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Community Tools User Group Meeting Transcript - 2011-04-07


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Thanks for the transcript.

Why can't all this be done in a special section of the fora? Why not have Lexie and Amanda sit down at a given time and join in a live thread? It would be a million times more productive than an inworld meeting.

People know about the fora. They are already here. Why have them hunt down a schedule for a brief, inworld meeting? Chat can't compare to a dialog of written posts. Moreover, people could contribute to the fora-based user groups before and after the participating Lindens attend. It would enable people from different time zones to contribute. In fact, the advantages of fora-based user groups are so overwhelming that I don't understand why these inworld meetings exist at all?

ETA:

Another way of looking at it is this: here I am in the forum, reading an OP that contains a transcript, published in the forum, of a chat session that occurred inworld. Now I shall comment in the forum concerning the transcript, generated inworld and reproduced in the forum. Whew!

My understanding of the rating system of the fora is this:

 

  • all fora, with the exception of the Off-Topic forum, are PG (public)
  • the Off-Topic forum is Mature (private)
  • there exists (somewhere) an 'XXX' forum for merchants (presumed private)
  • there are no plans to enable a general 'XXX' forum (private)

Does this sound correct?

ETA:

I just learned that RIC does not mean Rickrolling. RIC = AR. I return to the transcript to reread the section on ARs without puzzling over how Rickrolling had anything to do with the fora. Am I correct in understanding that AR-griefing has been reduced via human mods reviewing ARs?

ETA:

Breast physics to be added to the V2 viewer? Oh how everyone laughed at Emerald/Phoenix for pioneering that feature :smileyhappy:

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Thanks for the transcript.

Why can't all this be done in a special section of the fora? Why not have Lexie and Amanda sit down at a given time and join in a live thread? It would be a million times more productive than an inworld meeting.

People know about the fora. They are already here. Why have them hunt down a schedule for a brief, inworld meeting? Chat can't compare to a dialog of written posts. Moreover, people could contribute to the fora-based user groups before and after the participating Lindens attend. It would enable people from different time zones to contribute. In fact, the advantages of fora-based user groups are so overwhelming that I don't understand why these inworld meetings exist at all?

ETA:

Another way of looking at it is this: here I am in the forum, reading an OP that contains a transcript, published in the forum, of a chat session that occurred inworld. Now I shall comment in the forum concerning the transcript, generated inworld and reproduced in the forum. Whew!

My understanding of the rating system of the fora is this:

 
  • all fora, with the exception of the Off-Topic forum, are PG (public)
  • the Off-Topic forum is Mature (private)
  • there exists (somewhere) an 'XXX' forum for merchants (presumed private)
  • there are no plans to enable a general 'XXX' forum (private)

Does this sound correct?

ETA:

I just learned that RIC does
not
mean Rickrolling. RIC = AR. I return to the transcript to reread the section on ARs without puzzling over how Rickrolling had anything to do with the fora. Am I correct in understanding that AR-griefing has been reduced via human mods reviewing ARs?

ETA:

Breast physics to be added to the V2 viewer? Oh how everyone laughed at Emerald/Phoenix for pioneering that feature :smileyhappy:

 

The Off-Topic subforum is considered to be PG-rated, which is why we have been requesting a Mature subforum for several weeks now.  The Mature suborum, as private, would be for 'adult' topics (please do not confuse this with sim ratings -- no nudity allowed (so far) in this proposed subforum.

The other Adult subforum is private by request to Blondin Linden but meant for adult land owners and content creators.  I believe it sits over in the Commerce area.

Yes, the RIC is the 'new' version of the AR.  All RICs are reviewed by a moderator before making a decision.  And, yes, Amanda or Lexie said they had dropped over the last couple of weeks.

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The Off-Topic subforum is considered to be PG-rated

---------------------------------------------------------------

I am having trouble understanding the rating system. I thought the Off-Topic sub-forum was made private because it was Mature (Mature, but not XXX). If Off-Topic is PG, why make it private? What is the problem with making a private XXX sub-forum? But perhaps I am thinking the wrong way. Let me try to use normal language.

The fora, with the exception of the Off-Topic forum, is for public viewing by children. I presume the Off-Topic forum is private in order that it can only be viewed by normal adults. The idea, then, is to create another private forum with an XXX rating, but LL does not want to do this (except for an XXX forum for merchants). Is this the situation?

