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It's time we stand up against LL and tell them they need to make SL far for everyone


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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

I never mentioned VAT.. not once. I stated that at 8 am EST in the beginning of 2007 there were usually about 10k users online.

 

Thinking about further... my first av was back in jan 06... that may be what i was thinking of.

i remember times in the cartel group we were wondering if 30k was gonna crash the grid..

my first year there was times it would hit 80k online..

it may not have been the avg.. was in 2007..but jan 2008 it was already avg 38k online..

2009 was avg almost 70k online..

and first quarter of 2009 hit 88k+ avg..

 

2007 when gol3 was up our avg traffic was 140k per day..

 

i don't know how they figure the avg ..maybe by quarters?

i just know that there was a period in might have been 2008 where we thought ..were we gonna hit the 100k mark..

it was something we were always looking atin the forumm cartel group..

gambling is what really started the drop i numbers..i mean it never getting better than when gambling was around..it just seemed to gradually drop after LL got rid of tht and also made a few more bloopers ..

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

I never mentioned VAT.. not once. I stated that at 8 am EST in the beginning of 2007 there were usually about 10k users online.

 

Thinking about further... my first av was back in jan 06... that may be what i was thinking of.

You're right. You didn't mention VAT. I was mixing your post and someone else's post up in my head. Sorry.

In my previous post, I actually started to write that I could easily accept the 10k figure if it were in 2006, but I rubbed it out before posting. That's probably when it was - your previous avatar in 2006.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

Premium Membership fees are only one aspect of the loss. More important was the loss of European landowners (some of whom owned hundreds of estates, not to mention all the mom & pop landowners). Many European landowners were also business owners who shut down their businesses when they dumped their land. They had not only invested money, but a great deal of time in SL. Also, let's not forget the non-European business owners who were renting from European landowners. They too were adversely affected when their European landlords sold out. Linden Lab's change of policy had a negative domino effect across all of SL.

There is simply no way to see the "clumsy" and unnecessary loss of European investors, landowners and Premium members during the critical growth phase of a new product as a good thing.

I have to go along with Theresa on this. I do remember LL starting to add VAT for we Europeans but I didn't notice any mass exodus of Europeans following it, or drop in the number of sims. I was a European landowner and businessman at the time, and I just sucked the VAT up. I had less than a sim of land but I had a very profitable business so, although I'd rather not have paid VAT, it was no big deal. I'd venture to suggest that, at the time VAT was added, any European owned businesses that were more than just managing to make tier and a bit of spending money, continued as normal. Lower profits, of course, but carrying on regardless.

I honestly think that your take on the effect of VAT being added is mistaken. I don't insist that it's mistaken because I have no evidence one way or the other (except myself, of course), but I do believe it.

I have no doubt that some Europeans packed their businesses and land up, but nowhere near on the scale that you are saying.

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That'll be it then. It was Drake's previous avatar that he was remembering :) I wasn't around at that time, so the small bell that was ringing in my memory, about blocking Basic access, was either something I heard after the event or it came up again for some reason. I'm inclined to think it's the latter.

Thank you, Amethyst.

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@Thread (I used the general "Reply" button so no telling to whom it will look like I am responding):

Does anyone know if Desmond Shang is European RL?  I always got the impression he is Briitish, but I really have no idea.  That thought kept coming to mind in the "VAT causing European landowners to leave" discussion.

 

 

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Czari Zenovka wrote:

@Thread (I used the general "Reply" button so no telling to whom it will look like I am responding):

Does anyone know if Desmond Shang is European RL?  I always got the impression he is Briitish, but I really have no idea.  That thought kept coming to mind in the "VAT causing European landowners to leave" discussion.

 

 

i believe he is in the U.S. if i remember right.. i seen him pop up over at SLU maybe a month or so back..

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Ceka Cianci wrote:


Czari Zenovka wrote:

@Thread (I used the general "Reply" button so no telling to whom it will look like I am responding):

Does anyone know if Desmond Shang is European RL?  I always got the impression he is Briitish, but I really have no idea.  That thought kept coming to mind in the "VAT causing European landowners to leave" discussion.

 

 

i believe he is in the U.S. if i remember right.. i seen him pop up over at SLU maybe a month or so back..

