Friday, July 30, 2010

Rough Notes on Philip and BK's Inworld Meeting and Q&A

These are my Rough Notes on Philip and BK's Inworld Meeting and Q&A. I missed some stuff and might have summarized oddly. I will add a full transcript and video when they become available. A common thread in the talk was making things Fast, Easy and Fun.

Bob 6 months at LL, first change to meet the community

Philip, why back, and feel.
Why is SL not gone,
VW are going to profoundly change the world

Nothing that philip has seen has changed his belief in vws.

Philip think he can help with growing Sl and vws.

Philip profoundly believe in this thing.

Improving the basic user experience, is about tearing down the walls. It is more apt now then 30 days ago. It is so important that we pull back and fix the basic experience.

Internal plan
250 at LL
What is a single slide, set of statements, and organize our work around it.

To make a statement that is so clear that we can all remember it.

3 words at the top for our strategy
Fast easy fun, these words capture what SL can and should be.

In so many areas we are not living up to Fast easy and fun.

Beneath those 3 words we have 3 big bullets,
Back to basics
Winning back the lead
Very important to grow the virtual content economy

Back to basics:
what it means in the next 2/3 quarters, is a intense focus on crashes and lag.

regarding crashing hardest is the viewer, there is also the server.

We are going to work, to have the 2.1 code base to have fewer crashes then 1.23

We are going to work to drop it well below 1.23

Set a target goal, if the crash rate rises above the goal we are going to work in right away again. we are monitoring this week by week.

We are going to turn on http texture next week, make loading texture a lot faster.

Focusing on restructuring chat and group chat, to have it not/less depended on the sims. So they won't impact the chat.

regaining the lead
Greatly increase the interaction of new releases. Very short release cycles. Iterating, doing it in small steps, week by week. We are going to change all our systems to allows us to iterate in that way.

And completely opening the code, so the code will always be visible by you while we are developing out product.

The second big area of our focus is the viewer 2.
We clearly have a big challenge there. There are lot of people who are frustrated with and we do apologize.

The things with v2 is that it does have technology features that we don't want to loose. And we are going to work hard on making the viewer better for both builder and explorers.

Help us rapidly develop the viewer, to develop everything we need.

We are going to bring in the open source community in a short loop to help us develop the viewer and regain the tech lead.

The virtual economy, It does not mean SL is only about making Money. Fundamentally SL is a system where we create and experience content. That means the success the content creators is the key driver.

How we measure that is hard.

If we add a new capability like Mesh, the question about that, is that useful to everybody. Not every body will use t

Optimizing the process, find try buy. Is a place where we can and need to make positive change.

Search, we greatly increased the size

One problem is having to go to a sandbox and rez a box to try on a pair of shoes. We are directly going to address that issue.

SL has more amazing content, then a new user can get to.

We are going to switch the new user process. A link in the destination guide should be a first step for a new user.

We are going to change registration and welcome islands in the coming weeks.

Second Life Enterprise:
We don't know exactly who is using SL, it is used by business, education, etc.

Crashes, lag impacts business education too, improvements there will also improve the experience of those uses on the main grid. We are stopping work on the behind the firewall solution.


Economy, is the entire economy.

We do need to create a really great 2D shopping experience. The existence of the web metaphore will have some impact for sure. But like Offline and online shopping can compliment each other. so can here.

Search, gotten a bunch of smart people with domain expertise we are focussing on it day by day, week by week.

Region crossing, and scripted objects. We have a entire scrum team working on this.

Mesh, we are very exited about mesh impact on the economy. We are careful to implement Mesh so it has a huge impact, but so that its impact on lag is either zero or less.

Im profoundly committed to get some kind of make over of my avatar. I am aware that it negatively impacts all the work that you do if my avatar appears like it is in the media. It is my alter ego, so I will be careful about it.

The other aspect that we need to do.
There are a lot things going on in the day to day, what we focus on, what we deploy.

SL is fundamentally a immersive experience, our focus is going to shift is to completely improve that experience.

So we are going to look into how we can

User growth is critical, because that is part of the feedback loop in finding out if we are doing good work.

We are fundamentally change how communicate about changes. More messages will come in the coming weeks and months.
Bob and I won't talk about any more specific technology because we can't micro manage all the things in development.

Doesn't Fast, easy and Fun miss the sense of meaningfulness, which set SL apart from other products.

We don't want to change the depth of system, we want to make the capabilities fast easy and fun. Add simplicity, speed and elegance.

Are there any plans to make sl a multi platform experience? Like a browser.
Let's start with a browser, fundamentally full 3D in the browser is coming, but not for a few year.
We have a few people looking at it.

We are going to focus on the browser for the next 2 or 3 quarters.

Fast easy and fun, is that directed at any community?
We are not focussing on community. But take teachers as a example, it is very hard for teachers to come in take content from a friend and do a class. These are the basic features, fast easy fun will help them.

Everyone together on the maingrid, business education, if we need to create a feature set to accomplish that we are going to do that.

How does the organization handle complexity

On the open source side, we are going to change the open source direction to focus on specific work on the production viewer. We will increase the impact of the open source viewer.

