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We have the power to make SL a "big thing" again (really) and tip the ongoing narrative, let's do this! c= let's do our part (for our sake)


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1 minute ago, Drayke Newall said:

Can you please explain to us what misinformation you think there is outside of SL that is giving SL a negative light. As far as I am aware all information out there is factual.

  • It is laggy and has low frames despite modern powerful PC's
  • It has long load times on textures and objects
  • It can only support at most 40 people on a sim until Lag hits,
  • It is hard to learn
  • it has a high initial cost
  • It is full of adult content
  • It has griefers
  • It doesn't have an objective or anything as a hook
  • It's viewer is complicated
  • It is old (like Sid mentioned it is V1 an not V5)
  • etc.

Unless I am missing something all of the above negatives about SL that are covered in blogs etc. now are factual.

This blog said Decentraland is a successor to SL and implied SL is dead in the water. Sure you can say it's anecdotal and is just the writer's opinion, but the implication is still there

There are more examples the kind we all are probably familiar with, it's a lot better post-pandemic since most of these bloggers do their research about SL better after taking the idea of the Metaverse more seriously during lockdown, but there are still many of them, mostly wrong in how they paint SL as still being the same as how it was in 2009

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4 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

But most of all I want some vision.

Yes. When SL was new, we residents could have—and did—promote it as the cutting edge of interactive 3D technology. If we residents were to promote SL to the public now, I'm not sure what we'd be promoting. What is the exciting future of SL* that we'd invite people to join?  Little wonder, then, that new sign-ups have trouble figuring it out for themselves.

That said, though:

11 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

[…] I get the sentiment, but it’s really on LL to do better. Otherwise we’re going to continue to have new users that log in and say “now what?” and never return.

This is one place, though, where residents actually can make a unique contribution: Promoting SL to new users with specific interests that are specially served by the platform or by a community already in SL. Those new users can "plug in" directly, not wander around looking for some reason to login again. This probably happens a lot already, and it's way more effective than any "targeted marketing" LL could attempt. I mean, how are they going to find trainspotters and other railroad enthusiasts? or fans of John Norman's campy fiction? Same for any other communities with potentially valuable ties to existing or emergent "applications" of Second Life.

In 2017 the Lab introduced Place Pages to help RL communities recruit to SL with standard, easy-to-populate pages to incorporate in a group's existing web presence. They never got a lot of traction, and very little further attention from the Lab. I mentioned the feature here recently in another context, following on from a Web User Group meeting. (Problem is, it wasn't entirely clear at that meeting whether the Lindens were looking for ways to improve it, or an excuse to kill it.)

__________________
*Anything more exciting than being a Tilia customer? Because that's the only post-acquisition vision I can detect.

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I get the impression that LL have created themselves this huge monolith and they're just in denial about the amount of resources it takes to make meaningful change.

Sure in the early days it probably didn't take as much work to effect big changes, but that was because they had less to maintain, less things to go wrong, less systems to maintain compatibility with.

SecondLife is just a big platform now with a lot of moving parts. It's not a little tech startup anymore. I do notice that the Lindens manage to sneak in little updates here and there but correct me if I'm wrong I suspect it's just being done in what little free time a developer has.

In Software Engineering it is very easy to lose sight of the big picture due to the sheer amount of complexity these kinds of systems have. Good leadership at the top is important too.

 

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

I don't know about the figures you mentioned, but at the tier rates they ask, SL must be a profitable business model for them.
Maybe that is the whole problem.

Ebbe actually described SL as a "cash machine" not too long ago.

That's the reason why I'm struggling to muster enthusiasm for promoting and supporting SL and why I find myself slowly but surely drifting away from it.

I'm probably not representative for SL users here though. I'm a builder first and foremost and I build landscapes, big landscapes. If I were to build them in Second Life it would have cost me several thousand dollars a month in tier. That isn't an option of course and that means Second Life isn't for me.

Edit: Did I say several thousand dollars? I was wrong. I did a quick calculation how much it would cost to have the project I'm working on at the moment in SL: 2.4 million dollars a month. I suppose I could get persuade LL to give me a discount but it would still be a little bit too expensive for my bank account.

Edited by ChinRey
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Posted (edited)

I have no problem with the increase in Premium fees last year, it's important for a company to ensure it is on a sound financial footing if it is to continue.

