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A brief note on pricing changes, which ran long.

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Most of us are member of 42 groups now. What happens at the day the change to 35 applies? Will 7 groups just randomly disappear? Or will we stay in 42 groups and and if we leave one we just can't add a new group until it's 35?

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3 minutes ago, martinmoun said:

Most of us are member of 42 groups now. What happens at the day the change to 35 applies? Will 7 groups just randomly disappear? Or will we stay in 42 groups and and if we leave one we just can't add a new group until it's 35?

As said in the official news post, no groups will be removed, but you will not be able to join new groups until you are below the new maximum limit.

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3 hours ago, Digit Gears said:

I do wonder though, did premium REALLY need 10 more group slots at expense of basic? Was 60 really not enough?

No, 60 is really not enough for some of us. I'm constantly having to trim my groups and I'm thrilled to be getting 10 more slots.

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What worries me most of all is reducing the group slots for residents on basic membership plans. As a store owner myself (Apple Fall) it's such an important tool to connect myself with the customer base. While we have other avenues of advertising such as Flickr, Facebook, etc, what makes the groups the key marketing tool is that I am directly connecting to the thousands of people that have chosen to join my group, instantly. I understand and have witnessed that the strain that groups have on the system is dire, as notices aren't received by everybody in the group although that's been happening for some time now. But as others have said the groups are also missing basic features, such as the ability to delete a notice that has been sent out, or even being able to click on the name of the person who has sent the notice from the notice window itself. As the single most important avenue for customer connectivity it has been overshadowed by other features and is in need of a makeover itself.

 

As creators, and business owners alike, the end goal is to make sure that our customer base is happy and while there are things that are of course out of our control such as the fee increases for process credit, I think there are things that can be changed and I seriously believe that reinstating the group cap to what it was before should be one of them. The market can be volatile as it is and I feel like this move is unnecessarily adding to that. Now customers will have to choose (even more than they do already) between which stores they can follow because of the limit and that's just dangerous for the economy as a whole, in my opinion.

 

If I may offer some suggestions I have a couple that I would like to put on the table:

  • Reinstating the old group cap of course, however the feasibility of that is nothing I can objectively comment on.
  • A built in notification system non-group reliant. Since the GDPR it has been somewhat shrouded in uncertainty the use of what we call 'subscribo' tools, a messaging system that doesn't rely on the group infrastructure. If there is a way something of that essence could be built into the viewer and also linked to a marketplace or dashboard notification system, it would sustain creator to customer relations without anybody having to worry about the group cap affecting their business. It doesn't need to have attachments or anything heavy, just something text based would more than suffice.
  • The ability to leave a group and re-join without having to pay the fee again. This is a problem I face as of now and I can only imagine it getting worse if nothing is implemented or changed. People will leave and re-join groups for a multitude of reasons but paying the fee twice shouldn't be a thing. I add the fee solely to stop phishers and scammers from being able to access my group chat (which happened A LOT). I know that of course some business models rely on the group fee to be paid every month, a switch for us group owners to turn it on or off would be cool.

 

If I may continue on from the comment I made about scammers and phishers, a lot of us would feel more comfortable with the fee increase if something more actively was done about these situations. They damage the market, in whatever form they come in. People sharing keylogger links in groups, copybotters, charity scams, content theft to name a few. The fees have increased many times in a relatively short space of time and I have only seen these things getting worse. I hope that with the latest increase along with paying new compliance costs there will be a little margin to be more prolific in policing the platform. I understand there is no perfect solution and it's always going to be around to some degree but things are the worst I have seen right now.

The reason I suggest this is because I know with the increase in fees for those of us cashing out, while a reduction in land costs, it has become increasingly clear where a lot of the income from the platform is coming from. I won't say majority or anything like that because without numbers I could not possibly know for sure, I am just using conjecture. Which is why there should be an increased interest in tackling anything that serves to not only undermine the market in a literal sense but instill uncertainty or fear in the customer base as a secondary effect as ultimately that only leads to people buying less Lindens or being less inclined to shop.

 

It has been nice to see the Lab make a bold statement with the release of the new Premium continent and the new homes. It has been a message that has been well received, for premium members of course for obvious reasons but for those of us with a business in the platform it let us know that you were there, that you wanted a serious future for the platform. Things that were left in the balance with the release of Sansar and a noticeable reduction in the staff tethered to Second Life since that project has opened. I am glad we are where we are now. I applaud the Lab for it's continuing efforts to make it a sustainable business model which also makes it a more stable business for us that are working here full time. But with a double in cashout fees I think we are reaching a threshold that we should be seeing more done on a basic level to sustain the economy of the platform for all of our sakes.

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Dear Lindens,

 

Why not create a Premium Lite?

  • With no Linden Home or mainland parcel (but the ability to rent mainland)
  • 70 Group Memberships
  • 80 Offline IMs
  • Exclusive Premium-Only Areas
  • Maybe 150 L$ weekly
  • Premium Support

All for 5 US$ monthly and 50 US$ annually? 

