show #16: lindens are people too! [part 1]

show #16
show #16

what a week: drax travels to santa cruz to meet ebbe altberg & a bunch of lindens in the flesh.

meanwhile jo stays at home and blogs about user-retention, virtual world marketing and oculus rift awesomeness.

enjoy [and don’t forget = subscribing with stitcher is the way to go]:

below as usual more reading/looking material:

– our new sponsor sl go [by onlive] makes ye olde mac perform magnificently:

university of kentucky teaches anatomy in sl

mooc to teach educators how to use sl[in spanish]

school in ireland uses opensim [and oculus rift] to travel back in time

clonmacnoise cathedral [if 10 year olds can rebuild this with a flawed ui so can you!]
clonmacnoise cathedral [if 10 year olds can rebuild this with a flawed ui so can you!]
kids learning with missionv in ireland can handle the sl ui [see guys? not that hard!]
kids learning with missionv in ireland can handle the sl ui [see guys? not that hard!]
jo’s marketing ideas!

"i met drax and all i got was an old book!"
“i met drax and all i got was an old book!”
the young boy choir gang of lindens
the young boy choir gang of lindens

who will play gollum? [pic by justin esparza]
who will play gollum? [pic by justin esparza]
danger linden [all senior level staff must wear tommy bahama to work!]
danger linden [all senior level staff must wear tommy bahama to work!]
sl11b is here!

– mad lab machinima psa:

apple’s new hologram patent

– terminally ill patient walks outside thanks to oculus rift:

– net neutrality: in europe yes, in the us of a no!

mental health symposium in sl at virtual ability island

mental health symposium 2014
mental health symposium 2014

the drax files radio hour [with jo yardley] is a weekly production of basicdrax entertainment.

the show is supported by leap motion, sl go [by onlive], botgirl’s identity circus, kahruvel design, vika creations, humanoid animations, escapades, botanical, death row designs, nantra, angel red cotoure, fallen gods incorporated, {what’s next} and landscapes unlimited!

music by bd.

special thanks to ebbe linden for providing the station id this week.

contact the show via skype draxfiles, avatar draxfiles or email

27 Comments Add yours

  1. Jerry says:

    I get a ‘file not found’ message for the embedded player.

    1. So it’s not just an error on my part? Drax, can you look into it?

      1. draxfiles says:

        Audio works just fine. We also recommend: sub in iTunes or Stitcher 🙂

      1. Jerry says:

        Still ‘file not found’. I mean the player that is embedded in the main column, not the one on the right side. The latter works.
        Though I could also be blocked, since I use a VPN service.

  2. Medhue says:

    I’m 1 of LL’s harshest critics. Why do we tend to see LL as not people? Well that should be obvious, LL hasn’t engaged with us for years. Instead of engaging with us, we have Oz commenting in the jiras to take convos to the forums. This would be fine if LL participated in those discussions on the forum, but they NEVER do. We post in the jira so that LL will see it. Moving to the forums defeats the whole purpose when LL doesn’t engage us in the forums.

    I have never understood so many SL users rejecting gamification. In real life, we play games all the time when we get together. Goto any family get together, and you will see games being played everywhere. Some don’t play the games, but they are going on if they want to. The problem with SL, is that LL expects us all to write all the code for games. There aren’t enough coders in SL to even think of making complex games, plus the cost of employing those coders on a long term basis. Although I knew that I would get negative feedback, I suggested that LL write the game code for us, and then any1 can use that code to create a game of their own, or modify it to create a whole new version of that game code. There would still be a place for coders in SL, and I would think it would be more fun for coders to edit complex code, rather than creating it from scratch.

    My biggest gripe about SL is that it is falling behind from a creator’s stand point. There was a time when SL gave a creator much more than any other platform. Not just for creators, but also for developers. Today, I can do much more on other platforms than I can ever do with SL, and I have no hope at all that LL will correct this, especially since I saw what they did with Fitted Mesh. They had an opportunity to advance the avatar significantly, and they did essentially NOTHING. Oh, they did give us a crap system for clothing, which is unusable for most outfits. We need bones. We need morphs. We need the animation system fixed. The avatar is the center of every SL users life, yet LL ignored it.

