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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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As an educator, I'm fortunate to be making my pitch for continued funding of our island in a few weeks.  Part of my pitch now will be the promise of other grids to meet our needs.

Doubling the price with three months notice on institutions with annual budgets.

People say LL is greedy, but I think the more obvious conclusion is that they're just not very bright.  No one, no matter how greedy, would treat paying customers with such disdain if they were smart enough to understand basic business principles.

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Thanks, I will look into it and share that information with other nonprofits and educators through whatever communications channels are set up.

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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

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We need to move on this and not spend too much time with regrets.  We need to have alternatives to show funding organizations as soon as possible.

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We are also going to want to know which content creators are willing to allow us to bring their content onto other grids so we can rebuild.

At this point, technically .. none.

You can only export items you are wholly the creator of. Collaborative projects are stuck here.

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Oh dear, this is very bad news. Budgets for educators are often set well in advance and in some cases very fixed even looking across a grant period of some years. In our case I have just negotiated funds to renew some of our regions from 12 months from now, so changes on a short time scale that double prices are quite a shock. In one case I have funding fixed for 2years out too.   We would like to retain our regions but this can only mean that we pack things up tighter on less regions to keep the costs the same as budgeted.That itself causes work and remodelling which is most unfortunate. But I guess this is a done deal... Our nice archipelago and fancy coastlines will have to go leaving things much more utilitarian.

A two year fixed price, have you rang the Lab to see if they will do you a deal now on that? I'm not sure how pricing works for educators and when I first read this I thought it was off as budgets are negotiated for the shcool year, but the mention of renewals suggests longer term contracts are available than the usual month to month for retail customers.

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Thank you so much!  I will be in touch.

Please keep me in the loop and share whatever information you can here as well.  The more we can work together and share resources the better it will be for all educators and nonprofits in virtual worlds.  I am sure many content creators will be willing to continue to help us as they have been in SL.  Knowing who to contact will be very useful.

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If you are leaving Nany, please take the teens with you.  After all, you've repeatedly said how welcome they will be with you...

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You are very welcome...I know what a huge blow this is to all of you because of ALL the planing and time that went into making this happen for many educators and students but  there is a light at the end of the tunnel! (a new tunnel that is lol)

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I would suggest that technical persons with education and non-profit clients in SL take a crash-course in OpenSim starting at OpenSimulator.org. Last week, I loaded the new version 0.7 of OpenSim on my laptop and was pleasantly surprised. Read about my experiences in my blog. It takes about a hour to create a simple world.

Note that there is a small community of service providers around  OpenSim. Anyone know a good list of these folks? And, thanks Troy for  reminding us of all the contributions from non-profit groups in SL.

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Not that I think increasing non-profit tiers is a good thing, but I assume that this will mean that non-profits can use their islands for profit now, the educators could offer the children out for sale to do exciting work opportunities like chimney sweeping maybe?

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I'm sorry to hear the news about what appears to be some drastic increases in the cost structure for educational customers.  Unless the intention is to drive educators off the SL grid and onto other platforms, the goal should be to encourage educators and students to use as many prims as possible.

I understand that developing the land market and land market products has many factors and considerations, but I can not help but feel that opportunities are being missed.  The challenge (as it appears to me) is how to innovate and create new and compelling land products that perform the same or better than current offerings, and to provide customers (commercial, institutional, and otherwise) with solutions.  Heading into 2011 with 2008 offerings and prices hardly seems like a winning strategy.

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Nany writes:

Please keep me in the loop and share whatever information you can here as well. ... Knowing who to contact will be very useful

 

Keep an eye on the Twitter hashtag #OSMigrate

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This is the nicest way I have ever seen someone say we are discontinuing discount rates for education and non-profits. Up front it may seem a benefit that these two groups will have access to Homestead and Open Space regions without having to also own a full region. The ugly truth, however, is that the low prim and occupancy counts of Homestead and Open Space areas are simply not enough to support educational platforms.  How many classes to you think a university will be able to have on a Homestead region that supports only 3,750 prims and allows no more than 20 people at a time?

Let’s not forget too that a 1/2 region on the mainland costs as much in monthly tier as a full Homestead region but supplies 7,500 prims and the ability to hold all 40 minimum / 100 maximum allowed avatars.  The problem is that because of education and non-profit policies regarding content they rarely if ever run the risk of being on the mainland because of potential neighbor problems. Taking that into account, this new policy actually forces these two groups to now pay more for less.

