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Muletta

Lately....

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The past (almost) 2 months I have noticed a fall in the amount of customers...If I look at last year in September and October, the activity was a lot bigger, than it has been lately. - I also see less people online, than there use to be.

I know from a couple of friends, that their amount of customers have fallen also, so I wonder if any of you have noticed the same in your business?

..and if yes, what is the reason for that, you think?

 

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Well I've heard people say SL is dead... And to me in comparison to a few years ago there seems to be less people online like you say...I've seen stores that closed that neverrrrr would have so quickly in the past... I think it's just not as many people playing... Or maybe they're all looking for very specific things and there's a secret trend... I mean from last year the fashion trends seem to be a lot different than this year (going by all the fashion blogs) but some stores remain the same and don't follow it (it's not a bad thing I'm just guessing around)... You also get the fact that people stop playing but I'm not sure if the ratio to people going is at par with those coming. I mean because so many noobs don't seem to stay around they just make an account an go..(esp with the confusion of mesh). But with older members leaving It means less people... And the older members that stay already probably have a lot of stuff, it may be hard to find something unique and not too close to what you already have... That's my guess I guess lol... It's sad not as many might be playing because we're getting such new cool waves of cool things in SL like new mesh forms and stuff...

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Thanks for your interesting thoughts Mystrawberrymilk. I am not sure that SL is dead, as someone claims, but I am sure that something or other bad has happened to SL the past two months…

I am very united in your opinion about noobs leaving because of the mesh-avas. We only have to look at all the questions in forum, about how to do with all the problems new residents have about figuring out, just to put some clothes on, after they have joined SL, wearing a mesh-body. I think a lot lose interest after struggling alone with such basic stuff, as to wear a new dress or some nice jeans.

The new skill game policy may also have made a difference…and might have given SL it’s mortal wound (at least until it catches it’s breath again). – It is as if the residents, who used to get their income from gaming only, now either have to upgrade to premium, have to get used to a second life without any money at all, or have to leave the world.

I find it interesting to hear your and other merchants observations about the latest development in sl.

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I make mesh buildings/construction sets and environment stuff, not fashion - so I'm in a completely different market and my observations may not be relevant.

Having said that, my sales have actually increased over the past couple months. I noticed a big dip around the time that the SL 2 announcement 'slipped' and consumer confidence plummeted, but since then my averages are up.

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Concurrency has been fairly stable for the last two months, though still declining slowly over the long haul. August through October is the slow season. Things pick up going into the holidays, with a dip right around Xmas. The peak is usually around Valentine's day.

If you're seeing a big change, I wonder if it isn't something specific to you and your business. Could someone else be sorting higher than you in search now? Are your products subject to the vagaries of fashion?

Here's concurrency for the last year...

http://taterunino.net/statcharts/median_conc_by_day400.jpg

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Muletta wrote:

 

The new skill game policy may also have made a difference…and might have given SL it’s mortal wound (at least until it catches it’s breath again). – It is as if the residents, who used to get their income from gaming only, now either have to upgrade to premium, have to get used to a second life without any money at all, or have to leave the world.

I find it interesting to hear your and other merchants observations about the latest development in sl.

Talk about "interesting" - "skill games" are glorified slot machines. You generally need to put Lindens into them to play and if your level of "skill" is high enough yoou might be able to almost break even consistently. I suppose its possible that there were a few skill-game regions with freeplay machines that may have paid out a few Lindens but I find it hard to believe that anyone ever made a significant profit off of them besides the people running them.

As far as the new avatars - the old ones were just as confusing. Trust me. I remember wondering why the "hair" sliders weren't doing anything with my Female Student hair.

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All I know from my purely subjective and andecdotal (but to me FACTUAL), that 0/50 people I know that have come to 2nd Life, no longer log in.

Most of it was due to absolute confusion as 1) what to do 2) where to go 3) expensive land  4) antisocial users (especially in chat hubs).

I"m only left because I use 2nd Life as a creative outlet and testing ground.

But I'm the only one left.

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IvanBenjammin wrote:

I make mesh buildings/construction sets and environment stuff, not fashion - so I'm in a completely different market and my observations may not be relevant.

