SL 4th Birthday Celebration – Nobody Does It Better!

by Pixeleen Mistral on 24/06/07 at 12:25 pm

Philip Linden locked out, Pools Closed, and other marketing best practices

by Pixeleen Mistral, National Affairs desk

Video Linden shouts: Philip can’t get back in
Morgaine Dinova shouts: Look at it from the point of view of all the people trying to join the party but stuck outside: the griefing is the only party enjoyment they can see.
Rhaorth Antonelli: tell him to keep trying just like we have to do

Planning pays

Word spread quickly – a rare in-world appearance of de-facto king of the world and head of Linden Lab – Philip Linden – was imminent. I was chilling in Club Vogue with Marilyn Murphy and Artemis Fate, wondering about the rat placement in the Herald’s techno-pagan themed offices next door.

Getting the rats right is important – this was all part of the Second Life 4th Birthday celebration – a very serious business. Most media companies are still sorting out how to use the metaverse for “immersive and engaging marketing” by hiring expensive consultants to help with the virtual world’s rats – but that’s not how we roll at the Herald.

Eventually I decided that adding perhaps one or two more rats would give us that certain edginess our readers demand – something like Philip Linden’s rainbow codpiece. Marilyn and Artemis weren’t interested in listening to Philip’s address to his citizens – but the public needs to know – so I put on my reporter tag, IM’ed Prokofy Neva, and headed to the SL4B sim – which was full.

Not to worry though. Certainly the Lindens would provide repeaters for the Philip Linden’s triumphant address on this glorious occasion – they have been doing this sort of thing for years, after all. If anyone can stage an event that showcases the best of the resident’s creativity and the LL technology it would have be the Lab itself. Looking forward to a case study in how to delight virtual cartoon characters in a magical universe, and enjoy a stirring speech from the king, I asked around.

According to the announcement, there was some sort of stream – which nobody could get to work. I could see why, since my web browser had never heard of mms://, so I decided to keep trying to get into the event sim – just like everyone else.

Emergent behavior of the green dots

I’ve heard Philip Linden talk about emergent behavior in the past, and it would have been nice to ask him if the lines of green dots on the map around the outside edge of the event sim are an example this. The green dots were people trying to fly into the sim, and bouncing off the edge because the sim was full. For the next hour, residents of Second Life bounced off the sim walls trying to get in, and formed a neat line at the border of the space. Emergent behavior does seem interesting in a theoretical way – unless you are one of the green dots.

Locked out residents form two fronts at the border of the event sim

Mia Linden <3 Volunteers - but has a wall protecting her event from the rabble

Outside the event sim, the crowd of green dots was in an ugly mood:

Mony Dabu shouts: I WANT IN
Pussycat Petshop shouts: did the video URL work for anybody??
Tempest Carter: nope didnt work for me
Butters Hunt shouts: no i cant get the video to work
Pesho Replacement shouts: its not on yet
Bebop Vox shouts: how do you watch an MMS? is the right question lol
Vincent Tuttle shouts: OPEN UP YOU FUCKING LINDENS
Geminian Teazle shouts: As long as all the Lindens and the Media are in the sim where Philip Rosedale is, that’s all LL care about
Geminian Teazle shouts: Why do you suppose none of us plebs were allowed in that sim before it was almost full?
Opal Straaf shouts: You cannot enter SLB4 the server is full
Geminian Teazle shouts: Open Source, yes … but CLOSED SIM LOL
Opal Straaf shouts: I know they should have planned better
Geminian Teazle shouts: Opal … think about it … their planning is perfect … no one who would complain, can actually get IN the sim LOL

But the fun was only beginning, as Wrte Aabye – a brand new resident of Second Life born that very day – started directing people to a web site that crashes web browsers saying that this was an alternate location for the live stream. Shortly after that a notice on how to report griefers appeared and Wrte Aabye disappeared.


Linden’s private party?

Eventually I got out my telephoto lens and steered my camera into the event space where I saw plenty of Linden staffers – but not many residents.

Lindens and a few close friends

The Lindens were letting their hair down – Spike and Kona – two LL staffers – put on uber-griefer Plastic Duck avatars.



I’m still trying to work out how sending out announcements about King Philip’s speech, then packing the event space with Linden staff is “immersive and engaging” – but perhaps the Lab knows what they are doing – I met an old friend while bouncing off the sim boundary.

