Thursday, February 28, 2008

MindBlizzard Belgiums' Finest

The MindBlizzard crowd is getting more and more international by the day. Last week I received a call from Belgium requesting to put up a feed of this blog in their Second Life space.

So MindBlizzard is one of Belgium's Finest blogs (be it that I write from the Netherlands) and they've put me up next to the Official Linden Blog. Thanks Frans!


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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Happy Anniversary SL

Today's the 4th anniversary for Second Life. Today and the week to come will see many festivities that will surely need blogging.

Anyway, Phil; here's my anniversary wish for you: I congrat you on the past 4 years and wish all the luck for years to come. May SL grow and prosper, find stability and innovation.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

MacArthur Foundation: Philantrophy in Virtual Worlds

Yesterday night was kind of hectic and I only had time to put up some hiccups on the Philantrophy event. However, I think it's not fair to only put up what went wrong.

Jonathan Fanton, President of the MacArthur Foundation, and Philip Rosedale, CEO of Linden Lab, appeared in Second Life to talk about the future role of philanthropy in virtual worlds

A recording of the event can be found at the MacArthur site for Digital Media and learning here. Fanton laid emphasis on Africa - developing access, connectivity, and bringing Second Life and technological advance there, much like Desmond Tutu did last week at Reuters.

There's an excellent report over at Ugotrade and Prokofy Neva gives Philantrophy in our present day situation a thorough look and thinks that we need a new kind of Philantrophy; "because the old philanthrophy, like the old media and the old industries and businesses are going by the wayside."

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Friday, June 22, 2007

SL crashes on Phil

Tonight my first stop is the discussion on Gooddoers in Virtual Worlds, here's the announcement:

"Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale to join MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton in a discussion about the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds

USC ANNENBERG PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ISLAND – On June 22, 9 am SLT, Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale will join MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton for a discussion about the role of philanthropy in virtual worlds, hosted by USC Annenberg Public Diplomacy Island" (full article)

For the occasion 4 sims were put together and cleared of all obsolete prims with an auditorium filled to the brim on 4 sims housing a total of over 200 visitors.

Well, the stands were full and then it happened... SL crashed on Phil! Here's the juicy detail:

[9:19] Komuso Tokugawa: Can people PLEASE remove all their scripted attachments and bling all helps to reduce server lag and give everbody a better experience in fps
[9:19] Echo Cooke shouts: Iadora.. pretty Much everyone is stuck.. the sim has 100 people on each side of the arena.. just please be patient
[9:19] Somatika Xiao: Server lag right now is all networking....
[9:19] Alan Innis: /can someone tell me where the speakers are?
[9:20] Ruby Glitter: Alan,they are in teh center of the auditorium.
[9:20] Rik Riel: /president of Macrthur and Philip Linden
[9:20] Somatika Xiao: for the most part atleast...
[9:20] Walker Moore: centre of the arena is where the speakers are located. =)
[9:20] Alan Innis: /I don't see anyone there Ruby!
[9:20] Fursa Zenovka: excuseme. How d I it dwn?
[9:20] Komuso Tokugawa: no
[9:20] Walker Moore: busy sim/rez issues no doubt. =)
[9:20] Fursa Zenovka: sit down
[9:21] Patchouli Woollahra: You may experience problems looking at other avatars in regions where more than 30-50 avatars are around you!
[9:21] Frank Foley: right click
[9:21] Patchouli Woollahra: be assured, if they are talking, they are talking.
[9:21] Patchouli Woollahra: turn on your Music bar!
[9:22] Slightly Bligh: turn on the mustic to hear the speakers
[9:22] AJ Brooks: Where is Philip's avatar?
[9:22] Hannah Hannya: turn on music and turn off video to hear real time conversation
[9:22] Slightly Bligh: turn off the video
[9:22] Echo Cooke: Jeanrem the discussion has started.. turn OFF the video
[9:22] Echo Cooke shouts: Turn Video OFF and Music ON
[9:22] Reina Beaumont: role of schools, to actually teach for a change
[9:22] Komuso Tokugawa: it's not a matinee show jeanram;-)
[9:22] Sitearm Madonna shouts: Hi All! Philip Avatar crashed but Philip Voice is LiVE.. be sure MUSIC ON
[9:23] Patchouli Woollahra: I see, Sitearm.
[9:23] Komuso Tokugawa: Priceless! -> Hi All! Philip Avatar crashed but Philip Voice is LiVE.. be sure MUSIC ON
[9:23] Somatika Xiao: heh.... SL crashed on Philip... that is awsome...
[9:23] Hannah Hannya: rofl
[9:23] Ruby Glitter: I love it.
[9:23] Calm Ashton: lol
[9:23] Reina Beaumont: that's SL'sonly thing that truly works, crashing!
[9:23] In Kenzo: equal opportunity platform ;-P
[9:23] JJ Drinkwater: "Learning Experience"
[9:23] Ruby Glitter: It's actually kind of comfporting to knwo it works just as bad for him
as for the rest of us. ;-)

