As the Virginia Slims ad used to say, “You’ve come a long way, baby!” A year ago, Linden Lab’s Jive-based fora were beginning their swan-dive into chaos. By Christmas, most of the seasoned contributors had abandoned ship and were paddling frantically toward SL Universe or, as in my case, their own blogs. There followed two months of cold, dark winter as the survivors watched the hull of SS Lindonia being slowly crushed by the ice.
Then springtime. In March, Linden Lab swept away the flotsam of the Jive fora and rebuilt on Lithium. The result was slick, professional and functional. Beginning cautiously and conservatively, Linden Lab engaged the residents and solicited improvements. Slowly, slowly, the fora evolved into a highly effective communication system.
Then summer and the reintroduction of the General Discussion Forum (replacing the Off-Topic bin, which had functioned as a proxy for general discussion). Having built a robust framework, LL could now afford to recreate a cafe in the main square of the fora for residents to meet, play chess, relax and chat about the world at large. It took a year, but it was a job well done.