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Grumpity Linden

A brief note on pricing changes, which ran long.

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1 minute ago, Blush Bravin said:

I'm probably going to be boo'd out of this thread with my comments, but here goes anyway. Groups have been a problem for a long time. Using them for advertising has become the norm but should they be? I don't think so. It would be better to use a subo system, as has been suggested in this thread. I personally think that not only the basic accounts but premium accounts as well should have a lower limit placed on groups. I also think that we need different types of groups where some features, like group chat, are not permitted.

Of course we are not going to boo you. But I would like to bring you my perspective. The group chat is a huge part of marketing. It is great for getting instant help, ideas on how to style an item, but it's huge advertising. It's great for trading. Event updates. Upcoming projects. Feedback. It is absolutely essential to growing your business. It is honestly 90% of being able to sell at main store instead of events.

We should be going forward, not backwards. I am more than happy to pay the fee, but that brings the expectation that our marketing tools aren't crippled. 

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6 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.  

This doesn't make sense for me. You're taking 7 groups from non-premium people and add 10 groups to premium. If there was such a big problem with the groups, why not let them be the way they're, delete the old; inactive; unused groups and fix the issues you have with them. For me this doesn't make any sense. Indeed, at the beginning we had only 25 groups, then we got 42 and was very nice, and now you're taking them back FROM NON-PREMIUM PEOPLE! But add 10 groups to premium?! Where is the logic? This feels like punishment because we cannot afford to be Premium tbh. I understand the fee of cashing out, but taking our groups too?! And you say you have nothing against the non-premium, right now tbh, this doesn't feel like it, and I feel pretty sad that I'll have to think what groups to keep and what to delete from 24 June.

 

Have a nice day!

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9 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

 3.5% conversion fees

its raised to 4.5% quietly!!! 

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2 minutes ago, Wulfie Reanimator said:

Thank you. Since you're also in the EU, what about your welfare systems? Don't they supplement your income if you make that little?

In my country yes but not in my friends, there is a certain limit for how much you can earn before you're not able to get government help and at the moment they're just over that limit. Of course if their SL income drops they'll get help but not currently.

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6 hours ago, Grumpity Linden said:

Premium accounts have 3 weeks to pre-pay an additional cycle of premium at the old rates.

QUESTION: My two dates are in February and my alt is in September and I will certainly do this (even though I think the new pricing is fair, I'm not stupid LOL). IF I DO THIS and the new higher tier of Premium is announced and made available, will I be able to upgrade at-will or will I have to wait for my existing tier to come to renewals before I can upgrade to the new level?

I am fortunate that I am one of the "whales" and love that it helps SL be available for the "fish". (Yeah, I know those industry terms LOL)

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@Grumpity Linden @Kat Linden  thank you for taking the time to answer some of the questions.

When this was announced I too was very concerned at the impact this would have on basic accounts. With Creators having to usually have up to 3 groups of their own store, land, bloggers and their staff matching them, then depending on their event load possibly another 8 - 12 each. Then on top of that ones they just want to be in, you can suck up 35 groups very quickly. 

Bloggers then if blogging for stores group space, events group space, their own land, their own businesses maybe group space and so on. This will have a very large impact on how people are expected to suck up their groups for the needs of their existence to then find at the end of the day nothing they are in is anything but work related. That is rough that is the type of thing that weighs on people, makes them see that their Second Life is starting to be harder on them than possibly their first. I used my 60th group slot only this week. I have paid for groups, groups I own and run, ones that I need for land and manage and so on. While I do not pay for groups that I cannot afford to just leave, some have very limited incomes and are in fact in groups that provide gifts each month and that group slot is their way of enjoying and participating in Second Life with that limited budget. I have seen chat say that they just used Birthday money or something they sold gave them the funds to finally join such and such group, the having to drop 8 groups to gain one is going to hurt many. It also limits growth, someone opens a new event a new store etc and someone just cannot join in, you will have a divided SL that way.

Kicking non active accounts out of groups takes hours, and is often not really an inactive account owner, because they ran out of group spaces on their main and may use offlines to email to see notices on an alt, this is actually a thing, so while they may not log in they are gathering the information they cannot get on their main.

While I understand that groups are apparently a curse to function because of the way SL is set up they are a necessary tool. Group land needs a group, to ensure privacy in many cases, that people can rez items and so on group needed. To send out information as stated, groups are needed, there are still many that LL know that do not SL outside of SL, while many use things such as Plurk, Facebook and Discord, some others won't even read a blog post or open anything that in some way leaves a trail to SL. So again Groups are their only way.

One group need is again associated with Land. Early Access to Bloggers, Store owners to access an event and rez etc and then all the info sent out to let people know things , Groups and Groups etc.

A suggestion to help in this matter in some ways, as things can be sent with senders, not always perfect but they can. So if land was set up like the covenant where the names that are added to a sim could be done with a notecard not having to enter each name manually and wait and so on, if a list could be added to land allowing a whole list of early access people to a Region, that is one less group needed by every event, every blogger, every store manager that does not actually rez anything and so on. 

