In addition to being informative, Humble was also quite entertaining and humorous even joking about his own “inevitable firing” sometime next year.
Here are some of the key points he made:
1. There were 4 key elements that attracted Humble to Second Life
- Strength – Second Life is still growing! Humble says there are about 16,000 people a day signing up for and joining Second Life. Humble says that the fact that after 8-10 years there is still this huge level of interest in Second Life is an “amazing achievement” that you never see with other MMORPG’s.
- Creativity – Everything in Second Life is created by its users and Humble finds this to be a “phenomenally important and powerful thing.” He says there is “no better feeling in the world” then you get when creating something.
- Shared Space – Not only can you create in SL, but Humble loves that you can do so in shared space and it can be a shared experience.
- Identity – Humble says he believes in and supports “the right for you to choose your identity and the ability for you to put barriers between various identities, particularly on the internet.”
2. Linden Lab is currently working on other new products
Linden Lab is a company, Second Life is ONE of it’s products.
Humble says the elements that attracted him to Second Life (listed above) are powerful, needed, and have a large audience.
With that in mind, Linden Lab is currently creating a new product (separate from Second Life). While this new product doesn’t have a proper name yet, Humble referred it it as “shared creative spaces” or “shared creativity tools.”
Humble also said the Lab will be “addressing tablets in part and some mobile stuff as well” with these new products.
Even with the new products, Humble said Linden Lab’s role and goals will remain the same and that the Lab will continue to
- put customer privacy first
- allow customers to make the content (while only creating themselves in order to learn how to make tools to help their customers)
- develop spaces that are shared and social.
3. Humble’s goal for Second Life is halfway complete
Humble wants a computer user of average intelligence to be able to get-in, use SL, and be grateful to have been introduce to it. In order to achieve this Humble said the Lab focused their efforts in 3 main areas:
- Usability – In order to make the product more useful, the Lab created “basic mode” for new users. Humble says they originally created this mode separately so that they could make changes quickly without annoying current customers, but that it will eventually be merged back into the regular viewer.
- Lag – Humble says you can already feel many of the changes in this area including a larger cache, improved chat and group chat experiences, progress with search, and better SIM crossing among other things.
- Service – Humble says customer service was improved, ticket times have gone down, and better quality service is coming. In addition to these changes with customer service, Humble says in the near future they are working on “making life unpleasant for griefers, in an inhumane way.”
Humble says Second Life was losing 15,000 new users a day before these changes were complete. He says originally most people wouldn’t even make it through the registration process. Once they added a new signup page/process they found users couldn’t understand basic concepts such as movement and camera controls, but Basic Mode changed this. Once users understood how to explore the virtual world, they couldn’t find places to go, but the new and improved Destination Guide now highlights areas of interest. Humble says the Lab will now focus making shopping, buying, wearing, and creating easier for new users.
4. New features and upgrades are coming to Second Life
While Linden Lab is focused on the above aspects to improve the SL experience for new and current users, Humble also gave us some insight into some new features and upgrades that will be coming to SL in the future.
- Linden made curated area – Humble says the Lindens created this area for newbies in order to learn and make tools that would improve the SL experience. One example of something they are looking into is one permission request/button that would allow you to define an area and remove the need for additional permission/controls or HUDs.
- Marketing Campaign and PR push to bring in more users – Humble said this should help merchants and service providers and assured them that LL doesn’t plan on “taking a cut” from their sales.
- Improvements to the Viewer 2 User Interface. Humble conceded that it’s “not an ideal UI,” but said that there are “so many new bits of tech embedded in that new code (that they) just can’t give up on it (they) have to somehow fix it.” Humble also said that he doesn’t “like the way that whole sidebar thing works” and is working to improve that as well, but don’t expect that until sometime next year.
- New features for Premium users (without additional costs)
- More in-world creativity tools
- Addressing Intellectual Property (IP) theft and Piracy in Second Life
- Continued balance of Open Source and Proprietary
- Improved and additional social aspects/features (including to web profiles and groups)
5. Humble wants to be accountable/available
“The only reason I’m on twitter is because you guys asked me to be,” said Humble. He pointed out that the best ways to contact him were his SL profile, twitter, and SL Universe.
You can watch Humble’s full keynote address below.
What did you think of Humble’s address and the changes/improvements he announced?