Here Becomes More Like There

by prokofy on 24/04/07 at 11:21 am

Prokofy Neva, Dept. of Worlds, Planets, Multiverses, Simulated Proofs of Concepts, and Badly-Thought-Through Soviet Central Committee Planning by Game Companies


Once again, without any real public discussion, Linden Lab took one more step closer to becoming like its evidently envied competitor There today, as it instituted a new “Certification” system to issue what amount to licenses to top, skilled creators, putting them at a pinnacle of privilege in the inworld market of goods and services.

The online community There is often blasted for having a clearance process for developers to submit content. Now residents in SL, if they want to appear as “company-approved” and “possessing the top, acknowledged skills” will have to become “certified” in a process that will be run by 4 Lindens and and still-to-be-determined group of residents fanboyz who can sign up fast enough on the wiki.

This system is likely to generate enormous amounts of controversy, but there will be “no place to put it,” as the forums comments are likely to be locked; the wikis are likely to be moderated, with discussion content (like my initial protest there) likely to be wiped as “not positive,” and the blog will likely either tap out at 100 comments claiming a “wordpress glitch” or will simply be removed by Lindens.

The four Lindens in charge of the program are Glenn Linden, who is already known for running the elite developers’ community insiders’ list; a new Linden named “Heretic Linden” who represents if anything, not heresy, but company conformism with this program; Blue Linden, who manages the Teen Grid but also now the “volunteer system” (although this brief is unclear, given the removal of Live Help); and Eric Linden, one of the longest-running Lindens with viral marketing virtual-world cred as the author or owner of most trees and other Governor Linden builds in Second Life, who is already known for other FIC institutionalizations like the Bedazzled contract for Wells Fargo and the making of machinima such as Bells and Spurs.

The residents who will run it are not yet clear, though dozens have rushed to sign up including SL Viewsmaster Oz Spade, IVM builder Hiro Pendragon, SLCC organizer FlipperPA Peregrine, and other FIC regulars.

While some will welcome the system as representing a much-needed quality control for the world, the system poses serious questions not only about openness for creativity inworld and the free market of goods and services, but the Lindens’ real intentions about “getting out of governance” when in fact, they’re instituting a quisling/overlord system with a program that certifies what are likely to be their long-time pets as “the most skilled”.

The immediate result of this “certification” is to create a control on the market, where some residents will get to have “Goodhousekeeping Seals of Approval” on their products as “certified” builders and scripters, and others will be unable to get Linden Lab boost to their marketing unless they submit to this system, likely to spawn various sycophantic “certifying agencies” who pass the first round of skills credentialling.

The system runs against the long-time claims of Linden Lab to be facilitating “your world/your imagination” unlike other games and worlds by encouraging user content, because they have finally ended the fiction that amateur content can be as good as professional, or credentialed content.

Currently, as the platform still allows people to upload the elements needed for creativity and sell them regardless of whether they are “approved” or “credentialled,” the Linden-induced “certification” seal may in fact come to signify conformism and lack of innovation, and may actually signal buyers in the market that they are dealing with the fanboyz club of content creators. This will enhance sales for some, but could inhibit them for others.

“Linden Lab is developing certification for the use of key Second Life tools. We’ll begin with in-world building tools and LSL. We believe this will benefit Residents, Developers, and anyone who wishes to use Second Life by clearly identifying both key skills and the holders of those skills. This will also enable the creation of training to build the skills required for certification. It is Linden Lab’s intent to work with an external certification provider to offer certification testing and maintain a list of those Residents who have been certified,” the Lindens wrote on the wiki.

Evidently the Lindens have given up trying to ease the orientation and use of their wonky tools, and have decided to retreat into a “certification” process to spawn various third-party businesses to be “certified” to, in a sense, become mini-Linden Labs to their communities. Some users have already expressed concern that such an apprentice-like system will not be able to scale.

My contribution to the wiki discussion, before it’s wiped:

“This system is the final institution of the FIC. It’s not a positive development, as the free market and free media should establish value for skills. A free market and free media also enable anyone new to be able to access that market and media without having to clear unnecessary hurdles and bastions of establishment thinking and procedure.

All that’s happening here is that Linden Lab is dispensing licenses to create, completely overriding their concept of “your world/your imagination”. That is, sure, anybody can go on rezzing a cube, but Lindens are now deciding, in Central Committee fashion, who does this *well enough* to be able to qualify to exist in their certified community. It runs entirely contrary to the notions of openness and creativity which they originally promoted.”

120 Responses to “Here Becomes More Like There”

  1. Lewis Nerd

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I haven’t heard any information of any description about it, no group messages, nothing… just the invite, which naturally I accepted.


  2. Ordinal Malaprop

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I have posted a question on the wiki discussion page about it.

