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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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Taking into consideration the number of educational groups that have ALREADY moved to Open Sim, wouldn't it maybe make more economic sense to LOWER the rent on all sims? People are always going to be willing to pay a premium to maintain property on the Second Life grid, but when you can rent an entire sim with 30,000 prims on the Open Sim grid for sixty bucks a month, well, nobody is going to throw their money away forever.

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This is a bad, BAD move! I would like to know which alternative grids people are considering or moving to. I want to go where the action since I am about to start up an educational endeavor. Please IM me inworld or email to stelunasilversar@gmail.com. Why does LL keep shooting itself in the foot this way?(rhetorical question..no answer needed).

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Good move LL, I am glad you are doing this because there are quite a few people out there abusing the discounted educational regions and not utilizing them like they are supposed to be utilized.

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Obviously Linden Labs continues to be disconnected from the world of education and the years of economic hardships that have existed globally. It has been appreciated that educational sims have had reduced pricing, but to now double renewal prices??? To be effective in a less than three months??? Is this what LL calls advanced warning??? Obvioulsy the LL bean counters and others are clueless that budgets for most institutions have already been set for the academic year and most of those have seen cuts since last year. Given that the additional funds will likely not be available, this lends itself to many institutions closing up SL shop. News flash to Linden Lab's boys and girls, SL is somewhat useful for education but it still has a long way to go before it becomes established and this increase isn't helping. Time to invest time and effort in OpenSim grids.

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Well, this is consistent with LL's policy of focusing on the residential market only, leaving business and education out of Second Life — unless they are willing to pay the same that everybody else pays.

Note that the "discount" for education and non-profits is not something taken for granted since the beginning of Second Life; it just appeared much later. "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.", Job 1.21.

And of course I guess that this is also a measure to limit some pseudo non-profits which just abuse their status to be able to undercut the real estate land market, offering lower-priced land thanks to their 50% discount... even though this is against LL's "policies", those are inconsistently applied.

But yes, I agree, for some reason Linden Lab is pushing all educators into OpenSim. There might be a logic there, but it eludes me.

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The retail heads-up is great! That's an advance notice worth smiling about!

However, the educational/non-profit advance warning is too short. While i agree that doubling the price is a definite hardship for those involved, i don't know what reasoning has gone into this and may be completely logical. The sticking point is more he timing than the pricing (although the pricing is quite a shift).

Basically, the Educational/Non-Profit (mainly Educational) discounts need to be extended until at least June. The best would be if the increases came in either August or September, January is a killer for the reasons already mentioned by many others in these comments.

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What about tier charges for ordinary premium users? There doesnt seem to be any commitment to no increase there, although I think most users are looking to an actual decrease and restructuring of tier charges....

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I know it costs to run companies, and i don't think any of us that pay for sims, don't understand the maintenance involved, and LL's right to a profit. But how much money is enough? Look at all the sims out there, that are up and running, and i can't believe there's not an exorbitant amount of money being made here. Good internal management of a company speaks volumes to me. Highly paid upper level management at everyone else's expense, including their own employees, which i could suspect may be the case here, says its all about how much perhaps they are looking at their own salaries and bonus's rather than keeping SL alive and well.

I would be the first one not to complain if even the programming advancements were more forthcoming, better thought out, the V.2 viewer being the prime example.

Yes i agree there could be more stringent terms placed on who gets educational discounts, and who does not, am sure there's some cloaking of requirements on some sims, and yes if its for education, prim usage could be lowered and not affect the quality of that.  But i know for a fact that any corporation that ignores civic responsibilities, and charitable needs of its community, is on a downward slide that usually cannot be stopped once that thought process and policy becomes fact.

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Im reading that announcement again and again very carefully it is talking about private regions - which I assume means 'islands' so what is the plan for ordinary land holders ?? I dont like the fact that theres no apparent mention.

 

I hope there arent plans afoot to increase and if there are we are giving more than a weeks notice as we were with the imposition of v.a.t

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No linden is not a non profit organisation...and Im sure just as much people dont pay linden labs out of the kindness of their hearts...


Its time there was a massive move for better customer care and value for money in SL

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The Nonprofit Commons will not leave SL, but we may be forced to downsize and reduce our 4-sim archipelago down to only one or two sims, to accomodate this doubling of our tier. We are committed to remain a free space for nonprofits, and we hope we can help provide space to newly displaced nonprofit and social benefit orgs who will be forced to move because of the rent-hike. (Pardon my ignorance on this) but can someone explain the benefits of Homestead land and how Homestead differs from Open Sim? We are having Terrance Linden speak at our Friday morning NPC Open Townhall meeting, so it may be a good chance to ask your questions to a live linden who has the inside scoop.

--Susan Tenby.

Online Community Director, TechSoup Labs

susan@techsoup.org

SL avatar: Glitteractica Cookie

Twitter: @suzboop

http://www.nonprofitcommons.org

http://www.techsoup.org

http://www.techsoupglobal.org

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hi Maria,

We're all for conversation about the decision outlined in this blog post, but your comment is merely advertising for a competing service, and as such it contravenes our discussion guidelines, so I'm going to delete it, sorry!

