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Announcing Second Life "Behind-the-Firewall" Product on Nov 4th

by Linden on ‎10-28-2009 05:26 PM

In April, we announced that "Second Life Lives Behind a Firewall," and that our new product was in Alpha. Since that time, the Enterprise Team has been hard at work evolving and deploying our software into many organizations--both as an Alpha and closed Beta. Now, I'm proud and excited to share that we're ready to announce general availability of the Beta product next week.

On Wednesday, November 4th at 11:15 am - 12:00 pm PST, Doug Thompson (SL: Dusan Writer) will moderate a mixed-reality panel at Enterprise 2.0 in San Francisco and Metanomics inworld with Mark Kingdon, Linden Lab's CEO, Neil Katz, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director IBM Virtual Spaces, CIO Office Innovation Initiatives, Steve Aguiar, Program Manager at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center's (NUWC's) Metaverse Strategic Initiative, and Douglas Maxwell, Program Technology Lead also at NUWC's Metaverse Strategic Initiative.

As shared on the Metanomics site,

"Mark Kingdon, CEO of Linden Lab, will unveil “Nebraska”, a stand-alone solution based on the technology that runs the popular Second Life virtual world. “Nebraska” is the much-anticipated behind-the-firewall solution which will allow enterprise to host their own virtual world environments within their organizations. Mark will talk about the benefits of the platform, the intended audience, and how it fits into the broader challenges and opportunities of “enterprise 2.0”. Mark will be joined by a number of customers who have used Nebraska during the closed beta phase of development. The panel will explore the benefits, lessons learned, barriers and opportunities which arise from integrating virtual world solutions into the enterprise.The event will include panelists appearing live in San Francisco and others who will join from the Metanomics Main Stage in Second Life."

So, mark your calendars and come join us--physically in San Francisco at Enterprise 2.0 or virtually on Metanomics that will also include a webstream, courtesy of Treet.tv, starting a bit earlier at 11:00 am.

For additional details, check out the Metanomics site.

Looking forward to a blockbuster announce!

Comments
by Member Gwyneth Llewelyn
on ‎10-28-2009 06:02 PM

I'm quite interested in hearing more about some of the more obscure aspects of Nebraska

by Honored Resident Dusan Writer
on ‎10-28-2009 06:23 PM

Um, Gwyn, if you want obscure can I suggest a blog? http://dusanwriter.com ... as obscure as you can get.

by Member Chaz Longstaff
on ‎10-28-2009 08:03 PM

I'm trying to connect dots in my mind.

The other day, I read "There’s a huge market opportunity out there and I am hoping that you all can capitalize on the wave of demand that’s about to flow into SL."

Above, it says Nebraska is "stand-alone."

The dots I'm trying to connect are "stand-alone" and "flow."

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-28-2009 08:10 PM

1.3 million users logged in in the last two months. Some of them are actual Linden Research customers. Many are not.

Of those who are actual customers, I wonder how many of them care about Nebraska?

by Contributor Ceera Murakami
on ‎10-28-2009 08:32 PM

So many questions, so impossible to ask them or get them answered in a Voice-centric, live-streaming environment.

I do hope they will also have a text-based FAQ and discussion about the topic, so those of us who can not or will not use Voice or who can't manage to do anything coherent in large, crowded venues will have some way to get information, and to ask questions and get answers.

Since it is quite impossible for me to participate in this Metanomics conference, I have some questions of my own that I would like to ask in advance, as a Solutions Provider. Perhaps the speakers at the announcement could be so kind as to consider answering these questions, either in the conference, or in a text FAQ and discussion afterward? :

1: What will it cost? What is included in that cost, and what is not included but is required? If there are tiered fees based on any factor, such as number of sims supported, number of residents supported, tens of thousands of assets supported, number of processors per server, what are those tier levels?

2: What is the minimum setup (how many sims does that provide, and what other servers), and what hardware does it require to run it?

3: Does it include a separate behind-your-firewall asset server and a separate login server? Or does the package include Linden Lab managing some portion of the required infrastructure?

4: Will there be ways to migrate existing main grid accounts from the main grid to these behind-the-firewall grids and back again? With any portion of our inventory other than a Ruthed avatar? Or will the people on these grids need to set up completely new accounts and inventory for that grid?

5: Will there be a way to identify and export specific items that you created, from the main grid to these behind-the-firewall grids? For example if, as a content creator, I already have business-appropriate clothes, or furniture, or buildings, or textures that I created and which I want to sell to these grids?

6: How would a Solutions Provider or Content Creator be able to contact the owners of these behind-the-firewall grids, to contract for work to create sims or content?

7: Once you buy the package, will there be annual fees to license continued use of the environment? Will those fees be tiered in anyway?

by Honored Resident Korena Starbrook
on ‎10-28-2009 08:46 PM

Cool.

Should be interesting to see how the open merchant-side of SL merges with the "internal company-side/corporation" of SL.

I, for one, am banking with the side the Lindens are favoring.

I know for a fact that LL needs a "behind the firewall" product. Real companies are craving it. The biggest problem I know with clients I have is - how on earth do you get IT to embrace and support something like an internal, IT-supported Second Life. Getting an Access database with 4 users maintaining addresses can cost companies an arm and a leg.

Are things like concurrency problems addressed with an internal SL? 50 people per sim does not work with a real-time quality conference. Conferences I attend often have 1000+ per room! - How is Virtual addressing that?

If I want to broadcast live video to an internal audience of potentially 10k-15k people inside a firewall - can "behind-the-firewall" SL handle that?

If a corporation with 150,000 people is hoping that some fraction of those can embrace a new technology like SL - I really hope LL is thinking big picture.

Forterra? Protonmedia?

My virtual world is Second Life. I thank LL for that. I hope they can support what I am seeing business-wise in the near future. The time is now. Business decisions are now.

Good luck to all of us as individual entrepreneurs. I hope these times remain. I also hope those that can look to expand horizons into this new, business-supported, virtual reality can adapt and prosper.

by Contributor Ceera Murakami
on ‎10-28-2009 08:50 PM

I'm trying to connect dots in my mind.

The other day, I read "There’s a huge market opportunity out there and I am hoping that you all can capitalize on the wave of demand that’s about to flow into SL."

Above, it says Nebraska is "stand-alone."

The dots I'm trying to connect are "stand-alone" and "flow."

I think they are looking at the behind-the-firewall solution for the "big fish". The deep pockets corps that go out and spend hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars to set up a service in-house. The companies and corporations that need security and privacy, for in-house meetings and prototyping. Or military or similar grids, that need no civilian access.