Having said that, my sales have actually increased over the past couple months. I noticed a big dip around the time that the SL 2 announcement 'slipped' and consumer confidence plummeted, but since then my averages are up.

Maybe your experience with the increased sale, is connected to my thoughts about more people upgrading to premium these days, and now buy their own land? I think it could be a possibility.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

Concurrency has been fairly stable for the last two months, though still declining slowly over the long haul. August through October is the slow season. Things pick up going into the holidays, with a dip right around Xmas. The peak is usually around Valentine's day.

If you're seeing a big change, I wonder if it isn't something specific to you and your business. Could someone else be sorting higher than you in search now? Are your products subject to the vagaries of fashion?

Here's concurrency for the last year...


I have experienced it different. Last year everything went well, until April where suddenly everything stopped from day to day, and I never found out why…Again in May the activity came back, and August through October were great last year, and the peak came in the month of Christmas, whereas there was a fall around Valentine’s day…. But of course all depends of what one is selling, I know.

The weird thing is, that my income hasn’t been reduced much lately – only the amount of new visitors have fallen a lot. The few who has visited the place, have been spending more money than customers usual did before, and this new pattern made me wonder.

My position in search is even higher than normal, because I have added one more landing spot, on a parcel where the traffic from “old” customers is very good. Besides that some of my friends have noticed the same as me, in their business.

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Theresa Tennyson wrote:


Talk about "interesting" - "skill games" are glorified slot machines. You generally need to put Lindens into them to play and if your level of "skill" is high enough yoou might be able to
almos
t break even consistently. I suppose its possible that there were a few skill-game regions with freeplay machines that may have paid out a few Lindens but I find it hard to believe that anyone ever made a significant profit off of them besides the people running them.

As far as the new avatars - the old ones were just as confusing. Trust me. I remember wondering why the "hair" sliders weren't doing anything with my Female Student hair.

I do not quite agree with you Teresa. As far as I have seen and heard, it was possible to earn money from freeplay, and get a chance to have your own lil home, and buy some fairly nice stuff every week, after a couple of hours playing with the machines. It was more easy some years ago I admit, but still possible until the new skill gaming policy came along.

About the mesh avatars…yes, it has never been very easy to start as a newbie in SL, but at least the old avatars could be dressed without big problems, which they cannot anymore.

 

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entity0x wrote:

All I know from my purely subjective and andecdotal (but to me FACTUAL), that 0/50 people I know that have come to 2nd Life, no longer log in.

Most of it was due to absolute confusion as 1) what to do 2) where to go 3) expensive land  4) antisocial users (especially in chat hubs).

I"m only left because I use 2nd Life as a creative outlet and testing ground.

But I'm the only one left.

Yes, but I do not think this confusion is new in SL. It has always been difficult to be a newbie, if you have no friends here to guide you, and help you to get started…and the price of land fee has not changed neither, during the past months.

When the money-exchange possibility was reduced, I envisaged some very bad months, with a lot of people leaving SL, but then I did not see any difference or changing in amount of customers or income.

Now I see changes, and wondered why. But I think I have got the answer, that the new beginner mesh-avatars and the loss of the possibility to earn money from games, might be the cause.

(I am glad you stayed :)

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I saw a huge dip when that announcement was made. But I can't figure out if that slip was them hinting to us that SL is going to be limping along while they work on the new version and that's why things have been oddly slow or if the announcement scared people off of SL.

I sell some consumer things and some builder's kits. The kits have been doing pretty well, but the consumer stuff is a little slow. I think when SL gets slow it's because the more casual non-builders leave and the more dedicated users are buying things to build.

There was a big surge in August for me. So I don't know if the issue with things being a lot slower this time of the year than last year is a social problem or a technological one. I've been keeping records for a good two years and I noticed some months just end up looking like huge outliers for some reason. Oddly enough it seems like for all the times of good sales there is going to be times of really bad sales. And the last several months before June were really good to me.