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@All - You're welcome. As some may have noticed, I have to do a bit of post-editing to get it correct, but that involves taking out the "entered/left chat range" messages and the various IMs I get from devices .. AND changing the names back from the newer "DisplayName (user.name)" format into the old style "Avatar Name" style. I try very hard not to touch the actual chat itself (although this time I had to add some <nowiki> tags because there were raw HTML tags in the chat).

I like the highlights on the Lindens too .. if for no other reason than they are the primary reason we are there .. to hear the "Official Word" on various matters. And THAT leads me into ...

Deltango, regarding your point about "why do UG meetings exist?":

The way I look at it, the Forums are the place where everyone from every time zone and availability can participate, contribute, read and speak regarding a whole range of issues. Because they are not time dependent, there is no schedule to meet and no requirement to type out your winning argument in 10 seconds or less else it be lost in the flow of ongoing conversation.

But the Forums are also a form of discussion, they are open to all and thus totally improper for making actual decisions. Thus why the User Group Meetings maintain their relevance and why the transcripts become so important. After the issues have been fully discussed in the open light .. and after the Lindens involved have read and possibly contributed to those discussions ... then is when a decision must be rendered. That decision can only come from one place, Linden Lab.

While it would be functional to simply have them post the decision on their Blog (as I have suggested in another thread), I do like the immediacy and the sense of community involvement that the meetings provide. There are times when comments made by someone will branch off into a subtopic or even unrelated topic that can get discussed and settled on the spot. In today's meeting, I think the purpose and intention of the Adults Only Forum that Venus has been so stridently requesting finally became clear to Amanda and Lexie. I got the sense that for whatever reason, prior to today they felt we just wanted a nudie park strip club mud wrestling raunch pit where we could be nasty and get away with it. And that is absolutely NOT what Venus has been requesting.

What Venus has been requesting, and I strongly agree with, is a Forum Board where we could touch on and open up topics of a nature that normal decent adults encounter in Second Life but are definitely NOT something we want the "kids" to participate in.

As a rather mild example, for many segments of the world's population, same sex relationships are VERY taboo. To some people, the concept of two individuals that are the same gender holding hands or *gasp* falling in love is so disgusting that they would RIC a thread on that topic instantly. But to many of us, it is completely acceptable to discuss no matter how we may personally feel about it. If we disagree with the topic, we just do the "Adult" thing and ignore what we find objectionable.

At any rate, I think the User Group Meetings do have a relevancy as they provide that single defineable point in time where the "Decision" is rendered. I think ending them would be a mistake, but if they are .. I strongly urge that we continue using the Forums to discuss every issue in detail ... and continue to encourage the participation of those Lindens tasked with making and dispensing the decisions.

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The Off-Topic is private to all residents, even teens.  You must be logged into the website in order to see it.  Anyone googling LL may not find it, at least that is the hope of LL.

So, the Mature subforum is intended to be another private place, but private to adult residents.

This is how to distinguish the two.

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Could we not have a set of user-group sub fora instead? Say that Amanda and Lexie will be in the X sub-fora user group from PST 12:00 to 13:00, Blondin will be in the Y user group sub-fora from PST 14:00 to 15:00 etc. That way, you or I could post on a particular topic at our convenience. Perhaps we can also be there when the Lindens are posting, perhaps not. The transcript would then be the set of threads on various agenda items per user group. There could be an agenda thread where anyone could post suggestions, but only the Linden responsible for the sub-fora could create threads. Simple, basic organization and management. The threads would then become a record of the history of the discussions. Where are all the transcripts currently? Are you going to do this work for all the user groups? Will you now take on the burden of publishing all the transcripts in the fora? Why go to all that work when the fora itself can be the transcript?

In other words, fora-based user groups would be much easier, more efficient, more effective, more transparent, more accessible, more visible, more coherent, more focused and more useful than a handful of people meeting inworld at some unknown time at some unknown location for a 20-minute chitchat such that people like me only read about after the fact because you personally did a lot of work to make a transcript.

I would gladly participate in these user groups - presuming I can find out when and where they are - presuming I am in the right timezone - presuming I have enough notice of the topics to write out notecards to bring with me to contribute. It seems like such a hassle when we have the fora right here at our fingertips.

