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interesting abandoned land changes in the works


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Deltango Vale wrote:

It is, of course, a matter of opinion. The best way to approach it is to ask yourself which situation you would prefer:

  1. You own a parcel on a sim border. There is an abandoned parcel adjacent to yours across the sim border.
  2. You own a parcel anywhere. There is an abandoned parcel far away in the same sim.

My experience after four years in the mainland business is that most people would identify with 1. I'm not hard and fast about this. It can go either way. I guess much depends whether someone has built an ad farm beside you just on the other side of a sim border :smileywink:

That's an extremely easy choice from my point of view, always the same-sim parcel.  I can put up stuff to block the off-sim parcel if it goes bad, I can bug Concierge support until I get an in-world response if it gets ARable content that causes me a real problem that visually blocking it won't solve, but the same-sim parcel lets me do more with the land I'm really interested in, my existing large holdings on that sim.


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Guys, I think you're letting the perfect become the enemy of the good.

You especially need to give up on #10, "open market to same-sim landowners" because there's no viewer mechanism for that kind of sale.  Either it would be a Support process or significant viewer changes would be required, and neither of those is going happen.

I'd also advise against the idea of counting "sides."  There are nice cartesian, Kansas-shaped parcels out there where "side" is an unambiguous mathematical construct -- but of abandoned parcels, those would be a tiny minority.  That's why I proposed counting 4x4 squares of "adjacency" as the priority metric.  If you think it should go deeper than the first priority neighbor, I'd suggest just moving down a similar priority list, rather than complicate it with "sides."

The reason my proposal took a "first-priority or nothing" approach was that I got frustrated and confused about how to cleanly handle changing land ownership among the priority owners.  Suppose first-priority owner doesn't buy and in the meantime the ownership of adjacent parcels changes such that some wholly new person becomes first-priority.  Offer it to that person next, right?  Sounds good, but suppose he doesn't take it either and ownership changes again, restoring the old first-priority person to top of the list again.  This can get arbitrarily complicated, with long cycles, brand new owners gaining priority... it becomes a sort of "halting problem" of no finite length and no convergence to solution.

I really think that any complexity added to the proposed process reduces its already slim chances of being implemented.

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@ Qie

"I think you're letting the perfect become the enemy of the good."


Yes, agree 100%. My 'algorithmic' proposal (I am not an engineer) was influenced by the direction of the thread toward automated scripts. I'm glad you pointed out the flaws from an engineering perspective.

The best and simplest solution is a Dutch auction.

Put all abandoned <512m2 parcels on the open market at a L$3000 flat price. Reduce the price by L$500 per week until sold. The priority system thus changes from technicalities of size, configuration and location to the simplicity of the market, Sliding preferences (indifference curves) mean that he who wants it the most is willing to pay the earlier, higher price.

This solution is not as strange as it may first seem. The market for microparcels is not the same as large parcels. Below 512m2, demand for a parcel is based more on what it is rather than its area. In other words, it is valued more for prims, annexation, sim cleanup (getting rid of eyesores, spam, ads, scripts), grief-prevention or a buffer between parcels than as a 'normal' parcel. For this reason (including the fact that any parcel, no matter how small, is worth at least L$500), microparcels have traditionally been more expensive per m2 than 'normal' parcels.

An initial price of L$3000 per microparcel solves the landbot problem. A max-size abandoned microparcel (496m2) would be L$6 per m2 - of little interest to bots. As for paying L$3000 for a 16m2, it can be cheap at the price for the right person. I personally would snap up a 16m2 embedded in my land for L$3000 the instant it came on the market. Someone else, who only wants it for prims, may only wish to pay L$500 for it. That is the beauty of a Dutch auction.

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Yeah, if LL would go for a reverse auction, that would be better in my opinion, too.  It's a little tricky setting that initial price, though, in a way that would make sense for an abandoned 400 in the middle of the transit hub on Mosh, say, or whatever little stalls there are on Brown and Boardman... compared to the run-of-the-mill microparcel.

I think they intend for the Abandoned-to-For-Sale automated process to apply to all sizes, not just sub-512s, which I agree isn't ideal, but may reflect how much resources they're willing to devote to abandoned Mainland going forward.  So, selling them on the idea of retaining auctions at all may be difficult--even though L$1/sq.m. makes no sense for a full Mainland sim, even in a thoroughly depressed market.  Of course, there isn't currently a Land user group, so not having anybody to pitch any idea to makes it much harder.

