Friday, July 25th, TechSoup’s NonProfit Commons in Second Life featured a community discussion with Ebbe Altberg (Ebbe Linden), CEO of Linden Lab, and Peter Gray (Pete Linden), Director of Global Communications.
Linden Lab has been engaging with educational, nonprofit and other communities recently by Ebbe holding community conversations with groups in Second Life.
Below is a roughly edited realtime transcript of voice conversation from the event. The transcript was created in realtime by a Certified CART provider. It has been roughly edited, and intended as notes of the proceedings only.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: So, let’s start this off so we can kind of get going here. So good morning, all. Normally we do this in text, as I was just saying. But welcome to our usual Friday meeting of the Nonprofit Commons. And there you go. So you can actually view the live transcript there, for those following along with text.
Just as a bit of that kind of precursor, the Non‑Profit Commons in Second Life is sponsored by TechSoup Global, of which Susan is part of through Caravan Studios. And today we’re doing things a little differently. We’re going to still go through our introductions and I’ll prompt that in a second, and then we’ll ‑‑ Susan will kind of get a chance to set the context and a little bit of history on Nonprofit Commons, just a bit of chat on that. And then we’ll get a chance to kind of have a conversation with Ebbe and Pete.
So, as we do usually for introductions, what will help here is if you can please type in chat your location and the organization you’re a part of, and any other ways we can find you online.
I’m actually going to directly paste this into the transcription as well. So even if you want to stay fairly anonymous, just at least sort of type your name and that way we can get you on that and they have kind of a good spelling of your avatar name when they do the transcription.
[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Http://nonprofitcommons.org/.
[08:38] Sister (sister.abeyante): Yup, also here: Http://www.streamtext.net/player?event=nonprofitcommons
[08:38] Rhiannon Chatnoir: You can view the live transcript there
[08:39] iSkye Silverweb: Hi Aeon!
[08:39] Rhiannon Chatnoir: Please type in chat, your real name, geographic location, org, and the ways we can find you online.
[08:39] iSkye Silverweb glances at Coughran, how’re you doing?
[08:39] Æon Jenvieve‑Woodford (aeon.woodford): ISkye! Hey, there!
[08:39] Coughran Mayo: Hi iSkye!
Rossini: Deborah Foster Salsa, Norther California, TeamFox
Second life part of the Michael J Fox foundation for Parkinson’s research, http://www.teamfoxsecondlife.com/ TeamFox
, Aloft Nonprofit Commons (150, 129, 38)
[08:39] ThinkererSelby Evans (thinkerer.melville): Selby Evans Blogger, Basics: UWA offers free online courses to help newcomers start in virtual worlds http://virtualoutworlding.blogspot.com/2012/11/kit‑edu‑education‑in‑virtual‑worlds.html
[08:39] Buffy Beale: Buffy Bye, Bridges for Women, Victoria BC Canada, http://www.bridgesforwomen.ca
, Facebook: Https://www.facebook.com/bridgesforwomen.victoria
[08:39] Zo (zotarah.shepherd): BEACH College, Santa Rosa, CA
[08:39] Grizzla (grizzla.pixelmaid): I still can’t hear anything ‑ so I’m going to leave, to let someone else take my seat 🙁
[08:39] GentleAlso Afterthought is an alt for Gentle Heron, Virtual Ability, Inc. Www.virtualability.org
[08:39] Ethelred Weatherwax: Dave Dexter, The Museum Collective, Oklahoma USA
[08:40] Jerome Newstart (jeromenewstart): Jerome Newstart, First Un ited Church of Christ
[08:40] Ebbe Linden whispers: Ebbe Altberg
[08:40] Oronoque Westland: Roberta Kilkenny, Department of Africana and Puerto Rican/Latino Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York.
[08:40] Loren Alunaia
): Loren Alunaia
(a.k.a. Keith Reeves), director of distanSLab
Educational Technology Resource Center on the mainland (www.distanslab.org
) and Director with the Virginia Society for Technology in Education (www.VSTE.org
), which maintains a state‑level
presence here in SL on VSTE
Island.. Online at www.KDReeves.com.
[08:40] Beth Ghostraven
: Beth Ghostraven
, middle school teacher‑librarian
(northern Virginia, US) and owner of the Book and Tankard Pub in Victoria City, Caledon
in SL; unofficial liaison between education groups in SL. For information on events for the educational groups that I work with, see the ISTE SIGVE
Massive Open Online Calendar at http://sigve.weebly.com/calendar.html
[08:40] Sister (sister.abeyante): Sister Patrice Colletti, Milwaukee, WI (Sister Abeyante‑ Virtual Ability)
[08:40] Rhiannon Chatnoir
: / is Joyce Bettencourt
, Boston, MA, community manager of NonProfit
[08:40] Ari (arisia.vita): Earl Kiech, Tullahoma, TN, International Spaceflight Museum, https://www.facebook.com/International.Spaceflight.Museum
[08:40] Aldo Stern: Aldo Stern Rocca Sorrentina Project
[08:40] Wisdomseeker (lissena): Lynne Berrett, metro NY area, Founder of Wise Brain Project on Inspiration island in SL
[08:40] iSkye Silverweb: ISkye Silverweb, Virtual Ability & VWBPE
[08:40] Tredi Felisimo waves at Gentle’s afterthought 🙂
[08:40] Chayenn: Monique Richert, Protect Yourself 1, Inc., Baltimore MD, protectyourself1.org, facebook.com/PY1US, @PY1US
[08:40] Dancers Yao: Kara Bennett, Elder Voices, Inc Los Angeles, CA Human Rights and Health Care www.eldervoices.net
[08:40] Don Setzer: Don Setzer ‑ Virtual Ability
Mayo: Dick Dillon, Innovaision
LLC, St. Louis MO www.innovaision.com @Innovaision
on Twitter connect with me on LinkedIn
[08:40] Par (parhelion.palou): Parhelion Palou, near Baltimore MD, generic volunteer, no web, Twitter, etc.
[08:40] JJ Drinkwater: RL: University of Michigan & ACRL‑VWIG, SL: Alexandrian Free Library, Caledon Library,
[08:40] Serene Jewell: Kathleen Watkins, San Francisco, virtual world builder and anthropologist@serenejewell email@example.com
[08:40] Tredi Felisimo: Donna Davis, University of Oregon
[08:40] Barbie Alchemi: Barbie Alchemi‑ Founder of Creations for Parkinson’s and owner of Creations Park
[08:41] Josephine Junot
: Josephine Dorado (NYC), President of Fulbright Association’s New York Chapter and Professor at The New School. Http://funksoup.com
[08:41] Red (talkwithmarie): Marie C.‑talkwithmarie, aka Red. From Greater Boston, Founder of Girls project/Girl TV/Talk! With Marie, The Four Bridges Project Event Hostess, http://youtube.com/girltvlive, http://youtube.com/talkwithmarie, @talkwithmarie
[08:41] Maika Giordano: Mari Carmen Gil, University of the West of England, Education Innovation Centre, MA Education in Virtual Worlds
[08:41] Tori Landau: Patricia Dean, N. Ireland, currently redeveloping the Terra incognita sim, formerly a volunteer with the Open University in Second Life and the Open University’s Deep Think campus. I’m independent.
