Second Life

Head of Second Life Stability Communicates Priorities

Edit: Thankfully, FJ is a Linden, meaning he has an avatar, and he has a Linden name. Subtle point? I still don’t think so…but Katt clarified below and on the main blog, so this post has been edited.

I wish I could post something intelligent about VPNs or latency pings or whatever the heck people talk about when they talk about stability. Actually, I don’t wish that - I just wish for things to work, and to be stable, and to not crash. So I have no idea whether the post by Frank Ambrose on the Second Life blog makes any sense.

What I do know is that I agree with Ciaran’s follow-up comment: isn’t it odd that Frank isn’t a Linden?

Frank has been hired to bring stability to the Grid. As I pointed out in a previous post, Frank’s background at AOL and MCI wasn’t just about geeky coding stuff, it was also connected to strategy. As he said while at AOL related to his role:

“From an operations stand point we’re the guys in the engine room, so we just need to make sure everything works. But when you see these kinds of arrangements you can really piece together a clear picture of the company’s strategy. For the folks who are out there just making things work it really becomes a satisfying experience…to help redirect the company, continue to seek growth in the company. People are very excited about the buzz that’s come back.”

So that’s good. He understands that IT isn’t done for the pure joy of wires or blade servers or whatever, but that it has to work because the strategy of the company says it has to. And Philip Rosedale has been going on about stability for some time. He’s also been going on about the new user experience for some time. And now he has two people to actually do the work, in M and Frank, while he wanders off and looks for fun little projects that can make SL seem “visiony” again, instead of sounding defensive about the potential and comparing it to Warcraft or whatever.

But it IS intriguing that Frank is no Linden. Especially in light of his involvement FJ was involved, while at AOL, on identity and trust systems. Now, sure, it was some little spin-off initiative and he was just an innocent participant, but as he said at the time:

“We are committed to open and interoperable identity solutions and we want consumers to be able to manage their identities easily and effortlessly. Doing so requires us to support a wide range of identity solutions and protocols, ranging from ultra-private to ultra-open, and everything in between - we want this range to be transparent to our consumers, allowing them to ‘just do what they want to do’

So I wonder: is there a hidden agenda in not being a Linden? does this background come in handy at all when looking at identity and trust systems, especially connected to AWG? Is that a little sneak hint at theWill FJ also be tasked with helping to develop a “range of identity solutions and protocols” that the Lab has up its sleeve in order to make SL more “real” and more appropriate for business use?

Or is it instead that the Lab is continuing its shift to the blog being more of an ad for the outside world than a communication tool with residents? In which case maybe they decided that it must seem weird to have “fake names” on a corporate blog. Growing up are we?

In the meantime, best of luck to Frank as he tries to figure out where to store all those freebie shoes clogging up the asset servers,


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