On the main grid they still hope to attract many smaller businesses that won't be able to afford the high-end solution, or who will, for some reason, need access to the resources and customers on the main grid. For example, most Universities would not want to hide behind a firewall. They would want their potential student base to include all SL Residents.

by Recognized Resident Day Oh
on ‎10-28-2009 09:31 PM

This project has me a little worried that someone with moneys may be able to use them to gain access to simulator code.  I wish you would lease a copy for free to a reputable security research team or something.

by Recognized Resident Raddick Szymborska
on ‎10-28-2009 10:35 PM

Prok-


Any sort of significant change to the availability of a scarce resource (whether it is water, precious metals, or, in this case, SL gridness) is going to affect the existing socio-economic system.  Duh.


I am sure someone buried deep in a Linden Lab tower thought about the impact that a large corporate entity might have on the legacy grid if they came along with their own NextGen Better Than Thee version.  And I am sure one or more Lindens made a risk/payoff assessment and chose to go ahead with the development effort.  So what is your point?

by Honored Resident Dusan Writer
on ‎10-29-2009 04:10 AM

Ceera:

Just a quick comment on conference participation: Metanomics offers voice-to-text simultaneous translation of the event for those who are not able to listen to a voice stream. This service is provided by Virtual Ability Inc. In order to read the text simulcast search for Metanomics in-world under groups and you'll see a voice-to-text group.

We usually post a full transcript of the event the following morning. It's usually available by 6:00 a.m. the following day. We post it on the same page on which the event streams. The video is also archived around the same time using an embeddable Flash player.

We're very aware that not everyone can participate in voice events so we hope these options help to prevent exclusion of anyone interested in participating in the live event and provides two formats for accessing archives of materials.

Dusan

by Honored Resident Editorial Clarity
on ‎10-29-2009 05:08 AM


This Project 'Nebraska' i think is getting far more attention than needed. Last week, it was Philip Rosedale, and his 'step back' from Linden Labs to focus on a new company he was starting up. However now, seems most of the attention of that has moved onto 'Nebraska' instead lol.

by Member Rachel Darling
on ‎10-29-2009 06:12 AM

Prokofy -

I believe you've already put this together: Lindens own XStreet. New Perms including the "right" to export content to a different grid. How about XStreet being capable of delivering those potted plants to a specified user on a specified grid behind a firewall? "Gold Solution Providers," and soon-to-come "Gold Standard Merchants."

As noted, corporations have the dollars to spend -- and it will take lots of RL dollars to create and support your own SL behind your own firewall, and large businesses will require an isolated and controlled instance of SL, and they will demand self-sufficiency in supporting that instance. But it needn't take lots of resources or dollars to purchase content or content packages when there are so many of us providing that content for pennies on the dollar. Of course, some corporate customers may choose to hire Gold Solution Providors as project managers and/or developers and/or content creators to populate their grid, and perhaps they in turn may choose to purchase some of their content on XStreet and have it delivered to an alternate grid behind a firewall rather than creating all that content from scratch, and that will help some of our little businesses. After all, we're used to making just those few pennies on the dollar, so why would we mind?

So I suppose it's all how you look at it. The main grid won't die, and small businesses can still opt to create their environment on it. (Some) main grid merchants will still make money because corporate customers are paying customers. And businesses -- both those that own sims on the main grid and those behind their firewalls -- will be happy because content will be the cheapest portion of their implementation budget. But if what you want is a piece of the "big pie" paid in RL dollars, you'd best be on that list of Gold Solution Providers and understand the ins and outs of working with full-scale technology implementations for corporate customers. The pie will be small initially, but obviously the hope that the Lab has is that it will ultimately become at least half of their business. And as the pie gets larger, LL will add resources to help manage that segment of their business, so I wouldn't worry that the main grid will be ignored.

I suppose I can't really say that I think Nebraska is a bad thing. Ultimately it probably only really effects those people who would like a piece of the Nebraska pie but won't be able to get any, because they're not LL approved vendors or Gold Solution Providors/Merchants. If you prefer the creativity and freedom of the main grid then I expect it will simply be business as usual.

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 06:26 AM

Putting a VW behind a firewall isn't hard at all. It's exposing it outside the DMZ that's interesting...and for Nebraska that will include access for assets and avatars on the main grid.

It will be interesting to watch Nebraska compete with the likes of Project Wonderland, which offers a free, open-source virtual world server and viewer written in a modern language and already (in an 0.5 preview, no less!) has better collaboration and telephony tools than SecondLife does, as well as support for importing COLLADA mesh models from tools like Blender and Google SketchUp and Building Maker via drag-n-drop into the viewer.

The value proposition for Nebraska will have to be the main grid's population and content...a win only if that makes up for the friction created by the legacy technology base of SecondLife. 

by Recognized Member WADE1 Jya
on ‎10-29-2009 06:35 AM

Hmm...

More happy news for the big guys, lucky them!

Hope it really helps out LL getting some extra business.

Perhaps somewhere in their future budget they will then be able to afford to scale up this world, which is what content creators need -- some growth.  I know we are important to them still too & they won't forget about us.


Attracting more new residents (not specifically corporates) would be nice....   If you can uptick the resident (again, not corporates) population a significant degree that would be very nice!  Just the thing to help keep any currently struggling content creators in the game!

I get it, this is a good thing.  The more money LL makes, the more they can do to help the resident community keep growing too.

Congrats on completing this big project!  I wonder what we will see next?

by Contributor Ceera Murakami
on ‎10-29-2009 06:47 AM

Dusan,

I'm aware of that one-way voice-to-text feed at Metanomics. I tried using it several times, and found it horribly frustrating. translation seemed to lag badly behind the actual event, and there was no way to get a comment back to some participant who was only listening to the Voice audio and replying that way.

If Speaker A makes a comment, and I am in the room in reality, I can raise my hand, get his or her attention, and ask my question. If they ignore me, I can try to do something further to get their attention and get my answer. But in SL, if they are on Voice, and I am not, they don't even know I exist. It's like a deaf person trying to converse with a blind person, and you can't even touch each other. They don't even know I am "in the room".

If I try to attend an in-world component of a meeting like this, it's no better. The lag tends to be atrocious in a full sim, those who are trying to use text are chattering a mile a minute, and the voice-centric speakers, if they acknowledge your presence at all, just cherry-pick the comments that they want to reply to, and ignore the rest.

I am appreciative of the transcripts that Metanomics provides. They are far better than no information at all. But what those transcripts can not and do not show, at least in the cases I looked at, are the many text-based questions that are asked, but ignored by the Speakers. So it presents a rather warped mirror on the actual event.

===

I think events like this highlight one of the largest barriers to SL, weather it is on the main grid or behind a firewall, being used for serious business communications. SL simply can NOT handle the bandwidth required to allow for good interaction in large groups. I've attended business meetings on-line with 10,000 attendees at once, where everyone could clearly participate in what the speaker was saying, and could get their questions into a queue to get answers. No environment in SL could hope to do that.

