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Linden lab simply cannot accomplish this. Only the Second Life users and customers are able to do so.

Linden Lab doesn’t have the manpower to even come close. It’s a platform business.

With the exception of policy and enforcement, Linden Lab’s contribution to the live Second Life user-experience is – essentially – zero.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

Assume for a moment that Linden Lab plonked down a new simulator, and crafted an engaging and compelling online experience in that simulator. Just suppose. How long do you think that would take? Let’s be charitable, and suggest that we’re talking about a mere 250 man hours. Just six weeks (and change) for a lone developer, assuming that they had all the skills to do it alone.

Now that simulator seats… well, opinions vary, but let us be generous and suggest that 40 users could enjoy that experience comfortably. Some of you might suggest that ‘comfortably’ doesn’t happen with more than ten, but we’re being generous here.

So, that works out to 25 man hours (half of a work week) per attendee. Once the development is done you could just amortise the development hours by stamping out lots of copies of it to seat more people, right?

Well, yes, but it doesn’t stop there. Online experiences need supervision and support. Sometimes the sim will need resetting.

If you don’t have someone supervising an online experience, then you’re just pissing around, amateur-hour style.

Assuming that the sim is open 24×7, then you need a supervisor/support person 24×7.

So, ignoring the cost of initial development, that’s 4 man-hours per attendee, assuming a full-house the whole time. More if the sim doesn’t fill up.

That gets expensive really quickly.

Then your audience finishes up with their experience of the sim, sometime between 5 minutes and (say) five hours later. You’d better have something else ready for them when they do.

The fact is, that the number of engaging and professionally managed experiences that any single organisation can maintain is very small, unless those experiences are each highly profitable.

To-date, pretty much the entire user-experience of Second Life is user-driven. Ask me if that is going to change anytime soon. I’ve got a big sackful of no, right here.

If Linden Lab wants the user-experience of Second Life to be more engaging, compelling and professional, then they have to turn to the users and customers of Second Life – the people who create that user-experience, each and every day. Linden Lab has to make it easier for them to do it, easier for them to advertise and promote it, easier for people to find it, and find ways for it to be more rewarding.

Because Linden Lab can’t do anything about the user-experience on its own, and it would be the worst kind of folly for it to think that it is able to.

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