Tuesday, 1 April 2008

What LL did next...

There's a nice comment by Deltango Vale on Reuter's EXCLUSIVE - Rosedale to step down as Linden Lab CEO story from which I quote a fairly substantial part here:

How do we fix it?

Linden Lab is a private company, so they can do with Second Life what they wish. We ‘residents’ have the choice of being here or not. At the moment, there is no viable alternative to SL as a comprehensive virtual world. Therefore, Linden Lab still has time to prevent Second Life from becoming the ‘Lotus 123′ or ‘WordPerfect’ of the virtual universe.

1) Regain integrity of the system. Announce the closure of all anonymous accounts on 1 March 2008. ‘Anonymous’ accounts may now be described as accounts without payment information on file or have not been age verified through the ID scheme. Keep the ID scheme during the transition process, but consider phasing it out by the end of the year and returning to credit card verification.

2) Stabilize the financial system. Lift the ban on banks. Present the following message on the login screen: “Rate of return (interest or profit) on any investment is proportional to the amount invested, the length of time invested and the RISK OF NONPAYMENT.” Give residents information, not regulation, and the system will evolve in a healthy and productive way. Reputable businesses providing good customer service will always prevail against fly-by-night operations.

3) Reassert the founding principles of individual liberty and individual responsibility. Resist the temptation to sanitize Second Life. The road to hell is paved with good intentions; the desire to protect residents from themselves will only lead to a downward spiral of regulations to offset the harmful effects of other regulations. Also, Second Life is NOT real life. It is NOT a nation-state. Second Life is virtual, voluntary and adult. We are here by choice precisely to escape the restrictions of real life - and there is no Berlin Wall to prevent us from leaving. As for those who want SL to become more like Disneyland, well, Disneyland already exists. We don’t need another one.

This captures the spirit of my feelings about Second Life. LL seem to have lost their way. Not at a technical level - I mean there are problems at that level but by and large they are livable with - but in terms of becoming overly sensitive to political pressures. This is not overly surprising... but disappointing nonetheless.

That said, I don't expect any new CEO to be able to recapture the ground that SL/LL once held.

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