Last Thursday’s discussion at LnL Square’s Discussion Lounge was a rather tense one, much unlike what generally happens! The idea was to discuss some of the latest issues that have concerned the Second Life (SL) community, and it was not an easy task! Everyone agreed that SL does need and could use some improvements, namely in the areas like lag, group and conference chats, undelivered objects/notecards/purchases, etc. but some of those present very vehemently showed how much they disagreed with the general feeling that Linden Lab (LL) was not doing a good job. LL’s priorities were discussed and the majority defended that the most basic features of SL should be dealt with first. The fact that they are not most likely shows that there is a certain state of disarray in the company (note the careful hesitation there!). One of the hot topics was, as expected, the different viewers and the new Third Party Viewers (TPVs) policy. Most stated they preferred the use of a TPV rather than the official LL viewer complaining of usability issues. It was also stated that the viewer each resident used was not relevant, as long as it worked well for the resident in question. The removal of the viewer tags was, in the opinion of many, a negative decision, especially for those who are mentors (and we had a number of mentors present) as it is important to know which viewer the new resident is using so the help provided is more complete. It was also suggested that LL should hire externally for a viewer creator company; this would, in many ways, release them from this pressure! LL does own the company, but residents are the core of SL. No residents, no Second Life. One of the aspects debated last Thursday was the difficulty LL shows in establishing an effective line of communication with the residents (although not all agreed and defended that people’s need to complain was lately getting in the way of LL’s efforts to improve things). Some discussers recalled the beginning of SL when the smaller number of residents made that communication possible and everyone could have a saying in the destiny of SL (or at least make direct suggestions to Lindens). Nowadays the sheer dimension of SL is enormous and the corporate spirit of LL does not seem to be able to cope. As a conclusion, London Junkers, who was moderating the discussion, said that “the Lab is going through some turbulent times. Let's hope everyone involved has the common sense to build rather than destroy Second Life. This is certainly a grid that deserves that chance.” Drop by next week for a new topic, Thursday at 2pm SLT in LnL’s Discussion Lounge!