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Replying to thread, not to individual peeps :)

 

The sheer volume of "entitlement" in this thread is horrible!

I just spent WAY too much time of my life reading through this since the original page or so seemed like it was bringing up something worth reading, but that flew out the window so fast.

 

First of all, we have no way of knowing why the lab rats chose the selers they did. I didn't see anything official posted, only tons and tons of slanderous speculation. Regardless of why, though, have any of you stopped to think about how your diatribres might be affecting those who were picked? Probably not.

 

Through no fault of their own, you all have basically impliled to the entire community that the only reason why those sellers got picked is because they kiss Lindens butt. If I were one of those "select merchants" who were picked, I would really be thinking right now about how utterly hateful other sellers can be.

 

Second of all, through the years, it has been said, time and time again, that the Marketplace is getting junked up with stolen stuff, free stuff, sub-par stuff, etc. And yet, post after post is demanding that promotions like this be opened up to everyone. I guess that includes those who resell freebie's, alleged stolen content, alleged copybotted content, junky stuff, and stuff that just hasn't sold at all in 2 or 3 years? Are you bloody serious?

 

Third, as a consumer, not a seller, I want to see the good stuff. I am in NO WAY, saying that those posting here do not have quality goods, but the ones who were picked clearly do. As for why they were picked over others, we have to wait and hope that TPTB decide to answer the calls in this thread and say something officially regarding the promotion.

 

Fourth, again, as a consumer, I am more interested in what the top sellers/brands have on sale or promotion for the holiday than some unknown knock-off. Again, I am not saying that anyone in this thread does, I am saying it as a general opinion about what brands I want to be reading about for holiday sales/promotions. I couldn't care one blind mouses ear hair that some knock-off brand android phone may be on sale at tech center wherehouse, I want to see what Apple brand iPhones are on sale. Or what brand Samsung Galaxy S5's or S6's might be on sale. Sure, XXX brand might be nice. Might even be a really decent alternative, but I am not looking for an alternative, I am looking for a well known brand item that might be deeply discounted enough to wiggle those dollars out of my wallet.

 

Fifth, every year that I have been in SL, sellers have complained that their sales have dropped off during the holidays. EVERY year. Sorry, complaining that sales tanked after the email went out is anecdotal at best, and cannot be positively shown to have a correlation to anyone's drop in sales. It might just be the other way around. Sales drop off, and Linden sent the email out at the same time that the sales drop EVERY FREAKING YEAR! at the beginning of the holidays seasons.

 

No where in the TOU does it say that Lindens will treat every one of us exactly the same. I looked. If that were the case, the.n everyone with a free account would be getting the same perks benefits and attention that those huge land barons are getting and I bet you that they are not. When I owned a region, I got a nice set of additional support than I have just by having a monthly paid account. I would bet dimes to dollars that those who own 10, 15, 20+ regions probably have direct line phone numbers to the top of support while the rest of us have to create cases and hope for the best. Do you REALLY expect to be treated the same way?

 

As someone pointed out, either in this thread or another, economy is a numbers game. Spending revenue to promote a seller who has 20 items and 5 sales a month is a waste of resources when you can spend the same amount to promote someone who have 500+ items and makes 300 sales a day.

 

I like to think that the sellers who were picked actually earned that opportunity through their hard work and dedication. No, not everyone can put in the same time that they have because most of us have lives outside of SL to live. If that is the case, then why begrudge them their dedication? Do you think it makes you look bad when someone else succeeded?

 

If you have a job outside of SL, do you demand that your company pay you the same as they pay the CEO, because, well, it just isn't "fair" that they get more money than you do? Fine, you were not picked. Guess what? You have a year to make a difference before the 2016 holiday season starts. If they pick the exact same sellers next year that they did this year, then fine, you can claim the promotion wasn't fair, but until then, all you can really claim is that you weren't picked this year.

 

I see a lot of people complaining about the marketplace. People dont use it. you have more sales in world, it costs money, and on and on and on. Seems to me that this promotion picked some of the top peeps to use to try to generate interest in using the Marketplace. I wouldn't think that was a bad thing, since the hardest part is getting people to show up in the first place.

