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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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DoctorEigen Flow wrote:

...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?!

You know that's not what I said.

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I wouldn't be overly concerned, Yuukie, I highly doubt SL will be around through September 2011.  I've been predicting it since June this year and I would bet real money on it.  October 1, 2011 will see SL having gone dark or having made an announcement to do so.  Mark my words.

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Notice how Linden Labs has yet to reply to this?  I find it both funny and Sad. I would like Phillips reasoning behind this. I would like an answer from him personally.

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You have touched my mind with your thought-provoking words and your amazing content. I am going to miss you.

It does not matter who stays and who goes - we are one community that is dispersing into other virtual spaces, reminiscent of a virtual Tower of Babel.

No matter what comes from today, there is no doubt in anyone's mind that we will lose some of our brightest stars and their creative genius. People are among Second Life's richest resources.

We've noticed for a long time that the social sites are not so social as they lie barren of people, and that many fine designs and ecosystems have declined, such as Svarga.

Some say that educational regions comprise a small segment of the resources in Second Life and as such, have little influence and no measurable value.

This is not true.

We're sensitive to rising costs and we expected an increase at some point. Is there a value to what we have provided to the Second Life community?

We have created thought-provoking 3D content, hosted free conferences and classes, created podcasts, published videos, written books and papers, shared our thoughts via blogs, conducted research and helped others build compelling educational sites.

Inspired by my fellow educators in this forum, I've spent the last four years hosting 75+ conference presentations and workshops, urging researchers and students to leverage the powerful capabilities offered within a virtual world.

Our opportunities to collaborate and cross over boundaries with other schools and the military regions have been excellent.

As much of our educational community leaves Second Life, what will remain?

Change is inevitable, and it makes us grow. We are being forced to find stable solutions that support our budget planning cycles and the needs of our students.

Most universities, grants and non-profits cannot absorb doubling their rates within 3 months - and we plan our budgets 1-2 years in advance. We cannot create additional funding simply because the agreement has changed in mid-year.

Everyone realizes it, including Linden Lab. This means that they expect to realize more revenue (or lower costs) from the increase as we make some compromises and give back some, if not all of the regions as we scramble to stabilize our educational programs.

In two weeks, the NMC is hosting their Symposium for the Future in Second Life. The future is looking a lot less bright. In fact, the changes suggest an instability that most businesses and schools cannot tolerate.

We need you and your vibrant perspectives.

You are our future.

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@ Nelson Linden: To read that "All" retail private region maintenance, including grandfathered pricing stays the same as they are now is the best news ive heard in the last half year from Linden Labs, I do think this news is sad to non profit sims though but am happy simprices does not change till end 2011 for my Estate Helion Island. Now Linden Labs has to come up with a desent viewer for all residents and making shopping on XstreetSL/SLexchange/Marketplace less buggy and provide a 24/7 support on the LiveChat again then i think most residents will be happy to stay and enjoy there Second Life's.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Helion Island where your dreams come true!

 

 

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"People who stand to lose sims would find their time in here better spent on a solution for their situation."

No one will lose a sim. It will only become much more expensive. And it´s a clear sign by LL that they do not care much about attracting, sponsoring or maintaining the educational and non-profit sector anymore.

Most people affected do not really need to debate on this, because this is obvious.

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Kimo, I didn't realize you were one of the people who built the U of Texas estate.

Thanks for helping keep us all in the loop.

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There are things about this situation and our options we can't discuss in a Linden Lab blog.  It's going to be helpful to stay informed of other blogs, forums, and meetings we can use.

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"People who stand to lose sims would find their time in here better spent on a solution for their situation."

No one will lose a sim. It will only become much more expensive. And it´s a clear sign by LL that they do not care much about attracting, sponsoring or maintaining the educational and non-profit sector anymore.

Most people affected do not really need to debate on this, because this is obvious.

Really? Tell me, how does a University that has a fixed budget for the cost of their sim and no chance of increasing that budget until September 2011 pay the additional price hike that is not in their budget? When the price doubles in January or so (depending on when their next billing cycle is, for most Education clients that is quarterly or every 6 months), where will they get the extra money from? Hold a bake sale? Fire a staff member? (No, firing someone won't work, since their salary and benefits budget is in a different account than the SL Project budget, and not transferrable.)

University budgets were cast in stone before the start of the academic year, a few months back. It is virtually impossible to go back to the well and ask for more funds. The well is dry now. Applying for a grant takes more time then LL has given them, so that is out too.

