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Grumpity Linden

A brief note on pricing changes, which ran long.

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1 minute ago, Dove Darkfold said:

Actually, when comes to coding, Second Life Groups are similar to SQL and Oracle forums when it comes to storing notices, chats, and group activity. They keep it all on the servers. They take up massive amounts of valuable data. Especially very active groups like advertising groups and large store groups. I, for one, will not drop groups I paid to join. That might be something to consider if wanting to combat people dropping your group to get down below 35 slots. 

They don't store it for long as Asadora said 2 weeks. Forums store posts / threads for years. the amount of data space text take up is minute compared to images/textures.

 

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6 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

But I do think like in RL, people have that right to voice their concerns. Say they don't like it.

Of course they do. Just like I have the same right to say I don't like seeing businesses that I pay money to behaving in a manner that I don't like. 

Also, I won't stop shopping anywhere over this. That was a knee-jerk reaction, just like everyone else is having. 

We are all consumers in SL.

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19 minutes ago, Marie Sims said:

So this only one reason to pay 100$ for premium to have some more groups. OMG Customers need to pay for more groups for to be informed about news and go to buy the new items. Where is the logic? People always pay yeah

Nowdays people also scroll through SL Facebook fashion feeds to find the most recent items. and it costs nothing to scroll them only if you actually go to buy the said item. I guess the amount of sl facebook fashionistas will increase soon

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2 minutes ago, xxSaltandPepperxx said:

it very much depends how your group is run. if the chat is not active , a subscriber will just work fine. There are plenty of perks you can give with a group that no subscriber can. But nothing absolutely nothing beats an active group and the direct contact to your customer base. 

I suppose what I'm really addressing is the constant turn over of groups in peoples list. Those who are constantly switching out groups so they can get the latest free gift or join in on a hunt or hit the MM group board but then drop the group slot until they hear that group is having another free item. Those groups are not really active chat groups. Those types of groups need to use a different method for advertising, IMO.

I'm not talking the likes of the big time fashion or furniture merchants. Their groups tend to be steady with people not dropping them over and over to rejoin, though it does happen even with them. In those cases the groups really aren't promoting sales as much as putting out gifts hoping to get name recognition. In those cases, having a subo rather than a group actually serves the merchant better because their group isn't constantly part of a never-ending turnover of groups with those who are constantly searching for the next freebie.

I do value groups who provide community. Who offer support and help. Those are very valuable. I personally believe they are the best use of a group slot along with having your own personal group where you invite your friends and family to be a part. Those are the groups I will hold forever. I have to tell you though I do frequent the FB page of the big fashion houses and that's my biggest source of news. Group notices tend to get deleted without me even looking at them. By now you might realize that I always have group slots open because well I just don't need that many. 

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Just now, Beth Macbain said:

Of course they do. Just like I have the same right to say I don't like seeing businesses that I pay money to behaving in a manner that I don't like. 

Also, I won't stop shopping anywhere over this. That was a knee-jerk reaction, just like everyone else is having. 

We are all consumers in SL.

May I add, you do realize. That some creators and consumers will take a bigger hit, living outside the US? You gotta realize, take those prices, and now add the Exchange rate, and if you are in Europe you pay VAT. Take me for example, I am on a quarterly premium membership. In the US, that would be a flat rate of 32.97. Now add exchange rates to that, I am now paying close to 50 bucks in Canadian Dollars, just to enjoy those perks that premium gives me. See what I mean? It's gonna greatly impact people outside the US. 

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1 minute ago, halebore Aeon said:

In the US, that would be a flat rate of 32.97. Now add exchange rates to that, I am now paying close to 50 bucks in Canadian Dollars, just to enjoy those perks that premium gives me. See what I mean? It's gonna greatly impact people outside the US. 

If you pay annually you don't have to deal with VAT. If you're up to 50 with VAT added then why not add another 50 and go full annual and skip paying VAT?

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Just now, Blush Bravin said:

If you pay annually you don't have to deal with VAT. If you're up to 50 with VAT added then why not add another 50 and go full annual and skip paying VAT?

I live in Canada, we don't have VAT. But the Canadian dollar is at an all-time low, so I pay more for premium.

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I hope LL realize whats going to happen with groups? People on basic are going to spread them over alts so in effect nothing will change for LL but basic residents will get a little bit of inconvenience! I have been doing this for years.