 

Seems to me that everyone was treated equal. No one who was picked said that they had to pay gobs of money to be included. Not one said that they had to own regions in world. No one said that free accounts were not considered for the promotion. Nothing. Other than one post from someone who said that they were in a group where the group owner/creator was picked and did not have to pay, nothing has been said about the process.

 

Until we know for sure, if we ever do, crying about how it isn't fair only makes the sellers in this thread look like they are a 4 year old throwing a temper tantrum in a sand box and threatening to take their toys and go home.

 

If you have a brand that isn't well known, then maybe you need to spend time learning to build up your brand name recognition? If your products aren't as high quality, maybe now would be a good time to step back and work on the little things that make your products stand out?

 

If you rely solely on the marketplace to actualy market your brand and products, maybe now is the time to see what other options are out there, like your own web site, your own group? Heck it could be as simple as reformatting how you write up your item descriptions?

 

There are 5+ language options on the marketplace, how many of you take the time to translate your items into each language so that those who do not speak "murican" can read through your product listings?

 

So far, the only commonality positviely known between all of the sellers who were picked is that they have a presence on the marketplace. Maybe now is the time to see if you can figure out how to improve yours, instead of crying about how unfair it all is.

 

In the mean time, make note of my name. Everyone in this thread who has complained will NOT be seeing my name on any orders from your stores in the near future.

 

Happy Holidays and I truly do hope that each of you see an increase in your sales, and good health.

 

(edit: holy wall'o'text Batman!! One would think the formatting would keep my paragraph breaks)

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Jacob, I think you may have taken the wrong meaning from this thread. If I may, I'd like to try and focus on what seems to have been overlooked.

In order to express "Entitlement", one must also feel that something is owed to you. As in, some rule somewhere says it has to be that way. As you rightly point out there are no such rules in the ToS .. or any other legal document or agreement between Merchants that use the SL Marketplace and Linden Lab. We know that very well, and that's not what has us up in arms.

Any sense of entitlement that we do express emanates from the belief that a level playing field is by far the most productive and efficient mechanism for a thriving and profitable commercial environment. There are "adjustments" that are made in any market to account for circumstances that arise, but ideally the fewer adjustments needed, the better the market will perform.

The marketing email that went out was a form of "adjustment". Specifically it was an unneeded adjustment, and it served only to skew the market in a way that didn't really help anyone. It certainly did not help those not included in the promotion. And the resulting outrage and tumult it created has not helped the bottom lines of those that were included either. And Linden Lab lost a bit in the process too. So all in all, lose-lose.

Again.

This is not a market that tolerates heavy-handed adjustments. It is very carefully balanced .. in its own odd way. But it works, has worked well and continues to work well. Many times in the past, when outside forces have injected adjustments such as this, it has always turned out badly because those types of changes just do not work here.

So bottom line? The thing we feel owed us is a place where the operation and aura of the market are honestly understood by the managers of the market.

Entitlement? Yeah .. to a place where we all have an equal chance .. to thrive or fail on our own merits .. and without capricious or ill-considered tinkering from those that don't really understand how it all works.

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(replying to myself here because I prefer offering solutions, not just gripes)

The Linden Lab imprimatur on a marketing campaign has immense power and value. Finding your name included in an email that came from a Linden Lab account is a mark of status and accomplishment that many Merchants both deserve and can afford.

Having access to that level of marketing power would be a sure-fire way for someone to break out of the minor leagues and really gain a toehold in with the Big Names.

So wouldn't it make sense to offer a Linden Lab "Recommended" marketing campaign that is open to all, with a price commensurate with the value offered?

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Jacob Cagney wrote:

Replying to thread, not to individual peeps
:)

 

The sheer volume of "entitlement" in this thread is horrible!

I just spent WAY too much time of my life reading through this since the original page or so seemed like it was bringing up something worth reading, but that flew out the window so fast.

Yes it's rather long, isn't it. And, perhaps even more important, it's full of complaints from people who don't usually say anything.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

Through no fault of their own, you all have basicallyimpliled to the entire community that the only reason why those sellers got picked is because they kiss Lindens butt. If I were one of those "select merchants" who were picked, I would really be thinking right now about how utterly hateful other sellers can be.

