Together well known VR Tv personality Saffia Widdershins and I got to interview Ebbe Altberg, aka Ebbe Linden, CEO of Linden Lab and thus, boss of our virtual world.
After a rocky start (something always goes wrong when audio and video are involved in SL) we got started.
It was interesting to note that Ebbe had returned to using his original avatar and was no longer wearing a mesh body.
Thus allowing his face to actually move as he spoke.
He said that he had only worn the mesh body as part of a presentation but I wish I’d asked a little further, because I can’t help wondering if perhaps he didn’t like the mesh avatar very much, especially the fact that you can’t really open your mouth with those avatars.
A rather bad side to the ‘new’ mesh avatars Linden Lab announced a while ago.
Nothing much new was announced or revealed during the interview, if you’ve been keeping up with the news and especially if you watched the earlier Linden interviews, you’d known most of what was being said already, although here and there extra information was being added but generally Sansar is just in too early a phase to get into real detail.
I was too busy to make notes, so I hope I remembered (and read from others) the below correctly;
- In SL there will be more options to buy and own more kinds of land, I suggested something like this in my blog in this post (click to read).
- Land in Sansar will be cheaper, even free for new users.
- In Sansar LL plans to make money by putting a tax on sales and transactions in stead of land.
- If you can run SL on your computer today you should be able to run Sansar on it as well although this could still change and Ebbe isn’t promising that you won’t need a new computer anyway. Then again, in VR everyone always needs a new computer.
- Ebbe is proud of improving communication between Lindens and the SL residents.
- Ebbe was also proud of several improvements that were implemented since he became CEO.
- Ebbe repeated that he plans to make cashing out Linden dollars faster, right now it can take several days, the plan is to make it happen within 24 hours.
- Ebbe said he walked around SL12B and enjoyed some Techno music, which I find a horrific announcement that shocked me to my core, I didn’t think that was even possible 😉
- Ebbe almost always goes around Second Life as himself, not using an alt.
He does not mind mingling and said that quite often people don’t even realise he is the CEO.
Which I find odd but I guess not everyone follows the SL news and maybe not everyone gets excited when they meet a Linden, any Linden.
- LL will also continue making SL run better and media on a prim will also be improved.
- Second names will very likely not return to SL, but what names will actually look like in Sansar is not quite clear.
- As Danger Linden already said, there will be one main account and several co-accounts per user, allowing you to have alts but still share the same inventory and linden dollar balance.
- In Sansar, you will probably be paying for how much your sim demands from the LL servers, for instance if you don’t mind our sim being offline when you’re not there (for instance when you run a club thats only open in the weekends) or when you don’t mind visitors having to wait a little while your sim loads, it can be offline when nobody is there, bringing your costs down.
If you want your sim to be online all the time, you maybe have to pay a little more.
Which makes sense to me.
- There won’t be an Linden Lab run version of SL Go yet, no Linden Lab Streaming service, which is a huge shame.
Ebbe explained that although they looked at it, but felt it would just be too expensive to run. I disagree, one of the SL Go people told me that although Onlive failed, SL Go on its own was very close to making a profit and that if they had realised from the start that their main target audience was the kind of SL user with an old computer and not the mobile user, they would have done better sooner.
SL Go also showed us that people were willing to pay 10$ a week for streaming SL.
And I also think that even in SL Streaming does not make any profit, or not much, it would be an important service that is good for SL, as it would allow people to see SL the way it should be seen and thus send out more high quality screenshots and videos into the world, giving SL priceless advertising.
So I hope that perhaps someone at SL invites some of the ex-SLGo staff to have another chat anyway.
Nevertheless, LL is looking into streaming Sansar, although again, this is something that isn’t happening any time soon.
- As Sansar won’t be open source (at least not for a while), there is no room yet for third party viewers, such as Firestorm.
Which would be upsetting unless LL is implementing a lot of that what makes Firestorm the better viewer.
But there will be room for add-ons, so I assume people will be able to create certain tools you can add to your viewer to give them more features.
If this works, it would be really cool.
Especially if people can create all sorts of applications for the official viewer that they can then sell on the Sansar marketplace!
It could start a whole new industry.
Near the very end of the interview Ebbe said that he really enjoyed the chat and that we should figure out a way to do something like this again.
This made me think back to an idea I had a few days ago and posted about here on my blog;
Second Life Question Time (click to read)
I had discussed this with Saffia Widdershins before the interview and in a spur of the moment sort of thing, we decided to take Ebbe up on his offer and told him that we should have some sort of Question Time, but with Lindens.
Jokingly I suggested we could do one every week, but Ebbe thought that once a month would probably be better.
I replied that it was a deal, a verbal agreement and Ebbe agreed.
Afterwards, off the air, we briefly talked about this idea a little longer and it seems there really will be a Question Time show coming to Second Life.
So in a way, we had a little scoop after all.
I’m very excited about this because I feel it will make communication between us and the Lindens even better and there seem to be so many people with questions.
The idea will be simple; we invite Lindens (and perhaps one or two guests as part of a current SL related news story) and let the audience ask the questions.
Don’t start sending in questions just yet, we need to build a stage, find some space, set a date, etc.
But we will of course let everyone know when it is going to happen.
I’ll keep you updated!
You can see the whole interview here;