That might help the people who are still willing to pay for some extras but not being able to effort that much. And many do not realy need a home.

 

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10 minutes ago, Kat Linden said:

This is important because all members of groups contribute to lag, even inactive group members.

So... why not automatically eject members who haven't logged on in years?

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9 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Could you please explain to me how a +2.5% increase in credit processing is going to put your SL-based livelihood at risk? Sincere question. I mean, you were already paying for all the other fees, VAT, etc. What is the income-deadzone where a slight increase will make your situation unbearable, and how are you not in it already?

Well then don't believe me, I was being honest.

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7 minutes ago, martinmoun said:

Most of us are member of 42 groups now. What happens at the day the change to 35 applies? Will 7 groups just randomly disappear? Or will we stay in 42 groups and and if we leave one we just can't add a new group until it's 35?

No, residents won't automatically lose 7 groups when the change takes effect. They just won't be able to join anymore groups if the are over 35. Or, if they were at 42, they would have to drop to 34 to add another one.

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1 minute ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

I'm trying to understand.

There isn't much to understand SL as a "full time job" hasn't been giving me much maneuvering room for a very long time now. But what am I supposed to do about it? Stop?

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5 minutes ago, Cain Maven said:

So... why not automatically eject members who haven't logged on in years?

While that is certainly something to consider, there is not currently a way to do that. 

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@Kat Linden  what about concierge membership (without Premium) — will we get IMs capped like basic accounts or premium?

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Ok so if I understand correctly;
-cashing out is becoming a lot more expensive.
-tier goes down a bit
-basic users get fewer groups, premium members get more groups.

To me it seems like being a premium member hasn't become more attractive but less so, I think that for most of us 60 groups is a fine amount, I don't think I need more, especially if that means basic account users get fewer.
After all, they need to join my groups!
Groups are the best way to reach the people who visit your sim, come to your shop, are part of your community, if they start leaving our groups because they only have so many they can join, it's not good.
I bet we can think of a few ways to make being a premium member a lot more interesting without having to damage basic accounts.
After all it is not only important for LL to keep premium members happy but to also try and convince more people to become a premium member.
If you make being one more expensive you need to offer a lot more than now.
I remember becoming a premium member because of the 24 hour a day chat support... ah those were the days.
Premium becomes cheaper if you pay annually, that is great but I can't afford to just pay 99$ at once and I'm a SL sim owner who is doing rather well compared to many!

Tier going down is great but does it outweigh the increase in cashing out fees?
I don't know, I can't calculate myself out of a paper bag, but in the end how much money is actually left in my wallet is what decides how much time, money and effort I can convince myself to spend in SL.
Event organisers, club owners, sim builders, content creators, shop keepers, etc, these people are the backbone of SL, their costs should go down, their lives should be made easier.

If cashing out keeps getting more expensive, people might just start asking tenants, customers or clients to start paying them directly via paypal.


 

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1 minute ago, Kat Linden said:

While that is certainly something to consider, there is not currently a way to do that. 

I understand that it requires coding. But it does seem like a fairly simple task, and one that might have a significant performance benefit if the member count is as important as it seems. So please put that on the to-do :)

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4 minutes ago, Kat Linden said:

While that is certainly something to consider, there is not currently a way to do that. 

If you own a group you can actually remove members who haven't logged into SL for a while.
Simply sort all members by date they last were online, select the ones you want to eject and do so.

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@Kat Linden could you guys meet us in the middle and at least take a couple months to discuss a different way to handle the group problem without penalizing the basic members? 

Group issue penalizes creators too. For reasons I mentioned earlier and Apple Fall explained even better. Group chat/notices is easily 75% of how we sell and it's 90% of being able to run a successful main store business without having to participate in events. We really need you all to reconsider this.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

There isn't much to understand SL as a "full time job" hasn't been giving me much maneuvering room for a very long time now. But what am I supposed to do about it? Stop?

Without knowing your RL situation -- look for another (possibly supplemental) job opportunity.

When people say "2.5% is too much or is going to ruin creators!!!" it sounds ridiculous, because it implies a lot of ridiculous things.

  • Do they only care about every cent and not the platform they're on?
  • Are they living on the bleeding edge of their income, struggling every day?
  • Why is SL their only income? Are they unable to find another source of income?

While a combination of those things (and others) might apply to some people, I can't imagine it being anywhere as near as big of a majority as people are making it out to be. This is why I'm asking for someone to give some kind of a concrete example. How much are you cashing out? How often? (And most importantly:) How much of a difference does the 2.5% actually make in the total you get into your bank account? I understand these are pretty personal questions, but it's very difficult to relate when all you hear is "the sky is falling, believe me."

