Jan 312011

As much as I dislike Facebook, the company that is, it needs to be said that Facebook isn’t going to eat your children, run off with your wife or burn you to death whilst you’re questing in the Wetlands, as Deathwing did to me last night!

There’s nothing inherently wrong with the concept of Facebook, it’s the practices of the company that make it an area of debate and some of those practices are not comfortable viewing, this is why when Blizzard wanted everyone to use their real names on the forums, there was a backlash and complaints to privacy bodies, because Facebook goes beyond your circle of real life friends and neighbours and that’s where the issues start, hence why Facebook have been in talks with the German authorities regarding privacy settings on their friend finder feature, as reported by AFP here.

Over at New World Notes, Hamlet Au is talking of how Second Life was once considered the social networking platform of the future and how Facebook has passed it in spectacular fashion. There’s an interesting video there from 2006 featuring Robin Harper, who has been working for Playdom since November, a company who specialise in Facebook games. Continue reading »

Jan 282011

The new marketplace maturity ratings system, as announced here in the merchants round table on the official forum has got off to a shaky start, the first shaky start being moving the discussion thread to the merchants roundtable, because unless Linden Lab have changed something, plenty of merchants won’t even have access to that forum…..ah someone has their eye on the ball, since I first posted this and people mentioned it being in the rountable, someone at Linden Lab has sensibly moved the discussion back to the commerce forum where people do have access.  Another part of the shaky start being people wondering why their items have been set to a certain maturity level, general, moderate or adult being the levels.

This is a sensible approach from Linden Lab, maturity ratings on the marketplace should match those inworld, so this is a sensible move. This really should have happened long ago, but one wonders whether Linden Lab departments actually converse with each other, not only because this change has been brought in because of the arrival of teens on the grid, meaning it really should have happened prior to the grid merge, but also because the maturity ratings appear to be different to those inworld in terms of content. Continue reading »

Jan 262011

The news that Facebook will soon be using likes in a new advertising initative should be enough for Linden Lab to get those widgets off web profiles and quite frankly it should be happening now. The idea is that someone will like a brand and this will appear on their Facebook profile in an initiative called Sponsored Stories, as reported here at Cnet. Oh it’s organic advertising, it’s a revenue stream for Facebook which is a free to use service, there’s no harm in it, right?

Well it’s not just sponsored stories that are an issue,  let’s take a case of a Second Life user who decided to like his Second Life profile, and then went and signed into Facebook,as described in this forum thread. The Second Life user found, upon signing into Facebook, that that Like had been recorded on his Facebook profile, even though he doesn’t believe he was signed into Facebook when he clicked the Like.

Now Facebook does like to try and get you to stay signed in and there are of course cookies, but the whole thing is quite frankly creepy. There are also issues of just how easily one can link Second Life to First Life via clicking likes and engaging with Facebook. Linden Lab have not been upfront about the consequences of running Facebook and Second Life on the same computer, maybe they aren’t aware of them, but this is another reason why those widgets should be taken off people’s profiles right now. Continue reading »

Jan 252011

He looks like Steve Bruce, he looks like Steve Bruce, Carlos Tevez, he looks like Steve Bruce…ahh what a night of excitement at Villa Park last night where the twenty four Million pound man struck the winning goal, but this isn’t the place to discuss that, although I’ve slipped it anyway.

No here’s where we discuss the grid merge, Linden Lab’s apparent security through obscurity policy and some glaring issues. Linden Lab have been absurdly and almost childish in their refusal to do the decent thing here, they should have built a family friendly continent at the time of the adult continent fiasco, yes this has been discussed plenty enough but we still go back to Linden Lab not listening to a solution that was not only perfectly sensible, it’s one that would have made the merge easier not just for sixteen and seventeen year olds, but also for the thirteen to fifteen year olds who have been cast aside. Continue reading »

Jan 252011

New CEO Rod Humble (Rodvik Linden) has received a warm welcome after his first blog post. As others who are more eloquent and elegant have said, there’s nothing earth shattering about the blog post, but it is a refreshing and almost humble (I couldn’t resist!) post.