Where did you read that? As far as I can remember, everybody have been very careful not to put any blame on the six winners. But it is a long thread as you said, so I may well have missed something.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

Second of all, through the years, it has been said, time and time again, that the Marketplace is getting junked up with stolen stuff, free stuff, sub-par stuff, etc. And yet, post after post is demanding that promotions like this be opened up to everyone. I guess that includes those who resell freebie's, alleged stolen content, allegedcopybotted content,junky stuff, and stuff that just hasn't sold at all in 2 or 3 years? Are you bloody serious?

No but if Linden Lab is going to favor specific sellers, they should do it according to some clearly defined criteria. The way it looks now, it was just a lottery. Linden Lab has had plenty of opportunities to comment and explain both before the sale started and afterwards. So far they haven't.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

Fifth, every year that I have been inSL, sellers have complained that their sales have dropped off during the holidays. EVERY year. Sorry, complaining that sales tanked after the email went out is anecdotal at best, and cannot be positively shown to have a correlation to anyone's drop in sales. It might just be the other way around. Sales drop off, and Linden sent the email out at the same time that the sales drop EVERY FREAKING YEAR! at the beginning of the holidays seasons.

Oh yes, I completely agree with you there. My store isn't directly affected by this sale in any way but the sale still dropped significantly around the time it started. Which is exactly what I expected it to - people spend less time and money in SL at this time of year.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

No where in theTOU does it say that Lindens will treat every one of us exactly the same.

That's right but in this particular case the law might:

(e)
Furnishing services or facilities for processing, handling, etc.

It shall be unlawful for any person to discriminate in favor of one purchaser against another purchaser or purchasers of a commodity bought for resale, with or without processing, by contracting to furnish or furnishing, or by contributing to the furnishing of, any services or facilities connected with the processing, handling, sale, or offering for sale of such commodity so purchased upon terms not accorded to all purchasers on proportionally equal terms.

(15 U.S. Code § 13 - Discrimination in price, services, or facilities)

Not sure if that's exactly the right paragraph, it may only cover actual goods sold, not services provided, but the point is all nations have fairly strict laws against anticompetitive practices in business. Sometimes they may seem way too strict but there's a very good reason why they're there.


Jacob Cagney wrote:

I would bet dimes to dollars that those who own 10, 15, 20+ regions probably have direct line phone numbers to the top of support while the rest of us have to create cases and hope for the best.

You only need to own one region to qualify for concierge service by phone actually. (And you have to live in the USA for it to make sense to use it.) And of course, big landowners get discounts - although you'll have to own a bit more than 20-30 sims to get into the top league there. That is not the same though because an owner of a 512 m2 plot and an owner of a hundred sims do not deal with LL "on proportionality equal terms".

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

I like to think that the sellers who were picked actually earned that opportunity through their hard work and dedication. No, not everyone can put in the same time that they have because most of us have lives outside of SL to live. If that is the case, then why begrudge them their dedication?


I think I'll leave it to Pamela to answer that one ;) - if she's still following the discussion.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

Seems to me that everyone was treated equal.

No, they weren't. Take a look at the Marketplace. Yes, most of the sellers there are small time hobby creators and there certainly are plenty of shady operators there too. But there are also lots of serious fairly big merchants. Is there just one serious hair maker in SL? and only one serious clothes designer? I think not.

 


Jacob Cagney wrote:

Until we know for sure, if we ever do,...

Good point. Are we ever going to hear from LL about this? That would help a lot.

 


You obviously didn't read my posts in the thread. I can't blame you for that since they are a bit on the side of what everybody else have been writing about. But I happen to think they're rather important ;) So here's a quick summary:

My concern here is not whether things are fair or unfair or even whether they are legal or illegal.

Linden Lab has offended a large number of their core business-to-business customers, people they depend on to be able to run Second Life at all. We need those people here, we can't afford to loose them! In fact, we need more serious, professional content creators, especially with Sansar coming up. But Second Life has a horrible reputation in the professional 3D design community so most people there stay well away. This will make it even harder to recruit more creators because the rumours will spread.

There is absolutely no way the extra revenue from this stunt can make up for the loss of credibility LL suffers from it.  There are only three possible explanations why they still decided to do it and we can rule one out right away. The two left are: Linden Lab is so desperately short on cash they had to do something fast or: they're so short-sighted they didn't actually see it coming. I don't know which is the worst of those.

