Sunday, December 27, 2009

sometimes in the morning, I am petrified and can't move

Viral artists face a legal reprimand from Facebook. Honestly, all things considered? I'm hoping Facebook loses this legal challenge. They deserve to.

Linden Labs gets it wrong again--this time with graphs showing users on the platform!

Behold, the White City of Minas Tirith--under seige from the tastiest army in Middle Earth! Make sure to check out the video that accompanies the stellar construction shots.

And from this blog, I made a comment I wanted to preserve:

I am interested in the many “You’re so WRONG!” comments you’ve gotten. Myself, I’ve been in SL nearly four years now, and I’ve noticed articles on it do broadly tend to break down into two camps: one side thinks SL is a flash in the pan, the other thinks it’s the new age of communication and interaction.

Where’s the middle ground? People using the platform.

People log in to SL to make money; to advertise; to interact; to socialize; to network; to adventure; to date; to inform. They dance, swim, fly, fence, fire weapons, roleplay, run, sit, make love, eat (though eating and drinking in SL? Still mostly passes me by) and make merry.

The only real problem I see SL has? Linden Labs, who, under their current leadership, seem REALLY intent on monetizing the entire game and making sure no one takes a step without paying SOMEbody. This is not the game many of us signed up for, and we’re losing people in droves.

The people that stay are generally shopping addicts, casual players who log in an hour or so a night, if that, and the hardcore recreationists. I suppose I qualify as the latter, though I don’t spend nearly as much time in Caledon (a virtual neo-Victorian set of sims) as I used to; but it doesn’t stop just at the Victorian/steampunk border. There are people inventing alien worlds, undersea worlds, living fantasies (in the literary, as well as sensual meaning), creating wonder, horror and everything in between.

Is Second Life an easy platform to learn to use? No. Are there ways to make it better? Sure, but the Labs haven’t figured out how yet. Does the sense of anonymity poison on occasion, making everyday citizens a newcomer COULD turn to, often sneer and pass judgement on the ‘newbie’? Absolutely.

If people bother to get PAST all that, there’s a wide, diverse world in store. But I’m with you, it’s a lot to deal with, setting up, and it’s not easy, and a great deal of the time, the people who’ve been using the platform longest are the ones least likely to help new faces on the grid.

Still, are there reasons to log in of a night? Sure, or I wouldn’t be there. But will it catch on and become the latest MyFaceTwitterbook? No. Will it overtake World of Warcraft? Of course not. And I don’t think it ever will.

That being said, though, I don’t think that’s a bad thing…a functional space, with people paying for the server space, and interacting with users from around the world…this is not a bad place to be. It’s just never going to be HUGE.

I still think that's the right answer. It's never going to be Facebook, SL. Never, no matter how many changes they put it through. But it could easily be enough for its users, and for those whose livelihood depends on it.

IF they stop screwing around with the basics, AND get the platform more stable.

Without that...they won't even keep the business clients they have. Let alone get the new ones they want.

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