The SL5B Drama: Crowdsourcing Fiasco Or Devious Plan?

In 2005 things started to change. Ultra-successful events like Relay for Life (for the American Cancer Society) or even the Dreams Fair (from the sadly departed The Sojourner) were huge organisational efforts, all done by volunteers, and with incredible amounts of success. LL sometimes still advertises for Relay for Life, but mostly ignores other, similar, resident-run events. And for the Second Birthday, they thought about how residents are so much more successful in running these big events than Linden Lab itself. They decided to let a group of volunteers run it instead. In fact, by late 2005, Linden Lab started to make clear that they would leave SL more and more for residents to run.

SL Residents are not sheep in military uniform, conforming to a single mindset and profile, prone to obey orders coming from above. In fact, LL promoted SL often by showing how diverse the cultures and mindsets of their residents are. You can try to profile them, but you’ll see many, many profiles… in fact, perhaps as many as there are active residents! There is definitely a group of 10 or 15 thousand which are still closely aligned to LL’s own ideas in 2004. But the remaining millions are completely, totally, and utterly different. LL embraced the diversity and claimed it was a Good Thing™.

Shortly before the 2nd anniversary festival started, however, it was clear that it was going to be quite different from what LL had in mind. And they “took over” at the last possible moment. It had been brilliantly organised so far, but rumours were starting to grow that the organisation was doing everything in a hurry and not handling things well. SL was still small at that time, so the impact of “LL taking over” was not so felt as, well, today.

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