Shortly after taking the job as LL's new CEO, Ebbe Altberg (aka Ebbe Linden) had a meeting with some representants of the SL press yesterday.
So far he makes a good impression on me. Especially since he knew SL before from the user-perspective before joining LL. He explicitly pointed out its "high learning curve" for newbies. Something he definitely needs to address to meet his long term goal of making it more attractive to broader masses.
A pretty welcome - and frankly quite necessary - approach if you ask me. The big challenge for LL will be to keep the balance between being too simple and overly complex. On one hand, the complexicty of SL allows content creators to play with a wide range of possiblities but on the other hand, the complexity is also what is overwhelming new users.
After all its not facebook where 90% of the interaction is limited on hitting that poor "like" button and I certainly won't like a "Facebook 3D".
Ebbe also talked enthusiastically about the richness of user-generated content, new groundbreaking VR technologies like Oculus Rift, neccessary changes in LL's internal structures to make it work more efficiently - all in all pretty good points he made. He seems to be aware of SL's possibilities and its shortcomings.
I think the former CEO, Rodvik Linden, did a good job in addressing the technical issues SL's had. Making the grid faster, more stable and introducing interesting new technologies (just mentioning meshes here). Very important improvements which were simply overdue. Sadly they didnt increase the number of users and the amount of sims on the grid did even decline. And I think these will be the figures LL's new CEO will be judged for.
Fingers crossed that Ebbe can reach the goals he set. Its certainly an ambitious project leading SL from the niche where it is now into reaching the masses. But if you ask me - the potential is there.
Sources (in alphabetic order):
Daniel Voyager's Blog
Echt Virtuell (German)
Living in a Modem World
New World Notes
Yo Jardley's Second Life