After a Linden staffer force-teleported Prokofy Neva into the event, someone could finally tell us what was happening. Word filtered out that Philip Linden had crashed and his client was not working, so he could not get back in-world. This news did seem to engage and delight the residents with their noses pressed to the glass, and soon we were treated to an impromptu particle display courtesy of some /b/tards. Virtual world events don’t get any better than this.

From the inside of the event, chat logs were being relayed on notecards out to the barbarians behind the plate glass – but this was after it was clear that Philip Linden was not going to be back. So I have no idea what he actually said – if anything.

Video Linden shouts: Philip can’t get back in
Morgaine Dinova shouts: Look at it from the point of view of all the people trying to join the party but stuck outside: the griefing is the only party enjoyment they can see.

Morgaine Dinova had a point – while I never did see Philip Lindens I got the message that the Pool’s Closed, although there was no mention of AIDS – that may be a strictly Habbo Hotel phenomenon. Eventually the Lindens turned off the Pool’s Closed /b/tard spam.



Rhaorth Antonelli: tell him to keep trying just like we have to do
Rico Roizman shouts: ahahhahah now that is funny
Gala Alva shouts: lmao he cant get in…. LMAOOOO
Glitch Braess: phillip was in?
Sunny Buttercup: phillip cant get back in? hmmm interesting i thought he was the sl god?
Gala Alva shouts: video thats sad lol… the man himself cant get in here,lol
Rhaorth Antonelli: um can not get into the sim, or into SL
Iridium Linden: Folks, Philip can’t get back into the client. However, he will be back later.
Video Linden shouts: You’ll probably catch Philip later checking out the anniversary sims, so be sure to check out all the cool builds!
Iridium Linden: You are welcome to stay.
Thomas Shikami shouts: Sorry folks, POOL’S CLOSED thanks to blocking
Glitch Braess: Philip did a speech?
Iridium Linden: Well, Philip was here for quite some time earlier. Let’s give him some credit.
YadNi Monde: he said Secondlife was much like the initial dream he had since he was a kid and he was proud and happy to see it living with us all inhabiting and creating and all

Later Saturday evening at least one of the birthday celebration sims wanted some special Linden love, and by this morning it was back online – or perhaps it crashed and was brought back online more than once? I know that some objects I placed on another sim in the SL4B estate magically poofed – but anyone involved with SL for more than a couple months should be used to that sort of thing.

Gentlemen, restart your sims
It’s up

Back to the techno-pagan newsroom

Eventually I went back to the Herald SL4B newsroom exhibit and looked around. With a pentagram on a floating altar, a golden buddha backed with steel plate, and cuneiform writing carved into the walls by some elderly sumerians – I think we are getting the right mix, but I wonder about the Lab and it’s leader. Was Pools Closed a part of Philip’s dream when he was a kid? Did he want to live behind a plate glass wall?

31 Responses to “SL 4th Birthday Celebration – Nobody Does It Better!”

  1. Tenshi Vielle

    Jun 24th, 2007

    heh. I popped in earlier today for a few minutes; didn’t find anything extremely interesting so I ended up teleporting back out… to do my nails or something like that.

  2. mootykips

    Jun 24th, 2007

    I talked with Philip later today. He was crying, telling me that he nearly got AIDS from a pool in his backyard, and there were no brave afro-toting black guys to come block it. This is why he left – he was not having technical issues, just suffering an emotional breakdown.

  3. Hazim Gazov

    Jun 24th, 2007

    Philip Linden is obviously a PN alt, why doesn’t HE get banned?

  4. humanoid

    Jun 24th, 2007

    I liked the Baku birthday bash a lot better. They should’ve hired W-hat to cater. :)

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 24th, 2007

    For the record, that Linden force-port occurred when I IM’d Spike upon noticing all the Linden staff piled up on the speaker’s platform, and pointedly remarked that some picnics have a concept called “family hold-back”.

    Whereupon he teleported me right on to the platform. But then Philip couldn’t get on either, so it was gave over.

    I did get a “thank you!” for Philip for noting that his good deed still shines in a weary world — and to keep on shining!

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Jun 24th, 2007

    BTW, Signpost’s concept of sending postcards of pics with griefers and their name in the subject line to a service email is a great concept. Wish the whole game worked that way.