Edited by Phoebe Avro
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7 minutes ago, Jeny Howlett said:

Nowdays people also scroll through SL Facebook fashion feeds to find the most recent items. and it costs nothing to scroll them only if you actually go to buy the said item. I guess the amount of sl facebook fashionistas will increase soon

As much as I love the other social media options we have to manage and run our SL shops, groups, sims, etc, we are technically breaking the FB ToS by having avatar accounts.
It is a bit silly that we have to depend on that when we have groups.
Of course it would be even better if SL offered us some sort of online alternative to both groups and social media.

A Facebook clone on the SL website would be great and might also take away some of the pressure on groups.

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7 hours ago, Grumpity Linden said:
  • We’re not lowering limits out of spite, groups really are quite a strain on our back end for a variety of painful historical reasons, including overloading group functionality instead of having other tools.  This subject alone is worth a novel liberally sprinkled with tears. So anyway, we don’t hate basic users, and in fact we work hard to retain our free-to-play offering as one of the most generous across many industries. But yes, no big surprise, we do want to nudge active residents to become subscribers, because we think it’s a great value, and - as many have noted - we’re also running a business. But no, we're not shutting our doors to non-premium residents. Rumors of our insanity and villainy have been slightly exaggerated.  

Well this here Premium user is one who won't be renewing his subscription upon next billing cycle.

Maybe whilst running that business, the folks heading the Fuzzy Economics class over at LL could consider the option of taking responsibility and begin effecting meaningful fixes to that "backend with a painful history" rather than biting their consumer base in our rear-ends over things we have no control over.

But this is the kind of "it's our property, our software, and our service, but we have no control over how badly it performs so just pay us more and don't get mad" rhetoric that I've come to expect from LL, anymore. I feel that my patience (as well as that of many otherwise-silent others, I'd imagine) has been exemplary over the years, but at this point I for one just can't see the sense (business or otherwise) in this kind of policy bungling any longer. This is a first for me, since I always saw sense where others hadn't before, even during the Teen Grid merge which was... well... the catalyst for a great many "interesting" calamities in its own right.

It kinda feels like... having a weird friend with no social graces to speak of, bad habits and such, but you find him oddly likeable for some reason or another. Plus, he happens to have one amazing talent you just can't get enough of, so you often find yourself excusing his behaviour to others. But over the years, he just doesn't improve. No, in fact, he gets worse. Eventually he stops practising hygiene, develops a tendency to scream profanities at random, and otherwise seems to go out of his way to embarrass you. Eventually it gets so bad that you finally just give up trying. You bear no ill will towards this once-oddly-likeable friend of yours, but you're done making excuses for him. (Obviously not a water-tight metaphor, but cut me a small break here.)

After over twelve years, I think I've finally reached that point. The benefit:headache ratio of Premium has not only crossed the 1:1 threshold, the ratio has even surpassed a tolerable 1:1.25 and leapt into nearly a 1:2. First LL negates half the benefit of Linden Homes by removing "those ugly ban lines," even on landlocked parcels, and somehow thought a highly-restricted-to-the-point-of-nearly-useless 'security system' would be an acceptable compromise. Now they're raising the price of Premium - which only became worth the price (to me, anyway) when Linden Homes became a thing in the first place. Not only that, but LL is even taking from Basic accounts to give to Premium "because our backend is made of a painful history worthy of books covered in tears." That's not insanity nor villainy. It's a seemingly complete lack of anything resembling respect to their whole userbase, including their existing subscribers. A company's customers are not to blame for the company's inefficient software no matter what crazy antics certain Basic account holders get up to. But now I'm repeating myself.

Of course I can only speak for myself when it comes to the real effective value of Premium. I've no use for large amounts of land, and I fail to see the point of the "extra sim slots" when the only real advantage to them is to get myself through the "door after the third bell," as it were. As for added group slots, I also don't see the benefit of something that'd be taken away the moment I stop paying, thereby relegating me to leaving those "extra" groups in order to make room for the ability to join another. The Premium gifts, while novel, don't really provide me anything I couldn't get for less money at a higher value - even when they're relevant to how I use SL. The Premium sandboxes are rather moot due to having friends who are well-off enough in their RLs to afford their own regions. As for the other Premium-exclusive areas... eh, they're just not for me.

