Your2ndPlace’s Ciaran Laval gets it right

Ciaran Laval has made an excellent post over at Your2ndPlace blog. I began replying to his wonderful insight and my reply became so long, I felt it better to simply post it here. It wouldn’t be right for me to scrape his post and reposition it here (I wouldn’t want anyone else to do such a thing to me) – so I suggest you read his wonderful perspective, then, I hope you will return here to read the rest of this entry:

“There is of course the issue that some bloggers have chosen to strike during this period. A three day strike from April 15th to April 18th. The strike is aimed at highlighting the issue of the lack of a response over the trademarking policy. The thing is, if it wasn’t for those bloggers who aren’t on strike talking about this, this strike would be getting less publicity. I really don’t see the point of a blog strike unless you’re striking against the people whom you’re writing for. The pen is mightier than the sword.”

I concur about how the blogger ‘strike’ is simply ridiculous. They are punishing their readers in the guise of punishing Linden Lab. In other words, they are doing to their customers what they complain to Linden Lab about doing to them. Frankly, I find it humorous.

With regard to Linden Lab growing-up… I feel that may be a slightly off-kilter statement. Linden Lab -is- trying to grow-up. as for their customer service, I genuinely feel it is better than comparable companies in the same industry. Certainly there is room for improvement, but I can easily name quite a few whose support makes Linden Lab look like angels.

As for ‘growing-up’ with regard to moving goal posts (I concur, that is an accurate statement) and basically ‘springing’ policy changes on everyone, we must remember that these are not really ‘overnight’ decisions. The trademark issue was surely discussed internally and the policy vetted for some weeks, if not months before we, the public, ever got wind of it. I’m not saying it’s right or proper, just that it was not an overnight decision.

The point is that Linden Lab is in a sort of ‘catch-22’ – they are far more open than practically any other company of it’s nature. However, because of this openness, they also subject themselves to intense scrutiny and shrill ridicule.

Now, if you are in charge of public affairs for the company, and you are in meetings about this trademark and copyright policy that will be ‘ratcheted-up’ – would YOU want to be the one to give a ‘heads-up notice’ to the public at large, and then be the actual name (rather than “Linden Lab” in general) to receive and take the brunt of all the shrill, vicious and truly painful comments that will be thrown about?

I sure the hell wouldn’t want to be that person.

Call me a “Linden Fanboi” if you are in an insulting mood. However, I am a realist. I always try to remember two basic things about Linden Lab: they are a company in business to make a profit. The only way to do that is to maintain the satisfaction of the -majority- of their customers. Most posters to the Second Life blog are in the minority. Perhaps not a small minority, but still in the minority. most people just ‘grin and bear it.’

The second thing is that all employees of Linden Lab, our affectionately know as “Lindens”, are all real human beings, trying to do a job to put food on their tables and keep a roof over their heads. But, more importantly, they are human with real human feelings. How do you think they, as real people feel when they see some of the vicious rhetoric that is posted on their blog? In must be infuriatingly painful as hell.

So, taking all these perspectives into account, I can only fault Linden Lab’s leadership and management for having an overall bad working policy – specifically the policy that pertains directly to their employees and how they are expected to behave and and the overall working paradigm and internal processes.

In this regard, Philip Rosedale’s stepping down as CEO and their bring-in a professional and do absolutely nothing but to improve Linden Lab as a real company and , in turn, improve their standing of and the benefits for their customers: the “residents” of Second Life.

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