Monday, July 5, 2010

Commentary: What A Month!

Last week, there was a new ad by Linden Labs almost certainly aimed at taking advantage of the hype around a movie being released. In different times, it might have generated quite a bit of buzz. But after all that’s happened in June 2010, it seemed almost ho-hum.

A little more than a week after the month started, came the announcement of the Linden layoffs. This event cast a big shadow over the planned event, Second Life Seventh Birthday. And in the middle of that, came the big news of M Linden “stepping down” as CEO of Linden Lab, and Philip back in charge. And there were the smaller events of a tribute to the dismissed Lindens and a party in their honor.

There’s been a bit of talk over just what Philip’s return means. The initial reaction of most was to cheer. Second Life under M has mostly been one blunder by Linden Lab after another. After a little thought, some expressed caution. The Metaverse under Philip wasn’t exactly a rose garden either. And a few expressed fear. They saw bringing Philip back as the last desperate gasp of a company on the edge of bankruptcy.

Linden Lab is not going bankrupt. “There,” which closed down a few months ago, had a history of problems making a healthy income. Second Life, in spite of Linden Labs’ heavy-handed moves, has still been bringing in some cash. The problem is, Second Life has been near-stagnant, with Linden Lab stumbling about in how to make it grow again. Some have commented that most people inclined to try Second Life already have. But Linden Labs’ clumsy moves under M Linden certainly haven’t helped.

Can Philip turn things around? Paisley Beebe made some remarks that are similar to mine. Things weren’t perfect when he was around, but let’s give him a chance. That spoken, if Linden Labs keeps on a clumsy course, time to hold his feet to the fire.

As for M Linden, for all his blunders, he did make an effort to support the arts in SL, and the Lawrence Wilson Art Gallery at the UWA stated “his personal artshow will remain ... in perpetuity.” So perhaps he did some good after all.

In the meantime, Linden Lab is in Philip’s hands now, and we at Second Life Newsier will do our part to keep their moves under the spotlight.

Sources: Second Life Newspaper, Tonight Live with Paisley Bebee

Bixyl Shuftan

1 comment:

  1. Looking back after four years of writing about Second Life, this was still my most challenging month in covering the news.