More Will Be Revealed
A little while ago Linden Lab created a new program that they hope will bring the needs and concerns of residents closer - literally. They are choosing 7 candidates with 1 random resident thrown in - and will continue to choose 8 periodically, adding them to the program. The funny thing is that it's a real-world thing, not a Second Life thing, for whatever reason - that has made me confused. I'm watching to see how it all works out - it's certainly not a usual thing for a company to care so much what its customers think that it brings representatives to its offices! There has been a bit of whinging on the forums with the main concerns being (I think): that it has started out with some of the usual suspects who are already considered to have a greater voice than most (I don't know 7 of those chosen so don't ask me), and that this "real world" thing shouldn't trump virtual reality in this area. There's the fear, too, that it's an in-world version of the forum ResMod program, which is not exactly popular. From the very beginning of my time in SL I've heard people bring up the idea of resident government or authority, countered by many angry voices which said, "No player should have power over another."
The Second Life Views program isn't about power (although it's a human characteristic that goodness flows in proportion to how well one is known and regarded by those at the top), but is about information delivered face-to-face. The voiced concerns should be mitigated by the growth of the resident pool over time - I'm not quite sure exactly how that growth is structured (maybe it has been decided but it could be up in the air).
So - I have no idea how this will work out, but what I see from Linden Lab is constant experimentation - which is good, I think. There are some experiments, like the city sims, which are gaining in popularity after two years. I think results aren't necessarily immediate - something that seems to be a failure at first might just need time to hatch. Therefore, to me, the important thing is that LL keeps on experimenting, and that it allows projects time to fail or succeed on their own timeline.
I think that choosing Salazar was a very good idea. He's someone who has quietly worked on beautifying SL and revealing "history and mystery." It's easy to find people whose concerns are mainly in the realm of money and the translation of virtual world expertise to real life jobs, but I feel that their input, while valid, doesn't cover my main reason for loving Second Life. For me, Second Life is primarily a portal of creation: it allows me to access the creative tools of the computer from inside the computer itself, and allows me to interact with my own creations in a way hitherto unthinkable by me except in dreams. I think what Salazar will take to the LL offices are the concerns of an imaginative creator - and that is very pleasing to me.
posted by - 9:40 AM