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Two Important Updates on 2011 Land Pricing


Nelson Linden

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In February of this year, we shared our 2010 land pricing plan where we discussed pricing and policies for private regions and  addressed grandfathering, transfers, and retail pricing. In the spirit  of giving you as much advance notice as possible about changes that may have an impact on your plans and budgets, here are two important updates on 2011  pricing:

1) All retail private region maintenance, including grandfathered pricing, is expected to continue without increase through Dec. 31, 2011. 
What you pay now, as a retail customer, is what you’ll continue to pay through the end of 2011.

2) We will adjust how education and non-profit advantages are provided, effective Jan. 1, 2011.  
All  education and non-profit private regions of any type, purchased after Dec. 31, 2010, will be invoiced at standard (i.e. non-discounted) pricing.  All currently discounted renewals which occur after Dec. 31, 2010, will be  adjusted to the new price at that time. To continue to provide  entry-level, private spaces to educators just launching their programs,  we will be providing Homestead and Open Space regions to qualifying  organizations without their meeting the retail full-region criterion. Customer Support will be available to answer any questions that you may  have about these changes.

We  hope that these announcements help you effectively plan for the coming  year. And, we’ll continue to update you well in advance of any  additional pricing changes.

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Oct 6, 2010 2:32 AM Marie Resch  says: 

Check out my blog, http://fanciful_muse.livejournal.com .  The other grid I hang out on would be more than happy to accomodate you for much less money and far more advantages.


However many of these virtual worlds if  not the  majority do  not allow people under 18.  Which is  why alot of us are already there and apparently we will see more of the non profit/educational sims there also.  Just  remember they  must be 18  and over.. no  kids allowed.

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When I read this I felt sorry for most of the non profit /educational sim owners. However, a person came to mind that takes advantage of this and used it against many other people that are residents with different opinions.... in short that person terrorized many. Then I read a bit more closely and explored many of these empty sims .. that are empty at all times of day/night or what was on them was clearly profit for them or not even allowed on those “types'” of sims. I saw how many are owned by people that are not really educators nor truly non profit. So, I think for one of the few times in my 5 years in Second Life that LL is doing the only thing they can do.  I do not blame them for cutting the fat off the cow..it was  time a long time ago to do this.  They are not  obligated  to give away or reduce anything.

Now those that truly want to educate can stand by their love of education or belief in a non profit organization. Just as all the reg residents do by paying full price for all we buy.. I know I have for  5 years now and  never thought  twice about it. My belief is we learn in a real world and use the computer for research or enjoyment. Actually when it comes to education that money spent here could be better spent in the real world giving teachers much needed raises or even hiring another teacher assistant or something to help kids. Not blown on a virtual world with no “real” return on the money. Same thing with the  non profit put that money into  furthering your cause in real.

So all you "educators" show us the reg residents that you love what you do.. one wants to educate the kids and has whined over and over on this thread that they are leaving... so I think .. uh huh it was the grant money and you used the kids as a shield. So I think you will all have to suck it up just like we did over allowing teens on the grid.. get over it and enjoy SL. If you truly are "educators" then stay and educate make a difference on line if you  truly  feel the need.. please stop whining. We had to get over so do you.

I don't mean anything I have written here as mean or rude but for petes sake Linden Lab has to make financial cuts. The kids lost their grid and you lost your free or reduced ride and the rest of us are forced to deal with the underage kids and all the other ideas LL comes up with in the future. No one won and no one lost we are changing and growing in SL. So be what you say you are "educators” and educate these kids they will really need you now more then ever don't run away like a little kid on the playground that didn't get their way.

If I  offended anyone so be it .. these are my personal opnions.

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Dear Linden,

Could you tell me what this means: "will be  adjusted to the new price at that time."

Which new pricing?

Is the renewal price the existing contracts the same price as the ones of those who purchase new?

Does an existing customer pay the same price increase as a new customer?

How much do we existing customers and or those who purchase before Dec 31,2010 have to pay from 1 Jan 2011? Can anyone clarify?

rgds Heike

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Although i am thrilled that my own pricing will not be increased i am very very dissapointed on the idea that LL believes that increasing their costs for nonprofit and educational sims is beneficial for them.  I can absolutely predict that 95% of those non-profit educational sims will be gone.  How can you do ths?  

