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Two Important Updates on 2011 Land Pricing

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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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Cierra, I appreciate your idea, but I am afraid that charging will limit the volume of attendees and presenters, negatively impact the sharing spirit of our conference and minimize the level of positive outreach that we have been able to achieve. Most online educaional conferences do not charge for this reason. And if we continue to limit BOTH RL and SL conferences due to budget constraints, we will swiftly run out of ways for educators to share their ideas, challenges and best practices.

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Adding stuff for sale or income into a non-profit presence needs to be very specific and tracked and researched and reviewed and managed and administered and handled.

If I already have a hard time convincing the folks that manage the purse strings (on a VERY TINY purse) that 'virtual worlds' are an important technology to be involved in and learn and cultivate, then I don't know how I am going to suddly convince them to spend more money for the sim AND the money and man hours to manage the legal and accounting redtape of initiating new projects to try to offset the cost.

I'm not trying to whine (like others have said before me) but it's not as simple as it would be for my personal av to just set aside a parcel and say okay, this is for rental now. Or even to set up a little gift shop and sell stuff from my land. It really is a huge undertaking to initiate that sort of additional project. And I certainly couldn't do it in 3 months time.

Trust me, I don't want to leave. But I really REALLY don't know how I am going to explain this to my boss when I get called to the carpet for it.

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I always wondered, if I promise not to make a profit, could I apply for LL funding to buy me a sim?

I pay a full price for my activities, in a way, I'm funding the ones that don't make a profit. Do I want to? What would be my benefit? What would be the benefit for the Second Life community? Do we grow future residents? Do we grow future developers to make Second Life even more awesome? Is it worth it?

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To Kay and Lorraine, I guess I was just trying to show that there are things you can do, but it seems you are looking for excuses, not solutions.

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Hello Tayren..

Honestly the same way I do... teaching is done from the heart is something a person is devoted to and feels in their soul they make a difference not the pocket book. In my profession in the real world I pay for all i do.. if I wanted to teach people to raise cattle and run a farm and felt it was something that could be done effectively on line I would pay for it myself because in my heart and soul I do believe in what i do. However I am also smart enough to know this is not the venue for it for it because a person needs to feel the soil see the soil and know what is needed for it same with cattle on line you can not teach a person how to take care of them look and see what is making it sick or that it needs something. However it can show pictures of breeds of cattle and make outlines abt each breed as well as possible crops and crop rotation. Once again I come back to... there is nothing better to learn in t hen real feel, touch smell... something we can not do here in any virtual world.

I feel each case is different but not all treated equal... I am positive from my journeys many are.. have you ever heard one or a few bad apples spoils the barrel and in this case it is happening. I am again sorry it has happened but that is LL for you .. after 5 years I have learned this lesson the hard way. I love SL but I know it is not perfect by any means. Btw... the abuse has always been there much like the under aged kids on the grid now. I am not the only person to speak of it in this thread either please read others comments.

As for education please reread what I said those funds should go to.. again.. teach kids in the real world. Go to a neighborhood where it poverty is normal.... do you really think those kids care abt Sl or on line as much as a pencil and notebook paper for them to be able to do their school work on. Take that money and help them they really need it for their education. If a person can afford a computer and internet chances are they can research anything offered on the net much less Sl. However that kid I was talking abt that goes to bed tonight with no paper or pencil and has to face his or her teacher the next day in class and doesn't have their work done like everyone else.. explain to that kid why this is more important ….

Show me a passionate educator that will dig into his or her pockets to finance Sl and I will show you a person I will respect for showing that they truly are an “educator” and are wanting to teach for the right reasons... remember I finance my SL and I am passionate abt what I do here. However I pay for it because I do love my SL. To me this is the time we see the true “educators” for who and what they are... So I ask which of you educators are truly passionate abt what you are doing.. show Lindens the green and stay here and teach the kids and those of us that want to learn more …

Keep in mind SL is a business that does not have to give anything for free or reduced price. When I joined we all paid to play.... So please every educator here and non profit prove me wrong.. I have been here 5 years and will be here longer.. show me your passion for what you do in SL...prove me wrong..