Rodvik talks of immersing himself in the world, and shows pictures complete with toga. He talks of building, scripting and creating his own little piece of Second Life, let’s hope he can continue to build from the ground up and put himself, or someone on his team at least, in the shoes of residents because one thing that stands out as the older Lindens have left is that the newer Lindens are employees firstmost and foremost and whereas they can’t all be Torley, it would be nice if more of them went through the processes that we residents go through in terms of change, policies and that bloody awful search system. Continue reading »

Jan 252011

Here we go, the optional linking of our profiles to Facebook and Twitter is here, as blogged by Q Linden. First of all let’s be fair here, the blog post does have information about a useful feature of being able to login to a place that you have on your favourites bar, this sounds like a nice move.

There’s also information regarding improvements to how textures rez due to the KDU library being upgraded to 6.4, so we have three big points being made and two of them being given the thumbs up, the third point however, about improved web profiles gets a massive thumbs down.

There are people who don’t see what the fuss is about , just to add some balance and show there are differing views on the issue. However as someone who passionately dislikes Facebook, this is a big deal. I don’t want that sharing or like tab on my profile. This should be an opt in feature, I’ll happily utilise the Twitter link because I use Twitter and Twitter, unlike Facebook, isn’t so anal about having to share your real life details. Continue reading »

Jan 252011

The blog post about technology improvements is largely a positive blog post, it talks of improved sim crossings, increases in group limits from 25 to 42, which are both welcome features. There’s talk of a new and improved group chat system, which again is a welcome feature. There is also mention of web based profiles and this is where I frown.

However it’s social networking where I have a problem, largely because I hate this Zuckerberging of our privacy. The post states:

“we’ve added enhanced web-based profiles, accessible both on the web and in the Viewer. And, if you wish, you can even connect your Second Life profile to other social identities including Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn! “ Continue reading »

Jan 242011

So after around three and a bit years of Nobody Fugazi’s very generous hospitality it looks as if Your2ndplace.com is coming to an end, the reasons for this are basically that Nobody Fugazi no longer has a Second Life presence and therefore after seeing that he was pondering on what to do with the site I contacted him to say that as it’s only usually me who blogs there that he should concentrate on his own projects.

I have hosting, as you can see, I also have hosting I’ve not been using much, as you can see. This site was where my Second Life blogging all started so it’s only sensible to resurrect it now and I also have other blogs which I should be posting on more regarding my own inworld ventures.

Nobody Fugazi has been a more than generous host, allowing us to blog for free on his site despite his lack of logging into Second Life and therefore not having much interest in that particular virtual world, I am very grateful for the opportunity to blog there that Nobody Fugazi presented me with. Continue reading »

Jan 152011

Blue Mars reverses several gears in their latest announcement. They are moving to being an app for the iPhone and iPad, this is a real shift and one has to wonder how long this will be a viable model, there is also the horrible issue of job losses, including that of CEO Jim Sink.

Blue Mars seems to have suffered from trying to do too much too quickly, I have read comments from Blue Mars users that they went to open beta before it was ready (as Second Life did with viewer 2, but not on as big a scale), the camera controls and movement were painful. Personally I only visited Blue Mars a couple of times, downloading new cities and the extremely slow performance on my computer meant it was never really a venture I’d pursue for long, had it ran better then maybe I’d have visited more often but that would have meant some of the goals of the company couldn’t be met, that it didn’t run well on my computer is my problem to a large degree, but the success of Second Life and World of Warcraft is in a big part due to them both running an older hardware to a decent degree, you have a wider audience there. However users of World of Warcraft and Second Life do complain about the lack of state of the art graphics, so it’s a double edged sword. Continue reading »

Jan 092011

2011 promises to be an interesting year for Second Life, a new CEO, Mesh, LL finally looking at inworld activities other than shopping if their blog post about games in Second Life is anything to go by.

The Linden Department of public works, who don’t get anywhere near enough credit, have been quietly going about their business of installing switches on the railway network known as the SLRR, as explained here by Michael Linden.

These are the sort of posts we should see more of, more what’s happening inworld, more on developments, more on what people who don’t want to run a business but want to come here and have fun can do, this is the sales pitch, this is where marketing can triumph. Continue reading »