By Emiley Tomsen Krypton Radio staff writer
On February 4, 2011 members of the Second Life Press Corps were invited to meet Linden Lab CEO Rodvik Linden (Rod Humble) in-world for the first time. Arranged by LL Public Relations Manager Pete Linden, the informal gathering took place among marble benches and the soft chirping of virtual birds. The meeting was not to allow any in-depth questions by the press, but a simple Meet-n-greet to show off Rodvik’s new avatar and give us all a chance to get to know each-other.
As he posted in his blog post “Getting Immersed in Second Life”, Rodvik is adapting to the SL platform quite rapidly and enjoying himself. Originally of Worcestershire England, Rod Humble is no newbie by any means. Having spent over twenty years in the gaming industry before coming to Linden Lab. Mr Humble most recently held the position of Vice President of Electronic Arts’ Play Label, with extensive experience managing other online worlds such as the Sims Online.
The meeting boasted an impressive assortment of news and broadcast icons, including Krypton Radio friend Pooky Amsterdam of Pooky Media. Attendees got the chance to express to Linden Research’s new CEO just how much passion they have for the content they create, and the history they’ve helped forge as part of the Second Life community. Mr Humble equally expressed his admiration and what felt to be genuine respect of the work of those present. Rodvik also indicated that he would like to participate in some of the content being produced, and wants to do his best to get to know the SL community at large.
What impressed me most of all was what appeared to be a genuine desire by Rodvik to improve the customer experience. Of course it’s early in Mr Humble’s time with the company and there are many decisions yet to be made by him regarding Second Life’s future. What can the customers teach Rodvik Linden to help him improve his decision making abilities over SL? Keep up the posts on the blogs and forums, keeping them constructive and to the point. Let Mr Humble know what we the people need most from him and be realistic on your expectations of what Linden Lab can provide.
While the Press Corps meeting was over an hour long, with some information not being relevant to public release. Here are some of the highlights on what Rodvik Linden shared with us:Pete Linden: So…Rod, turning things over to you, the question is: we’re now just a few weeks into your time at Linden Lab. today, what’s most exciting to you about Second Life? – what makes you excited to come into work at the Lab? Feel free to answer from whatever angle you like, whether it’s something you’ve seen or done in-world, some opportunities you see for where SL could go or what it could become, some aspect of the community, or the technology, or whatever comes to mind. Rodvik Linden: Thanks, firstly thanks for all the welcomes!… I fell in love the open ended creativity of SL from when I was first approached about the opportunity. I found it amazing all the things you could make. Immediately I felt this was a natural fit for my interests.. Add on top of that the fact that the world is not only entirely user made but shared by other live people, figuring out new ways to interact was fascinating to me.
Originally we weren’t going to ask questions, but Pete and Rodvik were gracious enough to open the floor for a few questions before Mr Humble had to leave. Amid a small flurry of questions, including how to bring in more customers and stability of the service, Rodvik had this to say:Rodvik Linden: Firstly to have more people come and enjoy the world you have all built, I would say empowering our current residents to enable easier creativity and better creativity… addressing lag and other fundamental issues that kind of take you out of the experience… and address in a very significant way the usability mountain new customers have. SL is a very very deep experience and many new users are overwhelmed by UI issues. In general those are the areas I would think about. Obviously the hard bit is in the details of how each area is approached. …As for regularity of communications. Not sure. I enjoy talking with customers, I feel SL is blessed that we have customers who are willing to take the time to help us by pointing out new actions to take.
In response to a question on better support for international users of Second Life, Mr Humble indicated he needed to get further information on the subject but assured us that he does indeed want to improve support for SL’ers outside of the United States. Rodvik also indicated he was getting briefed in the coming weeks on the advertising campaigns by LL to promote Second Life.
On a final note, regarding his choice of Avatars, Rodvik had this to say:Rodvik Linden: My costume was meant to be a Greek philosopher looking robe. It ended up a hair too grand.
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