Well, trust me, Phil wasn't the only ones having troubles. But the sims should really have been maxed out.
The event soon became too laggy for me so I went out for a quick bite. Anyway, it's the first time me and Phil are framed in the same snapshot. I must tell you though that in real life he's a lot more colorful. This greyishness was only the result of way too many peeps on the show.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Amsterdam sold once more

ANP, the Dutch Reuters, reports that Virtual Amsterdam is finally sold! This is the second time it is sold, the first deal fell through in early may. The buyer is, part of the Boom TV company.

The deal is countering recent Dutch press that is taking a negative view on Second Life. After Linden Labs released the official activity stats the Dutch press got a negative hiccup saying "only 17,000 Dutchmen are active in Second Life" Eric Rijkaart, Boom TV's CEO says that they've estimated Dutch activity to be around 7,000 at the time of purchase, so the new stats do open perspective in his view.

They're not expecting a shortterm ROI but inted to gather experience in Virtual Worlds which can be used later in other metaverses.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

State of the Virtual Union

It's a saturdaynight, 10pm, or 1 pm Second Life prime time, yet the grid is rather quiet today. All my homeys are offline as well. Probably spending some quality time with the family...
So here I am, while Mrs. Vee is doing the laundry with some time to browse the blogs.

All in all I'm seeing various blogs taking some time to take a real life breath and slow in posting new and wild adventures. Reuters reports that Second Life's growth is cooling down a little and concludes that Linden is in need of professional help to overcome the latest bugs and setbacks.

True enough, there have been bugs, and releases didn't quite turn out the way. I am sure the Lindens are having a bad headache this week, they just don't say the word, but LL is under pressure as residents are getting impatient. One of the things in my opinion is that LL is not communicating the challenges it faces. Give out a clear roadmap on what you're doing. They've got some cracking High Performance Teams out there who know what they're up against, yet the Tao of Linden seems to be hampering a structured Release Management approach. They're making progress though.

We're walking a path of innovation on the road to Web 3D and you just can't expect everything to be slick and smooth all at once. Second Life is not the only immersive world having it's difficulties, but since SL gets more serious press coverage than most other metaverses together, it's easy to think only Second Life faces challenges. 57 covers this to some extend as well as he reflects on the Virtual World Roadmap, reminding him of the early days of the internet, like being back at the BBS days.

Some good news is that Second Life Insider reports that eBay was discovered in Second life and IBM is running Wimbledon again, just like they did Roland Garros.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

30% of Dutch Top100 corporations in Virtual Worlds

Nearly 30% of the Top100 companies in the Netherlands are actively engaged in virtual worlds, as a recent EPN survey shows.

Of these 100 companies, 48 participated in the quickscan and they show that:
  • 60% see added value to internal communication
  • 52% see added value in training and branding
  • 45% see added value to external activities such as cocreation and staffing.
  • 66% say that it is still hard to get access to the right people
  • 50% see the stability of Second Life as a threat

And some say that they see Linden Labs as an unpredictable factor.

I'm not sure which companies but here's a few in Second Life:
  • ING
  • Philips
  • Heineken
  • Randstad
  • Content
  • Aegon
I'm wondering where the others are... please let me know ;)

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Wednesday, May 30, 2007

A closer look at Amazon

A little while ago I blogged on the great Amazon build. Today it was on the Things To Do list and we received a personal tour guided by Amazon's Webservices resident guru Jeff Barr.