When we talk about making v2 work for new and existing users. That might means different UIs for the 2. When you are in build mode you are in a completely different mindset then when you are newby learning to put clothes on and explore a amazing castle.

Can Philip confirm if he is back for the long term? My activities are completely focuses on the user experiences, we have not began on selecting a new ceo. I'm here full time and tremendously enjoying the work I'm doing.

Closing comments,
We are going to look at every way we can effectively communicate to help us do our work better. We are going to try different things. You can email us about that. This format is great but is not effective for all uses.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

RFL 2010 Closing Ceremony

RFL of SL 2010 has officially come to a end. So far the tally says that almost $215,000 US Dollars has been raised by Second Life Residents this year. A lot of people and teams are involved in making it a success every year. The closing Ceremony thanked these volunteers and listed the success of this Relay. I have recorded the audio of the closing ceremony for you all to listen too.

In the closing ceremony Relay teams get awards for their builds, participation, etc. Congrats to all the winners and all participants for successful Relay.

Winners and awards as listed on the RFL of SL blog:
Team Awards and Build Awards for RELAY FOR LIFE Second Life 2010
Thank YOU to ALL for a Job Well Done !!!


DESCRIPTION: Awarded to the most unique and creative way of fund raising at a Relay campsite. This requires more than a simple vendor board. Must include some RFL / ACS Mission information at campsite

DATE JUDGED: July 15 & 16

JUDGES: Pituca Fairchang, Phelan Corrimal, BigMike Bukowski

1st: BOSL Relay Team
2nd: Tie NY Healthscape & DVI, Relay Raiders, Team Caledon
3rd: None


DESCRIPTION: Awarded for all-round design interpretation of the Wishing On A Cure…Relay for Life theme and sub themes for each Region.Must have RFL / ACS information

DATE JUDGED: July 15 & 16

JUDGES: Pituca Fairchang, Phelan Corrimal, BigMike Bukowski

1st: BOSL Relay Team
2nd: RELAY for HOPE
3rd: Tie Harmony of Hope, NY Heathscape & DVI


DESCRIPTION: Awarded for the design that captures the essence, the reality and scale of the real or imaginary worlds they represent, and truly give us a world to call our own for a brief and unforgettable moment in time.
For over-all atmosphere, ambiance and detail
For the clever way they took difficult requirements and made them into a center piece
For the tasteful and enlightening way of incorporating cancer awareness into a theme
For the best storytelling of Wishing On A Cure…Relay for Life theme

DATE JUDGED: July 15 & 16

JUDGES: Event Chair, Co-Chairs & ACS Representative, & samantha Ragu from Design

1st: Helena Kiana
2nd: Uni Ninetails
3rd: tie between: Total Lunar Eclipse - Alice
Alix Stoanes - The Daffodil
Tari Lander

New Team Participation (Relay Day) Award

DESCRIPTION: Awarded to the new team that displays organization and participation during the Relay Day event. This award is not about how much money is raised, but how well the team participates in their planned activities as well as the Relay activities. Must include some RFL / ACS Mission information at campsite


JUDGES: Mentors

1-Global Hearts United
2-Teens Fighting For A Cure
3-Radical Hope For Life

Returning Team Participation (Relay Day) Award

DESCRIPTION: Awarded to the Returning team that displays organization and participation during the Relay Day event. This award is not about how much money is raised, but how well the team participates in their planned activities as well as the Relay activities. Must include some RFL / ACS Mission information at campsite


JUDGES: Mentors

1-Purple Tears
2-Relay Rockers
3-Team Caledon

Longest Running Teams

DESCRIPTION: This year is awarded to Teams who have been participating 5 or more years in Relay For Life of Second Life

Circle of LIfe
Passionate Redheads
Relay Raiders
Relay Rockers
Relay Racers
Sail for Life
Spirit Chasers
Team Caledon

RFL Start
RFL of SL Blog

Saturday, July 17, 2010

RFL Started Today!

Wishing On A Cure logoToday(Saturday) at 10am(PDT) the Main Event of Relay For Life of Second Life 2010 kicked off. Relay For Life is the American Cancer Society's signature fund raising activity. Since 2004 there is also a yearly counter part that in Second Life takes place in July of each year. Each year has a different theme, the theme this year is Wishing on a Cure.

Volunteers form or join teams to have fun while fund raising and raising awareness from mid-March through mid-July. In July teams build camp sites and walk a track, just like in a Real World Relay. The teams, set up and decorate camp sites, and sell small items to help raise money just like at a local relay. Since this is a virtual environment however, there are some activities that are special to Second Life, such as, snail races, sail boat races, etc. In 2009, Relay For Life of Second Life raised $274,000 for the American Cancer Society. Relay For Life has become an international movement in RL and in SL. In 2009 participants from over 26 countries took part in Relay For Life of Second Life.

RFLSL 2010 trackEvery year the track is on a continent of sims that are donated by Linden Lab. The track has a different shape each time, this year the continent consist out of 34 sims shaped like a giant O. Which is probably the most effective shape that can be used for this event.