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Well, no point in making points that others have made about your post, they've covered some of it pretty well.

My take on it is that unless LL changes course in the way they do business, in 5 years you won't be here for me to tell you that i told you so.

I'm guessing some people in the virtual world There thought that some people were just complaining for no reason as it declined too. I don't think you want here to become There and that's why I complain vehemently.

Something else you missed here too. For months before we started talking recently this forum was mostly dead. In the last few weeks it's seen more conversation than it has in months. You know what the alternative is? Apathy.

SL was vibrant when people both praised and complained. These days finding a good debate beyond fluff is hard to come by as people become apathetic.

25+ sims lost thus far after a setup fee reduction announcement by LL.

Carry on.

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I've seen this thread festering down here, but hadn't taken the time to read the entire thing until now.   I had the same thoughts when I saw the front page ads.

"Wow how much did they have to pay to get that kind of visibility?"

I thought long and hard about it and here's my 2 cents on the off chance that a CM stumbles into this thread and actually reads it ::

 

Suffice it to say I wasn't too thrilled to find out that it was free with random selection.  Irked substantially but at the same time things like this are part of the business world. 

Unfairness in "open market" contests happens.  It happens a lot.  Not just in our little small business online marketplace here but out in the brick and mortar material goods block too.  Do you know how many huge businesses today have been utterly screwed over, had to restructure their entire business and find a new customer base or flat out ceased to exist and gone bankrupt because their competitor won a HUGE government contract in an unfair contest where there was an obvious favorite?   CEO's commit suicide over this, but it happens, and it happens a LOT.  Yet everytime there's a big government contract up for grabs, every single eligble business steps back up to the plate to try and bid on it because there's really no choice in the matter.

So.  Yes.  It's unfair.  Yes it irks people. But yes. LL can get away with it.

Now~ I may be a bit wide eyed and naive in the SL marketplace.  But I want to point something out to all of you.

We all get NOTHING if LL goes belly up.

I want to preface this with something~ I really do love SL.  I thank it for the opportunity it's granted me and the income I've gained here has helped tide me over in a time of financial instability RL. ( yes~ me with my little shop of 15 items here has been my lifeline  )

But I want you (fellow merchants! ) to consider this :

If your SL shop is 100% of your RL income.  I can understand your very apprehensive "I'm dangling by a thread here and LL keeps strumming it to hear a tune"  But I ask one question?  If you're *that* successful as a merchant, you obviously posess skills to enter other online marketplaces, why haven't you created a backup plan yet?  Why haven't you put thought into contingencies?

Smart business is exactly that.  Diversification.  Broad customer base, many product lines, many distributors.

I'm not saying pick up and leave SL, but please be sane in planning your life~ do not put ALL your eggs in one basket.

And to LL:  Please, if you can avoid it. Don't screw us over too hard please.  Some of us are trying to make a living here.

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I am not "dangling by a thread". My business continues to thrive, tho I don't see what that has to do with preferring to operate my business in a free market, where I am competing on an equal basis as every other merchant.  

How is it exactly that you know my contingency plans or lack thereof?

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DartAgain wrote:

25+ sims lost thus far after a setup fee reduction announcement by LL.

Carry on.

A bit off topic but that's actually a positive sign. Normally there would have been close to 100 sims lost during that time span.

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ChinRey wrote:


DartAgain wrote:

25+ sims lost thus far after a setup fee reduction announcement by LL.

Carry on.

A bit off topic but that's actually a positive sign. Normally there would have been close to 100 sims lost during that time span.

Not really. Check Tyche Shepherds twitter feed. It's not updated every week these days but you can go back and see the losses. The bleeding had actually slowed for a while.

ETA: Actually I've been sloppy a few times with my wording, so I've got to apologize for not being more precise sometimes. I was just trying to point out that it didn't make a difference all told that the price is reduced, which isn't a good sign. Factoring that in with some Ebbe comments that alluded that there's a critical point that LL can't fall under and maintain the operating costs.

You're right, a bit off topic. Hoping Pam doesn't whack me with a ruler for occassionally veering off topic.