  7. Coincidental Avatar

    Jun 24th, 2007

    Well, PM is obviously wrong on griefing, because there is no mention on the police blotter. But to my amazement, there was more stuff in the police blotter than the usual 0-2 disciplinary actions per day. Or is there some black op team working in LL?

    >phillip cant get back in? hmmm interesting i thought he was the sl god?

    “Made in USA”. Shit happens when taking quality risks is company philosophy. I’m an atheist anyway.

    I saw two SIMs down but I’m not going to check now if either one of them was SL02

    My opinion is that the SIMs are graphically very good exhibition despite LL’s efforts to spoil the party with their official program. Fortunately participating in the program is not mandatory except to the poor press avatars.

  8. Tenshi Vielle

    Jun 24th, 2007

    Prok – if they’re going to do that, they better waive the $10L upload fee. There’s too many griefers to go around reporting all of them like that.

  9. Evan37 greggan

    Jun 24th, 2007

    I remember floating above the crowd that was trying to get in. They were yelling, we were all trying to see (after we couldnt get in). The huge sign passing by saying “second life should be free.”

    but out of the crowd flys signpost marvin, i noticed the green and pink and new it was him. stressed out, he flew as high as he could. it was crazy.

    on the topic of planning:
    I found there not-so-private private planning skybox about the SL4B sim. They had some chairs and a map. thats all. 502m.

  10. Cocoanut Koala

    Jun 24th, 2007

    “Emergent Behavior of the Green Dots” – hahaha, I laughed all the way through this piece!

    “This news [of Philip not being able to get back in] did seem to engage and delight the residents with their noses pressed to the glass”


    The Plastic Duck avatar – yes, that is hilarious in a way, but not on a Linden, I don’t think.

    You know, when I first joined SL, they had radios that would repeat all the town halls, and those always worked, when I used them.

    How come they don’t at least go back to that?


  11. Nacon

    Jun 24th, 2007

    Glad I missed the party, had to party with real people from First life.

  12. |

    Jun 24th, 2007

    tv:”Prok – if they’re going to do that, they better waive the $10L upload fee. There’s too many griefers to go around reporting all of them like that.”

    do you even play the game tenshi? postcards to email are free. idiot.

  13. The Truth Speaker

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Ah the good ol’ PN… Seriously the PN is old hat. They’re time is up. They’re grown softer, and fail more times than succeed. Time to hang up those afros boys.

  14. Lewis Nerd

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Wouldn’t the stage have been better built on a 4 sim corner, and increasing avatars from 40 towards the 100 they can max hold?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that out of 30-40,000 online avatars, maybe more than 40 of them might have wanted to go to the party and hear the speech?

    I wandered by and got so lagged (time dilation 0.08 on occasions) I just gave up and went to meatspace instead.


  15. Zephy Toshihiko

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Great article. I think the SL4B really sums up were we are in Second Life. If the owners of the system can’t create a place that isn’t like wading through treacle and can’t even get their own software to work what chance the rest of us! I also wonder if any Linden has heard about ‘landscaping’ – I mean, not a single hill in sight (although even odder was seeing real SL water at about 200m in the air.)

    There are so many nice places in SL I don’t see why this one appears so boring. I guess it may actually be interesting if you can get in and walk around without the ‘treacle air’ but I think I will celebrate by visiting a nice designed SIM instead.

    Se la vie!

  16. Inigo Chamerberlin

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Sadly the events confirm my previous opinion of Linden Lab – They Do Not Learn.

    The Birthday Party simply mirrors events at Cory’s last Town Hall where the venue was so packed with Lindens (and as later emerged, Linden Pets) that RESIDENTS – the people the event was for – couldn’t get in.
    Indeed, on that occasion the number and attitude of those Lindens present reminded me inescapably of films of the Nuremberg Rallies of the 1930′s… Serried ranks of stormtroopers standing behind and around the Leader, off to one side, the Minister of Propaganda making sure all went according to plan, and the party faithful at times drowning the Leaders pronouncements with chants of Seig – Heil! Seig – He… Er. sorry, that’s Jir – Ah! Jir – Ah! Jir – Ah!

    Just what purpose do Linden Lab think is served by packing ‘events’ with the party faithful – and excluding the people? In the real world, back in the 30′s, newspaper and newsreel dominated media would report this sort of staged ‘event’, days or even weeks after it occurred. But in a virtual world, with near instantaneous media transmission and a vast range of subject matter, these sort of staged events don’t work.

