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Two Important Updates on 2011 Land Pricing

Nelson Linden


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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Doggie - what's your inside information on Linden's actual cost to run a sim?  Without that info, how can you be so sure Linden isn't making a profit on academic level pricing - or even something less than that?

I think you may be confusing sale price with the cost of actually producing a product.

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As a member of a nonprofit sim community that has been on grid since 2006, I find this change in policy disturbing at best.  Most nonprofits run on annual funding cycles that require grant writing and other fundraising to stay afloat.  Raising costs at the end of a calendar year when most grant cycles run on a different calendar (say May to May) will cause most nonprofits to fall off the grid due to lack of adequate funding because they budgeted based on the existing pay structure and cannot continue if charged at a different rate. 

Linden Labs, y'all need to rethink this.  If you're willing to see a significant portion of your userbase fall off the grid and to lose the money they've been paying you for years, wander on into the mists of your imagination without libraries, universities, and religious communities because we will likely not be able to journey with you.

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Skylar, yes, this does seem consistent with Linden Lab going under, doesn't?  If people are upset now, imagine how upset an edu would be if they paid full price in 2011 and a few months later Linden Lab went out of business!  Can we can trust that Linden Lab will be around for a full year after we've paid our bill?

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Nany Kayo  says

[As a  side note on this person's long running and off-topic rant, all of his  statements are factually incorrect.  He didn't even get the number of  sims right.  He got the amounts of money and the



You have 5 sims in a cross layout, 3 across and 1 on top and 1 on the bottom= 5 unless you added more in the last few days or duped some I didn't notice, then the number was FIVE.

Macarthur foundation lists the amount of their grants on their web site macfound.org, if people go look you will notice in one of the subpages it explains the grant process and the expected amounts. It lists a MINIMUM grant that they give, without looking right now as I remember it was $25,000 or about that amount. Whether it is $25,000 or $10,000 is not the point, the point was this money was given to buy virtual sims that have seen little traffic or interest, and which consisted of 4 rolling hills scenery sims and one central sim. The "education" part consisted of some display signs scattered about.

The issue was the threats, intimidation tactics,  and attacks on OTHER sim owners who pay full costs to enjoy their sims and content.

As free grant money was used to fund this, and my sims and paying tenants on it were being slandered, threatened and attacked, I personally got with a friend and we tracked down the information we needed to take action. During the course of that we obtained a  registered name, address and phone, as well as at least one of the grant giving entities involved and I and a number of others sent them complaints, logs and other evidence showing what this grant was being used for and how it was being subverted into attempting to shut down OTHER PEOPLE'S role play sims so this person could have a monopoly on native indian goods and content in SL.

I have IM's and notecards that my merchants, other sim owners and individuals sent me that show what was going on.

Sorry, but that is NOT an appropriate or legitimate use of GRANT money by any stretch of the imagination, nor is taking advantage of the non-profit 50% discount to do this.

I for one will be happy to see this block of "education"  sims go bye bye, as I'm sure the admins of Tombstone, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and the other western 1860's native role play sims will too.

We'll cheer and have a party!

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Qwalphi, What do you think of the comment by Alisha above yours?  The income would increase by the same amount, but would the net tax be the same?

I agree that accounting for this stuff is pretty complicated.  We do include the full price of SL land in our budget then list the discount as a donation.  That's the way our fiscal sponsor set it up.

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My university went from one sim to four. They were already abandoning  one sim this year due to funding cutbacks, now they will abandon all of them.

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Whilst I think this is proposal is a good idea it would cause some problems for smaller universities, libraries and NPO.

As an example, my partner created the island for our University, since then I have been the only person actively working on this project.  I am not a technologist so most things take me a very long time.

Small universities do not have either the funds or the workforce to work on "high risk" projects.  It has been two years and I am only now starting to see a very few lecturers starting to use SL for teaching.

Even though we don't have very high traffic stats we do play an active and supportive role in our community and I would hate to have to leave just because we are not as wealthy as Imperial College.

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"karma has a way of biting ya and grants in the backside, as you see now "

Karma will come around to the RP sims January 2012 when their tier/maintenance fees increase.