He told us how it all began: "Last year I got an SL account and started to attend all sorts of events. After attending a NASA launch with live video, I started to get the crazy idea that I could actually do part of my job from within SL. People looked at me like I was crazy. But I persisted, and gave some talks last year on Info Island and at other places. The response was awesome and told me that I wasn't crazy. I proposed to my management the design and construction of this island. They thought it was a good idea, and now, here we are."
This time I got round to asking a few more indepth questions (ahum), like how Amazon teamed up with Joshua Culdesac from Virtuool, a freelance French builder.
Jeffronius Batra: "VeeJay, this is a great story. I bought a little plot of land in Athabasca. Shortly after I started building, this wolf started to hang out nearby. We started chatting and he showed me some of what he was building. I was very impressed with his skills and we became good friends. I shared with him my vision for what we could build here, and it turned out that he was in the process of making a career change to become a full-time SL builder. He's based in Bordeaux, France and has a background in building 3D objects as a hobby, by the way. When I had approval to start building, I wrote a spec and asked him to submit a proposal, and the result is what you see here. He did an amazing job of taking my ideas and turning them into something even better than the vague pictures in my head. We never once talked on the phone during the build phase. I didn't even meet him in person until last month. All in all the process worked out very well and I am quite happy with the results. I wanted to make this place look like it had been buried for hundreds of years and then rediscovered."

This story is off course one hell of an example how inworld collaboration can work out. From idea to end product without ever meeting once
We toured the sim then and saw a very imaginative auditorium, probably one of the most original ones I've seen so far and we toured the Amazon again in the boats I blogged on in my previews posting on Amazon. This time, even the boats caused havoc as one actualla sank!

Virtually Shipwrecked !!!

Actually, we were all kinda amazed that it could happen, even Jeff who certainly knew of no premeditated scripted intend to sink us. Anyway, our clothes dries quickly and we moved on.
The sim is filled to the brim with places to stimulate the 240,000 people Amazon Webservice development community using their S3 (Amazon's storage service) and EC2 (their compute cloud) in various ways related to SL. Linden Labs is also using the S3 as building block for their client. This morning saw their first tech meeting with about 20 developers present.
Finally it seems like Amazon turns out to be one of the places to watch when it comes to rallying the community, potentially more so than IBM or Intel for that matter.

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Thursday, May 10, 2007

Playboy comes, Linden bans adult content

In this blog I've tried to remain far away from the sleeze and dirt that is part of Second Life as well (as it is in Real Life as well), and stick to describing Real Life companies and Institutions entering Second Life, we're now walking the thin line... as The Second Life Herald heralds the coming of Playboy to Second Life.

Undoubtedly Playboy doesn't like to see itself mentioned in the same sentence as "Sleeze and Dirt", and true enough, their content usually is of a different caliber than some activities that can be found in SL. Since the big tease is Playboy's core business that is their SL strategy as well. Their opening is heralded, yet no specifics on when they will come.

Already it giving rise to speculation. Will it be a manor, will there be virtual bunnies... On the other hand, since Sex is big buniness, the question 3pointD raises is "What took them so long"

Linden to protect the young and innocent

To add a little counterweight, and most bizarre happenstance is that the news of Playboy entering Second Life coincides with the announcement that Linden Labs is taking extra measures to 'protect the young and innocent' from explicit content. The Dutch tech-savy site and a few other sources report that Linbden Labs will ask more identification before allowing residents to move into "adult areas". Also residents are asked to label explicit content in an attempt to create a more decent environment for youngsters. The measures aren't waterproof and will receive both praise and harsh criticism. Once more, Linden Lab hasn't got the answer, but they're trying to work with the criticism they get.

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Linden gets a grip

Last week saw Linden's response to the Project Open Letter. Their statement that they are devoting more people to solving scaling and stability. Their statement was received with certain scepticism. In this blog I was a little critical as well.
Nonetheless there are a few things in Second Life that have to be noted at this point. Last month Second Life became slow and unstable when the online resident count reached about 37.000. This week saw a steady rise to 41.000 simultaneous logins without notable disturbance to stability or lag.
As Second Life gains momentum, Linden Lab itself is growing as well. In the past week I have had several discussions with Linden employees. They are working hard on Quality Assurance and getting a structured test approach up and running to avoid more ineffective patches.
I still like to see some big improvement in certain areas, but have to say that indeed they are working on it. Second Life's growth does require a revision of Linden's Tao.

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Virtual World, Real life Governance

Project Open Letter update

This weeks Town Hall meeting waspretty much all about the Project Open Letter. The POL has been signed by many respected virtual residents and is about one of the first complaints that's been taking serious by Linden Labs. The wrap up is that we're worried, and they're worried.

The POL names a few problems that need to be fixed and Linden addressed a few problems (here's A detailed response to the open letter ). They're gonna sort out the Inventory backup issue and devote 3/4 of their DEVmembers to scaling and stability.

