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Last Names and Linden Lab


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I share your view on this exactly. I'm very surprised and annoyed that we have to find out about the planned changes and any discussion on things completely by chance. Hunting around for scraps of info on peoples profile feed is not what I consider fun, and not how I like to spend my time.

It could be argued that the statements on Rodviks feed regarding bringing back last names, the discussion and subsequent decision to drop the idea after all was never official, so there was no need or requirement of posting anything about it on the blogs.

That being said, 'removing' last names in the first place is the biggest, most boneheaded idea the lab has made since I joined, in my opinion. The arguments we were fed about it and about display names just didn't make sense. They should have, in my view, kept last names, but dropped the predefined list of choices.

Technically, everyone still have last names. The systems and databases still contain last names and work the same as before. Only new residents can not choose their own, and can not edit it. It is automatically set to 'Resident'. Technically it should not be a huge thing to enable last names again. In my view, the problem is what to do with all the accounts created since last name was 'removed'? How should those accounts be handled in the best possible way? I believe this is the reason bringing back last names has been scrapped. I don't think there is a simple solution on this, and none that will satisfy all.

I basically think LL screwed up royally by removing last names in the first place, and now they are in a situation where it is becoming increasingly impossible to bring them back.

- Luc -

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Canoro Philipp wrote:

you have to give Rod this one, is true that im mad about the decision to not go forward about Last Names, but im not gonna condemn the person, im gonna condemn the event.

if i were a CEO maybe i would have done the same after the results that a lot of people got very angry with me after posting the results of the first roundtable. if i would select people for bringing that frontier feeling back, i would choose Jo Yardley and Marianne McCann between others.

I have nothing against Rod H, he's probably the best of all the CEO's they've had......how much power can he wield or is he handcuffed by the Board of Directors?

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i think he is handcuffed by the Lindens.

at first when he came, he checked out Second Life as a user, made a list of everything that was wrong and started to work on it, very enthusiastic, after a year, the old Lindens who have the mentality of "no, cant do" are convincing him that things are not possible, the incompetent lazy Lindens are taking over.

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Charolotte Caxton wrote:

Oh, and that roundtable discussion he promised, yeah, that's not happening either

rodvik.linden Hey folks, as I mentioned to some of you over the weekend I am going to do the next roundtable stuff in private one on one's rather than as a free for all. That makes it more low key and doesnt turn it into something which is contentious. Thanks for all the feedback.

So that's cool and all, except that it is another broken promise, it is not a round table, and I doubt he will have the time to speak to everyone one on one.

Oh wow.

Oddly, the words "pathetic", "coward", "unaccountable", "contemptuous", "manipulative" and "duplicitous" all sprung into my mind when I read that.  I wonder why.....

 

Prok will be happy at least.  Finally a chance to blog about the FIC without being sent a million or so tin foil hats in response.

I can only conclude that Rodvik crushes on Prok and wanted to make Prok's day.  You're an odd one Rod.

 

In the meantime, does anyone happen to have an easy to follow guide to "raising an elder god" handy? 

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The problems at Linden Lab go much deeper. The company does not understand its own product. It does not understand its residents (customers) and it does not understand the market. Here is a textbook example from business history:

And here is a recent example:

Coca-Cola changed its product for all the wrong reasons. Kodak clung to its product for all the wrong reasons. In both cases, these companies failed to understand the nature of their products, customers and markets. Linden Lab has combined the errors of Coca-Cola and Kodak. It then shrugs and says it plans to develop new products. Meanwhile, the goose that laid the golden egg is starving to death.

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Again, I completely agree. The Lab don't understand their own product, and they certainly don't understand the kind of personal and emotional - as well as financial - investment a great part of the customers have made in the product. Perhaps that is in part because 'product' is not the right term to use for SL.

- Luc -

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That is just REALLY clever!!!! 

We don't know who the people are that he will be going one on one with. What is talked about in these one on one sessions, then, will be unknown to us unless these people comes out and tells ut, but they will probably not be allowed to talk about what it. What a great way of putting an end to the discussion?

Hopefully I'm wrong, and Rodvik will continue posting updates on his feed...

- Luc -

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I have a feeling the reply was to my post even if the 'reply to' says otherwise :)

Perhaps it was a poor choice of words. I meant the investment in the world, the community that SL is, the relationships, the attachment we have to our avatar, the opportunities it gives for self expression and so on. SL, at least for me, is not a brand, but something bigger.

- Luc -

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After the events of the past month I'd advise everyone, creators, service providers and plain old residents like myself, to start working on an exit strategy. Seriously. If you had any doubts as to just how poor the management of LL was these events should remove all doubts.

With every new announcement (poorly thought out TPV changes, killing of the last names once and for all, stopping the release of quarterly financial data, going from an open community roundtable to a secretive one on one format for discussion of ideas to improve SL, using limited resources to develop new, non-SL related products. etc.) the Lab looks more and more like an unpopular dictatorship heading to the bunker underneath the palace while the rebels advance on the capital.

