Linden Lab Becomes A Content Provider Again?

creating-plywood-pyramid.jpgIn a surprising and unexpected move, Linden Lab has just announced that they are going back to become a 3D content provider as before — after an almost two-year-long hiatus of zero content production.But… there is a twist! This time, under the name of “The Linden Department of Public Works”, Jack Linden encourages crowdsourcing again — getting a cartload of volunteers with a lot of spare time, spread them across the grid and… well, as he claims:

What will we work on? Good question; basically, we will consider anything and everything that we feel will make the mainland more attractive, fun, engaging and interesting for new or existing residents.

So what does this mean? Linden Lab is back with a zero-cost team of talented developers, eager to work 16-hours-a-day for a pat in the back, and are remodelling the mainland — again? Why? What for?What dramas will unfold, as residents-overseen-by-Lindens become grid-famous and start outsourcing their work to Big Corps? Will these people be hand-picked by Linden Lab? Is the Linden Lab Approved Builder Certification being beta-tested with this new effort? Will the Metaverse Development Companies cry foul, as Linden Lab steps back into the content creation business? Or is Linden Lab just getting ready to beautify the mainland, parcel it off, and send it off to the land barons to manage? Or, well, are they listening to the comments made back in 2003-5 when so many residents had volunteered to do exactly that, and, seeing how things worked with the Volunteer Teams (Mentors et al), they felt it was time to expand the model on the mainland with different sets of people?Oh, and perhaps you should attend the Linden Department of Public Works’ Office Hours soon. They promise to be… interesting.

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About Gwyneth Llewelyn

I’m just a virtual girl in a virtual world…

  • oh boy, the roads will finally be finished!

  • This sounds stupid. Yes, there is a need for some free and available content. Most of all, that goes for appearance things, i.e. new skins and clothes for noobs. Hey, there is some great GPL-ed skins out there but not in the freebie stores on help islands. No, we need nice parks on the mainland. Never mind that mainland looks like a disaster, and it is not because park benches are not made of sculpties!

  • One wonders why this was not done long ago.

  • Sleazy

    That’s great news. They must have read my post on Danton’s blog, where I lamented their mainland-lameness 🙂

  • Philip was mentioning content as one of the reasons for low retention, in his interview from Davos with Reuters. This looks like a follow-up from that. And it makes sense to me in principle. It only remains to see how it’s going to be implemented. And why just mainland? Why not offer some public island sims to anyone who has a good idea for a public project and who cannot afford the costs?

  • Yes, I can imagine noob that is trying to get some clothes on and to figure out how to teleport, watching around and thinking who badly done are those park benches 🙂

  • You know, I found myself wondering why I would volunteer for a profitable company. I spend my time keeping new clients happy – would I do that for my local supermarket or my ISP? And so I can’t help but wonder how much longer Linden Lab is going to be able to use volunteers to keep the customers happy.

  • Laetizia, are you talking about this project or mentors as well?

  • I am talking about any volunteer. Would you volunteer to man a Google helpdesk, for example?

  • Maybe. Depends if I count that in that month or two I can get experience, knowledge and contacts, or a passcard into Google (provided that I want one).

  • Well, this is crowdsourcing but with a twist: work is for free. If it weren’t, people would follow it up with drama on the SLogosphere (“why was AvatarName hired? They can’t build at all, I’m much better, this should have been a public bid!” etc.). So they go for the “free work” — in that case, LL can always defend themselves and say “these were the only people who volunteered”.

    I obviously wonder what those builders will get out of it except for fame and glory, and possibly an opportunity to get hired by an MDC later on.

    Lem, curious that you suggest the idea of “Building a whole sim”, since that was one model strongly encouraged by LL back in 2003-2005. They dropped the model in March or April 2005 (I don’t remember exactly when) as the majority of the community complained that “only friends of the Lindens got a chance to win a bid for building public structures”. I wonder if they’re going to introduce it again. It would certainly be a 180º turn in their policies…

  • granted that main leverage against open source platform is only content (technical gap getting thinner every day), content development goes more and more attractive – after all His Majesty Main Linden got rid of Cory, now he has to show his people that technical path was not good strategy LOL