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Old 02-09-2011, 05:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Arrow SL Blog: Improving our Lines of Communication with the Community

by: communities@secondlife.com

As customers, your satisfaction and input is critical to the success of Second Life. However, we know that it has sometimes been confusing and difficult to communicate with us and we can always do a better job of  listening. Toward that end, we’ve taken a hard look at all of our Resident-Linden communication paths and designed, or revamped, a series of new programs and tools to help us all have a more productive dialogue. Our goal is not only to listen and acknowledge your feedback and ideas, but also to work more collaboratively to help build a better Second Life experience for the common good.

In addition to rolling out new Community Participation Guidelines that apply across all communication paths, we also want to make very clear which ones are best to share your ideas about how to improve the experiences, content, and economy in Second Life, which ones are best to communicate with each other, and which ones to use when you want the latest news on Second Life or Linden Lab.

Also, please note that next month we will be rolling out a new community platform--an integrated system that will include SL Blogs, SL Forums, SL Answers, and the Knowledge Base. We will be blogging about that in the coming weeks as we get closer to launch.

First, we would like to explain what we are trying to achieve and how we propose to do it.

NEW COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES SET THE STAGE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE

We've updated our guidelines about community participation and they're largely the same, just clarified and streamlined for easy reference. The purpose of these new guidelines is to keep the conversations  constructive, courteous, respectful, and in the spirit of collaboration so that we can have more thoughtful and effective discussions. The new Community Participation Guidelines outline the ground rules, in addition to our Terms of Service,  for all Resident and Linden communications on the blogs, forums, bug  tracker (JIRA), SL Answers, User Groups, and the Knowledge Base.

PARTICIPATE IN USER GROUPS AND JIRA

Office Hours Transition into Focused User Groups: The best part about the Office Hours program was direct Linden-Resident communications, but it was often a challenge to find the best Office Hours (or Linden) to give your feedback to. And, the conversations were sometimes not as focused or productive as they could have been. For us, we struggled with the unstructured nature of Office Hours. They were not effective enough in getting the right pieces of feedback to the right people who could act upon it--the Product Managers and teams--or creating a broader, representative sample of what most Residents thought about the topic.

Today, we are announcing a new approach--User Groups. User Groups are product or community focused and each one is led by the Linden responsible for the specific topic. The User Group program is about opening up a more representative and focused dialogue about user needs. Most User Groups are public and may include any or all of the following: inworld meetings, JIRA sections, a Twitter feed, an SL Forum, and/or an SL email list. It’s up to the User Group leader and the core Resident team to determine how they best communicate with one another. The discussions should be open, direct, and be more forward-looking and focus more on how we can improve your user experience.

A complete list of User Groups, and their Linden owners, is available here on the Second Life wiki and there’s also a Google Calendar where you can see all User Group meetings and add them to your calendar. Many User Groups will have several Linden team members participating, in addition to the User Group leader. All User Group leaders will be publicly posting agendas and notes from each meeting that may include an audio recording or a text chat log. So, whether you are a participant in a specific User Group or not, it will be easy to check in and see what’s going on in any area that you’re interested in.

Submit Bug Reports in JIRA: For those that aren’t familiar with JIRA, it is our public bug tracking system and it’s the best place to go to let us know about bugs or suggest new features that are proposed in User Group meetings or outside of those sessions.

Our development teams actively review the bugs that you submit in JIRA and do one of several things: place the item onto a development team backlog to address, ask the submitter to contact Support or provide more information if the developer cannot reproduce the bug, or close it and explain why we aren’t going to tackle this particular bug or idea.

It’s also important to note that we are going to remove the “voting” feature in JIRA in one month. Today, we do not use voting to triage or to make product decisions and the last thing that we want to do is set false expectations. So, when you are interested in what action we will take on a particular JIRA, use the JIRA “Watch” feature so that you will be  immediately updated in email when there are new comments on that particular JIRA issue. We will continue to use the number of Watchers as an indication of the level of interest.

PLACES TO CONNECT WITH ONE ANOTHER

Find Solutions SL Answers: If you haven’t explored SL Answers yet, then you definitely should try it. Second Life Answers is the best place to ask questions and get answers from other  knowledgeable Second Life Residents. It’s a very helpful tool when you  need to have your questions answered quickly. And, if you’re a long time  Resident, you should jump in and help answer questions and help out  your noobie friends.

