This year’s Sci-Fi Expo in Second Life will be happening between 8th October through until 17th October. This event is to benefit making strides against breast cancer and the American Cancer Society. The Sci-Fi expo will be featuring shops, live performances, roleplaying events and more. The SLURL will be available on the Sci-Fi expo website on opening day. The theme this year is Journey To New Eden which sounds great.
The Sci-Fi event is a good opportunity to help bring awareness and donations to support finding a cure for Breast Cancer. To mission here is to unite the community together against a common cause.
The SciFi Expo is an event in Second Life held to benefit Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, a campaign sponsored by the American Cancer Society. SciFi Expo’s mission is to help unite the residents and community together against a common cause. This great cause is to help bring awareness and donations to support finding a cure for Breast Cancer. The mission also strives to help the American Cancer Society fund breakthrough research about breast cancer, provide free information and to support people in reducing the risk of breast cancer and finding methods early to prevent complicated treatments.
On Tuesday 22nd June 2021 Patch Linden (Vice President of Product Operations) appeared on the first Meet the Lindens talks at SL18B interviewed by Saffia Widdershins. The episode runs for almost 2 hours full of interesting discussion about Second Life, Linden Lab and current projects.
The main key points from the session…
Ebbe Altberg meant a lot to Patch. He was always fun to work with
The new Fantasy Linden Home theme will be released “soon” with the ability to choose from homes with open plans or with rooms. The Fantasy release will be on a sub-continent that will be part of the Bellisseria continent. There will be seasonal cycles and there will be at least 3 more themes to be announced
There has been no work yet on retiring the old Linden homes
The Moles are building the next two LH themes (one is in almost continent complete and the other one is coming along)
There will be a new user experience soon (within weeks) with a new region layout with new tutorials, new viewer and web based support
New starter avatars are being considered as the default new starter avatar (mesh/bento/bakes on mesh ready) & Ruth toggle between V1/V2
There have been increases in the LindeX and GDP
Linden Lab support have been enjoying the general turn around time for issues, enquiries and the satisfaction rate
Roadmap for the next 12 months…
Expansion work for Linden Homes including “V2” home type (the surprise)
New avatar work and the new user experience
A new possible game (mid-late next year)
New land products and new land prices possible
After 1 hour and 16 minutes the talk turns into a Q&A session which is worth a listen for anyone that has not watched this session yet. Some interesting things to mention here…
The Tapestry of Time region – The lab updates it yearly to come back with the annual birthdays. Bear Island makes a return every five years.
More groups – At some point
Underwater Linden Homes – Don’t know if the lab will tackle it
Adding Linden Homes to Zindra – Adult Linden Homes could be something to consider and think about
AWS – Performance gains, region border crossings much improved and there has been alot of upside to it
Barrier of content creation – Something the lab should tackle (3D Modelling etc)
Linden Lab railway across continents – Possible expansion of SLRR
Bellisseria airports – The lab do drop one here and there
Option for faster download speeds in the viewer / option for texture cache – Probably
Higher level premium – Premium Plus put on hold / No plans for move forward with it
Disney world regions – Would love to do it / It would be a significant partnership
Mermaid aquatic avatars for new starter avatars – Possible after the coming new starter avatars
More Prims – Have to look at testing it at Linden Homes and Private Estate offerings etc
Second Life in 18 years time – Patch sees it much larger, potentially being part of vernacular and regularly talked about. On all sorts of devices in 18 years everywhere we go. The sky’s the limit for us and Patch hopes to take it there.
The Meet the Lindens series continues until Friday 25th June 2021 with a variety of well known Linden/Moles. Stay tuned.
Today Linden Lab have released it’s exciting calendar of SL18B events in a blog post on the official Second Life blog about what’s planned for this year’s birthday celebrations. There is a Second Life birthday calendar worth checking out in the blog post where there is the ability to add the events to your Google calendar.
SL18B officially opens to the public at 9am SLT on Thursday 17th June 2021 over at the SLB regions. Patch Linden will be hosting the SL18B Opening Ceremony from 11am SLT at the SL18B Main Stage. It’s best to arrive early to have the best seat before the regions become full.
Lab Gab at SL18B live stream starts after Patch Linden opening address at 11am SLT where Strawberry Linden will be exploring SL18B
The Second Life Birthday Group will get early access to SL18B Shop & Hop from 9am SLT on 17th June
Linden Lab will be holding the SL18B Music Fest which includes three days of great music from a variety of talented performers around the grid. The SL18B Music Fest live sessions will take place on the SL18B Live Stage from Thursday 17th June to Saturday 19th June 2021.
