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How to Contact and Influence Linden Lab

 

Second Life

Linden Lab Support

 

I see lots of posts in the Second Life Forum that are directed at Linden Lab staff. I suppose those people think staff or someone in staff reads the forum and gets information to where it can do something. As best I can tell that does not happen. If you want your voice heard, here are some tips for getting that to happen. 

Expectations

Realize that you are probably not going to get a quick answer or response. No matter what your subject, problem, or issue is it just may not matter to Lab staff. They have job pressures, agendas, suffer repetition fatigue, and any number of other distractions and priorities that place your information in a perspective different than yours. Nor is the staff member dealing with your information the company. They won’t see things form the viewpoint of what the company should do, they see it from the scope of their job and workload and what they have to do.

Your expectations about what a Linden SHOULD DO are probably wrong. I suggest you give them up. If you do not get the response you want, figure out what YOU did wrong. You can’t change a Linden or the Lab. You can change what you are doing and how you are communicating.

Drama

Exclude drama and snide remarks in you communications with Lindens. If you have an attitude and are frustrated as you write, it is likely to come through. If you actually want to accomplish something other than venting, lose the attitude. Your view of the Lab is not likely shared by Lab staff. Nor or you likely to make points and get cooperation by trying to convince staff they suck or have screwed up.

Repetitive Syndrome

This happens when one has to answer the same question over and over. At some point one has to just skip over the questions and take a break. I suspect Lab staff does the same. You can avoid being skipped by making sure your question has not already been asked and answered. Search the Second Life Knowledge Base, Wiki and the forum.

Staying on Point

You will likely have a question or a problem that is your reason for contacting a Linden or the Lab. For the Lab to handle the massive number of people contacting them they have had to try and get people to those that can help. Management does management, support handles a narrow field of problems, and developers handle narrower fields of problems and questions. Make sure you reach the right person with a question or problem within their field of purview.

Do a single point, question, or issue per communication. You can include links to related and supporting information, but stay on point.

Contact Points

There are obvious contact points and ones that are not so obvious. People think the forum is a contact point. It isn’t. The SL forum and blogs look so much alike now I think people confuse them. If you want to be heard, avoid that mistake.

Support

On the SL web site there is a section for Second Life Support. This is a good place for finding answers and filing trouble tickets. This is a first contact point for reaching support staff. They are not the techs that can change Second Life or managers that can change policy. Also, they are much smaller in number now and likely over loaded. Subjective evidence is they do not handle unique, complex problems well. You will probably get to your answers fastest by searching the knowledge base and forum.

Office Hours

Most of the development and department heads at the Lab have office hours (Category:Office Hours). These are meetings in world that Linden Lab managers and team leaders host. You can contact Lab staff in the meetings.

To avoid total chaos in the meetings each meeting has an agenda. Also, each Linden hosting a meeting has an area of expertise. They field questions and discuss topics only in those fields and issues and information related to their field.

Be sure you are contacting the Linden that can deal with your question or issue. Get your question or issue on the agenda. This gives the Linden the time needed to find an answer or complete research to understand the question/problem. They don’t know everything. If they feel they can’t provide good response to an agenda item they move it to their backlog or a future meeting. Watch the agendas as they post and the backlogs so you’ll know which meeting to attend. Be there to get your answer or discuss your item.

Blog Responses

Lindens post blogs. If your question or issue is in regard to the subject of a Linden blog post, jump into the comments. Lindens usually follow up on their posts, not always. They are different people and each handles comments to their posts differently. While you may not get a direct response, your comment will likely be read.

The Wiki Talk

Few residents use this channel. Lindens are in the wiki updating their pages almost every day. One can use the Talk (discussion) pages to discuss issues and ask questions. There is good information about using the Wiki in About Second Life Wiki.

Project Mailing Lists

Most of the Lab’s projects have a mailing list you can subscribe to. You can respond to subjects and send to the list to raise your questions and problems. See Second Life Open Source.

Lindens’ User Pages

Every resident can have a User Page. Most Lindens have a User Page. Those that have office hours have a page for sure, Office Hours. Visit the Wiki and type in the Linden’s name. There is usually information about how to contact them on their page.

Remember. These are busy people. Their job is not handling resident questions and problems. It is some portion of their job, the key word being portion. They have other work to do. Make any contact brief, to the point, and complete.

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2 Comments

  1. LL reads the blog forums in the sectors they are aligned with. They read them fast too. In some cases they have read a post within seconds of it being posted.

    What LL is probably not reading is General Discussion. For obvious reasons. I.e.; if you have a relevant issue then there are specific forums where you can post it. And General Discussion is not it because no Linden’s AOR is the sort of crap you see in GD.

    In the forums that count, LL won’t respond all the time, But they read it.

    • Thanks Ann, good point. Blogs probably have more influence with LL staff than I might imagine. But, blogs are for those with an ongoing dialog. I doubt they serve well for the individual with a one time ‘Hey Linden…’


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