Wednesday, June 15, 2011

One Last Reply

... and I am done with this issue.

The only reason I am posting again is Hamlet Au's editing of an email I sent to him, against my better judgement. If you have read my blog you are aware of how I feel about the stance he takes against Second Life residents. I answered his email in my exhaustive, hell-filled day trying to clean up my own mess, even though I had second thoughts about responding to him. You'll see why if you read his "followup post." I sent the email to him in good faith and as my responsibility to respond to as much of this crapfest I touched off as I humanly could.

FIRST READ THIS PLEASE - I was in contact with Amanda Linden. She was very nice. I apologized for my idiocy and explained to her how I was trying my best, with a 15-hr day of typing, to get some leveling on this whole firestorm. She was nice in return. Ok? I don't "hate Lindens," I don't really know any/many. Amanda is a person, and that person is a Linden, and that Linden was nice to me in a crapstorm, ok? I'm pointing this out because my original post was about one Linden in this process and another that commented on my blog. Two people.

I can't publish this conversation because it was in IM and that is against TOS; please accept that it was a civil conversation.


Ok. So someone sends me to Hamlet's site and I read his "followup" post. I should have known better. Here is my comment to that post:

[comment on NWN, 2nd post]

Can everyone please just read my posts and my comments between other comments? I sat for 15 hours typing on over a dozen blogs and my own comments section and Twitter explaining every single twist, turn and car crash that ensued.

Hamlet, I responded to you against my best judgement, and you cherry-picked my exhaustive email, which I will now publish in self-defense, to support your antagonistic view.

It is THIS PROBLEM that your posts typify; this arrogant "Linden Lab can do no wrong" stance that is the problem, not residents. There is a bad disconnect and failure on both sides. And you fan it.

I typed mea culpa over and over and over again, as I said in my email to you.

"but failed due to Second Life technical failure" - not accepted. First, as you say, I have the notice that messages are capped, because sometimes I work in Inworldz for a few days; this did not stop anyone from messaging me for 7 weeks. I did receive ONE notecard, from Amanda Linden, yesterday and I responded as soon as I was able with a notecard of my own giving her my email address.

Anyone looking up my profile to add me (as Courtney did) would see this message, and given a situation where I was supposed to be working on something for LL, you'd think they'd send a notecard if it was important.

My views have not changed on my distaste for your combative stance against the consumers who pay Linden Lab the money that makes them profit and your one-way view and position that it would be better if we all went away and played Facebook.

Please don't ask me for "my side of the story" again when you are going to selectively edit to support such a stance.


Here is the email (actually two emails) sent to Hamlet that he edited for his "followup" post. BTW... here's the request sent to me in SL by Hamlet, on a notecard:

Hi Miso, I'm writing about the logo you created, can you email me a copy for comparison? Mahalo!

[this is the second email]

At 12:47 AM 6/14/2011, you wrote:
OK thanks! I'll quote from this/summarize it if that's OK with you...

Yes; it is my mess and I will contribute to cleaning it up.

I know that my reaction to seeing that posted logo by Jillian Linden was not as mild as "oh, she got the same idea that I did" but a "hey, that's my design!" reaction based on many points of similarity and treatment of elements.

I have explained the problem with my admittedly nonprofessional work process and that I most probably tossed them back in the bit mucket as a failed or unwanted project. I have looked extensively today on my hard drive; I will attempt to look in SL tomorrow, but I know my OCD habits and the possibility that I kept the elements and photos for something that I believed was not wanted and that caused me frustration over the process and lack of contact are slim. I'm not trying to hide anything; I really wish I had the photos, Hamlet. They wouldn't worry me to produce; I am confident that the similarities would be many and obvious or I wouldn't have been so shocked and irritated enough to blog. There's nothing but my word on that and I know that will not satisfy people.

I know I mentioned the single IM I got from Courtney Linden 8 days later about Legal's issue with incorporating the Hand as an additional element to several friends at the time because it seemed counter-priductive to LL's own branding and interest...I further discussed with my friends what I thought was plain laziness when someone pointed me to the wiki page a couple of weeks after that meeting when I thought the whole concept was rejected/abandoned and did not understand why I was listed in two places, one of them definitely not anything I volunteered to do (Estates/Buildouts) and one of them as designer of a logo I thought was rejected and trashed.