Thanks Phil & Ceka.  I know he has decreased his land holdings but, in looking at Caledon on the map, he still owns a LOT of sims.  I found an article here where he brings an interesting perspective to the lowering tier issue.  I hadn't thought about the people he calls the "Rip Van Winkles" for a long time, but do know to whom he refers.  Desmond is talking about those who rent parcels on his land but there are also some (no idea how many) who purchased land or got "first land" or however it came about on the zoned residential sims like Blumfield, etc. and who still own the parcels/homes, although they haven't logged into SL in years.  Marianne McCann used to mention that on the old forums.

I walked around Blumfield recently and there is virtually no sign of life (no pun intended) BUT, except for two rental parcels that I personally stumbled upon, all/a majority of the parcels are owned.

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You are correct that the number of estate sims increased from September 2007 to September 2008, at which point, they peaked and have been falling ever since. There are several possible explanations why the VAT effect does not appear in that timeframe:

  1. European landowners were irrelevant, the European market was insignificant and I am completely wrong in my analysis because Europeans never have and never will contribute very much to Linden Lab revenues. This, though, contradicts Linden Lab's stated attitudes and goals concerning the globalization of Second Life. In January 2008 (the final economic report from LL), US residents represented 34.96% of avatars and 37.69% of user hours. Also in January 2008, Premium memberships fell for the first time ever.
  2. Europeans gleefully swallowed the 20-25% price increase. I was there. They didn't.
  3. Europeans sold out to incoming US residents.

On the other issue, yes, I believe SL would be much bigger if membership and tier prices were lowered back to their 2006 relative price. The relative price of SL (relative to other products and services in the infotainment market) has risen steadily since 2006, to the point where it is now roughly three times what it was in 2006. Second Life is certainly not three times better than it was in 2006.

Bottom line: Second Life has become increasingly expensive over time, first to Europeans (landowners and Premium members) then later to all others (landowners and Premium members). The quantity of estate sims is now back to where it was five years ago in July 2008. Second Life is not growing internationally; it is not growing at all. It has become a niche product with a hardcore userbase who are willing to pay the (relatively) high prices. I would call that 'missed opportunity' and 'stagnation'.

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Czari Zenovka wrote:


Ceka Cianci wrote:


Czari Zenovka wrote:

@Thread (I used the general "Reply" button so no telling to whom it will look like I am responding):

Does anyone know if Desmond Shang is European RL?  I always got the impression he is Briitish, but I really have no idea.  That thought kept coming to mind in the "VAT causing European landowners to leave" discussion.

 

 

i believe he is in the U.S. if i remember right.. i seen him pop up over at SLU maybe a month or so back..

Thanks Phil & Ceka.  I know he has decreased his land holdings but, in looking at Caledon on the map, he still owns a LOT of sims.  I found an article
where he brings an interesting perspective to the lowering tier issue.  I hadn't thought about the people he calls the "Rip Van Winkles" for a long time, but do know to whom he refers.  Desmond is talking about those who rent parcels on his land but there are also some (no idea how many) who purchased land or got "first land" or however it came about on the zoned residential sims like Blumfield, etc. and who still own the parcels/homes, although they haven't logged into SL in years.  Marianne McCann used to mention that on the old forums.

I walked around Blumfield recently and there is virtually no sign of life (no pun intended) BUT, except for two rental parcels that I personally stumbled upon, all/a majority of the parcels are owned.

I read Desmond's comments and browsed through a number of the replies.

He brings some interesting perspective into the discussion.

One issue he really did not address is that most new Residents have no idea what a Land Baron is or that they even exist.  Consider the difficulty in explaining to a new person the difference between "Mainland" and "Estates."

In a certain sense the new user experience and expectation hasn't changed over the years.  We signed up and logged in hoping to find a little piece of heaven (or hell, if that was your desire).   How many of us signed up with the idea of earning RL income or knowing it was even possible?  I know I certainly did not. 

But the one thing we all learned very quickly was that whether you rented or owned, land in SL was not "cheap."  And really, even in a supposedly affluent nation like the U.S., how many people really have $200 to $300 a month in disposable income that they can throw at SIM ownership?  And would the percentage of people who could afford to throw $100 to $150  a month at SIM ownership be that much larger if LL cut tier in half? Are there really enough people who could afford it to offset the drastic reduction in profit margin who would buy enough land to offset the numbers?  

And still, after all, none of us really know what LL's profit margins are.  At best we get educated guesses.  And there is also a phenomenon in RL, that as population density grows, the per capita cost of maintaining infrastructure goes up.  Would we see this happen in SL as well?

