Saturday, March 15, 2008

SL's Next Gridmaster ?

What if... Usually it's pretty useless to talk about 'what ifs', and perhaps it is in this case too, but it's an opportunity.

Yesterday we received the news that Philip Rosedale is stepping down as CEO of Linden Lab, the Metaverse Service Provider (MSP) for Second Life and as far as the news goes, no successor has been named yet.

I am of the opinion (and there are others with me apparently) recognition of the fact that a big, grown-up company (which Linden Lab has now become) requires an entirely different sort of leadership then the hip, young start-up LL has been in the first years of development. Though not everyone has the same idea though, one of the contradictory views is voiced by Prokofy Neva in the comments to my previous blogpost as she writes:

"I find it really distasteful seeing all these tekkie male Internet gurus slapping each other on the back and saying "I told you so" about having Philip, the visionary, "log-off" and have "the grown-up management types" come in, as if
this is progress."
(full comment here)

Linden Lab, Headquartered in San Francisco, has grown rapidly over the past year and a half, but has been one step behind the explosive growth of Second Life for most of the time. A lot of metaversal residents still feel LL needs to improve its service, the stability of the grid and so on...

The question is:

What would you do if you were appointed Second Life's Next Gridmaster?

This almost sounds like a contest like America's Next Top Model or American Idols, but I challenge you to write down your ideas for the future of Second Life. What are the things you would change. What are the things you'd choose as keyprojects? What would the future of Second Life and Linden Lab be in your eyes?

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Anonymous chris23 said...

1) Completely re-engineer the scenegraph to catch up with the immersion and realism of modern gaming platforms
2) Hire content developers whose sole task is to create a rich, detailed and compelling world.
3) Rewrite the entire UI, highlighting basic navigation, rich user profiles, and social affordances
4) Focus on user affordances. An avatar should essentially be a living MySpace/Facebook/LinkedIn object.
5) Create engaging narratives that users can easily and unexpectedly slip into. Imagine ARG’s being played out in SL.
6) Break the walls of the Second Life by wiring it up to the First. Avatars should be able to easily send and respond to sms and email. If I buy a new jacket at G-Star, I should also get a virtual copy for my avatar. Cross-channel communication and cross-promotional opportunities.
7) Scale down the virtual economy. The WoW economy is an emergent property of life in the Warcraft world. It should be the same for SL, not the primary business model.

Saturday, March 15, 2008 11:12:00 PM  

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