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Ah, so we are in the situation of "Teen Grid + Main Grid = Teen Grid" extended to the fora. What you want is a small haven in the fora where the 10 million adults might talk to each other without the 25 teens being able to see it. Yes, this I agree with this - though I loathe such Disneyfication.

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The lack of immediacy of Forums is both their boon and bane. There are many situations where the inherent lag is very beneficial. A good example is when something doesn't go "ding" (suddenly make sense) until several hours AFTER you read it. Because there is no time limit, it doesn't matter .. you can still come back and post that epiphany for all to see.

But the immediacy of a meeting adds that very precious element .. deadline. You have a set time limit, a set agenda and the need to make the agenda end at the time limit. That added pressure, while it can be off-putting to some, also inspires people to make decisions and accept decisions for no better reason than "we're outta time". (For those of us in the USA or aware of what's going on with our current Budget Crisis .. that looming deadline is very much serving to bring the two sides to a compromise .. even though neither side wants to.)

It's been my experience over the years that both methods are vital to truly good solutions / decisions. One without the other quite often results in either half-baked ideas or never-ending circle-jerk discussions. That is why I look at the two tools, the Forums and the Meetings, as both vital to this process of growing and improving Second Life.

Now that we're actually getting Linden Lab to participate in the discussions in the Forums, I have every hope that their past history of releasing half-baked features (while we go on in here endlessly discussing the details) will come to an end.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Ah, so we are in the situation of "Teen Grid + Main Grid = Teen Grid" extended to the fora. What you want is a small haven in the fora where the 10 million adults might talk to each other without the 25 teens being able to see it. Yes, this I agree with this - though I loathe such Disneyfication.

Pssst .. don't tell Linden Lab this but .. if we get one foot in the door ... *hehehehe*

 

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Venus Petrov wrote in part:

The other Adult subforum is private by request to Blondin Linden but meant for adult land owners and content creators.  I believe it sits over in the Commerce area.

 

I wish I knew a little more about this special sub-forum. Ciaran described it a bit during the meeting, but without knowing what gets discussed it's difficult to know whether it's really of interest to me or not.  (If it's under Commerce, probably not.)  For that matter, I may not even qualify, now that I've traded half my Zindra land for G-rated Bay City and removed from sale (for now) all Adult content.

It's a bit unsettling how these things sprout up without anybody on the outside knowing that they even exist.  I feel that especially about the Atlas meetings.  Obviously, being a Mainland creature myself, no amount of expansion would qualify me for the Atlas program, but there is no comparable group for mere landowners, not even at Concierge level.  From Amanda's comments at the meeting, it's evident we shouldn't expect that to change, either.

This is disturbing.  Looking at all sources, Land must still contribute about 85% of Linden revenues, and probably nearly 100% of net profit.  (I'd guess that Marketplace would be lucky to break even; one would need commission on a heck of a lot of slutwear to cover the fully loaded labor rate of just one Linden FTE.)  My wild guess would be that maybe 25% of revenue comes from Atlas participants: they're big, but they get discounts... so maybe 20% of profit, if that.  This leaves a tremendous patch of Linden balance sheet without user group representation.  That's extraordinarily strange.

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Judging from the transcript, the meeting was noisy and unproductive. Mind you, these user groups are a step in the right direction after the quagmire of the past four years. Having done a bit of hunting around, I found the inworld user group calendar, but I do not see any user groups for:

 

  • strategic planning and policy
  • public relations, advertising and marketing
  • organizational management
  • technological infrastructure and innovation
  • customer relations
  • estate owners
  • mainland owners

As it is, the only existing user group that really applies to me is Community Tools. So, presuming I can attend the next one, I shall write up some notecards to cut and paste into chat, which people can then cut and paste back into the forum. Sigh.

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Qie:  My view is that this Adult subforum that is restricted to adult land owners/content creators popped up because of the original request for an adult/mature forum.  It is a solution for some but not for many because adult residents that do not fit this criteria still do not have a place.  Despite asking for it for several weeks, I believe we may be close to a resolution.  Amanda promised one next meeting.

