I don’t usually talk about Second Life stuff here, as this is primarily a blog about design (which world it occurs in is rather irrelevant.) However, since today was the day of Philip Linden’s return to SL and his big meeting with the residents (along with BK Linden who has a convenient twitter account) I find myself needing a place to say something in slightly more than 140 characters.
Honest, guys, this won’t happen often. Bear with me.
After reading the recaps (I was asleep when all of this went down), and seeing the responses on varying blogs and the twitterverse in general, I want to point something out.
What seems clear to me, speaking as someone with my varied and often dubious qualifications for doing so, is that at this point in time, the SL userbase is divided into subgroups (and here’s the punchline, don’t miss it) whose needs and goals do not overlap very much.
I’ll make my point in one sentence:
There is no longer a viable way to create a magic bullet, catch all solution.
This is, unfortunately, inconvenient. It is not, however, inherently BAD.
I have long said that the real issue, the one which *all others* stem from is customer service. The problem is that now, in SL the needs of users are wildly divergent. I think that at this point, this needs to be acknowledged and accepted. All I want at this point is an admission that this is so.
At this point it seems to me there are several clear cut user groups whose needs must be identified and met(and I may well be missing some). Some of these groups overlap, but not enough to provide a catch-all.
1. Sim owners/concierge service.
2. Business owners and content creators.
3. RL business concerns with presence within SL.
4. Educators, and their students.
5. New Residents.
7. (and this really is added at the end because it’s real, but it’s a strange duck) people who are running SL on limited computer resources.
When you identify these groups, you not only see they have different (mildly overlapping but not that much) customer service needs and questions, but different VIEWER needs.
Which brings me to this:
I think that LL, cannot by definition, create a catch-all viewer or customer service experience. I truly think they need a different approach, because the way it’s been done up until now *will no longer work*, guys. Honestly.
I am not saying that the other things brought up in today’s meeting are of no or little importance. But I don’t see anyone so far who has made this point in this way as of yet, and I wanted it out there.
I now return this blog to its usual rantings about design.