[08:42] Glitteractica Cookie: Susan Tenby, Online Community and Partnership Director, Caravan Studios, a Division of techSoup, SF CA @suzboop @caravanstudios
[08:42] Maika Giordano: Http://www.uwe.ac.uk/eic/
[08:42] Full Sim Sensor: Visitor status update
• emapen.juliesse (emapen Juliesse)
[11:43:37 AM] Joyce (Rhiannon) Bettencourt: [08:43] Jerome Newstart (jeromenewstart): First UCC at http://www.FirstUCCSL.org
[11:46:28 AM] Joyce (Rhiannon) Bettencourt: [08:44] Æon Jenvieve‑Woodford (aeon.woodford): I’m a professor of language arts and philosophy at a small university. We share art and literature at our sim, Ce Soir Arts. My wife is the creative one. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
[08:44] Red (talkwithmarie): Yes
[08:45] Æon Jenvieve‑Woodford (aeon.woodford): Red, Mireille sends her greetings!
>> SAFFIA: Hi, is it possible for names to be read? The camera ‑‑ at the moment I’m just picking up the sounds of a lot of people typing.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Well, there’s quite a few people here. It’s probably ‑‑ and they’re going to add it to the transcript. But you’ll have it ‑‑ you can add it to the transcript ‑‑ to the notes of your video, is probably the easiest way to do it afterwards, Saffia.
If you can make sure ‑‑ anybody who has a open mic ‑‑
>> PAR: It’s still open.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: If you haven’t introduced yourself already, please do so. Also in preparation, if you have any key questions ‑‑ I know we had a few that I’ll sort of start off from last time. But if you have any key questions, you can start IM’ing those to me and then we can use them to kind of start the discussion.
Glitter, it’s up to you, whenever you’re ready.
For those who may not know, Glitteractica Cookie is Susan Tenby in real life and is the director of Community and Social Media at Caravan Studios, which is a subdivision of TechSoup who hosts these communities.
>> GLITTERACTICA COOKIE: Hi, can you hear me? So yeah, I don’t really have anything formal prepared. I just wanted to give context to the new Lindens that I haven’t met and to the new members here. Basically the history of the Nonprofit Commons starts with my background in online community management. I’ve been working in online communities since 1997, in various forms: Listserv administration and message board launching for TechSoup.
I joined TechSoup in 2000 to launch the site, so I’m kind of the last ‑‑ I don’t want to say surviving’s because they are still alive but last current employee at TechSoup from the launch team that actually launched the site and I was writing articles for the site and I did the first listserv for the site which is the newsletter we still have called “By the Cup.” I launched the message boards and just started growing online communities for non‑profits as they evolved. As online communities evolved, I was using them and looking at them as a way to organize non‑profits.
So, launched the TechSoup message boards and then I started kind of hearing about Second Life and I actually was brought into Linden Lab to do ‑‑ the way I discovered Second Life was I was brought into Linden Lab to do a focus group as an online community manager. I ways just brought in by Jessica Linden, who is now still in the city and a friend of mine but doesn’t work at Linden Lab any more. Jessica Kowalski is her real name and so she brought me in as a focus group participant to kind of give feedback on this new virtual world, and I immediately thought of the applications for non‑profits.
So that was back in 2006 ‑‑ or 2005, I guess. And then I started poking around and going around with a little kind of speech looking at Information Island, because that was kind of where the library alliance had planted. So there were several non‑profits there, not that many. American Cancer Society was the big one. So I kind of met the nonprofit leaders in Second Life.
And then Laurie Bell donated part of the library stem Information Island. And then I went to the Second Life conference and I met Angie Chun and she and Gun Chun donated the first Nonprofit Commons sim. And then I kind of moved on from there and kind of got a great group of volunteers together and we all grew this community together. We realized that there wasn’t really an independent collection of non‑profits from all over the world.
So since then we got the Aloft sim donated. That was for gear, and now we TechSoup supports the sim.
The Caravan Studios connections is Caravan Studios is a new division of TechSoup. We spun off ‑‑ six of us spun off as an interpreneurship, as opposed to intrapreneurship, about 18 months ago. And the focus of Caravan Studios is building apps for social benefits. Not apps for specific non‑profits but apps for social benefit. We have three in the marketplace right now that you can put on your phone.
Range which helps locate free meals for youth in the summer months. There are one in six kids in the summer months go hungry because they rely on the school lunches program.
SafeNight which helps crowd fund hotel rooms for victims of domestic violence and human trafficking when there are no available shelter beds. Those are our two main apps.
Our third app is actually not yet available for the public but it’s called 4 Bells and 4 Bells deploys known volunteers in times of emergency.
So you can learn about all our apps at CaravanStudios.org and you can follow at Caravan Studios on Twitter and at SafeNight app on Twitter.
But basically from my perspective I run an online community meet‑up for online community managers. I’ve just been an online community person from the beginning. And so Second Life really seemed to me like a wonderful way to quite easily gather groups of dozens of non‑profits from all over the world. And I have to say, my experience long on being a veteran in quite a young field this is the only place I’ve ever seen where we can have a weekly live meeting with between 30 and 50 people every week since 2006. So give yourselves a hand for that. And I certainly couldn’t do it without all of you and all the members of the volunteer. You guys are so great.
And really long‑standing members, consistent. That’s what’s interesting, there’s always new members but there’s a consistent core of volunteers that self‑organized and became members with all different life experiences and abilities from all different cultures.
So, yeah, I’m just really proud of you guys and this community of non‑profits and hopefully we can continue to meet and share best practices. That’s really what the core of the meeting ‑‑ we’ve kind of seen what works and what doesn’t. We realize fund raising doesn’t work it’s too micro at this level. But what does work is the sharing of skills and experiences and just having a live place to collect and share experiences.
So thank you and onward and upward with the Nonprofit Commons. If anyone ever has any questions for me, I’m really easy to find and my name is Susan Tenby. Thanks.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Thanks, Susan or Glitteractica.
And as she was saying, I passed out a link for the infographic but the idea that this space is obviously vibrant enough and rich enough, as we all know, that not only has it touched a lot of us but the fact we can hold ongoing meetings and it’s been going on enough since 2006 and that we’ll sit here for an hour and a half and all be very engaged and some people sit on for the hour later to the ventures meeting. So that’s better than usual sort of site traffic for any website.
So, I don’t know, Ebbe, if you want to start things off. I know obviously you’ve been outreaching to various community groups. There’s been educators and a library focused kind of communities that you’ve sort of reached out to and chatted with first. And I think some of us also saw your keynote at Virtual World’s Best Practices in Education. And obviously you’re kind of looking to touch back to community groups within Second Life, so it would be kind of good to maybe set the stage for that and, you know, start talking on that for a bit to start us off.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Hello, everybody. Yeah, I don’t know if you already heard I was talking before so I don’t want to repeat myself too much but I try to draw you in and meet all kinds of various groups as often as I can across a broad spectrum of different users that are using [sound going out] to better understand how Second Life I’ve sign use and what we can do to make it better for everybody to take it to another level.
As you heard, we’ve announced we’ve begun work on the next generation world so we’ll take questions on that as much as we know at this point. There’s a lot for us to still figure out with regards to that so it’s going to take quite a while.
And again we reiterate we’re on course [mic going in and out] times as well.
Glitteractica Cookie can’t hear.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, your volume is a little low and breaking up a bit. I don’t know if maybe ‑‑ obviously there’s a lot of avatars here in a small space.