Then we will will hear a whole chorus of new complaints singing the Blues when it is their turn to pay more.

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Hi there Linden's

Mad idea..

Stop thinking in $$$

I Mentoring for different Non Profits, and i can tell you:

They not have the $, you digging for..

Making your Busyness looking better for Microsoft, or what is your Plan?

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The resident who provided the previous content, if any, has replaced it with this generic statement.will/public relations, not taxes.

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Yes, you're right...a discount does get deducted from gross income...it's not a deduction in taxes. Net income would end up being the same amount.

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As someone that works for a non-profit in SL (and in RL for that matter) I am really crushed by this news. We've had to scale back and so far I've been able to limit the cuts to just staff hours in SL (down to the point where I am the only one running the Island). With this news, though, plus the budget hits Library World is taking in the real economy I don't know how I could responsibly say the cost was justified. I've constantly had to justify this program from the beginning to my less enlightened hier-ups. Lord knows this will not help be win any hearts.

The few people in this thread cheering the news furthers my disappointment. I get that abuses on the system happened, but how is that my fault as a ligit non-profit? Isn't it LL's job to fix/police that system on their own?

And, wow, some non-profit got a grant and targeted an RPG sim? That sucks, Doggie, and as a resident and professional in SL I'm sorry to hear that that happened to you. I don't understand how that lessons the work that I or others in the non-profit and education community were trying to do, though.

I really thought the work I did in SL was good, even if it didn't sweep across the entire Grid. I certainly don't think my work (or that of my many collegues) has left the Grid worse-off and I like to think we haven't harmed the 'mainstream rezzies'. I really hope LL backs off this idea.

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Ok now this is just Stupid.  Why would you  do this to non profit and educators?!  These people bring people INTO SL!  Some people may not think it effects economy but it does.  I happen to know one person in SL, who happens to have her Main Character and an educator, who has an alt she plays in IN world that spends well over 200US a month buying product in world for game play. I've never OUTRIGHT been miffed at LL but THIS does make me upset.

Secondlife is supposed to be about community and that includes support of Non profit organizations!  These people promote awareness on issues such as Aids, Autism, Disabilities, veterans..etc...it goes on and on!  I'm sorry but this is just Out and OUT WRONG and Crazy.  Not too long ago LL was going on about how it can be such a useful tool for Educators..etc.  Now look.  Such a shame.

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I may not be the smartest kid on the block but you know what this sounds like to me folks? This, Teen Grid going... easing educators out with price increases.

How about trimming off the fat to make a more slimmer looking animal to sell off? huh??

Or am I just paranoid???

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Before I ask a question, I'll say that including a little philanthropy in a for-profit company's activities can certainly go a long way in creating positive PR. I am surprised that LL is moving away from at least the appearance of such ... the seedy-side reputation for SL in the outside world is alive and well, and I do not see how they expect to bring in mainstream mom and dad, and teenager Timmy without doing more to repair its reputation.

That being said, here is my question: How much bang for the buck are educators and non profit organizations actually seeing through the use of secondlife, even at the discounted rate? Especially for the non profits ... Setting up house in SL means accessing a very particular, narrowly focused audience .... that in-between audience of not-exactly-gamers ... and only those that can afford all of the system requirements in order to access SL in any meaninful productive way.

I do understand that a couple of years ago people had big hopes ... that 3D environments like SL would be the next exciting wave to jump on, but that just has not panned out ... the interface is more complex than most mainstream have the patience for. In fact, in the last couple of years, for real-life applications, the movement seems to be leaning more toward the augmentation of real-life (such as projecting live 3D images of actual people into your conference room, rather than having to create cartoon versions of yourself) rather than a substitution for it ... and ways to have a physical avatar presence rather than being tied to a screen.

So, while the non-profits and educators that set up shop here in SL a few years ago had a reasonable hope that it would become a mainstream technology, at this point do you really still believe that?

For $150/month, I imagine you could do a lot more ... reach a far wider audience in the millions or hundreds of millions with non-3D web tools, conferencing services, e-course software, etc.

I guess I am just surprised that non-profits would even want to continue throw their money at a platform like this, and be associated with SL ... with the reputation it currently has and considering the small audience.