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I don't know anyone's personal lives here. Nor do I wish to ~ it's none of my business.  But impassioned responses are derived from critical investment.

 

I will quote you to you though and I mean this in no way as a personal insult:


Pamela Galli wrote:


My family depends on my sales, including MP, for their support. Could it be that your investment in the MP is not what mine is, and that might account for the fact that my level of concern is a great deal higher?  For me the stakes are very high, and that shows in my posts.


Edit:
My point in my posts is not to insult you~ or impugne you in any way Pamela~  I'm merely pointing out LL has a bottom line to meet.   Expect to be periodically screwed over.  By all means~ express your anger and dissatisfaction~

But expect it~  Be prepared for it.

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polysail wrote:

I don't know anyone's personal lives here. Nor do I wish to ~ it's none of my business.  

______________________________________________

Correct. Then why this:

 

"If your SL shop is 100% of your RL income.  I can understand your very apprehensive "I'm dangling by a thread here and LL keeps strumming it to hear a tune" 

 

Being in a very competitive market does not mean "dangling by a thread".

 

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polysail wrote:

If your SL shop is 100% of your RL income.  I can understand your very apprehensive "I'm dangling by a thread here and LL keeps strumming it to hear a tune"

Since this was a reply to one of my posts, my little MP store certainly doesn't make up 100% of my RL income. In fact, it doesn't even make enough to cover the tier I pay for my SL land.

I was actually planning to spend next year trying to establish a proper SL business and getting ready for Sansar but this incident has made me change my mind. I just can't take LL seriously at the moment and unless I see some real positive development there, those plans are dead.

I'll keep building because I love it and because I'm good at it. I might even list a few more works on MP. But making it my income or even part of my income? Nah, it's just a silly game after all. Fun, yes, interesting, definitely but serious? nope.

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polysail wrote:

I don't know anyone's personal lives here. Nor do I wish to ~ it's none of my business.  But impassioned responses are derived from critical investment.

 

I will quote you to you though and I mean this in no way as a personal insult:

Pamela Galli wrote:

My family depends on my sales, including MP, for their support. Could it be that your investment in the MP is not what mine is, and that might account for the fact that my level of concern is a great deal higher?  For me the stakes are very high, and that shows in my posts.


Edit:

My point in my posts is not to insult you~ or impugne you in any way Pamela~  I'm merely pointing out LL has a bottom line to meet.   Expect to be periodically screwed over.  By all means~ express your anger and dissatisfaction~

But expect it~  Be
prepared
for it.

Well thanks for the tip, but when you say that those of us who depend on our SL businesses have said in this thread or anywhere that our businesses are not doing well, it is my business to correct that misconstrual of our concern.

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ChinRey wrote:


I'll keep building because I love it and because I'm good at it. 

That is why I will keep building, as long as there is a place to do it. I started out in SL building like a maniac and have continued to do that for 8 years. What else do I have to do with my time that could be so rewarding?  (However, as the sole support of my family, I do need my time to be paid for.)

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Perhaps the "dangling by a thread" was misinterperted~

The 'thread' in this case isn't how well your SL store is running.

Rather the "thread" is your RL survivability should the entirety of Linden Labs crash into insolvency and cease to exist.

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polysail wrote:

Perhaps the "dangling by a thread" was misinterperted~

The 'thread' in this case isn't how well your SL store is running.

Rather the "thread" is your RL survivability should the entirety of Linden Labs crash into insolvency and cease to exist.

Thanks for the clarification. There is always Sansar. And High Fidelity. And that other world by Adam Zaius. 

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You have voiced the reaction that most worries me .. withdrawal from investment and growth.

Growth requires investment and risk. Basic Business 101. Smart business takes the path with the least risk and the most sensible and manageable investment.

But when the risk level is perceived to cross a certain threshold, investments are withheld, risk is avoided .. and growth stops. Before long comes contraction.

To my reading, most people here post recommendations and suggestions that would lessen perceived risk among those with capital to invest: The Merchants. Lessening our perceived risk, increasing our willingness to invest, would grow the platform and consequently the customer base. Increasing the perceived risk has the opposite effect.

At least .. that's how I see it.

