just about companies came in and then left; what did LL do wrong then:

  1. they did not write the book
  2. they let corporations enter Second Life
  3. they based their company in California when there are other tech heavy states with office space and bandwidth costs that are less than half California's

 

In its infancy, Second Life was as much a social experiment as anything else.  Phillip always expected to see a resident created government to form in some way.  If you can run that through a sociologist think tank and come up with valid reason why that never happened, then you can say what LL did wrong.  I think communication is in there somewhere.  No mass media ever took hold.  Smaller magazines and radio stations with subscribers in the few thousands but that is only a tiny fraction needed before advertising would pay off, for products or politics.

Nope, Second Life was and is anarchy without consequences.  LL failed to tell people willing to give them lots of money that fact.  Is that LL's fail or the corporations fail?  Me, I say **bleep** 'em.  They should have done their own research instead of believing something they read "in a book."

.

 

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LL actually did all of us a favor by making SL unfavorable to corporations. I mean, what do corporations do for us? Absolutely nothing. All they want is your money. Anyone who has any kind of loyalty to a corporation is just a big chump.

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I came to SL in 2006, around the time when it was in the media spotlight and the grid was expanding rapidly.  

I've always thought that Second Life is amazing and we should be grateful to LL for creating and maintaining this virtual world for us.  But it's not perfect and it never has been.

Performance has always been a problem - lag, slow rezzing, crashes.  Udates often result in significant improvements but strangely, over time, performance falls off again. 

The freedom given to residents to create stuff is one of SL's greatest strengths but that is a double-edged sword.  You can build whatever you like in SL and there are some wonderful builds and some wonderful buildings available to buy.  But a stroll around any part of one the 'Mainland' islands will demonstrate that lack of skill, taste or thought for others is no bar to building, and building BIG.  You can never walk very far without coming across some blocky monstrosity with oversized patterned wallpaper on one side, giant leaves on another.  Another case of resident freedoms is overuse of mesh items on avatars.  If lots people load their avs with high poly mesh everything, it adds to lag - this is a particular problem at house music clubs.

I think also that SL is 'not quite good enought' for several potential uses.  One example is creating a graphic novel - it could be done in SL but it's not quite sophisticated enough on its own.  Another example is creating visualisations and walk-throughs for architects and designers. Again, that can be done in SL but imagine the potential if the graphics and functions could be upped a bit.

Regarding the time when LL was trying to get RL corporations to come to SL.  Some car makers had sims to display prim versions of their real cars.  But these were only approximations and probably had no value beyond that of novelty. Nowadays realistic models of cars can be imported to SL but the corporations have been and gone.  Also SL was affected by what might be called the 'virtual bus station' phenomenon.  Imagine the idea of a bus company having a virtual bus station in SL. with RL timetables on the wall and other useful information - much more difficult to use than a simple website containing the same information!  In other words some things work better on simple websites than in 3D virtual worlds.

So, where did LL go wrong in the early days?  I don't know if they did go wrong, they've probably always tried to offer the best they could at the time.  The limitations we still encounter in SL today probably aren't LL's fault but a result of SL having to be a compromise because of the freedom residents have.  

I think I know where LL might be going wrong now, though, and that is evident from the huge expanses of abandoned mainland.  I think the land policy needs to be looked at. There's so much abandoned mainland now that it might that LL might be able increase the tier-free allowance to 1024 sq m for Premium members, which would increase the appeal of going Premium.  Also LL could make some of the abandoned land into permanent Linden land, nicely landscaped and planted and with some public buildings.  A few more Linden highways wouldn't go amiss either.

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I was at a point where I was getting on SL every night, 7 days a week.  It was a fun time with friends and building.  Then there were some pretty cool places with dark hallways or bright particle shows we would visit that eventually would disappear overnight.

 

I'm not sure what LL did wrong in the beginning, I wasn't here for that, but, when they opened their big fat mouth and talked about this new SL, that is when most people just up and left.  That's the main reason for all the abandoned mainland.  I stuck it out for a while, but I quit logging in as well, because when this new SL is complete, you can't transfer anything from this current SL world.  I spent so much in L$, to go to a new place and spend more money, no thanks LL.  They've alienated a lot of people, and in the end have shot themselves in the foot.

 

Good job LL, good job.

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Region loss and the number of people online have been declining a lot longer than Linden Lab has been working on Sansar. The worldwide recession and SL's age (people like shiny new things so are less likely to be interested in an 11+ year old product) are likelier reasons for SL's gradual decline.

Sansar isn't a replacement for SL. Sansar is basically a virtual world hosting service. LL is hoping companies will use it to create their own worlds. It should be possible for a company to use Sansar to create a world like SL, but who knows if it will happen?

