Linden Lab’s I-World island: window-dressing or real help?

Linden Lab have announced an enhancement of their in-world support through the creation of I-World Island, which will launch on the 5th April. It’s fair to say that Linden Lab have made progress in their in-world support, although it’s still hard not to agree with one commenter on the Linden blog where the announcement was made:

“While that is a nice idea just how do you expect someone who crashes 10 times a day to find your island, and if they did, how do you expect them to get there without crashing?”

Linden Lab have widely proclaimed 2008 as the year of usability – hopefully I-World Island is another weapon in what needs to be a much larger armoury.

22 more Second Life tutorial videos

Linden Lab’s Torley Linden is a man possessed – today he’s released 22 new tutorial videos:

“Adding & divorcing a Partner – Love & separation in 2 min.
Building materials explained – Rubber? Glass? Stone? What difference do they make?
Changing the time of day – Override to see better.
Changing your login location – For your sheer convenience.
Chat bubbles – A different, cartoony way to communicate.
Cheesy red tracking beacon – It’s animated and easier to see!
Driving a vehicle – Basics of buying and riding transportation.
Finding stuff buried the ground – Popular question, practical advice.
Finding your chat logs – So you can read, archive, delete, etc.
Freezing stuff for snapshots – Supahmodel, work it!
Friends permissions – What do those icons mean?
Hiding online friend notifications – Annoying you? Turn it off.
Hiding the Search panel in the menu bar – BY POPULAR DEMAND, NEW IN 1.19.1 RC!
Hover tips – Use them to get more info.
How high can you fly? – … and what’s up there?
Increasing font size for better readability – SLize matters.
Muting jerks & objects – Don’t let the spam crap get you down.
Stretching prim sides & textures – Makes editing objects easier.
Turning off object selection glow – Remove an annoyance(followup to “Advanced attachment adjustment)!
What are particles? – Not just for *bling*! I show you.
What is a sandbox? – Great to show your new-to-SL friends.
World Map – How to use it. “See the world, they say!” ”

Linden Lab’s CEO steps aside

According to a Reuters story, Philip Rosedale (SL: Philip Linden) is standing down from his role as Linden Lab CEO. From what I can see it’s a Bill Gates-like decision of getting away from the day-to-day burdens of running a company to focus on wider issues.

If anything, this is likely to help the company and the initial response seems to be positive. I can’t see any fundamental shift in Linden Lab’s approach beyond getting some more discipline in its business operations. If the new CEO can achieve that discipline whilst maintaining Linden Lab’s relatively good transparency, there may be promising times ahead.

What do you think? How’s this likely to change Linden Lab and Second Life?

Other coverage:



Second Life Herald

Terra Nova

Virtual Worlds News

Sydney Morning Herald

Linden Lab offers lottery for free land parcels

All the details here. Essentially, both lotteries are for fairly well frequented shopping areas that Linden Lab are offering to new tenants for 6-months. The first is Luna Oaks Galleria, the second is Busy Ben’s Vehicle Lot.

Whether you’re an established or new Second Life entrepreneur, this is well worth entering. What have you got to lose?

Second Life release series of micro-video tutorials

Linden Lab’s Torley Linden continues to pump out video tutorials for new and seasoned Second Life users alike. This week he’s provided thirteen short videos:

1. What is a prim?
2. What does “rez” mean?
3. Using your mouse’s scroll wheel
4. Toggling Property Lines
5. Organising windows & menus
6. Chat bar shortcuts
7. Linking prims
8. Opening edit tools
9. Wearing attachments
10. Editing attachments
11. Opening the debug menus
12. Advanced movement controls
13. Zoom In & Out

These would be particularly useful for a new Second Life user not wanting to navigate the maze that’s Linden Lab’s support portal.

How to optimise sound in Second Life

Torley Linden supplies the latest in his excellent series of tutorials on getting the best out of the Second Life viewer.

Want to be famous? Linden Lab want YOU

All the details here. Essentially, they’re after Second Life residents who are willing to speak with the media on their life in-world.

Jump on in!

Linden Lab release customer service metrics

Linden Lab has a long standing mantra of being as transparent as possible although over the past year this has been tested in the customer service area, with a number of changes undertaken with little consultation or notice. A small step back in the other direction has occurred with the announcement that customer service metrics will be released each month.

The metrics themselves are rudimentary but at least provide some ideas on service trends. It’d be nice to see statistics around abandon rates (how many people gave up waiting in queue on the phone) and number of support tickets were resolved rather than number of tickets submitted.

Credit for another step in transparency but it’s far from full transparency at this stage.

The scenery just got prettier

Yesterday’s Linden Blog posting heralded a major step forward in the visual strength of the SL platform – Linden’s acquisition of the Windlight graphics technology from Windward Mark Interactive.

As Linden Labs say themselves, the short story on the technology is “killer skies”. The initial shots supplied certainly live up to that description:

(Photo part of set created by Torley Linden – access the full set here)

The Windlight-enabled viewer is available “now” for PC users – though I can’t find the specific download link. No firm date on the Mac release as yet.

What’s not clear for Australian users of SL is the impact on bandwidth and whether lag will increase further. However, announcements like this do flag the oncoming wave of enhancements resulting from open sourcing SL. And here’s a YouTube video provided by Linden Labs to showcase Windlight:

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