Krypton Radio Newswire
San Francisco based Linden Lab (LL), creators of the virtual world Second Life (SL), have taken the next step in what appears to be their overall plans to merge SL with the social media craze that has been sweeping the internet for many years now. The public profiles of SL users have now been changed to work more like the well known Facebook wall, allowing other users to post comments on the profiles of anyone who has it turned on, and it’s turned on by default. Originally a users profile could only be seen by another user while logged-in and in-world, but as Linden Lab pushed its next-gen Viewer project, it moved the profiles to website based.
Called the Feed, SL users will be able to post to a Facebook style wall connected to the public profile of a Second Life customer. This can also be connected to a Twitter account which will allow people outside of SL to follow friends and family in-world. This started an uproar amongst many SL users, who did not want their SL based information being shared with search engines for anyone to find. Second Life rose to fame in its early years as being the place on the net where you could make your wildest fantasies come true in the 3D Landscape, and do so anonymously. Originally this helped draw customers by the thousands, but as the years wore on LL started seeing a decline amongst its user base, mainly having to do with dissatisfaction over LL’s customer service, constant technical issues, and what appeared to be a general lack of interest in listening to its consumer base on the issues that the customers felt mattered most.
After what seemed like many years of feet dragging by LL, a massive lay-off of company staff ensued and general reorganization took place in 2010. The new smaller and focused teams of staff have helped in pushing out updates and upgrades to the Second Life platform on an almost weekly basis, but the overall experience has worsened for some. Linden Lab has for well over a year now been trying to move SL away from the image it portrayed as being an isolated world that only role-players and uber-geeks seemed to be aware of. Taking SL to the Facebook generation and allowing people to connect their SL accounts to services such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Some have hailed this move as a good step for SL to come out of its shell and join the social media lifestyle that many enjoy, opening the virtual world to people who may have never been aware of it before. Potentially earning many new customers in the process, but an equal amount of users have blasted the move as another way to allow people to stalk and harass other customers of the service; LL has installed the limited ability to turn off the sharing feature, but as many customers worry, not all new users of the service may realize that these features exist and will have trouble turning them off. This is particularly troubling for those SL customers who have to deal with other customers who stalk and harass them constantly, a fear is that a stalker may harass a SL user by vandalizing that person’s SL-Profile/Feed/Wall with obscene comments.
To adjust your privacy settings, log into your profile via https://my.secondlife.com/ Go to Settings, then Privacy, and you can set your Feed setting to Nobody. This will prevent anyone from using your Feed/Wall, and your other settings can only be set to a minimum of friends if you want to hide it from the general public. Also, the web-profiles work independently of your client, no matter what version you use. Using an older client will not disable this, you will still need to log into your web-profile in order to change your settings.
Through various blog posts and individual employees willing to talk, Linden Lab continues to claim that it takes all feedback from its customers seriously and is indeed listening. Is this just standard Public Relations hype, or is LL really listening? Only time will tell!
Stay tuned to Krypton Radio for further updates!