What has been requested is a private subforum for 'mature' discussions:  relationship issues,  gender identity issues, well, anything that LL might wish to keep from either non-age-verified residents or the 'outside LL' world.  Since they cannot link the age-verify data to the forum and there are no current plans to do so, it would require manual intervention by a LL to process requests for access from residents (manually checking they are each age-verified).  Even if LL designated a few residents as temporary resmods to process these requests, 'volunteers', it would be better than not having a place at all.

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"Looking at all sources, Land must still contribute about 85% of Linden revenues, and probably nearly 100% of net profit.  (I'd guess that Marketplace would be lucky to break even; one would need commission on a heck of a lot of slutwear to cover the fully loaded labor rate of just one Linden FTE.)  My wild guess would be that maybe 25% of revenue comes from Atlas participants: they're big, but they get discounts... so maybe 20% of profit, if that.  This leaves a tremendous patch of Linden balance sheet without user group representation.  That's extraordinarily strange."

------------------------------------------------

It is bizarre. I remember a mainland land dealer several years ago who funded his heroin addiction through SL. He was a truly nice guy - so nice, in fact, that people took advantage of him. On several occasions, I had to deal with him inworld on a variety of issues (all friendly). Conversation was mind-numbingly frustrating. He'd fall asleep in mid sentence or become distracted by the football game on TV or switch topics on a whim. This is how I feel sometimes when dealing with Linden Lab.

Of course, there should be a mainland user group, in which mainland owners could provide valuable advice and experience to Linden Lab. The abandoned land issue is a prime example of something that requires intelligent consideration, not some ad-hoc, quirky, half-baked solution that must be repaired a few months later after much damage to those affected. Think Openspace sim pricing failure (estate). In my opinion, Guy Linden should lead the mainland user group because of his years of experience and customer service.

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Well, there's one for advertising, but I suspect you mean advertising SL itself, not advertising to the SL market.

As I mentioned above, there seems now to be no plans at all to introduce a "land" user group for regular estate or mainland owners.  Just the closed Atlas program meetings, and various Mainland community groups (Bay City and Zindra; desperately lacking: LDPW).

Not sure what to say about "technological infrastructure and innovation"; there's the Viewer Evolution group (which is mostly just another Snowstorm meeting with a slightly broader scope than "how do I get this sucker to build?").  Good luck, however, trying to get any hint of what's actually planned: things like avatar physics, Project Skylight, etc. just drop from the sky fully formed.  There's Andrew and Simon's simulator/server group, which is sometimes relevant to changes in the underlying technology.

AFAIK, the Lab has never taken input on policy, planning, nor organization.  At least not voluntarily.  And rarely given even a glimpse inside the kimono of what directions they might be contemplating.

To be honest, that's exactly why I'm so concerned about the lack of a Land user group.  I can't help but suspect that they're giving serious consideration to something that will destroy all remaining value in Linden Research Inc.  They're only one charlie foxtrot from lights-out, and they have a board of directors stacked with idiots.  What, me worry?

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Darrius, thanks for posting this.  I agree it's easier to read than the one we posted, especially with the highlighted chats from Lindens.  I linked to it from the CTUG wiki page archive section. 

I actually replaced Jeremy's original transcript with one from Oz's wikifier that handles display names, as the slog.whiz-kids.de tool does not. Sometimes people refer to each other by their display name in chat, so it's useful to have that information in there.  Unfortunately, Oz's tool is not "webified" so you have to run it locally using Perl.

What we really need is an updated wikifier that:

  1. Handles display names (as an option)
  2. Is accesible via web page

Anyone up to the challenge, or know the slog.whiz-kids.de folks?

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Howdy Rand. Thank you for the link.

I've been kicking the idea of doing up a new Wikifier from scratch. It's basic text processing stuff, so shouldn't be too tough. (LOL Although we ALL know how "shouldn't" turns into "oh noes" in short order sometimes.) I'll give it a whack sometime later today and see what sort of havoc I can unleash on the world .. then let y'all know.

I do like how the links from the names in your version go to the new web profile pages. The Wikifier I used still creates links to the (somewhat outdated) Wiki user pages. I think I'll work on a way to put both in there with the Wiki links present only if a Wiki page actually exists. I also will try and make the links open in a new window/tab as that helps you take a quick peek without losing your place in the transcript.