So here's a crazy idea: Maybe whilst you're adding a new upper tier to Premium, add one or more lower tiers for those of us who only want certain facets of Premium benefits without having to pay for the ones that aren't relevant to us. Or you could really show some gumption and make a "build-your-own" Premium plan whereby we can select what benefits we want in order to maximise the bang for our bucks! I mean if you really want to be at that whole "running a business" thing, maybe earn that business rather than "encourage" it. Harsh? Well, there's a reason for that...

Also, I don't mean to come off like I'm singling out anyone in particular, certainly not any Linden employee (quote snip is just for context). I do feel for a lot of Lindens what with all they have to go through on the daily. But this has gone on long enough, and the OP of this thread rather elicited a strong need to vent. Full disclosure, here: I've not bothered reading the whole thread, just smacked the reply button after reading the OP. Not the best practice, I know, but I'm typing this whilst waiting on a ride home from work. So yeah, sure, I'm whining into the void. Nothing new there, plenty do it. Oh well. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I guess my only real point here is that whilst I understand the hardships of maintaining a service using inefficient software (cheap to develop, expensive to run, especially on a multiplier as large as the Grid itself, etc.) I personally know for a fact (from experience) that there are far better ways to handle this. LL aren't stupid, they've got to know that unless whatever it is they've got planned insofar as additions to Premium happens to be exceptionally and uncharacteristically great, that this is going to bite them in the bum. Yet based on LL's track record to date, I cannot shake the feeling that whatever it is will ultimately be found very wanting indeed. For me, that's one of the most frustrating parts of being a SecondLife Resident in the first place: Knowing full-well that LL could do so much better, but for some reason or another, they never do, and so the daily concurrent user count continues to slowly dwindle as the years go by. This is just the latest and greatest episode of that running gag, I suppose.

Another kicker for me is that I also strongly suspect if the devs were the ones fully in charge, this sort of bizarre disconnect between the cultural ecosystem of a userbase and the policies which affect it (for better or worse, usually worse) very likely wouldn't be happening. It's nearly never the developers deciding stuff like this. It's almost always the financial Elites of the business with little-to-no programming knowledge or experience to speak of, what with their financial whips lashing the backs of the devs for not magicking more money for the corporate throne. Yeah okay, totally hyperbolic way of putting it, but still... There have indeed been platforms wherein the devs really were the ones running the show (SL itself, once upon a time) and they were always the best to be a part of in just about every way conceivable. Ah well...

Rant over. Friggin' finally.

Edited by Amras Martynov
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1 minute ago, Jo Yardley said:

Of course it would be even better if SL offered us some sort of online alternative to both groups and social media.

A Facebook clone on the SL website would be great and might also take away some of the pressure on groups.

Avatars United arises from the grave!!

And isn't LL talking about getting rid of MySecondLife? Or did I mishear. In any case, it seems to be largely dead.

Anything that moves our interactions off the platform itself (as mesh creation has) is ultimately bad for Second Life.

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There are many in sl who in real life are  on a  fixed income and  many with disabilities,  illnesses,  diseases  etc  in second life   that second life  been a life saver. That being said the costs do affect the pocket book ,  Do they stay or find  something else . There are people dealing with a lot of real life issues like different diseases, cancer, ms,  way too many to list and they spend a great amount  of time and money in sl . However when you have medication , etc ,,,, and on a budget or fixed income  second life will a  lose a lot of its members    buying  items  will start to decrease   . I know for a  fact a few who have premium and use to rent as well  with the hikes last year stopped renting and just stayed in the premium houses and bought less linden , items and basically spent less time in second life overall . 

             Maybe  do a basic   the way it is and then do a basic  level 2  meaning   one to three dollars a month and they get the group slots , and a few other  perks  a few lindens to spend like premium   not as much   that would offset some of the costs ,,,,

              

Edited by roseelvira
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1 hour ago, Blueberryxx said:

I do also have a subscriber that some people choose to use with around 25,000 members in it. But Blush, the customers or the number of customers in the group isn't at fault for groups lagging. We didn't "create" this issue. It is hard to claim groups were not designed for this, when groups are able to charge customers, have abilities to send notices, and have a built in chat. It is how the group system was made. I am suggesting, we need a permanent solution which might even mean making a brand new group system. We are happy to pay for it with the increased fees. Groups are important to the economy of Second Life. I am the proof that it is essential.

No, subscriber based notification doesn't serve better. Doesn't bring the same amount of sales. It is just the fact of the matter. 

