Sorry for this long post but I have to get this off my chest.
The whole thing seems like it was hastily thrown together at the last minute like this is a hundred dollar project (even though apparently it’s a millions of dollars project).
Sometimes I get the feeling customers and third party devs are second class citizens (compared to investors). This sort of thing doesn’t earn many brownie points with people who are the bread and butter of HiFi.
It almost sounds like SL all over again. Remember how Coca Cola, ABC and other companies tried SL and failed? It is because they entered a virtual world trying to use real-world business methods (which will never work). They need native virtual worlders and third party devs to hold their hand. At this rate the cringe-worthy treatment of VWers is going to form a IDGAF BIWTYM (but I will take your money) attitude, much like SL. When you treat your community with a IDGAFBIWTYM attitude they tend to treat their customers the same way and it sets a bad tone right in the beginning that will carry on forever.
Remember HiFi, you aren’t the only guys with a stake in this. Many of us have our time and money invested in this too. If you piss off third party devs they will be more inclined to beat you at your own game. Is that what you want, or will you try harder to embrace us and work with us?
This isn’t aimed at anybody in particular because there are some good guys on the team who go out of their way for us (i.e. chris and others) but they don’t have time to do all these things. Maybe it is time to hire more people to work with the community. Throwing a bone every now and then will pay off big time later.
Maybe it would help by taking a look at how independent game studios treat their communities these days, especially kickstarted games like Star Citizen and Camelot unchained. They don’t rely on deep pocket business whales for their money, but they have earned the respect and adoration of their communities which is probably more important in the long run than having a few extra dollars to throw at things.
I see that there are many community members who are dying to be loyal HiFiers but don’t feel that they are wanted or appreciated and are thus being driven away when they could become huge assets. Stop trying to be a pure business or a pure open source project and start being a real hybrid open source community-driven business project like you present yourself to be (see the difference?).
I guess it just strikes me as odd that even though a lot of these former Lindens have years in the virtual metaverse game they still don’t understand how the community works.
Also, I say to the community let your voice be heard. If you are unhappy with something be vocal about it! This isn’t SL, HiFi won’t ban you from running your HiFi domain (HiFi is open source remember?). I suppose they could ban you from the forums but I think they really do want to hear what you think and would rather hear what you have to say rather than see you abandon HiFi. Believe it or not many of these guys have tough skin (you kind of have to in order to have jobs like theirs) and they can take a little criticism. Sometimes a little criticism is a good thing. Besides, I think HiFi needs the community more than the community needs HiFi.