One other manual edit I make is to remove the seconds from the time portion of the date / time stamp and also change the date format from using dashes to using slashes (2011-04-07 gets edited to read 2011/04/07). I'll try and make it detect and utilize whichever time and date format it finds in the source transcript.

If anyone has any other ideas for features it needs to have, please post them here. The more input, the better. I'll start by hosting it on my own site, but if folks like it and Linden Lab is willing, I'd have no problem letting LL host it too.

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Why go through all this trouble? Okay - deep breath - let me try this again, from the beginning, step by step.

The purpose of usergroups (inworld or fora-based) is to:

  • facilitate communication between resident experts and Linden Lab employees
  • enable realtime communication

There are two media suitable for usergroups:

  • inworld meetings
  • special sub-fora with regular, 'live attendance' timeslots

How would fora-based usergroups be set up?

  • create a new forum called User Groups (Second Life, Content Creation, Technology, Commerce, Buy and Sell Land, International, User Groups)
  • create 11 sub-fora within the User Group forum (Scripting, Mesh, my.secondlife.com, Simulator, V2, Viewer Evolution, Marketplace, Community Translation, Community Tools, Events, Server Beta)
  • only LL employees can create threads in the User Group sub-fora
  • each User Group sub-forum has a top-level thread called Agenda
  • Linden employees would create threads for agenda items (which would persist)

How would these sub-fora usergroups work?

  • members and employees could post in the usergroup threads at any time, 24/7
  • employees would have a 'live attendance' schedule when they would participate in realtime

Advantages of fora-based meetings:

  • the location of the User Group forum is fixed and obvious to everyone
  • members could contribute at any time (bypassing RL constraints)
  • members and employees could read posts, think and prepare for 'live attendance' slots
  • realtime communication (text, image, video)
  • contributions persist and can be added to even if a 'live attendance' slot is canceled
  • business is conducted in non-competitive posts
  • employees can post on an ad-hoc basis if they wish (outside of 'live attendance' times)
  • no need for transcription
  • no need to log inworld

Disadvantages of fora-based meetings:

  • no visible avatar
  • less fun

Advantages of inworld meetings:

  • avatar-to-avatar visual symbol exchange
  • realtime communication (open chat, IM, notecard)
  • more fun

Disadvantages of inworld meetings:

  • participants must search for date, time and location of meetings
  • participants must be available at time of meetings (RL schedule, timezone differences)
  • meetings are very limited in terms of time
  • no business can be accomplished outside of alloted time
  • meetings may be canceled, resulting in zero productivity
  • business is conducted mainly in competitive, open chat
  • time wasted in non-business banter
  • chat history must be transcribed (including non-business banter)
  • lag and crashes

So, if the goal is to meet up for a bit of fun chitchat, then inworlds meetings are definitely better. If the goal is to actually accomplish something, then let's set up the Use Group forum.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Why go through all this trouble? Okay - deep breath - let me try this again, from the beginning, step by step.

The purpose of usergroups (inworld or fora-based) is to:
  • facilitate communication between resident experts and Linden Lab employees
  • enable realtime communication

There are two media suitable for usergroups:
  • inworld meetings
  • special sub-fora with regular, 'live attendance' timeslots

How would fora-based usergroups be set up?
  • create a new forum called User Groups (Second Life, Content Creation, Technology, Commerce, Buy and Sell Land, International, User Groups)
  • create 11 sub-fora within the User Group forum (Scripting, Mesh, my.secondlife.com, Simulator, V2, Viewer Evolution, Marketplace, Community Translation, Community Tools, Events, Server Beta)
  • only LL employees can create threads in the User Group sub-fora
  • each User Group sub-forum has a top-level thread called Agenda
  • Linden employees would create threads for agenda items (which would persist)

How would these sub-fora usergroups work?
  • members and employees could post in the usergroup threads at any time, 24/7
  • employees would have a 'live attendance' schedule when they would participate in realtime

Advantages of fora-based meetings:
  • the location of the User Group forum is fixed and obvious to everyone
  • members could contribute at any time (bypassing RL constraints)
  • members and employees could read posts, think and prepare for 'live attendance' slots
  • realtime communication (text, image, video)
  • contributions persist and can be added to even if a 'live attendance' slot is canceled
  • business is conducted in non-competitive posts
  • employees can post on an ad-hoc basis if they wish (outside of 'live attendance' times)
  • no need for transcription
  • no need to log inworld