    I have not been invited myself. I am not in the developers’ directory, which makes me think it might be connected. I do not _want_ to be in the directory as I don’t do contract work in general at this time, but I would raise an eyebrow if anyone suggested that this indicated a lack of technical competence.

  3. shockwave yareach

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I also am skilled, though I don’t do work for others outside my group and my friends. But I too would be nonplussed if this turned out to be a clique rather than a professional organization.

    IEEE doesn’t work this way.

  4. Brace

    Apr 26th, 2007

    bahahaa there you go

    its started already. CLOSED group. now where did all the transparency go Mista Pendraggy?

    Ty for posting names – good to see talented “unknowns” like Osgeld on there.

    if its gonna throw down, then it should throw down.



    oh gawed whuta mess


  5. Io Zeno

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I just wanted to note that several of the “SC Fucktards” you mentioned in this group are actually *opposed* to the idea of certs and wanted to be involved to see what was being done. They put their name on the list and got an invite and don’t know why. Others didn’t and don’t know why either.

  6. Ordinal Malaprop

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I IMed Heretic about this and did get an invite. I’m not sure I’d encourage conspiracy theory here as, well, there _was_ an update recently, and we all know the sorts of things that tends to affect. If anyone has put their name down but not received an invite I would encourage them to also send an IM.

  7. Prokofy Neva

    Apr 26th, 2007

    OK, I IM’d Heretic, asked why the group was hidden and closed, but she responded only, “Prok, you’re such a hater.”

    I did notice that the group isn’t hidden on profiles anymore, however, but it’s still closed. They’ll probably say they have to keep out griefers.

    I reported her for unprofessionalism unbecoming and unfit for the high calling of “Linden”.

  8. Cocoanut Koala

    Apr 26th, 2007

    I IM’d Heretic yesterday, Ordinal, but received no answer. Perhaps you could put in a word for me?


  9. Economic Mip

    Apr 26th, 2007

    My opinion is that over the last two days groups have had many completely random bugs (especially in invites). Yes, I am a “guru”, no I have no idea what my qualifications are besides being able to post on a wiki, but I am certain someone will figure that out for me. It appears that only users with a description on their personal page were accepted, and all of the current members have been online in the past two days. (Oh and this is interesting, the two positions higher than guru are Lindens only at the moment.)

    If I am wrong, I apologize, today I was just enjoying not crashing my graphics card every six and a half minutes. But my suggestion is adding a description on your wiki page.

  10. Obscure Doodad

    Apr 27th, 2007

    You folks REALLY need to get educated about what “professional certification” means.

    It means you can be sued. Look into what the PE designator means for Professional Engineer. Ditto doctors. Ditto dentists. Certification is a pathway to the courtroom and punitive damages.

    Someone is not thinking this through at all.

  11. Brace

    Apr 27th, 2007

    All MY groups are FINE

    I love how all these closed door shenanigans get to blamed on their own “bugs”.

    bugs that don’t seem to happen anywhere else but in this new open and transparent group


    its CLOSED cuz its CLOSED on PURPOSE. The group titles are given out such as they are: ON PURPOSE

    bugs, my cute round ass

  12. Brace

    Apr 27th, 2007

    Oh and Heretic: bad form honey, BAD form.

  13. Cocoanut Koala

    Apr 27th, 2007

    OK, I just got done sending Heretic a second IM asking to be added to the group.


  14. Cocoanut Koala

    Apr 28th, 2007

    Update: I got an invitation to the group tonight. :)


  15. Detect Surface

    Jul 28th, 2007

    To Prokofy Neva
    Before you start name calling (like you do on every single Second Life forum) I really suggest you actually familiarize yourself with some people on that ‘SECRET LIST’, thats not actually secret as its open for view to anyone that cares too look at the wiki, inwhich its posted.

    You seem to be the first person to comment on anything and everything on any subject, not actually knowing any true information regarding this… if you’re going to try and publically insult myself by putting me under some kind of ‘retard list’ as some describe it, then I really think you need to take a look at yourselves.

    I personally joined the cert group because I wanted to have some word about making it available to everyone if it should go ahead, which it will, without your bitching or not. I only hope it doesnt turn ito a money making scheme, as I’ll leave the group before that happens…

    NEXT TIME PROKOFY, check up on who you are blasting before you put anyone, including my name down as ‘self-seeking opportunists, racketeers, and SC thugs’, as you yourself comes under the same title, I dont know your work, and I doubt I’ll ever want to, with the amount of ‘self-seeking’ jibberish you announce to the world.

  16. Prokofy Neva

    Jul 28th, 2007

    Next time, check your own facts, champ.

    The list was indeed secret for the longest time; eventually, under pressure, it was shown.

