Eric Reuters goes out
The Reuters Second Life bureau closes it’s doors. I guess this means you may secondlife.reuters.com from the feedreaders. Eric Krangel, the human behind Eric Reuters, writes at The Silicon Alley Insider about the ‘Why’ and gives a rather grim summary of his experiences in Second Life: “I wasn’t in Second Life to play, I was there on assignment for Reuters. The login server would crash. I’d try to reach sources, but Second Life’s IM window would hang on “waiting” all day when trying to figure out who was online. “Teleports” — the ability to move from point to point anywhere in Second Life — would stop working and I’d get locked out of my own office. These weren’t one-offs, they were my daily, first-hand, happens-all-the-time experiences. For all its bugs, Second Life is tolerable as a playground, but enterprise users will never and should never use it for business. Re-focus on the core mission: Keeping the hobbyists happy and converting potential recruits into hardcore (read: fees-paying) users.”
Yet Eric does not totally give up on Second Life as a platform: “For all the sound and fury over recent price hikes and layoffs at Linden Lab, Second Life has a community of fanatically loyal users. Since Linden Lab derives its revenue from user fees, not advertisements, Second Life is much more likely to survive the Web 2.0 shakeout than most other startups. There’s an incredible depth, passion, and camaraderie to the Second Life community that more popular online experiences like MySpace or World of Warcraft can’t match. And while I didn’t find it compelling, there really is something awesome about buying be able to “buy” a grid of blank 3D space, mold it like clay into an elven forest, a futuristic space station, or a bdsm dungeon, and then invite your friends to hang out.”
Eric Krangel has his own ideas on how Linden Lab can make Second Life more fun and a better business:
- Build good newbie-oriented content.
- Acknowledge that Second Life’s reputation is now a liability.
- Radically simplify the user interface.
- Abandon the idea that Second Life is a business app.
M. Linden is still staying
In the mean while, Linden Lab’s CEO M. Linden gave an interview to Mr. Dusan Writer (published here). The main tone of that? ‘All happy. All good.’ A quote: “80% of our business is focused on the consumer market — which of course includes content creators. We are putting more than 80% of our investment in the consumer market because a good part of our investment in Enterprise crosses over (shared media). We talk about Enterprise because we are doing new things there. We need to talk more about our plans for consumer because we have many big projects under way there.” Yeey, does that mean we get…
a.) More roads.
b.) More tier increases.
c.) More Teleport & Login failures
d.) Something else.
Excuse me my bitterness. But I still feel betrayed: a 2 year relationship, that you _know_ is dying. You still wish to fix everything, mainly because of the effort you put into it, because of you’re used to it and because of the mutual friends you now have, not because the butterflies are still there. You keep trying, attempt to be bedazzled again, but the other party just f*cks it up, each time. Eerrr… overreacting, me? :D
T. Linden - human: Tom Hale - comes in
I can’t help but cheer at - new -T Linden’s first blogpost, it’s a stroke of communication genius: share something personal, share your goals and instantly call out for feedback from the residents so they feel engaged. Tom Hale’s Mission at Linden Lab: “Bring a product focus to Linden Lab and to Second Life.” T. Linden starts by asking what could make a premium subscription truly premium? What would make the experience a delight for you? What would it take to make me sign up for premium?
What it would take to make me go Premium
- Visitor Statistics (Part 1) For every piece of land I own, I want to see visitor statistics. How many avatar visits/day, how many are unique, how long do they stay, which objects did they interact with on my land, how many purchases did they make, … . Let’s call it google analytics for SL.
- Object Statistics (Part 2) I want to be able to tag ‘tracking code’ to an object. Let’s say 30 month/premium user. I get a lovely web overview of how many different avatars own the object, how many are rezzed inworld, on how many different sims, and how many copies in total are out there.
- IM’s don’t get capped. Also, get me a web interface on secondlife.com where I can log into, see an overview of the IM’s I have not responded to yet, and can reply to them. (Reply email to IM delivered to mailbox to often fails.)
- Access to ‘import and export tools’ from different 3D software tools officially supported & maintained by Linden Lab. These things end up in a seperate ‘builders’ inventory.
- The guarantee that on Virtual Death / Suicide I am allowed to donate my complete inventory - be it no-trans items or not -
to another avatar. Without that avatar having to pay succession rights, duh! ;)
- Account Babysitters I want to be able to allow at least 1, preferably 2 or 3 other people to log into my account, if I for any RL reason can not. They can access my inventory & make L$ payments, but can not convert my L$ to real money, nor can they add to my L$ balance with RL Balance. How would this work? I would allow them access to my account from Web Interface, putting their avatar names in as ‘babysitters’. This allows them to login using their Avatar Name + Password, after which they can choose to go into ‘babysit mode’ and use my avatar. Using ‘corporate avatars’ shared amongst a few co-workers would not be violating ToS anymore. That and somebody I trust could watch over my account & necessary payments if I ever decide to go sailing for two months.
- More than 25 Groups! I think we mentioned this already ‘nough times?
- Communications in (one off) my country’s official language(s) You charge us our local tax, I would assume important communications like tier raises, downtime warnings, … are brought to me in a language I flawlessly understand.
- Automated Sales Data Access API hooks + key to automatically process sales data, and use it for whatever we see fit.
- A Vote! For important issues - eg. openspaces - it can not be a bad thing to actually consult your ‘residents’. Polls can contain simple yes/no answers, or a bit more options. Supplied on the login screen when a premium resident logs in. Every premium account has one vote, and LL promises to actually take into account the results of those ‘referendums’.
And there are more things that would make me register for Premium, will update the list if I stumble over more current frustrations that could use fixture! See, still trying to fix our relationship, and hoping Linden Lab will not screw up this time! ;) LL really did hurt my feelings when Marc Kingdom stated “Premium subscriptions are immaterial in our overall business.”
What would convince you to go/stay premium, and how much would your ‘wishlist’ be worth in USD/month (without VAT)?