    And from reports (I didn’t bother ‘attending’ myself when I was unable to enter the main sim and found the secondary sim I did get into was lagged to the point where I literally couldn’t move) this latest ‘event’ was staged similarly.
    Indeed, Prok’s reported ‘force teleporting’ to the ‘full’ main sim exactly duplicates what was happening at the last Town Hall where a Linden staffer – who really should have known better – happily admitted to TPing in people who IM’d them complaining about being unable to get in…
    You know, I thought EVERYONE knew that sims have an upper limit for AVs? And EVERYONE knew that you can monitor sim performance via ‘Show Statistics’ and SEE that a sim is over stressed?
    Apparently senior Linden staffers aren’t just ‘EVERYBODY’?

    And that’s where it all falls down of course. SL is the Linden’s playground. They KNOW it really doesn’t matter, so they feel free to do whatever they please, whenever they please.
    So, while WE know that if you abuse a sim it will fall over, or lag to eternity, and only so many AVs can enter it anyway, the Lindens feel free to ignore those facts and use their ‘higher powers’ (hey! it ain’t rocket science to up the ‘maximum AVs’ number in the estate tools of a Linden owned sim!) to override the sensible default settings and mess things up royally…

    Why couldn’t Philip get into SL4B?

    Because his staff are too… stupid? selfish? egotistical? I hesitate to try to pin that one down, there SO many possible interpretations. Whatever – we had the unedifying spectacle of the CEO of Linden Lab being unable to attend his own Second Life Fourth Birthday public address largely because of the actions of his own staff. Says it ALL about Linden Lab really…

    And I don’t buy that – ‘his client fell over’ nonsense either. MY client falls over, so? I simply relaunch, or if it’s been a really nasty crash, re-boot and relaunch. Can’t the CEO of Linden Lab do THAT? Is it beneath him? Or maybe his PC died? Please someone. Tell me his PC died – and at Linden Lab he couldn’t scare up a backup machine? Even if it meant chucking one of those spoiled brats that supposedly work for him off their PC so he could do his job as CEO?

    As a fourth birthday celebration it was a washout – because of the way it was done. The third birthday was bad enough with lag and crashes, but at least Philip got in, even if his address was a melancholy affair, dwelling heavily on how good things were back in ‘the old days’.
    Of course, thanks to the disorganised farce of this years event, we’ll never know what Philip MIGHT have said. And given the mess some of his previous public announcements have got Linden Lab into (Bragg anyone?), it may be better for the company’s point of view that he DIDN’T speak in public…

    Still, IF anyone at Linden Lab has the ability to learn from previous mistakes, this abortive ‘Birthday Party’ should have taught them a lesson. Namely, it’s time the kids were disciplined! If Second Life is to continue then the management of Linden Lab must stop washing their hands of responsibility and start imposing some sort of discipline on the kids – there’s too much money riding on this now to play games anymore. It’s time to grow up.

  17. poolsopen

    Jun 25th, 2007

    “I talked with Philip later today. He was crying, telling me that he nearly got AIDS from a pool in his backyard, and there were no brave afro-toting black guys to come block it.”

    Ya know, what I always been wondering: How is it, that pools suddenly get aids infected after ‘brave’ afro-toting wiggas show up with their signs?

  18. Pirate Cotton

    Jun 25th, 2007

    I see the moderation of comments here is clearly working to improve the standard of debate. Think I’d rather read medical spam bots than Poolsopen’s comments.

  19. Anonymous

    Jun 25th, 2007

    LOL I like that Prok, ‘family hold-back’! We were starting to think the event was a private Linden party. It was actually fun in a chaotic and disorganised way, everybody knew it was not going to work. SL can’t handle events but we all went for the show anyway.

  20. shockwave yareach

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Glad that I didn’t bother to go to the celebration. I knew that no sim or group of sims was going to be able to withstand that onslaught of visitors. But the Lindens locking most people out? That’s harsh. Then the head honcho himself couldn’t log in again? Ah, Karma can be SUCH a bitch at times.

    Maybe the game will be playable by this time next year. And perhaps we residents will create our OWN parties, distributed across the metaverse, instead of towing the Party-here line.

