Dusan, your assessment of a lot of the risks here seems like a pretty good take to me. We'll see how things play out.
I am confident we come out the other side with our culture intact.Instead, they signal to me that "teh Lab" still looks at Second Life as an experimental playground for its engineers and developers while the residents are seen as lab rats in a maze.
So much of Second Life has evolved over the last several years from what was a very experimental playground for all involved into an actual world with rich cultures, social moires, real businesses, education, real relationships, and above all, fun, adventure and creativity. Yet, Linden Lab continues to think they need to "mess with the formula" for any number of reasons. Mostly, I suspect, there's some internal executive directive that keeps looking outside and saying to the cube warriors, "Let's be more like Facebook and Twitter cuz they haz more peepz."
So the experimentation continues.
Moving all the adult businesses to Zindra was a prime example of this "experimentation over thoughtful solutions" attitude that seems to percolate up from teh Lab. It's almost to the point where these meta issues are decided on high without taking into account the real world consequences of their actions.
Zindra could have been a wonderful opportunity for Linden Lab to create a fresh grid or region, untainted by the smexies, where people could use the Second Life platform for business and education. (In fact, based on some of the references to "green" and "sustainability" in the early Zindra builds, I suspect that may have been Linden Lab's original intention. God knows why they changed it.)
Instead of uprooting an established culture in Mature, LL could have started from scratch with a nice shiny world for the G-rated stuff education and business seem to want (if you believe Mark Kingdon). And building on this, teh Lab could have launched some kind of real name avatar test there. Instead, the Lab continues to experiment on live subjects without their consent.
Which gets to the point of my post. Maybe it's a culture thing? Maybe the very name "Linden Lab" inspires unwanted and unneeded social experimentation? Is it time to change the name of the company to Linden Worlds or something so their internal development and business culture changes from treating residents as "rats in a maze" to actual citizens?
Plus, while "Second Life" is a powerful brand, is it time to reconsider that name too? Perhaps the Second Life brand overshadows the message that SL can really be about business too. How about Second World? It might take away some of that "get a real life" stigma associated with the current name.
I'm just trying to think of some way to change the culture at Linden Lab so that the people behind the keyboards and screens in Second Life get some stability and sense of respect for their cultures.
Will this help or are things too far gone?