The thing that bothers me is we're talking about issues, Linden is talking about bug fixes and patches (which don't always work - Perhaps Linden should call us for a little advice on how to perform structured testing (TMAP)) but no one is talking IT Governance here. Have we rooted out the source of these nuisances and is there an alternative to patching?

Some new and noteworthy tidbits are that Linden is considering opening up a server park somewhere in Europe to spread the residential load and segragation between basic and premium account members.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Korean Showcase

Earlier today I did some Nipponese blogging and thought to Go Asian all the way and visited the Korea sims. It's a small 2 x 2 sim cluster that looked nice from satellite view. I dropped in and saw a neat grid with largely western architecture. It was untill I saw the marketplace that I got an idea what this was about. The market did ring a bell though, as it looked a bit like the ones in Welcome Area (ahern) so I dug into it a little deeper.
The complete sim is Linden owned, buildt largely by Brian Linden who made a fair job at it.
So this is the works they pull to try and get 80 million Koreans to move from Cyworld to SL.
However, at the Welcome area it was primarily Portugese and English that was being spoken.

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Project Open Letter

A little while ago a few respected residents of Second Life expressed their worries about the current State of the Virtual Union... well, at least the stability of Lindens' SL Platform after the 1.5 Client version showed severe bugs. 57 Miles from the Metaversed blog perfectly describes the current status of the proposal

Linden to Respond to Project Open Letter

"As residents continue to stamp their feet about persistent problems with the Second Life grid, Project Open Letter, a public whine fest of tearful demands not only gains momentum with bloggers and press, but will now get a public response from Linden Lab, makers of the besieged virtual world. Look for Linden to either grovel, fawn or play the "this post is so long you'll never read it game" in official response later in the week..."

Linden Labs has not been very active to resolve issues in the past, but this letter may push them somewhat, so do read and sign the Project Open Letter

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Sunday, April 29, 2007

Funding the Dream

As Second Life's popularity is growing, the tale of Linden Labs gets bigger and bigger. Phil Rosendale must be living the American dream. It''s the typical American IT story of a guy (just like Bill) starting up in a garage and shooting millions a year after.

But there's a step -or perhaps a giant leap- to be made from having the idea to actually making it true. It needed time, but it also needed money to develop and buy the necessary hardware.
One of the things that struck me lately was a sim -deadcenter mainlaind- named Omidyar. It's an ocean but carries the SL logo. A quick search brought me to the Omydyar Network.

"Omidyar® Network is a mission-based organization established by eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar, and his wife, Pam. Since 2004, we have made both for-profit and nonprofit investments to advance our mission, and we are currently expanding beyond investments to include public policy and other areas that enhance the organization's reach and impact."
A reliable source informed me today that indeed they are one of the leading investors in Linden Labs. Thanks Omidyar for funding another addiction ;)

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Quarter Bet Watch

In search of some statistics to support a viable business case I searched the web and came across a 2006 prediction by Reuben Steiger, former Linden Lab evangelist and now CEO of one of SL's most succesfull contractors, Millions of Us.
His best bet for 2007:

Well, right now (april 2007) is 5.6 million registered users, so he's only off by 2 million. In the graph you´ll see a conservative guess (blue) and a wild guess (red). There should be a (green) factual line added that picks up momentum december 2006 and aims (hence no longer factual) for 7.5 million by July 2007.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Gartner says 80% will use Virtual World in 2011

One of the potentially hyped quotes from the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007 I mentioned in the blog 2 hours ago was a bold statement:

“By the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a ’second life,’ but not necessarily in Second Life,” the company said on Wednesday in a statement released during the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in San Francisco.

Let's hypothesize on that. Let's assume the economics for Second Life are a market average. There are now about 6 million Second Lifers, spending 1.5 million USD a day. According to Nielsen//NetRatings, there were about 330 million active Internet home users in March, 2007 (monitored in 10 countries).

