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.
The 14th annual virtual worlds best practices in education (VWBPE 2021) conference officially opens on 18th March through until 20th March 2021. The theme is Reconnaissance for next year’s conference. VWBPE 2021 will be held in Second Life and the conference will be focused on the “use of immersive virtual environments for educational purposes including virtual and augmented reality”.
VWBPE will again be using Linden Lab’s Second Life environment as our primary conference venue for meetings, exhibits, roundtables, and discussions. Participants are free to submit proposals and immersive experience tours on any environment for education using technologies for virtual or augmented reality. We actively encourage showcasing multiple technology platforms. This includes practical application, researched papers, conceptual, and content creation supporting those technologies.
Call For Proposals/Sponsors – Open early November 2020
Call for Exhibits – Open early November 2020
Call for Immersive Experiences – Open early November 2020
Registration – Open 9th November 2020
Exhibitors Region Access – Open on 12th February 2021
Conference Schedule – Published on 24th February 2021
Ebbe Linden & Brett Linden will be speaking live on Lab Gab episode 19 from 10am SLT on Friday 27th March 2020. You can expect to hear the latest news on the Coronavirus public health crisis and how the lab are dealing with it.
There could be updates on Linden Homes, Last Names, Sansar and much more.
The full blog announcement…
Join our host, Strawberry Linden, as she speaks with the CEO of Linden Lab, Ebbe Linden, and Senior Director of Marketing, Brett Linden. Ebbe and Brett will be discussing how Linden Lab is responding to the public health crisis to ensure uninterrupted Second Life operations, as well as how the company is offering new remote turnkey solutions for conferences, events, or classes.
The 13th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference officially starts next Thursday 26th through until Saturday 28th March 2020 in Second Life. The theme for VWBPE 2020 is Stellar and the regions will reflect this year’s theme.
The keynote speakers for this year’s conference. The keynote speeches will be presented at the newly re-built VWBPE Auditorium.
Dr. L. Robert Furman
Thursday, March 26
Opening the conference is Dr. Rob Furman. Dr. Rob is a well known educator, administrator, author and speaker from Pennsylvania. His engagement and enthusiasm for everyday education inspire audiences everywhere. We are excited to welcome Dr. Rob to Second Life and VWBPE.
Virtual Worlds and Social Justice: An Impact and Civic Engagement Agenda
Friday, March 27
Dr. Thomas has worked extensively with VWBPE partner vLanguages, working as PI of the CAMELOT project (EU KA3 ICT) about project-based learning with video (2013-2015); a partner in the (EU KA2) VITAL project on learning analytics (2015-2017); and PI on the GUINEVERE project (EU KA2) which examined gamification in virtual environments (2017-2019). He is a prolific author and researcher.
Dr. Thomas helps us launch Day 2 speaking on Virtual Worlds and Social Justice: An Impact and Civic Engagement Agenda.
Lessons Learned from the 2020 Educators in VR Conference
Saturday, March 28
The final Keynote address of the conference brings us the co-founders of Educators in VR: Daniel Dyboski-Bryant and Lorelle VanFossen. This dynamic duo will be reflecting on the lessons learned at their recent and highly successful Educators in VR International Summit — 24 hours a day for 6 days in VR environments.
Daniel is a lifelong educator from a family of educators and speaks 5 languages. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant of VR in Education with clients including schools, colleges, universities, design teams, training companies, councils and private individuals.
In his daytime job Daniel is the Project Lead for Exploring VR in Further Education, Remote Learning and Language, ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) Lecturer, and Trainer at Coleg Llandrillo, Grwp Llandrillo-Menaia in North Wales UK.
Lorelle VanFossen is a keynote, trainer, writer, and consultant on web writing, digital storytelling, content curation, social media, and blogging, especially working with WordPress and virtual reality. Called a digital evangelist, on Lorelle on WordPress she writes and teaches more than you may want to know about how all this social publishing business stuff works.
The VWBPE Conference is a completely virtual conference that is conducted using simulated environments. Participants experience the conference through a virtual reality type setting including conference rooms, theatres, exposition halls, meeting spaces, and other types of venues similar to a brick and mortar type conference.
The conference is free to attend. The cost of the conference is covered by sponsorship and donations.
There are some big inworld events happening during April 2019 in Second Life including the 12th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference, the 11th annual Fantasy Faire and the BURN2 Burnal Equinox.
There are more events happening across the grid next month from hunts, music/DJ events and most importantly Easter events. Check out Featured Events on the Second Life Destination Guide for more great events happening now until then.
Don’t forget the Home and Expo runs through until Sunday 7th April 2019. There are ten regions to explore including the new Linden Homes Preview region.
12th Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference
The VWBPE conference will be held from 4th April through until 6th April 2019. The theme for this year is re:Vision and the keynote speakers are the following..Dr.Tom Boellstorff, Dr.Tuncer Can and Dr.Jonathon Richter.
Linden Lab – Above the Book
> Patch Linden (Senior Director, Product Operations) and Grumpity Linden (Senior Director, Product) will be going live at 2pm SLT on 4th April 2019 at the VWBPE Main Auditorium talking about what’s new at Linden Lab.
The VWBPE 2019 schedule has been published here. All times are SLT and all sessions are held in Second Life.
11th Fantasy Faire
The Fantasy Fair 2019 will open to the public on 18th April through until 5th May 2019. If you love fantasy this is the perfect event for you. There will be live music concerts, shopping and special events to help raise funds for Relay for Life of Second Life.
BURN2 Burnal Equinox
The BURN2 Burnal Equinox takes place from 12th April through until 14th April 2019. The theme for the spring event is Eyes to the Skies. BURN2 has been community supported since 2010 and has been very successful over the years.
I am looking forward to attending this town hall chat session because they are always pretty interesting. Read the full blog announcement below…
With SL15B behind us (and SL16B to look forward to!) we thought it was time to have another Town Hall, and give Residents a chance to ask about Second Life and hear the latest news on what is being worked on and planned in Second Life. We’ll also share specific updates on our product development roadmap, as discussed earlier this year.
Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg will be appearing at a “Town Hall” chat session on Thursday, September 13th 2018 at 9:30 a.m. (SLT/Pacific). This is your chance to interact directly with Ebbe as he discusses 2018 and beyond.
Don’t forget to mark your calendars for Sept. 13 to see if your question is selected. On that day, you can join us live for the Town Hall meeting. Location will be publicized closer to the event – stay tuned!
We’ll see you inworld soon!
Don’t forget to mark your calendars and please spread the word.