I know that a large portion of the SL community does not know or is only vaguely aware of what the JIRA is. But the activities that are constantly happening in the Resident-accessible SL JIRA throughout the history of SL has been a fundamental & critical support mechanism for LL extremely limited LL staff. Although many of you that play on the SL grid experience a lot of the problems that LL creates on the grid, viewer, Marketplace, etc. over the years, what you may not realize is that without the SL Resident JIRA system over the past years, the SL virtual world would have been infinitely worse - to the point of intolerable!
Without this Resident JIRA system, LL's staff would never have solved most of the complicated technical problems as quickly as they do now. LL would not even have been able to correlate that several problems popping up are related to a common cause. And LL staff would not have a common place to communicate with the SL resident community that has the amazing skills and talents and WILLINGNESS to volunteer to help LL solve their problems.
But this week's change made by Rod, clearly shows he is not the right CEO to stop LL from becoming a historical case study of "how a start-up with an amazing successful service could not evolve to survive". Lets look at this a bit further....
Over the past year since Rod's influence started to become visible in the company's plans, decisions, and operations, anyone that loves to watch the evolution (or in the case of LL - the devolution) of a company's life-cycle has been realizing that "The Emperor has no clothes".
When Rod appeared on the scene, there was an overwhelming consensus that since Rod was this TOP DOG from EA, what better selection could LL have made for a CEO to save LL from its years of lost wondering in the woods to corporate maturity than to pick renowned expert in one of the industry's top gaming companies. I will admit that even I was actually excited that maybe ROD WILL UNDERSTAND AND RIGHT-SIZE WHAT SL IS ALL ABOUT. Although his roots is "gaming", he would have intelligence to quickly realize the technology / market space that LL's SecondLife exists. That its not another player in the crowded "gaming" market. And that with some infusion of mature Sr. Management guidance, LL's could finally find its way out of the woods, stop the heavy bleeding of SecondLife and re-establish it as "THE" 3D virtual world community to participate in.
But again, Rod's questionable decisions at LL over the past year and his inability to resolve the biggest on-going issues with the grid (lag and stability and a collapsing economy and horrendous customer support etc) are showing that...
ROD DON'T GET IT
Its clear now that Rod's plans from Day 1 has always been to turn SecondLife into another GAMING PLATFORM with maybe a few unique aspects to the platform which SL offers and no other Gaming world has. Even though his first 100 days he put up a great show to the community that he wanted to learn what LL was all about and grasp the unique aspects of what makes SecondLife so addictive to the members of the community and use his talents to improve the platform that this community thrives on, IT WAS JUST A PR SHOW.
Rod clearly doesn't understand the SL community. He is clearly not a business savvy person that grasps the idea to improve the satisfaction of service for your loyal customers before you seek out and look for more. He doesn't grasp that the SL Community has always been and more so not continues to be LL's largest crutch is provide the actual support of the platform that LL's developers constantly destabilize with their constant desire to add new shiny features.
In that light, ROD doesn't understand that the JIRA process as it has been set up is one of the most power support arms that LL's limited resources have to solving problems.
He only see the community based JIRA process as a huge exposure to his bid to turn SL into a competing GAMING PLATFORM. I am sure in his mind, Rod looked that the JIRA and said:
"OMG - how will we be taken serious by the STEAM / GAMING community if they see in the JIRA system how bug-ridden out platform is - how many unresolved technical problems SL has??? THIS HAS TO BE HIDDEN!! "
So despite what I am sure to predict was a lot of "OMG ROD YOU CANT DO THIS - OUR RESIDENTS FIND MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS AND DIAGNOSE MOST OF OUR PROBLEMS VIA JIRA" from the LL tech staff, Rod has other plans and has a single-minded mission to turn SL into the next gaming platform and to be accepted by the leaders in the gaming industry.
All Logistics aside, in Rod's mind, "We must hide the fact that SL is riddled with countless unsolved bugs and more new ones as Rod infuses all these great new technologies like Mesh, PathFinder, Material Systems, etc..
Sadly, this move will pretty much overwhelm LL's tech team as they will no longer have the continual flow of unimaginable I.T. technology and Business and Community skills and talents that they were able to tap into by letting the SL community openly participate in the Resident JIRA. LL's staff can no long even reference JIRA's when talking to their most talented tech residents that freely and willingly participate in LL's user groups and beta's and forums to resolve show stopping grid-impacting problems that LL creates.
As such, I would have to agree with many in the SL community that this has to be the single most prominent bone-head move made by Rod. The buck stops at Rod so its very safe to say that a decision of this magnitude has to have been at minimum blessed by Rod but I am pretty sure it was MADE by Rod.
There is no doubt that SL's business model has been slide to demise over the past 2ish years (1800 sims abandoned last year and recent report that 800 sims abandoned in the last 2 months is a clear sign). This decision by Rod just through a gallon of bacon fat on the slide.
This move by Rod could go in the history books as one of the biggest bone-head moves executed by any CEO of the colorful history of CEO's with some pretty big bone-head decisions.
My advice for any SL Resident with any significant investment in SL - start seriously looking at how to liquidate your investment in SL and protect yourself. Be prepared to the fact that the end of SL is closer that many of us predicted. Look at other grid options if you really liked the Virtual World Community. Because this move by Rod is a dangerous one.