Dept. of OMGWTF

I had an alternate title I was going to use for this posting:

Linden Lab: where every day is April Fool’s Day.

but I decided that would be a little harsh.

Anyway! It has belatedly come to my attention that there is a new public-facing Linden: Wallace Linden, who will be “Conversation Manager” at Linden Lab.

“Conversation Manager” is a chilling-enough phrase, certainly; the whole problem with the conversation between the Lab and its Residents is that it is too managed. But perhaps it’s just an unfortunate choice of words; from Wallace’s posting it sounds like his main job will be to prod other Lindens into actually posting things to the official “blogs”. This is a fine thing to have someone do, although one wonders if a simple “post stuff to the blog or you will lose your foosball privileges!” wouldn’t have sufficed.

It would be wonderful if someone could change the culture at the Lab so that the blog postings could be the actual thoughts and feelings of the Lindens who run the place, rather than the chirpy marketing releases that they currently are; but someone whose title is “Conversation Manager” isn’t really where I’d expect to see that come from. (Maybe he will surprise me!)

But anyway the actual OMGWTF thing is that prior to joining the Lab, Wallace Linden was (among other things) a founder of the Herald (Alphaville Herald, Second Life Herald). This is like, like… I don’t know, what is this like?

This is like finding out that the new White House Spokesperson’s previous job was as a managing editor at the Weekly World News (“Alien Vampires Demand Access to Government Blood Banks!!!”).

The Herald is basically a humor magazine thinly disguised as a tabloid news sheet. It is all about the buzz and the hitcount, and not so much about the facts; facts do creep in, but it’s very hard to tell them from the satire and the simply made-up stuff. Not to mention the pictures of pretty naked AVs. I don’t know what it means that this is the sort of content preferred by the Lab’s new “Conversation Manager”.

I’ve had a couple of discussions in the last couple of days about how one might explain this. Leading candidates include:

  • He Knows Someone.
  • Entirely Random (“whoa I promised I’d hire a Conversation Manager this week; anyone know anyone?”; “there was that guy who wrote that book?”; “which book?”; “I dunno, Wallace… something?”; “great, he’s hired!”)
  • There is actually some perfectly good explanation that the Lab is keeping to itself for the Usual Mysterious Reasons.
  • Second Life is prospering so wonderfully that those scamps at the Lab can afford to do this sort of thing just for the pleasure of freaking ppl out.

I hope it’s some combination of the last two, myself. :)

So anyway anyway, welcome Wallace Linden, and please ignore your job title and try to make the conversation as genuine and unmanaged as it can be…

13 Responses

  1. I guess SecondLie was unavailable, so they went with their second choice?


  2. Goebbels is dead too so make that third choice.

  3. How the hell am I supposed to follow a quick riff on the bag headed great one by Crap and a refreshingly only slightly postal Ann name dropping Nazis?

    I guess wit is out, so just winging it I admit to admiring the skill it takes to follow-up your pattern of ignoring customers except when you have good news like making XStreet less cluttered with this move.

    Anyone could pick a title that ensures no creditability is possible, but it takes mad skill to fill the job with the guy from the team that has the one hour Second Life abortion clinic piece on their resume.

    I know I am just saying what we are thinking, but letting Rezzable get their hands on that dreamy Prad was such a mistake. He has the charm, the skills, and those eyes we all get lost in that make him perfect for this job.

  4. Tis a somewhat wise person that realizes when they’re out of their league…{Me}…’^..^’

    The scariest thing is that Crap/Ann/Adric are likely less tongue in cheek than correct

  5. Mark Wallace doesn’t just knows someone, He knows all the core old time Lindens at least. That is the virtue of using the platform early on. ;)

  6. SecondLie would have been a great choice! (Goebbels not so much I’m thinking.) And Adric, we all know about you an’ Prad… :)

    There’s knowing someone, and then there’s Knowing Someone, eh? Nudge nudge. A nod’s as good as a wink to a blind bat, eh? Know what I mean, know what I mean?

  7. yeah aint this a hoot! Ener here (the one declared fake by Facebook two weeks back)

    i blogged on Wallace Linden too, and what a joke eh?

    a spin doctor. i also shouted out to him via twitter, but no response – so much for identifying influencers

    i am not a big shot by ant means, but i have 12 sims, HAD 3800 fb friends, have 8100 twitter followers, and blog daily (about 900 hits a day)

    so you think Wallace could say “hello”

    in fact, his first tweets were not a “hello” but retweets and blog quotes

    i dunno about you, but i start a convo with “hello”, or in quebec “salut”

    thanks for telling us about his alpahville herald connection (i spoke with an alphaville herald reporter as a follow up to my facebook poopfest and was rather unimpressed – i mentioned twitter and they went “huh?, oh yeah,, no time for that” – to me any journalist would want to exploit twitter – is is so easy to use)

    well maybe not easy for a spin doctor – seeing as starting a conversation seems challenging

  8. I can back Erner up on his words since this is the second blog he has mentioned his lack of bigness on while covering his numbers.

    Yeah, we all know about Prad, but just once it would make me feel needed to get a “what the hell is wrong with you Adric?” from him. Do I? Nothing ever. Prok has feelings and did reach out asking if I ever tired of using her as fodder without a reply. Yeah, I was about to throw the towel in.

  9. Who? What the hell is the Herald? Are you guys on drugs? I mean more drugs than normal, obviously. Are these my feet?

  10. I was quite astonished. I think the only thing that would have astonished me more would have been to find out that it was me.

  11. Thanks for the comments, all! I’m not sure I’d expect a brand-new Linden to reply to every Twitter tweet directed at him; although in the case of a “conversation manager” it might be encouraging if he did. I’m quite leery of the whole “integrating SL with other social media” idea, just because I’m leery of the “integrating X with social media” idea for most values of X: social media in the sense of FB and Twitter and all still seem largely puffery to me (as opposed to SL, which doesn’t).

    If I run into Praddles, Adric, I’ll remind him to ask you wth is wrong with you sometime. :)

    And Tateru, that might have been astonishing, but it would have been (at least for me) considerably less inexplicable (more explicable?).

  12. well not respond to every tweet, but when i was tweeting him, he only had 12 tweets up!

    and i tweet to @MLindenSL regularly just to try to get a hello

    i’d think Convo Boy would say “hey, for pete’s sake, say hello to Ener, it’s a $3k a month customer”

    yikes – this $3k customer is looking to become a $0K customer and is already in reaction grid

    ugh on LL sometimes . . .

  13. […] The busiest day of the year was January 18th with 205 views. The most popular post that day was Dept. of OMGWTF. […]

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