Certainly SL does have some business uses. SL has great potential for prototyping and simulation, and for low-cost emulation of real-world projects. I have a bid in right now to a client to build 8 to 10 sims in SL, to produce a simulation of an urban renewal project that will cost millions of dollars to build in Real Life. For several orders of magnitude less than that I can, in SL, provide them with a virtual example of what the architects designed, so they can walk down the streets and see how that vision will be accomplished, before laying a single brick in reality.

Likewise, I can easily see the training and simulation sims that we have heard of for border guard training, medical emergency training, and military simulations benefiting from the security of being behind a firewall, where only authorized people can access them.

by Honored Member Shockwave Yareach
on ‎10-29-2009 07:16 AM

Possible business uses:


Telecommuting, letting people work at home and the phones forwarding to their VOIP.

Collaborative Engineering, several people playing with a low rez model and planning at the same time.

Both of these require closed systems - we cannot allow our internal documents where ANYONE may see them.  Both of these will also require encryption to prevent interception in transit.

Not possible business uses:

Conferences

Actual modeling - The models created in SL are too crude for them to be used for anything but general planning and layout.

business uses best done in SL

virtual sales brochures with 3D simulations and demonstrations.

Training

It's a great thing that they see the big bucks in the firewalled versions of SL.  But I wonder -- did they get all the bugs fixed in Nebraska rather than fix any bugs in SL?  Or do they expect business owners to put up with the same glitches and the same faults we deal with every day?

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 08:56 AM

But I wonder -- did they get all the bugs fixed in Nebraska rather than fix any bugs in SL?  Or do they expect business owners to put up with the same glitches and the same faults we deal with every day?

Do you really even need to ask? I suspect all the effort to make Nebraska consisted of addressing the issues of connecting a trusted off-grid server to the main grid.

Another "interesting thing to watch" will be how that trust relationship is established, protected and maintained. Have you any idea how many griefers and copybottists must have day jobs in corporate server farms with admin access? 

by Member Chaz Longstaff
on ‎10-29-2009 09:05 AM

@ Maggie: "all the effort to make Nebraska consisted of addressing the issues of connecting a trusted off-grid server to the main grid."


When I read "stand-alone" in the announcement, I took it at face value. As in no connection. No flow. That's why I queried the previous use of the word "flow." But I guess all will be answered in a few days!

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 09:19 AM

Oy. You mean all this noise is about a non-interoperable productization?

True, that's the default implication of "standalone"...I guess the phrase "turnkey" has fallen into disuse. (Probably because one too many press-release typos ended up promising to deliver a "complete turkey solution".)

So the aforementioned hacker/griefer/copyists will only have access to the server object code. Nothing to worry about then...

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:25 AM

It's all very interesting. Sometimes I wish I had a firewall to go behind, too, but I will have to continue to take my chances out here on the playa of the main grid, roughing it in the elements.

In May 2007, I asked Joe Linden at the Virtual Worlds Expo in New York City why Linden Lab just didn't create a separate SL and load it up on separate servers with a clean boot and let businesses go on there if they were so concerned about everything happening on the main grid. That is, I didn't mean the ability to load an SL-in-a-box in your own servers to have your own home version of the game, so to speak, although I realize people value that. I mean just another main grid. And another. And another after that, around the world, so that they wouldn't have to worry about scaling or they could be set up with different laws. And worry about connecting them up later (interoperability to me is something that is basically a geek affectation that I don't think is a consumer demand and I think it is being engineered to suit corporate rather than consumer interests).

He seemed somewhat taken aback by my notion of what I think of now as SL1, SL32, SL4537 around the world and said to me, "That was not our founder's vision". That is, he meant that Philip Rosedale always had this notion of an interconnected world that ran on the "we shall all hang together or we shall hang separately" concept rather than the "united we stand, divided we run free at last" concept.

So, in thinking of what the answers to Ceera's questions might be, and what that future emergent-behaviour world of the collective aggregate of all these stand-alone SL-in-a-box set-ups will be like, I'm wondering about the obvious question:

Are they going to talk to/connect to/be interoperable with each other and thus create separate SL areas, SL32, SL4537 type of situations, like a new set of city states?

I know there is a group working feverishly on interoperability and I personally have been hugely critical of the basic premise they work with, which is stripping out all metadata that has to do with economy and intellectual property protection, identity attributes like age verification, etc. etc. and "just making the pipes". I think "just making the pipes" isn't a "technological" proposition but an inherently technocommunist ideological imperative, but that's for another thread.

The question is whether there is a Brave New World being made here, in which that old blinged-out, laggy, freaky main grid and its "colonies" of islands connected to it (as Philip once called them) is simply being left behind to make that Better World out of all the corporations. That is, that the aggregate of all the boxes, possibly connected boxes, is another world (inevitably it would be, even if everybody pretended it was just a conference center utterly cut off from everything else). Because one of the corporations going behind the Firewall could be something merely inverting the main grid -- one of the mega rental agencies could simply contract with SL to take care of "that legacy grid" under new management. Then what happens to us?

That Other World would have elite vendors to the Crown who would be able to traverse all the firewalls with special sign-ins or digital signatures or membership in the Merchants Group or whatever -- and the rest of the great unwashed, logging in as grey avatars at public terminals (as they were described in "Snowcrash"), would be ignored -- and soon LL will put in the "derendering" function to make sure they stay lost from the view.

And that some avatars, not just vendors but those accepted from various programs will get that seal to cross the divide and talk to those BehindtheFirewall people.

Tom Hale made this comment about all these vending opportunities for people who make chairs that you can sit in that look businessy and, oh, office potted plants and PowerPointers and such. Is this new feature inside advanced/debug/ with the different perms related at all to those things that go beyond the firewall or...somewhere? To other grids?

So then the obvious question is whether the new dispensation, if people can go there through some clearance, and all the separate boxes connect to each other like XBox Live, will they suck the value out of the economy? Will they cream off the best designers/scripters/artists and make a kind of Fifth Avenue to everybody else's E. 14th or Orchard Street?

When you made the private islands, which now take up 23,000 out of the 28,000 or so sims in Second Life, you didn't say "What if they wind up making a second Second Life, another world?" But they did. They dwarfed the mainland and it was hard, even with all kinds of special affirmative action programs to undo the damage of the years, like the anti-ad-farms policy, to put it back as it was originally conceved as a dream of interactive free collaborative space.

Did the dream of interactive free collaborate space just move on to another location, only this time with rules that make it able to be really free precisely because it is not hobbled by anarchy?

These questions might seem exotic now, if the People of the Firewall only amount to a few thousand in number to start with.But if they are the new engine of the economy with the real RL-size discretionary budgets, and budgets that are like the "rounding errors" of the ad budgets in 2006-2007, will they in fact have an outsized impact on the economy?

Are they going to use the LindEx or have no Linden dollars? Or will they put on the "gold ruble" standard like Soviet Russia and have special stores like the beriozki where real dollars are spent directly?