330 Mi beats the current 6 Mi about 55 times, extrapolate that to the daily turnover and in 5 years we'll have a virtual market valued at 65 Mi. USD daily and an annual turnover of about 25 Billion dollars, not counting a rise in active internet users ;)

Let's assume Linden Labs will be the sole survivor. Now they're at 8 GB data traffic per second and 8,000 server. Let's do the math: In 2011 Linden Labs will have to deal with about 500 GB per second Data Traffic and 500.000 servers. I'd say.... Let's invest in ISP's and Serverfarms :)

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Virtual Traffic Jam

Second Life generates 7GB-8GB of traffic per second, and is currently supported by 8,000 servers. "When people see the broader architecture, they'll understand that's... it's Web-like. It's scalable," said Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale at the Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2007.
I did run a hosting sideshow at one time in my life (am still running a webserver with the full-monty somewhere) and discspace isn't the issue, hosting prices are basically determined by datatraffic nowadays. A regular European ISP will charge you about 1 euro per GB of datatraffic. So 8 euro's per second, 1,680 per minute, 100K per hour and 1.2 Million dollar per day.... I think they're getting quantum discount ;)
Right now, just at the end of the maintenance window, the Traffic Jam is actually happening. There's a new client version (1.5) that's been massively downloaded. The Second Life site is virtually dead right now.

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Everything under control

Everytime the grid is down for maintenance it's a nuisance for the virtual junks. Another hour wasted! Okay, usually Linden schedules maintenance and takes its time to do a few fixes. Probably a good thing.
I work as a project manager for a large IT company. I haven't tried selling the Linden message to them when we are to do some maintenance. I doubt they'll appreciate it, but in the virtual world it's common practise it seems. Let's face it, this is no Old School IT Governance, this is the flow of the new digerati generation.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Racer group expects landprice drop

NAUTILUS IV - Close to the ESC cluster a humongous grey block on the sattelite appeared. At least 60 sims are lined up by the Linden Labs for auctioning. Thai Racer, owner of the Racer Real Estate doesn't look happy. "There's too many out there as it is." he said, and expects landprices may see a surge downward.

Many virtual residents would look at it from the opposite, as many still believe prices are too high. A passing Sandbox Ghost remarked that he's still waiting for that 200-sim desert, but also noticed that Linden is using new terrain textures.

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virtual Fortunes

As Lordly already posted, businessweek is doing an SL special, here's the interesting part:

"Meet the virtual world moguls. The number of Second Life residents generating more than $5,000 in monthly income has more than quadrupled to 116 in the past year."

The millionares:

  1. Phillip Rosendale (the guy who did SL)
  2. Ailin Graef(Anshe Chung real estate)
  3. Reuben Steiger (Millions of Us)
  4. Sibley Verbeck (Electric Sheep)
  5. Alyssa LaRoche (Aimee Weber)
  6. Adam Frisby (real estate)
  7. Kevin Alderman (Strokerz Toys & Amsterdam Sim)
  8. Peter Lokke (clothing)
  9. Christiano Diaz (snapzilla SL)
  10. Adam Anders (whatever, over 100.000 sales a day)

To wrap it up: No 1 is the one who dunnit, 2 real estate owners, 3 big builders, 2 clothing &kinky toys and 1 sidekick. So if you're not good at actually doing something, you can always invest in real estate.

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Friday, April 13, 2007

Reclaiming land from inactive Residents

Here's something to keep track of (from the official Linden Blog)

Reviewing Inactive Resident Parcels
Monday, April 9th, 2007 at 7:20 PM PDT

Recently, we have received a number of requests from the Second Life community to seize land from long-term inactive Residents on the Main Grid. While we are unprepared to reclaim land from Residents who haven’t logged recently, we’ve decided to embark on a different approach, one we feel will produce more palatable results for both active and inactive Residents. Keeping your concerns in mind, we have reached out though e-mail to Lifetime Residents who own land and yet haven’t logged during the past 12 months.

It goes without saying that we would all prefer to see those Residents return and participate again in the Second Life community. In this vein, we invited them to rejoin. In the event that those Residents are unable to return and in keeping with our commitments to active Residents who would prefer to see unused land folded back into the larger SL community, we have offered to auction inactive Resident land and deposit all L$ proceeds into the corresponding Second Life L$ accounts. We hope this approach satisfies all parties involved, and we will keep the community apprised of further developments.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Virtual banking (4) Saxo Bank

In january and february virtual land was falling short and the Lindens had a large que of requests. Early march we saw an explosion of new sims. One of these new launches was the Saxo Bank, an online investment bank, based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Jeffrey Limpele, executive director of quantitative analysis at Saxo Bank (whatever that means), told SLNN that the bank ultimately plans to offer "leveraged Forex trading on the lindens... We want to give you access from Second Life to your Real Life foreign exchange." We'll see.