However I will bet a lot of “educators” are as passionate as the pockets of the schools are deep. Please show me the educator and non profit passion after this has happened and life here is equal I am excited to learn!

BTW I measure by that kid in poverty who is failing in the educational system that the  non profits overlooked or had no funding to  help them with you know the one the educators think are losers and   riff raff and are never prepared for  class… how do you measure the good that kid is receiving here in SL... tell me where is the return for them?

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dissapointing, but thats what I come to expect from LL.

I also expect to see many more good organizations leave for greener pastures.

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Vick asked, very reasonably,

"I always wondered, if I promise not to make a profit, could I apply for LL funding to buy me a sim?"

No, Vick. You now have it all backwards! But if you become a land-baron, you will still get a nice discount:

http://regentestatessl.com/wordpress/?p=61

Tateru Nino reveals what is likely to happen:

http://dwellonit.taterunino.net/2010/10/06/bikini-season/

Plan B time, folks who are NOT educators or non-profits. What will YOU do if LL sells out to someone who wants to gut the product and could care less for your little pixelized life?

Many of us in the non-profit sector saw this coming and have been exploring our options. Now the exodus is here.

God bless you all. You'll need that as we leave you to the tender mercies of Linden Lab. If you own one or two sims and suddenly find your tier jacked up (by Jumpin' Jack Linden) in the near future.

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I always wondered, if I promise not to make a profit, could I apply for LL funding to buy me a sim?

LOL...good one Vick :-)  I have a sim that I have developed and it has a few Irish cottage rentals. I have always run a loss on it. It used to be a homestead, but I had it converted to a full sim so the residents could have more prims. Some would say I should get rid of it since I lose money on it, but the residents love it there...it really is a very special place in SL. It is open for everyone to enjoy. I will never give up that sim.

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well, as I mentioned in my previous post, we are brainstorming. Everyone is reviewing their needs, I'm sure, and assessing their situations. But, you know, we're worried, too, so we comment here to worry and sympathize and offer support to each other. Like a community.

Plus, I'm sorry to say, I'm betting we're all multi-tasking as well. I know for myself SL is only a very small part of my day job. I have LOTS of real life projects and responsibilities for my job as well. SL is something that I care about, though, and a place and tool that I believe in very much.

I do appreciate your ideas, Cierra, I really do. It helps.

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Bluesky, Lorraine, I just found out the answer to this Q:

"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."

Our island will close in January for this exact reason. Well, there goes LL's $150 per month from us.

Upshot: I've got a whole region on a Reaction Grid-hosted private grid that I'll use for less than $20 per month. I'll pay out of pocket and rebuild our simulation there for future classes.  And I can back up all my data locally and put it on other OpenSim grids if needed.

Educators remember who shafts us. We won't be back.

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Byebye Lindens. Thanks for giving us the last kick to get our servers running 24/7.

We actually dont need your arrogance to make clear - its the users only who have shown creativity for a very long time, and will continue to do so: somewhere in open freeland.

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Are you trying to hasten the exodus to OpenSim?

It sure seems like it!  There was already an exodus last April primarily among SL merchants due to the direction it seemed like LL was headed in this community that was worrisome to merchants.

The above fall generally into three categories:

1.  Merchants who are still in SL but have established "sister" businesses on another grid so if the economy/business plummets in SL, they are already known, established and operating elsewhere.

2.  Merchants who sold the majority of their land (some owning many estates) and keep just a bare minimum of their business in SL while establishing and operating primarily from another grid.

3.  Merchants who packed up shop altogether, sold all their land and are 100% in another grid.

Note:  A great many of these merchants are large, well-known, well-establish, familiar "names" in SL as well as smaller merchants and those new residents to another grid who are opening businesses for the first time.

Add in the circle of friends, acquaintances, and customers of the above and more people are checking out other "worlds."  Some will go and return to SL, others will have "duel-citizenships" (spend time in both places) and others will make friends and decide to stay there.

With the apparent economic climate of LL, now targeting yet another group of residents does not, in my opinion, seem like a wise business move.

