As many of us know, Linden Lab (aka LL) set most of their own goals for SecondLife® (aka SL) in pretty much seclusion from the needs and wishes of the residents of SL that use their flagship service. Most successful companies find it absolutely critical to use what ever means to fully understand how their customers use their products / services as well as what their customers DONT LIKE so that they can make improvements. By doing this, these companies build a much more powerful and competitive profitable product / service to offer the market.
This seems not to be the case for LL. I have not seen any grid wide survey or reaching out to the SL residents by LL to ask what pains us the most or what we would love LL to focus on as 2014 priorities. If they somehow secretly found a means to collect this critical info from their customer base then they simple don't care or they believes they somehow know better as to what SL needs than their customers that actually use SL every day. LL staff surely can't know the good and bad of SL like their customers since they rarely participate in the grid nor experience all its weaknesses. LL has been too busy focusing on exciting major new "WOW" features while the grid suffers from long un-addressed broken or missing functions they left behind.
I am sure some might come to LL's rescue and cite examples of how LL is in touch with life on the grid and is addressing them, but all the evidence myself and many of my countless friends see is that they are completely in the dark as to what SL really needs or what is majorly borked each day on the grid. And when Rodvik put the edict out last year to gag the public resident JIRA system, this fundamentally further blinded LL of the grid's pains.
And so, although I know that this blog posting will never be read or acted upon by a single Linden, the frustrations on the grid that myself and the community experience each day and the lack of seeing any progress by LL to address them has led me to create my own personal list of priorities for LL to focus on. Since I wasn't asked... I thought I would blog them to the world. So without further delay, here is ....
TOY's List of TOP 10 RESOLUTIONS LL SHOULD ADDRESS in 2014 :
# 1 FIX NON-REZZING AVATARS / MESH / CONTENT
I know LL will immediately respond "Of course we have addressed lag that directly fixed all the slow rezzing avatar issues when we introduced Server Side Baking (SSB) in 2013". Well LL I speak for countless residents - especially those that do not sit alone on a sim but are out at all the social events in SL - that will tell you non-rezzing and ultra slow rezzing avatars and content is worse now than it was before SSB was introduced.
Maybe its unrelated but in the past couple months this issue has become HORRID! I go to a TON of live music events and concerts and clubs. What I see most times now are scenes like you see in the photos to the right.
I will point out that this lag is NOT because I have an outdated or mis-configured PC - lets just say my PC and my Laptop are top-end powerful Windows machines and not stressed out in any way. Its not that I have poor Internet - I have 25mbps broadband proven to deliver nearly at the stated offering. Its not just a certain brand of viewer as I have tested this issues using FS (current and beta), Singularity and LL's with similar results.
Maybe its the abuse of inefficiently made mesh clothing, bugs with the SSB, or many other factors. What ever is going wrong, LL needs to spend time analyzing actual busy sims like live music, dance clubs, and other popular places and REALLY experience this for themselves. SSB was not the savior to this problem and LL can't sit gloating about how it was such an improvement - it wasn't - the problem is worse than before SSB.
#2 FIX BROKEN NOTICE ATTACHMENTS
This problem has been around for over 2 years now. It seemed to show up around the time of the V2+ viewers. It has been reported in LL and Phoenix JIRAS countless times. I and others have reported / complained about this issue directly to the Lindens (like Simon and Andrew) at weekly meetings. And yet, this extremely frustrating annoying problem exists on the grid.
For those rare few that are completely clueless about this issue (which you must be a complete isolationist on the grid), its the problem where attachments (commonly an LM but it could be anything) on group notices break. This function was a very valuable feature when it used to work by venue / club owners, stores. musicians, sim event holders to send LMs to fans / customers. But for two years, this function does not work. When you receive and try to click on the attachment - it goes grey and cant be used. Its time LL stops ignoring this important and broken function.
#3 START DEVELOPMENT OF VIRTUAL LANDMARKS FOR THE GRID
Back in August 2012 I developed the concept and high level workings of an extremely valuable advancement for the entire SL grid that I called Virtual Land Marks or VLMs. LMs in SL are one of the most commonly used asset in SL. but they currently have a horribly inefficient limitation. They are static as soon as they are created. Therefore they are useless if the location actually changes - which is OFTEN for most venues / stores. As such venues, stores, clubs etc. send out countless new ones to ensure all have the most recent cluttering up everyones inventory with duplicate and outdated LMs.
My VLM concept fixes all that and provides SL residents and even LL with HUGE SIDE BENEFITS. My VLM idea was very quickly and strongly endorsed by bloggers and the community that overwhelmingly loved the idea. I also presented VLMSs directly to LL and they saw the great value. They placed VLMs on their development backlog schedule in Oct 2012.
