Thursday, January 3, 2008

How many is enough? A time for a new system.

So right now there's a huge outcry for more groups -- as there should be. In a social game like Second Life, and without a viable events calendar, the crux of any social gathering must be the ability to easily group. So the outcry is understandable. But really I have to ask, how many is enough? Beyond that, how many is actually manageable?

When I started SL, we were limited to 10 groups and when it was expanded to the current 25 I thought I'd never use all the slots and for a while I actually had open group space. It was awesome for all of about 2 months. It quickly filled as I had the ability to join this favorite shop's group and this other favorite shop's group and before long I still had favorites I wanted to join but was out of groups. As I started getting involved in things like the SLCC and the Relay for Life, those favorite shops groups gave way to the work I was doing.

Of course that leaves me out of the things being given away to the group only. And these are shops, generally, where I drop a fairly sizeable wad of cash on a semi-regular basis. Like Queenie, I feel a bit guilty joining and then leaving but I've spoken to a couple of designers who say they completely understand and they have the same problem too.

Which got me thinking -- if I joined every group I wanted, how many groups would I be in? The list came to well over 100. So then I imagined this completely out of control group list -- akin to my friends list -- a thing crucial to my Second Life experience that I have the ability to fill as large as I wanted but with no way to organize or manipulate it. ugh.

Folks we don't need just need more groups -- they can raise it to 50 and it won't be enough and in 2 years you'll be back here filing JIRAs to get it to 100. And 2 years after that new folks will come along and wonder why its limited to that low number. And I dare you to belong to 100 groups and be able to control the traffic chatter and not crash on login when after a mere 24 hours of not logging in you have something like 50 notices. Its not viable.

What we need is a new group system. We need ways to organize groups like we can organize our inventories. We need ways to control notices and chatter. We need to be able to link it to our email so we can read AND DELETE off line. And we need to be able to join unlimited amounts of groups.

Until the entire group system is revamped or thrown away in favor of something better -- you can cry for more groups all you want but it won't be the solution you are looking for.


Shir Dryke said...

I agree completely. I've also been thinking about it and come up with quite the similar result of thought. It's the same with everything else. Like in life, the more money you earn and rise in career, the more your expenses go up and there's never enough. People adjust and adapt which creates a constant need for more. So yes, that's about the need of group spaces.
However with my 25 groups from which some are absolutely needed as my living space, building space etc, even so it gets out of hand. I don't know about everyone else but for the last month, I do not receive group messages while I'm offline. Which sucks and blows in all possible levels. So Fashion Consolidated is becoming rather obsolete for me, I do not have the time to manually scan through it. So yes, I'd like to be able to organize them somehow, get the messages offline while having filters on them and most importantly, not having them missing all the time.
Okay, a long windy comment but the main point is I agree - it needs to be changed.

Jane2 said...

As a SL consumer, I cannot say enough good things about Subscribe-o-matic, The system is being used by increasing numbers of designers and artists to enable me to receive information and updates, just as if I were in a SL group.

Kudos to the inventor.

Madison said...

*stands and claps enthusiastically*

I could not agree more. I don't *want* more groups the way the current system works. Could you imagine the spam and IMs you would have to deal with the way the system works now? Things like subscribe-o-matic are helping to alleviate the problem, but LL still has work to do in order to make a group communication system that truly works!

Queenie Extraordinaire said...

Excellent points, Viv!