Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pirillo on Second Life, Take Two
Chris Pirillo's Second Life History lesson was about to become a classic drive-by Second Life shooting incident until yesterday, when it didn't.

I'm not sure if Chris was amused, befuddled or both by the reaction from the Second Life community to his commentary that Second Life was overrun by porn and gambling addicts, but at least he didn't ignore it, sit quietly and wait for it to go away.

His comment to me was: "Not quite sure how I'm to blame for SL's / LL's ills?" I can't find any place where anyone blamed Chris for the state of Second Life but to be sure, no one was pleased with his offhanded hyperbolic commentary that was directed at people instead of the Lab or the platform.

The good news is that Chris listens and is open minded; he agreed to revisit Second Life with Oliver Szondi, using Viewer 2.1 and traversing some of the oldest places in world.

Yep, you guessed it, it was ugly.

Now, a much better first hand report from Chris.
Bottom line? I still don't get it. Yes, it's a virtual world / community where you can create your experience - but performance and usability is still ass-nasty (no way around it).
Credibility, increasing.

Yesterday, Phaylen Fairchild had a great conversation with Chris about his initial post, the community response and his most recent experience (more podcasts, please Miss Phaylen).

During the conversation Chris was still curious why there was such a virulent response to his initial post asking, "Why are people pissed at me?". But Phaylen leads him gently to the self realization:
If I focused specifically on just the amazingly horrendous performance issues, I don’t know if we’d be having the same discussion.

Phaylen and Chris' conversation is a must listen - it's packed with wonderfully insightful bits teased out by this end note from Phaylen:
I didn’t much expect to agree with Chris Pirillo. I thought it would be an interesting debate. Unfortunately, I couldn’t debate, because on many of his points, when speaking explicitly about his experience, I could only, sadly agree.
Many thanks go to Oliver and Phaylen who stepped up and helped move the conversation forward and to Chris for taking the time to listen and re-engage objectively. The conversation was needed and highlighted a few difficult questions:
Is there a foreseeable path to better performance and usability? After seven years, are we kidding ourselves?
And questions Charlanna Beresford recently asked - is it possible to describe the value of a virtual world to the uninitiated?  Does Second Life have a broader purpose that appeals to the masses?  Or does it simply resonate with a smaller niche of society? 
    And finally, did Linden Lab miss an opportunity to engage in an important conversation? Or, was it best that they were no where to be seen, heard, or otherwise?

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