The bank shares the island with a volcano viewable from the bank's roof terrace. There is also a bizarre Rio carnival parade that processes around the island. Whether there is some deep symbolism in the use of the volcano and carnival, or whether it is an amusing whimsy.

The site is built by Beta Technologies
Pictures kindly provided by Sir Aleister Kronos

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My Virtual T-Ford

Second Life is the medium of the future, or at least of the 21st century. It is a place where one can walk, fly and teleport from place to place. Traditional transportation like cars and planes have become obsolete in this world.

Amazingly, cars have become a status symbol in this world in a very short time. I must admit, I've seen some cool designs -most of them about L$ 3.000 (about 10 Euro -no BPM). Way out of my hobby budget. So I settled for a classic, a T-Ford built by Aimee Weber.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Tao of Linden

After Linden Labs announced it descision to stop with the First Land program a friend of mine mentioned the Tao of Linden, the LL philosophy on life (

Linden Lab has a different and better way of doing work. It relies on the idea that if the level of transparency (everyone can see what everyone else is doing) can be made high enough, you can stop managing people by explicit authority or delegation. Instead of being told what to do, you choose your own work by listening to your peers, making good strategic judgements, taking risks, and surfing a huge amount of information.

As one of a very few pioneers in doing things this way, there is still a lot to learn. We make mistakes. But the things we have gotten right are impressive: Linden Lab has, in 6 years, had almost zero employee turnover, and our productivity, in comparison to other similar sized teams, is off the charts.

In short this could well be another way of saying: We'll develop features, or fix bugs when we feel like it, regardless of the contractual promises we made to paying members.

And what will happen to work that nobody wants to do? Some thing just have to be done in order to keep the engine running.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First Land killer for SL

Taken by the endless opportunities for Second Life I upgraded my account to premium about a month ago. One of the benefits is that you can trade.... and are entitled to a speck of dust in the virtual landscape, 512 sq. meter to be precise.

This 1st land comes cheap, at L$ 512,- (Linden Dollar) , so $1 for 1 mtr. whereas normal land now trades at beyond L$20 per meter, and I even saw USD$ 42 /month being asked for a tiny speck of land. So, in order to have yourself a nice little home to start out with, 1st land is a must have.

First Land Catch
However, the catch is: You're entitled to it, but 1st land is not always available. After 1 month of searching I encountered 1 piece of 1st land sofar. And it was sold before I got there. I stuck around though, and within the hour over 200 residents came looking at the speck of land, hoping for their chance to finally own a virtual yard. Each and everyone frustrated that 1st land was hard to come by, and all that sort of stuff.

Last week I spoke to this Linden guy -the one in charge of land sales- and he said that on friday 50 bits of land were made available for 1st land. The time and amount of available land varies daily. All cute and true, but on Friday I was ill and had spend about 8 hours online from bed, regularly hit the search button, but never did it return results for 1st land. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure that from friday till tuesday not a single piece of land has gone up for 1st land.

Virtual Moneymaking Machine
In short, First land is the promise of virtual land accompanied with the disclaimer that it might not be available. Thousands of members have paid for it -paid for Linden to plug in extra hardware, but they don't have to deliver. Wow, this is good marketing! People are paying for something they might never receive. Linden must make millions from idiots like me.

The Dying Grounds
Numerous frustrated paying members have now organised themselves in groups like "First Land Searchers", and are trying to get Linden to deliver. If this group gets organised and more media attention, this will surely have a downcast on Second Life. Will Linden commit suicide on First Land, or not?

Additional Resources:

From Wikipedia:

Land Ownership: Premium members also have the ability to own land (up to 512m2 without additional fees). Owning larger areas of land attracts an increasing additional fee (what Linden Lab calls "tier") ranging from US$5 a month up to US$195 a month for an entire 65,536m2 of land or individual island.[3] [4]

Land sales system: Linden Lab usually sells land in small 512m2 blocks (16 by 32 meters) through its First Land program, or as entire 16 acre (65,536m2) regions. Residents also buy and sell land to other Residents, generally intending to make a profit by selling the plots of land at a price higher than the original purchase cost.

The First Land program is used to reserve small blocks of land for first time land buyers, intending Residents to purchase their first parcel of land below the current market value.[5] This program also serves as an incentive for new Residents with free accounts to upgrade to premium accounts. A Resident pays a fixed fee of L$1 per 1m2 for a 512m2 plot.[5]

These First Land plots are frequently consolidated into larger plots when the original owners sell them to other residents.

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