To learn all about my VLM idea and all the progress that happened to bring this idea to life in SL, click to the link of my blog of VLM progress:
VLM GOOD NEWS Blog
Well sadly, as invaluable as VLMs would be for both residents and LL, there has been no progress from LL on this game changing function.
#4 INCREASE THE MAX GROUP LIMIT
What more can be said about this?? Just Do it. Not sure why this is such a painful torturous decision for LL to make. Currently maxed at 42. Groups are used for countless membership management, communications, and advertising. Lets make it an even 100. It can't be too hard for LL to adjust and would make countless LL residents very happy!
#5 INCREASE THE CHAT DISTANCE
LL might not see there is any real value in increasing the current 19 meter chat limit to spend any time on it but increasing the chat limit to even something like 50 meters (or 96m like in Inworldz) would be a big benefit for so many larger venues and clubs where there are DJs, hosts, musicians, etc. that need to talk to efficiently to a large wide spread crowd - as well as the crowd itself that talks among themselves. Right now many hosts have to manually SHOUT to ensure all can hear. Everyone has to check the distance to the intended receiver to make sure he she is within 20 meters. LL.... how painful can it be to just make a small adjustment that lets everyone local chat to 50 meters
#6 FIX DISAPPEARING AVATAR WHEN JUMPING ON ANIMATIONS (i.e. dance balls)
A problem that has shown up on dancing ball animations - like the couples balls - since Server Side Baking is that your avatar completely disappears when you sit on the ball. Your dance partner then asks you in IM "Where did you go? You just disappeared.". The one that gets on the ball doesn't see this - just everyone else. Not only has your avatar de-rezzed but your title goes with it. Its like your Avi left the sim. As soon as you get off the ball you show up again. If you get back on again then all is good.
#7 MAKE SIMS MORE POWERFUL WITH MORE CAPACITY
In the glory days of SL when there was actual sim growth, I could understand that this would not have been worth asking. But, with LL seeing 1000's of sims being abandoned each year and with competing grids offering sims with far greater capacities at much lower prices, its time for LL to re-allocate more of that freed up capacity to giving sims more horsepower. And LL could start by making all the Mainland sims have far greater capacity than they are now. Right now I can and have crashed our mainland sim if 40 avatars show up to my art gallery. Its time that LL use all that freed up server capacity to mainland sims.
#8 FIX THE TOS THAT HIGHJACKED ALL SL CONTENT CREATOR RIGHTS
Considering this was one of the most talked about stories in the SL blogging and creator / artist community, banned SL by external content sites, caused so much anger and backlash to LL, created a new SL Content Creators Association, and forced LL Execs to actually pop their head out of the ground for once, this is not a topic that needs much explaining. But, it is now the end of 2013 and LL's draconian content high-jacking TOS rules are still in place. Sadly LL seems to be playing games with its content creating community. Lets hope one of LL's first resolutions to address (i.e. IMMEDIATELY) will be a new fair TOS. It will be very sad on LL's part that its life-giving content creator community will be forced to take more drastic and direct motivation efforts to force LL to correct its TOS. We will see.
#9 START TAKING A.R.'s SERIOUS & BAN ABUSIVE USERS / GRIEFERS
Too many times I have heard A.R. report on abusive, dangerous SL users (i.e. Stalker or personal harassment) and Griefers go unpunished. I am not sure why LL does not seem to take so many A.R.'s serious. Is it because of a lack of staffing? Is it because they don't want to "take sides"? Is it because they don't want to further reduce the SL user count by deleting these individuals? Most of us are not sure of the real reasons, but I have seen to many times that dangerous, stalking, personally harassing users (sadly mostly sick-minded men) are reported yet they remain on the grid. LL's record is so poor that most users already know that filing an A.R. is just a waste of time. As for Griefers, well we all know how well LL has them under control.
#10 RESTORE THE RESIDENT PUBLIC JIRA SYSTEM
This is actually an invaluable function that was not part of the SL grid but provided so much value in helping quickly identify, quantify, diagnose, and resolve SL problems. It was also a system that many LL staff quietly were as frustrated as the community that it was gagged. It was mistake for Rodvik to gag the JIRA and he needs to admit he made a mistake and ungag the JIRA so we can return to identifying and resolving serious problems on the grid that currently LL is no longer aware of.
*** END OF TOYS TOP 10 LIST ***
I had many others I could have added but this was my selected Top 10 List of Resolutions I would hope LL would make a priority in 2014.
So now I open the floor to all of you. Is there a really major item you have in your mind that is not on my list? If so, post it as a comment. Lets here what you would like LL to focus on.