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
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
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
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.
Last weekend marked the end of the major events and live performances at SL17B. The only big event still going now is the SL17B Shop & Hop shopping event which ends Sunday 12th July 2020. The exhibits and birthday regions are still open for another two weeks roughly. There is a useful list of SL17B community experiences worth checking out.
For those that are visiting this week and next week the lag should now be at normal levels. It should be easier now to explore the regions sightseeing and hanging out with family/friends. It’s best to visit during non-peak hours to enjoy it more.
The SL17B Meet the Linden sessions were a huge success again this year with a large audience every day participating inworld and on the live online stream. Well done to everyone that made it work this year. It was good to hear good progress being made with the uplift work, the mobile app, premium plus, Linden Homes and much more. I think before the end of the year there will be some interesting announcements on Second Life.
The new Stilt Linden Homes can still be viewed in the SL17B Enchant region. The LH Demo region will remain open for the next few weeks. After that the Stilt Linden Homes won’t be released until later in 2020 when residents will be able to start moving in. I will post more on this when new updates becomes available.
I will be posting regular updates on how the coronavirus crisis is effecting my local area and the UK as a whole. It’s become clear over recent weeks that the virus is having a huge impact across the world and now in Second Life.
Today my health is very good and I hope it will continue that way during this outbreak. I live in North Devon in the southwest of the UK and it’s in lock down along with the rest of the UK. I work at the supermarket and I still have to go work (see #4 in list below). The cases and deaths have been low so far in Devon.
Here are the UK lockdown measures which came into effect this week. The lockdown is due to last 3 weeks but it’s most likely going to be extended for months. More restrictions could be in full force in the weeks ahead.
I’m staying at home as much as possible with perhaps the odd occasion doing exercise (a little walk), shopping (basic top ups) and working..
Nearby towns near me are like ghost towns with closure signs on every shop window. The local transport and other key services are running ok at the moment.
Shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
One form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
Travelling to and from work, but only where this absolutely cannot be done from home.
The number of people who have died with coronavirus in the UK has now reached 1, 019. So far there have been 17, 086 cases and it’s set to rise further. It’s heartbreaking hearing more people across the world are dieing every day.
I plan on blogging more and being in Second Life more going forward. I have added some helpful coronavirus links and the latest breaking news on the right side of my blog.
According to the Second Life Grid Survey the maximum daily concurrency in #SecondLife reached 56, 148 on 22nd March 2020. The median daily concurrency average at the moment is around 42, 000. It’s getting a little higher every week but no huge peaks in the max daily concurrency yet due to the current Coronavirus crisis.
If things get worse in the next few weeks and months then I think the Second Life daily concurrency levels will go up due to the strict lockdowns across the world. If any new huge peak occurs soon then I will blog about it.
What do you think the concurrency levels will be in the weeks and months ahead ?
There are many virtual cities in Second Life worth visiting for those that are in lockdown in real life due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are many attractions to enjoy with friends without no restrictions or having to panic.
There are many cool international places worth exploring on the Second Life Destination Guide like London City, Paris Eiffel, Japan, Rio, The 1920s Berlin Project and Moscow.
There are great real life 3D replicas of famous landmarks and locations in Second Life. These include Hollywood, Brighton (UK), Kattinge (Denmark), Vieux Colmar (France), Barcelona Virtual, Oahu Vacation Resort, Lake Tahoe Ski Resort, Tower Bridge, Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk, New Cardiff, Rieri – Town in Tokyo and Dachstein West.
There are places like the Eiffel Tower, Hampshire Harbour, The Great China Wall, St. Louis Arch, Bay City, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Terra Egypta and Guadalajara Mexico which will be a great adventure for everyone.
A new special information area on Coronovirus (COVID-19) in Second Life has been set up at the WBH Grove of Wisdom/ Health Hacienda on Inspiration Island. You can read the statistics and basic facts about the virus inworld thanks to Briellr Coronet.
This area will be kept updated regularly. Please spread the word and direct your friends here.
I think there should be more virus info places like this around Second Life during this crisis.
Ebbe Altberg CEO of Linden Lab has posted a message on the Second Life blog today on the latest Coronavirus situation and Second Life Operations.
The lab are seeing an increase in new registrations and returning residents in Second Life during this outbreak.
The full blog post in full…
As concerns about the current coronavirus outbreak continue, we want to assure the community that we have taken steps to ensure that the Second Life operations stay steady while also helping our employees stay safe through this public health crisis. Our hearts and thoughts go out to those who have been affected by this unprecedented event.
Second Life will continue to be available without interruption as we get through this tough time together. Due to our previous crisis contingency planning and the flexible nature of our distributed workforce, we are not expecting any changes to response times for support inquiries and payment processing.
We know that Second Life serves a great purpose for our community as people seek ways to stay in touch with their friends and co-workers, as they grapple with new social distancing protocols, mandated remote work requirements, and other precautionary measures.
We are seeing an increase in new registrations and returning residents during this outbreak. Please be kind and welcoming to those who may just need a friendly conversation to escape from this crazy world for a moment or more. If you have a friend or colleague who is looking for a safe place to socialize online during these tough times, we encourage you to help them discover how Second Life can enable them to feel less isolated by connecting them to your favorite communities or experiences.
Like many companies across the globe, we’ve put into action new remote work policies for our employees to ensure that they can take care of themselves and their families while continuing to work from home. Prior to this incident, a large percentage of our company was already working from the “Moonlab” (that’s what we call remote employees’ locations), so we have been able to transition quickly and efficiently to a fully remote setup.
For the past 17 years, Second Life has been a special place that brings people across the world together — and we appreciate your trust and support as we get through this rough time together.
Ebbe and all the Lindens From the Moonlab. 3.18.2020.
Today the coronavirus outbreak has turned into a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO). Everyone is talking about this virus and its alarming how fast its spreading around the world.
The NHS said the symptoms of Coronavirus also known as COVID-19 include a cough, high fever and shortness of breath.
On the Second Life Marketplace there are three pages of Coronavirus items including a mask, survival bag, clothing, toilet paper and more. To be honest on this occasion the lab should take these items off the Second Life Marketplace as this should be left in real life.
Its unclear if the Coronavirus will have any impact with Second Life in the weeks and months ahead in terms of more active users or in world events etc. Its serious and everyone should be preparing.
I’m in the south west part of the UK and yes there have been cases in the county area. My local town has not been affected so far. I’ll blog if this changes.
As of today 8 people have died in the UK. 460 people have tested positive in the UK. Sadly there will be more cases and deaths before it gets better.