Someone in SL says they have a chat log of that meeting where I presented my logo/design idea/concept and talked about it and went through a group discussion of the concept and the color problem people were concerned with, as I'd expect in a working-notes kind of way; I am sure I had my own transcript that got tossed with the other stuff when I thought it was a no-go.

[here I inserted a copy of the long Last Comment I duplicated to both blog posts; you can read it there]

[this is the first email]

At 10:05 PM 6/13/2011, you wrote:

sorry, i sent this to the gmail account; it's been a long day

I created a small elements mockup in Photoshop from the design I did in prims, which is the way I have designed the last 3 logos, as a process that gives me nice 3D effects (see my LOGOS section on my Flickr). I then shoot photos of the logo and show both the photos and the 3D mockup primset to ask them if they like the ELEMENTS; the overall concept and design. It makes it easier to move elements around quickly for a rough concept presentation, kinda like a 3D Powerpoint thing. If they do, and it's a go, then I begin rendering graphics and experimenting with placement, matching the fonts to the prim lettering image-and-feel and coloring. I am also hoping that they may like the 3D version (as they did for Spring Fling) beause, it's a 3D world yes? So this has been my design process for the last several logos for both BurningLife, Burn2, Spring Fling and this time, as well as the logo for M Linden's "Doodle Art" show (btw, the only reason I got credit for that logo was due to the insistence of White Lebed and Jayjay Zifanwe because they were unhappy I did that work for them and was initially left off the credits when everyone else including set designers and hairdressers (metaphorically) was credited).

When nothing happened for 6 weeks I dumped the files in my UPLOAD TO SL directory as I habitually do for one-shot photos, graphic jokes and other non-archival material. I didn't keep the layered Photoshop file because I wasn't about to put a lot of work into graphic design, drawing, shading, coloring, adjusting backgrounds or anything until they gave me some agreed-on color palette to work with that I wouldn't have put all that work into only to be told (as I was at that meeting when the original 3D lettering was done in 'Linden Green'- "Oh god we did green LAST year if i see green one more time I will puke" and whatever) that it would entail even MORE work. And as it was a rather-specific design it incorprated elements I really wouldn't be recycling or using again, so yes, I dumped the files *shrug* It's an old habit from having very small hard drives. Basically UPLOAD TO SL is a huge Temp directory.

The request I made after Courtney IMed me about the Legal "no" on the Hand auxiliary design as to whether or not they'd decided on a color(s) theme for SL8B was never answered; I never heard back from anyone as I have written in many places now, contrary to what Amanda/Pete has stated.

I probably dumped the primset also for the same reason: no one contacted me to show interest in my design so I wrote it off as wasted. I know I sent it to the other person as well as Courtney Linden, because I needed to have it shown to those people at the meeting and I wasn't able to rez there. But I repeat: the other person is OUT OF TOWN taking care of their father who has pancreatic cancer and I don't give a damn enough about this insane escalation of some bullshit Second Life storm to intrude upon someone in such a state; that would seriously be taking Second Life way way too out of proportion to real life.

I'm sorry but I cannot comply with your request. At this point, seeing this monstrous thing this has become, I really don't care what anyone thinks of me; I will not intrude on someone's RL nightmare and grief to cover my own ass for something that's been blown hugely out of proportion. If I had the photos or mockup right now it would be my responsibility to post/show them. I am being as open as I can be about everything involved in this.
Thanks again for taking the trouble to contact me.

At 09:30 PM 6/13/2011, you wrote:
Thanks, but I don't understand - don't you have a copy in Photoshop or wherever you created the logo mockup? What's the SL name of the other person? I'll send then an IM and be very polite when I ask them.


I feel that Hamlet's post is a good example of the problem I have with his stance and is, in its way, just as much "drama" as he accuses others of making. Oh yes, it's much colder, analytical and "professional" but it is still combative, inflammatory and typical of the arrogance of some Lindens and ex-Lindens that is at the heart of this whole controversy. Hamlet doesn't fool me and he doesn't seem to fool many of the users of Linden Lab's product Second Life. And since he has a voice which is much wider than mine, I feel it hypocritical of him in the extreme to accuse only residents of "making drama" when his slanted and arrogant posts regarding residents as some kind of evil stumbling-block to be at least as irresponsible as my own first post on this issue if not more so; I never claim to be a professional blogger; he does.

