If someone were to ask me, “Is Second Life progressing?” Sadly, my answer would be, “I don’t know.” Why? Although I’d like to think that I’m a regular and somewhat well-informed customer, I’d have to say that I don’t have the slightest clue where Linden Lab is trying to bring Second Life. Yes, Linden Lab has been busy, but with a recent run of what appear to be disconnected business decisions, I can’t exactly say at what.
Linden Lab’s lack of transparency and tendency toward miscues with the community are nothing new. Effective communication with their customer base simply doesn’t seem to be in the organizational DNA. Flawed as that communication may have been over the years, there was often a sense of collaboration or even belated responsiveness that helped create a feeling that things were moving forward. I simply haven’t seen that in some time. Philip Rosedale expressed the Fast, Easy, and Fun vision for Second Life at the end of July, but since that time, little has come out since then to describe how they plan to get there. To top it all off, the mood among Residents can best be described as anxious; it wouldn’t take anyone looking for very long in the SL blogosphere and associated forums to figure that one out. I can’t help but think the heightened anxiety is correlated to lack of clear communication.
I may be an idealist, but I’m a realist as well; I get that Linden Lab is a business trying to maximize profits. That said, I also believe communicating and profitability aren’t mutually exclusive. So rather than guessing at how to glue all the random acts of progress together, I would like to make a simple request of Linden Lab. (And I doubt any Lindens read my blog, but I’m all for putting it out there.) And what is that request? It’s:
If you would like us to come with you, please tell us where you want to go.
I’m not certain if anyone can answer that right now, but it sure would be lovely to hear something. Thank you ever so much.