In the last couple of minutes of Kelly's scripting user group today, I (rudely) mentioned the jira I created about this, because Kelly did the development for the process currently planned.  Here's an exerpt with other topic discussion excised:


[09:58] Qie (qie.niangao): Kelly, nothing to do with scripting, but maybe for your idle moments (hah!) : SVC-6871

[09:58] flexi campfire:

[#SVC-6871] Simple (?) way to offer abandoned parcels to neighboring landowners first before setting for sale to anybody

[10:00] tehKellz (kelly.linden): Qie: That probably won't be in the first implementation.

[10:00] Attica Bekkers: quie you use dotbe able tog o to live chat and ask them and theyd sellit to you?

[10:01] Qie (qie.niangao): kelly, that's fine... but maybe before Guy turns loose abandoned backlog would be good.

[10:01] tehKellz (kelly.linden): The feature, when it is enabled, will not effect previously abandoned land.

[10:02] Qie (qie.niangao): (sorry for the derail in the last minute: understood, but... if I were Guy, I'd figure out a way to force that huge inventory into the process, rather than running it through auctions)

Just wanted to point out the part I set bold, because it's been a source of some confusion and controversy.

It occurs to me that Arbor probably wants to consult with Guy or whoever is making these decisions, before LL tries to unload their microparcel inventory.   Arbor holds some weird remnants of adfarms that probably should be merged into adjacent abandoned land before LL sells (or auctions) their chunks.

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I don't really see how the slope of the land comes into it as far as priority goes, tbh.  The landowner who has greatest adjacency is really the one with the priority claim.  As far as the pricing itself goes, anything above L$1/m (unless it's in the form of an auction) is a bad idea, as all L$ spent on buying abandonments is lost from the economy, unlike resident to resident sales.

As far as the earlier comment about it not being feasible to offer the land to more than the 1st priority person, I don't think that necessarily requires a viewer change.  It could easily be implemented via a web app, similar to the auctions site, to progressively open up to more and more residents who own land within the region over perhaps 2 weeks, before going to open sale in-world.

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Liisa, in one of Andrew and Simon's user group meetings, Kelly said that extending the abandoned land logic would require changes on both server and viewer sides.  That seemed wrong to me, which was why I made the jira. 

It's true, however, that some possible enhancements would affect the viewer; the example that arose here is the idea of putting land up for sale not to Anybody and not to a specific individual, but to any of a set of individuals (other landowners in the same sim), sold to whichever one bought first.  The current viewer would have no way of handling that.

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I'm not going to read all of this thread, so I don't know if this has been said before or not but, to comment on the idea that landbot owners would grab such land, it's very unlikely that they will. You can't get a landbot to buy land at 1L/m these days and not even at 0.5L/m. To get a landbot interested, the price has to be lower than that.

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Yeah, I don't see a mass problem with bots grabbing the parcels, but I do see a problem with excessively greedy people trying to jump on them then flipping them to try to extort L$ from existing landowners in a region, where in the past Concierge would have done a direct sale for L$1/sq.m. on 512 or smaller to someone with a reasonable claim.

The thing which should limit the bots is the extremely high cost of tier.

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No, you're not representative of land owners.

No, it is not a positive change to introduce a huge and sudden glut of land into an already devalued land marked -- this is communism, whereas Second Life is supposed to have a capitalist free market simulation.

No, it's not necessary to dump all this land into the market just to solve the problem you're worried about (and most people): junk on the land. They could have a routine that reverts all land to 1 autoreturn that would make sure only the original owners builds stayed, or even a routine that just dumped all prims, period. That should have been done years ago. But it's not necessary to dump it all into the market.

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Pretending this issue is merely a server code issue is really, really myopic.

It will have a detrimental effect on the whole Mainland land market that is already struggling.

Indeed the question is who gave the order to make this a priority -- a priority over other things that these self-same Andrew and Kelly Linden are working on.

Why is it good if decisions are being made when they are bad decisions?!

No doubt Rodvik himself gave the order because he simply looked at it like land in the Sims. It should all be one price and not a market.


