Rate my Linden .com

by Alphaville Herald on 21/11/05 at 3:35 pm

How’s my driving? Rate Second Life Support:

by Pat the Rat

Are you concerned about Linden behavior? Have you ever gotten mad at the way a Linden has treated you?

Most people are so grateful that the Lindens are *there* that they don’t think of them as problematic, behavior-wise. They are so earnest, and so ever-present, that you sometimes wonder if they ever sleep. Still, there are those who believe even such good Lindens should be held to some kind of code of conduct. A little-known episode has passed in the annals of Second Life without much commentary (except from the graphomanic Prokofy Neva). After much pestering by several lobbying groups this summer ranging from the apparently now-defunct (or hijacked) Metaverse Justice Watch founded by Anshe Chung and the more respected but evidently inactive Residents Action Committee founded by Lordfly Digeridoo, the Lindens finally produced something approximately some “ethics guidelines.”

Published inworld near a sign showing a man juggling (what are we supposed to make of *that* visual message?), the guidelines have some meat-and-potatoes sort of behavioral guidelines like the threshold for when you “kick” (i.e. suddenly log off) a customer.

Scant and meager stuff indeed, with nothing about sexual harassment or conflicts of interest in running one’s own business or touting other residents’ businesses who may have been on one’s friends’ rolladex in a previous lifetime.

Rumor has it that the guidelines were deployed inworld — then suddenly removed for rewriting — then put out again. We’ve already gotten used to myriad variations on the TOS dropping down in front of us like parking meter flags each time we load SL.

Taking some 60 days to appear with the documents, the Lindens no doubt had at least some haggling amongst themselves, looking at the different balls they have to keep in the air — their desire to have Lindens mix it up with residents inworld and be a part of it themselves; their desire to have residents participate in world-creation but yet not get in the way of selling the product to still more residents; their desire to promote creativity even as they co-opt it in the name of creating *more* options for competitive edge and creativity; their desire to uphold the image on their corporate website where they hammer home that “the product is cool, the work is cool, the people are cool, the company is cool, the location is cool.” Hey, cool!

But…whenever something is just so…gosh…cool…what happens when it is not? Can it *not* be cool?

Everyone knows that Lindens are sometimes bad. They can get snappish late at night in their telecommuter jobs dealing with cranky customers. They play favorites, we are told, with bits like Jeska and the modeling for SLBoutique.com. There’s that time a Linden was seen holding down dwell for Bad Girls in Smoky…or the time a Linden at a community meeting started tellling a customer arrogantly “this isn’t about you,”or even the time a new Linden was reported *gasp* taunting a resident for getting a stiffy over Philip Linden’s lovely hair.

Has anything really serious ever happened with a Linden? And if it did…would we know? Lindens — like Colin Linden — disappear from the list completely, and no one knows why. Others who we know said goodbye like Haney Linden remain in the list. There are all kinds of Lindens with funny names like RealEstate Linden who is even in some resident project groups and GoodCop and BadCop Linden (can’t wait to meet them!).

Still, the Lindens are trying! Some of them, who have been targeted in forums for particularly difficult interactions, are even sporting siggies these days, like the one a contributor found on Lee Linden’s email:

How’s my driving? Rate Second Life Support:

Hilariously, ticks can be placed by boxes with descriptions like “grumpy” or “bureaucratic”. We can’t help hoping residents, who were likely not to have noticed this link before, will go wild with it ; )

Meanwhile, we’d like to hear your stories — if you have them — in competely confidence — about any Linden misbehavior you find — under existing ethic guidelines or under moral standards you believe ought to be applied to our life on the grid.

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