Monday, 8 February 2010

Diary: 8th February 2010

Second Life to Close their Forums Today
Linden Labs have announced that their forums are due to be discontinued after the 8th February, despite howls of protest from the forum regulars.

The announcement was as follows:

On Tuesday, February 9th we're transitioning our forums, from the vBulletin software we've been running for years to the integrated Clearspace software which can currently be found at This transition will mean that new forum channels will be opened on Clearspace and the vBulletin forums will be closed and archived.  We understand that the forum community might feel some angst during this transition, but hope that you will understand the necessity and advantages of such a move

The most active part of the forums, Resident Answers, has been replaced by a section of the Linden Blog, Second Life Answers. However, this is no substitute for Resident Answers as the Linden Blog makes it clear:

Second Life Answers is a basic question and answer style area. If your topic is really a discussion or conversation please feel free to go to the Second Life Forums and start a thread so the community can join in!

So, no discussions or conversation allowed in the replacement. Hmmm, and this after Linden Labs appointed their new Communications Manager, Wallace Linden, on the 14th January (although Wallace admitted my job is actually in the marketing department, not the community department). Of course, pointing people to Resident Answers will need to be amended, as after today there will be no Second Life Forums. Blue Linden made it even clearer:

We realise that some people just want the old forum software back. Unfortunately, that's not an option. We're not looking to replicate the old forum experience; we're looking to make something better, something that suits both existing community members and new ones, and we hope you'll join us in this effort by reporting bugs and making feature suggestions.

So, where will the Resident Answers crowd move to? A recent poll gave these results:

The majority (apart from those who are having pie) appear to be headed to the SLU forum, run by Cristiano, with other sizeable chunks headed for and secondcitizen. Although I think they will all eventually migrate to SLU, as currently has only 26 topics in their Resident Answers section, and seems to be very lightly used, while secondcitizen has a horrible orange color scheme, which no-one in their right mind (and yes, I know, we are talking about the Resident Answers crowd here) could possibly put up with for more than a day or two.

Following the removal of all adult content to the Adult Continent, Zindra, and now the closure of the Forums, I think we can all see which direction Second Life is being steered in, and unfortunately the destination does not appear to include a large proportion of the current user base.