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*starts playing the world's primiest violin.*

 

You can't move your SL assets to whatever Sansar is because they aren't the same thing. From what little information about Sansar has been said, it's more like the Unity game engine or RPG Maker than another SL. Linden Labs has repeatedly stated that SL isn't going anywhere in light of Sansar, so your fearful hatred of it is unfounded. And as Parhelion Palou said, there's been a decline for a lot longer than the last 6 months or so.

 

Sorry, but your ridiculous statement is ridiculous. No one has packed up and left over Sansar, and such a course of action would be ridiculous.

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HarrisonMcKenzie wrote:

*starts playing the world's primiest violin.*

 

You can't move your SL assets to whatever Sansar is because they aren't the same thing. From what little information about Sansar has been said, it's more like the Unity game engine or RPG Maker than another SL. Linden Labs has repeatedly stated that SL isn't going anywhere in light of Sansar, so your fearful hatred of it is unfounded. And as Parhelion Palou said, there's been a decline for a lot longer than the last 6 months or so.

 

Sorry, but your ridiculous statement is ridiculous.
No one has packed up and left over Sansar
, and such a course of action would be ridiculous.

Now now... You don't know that.

And neither does Rikel, because according to his post history he packed up and left before Sansar was even a rumor.

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Axelfoxthefoxyfluff wrote:

Cause i have read in a book about sl,that many businesses actually set up shop on here,but afterwards,many of them left.

I wonder what SL did wrong.

In a nutshell - nothing. They did nothing of any significance wrong.

Imo, they've been doing things wrong since then, but that's not "during the early days" that you asked about.

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Rikel Parkin wrote:

I'm not sure what LL did wrong in the beginning, I wasn't here for that, but, when they opened their big fat mouth and talked about this new SL, that is when most people just up and left.  That's the main reason for all the abandoned mainland.

Not really. Mainland started to become some kind of wasteland once LL introduced the Homestead Islands, Linden Homes and moved the adult circuit  to Zindra..

The overall decline of total user numbers and sims certainly is not directly related to the Sansar announcement, but has various other reasons.

Maybe the  not-too-well-crafted, pre-mature and not too enlightenig Sansar propaganda announcements caused some damage - and still do so - but a healthy customer relationship never was a strength of Linden Lab. So, business as usual, number one rule since 12 years of SL: "Don´t panic!"

 

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Axelfoxthefoxyfluff wrote:

Cause i have read in a book about sl,that many businesses actually set up shop on here,but afterwards,many of them left.

I wonder what SL did wrong.

Quite simply, they were so desperate for activity that they failed to take out the trash. As one well known multinational is alleged to have remarked on their SL departure;

"You don't advertise a premium brand in a toilet".

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lol. I like that parting statement :) Their description of SL was never true, of course. It was more likely that they couldn't make RL advertising in SL work, and they invented that as the excuse for pulling out.

But that was good for we users. I doubt that many SL users would be happy to keep running into RL ads inside SL. Heck, there were so many complaints in the SL forum when LL started to have affiliate ads in its pages. I hadn't thought of it until just now, but those ads have (happily) disappeared.

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Rhonda Huntress wrote:

In its infancy, Second Life was as much a social experiment as anything else.

I think that was what Phillip Rosedale saw as the main purpose of SL and also the new virtual world he is working on now. I don't think everybody else involved (users, employees or investors) saw it that way though.

 


Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Phillip always expected to see a resident created government to form in some way.

Did he? Any sort of government, big or small, formal or informal, would need some sort of powerbase of course and that is one thing LL would never ever give to a group of residents. ;)

 


Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Second Life was and is anarchy without consequences.

Time for a Larry Niven quote - I've been waiting for ages for an excuse to post it on this forum:

Anarchy is the least stable of social structures.


Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Is that LL's fail or the corporations fail?

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. ;)

LL managed to fool a lot of Big Corporations and others who should have known better and should have done their own reality check. Looking back it's very hard to understand how they could be taken in the way they were. Unfortunately for LL and Sansar, they've probably learned their lesson now.

 

As for what they did wrong: Linden Lab always wasted lots of resources trying to attract customer groups they didn't have anything suitable to offer to. They aimed for the mass market with a product that always remained just a little bit to heavy for the average Joe's computer to run. They aimed for the educational market with no adequate educational tools to offer. They aimed for the commercial market but never thought what use the commercial companies could put SL to.

The list could go on and on. Linden Lab has always wasted lots of time, energy, effort and money on dead-on-arrival ideas. They just never could figure out this long term strategic planning thing. Quite often those ideas went against the interests of their actual user base too, alienating a large number of potential users who might actually have been interested in the product.

Also, when was the last time LL did a serious market survey? I don't actually think they ever have. Market analysis is of course a key factor to any successful business and LL always neglected this. That is definitely a HUGE mistake they made and continue making,

Then again, it didn't go that wrong, did it? Yes, Second Life is slowly dying now. You need to have an enormous capacity for denial or be tremendously naive not to see that. But it's not going down fast, it's already lasted for much longer than anybody should have expected and it's seen some amazing peaks of success.

