I received an interesting comment from someone last night. He said that his first impression of me, from reading this blog, was that I was an “angry SL pessimist”. You know the type: no matter what happens in SL, they’ll bitch and moan about it.
Thankfully, he said that further reading had improved his impression, and I explained to him that the reason many of my posts are critical of LL, is because the things that get me riled up enough to write about are often things LL has done which I strongly disagree with. So, my blog only reflects the extremes; the other stuff doesn’t get blogged.
In an interesting and related occurance, my friend Goldie Katsu tweeted a link to an article by Louis Gray, The Five Stages of Early Adopter Behavior. (You might want to go read it now, or at least skim the bold headings.)
Gray’s description doesn’t fit me well at all, I think. I never did any promotion to outsiders. I never built up a “following” (I don’t have the personality to be a cult leader). While I’ve had numerous ideas on how to improve things, I only really interacted with the Lindens after the open source client was released and the JIRA set up. All in all, I’m not an attention whore like Gray describes. I just love Second Life with a passion.
Nevertheless, I paused when reading about the fourth stage, “Sense of Entitlement, Nitpicking and Reduced Use”. Reduced use certainly rings a bell. But do I feel entitled, feeling that SL must be the way I say it should be? Is my complaining just the sign of a disgruntled early adopter who feels neglected?
Well, maybe, but I don’t think so. The stuff I criticise tends to fall in a specific category: bad (or at least controversial) policy decisions by LL.
Service outages and such I can deal with. The Grid is a friggin’ huge, complex system, and the Grid Monkeys (an affectionate term) who bang on it, and the Code Monkeys who write it, are but mere mortals. It’s gotta be a tough job, and shit happens.
I have far less forgiveness of deliberate policy moves which, in my opinion, are harmful to Second Life. I may be a bit disgruntled, but only because I perceive Second Life as being sullied by unwise decisions by the government, LL. What I feel is the same thing that one feels while watching her country decay under incompetent, corrupt, or oppressive rule.
I’m not an early adopter desperate for attention. I’m not a pessimist who claims at every turn of events that the world is ending. I’m a patriot, and Second Life is my country, my home and native land. [Update: See my comment below about what I mean by "patriot"]
I’m loyal to it because it’s the best damn idea I’ve seen in a long time, and damned if I’m going to hold my tongue while it’s strengths are cut out one by one in the name of political correctness and corporate relations.
So you see, my loyalty lies with Second Life, not with Linden Lab. Where I perceive the actions of Linden Lab to be in conflict with the best interests of Second Life, I side with Second Life.