Participate in SL Forums: SL Forums are a great place to connect with other Residents on specific topics. As I mentioned earlier, we’re going to roll out a new community platform for Forums that is easier to use and more organized. Look for that next month when User Groups will be adding specific areas for lively discussions with our Product Managers on topics relevant to each User Group.

Join the SL Email Lists: Late last year, we cleaned up the old SL email lists and created a few new ones to accommodate discussions happening among smaller communities that may not have any other way of connecting--ranging from the open source community to the educators in Second Life. The lists are a great resource to use when you want to tap into the collective wisdom of a group. Take a look at the current SL email lists that are available and join the ones that most interest you. If you would like to suggest a new list, then just email me (address below) or drop me a note card (SL: Amanda Linden).

GET THE LATEST SECOND LIFE AND LINDEN LAB NEWS

Check out the SL Blogs to Get Second Life and Linden Lab News: The SL Blogs are always the best place to go for news and information about Second Life. As is true with Forums, we’ll be rolling out a new Blog structure next month--and be blogging about it shortly. So, stay tuned!

Follow Us on Twitter: Twitter is a great way to get the latest and greatest information about Linden Lab and Second Life. There are many lists to choose from and we encourage you to follow us and join the conversation. The primary Twitter account to follow, if you want immediate notices of blog posts and other news, is @SecondLife. For a complete list of official Linden Lab/Second Life Twitter feeds, click here. This page will constantly be updated, so check back often. We also actively follow these hashtags: #sl, #secondlife, #slviewer2, #slmarketplace and suggest that you do, too.

Like Us on Facebook: Facebook is the best place to find out about cool things going on in Second Life, share ideas, and get the inside scoop on inworld events, contests, machinima releases, PR activities, fun discussions, and more. Come join over 111,000 people who have “Liked” our Second Life Facebook page.

Of course, these communication programs are evolving, and we look forward to your feedback on these changes and other suggestions on how we can continue to improve our community communication programs. Feel free to leave comments here or email me at amanda at lindenlab dot com.




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Old 02-09-2011, 05:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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NEW COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES SET THE STAGE FOR CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE
...
The purpose of these new guidelines is to keep the conversations  constructive, courteous, respectful, and in the spirit of collaboration so that we can have more thoughtful and effective discussions.
Oh hey, that's not sinister or anything....

Whose defining 'respectful'? Never mind -rhetorical question is rhetorical.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll respect them when their behaviour demonstrates a respect for us.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Also, please note that next month we will be rolling out a new community platform--an integrated system that will include SL Blogs, SL Forums, SL Answers, and the Knowledge Base. We will be blogging about that in the coming weeks as we get closer to launch.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It’s also important to note that we are going to remove the “voting” feature in JIRA in one month. Today, we do not use voting to triage or to make product decisions and the last thing that we want to do is set false expectations.
'Today'? Then never have, even back before the JIRA (back when, IIRC, it was even called the 'Feature Voting Tool').
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We will be improving our lines of communication. Now, shut up and listen you proles!
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:17 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No more voting on Jiras?
Pffftt....
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm curious whether I'll be banned (or warned) for this...
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I would say, Couldbe, that Rod is demonstrating some respect for us by admitting that we blingy creative fantasy homemaking role player types are in fact, and always will be, their core customer group. However, looking over the user groups, I see that they're still wholly driven by what the employees want to do rather than what the customers want to see done.

For example, there are no groups to discuss avatar customization or group features. It seems those incredibly important issues will be continue to be lost in the midst of Lindens "discussing" what they're doing and answering our questions with maybes and not my departments. I hope I'm wrong this time.
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Old 02-09-2011, 05:41 PM   #10 (permalink)
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No way am I participating if I'm risking the entire estate with every post that ruffles a few feathers. Until that's changed, I'm stuck with only one option and that is not to post there.

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Old 02-09-2011, 05:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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No more voting on Jiras?
Yes and no. To express support, you now must "Watch" the issue (and put up with the spam from Jira whenever someone adds to it). Why LL wants to burden their Jira messaging service with updating the 300 people who now will be "Watch"ing popular issues, I have no idea.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:04 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This so reminds me of my Army days (long, long ago...) - cadence follows:

Here we go again,
Same old shit again!
Marchin' down the avenue,
I'll be fucked and so will you!