Edited by Wulfie Reanimator
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9 minutes ago, warehousefifteendesigns said:
  • A built in notification system non-group reliant. Since the GDPR it has been somewhat shrouded in uncertainty the use of what we call 'subscribo' tools, a messaging system that doesn't rely on the group infrastructure. If there is a way something of that essence could be built into the viewer and also linked to a marketplace or dashboard notification system, it would sustain creator to customer relations without anybody having to worry about the group cap affecting their business

 

i think this is a really good idea.  A viewer-based subscriber system. I like it

a question for you WFT and other merchants.  Would it be viable or useful to you if LL were to charge a fee per offer/notice sent to your subscribers ?

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3 minutes ago, Jo Yardley said:

If you own a group you can actually remove members who haven't logged into SL for a while.
Simply sort all members by date they last were online, select the ones you want to eject and do so.

Good idea -- but why not also let the back end do this? That would also handle cases where the group creator no longer is active. Plus, some group owners may prefer the inflated count... :)

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Just now, Mollymews said:

i think this is a really good idea.  A viewer-based subscriber system. I like it

a question for you WFT and other merchants.  Would it be viable or useful to you if LL were to charge a fee per offer/notice sent to your subscribers ? 

It's something I have thought about in the past and I would happily pay for a tertiary tier account (some type of business account) that has this service and more business tools. It is something that could be considered as a solution. Even several tiers of business accounts for the varying array of business that is done on the platform.

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40 minutes ago, Kyrah Abattoir said:

Most creators will eat the cost, as they have before. Raising prices is not something we can do without consequences.

Besides its not just creators who are in this position, sim owners, event organisers, club owners, etc, are all seeing their costs go up and although you could increase what you charge for stuff you sell, increasing the rent in your sim, charging people to visit your experience, etc, is quite tricky as well.
 

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3 minutes ago, Mollymews said:

a question for you WFT and other merchants.  Would it be viable or useful to you if LL were to charge a fee per offer/notice sent to your subscribers ?

It's not a bad idea, but the downside might be that it favors the big, established brands and becomes just another barrier to entry for new, small brands. And I think the playing field is a bit uneven as it is.

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5 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.  

IF what you say is true, then you would have lowered the amount of group space for Premium members too. You just took seven groups away from Basic members (who btw: probably spend more in SL on a daily basis), added them to the Premium members and added two more groups to their amounts. You literally did nothing but shuffle groups around which does nothing to the amount of lag on the servers. If groups cause this much lag, then you would need to lower the group spaces on everyone, not just Basic members. 

I remember years ago when we were given more than 25 groups when we were upped to 42 groups. We've had 42 max groups for years and now all of a sudden you're going to take that away and lower us to 35 groups. Sure, it is still more than we used to get but it is still a hardship.

As for upgrading to a premium membership, I fail to see any incentive at this time for me to upgrade and I'll tell you why. I have budgeted $20 per month in Lindens which gives me roughly $L5000 per month. Sometimes I'm able to buy $10 or so more in Lindens which means that I drop around $30 bucks in SL on a good month when I shop too much. If I were to upgrade, I would need to deduct the amount of the membership from my budgeted "play money" in order to do it. The $L300 only comes out to $L1200 (for four week months) and $L1500 ( on five week months)... and my understanding is it comes each week, not monthly. Point is, I get more in the amount I buy than I would in the stipend. 

I don't need a linden home because I have a home already. I live on a full sim with my SL family on a platform that is all our own with my SL BF. I am not interested in the premium gifts because I have been told they are primmy, laggy, and poorly made. We're in the days of mesh and animesh. I don't use prim furniture anymore unless I really like it. More LI for me to play with that way. 

I don't see a need for me to go to a premium sandbox. I have a place I build at that is completely private and I don't have to worry about griefers. Albeit, I've never been to a premium sandbox so I don't know how many griefers you get there who bypass the blocks, etc. 

So far, I don't have any incentive to upgrade or I would. I can deal with less groups, even though it will royally suck when I join another blogger team who hasn't gone to Blogotex yet and I have to drop down below 35 to do so.

This might be different for other people, but these are the reasons I don't feel incentive to upgrade my membership at this time. 

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4 minutes ago, Cain Maven said:

Good idea -- but why not also let the back end do this? That would also handle cases where the group creator no longer is active. Plus, some group owners may prefer the inflated count... :)

Yes indeed.
Inactive members are causing quite a strain on the whole system.
People who I know to have died or who have left SL still own land, still have stuff rezzed, still are members of groups or even own groups!
It might be a good idea for LL to send people an official warning when they haven't logged into SL for say a year that if they don't respond soon their account will be set to non-active meaning their groups vanish, they are automatically removed from groups, they lose land, prims returned, etc.

I clear members from my group that haven't been online for a year quite regularly.
It is nice for my ego to have a group with many members but all those non-SLers being there just irritates my OCD.

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1 minute ago, Cain Maven said:

It's not a bad idea, but the downside might be that it favors the big, established brands and becomes just another barrier to entry for new, small brands. And I think the playing field is a bit uneven as it is.

my question about a fee per notice would i think tend to veer outcomes toward what you mention.  I think WFT said it right. Make the subscribo as part of a Merchant account package

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