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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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/me nods thoughtfully.  Virtual Ability will not rush headlong into knee-jerk decisions and actions.  How we proceed will be a result of how this all unfolds (more than this past this few days, I mean) and for now, we will continue to do the very best we can for our group.  They come first and any decisions we make for the future will reflect that.  Biding one's time and being watchful, for us, is the prudent thing to do right now.  We will keep abreast of the situation and attend the meetings inworld and keep ourselves apprised without making any abrupt decisions today that may show to have been impulsive, tomorrow.  We know we are in good company with all of you and we are most grateful for our peers and colleagues.

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Well what I see happening is a lot of groups that drew people to SL leaving.  Then The 501c3s helped bring a lot of people to SL that otherwise wouldn't have.  Also a bit tired of paying such a high price for a SIM in SL.  With the economy in the current condition it just isn't right to be charging so much.

I own and operate a RP group in SL and in a couple of other grids.  The price of a SIM at regular cost is back breaking.  For the future I see my RP Group becoming less active in SL and probably migrating to the 3rd Rock Grid or another Grid where I can host a SIM on my own server.

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Rockerduck (any relation to Disco Duck? ;-)),

Thanks for your most sincere wishes of good will. FYI, we are going to TRY and stay in SL for the foreseeable future, because we do enjoy collaborating with many other educational institutions world wide. I can't see how we can have a full conference with hundreds of attendees on another grid, or collaborate with (for example) Virtual Ability, Renaissance Island, NC Education region, Ann Myers Medical Center or any of the other wonderful educational ventures in SL. But an alternative grid MUST be an option if the higher ups reject the SL price increase. We have invested too many years in this and there is too much benefit. Things may be a little "clunky" elsewhere, but it's better than not having a virtual world at all. Being only a doctoral student/part time graduate assistant/instructional support person, I haven't got much say there. I await their decision and will provide alternative suggestions as needed. We are grateful for the kind offers of others to explore and even use their space in SL or other grids, and we'll surely look into that.

BTW, the "fiasco" I am referring to is not necessarily Viewer 2 itself. It was the admitted (by the Lindens themselves) "heads-down" approach they took to its development. They said they failed in listening to their constituents, and they would not make that mistake again. But what are they doing now? We shall see.

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Cierra,

 

A fact that is often overlooked is... TOSs are NOT the law, they are an intent to convey limitations and guidelines to those who would seek refuge under the law. 

I can say that if anyone slips and falls on my front step, it is their problem, I can post a sign and proclaim it to the world, "If YOU slip and fall on this step, forget suing me, because I WILL NOT PAY YOU ANYTHING!"... BUT, this does not in ANY way mean you will not sue me, or that the court will not award you a measure of justifiable payment for whatever it deems.

 

The amount of investment by educational and nonprofit organizations is PROVABLE!... unlike lowly individuals who fudge and move about and shuffle their feet as to how much is paid, who gets told how much is made, where the money comes and goes... most individuals operate in a shadow... edu and nonprofits, do not.  Thus the TOS is a suggestion, more than an edict. 

 

An example is, "what is our content, and what is the actual LL responsibility for it?"  LL says, "NONE!  Nada.  Forget it!".  But they also say, we own our intellectual property.  So, here they proclaim it has value, and yet they say they have no responsibility for either loss, or in the case we are banned, for seizure?

 

Well, the laws in the State of California are not explicit surrounding a ‘server, and the contents stored in that server's hard drives’, BUT! the laws in that state ARE explicit about 'storage for hire units' and what responsibilities and obligations a company who runs one has to the owners of the properties.  A clever lawyer could draw a connection between goods stored in a shed on a company's land, to goods stored in a hard drive on a company's rack.  And those laws, are in place with significant historical precedence. 

 

I think, you might be able to infer at this point that IF a large shift in policy is due to a potential sale of the Linden investments, which include any and all actual! liabilities with and within it... that their causing a mass exodus and an abandonment of 'content' and 'investments' ...in essence 'surrendering our rights' and 'releasing! LL from further actions’, (they hope), would be a 'good thing', just like causing me to move from my building was a 'good thing', however it 'actually' turned out NOT to be.

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Nelson, how much of a pay raise will you be getting in the new financial year? Where exactly will the extra income generated by screwing charging educational establishments out of more funds go exactly?

Oh wait! There won't be any extra! Because the amount of educational establishments you drive away thanks to this act of piracy will make up most of the shortfall in income! D'oh, silly me.

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Hi,

Well, go ahead, Second Life and price yourself right out of the most important market you will ever have. This place would be deserted with out educators. All you would have left is a porn site.