Perhaps it's better to ask: What did SL do right during the early days? Because, all things considered, it shouldn't have gone anywhere near as well as it did.

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People left for far more basic reasons and that was disposable income and employment. SL does not pay the mortgages and put food on the table. Also under 25s are into different things now and am sure going to a party or gig etc with what limited funds they have these days is a lot more enjoyable than SL.

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steph Arnott wrote:

People left for far more basic reasons and that was disposable income and employment. SL does not pay the mortgages and put food on the table. Also under 25s are into different things now and am sure going to a party or gig etc with what limited funds they have these days is a lot more enjoyable than SL.

Oh yes, that too. No matter how we look at it, not many people are so hooked on SL they'll stay here for years and years, and even those who are will die of old age sooner or later.

Today Second Life holds very little attraction to anybody not already in it and with far more departures than arrivals, the end result is fairly easy to predict.

The question here is all about the early days though and that wasn't really a factor back then.

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I really do not believe LL thought it would last even 10 years with tech moveing so fast. With that presunption LL probably just did just enough to keep it going. and lets face it SL is a dinosaur in its twilight days.

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ChinRey wrote:


Rhonda Huntress wrote:

In its infancy, Second Life was as much a social experiment as anything else.

I think that was what Phillip Rosedale saw as the main purpose of SL and also the new virtual world he is working on now. I don't think everybody else involved (users, employees or investors) saw it that way though.

 

Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Phillip always expected to see a resident created government to form in some way.

Did he? Any sort of government, big or small, formal or informal, would need some sort of powerbase of course and that is one thing LL would never ever give to a group of residents.
;)

 

Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Second Life was and is anarchy without consequences.

Time for a Larry Niven quote - I've been waiting for ages for an excuse to post it on this forum:

Anarchy is the least stable of social structures.

Rhonda Huntress wrote:

Is that LL's fail or the corporations fail?

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
;)

LL managed to fool a lot of Big Corporations and others who should have known better and should have done their own reality check. Looking back it's very hard to understand how they could be taken in the way they were. Unfortunately for LL and Sansar, they've probably learned their lesson now.

 

As for what they did wrong: Linden Lab always wasted lots of resources trying to attract customer groups they didn't have anything suitable to offer to. They aimed for the mass market with a product that always remained just a little bit to heavy for the average Joe's computer to run. They aimed for the educational market with no adequate educational tools to offer. They aimed for the commercial market but never thought what use the commercial companies could put SL to.

The list could go on and on. Linden Lab has always wasted lots of time, energy, effort and money on dead-on-arrival ideas. They just never could figure out this long term strategic planning thing. Quite often those ideas went against the interests of their actual user base too, alienating a large number of potential users who might actually have been interested in the product.

Also, when was the last time LL did a serious market survey? I don't actually think they ever have. Market analysis is of course a key factor to any successful business and LL always neglected this. That is definitely a HUGE mistake they made and continue making,

Then again, it didn't go
that
wrong, did it? Yes, Second Life is slowly dying now. You need to have an enormous capacity for denial or be tremendously naive not to see that. But it's not going down fast, it's already lasted for much longer than anybody should have expected and it's seen some amazing peaks of success.

Perhaps it's better to ask: What did SL do
right
during the early days? Because, all things considered, it shouldn't have gone anywhere near as well as it did.

Don't even get me started on the piece of crap the LL viewer 2.0 was. That didn't help at all. Hiring an outside firm that didn't play on the platform to design a viewer that the tools that many players used got buried in favor of the casual user, for instance. And the company that designed it was bragging about it on their site until some of use went in and told them just how badly they'd messed up. Bragging messages disappeared quickly, as did that mass of a viewer. That viewer is the main reason 3rd party viewers became so popular.

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Bobbie Faulds wrote:

a viewer that the tools that many players used got buried in favor of the casual user, for instance.


That would actually have been a good idea if SL had had the mass appeal LL obviously thought it had. Let that be a lesson for us all: If you want to run a business, do not base your ideas who and what your customers are only on assumptions and wishful thinking. Market surveys, market analysis, those are essential tasks you just can't afford to ignore the way LL always did.

That being said, I never tried the version 2 viewer, only 1, 3 and 4. But I googled up some screenshots and most ot them showed something that looked like a good old SL scene hidden behind a forest of popup windows. That's exactly the opposite of what a casual user would like to see. Was it really that bad? I thought the viewers we have to use today were the ultimate examples of cluttered computer program interfaces!

That viewer was released in 2010 and that's definitely when things started to go seriously wrong for Second Life. I suspect the new viewer was more a symptom than a cause though.

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