There are 7 additional sims in the middle of the O. 6 of those are event sims where live music and other events are held, to keep people from crowding the track sims. There is also a sim called Relay For Life inside the O, where you can get all the info about the event.

The following is from a note card about what to expect at Relay For Life 2010:


The Relay philosophy is: We are here so that those who face cancer will be supported, that those who have lost their battle will not be forgotten, and so that one day cancer will be eliminated.

On July 17th & 18th we will do just that.   Below is a list of Ceremonies and Activities that will take place at the  July 2010 Relay.    It is a Relay tradition to keep one person from each team on the track at all times. We know that your teams will have a member walking the track  all through the 24-hour period, as is the tradition of Relay any place or any time, but do take some time to participate in the ceremonies and various activities when you are not walking the track.

All ceremonies are broadcast live on the Official Radio Station for Relay - T1Radio and we encourage all camp sites to turn their streams to the station so everyone may hear the ceremonies.

Saturday, July 17th:
10:00am - 11am - Opening Ceremonies
11:00am - 12:00pm  - Survivor Hour
12:00pm - 1:00pm - Caregivers Hour
9:00pm - 10:00pm - Luminary Ceremony
4:00pm - 5:30pm - Inspirational Storytelling Play

Sunday, July 18th:
6:00am - 7:00am - Fight Back Ceremony (The Cape Story)
7:00am - 8:30am - Live Auction done in Voice (entertainment sim)
9:00am - 10:00am -Closing Ceremonies
10:00am - FIREWORKS!

Themed Hours - Various stations and signs placed around the Relay sims will display which theme is scheduled for every hour.  Get in the spirit and have some fun while walking the track!  Have your banana suits and bicycles ready!

These activities will be happening around the clock:

Live Music - 4 sims are dedicated to stage area where all of our favourite Second Life live music artists will perform. A specially designed stage  for the performers and a large open dance floor and dance machines for all to enjoy! Watch posted signs for scheduling!

The Scavenger Hunt - Hidden on each of the 4 corner sims on the Relay track (Dedication, Acceptance, Imagine, & Survive)  are clues with a question related to cancer. Find the clue, answer the question correctly and get a prize.  You may even learn a few things you did not know.    Each question has 4 responses and you get 4 tries to answer it correctly, so keep trying till you get it right.  You will then receive clues about the location of the next hidden question along the way.

Auctions - Silent Auction and Art Auctions. Silent auction will be going on from 10am - 10am, a full 24 hours!- Make your Bids! Incredible art items by some of the best artists in SL are up for bidding at the Silent Action.   Memorable pieces honour survivors, caregivers, victims, and the fight against cancer itself, along with other  pieces.    The Silent  Auction features clothings, one of a kind items,  and so much more!   If you have something you would like to see auctioned, please contact  Mike Burleigh, all proceeds go to this year's Relay for Life! 

Fishing -  You know a diet healthy in fish is good for preventing cancer, so come catch your virtual dinner.  Design has set up a beautiful area for fishing in our Water Sailing and Fishing sim. Visit the vendor on the dock, buy the supplies you need and fish!  You may even amaze yourself with what you catch and the stories are good for a year about the one that got away!   All proceeds go towards the Relay total, and it's FUN too!

Mining Roller Coaster in the Sky - Located on the Wish sim.  Many  cancer patients feel like they are on a roller coaster when they first discover they have been stricken by the disease.  Take a ride on this wild  coaster in the sky and see for yourself what it can be like.

Storytelling Play in the Park (4pm, sim to be determined)- An hour and a half of story telling fun. "The Fire is a haunting 18th century tale of murder, mystery, and mayhem. Follow American brat Frankey and Pete the peasant as they visit 1789 during a famine. Will Frankey redeem himself?"  This play sends a message of strength and willpower, much like a cancer survivor, these traits are not an option, but a necessity.

Surfing - Catch a wave and ride it through! The tide is high and and perfect for a surf board to sail it to the end. Cancer patients can experience some rough waters as they work  their way through weeks, months, and sometimes years of treatments.  This also signifies the waves of emotion that come along with surviving these treatments.

There will be a few other attractions as well, such as  a Riverboat on the sim named Treatment, and Water Slide Tubes on the Unity sim! Be sure and check it all out!


I would love to see your picture and videos!
Go Relay, donate and have fun.
TP to Relay For Life

RFL of SL Blog
SecondLife team page
Historic donation figures for RFL of SL
RLF SL wiki

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

New Last Names

Periodically Linden Lab releases new last names in a effort to differentiate and to give access to popular first names again, as most common first names are usually filled very quickly.

Historically Linden Lab only allowed 150 avatars with the same last name. The idea was that this would give a sense of a tribe relationship, and would increase social behaviour. Which might have worked in the early days when Second Life was small. Eventually they increased that number, likely just out of practicality. I would assume they switch out names now just when they are saturated.

About a week ago 148 147 new last names where put in rotation. These times are always a good opportunity to create new alt accounts. Maybe you just want a new alt with a different first name, or one of those last names will make for a excellent/funny new character. You could be Pang Pang or Large Spot. (if they aren't taken yet) ;)