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What the hell are LL playing at? Is this some sort of sick experiment to see just how angry they can make tier-paying resisents?

It's often commented that Lindens don't have the slightest clue about in-world. 

This has got to be one of the most perverse moves by LL in recent history.

 Indeed. I couldn't agree more. I don't think it's a sick experiment, exactly, as that would imply conscious will and planning; it's more like allowing coders who think only in terms of start 0/1 alternatives and who have absolutely no interest in the world, it's economy, what happens to it because of their code, etc. -- and letting.

It's what I call "insect politics" as in that movie "The Fly". Remember when he was still half-man he tried to think, should he eat his girlfriend or not? The exigencies of one creature take over the whole world because there is nothing to stop it.

Some of the coding Lindens are extreme Stallmanites, anti-copyright/'anti-property/free open source blah blah types and the land market only irritates them.



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You are likely right -- the problem with Mainland for people with large parcels in particular is the cost of tier.

Quite a few of the abandoned do say "abandoned for Zindra". People were forced to move to Zindra, couldn't get their land sold at a time when everyone else was doing the same thing, so they dumped it.

So you're right, what could likely happen is this:

o abandoned land at choice location sells for $1/meter to bots

o the bot owner jacks up the price to $7/m or more

o the people in the sim now face a new expense -- more than $100 US to buy a 4096 m2, and then add $25 tier or more -- possibly putting them into the in-between bracket where they are forced to tier up way more

o so they can't add that $125 initial cost plus renewing $25 or $40 cost or whatever each month, so they don't buy

o a new buyer comes into a lovely residential neighbourhood whose view he loves, and creates a club or store and puts traffic generators and junk all over it. People who love the view other people have created in sims seldom think about what they've just done to impact the view.

o Faced with either land with spinning signs and junk inducing a sale to "buy back the view," or a club that won't leave or also puts the land to sale to "buy back the view" people simply abandon their land. They may or may not move to another sim -- more likely this is the point where they will go and rent on an island instead.

So while the Lindens get an initial big sink in the $1 sales that increases L$ commissions for them, and they get an initial big pump-up of tier of the bot owners and some sim owners who manage to grab the dollar land, they will then face another round of abandonments in 3-6-9 months.

I would predict summer of 2011, just like summer of 2005, which was one of our worst summers in SL when the land market cratered after a wrenching tilt to the islands and cornering of the market by some big land dealers, and a glut of abandoned land that sold for $1/m automatically in those days, as it will soon now.

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If the viewer enables sale of land set to Anybody or Somebody, I'm simply failing to see what is so complicated about coding a routine that does this:

Day 1 set to agent with largest holdings

Day 4 set to agent with second largest holdings

Day 7 set to agent with third largest holdings


Day 1 set to 1 of randomly-generated list of X agents

Day 4 set to 2 of randomly-generated list of X agents minus 1




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I imagine the workd of the auction involves having to deal with all those cheating, manipulative land dealers.

They deliberately bid high on some pieces to drive the price up in general and drive others out of the market.

Then they have a "story" about why they can't take the auction win.

Then the next lowest bidder has to be found.

There was a simple way to deter this: have public lists of all those who take part in each auction, so that through public pressure on manipulators, the practice would cease or at least be mitigated.

*The old auctions used to do this, and it was indeed a factor that prompted better behaviour*.

The Lindens refused to change the ebay code they got to publish the auction winners and failed bids.

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The Lindens won't do this. Unfortunately, when Andrew Linden said "no, it's not going to be available for other people" -- that was the last word on it. Trying to change it involves a JIRA with 1500 votes at the very least. Did anyone make one?

If they are not doing this because server-side coding it is too hard, your suggestion is even more labour intensive and complex.

Also, 512s didn't always sell on the auction. They sat there unsold.

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Prokofy Neva wrote:

No, it is not a positive change to introduce a huge and sudden glut of land into an already devalued land marked -- this is communism, whereas Second Life is supposed to have a capitalist free market simulation.


SL is supposed to be a world where we get together and play with each other and create things. That it has a market at all is only secondary. The nature of what that market evolves into is dictated by the primary goal of bringing people together to play and create, and is not 'promised or guaranteed' to be any particular model or ideology.