Randy De Lucia
SL18B Opening Ceremony with Patch Linden
Rogue Galaxy and The Tiny Rebel Band
Staring At The Sun
Gabriel da Silva
Save the date for SL18B Music Fest 2021!
Meet The Lindens at SL18B
Meet The Lindens returns this year according to the Second Life Birthday Calendar with a great lineup of well known Lindens and from the Moles team.
Monday 21st June 2021: Lab Gab SL18B Special with the Leadership Team – 2pm SLT to 3pm SLT – Auditorium Option 1
Tuesday 22nd June 2021: Patch Linden (VP of Product Operations) – 1pm SLT to 2pm SLT – Auditorium Option 1
Wednesday 23rd June 2021: Grumpity Linden (VP of Product) – 2pm to 3pm SLT – Auditorium Option 1
Ebbe Altberg was announced as the new CEO of Linden Lab back on 5th February 2014 where he mentioned that he was absolutely committed to supporting Second Life customers and helping them become even more successful. He mentioned back then that there were significant opportunities ahead and he looked forward to leading the community into the next phase of growth. Ebbe started tweeting about Second Life and answering questions via his Twitter account shortly afterwards.
There was a small invitation only for a selection of Second Life press and I was lucky to attend this meet & greet meeting. It was hosted at PR island in a nice meeting spot just north of the region with Pete Linden and Ebbe Altberg.
Ebbe attended his first VWBPE event in April 2014 where he talked about the educational uses of Second Life, improving communications and plans for the future of Second Life. Over 200 avatars attended with over 150+ viewers watching via Livestream. Ebbe talked about Second Life terms of service, the metaverse, future technologies, branding and much more.
Ebbe Altberg, Philip Rosedale and Draxtor Despres attended the Silicon Valley VR expo (creating the VR Metaverse) in May 2014. They talked about many topics from avatar portability, intellectual property, identity and privacy along with much more.
Ebbe attended one of the third party viewer meetings back on 20th June 2014 where he announced that Linden Lab was working on a next generation virtual world. The aim was to create an incredible experience and enable high quality creativity.
In mid March 2015 Ebbe talked more about the next generation platform at VWBPE 2015 mentioning that it is progressing well and there was 30+ engineers working on it. At this point the lab had only worked on this new platform for about 8-9 months. Ebbe wanted to make land cheaper, he was a fan of strong communities and he wanted to support mobile from the beginning.
On Friday 26th June 2015 Ebbe Linden was interviewed by Jo Yardley and Saffia Widdershins at the SL12B Auditorium. This part of the last Meet The Lindens talks at the birthday celebrations. Ebbe talked about Project Sansar, third party viewers and more.
In early August 2015 Ebbe Altberg and Nick Ochoa met up and discussed Project Sansar. This was a very interesting interview where Ebbe mentioned closed alpha and the alpha phase. Ebbe mentioned that Second Life was south of 1 million active monthly users. People cashed out 60 million dollars in 2014.
In early December 2015 Ebbe Altberg talked about the future of virtual reality on Bloomberg West with Altspacevr founder and CEO Eric Romo. Ebbe mentioned that there is a mass market for VR, it’s going to take a while (next few years) for people to get VR hardware in their hands and Second Life cashed out 60 million dollars from creating virtual experiences in 2014.
Ebbe revealed some new screenshots of Project Sansar back in early February 2016 showing examples of what environments (Mars & the Moon) can look like inside the new platform. The community had very mixed feedback on these screenshots. Ebbe mentioned that it takes a few hours to create a multi user VR experience with Project Sansar.
In early March 2016 Ebbe Linden talked about Second Life at VWBPE 2016. Ebbe mentioned that Second Life performance was continuing improving, quality and stability was improving. The lab was working on new avatars and new web on prim. The lab was focused on creators for the rest of 2016 and that general amiability would come at the end of 2016 for Project Sansar.
In late October 2016 Ebbe showed off the first demo of Sansar on stage during Wall Street Journal’s Live conference in Laguna Beach, California. This was the first video demo of Sansar (1min/51secs) showing new footage of the next generation platform which was due to open to the public in January 2017.
In the first video demo of Sansar Ebbe Linden is showing the audience how easy it is to grab things and move virtual furniture using with the Oculus Touch controller. Ebbe Linden talked about how users will be able to create, buy and sell virtual goods within Sansar. Ebbe said that food is a tricky thing in VR and that there will be a currency/marketplace. Ebbe Linden finishes by saying that Sansar is was in the creator preview phrase and that hundreds of creators have been invited so far and the roll out will continue right into Q1 2017.
