For almost a decade, I have been working with software; usually software that would run on the desktop and would be used by ordinary office users. For the biggest part of these years, I have been an active member of several online communities for this software.
As in any software oriented community, there often was a lot of discussion. Feature requests, the user interface, stability, strategic directions, and more, were discussed amongst peers and (intensely I might add) with those responsible - IBM in this case. There was always room for dissent, other voices, differing opinions - but we stayed within certain boundaries: we'd keep it polite, focused on the business, and we'd keep in mind that we all had the same goal.
For over a year now I have been reading blog items and responses concerning Second Life. One of the things that's really wearing me down, is the incessant bitching that can be found in certain parts of the SL userbase. Whatever Linden Labs does or doesn't, there's always complaints - usually quite vitriolic, and there's no boundaries to the ignorance or malice that will be ascribed to Linden Labs.
Either someone is complaining about ancient graphics, or someone is complaining about Windlights' greed for grapics computing power, is only about 'pretty' - or how a skin doesn't look perfect in it.
Either someone is complaining about how SL is only about sex, or someone else is complaining about how LL limits their ability to play out every (weird, strange or possibly illegal) slex fantasy someone can come up with.
Either someone is complaining about how LL suffocates freedom in SL by instituting more and more rules, or someone else is complaining about how the lack of law enforcement or oversight enables fraudsters to steal thousands of Lindens from gullible residents.
Linden Labs always communicates too late, too early, not explicit enough, too explicit, at the wrong location, to the wrong people, didn't invite the right people, invited everyone but meeee, doesn't care about Second Life they only care about ... On and on it goes, often in the comments to blogpost at Second Life as well.
You know, it's entirely possible that one of these complaints is justified, that LL is making big mistakes here or there (and possibly here *and* there). But the high, pitched sound of endless whining drowns out any meaningful debate there could be had in public. Stop it already!