Will their purchases on Xstreet made without benefit of main grid store browsing (that seems to have always been the idea of XStreet in Linden hands) completely suck out the rationale for having an inworld store at all, and thus further undermine the land rentals businesses (which the Lindens have never really wanted to recognize as businesses)?

Does anybody at the Lab even sit around and think about these things strategically so as to mitigate their inevitably disruptive effects, or is this another experiment by the Lab on people?

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:34 AM

Uh, duh right back at you, champ. Why the snark? I get that there is an effect - I want to hear from *Lindens* how *they see it,* not hear withering knowier-than-tho repartees from the IRC set.

I'm not AT ALL sure that somebody in the Lab tower thought of anything remotely like "how will this effect the main grid economy" and "what are the possible adverse consequences". Not on your life. Because EVERY time they talk about this, and have talked about this in the past, they describe the firewalled as separate but equal or more-than-equal -- off on their own, on their own servers, not bothering anybody, not integrated, etc. etc. That is, it's like Philip Linden's wide-eyed innocent clamis to us back in 2006, "Don't worry, these corporations will all be on their own islands and you don't have to go there and see them and you may never hear from them".

Philip could think and talk that way because he merely looked at it from the bird's-eye engineering view and not the ground level sociological view. The reality is that the corporations made a ginormous impact through old real-life media. They hired away the best designers and programmers from the main economy and it really never recovered after that, because they opened up a huge gulf between the outside dollar salaries of the "solutions providers" and inworld Linden-paid businesses who had to cope with the "problems creators" as you might call those who are the opposite of the "solutions providers" (although they all went to the same computer science class), AKA script kiddies and griefers and third-party viewer hacks.

The businesses that came and went in SL left a HUGE swathe -- first sucking value out of the smaller and more delicate virtual economy, although pumping some investment here and there, say, somebody might buy 100 potted plants or 500 skins. They deprived all the early adaptes and midbies of any desire to work for less than normal RL wages and give up tinkering in the virtual low-paid economy -- and who can blame them?!  It's like the RL phenomenon of RL countries with dollarized economies, where the World Bank gives huge loans to the president and his brother-in-law, there is an international elite that gets consulting fees and technical contracts, and the ordinary people make pennies a day picking cotton or pounding rocks.

"My point" is that the Lindens have to be more proactive than pretending that their firewalled have no effect like the 2006-2007 "rounding-error" big spenders sucking away talent and value to things that then collapsed, and they have to do more than say enthusiastically, "Hey kids, this is an opportunity for you to sell your fidget-seated anims and office plants". They need to answer the questions we are asking, and they need to explain  how these new office people who are going to BYPASS THE MAIN GRID economy based on the LINDEN'S ORIGINAL VISION OF GEOGRAPHICAL CONTIGUITY AND SERENDIPITY and replace it with a bland Internet 1.0 notion of search-and-buy on XStreet, with the cleared and validated merchants populating XStreet and the rest of the vendors peeled or forced or shoved off.

by Member Meade Paravane
on ‎10-29-2009 09:34 AM
I suspect all the effort to make Nebraska consisted of addressing the issues of connecting a trusted off-grid server to the main grid.

In the other blog post, I think Amanda commented that these behind-the-firewall grids were totally isolated - no connection to the main SL grid. I suspect (but don't know) that there won't be any cross-grid functionality coming any time soon..

I'm a little skeptical about the adoption rate of this stuff with it not being hooked up to the main grid asset servers. Seems like it'd be in danger of becoming boring if everybody looks the same and there's only a couple content creators, company-wide. Hopefully they have included something that enables outside-the-firewall creators to sell content to inside-the-firewall residents.

/me wonders how voice will work on this stuff. Does it go through vivox or can we plug it into our internal network or VOIP gear?

edit: or maybe I'm full of it.. Here's what Amanda said:

Yes, the behind-the-firewall solutoin that's currently in alpha is completely disconnected from the main grid and it still has all the rich functionality of the current SL experience (including content creation capabilities, etc.). Hence, this solution is not the IBM set up, but is an offering that is completely different.

Regarding transferring content from the main SL environment into the behind-the-firewall solution, it can be done. But, of course, content creator IP rights must be protected. I'm hoping that Prok is right--that a new set of content creators will emerge that will build content that can exist in both the main SL environment and the firewalled ones.

edit edit: a Linden saying "I'm hoping that Prok is right"??? That's one of the 7 signs, isn't it??

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:36 AM

As always, Maggie, you're here shilling for the script kiddies and the griefers by making it seem "impossible" to control them in any way, and making it seem as if "their numbers are legion".

There's no evidence of that fact, nor is there any absolute truth in what you say that it is "impossible" to control griefers.

The Lindens haven't even tried their plan to curb the third-party viewers by a variety of technical and social means which are indeed doable and which will indeed deter. They do not have to be 100 percent effective or be the "technically futile" thing you and other extreme coders always imagine.

I can only ask: what's in it for you? Why the need to cynically -- and harshly -- come to the defense of griefers and hackers every time, and bang us all over the head with those unregistratably hammers with the idea that "nothing can be made secure"?

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:45 AM

But if what you want is a piece of the
"big pie" paid in RL dollars, you'd best be on that list of Gold
Solution Providers and understand the ins and outs of working with
full-scale technology implementations for corporate customers.

Yeah, I got all that. That's always what they've been about, creating a FIC list, and streaming the contracts to their pals. All understood.

But still, they need to keep up the pretext of SL as an open platform that makes "$500 million a year". They know that the $500 million a year now *does not count the consulting fees which are not paid through their platform* but comes from us, willing make "pennies on the dollar" as you just said.

So perhaps they have a vision of making SL a platform for their friends the Gold Solutions Providers to make BANK through steering their firewalled customers to the GSPs, gradually shaking loose the small businesses. Understood, they will do that. But how many people will come and play or work in a world that is just an attachment to a conference room?

The single most common answer to my polls about "what can be done for the new user experience" is that people want JOBS. And they want to start their own businesses in many respects, or be part of a social grouping around an inworld business they support. Many newbies coming in aren't fit even in their first 30 days to work in an inworld business, which is demanding, long-hours, and low pay. They surely aren't going to go to the potted-palm set for work as there aren't even any mailrooms and xerox rooms to work in online. So they will leave, because *people need an economy for themselves, not just for big businesses*. The attraction of SL for so many is that they can sell a t-shirt, or get a commission vendor, or sell a sionChicken egg, or make a table, and get some spending money or pay their tier. That cannot be taken away from them and simply handed off so easily without destroying the fabric of SL.

The Lindens still have to keep alive the fiction of a vibrant economy with rich creativity blah blah that generates all that "stuff" that justifies the big corporations being here. Because while some of those corps will be inward looking and just interested in a virtual conference room, others will show up to understand virtuality itself and the needs of new marketplaces and consumers who are online all day and spend money on virtual goods. So they can't SO strip and sanitize the main grid as to make it completely unable to grow a single thing in a petri dish for those corporate researchers.