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Educators (schools and universities) aren't the only organizations affected by this. Others include:

- Museums like The Tech Museum of Innovation and the Frank Lloyd Wright Museum in SL

- Government agencies like NASA and NOAA

- Libraries

- Relay for Life (the American Cancer Society)

- Virtual Ability

- Advocacy organizations like the National Space Society

Good point, Troy.  It also affects the religious community on SL. My own home church within SL just received recognition as part of the denomination's church community within RL, which took quite awhile to go through the various processes involved.

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Get real?

Yes, get real and leave a Service Provider that doesnt serve but kick on you to pay what you dont find worthwile.

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Thank you for this humble and beautiful post.  I appreciate and accept it in the spirit it was offered.  I will save this post, as I continue this journey with Virtual Ability, as we continue to process and make decisions on how to proceed.  While I appreciate all of the sentiment, and the kindness with which it was bestowed (yes, a gift is how I see this post, a timely reminder of exactly what the purpose is) I also think of some of our clients that pass our way, or come to stay, when they arrive in SL for the first time, on Virtual Ablility Island.  Sometimes, they can walk, or type or move their mouse.  Sometimes, they cannot, and depend on us to find a way, to dig into the technology available to us, to help them learn to function.  The joy of a young woman, when, after spending time with Gentle Heron and a few others,  she is able to finally position her avatar on a dance ball, and dances for the first time, ever, in ANY life, is something to behold.  To see her type 'ty, ty', over and over again because she is so happy and thrilled and has never had so much fun (no wonder, as she is bed bound and types with a stick velcroed to her wrist.)  To help her prepare her very own 'place', an apartment in SL in a building owned and operated by Virtual Ability, when she has never had anything of her own in the past, ever and here, she can say what goes on the walls, she can be in charge of her own place, because you see, there is NOTHING wrong with this person's mind.  It's a perfectly strong mind, trapped in an uncooperative and frozen body.  This person has taught me a few things and I am supposedly 'normal' albeit deaf.........I have a huge respect for them and am glad that Virtual Ability was there and able to help make this person's day and allow them to have a SL.  If we had not been there, there might have been in initial log in but after finding no one to help, no one who cared about the issues, who maybe didn't even see or understand the issues and just expects you to start clicking and functioning and navigating, I doubt if this person would have been back.  This person is important to me, in Second Life; as is every single person in the Virtual Ability group, they all bring a special something, and are precious people.  I am not an educator in RL.  I am a professional in a different field, not education, and because of my own deafness, I have had to learn some tricks myself, to function and navigate through life because I too, am always teaching people that deaf doesn't equal stupid.  And so, I have an affinity for others out there with difficulties.  There are all kinds of difficulties, and while Angel has shown one side, from an educator's point of view, I Hope I have given you a glimpse into the world of a bright mind trapped in a body that needs help to do what you and I do without even thinking.  This is what SL means to me.  There's no gaming, no role playing, just the incredible joy of helping someone to 'get it', even for the short time they're logged in.  That's my story and why I keep on keeping on, and why I care.  I"m an advocate and in my own way, a teacher, too.  Thanks again Angel, for the timely post.

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I think it's a pretty big leap to assume that any of the education or non-profit folks are letting their RL responsibilities slip in exchange for SL. I don't know any Librarians in SL that aren't taking care of their own home-grown patrons before dealing with anything in SL. Also, with the educators that use SL to do distance learning, those people ARE their RL customers and students.

And, truthfully, most of the educators and librarians and other non-profit folk I know in SL are ALREADY using their own time and resources to do their work in SL. I know I usually do my work in my own off hours, pretty much counting my time down as volunteer to a cause I believe in.

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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.

Yes i agree and I think if you will reread my comments it was not directed at ALL educators nor ALL non profits.


ummm... Report them?

no because  after this happens they will be  gone or paying   like we are all paying.

 


Sorry, Angel... I don' t know where you live but the cows around here are already lean and near starving.

