This past week saw M Linden step away from Chief Executive Officer duties at Linden lab and Philip Linden (aka Rosedale, Lab co-founder) step in as interim CEO.
Some have seen this as a blessing, worthy of Grid-wide parades and celebrations. I, personally, haven't been that enthusiastic.
Why have people been celebrating? Because M Linden has parted ways with the Lab? Seems a pretty shitty reason to throw a party; a man's just lost his job. Regardless of the fact that he may be able to step into another high-profile position fairly easily, being told that you've lost your job is something you don't ever really want to hear - unless you're a suicide bomber, perhaps.
M Linden was never widely accepted by the SL-community, for reasons I'm not exactly sure why. I don't follow the politics and ins-and-outs of a company based thousands of miles away from me, I have my own life to be getting on with (by the way, that's not a sleight on hardcore SL-bloggers at all, just simplifying the fact that I don't really care); but for some reason, he immediately seemed a bit detached. Maybe it was having the M prefix - meaning that his name couldn't be brought up in Search, and therefore made him seem distant and inaccessible. Regardless of whether he ever saw an IM, Philip Linden's profile was always on-hand to rant at via IM.
M Linden lead an increasingly-large team of Lindens to pick-up things like Avatars United, XStreet, SLim...and do very little to the actual platform that all of these things supported. Despite some early signs of promise with regular blog posts about the status of the Grid and efforts to fix things like group chat and general lag, nothing really improved. We all just became a little more accustomed to it.
I spoke to another Linden on the day that the changes were announced and he was genuinely sad to see M Linden go. "I had some good conversations with M," my Linden friend told me. "And despite what people think, he did get Second Life." Unless you worked in the same office, I can't see why you'd have any reason to object or challenge that, so I won't.
And so Philip Linden is back. Huzzah, people cry! Um, really? I started out in SL in the latter part of 2006 and by the time Philip Linden stepped down from his original CEO position, lag had gotten worse from the time I joined, an excellent customer support was beginning to dwindle and people were already beginning to look at other virtual world platforms.
So, I'm generally unfazed about the whole thing; I'll admit to directing people towards blog posts about the rumours of a switch-around before it was officially announced, but then I knew some other people would be more interested than I was/am. I'd like to believe the hype of a 'second coming' but I'm more concerned that it might be the rapture.