My original post was emotional, childish and wrong; I have admitted this over and over. But Hamlet's portrayal illustrates the real problem that this controversy erupted into; an arrogant, "we can do no wrong and our way is the only way to see things" stance that is at the dark heart of this ugly problem that some good people, like Rod and Amanda and others are attempting to defuse between the users of Second Life and the management because they realize that a combative and kneejerk attitude on anyone's part is not good for Linden Lab, Second life or its users/residents.

I haven't changed my mind except to think of how to de-emotionalize my posts and make my critique sharper and colder, in the style of Mr Au. I have been confirmed in my opinion that Hamlet Au is a poster-child for the kind of Linden that is not good for Linden Lab and I am happy he is not on staff anymore because his kind of Linden is the kind that evokes fury in so many users. Since Hamlet is trying to appear "fair and balanced" I'd like to ask, where are his emails to LL demanding copies of these supposed attempts at communication with me? There should be logs of those, yes? Where is his "investigative reporting" as to the chat transcript of this meeting (which as I have mentioned I know exists)? That's fair, yes?

I've seen nothing from Hamlet Au even approaching my efforts to admit I was an emotional idiot and shouldn't have posted. All I've seen is the same drama on his part, repeatedly and on more controversies than this one, that he accuses all residents across the board of making. In fact I charge Hamlet with instigating the very drama issues he complains about over the last couple months for blog hits.

I am trying my best to be reasonable in the style of Mr Au. Linden Lab is made up of people. In my experience now of interacting with people, the score looks like this:

Lindens Met: 4 (Rod, Courtney, Amanda, Pete )

Lindens Who Have Been Nice and Reasonable: 2 (Rod, Amanda)

Lindens I Didn't Like: 2 (Pete, Courtney)

See how that balances?

I'm done.

ps: if you want a copy of the Hamster Dance gesture, IM me inworld. More relevant than evar!


Anonymous said...

Your only mistake is to read that bit of junk called NWN. I know, I made the same mistake myself earlier. Hamlet only cares who pays the best and what brings the most click-through. Truth, objective reporting, etc. doesn't come into play at all. Doesn't even appear to be secondary concern.

My last straw was his characterization that Blue Mars is multiplatform and runs on macs with a couple of tweaks (installing a whole new operating system in emulation layer is tweak you know). Talk about selling out for the money.

Now that his last gig went under he has nothing better to do than to try to bring SL down too by brown-nosing his way to Linden ears with and pitching his poisonous ideas about turning SL into Facebook Farmville clone in 2.5D. I'm only hoping people in charge now at LL will see this little troll for what he is.

sororNishi said...

Yes, I felt quite stupid replying to his last post about you after having stopped reading him weeks ago. My life is better without NWN and I will remember that in the future. I know exactly what to expect from Hamlet.

Mera Kranfel said...

oh i want the gesture! And is it possible to barbeque a hamster or is it too small? Do you have any recipies?

Stop reading blogs that upsets you xxxx


Miso Susanowa said...

@Mera: I think hamsters would be good as a shish kabob, inbetween grape tomatos, pearl onions and sliced red and green peppers; a good compliment and appetizer for barbequed Meeroo steaks!

Ashur said...

Who knows? Hamlet may be right about Linden Lab's secret hostility towards its customers.

Of course I don't believe that, but they sure don't do anything to distance themselves from Hamlet's typical good Lindens hate you type of remarks. I don't want to, but I think I like a lot of people will just have to start taking Hamlet at his word if he keeps making these claims about how Lindens feel about us without a single Linden rebuking what he says.

I thought it was odd in particular Rod would continue to chime in on Hamlet's blog after he basically declared war on SL's user base under the banner of us being "resistant to change". You'd think he'd distance himself from lending credibility to a blog that constantly advertises and promotes a rift between company and customers. Ex-Lindens bonding with Ex-Lindens is one thing, but the active CEO?

That said, in a perfect world Miso you would've been able to air your grievances about the specific amount of volunteers and Lindens involved without it turning into this debacle of extremes on both sides using the matter as a way to attack Linden Lab as a whole, or "Residents" as a whole.