Personally I think something got massively foobarred with the current backend of marketplace and that's why they're redoing it. I hope something along the lines of June and those announcements, SLMP team decided to make an SLMP compatible with SL 1.0 and SL 2.0 and they just decided to trash the old system and limp it along until the new one can come out. That's just being optimistic though. But I'm trying to wrap my head around why they would be redoing the backend of SLMP when it's about have a new service show up. The only good conclusion I came up with was that they're going to make a new system compatible with both services (at least on the backend) and they're redoing all of this SLMP stuff for SL 2.0, but still giving the upgrades to SL 1.0. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me to redo something in a product that's going to only be focused on for a year. I could be wrong though.

If you ask me, I think LL just took a lot of people off of SLMP maintenance and put them on making the new system. I noticed lots of weird things since June, like refreshing transaction history and getting 500 errors from the web server. Just poking around transaction history page and stuff there's a lot of odd errors. And all it takes is one error page when trying to check out for people to run away and not risk it. When you're dealing with real money and there's a chance it's just going to get thrown away, you get real careful.

If anyone else has any theories I'd like to hear them. I've been talking this over with others and trying to figure things out. But seeing a big drop off in June seems to be pretty commonplace from the people I've talked to about it.

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The SL2 announcement impacted consumer confidence. Just like an RL economy, when consumers lose confidence they stop spending money. Once people realised that SL wasn't going away tomorrow the economy recovered (mostly).

There have been suggestions from the Lab that some inventory content will transfer across to the new platform, and it is reasonable to assume that unscripted mesh items (building kits, environment props etc) will be transferrable, while a great deal of fashion and avatar stuff won't be.

The MP has always been a snafu. It would be nice if they make it compatible with the new platform, because that would imply that our usernames and L$ accounts will be universal across both platforms.

I don't know if more people are going premium or buying land, though I have noticed an increase in small groups establishing their own RP sims, so perhaps people are pooling resources to buy/rent co-op.

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I woudl turn to millions of dollars worth of research, talent and other such things to find out about this. This research is free to you, as it was to me and my meanderings are added to it for your amusement at no cost. tl:dr post may be ahead, just be warned it also has futuristic futurising powers! really, big serious researchers!

First, I will compare it to Gartners Hype Cycle. This is maybe useless, but fun for me anyway. There was hype for your product, but now it wanes until people gradually are enlightened about the product. They think back and remember why it was just right, it worked and now it is respected more. I doubt it, but who knows!

Here is a very interesting Hype Cycle thingy, it shows the slopes and rise and fall of chatter about something, in this case a Emergin Technologies. http://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2819918 

Notice virtual reality on there? But, they claim 5-10 years till it is a part of everyday life, like video game consoles and PC's. Not for everyone, but present and not going anywhere.

Spending is predicted to be less this year, survey says: people are not predicted to be spending as much this christmas as they did last christmas. They could be telling lies in order to trick sales people into reducing prices. Maybe they are doing this to YOU! Ok, most likely not.

Trends are to get away from staring at screens, at least for a portion of the population. Research on sedentary lifestyles indicates people shouldn't sit for more than 2-4 hours and not be active at all. It is thought that triglycerides are produced more and stick to arteries and kill you. So, yes it took the fear of death to drive them from your products! :P LOOK UP is the phrase associated with a trend, based on people disconnecting and not spending enough time socializing and being healthy. Conscious Computing movement is another thing related to this look up thingy.

Add to that the fitbit and health related devices, voice recognition on the rise. No fun using voice control in a very visual virtual world that runs best when you are sitting at a desk if you want to talk to your computer and be futuristic like.  Stuff added to the Android developers kit for fitness, MS involvement in health stuff for their mobile offerings all mean major players are causing this wave to swell. Maybe people will be healtheir, the world a happeir and more fun place? I predict an increase in crime rate next summer lol. Once again, statistics say crime is higher in warmer climates when people go out of doors more. So, joggers dying, mugged, and 'run rage' will be the fresh meat for the news hounds.

Aliens have discovered that your items may lead to a chain reaction that destroys their homeworld, so they are after you and your stuff. Their campaign begins slowely, they drop your sales and watch you closely. The next move is to probe you, as a warning. People never seem to understand that part though and they claim all kinds of odd things. But, usually they just want you to stop so they are not so worried. It could be to stop you from singing in the shower, make you wake up later or even just cause you to stop being to energetic in your house. Energy cannot be created or destroyed, but it can be manipulated. So, this could be it. I predict this isn't likely.

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