I don't have a problem with the experiments such a Sansar, it's important that a company looks at new direction from time to time.

I am glad that things like BoM have been added to SL.

Where I am struggling to see how the OP's suggestions could be embraced by us, the great un-herdable kittehs of teh SLife, is with the sustainability and maintainability of the essential hardware and software.

I went to a server group meeting a couple of weeks ago because my parcel's region had come to a halt with the "unable to create object that has caused problems in this region" issue, which occurs when (amongst other things) the physics memory usage for the region creeps up over 900 Mb. I hadn't seen this for a long time but my landlord said it's quite common across their estate. It takes several hours until live support can address the problem, depending obviously on when it is noticed by users.

I went to the meeting to ask if it would be possible to add the monitoring of this parameter to whatever regular region monitoring is done, in the hope that as the memory use approached a warning level, to either invoke the grid-poking-bot or some other mechanism to address the problem.

The answer I got was "It's hard".

Whilst there the issue of TP-crashes was also mooted and another of the Lindens present mentioned that they too had had a couple of those instances very recently and therefore they might have to take a look at it. I asked about the monitoring that a now-departed Linden had mentioned was going to be put in place to allow things like TP-crashes to be logged, but it seemed there hadn't been a lot of progress (that we could be told about) in the months/year or so since the idea was first mentioned.

I left the meeting realising that well-meaning as the Lindens there were, it was out of their power to do much about the long-standing problems, the older explanations of "how meeroos come about" had now been replaced by "It's hard". There will still be attention paid to very specific Jira bugs, but the general operation was just going along on what I feel is a wing and a prayer.

I'm not going to throw my toys or spit the dummy, I shan't storm out of SL for one of the other places, I shan't cancel my premium subscription (yet), but I have no real hope that things are going to get better any time soon, based on what I heard then and at previous meetings, nothing significant has changed since the transfer to a different platform.

If there is anything that we as concerned uses could or should be doing to assist SecondLife, it should be making it very clear to Linden Lab that they really should be fixing the broken parts before rushing off into yet another glorious addition such as EEP. Fix the TP-failures, fix the vehicle-region-crossing problems, monitor the regions to catch problems before they halt the region, have a 2-hour response team to address stopped regions, give all regions adequate script performance...

If they have the resources to overhaul the web page then they ought to have the resources to try and make sure that the inworld-performance lives up to the expectations the new web page will engender.

Edited by Profaitchikenz Haiku
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11 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

This blog said Decentraland is a successor to SL and implied SL is dead in the water. Sure you can say it's anecdotal and is just the writer's opinion, but the implication is still there

Where does the writer imply that in that blog post? 

All it says is that second life was an early version of a metaverse (which it was) and also states that from that in 2003 digital currency that was developed by Linden Lab in second life was the precursor cryptocurrency (which is true). She then continues on from that point by linking it to Decentraland.

She isn't at all implying in that blog that Decentraland is the successor to Second Life per-se, but the successor as far as an evolving of a virtual world and digital currency to a virtual world and cryptocurrency with NFT.

11 minutes ago, lucagrabacr said:

 but there are still many of them, mostly wrong in how they paint SL as still being the same as how it was in 2009

It is the same as it was in 2009. Other than updating graphics and adding animesh nothing has changed. You still log into SL and can only do the same things you did back then. Socialise on a sim with at most 70 people, build, rp, shop or play dress up barbie or dream house barbie.

Nothing new as far as functionality has happened in SL for a decade. Seeing as that blog you posted talked about the fortnite concert that happened a few years ago... is it possible in SL to have a performer playing in one region but having 45.8 MILLION people viewing that same performance at the same time yet on separate disconnected private regions (aka not mainland connected) allowing a max of 100 people per region not directly connected to the performers region? No.

To do that in second life you could only have one region at the centre with the performer on it and then have people on every region around it meaning after 521m you wont see the performer. That is what people are talking about when they say SL hasn't changed since 2009. Updating graphics or implementing mesh means nothing to people they want to see improvement on that scale not:

 "oh look we updated windlight to EEP but you can still only do the same things you did in Second Life 10 years ago".

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26 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

*Anything more exciting than being a Tilia customer?

Animesh hair?

Internal organs for mesh bodies to complement the brains I see rezzing before the heads?

(Note to others, colour me tongue-in-cheek)

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17 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Ebbe actually described SL as a "cash machine" not too long ago.

