SL to Ditch Forums — Residents Fail to Meet Linden Quality Standards

by Pixeleen Mistral on 11/08/06 at 1:26 am

by Pixeleen Mistral, Herald National Affairs desk

Linden Labs has announced plans to close its official forums over the next few months. Metaverse citizens braced themselves for a possible drama shortage, and there are unconfirmed reports of drama stockpiling and hoarding by some forum regulars. In a move to avert a panic-driven run on the drama market, Unverified Linden (a Linden staffer without credit card information on file — and who may not even exist!) sat in the Waterhead gathering area directing frightened residents to Second Citizen and SL Universe as mostly harmless alternatives to the official forums.

Early reaction to the announcement was mixed, as some residents pointed out that the Forums contain large amounts of flaming, trolling, repetition and silliness… almost like a normal community on Teh IntarWeb. Even the usually affable Torley Linden complained about resident “noise” on the forums last week. Representative of those concerned about the move was Ceera Murakami, who said, “What you’re doing is blinding and deafening yourself and the community. I’ll admit, there’s a lot of worthless crud in the forums. But there is a lot of damned valuable community action, as well.”

Some speculate the move to close the forums came after pressure from the Linden Lab Quality Assurance team to bring the user experience of Linden Lab’s Web site in line with that of Linden Lab’s virtual world itself. Linden Lab is noted for frequent updates to its virtual world software (nearly every Wednesday) and ongoing patches to its software updates starting most Wednesday afternoons and continuing throughout the week. The forum software has been a stable refuge during SL downtimes. Perhaps this stability is inconsistent with the rest of the user experience? Since the forum had not been upgraded or changed recently, the Quality Assurance team may have felt it needed improvement. Unverified Linden vehemently denied this speculation.

There is no question that the forum was a place of silliness and angry venting (in almost equal measures).
It remains to be seen what venues the community will employ to discuss common issues and to organize going forward. Given the emotional energy invested in Second Life, expect to see something develop soon enough. Bring on the inter-forum drama!

17 Responses to “SL to Ditch Forums — Residents Fail to Meet Linden Quality Standards”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Aug 12th, 2006

    At first I thought, WOOT! Good news! The thing I’m permabanned from is no more! I’m no longer a second-class citizen.

    But then, by the next day I realized:

    y’all have been permabanned, too. Now we’re all second-class citizens.

    In fact, someone on the forums about summed it up: You’ve been Prok’d.

  2. Urizenus

    Aug 12th, 2006

    It’s about freaking time they shut down the forums. I meant to write an editorial calling for that a long time ago. The Lindens should not be in the business of providing a discussion forum. Those forms should be emergent properties of the gamespace and blogosphere.

  3. WWIIOL FalconBK Hanks

    Aug 13th, 2006

    :O I saw that movie where you talked about the WWIIOLer wars. I was in it. It was fun.
    Nice talking to you :>

  4. Prokofy Neva

    Aug 13th, 2006

    What are emergent properties of the gamespace and blogosphere?

    Um, who owns those? Is this one of those trick questions like, “Oh, nobody owns the Internet, duh.” Because, well of course somebody “owns the Internet,” I mean, Google does and tripod and Some Guy Named Dave. So are you saying you want it to work that way?

  5. Fred Extraordinaire

    Aug 14th, 2006

    the only time i ever read the forums is while im bored at work, they are terrible for getting out information on events like the linden gaming sims, these i did not find out about until people where there playing, why should somethings only be offered in a timely manner to forum llama’s? i say goodbye forums, hello in-world news, if theres none of that at least we’ll ALL be in the dark not just me.

  6. Bob the Tomato

    Aug 14th, 2006

    “emergent properties of the gamespace and blogosphere”? What sort of bull is that? You sure you aren’t working for Linden Lab, sounds like another distillable achieveable to me.

    Blogs are crap because you can only respond on the subject the owner wants you to – more likely the reason, to quell the justifiable dissent amongst the players who see their game being screwed left, right and center by the Love Machine working exactly as expected (ie badly).

    Just because you happen to dislike the forums (were you banned too? I don’t recall) doesn’t mean that many of us enjoy the benefits that they give.

    Future of the metaverse my arse.


  7. Random Writer

    Aug 14th, 2006

    I am actually sad to see them go. I used it MANY times getting templates, tips, building help, scripting help, etc. General forums were drama ridden and rather funny, but there is so much useful information there and continued to come from there in certain forums. They are essentially silencing all their detractors and people who ask “Why?” all the time to new, horrible, bug ridden content, and if anyone could tell me that ANY Linden will be able to sit through all the comments looking for real feedback is kidding themselves.

    Many posters brought major bugs to attention. SL Answers, while it had their trolls, certainly had some great questions that were answered. Guess they got sick of always saying “Oops” all the time or the ever famous MMO “WIA”.

  8. bubbles

    Aug 16th, 2006

    What the blogs slowly die as people don’t have the instant advertising that their forum signatures provide.

  9. Lupus Delacroix

    Aug 19th, 2006

    “emergent properties of the gamespace and blogosphere”

    Oh my dear god I think I just took a two toned overdose of fruitcake when you wrote that. You realize that “The Blogosphere” is by far the most half assed non centralized impossible to use internet theory to come down the crackpipe of every emo yuppy since um… forever?

    If you think its hard to seperate the wheat from the chaff in the forums, wait until someone creates a true SL blog community. Myspace anyone? Maddox wrote it best:

    “Blog: The word “blog” is literally shorthand for “boring;” a vulgar, overused word that strikes your ear with the dull thud of a cudgel to the soft spot of a child. It’s an abbreviation used by journalism drop outs to give legitimacy to their shallow opinions and amateur photography that seems to be permanently stuck in first draft hell. Looking in the archives of the blogs, one would expect someone who has been at it for years to slowly hone their craft and improve their writing and photographs, since it’s usually safe to assume that if someone does something long enough, he or she will eventually not suck at it. Even with lowered expectations, you’ll get a shotgun blast of disappointment in your face.”

    This is what you want the community standard to become when it comes to communication? This trash? Yeah Forums are complete hell for comms, but you know what, its consistant. Blogs are trash. Always have been.

    When we start using blogs as a primary form of communication I fear that I will start seeing a watered down version of reality, but hey at least I’ll know that your Mood: Grumpy and the song you are listening to is “How could this happen to me”.

    Fuck. Blogs.

  10. Mr. F

    Aug 22nd, 2006

    Blogs are for ego centric assholes. Perfect for King Phillip.

  11. Pinks Sugar

    Aug 28th, 2006

    This is the 1st steps of cencorship

    the lindens cant control what people think and say on the forums, so they are removing them with a Nazi approach to zip the mouths of those they cannot control to speak the way they want

    the Lindens are NAZI

  12. Mr F.'s Mom

    Aug 29th, 2006

    Mr. F., you forgot your breakfast pills again.

    Oh and Pinks Sugar, have you considered staying away from the computer for a bit?


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  14. Victoria Wheeler

    Feb 7th, 2008

    I think that’s an unfortunate decision on the Lindens’ part. I switched to a free account, and have found I now have no voice other than in the Forums when things go wrong in SL for me, and they do. The Lindens’ failure to moderate the Forums should not be a reason to remove the only place a free account resident has a voice. Also, the Forums provided guidance for me when I was a noob. LL has become a ‘big corporation’, and have no apparent interest in ‘the little guy’. That’s their loss. But, it’s not like they ever really cared.

  15. dazvenginzks

    Aug 2nd, 2008

    I’ve recently joined and wanted to introduce myself :)

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