ETA: OMG, youtube has _everything_ (though it seems these days they have a different set of lyrics... same tune though, so look at the cadence I posted and think 'sung to the tune of' ).


Last edited by Tengu Yamabushi; 02-09-2011 at 06:07 PM. Reason: Youtube link!
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:22 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Blog Bot View Post
by: communities@secondlife.com

As customers, your satisfaction and input is critical to the success of Second Life. However, we know that it has sometimes been confusing and difficult to communicate with us and we can always do a better job of  listening.
Oh, they are just *begging* for a series of comments about that one! Nominations for the emmy are ...
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I see now community meetings are now USER GROUPS and have the following guidelines:

User Group leader and the core Resident team to determine how they best communicate with one another. The discussions should be open, direct, and be more forward-looking and focus more on how we can improve your user experience.


A complete list of User Groups, and their Linden owners, is available here on the Second Life wiki and there’s also a Google Calendar where you can see all User Group meetings and add them to your calendar. Many User Groups will have several Linden team members participating, in addition to the User Group leader. All User Group leaders will be publicly posting agendas and notes from each meeting that may include an audio recording or a text chat log. So, whether you are a participant in a specific User Group or not, it will be easy to check in and see what's going on in any area that you are interested in.


Now to be heard at these meetings you have to be a member of the new CORE RESIDENT GROUP for the subject you are attending meetings about.

The Linden Lab Official:Community Participation Guidelines do not mention how to become a member of a user group or how to become a member of a core resident group. I posted on the SL Blog to get an answer to this.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:27 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No more voting on Jiras?
Pffftt....
So no more going to them to cast a vote which you know will be futile. Whereupon LL will close the issue because they will say nobody is interested in it.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I do understand why hey wan to keep things constructive and courteous, etc. I mean, we've all read some of the posts on the flogorum that were....well, sometimes I worried for the mental health of the posters.

For someone like you, Desmond, honestly you'd be better off with Office Hours (or whatever the new "Focus Group" meetings turn into) since that's a more intimate interaction and people are often more candid.

As for JIRA voting, it did serve a purpose, but I also understand why it caused a few headaches. It was sometimes useful for getting a feel for how important an issue was to the community, in that if there were a lot of votes for something, it would attract Linden attention to the problem. Voting wasn't like an election, though, it was never intended to determine whether a particular problem should be fixed or a new feature should be implemented.

Unfortunately, there were some issues that were either not feasible, or ill advised, or whatever, where there were a lot of votes. Some people were upset that an issue with a lot of votes was marked as "Resolved: Won't Finish" or Closed.

So I can understand removing the voting feature if it was causing misunderstandings and raising false hopes. After all, plenty of issues were fixed despite only a few votes, because the various Lindens who check the JIRA recognized that the issue was important, or sometimes simply because it was simple to fix (especially if it was working previously and involved a minor code error).

As for watching, I don't know if they intend to use that to gauge interest, on the assumption that only people who are seriously interested in an issue are going to Watch it and deal with the spam involved, or whether they're not going to pay attention to the numbers, but they're trying to appease people who might be upset about no more voting, by saying "hey, you can't vote, but you can still do this instead."
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:31 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nika Talaj View Post
Yes and no. To express support, you now must "Watch" the issue (and put up with the spam from Jira whenever someone adds to it).
And ignore the fact that a lot of spam filters will suddenly decide *.lindenlab.com is a spam site .... great thinking LL!
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:35 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Now to be heard at these meetings you have to be a member of the new CORE RESIDENT GROUP for the subject you are attending meetings about.
So THAT is why they raised the group limits!

As long as you do not want to ever have input into too many user groups.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I posted this as a comment over there, but I'm gonna go ahead and cross-post, if that's okay...

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The amount of doublethink in this post is quite impressive. Voting on JIRAs is being disabled, and anybody who posts "off topic content," "flaming," "interpersonal disputes," or any of several other categories defined broadly enough to be allowed to encompass any post LL doesn't like faces unspecified penalties that are NOT confined to the loss of posting privileges, but implicitly might include, say, losing your SL account. These are presented as measures to "improve our lines of communication."

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:37 PM   #20 (permalink)
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No way am I participating if I'm risking the entire estate with every post that ruffles a few feathers. Until that's changed, I'm stuck with only one option and that is not to post there.

