Archive for the ‘Philip Linden’ Tag

A Knave and an Imposter!

Philip!.

It is claimed that this avatar, who delivered a keynote speech at the opening of the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education Conference, is Philip Linden, Returned to us from Beyond for a season and a time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted April 10, 2014 by Harper Ganesvoort in Humor

Tagged with , , ,

Hwaet! Hear of the Tale of Philip of Linden…

…bright-bladed Philip, colorful of codpiece
Maker of worlds, defender from doom
Far did he ride on his steed, fine and furry
Smiting the emerald-green beast….

(snort, start, glancing down at the copy of Beowulf in my hands)

Wow, what a dream….  Well, I wonder what Ham Au has to say lately…?

(snapping on computer, bringing up New World Notes; going fall-down laughing)


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.

Fashion Police Issue BOLO for Philip Linden

In a statement issued a few days ago, Captain Winter Jefferson of the Second Life Fashion Police announced that a warrant has been issued for the non-violent capture of Philip Linden, creator of Second Life, for crimes against good taste.  Captain Jefferson stated that Mr. Linden has already been tried and convicted, and that sentence will be passed, preferably by locking the accused in a casual haberdashery, upon his capture.

If you see this avatar:

please notify your local Fashion Police precinct immediately.

Thanks to Hamlet Au. Comments aplenty at both blogs, but welcome here as well.


Events on the Grid

Shuffling through blogs this morning, I came across a pair of art items, one quite a nice opportunity, and the other almost sure to generate controversy in light of previous happenings.

=====

First, the easy. Prim Perfect magazine and blog have joined with the Orange Island community to sponsor a fashion photography contest, which will run across five days during the week of August 25. Competitors must shoot to a different theme each day, at a location specified by the judges, for daily prizes. There will also be a Grand Prix for the Most Consistent team, available only to those who participate across all five days.

For more details, you can read at the Orange Fashion Photo Contest blog, or on page 48 of Prim Perfect’s issue 11. Get yourself warmed up, get a good model (or spruce up your own avatar), and go for it!

Thanks to Maggie Mahoney of Runway magazine.

=====

And now, the rough.

The word has gone out on the Big Blog.  Volunteers are being solicited for this year’s Burning Life Festival, the in-world equivalent of the famous Burning Man art festival in the Real World.  It’s said that Philip Rosedale got his idea for Linden World, the predecessor of Second Life, from attending Burning Man in 1999.  (That may be, but there must be a dollop of Neal Stephenson in here somewhere, too….)

So what’s the problem?  They’ve done this for several years now, with no complaints from anybody.  Well, Ari Blackthorne examines the festival in light of Linden Lab’s apparent current policy of sanitizing — some would say “Disneyfying,” as Manhattan did to a good deal of Times Square — the Grid.  Remember that Burning Life emulates Burning Man in many ways; and one of them has been a general casualness about clothing.  Ari is suspicious about what will happen to Burning Life if the Lab decides to go after the exposure factor, as it did with ageplay and other matters during the planning for the recent SL5B celebration.  Ari notes:

No one twisted anybody’s arm to go running around to the pr0n clubs, or to put their money into these banks, or any of all that other crap, yet it was the shrill vocal minority that whined about it all. And remember, the alleged trading of RL photographs of child porn in the sensational news story that seemed to be the catalyst for all the bad press about Second Life is alleged. The last word from Linden Lab is that they have not been able to find these assets in the system, thus the media company fanning those flames may also have been blowing smoke up Linden Lab’s ass – just to ‘validate’ the sensationalism of their so-called news story.

If this is the case, then the funky lab on Linden Street, where you could get away with about anything in its virtual world, is definitely adopting a policy of reaction to bad press similar to many normal businesses.  To borrow from an old television program, the new management is getting measured for a team jacket, size 54 extra-uptight.  Virtual nudity isn’t particularly my thing — I ran off last night from someone who was pretending to be a body model at Alady Island and asked me if I’d like to have some fun — but that kind of trolling insanity does not happen routinely in Second Life, despite what the press has to say.

Burning Life doesn’t fall under the canopy of “what you do in the privacy of your home is your affair,” but my understanding is that it’s usually been clean, safe and fun.  It isn’t a mass meet-for-meat market, but a place to display your creativity, just like the celebration of artists in RL; and what is SL but a whole mess of artists at one point or another, shaping a new world for research and enjoyment?  I think the festival should come under the rubric of “If it doesn’t hurt your neighbor or yourself, go ahead and do it,” advocated by such as the ever-lovin’ Spider Robinson in Callahan’s Lady.

The question is, will the new Linden Lab mentality allow that this year and in future?

Second Life’s Oldest Virtual Object?

For all the blogs I link to, I don’t read them as often as I should. So I was catching up on Wagner Au’s New World Notes, and I ran across this article from June 24, especially significant in light of SL5B:

One day Green Beebe noticed a brightly colored beach ball floating above Smoky, and flew up to see. “Now it might not seem very interesting, a beach ball,” Green acknowledges. “Except this beach ball was made by Philip Linden in April 2002 before SL was even launched.”…

Now that’s not bad, something surviving that long (at least in some form; Ham speculates that it may simply be a copy of a long-gone item). The odds are that there are other things out there, lost somewhere in the vastness of What Philip (and many others) Hath Wrought. But how would you be able to tell unless you started right-clicking on everything you see and checking properties?

Someone needs to build a museum to house this forlorn little beach ball. It should be placed on the Metanational Register of Historic Landmarks. It should be preserved somehow!

(By the way, Ham, who was the owner listed on the thing?)

Harper\'s signature

Congressional Testimony Goes Off Smoothly — Updated

April 1, 2008; 8:09 a.m. SLT

The Internet Subcommittee just finished their hearing, as reported yesterday in New World Notes and this blog. Testimony was pretty much peaceful and with little or no confrontation; the main concerns have been in-world fraud, the terrorism question, and if teens can be kept in teen-oriented areas and adults in adult areas. For those worried about tax legislation, almost no mention was made of the money exchanged in Second Life; some note was made of revenues, but not a word about taxes was said.

Philip Rosedale was the lead witness, and he impressed me — at least in his opening statement — as very much the starry-eyed visionary many have portrayed him as. As the questions got a little tougher, he acquitted himself well generally — when he was given a chance to state a full answer. The rapid fire of begin to talk and follow-up question can make anyone look somewhat bad, and Rosedale was not the only one out of the group to suffer from this syndrome. Possibly the tensest part was, as I worried, when they got to the separation of teens from the main Grid and adults from the teen Grid. Rosedale did his best to work around the question, but he had to admit that there was no real way to exclude one group from the wrong simulators with present technology and legal limitations.

Watch the Subcommittee site for an archive of the hearing in Windows Media.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.:

Reuters carries a full summary of the hearing.

UPDATE, April 2, 7:32 a.m.:

Ben Duranske does a very good analysis of the hearing, more factual than my quick off-the-cuff take above.

Harper’s signature

%d bloggers like this: