Saturday, December 17, 2011

Straight Talk With Jessica Lyon

I visited the Q&A seminar with the Phoenix/Firestorm team, yesterday. It was the three most informative hours I have ever spent in SecondLife. I must say it was an eyeopener for me, mostly though what was said by the very clever program manager and spokesperson for that group of talented developers, Ms. Jessica Lyon.

Jessica has a style and manner of talking that is both knowledgeable and creates faith and comfort in those of us that are listening to her, even when we hear her talk about some techie mysteries.

To sum up the almost three hours of continuous talk is not easy, but let me give it a try.
  • Linden Lab is a company that is in it for the business and to create profit for the shareholders.
  • Linden Lab has committed a great deal of time, resources and money to developing mesh.
  • Mesh must succeed to create a profit for the shareholders of Linden Lab. Mesh is still in it´s starting phase, things will get better.
  • The third party development teams must support that goal also.
  • If Linden Lab doesn't start creating profits for it´s shareholders soon, we will lose our world. SecondLife will be no more.
  • Viewers that do not support mesh are in effect outdated! They will have a minimum of support and updates and will be scrapped soon. (The Lab has previously said that the viewer 1´s would be dropped by the end of this year, but they may last a little bit longer.)
  • It is high time for those on Viewer 1, Viewer 2 and Phoenix of all versions to make the transition and move along to Viewer 3 or Firestorm.
  • The new viewers are as easy to learn how to use as the original viewers if you give them a fair chance. Studies show that those who have used them for three days very rarely go back.
  • The brilliant FUI that was introduced by Linden Lab in Viewer 3 will be introduced in Firestorm in the future also.
I hope I got it all right, but I believe that pretty much sums up the three hours with Jessica, and I could not agree more with her.
I retract my earlier opposition against mesh being introduced into SecondLife, even if I will never buy clothes that I need to adapt my shape to use (other than shoes). I also retract my opposition against Linden Labs introduction of the inworld game "Linden Realms" and focusing it´s marketing on Vampires. 

If anything brings new users to our world, we should welcome them for whatever reason they come here, hopefully they will in time see what we have been fascinated by and remain for that reason.

Anything that is good for Linden Lab in the end is good for me by keeping my world online.

Please note: For a new viewer to work as well as possible it is always important to make a fresh install. Do so by following the easy instructions here  Install a Fresh Viewer


  1. I agree with all the above and love to use the viewer2/3's but when I cannot log on or stay logged on they are not ready and I will be forced to stick with viewer 1 style with no mesh!
    I spent 8 hours today on Phoenix Viewer (the old one with no mesh) and for the first time in easily 5 months I did not crash!
    Let's hope they work to get all this worked out.
    BTW Bock you look absolutely breath taking sitting in that chair, Marry me God dammit ;-) hehehe

  2. When viewing this point:

    If Linden Lab doesn't start creating profits for it´s shareholders soon, we will lose our world. SecondLife will be no more.

    I feel that this is a bit simplistic.

    Lab Lab in not a publicly held company. It is owned by a few key individuals, investment concerns, and one imagines venture capitalists. Phil Rosedale certainly owns a large, but not a controlling share, of Linden Lab. I have read that Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus 1-2-3- (Lotus Notes) which he sold to IBM is another key player. Other important executives of Linden Lab surely own shares, as anticipation of future profits can attract key executives at lower pay rates than they would earn at more established companies.

    First of all, we do not know if Second Life is losing money, breaking even, or earning a small profit. They do not need to make this information public. Based on Phil Rosedale's recent comments to the New York Times, one can ascertain that they are not making substantial profits for their shareholders now -- or he would have been more positive. Once can also ascertain that they are not losing substantial sums of money, because the virtual world category right now is of such low opinion for future growth (the reason why Blue Mars is on "hold" for example) that the existing shareholders will probably not "penny up" substantial funds.

    I am one who thought five years ago that the growth of Virtual Worlds and related technology would be booming by now. I worked as an technology industry analyst for an important research company then and was not the only one who though virtual worlds were are the beginning of a great rise, like Facebook and other social media. This was not to be the case. Virtual Worlds are not "dead" now, moribund might be a better way of putting it.

    I know that venture capital money in virtual worlds has dried up. There is no new funding available-- a reason which was confirmed to me by the management of Blue Mars for their "freeze" and letting go of top management last January.

    Second Life will not just "stop", if it can continue to break even or even lose a little it will continue in the hopes that the ending of the worldwide great recession which is stymieing
    consumer spending is reversed over the next several years, and somehow, perhaps as a component of Web 3.0, virtual worlds and virtual reality can "get hot" like they did in 2007. It could happen.

    Future anticipations of investment recoup are what is fueling the continuing of Second Life. Not just "profit or loss". This is why public and analyst relations (Second Life used to have a staff just to deal with us "industry analysts" is so important right now.

  3. I have some issues with Firestorm too, Ziggy. When I log in to my home I can only spin around but not move out of the spot I land on and whatever I try to right click for any action does not respond at all.

    My way to solve this has become to teleport to Moa (where Ars used to have an office), once I get there everything works fine and I can teleport back home. Thing is though, the teleports are really strange. Whein I want to teleport the screen goes black with the usual screen that stops midway while still requesting teleport. The teleport screen goes away and about a minute after that I am whisked away to my destination. No problem now that I have gotten accustomed to it, but rather confusing.

    Eddi, although I totally respect your expertise and experience, I should think we are all left guessing at the financial status of the Linden Lab and the will of the shareholders to stick with it til they think the tide may turn someday. Not even Jessica Lyons is privy to any secret information but she has closer and more regular contact with the Lindens than anyone I know of.

    I must also stress that the post contains what I took away from the very long meeting, Jessica Lyons may not agree with some part of or all of my summation.

    Anyway I came away from the meeting with the notion that Linden Lab is struggling and rather than see them shut down and lose my SecondLife I prefer to be patient and supportive of their strategies to bring new users inworld!

  4. Ah but here is the issue. How is making the viewer less user friendly with Mesh going to bring more basic users who might not even have a graphics card which can handle the load?

  5. "Can´t walk issue" is new for me but appears in all viewers, it´s something wrong in the sourcecode, I solve the problem by quit Firefox - after last SL-update Firefox and SL-viewers don´t go together anymore.
    I can also solve the spinning problem by "restart finder" (MacOS). There are also problem with taking image with MacOS inbuilt screenshot and streaming sound on 3:rd party viewers.
    PS You are brave Bock sitting of all that time!

  6. Well Eddi, if I remember correctly, both the Phoenix/Firestorm team and Linden Lab have estimated that 5 % or less of the users today have graphic cards that cannot use the newer viewers.

    Vanadis, I quit Firefox a while ago. I think you misunderstood something, I do not have a spinning problem. That is the only movement I am able to do - or not to do - with my avatar before I have teleported to Moa. ;)

  7. Thanks for that info Bock. If it is truly 5% then I retract what I said -- I just have to figure out why I consider myself in that 5% with a mid-high range system.


If you are overtly offensive or go way off topic your comment may be deleted.

If you see an offensive or spammy comment you believe should be deleted, please inform me and I'll be forever grateful and give you my first born (although, you'll probably not want that).