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Thanks NinLil and others at NPC for welcoming non-profits.  I may be in touch with you for Peace Train, depending on what happens at Four Bridges.

Friends, it's been (un)real.  I'll be watching to see what happens with the public grid - having not yet seen a real plan for how it is going to become sustainable (i.e. profitable) for LL, it will be interesting to see what happens.  For my work sim, I'll not renew - part of the benefit of being an educ institution was the fact that we could create events for the public.

I can only imagine that LL is clearing the decks for a merger of some sort.  LL - good luck; I know there are 2 (or more) sides to the story, so hope you don't have to layoff more folks, and I hope you can emerge from all of this with something that retains the possibilities that so many of us saw in the rich toolset you have provided for educators and others.

Cotton

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This is a shame. Penn State will be looking for alternatives ASAP. I'm under ever-increasing pressure to justify the costs of the space - this will kill it for us.

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I do agree to a limited extent.  I am fully aware of the person that you are talking about.  People like that who are clearly playing the system are a huge part of this problem.  I think while we are all pointing the finger at LL, we should also blame these sleazy non-profiteers for the demise that will befall all of the decent honest legitimite non-profit endeavors here as a result of this new policy.  Those vermin have undoubetly played no small part in the "death" of the host.  I am certain if any of us really thought about it, we can think of at least one individual or group that is "playing" the non-profit discount.  Those people need to be blamed in this as well.

As people have said, LL offered the discount, therefore LL needed to make sure that only legitimate non-profits got said discount.  And once that became too much trouble, LL withdrew the discount all together.  They weren't obligated to offer the discount, and they are under no legal obligation to continue it.  And I can't help but smirk at some of LL's biggest bootlickers getting kicked in the nuts by their own beloved masters.

Thing is, not all non-profits deserved this.  The majority of them were just what they claimed to be, some honest well-intentioned hard-working people who really wanted to make a difference.  It sucks for them.  They have worked very hard developing their projects, benefiting all of us in some way or another in the process.  These groups are the very ones that show(ed) that SL was more than just dance clubs and orgy rooms.  They show(ed) the RL what was possible here.  LL enjoys (enjoyed) the benefits of their hard work as much or more than anyone else.  It's a pretty crappy thing that they are doing to them now.  They can do it, but that does not mean that they should.

It would have almost the same effect if LL took a good, hard look at all of the non-profit groups and then make a case-by-case ruling on them and toss out all of the scammers.  They could weed out more than just the one person Angel and myself are thinking of.  Then, they could review the costs of maintaining the discount for who is left and perhaps they could still manage it, or manage some sort of discount in any event.

Problem is, they are in a bind as far as manpower goes.  They can most likely not afford the man-hours to implement something like that any more than they can afford to keep the discount as-is right now.  Also, by simply removing the discount entirely, they can avoid the hassles of justifying who loses the discount and who keeps it.

It makes sense.  It's a bad move IMHO, but it makes sense.

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If there is a plan that unifies the seemingly opposite actions that SL has been engaged in such as using the arts as a marketing tool while driving away the non-profit orgs that host and support the arts and opening the grid to teens to support the work of educators while driving away educators with price hikes, it would be good for all of us if that unifying business plan were shared.  The alternative is to assume chaos. 

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Doggie, couple things... try the Organica trees, far better than Heart (which I used to use till I found Organica) and infinitely copiable.

Also... SL is not a virtual game, it is a virtual world. Though games such as combat can happen in SL, SL itself is not a game. Just reading through this blog you can see how real it is. :-)

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"And I can't help but smirk at some of LL's biggest bootlickers getting kicked in the nuts by their own beloved masters."

Everybody spends one day out of the week in the barrel.  - Boson Smithely, HSN Raging Fancy.