>> EBBE LINDEN: (Inaudible).
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, maybe lower them down for this. It’s often very easy to have very high draw distance and things like that and then walk into a place like this with a lot of avatars.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Is this better or the same?
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: It’s better. We can hear you much better. Maybe it was the mic you were using.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Actually, okay. This is weird. All right. I’ll do this though. I switched to a different mic this works for everybody? Okay. Strange. This is ‑‑ should be worse but it’s better. Excellent.
GLITTERACTICA COOKIE: Ebbe, would you mind just starting from the beginning, because now I can hear you perfectly and I couldn’t hear anything. This is Glitter, sorry.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Sorry for those who heard me the first time but I’ll do a bit of a repeat.
I was just saying that I like to drop in and meet with a lot of different groups, trying to do it as often as possible to learn more about the communities in Second Life and the use cases of Second Life and what works and what doesn’t work so well and what can we do better. And I also mentioned that yes, we have started to talk about the fact we’re building a next generation virtual world. Not a ton of detail of what it is exactly but I’m happy to take questions and answer as much as we know at this point, which is not even close to everything. It’s very early. It’s going to take years. It will probably start to reveal itself in some sort of alpha beta form later next year.
And yeah, I’m extremely happy to be here. The fact that you guys have had this tempo of meeting once a week for this long is an amazing ‑‑ it’s an amazing thing. And the fact that you guys do so many good things for us and for yourselves and for a lot of people to make Second Life a better place. And so I just really appreciate what you‑all are doing. And I’m looking forward to hearing your questions and spend most of the time on Q&A.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: That’s great. Yeah, as Susan said, you know, there’s a wide variety of non‑profits that are here. Everything from smaller nonprofit groups all the way up to folks like through the years people like Keva and things like that also been a part of it, so it ranges. And we also have a good mix of folks who are librarians, educators, social good technology interested people as well.
So, that kind is the makeup of the audience you’re speaking to, at least here. And you’ll notice there’s a lot of people who have been long, long time Second Life users. For myself, I go back to January of 2005 and there’s a lot of others here that are kind of on that level as well.
As Susan said, they used to have in person ‑‑ kind of picked in person meetings in regard to that. They would bring people to Linden Lab for those focus groups and then they moved to the townhalls and these events are sort of close to that, though targeted on the community level.
And I guess, you know, a lot of folks are wondering, especially with the educators and non‑profits how that fits into, you know, at least the strategy ‑‑ I know the details obviously on the new platform are still going to be evolving as you develop. But I guess the strategy of the nonprofits and educators and those sort of doing projects which are often the kind of early adopters and innovators that are bringing in other groups of people. So what your strategy is kind of for folks like us in that realm.
>> EBBE LINDEN: I wouldn’t say we have an explicit strategy to that level of detail just yet except that what we’ve said is that the next generation will be done in the spirit of Second Life. So, open allow for as much freedom as possible while still keeping it sane and useful to most residents. And so just like in real life and what we see in Second Life, you see a lot of similarities to things that take place between real and Second Life. And we hope that will happen in the next generation platform as well, where the breadth and depth of use cases and companies and organizations and, you know, all the different ways that people do use Second Life today is something that we would be really happy to make sure continues in the next generation.
So I think of it more as a thinking about trying to do a lot of things the same way in what you can do but just make sure you can do it much, much better. Performance, quality, sort of improved user interface. There’s a lot of areas that we can improve, but Second Life is sort of ‑‑ because it’s now, you know, 13 years old technologically speaking and 11 years old in essence the day they opened the doors, there’s a lot of constraints that make it very difficult for us to take it to another level.
The one thing that I’m thinking quite differently about for the next generation versus Second Life, at least as we start out, is Second Life today has been primarily I’d say promoted and advertised to the consumer. And Linden Lab is more or less responsible for acquiring those consumers, and so shove those consumers through a fairly narrow front door and its up to them to find relevant communities and experiences once they get inside.
For the next generation platform, we think a little bit differently from the beginning. We more or less think of the creator as the primary customer, as opposed to the consumer, if you will. And we want to empower the creators to be able to create incredible experiences, and those will be, you know, some very similar to what you see in Second Life today but hopefully will look better, be better performance and easier to use and more powerful so they can do even more interesting experiences. And then give those experience creators ‑‑ and experience creators is a very broad ‑‑ many of you have experience creators if not most of you, but give the experience creators the tools to attract audiences into their experiences from the outside world.
Because there’s too much variety inside Second Life for us to successfully market all the different types of users that might find these experiences. So it’s easier for the people to find the experiences from the outside world and come into them and give the creators the tools to attract and retain users to their experiences is a little bit of how we think about it. To me it’s like turning it inside out a little bit.
So, those are some general thoughts.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, and I’m not sure if you’re going along with the chat as well. There was a question sent to me that we talked about at a pre‑meeting last week to kind of sort of set the stage of discussing this. Some of what you’re saying almost harkens back to there used to be a community gateway program that Linden Labs had that would kind of nurture ‑‑ where you still had the general portal that everyone would come through through Second Life. They also had a separate sort of ‑‑ a different sign‑in, where people would be filtered into the community gateway of their interests. So sort of an extra part of the signup process where they would be asked for interests as well as then they would funnel them to a community gateway portal instead of the general Linden Lab ones.
So folks like Virtual Ability or here at Nonprofit Commons, we’re a community gateway. There were some of the prominent educator communities that were that way too, and it allowed people to self‑select on registration that input in. So I think some folks are like wondering in some ways what you’re talking about, if there are ways to kind of triage the tool or bring back something like that whether, you know, either here or considerations for the next gen platform so that way there can be a way to help bring people in even if you’re still using the same main portal.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, I think some of those attempts, like the community gateway and related activities, I think was actually heading in the right direction and I think they unfortunately were discontinued, if you will, prematurely, and I think maybe that could have been ‑‑ whatever it was, leadership changes, layoffs and choices had to be made and unfortunately those sort of went out at some point in time. I think it would have been better off if they continued to try to make those better and better because I think ultimately that’s the only way to scale, is to sort of expose more of what’s going on inside to the outside world and be able to attract people directly into those relevant experiences.
So, we have on our list of things to look at for Second Life as well. There’s a number of projects that are sort of like the community gateway project. We have like three or four things we’re going to meet up and see if we can combine into starting something on Second Life to revive some those concepts and get some traction on that and at least then be able to learn some things in advance of the next generation platform, sort of start of getting up to speed sufficiently to get going at that.
So it’s on the list of things to do. I’m not sure when we would have the resources to start tackling it, but at least that’s how we’re thinking. Empower the creators to create incredible things and attract audiences directly into those things.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, that would be great. And the ‑‑ and kind of relation to that that feeds off of some of the focus group stuff we were talking and that kind of thing. Like these features you’re talking about and obviously these meetings we’re having now and I guess, you know, kind of probably go into this more as we go, but what’s the plan for continuing to kind of interact with and engage these communities of interest, whether they be nonprofit, educational, that kind of thing, in any of the fixes or changes in regards to Second Life or any of the developing of secondary platform. Because I think that’s important beyond these conversations today, you know, what’s sort of the plan of engagement there.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, so there’s fortunately or unfortunately but more fortunately in some ways there’s a lot of different groups with a lot of different viewpoints and great feedback. So obviously I try to bop in on meetings like this as often as I can. Obviously the people that are working on Second Life, I have various meetings as well with various groups to provide and get feedback on their road map. And right now, what we’re doing with regards to the next generation, it’s still so early. There’s like all this obvious plumbing you have to do regardless of where we’re going to ultimately take it with regards to the user experience. So right now we’re dealing with things like rendering engines and physics engines and lighting and terrain systems and all kinds of basic building blocks that you sort of need. And we’re just make sure that each of those are much, much, much better than what we have in Second Life today.
