Old Sayings

Wednesday this week, Linden Lab announced via their Second Life blog that they have made Second Life available on their recently acquired Desura game shopping platform. This apparently falls in line with their previous cooperative efforts with Amazon and their earlier stab at the Steam marketplace, so it’s not really a surprise. But it makes me wonder just what direction Linden Lab is going and what they are thinking “down the road”?
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More Steam, Cap’n!

It’s been just under a week since my first post on the news that Second Life was listing itself in the Steam catalog of titles. (If you haven’t already, it might help some to go read that post first. Steam Powered Second Life) Since that post, I have been reading many comments and blog posts from others regarding the subject. As usually happens in a diverse community such as that inhabiting Second Life, opinions and predictions wander from one pole to the other. But there are some points that seem to be pushing their way to the forefront that I think bear some review … and possibly a bit of rebuttal/clarification.

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Social Community, Human Beings and the Internet

In case you’ve been living in a technological cave over the past decade (and if so, why are you reading this?) the most profitable ventures on the Internet these days are those that incorporate a level of “Community” among their user base. Corporate Giants such as Facebook have grown to be the size they are because they found a way to increase the sense of Community among their customers. In fact, Facebook itself is all about Community, sometimes using gimmicks and games to try and increase the connections between people.

Community

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The Case For Last Names

Not too long ago there was a fundamental and wide-ranging shift in the Chi of Second Life Residents. This change in the very essence that makes us who we are (and by “us” I mean all of us that use and live in Second Life) was brought about by the removal of the Last Name option when registering for a new Avatar account. Every new account since the change was rolled out has been stuck with the perfunctory last name of “Resident”.

As usual, I gots problems with it. But before I launch into my tirade (diatribe?), I’d like you to take the time to go read the comments on the existing JIRA asking Linden Lab to return Last Names. When you come back, press on to read my thoughts on this topic.
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Google Plus and Identity Services

August 27, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity 

Andy Carvin was attending the Edinburgh International TV Festival and had a chance to speak to Google CEO Eric Schmidt. As reported on Andy’s post, Eric’s comment went like this:

“He replied by saying that G+ was build primarily as an identity service, so fundamentally, it depends on people using their real names if they’re going to build future products that leverage that information.

Regarding people who are concerned about their safety, he said G+ is completely optional. No one is forcing you to use it. It’s obvious for people at risk if they use their real names, they shouldn’t use G+. Regarding countries like Iran and Syria, people there have no expectation of privacy anyway due to their government’s own policies, which implies there’s no point of even trying to have a service that allows pseudonyms.

He also said the internet would be better if we knew you were a real person rather than a dog or a fake person. Some people are just evil and we should be able to ID them and rank them downward.”

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Google Minus (Me)

August 1, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity 

Sometimes solutions are just so glaringly obvious that we humans can’t see them. Another symptom of the “Human Condition” I suppose, but no matter from whence it springs, it’s almost enough to make you fall down laughing when you do spot the obvious. Well, most times at least. Sadly this is not one of those times.

For the past several weeks there’s been a rather obvious hubbub going on about Google’s new Social Network Google+ (pronounced Google Plus). It seems Google has made some rather hard-nosed decisions about what name you can use with their new service. I’ve been watching but not commenting on it … until now.
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DIASPORA – Disassembling Facebook

June 21, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity 

(Slight detour today folks. I’ve bumped into something that totally enthralls me … so I’m writing about it today. I promise I’ll return to discussing Second Life In-World Search in the next post.)

If you haven’t yet heard of Facebook then no doubt you’ve stumbled across a printout of my blog fluttering in the wind on some post-apocalyptic world of the future. (In which case please let me know if Twinkies and cockroaches really do survive the nuclear holocaust.) But I’m going to go on the assumption that you’ve at least heard of Facebook and most likely either use it yourself or have someone in your household that does. You’ve also probably at some point in time shaken your fist at the Social Media giant because of some crazy decision or change they’ve made.
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Of Babies and Bath Water

June 12, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Internet Life and Humanity, Linden Lab and Second Life 

Roughly eight years ago, an idea was born onto the Internet. That idea, the brainchild of Philip Rosedale, was christened Second Life. It was one of those sociological experiments, but at the same time it was a technological experiment as well. Philip felt in his heart that using a Virtual 3D World could help bring all peoples of the world a little closer to each other; that it could alleviate some of the distance and conflict between differing peoples. He also felt that giving them the brushes and the canvas on which to paint any picture they wanted, they would grow and expand and create new things of inestimable value and beauty.

It didn’t take that long, looking back over the years now, to see that his ideals were far-reaching and difficult to obtain. But to the credit of he and his early team, they achieved a very high percentage of their initial goals. Not only that, but it turned out that a large segment of the Internet’s population agreed with those goals. They came to Second Life, took up the challenges that Second Life offered … and promptly set about building a world that amazed and enchanted many.
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When Did Social Media Become Social Engineering?

March 26, 2011 by · 3 Comments
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life 

A post on the new Second Life Community Forums triggered a thought chain earlier, and after letting it stew for a few hours, I decided it was time to pose the above question. The question is somewhat rhetorical, but also in the same light very troubling. There is a very evident “shift” in the underlying motives of today’s Social Media … and from what I see, that shift is most troubling.
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Second Schizophrenia

March 20, 2011 by · Comments Off
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life 

Now that we’ve dispatched with the hullabaloo around RedZone, and we’ve all sufficiently pounded on Unkle Hammy for trashing the Residents (meaning paying customers) of Second Life … it’s time to start looking ahead again. Today’s post deals with some thoughts looking forward into Second Life’s future and how it might impact their customer base.

(Be advised, this is conjecture, theory, hypothesis and plain ole blue-skying. While some facts have been used as springboards into the topic, nothing written here is backed up by inside knowledge.)
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