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If Sansar is successful ~  everyone wins, we all go home knowing we have a place to work for the next decade.

If Sansar tanks.... well...  those other online environments you listed can't exactly sustain a family~

Pamela ~ you're a skilled builder and interior designer, I'm not posting in your thread to antagonize you or mock you or anything like that ~  But if I were you I'd invest time now into learning Physically based Rendering, Unreal4 Environments, Advanced shaders ( procedural maps, tangent & object space normals,  displacement maps) ,  scene lighting , IBL, and expectations for architechtural rendering.  Figure out what your OpenSubdiv plugin does and learn how to design for tesselation based rendering ~Etc etc.

Just to clarify ~ since you seem to be taking my well intentioned posts the wrong way ~

I don't know your full skill set~!

I'm just saying if you haven't learned all these things yet! Now would probably be a good time to start~  as they will be relevant in Sansar as well!

Learning this will make you relevant in the field of environment design.  The skillset you have here is needed for creating countless other Virtual Experiences~ including games, movies etc etc.  SL is only a small sandbox in a vast beach.

On this topic ~ I'm not speaking to you specifically Pamela ~ though this is your thread.  I'm speaking to anyone personally invested in SL to a point where were the bottom to fall out they would be in a VERY bad place.

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Darrius~

I'm not advocating departure from the platform ~ though that may be a side effect of a marketing snaffu.

That's something LL will have to decide for themselves~ whether this stunt was profitable in the long run or not and whether to repeat it.  Obviously they've came to this conclusion to pull this stunt in the first place off of some sort of prior sucess~ as you yourself pointed out ~ similar stuff has happened before.

 

I'm not advocating departure from the platform ~ rather I'm advocating the ability to quickly depart from the platform~ should the need arise.  One is action ~ the other is preparation.

 

That being said~  On a slight conversational tangent~ I've long wondered whether SL & Sansar will be better served by a massive number of professional modelers and design artists rolling through at low output for a little extra fun & money or home brewed "I learned to mesh on SL and now I make my living here".  In my short time on SL I've met a lot of people who are "ex industry" ( games and VFX ) people who've now settled into SL in between the here's and there's in their life for either fun or profit.  Their stuff is amazing.  Personally ~  I'm using it as a gateway money maker while I get my portfolio in order.

I've seen a lot of upset merchants in the last 2 weeks ( justifiably upset merchants mind you!!!~ )  and it's gotten me to thinking that maybe some people are critically invested in the platform.

Platform diversification solves this on a personal level.  ( Income security !! Huzzah! )

Additionally it has the intriguing effect of attracting new talent to the platform that may not have previously taken it seriously via artist communities etc etc.

I'm an excellent example as I was brought to SL from a forum for 3d modeling and animation.  I didn't take SL seriously at all on my first go a few years back ~  I uninstalled it less than 2 hours after "giving it a go".  It wasn't until someone told me I could turn a profit here that I bothered to actually see what was going on.  It took a few months of acclimation to SL's backwards way of doing things ~ but I managed it alright and now am pulling income in.

So diversifcation is not necessarily evil~  DEPARTURE is.

Edit: Fixed a 1 word clarification thingydoo~

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polysail wrote:

That's something LL will have to decide for themselves~ whether this stunt was profitable in the long run or not and whether to repeat it.  Obviously they've came to this conclusion to pull this stunt in the first place off of some sort of prior sucess~ as you yourself pointed out ~ similar stuff has happened before.

I don't actually believe this idea came from or was even cleared by the level in LL that makes the big long term strategic decisions. Not that it matters, Linden Lab as a whole is responsible for what Linden Lab as a whole does.

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Sorry I was less than clear. I wasn't speaking of departure either. Rather I meant that middle ground which you call "Preparation". The pullback that results from Preparation is nearly as damaging to the vitality of the market and the platform.

It's not that people leave, it's that they stop doing fun, adventurous and inventive things. They just don't want to start something that will fail due to circumstances beyond their control. They become risk-averse and "gun shy".

When I know my partner has a tight hold on my climbing rope, I can scale ANY mountain. But if she's off doing her nails or worse, working against me in some fashion, I'm not gonna put one foot on the bottom slope.

And who is Linden Lab if not our Partner?

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