Then I suggest you get it off line and feed them in real.. meaning get this money spent here to kids... or adults that are in need. Btw i raise cattle and grow wheat and soybeans in real and sometimes cotton.. my cattle are fat and healthy.. but again is a real world thing for me I still believe in real.. don't you


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.

Show me a passionate educator that will dig into his or her pockets to finance Sl and I will show you a person I will respect for showing that they truly are an “educator” and are wanting to teach for the right reasons...


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.

Thank you for just being shocked... however there are more people like me... scarry huh We expect the educators and non profit organizations to educate and in these lean times not waste resources.. to give this money to people not spend it like this. After all in real I do donate money to a few and did not realize they are wasting funding and donations in SL.

I in no way feel this is fair except for the few that messed it up for the many and I do stand by what I have written...I do not want to repeat abt the kid in poverty but read it and tell me where is that kid gaining by all this.. she or he isn't....use this money and make a difference in the real world to a real kid who really needs it...after all for the adult or the kid in poverty you cant help them from SL nor educate them from SL they don't have a computer nor a connection because there is no money for that extra privilege in life that all of us have in SL have and never think twice about.

sorry i forgot to respond to this so i am adding it:

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.

well I t hink that is  great and i  hope  I will see you  doing what you truly love in SL  edcucating and  continuing in a non profit organization if thats what you are into.  I know i  hope you  continue on this giving path you are on and  do not flee. Actually i am not sure why you  said that even.. but congrats for tipping and helping and i am sure you will stay becasue you  arenot part of what  LL  has  chosen to cut out.

My best to you in the  future in SL

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Cierra, as I said I really do appreciate your suggestions. I know you are trying to help (unlike some here  that simply criticise us "whiners" without offering new ideas). But I know the "powers that be" at my university - I've been working under them for 10 years.  I know their thinking. This move will say to them "time to leave". I just feel like crying. Sorry, but 3 years of my effort as instructional designer to make a difference in the courses I am helping with? Out the window. Students saying what a difference this effort made in their understanding of their subject? Gone. Educator conference??? - future uncertain.

Sigh.

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What a shame. We are a large NSF-funded educational Consortium that just spent considerable money having an island developed. I had difficulty persuading the other board members that this was money well-spent and had benefits not only to our members but to the public at large. My college is now soliciting to have its island sold as it will not be able to afford to continue and I'm looking to determine the feasibility of porting our Consortium's content over to another platform. I can't really justify the increase in taxpayer dollars to fund our SL island at such an early stage of its lifecycle. If we were already a massively popular site, then perhaps we could pass along some fees to help maintain it - but we are have just started and are trying to grow our presence. Oh well...off with the old, on with the new!!!

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You know Lorraine, I have been in SL for nearly 4 years now and I have been all over the place on a weekly basis, it used to be daily, but I travel about less now, but i can honestly say I have only once landed in a place that made me fell like I was watching porn and that was before Zindra and adult restrictions, I have long ago assumed that people who come across porn so often in SL are the same people who used to open all those porn spam emails that one used to get (do people still get them?), but those who are not seeking it, never come across it.

Not that I am saying your one of those people though.

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You  know I  have been  to your land.  and i was completely impressed...  I was there a few months or so ago. In fact  i got my mom in real  brought her to the  computer to view it.  You are  an inspiration  to  people and touched my heart and   never even  knew it.  You are the reason that i feel sorry  abt LL decision and i am  hoping  if people will dig in their pockets deeply and donate that  you leaving can be avoided.  I did  send  you a  ittle seed money please  keep it back  for a  day  you  need it  here so you  do  not leave Sl.  Again  you are a person i  can only hope to ever be like and if i did at all  bother you please except my appology as it was not  directed at the ones  who make a  difference . You   give your  time and money and you work with your heart and soul.. t his is what imean and i always meant  when the heart and soul is involved everything  is good!    I know  there is a heaven and you  will have many  stars in your  crown...you are a inspriration to us all!

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As for education please reread what I said those funds should go to.. again.. teach kids in the real world. Go to a neighborhood where it poverty is normal.... do you really think those kids care abt Sl or on line as much as a pencil and notebook paper for them to be able to do their school work on. Take that money and help them they really need it for their education.


