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Today, Second Life went through … well, a bad patch. Logins stopped working for many. Then they were shut off “until further notice.” The Web-site stopped working for a while, and for twelve whole hours, the system was either inaccessible, partially online or just plain unreliable.

Users were frustrated and demoralised. Scheduled events, meetings and presentations were mooted. A number of us lost expensive or difficult-to-replace content.

And that’s not actually the bad news.

The bad news is that there has been no word from Linden Lab about the nature of the failure and what caused it.

For all we know this could happen again tomorrow. Or it could happen the day after.

The Lab should be reaching out to provide explanations and information to reassure customers (like you’d get with say Dreamhost, or many other online services). Instead, the day has gone by and nothing of the sort has appeared.

Should you hold your breath and expect all of this to happen again tomorrow, over the weekend or next week at some undetermined time?

Has the problem been fixed, or has it been band-aided? Did the problem occur with the Lab’s servers and networks or with someone else’s?

Did something catch fire?

Will we unexpectedly start losing content again, or have rescheduled meetings and events disrupted for another whole day (assuming you can convince participants to try it in Second Life a second time)?

You don’t know. I don’t know. That’s the bad news.

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