Rodvik Linden: Stay On Target
There’ve been good things happening at Second Life/Linden Labs lately; Viewer 2 is improving, new-ish CEO Rod Humble/Rodvik Linden is actively engaged and sometimes actually building and making stuffs, there’s renewed emphasis on customer support and recapturing the irrepressible magic.
Yes, yes, yes, there are still lots of problems, lots of hurt feelings, lots of nay-sayers saying nay (no linky love).
But there are trends to watch at Tateru Nino’s stats page that are interesting.
And now, the Lab is hiring again, after years of layoff announcements and sad farewells to popular Lindens who had virtual “face time” with Residents inworld. This hiring announcement reflects this emphasis, which can only be a good sign.
On the other hand (or paw or claw as you are so inclined), the continuing exodus of the greatest makers and content creators is worrisome, due to burnout, high tier cost, high sim activation fees, billing problems, and a perceived sense of benign neglect. Not only that, but educators and corporations no longer see SL as the magical solution to distance learning, collaborative learning, or remote meetings. It’s just too hard to get people to the point where they’re in the right place, looking at the right thing, able to hear the discussion and/or participate in chat.
If they all go, all us middle managers, telephone sanitizers and manicurists will have to step up this season’s leaf production by 400%.
I’m just an ordinary smallholding mainlander, but group chats and blogs lately point to some grim realities; a lot of sims are in danger of closing because simholders can’t afford tier. We all know someone who’s thinking of pulling back, or pulling out entirely. I hope that the increased emphasis on the customer experience since Rodvik took the wheel of the magic bus will lead to a reversal of these trends.
Help with tier levels, a return of the homestead pricing for people that aren’t already full simholders, and more generous deals for educators and nonprofits again would help. Or perhaps the ability to append a homestead sim to a friend or groups existing sim? This would help cement ties and keep content creation affordable. Maybe this is already possible, and I’m late to the party as usual. But as… self-serving as I find many of Hamlet Au’s posts at NWN these days (most seem to be aimed at driving traffic past his ad banners, which detracts from any actual virtual world journalism IMHO), he’s right about one thing. The land-based economy of Second Life is not sustainable if current land and estate owners can’t afford to keep it, and potential land and estate owners can’t afford to buy it in the first place, let alone participate in Second Life due to the high learning curve presented by the initial sign in process.
The struggles and objections people have had with and to Viewer 2, which was supposed to be aimed at the “new user” to make it faster, easier, and more fun to start living their own Second Life, are slowly being overcome. Even I am finally giving it a whirl, now that they finally made an advanced build mode a configurable preference. I have to admit the shadows I implemented with the latest release made me go all drooly and oogly, and I need to start taking more photos with it to compare with Imprudence.
So thanks to a mention on Twitter in Cathy L Anderson’s stream, I’m quite cheered to see that the Lab is hiring, and not only that, they’re trying to recapture the lightning-in-a-bottle from the early years: Linden Labs/Careers
At Linden Lab, creativity and innovation drive our business. After all, we’re the largest and most successful virtual world out there. We work hard and have plenty of fun along the way. At the end of the day, as Lindens, we know that it’s our job to make dreams come true for our customers. It’s all just part of our culture, the fabric of what makes us tick. Come join our team filled with talented, smart people who believe in bringing the magic of virtual worlds to life. Second Life, that is.
Unless noted, all jobs listed are for all locations: Boston, Davis, San Francisco, Seattle and Virginia.
Senior QA Engineer
Senior Software Engineer
Software Automation Engineer
Customer Relations Representative
Software Engineer, Payments
Front End Web Developer
Software Integration Engineer
Senior Program Manager, Operations
Senior Systems Engineer