There is some comfort to be taken from that, it's going to be around for as long as they can keep it paying out, but I agree with you, it gives me a sinking feeling about how much effort will be directed to fixing things that aren't really right but don't necessarily increase revenue.

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21 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Edit: Did I say several thousand dollars? I was wrong. I did a quick calculation how much it would cost to have the project I'm working on at the moment in SL: 2.4 million dollars a month. I suppose I could get persuade LL to give me a discount but it would still be a little bit too expensive for my bank account.

Would love to see it when it is finished if you are willing to share pics etc. Sounds very awesome indeed.

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3 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

it should be making it very clear to Linden Lab that they really should be fixing the broken parts before rushing off into yet another glorious addition such as EEP. Fix the TP-failures, fix the vehicle-region-crossing problems, monitor the regions to catch problems before they halt the region, have a 2-hour response team to address stopped regions, give all regions adequate script performance...

FIX THE BOOOOGZZ

This is a trap. A never ending mountain of tiny tweaks that can't and wont ever fix the problems. 

TP's will always have a chance of failure. That failure is baked into the architecture. 

Region crossings can never been fixed, their behavior is by design - because they are a hack built on top of teleports.

Monitoring and gathering metrics consumes resources and stresses the platform in other ways, to meet an expectation held by a tiny minority - no one expects scripts to be performant, because the entire script engine is not designed to be performant.

 

The lab's perspective is a shouty minority obsessing over tiny parts of the service that the bulk of the user base just don't encounter, have the sense to avoid or just chalk up to "lag" and move on.

Stop trying to make these things a thing, they aren't a thing, they have never been a thing, they can't be a thing in the way you want the thing to thing. 

It creates a debilitating fear of touching anything because that thing people insist on doing might break or get worse, the possibility of architectural change gets forever removed from the table (if they get this upset about that thing, oh god please don't do anything that makes the thing something else).

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Okay lets go the bling route.
I've suggested this before too.....

A simple Music BPM to animations synchroniser. 😲 Yes you heard right!
SMPTE code on, SMPTE code off. 
Imagine perfectly synchronised BPM dance parties! 
You can't tell me that wouldn't go viral hmmm?
That would be sooo cool. 

Dreamy200w.gif

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6 hours ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Technology and expectations have moved on significantly and we're still here with a vintage client server model, stuck in the twilight years of opengl, unable to leverage the last decades worth of explosive CPU and GPU growth, dependent on limit pushing 3rd party avatars and external tools.

Regarding the viewer, I have some things I wanted to say in general this is not directly to Coffee Pancake.

The EEP viewer is a drain hog and causes a drop in people's FPS and young people especially want good FPS and if the younger crowd doesn't get good FPS from SL they believe it's not worth it to be here.  The thing is too, just taking the people I know in real life who are the FB type crowd, they don't have an amazing computer.  They will have one way worse than mine and their laptops are mostly built for graphics like FB or YouTube and are probably integrated like mine or worse as my desktop was built for SL specs.  I don't know many people in my demographic with gaming type rigs if any at all.

Plus, many people come to SL, believe it or not, to relax not work.  SL needs to build up it's relaxing elements and create more ease of use not more hassle as they did with EEP, and again EEP is a drain hog as well as a hassle when it's hassle enough to go forward and invest in making a mesh avatar.

So, if there is a new viewer ever...what kind of people are they looking for?  People with gaming rigs or people with FB type laptops?  LL needs to figure this out themselves.  LL needs to figure out who their audience is and what type of computer.

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9 minutes ago, Qie Niangao said:

This is one place, though, where residents actually can make a unique contribution: Promoting SL to new users with specific interests that are specially served by the platform or by a community already in SL. Those new users can "plug in" directly, not wander around looking for some reason to login again. This probably happens a lot already, and it's way more effective than any "targeted marketing" LL could attempt. I mean, how are they going to find trainspotters and other railroad enthusiasts? or fans of John Norman's campy fiction? Same for any other communities with potentially valuable ties to existing or emergent "applications" of Second Life.

I agree and many users, myself included do help new users and try to point them in the right direction. That's countless, thankless hours of helping someone who may or may not be here tomorrow, not that I'm complaining. But that's the best case scenario, right place, right time, they happened to find a good person that's willing to take time out to show them what is wonderful about Second Life. What about all of the people that don't find the right person or worse still, a person that is steering them for their own personal benefit? LL already relies on us for that and it just shouldn't be. There's a reason I'm saying there's still too much "...now what?" going on in Second Life.

