Former Linden Lab CTO relocates to USC Annenberg

A few weeks back there was a lot of buzz in Second Life surrounding the reported departure of Cory Ondrejka from parent company Linden Lab. Ondrejka, Linden Lab's CTO and the architect of the virtual world's technical infrastructure, left after "irreconcilable" differences with Linden Lab CEO Philip Rosedale, according to an email allegedly written by Rosedale and republished in the Massively blog.

Ondrejka has indeed moved on to new pastures. Wagner James Au has noted the appearance of a new blog that was recently created by Ondrejka. The first entry, posted on Friday, describes the end of his employment at Linden Lab:

After 7 years, I no longer work at Linden Lab. It was surreal to get home last week and see myself on the television while carrying a banker's box of stuff from work, but all good things come to an end. Lot's of different writers have already weighed in on my departure and really I don't have anything more to say. Linden has great people working on an amazing product. I wish them all well.

Yesterday, he revealed the next stage in his career: Lots of speaking and writing, and taking up a position as visiting professor at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California:

Along with the Berkman Center at Harvard and the Institute for Information Law and Policy at NYLS, Annenberg has been a regular source of knowledge and debate. So, I was excited when Annenberg asked me to co-teach a class back in August. I was originally planning to only spend one evening a week in LA, but now that I am no longer working at Linden, I may spend a bit more time at USC.

The class I am teaching is part of the Charles Annenberg Weingarten Program on Online Communities, an intensive 1 year Master's Program that pulls together a gifted cohort of students and a great mix of professors. As the class progresses, I will definitely be writing more about it.

Ondrejka has already started writing. He has a chapter entitled "Education Unleashed" in a new book published by the MIT Press, and an article in the journal Innovations: Technology | Governance | Globalization.

And, if he has some spare cycles, I know of another virtual world that could use some of his know-how right now ...

Related Commentary by Ian Lamont:

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