Monday, September 14, 2009

If It Ain't Broke .........

Seems Linden Lab® has taken a different twist to the old saying. My feeling of late is that they operate with “If It Ain’t Broke, Break It” in their approach to Second Life® and of late XStreetSL®. While I have long been critical of the lab, their latest changes to XStreetSL® are downright annoying.

From the old forums before the merge, it appeared most were happy with XStreetSL® and aside from a wish list of improvements, no one really wanted the whole thing to change. I find the whole thing a little irresponsible to ignore what your users are saying and do what you want, but as has been played out in Second Life® so many times, the powers that be just don’t seem to care.

The forums used to be an easy read, and I looked forward to perusing them daily and throw in the odd reply. It usually made my day and often I could pick up on little bits of advice or offer some of my own. I don’t find that anymore. With the forums gone to the blog style of the rest of the Second Life® web site, I find it a little more annoying and of late do not seem to browse them anymore. Especially with having to relog in order to post, it’s frustrating. These days, I take care of my products on XStreetSL® and aside from the odd services post, I stay out of the forums. Too bad, it was a good thing.

Actually the whole layout of XStreetSL®, while debatable as to whether it functions better, didn’t need to be done. It worked well before and as I said, the lab seems to love destroying what is working well.

There are many changes throughout XStreetSL® and the Second Life® web site and most I won’t comment on because well, it just doesn’t seem worth it any more. The lab has proven time and again that they ignore what the residents have to say and instead cater to the high volume sim owners, corporate accounts and a few others in favour with the lab. Again, too bad.

I will say that my interest in this whole thing has dwindled lately, so much so that I don’t spend as much time in either site. It’s just not as much fun anymore, particularly in Second Life® where it’s now almost a daily occurrence that you are prevented from doing what you want to do. Those annoyances include textures not loading, note cards not opening, scripts not working, clothing not downloading, avatar showing up as a ball of gas and so on. While they don’t all happen at the same time, you can count on one of them showing up on your visit. Add to that the times we are all locked out while the boys at the top try to figure out what they screwed up and it makes for a less than enjoyable time.

I do love Second Life®. It was a cure for me at a time I needed it. It was therapeutic and gave me some direction and hope. Over the years I’ve built relationships, businesses and enjoyed what I’ve accomplished. Lately however, I find the thrill is gone or at least dissipated.

While I don’t plan to leave Second Life®; I’ve built and created so much including the businesses I love, I do find it necessary to make some changes. While I loved having my own sim, the cost of maintaining it became difficult and therefore I’ve given it up and moved to smaller, more affordable and hopefully more efficient locations. I plan on keeping most of them operating as I do love creating and operating them, but unfortunately a few will not continue.

Most notably, Gia’s Fashion Cabaret and Gia’s Second Life® Music Hall of Fame will no longer operate. The cost of running a club are exorbitant with not much in return and to try to fund it on your own, well, is just plain crazy. There was little interest in the Hall and again with the work involved to keep it up to date, made little sense to keep it running. I loved both places and am sorry to have to close them, but under the circumstances I see no other option for me.

While having your own sim gave a lot of freedom to do what you want, the problem is that you used a lot of space for things that really didn’t have a purpose other than for aesthetics. Moving to smaller areas means those things get left out, but working within your prim limit, you can still make things pleasing. The biggest draw back to moving away from your own sim is those big ugly red ban lines that seem to pop up on neighbouring properties. I tried to find places that don’t let ban lines be used, but couldn’t completely.

Also, part of the reason I spent so much time in Second Life® was partly due to the fact that there is so much to do when owning and operating your own sim. It creates work, work however that I enjoyed but did take a lot of time. With that part out of the way, maybe I can concentrate my time directly to what I need to do and maybe limit it overall.

As I said, I do love Second Life®, the friends, business acquaintances, musicians and all of the residents, the creations, the wonderment and yes the therapy are all things that keep me coming back. Unfortunately as more and more gets broken, it gets more frustrating to try and accomplish what you want. Maybe someday, they’ll leave well enough alone.

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