So they will either lose their sim, if they have only one, or have to close some of their sims, if they have more than one. Converting their sims to freestanding Homesteads is not an option, for any serious education program. They need every last prim and avatar seat per sim that they can get. And asking for one full-purpose sim to be changed into one to four Homesteads will require completely deleting and rebuilding what was in your full-use sim. Not an option in the middle of the academic year.

At least one of my education clients is already stating that if LL follows through with this, they will close four of their 8 sims to remain within budget. Quite a pity, considering the thousands of US Dollars they paid in the last year to build the content in those sims, let alone the set-up fees and money spent to obtain those 4 new sims. And it was a really high-profile project for them, one that the University President had been impressed by. Now it won't last a full year. How sad.

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Yes, very sad, indeed. But resistance is futile!

Same attitude they showed with their Mesh Import Propaganda, which is:

"Deal with it!"

/me wonders for how long they´ll get away with it.

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Linden Lab has sent a letter to educational organizations and non-profits owning regions in SL regarding renewal of contracts with instructions for how to renew.

 

An educational or not-for-profit institution that is currently under contract with us will be able to renew early (or purchase additional regions) and continue to receive the current 50% discount on land maintenance provided that the renewal takes place prior to the December 31, 2010. You will be able to select contract renewal options of 6, 12, 18 or 24 months under these terms. If your organization renews and enters into a contract no later than December 31, 2010, it can lock in the current discounted rate for up to 24 additional months.

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@nany

Linden  Lab has sent a letter to educational organizations and non-profits  owning regions in SL regarding renewal of contracts with instructions  for how to renew.

...  You  will be able to select contract renewal options of 6, 12, 18 or 24  months under these terms. If your organization renews and enters into a  contract no later than December 31, 2010, it can lock in the current  discounted rate for up to 24 additional months

 

I saw that on another site, and find it remarkable that LL have not bothered to blog it yet.

It seems too much like an abusive lover realizing their mistake:  "oh! I'm sorry baby!  give me another chance and come back!  things will be different, I swear!"

The damage has been done.  People will move on.  Who would trust LL at this point?

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I wonder what the profit margin is on sims.  Does anyone know?  If other grids are able to offer sims for substantially less than Linden Labs does, why is LL struggling financially . . . because I don't seriously believe they could want to drive away the museums, universities, libraries, social justice organizations and other non profits that have contributed to their credibility and established them as a serious enterprise committed to contributing to a better world, as they have so often said in the past.

MacArthur Foundation has been active in Second Life.  And their presence has also given a lot of credibility to Linden Labs as something beyond just a game. 

And, of course, it makes no sense to bring teens here to supposedly enjoy the incredible learning resources available . . . like the Renaissance sim, for example, or NOAA, or NASA, etc.  and then to act in such as way as to drastically reduce the number and quality of those resources.

As an adult, I have deep misgivings about having minors here . . . too much room for mischief on goth sides of that equation.  And as an educator, the very things that brought me here and have kept me in SL seem to be going away.  I hope LL can give me reason to stay.

I hope LL will reconsider and figure out a way to keep charities, universities, cultural institutions and non-profits here to continue to enrich our world.  I hope that Philip will remember his roots and his original vision.  Many of us are here because we share it.  And this . . . this just isn't it.

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As one who protested the OpenSpace issue in October of 2008 I know all these words are here to exhaust your emotions and help you come to grips with Linden Labs unilateral policies.

In response to the change in the OpenSpace sims.........    I moved on.

In the following two years I have learned to use linux, build, script, create, test and assist with the development of alternate vitural worlds.  I am not a puter geek.  I was just mad and wanted to continue my virtural world experience.

I currently have 75 sims of my own in a closed grid.  I have 4 servers running ubuntu linux.  All for the cost of my dsl line and time and equipment.  I developed a megaregion of a canyon I called the Grand Canyon sim. Search my avi name and Grand Canyon to see what can be done.

The result:

I have learned a lot and feel pride in my own virtural world.  I would encourage educational institutions to follow the same path.  You do not need to be tied to Linden Labs and your students will learn more.

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"I saw that on another site, and find it remarkable that LL have not bothered to blog it yet."

Oh my.

Oh my.

Oh my.

They definately need a PR coordinator at LL, somone who does not enjoy playing rodeo with the customer base...

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Bucky, that did occur to me also.  Nonetheless, it's another option on the table, another factor to consider.

For my particular project to achieve its best results, it needs some presence in SL, but also needs to be easily accessible to educators.  We may end up with one full region in SL for offices, meetings and events, and a larger multi-region installation wherever the majority of universities migrate.

I'm anxious to hear what other organizations decide to do.

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