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Heaven help me, I couldn't stop myself from replying.

Hopefully it was cryptic enough that their outsourced mods won't 'get' the reference(s).

If I go *poof* in the next few hours|days|weeks|etc. we'll know why.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:40 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samantha Poindexter View Post
I posted this as a comment over there, but I'm gonna go ahead and cross-post, if that's okay...

Quote:
The amount of doublethink in this post is quite impressive. Voting on JIRAs is being disabled, and anybody who posts "off topic content," "flaming," "interpersonal disputes," or any of several other categories defined broadly enough to be allowed to encompass any post LL doesn't like faces unspecified penalties that are NOT confined to the loss of posting privileges, but implicitly might include, say, losing your SL account. These are presented as measures to "improve our lines of communication."

War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and LL loves you.
That may have been my undoing... my reply:

Quote:
Quote:
War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, and LL loves you.
We've always been at war with Eastasia.

(Oh *** I actually posted here... again. I need a shower - and a plunger).
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:51 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I would say, Couldbe, that Rod is demonstrating some respect for us by admitting that we blingy creative fantasy homemaking role player types are in fact, and always will be, their core customer group. However, looking over the user groups, I see that they're still wholly driven by what the employees want to do rather than what the customers want to see done.

For example, there are no groups to discuss avatar customization or group features. It seems those incredibly important issues will be continue to be lost in the midst of Lindens "discussing" what they're doing and answering our questions with maybes and not my departments. I hope I'm wrong this time.
I agree with your point re Rod - what encourages me is that he doesn't want big changes and he's looks to be focussing on his existing customers. Problem is that LL is such an unmanageable beast and he's too inexperienced in their ways to be able to get them to get their hands off their dicks and focus on their customers.

I was at the zindra OH errr user group on monday and Blondin did tell me that support ignoring my ticket to have my patch of adult mainland moved off the rc was outside of his scope - as all support items are.

His field is marketing. So what kind of user group is it going to be where we can't ask about issues facing the zindra adult mainland community (the old remit) if the issues with adult advertising, the release candidate and pretty well everything else is off the agenda?

Yet the thing about blondin's groups is that they should be actual user groups that go across all functional areas but it's never been that and it's not likely to be in future. Whilst I don't mind occasionally going for a chat and catching up on the gossip, I've given up all hope of anything really useful coming out of them and all I can see is that this blog post just formalises what already happens - as you pointed out.

You may have noticed there's now a user group for advertising - whose remit is all forms. I'm going along next week just to see what the lay of the land is - classifieds and listings are such a crock at the moment it will be interesting to see if the remit includes the effect of search. I know, I'm a saddo.
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Old 02-09-2011, 06:52 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Nika Talaj View Post
Yes and no. To express support, you now must "Watch" the issue (and put up with the spam from Jira whenever someone adds to it). Why LL wants to burden their Jira messaging service with updating the 300 people who now will be "Watch"ing popular issues, I have no idea.

To be honest, I never expected LL to triage Jiras based on votes. I realize there are a lot of other factors that go into what issues they can and can't address at a given point in time. I do think, however, if an issue (such as a feature request or recently closed redzone Jira) has a 100+ votes are so, it is worthwhile feedback for LL to consider along with the other criteria they use in determining what Jiras they will work on.

I guess to me voting on Jira issues was but a small way for residents to feel a little participatory in helping shape some aspects of Second Life. It feels empowering to "vote," whereas "watching" feels, eh, a little passive and less clear that it's expressing interest. And no, I bookmark certain Jiras I want to follow as I'd rather not be spammed every time an issue is updated.

I suppose one can still post comments on Jiras, but with some of the Linden responses as of late, I feel a little less inclined to do that. I don't see a necessary reason to get rid of the feature, as I don't completely buy the false expectations reasoning. This feels like another tiny example of "It's our Jira, you lose."

</end petty rant>
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Autumn Palen View Post
I'd rather not be spammed every time an issue is updated.
Or more often. Every time someone posts a comment I get an email .... followed in rapid succession with emails where they are correcting several typos. [Amusingly, nobody would have noticed the typos if there was not followup emails to say they were corrected.]
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Old 02-09-2011, 07:32 PM   #25 (permalink)
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