That leads directly to communities. Second Life has the tools to have great communities where finding what you're looking for should be easy. But it's not because all of the tools are broken or dated. We joke around about group chats being broken: can't send a message, get dropped into the middle of an ongoing chat. The fact that people are using discord simply to chat....is an issue to say the least. All of that needs to be fixed and updated.

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Posted (edited)

To be honest, if I was owner of a company that relies solemnly income wise on an eighteen years old software platform, I would maintain that platform as long as I could and as much on a back burner as possible. Using as much duct tape as needed.

And meanwhile I would use as much resources as possible to get a second and third successful cash cow out there.
And I think that is what is happening.
More brainstorming for developments outside of SL than inside of it. Like Tilia.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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34 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Would love to see it when it is finished if you are willing to share pics etc. Sounds very awesome indeed.

Not anywhere near finished but:

and a few random pics in other old posts too:

---

I don't really want to say too much about it here since it's not really on topic but as I said, I would have loved to have it in SL if it had been possible. The price is way too high though and not only because of LL's bloated profit margins. Even if they agreed to host it at cost, it would still have taken up about a thousand servers the way SL's software seems to work. With opensim it should be possible to host it on less than ten servers without sacrificing performance.

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The competing platforms that can be played on my integrated chip computer look cheesy and cartoonish to me. I like fashion and making things look pretty. I don't like shooting games or the endless pressure of competitive games. And I don't mind using Discord even though chat works now. My two cents.

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17 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

LL needs to figure out who their audience is and what type of computer.

The audience is everyone. Literally everyone.

High end gaming all the way down to vintage dual core laptops.

A North American FB machine is mid range.

Cut out the low end and you're basically telling South America to go fish.

This is why the EEP release of Catznip is so late .. we've spent months at the performance grindstone, have a very good idea of the range of hardware in use and actively performance test on a full spread of machines.

7 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

To be honest, if I was owner of a company that relies solemnly income wise on an eighteen years old software platform, I would maintain that platform as long as I could and as much on a back burner as possible. Using as much duct tape as needed.

And meanwhile I would use as much resources as possible to get a second and third successful cash cow out there.

That was Sansar. A sterile virtual world with no clear purpose for less problematic people. A digital folly with more staff than concurrent users. It bled us dry and crashed the cow into a wall. Tilia is a life raft. All the while, the cash cow has been in slow decline.

Lets just hope that with the cloud move, minimum viability condition has been pushed out a little further and that a blue person on the website can inspire some growth.

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1 hour ago, lucagrabacr said:

This blog said Decentraland is a successor to SL and implied SL is dead in the water. Sure you can say it's anecdotal and is just the writer's opinion, but the implication is still there

There are more examples the kind we all are probably familiar with, it's a lot better post-pandemic since most of these bloggers do their research about SL better after taking the idea of the Metaverse more seriously during lockdown, but there are still many of them, mostly wrong in how they paint SL as still being the same as how it was in 2009

From the article:

Early versions of metaverses include Second Life which allowed you to be a version of you in a virtual world where you could buy and sell virtual items with currency that could be exchanged for real currency. Back in 2003 a digital currency was already in place as a precursor to the explosion of cryptocurrencies in 2009.

The successor is Decentraland, a new virtual world run on cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. It is early days but the space is not controlled by a single entity but rather a DAO or Decentralised Autonomous Organisation. The space that is available can be bought from the community and used to build spaces for games, galleries or manufacturing businesses.

The landgrab is being fuelled by those old enough to remember someone being willing to spend 10 000 bitcoin to buy two pizzas.

 

____________

I have suggested that perhaps cryptocurrencies are the future of the metaverse.  If it happens it happens.  But @lucagrabacr how do you see SL competing with the explosion of the cryptocurrency world?  In these new worlds, one can spend their cryptos there plus sell NFT's for a lot more money than what one would get paid building for SL.  

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12 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

To be honest, if I was owner of a company that relies solemnly income wise on an eighteen years old software platform, I would maintain that platform as long as I could and as much on a back burner as possible. Using as much duct tape as needed.

Yes, I agree even though I hate to say it.

Second Life's future was set in stone a decade or so ago, long before any of LL's current owners and employees had any say in it.