Disadvantages of fora-based meetings:
  • no visible avatar
  • less fun

Advantages of inworld meetings:
  • avatar-to-avatar visual symbol exchange
  • realtime communication (open chat, IM, notecard)
  • more fun

Disadvantages of inworld meetings:
  • participants must search for date, time and location of meetings
  • participants must be available at time of meetings (RL schedule, timezone differences)
  • meetings are very limited in terms of time
  • no business can be accomplished outside of alloted time
  • meetings may be canceled, resulting in zero productivity
  • business is conducted mainly in competitive, open chat
  • time wasted in non-business banter
  • chat history must be transcribed (including non-business banter)
  • lag and crashes

So, if the goal is to meet up for a bit of fun chitchat, then inworlds meetings are definitely better. If the goal is to actually accomplish something, then let's set up the Use Group forum.

Really, Deltango. If you'd just take a second to organize your thoughts before just blurting stuff out like this....

I would like to comment. Not from a participatory point of view (as I'm clearly not qualified) but as an informed observer. I'm impressed with Darrius' argument regarding the 'face to face' aspect of the inworld meetings (and I also thank  you for the transcript and the Linden highlight was a great benefit) and if they really were face to face—that is, spoken—they would probably be an improvement over what Deltango suggests. In a true face to face there is a fast exchange of ideas, and sometimes an ability to exert influence that can't really be matched in print. But in a real meeting, there's very little 'aside'. In the two transcripts I've read the usual chat asides that are part of SL are everywhere. It makes following the thread of the conversation almost impossible.

I realize it's worse seeing it in print, but it would have been almost as bad live. Nobody has meetings like that in RL, at least nobody that gets anything done. Given that the actual ambience of a face to face  meeting can't really be captured in SL (even with Voice, in my opinion) it would seem to me that Deltango's suggestion is a superior method on that basis alone, to say nothing of making things more accessible to those who cannot meet the Inworld schedule.

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Dillon Levenque wrote:


Deltango Vale wrote:

Why go through all this trouble? Okay - deep breath - let me try this again, from the beginning, step by step.

The purpose of usergroups (inworld or fora-based) is to:
  • facilitate communication between resident experts and Linden Lab employees
  • enable realtime communication

There are two media suitable for usergroups:
  • inworld meetings
  • special sub-fora with regular, 'live attendance' timeslots

How would fora-based usergroups be set up?
  • create a new forum called User Groups (Second Life, Content Creation, Technology, Commerce, Buy and Sell Land, International, User Groups)
  • create 11 sub-fora within the User Group forum (Scripting, Mesh, my.secondlife.com, Simulator, V2, Viewer Evolution, Marketplace, Community Translation, Community Tools, Events, Server Beta)
  • only LL employees can create threads in the User Group sub-fora
  • each User Group sub-forum has a top-level thread called Agenda
  • Linden employees would create threads for agenda items (which would persist)

How would these sub-fora usergroups work?
  • members and employees could post in the usergroup threads at any time, 24/7
  • employees would have a 'live attendance' schedule when they would participate in realtime

Advantages of fora-based meetings:
  • the location of the User Group forum is fixed and obvious to everyone
  • members could contribute at any time (bypassing RL constraints)
  • members and employees could read posts, think and prepare for 'live attendance' slots
  • realtime communication (text, image, video)
  • contributions persist and can be added to even if a 'live attendance' slot is canceled
  • business is conducted in non-competitive posts
  • employees can post on an ad-hoc basis if they wish (outside of 'live attendance' times)
  • no need for transcription
  • no need to log inworld

Disadvantages of fora-based meetings:
  • no visible avatar
  • less fun

Advantages of inworld meetings:
  • avatar-to-avatar visual symbol exchange
  • realtime communication (open chat, IM, notecard)
  • more fun

Disadvantages of inworld meetings:
  • participants must search for date, time and location of meetings
  • participants must be available at time of meetings (RL schedule, timezone differences)
  • meetings are very limited in terms of time
  • no business can be accomplished outside of alloted time
  • meetings may be canceled, resulting in zero productivity
  • business is conducted mainly in competitive, open chat
  • time wasted in non-business banter
  • chat history must be transcribed (including non-business banter)
  • lag and crashes

So, if the goal is to meet up for a bit of fun chitchat, then inworlds meetings are definitely better. If the goal is to actually accomplish something, then let's set up the Use Group forum.