I think your initial post could've been fairer but you've already 5x over owned up to the ways it could've been fairer.

Even though you started out the least calm of heads you're ending this on a good, rational note.

As for Hamlet, of course this was too much drama to not make his own. +1 for his agenda to try and shame the community in believing his way is the only way for Second Life. +1 for Linden Lab having the gall to rebuke and clarify some remarks made by you but never dare to utter "Hamlet doesn't speak for us."

Ron T Blechner said...

I've made no secret of my mixed feelings about Hamlet's writing. On many public interest stories and social issues, he does a very good job. When it comes to technology analysis ... it's better when he links to other, more engineering / bit-head people give their impressions.

It is important to understand that Hamlet is not a trained journalist. He is a blogger. Not that all bloggers are non-journalists - I certainly think there are some excellent examples of bloggers who are also journalists - but Hamlet is not. This is only if because he's been sponsored by companies he's reported on. But that's his choice; he chooses to be a blogger, and not a journalist, and makes income off it.

I wouldn't accuse the Second Life Herald - err Alphaville Herald of being journalists, either. While the two blogs have very different views and styles, they both share the fact that they are storytellers who are providing their tinted analysis on stories. Neither pretend to be news.

With that in mind, don't expect Hamlet to treat you like a journalist. He's a storyteller, and, as I said earlier, he can be a pretty good one.

Ron T Blechner said...


Hamlet, in his latest article, basically told you "TL;DNR".

Apparently it's your fault that you wrote too long of an email (1798 words apparently is too long of an email to read, even though he routinely reads and reports on blogs that are much longer than that.)

Miso Susanowa said...

I saw, Ron. And again Hamlet is slanting his information: That was two emails and a comment from my own blog. So who exactly is fanning drama? The Hamster has no clothes.

Miso Susanowa said...


Rod Humble was very thoughtful and nice to me in Twitter and I think he does a great job.

I think the internal struggle at LL is between a certain type and another type. I think Rod is a good type, and I am sure there are many more in the Lab.

I think Hamlet Au, on the other hand, is exactly the type of (ex)Linden with an attitude that has angered so many more than I would have thought possible from my foolish post. It is the set-in-stone adversarial attitude he espouses with regularity and constancy that is a detriment to both customers AND Linden Lab itself.

Ron T Blechner said...

@Miso - I'd like to echo your last comment.

As much as I lamented Linden Lab cutting so many of its staff last year, and as much as I hated to see the focus go away from Enterprise and Education, it has allowed Rod to come in fresh and truly set new direction for the way the company operates. And LL has been delivering new features and improved performance and interface in a timely manner.

Miso Susanowa said...


I agree, which was the base for my sculpture Thy Rod On Staff, which you can see on this blog and also at the UWA 3D Challenge this month.

Deoridhe said...

I'm just sorry you feel bad for posting on your blog, personally (not that you know me, but I read a lot). I think people should be able to air grievances, and one of the strengths of bloggers is that we can post our personal opinion from our perspective with passion, instead of having to leech the passion out in an attempt to seem objective (I say seem because my opinion is objectivity is not a single-person project, and can never be). I really, really appreciated your being transparent about what you experienced and where you feel you messed up; it's truly admirable.

Brinda said...

Sweety... I've read your original post. More than once, as a member of that treasured group of those that enjoy OCD... ain't nothin' wrong with it. In the famous words of another... your blog, your rules. Certainly acceptable when what was said was true.

As @soro I do not view NWN's... I said all I had to say to Mr. Au some months back. Zero credibility--- and I'll damn sure not provide a single click through.

We will chat in-world dear.
To quote Lalo mentionin me... let a the earth bury it.

Skylar Smythe said...

Your "emotional" blog post that you apologize for was nothing to apologize for. You were upset. And we are allowed to be upset when stuff happens to upset us.


Onward and upward out of the NWN stew and into your next great expression Ms. Incredible :)


Aunt Foggy said...

I think a lot of us stopped reading Hamlet's blog a long time ago, the sadly desperate sycophantic brown nosing interspersed with strident fanboy outbursts is really too painful to witness. Well, that and the pathetic attempts to write relevant material (or have someone else write)about the grid without actually having to VISIT the grid.
You rock, and will continue to do so while Hamlet will simply have to continue being The Former Linden wannabe journalist.