Your comment here,"But if what you want is a piece of the "big pie" paid in RL dollars, you'd best be on that list of Gold Solution Providers and understand the ins and outs of working with full-scale technology implementations for corporate customers."

...isn't something I dispute as a kind of social dynamic and truism. But I also think that there is an ENORMOUS amount of hype that goes into what it takes to manage a sim or create content or organize events that the GSPs hype as complex and "professional" precisely to keep themselves in higher consulting fees.

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:46 AM

...and the answer is "Xstreet, which LL controls".

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:46 AM

What's missing from Project Wonderland for you, personally, Maggie? Otherwise you'd be there 24/7 showing yourself Powerpoints.

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 09:59 AM

Amanda, at least in your retelling of Amanda, seems to be tendentiously misportraying me.

I ask questions about Linden itntentions to make a Gold Solution Providers and Verified Merchants FIC (elite).

That doesn't mean I endorse it as a solution. Prok doesn't want to be "right" about there emerging an even more disconnected and cynical New Class that sells to the Crown while everyone else gets the leavings and scraps.

There's a number of solutions for this, none of them easy or fun but possibly necessary to save the economy of the main grid from further destruction:

o improved search capabilies of XStreet with tabs like amazon.com to sort by category -- those ridiculous geeky categories with names like "Structures" instead of "homes" or "office buildings"  have to go -- it needs massive editing and reconfiguring. In part, Colossus is doing this with these lifestyle categories but that's driving it from the concept of "group affinity" rather than "individual consumer ease of search". If I type "prefabs" in search I should get something coherent, or better yet, be able to go to the "home and gardens" tab as I would on amazon.com  And what that means is not having to laborously scan all those wacky sub-categories on Xstreet that are sometimes incoherent and click on them in a series of pages, but have tabs already set up to click on, on a menu bar, that gives pages that have a new set of ads just in that category, etc.

o getting rid of the blog structure for Xstreet and returning a revised forums structure that has clear rubics, threads, ads, shopping links right on the same page, etc.


o real estate links that don't just go to the Lindens' new content competing with other businesses -- some corporations even if firewalled might want mainland outposts with kiosks or ads or stores, and that has to be eased.

o Xstreet capacity to pipe any object purchased into the firewall world with its perms intact. What does this take technically? A staging area where firewall-purchased items come into a holding pen to be cleared in some way? or? I have no idea

o more even playing field for everyone on Xstreet to reach attention by merit by having more clear and valid ways of showing merit with voting, traffic on pages, etc. and not just the Linden picks

o immediate creation of a task force of Lindens and leading mainland creators to maintain and ongoing discussion of the impact of Nebraska on the mainland grid. The Lindens could avoid months of rebellion and sabotage and bad press and loss of their core constituency who still pay the bills around here *cough* if they would simply institutionalize their "disruptive technology" to stop making it disrupt everything but themselves. There is no reason why "disruption" cannot be staged, planned, mitigated. Social Darwinism is a primitive and nihilistic ideology that doesn't even pass the test for scientific validation.

Lots more I'm sure I haven't thought of.

by Honored Resident Dusan Writer
on ‎10-29-2009 09:59 AM

Ceera - Apologies if I misunderstood the intent of your comments. It's definitely NOT a perfect system - we do seek ways to make it easier to participate and do the best we can with the tools we have.

During a show, we have a back channel for sending questions to Rob Bloomfield - people post questions in chat which are picked up by our volunteers and sent to the host. Unfortunately, the format doesn't lend itself to being able to answer all of the questions - an hour seems like a lot time but isn't. Often, the guest and host don't even have a chance to read all of the audience questions (although they try). It's often not a case of ignoring questions, but time runs out.

It's one reasons we do hold community forums so that issues can be explored in a primarily text-format venue.

The event that this thread is about will be even more restrictive for time, so I wouldn't anticipate this will be the venue for a lot of Q&A, it will be a broadcast more than a forum or town hall. Hopefully the Lab will have other vehicles for communication with the community, FAQs, etc.

Your broader point about Second Life as a platform for large events is a good one and one that a lot of people would like to see addressed, whether for corporate events, music or other.

by Honored Resident Dusan Writer
on ‎10-29-2009 10:01 AM

Brenda - I almost fell of my chair laughing. One of the best/funniest comments I've seen in ages.

(Assuming hew = few of course).

Thanks for the chuckle.

by Member Brenda Connolly
on ‎10-29-2009 11:43 AM

Is that Nebraska ..like in "Steve Nebraska"?

It is nice to see the Corporates will be behind a wall. It can keep them in and away from Real SL residents.  The few that escape shouldn't be hard to hunt down.

by Honored Resident Valradica Vale
on ‎10-29-2009 11:46 AM

It seems to me that whatever we have to say at this point, most of it will be conjecture. Even the "facts" about the deployment of Nebraska will have to be interpreted in some way as to how any of them will impact any of us.

As with many changes in these last few years, wise people will watch carefully and see where they fit in and adjust. It is not as if I have much of a choice about changes that will happen EXCEPT how I will work with them, react to them or realize their effect on me and my Second Life (or perhaps even my first life) Then I must choose to act, to dream, to envision, to adapt - to see an opportunity or an impediment, a roadblock or a fork in the road. Many people think they can ride into SL, find a niche, start selling and that nothing should ever change. Nothing in all my experience is like that ...

Yes, change is coming - and that change makes the brave new world a little "braver" - Dream about it - look for the openings - if you are making buggy whips harness straps, and LL introduces a horseless carriage, start making seatbelts instead of harnesses. In the real world, the big corporations DO buy from small businesses if they have something they want and need. Good, solid, thoughtful products do not go un-noticed by "industry".

Look at the doors that are opening! - look for new ideas that need to be created. Look back at the old markets that will be more open to you when the heavy hitter content creators are lured into the corporate melee. Perhaps you should rejoice that you do not have to go there - it could be a very nasty world compared to the freedom you have in the SL grid. Believe me, I work for a medical device manufacturer and the unfettered world of product development in SL is like a dream world - the work is just as hard, but I am working for myself - I write my own specs! I clock my own hours - and don't answer to schedules and project management. (gag)

Look at and think about the populace of the SL open grid that goes there to get AWAY from their dayjobs and corporate pressure. Do you suppose that they will stop coming and renting your houses with their "SL spouse" or buying hair and shoes or dancing under the stars at Apollo because IBM has its own build where they will not tolerate any of that?

Yes, there are many questions raised above. Some of them are already answered but we do not know the answer and when we find it - we probably cannot do much about it. Some of them will only be discovered after the statistics have time to settle and you won't be able to do much about them either. Many of them will be answered differently by different people, depending on their vision, eagerness, determination, creativity and problem solving ability. But hey, the rest of the world is like that anyway - why should that be a surprise?


