Saturday, June 24, 2006

The Day After

After Philip's often interrupted speech and following blog post, it is clear that LL is not going to change back to CC verification. They listened, acknowledged and promised to fix what is wrong but not in the way the people where asking for. And i have to admit i was one of the people who added his 10 votes on the feature proposal page to get the CC verification back. But it's time to face reality, look ahead and prepare for what is coming. Life is adaptation.

It is no secret that LL envisions SL evolving into a space where million of people log on in the same way people now browse the web. There is no age verification when you start your browser and no sign up to get onto the web other then your ISP. Mature websites have their own ways to keep minors out, and concerned parents can install software to prevent their children from even visiting those sites.

Now you will say, "yea but those tools aren't there yet". And you are right, they aren't. They weren't there yet for the first websites either. And I think that is mostly the case because we aren't even sure what those tools will look like, and how they should function. Now I'm not only talking about age verifications, but also all kinds of other tools we would need to keep a communal space enjoyable. Tools and features like better privacy restrictions, global mutes, more control on what can and can't happen on your space, etc.

Many of these tools have been talked about, and until now they where more a nice to have feature. By opening up the floodgates so to speak, some of these tools/features will float up immediately as Must Haves. And priority should be shifted towards them accordingly. And i believe they will, else SL will fail. The sudden growth might actually be necessary to get focus away from the shiny toys to the less exciting features.

People ask why the Main Grid and the Teen Grid are still separate, and i think they only are until the basic tools become available to better control your own experience. And it is not like LL hasn't been working on some of the tools already. Gwyneth Llewelyn recently blogged about how the client-server communications is being ported to a web services based system. This opens up the opportunity for different clients. How about a client that only requests PG Sims, with this and even more refined options the whole Teen Grid could become unnecessary. This would even make it possible for heavily modded children's websites to come in world and make a 3d space, where parents and children could be together. Maybe even verified adults could be granted access with the right monitoring tools.

All in all i think this is a necessary step for LL to create their vision. Let's hope we all can adapt and survive and aren't eaten alive before it comes true.

Ps, it annoys me as well that people can't comment on this blog and I will see if i can get it fixed later this week. For now respond on sl forum here.

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