Archive for the ‘Gwyneth Llewelyn’ Tag

Philip Rosedale Returns to Linden Lab CEO Position

Philip Rosedale. (Photo by James Duncan Davidson/O'Reilly Media, Inc., CC Generic 2.0 license)

We’ve had about a day to mull over the news that Mark Kingdon has been given the axe as CEO of Linden Lab, and that Philip Rosedale has resumed the direct control of his brainchild, at least for the interim.  (New World Notes article; Rosedale statement)  As of publishing time, a New World Notes open poll suggests strongly that Residents are in favor of this move — even if we will have to put up with Philip’s spiky hair, Rocky Horror T-shirt and codpiece again:

Poll results as of 6:15 SLT, June 25, 2010. Poll courtesy of New World Notes

I’m one of the more optimistic, for the record.  I’m uncertain how much acceptance Mark has had from the Resident community over his tenure; and many of the Lab’s moves during that time have been controversial, to say the least.  Of course, for all we know, things could have smoothed out at the Lab with his continued presence.  Only the future knows this, and the future has just been rewritten.

The thing that Rosedale has going for him, besides a (presumably) intimate nuts-and-bolts knowledge of how Second Life works, is that his is the vision that created this real incarnation of a concept only in books for the most part, until his company was formed.  Anyone who was brought in from outside to take over would not be part of the Linden Lab culture — an admittedly kooky one at times, but they would not have the same “heart” for it that Philip has.  Many of us felt that way when Kingdon was named CEO in May 2008.  Philip was the creator; Mark was a businessman first and foremost, and I wonder if he tended to see Second Life mainly in that model, as a place for facilitating business.  There were speculations, of course, that Kingdon was brought in to help pave the way for an initial public offering of stock in Linden Lab; a more business-0riented CEO would be considered essential for such a move, and Mark’s tenure as CEO of Organic, a digital-advertising agency.

But a virtual-world business is a hairier operation to run.  You not only have the business aspect to manage; you must also deal with the client base that is the raison d’être for the business’s existence.  Second Life had business presences before, though more of an attempt to advertise their Real Life products in world.  Many of these left during the Great Hype Meltdown of 2008-09, and Kingdon attempted to bring in more business for meeting-type situations with his Second Life Enterprise initiative over the past six months.  Many feel that focus was given to this move, at the expense of Grid stability and Resident satisfaction, as well as other decisions that, according to Gwyneth Llewelyn, intended to pave the way for increased business activity.  (Read her thorough analysis of the situation from June 10.)  The failure of many of these business moves are what led to Kingdon’s dismissal.

The thing is that Mark was right in his broad vision, if not necessarily in his execution.  Second Life — and Linden Lab — cannot survive forever on Residential accounts alone, and definitely not on free accounts.  While some may disagree with the Linden Homes move (Gwyneth believes that this put the Guvnah in direct competition with existing landowners), Linden Lab should encourage conversion of free to Premium accounts.  Additionally, business needs wooing, focusing on the core advantages that Second Life has already offered to huge corporations such as IBM — the hosting and abetment of meetings without the expense and waste of travel for substantial numbers of people.  As much as many of us may not like it, Big Business must be courted in, and must become part of the Grid.

The key will be to find a new CEO that can balance both sides, and deliver continued and improved performance of the virtual platforms.  Rosedale possesses the vision, but he doesn’t seem to possess the business chops, which is why he handed off to Kingdon two years ago.  Philip’s return (dare we call it a resurrection? [grin]) will help restore the balance.  Now we need someone to push the dream forward — on all fronts.  Second Life cannot survive, let alone thrive, without both the yin and yang of the equation.

Around the Grid In Top 200 SL Blogs

Time for a little — this time deserved, I hope — horn-tooting.  I picked up a tweet a short time ago from Dusan Writer, retweeting a Gwyneth Llewelyn blog article on yet another article, this one written by ArminasX Saiman at Second Effects.  Armin embarked on a Project recently, which he has since revised:  to compile a list of the top blogs focusing on Second Life.

To create the list, he extracted the Technorati ranking of over 1,800 blogs, correcting for Technorati’s notoriously variable system.  Read Armin’s article for all the details; but at the bottom, he appended his ranked list of over 500 SL Blogs.  Many of the well-known blogs are on the list, of course:  the Big Blog, Massively, New World Notes, Torley Lives, Vint Falken, Gwyn’s Blog itself (yeh, Gwyn!), Designing Nicky Ree, It’s Only Fashion (yeh, Cajsa and Gidge!), etc., etc.

And among all these, Around the Grid is also on the list, at #103.

Armin himself admits that his list may still be full of errors, and that blogs come and go constantly.  But this makes me feel a whole lot better about the numbers I get from WordPress, aside from that silly belch of traffic the other day.  I’m both proud and humble that I’ve made it to this (apparant) level of readership, and it gives me fresh determination to give you factual, accurate news, intelligent and clear opinion where justified, and other pieces that entertain and inform you about the lifestyle we all share on the Grid.  Thanks to you all for reading me, and please keep coming back!

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Contact Sheet 3

I’ve had some material marked and building up for a few weeks, so it’s time for another Contact Sheet.


Ryou Yiyuan is a French avatar. This photo from her stream reminds me of sections of the Pictured Rocks, a long stretch of wave-worn sandstone formations on the shore of Lake Superior in my home state of Michigan. There have been arches cut by the water action in the past — though boaters should never count on their stability! The actual photo is from the Aglarond region, which Ryou calls a medieval RP sim.

For those interested and with Google Earth, this KML from Wikipedia will get you close, but you should pull out and go west to see the full extent of the shoreline.

I also recommend the three pictures she has mounted of Capadonia, which she notes as a new sim. Capadonia also appears to be medieval themed, which would fit with Ryou’s possible preference for an elven avatar. (Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3)


“Connie Sec” models on the Grid (though I can’t figure out what her actual avatar name is right now), and has quite a portfolio — including some erotica, just to advise you. (Good, but not my normal shtick, and I won’t be doing much talking about anyone’s erotica, except to advise you it’s there.) In the first photo below, Connie dons a decidedly Old Hollywood-style glamour, enhanced from the looks by WindLight as well as personal creativity. She appears ready to make her walk on the red carpet this Sunday night. Her second is reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s famous four-frame lithograph of Monroe, helped along with a graphics program. Not quite Technicolor as Warhol’s work, but still quite interesting.

Portrait of Connie Sec Channeling Warhol


Thinking of portraits, how about this from Sonia28 Jie, which makes me think of the persistence of motion phenomenon.


And, wrapping up, one from SL doyenne Gwyneth Llewelyn. Gwyn, as you may know, is an active resident of Neufreistadt in the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, which recently inaugurated its eighth Representative Assembly. The photo here, from her Snapzilla stream, can be considered news coverage, and is something you might see in any given January 21 newspaper, a class photo of the new Congress as it works. I like particularly the person with the sword on the far right (is that the Sergeant-at-Arms, or just someone with a drawn sword?), and the small koala MP in morning coat and purple Ascot.

Contact Sheet is an irregular column of selected photographs and portraits from Residents of Second Life. Images used in this article are used under permission of the owners via their participation in the Creative Commons license; otherwise, all rights are reserved. Click on the links as necessary to go to the required Flickr or Snapzilla page. Please go to these artists’ pages in any case to leave comments, if you have an account on the appropriate service.

Suggestions are appreciated; please send them to me by in-world IM, notecard, or E-mail to

(Cross-posted to Vicious Studios.)

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