On Thursday and Friday, the news that Linden Lab was concentrating on a new virtual world, likely designed to succeed Second Life trickled out through various in-world meetings, threads on SLUniverse, conversations on Twitter, and finally an official announcement from Linden Lab.
Linden Lab CEO, Ebbe Altberg (Ebbe Linden in Second Life) first dropped the bombshell during a previously scheduled hour long meeting with the Help Education Quorum on Thursday.
(The Help Education Quorum is new group, organized by Brace Coral—with a little help from myself—combining still active members of the old Linden Lab Resident Help Network and Community Gateway programs, along with some their successor organizations, and well as a few new help groups like Builders Brewery.)
I’m afraid the HEQ people may have been expected to take the news viral, but we must have disappointed because Ebbe next showed up unexpectedly to Friday Third Party Viewer Developer group meeting and expanded on his vision for the new world (Third Life?), and exploded out from there.
By late Friday, the news had hit Second Life’s “Newspaper of Record”, New World Notes, and was being discussed on Twitter and the SL Universe forums—with Ebbe Linden’s active participation.
Jo Yardley of the Berlin 1920 Project has a summary of the SLUniverse discussion on her blog, and you can find the original forum thread here Ebbe Linden starts answering SLUniverse posts on page 5 of the thread; his answers stop (so far) on page 10.
Friday evening, Linden Lab, released an official statement from Pete Linden (Director of Global Communications of Linden Lab) via email to a number of Second Life media. It can be found in this Second Life Forum thread.
Friday and Saturday, Ebbe Linden also answered a lot of questions on the Second Life successor via Twitter, including some new information. Below, are the questions and his replies:
Not surprisingly, he started off taking a few softballs… but he quickly started answering some real questions, and providing some reassurance to residents.
He even replied to a few of my questions and comments. I guess I am FIC once more.
Ebbe made a special effort to put the message out that Linden Lab was not finished with investing in and improving Second Life. But with most of the staff off working on the next generation virtual world, the question is how much can Linden Lab really do.
Finally Riven Homewood hammered home that Second Life is more than a platform, and Ebbe apparently agreed.
More to come on this soon, I’m very sure.