I thought I would share the response I posted in the discussion on this topic here as well, because I would be interested in hearing what my readers think. Feel free to reply in the comments.
Oct 24, 2009 10:29 PM in response to: Cyn Linden
Re: Discussion: Third Party Viewer Policy
I always appreciate when people speak up with contradictory opinion because it inspires those whose minds are open to expand their thoughts and possibly evolve them. However I have sat here for the past hour reading through this thread, and I began to roll my eyes every time I saw a post by Prok. I have never seen his name before so this is no kind of vendetta on my part. But this thread was made for people to discuss the third party viewer policy and Prok has turned it into his own personal soap box for unleashing irresponsible, uninformed, and largely false propaganda due to his own personal experiences with people involved in ONE of many third party viewers. I have even seen him go so far as to name call Snickers and others. This is counterproductive and borderlining on abusive harassment ( a TOS violation) and I am surprised it has been allowed to go on for the 4 days this thread has been open. *ahem, LL where are you now with your police badges?*
I have always been frustrated when I have heard people state that we do not have “rights” and that we should be ever so grateful that LL has asked for our opinion at all or graced us with the use of their platform. That is an obnoxious way to view things. I personally have spent countless dollars, dollars I work hard for, in SL. And I am not alone. We pay for what we use. Some of us do at least. I have had the same residence in SL for longer than I remember, pay a hefty tier consistently to the same landlord, and anyone who knows me or reads my blog would be happy to tell you just how much I alone pump into the economy with my shopping. Not to mention the business I drive to the vendors I feature in my blog. We all have our ways of contributing, large and small. And I am no more grateful to LL than I am to the server that hosts my websites in RL, my cable provider, or landlord. They provide a service I use, and I pay for that service. My happiness matters because when I leave my money comes with me. And so does my evangelism. An unhappy customer’s voice is far louder than a customer who hasn’t heard of you yet. But a happy customer will preach the opposite, and a platform like SL needs the evangelism to grow.
Additionally, as the residents of SL create the places we spend our time in, the content we purchase… SL is a business that works both ways. I love SL as a platform, going so far as to advocate the future potential of SL in my RL business dealings (in the social media and online marketing spheres). However I must also say that on the few occasions I have needed to turn to LL for assistance (once with a harassment/griefing situation and once with an issue of being charged for $Ls I did not receive due to an error) I found LL response/support to be 100% non-existant. The sad truth seems to be that they only want to hear from us when they want to hear from us because it serves to benefit them. Through my own experiences and from hearing those of others with a range of experiences, it seems LL has a difficult time keeping up with upholding what is already in the TOS. And now they want to add more.
This is why Open Source, especially for LL, is a good thing. The soon to be released Google Wave is 100% open source, and Google understands just how important it is to involve developers as much as possible in every aspect of development. This is evolution, and agree or not it is where the internet is heading across the board, across platforms we all use the most daily. I promise. But I digress. I fear SL will hit a wall at a certain point, without being Open Source. I believe in SL and the potential it truly does have, I just fear LL has not yet shown they are capable of making SL reach that potential when they can’t even seem to get some of the most basic features into it’s standard viewer. I use Emerald Viewer exclusively. In fact, I took the Release Candidate version icon off of my dock today. And barring Emerald Viewer tragedy, I might delete it all together.
This is why Emerald Viewer makes SL seem “more fun” (someone said that early in the thread): As a user, you can tell it was MADE by users. One example: A thread from two years ago somewhere talks about second attachment points. LL never did a thing. Never added any of the ones they said they were looking into adding back then. Something people RIGHT THERE IN THE COMMENTS instructed how to do. Still, nothing. Then here comes Emerald Viewer with not only darn near ALL the things people have been asking for for AGES, but also so many MORE features that even my wildest imagination hadn’t considered (I mean, bouncing boobies! ). With every update the interface seems more intuitive and makes much more sense. Further, if new residents were able to so easily find things on the interface, figure things out as I said, intuitively… they are more likely to “get it” quicker and STAY. What makes people STAY? Things that Prok said are “irrelevant” vanity features, are the fun things that make a person want to STAY with something. The ability to personalize an experience is essential to any business that in in the “experience economy” (you should read this book for more on that). Another argument for why they should allow the double attachment points. The more you can personalize and customize your experience, the more you can express yourself within that experience, the more you are drawn to it.
With every update there are more “cool” features, so that it’s exciting to update, rather than a chore that you know will be followed by days of glitches and bugs and crashes… to wind up with “better water” or something. Sometimes I wonder, for all of the brilliant minds they truly do have at LL, who they DON’T have on their team: someone who truly uses and loves SL? Because if they did… some of this would have been taken care of a long time ago. It seems the lovers of SL who understand what the residents want (or CARE because they ARE residents…) are over at Emerald. I wonder how much they really understand the way the residents experience the world that is SL on a day to day basis.
I also want to add that there is nothing about the Emerald Viewer that promotes griefing or violations of privacy. Look, if someone is a shady person they are going to be shady with WHATEVER tools you give them. People found a way to grief from day one and they will always find one if they want to. On any viewer. They have found ways to copy: on every viewer. That doesn’t mean it is the Viewers fault, nor the viewers motivation. I’m sorry but the idea otherwise does borderline on paranoia. “AV keys mean people can get your account information”. Um no. DUH: there are a million different places to get that PUBLIC information that really doesn’t make you vulnerable in any significant way. Sometimes I read what people say and shake my head because a simple search in the forums or Google would actually show you what is true and what is not about most of the things I have read here. But it seems some people don’t want to know they want to preach the same responses to everyone as they express themselves.
I think it would be far better for LL to allow things to REMAIN Open Source, allow BASIC RL information to be all that is required, and allow more and more third party viewers. They could all brand themselves and it would keep things interesting for residents, it would call more attention to SL and be more inviting to new residents. LL should hire someone to, on a full time basis, be responsible for monitoring complaints if any of the viewers violate the TOS and act swiftly once proper verification of the complaint has taken place, on an individual case by case basis. Like Google and every other open source platform that even allows such things as widgets to be developed and put on their sites (ala Facebook etc). Get with the 2.0 program LL. Get it together please. Loosen up a bit. Keep it fun for your residents instead of the only time we hear from you is when you are placing more restrictions and raising costs, because as a resident who wants to stay and wants to love you, that’s what it feels like. I’ve rambled, as per usual. Thanks to those who read this far.
And Prok, you just need a stiff drink and a b**w job.