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I am kind of surprised at the nearly universal reaction of the educators and non-profits here. Sure, I realize this is a shock and a major upheaval. Your knee-jerk response is "well, fine..we won't accept this..we're leaving." Not one of you is considering any other options or trying to be innovative in this situation. You have a budget that has been approved. Work within that budget. Consolidate, collaborate, look for ways to bring money into your sims (now that you can), turn your full sims into homesteads, use shared facilities, and on and on. C'mon people...pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get to work. Stop whining and start thinking.

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Cierra:  Work within their budgets how, exactly?  While some places have 4 islands and can cut back to 2, folks who are on the hook for only 1 island cannot just start paying LL half of what LL demands.  How does one pay for only 1/2 an island?

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There are many things they can do. Have that sim converted into a homestead or two. That would give them the same amount of space (or more if they had two homesteads). If they need the number of prims on the full sim, then find someone to share the sim and facilities. They could also rent out some of the facilites for others to use, create spaces for others to rent for events, have items for sale and market them. In other words, start doing things to bring money in to offset the increase.

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Ayla, I do see what you are saying and yes of course bringing children in will take money and resources to police, because right now there are many dangers to children in SL. As Kate says, why bring kids in and then take away the educator discount making it even less kid-friendly and giving the children less options for safe and positive outlets. I am scratching my head.

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When I read this I felt sorry for most of the non profit /educational sim owners. However, a person came to mind that takes advantage of this and used it against many other people that are residents with different opinions.... in short that person terrorized many.

It happens... whether the home base of the antagonist is a personal, commercial or nonprofit sim... these things happen in Second Life as well as real life.  Don't single out nonprofits as if they are representative of this kind of behavior in general.


Then I read a bit more closely and explored many of these empty sims .. that are empty at all times of day/night or what was on them was clearly profit for them or not even allowed on those “types'” of sims.

ummm... Report them?  If a nonprofit blatantly ignores the TOS it should be reported.  As for "empty sims" lo, they are with us always... personal, profit and nonprofit.  As long as the tier is paid and the owner uses the sim for some purpose within the TOS that pleases him/her I see no problem.  And I'm aware of nonprofit sims that are alive and well.


I do not blame them for cutting the fat off the cow..it was  time a long time ago to do this.

During these difficults times when real life libraries, schools and other nonprofits are struggling to entertain, educate, provide guidance and give hope to millions (the use of public libraries in the U.S. has surged upwards within the past few years), while their budgets are being slashed at the same time we hear of fattened cows?  Sorry, Angel... I don' t know where you live but the cows around here are already lean and near starving.



So all you "educators" show us the reg residents that you love what you do

Excuse me, Angel, but I *am* a "reg resident."  I rent personal land that I pay full price for.  I shop and buy objects and services.  I tip DJs, greeters and sites (both profit and nonprofit) that I think are a fantastic visit/experience.  Many, many nonprofit folks are just like me in SL and we have an impact on the SL economy.


educate these kids they will really need you now more then ever don't run away like a little kid on the playground that didn't get their way.

The sims I work on have no problem with the teens coming into Second Life.  We didnt' have to "get over it."  We are changing what we need to do to welcome and help them.  We dont' work with just "kids" either.  We help out anyone who shows up at the reference desk with a question.  We, along with other nonprofits, offer classes to newbies on building and developing themsleves in a virtual setting.  Our resources have been and continue to be open to all residents of Second Life.

The problem lies in money, not soured feelings.  We're not "running away."  If there isn't enough money to pay the rent we will have to leave or cut back...  period.  I sure as heck am not gonna sit and whine about it as much as plan the next step... what good nonprofits have done for years.... continue serving as many people as possible with less money.


If I  offended anyone so be it .. these are my personal opnions.


I'm not offended as much as shocked at some of the blanket stereotypes I've see bandied about here and not just in this message.

Don't judge all nonprofits by a few bad experiences.  Think of what nonprofit workers and volunteers contribute personally to the economy of SL.  We don't all inhabit empty, lifeless sims.  We dont' all gouge the system looking to make a fast buck or push an agenda to hurt others.  Most of us are certainly not fat cows.  We stretch every Linden as far as it will go and then dip into our own pockets to provide the best service we can to others.  We do make a difference in SL in helping people grow virtually as well as in their real lives.  Visit the Virtual Learning Library at Info Island.  Walk through Virtual Ability.  Check out the Learning Curve at Info Island International.   Nonprofits make a difference in Second Life.