Wallace

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hi Maria,

We're all for conversation about the decision outlined in this blog post, but your comment is merely advertising for a competing service, and as such it contravenes our discussion guidelines, so I'm going to delete it, sorry!

Wallace

Oh Wallace, promote why your product is better, don't paint yourselves as being afraid of competition.

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I'm not involved in education in SL, but I'm sure LL feels they have analyzed the pros and cons of supporting it, and evidently they are happy to see schools go.  This is incomprehensible to me, though.  Are they aware of how many educators own or rent land in SL which is NOT on the school's property?  The Steamland's library system, Metanomics, Oxbridge ... etc. etc.  ... how many institutions grew out of academics in SL?

The timing is particularly bizarre - just when LL's supposedly figured out how to create safe areas for teens, and in the middle of the school year.

What a boon for ReactionGrid.  I don't suppose LL's plotting any sort of merger with them?

ETA: I always thought it might be good for LL to have one grid for business/education, and a separate one for entertainment.

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Linden Lab has the management abilities of The Three Stooges.

And so much for Philip's promise at SLCC to be dedicated to education.

Dedicated to shutting us down.

My next simulation built with colleagues will be in OpenSim.

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Hello Everyone,


We here at the Nonprofit Commons are ready to assist any organizations that are displaced by these changes. I hope to learn more about the Homestead and Open Space regions. Hopefully, we can get some more clarification from Terrance Linden at our meeting this Friday.

 

thanks,

 

Layal

TechSoup

Nonprofit Commons Volunteer Manager

SL Avatar: Ninlil Xeltentat

Twitter: @Layalzebub

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I have to agree that's a major concern that they -don't- rule out raising Tier for mainlanders.

I own over half a mainland region now, with bits and pieces scattered in other regions across Corsica.  I devoted a lot of time to getting this land taken out of abandonment.  If tier goes up, much of it, perhaps all of it, is going to be abandoned again.  I'd feel bad about it -- but I can only pay what I can pay.

I can see the point about the educational fiscal year versus the calendar year, and that'll suck.  Then there's what my Dad would have called a "Yeahbut."  Yeah, it'll cost more, but it wasn't a lower price, it was a -discount-, an exception to a rule that applies to everyone else.  It wasn't kind to remove it right now, but it was fair.

I'd agree, though, that making the change right now is a bonehead play by LL.  Many of the people in education who would love to be able to continue here, simply won't be able to.  Owning a whole Sim doesn't appear scaleable.  You own it all, or you don't own any of it.  So there's no option I see for cutting back, especially by half.  There's no option I see for asking for the additional money.  The only option is to leave.  Dumb, dumb, dumb.

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I find it interesting that LL calls Tier 'maintenance' when for the most part, it is rent.

I hope someday LL changes how they price SIMs. I realize that the fat SIM pricing is how LL made it's money in the first place, but it's quite excessive in my opinion.

My suggestion for LL as to how to price SIMs and continue to grow SL is this:

$99 USD setup fee for any full SIM.

Basic monthly fee of $50 USD for the sim. Then charge additional fees based upon:

Traffic: How many people visit the SIM each month. How much of the SIM is downloaded from LL servers?

Addition Server Usage: Scripts. How many scripts are running on the server and how much time/CPU resources do they take?

Storage: How much storage in megabytes does the data that makes up the SIM take? (objects, prims, polygons, etc.)

Bandwidth: How many visitors? How much data does each visitor download from the server when on the sim? (textures & objects - other Avatars)

This way, more people can afford a SIM. More people can avoid 'Land Barons'. More people can avoid having SIMs sold out from under them. More people feel as if the pricing from LL is justified. Busy businesses who own sims with massive amounts of traffic will pay more. People can monitor the above things to determine overall traffic, usage, storage and bandwidth.

We all know that 1 SIM does not get it's own physical server. So why charge people like they are getting this when in actuality they are getting a Virtual Private Server or VPS.

It's time to offer more value and more open, fair pricing to your customers.

$300 a month is a car payment, or a mortgage in some states. It's a crazy amount for the rental of a part of a 'server'. Save and grow the SL world by changing how you price things. It makes sense.

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Mano, you make a good point, Second Life is a service.  And yes they are certainly entitled to do whatever in the world they want to do.  But, what they offer in effect is the rental of an educational space.  Imagine if you will that you are renting a house yourself.  You have been there several years, and at your own expense you've made many upgrades to the home.  You only get paid once a year.  How would you feel, if half way through the year, your landlord doubled your rent and you could no longer afford to live in your home.  So, what are you going to do?

Well, you could try to reallocate your budget for the year and cut back on other expenses. (Unfortunately for some institutions that have specific line items in their budget requiring allocated funds to go for only for that particular item, this is not an option)  Or you could move, but if you do that, you will incur moving costs, and you will lose all of the time and money that you spent improving your home.

This is the reason that all of the educators are up in arms.  As the provider of a service LL is either naïvely ignorant of the way their customer's budgeting process works, or they don't care.  In either case, it is extremely poor customer service.

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Many of the educational areas are run by universities. By most accounts universities are populated by academics and students... most of whom are over the age of 18.

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What better way to attract people to SL than to increase costs to educational and non-profit organizations. Really shows your equal treatment of everyone, doesn't it? After all, nothing more equal than charging every cent you can get from the consumers.

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