Laviece Elan

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I am from Wyoming Entrepreneur Island.

What a slap in the face to have our prices doubled, or increased at all.  Our island has encouraged a great deal of people to join Second Life and this is the thanks we get?  We have also capitalized numerous funds building this teaching/learning facility and were just about to develop an incubator for RL entrepreneurs.  But that will likely change.  It must.  OpenSim is looking better despite some of its current shortcomings.  My reaction here is knee jerking, I know, but wow what a shot of icy water.

This news is worthy of much social media and blogging.  All universities engaged in SL education should spread the word.

 

Disappointed,

Mark Atkinson

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"Great way to put it.  Remove education and you are left with porn.  Great comment."

Ah nooo, that´s really not fair. If you look at SL as a whole, maybe 10 percent (apart from Zindra) are kinda outspoken "porn". Sl has a lot more to offer apart from porn and edu - mainly entertainment - until now. The loss of education would be sad, but probably LL will survive this with a minor headache. They´ll move on with reducing cost to a bare minimum and focussing on entertainment - "fast and easy", as Phlip Rosedale mentioned.

I see more serious problems (for LL) upcoming with the teens on mainland and mesh import, which favors RL professionals over the hobbyists who keep the SL "economy" running. No idea how they will manage this.

It´s only just another of their breathtaking PR debacles for now, but history tells us that they have produced many breathtaking PR debacles and still managed to survive someow, tho Sl stopped growing meanwhile.

Instead of being negative, educators and non-profits should take a look around and watch out for different grids, maybe even create an edu-alliance for connecting an own, purely edu and non-profit driven sub-grid to the OpenSim Hypergrid, where IBM and a few more major companies and corporation help development for some time now. LL obviously is not very much interested in edu and non-profit anymore, so it´s not "treacherous" or wrong  to look for valid, self-defined and self-coordinated alternatives.

Think positive!

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David, you serve as a good role model.

 

I thought about it. I would also like to offer a place for those who wish to put a PLAN B in place. I have started the process of setting up 16 regions connected to the OS Grid. I expect to be set up in a few days.

 

I would like to add my support to David's and welcome you to IM me in SL  if that would be of use to you.

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"Is it worth spending $10,000 you dont have to recoup $500 for a used sim and $200 for contents?"

I think you'd be surprised to discover that many institutions here, have invested far more! than $700. in SL.

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"That's  another reason why everyone and their brother don't do this instead of  buying $1,000 sim and paying $295/mo for it, if it was so easy and so  good an alternative,  everyone would have done it."

Off track. Most people in SL are into SL for entertainment, and that´s it. Education and Non-Profit have completely different aims, background and completely different budget troubles than a more or less wealthy middle class person who prefers to spend about 4000 dollars a year on a Linden Island instead of on a holiday on the real bahamas.

And yes, you can rent high speed servers for no set up fee, and with a monthly fee ranging from 20 to 70 dollars a month, at least quadcore and flatrated. Hardware or setup is not the problem with the Hypergrid for Universities (they most probably have technical faculties which deal with more complicated tasks). if there is a problem, then it´s the OpenSim server software itself, which still lags one or two years behind LL. But the gap is closing, and the more the Hypergrid grows, the better and better funded OpenSim will become.

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Doggie:  There is a major difference in a lease between Linden and an institution, and one between Linden and an individual.  An individual acting on their own personal mythologies, similar to the scenario you just presented, will likely back off and leave the 'scene of the crime', so to say.  In your scenario, the investment for paint and/or wallpaper will likely be 'mentally written off', and rationalized as, "well at least I got to live there surrounded by the colors I chose".  But what I think we will see in the very near future is institutions who will be forced by their backers, to audit the trail of investment.  Moneys spent, efforts taken, manpower used, reputations at stake, subcontracts granted and the potential liabilities and claims that 'they' may have to deal with if the leasehold is pulled and SL is left behind, and/or if costs rise significantly making new funding decisions necessary could be critical masses for some.  A number of these 'groups' will not simply be able to walk away and kiss off their investments in paint and/or wallpaper metaphorically... and thus, there may be, for the first time in Linden history, some serious court action.  SO far, for two reasons, this has not been so:

 

1)  There is a mythology, a belief system that the TOS is fully defendable in court since most people want to believe that contracts are two dimensional descriptions which define all possibilities and boundaries applicable.  Thing is... every single day! there are dozens of cases being tried where such documents as Linden's TOS, ARE in court and being challenged, so a comfortability blanket, no matter how understandably written, may not be enough to power an utter and complete Linden 'happy happy joy joy deflection shield' or for that matter, 'to salve the fears about an over complex world from the eyes of those who desire simplicity'.