And as we get more and more down sort of the path of what should the exact experience be and the exact feature set on top of that experience and what’s the priorities of those things, then we’ll obviously start to engage more and more with the community. And then we’ll obviously open the doors early enough that, you know, none of the extreme decisions have already been made. So the first users that can come in and check this thing out, sometime in the first half of next year is my guess as alpha users, maybe under MDA or something, and we’ll try to make sure we get a cross‑section of different users to be able to come in and create things. And we primarily good creators that can give us good feedback on what can be create and can’t be create and how can it be better.
And then ‑‑ that will be early in the process. And then as we progress, we’ll open Moore and more for more and more people to come in and see what we’re doing and provide feedback and we’ll then start to really think about what kind of teams and what kind of processes do we need to be able to collect as much feedback as possible from a broad range of users and groups and people trying to do different things, what about education, what about games, what about communities, what about social interaction communication, lots of different aspects that will get feedback on.
There will be plenty of time to do that for the next generation product. I don’t think we’re at the pint where it’s going down a particular path that anyone would sort of disagree with yet. So that will come more, like I would say, next year.
As far as the Second Life road map, which is more now and here, we’ve already sort of announced what the things that the team are focusing on. And then, you know, as they progress on those things and start to figure out what to work on next, obviously you guys ‑‑ I’m not sure what the easiest way to interact with that group is, but you know we should make sure it’s easy for you guys to provide feedback to that team on what you think is the most important things to improve in Second Life.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah. There was a structure and a broader ‑‑ I think this got brought up when I watched the video the last meeting that you had, this was a structure of more of a community group and a community kind of focus liaisons within Second Life. There are still are community folks obviously on your team, but much more concerted effort that there were staff members that were sort of assorted to that.
And somebody ‑‑ I think that’s on Ebbe’s side.
>> EBBE LINDEN: We have some questions here. I saw will you expose metadata to users and creators?
Think of it ‑‑ like early on we were thinking a creator that creates an experience should have something like Google analytics or something to be able to understand what kind of activity is taking place with regards to their experience and to help them optimize for what’s going on there. If that answers the question for JJ Drinkwater.
And then will we consider full ADA, America With Disabilities Act, from the ground up? Yeah, I wouldn’t say we specifically thought about that, but clearly that’s something we need to solve for. So we’re trying to think of how do we make sure the user interface is extremely flexible so that it can actually be customized and tailored. We have said we’re not starting the product as open source from the beginning. It’s basically to try and contain complexity. But we want to enable the user interface to be extended and be very flexible and modified and updated so that people can get better ‑‑ can sort of modify the experience and it’s more optimum for them. Whether that’s because of disabilities or other use cases where users want the user interface to be slightly different.
So think of it like being able to have a system of add‑ons or extensions or something to able to modify the user face and experience and provide as much access to those types of developers as possible to modify and extend the user experience.
Let’s see. What else we have here.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And I have a couple of questions on my side as well. So I can ask you one of those.
So, Loren Alunaia, I’m going to slaughter his name, but he was asking sort of to the point of some of the things you were talking about, that keeping the function while enhancing the ability and performance of things, that those who work in K through 12 public education and I also know this kind of goes through those working with youth and nonprofit things, but those constantly seeking to engage students. They have concerns about, you know, user experience and young user safety and then for that first point in building ‑‑ in building out his project, they realized how steep the learning curve can be, and what are your thoughts on making that initial entrance easy without sacrificing the complexity of the functions that high end users would want.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, I think that’s ‑‑ you know, part of the complexity of Second Life is just the incredible breadth and depth and ‑‑ it’s almost like everything you have on the Internet that’s sort of shoved into one box called Second Life. It’s a communication system, it’s a social network, it’s got build tools, it’s got an economy. That’s like having, you know, Ebay, PayPal, Skype and, you know, some high end 3D authoring tools all in one product, which makes it are really difficult to make it simple.
But I do definitely believe we can do a lot better than we have in the past. And without dumbing it down so that you somehow suddenly become constrained in experiences that you can create, because that’s part of the ‑‑ what makes Second Life so great is just the incredible breadth and depth of experiences that are being created, so we certainly don’t want to limit what can be done.
And with regards to the safety on how do you get, you know, education to be more comfortable to send people into these experiences, well, if we make it a lot easier for someone to create an experience, choose who can access that experience and have a very easy way to bring users directly into that experience without having to go through our generic front door to get to that experience, I think that will make it very ‑‑ much easier for people to comfortably create ‑‑ would more or less feel like stand‑alone experiences where they can sort of keep it a little bit more contained to what they want their users to see and do so those are some of my thoughts on.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, on the kind of continuation that kind of jumps off on that, in regards to say bringing in youth, teen it agers and that, obviously you probably know from the history of Second Life there used to be a withhold teen Second Life grid, and several of us, myself include, were part of educational programs for many years and then the lab took that away.
Obviously it wasn’t as economically viable to keep it separate and ‑‑ but those of ‑‑ those that are doing work with teenagers, like is there any thoughts about how that demographic could fit into even that next generation world, whether, you know, that you’re developing, those that don’t fall into that age group that are coming into Second Life now and parking back to the teen Second Life.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, so there’s different ways to slice and dice this pie. Today Second Life is like one pie with some ratings for whether there’s pepperoni can only be on one side of the pizza and not on the other side. But I think it would be much more flexible with the next generation where the notion of different grids, if you want to call it that, or domains will be a lot easier to it do.
We still have to think about whether we want to have multiple name spaces. Like do you have to ‑‑ if you come to different experiences, do you have to register all over again or can you have the same tea across now? For now we’re saying you can have the same identity across all and communicate across all and have a social network across all. But you could have a user obviously be constrained as to which parts they could access or which parts ‑‑ or which users you want to it allow into your experience.
So, as long as people are comfortable saying a student ‑‑ call it a sub‑grid and students come straight into that and everything has been sort of approved by someone, not necessarily us but someone, to be part of that part of the world, for that side of the pizza, they ‑‑ you know, those users could still of course find their way out of there and go to the other side of the world where they might interact with something that that educator would not necessarily be approving on ‑‑ approving ‑‑ you know, wouldn’t be happy if their kids went to those places.
So it’s a little bit like a city or a country, where we all have our identity, we can go anywhere we want, more or less, and you just try and tell kids don’t go to that neighborhood.
But I think it will be a lot easier in the future with where we make it easy for people to have their users, sort of have direct access into a particular experience or set of experiences. Where they can more control the messaging and how ‑‑ what the experience for those users are.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yep. And I think you see some of that development or concept of that development if you look to the open source movement that has spawned off of Second Life and opening the viewer, where you have the concept of the hypergrid. And even Second Life has the ability through like the registration API capabilities to kind of set the lock people to a region or allow people in through the stated settings.
