Playing the silent harpsichord

I went to Pathfinder’s office hours!

Pathfinder Linden's office hours, 2 Oct 2009

There is me providing entertainment on the harpsichord! Which is completely silent! :) I prolly should have cropped this some (note that the original is really frappin’ large).

That is of course Pathfinder a bit right of center (and right of me), Mo Hax below me an’ to the left, Daniel Voyager on the sofa to the left of there, an’ people that I don’t know scattered about. Pathfinder’s office is quite cool!

I asked him various questions about the Community Partnership Program, which still creeps me out. He reassured me it will be fine, and I should talk to Blondin if I have more questions. Poor Blondin!

To save you the trouble of a forum visit, here is what I wrote:

Heh. I don’t know quite why this curdles my blood so. I mean, I know y’all at the Lab are well-intentioned and all, but…

Isn’t it supposed to be *our* world, and *our* imagination? Is there anything wrong with just keeping the grid running, and letting us Residents decide what to do with it?

Why do you feel the need to offer special privileges and benefits to those groups that apply to you in attractive enough ways, and fit well enough into your own ideas about what the world should be like? Do you not trust us to get it right on our own? I think Philip did, but maybe I’m just idealizing the Old Days.

I mean, it’s well within your rights. But it feels really creepy to me.

I want to live in a virtual world created by its residents, not a virtual world created by a handful of people at Linden Lab, with help from those residents that are approved into “partnership” programs.

See my recent weblog posting on this general issue for more.

I hope it’s not an omen that I just signed up on ReactionGrid yesterday…

And here’s the relevant parts of the OH chat transcript:

[12:19] Pathfinder Linden: so does anyone have any specific questions for today?
[12:20] Dale Innis: Can I say how creepy I find the Community Partnership Program, so you can reassure me it’s all okay?
[12:20] Pathfinder Linden: Dale, creepy? what’s creepy about it?
[12:21] Dale Innis: It seems like the Lindens are playing favorites so much. Blessing certain groups, who will then have an advantage over everyone else.
[12:21] Dale Innis: This worries me somehow.
[12:22] Pathfinder Linden: Dale, well, I honestly don’t see it that way. I see it as a way to help facilitate groups of different Residents who are all trying to improve the Mainland.
[12:22] Dale Innis: But then the people that *don’t* get to be partners with you are less able to improve things, aren’t they?
[12:23] Dale Innis: I’d much rather you did things that helped everyone, than take applications for certain people who will have special access.
[12:23] Dale Innis: I know, I probably worry too much. :)
[12:23] Pathfinder Linden: everyone in SL can improve the Mainland. we’re just looking for specific situations where we think folks could use our help and where we think the net effect will be positive for everyone in SL.
[12:23] Dale Innis: So theh Program is mostly about the mainland?
[12:23] Pathfinder Linden: Dale, i understand why you’re worried
[12:24] Pathfinder Linden: yes, it’s focused on the mainland
[12:25] Dale Innis: I guess I like to think that the mainland is shaped by whatever people who buy land there want to do. It worries me that the Lab will pick certain groups to give extra privileges to.
[12:27] Pathfinder Linden: Dale, I completely agree with you in that the mainland is shaped by the people buying land there. we’re just looking for opportunities where we see folks trying to do something innovative on a large scale that would shape the mainland in a hugely positive way, and help them achieve that.
[12:27] Dale Innis: Okay, Pathfinder, thanks. I guess I am just worried that people will game the system to, for instance, get advantages over their competitors.
[12:28] Dale Innis: I can’t really think of anything besides maybe roads that really require Linden action to accomplish.
[12:28] Dale Innis: But i guess we’ll see. :)
[12:28] Dale Innis: ouch someone closd the harpsichord on my hands! :D
[12:29] Pathfinder Linden: if folks have lots of COmmunity Partnership questions, you should definitely synch up with Blondin. that’s his project.
[12:29] Dale Innis: heh heh, okay :)
[12:29] Pathfinder Linden: he has office hours.
[12:29] Pathfinder Linden:
[12:29] Asterion Coen: poor blondin
[12:29] Dale Innis: He gets all the tough ones. :)
[12:29] Dale Innis: I think he must have droawn a short straw.
[12:29] Asterion Coen: at every linden OH, they all say, “you whould ask to blondin” :)
[12:30] Xaria Mistwallow: blondin just would love you for that one path :p
[12:30] Luisa Bourgoin: didn’t he made stuff like sl6b ?
[12:30] Xaria Mistwallow: he is run over by residents each week and a lot more coming like this :p
[12:30] Dale Innis: not to mention taking forum heat on Adult Exile :)
[12:30] Pathfinder Linden: The biggest opportunities for success are always “tough ones” in my experience.
[12:31] Pathfinder Linden: yes, Blondin also handled the Zindra work.
[12:31] Dale Innis: ( Yep biggerst opp for success are usually also the biggest opp for failure. :) )

I should probably do a whole posting on the Community Partnership stuff. For once I mostly agree with Second Thoughts on the subject (although I don’t know about all of the hub-related stuff he refers to there). This seems like another rather strong action by those in the Lab who are on the “Linden Lab as privileged content creators and partnership-makers” side of the whole issue. And while it’s certainly nice that Pathfinder says he understands my concerns, it’s not clear that he actually shares them to any extent. :)

But at least now I’ve expressed them to a Linden; maybe that will help…