SL Brand Center — Followup

An interesting hat — copyrighted, of course

As I was getting ready to write this, I punched up Reuters’ Second Life site to see what the latest was from the professionals, if anything. Only I was greeted with — silence. At the best, secondlife.reuters.com is churning without loading a page, or Firefox told me that the domain was “taking too long to respond.” We can interpret this in four ways:

  1. secondlife.reuters.com is overloaded right now.
  2. It’s Maintenance Time. (Hopefully not PM — as in “provocative maintenance,” which creates more problems than it solves [grin].)
  3. Reuters is taking the subdomain down (“by order” of their lawyers) to set up a new domain name, and it hasn’t propagated through the DNS yet. (Though a redirect could be quickly set up as well….)
  4. The one consistently publishing source of professional news in Second Life is pulling the plug, so as to take no chances with the new branding policy.

Only time will tell which one. I’ve been trying to connect since 7:00 a.m. RL, and nothing yet. (It’s currently 9:30.)

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In the time since Linden Lab’s announcement of the new SL branding policy, reaction in the out-world from Residents has been loud and thick. Here’s a list of the blogs and news reports I’ve found so far (after the break):

New World Notes does a good sum-up of the situation, and includes something Reuters missed in their initial report: reaction from the community. Ham’s final paragraph:

There’s a lot of vinegar flying, though if past history is a guide, most of the grousing will be cathartic, and the new rules will gradually get absorbed with relative ease. Then again, with so much tumult at the top, maybe past history is no longer the best guide.

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IYan Writer suggests that this might be a blessing in disguise for the SL Resident community — in a very American sense, it should be said, of uniting against a common foe. (We always seem to do better when we have a common foe to fight….)

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Benjamin Duranske at Virtually Blind is something of a virtual law expert, and supports their legal right to enact the policy.

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Mar at SL for Nowt steps aside from the search for great freebies to express her concerns over the issue, and wonder if, as a national of another country, she is subject to the rules.

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Kit Meredith of Second Life, First Person has two good posts on the question (first, second), and has created an attachment to wear in world as an expression of your concern, if any. (I model it above in my favorite morning hangout, the Blarney Stone.) Make sure to keep up with Kit, as she plans at least one more post examining her conclusions — she’s a lawyer in RL.

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Dusan Writer is strongly in the anti-policy camp:

Linden Labs sent out a Trojan horse into the community – a spiffy (and useless) new logo, perhaps thinking bloggers, content creators, educators and businesses wouldn’t notice the fine print which many are speculating is all prelude to an IPO.

I find myself increasingly furious. I suppose Philip is way too busy interviewing new CEOs to take the time to review substantial policy changes and branding decisions, but if that’s true then WHO IS MAKING THESE DECISIONS?

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Gwyneth Llewelyn, the dean of Second Life bloggers, is respectfully demanding a clarification of the policy as regards bloggers and others, and is gathering support for a 3-day writer’s strike if this is not forthcoming. Read in full!, but this is her first paragraph.

Your recent change of policy regarding the usage of your trademarks — Second Life®, Linden Lab®, and others registered by Linden Research Inc. — will effectively prevent the operation of the very vibrant community of bloggers, forum posters, websites, community portals, and even 3rd party services, that have provided Linden Lab® with links and driving traffic to your blog, and raising brand awareness for free for your product Second Life®.

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For a bit of quick levity, Cleo Bekkers’ piece at Education in Virtual Worlds is…mysterious.

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Second Life Bloggers, the organized group of Grid writers, has an extremely lively and (of course!) interesting discussion in its Forum. You can begin reading here; but, to comment yourself, you must be a member.

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Ciaran Laval was worried at first, but since concludes that it is essentially a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, etc.:

I sat down this morning at work, the first day back after the easter holiday, switched on my PC, sipped my coffee and then in a scene reminiscent of the closing stages of The Usual Suspects the scenery around me told its own story.

There in front of me were logos for AMD, Microsoft, Nvidia, it all suddenly made sense. The evil empire wasn’t on the march to silence the minions, we weren’t all being told to be silent at the back, we were being asked to treat the Linden Lab brand as, well a brand.

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What Is This Crap? fears for his domain…then he doesn’t…then he does (I think)….

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One way you can fight something you don’t like is with sarcasm and satire, and Caledon Air Marshal Zoe Connolly does that twice (first, second).

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There are many more, and probably more that I’ve missed; but this is turning into the Epistle to the Romans right now. I’d suggest running “second life” in quotes through Technorati, or “second life brand center” in quotes through Google, for more takes on the subject.

Harper’s signature

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