@Blush Bravin @Blueberryxx I am not a creator but as a consumer I can say that yes subscribing is nice for some things but at the end of the day sometimes it just has to be a group. You cant ask a subscribe tool why you didn't have a certain body rigging isn't in a clothing folder, you can not ask why your product may not be working correctly, and you can not ask a subscribe tool for suggestions and comments on things. People can not expect customers to go to a main store to look for a bored listing CSR for them maybe to be online or for them to maybe have time for you. These people are busy with various things all the time so we rely on each other as a community for help and that is an amazing thing. From a consumer I have to completely agree that groups are indeed necessary.

Edited by FlightlessAngel
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1 hour ago, Marie Sims said:
1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

 3.5% conversion fees

its raised to 4.5% quietly!!! 

Really? When did that increase?

Fixed my post...

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17 minutes ago, FlightlessAngel said:

@Blush Bravin @Blueberryxx I am not a creator but as a consumer I can say that yes subscribing is nice for some things but at the end of the day sometimes it just has to be a group. You cant ask a subscribe tool why you didn't have a certain body rigging isn't in a clothing folder, you can not ask why your product may not be working correctly, and you can not ask a subscribe tool for suggestions and comments on things. People can not expect customers to go to a main store to look for a bored listing CSR for them maybe to be online or for them to maybe have time for you. These people are busy with various things all the time so we rely on each other as a community for help and that is an amazing thing. From a consumer I have to completely agree that groups are indeed necessary.

It depends on the business. If anyone has a question or support need, I prefer to handle it myself. (And I do so expeditiously.) I also don’t   want to deal with group management. I don’t have to deal with a lot of support issues so for me a mailing list is ideal.

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2 minutes ago, Pamela Galli said:

It depends on the business. If anyone has a question or support need, I prefer to handle it myself. (And I do so expeditiously.) I also don’t   want to deal with group management. I don’t have to deal with a lot of support issues so for me a mailing list is ideal.

As I said for some things it is nice. Sometimes you can absolutely make it work and for some things you are going to need the community help. I am not familiar with your business by looking at your name so I am not sure what exactly it is but I am thrilled it works for you and that you have the time and availably to speak with each of your customers individually when needed but that is not a luxury every creator has. In all actuality for some creators talking to each person and handling everything all on their own is very unrealistic.

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3 hours ago, Kat Linden said:

This is important because all members of groups contribute to lag, even inactive group members. This is especially true for group chat. There are residents who have a lot of alts that they have not used in years that are still part of groups, and they are slowing those groups down. Lowering the number of groups for Basic accounts will not be a quick fix for this issue, but reducing the number of groups Basic members can join could help keep it from building further as we go forward.

The inactive accounts won't lose groups, they'll stay at 42. They'll only go down to 35 if the owner logs back in and wants to join a new group badly enough to ditch 7 + 1 groups.

Unless I'm missing something here, this will penalise active basics without doing anything about the bigger problem of those already inactive.

Would an awareness campaign asking group owners to prune their groups help? There's a way to turn off the thumbnail pics in group chat, a friend helped me with that and it did improve things. Would LL consider dropping them altogether?

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11 minutes ago, FlightlessAngel said:

As I said for some things it is nice. Sometimes you can absolutely make it work and for some things you are going to need the community help. I am not familiar with your business by looking at your name so I am not sure what exactly it is but I am thrilled it works for you and that you have the time and availably to speak with each of your customers individually when needed but that is not a luxury every creator has. In all actuality for some creators talking to each person and handling everything all on their own is very unrealistic.

That's why I said "It depends on the business."  My business is my full time job and most of my products don't require much support, so its no problem finding time to talk to customers - plus I really like talking to customers. Each support request or question is an opportunity to build clientele. There are probably more businesses that could do as well or better with a subscriber but may not have been aware.

Screenshot_(194).jpg?1445973976

Edited by Pamela Galli
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6 hours ago, Sannita Cortes said:

Sorry, I was thinking of going premium and I would pay annually because like you it is the best deal. BUT VAT only then monthly because not annual and quaterly is not for new sign ups. For me VAT applies…. So I would pay annually my membership and VAT is only monthly possible - this process  I don't understand the reason for it because would be better to pay all in once.

 

Sannita, you would not get charged VAT on your annual membership at all.  

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52 minutes ago, halebore Aeon said:

I live in Canada, we don't have VAT. But the Canadian dollar is at an all-time low, so I pay more for premium.

But you have free healthcare! I'll trade you!

