Linden Lab Community Portal Support Turnaround?

Yesterday, I wrote a long detailed post on Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg’s Designing Worlds interview last week—specifically his proposal that there would be no common new user orientation in SL2 and his suggestion that Second Life might benefit from bringing back something like the Community Gateways.

Then Tumblr ate it, every little bit.

Perhaps that’s just as well because today, Ebbe seems to be backtracking, mostly in response to a long comment from Caledon’s Desmond Shang on New World Notes (which James Wagner Au—being a thrifty blogger—quickly recycled into a headline post).

Here’s what Ebbe Altberg said in response to a question about new experience islands by Saffia Widdershins in 10/06/2014 Designing World’s interview (all quotes are taken from Inara Pey’s transcript on her Living in a ModemWorld blog):

Then for the future, we’re thinking really hard about how the on-boarding to the next generation platform will not necessarily be to have you go through this one place because we want to make it easy for the creators of experiences to bring-in an audience directly into their experience. Then you bypass the idea of everybody going through the same on-boarding experience, because now every experience is potentially the first experience for someone, and how do you make that work?

I think that is more interesting when it’s easier for creators to market and attract directly into their experience without the crooked path you have to take today to ultimately end-up in an experience. Then we have to think about some new user experience stuff that is like overlays or something we can share with experience creators so that we don’t have to force all their users through this one funnel to work, like we’re doing today.

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Then today in a response to Desmond Shang on the New World Notes blog, Ebbe said:

I don’t think I ever suggested we would not have a common first user experiences. I’ve always assumed that we would have one or more of those.

I’ve said that it’s too difficult for creators (or for consumers visiting) to bring in their own audience directly in to an experience and that we would like to make this easier and more powerful.

The rest is too much trying to compare apples and oranges to really make sense at this point. Maybe I should not have used the words “Community Portals” when talking about this as that has legacy assumptions attached to it.

And no, I don’t think we should charge for this, if anything we should provide incentives.

This is a huge change.

Ebbe Altberg seems coming around to the idea that Linden Lab should “provide incentives” for and possibly not charge for Community Portal type areas in Second Life.

One of the things that the Help Education Quorum brought up at their second meeting with Ebbe Altberg and Peter Gray, was the idea of getting some help with the tier for places like Caledon Oxbridge, Builder’s Brewery, NCI, Little Blue/Fermi Sandbox, etc. At the time, Ebbe was pretty negative on the possibility. They seemed only willing to consider it for organizations that had Real Life legal non-profit status, and then only through the already existing program for discount sims to non-profits.

I only hope there is some follow-through.

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