    Inworld, in the group called SL Certification Devs, population 197, the group is a) CLOSED and b) SECRET. You can’t know who is in it! You just “have to know” that there is a wiki somewhere. How? Nothing tells you that on the group. You spot people showing up at an office hour, a meeting, a rumble somewhere, with SL Certification Devs on themselves, but…who authorized them? How did they get to be “certified”? By whom? How? Where? And how can others do this?

    Here’s what I wrote, BTW:

    “I don’t trust this particular bunch of self-seeking opportunists, racketeers, and SC thugs to make any kind of fair institution. It contains people of good reputation on it, who joined it even in fear of being left out. That’s sad”

    So you might be a) self-seeking opportunity; b) a racketeer; c) a thug; d) a person of good reputation who joined out of fear of being left out.

    Ermmm I’m gonna go with door no. A on this one. You read this and didn’t pick “d” or explain that you in fact didn’t join out of fear to contradict me but…did you?

    What you and so many others don’t get is that I disagree with the Party line; I don’t buy what you’re saying; and I have a different opinion about which is based on long observation of the shilling for the Lindens that fanboyz do, and the privileging of picked pets that the Lindens do. And this is an obvious, obvious example.

    This was heavily debated all over; many people pointed out that even software companies don’t have credibility doing this with more neutral software; to be doing this with skills inside an interactive social world like a country is just preposterous and corporativist.

    Ask yourself why you are on the retard list. Ask yourself frankly why is it in the public interest, and not just YOUR interest. Ask yourself why the group is closed, and the members invisible inworld, if it is to be uhhhh a gold standard of developedness and joyness and certifiedness.

  17. Detect Surface

    Jul 28th, 2007

    Actually champ,
    I joined because a) I was asked, b) because I thought it was going to be open to the entire public (without charge or very minimal) to replace ratings in SL and c) because I really didnt think it was going to be that big of a Controversy.

    After talking with you inworld, Prokofy, you are rude and defensive thats only facts were name calling and insults. My statement were that I was offended to be put in this bracket by someone that doesnt know most the people in the group. The reasoning behind WHY the group is closed, is because it is Linden run, but you then go on to your SLworld-known name calling, putting everyone under the spot light because of something that noone, besides the Lindens, can do about it….

    Personally, if I knew I and the others were going to get bad-mouthed, I would never of joined, but I am not standing by idoly, having myself put in a hole.

    Like I said, after talking with you inworld, you can act all ‘Intellectual’ in forums, but you’re a discusting, foul mouthed opportunist that feels it necessary to comment on everything your not a part of. Like I said, check my comments on the wiki discussion, I was hoping for this to be a better thing, but as its going, its pointless inwhich noone will probably partake in. And, I will more than likely remove myself from the group before its done. Because noone, including myself wants to pay for something that you can only use as a ‘right of passing’ within SL.

    And yes, I asked myself why I’m on the ‘retard’ list and I came up with this answer:

    Because I wanted my say, just like you always need yours.

    P.S. I dont want to be certified. The group is closed because its controlled by the Lindens. Its not in the publics best interest, there are far more other concerns that could be delt with. MY interest ONLY goes so far in it, because on the most part, I dont agree with some of the things thats happening. Again, the members are invisible because of the Lindens and I couldnt care less if it was a gold standard or not.

    Like in-world and as I SAY ON THE WIKI, I only wanted to see that residents get a fair chance and it doesnt become a ‘whos who of Second Life’. Clients will still go off a portfolio if they seek creative minds, so certs are redundant on this fact. I dont see the point in it, but I would like to see what the outcome is….

  18. Prokofy Neva

    Jul 28th, 2007

    Well, champ, did you realize that your concerns about “your reputation” in fact only led to getting MORE attention here that might indeed be undesirable??? Hello? Did anybody pick your name out of the list, or begin to suspect you might be a real problem, *until now*? Honestly, use your head.