 

2)  The $ amounts, as reiterated by you, are usually quite low, and the trouble to carry through legally, are not only too expensive, but a lot of trouble.  BUT! I can assure you this, ...a number of the funding bodies behind the presence of some of these inworld organizations and institutions, have deep pockets for litigation.  they may not want to spend the money on full price sims, but assigning their legal staff to ‘acquire and pursue’, is all in a day's work for some... it could get quite exciting (or sticky depending on where you are standing).  We will soon see.

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Get a grip people. This is America....and SL is a game...remember.  LL has no social responsibilities to offer any kind of 'discount' to education.  It was nice...but not mandatory.

Greed???  DUH!  Did you somehow think that LL was a Charity Organization?  Pfffttt

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Doggie... I think the defining moment will be when other companies realize, that Linden dropped the ball, and all of a sudden... there really is!... for the first time, a demand for Open SIMS ...as many of these institutional customers, have now got a REASON to have a sim, while before, when the whole thing became realistic to set up, a few years ago, there simply wasn't a 'real reason' to do so, as it was purely entertainment and experimentation since Linden was 'THE PLACE TO BE'.

 

Once the institutions do get set up, I'm sure there will be packages made available to replicate their efforts, and then videos made for YouTube showing simple steps for DYI Open SIMS and then it will be a Pseudo-SL Renaissance Online!, as commercial entities who also would like to set up virtual 3D strip malls online will rush forward just like they did when HTML and WEB pages became quick and easy.

 

ALL the really cool ways in which SL could have been used, and should! have been used, will become obvious! and thereby... implemented.  What LL has just done here, is create a VERY lucrative industry!, ...that they will not be part of.

When Apple created the 'Newton' they proved! a little handheld smart device was cool, but then PALM came along and used that revelation to build an empire and Apple left the market.  When they rediscovered it again, with their iPod, iPhone and now iPad, they had lost out on years! BUT... they assembled such an impressive system that addressed the old issues so well, that they dominated the market.  Now imagine, if Apple said... we are going to ONLY stick with ATT and NOT allow anyone else to make APS, etc. etc...., because that's how we want it... they'd go under.

EVEN IF... LL had to create an 'Educational GRID' with a reasonable price increase, for 'serious non-commercial and/or rather 'limited commercial' use... that's what they should have done, instead of this.  As it is... they are asking for a 'PALM' to come in and dominate a market they could have continued to own.

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Mmm, another decision by former M softly overwritten by Philip? Did M not want non-profit and education into SL? And were these brands actually filling this 3D world with numbers, joy, entertainment and sociality? Dunno, i did meet few 'so called' academics (yep aged grey facial hair, glasses and unexotic bodies included, eeeew)... quite an unenergetic experience in the end, and hardly much fun really. Is Philip steering the 'ship' back to it's original course? yup, back to basics... SL as a pure immersive social imaginary platform as it used to be. Cool Ehmm and i am dearly hoping it will still not be too late, however internet companies never get a second chance when it comes to it, although Philip seems to try hard... well, we'll see

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The whole lawsuit thing is a bit over the top, don't you think?

Let me tell you my take on it from a non educator and entertainment/commercial SL customer.

That isn't to say we're not familiar, my wife and I do some hefty consulting and networking in RL and we probably register a couple hundred corporations a year for clients, including many 501c3 non profits, corp restructures to non profit, a handful of educational business structures and multiple corporation non profit hybrids. (some of you non profits might want to bone up on hybrid non profit, although fund raising outside of SL is rediculously easy if you're only needing a few thousand to pay for a sim or two for a year).

This isn't a TOS thing, and it's not a contractual thing. It's a company that has simply decided that it's no longer in their best interests for whatever reason to not offer a discount that they offered previously. While it might be painful in the short term for anyone that has to whip up more funding (again not difficult, a single car wash will do you for a year).

I know this isn't always the case, but if I didn't know better this is what I see as a non education resident.

There are two ways that I view education. One is that it teaches. If I see it teaching only internally, I'm not thinking they're working distance learning. If I'm not seeing courses offered to the general public, I'm not seeing it as beneficial in any way to "my world". If I'm not seeing free adult education, I'm seeing no contribution to the larger world in terms of educational philanthropy.

As a normal resident, I don't see the value of research that has done something to shake up the way my virtual world runs. I've been surveyed many times though.

As a "regular joe" or as a business professional, I look at this thread and I might think there's a lack of professionalism and manners to try to get all your peers to jump ship, and even to be mentioning OpenSim on an LL property. It's lacking good form, manners and professionalism. I would never do that with a business I deal with in RL, even when we part ways. So for that to come from especially educators that I look up to, it's disheartening.

