Auntie M’s Secret Linden Diary

by Alphaville Herald on 30/05/08 at 12:13 am

by Auntie M Linden, noobie metaverse CEO


Greetings secret friends of Linden Lab! Auntie M Linden here. I am starting my second week on the job as CEO of the metaverse and I thought I’d keep a secret diary – this is my very first entry! Today I’m covering the time from the very moment I accepted the job, right through my first week – but wait! I already know that so why am I writing it? Oh yeah, I’m hoping to sell the film rights later – gotta figure out how to market this and monetize the experience, right?

My avatar was created by Linden Lab well before I was on the payroll – this is a sign of how qualified I am to be emperor of the metaverse. I figured out right away how to put everyone on mute – so nobody asked about why I couldn’t manage anything better than a white t-shirt and jeans with generic brown hair before some smartass bitch splashed my picture all over Flickr – and then the Second Life Herald started going off on me. I mean just because I was found sleeping on a job and blew my credibility before I officially began work, why are they so down on me? To limit the damage I blogged about it in my farewell note to my old marketing company. Thank god virtual fangirl Gwyn L. chimed in with a total immersion meeting comment – I’ll try to steer more consulting work her way. Hopefully the Residents are not very engaged or observant so that will all fly under the radar.

Fast-forward to announcement day: Philip announced my arrival to the great people of Linden Lab inworld. We got to do that a couple times since the asset server was borked, but that made it even more special. I logged in to listen and was instantly lagged out by 4 or 5 Residents offering best wishes, welcome cards, SexGen beds, Xcite! genitalia, friendship and thoughtful advice on how to make the Second Life experience better. It was a heartwarming (and, frankly, overwhelming) introduction to this amazing world. Fast-forward a few minutes and I made my secret Auntie M alt account just to get a little peace – and try out the Xcite! gifts in private.

Fast-forward to Day 1 on the job: I started in the Battery Street office in San Francisco on 5/15. WTF is up with this neighborhood? There are empty beer bottles and pints of whiskey all over the sidewalk. Fast-forward to me carefully stepping over the bottles and bums – or maybe that was part of the “governance team” — I’m having a hard time keeping everyone’s name straight. Many of Linden Lab’s staff work from this office.

Fast-forward to the other Lindens working in offices stretching from Seattle, Washington to Ravensglass, to several Gorean sims to Brighton, England and a good number work from home. I learned people who work remotely are called telecommuter Lindens – the people in the main office look down on them. This highly flexible distributed model works because Linden Lab is completely open and transparent. King Philip told me everything you’d want to know about anyone or anything is a few clicks away — that is why they hired me, I guess – things were going really well since nobody is held accountable for making the world actually work.

Fast-forward to my first day spent meeting Lindens. I had been warned and was careful to wash my hands frequently. Everywhere I went a concurrency monitor (a big screen with a chart tracking a fake number of concurrent users over time) was in view. Any blip in the line would indicate a problem with the random number generator and it was comforting to know that everyone at Linden is attuned to random number generator stability in a theoretical sort of way. Platform stability is a key strategic priority for the company as it has been a severe pain-point for residents (especially recently – where recently is defined as the last 5 years). Fast-forward to us someday understanding the Residents’ pain when they can’t log in or manage their businesses, connect with friends, travel around inworld or communicate. Sadly, the residents expect progress on this front. I figure we can snow them with marketing hype and the problem will take care of itself if I fast-forward enough.

On Day 2, Philip (Philip Rosedale, the Founder and Chairman) and I had a brown nose lunch with the staff inworld. I was mesmerized as more than a hundred colorful avatars came walking, hopping, rolling, floating and flying in. Or maybe I was lagged out. I couldn’t move – that is for sure. Then my MacbookPro froze up – but Philip said I should just reboot it when that happens – its only been a week, but my Mac’s power switch had to be replaced all from those reboots. I’m thinking of getting a PC with a GeForce 7 video card to replace it – Dave Parks reccommend that, then smiled in a mysterious way.

At the staff meeting one of the most unusual avatars was a jello mold with fruit – or was that a landbot scanning for underpriced virtual land arbitrage opportunities? Jello Mold mentioned it to the industrious Resident who had created the jello mold avatar for her and less than 24 hours later I was in the landbot business too with a lucrative side business competing with the regular Second Life residents – just like the rest of the Linden staff.

Philip and I had a Q&A with Lindens asking (via voice or text chat) all the questions you’d expect them to ask about their new CEO. Torley (whom I have since nicknamed Sunshine Linden) captured the session on video, then made everything watermelon colored and posted it for other Lindens to enjoy. It was a remarkable first meeting with the team and I can tell you I have never attended another staff meeting like this anywhere. WTF have I gotten myself into?

It was visually arresting and very engaging. Second Life’s communication tools (text chat and voice) worked brilliantly for a meeting like this – I have NO IDEA what the residents complain about – it was far superior to a video conference or web-enabled teleconference, once we gave up and decided to use a telephone conference bridge – and I rebooted my Macbook for the 4th or 5th time. Philip even did a poll dance to earn a few L$s in a sex club next to the conference site. I imagine this is why businesses and educational institutions are buying a lot of land. Inworld collaboration (also known as virtual sex clubs or “immersion meetings”) are going to be a killer application.

Fast-forward to the next five days spent in immersion meetings to learn more about our diverse customer groups (Goreans, Agplayers, Furries, Militia, Fashionistas, Greifers) and how we serve and support them, the robust ponzi scheme economy inside Second Life, our product (Second Life “immersion meetings”), our “immersion meeting” developer partners, how we communicate to the market, how people manage time and projects inside the Lab, how we hire and motivate pole dancing talent. I’m still trying to work out how we make money doing all this. I’ll be putting together a prospectus for selling the company to the highest bidder in a few months, so this is all very useful information

As I start my second week, I can happily say I have no sense of what makes Linden Lab and indeed Second Life such a magical place. Thank you for a wondrous first week — I’m off to another “immersion meeting”!

– Auntie M Linden, noobie metaverse CEO

11 Responses to “Auntie M’s Secret Linden Diary”

  1. d3adlyc0d3c

    May 30th, 2008


  2. Zetaphor Tengu

    May 30th, 2008


    Almost had me there, for the first few sentences…

  3. Brendan Cale

    May 30th, 2008

    If this is really how the CEO feels, I’m completely sold for him! Hey, at least honesty is a better start then what we have gotten before.

  4. Nicholaz Beresford

    May 30th, 2008

    *ROOOOOFL* Priceless!!!

    @Zetaphor: have a look at the Linden blog :-)

  5. Ari

    May 30th, 2008

    Finally, a genuinely funny spoof. it’s about damned time. The Herald ‘s been really slacking lately.



  6. Unpatriotic Honkey

    May 30th, 2008

    What a rip off, this is a direct copypasta

  7. Mina Firefly

    May 30th, 2008

    God i wish i had a job like that !

  8. Razrcut Brooks

    May 31st, 2008

    @ d3adlyc0d3c : yes, this story does rock. Hey, where is part 2 of the History of griefing? I thought you were writing a series of articles. What is the hold-up, buster?

  9. JimBean

    May 31st, 2008

    Ya’ll should go play OpenCroquet or something.

    Oh wait, I forgot, there’s nobody in there.

  10. Myrrh Massiel

    May 31st, 2008

    …i honestly had no idea that agplay had developed into a full-blown subculture…

  11. d3adlyc0d3c

    May 31st, 2008

    Part 2 has been finished for awhile but I think pix is waiting for me to get part 3 done and I haven’t had much time lately. I’ve had a lot going on here.

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