Here is your wake-up call Linden Lab. Most schools and their associations like New Media Consortium were already considering leaving Second Life for either other companies like OpenSim or hosting on their own servers. At a time when grants are fewer and schools are cutting budgets left and right you raise their rates. Congratulations, you have now alienated your last support group!  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Phillip, did you listen or learn ANYTHING from the educator that put you on the spot at the Boston convention?  I can only say this: Don't you dare be surprised when all the education and non-profits say "Screw you!" and leave. We don't want to hear your whining and complaining about not being able to attract real-life business to Second Life any more. You go out of your way to chop down any and all supporting groups instead of being a CEO with an ounce of business sense. We are sick of it and could care less about your moaning or whining now. When you decide to work with your customers instead of against them feel free to come find us. You can pitch us a new Second Life when you visit our regions with other companies.

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Nany whatever textures I have up in the market place that are full perm If there are educational, and non profits you may use the full perm textures wherever you wish as long as they are not resold on the other grid. IE for personal builds and displays.

 

Also Nany you had so much faith in LL a few weeks ago, Might I ask where that faith is now?

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I have been active in education in Second Life for over 4 years and have been excited by the possibilities for education, the collaboration opportunities, and the number of educators in Second Life!

This price increase is horrible, ill-planned, and unfair. LL is going to lose tons of educators - maybe that is what they want.  If they announced a modest price increase, that would be one thing, but to double the prices in a 3 month period is very unwise and is giving a definite message to the education community that they are unimportant and unwanted in second life.

With educators losing their jobs, cutting budgets, LL is going to lose more than educators.  Many of these educators also do many other things in second life in addition to education, and will just leave second life altogether.

This move is definitely just telling educators, "go elsewhere - we don't want you anymore."

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Thanks, AylaNeissa!   I guess a lot of us will be building a lot more a lot sooner than we expected.

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All excellent points shockwave, i think LL should take one further step, that adults allowed on the teen "G" grid, have background checks done to be sure they are not pedifiles.

The pricing in this time, when most have lost their jobs and are hanging on to their homes by the skin of their teeth is not the time to increase ANYTHING..in fact they need to come down on pricing to reflect if not anything else, the reduced quality on an already horrid customer service department.

i am a member of a sim group, that buys and sells used sims, and the going rate for one is about $325 to $450 USD, if that says anything about the economy in SL, and they drop ads for sales about every hour, from different individuals, one man week before last put 40 full sims and 10 homesteads on the blocks for less than half price. Yeah ppl are leaving in droves, someone in San Fran needs to put the hooka down and breath in some reality and soon.

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You like to go after what LL does but you forget a critical and plain fact: SL is a business, LL is a company and it isnt a non-profit one.

We all would love if good intentions and honorable actions could pay bills, but they dont.

If this is being done, it is for a reason.

One thing I can see is that if there are indeed reasons for that cost "per sim", perhaps we should consider that offering 50% discount for X of the costumers wont be paid off by less than 10X paying in full assuming only 7,5% profit over the full price, and only if the price was adjusted to cover ALL sim related costs proportionally, which I dubt because I know about my own servers and I know that offering dedicated servers full maintenance without leaving any task to the customer costs more than that. If there arent enough full payers to back up the 50%, it cant be done. It is business, and business need money.

Then, we also need to consider that if these projects are really that impactant, they can raise money from other sources, or cut budget in SL by using rented lands or getting less prims. After all, if it is purely educational, it wont hurt cut the prim usage.

Plus, taking in consideration the ammount of resources and usage anyone have in SL, isnt that hard to understand why a company that HAS COSTS must do things like this.

Honestly, it is sad that everything blogged here are taken as SL was a public domain which LL have the obligation to provide. News for some of you, SL is a service, and as such, it needs maintenance from paid workers in paid equipments which compose paid infra-structure consuming paid resources. It is not a magical place that appears when you run and log your viewer.

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Onward then.

I feel bad about all the non-transferrable work and money I put into the project I built up in SL.  But the best of what I have created I can bring to other grids.  I am willing to share everything I know and make.

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Well said. I am as horrified as everyone else here at the current announcement by LL.

How can we as educators stand up and constantly defend the value of this 'game' to our academic programs with decrees such as this being handed down? I think the answer to this question is written in the blog post above .... LL does not want us here. I am floored at even the thought of it. What will LLs business model look like when there is no one left on the grid to pay them anything?

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The increase is massive for those non-profit organisations, this isn't the ideal way to do business, LL were told this when they wanted to increase full sim retail sims from USD$195 to USD$295, the end result was grandfathering.

They were told this when they wanted to increase Openspaces from USD$75 to USD$125, they grandfathered some at USD$95 and have stuck with that.

Large increases hurt plans, you are however right that LL need to cover their costs but this large increase strategy will always attract criticism.

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