March! Wonderful month as opposed to February, which is basically a month of Tuesdays. March brings hope, colour, warm air and for those of us in the UK, weather forecasts of wintry showers. March should also be a month where Linden Lab themselves decide to engage in some spring cleaning with their communications.
Rodvik has blogged on last names not returning, I’m not going to blog about that, Inara Pey and Hamlet Au are doing a fine job on that front. However there are aspects of that blog post that do tie in with this blog post, communications, consistency and discussion.
Rodvik invites discussion on his Second Life profile on the issue, other Lindens use mailing lists, the forums, user groups, which will always be Office Hours to me but they like to call them user groups these days. There’s a distinct lack of consistency, it’s not that Linden Lab don’t communicate at all, it’s that their communications are fractured, inconsistent and missed by way too many eyes. I don’t like posting on Rodvik’s profile, unless it’s along the lines of bemoaning Darren Bent’s injury that means he won’t play for the mighty Villa again this season. However Rodvik likes discussions on his profile.
I’ve long been criticial of Linden Lab’s lack of communication, however now that we have the new TPV policy upon us with Linden Lab taking up the baton of shared experiences, it’s about time that Linden Lab realise what sharing is all about too. Sharing means posting stickies in the scripting forum to the LSL Portal and pages on functions and events. The functions page is an excellent resource, it tells you about new functions, depreciated functions and poular requests for functions that haven’t been implemented, this is extremely important stuff. Kelly Linden does engage quite well to be fair, in the mailing list and the forum but links such as those I’m talking about point people in the right direction, I’ve stumbled across these links, they should be being promoted in large letters for people who want to script and it shouldn’t have to be Kelly who posts links to useful resources.
Sharing means telling us more about their plans, the third party viewer policy might not have been exactly a bolt out of the blue for TPV developers, they had an inkling that change was coming, but where’s the shared vision? The main problem so far with the TPV policy has been due to the negativity surrounding it, Linden Lab could have made this so much better had they dressed it up as a new beginning with the Lab welcoming collaboration with developers in a new more responsive design that welcomes contributions on features and development, instead it has came across as if it’s a policy designed to stifle innovation and collaboration, I’m sure that’s not the intent. Compare and contrast this with the way that the news of Englebert Humperdinck being selected to represent the UK in this year’s Eurovision song contest has been greeted! There’s discussion, disbelief, hope all rolled into one. Personally I think this is a stroke of genius, come on The Hump! However it’s not like the grumpiness that has greeted a Linden Lab decision that has people wondering what the bloody hell is going on.
Shared experiences mean the Lab taking the lead in telling people about the importance of shared resources, from textures to scripts, prim hair to better designed and more ecologically friendly designs, this discussion needs to have Linden Lab at the head of it and they should be perfectly capable of doing this.
Shared experiences mean the Lab telling us about developments, land impact, which changed the shared experience, was buried in a blog about Mesh. Direct delivery has been aimed at merchants, these are issues that change the shared experience, shout about them, welcome discussion and point out the positives and negatives but do it with enthusiasm and purpose.
Shared experiences mean raising discussions with people like Penny Patton and her ideas on scale and camera placements, looking at how we all share the experience and even though some will disagree vehemently with Penny on these issues, they are examples of someone who takes the shared experience into account.
Linden Lab at one time employed someone to lead the discussion, it didn’t seem to go as expected but that doesn’t mean the concept wasn’t important, Linden Lab should be in discussion with us as shared experiences are a vital part of the Second Life world, they need to talk to us and they need to make better bloody use of their blog, I like the flickr picture of the day posts and a picture can speak a thousand words but words can also speak a lot of words … I haven’t even had a drink yet and I’m confusing myself!