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Are you guys completely out of your mind ?


This is a disaster for the SL community : so many great and useful places will just vanish...

And the lab won't get a dime from it. I guess OpenSims and Inworldz will have all the benefits.

Not mentionning how incredibly bad such a decision looks in terms of PR.

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I stopped at this post because honestly I got a little sick of all the complaining. I think you educational non-for-profits have to realize one thing you never ever seem to do. There is no endless supply of money for anyone. We are in the biggest recession of our life times. Costs of doing business have to be covered just like anywhere else. LL is doing what any other business in any other industry is doing. Re-aligning revenue with cost.

All the non-for-profits have been riding free for a long time. Mostly on the tier and membership fees of the casual user base. Memberships are down. Tier is down. Other transaction revenue is down. So it is now time for your organizations to pay your share like everyone else. All of us so called for profit people have been doing it all along.

There has been a lot of chatter about you going to Open Sim, hosting your own sims, and what not. Go ahead! See what the hidden costs will be. Are you going to have a 24/7 staff? Who is going to do the admin? What about security. See how much you like the new digs when you have a sim crash. and a sim crash and a sim crash and a sim crash. See how you like the lack of overall performance.

You think LL is trying to stick it to you. What you don't understand is that costs have to be covered by some one. It time for pay to play. You want to play, you have to pay. Not the rest of us for profit residents. We already pay our share.

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Setting up house in SL means accessing a very particular, narrowly focused audience .... that in-between audience of not-exactly-gamers ... and only those that can afford all of the system requirements in order to access SL in any meaninful productive way.


I must take personal exception to this.  I am NOT in a little box that says "not-exactly-gamers".  I play TF2 and Starcraft regularly.  I was online the night World of Warcraft opened.  I am also a homeschooler, a disability rights activist, a philanthropic scripter, and one of the leaders of an active social/sci-fi fandom group here in SL.  I have worked alongside some of the non-profits in SL.  We are not 2-dimensional people in a 3-dimensional world, here, Om.  The same people who work to make the Non-Profits a success in SL are also involved in other things inside SL and outside of it. Their departure will be felt strongly outside of their non-profit work.

Many of the things I have seen may not directly impact as many people, but the indirect impact is incalculable.  Virtual Ability (to use one example) is a meeting place for people with disabilities, professionals, and those totally new to the Disability Community from all over the world.  Nowhere else offers a gathering of ideas and experiences quite like that.  Educators and their students come there to learn about Disability and how their field interacts with People With Disabilities. People who did not realize that a Blind person can use a computer at all  have sat down in a meeting with someone who has been Blind since birth  and using Virtual Worlds since the mid-90's.  When they leave, they take that knowledge with them and share it out in the Real World.  It has a real impact.

The technology doesn't yet support huge groups of students, that is true.  But for a "Train the Trainer" venue that is international in scope and limitless in diversity, it is unmatched.

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I think the general opinion is that this sucks, and as someone who is in the process of starting up a project where the budget for sims has already been fixed I certainly agree. But lets drop the melodrama and stop predicting the eminent death of SL, -while this is surely an unfortunate move it wil not kill education in SL or SL as such nor will it lead to a massive exodus.

For my part I am simply forced to downsize (and pay my tier well in advance), so this will not lead to more dough in Philips pockets, and I would wager that this will be the predominant strategy for dealing with this problem rather than a migration to OpenSim which is IMO hopelessly unstable atm.

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Education is THE only really good thing about SL for me, LL should make life easier for anyone who wants to add a bit more to SL then just virtual naughtyness and shopping.

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Unless I misunderstood how pricing works non-profit and education discounts weren't subsidized by the cost of tier for 'regular' residents. I don't think we're going to see a fall in tier pricing for everyday sim owners now that the non-profits and education folk are being priced out. Really, if there is a mass exodus from the people that actually had regular funding then it could be quite the opposite. If too many education sims close they may be raising your rates come the next "Important Update on 2011 Land Pricing"

I'm annoyed as a non-profit worker, but the OTHER me that is in SL as a regular person with land and shops and stuff is worried as a rank-and-file resident.

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