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09 September 2009

Philip made a nice blogpost about SL and Burning Man, saying in part:

"Try not to cling too tightly to what we have now. The design, the UI, the orientation experience, the tools - all these need to change, a LOT, for Second Life to become accessible to hundreds of millions. Those changes are sometimes going to be disruptive and painful."

He's right about that, really, although I think what people worry about is that there will be "dumbing-down" and ill thought-out changes that don't improve anything. We do scream a lot when anything is changed, but not always for no reason. The third-party viewers seem to be able to get away with changes easily because, simply, the changes make the whole more useful, and it was nice to see LL asking about third-party changes and listening to what people replied. Those are not, mostly, big changes, though.

He is right, though - we do cling. We are at times grumpy and difficult. And we often compete against each other in childish ways. SL can be difficult because it has no filters - everything feels like it's happening at one time, in your face, and that can make people tired and cranky. It's human nature to wax nostalgic and resist change, I suppose, but there's little value in longing for the Olden Days when it was all fresh and new. For anyone paying a lot of money for tier the margin of forgiveness for glitches, bugs, and downtime is paper-thin. On the other hand LL has done things that have caused its customers to lose trust, so they no longer get an automatic pass when their motives are held up to scrutiny.

My sacred cows are the million little capabilities we now have access to in the UI, and the existence of the official forums. I can live through changes and may learn to appreciate some a lot, and wonder how we got along at all without others, and I'm willing to approach change with an open mind, but those two things will not, I hope, be destroyed.

For the record, I don't even know what the orientation experience is, now, but I know it needs to be absolutely revamped from start to finish. I'm not sure what the "design" consists of - is that a reference to the website? The tools change over time, and I don't think there has been much objection - if I'm thinking of them correctly.

posted by - 1:21 PM

Good G'al! What cometh?!?! Before, change was simply made, no fanfare, and the Lab let the chips fall where they may. Oh what there must be just over the horizon that the poster child (for he is a bit of a Peter Pan) of Second Life would shout this from the mountaintop so.
As I read it LL is exasperated by our shrill outcry at their every move and the time wasted through being clogged up and needing to backtrack all the time.

However I do still want hippos!, Mt G'al, the forums, and Magellan, even if most other things become unreconsisable.
Ooooo, we all know you want Magellan... hrumph!

As for viewers, the Lab should provide a Lite & a Dev version - the Dev would be like we have now and the Lite would be ease itself to use.

And if they only want to develop ine (the Lite) then allow the community to develp the Dev.

I think it would go a long way to hush complaints if they said "We are going along this path... but we'll allow you guys to use other paths"
People can simply ignore the complex tools and go about their bling blang business!
"As for viewers, the Lab should provide a Lite & a Dev version..."

Been saying that for years.

"People can simply ignore the complex tools and go about their bling blang business!"

It's not mere additions - it's changes that have people upset. For instance, the changes to the pie menu took some getting used to for even ordinary people. Every time something is changed/moved/removed there's a lot of time wasted. Sometimes things SHOULD be changed, but not always. However, what we are really talking about here is not incremental change but our willingness to absorb large changes. I think if we have confidence that the changes lead to something better it's not as rough a transition, but that confidence is scare at the moment.
We scream and yell about things that I think are often our own fault, but just wait until avatar and parcel script limits come in - I think you won't hear a lot of people "owning" the problem the limits are meant to address.
"Ooooo, we all know you want Magellan... hrumph!"


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