The New Guy

The virtual world notable Vanish, known for his OpenSim Creations site among other things, has just this week started a new discussion forum for OpenSim users. In the News category there is a thread on the appointment of Ebbe Altberg as Linden Lab’s new CEO. I posted to that thread this morning and thought I would share my thoughts with you here as well, verbatim…..

“obviously, i have no way of knowing if this particular guy is the right guy for the job…

…but i think his background is a good one for what SL (and LL) needs right now. i know a lot of people will disagree because he has never been inworld and has no gaming experience on his resume. nothing wrong with having those things but they are not necessary for him to be a good CEO.

LL needs a product manager right now to figure out whether their non-SL products (and whatever they have in development) are worth continuing spending resources on. SL needs somebody who can sell the product and therefore infuse new life into Second Life.

In the day or two before the announcement, I was thinking through a blog piece which would have made the point that what SL needs most right now in a CEO is somebody who can go out and SELL IT to potential everyday users as well as to companies that would bring in money, presence and publicity…whether through partnerships or advertising or inworld presence or whatever.

i hope he is successful and SL rebounds. not only because i still enjoy SL but also because a healthy SL is good for virtual worlds in general and OpenSim in particular. (and a healthy OpenSim is good for SL too. we are all in this together, like it or not.)

as an SL user and a blogger, i’ll give the new guy six months…and then i expect him to show me somethin’. i don’t mean a list of accomplishments – six months is not enough time for that – but rather a brief list of things he has started work on. That’s all you can expect in six months, a start. And the list should be brief to show me that he knows how to prioritize and seriously wants to get important things done rather than try to fix everything at once and spread resources too thin to accomplish anything.

one thing he can fix in less than six months is the communication problem. LL has to re-open all channels in reaching out to Second Life Residents or Customers or Clients or Users or Whatever They Want To Call Us. All Channels! Inworld meetings and forums, official blog posts, the JIRA, tweets, much better use of the SL website and Facebook page, responding to the questions of the virtual world media as well as the real world media, etc, etc, etc.

I’m not so touchy-feely that I need to be thought of as a Resident or Citizen on Second Life. It’s nice but I’m okay with Customer or User.

It doesn’t really matter what they call us. Just that they call.”

Good luck, Ebbe!

About Danko Whitfield

writer, explorer of virtual worlds. semi-retired time traveler.
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5 Responses to The New Guy

  1. Pingback: The Challenges Facing LL’s New Boss | Danko Whitfield

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  3. Uccello says:

    As a one-time Guest Blogger for Linden Lab and long-time resident I know first hand the effects that the massive decline in communication has had on the Community. I wholeheartedly endorse this call for more effective communications and if Mr Altberg’s Twitter presence since the announcement is any indication, good times are again ahead for us in this area.


  4. Pingback: Linden Lab Announces New CEO | Danko Whitfield

  5. Thank you, Ucello. I agree that Mr. Altberg is off to a great start on the communications front.

    One omission that is nagging at me… although I could not possibly name every mode of communication in the list near the end of my post, I specifically intended to include the JIRA. Later: Just added it above and on the OpenSim Users forum post as well.


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