Very sad indeed.

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Oh, OK. Sorry about that. Feeling slightly silly now. :o. What I wrote before probably needed some qualification, though...

Regarding responding emotionally to a brand: Apple! :P

We are attached to our avatars, the names we have chosen and SL as a whole, so of course we respond emotionally to the way this is being handled.

- Luc -

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Charolotte Caxton wrote:

No no, it was a reply to Deltango, specifically the Coca Cola video.
Those of us responding emotionally to this last name issue have been ridiculed by some
, so I was being silly.

Yes, Ma'am we sure have! 

The way that Linden Lab conducted their name selection process before was perfect.  The list of last names changed periodically.  The previous ones were retired and new ones were opened up.  This resulted in (for example) everyone with the last name Hancroft being born at around the same time. 

Another thing it resulted in was a feeling of family!  I still meet cousins out there in the world and I always IM a "Howdy, Cousin!" greeting!  Of course I don't do that with $$darkgirl3428$$ Resident.  (this is a made up name of course) The feeling of community and family is foreign to those who only have one name or Resident. 

Don't get me started about Display Names.  I think they are a horrible idea and I have them turned off by default.  I'm not interested in fake names (play names, roll play names, etc)

What Rod should do (and I mean right NOW), is hold a meeting with his IT staff.  That meeting should have only one speaker.  And that speaker should only say one paragraph.  To wit:

"Ladies and Gentlemen, the sign up process for Second Life is going to change.  I want you to go back to your office and add the following:  Add a drop down menu for last names.  In that list will be a selection of last names a new user can select from and which will change every two months.  Also in that list will be Resident (or None) for those who don't want a last name.  Finally, there will be a selection that says "Other."  If a new user opts for "Other," a box will open up that they can type in a last name of own choosing.  This will immediately resolve the issue of last names.  There will be no discussion on this matter.  You have work to do.  I want this implemented by the end of the month.  Meeting adjourned!"

Now...will he do anything remotely this decisive?  Please.  /me rolls his eyes

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Canoro Philipp wrote:

you have to give Rod this one, is true that im mad about the decision to not go forward about Last Names, but im not gonna condemn the person, im gonna condemn the event.

if i were a CEO maybe i would have done the same after the results that a lot of people got very angry with me after posting the results of the first roundtable. if i would select people for bringing that frontier feeling back, i would choose Jo Yardley and Marianne McCann between others.

LL will never bring back the frontier feeling of SL as long as they continue to only see us as nameless customers just forking over cash to use their service.  

The Lab  put up a huge wall between themselves and the Residents when SL had its explosive growth, and as a result, they just don't understand us anymore.  That was when the frontier feeling was lost and no amount of dashes in names or gamer achievement titles will bring that back.

 

Last names were one of the last ties the community had to the frontier days of SL.  The only thing really left from those days now are prims.  

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I'm fairly sure LL just didn't anticipate it being SUCH a big deal. They should learn never to underestimate the **bleep** retention of SL residents, or that griping, moaning and trying to sound like an angry authority about every slightest detail is such a huge part of the gameplay for many people.

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mortalum wrote:

I'm fairly sure LL just didn't anticipate it being SUCH a big deal. They should learn never to underestimate the **bleep** retention of SL residents, or that griping, moaning and trying to sound like an angry authority about every slightest detail is such a huge part of the gameplay for many people.

If they didn't anticipate how important this issue was (which I sincerely doubt as a.) these aren't stupid people and b.) there were literally thousands of resident comments on their blog that warned them of many of these consequences), they damn well should have. That's what a game development company's management are paid for; strategic planning, anticipation of market trends, understanding their product and customers.

As for your second point, you state in another thread how you're a new resident. I am not. I've been a paying customer and a member of the SL community for almost 6 years. I've seen the slow downward spiral, the continual screw ups on the part of LL management on the most important issues from open sims, maturity ratings, tier pricing, allowing free unlimited accounts, getting rid of last names, the Viewer 2 fiasco, etc. It's gotten very frustrating seeing the executives and managers run a phenomanal idea and a totally unique product slowly into the ground.

You may call it angry griping and complaining, we call it caring. We want SL to suceed. We love the SL experience and know what it was and have some inkling of what it could've been if LL over the years hadn't consistently made poorly thought out and/or poorly executed decisions.

Hang around a while and you'll very likely share our frustration, assuming that SL survives another few years.

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Marcus Hancroft wrote:


Charolotte Caxton wrote:

No no, it was a reply to Deltango, specifically the Coca Cola video.
Those of us responding emotionally to this last name issue have been ridiculed by some
, so I was being silly.

Yes, Ma'am we sure have! 

The way that Linden Lab conducted their name selection process before was perfect.  The list of last names changed periodically.  The previous ones were retired and new ones were opened up.  This resulted in (for example) everyone with the last name Hancroft being born at around the same time. 

