Today Linden Labs held a Town Meeting to respond to the recent open letter they received from over 3000 residents. The letter addresses concerns over performance, inventory loss and problems with the in world friend list. Ironically many could not attend the meeting because the SIM (or server) that was hosting the event quickly became full. This left many avatars including my own stuck on the edge of SIM unable to join as we see below:
Not even a jet pack helped my fellow stranded resident
When I did finally get in I soon discovered why there was such a problem, everywhere you looked it was wall to wall avatars. The interface quickly turned to molasses as some poor server somewhere tried to keep up with the processing.
So many avatars, not many furries though
This level of company2community involvement is becoming more and more important these days. Companies like Linden Labs and Digg are making huge statements by listening to their user bases while companies like MySpace and Amazon are slow to adapt. If the "wisdom of crowds" is telling us anything its that companies better listen or risk a mass exodus. You can view the full transcript of the meeting here or just see some of the main points below:
- Adding in world Mozilla support is taking much longer than excepted. Right now its difficult to view a web page in world so the client redirects to an external browser.
- Scaling and stability are a huge focus right now with up to 60% of company resources devoted solely to improvements in these areas.
- Having some trouble responding to customer trouble tickets and assigning staff to bug reports.
- We all cant afford Maya (up to $7K), are there cheaper alternatives for external development? The answer is yes but how? Open Source?
- Slowing upgrading all servers to run MySQL 5
- The search is flawed due to keyword miss use and "campers" artificially inflating the traffic numbers. Linden Labs is working on ways to improve this.
- They will not boot non paying residents during high grid usage, they like everyone and don’t want to turn them away.
- 65% of users are from Europe, Linden Labs plans to deploy servers there in the future to improve performance.
Ratings: (on a scale of 1-5 hams)
- Snow Crash’n
- Internet Democracy