Really, Deltango. If you'd just take a second to organize your thoughts before just blurting stuff out like this....

I would like to comment. Not from a participatory point of view (as I'm clearly not qualified) but as an informed observer. I'm impressed with Darrius' argument regarding the 'face to face' aspect of the inworld meetings (and I also thank  you for the transcript and the Linden highlight was a great benefit) and if they really were face to face—that is, spoken—they would probably be an improvement over what Deltango suggests. In a true face to face there is a fast exchange of ideas, and sometimes an ability to exert influence that can't really be matched in print. But in a real meeting, there's very little 'aside'. In the two transcripts I've read the usual chat asides that are part of SL are everywhere. It makes following the thread of the conversation almost impossible.

I realize it's worse seeing it in print, but it would have been almost as bad live. Nobody has meetings like that in RL, at least nobody that gets anything done. Given that the actual ambience of a face to face  meeting can't really be captured in SL (even with Voice, in my opinion) it would seem to me that Deltango's suggestion is a superior method on that basis alone, to say nothing of making things more accessible to those who cannot meet the Inworld schedule.

I tend to agree.  It could just be my perception of things, but it seems to me that the in-world CTUG meetings are placatory at best.  I'm not offended by the gesture, but...it seems pointless.  The majority of the dialog seems to be:

LL: No, sorry, you can't have that.

UGM: Wait, wut?

UGM: Waves :)

UGM: Why not?

LL: Even if it were to be provided, it would still be G rated.

UGM: VP farted.

UGM: LOL!!! Teehee.

Slight derail to follow:

I think that it is awesome that LL offers a forum at all.  They don't have to.  It is very cool that they have Linden' participating in the forum from time to time.  But I don't think that should become the norm nor the expectation.  When you get down to the skinny of it, LL offers a service and we are voluntary users of said service.  I don't have an expectation that when my cell phone is acting like an **bleep** that I can bust up into the AT&T corporate office and and insist that they hold a meeting at which I can start negotiating the placement of their towers to better suit my needs or wants.  I also don't expect the CEO or any of the functional area managers of AT&T to text, email, or ring me up to see how things are going with my service or call the 250 people in my address book to see how they enjoyed the call quality that they experienced with me.  Although I recognize that LL offers a unique service...ultimately, they are still just a service provider. 

 

 

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As a service provider, LL is somewhere between AT&T and the guy who cleans your pool.

It's a business, that's certainly true, and like AT&T, they have to keep their channel partners happy -- hence the Atlas program meetings.  Ultimately, however, it's the end-user landowners and tenants who pay LL's bills; those are their actual customers.  The job, then, is to retain those customers and somehow acquire more of them.  That's the main purpose of having forums, user groups, blog posts, etc.  (Those aren't the only things they do to get and keep customers, of course.)

And it's not just to placate us.  For one thing, it's very inexpensive market research (if a bit noisy). 

They're also in the enviable position of having some very sophisticated customers who are even willing to both share expertise and do real grunt work for them, unpaid. Forums and user groups are useful for recruiting and coordinating such efforts.

Historically, as soon as front-line Lindens set up structures to harness that crowdsourcing, a change in policy or staffing tears it all down again.  It's very odd.

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Qie Niangao wrote:

As a service provider, LL is somewhere between AT&T and the guy who cleans your pool.

I had been thinking about my earlier comments and this one of yours speaks to that in a way. Especially the pool cleaning part.

Were Lab/Resident meetings conducted as business meetings, there would be little chat. Lindens would be in charge, residents would speak when appropriate. It would be no different than, say, a typical webinar session (and imagine one of those in which every single participant spent a third of the time talking to other participants). But Lindens, even though this is their playground, aren't really 'in charge' in the sense I used. They actually are working for us. So even in a meeting that is all about requests from residents for action by LL, hosted by LL, they are in the awkward position of having to tolerate a lot of interruptions and derailments. The end result is rather chaotic.

I still think Deltango's approach would be superior. Slower, yes, but I think it would have a much higher signal to noise ratio.