So obviously I think that continuing on and refining that would make those things better.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah. So a lot of this is possible today. But today just takes a little bit of rocket science to set it up. So this should be super easy for an educator to sort of do out of the box, not have to become sort of a master of API’s and ‑‑ I mean even just trying to configure your land to know who can go there and who can’t go there, it takes some understanding to do that today. And we can obviously make that a lot easier.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And okay. I think we can probably sort of drop to Pathfinder’s right now. Can you share a particular functionality broad future that the current SL completely lacks but that could be enabled in the future, spiritual successor to SL. I think Frans Charming also posed a question about that. What’s sort of would be possible in that next gen that’s not possible now?
>> EBBE LINDEN: Well, I think with better tools, better scripting languages, basic core capabilities, you know, more interesting experiences will be created from that. So it’s not necessarily that it’s specific features, it’s just all of the features we have being done better. I mean like we’re just rolling out experience keys right now which will sort of open the door for a whole new set of experiences that couldn’t be done before in what would be at least a reasonable user experience. So that’s just one example.
So I mean you could almost do anything in Second Life that you could do in any game engine, it’s just the results wouldn’t be as good. And if they’re not good enough, then your conversion rate and the ability or, you know, having users stick around in those experiences will obviously be challenging.
So, in some ways we’re thinking about a lot of just being related to quality, performance, scale are sort of the core areas we’re focusing on now. And then on top of that, you start adding ease of use, easier interface that are easier to understand. And all those things combined, you will have experiences that you’ll see in the next generation that you just could not create in Second Life. You might be able to create the same idea, but not with the same level of sophistication and quality of execution.
So, that’s probably sort of what we’re thinking about mostly.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, and I misread Frans’ part of that, which is the converse of that. In the next generation platform, what’s the possibility of things that won’t be there that are here? So what will ‑‑ I know some people have been concerned about what that means for content that’s been created and porting over any of that and those kind of things.
>> EBBE LINDEN: So what we’ve said is that we’re not going to make content backwards‑comparability constrain how good the next generation product can be.
Which means a lot of content is being created to do, whether it’s our avatars or clothes or houses or experiences, it’s not something we’ll just automatically function the same in this next generation product. There will be certain assets that you can bring over. We said that it should be easy to bring over your identity and your Linden dollars and be able to go back and forth between the two as you wish. But a lot of content will have to be created from the ground up because in this day and age, you just wouldn’t really start from where Second Life started. We just have too much content. It would be too complex to try to do something much, much better that still has to deal with all the existing content.
And then to provide all the tools to actually edit and manipulate that content when it really should be done in very different ways.
So that’s what we said so far. Yeah.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And in relation to that ‑‑
>> EBBE LINDEN: Sorry. There was a question asked what will not be possible. Well, in the beginning when we open the doors to this to a limited user set, there will probably things a lot of things you can do in Second Life today that you can’t do in the new product right off the bat. I mean, Second Life has 11 years of features and functionalities and funky nooks and corners of capabilities that we won’t necessarily start off by replicating everything we have, because a lot of the things we have in Second Life we probably shouldn’t have because it’s part of what’s adding to the complexity and the confusion of the experience.
So, it will probably ‑‑ when you first see it or first get access to it, it will probably find a number of things. Like oh, where did my feature X, Y, and Z go that I liked so much? We’ll see over time how those things get added in in a logical fashion that doesn’t just create what I call ‑‑ you know, Second Life is a little bit of the stovepipe, things piled on top of things, and it reached a point where for most normal people it’s just overwhelming. And so we have to see how we can not start off with that amount of complexity but sort of grow into the right experience over time.
>> PETE LINDEN: Just to follow on that to be clear, I think what you’re getting at, and correct me if I’m wrong, Ebbe, there may be at least at the start some features and functionality that the next generation version doesn’t have or won’t have, but in terms of the sort of rules of it, the conceptions of the kinds of things that can be done and made on this platform, as you were saying at the outset, the idea is that it will be very much in the spirit of Second Life in sort of the same degrees of freedom and openness ‑‑
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yes.
>> PETE LINDEN: ‑‑ in order for people to create whatever they like. There isn’t an idea of create the next generation that is very closed off, very limited or anything like that.
>> EBBE LINDEN: No, that’s absolutely true. I mean our goal is to allow people to create more interesting experiences that haven’t been possible today, not less. I’m just saying in the early days of this next generation, if your first look at it you might feel something is missing that you’ve grown accustomed to or dependent on and it will take a while for those things to find its way in there, maybe in a different form. But and hopefully in a different form otherwise we’re just replicating little bit of the messy stuff we have in Second Life.
But yeah, so enable more powerful creations and more interesting creations and still trying to deal with the range of different types of creators. You have high end creators that are comfortable with Mya and high end scripting and stuff like that. And then you have people who are more tweakers and customizers. And then you have people that more or less like to buy clothes and get dressed. And we have to sort of figure out how to tailor to these different types of creators. And we might target them in a different sequence so that it’s not obvious to all those users day one, that they ‑‑ that they’re going to be a solution for them but ultimately we want to make sure we provide a solution for as many people as possible to create.
>> EBBE LINDEN: And that’s why there’s no talk about any closure of Second Life or we even ‑‑ Second Life will be going on for a long, long time and people will over time be able to choose whether to decide to send your time. And hopefully we reach a point where people much prefer to create and spend their time in the next generation of product. But today there’s no way we can determine how long that will take. You know, it could be a long, long time.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And before we ‑‑ while we sort of jump off that kind of thing, I had another question come in from Matt Burns that sort of jumps off of this in some way. It relates to, you think about devices like Oculus Rift and PrioVR and things like that, obviously, and there’s folks like High Fidelity, Phil Rosedale, who’s the founder of Second Life has been working without a lot of those sort of tools. And I think people are curious to know if there’s ‑‑ and has also been thinking about the identity aspect throughout the metaverse, and I think people are curious about what, if any, interaction or communication there is that goes on between the High Fidelity and Linden Lab still.
I know Linden Lab is part investor for them and I guess any of those other thoughts to those kind of tools like Oculus in the development process.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, as you all probably know we have Oculus support in Second Life today. In our project viewer. And we have people coming by the office whether it’s press or various kinds of interested users. And if you’re in the neighborhood, drop on by we can give you an Oculus tour in our office here. We’ll try to create a cool lab and we’re eagerly awaiting the next version the DK2 which has gun shipping from what I hear and then we’ll do the work to update our project viewer to work with that new SDK, it will take a few works to do that and get that into your hands to creators ‑‑ today it’s really for the creators, there are no consumers that have Oculus. A customer version that will sell like significant scale I think is a year‑plus away. This is early days, just experimenting with it but it’s really cool.
A lot of the issues while we’re work on the next generation platform is that Second Life and Oculus are not necessarily the best marriage. You know, you need a very highly performance product with high quality to get the most out of an experience like we’re working with something like the Oculus.
And we said from the beginning that the next generation we’re going to build it so that it targets phones, you know, pads, PC’s and Oculus. And if other hardware has meaningful ways to consume bits and pieces of Second Life or this next generation world, we’ll tack those on as well.
As far as input devices, you know, certainly with an Oculus your keyboard becomes kind of like ‑‑ it becomes not logical input devices with an Oculus strapped to your face. And no one’s really figured out what the answer to that will be. We did early experiments with Leap Motion so that you can use hand gestures to do stuff but Leap Motion 1.0 just wasn’t good enough. We’ve had them visit here in the office a few weeks back to take a look at their Leap Motion 2.0 that’s coming out; it’s much, much better. Still not sure if it’s going to be mass market enough and good enough for us to integrate with that, but it’s possible.
