Last Saturday, on Second Life’s 9th birthday, I wrote about the wonderful shared experience I believed was happening at the celebration. I’ve continued to checkout my notion by chatting with many people and reading commentary of those who participated. Again and again, people from all walks expressed their sense of community involvement. And there was often excitement expressed about what was happening.
There is another story about SL9B though and I don’t want to hit on this too hard, but I want to take a minute to remember that this event was done with little help from Linden Lab. However, Several Lab employees were helpful.
The first point I want to make is, the Lab initially sanctioned a kind of rolling party. The problem is, there was a strong demand for a real party. At that point the Lab backed away. I didn’t check every day, but on days I checked there was no mention of the SL9B celebration on the SL website, not the Community page, nor the blogs. Yes, at some point there was some event information in Destination Guide, but if you logged into the Second Life website and checked the most obvious places, there was nothing.
The reason I became aware of the Lab’s lack of participation was, after Press Day I wanted to see my favorite communities exhibits. I already knew my home community, SL New England, had an exhibit, so I started contacting communities. Of the four, two of them were 10+ sim communities. I discovered that only half of the owners had heard of SL9B, one didn’t have time to build exhibit and one was participating in the Labs original plan.
One of the community owners I contacted said specifically, they didn’t see anything about it on the Second Life website. I was kind of surprised by that comment. I assumed there’d be something, so I checked and there was nothing about SL9B.
Perhaps the Lab didn’t appreciate Second Life citizens organizing what they believed to be a more appropriate celebration, but once the magnitude of the community effort was obvious, the Lab could have acknowledged it on the website.
I’ve always been ready to carry the banner for the Lab when they’ve done things right. But I’ve come forward when they’ve messed up. Like I said, I don’t want to hit this too hard but there it is.
5 thoughts on “A Last Look at SL9B”
I’ve been wondering why they Lab was so uninvolved. I believe once they stated what they wanted SL9B to be about, they were stuck because there were people ready to go forward with the LL plan. I know the “unofficial” SL9B organizers tried to be inclusive in the event schedule.
I can say with certainty that one of the people (a 3-sim community) I spoke with, on the LL plan, was pretty irritated in his feelings toward the “unofficial” SL9B initiative. I just don’t know the extent to which that was the feeling by those who didn’t participate.
By failing to recognize the “unofficial” SL9B celebration, I think the Lab created some casualties among communities caught on different sides.
I’m sure this is something that will be dealt with by the planners SL10B. I hope the Lab will find a way into this process. I’m planning to take the subject up in the feedback process already begun.
Could part of the “problem” be that we don’t know if Second Life is a “platform” or a “community.”
If you think about Wikipedia, it’s huge, I’m sure all the admins don’t know each other, or haven’t ever even all heard of each other. Still, it is one community. They may disagree on methods or even what their goals should be, it could be messy, but it’s a community.
If you think about Facebook, it’s not a community. It is a platform that supports many individuals and many communities, but there isn’t the “we” of Wikipedia in Facebook. If users really hate something FB might change it, and FB tries to run well and offer features users like, but it’s not one large community either in goals or structurally.
With SL, and I’m way not the expert, but IDK if it’s more of a Wikipedia-like community, or a Facebook-like platform. Is there “supposed” to be an SL “community”?
Well, that’s a very big issue, platform vs community. SL9B’s theme was selected by Linden Lab, they chose “Community” but I’m pretty sure they didn’t think this out… at all. LL holds all the cards except content and community, and the funny thing is that without user content there’d just be 30,000 empty sims, minus maybe a 1,000 with LL content.
If they want to be just a platform they really need to do a better job of understanding the implications of their actions.