And imagine if you owned a business with customers who woke up in the morning thinking of ways your business could be even better. There may not be as many of us as LL would wish, but boy do we like their product.

 

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Qie Niangao wrote:

As a service provider, LL is somewhere between AT&T and the guy who cleans your pool.

It's a business, that's certainly true, and like AT&T, they have to keep their channel partners happy -- hence the Atlas program meetings.  Ultimately, however, it's the end-user landowners and tenants who pay LL's bills; those are their actual customers.  The job, then, is to retain those customers and somehow acquire more of them.  That's the main purpose of having forums, user groups, blog posts, etc.  (Those aren't the only things they do to get and keep customers, of course.)

And it's not just to placate us.  For one thing, it's very inexpensive market research (if a bit noisy). 

They're also in the enviable position of having some very sophisticated customers who are even willing to both share expertise and do real grunt work for them, unpaid. Forums and user groups are useful for recruiting and coordinating such efforts.

Historically, as soon as front-line Lindens set up structures to harness that crowdsourcing, a change in policy or staffing tears it all down again.  It's very odd.

I had to do a bit of research as I am not familiar with the Atlas meetings.  Is this the program where LL says we will give you deep discounts if you purchase in bulk and provide us your business model that will show a sustained growth of 15% per quarter?  Or...do you have to agree to grow your holdings by 15% per quarter?  

Hmmm...I can't imagine that these forums or the blogs provide much in the way of market research.Especially when SL is the benchmark for this type of service at this scale.  Additionally, with ~approximately 22,000,000 registered users, I'm not sure that the ~500 to 600 you see logged in here (a cumulative total of registered and guests)at any given time, that the information gleaned is representative of the market. 

They're also in the enviable position of having some very sophisticated customers who are even willing to both share expertise and do real grunt work for them, unpaid. Forums and user groups are useful for recruiting and coordinating such efforts.

Sometimes I'm not so sure that is an enviable position...lol...but I do see other technology groups that have individuals that provide apps, plugins, etc., for shiggles and/or personal profit.  Sharing and providing unpaid labor is still a voluntary act.  Or am I wrong?  Is LL actively recruiting free labor sources?  Or are you saying that a group who has an interest in specific functionality convenes, creates, and then presents to LL for consideration? 

I could not find the information...it may not be published...but what percentage of the 22 million registered users are free basic and/or unique accounts?  I guess if you have user groups that total 40 or 50 people that are disgruntled and/or screaming for more, more, more(and I am not saying that is the main utility for the groups)...but you have 55,000 that are logged in at any given time that simply enjoy shopping, dancing or popping over to Zindra for some spanky spank...as a corporation, you are still recognizing a greater degree of customer satisfaction than not.  Having 30 people saying I'm going to pack up my pixels and go do something else if I can't type the clinical name for human genitalia on a forum would not, as a business owner, concern me to any great degree. 

I am just a user of SL...so I may be way off on the actual negotiating that LL does with the land baron or merchandiser customer base.  I'm just looking at it from the high level perspective.

Specific to the forums:

I do wonder why the G rating in the forums.  As SL is geared heavily toward and has a greater portion of the 18++ adults as the greater population demographic...I'm unclear, except for damage control, why you would not either provide a space for adults to speak as adults do about adult stuffs or make the forum exclusive to the adult pop...as opposed to giving the area a club penguin feel...I mean really, all that is missing is a predefined set of standard chat phrases in drop downs.  If the goal is to obtain new members to SL via the content that is readable on these forums...fail.  Drama sells...drama draws people in...everyone posting kumbaya sentiments of their SL experience is about as exciting and attention grabbing as watching grass grow.  If the public wanted bland, passionless, interactions...Hollywood could make 1.5 hour long movies of people gathering in a room and sharing photo albums and make a fortune.  Blech.   It also makes it seem like a sham when you see nothing but positive sentiments posted...what are you hiding? 

Ok..sorry that was all over the place...typed before caffeine infusion :)

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I see some missing logic in the list of reasons for an against inworld/infora meetings such as...

infora attendence encourages more casual users to add to the topic, but also contributes to noise on a topic.

larger infora participation (and across a broader time) means more work for the involved lindens to answer questions, both in volume and in time

lack of clear boundaries for time, and inherent lack of focus.

 

that's not an argument against, but it is a start towards a more balanced view.

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