We’re also meeting on Monday with another company that’s doing a lot of work. You know, Six Sense, we’re doing a lot with their stem system and talk to them about whether their devices are the right ones. I’ve met with various senior leadership at Oculus/Facebook and sort of asked them what their thoughts are, because they’re sort of introducing a bit of this problem by providing a device that sort of makes the keyboard and the mouse not particularly useful anymore and what are their thoughts. And it’s not obvious what the answer is going to be. It’s going to be a lot of experiments with user inputs and different methods. Whether it’s ecoskeletons or cameras reading your motions or speech‑to‑text, there’s lots of combinations of things that we’ll be experimenting with over time and we’ll obviously look at that and we want it make sure we also don’t waste our time doing something useful to three people. Is it’s going to have to be something that has a chance of being fairly broad, mass market appeal.
So, that’s where we’re at with those kinds of things.
Relationship with high phi and Phillip, we’re call can lesion that sort of check in now and then with what we’re up to. We have no plans in the works of actually doing any explicit sharing of technology or nick like that. But we meet up now and then with hey, what are you working on, what works, what doesn’t work and just sort of just being friendly and sharing thoughts and ideas. But other than that, there’s no active collaboration going on. And yeah, our investment in them is very, very small. So it’s pretty ‑‑ it’s not a big deal.
So, yeah, that’s that.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah. I think we had a couple of questions that kind of fall upon this obviously and you touch upon it too. There’s a whole need for user experience design in these new device. And somebody asked about the scale aspect for obviously virtual worlds things like scale and that are important. And, you know, and again in your next generation platform, like what the thoughts on those kind of things. So I guess it’s user experience scale.
>> EBBE LINDEN: You mean scale as in, you know, the size of things or scale of avatars.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: It becomes very important when you’re in an immersive scenario with Oculus.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, it becomes important that the size of door openings and the heights of ceilings and sizes of avatars become morel in those kinds of things. And that’s why we put the Oculus out there, because a lot of it is ‑‑ some of the things we’re doing but a lot of it is also what creators also doing. And so doing Oculus work right now is not for us to reach a lot of consumers. Hopefully that will happen in years time but to get it up now is to put it in the hands of you guys and all kinds of creators to be able to experiment with and go, “Oh, my God, I would have built this stuff differently if I had thought about people seeing this experience or going through this experience with the Oculus.” And so it’s more for us to learn and for you to learn, and then down the road hopefully a lot of consumers will experience this.
And I think they will. But what percentage of time spent on something like a virtual world like Second Life or next generation will be done through an Oculus versus on your iPad or PC, like it’s too early to know. We can speculate but I obviously think it’s great that the Oculus is doing the work they’re doing and bringing the cost down from the tens of thousands of dollars to a few hundred dollars for people to be able to [mic cutting in and out].
I think it will also help us have more interesting experiences and more immersive experiences and ultimately be able to create experiences like you need that total sense of presence. It will come with time, but, you know, how soon it will come so your average person can sort of walk into that experience by having the right hardware, the right software and the whole setup just so, that will take quite a while to be true for a lot of people.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Okay. It looks like we had a blip in the conversation but it seems most of it came through.
So let’s kind of drop this away from the tech kind of platform stuff. So we had some questions sort of some functionality related things that are kind of some pain points in regards to Second Life in the way now for those people doing projects that are educators/non‑profits in this space.
A few from the idea that there isn’t ‑‑ because everything is tied to avatar identity in this space, that kind of becomes problematic for those doing project‑based work. There’s no way to have a ‑‑ or at least it’s against the terms of services to have a corporate avatar and be able to kind of use that in a way ‑‑ to be owner of a project, per se, and especially when you have something that might be academic administrator level, you need sort of something like that; that if staff come and go, even on a non‑profit side, you might need something like that. Right now the Sim is owned in that way that, the one we’re sitting in, for that reason.
That also gets tied to, on the nonprofit side of things, those that are 501(c)(3)’s the ability to be able to kind of cash out and sort of sort things in that way. So there’s that kind of that scope of ‑‑ the question about that in regards to some way to designate ‑‑ sort of in the same way Linden Lab does now with is this avatar going to be a bot. Could this avatar be a corporate identity, like a company‑related thing rather than an individual, and that be able to be tied to a tax ID or a nonprofit as another part of that as well. So thoughts on that.
>> EBBE LINDEN: I don’t have any strong thoughts on that. I mean I think ‑‑ phew, yeah, I don’t have any super clever thoughts on that right away, but I think there might have been several questions there.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: True.
>> EBBE LINDEN: The ability for ‑‑ there’s one thing of being able to manage call it manage users. So if I’m a company, what employees or members or whatever it might be of a group of people should have access and should not have access, and how many places do I have to manage this access list when probably many companies and organizations already have some tool they’re using to manage their users. So are there things we should be able to do to tie these things together.
And this is fairly common in sort of business applications to be able to integrate with, you know, other user management systems so it becomes easier to manage who has access and who doesn’t.
And we’ll think about those things. As far as tying yourself to ‑‑ for taxation or stuff like that, I haven’t really thought about at all, so I don’t even know what we could or should do. So that would be interesting to get some of those written up and sent to us so we can ‑‑ and there might be people who have thought about those things, but I haven’t. So it would be good to get that feedback and figure out what we could do with it.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: It definitely came up in our discussion last week. But it certainly effects anybody who does fund‑raising. As Glitter said, it could be a little problematic in regards to you dealing with a mico‑transaction, so fund‑raising equates a little bit differently. But you do have campaigns like ‑‑ think about Relay For Life. We’re all familiar with that. And, you know, you’re looking at there where they’re raising hundreds and thousands of dollars.
You know, myself and others here have done sort of more localized fund‑raising. On those levels, there’s no way to tie ‑‑ it’s an individual tax I.D. number and not your company’s tax I.D. number. So if you cash that out, or a check is drawn, it’s seen in that way.
Similar ‑‑ you know, in the now, that’s affected by if a creator, I think with the tax changes, the tax law changes that happened, there’s triggers in place on the Linden Lab side of things for content creators if their earning so much money through the system, they have to fill out the I‑9 or whatever the form is and then the corresponding international one.
Similarly if you were doing transactional things on a business level things for bits or on a donation for a nonprofit, it shouldn’t be tied to the individual because that has far reaching implications if somebody raises $10,000 for a charity or something, which has happened, I myself has done, and then would have to have that be a personal donation go through your own personal sort of scenarios. So I think that’s what that relates to.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah. Send me or Pete or us in some way thoughts on that and then we can think about whether we can extract that in a way because it’s probably a lot of potentially slightly different use cases. And someone else commented here, you go into international and the complexity might explode on us.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, true.