    A good example of what I’m talking about is the contract I’m working on currently. It’s an exciting venture that is based on meditation being the primary game mechanic. They even have a device that connects to your fingers and measure you vitals to see how well you are meditating. We are also creating games to be played by using that device to manipulate things. I won’t even mention SL to them, as we are using Unity3D, which gives me much more tools to create with. I can import any skeleton, and any set of morphs. Basically, anything is possible. In SL, we are limited to the SL avatar that LL won’t update. I’m not talking about a new SL avatar. I just want tools to add to it, or completely redo it myself. Plus, the animation system doesn’t have the flaws that SL’s system has, and I can easily use any animation from any skeleton, and apply it to any other skeleton. SL’s animation system is nice with all it’s ability to animate only certain bones, but I can also do this in Unity. The major problem with SL animation is that it has been broken for many years now that affect every single looping animation, and LL refuses to fix it. Only an animator would know it is broken, but it is, and it limits what I can do with it.

    On the new user experience, I find it remarkable that in this day and age, we still can’t make proper NPCs in SL. It’s ridiculous really. SL should be the leading platform for AI development, yet we can’t even do it without crazy hurdles, and having to use an Avatar. If we had the ability to make proper NPCs, then every new user could have an NPC there to ask questions and to give advice. Give us proper NPCs in SL Linden Lab. Please!

  3. I forgot to mention: when I stopped by Virtual Ability Island to talk with Gentle about the Mental Health Symposium, n00bs were dropping in left and right. Reason: LL put the Symposium as featured event on the Destination Guide and the splash page. It was quite overwhelming HOWEVER: VAI had 3-5 group representatives there at all times to welcome folks, offer to answer questions about the event, about SL in general, gave advice on basic UI usage, gave LM’s to their in-house orientation experience etc. It was a great example of pro-active people management. And needless to say: fascinating communication evolved about issues related to mental health and the topics to be discussed tomorrow at the event.

  4. Kris Spade says:

    I am very pleased to hear that the Experience Tools project is still being actively worked on.

  5. Jerry says:

    Geat show, lots of very interesting information. I love the video about the irish school. If I wouldn’t be so busy, I would really love to offer similar courses to school kids. It is great, they can learn so much about creativity, math, geometry, programming …. SL/ OpenSim is perfect for schools.
    Also really enjoyed to see some Lindens. Would be great if you could show more behind the scenes stuff. Residents would be much more understanding and positive about the Lindens if they actually had some faces in their mind and not just some anonymous company.

    1. The Irish kids are amazing! This is REAL creativity unleashed. It is so depressing what they offer here at the local elementary and even middle school: paint-by-numbers dumbed-down busy work, in some ways it seems just so they can say “hey WE do computers too!”…sigh…..

  6. Ciaran Laval says:

    In terms of education, I don’t know how things are going in the rest of the world but in the UK the public sector squeeze is most definitely still going on, justifying the usage of even one Second Life sim is going to be hard work.

    OpenSim on the other hand is in a better position to appeal, as will High Fidelity as it’s not tied to a main grid, or that’s the intent anyway.

    Linden Lab need to catch on to this idea sooner rather than later or they will lose education completely, it will bypass them.

    The interview with Don Laabs was absolutely superb, so many excellent subjects were touched upon and Don played a blinder in understanding user generated content, warts and all, and why that’s still good for Second Life.

    1. draxfiles says:

      In re education: there are so many projects out there right now [ I am actively pursuing 6 for documentation out of close to 100 that I looked at over the last few months at the moment]: Linden Lab is not losing education, but the issue of price is there, hence Open Sim is a good solution. Like Maria Korolov said a few weeks back: OpenSim and LL together as the leaders of the creatively free Metaverse would be so great. On the other hand: universities in this country are throwing money out left and right for administrator salaries, marketing and football related things – the argument they have no money I do not buy: it is a matter of using it wisely. A well-made SL simulation pays for itself after a while!

  7. Yordie says:

    The “Commentary on New Avi Experience Second Life” was poignant. I tried it out this past Summer and had a similar reaction. I was tempted to hang around that “Welcome Island” sim and help people but after listening to the filth-mouth gang that had taken over, I quickly realized how pointless the whole thing is.

    The problem with Second Life is that no one at Linden Lab has any idea of what is going on inworld, and those responsible for introducing new people to SL is a perfect example of how little of Linden Lab’s mindshare goes into consideration of the customer experience. I often wonder if the choice of the word “Resident” in place of “Customer” was one of an infinite number of decisions to separate the Lab from those who pay for the product, Second Life.

    I’m glad you are delving into these issues. Once you adapt the point of view of a customer you can’t help being disappointed with Linden Lab’s fumbling of the future of virtual worlds. This is one of the reasons Yordie Sands left SL, another is all the self-appointed Lab apologists who try to shout you down when you raise objections.

    I’ve been tempted to make a list of simple fixes the Lab could make that would make Second Life a great experience, but you are off to a great start with this “Commentary…” vid. Good work, keep it up.