For me, I am looking forward - I am watching the horizon carefully - looking for hints, smelling the change in the air for a clue to future needs, honing my skill, but enjoying life. When I see a new opening - I will sieze it and I will go one step beyond what others are willing to do - and I will be there, at the front of the class in this brave new world!

by Member Brenda Connolly
on ‎10-29-2009 11:47 AM

You are most welcome. And thanks for pointing out my now corrected typo. Escaping hew is an entirely different matter.

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 11:51 AM

No Advertising or Commercial Promotion. Except as expressly provided below under “Exceptions,” we do not allow advertising or the promotion of specific merchants, marketplace listings, products, services, or commercial websites...“Advertising” and “commercial promotion” include promotion of your own business as well as others’ businesses.

https://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2009/02/25/second-life-discussion-guidelines

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 11:56 AM

Prok, for pity's sake, I'm not defending them. I'm pointing out their existence and the hazards they represent. I regard accusing me of defending them as a personal attack.

If I tell you "there's a footpad in that alley", that doesn't mean I'm cheering for him.

One thing that Linden Research *has* managed to keep fairly secret (if not secure) is the server code. It is now leaving their hands for the first time.

The only thing "worse" than open source is closed source in the hands of your nemisis.

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 12:27 PM

Oh, it's very important to have as much debate and conjecture as possible and not leave Second Life only in the hands of power elites.

I think it was a game developer who said that if you have a game where somebody logs on to play, you have put your code in the hands of the enemy.

Dusan says my point about the Nebraska content/value suck and destruction of the economy isn't clear. Ok, I'll try to sharpen it, although normally I don't need sharpening.

The hallmark of the 2006-2007 corporate invasion was this: all these corporations and ad firms came in needing sherpas; those sherpas becames the "solutions providers" you see now. The very core and early adapters, if you will, of those solutions providers, who weren't even called that back them, were the very NDA's FIC who  had always made up the core of the Lindens' favoured partners, and my frank discussion of this is what got me expelled from the old forums (my last post was called "Three's Company, Four's a Crowd" about the favoured "monopolists" among some inworld businesses).

What this boiled down to is that in stead of working to make an integrated world among those entering a level playing field, builders, scripters, and all kinds of workers *dropped their low-paying inworld businesses* and flocked to companies like Reuters, Sony, Coke and later Rezzable, where they got paid a lot more than they could in Lindens -- and yet were all dropped summarily when the hype was over -- leaving them jobless, and leaving the inworld economy also impoverished.

This is real, economic documented fact of the sort that people like Thomas Malaby simply wouldn't pay attention to because they were only focused on "the anthropoly of those in power, the government" as historians and anthropolists often are. But there was another story on the grid (and Malaby has no excuse saying he was pre-2006 and covering only events in 2005, as all these factors were being set up in 2004-2005).

*Some* of those builders and events planners limped back to the inworld economy again and got jobs with rentals agencies again or clubs. And then BUNCHES of new people came from non-North-American countries, non-English speakers, who flooded the

So Tom Hale's constant claim that our little pixel synthetic world is never buffeted by the forces of the global recession is whack, because SL has always been an accelerated and very-much-affected target for the forces of globalization -- period.

This process is not unlike what happens to poor countries, say, a Haiti or a Kenya or Kyrygyzstan, where the World Bank or the IMF comes in, gives the government a huge loan or outright grant for "development," the president hires his cronies and his relatives who then improve *their* standard of living, but then ordinary people don't get enough fast enough out of all this Hobbsian hob-nobbing, and then the World Bank either retreats as it has less money, civil war breaks out and development is impossible, or the whole thing just limps along, bursting out in violence and corruption repeatedly. Don't be hobbled by the fact that real-world events are serious, and we are only in a sort of play-pretend simulated version, it's possible to reason by analogy and possible to think about the long-term consequences, as the objective at least of Philip was to have everybody move online and live there viably in meaningful RL ways. So it matters.

What we're seeing from that awful monster third-party viewers thread is that Sitearm Madonna, who has been gifted with the role now of organizing the Solutions Providers and recruiting to them for the Lindens, has rolled out a completely *awful* point of view -- one that the Lindens in fact hold themselves (like Mitch Kapor).

And that  POV says "The hell with copyright, you can't secure it, and evil corporations only prevent copyright with it, so let's not worry about it, let's just make more stuff, let's just have corporations pay artists, and if they really get copied in some sort of really serious way, have corporate lawyers handle it."

THAT business model says "Small business, small creators, small vendors, small service providers do not matter, and will be roadkill on Web 3.0 because they can't protect copyright and can't live on their low wages".

THAT business model says "The only viable work is consulting on top of free content and free software, so if we can't get people to understand that and go with the program, we'll make sure they get marauded by griefers and thieves until they get the idea".

Angela Talamasca puts this even more starkly than I do here:

It's the Bolshevism that goes with the Technocommunism I'm always talking about.

BUT it's not too late to take a different turn, and not reiterate all the mistakes of Web 1.0, with their hatred and scorn of wall gardens and paid content. Not too late at all. And that's why it's worth talking NOW about how Nebraska can work with merchants and service providers outside the Gold Solutions Providers that Lindens shove on them deliberately.

Tom Hale would no doubt like to see the $500 million created by the sweat of literally tens of thousands of people like me pushing prims or slaving over Photoshop for a pittance or even a loss, with $1 billion created by service providers getting fancy $60-100 or more an hour consulting fees and then corporations being able to say that they saved money or even sold two sims for  $50,000 US the way IBM is.

That way he has less customer service, less asset service agida, less complaints, less everything. Eventually, he will pick 3-4 of the big rentals agents like Anshe or Adam or some other "A" and tell them to take over the rest of the grid (this is being done already, essentially in the Community Gateway and Community Partnership Programs).

But our job is to pry the Lindens away from that "solution" that they keep "providing" and convince them that they MUST keep the economy free; it MUST be open to everyone; they HAVE TO STOP their favouritism which will get them in RL legal trouble eventually if they don't quit it; they have to PROTECT intellectual property with a lot more alacrity than they have; and they must mitigate griefing and hacking instead of celebrating it and hiring those with the point of view that everything should be liberated.

The fact that the Lindens have as their chief Solutions Provider flak someone who is openly, cynically, cheerfully, even, promoting the most extreme copyleftist point of view may be keeping Mitch Kapor happy, but ultimately, Second Life is now bigger than Mitch Kapor.

by Member Nika Talaj
on ‎10-29-2009 12:34 PM

This is really great news, congrats Amanda et.LL.!  LL has let the ProtonMedias of the world consolidate enterprise market share for long enough. FINALLY something that enterprises and corporations can really use!

