Patch Linden At VWBPE 2021 – Above The Book: What’s up at the Lab?


Patch Linden VP of Product Operations talked with Phelan Corrimal (VWBPE Director; Rockcliffe University Consortium) at VWBPE 2021 this afternoon for almost a hour about what’s new at Linden Lab along with education and non-profit organizations in Second Life. This is the first of three reconnaissance sessions with Linden Lab at VWBPE 2021. Yay! 🙂

I thought it was a interesting and informative interview on things like mega regions, the impact of the pandemic to whats next for the new owners taking Second Life forward. There was no Q&A session at the end or any mention of Ebbe Linden (CEO of Linden Lab). There was no mention of Linden Homes, Premium Plus or the latest on Second Life mobile development.

The attendance for this session was reasonable (average levels) I think. I’m sure its been higher in previous years.

Here is a brief below from what Patch Linden talked about during the session via the live transcript…

The New Owners

  • The team is comprised of Randy Waterfield, Brad Oberwager, and Raj Date which forms the board at the lab
  • The transition from the former owners to the new owners actually went very smoothly
  • Patch Linden primarily works with Brad as he’s the owner.
  • Brad has one mission: to be the best and biggest virual world there can be
  • Brad wants to grow and invest in Second Life and he genuinely loves the product
  • Randy owns an investment firm
  • Brad sits in the middle and balances both / they see Tilia as a business
  • Tilia is what allows Second Life to continue to exist
  • Second Life is the primary focus & there is a separate team that focus on Tilia

Immediate Priorities Over Next 12 Months Or So

  • The lab want to increase the Second Life population as that’s Brad’s goal
  • The team wants to finish up with the AWS work
  • There are some product enhancements that will come out of that
  • User experience is key especially the onboarding experience
  • That’s the 12 month high level road map

Gateways

  • The lab are refactoring the new onboarding process and there is a lot of work going on
  • There are viewer changes that will smooth out the bumps we’ve identified over the years
  • The lab have been doing A/B testing to figure out what path needs to look like
  • New UIs and refreshed looks will benefit everyone

New User Experience Accessibility

  • Grumpity Linden keeps her eyes on improving accessibility along with improving the UI
  • The lab don’t plan on adding text-to-speech immediately

Goals Upcoming

  • The goal for growth is double the resident population over the next 3-5 years
  • The goals are realistic as the lab has seen this over the past year
  • Both educators and businesses have switched from in-person to hybrid solutions

Team Grid Reintroduction / K-12 Educational Groups

  • The lab have educational groups operating in that space particularly through educational partners
  • AWS work will help open more doors
  • Probably at the end of the year the lab there could be geographically aided opportunities. That will open the doors to private grids.

The Pandemic Experience During The Past Year

  • The new user experience needing significant work between people coming back but not for personal reasons
  • It’s more important to smooth the experience in the post-pandemic world and give it some love
  • People’s usage habits have changed over time and they’re different for business and education

Private Labeling / White Labeling

  • The lab have had clients say they’d like the lab to remove half the features of the viewer and some want more
  • Open Chat Range – that came from taking a request from events in general – to increase the density of avatars at one time
  • Teen Grid had its own search which was the same as the main grid and it was all separate

Next 12 months – Educators / Non-Profits

  • Geographic location stuff
  • The user experience improvements will make things easier
  • To leverage AWS

Mega Regions & Cost

  • The lab are not looking to increase cost / should remain the status quo
  • If AWS lets the lab get into new region models then maybe mega regions, maybe light regions not within the next 12 months
  • Middle cost alternative maybe / the option to have more avatar density within regions / the lab are looking into it
  • On demand situations where people can upgrade from homestead to full to allow them to host a big event

The Competition

  • Patch mentioned that he likes competition as it helps foster innovation and it drives you to stay motivated. Patch always keeps an eye out on the competitors and what they’re doing
  • There are alot of features that the lab has where others are catching up to and they have new features that can be interesting to adapt like the economy. Patch is not seeing a direct competitor to Second Life as far as flexibility. Things like max attachments, prims in region etc. The lab already has a direct building tool in-world.

Opportunities To Experiment

  • There is no particular group of folks as the lab all go out to try new platforms and learn about them
  • Those that observe platforms come back and bring feedback
  • As a business you have to see whether something new is worth to keep if its not at the best usability/performance. The lab need to study the performance and bandwidth
  • Sometimes it tilts towards no and we have to withdraw it because it would impact negatively on user experience

Oz Linden Retired

  • Patch said that Oz retired and he was a great colleague. He left a chasm and the lab are glad for him
  • When the lab recruits its posted on the website / internal recruiters

New Ownership Structure

  • Patch knows the ownership is on everyone’s mind and they have a great energy / super enthusiastic / they want to grow Second Life and the educational communities as well
  • Brad always asks Patch how will it benefit the residents and how will it benefit Second Life ?

Stay updated on the latest happenings at VWBPE 2021 here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.