    1) it is not open to the public. Duh much? Are you going to be leaving now? I don’t think so!
    2) it is not even visible to the public to see who these um vaunted certs are
    3) name-calling and insults are exactly what you use on people who harass you inworld, and make false accusations against you, claiming nastily that you “don’t have the facts” and that “next time” you need to “get the facts”. Um…where did I *not* get the facts? It’s a secret group. It is closed. It is run by Lindens and their pets. It is not visible. These *are* the facts. If the wiki of weeks ago had some names put on it that people put, and that remains open precisely because it’s a wiki and that’s one thing the Lindens *cannot* get away with closing, what of it? People will not easily find this wiki, which as we speak, could be getting edited away.
    4) I don’t care if I’m “foul-mouthed” to people who make false accusations against me and blatantly lie in my face. They surely deserve a verbal slap in the face. You are astoundingly obdurate about the truth here: the group is closed and invisible HELLO??? This requires a real offensive. We cannot have de-facto residence governance snuck in like this with first Volunteers being given excessive powers by hint and implication to police people, then “the certified ones” getting a leg-up on jobs, bids, contests, the economy, the blog, whatever. No thanks! This has to be opposed at every turn! Too bad if you don’t like it! The same freedom you wish to invoke to have such a retarded thing is the freedom by which those of us vigorously opposed — and there are many of us! — will be making our concerns known. And I for one, intend to be in-your-face, aggressive, and vulgar about it precisely to give you the full in-your-face feel of just how vulgar it is to me and others to have little asstards lord it over us.
    5) If you are only in this group to watch it because you are concerned about any kind of pay-per-access SL when it comes to the economy, as others have said, um, why did it take so long to show up??? Why didn’t you leave yet??? And I suspect that the same vanity that makes you name-drop on your inworld profile is driving your desire to be in this group, which you hope for form’s sake and vanity’s sake to “look better” and “not be so objectionable” but which at the end of the day, you stay in — to make sure you’re with the cool kids when the door closes on everybody else.

    People who support this insidious system and benefit from it now, hob-knobbing with Lindens and adding luster to their lame effort, can only blame themselves when it turns out to be either restrictive to the economy and creativity in general, or just terribly lame and stupid.

  19. Detect Surface

    Jul 28th, 2007

    your main ‘Fact’ is that its a closed group, which noone had any say in. Your accusations against ‘judging’ the people involved is based on your own opinions, not actually any facts at all.

    1) yes the group is closed, but hardly any activity, if any, goes on in the Group IMs or Notices.

    2) you involved me once you posted everyones names, so yes, as any person would do, I take offence to your opinions.

    3) you are foul mouthed and have no argument when it came to the convosation inworld, as your only concern is ‘THE GROUP IS CLOSED, THE GROUP IS CLOSED!!!’ I mean (and I take this from you) ‘DUH’ so the hell what? Its the Lindens choice in the matter to have it open to the public, but you seem to blame us all.

    4) Your patronising nature ‘Champ’ just shows how you’d handle being in any group/activity, spouting off the same monotonous garble, for example…. DUH, ITS A CLOSED GROUP… ITS A SECRET GROUP!!!! HELLO? – you remind me of a teenaged girl with a sugar addiction when you say that…

    5) This is all I got from you as well as making fun of my SL name (which incedentally, had nothing to do with the argument), which basically shows the type of person I am dealing with here. Plus shouting, bawling, cursing, and picking at minor strange things that, again, had nothing to do with it… All your argument was that you had the facts straight, I didn’t and again DUH, ITS A CLOSED GROUP… ITS A SECRET GROUP!!!! which really isnt a call for this much argument.

    6) Only teenie boppers or high strung people tend to use and, from the word go, as much foul language as you did, nit picking at everything you could lay your hands on to try and offend me more… personally someone that results to “who the fuck are you? with your geek ass name?” is just as sad and idiotic as what you branded the whole group as.

    I suggest you see a doctor.

    Leading to my final point, that I’ve been in the group since it started, out of curiosity and not through the paranoid delusions you seem to have announced and branded everyone within as. YES I have taken a personaly offence to your words, yes I’ve only just come into this argument/chat because I’m not a forum-hound (if anyone doesnt understand why I call this misinformed fool this, just check every SL forum on the internet) like you are… and if its this much trouble to actually do something in SL and not have it obstructed and played out of proportion, then its just not worth it at all.

    I was hoping for the certs to be something fun that everyone could partake in, much like the real world. Second Life is growing and more companies are coming to find their place among us, isnt it a little right that they should know what and who they’re dealing with, so they dont get ripped off?

    But, its not heading to a point that where as thinks are looking like it will be something that everyone will want to do… like VoiceChat, you dont have to do it, you wont have to worry about your Certs, if people have them, who cares?? what is all this leading to? who knows… But one damn thing I am not taking is being branded by someone thats only known for moaning.

    Before you go see your doctor though, maybe you’d like to go back to grade school and learn some manners. Or atleast how to actually hold an argument with more than one ‘fact’…


    P.S. False accusations… hmmm, maybe you should look up the meaning of that, seeing as your first reply to me had no relevance to what I was talking about on the wiki.

  20. Detect Surface

    Jul 28th, 2007

    And, plus point here… what do you mean by ‘name drop’? if you’re talking about the people in my picks, I think you’ll find they’re called ‘Friends’, inwhich I praise them for being supportive and great at what they do in SL, be it builders, scripters, artists or merely there to talk to and have a laugh with…

    You do know what friends are dont you? or do you think thats a conspiracy too? lol

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