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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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"The boss  doing customer support and tech support himself should be a clue you are  probably dealing with someone who hooked up a server in his garage with  a beer friend, and they are messing around with trying to make an SL  clone."

Lol, what are you talking about? IBM invests big time into OpenSim development, they are not known for wasting resources on garbage. A few major corps do so as well.

The Hypergrid differs from LL by fundamental structure, of course, sub-grids can be run by independant unities, so there are solid and less solid contributers. But LL can go bankupt or sued to death or fail as likely as any other company on the planet can be. It really does not matter much if a company runs35,000 sims and hires 100 admins (while renting servers from 3rd party providers) or only 10 sims and one admin.

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The scenario will not be the same.

3D internet will be quite different in 24 months than it is now. Probably be significantly different than it is now in 6 months.

Different tech, different players, different balances of power.

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Interesting too, just this past June Intel did a demo to show the breaking of the avatar limit, reaching 1000 avatars. So, just because LL can't manage it doesn't mean it isn't feasible.

Another thing, just came out. A treatment center that had sufficient success with an initial pilot program on an open simulator got an additional (much larger) grant for over $850,000 to expand their program in that grid. The center still maintains a presence in secondlife, but they have found that the open sim solution is actually more suited to their needs. Actually, I think maintaining a multi-grid presence is probably a good idea. In fact, if educators an non-profits stay in SL, they should start setting up a presence in another grid and change their building processes (as much as is practical) so that they build in the other grid where they can make full backups of their work, then import it into SL ... stop fearing the potential loss of investment. Also means that, if hypergrid takes off and SL can't avoid joining in, the organizations are already prepped one way or the other.

Yes, there are lots of garage setups. That's because even the average joe can manage to get a low-budget, low-concurrency region set up with an average computer and average internet connection.

That means to me that the not so average college or university with a decent IT group and a packed server can create their own grid that much better than the garage set up.

There are all sorts of things about the whole "open" simulator/grid concept that isn't yet up to par, but the improvements that have been made just in the last year, in the technology and stability as well as the steps toward addressing concerns such as copyright issues says alot.

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@ Doggie

Maybe  in 2,3 or 5 years it will be big and great, but that doesn't help anyone  in here TODAY solve their immediate problem, does it?

It's fine  to say that in a year "so and so" grid will be a major competitor to SL,  but that doesn't help anyone today, and in a year's time "so and so"  grid could also be a has-been-who-never-was if they go belly up.

Vivienne knows of what she speaks with her IBM example.  There are quality hosters out there today, and people are having their immediate problems solved.  I'm not going to go into specifics on a Linden Blog.

OpenSim is like Apache all over again.  It reminds me of 1995, when none other than Brian Behlendorf explained the Apache project to me.  History is repeating itself, just in 3d.  Will there be Mom & Pop grids?  Yes.  Will there be high end corporate grids?  Yes as well.  Do not paint all up and coming grids with the same brush... it's much the same scenario as up and coming ISPs in the 90's.

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So much talk about educational sims leaving because of a price increase.  Last I checked, tuition is still going up by double digit percentages everyyear, more than inflation, doubling every few years, and raises are still being passed around.  And I still get letters asking for donations on top of my federal bill that you can't get out of.

I think with the large endowments, and student labor, they can afford it.

 

People can host all the opensource sims they want, but if I can't be my avi anywhere else, I can't go.  I'm sorry.

Also, I wish I could've done something educational and got a non-profit discount.  I don't make my own shops or anything in SL as it is.

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This is brilliant.

 

I'm not sure I get point 3.  Do you mean on the mainland have islands for ppl to buy 512m parcels and then open water around it type of thing?

That is good.  Mainland buying is the most worrying experience because you dont' know what is going to be built against your property.

 

Great idea for the G continent too.  The public works department hsould make sure it has ample roads and railroads and protected water.

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Murdered.     Linden Labs just murdered educators right off of second life.

Because you need to make that announcement 1 year in advance for non-profits and universities. 

Making this change in the Middle of the budget means universities CAN NOT change the budgets already set in place.  And since the dollars can't go up, they can only go down - the accounts have to be cancelled outright.

Wow, just Wow, just - that's it, and places like the University of Texas are pulling out - that's 50 sims going to vanish. 

Two of Three Japanese Sims I enjoy are gone - today.  And their last Sim they can only keep open for another year.