  21. Lewis Nerd

    Jun 25th, 2007

    “After a Linden staffer force-teleported Prokofy Neva into the event, someone could finally tell us what was happening”

    How dreadfully FIC… pays to have friends in high places…


  22. anon

    Jun 25th, 2007

    PN has a home base in Woodbury University and yet the lindens know this. They just dont care

  23. Cocoanut Koala

    Jun 25th, 2007

    “And that’s where it all falls down of course. SL is the Linden’s playground. They KNOW it really doesn’t matter, so they feel free to do whatever they please, whenever they please.”

    Most interesting, Inigo.

    You know, practically any one of us could stage a birthday celebration for SL that WOULD work – and easily enough.

    It would involve several sims, with a Linden or possibly two on each, and any number of places elsewhere where the event can be viewed (or at least heard – or if not that, at least read) by everybody else.

    Because this is no longer an anomaly; this is how it goes just about every time, as opposed to the old radio days, when at least you could read what was going on.

    Philip needs to decide he loves SL more than he loves his Tao of Linden.


  24. Coincidental Avatar

    Jun 25th, 2007

    About the technology.

    Popular live concerts have used replicated (look-a-like) avatars in multiple SIMs controlled by external software.

    About the discipline. The individual output of Lindens seems to be good, but they are so disorganized that the company falls down to mediocracy . The recruitment policy of Linden Lab has emphasized social conformance on-line. It might mean that instead of committing to quality they are committed to social tricks and ignoring certain flaws in their operations.

    And yes, they are unable/unwilling to learn/handle some things. Maybe the boss is mentally incapable to handle them and requires the flaw to be cloned in the employees too.

    Well, I’ve heard of worse birthday parties for a four year old – when nobody came. Luckily, LL has no such fears. They could use pet bots as guests.

  25. Eric Maelstrom

    Jun 25th, 2007

    I would have enjoyed trying and failing to attend, but the Lindens have somehow deactivated/deleted my account for mysterious reasons. Happy birthday!

  26. Ben

    Jun 25th, 2007

    Coincidental…there’s alot more griefing attacks than just 1 or 2 a day….but as they do with actuall griefers like those that hit Furnation all weekend, the Lindens don’t feel like writing up all the griefing that goes on….prolly because they don’t do squat about it.

  27. ChocolateStar

    Jun 25th, 2007

    I made the news.

    I made Phillip Linden say Pools Closed lulz

  28. Dick Burns

    Jun 26th, 2007

    i heard that the legendary griefer dick burns showed up and spammed ol phil linden with some kind of cool new crashing spam that keeps on generating until you’ve logged in 50 times. if this is true it would explain why he vanished and why he couldn’t get back on…regardless of what computer he used. it would also be a significant development in the history of PN, seeing as the general populace saw the irony in his dilemma and responded with glee.

    One might conclude that the residents of SL enjoyed seeing the griefers crash the Lindens little party seeing as they were “staring through the glass” watching the elitist lindens teleport whomever they wished. popular opinion could swing in PN’s favor if PN just knew how to spin it as such… the robin hood’s of SL.

  29. Anonymous

    Jun 26th, 2007

    Lewis… Everyone knows Prokofy invented the FIC to turn attention away from his dodgy insider deals!!

  30. Imsaho Fleury

    Jun 26th, 2007

    If you want to see how an anniversary can be managed .. go look at the Gay Pride 2007 events .. spread over several sims to balance the load… admittedly it is laggy (lot of textures present I assume) but none the less pretty good.

    gay Pride is on all this week .. Perhaps the Herald could put an article covering it?

  31. Coincidental Avatar

    Jun 26th, 2007

    “the Lindens don’t feel like writing up all the griefing that goes on….”

    I would like to see once in my lifetime a company operating manual which says that.

    “prolly because they don’t do squat about it”

    LL doesn’t get money from that, on the contrary. Some griefers buy pricey griefing gadgets. I have never heard that LL is worried about giving guns to minors :-) Where are the hypocritical Christian-nut rope players when we need them?

    About the Birthday Party SIMs:

    The themes were regressive. During the last year the flood of Europeans started and I couldn’t find any reference to the new European themed SIMs. Or to Brazil.

    The flag waving over SLH model made by a young gentleman touted “Almost Infinite Corruption”. I’m confused. Does he mean that SLH is actually making money?

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