 

eta clarity

 

 

 

 

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Deltango Vale wrote:

You are correct that the number of estate sims increased from September 2007 to September 2008, at which point, they peaked and have been falling ever since. There are several possible explanations why the VAT effect does not appear in that timeframe:
  1. European landowners were irrelevant, the European market was insignificant and I am completely wrong in my analysis because Europeans never have and never will contribute very much to Linden Lab revenues. This, though, contradicts Linden Lab's stated attitudes and goals concerning the globalization of Second Life. In January 2008 (the final economic report from LL), US residents represented 34.96% of avatars and 37.69% of user hours. Also in January 2008, Premium memberships fell for the first time ever.
  2. Europeans gleefully swallowed the 20-25% price increase. I was there. They didn't.
  3. Europeans sold out to incoming US residents.

 

As it just so happens, I found statistics showing a world breakdown of users of SL from July through December 2007 - show me where the numbers indicate an European exodus after September 20.

http://secondter.wikispaces.com/Second+Life+User+Statistics

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Perrie Juran wrote:

And there is also a phenomenon in RL, that as population density grows, the per capita cost of maintaining infrastructure goes up.  Would we see this happen in SL as well?


I don't think so. RL cars don't go 10x faster than they did in 2003. RL roads can't carry 10x the traffic. Yet that's what's happened to computers and communications during that time span. Internet population density, whether measured as throughput or storage capacity has increased dramatically. Response times have improved dramatically as well.

Del does make an interesting point about the relative cost of SL over the years. I now have 6x my 2003 internet bandwidth at about the same monthly fee. My latest Mac is 10x faster than the one I had in 2003, and cost about the same (adjusted for inflation, it's cheaper). My backup hard drive is easily 10x bigger than in 2003 and cost less ($100 for 2T today).

Yet the SL sim prim limit hasn't changed, windlight and rendering are largely client loads, and sim avatar carrying capacity hasn't grown much, so you'd think LL could co-locate more sims on a server these days (have they?). Or has the work being done by the servers become 10x greater in the last decade? Where's all that compute power and storage capacity going?

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In the past ten years they have added how many different things to SL?

Flexi

Sculpies

avatar physics

Pathfinding

mesh

Server side assets (not completed, i know.)

Barely any issue with sim crossing.

voice

and they have not raised prices... and people still **bleep** and moan. Those that complain should shut up before LL wises up and raises prices.

I love how people compare tech from ten years ago with todays and say LL should lower prices. Food prices keep ging up, as does rent, cars, clothing, schooling, books, gasoline and many other things.. but itech is better so it should all be cheaper!!  Complain about things that they might do something about. Better graphics usage, search programs, lowering lag, flexi mesh.. that would be cool.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

 

I love how people compare tech from ten years ago with todays and say LL should lower prices. Food prices keep ging up, as does rent, cars, clothing, schooling, books, gasoline and many other things.. but itech is better so it should all be cheaper!! 

That's largely because tech has become cheaper over the years, which is good for a whole range of industries, not so good for some, bricks and mortar shops have felt the pinch.

Private regions are at their lowest level since June 2008, LL need to get more creative with their income streams.

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Drake1 Nightfire wrote:

In the past ten years they have added how many different things to SL?

Flexi
(viewer load)

Sculpies
(viewer load)

avatar physics
(viewer load)

Pathfinding
(server load)

mesh
(viewer load)

Server side assets (not completed, i know.)
(appearance? then server load)

Barely any issue with sim crossing.
(server issue, not necessarily load)

voice
(viewer load)

and they have not raised prices... and people still **bleep** and moan. Those that complain should shut up before LL wises up and raises prices.

I love how people compare tech from ten years ago with todays and say LL should lower prices. Food prices keep ging up, as does rent, cars, clothing, schooling, books, gasoline and many other things.. but itech is better so it should all be cheaper!!  Complain about things that they might do something about. Better graphics usage, search programs, lowering lag, flexi mesh.. that would be cool.

As you can see from my notes (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong), most of the improvements you've cited are on the viewer side and do not impact server load or storage requirements. You can give LL credit for writing some of the code, but not for lofting the infrastructure, that investment was made by the residents.

Pathfinding, sim crossings and SSA would impact server load. Have those improvements eaten up all the 10x+ improvement in computing over the last decade? Concurrency is declining, so storage requirements are probably not growing exponentially. Remember, most of your inventory is just UUID's to existing assets. Snapshots saved to inventory may be one of the largest storage hogs in the system.