Linden Labs dropped 300 employees,  closed the U.K. Office and let go those employees, now increases the pricing.  Killing the golden goose has never been easier.

What is going on?

WHY is Linden Lab's Management so completely disconnected from the Customer base?

PLEASE - The Leaders of Linden Labs need to get some new leadership - focused on the customer's experience.  The competition is getting better and better - and well, It's a shame things from Second Life can't easily be copied over to  other sims.

People generally are going to pick 1 vWorld to play in, maybe 2 if you count Sims and WoW.

It is sad to see people leave second life, and regions once fun to enjoy - go red - off line - gone.

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Many top educators around the world and other specialist in the field of virtual education are promoting other virtual worlds, other than Second Life and some of of the main reasons are the high maintainence costs, ability to scale your education program and the fact that focus is not spent on colloboration and education instead of financial gain.

Follow the discussion groups on Twitter or the educators mailing list from Linden lab and you will know what I am talking about.

Next week I will hear someone who has been employed by Linden lab and directly involved with education virtual learning, and who has deep knowledge of using virtual worlds, speak about another open source alternative to Second Life during a seminar. It seems like some people know when it's time to abandon the sinking ship and I dont' want to be the last one aboard.

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Wow, "murdered".  Such drama proving the incompetance of big lumbering bureaucracies.

Linden Labs is a small company.  They don't have years to plan budgets as far as I know.  They're based in California. Governments don't give any of us any more advanced notice of tax incrases and laws that are making these sims more expensive to run to pass it onto billion dollar universities.

No one in the USA has even gotten the tax tables for 2011 yet!  No one is going to get it until at least December.  Congress didn't set a budget.  But Universities "got murdered" with their 15% tuitions hikes every year for the last 20 years.

What is the increase in terms of their budget?  0.000001%?

These organizations are so incompetant, that just TODAY I got a letter about a student loan.  Confirmed to me that it has been paid and moved to where it was supposed to be.  It has been OVER TEN YEARS these people have been messing around.

 

They can cut themselves off and use some obsolete software with no updates.  5-10 years from now when we're working on cloud software with Havok20, Mesh, and people are intrested again in free roleplay sims that no one knows about because no one advertises SL at all, good luck.

And frankly, some of these university builds, instead of being great and drawing people into the school, seem like disinterested homework builds.  There's so much potential for virtual musuems and exhibits.  SL is limitless and it's being limited by negativity.

 

The only thing murdered is millions of peoples budgets at the rediculous public university monopoly.

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I have very little to say except that its the worst idea i have ever heard, the whole idea of discounting for education and charitie/non profit organisations is for the benefit of the users not the companies that are getting the discount, i fear this is going to harm the end user and not LL in the long run and it will ultimately as mentioned earlier see alot of these sort of companies leaving very quick as they cannot afford the full rates that LL expect them to pay...poor business move on LL behalf thats for sure

I never thought i would say it but it feels like SL is going down the pan quicker than a ....well i won't use the term here use your imagination

Debbi

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The institutions I've spoken to over the last three years about bringing some learning program into SL, said, "No.".  Almost all of them on this planet currently, say, "No.".  The educators who have pulled off this incredible hat trick and gotten programs into SL are amazing, energetic, determined evangelists who will be remembered historically as pioneers! who strove against all odds, to save this planet from its short sightedness, in the early part of the 21st century.

Sure, the students who come here now, are mostly elitists from the top industrial nations, who can afford! to have computers and high speed access to the internet... sure.  And sure, the institutions these pioneers have tapped are wealthy and powerful.  BUT... in the near future, based on the success of these virtual programs and the proliferation of $100. net books and community internet, ...hundreds of millions! who could not otherwise afford universities, but still need! to obtain the knowledge and training to change their world, their way... will come!

Linden will be remembered as one of those funky late 20th century game experiments that never really went anywhere, sort of a tuned down, property oriented, microeconomic simulator thingie... like it is thought of now... (none of my friends will come to SL, in fact my family adamantly refuses to even visit to see my work here!).

 

"Remember them?"

 

"Yeah, grandpa, we've heard this story before!!  But WOW beat them out... we know!  Oh, gotta log into my government and physics virtual classes now, see you at dinner".

 

The future, is what Linden, in their cavalier bottom line driven behavior, has lost sight of... and it, will lose sight, of them.  It looks like some of you, just don't get it... but hey! don't kill me, I'm only the messenger.