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I will read this more in depth later. I just wanted to say I hope the default for abandoned land will be Auto Return ON (2 minutes for instance in the Object panel.)

Between squatters and griefers, leaving abandoned land at Auto Return Off/ set to zero is asking for trouble.

A parcel of mine was recently badly griefed that way - as was the entire sim which included many  home owners. Abandoned land had many grief boxes on it. Either someone bought that land, or the Lindens cleaned it up, but for a while it was impossible even to go near it.

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No, no, no.

There is absolutely no concept that says "Second Life HAS to be a sandbox" and "the market is secondary".

None whatsoever.

That's only one perspective -- and usually happens to be the furry perspective, BTW (Luskwood, e.g.)

But it's very wrong to impose this on the entire world.

That's the feature of capitalism versus socialism -- if you have capitalism as the basis, socialism can deviate and mooch off it. But if you have socialism as the basis, capitalism is suppressed. So that's not freedom.

If you want a collectivist sim, then, make one. Do not impose that on everyone else who wants normal market sims.

The Lindens are in business to sell sims and currency. And it's more than fine that some of us, are too. If we weren't, they wouldn't be. It's just that simple. The market sustains those who want to play collective farm -- and that is what is secondary, not the market. The market is primary, and that's how it should be to sustain the world.

By claiming "it is not promised or guarantee to be any one ideology" in fact you are cleverly trying to impose one idea -- the "no market" sandbox idea, and act as if the market is "secondary" or "optional". It's not. It's fundamental.

Since time immemorial, real-life human societies have made markets and bought and sold at a profit. It is only with brutal force is this disrupted in some places at some historical periods (i.e. Soviet Union, 75 years).

The tabula resa is the market; the sandbox is built on top of that as a deviation.

The primary goal is not "to bring people to play with each other and create things". That may be your goal; it may be some people's goal. It isn't even the formal mission of LL, if you read it, which says something like "to connect us all to a virtual world to better humanity".

But it doesn't matter even what the original framers think -- SL is too big, too diverse, and too free, fortunately for us all, to have to be under the yoke of collectivism.

Open source sims (in culture and in code) without IP protection, monetarization, economies, DRM, etc. don't thrive. They're like Biosphere 2, artificially maintained by outside wealth and unable to sustain themselves.




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Prokofy Neva wrote in part:

The Lindens are in business to sell sims and currency. And it's more than fine that some of us, are too. If we weren't, they wouldn't be. It's just that simple. The market sustains those who want to play collective farm -- and that is what is secondary, not the market. The market is primary, and that's how it should be to sustain the world.

Indisputably, "Lindens are in business," providing whatever services will generate revenue at a margin over costs.

In theory they could do this without any market among residents, nor any fees for virtual land, charging for access to the service only.  That's a famiiar enough business model for similar environments.

In fact, however, removing the market and market-based land economy would destroy much of the fundamental appeal of Second Life to many of the Lab's customers, current and future.

Sure, there would be some customers willing to pay for access to a social virtual world with no market component.  If we think for a moment about what sort of service would best succeed with such a model -- what would optimize for that experience -- we'd leave behind many things that seem important features of Second Life. 

Instead, we'd "invent" Facebook.  Or maybe Facebook with a Blender plug-in.

Of course, even Facebook has a market component.  Certainly Facebook apps / games have internal "markets" sometimes loosely confederated with a shared currency (and sometimes not).  The point is that those "markets" are key to the success of even dopey Zynga games.

I don't claim to be economic philosopher enough to generalize this to a universal human attribute, that capitalism is wired-in to the species.  But just within the little economy of the gaming and virtual worlds biz, success seems pretty linked to the existence of a market -- even when the developers actively discourage the emergence of such markets.

Whether or not "land" is allocated by market might be a separable business decision.  That is, it could be that people will pay for cauliflowers and not the land on which they grow, which land might be distributed by some other scheme (perhaps a collectivist notion of "greatest need" :smileytongue: ).  I think that, too, would erode appeal, not only because people like to participate in a market (see above), so land should be a market too, but because the market is an incentive driving the quality of content, including land, available to be experienced by participants.

(This all leaving aside the very practical consideration of whether Linden could change its business model without painting red the balance sheet; I've ranted enough about that elsewhere.)

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