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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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I'm reminded that Blackboard provided educators with a kind of kick-in-the-pants as well, and I think part of the result was the advent of open-source Moodle as a viable alternative. IMO for educators, open-source makes a lot of sense. I'm not sure about the status of Open Sim and Croquet, but such alternatives (assuming they are or might one day be alternatives to SL) may get a boost from this kick from LL.

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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

You are making a handful of merchants having a hissy fit into something that didn't actually happen.

Other grids are dead to merchants, no economy for the most part and opensim has zero protections for IP. We all looked at other opportunities and will continue to - we're merchants! However, we're all still here, trading away, miserable as sin about the new marketplace but still working hard. Sure some might do things on other platforms but right now everything else is secondary to what happens on this one.

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In clear, what exactly will cost more... for a change ? Mainlands? Homestead? Island? All of the above? Darn, cant we have FUN with a fiew L$ and play to ' i have a business.... i have a land to help others... i have a club to have fun with others without having to work RL to pay our land here? ( yeah i know i am a LITTLE bit exagerating lol but still God..)

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Lorraine, did you attend the meeting at Rockcliffe today?

One point that was made among many good ones is that we can organize ways to share land resources to keep our projects going while we regroup over the next 12 - 18 months.  I bet there is room for the conference you mention somewhere.  I bet someone has room for your classes on a time share basis.

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Dear LL,

I'm curious to know why after all these comments there is no reply from you all? (perhaps in my reading every comment i missed one)

Also, is there a reason you make these announcements and have comments open? Just curious. I know in the past you have changed based on "how many comments" come in, however that doesn't create good will at ALL. I'm confused at your approach.

If your desicions or some of them are made to get "feedback" it could promote a lot of good will to do that first.

Anyway I'm perplexed at this new descision for the NP's but am happy my tiers are staying the same so thank you for that. I know not many people have said thanks for keeping them the same but I am really thankful for that.

Best,

Callie Cline

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Wow, what a shock! I'm afraid that Linden Labs is building it's own coffin! So many reasons for big business and educational people to up and leave. I hate to even think it, but this could be the start of SL going down hill fast. How many non profits and educational institutions are present in world? How many would be willing to pay double? Judging by what I've read here today, not many. Roughly estimting numbers here (and making up my own ;p) Let's say there are 500 sims here who are non profit/school status:

Assuming their discounted tier is 150 or so per month which is 75,000 cumulative.

Let's say 1/4 of them stay to pay full price: You are now making 37,500 Per month.

3/4 left SL so you just lost 112,000 at your new price which leaves your profit at -75,000.

Keeping at the same price would have you in the green by that amount vs Red.

Of course, I'm just a RL business person who likes to see green as much as the next. Granted I don't know what your overhead is, nor how much a server costs you. But it seems that someone is finding a short term solution that may make a long term problem. Take into mind that the above figures are only for a month. Do the math and see those numbers for a year.

Hey, but I'll still be here! ;p

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I am with Callie on part of her question ... if you have no plans to engage in a discussion, why enable comments for the blog? I see plenty of their blogs where comments are disabled. When that is the case, conversation moves to the forums.

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Galileo, not sure what you mean by "get real". This is a real problem, affecting real people. Please IM me in SL and I will be happy to show you what our University stands to lose.

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Thanks so much Nany. The conference space... well it may be needed and thanks. OTOH, two of my projects are a 1950s and a 1930s simulation, complete retro towns that are the sites for two American Studies undergraduate courses. These were developed so the students can experience the sights, sounds, art, architecture and culture  of those eras, role-play what it was like to live back then, and talk about the things that people of those days were  concerned about. You can look up my profile to find them on my picks. I was fortunate that my old friend and colleague Aedann at NC Education  loaned me 2000 prims each to make these towns, and they are getting good  use (the 50s town is in its third successful semester).  Those kinds of  projects would be difficult to find space for if their current sims  were no longer funded.

Also the Nursing sim I am designing (also on my picks) has a hospital starting up, and wants a full simulation of a nursing home so the nursing students can practice and role-play, and these projects will be very primmy. We also want to do a re-creation of a historical hospital as well, as part of our Florence Nightingale Nursing Museum. In other words, the educational sims I design per educators specifications are really customized. If they were just classes in classrooms it would be easier. I may just let these courses use a platform on my own sim if needed, I am prepared to do that, rather than let these projects die. Other than that we may need to try another grid though it won't (yet) have any where near the variety of resources to choose from. The faculty and I have come too far and worked too hard, and we believe in these projects as effective ways to provide hands-on, experiential and immersive learning.

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True Herman, we ditched Blackboard for Moodle ourselves at UNCC. Good point, it just may boost things as you say, and thanks :-). It will take awhile though, these other grids have a long way to go, and a poverty of nice builds and animations will impact the quality of our efforts. But if we have to rough it to keep our projects going, so be it.

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"Other grids are dead to merchants, no economy for the most part and opensim has zero protections for IP."

Not really sure. To me the Hypergrid conception offers different opprtunities for creators but simple object creation as in SL. This will be professionalised by LL anyway, mesh is only the first step into this direction. Sooner or later you´ll see licenses and a selected few doing all the work for LL. It´s only logical.

The basics of the recent SL "merchant" economy is tier. The tier is HIGH, and ou need some server space for display and creation, renting satellite vendor space is expensive, everything is. So, as a merchant or content creator you are forced to cover your rental expenses FIRST, before you can think of profitability.  Only a few out of the many, many content creators in SL make enough money to call it "RL income", most cover their tier and advertisement expenses and reinvest a good share of their revenue into some kind of SL lifestyle, by purchasing other creator´s products. This is a very expensive business.