>> EBBE LINDEN: So we have to think of a generic solution that doesn’t become overly cumbersome for us to do.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Oh, I guess in response to that, in regards to those that are thinking about fund‑raising, and this probably comes upon to the kind of currency, commerce system of the next generation platform. And Zinnia was asking about PayPal integration for the next gen world, but that probably brings up questions of the overall thoughts on what currency and commerce would be like in that next generation platform.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Our current thinking is to basically extract capabilities of all things commerce and money and virtual currencies and all that from Second Life so that it becomes a service that both Second Life and this next generation product could use. So I would think of them as being very similar. And so that’s not an area I would necessarily feel we have to do something. It’s already a very strong system and so we don’t necessarily feel we have to completely redo that. It’s more of right now it’s just intertwined with Second Life and sort of an unnecessarily complex way. So extracting it and making it a service ‑‑ so I would expect a lot of similarities, the same currency, all the work we’ve done to make it a very stable virtual currency that people trust is something we just want to continue with going forward.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Great.
EBBE LINDEN: I see a question from Loren. Do you have a preferred method for us sending specific inquiries of that kind or feedback or thoughts or ideas? And actually Pete and I looked at our SecondLife.com and how would someone give us feedback, and it’s a little embarrassing. It’s actually not that simple. Yes, we have this JIRA bug‑tracking tool but that’s not like something a normal human being would use to just give us thoughts and feedback. I think that’s something we have to do easier and maybe we’ll at least make sure we have a basic feedback@LindenLab.com
e‑mail or something where people can send in thoughts and ideas so we can collect them at a higher rate. Today, I think people with feedback wouldn’t necessarily know how to give it to us in an easy way.
If it is bugs, we would obviously ‑‑ we would certainly want them to go into the JIRA system so they can be tracked and prioritized and all that. But we also don’t want people to not give us feedback or bugs because it’s too complicated, so it’s something we’ll need it to solve for.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And certainly in the meantime there’s been obviously other discussions post your meetings, there’s also been a lot of community discussions that post impacts that. I don’t know how much you get to see those links, but any questions that filter through this, like obviously we’ll be following up on the Nonprofit Commons side of things, so you can funnel things through us.
And I know there’s been discussions from some of the ‑‑ a few of the folks in the audience too like how to create ‑‑ kind of self‑organize an almost working group that could interface with Linden Lab in that way that would be representative of, you know, non‑profits/educators, folks that fall within our range to be able to feed feedback and thoughts to you in that way.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, that’s what I’ve asked most groups I’ve met with, if they can collaborate and come up with a prospective view on what’s the most important things and try to prioritize them as a group before they come to us. Because there’s no shortage of ideas. We have millions of them. But the tough work is usually in prioritizing them, and some things are easier for you to prioritize than it is for us. But if each of you gave us feedback, we wouldn’t necessarily know how to prioritize those things from your perspective. That would be helpful when groups of people come together and sort of think it through to the next level, what will really have the biggest impact. Because if we were trying to do everything people asked us to do, we would hardly get anywhere.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yep. I know there’s differently lots of very engaged but different communities. Having, you know, as been part ‑‑ was part of organizing all the Second Life communities conventions that happened in real life that were user group ‑‑ you know, message conventions and they ebbed and flowed from 2005 to 2011. But hundreds of people in any of those. And the breadth of various communities, we’re here today and educators and nonprofits predominantly but there are folks in role playing communities and destination things and more social things or music communities. So there’s a huge plethora and I can see how that would get out of hand.
So, you know, coming up with a good way to, you know, triage and within the community way would probably be good.
And a couple of questions come to me in the back end. Sort of on the promotion related thing, obviously way back in the early in the conversation you brought up how, you know, the SecondLife.com is obviously promoted to the more general user base. But how can nonprofits and educators who want sort of visibility to get on the destination guide or a way to kind of promote the work that we’re doing and sort of show off on the website in a way to kind of on the SecondLife.com portal to be that way. Thoughts on that it.
>> PETE LINDEN: I can jump in here. So yes, on the destination guide, it actually should be easy. There is a form to fill out, also an e‑mail. If you just ping me, I can send that link out to you.
And generally we’ve been sort of pulling from there for periodic blog posts, pulling out some sort of highlights there as well. So especially if you have particular events or special things going on, we’d love to know. And through that e‑mail address is really the best way to sort of highlight that to us.
In terms of more sort of general promotion and things that we could do to help make it more visible, one, if you have ideas about it, I would love to know them. Please ping me and I’d love to hear them because we’re always looking. We’re looking right now at what else we can do in a similar way to the destination guide and sort of leveraging that to make it easy for everyone to promote what they’re doing in Second Life to the community.
To the outside world, similarly, I’d love ‑‑ the more I can hear from everybody about what’s going on in your world and the work you’re doing, through meetings like this as well as just sort of one‑offs, whether it’s e‑mail or in world IM, that’s super helpful for us. As Ebbe mentioned, we are often in touch with the media, whether they’re coming in for interviews and demos or just sort of one‑off opportunities, and the more sort of fresh stories from Second Life that we have about the interesting things going on and the great things that groups like yours are doing, certainly the better it is for us, the better it is for Second Life, and hopefully the better it is for your groups as well.
So, please, short answer is, in terms of the promoting things to the community and raising visibility within Second Life, destination guide is the best place to start. But then, you know, over and above that in terms of just being sure that we’re up on what you’re doing, letting us know through direct messages, through e‑mail, through noting it in the forums on community blogs, we try and keep an eye on all that. So the more you can tell us, the easier it is for us to help sort of pull those out and highlight it.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Great. And it looks like there’s a question back to you, Pete, from Zinnia, about should we share with you any conference presentations or research that we’re doing in SL? This goes for obviously education and nonprofit communities.
>> PETE LINDEN: Yeah, absolutely. We’re thirsty for content and particularly thoughtful stuff like that is really helpful for us to have and be aware of, so that would be great.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And there was a question up above from Pathfinder. Have you thought about creating structured feedback opportunities, like surveys, so you could collect both qualitative and quantitative data on users?
>> EBBE LINDEN: I mean yes and no. Again, for the next generation, like I said, we’re so early that so it’s basic sort of meat and potatoes stuff we have to deal with. But how you to scale up doing more of that is something we’re going to have to figure out how to do successfully. And it’s whether it’s bringing users in for usability testing, surveys to better understand what users are doing, looking at the data people are actually doing, market analysis ‑‑ I mean there’s a ton of things that we can and will do and are doing, so ‑‑ to help make sure we make the right decisions and provide something that makes sense to people.
But I wouldn’t say we have sort of a machine going for that kind of activity, but it’s something we’ll work on.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Okay. Great. And look up at some other questions. Beyond ‑‑ obviously you’ve met with, you know, educators, librarians, our Nonprofit Commons community today. What other types of Second Life user communities are you looking to reach out to yet? Obviously some of us here have multiple community kind of connections, so that would be useful for us to also help with you guys if we had an idea on that.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, if you have ideas for communities that would like to meet with me or you think would be useful for me to meet with, like I say, I try to meet with as many as possible, so I’m psyched to do that.
It’s various ways. I mean we hop around ourselves. You know, participating in communities, to seeing communities from the inside. We meet with as many sort of established groups and communities as we ‑‑ as possible. It’s possible to do even more but so far I’ve met with quite a few, whether it’s ‑‑ Pete would actually know better which ones we’ve met with and maybe which ones we should still meet with, than me because I don’t even know the ones I don’t know but Pete does.
Pete, any thoughts on ‑‑
>> PETE LINDEN: Not at the moment. I’d have to look back. We met with quite a few and I’m certainly open to Moore.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, there’s open source communities, educational communities, there’s you guys, there’s been other teams communities as well. And like I said, we have spent quite a bit of time in world, interacting with people either as obvious Lindens or not so obvious Lindens to understand what’s going on. And then there’s also look at data on what’s taking place and what are people doing, how you are they behaving.