Within a few months if things go as planned many of these places will disappear from Second Life.  I don't see it as the Lindens shooting themselves in the foot as much as shooting themselves in the heart, because just like in RL noprofits are more often than not the heart and soul of any place... a helping hand along the virtual way.

What I've written here is my own opinion... I've reread it to make sure I didnt' whine. 

Rocky Vallejo
Community Virtual Library

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I'm echoing Rocky's sentiments a little here, but it's not a matter of us saying "I don't like this policy so I'm leaving in protest." It's the fact of saying "I cannot find the funds in my already very lean budget to continue this project/initiative/service/etc."

I would love to believe that I could continue my sim and the events and information we provide, but I'm fairly certain thee are some big changes in store. Sure, I'm betting that most of us old hands in the non-profit worlds will be getting together in the coming weeks to figure out the best course of action. I know that the library community in SL is already brainstorming and taking stock.

As far as 'bringing money to our sims' that's a dodgy subject for non-profits. Lots of questions involved and certainly some pitfalls when you consider our Real World 501C3 status. This isn't whining, it's a very real legal issue.

One possible option is to scale back land ownership and continue work without paying as much in. This works for us, but certainly doesn't do SL any good.

And while I understand that for some folks SL is a GAME, the non-profits and educators WORKING in SL don't consider it one. We consider it a TOOL. A very powerful and engaging tool capable of some cool and versatile things. I hope that some of us can continue to afford to explore that idea.

And again, I'm a bit at a loss at some of the responses saying we all had it coming or that we're over fat cows, etc. Whether or not our work impacted your specific virtual life, for the most part I like to think it didn't harm you. (after all, I've been to some pretty dead 'profit' or 'rpg' or 'personal' sims. I wasn't aware that busy-ness was the key to justifying your existence) This is not going to help SL. Not culturally, not financially, and certainly not in any sort of marketing/PR standpoint.

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The only eye-opener:  The comments of some of the "educators" posted here

i think it might not be a bad idea for some of them to move on. They should not be educating anyone.

Radein can you please support that statement?

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Lorraine, are those conferences free? If you have them frequently, as you say, you could charge US$10 for each attendee. That would bring in US$5000 for each conference.

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Ignatius, Lorraine - my University administrators will be exactly the same.  I haven't told anyone there about this yet but I know what their answer will be.  I've been quizzed about the costs of SL already this  year and told that with all the cut backs there is no extra money to spend on SL.

By the way I'm not moaning or whining I'm just stating a fact.  Loads of people here keep going on about LL being a business well Higher Education is a business too and a very risk averse industry at that.  Even if we (the educators who belive in learning in VW) provide really good arguments to stay in SL, I think the administrators will just close us down.  It's sad but that, as many of you have pointed out, is what business is all about.

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Since when can non-profits not bring in money to help pay for expenses? Heck, even the Girl Scouts sell cookies.

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Angel, how can educators stay if they cant afford it? They do want to stay, but I doubt most universities will accept the increase.

Also what do you mean about non-profit abuse? I know that LL very carefully researched the legitimacy of each claim of non-profit status. I have seen non educators try to get past this and miserably fail. The invoice and payment MUST be associated with the actual educational or non profit institution and proof is required. And if its true there was abuse of that, I hope it was caught. As far as I know, even RL  professors could not get an educational discount sim on their own, so I  dont see how an abuse so major as you refer to slipped past Linden Labs.

Also... some educational sims (e.g Renaissance Island which is run by Libarians with the aim of educating about the Renaissance period) do sometimes have rental etc to help support their tier (since tier is always a challenge in education). But there is no profit going on whatsoever. If anything, the educators associated with that land give freely of their own time, effort and money when needed. This is often very typical of educators when they feel passionately about something and want to see it succeed. If Renaissance Island was to close, it would be a tragedy.

No real return on the money? Please - how do you measure that?

Also - one more point to a certain concern expressed by others. Educational sims are often "empty" because class generally isn't going on at all  hours of the day and night. They typically have very specific usage times. It does not mean it isn't used.

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