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Having thought about things long and hard for the last several years, it’s finally occurred to me what it is that Second Life users like least of all.

The one single thing that causes more widespread discontent than any other. No, it isn’t that Second Life is referred to as a game by the shortsighted or ignorant, though that’s right up there.

The specific thing, dear readers, is surprise.

Linden Lab seemingly loves to surprise us all with announcements. Policy changes, new features, changes of direction, and all of that.

What we, as users, want them least to do is to surprise us with that stuff.

Even if it is a seemingly pleasant surprise.

One man’s meat is another man’s poison, they say.

If Linden Lab announced a new feature tomorrow, the odds are it would annul weeks or months of work of people who are working to build a business model to fill the gap. Sure, that sort of thing is inevitable, but the sooner it is announced, the less time, effort and money is potentially wasted by Linden Lab’s customers.

And that’s the thing, isn’t it? You can’t reliably plan big projects like that, because a new feature or a policy change might destroy your business model after you’ve spent big money on it, but before you are in a position to receive any revenue.

A policy change could destroy your existing business model. Sure, that’s part of the risks of doing business, but I guarantee you that when one of those comes along, the words you least want to see accompanying it are “Effective immediately.”

Every day’s worth of notice is a day longer that users and businesses have to adapt, to change models, and to not waste time and effort fruitlessly.

Linden Lab plans these things many months in advance.

Why can’t we?



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