Second Life and Blogging Doldrums

Sunday, January 9, 2011 Sunday, January 09, 2011

You may have noticed I haven't posted anything in a while. Am I dead? Nope. Busy? Maybe. Less interested? Um, yeah, I think so.

I haven't posted because I simply haven't felt I had anything useful to say. Sure, I could comment on the latest party or event, but that's just not meaningful enough for a post, for me, anyway.
I was wondering why that is so.

The fact is, SL seems to be slowing down lately in some respects. I've noticed several friends fade away, or others tone down their SL existence for reasons unknown. Many businesses have closed or shrunk.  I've been fading a bit too. Perhaps it's just part of the Two-Year Effect? It's been over four years for me so far; maybe I'm overdue?

And it's not just the SL in world community, either. Linden Lab has dropped numerous staffers, strangely including most of the management level. Since the departure of M Linden, there haven't been any significant strategic moves - largely because interim CEO Philip really hasn't been playing the role, other than perhaps focusing on finding his own replacement. Indeed, when we spoke to Philip in person in Boston at SLCC it was shocking to hear that he hadn't signed into SL for four months. I'd be surprised if he's been in world very much since that time.

So now we learn of a new CEO to take over from Philip later this January. When you think about it, it's an excellent time to get fresh leadership in: largely clean management ranks, stagnant user base, poor media reception and of course, cranky residents. There's no where to go but up.

I really don't have any idea where new CEO Rod Humble will take Second Life, but I do know one thing: it must be a different place than where it's been. Current approaches have largely failed, in my opinion. What, you say things are not so bad? Maybe, but when you compare SL's progress opposite many other online services, which have grown hugely and continue to grow while SL seems to have plateaued. Maybe it's the poor scalability, or the heavy hardware requirements, or perhaps virtual worlds are just too complicated for most people.
If I was an investor in Linden Lab, I'd be seeking a new strategy to protect my investment. I'd do that by getting a new CEO with fresh ideas. They've already done this once, with M Linden - but as we know, that particular strategy failed and they had to start over.

Expect many different things to happen once the new CEO gets settled, probably starting later this spring.

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