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…