I'm kidding. I readily admit that I'm only looking at this from the perspective of a US citizen and have no idea what costs go into it for international members.

I'm just going to stop reading these threads. The changes are happening, change is inevitable, and just like every single time LL changes anything, people are going to get up in arms and complain about how LL is shooting themselves in the foot, and how this is the end of SL, and they've ruined everything and then in a couple weeks (or less) everyone will forget and move on. 

Few of the people who ever threaten to leave actually leave. Just like I'm not actually going to stop shopping at the stores. 

I'd still dig some free healthcare, though. Maybe some poutine as well. 😊

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14 minutes ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

 without doing anything about the bigger problem of those already inactive.

this partly can be solved by groupowners, they can eject those.
For the inactive groups LL could decide to dissolve those.

(i think)

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I an understand why some people are concerned about the changes in groups, although it doesn't affect me in the least.  I've been a Basic member for all of my 12 years in SL and don't really need to be in all of the 28 groups I belong to at the moment.  If I were an avid shopper, though, I can see how it could be an issue and I sympathize.

The only things that will affect me are the decreased land fees and the increased credit transfer fee.  If I were taking money out of SL, those two changes would just about cancel each other out.  As it is, I only sell L$ to pay the land fees, so nothing ever leaves Linden Lab's servers.  The net result will be that I have a few more L$ in my account at the end of the month .... not enough to get excited about and certainly not enough to change my limited buying habits.  Just enough to reduce a little of the uncertainty in my in-world income, for which I am mildly thankful.  As a retiree, I look for any ways to reduce that uncertainty in my monthly budget.

It's hard to consider the question of incentives and disincentives on anything other than a personal level.  I don't see anything in these changes that either push me away from a Basic membership or pull me toward becoming Premium.  

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3 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

But you have free healthcare! I'll trade you!

I'm kidding. I readily admit that I'm only looking at this from the perspective of a US citizen and have no idea what costs go into it for international members.

I'm just going to stop reading these threads. The changes are happening, change is inevitable, and just like every single time LL changes anything, people are going to get up in arms and complain about how LL is shooting themselves in the foot, and how this is the end of SL, and they've ruined everything and then in a couple weeks (or less) everyone will forget and move on. 

Few of the people who ever threaten to leave actually leave. Just like I'm not actually going to stop shopping at the stores. 

I'd still dig some free healthcare, though. Maybe some poutine as well. 😊

Sign me up for the free healthcare too!

So far I've not seen anyone saying they'll leave, just a lot of concerned store owners, customers, land owners etc, worrying about how their hoby or income will be affected by these changes. I think this change is quite a bit different to previous ones however as this will affect how people earn money and spend their RL money on premium as such sudden large changes will hit people in the pocket. I know I can't spend $99 off the cuff, I'd been considering the monthly premium but now with the price rise that will be a stretch for me.

I do hope that LL will read these threads and listen to what their community is saying because without the community there is no SL - if people feel alienated by the company and are priced out of their hoby or unable to earn their living from it anymore they will find something else to do.

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6 hours ago, Syo Emerald said:

You going to gurantee for that...how exactly?

How do you know the estate holders aren't just going to enjoy the passive profit increase? With other prices rising at the same time, I can easily see how a landlord might argue that they are going to use that money to cover for additional costs for membership and exchange.

And speaking of the perspective of a premium member: I became premium so I don't have to rent from another resident. And I'm pretty sure many more have the same motivation, because only a premium member can own mainland. Those residents don't profit form that.

Private Estate Land rentals are a market economy.  We don't control the prices set by landlords.  But we did just drop land prices a year ago, and we saw a reduction in rents, so we're going by precedent - it's what we saw happen in the market last year.  Landlords can, of course, argue what they want, but someone will drop prices and others will need to compete. 

And yes, if you prefer to own mainland and not have to rent, those prices have dropped pretty dramatically in recent memory too - not only did we cut mainland cost, we doubled what's included with your membership.  And we think it's still a great deal!

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58 minutes ago, Jo Yardley said:

As much as I love the other social media options we have to manage and run our SL shops, groups, sims, etc, we are technically breaking the FB ToS by having avatar accounts.
It is a bit silly that we have to depend on that when we have groups.
Of course it would be even better if SL offered us some sort of online alternative to both groups and social media.

A Facebook clone on the SL website would be great and might also take away some of the pressure on groups.

 

There used to be a Facebook alternative. I think it was called Avbook or something. 

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