So yeah, I haven’t met with any religious ones yet. That was asked.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, there are definitely some cross overs to that. And there’s obviously more social related ones. You know, you have a lot of the niche sort of things that fall under social, like folks that are role playing Star Trek or steam punk communities which are heavy content creator focused.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, we’re looking those role playing communities, we’re actually looking at. And those are actually sometimes hard to sit in front of like this and have a conversation with. You more or less have to go undercover and be part of it to fully understand it. So we’re doing some of that as well.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: And I guess Serene posted a question. The term service changes still do not satisfied artisan creators. Any comments? And I don’t know if you want to add to that, Serene, what type of problems there are. That might help.
>> EBBE LINDEN: I didn’t understand the question.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: I guess this relates back to there was a terms of service change a couple months ago in the intellectual property related things that kind of caused a stir with content creation and the IP. And there was recently a change in the terms of service I think to try to help with that, to help ease some that, but I guess there’s still problems in that regard.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, it’s one of those things that I’m not sure if we’ll ever get to 100%. You know, take any legal contract and get, you know, a million people to agree with everything in it, like it’s not possible.
What we have said though very clearly is the content is yours. We have no interest in taking your content and benefit or profit from that independently in some way. I mean, it seems like some people have feared that we’re going to sort of be able to take content and monetize it for ourselves. It’s not even ‑‑ I don’t even know if it’s possible.
So ‑‑ and clearly something that we haven’t done would be very, very bad for our business when the whole business is dependent on the content creators being comfortable creating content and profit from their creations.
So ‑‑ and, you know, of course, someone is saying what if LL sells SL and the next owner does X, Y or Z. Well, clearly any owner can change the terms. We can change the terms tomorrow to make it really bad for you and so could a future owner that we don’t know who it is. Obviously, though, in our mind that would be a very stupid thing to do. I mean that would be a way to rapidly sort of make this business go in the wrong direction. So I would trust that anyone that may buy this company would see it the same way.
I mean, if you look at it from our perspective, it’s not that complicated. We’re completely dependent on people coming to this platform and create content and experiences and be able to profit from those experiences. That’s our business model.
If we start to compete with those users or if we start to steal their stuff or whatever, that model won’t work. And then I’m not sure what model would work.
So, it’s ‑‑ it just wouldn’t be in our interest. So I’m not really sure what the big hoopla is. Then actually if we look at it, it’s actually not that many people that are wigged out about it. There’s clearly some that are ‑‑ think it’s extremely important. It is extremely important but there’s some of us that are extremely concerned and I have a hard time understanding why that is, actually.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Yeah, I think ultimately content creation for the creator is a very intense thing. It’s like birthing a child through your whatever, right? So I think you will always have that, you know, breadth of it. An IP is very important but, you know, to the Linden Lab side of thing, obviously, you need to ask for certain amount of rights to be able to provide the platform and the services to be able to spin up all this content.
So, you know, I guess the last question in all of this, since we need to be ‑‑ at least on the transcription side we need to be kind of wrapping up in that regard. Those that do have full IP advice to their content, do we ever see a time where we could be able to download and output a full ‑‑ like an open sim, an OAR, the whole region file, where you’d be able to ‑‑ especially for an educator or nonprofit, to be able to export that whole region? It’s capable in the open source, open sim side of things. And I think folks here are curious about wanted to do similar for their projects.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, I have ‑‑ if you want to take your content out of Second Life and take it somewhere else, you know, I’m fine with that. I have no issues with that. I don’t know if we’re doing everything we can to make that super simple for you. But over time, you probably find that all the features and functionalities of Second Life might not have, you know, a lot of other systems that are, you know, sufficiently compatible to just run it as it is. But if it’s your creation, then you should be able to take it wherever you want. I just can’t promise that it will function somewhere else as it does here. But I’ll be fine with that.
And I saw if some Second Life user wants to license their content to another company. Let’s say you create a cool game or a cool character and then you wanted to license that to Pixar, then you wouldn’t be able to? Like I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be able it to do that. We certainly have no interest in preventing you from doing that.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Maybe they’re thinking about the exclusivity. If the other entity would be asking for exclusive rights, then it would be problematic here, right?
>> EBBE LINDEN: If they want exclusive rights, then you as a content creator might have to take your creation out of Second Life. If they say no, you can’t have your character that you started ‑‑ created in Second Life and have it in Pixar, Pixar might say take it out of Second Life, but that’s up to the creator. I don’t think we’re involved in that.
And it’s not like we said, “No, your creation has to stay here. You can’t take it out of here.” What? We never prevented you from, you know, deleting your content if you want to.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: So I think we can probably wrap up. I’m sure there’s going to be still discussion here afterwards but at least for the transcription side of things, the formal kind of part of this, we can wrap up.
And thank you, Ebbe and Pete, for being here. I think that these community meetings are a great kind of re‑invigoration of those of us that have continued on through the years here in Second Life and are dedicated to kind of using immersive spaces like Second Life for often sort of serious or purposeful related projects. You know, we’re happy to have this ability to be able to kind of talk to you and have that voice directly and with Linden Lab.
So if we can continue that, that would be great. Obviously on our side we’ll follow up. I think, like I said, there’s initiatives of trying to create kind of a informal group to be able to kind of maybe ‑‑ working group on the community at large kind of side for things like this. But any last thoughts and kind of in relation to that or anything you talk about here?
Do you have any thoughts before we wrap up?
>> EBBE LINDEN: Sorry. Did you ask me something?
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Oh, just we’re ending this part of it. So if you have anything to wrap up.
>> EBBE LINDEN: Yeah, if we’re going off the record, now we can really go. I’m just kidding.
>> PETE LINDEN: Now the secret plans.
>> EBBE LINDEN: I might have to pop out ‑‑ I might have to pop out at any point in time here, but I’ll stick around until my next meeting shows up at my door.
>> PETE LINDEN: I’d just like to say thanks so much for having us and for reaching out, setting this up and including us. It’s nice to get to chat with you all and I look forward to being in tough.
>> GLITTERACTICA COOKIE: Thank you, guys, so much for coming. I’ve spoken to many Lindens over the years and actually even accompanied Phillip to Congress, so it’s really nice to talk to the new leadership and hear how open you guys are to our work and to sharing and your spirit of openness in general, so just wanted to thank you.
>> RHIANNON CHATNOIR: Susan was one of a few handful with Phillip that ‑‑I think that was in 2008 that did a congressional hearing on Second Life. But I’m sure she’ll come to visit you guys since TechSoup is in San Francisco. You guys are neighbors and she’s been there many times.
So thanks to both of you. And I guess we can kind of take this off the transcript of that and see you all next week for the Nonprofit Commons meeting. And then I’m sure there will be interactions and conversations post this as well.
And just a reminder, NonprofitCommons.org, the live transcript is still up there but then we’ll post the full, cleaned up transcript on there as well. And I think Mel Burns is recording, so whenever he wants to share a link on that, that would be great.
So that’s it for us here today. We can take this informally.
The mission of the Nonprofit Commons in Second Life is to create a community for nonprofits to explore and learn about virtual worlds, foster connections, and discover the many ways in which nonprofits might utilize the unique environment of Second Life to achieve their missions.
Written by: Rhiannon Chatnoir