Another thing it resulted in was a feeling of family!  I still meet cousins out there in the world and I always IM a "Howdy, Cousin!" greeting!  Of course I don't do that with $$darkgirl3428$$ Resident.  (this is a made up name of course) The feeling of community and family is foreign to those who only have one name or Resident. 

 

I have one of the very last "system" last names with this account. I've spent a lot of time on SL in the year-and-a-half since I joined. I've connected with many people. We've connected over shared interest and experiences. Some of the ones I'm closest to have been on SL for just about the same lengtth of time, I'll grant you. But others have been on for years longer than I have and others for months less. The ones I'm closest to are some of my best RL friends and I can say without a moment's hesitation that I"m closer to them than to my RL family.

However, there is one factor that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether I consider someone family in SL - namely, that we both decided "Tennyson" was the least annoying choice on a list of random "last names" we were presented with.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Marcus Hancroft wrote:


Charolotte Caxton wrote:

No no, it was a reply to Deltango, specifically the Coca Cola video.
Those of us responding emotionally to this last name issue have been ridiculed by some
, so I was being silly.

Yes, Ma'am we sure have! 

The way that Linden Lab conducted their name selection process before was perfect.  The list of last names changed periodically.  The previous ones were retired and new ones were opened up.  This resulted in (for example) everyone with the last name Hancroft being born at around the same time. 

Another thing it resulted in was a feeling of family!  I still meet cousins out there in the world and I always IM a "Howdy, Cousin!" greeting!  Of course I don't do that with $$darkgirl3428$$ Resident.  (this is a made up name of course) The feeling of community and family is foreign to those who only have one name or Resident. 

 

I have one of the very last "system" last names with this account. I've spent a lot of time on SL in the year-and-a-half since I joined. I've connected with many people. We've connected over shared interest and experiences. Some of the ones I'm closest to have been on SL for just about the same lengtth of time, I'll grant you. But others have been on for years longer than I have and others for months less. The ones I'm closest to are some of my best RL friends and I can say without a moment's hesitation that I"m closer to them than to my RL family.

However, there is one factor that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with whether I consider someone family in SL - namely, that we both decided "Tennyson" was the least annoying choice on a list of random "last names" we were presented with.

"Family" in that, we joined SL at about the same time and share the same last name.  I consider them "Long Lost Cousins" and it gives me the chance to say "Howdy!"  Every person I've out of the blue IM'ed because they are a Hancroft has smiled and waved and said Hello back.  It's a feeling of community, you see.  Yes, I could do that with $$darkgirl3428$$, but she doesn't share my name.  And anyway, what do you call someone with a name like that?  "Howdy, Dollar Sign!"  "Howdy, Dark!"  "Howdy, Girl!"  Some ladies I know would kick me right in the jimmy for calling them "Girl."

You have your own ideas what "family" is to you in SL and that's as it should be.  Mine, however, differs.  And THAT is also as it should be.

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Deej Kasshiki wrote:

You may call it angry griping and complaining, we call it caring. We want SL to suceed. We love the SL experience and know what it was and have some inkling of what it could've been if LL over the years hadn't consistently made poorly thought out and/or poorly executed decisions.


 

Hear, hear!

- Luc -

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This response is to Deej Kasshiki  (the website kept dumping me onto the support page when I tried to reply to that post!)

"You may call it angry griping and complaining, we call it caring. We want SL to suceed. We love the SL experience and know what it was and have some inkling of what it could've been if LL over the years hadn't consistently made poorly thought out and/or poorly executed decisions.

Hang around a while and you'll very likely share our frustration, assuming that SL survives another few years."

I'll second that.

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am quite disappointed about the backtrack to the status quo

can understand why linden not want to go back to a list of lastnames and thats all, like before. but yeah. heaps of people have said already how to do it. pick a Family name from the list. pick Other to enter your own name. pick None if you don't want a last name. is how i would have done it anyways

+

linden now saying is all too hard this. so OK, now what?

rodvik says they are going to eliminate Resident from showing inworld. probably send some spaces (or other non-visible chars) to scripts so they not break on an empty string. Ok thats a start

second thing they could do is get rid of the "." in the lists, rollovers, name tags, etc and replace with a space. that "." infuriates quite a few people. is no reason to have it at all

third, rodvik says they going to allow other characters in the name, maybe. like a "-" and other chars, so can use them as a name separator. wut!!! if not allow a space as one of the other chars then double wut!!! wut!!!

can see how a dash can be used and that people will like: "mary brown-smythe". but mary-brownsmythe. cheez!!!

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  • 1 month later...

I ask myself why we keep discussing? I have read lots of comments, but nobody can actually do anything but discuss.

So i would suggest we show them some "Unity" and put up signs (maybe a picture with Uncle Sam, saying "Bring Back Last Names!")

And put up signs and flags and T-Shirts, like the protesters do in RL. Show them that we are SL and we are unite.

Maybe walk across the mainland with signs allover so they can see that we dont give up...

But we need to do something so they can hear us.

 

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