Lab Chat 3 – Inara Has Posted The Transcript and Audio So Let The Discussion Commence

Lab Chat 6th May 2016

Inara Pey has posted the transcript and audio from the most recent edition of Lab Chat, held live in Second Life on Friday May 6th. I’m not going to go into all the details, there’s plenty of information in Inara’s post.

Inara’s post is split neatly into sections so that you can listen and read the parts you find most relevant and for a lot of Second Life users, that’s going to mean the parts about Second Life. There’s plenty there and no signs of Linden Lab stopping work on Second Life.

For example they talk about continuing to work on improving inventory robustness. There’s also talk of fixing existing issues and sometimes that means updating technical aspects of Second Life, as Oz Linden explains :

We’re continuing to dig very hard to try to fix existing problems; one of the things that’s going to be coming out over the next few weeks is some changes to the protocols between the viewer and the back-end inventory system. We’ll be removing support, over the next couple of months, for some of the older, more fragile mechanisms, and making sure that everything is beginning to transition to using the newer and more robust methods, so that we can continue to make the whole system more reliable.

These are the sort of non headline grabbing improvements that help everyone to enjoy a better Second Life experience, so on a personal level, I like reading about things like this.

There is also talk of making improvements on the animation and sound file front. In answer to a question about the length of sound files in Second Life, Oz said :

Actually, this is something we’ve recently been talking about. We’re going to have to make some changes to how sound files are delivered to the viewer, which incidentally will make the download faster and more predictably [via the Lab’s CDN services], and once we’ve done that, then we can make them without and adverse impact.

So, yes, we’re definitely looking at this. I can’t pin it down to exactly how big a difference we’ll make, but we’re going to do something.

We’re also going to allow larger animation files to accommodate Bento. We’ve got more bones to animate, so we want to give people a little more room to do that with. But again, that’s part of the same change to how things are delivered to the viewer before we make them any bigger, otherwise we’ll just be adding lag.

So there are two examples of Linden Lab continuing to develop and improve Second Life. There’s a lot more in Inara’s post including discussion of the new Grandfathered tier offer, having more estate managers (generally for large events), group reports of abuse and a hell of a lot more, really, read or listen to this.

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Lab Chat Draws The Crowds And The Format Works

At LEA Entrance

Lab Chat took place today at the LEA Theatre in Second Life. I’m not going to delve into the details of what was said in this post, I need to listen to the recording again when it’s available, but I do want to talk about how Lab Chat draws crowds and the format works well.

Lab Chat 6th May 2016

Saffia Widdershins and Jo Yardley ask the panel questions that have been submitted via the Second Life forum. This format means that there is not a lot of shouting at the panelists and gives them time to answer the questions.

Saffia Widdershins at Lab Chat

The panel today included Oz Linden, Ebbe Linden and Troy Linden and they all sit in comfortable looking armchairs. One complaint may be that the seats spectators sit in don’t look quite so comfortable!

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Project Sansar Won’t Eat Second Life

Project Sansar Concept Art

Fancy a bite,
My appetite,
Yum yum gee it’s fun,
Banging on a different drum,

There seems to be a concern in some quarters that Linden Lab’s Project Sansar is poised to eat Linden Lab’s Second Life. I’m not quite sure where this concern stems from and that’s before we mention that Linden Lab have another product; Blocksworld, which people don’t pay much attention to in terms of eating too much of the Linden Lab pie.

Yes, Project Sansar is the project that Linden Lab have most employees working on, yes it’s new and shiny, yes it will tie in better with HMD’s than Second Life does. None of this means that Second Life will be swallowed by the Project Sansar shark. A lot of the current concern seems to stem from the recent Lab Chat and a question from long time Second Life resident and all round good guy, Qie Niangao :

Assuming Sansar makes it into a revenue-generating beta, how will the Lab organization be structured to keep SL and Sansar from sabotaging each other’s success?

This has been a problem for the Lab, historically, most disastrously with the competition between Marketplace and the Land product, but this could be worse: the Sansar team has a natural incentive to cannibalize the Second Life business — but if that’s premature, LL could be left with no profit from either product. How will you prevent this?

(Yes, eventually Sansar’s market should be so large that the current Second Life business doesn’t even register as a blip on the adoption curve. But initially, Sansar Marketing will be tempted to feed off SL, potentially leaving neither platform viable).

Good question, which deserves a good answer and it pretty much got one from Ebbe Altberg, Linden Lab CEO :

Well, I’m not sure why we would try to sabotage ourselves in the first place. But they are two very separate teams, from product and design and engineering are two completely separate teams … at some point they meet-up in the organisation higher up, but they are working very independently today.

And there’s some pieces the two products will share. Clearly we don’t want to have to replicate the whole virtual economy pieces, and all the compliance work that goes with that, so that is something we try to make sure we only do once; and that will be a service both Sansar and Second Life will leverage. but other than that, the teams are free to work completely independently on what they think is best for them and their users every day.

However the answer went further, it went into the cannibalisation issue and that’s where things get a bit messy in the minds of some.

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Lab Chat Launches In Second Life With A Smooth First Show

Lab Chat Studio

Lab Chat, a new Q&A show in Second Life, launched today in Second Life with Saffia Widdershins and Jo Yardley discussing many things Second Life and Project Sansar related with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg.

The show itself went quite smoothly, which was quite impressive with a four region setup that attracted over 150 people. The show launched on time, without any technical issues, although one problem that was apparent was that people who had submitted questions were unable to make the live show. The questions had been selected from a pool of 46 questions submitted via the official Second Life forum.

 

 

Keira Linden

Ebbe talked about land, commerce, marketplace, experiences and much more. Experiences was a very interesting subject as Ebbe pointed out that in Second Life, people struggle to make experiences pay their way. This is something that people who have created roleplaying ventures or interactive game experiences will be quite familiar with. Project Sansar definitely has experiences on its radar.

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Reminder – Lab Chat With Ebbe Altberg Takes Place On November 19th

Meet Ebbe Altberg

The first edition of Lab Chat, a new Q&A show in Second Life, will take place on Thursday November 19th at 10:30am SLT :

Lab Chat is an opportunity for you to ask Lindens your questions during a live taping that will be recorded and archived for everyone to view.

The first Lab Chat will be Thursday, November 19th, at 10:30am SLT at the Linden Endowment for the Arts Theatre – with guest Ebbe Altberg, CEO of Linden Lab.

Now since that initial blog post, a complimentary website has appeared : https://labchatsl.wordpress.com . This website contains a lot more information about the production. For example in a post; Thank you for your Questions for the first Episode of Lab Chat! The Lab Chat team explain why the questions were selected :

We had a great many great questions from you all for the first episode of Lab Chat – so thank you all for contributing!

Sadly, there won’t be time to ask all your questions on the show, so we have selected a number of questions that the Team thought were important, relating to Second Life, the Marketplace and Sansar.

If your question wasn’t asked this time, you can:

Come to the show and, if there’s time at the end of the set questions, submit your question in text chat – we hope to get to a few of them!

Ask your question again, next time we call for questions

How will you know if your question has been selected for inclusion in this show? Well, there’s going to be a big clue there.

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