The Hypergrid is much cheaper. You can get a full sim for 20 dollars, no set up fees. As a result you can sell for much lower prices than in SL to cover expenses. IP protection of virtual goods is a nice thing, but isn´t it a bit off track to prohibit someone to resell, replicate or copy an object he or she paid for? After all this was a PURCHASE, not a steal. So, i do not really mind about the non existing "economy" on the Hypergrid. It offers a very different, but not less attractive opportunity: World creation, communications design, creating complete interactive worlds, not simple objects. Set up a working environment, use your imagination for something nice and rent or sell it as custom work. The SL "economy" will still do well somehow, but in the long run Hypergrid will succeed as well, only on a different level.

I think that when edu and non-profit will move, and they WILL move now, anyone with enough guts and skills could do a great first step into a rewarding market for world building, at comparably minimal costs. Maybe we as content creators are just a bit lazy and used to some kind of "IP protection" which is not really "IP protection" but protectionism of a sales model which reduces the customer to a milk cow with minimal rights to use our creations. Sure, we are forced to act like this here in SL because of the tiers LL charges. But this does not make it a better or more fair method.

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IP protection of virtual goods is a nice thing, but isn´t it a bit off track to prohibit someone to resell, replicate or copy an object he or she paid for? After all this was a PURCHASE, not a steal.

You're kidding right? Where are you from? Some third world communist country?

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Lorraine, by describing your project, I hope you will be pleasantly surprised by someone stepping forward to work with you.  Especially where we have goals that overlap, educators and non-profits may be able to put some idle prims to work for each other to our mutual benefit.

For example, one that came to mind as you were describing your projects is the University of New Mexico which has a full sim neighboring mine devoted to medical education.

There are sure to be many educational projects that will want to find ways to share the burden of their increased costs while they regroup.  We need some kind of "bulletin board" to communicate who needs what and who has what to offer.  We need to do it quickly to limit the amount of damage.

 

 

 

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

I totally agree. LL#s move is a futher step into the shiny world of pure consumer orientation. The loss they risk with losing edu and non-profit is a well calculated one. And they obviously STILL think they are the only game in town, and that a good share of the edus will stay in SL because they fear change. Or - basically - accept the trap LL built for ALL of us by denying full backups and exports of inventories.

But LL isn´t the only player in town anymore. It only needs some skilled people in tech and content creation to ease the change for a reasonable price. It would not even really harm LL in their obvious plan of focussing on the pure consumer market. But it would open up a valuable alternative, a connected edu and non-profit network on the hypergrid where the ones who run it have FULL control and do not rely on Linden Lab anymore.

Imagine the teen merger will come, some 16 years old boy will watch pixel replication on the neighboring mature sim, and some lawyer will record this. Or Disney will sue LL for the 5000 mesh Donalds. Or whatever. Everyone would be hurt, edu, non-edu, profit, non-profit. LL in their universal claim are extremely vulnerable. Hypergrid will solve this problem. I#f one sim goes down cause of legal or technical or financial problems, the rest will stay untouched. Sure, it might be some work to run a kind of governement for a Hypergrid Section as an educator. But, honestly, does Linden Lab NOT already let sim owners do Linden Lab jobs?

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Nany thanks again, please friend me in SL and lets do talk. Would love to see your project and University of New Mexico. Collaboration would probably really benefit the students too.

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"IP  protection of virtual goods is a nice thing, but isn´t it a bit off  track to prohibit someone to resell, replicate or copy an object he or  she paid for? After all this was a PURCHASE, not a steal.

You're kidding right? Where are you from? Some third world communist country?"

Listen, fool. When Getty sells me a picture DVD, which i use for producing a flyer, my clients will reproduce these pictures 10,000 times.

Do you call Getty a communist?

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Oh... I am sure you're making no negative implications with your post Dekka. Though it relates tangentially to this topic, the issue of age restriction and preventing minors from accessing adult content is probably a little more suited for another forum. But I spend the better part of my day, every day in here and have for 3 and a half years, and I don't want my almost 16 year old daughter in SL, at least as it is now. And it would take me a lot of convincing it could be made safe. I don't run into overt porno either. But when someone brings in their mostly nude "pet" (human) on a leash into a PG mall and they are actively roleplaying a master-servant bond, complete with verbally describing every boot-licking action in public as they shop, or worse yet, if she was to receive some lewd comments or solicitations by an adult male, call me crazy but I really don't like that possibility.

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The basics of the recent SL "merchant" economy is tier. The tier is HIGH, and ou need some server space for display and creation, renting satellite vendor space is expensive, everything is. So, as a merchant or content creator you are forced to cover your rental expenses FIRST, before you can think of profitability.  Only a few out of the many, many content creators in SL make enough money to call it "RL income", most cover their tier and advertisement expenses and reinvest a good share of their revenue into some kind of SL lifestyle, by purchasing other creator´s products. This is a very expensive business.

Tier is the least expensive part of running a business in SL. If you are just in business in SL to fund your SL, you are not in business. you have a hobby. The litmus test for a business is paying actual wages and once you start doing that you will find Tier is a drop in the ocean.

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"IP  protection of virtual goods is a nice thing, but isn´t it a bit off  track to prohibit someone to resell, replicate or copy an object he or  she paid for? After all this was a PURCHASE, not a steal.

You're kidding right? Where are you from? Some third world communist country?"

Listen, fool. When Getty sells me a picture DVD, which i use for producing a flyer, my clients will reproduce these pictures 10,000 times.

Do you call Getty a communist?

Ownership vs Licensing .. All virtual goods are licensed, that requires IP protection.

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