The world isn't run with pencils and paper anymore.  It's run by computers.  And those kids in a neighborhood where poverty is "normal" are going to need to learn how to work with 21st century technology, not 19th century technology, to make it in this world.


If a person can afford a computer and internet chances are they can research anything offered on the net much less Sl.

Again... no... The Internet is a vast warehouse of information.  Learning how to wend one's way through it effectively has to be taught/learned.  You just can't sit someone down in front of a computer, bring up Google and say, "There you go!," and walk away.  I work in a library in RL and have spent time helping people use the Internet as a tool... a tool that has to be taught like most any other tool.  I've also set up blogs, email lists and websites where we instruct people on online resources or even provide online resources.  It's work... helping people learn how to help themselves.  The same is true of virtual reality.


Keep in mind SL is a business that does not have to give anything for free or reduced price. When I joined we all paid to play.... So please every educator here and non profit prove me wrong.. I have been here 5 years and will be here longer.. show me your passion for what you do in SL...prove me wrong..

My wife and I have spent a lot of our own money in SL in the over four years we've been here and much of it has gone into those "fat cow" nonprofits we spend our free time volunteering in (not work time... our free time)... not play.  I have a passion for what I do here that would knock your socks off... and it's grounded in a belief that virtual reality holds a key to reaching the hitherto unreached in many places and on many levels,if not now, down the road.

And back to wasting money on SL while poor kids go without paper and pencils... Many years ago in Kansas the Cooperative Extension Service started a novel approach to educating Kansans on hygiene, healthy eating, better agricultural practices, home economics, etc.  The Cooperative Extension started broadcasting programs on this new fangled contraption called a radio.  The programs covered the same topics available on printed pamphlets.  It was a risk... and it cost money.  They were criticized by many who thought they should be using this money more wisely.  But as home ownership of radios increased the listening audience grew the critics were silenced.

Educators, libraries and other nonprofits in virtual reality.... it's risky.  But if people don't take risks like this, with the money to back it up, we'll eventually be up a creek without a pencil... errrr.. paddle.

Sure... the Lindens will most likely raise their prices and many nonprofits will have to leave... and some of you have turned out to wave them off with braying bands and taunts.  No worries... the passionate ones will find new venues and flouish elsewhere... maybe not for a while... Sadly the progress of many will be stopped at least for a while.  But flourish they will because they believe in what they are doing.

It's gonna take more than paper and pencils to lead kids and adults into the 21st century.  Yes, it will take people with passion (and compassion)...but it will also take computer technology, money and risks.   Virtual reality is one of those risks.

We're just beginning to talk about what we might do about the tier increases on the sims where I volunteer... where I am passionate about what I do.  Similar discussions are going on on other nonprofit sims too I'm sure.   Whatever we do we will do it partly with that kid without the pencil and paper in mind as well as many others.  And some day, when that kid is grown and working on some cooperative experiment in a 3-D setting in a virtual lab with other researchers from around the world he will have all those risk takers to thank who paved the way for him to be there.

Cutting back or leaving we'll still be around.

And once again, the opinions expressed here are my own, not necessarily shared by the organizations I work/volunteer with.

Rocky Vallejo
Community Virtual Library

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Quick comments...

I totally support what Rocky Vallejo and Rachel Darling have stated.  I've known and worked with Rocky for > 4 years, and he has been one of the key folks driving the Info Island Archipelago.  Rachel is a very successful content creator, with excellent business acumen.

Vivienne and I mostly agree on this (but dont get her started on Mesh, oy!).  Don't think for a moment that either of us are standing still

To those of you who dont "get" the idea of educational discounts, let me just mention a few companies that are very good in this area:

Apple, Adobe, and Autodesk.   And that's just a few of the A's.

If you slap the hands of Educators, eventually you will end up in Detention.

This is frustrating for many at the moment, but, it is a Trigger Event, and it will actually lead to a lot of Opportunity.

On twitter I am @JavaJoint  -- I'm working on a blog post that explains what I mean, and I will follow up there within the next day.

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