Personally, I see this presenting precisely zero threat to SL as it is.  I also see nearly zero needs for any corporate entity using Nebraska to ever interface to SL, providing that they can buy virtual goods from XStreet.  If a Nebraska conference wants to schedule an entertainment event in SL (I've always thought of SL as the 'New Orleans" of conference cities), nothing stops them from making SL avatars and going clubbing (I see a market for corporate tourism businesses in SL)!

The more interesting question is how collaboration *between* Nebraska grids (for communication between Boeing and its suppliers, for example) will take place.  Perhaps the announcement will give a hint?

Another interesting question is whether LL is prepared to handle the inevitable divergence of product requirements between SL's grid and Nebraska.  As someone noted, Project Wonderland as well as Teleplace, ProtonMedia, Forterra, and ECS are more focused on business-oriented collaboration tools than SL.  Do we see acquisitions in LL's future?

And that about wraps up a rare unqualified 'rah rah!' post from Nika!

by Honored Member Ciaran Laval
on ‎10-29-2009 12:55 PM

I see little here to get excited about right now, although hopefully it means you'll stop pandering to these corporations and get back to understanding who your core customers are on the main grid now that you can give the corps first class leg room with these behind the firewall solutuions.

Who is going to be allowed to provide solutions for these behind the firewall grids?

by Honored Resident Mo Hax
on ‎10-29-2009 01:14 PM

Pfffhaha. A lot more truth in that assessment than you might realize. Been busting my hump to help people flocking onto internal Nebraska grids for business conferences and such to even know there is an external grid. Sorta gave up on that. Too much swimming upstream:

  • no NCI to send them too
  • no freebie stores to take them shopping
  • no live, quality entertainment
  • no amazing, artistic, educational sims to show them
  • no friends to introduce them too from communities of their personal interest
  • no dancing (usually to un-stuffy for corporates to allow)
  • no way to shop
  • no way to invite guest speakers
  • no way to help these first-times really care about their experience at all

These folk come to Nebraska mostly 'because they have to' and never see anything else. Corporate newbies won't be bothering SL residents because they won't know it exists or won't care that it does. Therein lies the quiet, tragetic dilemma of Nebraska.

Tom Hale said those who stay in SL are those that

  1. make a friend
  2. buy something

The first is possible, but less likely than someone they might personally care about more in a social setting other than work.

The second is just not possible at all on Neb grids unless there is some plan to open SL exchange to internal Neb deployments, which technically is very problematic. Then again, why? As long as the big, immediate money is coming from big companies LL might not really care about the long-term longevity of the people being introduced to Second Life for the first time through closed Neb grids.

For the record, I really tried for about a month to help translate corporate interest to SL general interest only to discover the hard way that it is easier helping people on the main grid find what they need and really care about professionally and personally before they hide behind a firewall. Otherwise they largely miss the point. They don't know of the main grid, often aren't told, and if they do know generally are not encouraged to use the public SL grid. Those ambitious enough to attempt it face the quiet concern about bringing their customized internal avatar (if they in fact spent any time on it at all) into the main grid.

People get a bad taste in their mouth from an internal only first virtual world experience. All too often the best any internal corporate grid has to offer is a 3d space to watch boring PowerPoint slides or a place to put on a really, really good virtual office party, which people only attend in physical form for the food and beer anyway, right? Well, depending on where you work.

One thing is for sure, big companies and educational enterprises want this, without considering all the ramifications for isolating and insulating their people. They are more concerned about their own risks and interests above those of the individuals they are introducing to this technology. In many cases these are legitimate security and IP concerns, in others, over-blown FUD mongering. Everyone is watching as specifically corporate external presences, even good ones with community interaction and strong ties, fold up, close shop, or languish unattended while resources are heavily deployed toward making and marketing these internal options. CIOs have the big stick of 'you will do this internally or no where' and are using it to effectively control introduction of all their workforce to the first virtual world exepience the company wants for them. This isn't all bad. I would never have given SL a second look, having dismissed it in 2006 without the CEO of our company at the time on our main homepage standing in Second Life. I owe those who made that happen so much for opening my eyes. I don't know if I would have made the internal-to-main transition. Let's hope those now make it.

It will be interesting to watch the digital generation now required to learn SL as early as high school, but always by college, overwhelm the corporate worksplace. These guys don't need an initial introduction to virtual worlds. Will they accept the closed tool being presented? Or shun it quietly for other options. That is when the dynamics will get really interesting.

/me pops some popcorn, opens a root beer, sits back, watches this one unfold

by Honored Resident Valradica Vale
on ‎10-29-2009 01:32 PM

Prok, All your points are good, and not minimized in my statement at all. Much dialog is needed - conjecture is fine and necessary along with probing and pushing for legitimate answers, collecting data, identifying trends and taking them seriously. I appreciate your many insights.


While we are pushing and collecting, we also need to realize that we need to change as the world changes around us. We cannot expect that the SL we enter today will be the same tomorrow. Its similar to people who move in beyond the last lot at the end of the street beside 15 acres of woods, and then fight tooth and claw if anyone wants to move in beyond them. The world is changing. We fight for what is noble and right - for what if fair - for what is legal even - but the context of that fight has to realize that change is inevitable. SL does not owe me a living, and neither does LL; neither does RL. They DO owe me honesty, integrity and rule of law, because they expect that of me (TOS)


If they do not give this, I have to choose how to respond. I expressed my choice above, lest I become bitter and ravaged with frustration that I do not need and don't want. It is different for many people, but to me, its a philosophical high road which has served me well in an equally frustrating real world and I felt needed to be expressed among the other oppinions here and the real issues that face.

by Member Maggie Darwin
on ‎10-29-2009 01:51 PM

Compounding that tragedy will be thousands of people who if asked, will say

"Second Life? We tried that at work once. It was totally boring when it wasn't confusing."

Imagine the brand erosion that could represent...

by Honored Resident Mo Hax
on ‎10-29-2009 02:15 PM

I have heard those very words more than once.

by Member Nika Talaj
on ‎10-29-2009 02:22 PM

Were I at LL, I would NOT brand Nebraska as Second Life.  I would keep Second Life as the name of the virtual community which we all know and love.

Nebraska is a project which has produced a platform for intranet 3D workspaces.  One could call that platform Second Office or HyperOffice or Bluesky Workspaces; but calling it Second Life does a disservice to both the current grid and the workspaces that enterprises and governments will create.

by Recognized Resident Raddick Szymborska
on ‎10-29-2009 02:29 PM

Uh, duh right back at you, champ. Why
the snark? I get that there is an effect - I want to hear from
*Lindens* how *they see it,* not hear withering knowier-than-tho
repartees from the IRC set.

They already told you, in their happy Nothing-Is-Wrong, The-Grid-Is-Up, You-Dont-Have-Lag kind of way.  That's what the duh was about... you already know the answer.  And I dont need to cut and paste responses you've made in this very topic, even, to illustrate how laughable a lecture is from Captain Snark.