I've seen no good explanation for why LL's server costs should be doing anything but declining.

Bill Gates made this comparison at the 1997 COMDEX...

"The PC industry is different than any other industry. The volume, the openness, the innovation, it's really unequaled. In fact, comparisons are often done between this industry and others, and it's just stunning when you look at it. The price of a mid-sized auto, it's about double what it used to be. Cereal, I admit I don't buy that much cereal, but research shows that, too, has doubled in price. And if you take that and say, what would those prices be if it were like the PC industry, the car would cost about $27, and the cereal would cost about one cent. So, I think there's a lot to be learned by watching how this industry has done what it's done."

You can continue to compare tech and non tech industries as if they progress on the same curve if you wish. History disagrees.

Here's a chart of another related industry, video gaming (US only), which shows the same sort of decline as SL's historical concurrency since 2008/9. I've long argued that mobile is a big culprit here and I still think it.

http://images.wikia.com/vgsales/images/6/6d/US_Inflation-Adjusted_Revenues_1973-2011.png

ETA: I have another explanation for the lack of price decline. I suspect that technology costs not the majority of of LL's expenses. They probably send most of their revenue off to salaries and wages. As technology improves and concurrency declines, ever less of their budget will go to infrastructure. They are more like a software and customer service company than an ISP.

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Another factor is that SL isn't a closed system financially. People can and do get money OUT and there are people who even make a profit on it. LL's main intended customers for regions are those who are doing business and can have at least part of the tier subsidized by customers. Of course they'll say, "You want to send us $295 a month for your personal amusement? Be our effing guest!" if someone wants that, but that's not really their expectation.

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:


ETA: I have another explanation for the lack of price decline. I suspect that technology costs not the majority of of LL's expenses. They probably send most of their revenue off to salaries and wages. As technology improves and concurrency declines, ever less of their budget will go to infrastructure. They are more like a software and customer service company than an ISP.

Electricity, rent, server maintenance, Security staff.. none of those things have come down in price. they have all gone up in cost.. and yet, they STILL have not raised the cost of tier..

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didn't tier go up back with that whole OS sim scandal thing back whenever that was?or whatever people called it..

back when they made the changes to void sims..

i could swear tier used to be less for full 16,000 prim sims as well at some point..but heck i don't remember all of that ..

but i remember a lot of people getting mad about the whole void to OS homestead thing..

 

Jack Linden:

sadly there is a twist. Unfortunately most of the Openspaces are being used for much more than light use. Openspaces are being used about twice as much as we expected, in other words being loaded with double the content/avatar load than we’d expect for a region that is supposed to be light use. Because they were never intended for that level of load this is causing problems. For some people this has meant a less than great experience with performance fluctuations. The overuse of Openspaces has also put additional strain on some of our network and database infrastructure at a much higher ratio than is reflected in the current pricing.

The results? A ‘pricing change’ for voids effective January 1st. Lindens will increase the monthly maintenance fee from USD$75 to USD$125 per month. That’s a 66% increase! Purchasing an Openspace will become more expansive too and ‘educational use’ discounts will be no longer available for Openspaces.

 

then later pulling the discount for educational sims as well in 2010 i believe.

 

when they give an increase they give it in like the 50% and 60% leaps hehehe

 

even ROD said for the year 2012..the coming year ..there will be no increase in tier?

why woudl he say that if there hasn't been?

 

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Yet the SL sim prim limit hasn't changed
, windlight and rendering are largely client loads, and sim avatar carrying capacity hasn't grown much, so you'd think LL could co-locate more sims on a server these days (have they?). Or has the work being done by the servers become 10x greater in the last decade? Where's all that compute power and storage capacity going?


The NUMBER hasn't changed but the meaning of that number has. In 2006 15000 prims meant 15000 boxes, spheres, etc. Now it's possible to make an entire living room set that's only one prim. With the new "prim equivalence" accounting the allowable amount of 2006-era prims has basically doubled and that's only because the minimum server weight of a prim is 0.5. This also doesn't take into account the use of meshes. I'm working on a new house - I put in a beautifully modelled computer on a detailed "tank" desk with a chair on casters - 3 prims worth of land impact TOTAL.

Linden Lab IS also running more regions per server and they've gone from needing three server farms to two.

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