    BTW, I continue to be impressed with Ebbe’s openness to learning about this “World” of ours. If I didn’t feel so betrayed by all of his predecessors I’d find myself becoming excited about SL’s future. But time will tell.

    1. draxfiles says:

      Please Yordie, work on your list and share it with us. We can all help together, residents and Linden Lab, to make the onboarding experience a great one! I have to tell you that the folks who I met at LL are all in-world and enthusiastic residents themselves and very much know how the “culture” works [or at least the sub-culture that they are engaging with!]. I think it is a matter of really listening to ideas and implementing them and then studying deeply how people use SL when they first get in. That type of focus grouping as Ebbe said had perhaps never been done to the extent it should have!

      1. Yordie says:

        Hi Drax… thanks for your reply. i’ll see if I can pull together a list from the folders I’ve developed. i’ll see if I can meet-up with you if you can make some time. kind regards

  8. lokieliot says:

    I wonder if Linden Lab are reluctant to do any big promotional pushes until they’ve had a go at fixing the new user experience and add the new Experience Perms System?

  9. Hitomi Tiponi says:

    I was interested in your idea about branded viewers. The sort of things you were talking about (e.g. giving it a certain look and feel, and removing various features and focussing on others) can all be done by relatively simple changes to the viewer skinning code. The advantage of that is you can keep getting the latest LL viewer and overlay the customised skin on it to create your own, and also LL don’t have to approve them as the skinning does not have any security/resource concerns associated with it. I have been doing much of this for years with the StarLight skin for the LL viewer and Firestorm as you may know. If you have some ideas/questions for maybe a 1920’s viewer or whatever please get in touch and I can tell you about the practicality of such things.

    1. draxfiles says:

      Hitomi thx so much for this comment! Ping Jo about this & I hope Linden Lab reads this as well and goes forward with some of these ideas. An aspect of the branded viewer experience was also that once you are in-world you get the onboarding help within the community and only when you are done with it THEN are you either told [or perhaps allowed] to venture out into the wider grid. I am not sure how this can be done technically. Any ideas please comment or call us!

  10. The idea and commands of limiting teleports in sl is already out there. Although not in the officiel viewer, but if you take a big TPV like Firestorm you can use the RLV functions to limit the teleport or maybe give command of the use of teleport to the teacher. Could think of a teacher hud connecting with items the studends are wearing. These items could then prevent them from teleporting away, or haveing a kind of white list of lms where the teleport to is allowed, if they enter another sim they are automatically send back. And if the teacher needs them to be together all in a different location , he can simply call them and they are automatically teleported to the new location.

  11. Guys should have long hair. Preferably dreadlocks like Damian Marley’s. 😛

    On a branded viewer: Would need the ability to custom skin the viewer as well – which could then be pushed back to the regular viewer. Let us reskin it, and post up our skins for others to grab and use.

    That some would be surprised to learn the Lindens work by hanging around some dude’s house surprises me. 🙂 But them I’m a native to this region and I’ve seen tech companies for many decades now. Its refreshing to see enough of the lindens are like what I consider the ‘normal’ office (hanging around some dude’s house in your sandals and a laptop – preferably a dude with long hair).

    A little disappointed to not see ethnic diversity in the photo of lindens, but this region is NOT Europe or even the midwest. Its San Francisco / Silicon Valley / Santa Cruz where the majority ethnicity… isn’t. There isn’t one. We are that diverse, and I wonder how one even manages to hire here without that resulting. This could be an accident of statistics – but it looks odd.

    Re comment above about “Resident” versus “Customer” – I like that they chose Resident. It makes me feel more welcome, shows me they feel I ‘live’ in their world to some extent. ‘Customer’ is alienating and would make me feel the relationship is one of distance and an impersonal transaction. ‘Resident’ makes me feel that in some sense, they hope to bond with us. Can you imagine how off-putting it would be if all the new avatars had the name of ‘nooblet.customer’ instead of ‘nooblet’resident’… ‘Customer’ just feels like “you want my money and don’t respect me.” Resident says, “you think of me as your neighbor.”

    Liked the interview with Danger Linden. Liked the perspective he reveals. Frankly it would do LLs a world of good if we could hear / read / see from more of them more often. Just hearing the guy makes it easier to visualize the lindens as fellow SLers, and I think that such interviews could do a LOT to repairing relations. Especially in those moments where it offers insight into why one choice is made by LL over another choice.

    On Net Neutrality: Yeah, we in the USA are screwed… We’re not citizens anymore, we’re not even subjects like the brits. We’re peasants now. Of a corporate state. Net Neutrality’s death isn’t the cause of that – its just yet one more example.

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