When I see comments that SL is going to be all porn if educators and non profits go ... how rude. My wife and I are not pornographers, neither are many of the people we hang out with in SL, nor are the many business professionals we met in our years here.

When I see educators laying claim to building SL traffic so substantially that SL will die without them, and yet the overall signup numbers are a bit flat, I'm thinking they're a bit off base. Lest you lay that on SL's doorstep, let me remind that the place was a media darling and hopping due mostly to it's viral nature and that the bulk of SL was built upon the media attention and a touch of notariety which led to it's viral nature. The article in Business week for Anshe Chung as land baron created the boom year or two that we enjoyed (2006-2007) more than any other single event or group.

In short the "appearance" here is that educators are mostly using it solely within their own industry for networking purposes, and that's fantastic, but the average user doesn't see the benefit to their world, again.

From a sheer profit standpoint, 50% of the cost of the servers, plus the huge amount of extra costs that go into making that server run (folks with some business background will understand the full costs that go into a venture like this on the level of SL, from labor to taxes to legal, etc.) education is basically break even on the whole.

Non profits can also be considered a sink that do their fundrasing in world, they take far more out of the economy (understandably) than they put in.

So really, if you value perception of yourselves, say thank you for the discount we've enjoyed, talk among yourselves about your next moves and solutions and don't drag it down to the same level of resident drama that you should be above. If we're to value educators you need to consider these things. Take it from an old business guy, profit, education, non profit, what have you ... you're always selling something and that something is you to more eyeballs than you might realize.

I brag about education in SL to my peers, I've always stuck up for education even though I believe they drop the ball on not caring and/or not offering free education and implementing this new tech as a distance learning tool to accomplish that. I'm not trying to lay that on everyone, and I know many of you do "good things" and have done great things in the past.

This last Relay for Life has changed my life, and I've always been pro non profit as well, so please don't mistake that either.

I'll even break manners a bit and say that OpenSim may be a good fit for some of you. Especially if you're not doing distance learning, low cost open source and education has often been a fit, and the easiest sell to your admins is going to be a free firewalled application, hosted on minimal resources.

But please, if you want to be a part of "our world", show that you really are above us in some way other than being more "educated", because that doesn't really come through in a thread like this. If you're not interested in us, and making our world better, how can we be interested in you?

But really, consider the free education route for the masses here. Educating those "pornographers" with RL skills (not building and scripting, they can learn that anywhere) that will improve their lives, get them jobs and eventually get some of them paying for a better education will draw the kind of media attention to SL that it needs, improve your chances of funding, show the rest of the world you care about more than your own industry and aren't above them, and most likely would make re-instating a hefty discount again much more of an investment for LL.

But if you're not interested in the rest of the world, that puts you in as partial liability, and part break-even. Why should they care about you?

And of course it isn't political or an injustice, it's simply a company that probably partially regrets not being able to extend to you the same discount that they have for years, and that's all it is, no matter how you try to bloat it.

Once again, not pointing fingers and I know there are exceptions and great educators and non profits donig lots of good. Just food for thought.

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I knew for years blind people can use computers well, in fact, there is Max, the virtual guide dog here in SL. There is a big learning curve to use him, and one has to learn and remember a LONG list of commands, but I obtained a free copy months ago and tried him out, and while it was a challenge to learn for a sighted person even, Max did work quite well.

 

Doggie: I was referring to times my wife spent in Virtual Ability.  She doesn't use Max, which is really obsolete technology anyhow.  She uses Radegast, which doesn't rely on scripts that other people can turn off at whim.  Too, Radegast works with OpenSim, and Max relies on scripts with limited permissions that can't be ported there.


So at least when the Non-Profits have to bail out of SL, they won't have to leave that segment of the population behind.

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Dartagan Shepherd

So to you,

 

...educators have nothing really to offer, as they live in a dream world completely isolated from the 'real one' you live in, and are mostly braggarts who loft above everyone else with their 'degrees', and actual inadequacies, while they obsess about a bunch of  un-useful unimpressive self serving ‘stuff’, that only they, in their little closed communities, make a big deal about?! 

 

So since they are all a bunch of lazy bloated whinny elitists who don't care a scrap about what really matters, and aren't really doing anything to lift up what does, ...‘the bottom line!’, then you don't think anyone should care a dit!, about their trivial over hyped self-centered issues... and they should just get real!, suck it up already!, loosen up some, and maybe get some real jobs!!??

 

Thanks. Got it.  Looks like Linden and the general population of the planet Earth agree with you.. as we all slide back into the bog from where we crawled.

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