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This makes me upset as well,because i'm University Of Hawaii Alumni and i know that Hawaii right now is in a economic slump. Why LL did this i don't understand.

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Doggie,

 

Your current assessment then is, the discount of 1/2 sim price was being paid, and yet the flexible billing  Amazon S3 server was charging Linden for significantly less, as per the small loads you are witnessing?

 

In other words, Texas U. has been seriously overpaying, since we all know the S3 system takes into account ALL costs, not just the existence of a sim (which is merely storage and the least! of the operating charges).  The majority of the costs of a fully operational sim on the S3 is based on service charges... bandwidth, upkeep, maintenance, amortization of hardware replacement and upgrades, administration types of things and the licensing of advanced cloud software which only bills the end user for 'what is used'.  This is a feature that very few smaller server farms have, as most charge on a 'use it or lose it basis', where you pay for bandwidth for instance, and if you don't use it, tough, but if you need more than that, you pay more.  So although the S3 is more expensive, it is very! flexible, self scaling, and self regulating, much like a power company, it only charges a basic fee, and then for what is ‘actually used’.

 

Wow, that is quite a condemnation of Linden you are making?!  Their seemingly charging a rate which does not reflect the 'reduced usage' you are reporting?!  So, tell us, since they were obviously making a profit on the 'their' fixed rate basis, do you think it was a personal emotional decision to stop offering a discount so that these 'low usage' clients would just... leave, in spite of that profit?  Thanks for investigating Doggie!... no one could accuse you!, of holding a grudge!

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Yea they're really hurting.

 

NECN - 1 day ago

HONOLULU (AP) — The University of Hawaii at Manoa has announced it will soon begin construction of the new Cancer Research Center of Hawaii in the Kakaako ...
According to the university, the $120 million project will usher in a new era for cancer care in the state.
Maui News - 1 day ago
KAHULUI - University of Hawaii Maui College will expand academic programs for Native Hawaiian students through a grant from the US Department of Education ...
U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye notified UH-Maui College of the grant award last  week. For the initial year, the award provides $799,990, with the  program expected to provide $4 million over five years.

BusinessWeek - Oct 1, 2010
Economists at the University of Hawaii are predicting a continued uptick in the state's tourism industry in the short term but restrained growth later next ...
Mystery donor gives UH med school $1M
UH System Current News - Sep 22, 2010
On September 21, the University of Hawaiʻi System sold $293.425 million of University Revenue Bonds, Series 2010A&B, which included both traditional ...
increased at the nine other UH campuses, pushing overall fall enrollment  to a record high of 60,231 students, for a 3.6 percent increase over  last year's previous record.

As part of an effort to boost tuition revenues, the  University of Hawaii is looking to increase the number of  undergraduates at its four-year campuses who are nonresidents.

The UH wants to allow up to 35 percent of  undergraduates at UH-Manoa and UH-Hilo to be nonresidents. The current  cap is 30 percent.

 

Nonresident undergraduates attending UH-Manoa full time pay $10,512 a semester, compared with $3,792 for residents.

**

I could do the math for the increase in revenue.

 

Doom and gloom, doom and gloom.  These forums remind me of the old pump and dump penny stock days.  If we all complain enough about a user driven libertarian virtual world and not do anything with it, we can make everyone else think the sky is fallen and hasten the end ourselves.

In fear and greed, fear is more contageous.

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The really sad thing is that almost all of this blog has been dedicated to talking about how educational institutions are going to be hurt, and nothing about how the non-profits are going to be forced out.  The National Shrine of Divine Mercy has had its full walk-through on Shrine for a few years now, it has a lot of people that walk through and doesn't bother people for donations.  It doesn't have big adverts on the mainland, and basically keeps to itself on a private island where people can visit if they want to or not.

Looks like the only way to stay is to take space on the Mainland and compress down to a 1/4 SIM.  I'm pretty sure no matter where we go someone is going to have a problem with a large-scale religious reproduction moving in next to them.  Or we will have problems with people that will move in next to us.  Keeping things segregated by using affordable sims saves a huge number of problems.  I'm sure it also cuts down on griefing since we can fully control the effort where we can't do that as well on the mainland.

Of course I'm not expecting anybody to shed a tear for non-profits "losing their lease" so to speak.  But it seems to me that forcing education and non-profit out of SL by doubling the price kicks out the people you want - the quiet, low-demand, low-traffic folk who are not causing problems and just paying the bills...

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