In late March 2017 Ebbe Altberg had a hour long conversation with Kevin Feenan at the 10th annual VWBPE conference about education in Second Life and the education possibilities that could happen in Sansar. Ebbe mentioned during this conversation that Second Life is the most successful virtual world ever made to this day and that Second Life is a successful product/profitable product. In terms of Sansar he mentioned that Sansar will be another platform to explore and that Sansar would enable you to do things you cant do in Second Life.
Ebbe Altberg at VWBPE 2018 in mid March 2018. He talked about VR, Second Life, Sansar, education, land prices and much more. There was no major announcements this year to mention but rather small updates. The attendance was pretty good for both inworld and online numbers. A few Lindens made a special appearance at the Main Auditorium.
In mid June 2018 Ebbe Altberg and Philip Rosedale was featured on the Second Life 15th birthday video. Ebbe in this video was speaking from Amsterdam and he mentioned that 68 million US dollars was paid to creators in 2017. 5 million virtual goods listed in the marketplace and that Linden Lab are moving massive amounts of infrastructure into the cloud. There was a special surprise appearance from the founder of Second Life Philip Rosedale where he mentioned that Second Life 15 years later is still going strong and that Second Life is the most successful virtual world out there today.
Ebbe Altberg town hall meeting on Thursday 13th September 2018 talking about Second Life.
Wagner James Au interviewed Ebbe Altberg for 45 minutes at Linden Lab HQ in San Francisco in March 2019. They chatted about efforts to grow new user growth, land discounts, the upcoming mobile companion app, cloud deployment, improving performance and much more relating to Second Life. With Sansar they chatted about the low usage numbers since the beta launch, Sansar’s long download times and efforts to optimize Sansar.
Ebbe unveiled his brand new special Ebbe Linden bear during the 2019 SL Christmas Expo in early December 2019. This was a one off L$250 donation which went to the American Cancer Society.
Ebbe and Grumpity went through the 2020 roadmap for Second Life on Lab Gab back in late February 2020. Ebbe announced that Linden Lab was no longer supporting Sansar and that the focus will go on Second Life along with Tilia.
In mid March 2020 Ebbe Altberg posted a message on the Second Life official blog about the situation with Coronavirus and Second Life operations. Ebbe mentioned that Linden Lab saw an increase in new registrations and returning residents. The blog post mentioned that Second Life will continue to be available without interruption as we get though this tough time together.
At the end of March 2020 Ebbe then appeared on Lab Gab episode 19 with Brett Linden to talk about the health crisis and more.
Ebbe attended SL17B in June 2020 and had a great live conversation with Saffia Widdershins. Ebbe mentioned about the cloud uplift to transition all of the Second Life services from the co-location data centre used by Linden Lab to Amazon AWS cloud services. Ebbe mentioned education, the second life economy, the roadmap, the sale of Sansar and more.
In early July 2020 Linden Research, Inc announced it signed an agreement to be acquired by an investment group led by Randy Waterfield and Brad Oberwager. This will become a new chapter, an new opportunity and another expansion for Second Life along with Tilia. See the official press release here.
“We’re excited for this new chapter to begin. We see this as an opportunity to continue growth and expansion for Second Life and our money services business Tilia,” says Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg. “We’re grateful for the ongoing support from our community, business partners and investors. Now more than ever, there is increased recognition of the value and utility of virtual worlds to bring people together for safe, shared, and social online experiences.”
By mid July 2020 Ebbe Altberg and Brett Linden responded to the company’s acquisition. There was a huge amount of mixed responses on the news on Twitter and on the Second Life forums. Most Second Life residents were worried and concerned about the future of Second Life.
Ebbe Altberg last made an appearance inworld I believe at Oz Linden retirement event earlier in 2021 around February. Ebbe appearance has been very low during the first five months of 2021.
Ebbe Altberg Twitter account was rather quiet then usual after November 2020. There was some activity in mid April 2021 though. Ebbe did not do a speech at VWBPE 2021 back in March 2021 which I thought was rather strange.
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 Arcade December 2020 round is now officially open until the end of the month in Second Life. The “quarterly gacha event features 100 of the grid’s best designers and builders, each whom offer a collection of high-quality prizes sold at random from gacha machines within The Arcade’s build”.
It’s one of the most popular annual events in Second Life. This is great opportunity for those that love taking snapshots and love being near the sea. I strongly recommend everyone going to the arcade especially as it’s christmas time.