 

2 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

That was Sansar. A sterile virtual world with no clear purpose for less problematic people. A digital folly with more staff than concurrent users.

It was indeed and now it's TIlia. And of course, before Sansar there were a lot of other smaller attempts to branch out.

But seeing this as a musician and using a musician's simile, Linden Lab is a one hit wonder and show all the classic signs of a one hit wonder. I can't see how that's ever going to change.

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1 hour ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Stop trying to make these things a thing, they aren't a thing, they have never been a thing, they can't be a thing in the way you want the thing to thing. 

Your saying they aren't a thing doesn't make it so in exactly the same way that my saying it's a thing spurs you on to disagreeing with me. Different people in SL have different desires.

Saying it's always been like that and there's no hope is just Frazer saying "We're Doomed, Doomed!".

 

1 hour ago, Coffee Pancake said:

Monitoring and gathering metrics consumes resources and stresses the platform in other ways, to meet an expectation held by a tiny minority

In that case, why are statistics built into the viewer in the first place? They have a meaning and a purpose.

To some extent, I agree with you, measuring too much of the wrong thing can degrade performance. Measuring enough of the right thing, on the other hand, can help t maintain or improve it.

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15 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

The audience is everyone. Literally everyone.

High end gaming all the way down to vintage dual core laptops.

A North American FB machine is mid range.

No, that's not true.  I have a desktop built from SL recommended specs and worked fine up until EEP.  Now I have been in support with LL about my computer not running well now because of the EEP viewer and was told in an email from LL to get a new graphic's card.  I am not getting a new graphic's card for SL.  Graphic's cards are too expensive right now and I don't want a junky cheap one or possibly an old burnt out one.  I have suggested to LL through our emailing correspondence that they have two viewers - one EEP and one non EEP and received no reply.

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2 minutes ago, FairreLilette said:

I have suggested that perhaps cryptocurrencies are the future of the metaverse.  If it happens it happens.  But @lucagrabacr how do you see SL competing with the explosion of the cryptocurrency world?  In these new worlds, one can spend their cryptos there plus sell NFT's for a lot more money than what one would get paid building for SL.  

It's certainly the thing right now to combine crypto with a virtual world, whether or not LL will try to experiment with that route, it's why it's important for us and LL to continue highlighting the non-technical aspects and advantages of SL, a lot of the people who are VERY into a virtual world like Second Life aren't into it to make money although of course it is important and a crucial aspect in making a virtual world work

I have some ideas on how SL can capitalize on these aspects further with certain specific technical stuff, but it requires them to be in a very good spot and believe that it would indeed help growth

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, FairreLilette said:

The successor is Decentraland, a new virtual world run on cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens.

Checking their official YouTube channel, ost of their promo videos only have a few hundred views each. That's not very promising.

As for the graphics, one of the big problems with Second Life is that people tend to overload the scenes with content way to heavy to be suitable for real time rendering. It's a similar situation with the many Unity and UE based vistual realities that are popping up these days. Power users and developers are obsessed with "high quality" graphics. They are the virtual world equivalents to audiophiles and don't seem to understand that most people have other priorities and are quite happy with mp3.

Simplification is good if you want to reach a mass market but even so, this?

bilde.png.682257c0d468c4f55a39ba0e653154ea.png

Edited by ChinRey
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9 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

Your saying they aren't a thing doesn't make it so in exactly the same way that my saying it's a thing spurs you on to disagreeing with me. Different people in SL have different desires.

Saying it's always been like that and there's no hope is just Frazer saying "We're Doomed, Doomed!".

But in the case of region crossings, it has always been 3 different shades of junk. There have been revisions and attempts to fix the problem once and for all, and here we are .. junk.

Seamless region crossings aren't a thing and can't be without systemic change, but they don't hear us drumming for systemic change, they hear 'fix the junky junk'.

9 minutes ago, Profaitchikenz Haiku said:

In that case, why are statistics built into the viewer in the first place? They have a meaning and a purpose.

because Linden's are historically very bad at removing development code, even when leaving such code in has a marked detrimental impact on performance - off the top of my head example - It used to be that fast timers came with a performance hit, even when they weren't on screen.

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7 minutes ago, Coffee Pancake said:

because Linden's are historically very bad at removing development code, even when leaving such code in has a marked detrimental impact on performance

Oh well, in that case -

We're doomed!

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