Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Elitist Bloggers & Their Doomsday Deathwishes

I have a problem with darling bloggers. Just like darlings of the financial world back in 1929, who CAUSED history by instigating a buying frenzy which became the Stock Market Crash, these bloggers rattle off blather about the end of Second Life in much the same way: they're the greatest perpatrators to the cause, usually just to sound important.

Is it an intentional objective or do they just like to feel important when their sensationalist text perks up the ears of their mindless minions? Did those fools in 1929 anticipate their actions would plunge the United States into The Great Depression? Think the only difference is that for whatever grudge they hold against Linden Labs, these bloggers will be proud of themselves once their jobs are done.

The only problem I see with SL is that it was built by a neo-hippie, who - as usual - tried to use a kind of honor system with how things were regulated while trying to maintain a facade of utopia over a business. Then when he realized that most people - regardless of what their avatars look like - never change and will always be selfish, had to set common sense rules. It was too late; when you give someone an inch and they take a mile, enforcing a yard will never be acceptable.

Big mistake 2: You can't put your staff inworld as friends of your consumers, allow them to amass a following, then fire them. If you've hired them for a nebulous, neo-hippie job description, you're just asking for it.

Most companies downsized over the past two years. In SL's claim that they reevaluated their direction and had to redirect their resources and budget accordingly. To keep their product fresh meant release anyone from nebulous, neo-hippie positions. Yes, they were mostly nice. Yes, some made important contributions, but so could an occasional focus group for less money.

QA and other backend developers and testers. Customer support. The world is outsourcing. You're looking at someone who was a victim of outsourcing in the late 70s. I majored in character animation with a Disney scholarship. Sound like a brag? Don't envy me. It was when they started outsourcing to Eastern Europe and Asia. Only the directors were left. Even Bluth and Disney utilized studios overseas starting in the 80s (old school chums worked on Roger Rabbit in - of all places - Ireland). Nowadays if you can get comparable or better help for less, you're an idiot not to. Suffice it to say I'm still where I've been the past few years because I'm no longer an Email support drone out of 20 agents, which is how I got my start where I work. Two changed departments and I remained to tell agents in other locations what to tell subscribers (they call it Tier 3). Everyone else was let go. So while Linden Labs had to say goodbye to some wonderful people (someone I knew was apparently a QA tester for LL who got the axe), it truly was a necessary and rather unspectacular move in the greater scheme of things.

People you know who left. You were their fans. Some of them contributed significantly to SL's evolution, but mostly in the past tense. Making that breakthrough today doesn't guarantee a lifetime position. You have to continue being irreplaceable, and for things the company needs. Do you REALLY know the true circumstances under which anyone YOU thought was valuable left? Probably not. 

M Linden did the ugly, unpopular stuff. So did Snape in The Halfblood Prince. Was it part of the plan? Tell me: did Philip hire anyone back?

There you go.

The problem with neo-hippies are they're typical and predictible. They have a dream and fund it. The moment it takes on a life of its own, the neo-hippie is repulsed. I've seen it in business. I've seen it with other virtual worlds. In extreme cases the owner tries to sabotage the company or project in an effort to break it down and make it go away. Was the downfall of iCity from such a root cause? We may never know. With most other virtual worlds the founder tried to pass ownership or management over to someone while remain as consultant and appear as a kind of figurehead to the community.

It always appears to be neo-hippies who create virtual world sites. Why? Not being one I can only guess. Perhaps their transient nature reaches a point where they're compelled to run there for a bit. Or they have dreams of utopia and building an empire according to their vision. Then that inconvenience of endurance happens of course.

You have to give Philip credit though. Unless his arm had been twisted by financiers to come back, it's highly unusual for a neo-hippie on the run to step back into place to do bizness stuffs.

You don't think Philip's on the run? Yesterday at this writing his consulting firm was based in some cafe.

Anyway back to the bloggers.  There's a lot of riling up going in. I haven't seen this sort of thing since my days in college decades back, and trust me I'm glad to have outgrown that venue.

Yeah I said it wassup


  1. Great post - hear hear I say :)

    And even if they are right and SL is on the way out, so what? Nothing lasts forever - the secret is to enjoy it while it's here :)

  2. Part of the thing is an end being suggested or hastened is that so many enjoy it or are just beginning to enjoy it. The point is Philip has worked hard to put a very strong management in place but it keeps being undermined by multisyllabic bafoons and the people who listen to them. SL would be a very different place even now if they didn't exist, and we should enjoy it and get back to its roots and why we came here. I never forget why. I just hoverboarded through two continents this evening. The difference being when I flew through them in 2008 there was junky adfarms and porn tower links everywhere instead of marvelous content and I didn't have roads to use.

  3. TOtally ancedotal, but I'm seeing more people online on an average day than I was in The rest of 2010. Nothing scientific, just watching the population meter in my workshop.

  4. Yeh and the population and strain on the asset server is getting worse on Sunday afternoons LOL

  5. Well, you make a fair point, Doc. Would I contribute to SL's (possible) demise by bailing out too noticeably? Maybe.

    At the same time, I'm not willing to disappear quietly without making comment on how I see things are going. I see that SL is diminishing. I see that the joy of growing a new world vanished years ago. Where's the point in watching your work of the past several years wither and die?

    So no... when I leave, which is soon, I will shout my reasons out loud.

  6. That would be VERY sad Cubey. You're one of SL's heroes and your presence is a special one. Note the Proks of this world wallow in their efforts with glee. Maybe there's some subconscious desire to squelch competition? Who knows. They've been responsible for the chain of estate exodus and from that the need for SL to redirect resources. Could bloggers have ultimately caused the mass layoffs? MAYBE! Have they led to your decision? It's amazing how people act on multisyllabic drivel when that's all it is.

    I've seen Mainland start to thrive this past year, with nicer places and actively occupied properties. Less tacky mall/club chinzes, but maybe that's because of where I live.

    Now if only we can get rid of those ugly roadblocking automated vehicles that creature puts out wherever the moles have laid roads.