Wednesday, June 9, 2010

blood makes noise, it's a ringing in my ear

Still groggy from a night of uneven sleep, I stumbled from the attic in my floating store in Twilight Tears. I'd stopped inventory work the night before, plotting out a possible 'yard sale' option where anything copyable in my inventory I'd sell off for L$1 each (cost of space hosting, really, and I was pondering just setting things to original and free and getting rid of them that way).

Then the news hit. And I started tracking things down.

Botgirl's post was one of the first I tracked down:
"The socially-networked, continuously multi-tasking, pervasively connected, attention-deficit inducing, mobile-device focused world that is emerging doesn't have much room for a virtual world that requires downloaded software with a huge learning curve that only runs well on a high end computing system. And it seems pretty far fetched to ask teens who average a text message every fifteen waking minutes to pay attention long enough to be immersed in a virtual world like Second Life."
Wagner James Au (former Linden himself) mentions the same 30% layoff, and also confirms something I was told by several people I was wrong on at the time, the 5% in toto layoffs in Aprille. He also says something a bit more unnerving:
"Others mentioned by Yoz include community manager and Teen Second Life director Blue Linden, OpenSim interoperability developer Whump Linden (@whump) and VP Cyn Skyberg (@cynfusion). I'm reaching out to them to confirm Yoz's Tweet."
So--while not confirmed as of four pm, today--Blue Linden and Cyn Linden may also be on the chopping block, and Babbage Linden has already started looking for other work.

Kirk Ultra said in a comment at the end of Au's announcement:
"So how many people think Linden Lab is trying to sell itself to another company? All these advances that only sound good to people who've never played the game, and now a giant staff lay-off. These are all things that make a company look better on paper. Could somebody at Linden Lab be hoping to sell?"
I think more people than just Ultra and I are wondering that, as well.

Jack Abraham may speak for many more people than we know when he said:
"I think they just lost me. That is not a direction I'm willing to sink $300/month into."
And, as I have well learned, if one premium account holder states it, there's at least fifteen who aren't going to, and just quietly fold up and stop playing the game, stop paying their premium accounts, and sell off or release their island estates.

Maklin Deckard said what I and many others are now thinking, I'm sure:
"I flat out cannot see how many of the current SL functions can be translated to a browser, especially I guess this means a lobotomized, downgrading of SL into an IMVU-style chatroom / Farmville flash game."
Which gets back to my question of a couple months back--is this part of a grand scheme to erase user content?

And Ciaran Laval said something I think is highly relevant now:
"This sounds like they're in last chance saloon, the press release and blog post are full of buzzwords and absolutely no substance whatsoever on how this can possibly be a step forward. [...] I don't think we'll have to worry too much about script limits in the future for some reason."
Pretty much.

Crap Mariner posted on Plurk an unofficial roll call of potential departures. None of this is official, remember, but the list currently mentioned contains Cogsworth Linden, Pink Linden, Babbage Linden, chiyo Linden, Whump Linden, Rodney Linden, Nyx Linden, Q Linden, Samuel Linden, Claudia Linden, George Linden, Sejong Linden, Mia Linden, Blue Linden, DJ Linden and Scott Linden, among others.

Another unofficial list contains these names as of 4:53 pm, today:

.Anna Linden.Brent Linden.Callen Linden.Chiyo Linden.Christy Linden.Claudia Linden
.Cody Linden.Cogsworth Linden.Crimp Linden.DJ Linden.Dough Linden.Drub Linden
.Gayathri Linden.George Linden.Gisele Linden.Harmony Linden.Jarv Linden.Jay Linden
.Karina Linden.Katie Linden.Kristi Linden.Liana Linden.Meredith Linden.Mia Linden
.Pastrami Linden.Periapse Linden.Pink Linden.Rakesh Linden.Rika Linden.Scott Linden
.Sejong Linden.Siz Linden.Socrates Linden.Storrs Linden.Theeba Linden.William Linden
.Zero Linden

This may not be accurate; or, there may be more to come.

On Monday, Massively informed us that the Singapore office for Linden Labs is, or has already been, closed. The company's country manager for Germany is gone. This, with the layoffs, makes Mark Kingdon's claim that the company remains financially strong looks shakier and shakier by the minute.

There's also something odd about what's said in that entry:
"Our restructuring plan has three main goals:
  • to improve our focus as a company on the projects that matter most to Residents
  • to simplify our organizational structure and operate more efficiently
  • to achieve cost savings so that we can invest in platform improvements, new products, and new lines of business."
Retranslated, this means:
"We have three things we want to accomplish:
  • we want to concentrate on the Facebook crowd to get them in and spending money on us
  • we need to fire a lot of people so we don't have to keep as many offices open
  • then we can turn that money we're not spending on salaries into polishing up the company for a quick sale. Yay, the Appletinis are on me!"
Does anyone out there see this as a good thing? Certainly not the Lindens who got laid off, I'd think.

More when I find it.


This late edition from the SLog mentions more than 140 Lindens might have been laid off. We're still looking for information.


Frans Charming said...

Thanks for the mention to Slog.

Emilly Orr said...


Still trying to track down exactly who's been fired...It's akin to tracking down exactly who's a Linden, though.