Sifting through the volume of stuff you've written, your concern is yet again that the Lindens continue to proceed away from some carefree social networking realm you miss, and are laughing all the way to the bank as they sell us all down the river to Pepsico and IBM.  I suspect the answer is somewhere between 'yes, they are, with all possible dispatch,' and 'no, they really want to maintain the core continent of delight' that was the potential of this medium.

I personally think the future of the Linden grid is closer to IBM than Kumbaya, because IBM pays the bills.  It is probably already too late to save it if your value proposition is Kumbaya.

The Lindens keep throwing more speedbumps in front of users of their grid, as the clock ticks and the code gets more and more creaky and unable to handle innovation.  Nebraska looks like a last gasp attempt to wring more money out of the application... it certainly isnt designed to enhance the social experience of 1 million non-paying users.

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 02:29 PM

Er, no. "We" don't need to change. That's what I mean about the fallacy of Social Darwinism that isn't scientific, but is religious.

We change constantly, always, and every day, those of us working on the grid. We adapt to customers needs and wants in the space of an hour even, not in a day in the accelerated life in virtual worlds. We've *been* changing and change each time the Lindens price-hike, price-dump, or leave their old hippie ways an ban ad-farming. WE change. Now it's time FOR LINDENS to change. Hello!

Philip was babbling on about not getting used to your prospector's cabin. Er, I don't have a prospector's cabin. And frankly, neither does he; he's now living in a Malibu Beach house on a sim named P-Squared.

Change isn't "inevitable". WHAT change? For WHOM? People who aspire to power always want *the other person* to change and always shill change as "progressive" and "beneficial". The Luddites didn't break machines because they were against technology, since they  used it themselves. They were against power elites that took away their living wage.

You can't ever forget about people's living wage. Those that hustle "change" on others and "change" them right out of existence inevitably find out that they're the ones who end up having to change -- radically.

People being screwed by those in power are very much within their rights to scream, to be bitter, and even be ravaged with frustration. That's *ok*. This idea that there's supposed to be this smug and superior coding class that gets *everybody else* to bend over has to go.

by Member Nika Talaj
on ‎10-29-2009 02:29 PM

It will be interesting to watch the digital generation now required to learn SL as early as high school, but always by college, overwhelm the corporate worksplace. These guys don't need an initial introduction to virtual worlds. Will they accept the closed tool being presented? Or shun it quietly for other options. That is when the dynamics will get really interesting.

It would not be the first time that a team shunned IT's solution for something they find more nimble.  Every project lead who ever ignored the corporate prepaid Webex conference IDs and brought up a quick IM chat leading to an impromptu voice conference using NetMeeting or even Yahoo Messenger has made that choice.  So, if Joe Q. Project Lead prefers to bring his fellow team members into his sim on SL or OpenSim or WoW, where he appears as Thongla the Magnificent and they all get default bunny rabbit avatars, who indeed can stop him?

/me grabs some of your popcorn and contributes a six-pack of Amstel Lite!

by Member Brenda Connolly
on ‎10-29-2009 02:31 PM

Maybe Nebraska is a fitting name....it'll be full of rolling tumbleweeds.

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 02:33 PM

Er, no, dear.

I don't "miss" any "carefree and happy social networking realm". I'm not a "socializer". I'm here to run a small business and study virtual worlds and write about them.

I'm not for Kumbaya, but I'll tell you who is: IBM.

The 1.5 million 60 day uniques are not non-paying. While it's true that only 475,000 have spent at least a dollar inworld, some of the others in some cases actually pay exclusively in PayPal or use their credit cards on Xstreet, or they are alts, or they are potential customers as they eventually *do* spend a dollar (that figure is growing constantly unlike other figures that have gone up and down).

You sound very cynical about Linden Lab's prospects and then seem to backdate from that cynicism about anyone criticizing them. I come from a different perspective, which is to wish them well but to take a decidedly loyal opposition sort of stance in the belief this will make them better.

In fact, far from being the ditsy socializer blingtard you seek to portray me as, I've put quite a few important proposals on the JIRA that they've actually fulfilled.

Second Life is Brought to You By Prokofy Neva : )

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 02:41 PM

I'm glad to hear an informed report from this country called "Nebraska" from someone who sounds like they are actually beta-testing it.

It's worrisome.

But not an insurmountable set of circumstances, as the issues here are social and psychological and not technical.

That is, yeah, I get it that laying the pipe isn't so easy, that there isn't a nice man-trap, the way they have in UN consulates (i.e. the glassed-in chamber where you transit from the street to the secure mission by passing through a booth where your ID is viewed, your cell phone removed and put in a cage, and your face videotaped).

That is, sure, you can try things that leave you like you're swimming upstream. But more people will try and more things can be tried.

It really is on the Lindens, to message the Nebraskans and say, "Look, we have a whole other world out here you might enjoy, the bus for the shopping expedition and visit to cool sites leaves at 2 pm."

I totally hear you when you say people "have" to be here because some middleaged middle-manager thinks SL is the groovy cool thing for young people, when in fact young people are on i-phones and the next big thing is augmented reality with finding social commentary overlaid on their iphone maps and such rather than sitting in a simulated environment.

Even so, there will be a small but still growing contingent that will *like* the simulated environment because it will be more free than reading somebody else's pushed commentary on restaurants or spamming from all kinds of social networking widgets that won't leave you alone.

The point is just to have a support structure to catch people and be there when they want to venture out. I'm afraid the Lindens billed this as so safe and so secure from evil mainland blight and bling and sex, that they've made it *too* hygenic and hence boring.

But...you couldn't expect them to get it exactly right the first time. Obviously the slider has to move up and down on this. What I want to hear is that the Lindens are flexible about all this, and I never hear that from Amanda, or for that matter, Philip, who tells us unpleasant change is coming that we won't like and we'll have to just endure it.

Why can't they see this as the collaborative platform they claim they have built?!

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 02:43 PM

I may be prejudiced, because the last time I drove through the RL state of Nebraska it was the flattest thing I'd ever seen, and smelled of cattle offal for most of the trip. I mean, I know there are pretty parts of Nebraska, too, I've camped in them, but...I'm not sure why the Lindens chose the name of a remote flat Western farm state as the name of something that is cutting edge and cool.

I suppose it's because the concept of "private Idaho" was taken?

by Member Prokofy Neva
on ‎10-29-2009 02:47 PM

Making a list of recommended furniture stores that I have no stake in (only one of them happens to be a little store rented by tenant and it's obvious from the land ownership) is hardly "advertising".

It's countering the point that Kim Anubis made that there aren't furniture stores, or that they aren't somehow "to scale" or appropriate for this Brave New World.

I find that a completely untenable claim and it needs refuting.

I fail to see why the Lindens can pick out businesses *they* like and flog them in Showcase and on the products.secondlife.com special sites i.e. for Halloween, but I can't post a list of good furniture stores, good God on a crutch.