As far as the fee hike, the increase is big, doubling down is hard to take when the same work is being done, and if someone makes more than someone else they pay more than those others because of it, that seems very unfair as people have mentioned there are fees taken along the way in many forms and those doing better are paying them over and over. In banking if someone is bringing more cake to the party they usually get a better option of how it is served. I think that like the tiers you have for processing credit, you should allow the higher earners to pay less at the gate because overall you earn more from them already, while some may think that seems entitled and so on and they are already making enough etc, at the end of the day no one knows what peoples expenses are in RL what they really end up with at the end of the day, and while there are a few lucky creators that made a thing and that thing just happens to be a very profitable thing, most that make a lot work a lot to do so. If someone is cashing out for this person and they get charged 80 dollars usd and the next person gets charged 340 while it may have only been 170 dollars last time that 170 dollars could be someones health insurance, or someones home care nurses fees etc. They are not making more money than the previous fee, they are making the same but paying double. This is also out of nowhere for many, working out how to re-budget for this may just be too much for some, we may again lose some people along the way. Not every successful creator in SL is making millions of dollars, some are making just enough to get by, but yet doing so in a 24/7 economy, if you look at that vs just going to work in RL and getting to have time off, not having nasty IMs demanding this and that, or deadlines and competition etc, some may just choose to return to First Life.

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1 minute ago, Blueberryxx said:

Of course we are not going to boo you. But I would like to bring you my perspective. The group chat is a huge part of marketing. It is great for getting instant help, ideas on how to style an item, but it's huge advertising. It's great for trading. Event updates. Upcoming projects. Feedback. It is absolutely essential to growing your business. It is honestly 90% of being able to sell at main store instead of events.

We should be going forward, not backwards. I am more than happy to pay the fee, but that brings the expectation that our marketing tools aren't crippled. 

I didn't say I don't like group chat. I am a moderator for the Maitreya Lara Friends group. I very much see the advantages of help groups and chat. But what does get to be a problem is people thinking they must be a member of a group to get the benefits of a particular merchant. Take your store for instance, yes, group members do get an added store credit, but those who are not members also still receive a store credit, smaller to be sure but they still get a perk for being your customer. We see enormous lag issues in group chats because of the sheer volume of people in those groups. I know people turn off chat because they are tired of the constant pings though. So why not have a subo for advertising that has all the benefits of being part of the chat group? And have another way to reach your customers who would actually prefer to not be bothered with chat and constant notices? Wouldn't that better serve your customers and your business? Right now we all turn to groups to be this all encompassing answer to advertising. I think it's time that merchants and customers realize that groups were not meant for this purpose and were not designed for this purpose and that's why there are such big problems with groups.

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Posted (edited)
5 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?

Sixty is NOT enough.

As an SL fashionista I need as many group slots as I can get! As it is I am constantly leaving and rejoining groups to take advantage of deals and hunts.

Edited by Vanity Fair
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If groups are such a burden, we should improve them or offer alternatives in stead of allowing people to have fewer of them.

Remove people who haven't been inworld for over a year from groups.

Improve functionality of groups by for instance allowing us to chat/send messages only to people with certain titles.

Add more titles!

As someone who has been running a roleplaying community for over a decade (exactly a decade today!) I know quite a bit about SL groups as our sim alone uses dozens of groups!
We don't want to but we have to as certain sub-sections of our city need a way to directly and quickly communicate with each other.

We have tried subscription options but these cost money and lack certain functionalities.

Here is a blog I wrote about improving groups back in 2012, much of this might still be a good idea;

https://joyardley.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/improving-groups/

But of course all this is based on the idea that there being fewer groups and fewer people using groups would actually make things easier for LL and save them a bit of money so they could avoid or lessen some of the changes just announced.

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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Marie Sims said:

What??? All ads now are on FB,Flickr etc... who really need the groups to promote ? sounds funny

maybe it sounds funny to you, but not everybody is on FB or on flickr. the group still is the most important for many as it is also a nice way to directly chat with the members. The groups are extremely important for us creators. it's also about communication with people, not just about posting an ad. you can give perks that are group related, discounts, gifts.etc. I can not stress enough how important groups are

 

Edited by xxSaltandPepperxx
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Timing matters, doing this when so many people were  really excited at the great new Linden Homes but didn't get them is like the waiter saying we're out of your ordered entree but you can buy something else for more. (They usually comp at least the increase). You should have waited until after the SL16B ,the next new model reveal AND a release of an adequate supply of them. Really adequate supply.

Fee increase for cash outs, makes sense. The full region decrease won't save or sell many regions.

But the big fly in the ointment of this is Second Life is a community, a world.

Two decisions (this reduction in group slots for basic and the maybe dropping off line group notices going to email ) CUT RESIDENTS OFF FROM EACH OTHER AND MERCHANTS.

If we can't connect, why bother logging in.

Using group slots in a strong arm move to collect money is really a shot at the very heart of the --correction - YOUR business.

When people leave  Second Life your firm knows better than anyone how hard it is to replace them. Cutting people off from their connections is dumb, IMO.

(What is the churn on groups- why not make a non land/ avatar location based Groups  v2 . so that over time the legacy bandwidth hog groups will die off, even offer a way to have groups transfer to v2)

 

 

 

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35 minutes ago, Sweet Valentine said:

 if you are a business and profit at all in SL  you should have to be premium...SUPPORT this opportunity LL gives us

Well I am basic and I have rented a full region for about 8 years not to mention the seasonal regions I rent from September to January, there should be a mechanism where renters of full regions get all the perks I have paid $10,000's in rental over the years, my store funds the region and our 11 year old club.

Why did LL give extra groups to basic account only to now take them away? I know why I am sure you can work it out.

 

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Posted (edited)

So... I'm not going to pretend to understand the entirety of the technical aspects of this decision. There are so many Basic accounts, the loss of group slots for Basic accounts far outweighs the amount that is being added to Premium accounts because there are so many more Basic subscribers than Premium. It makes sense if groups is such a heavy load to cut groups on Basic. However, it seems like a patch to fix what's really wrong - and that is that Linden coding, servers, and networking are outdated and need updating. They understand this is a problem - how do they fix it? With lots of money - and we're the ones who put the food on their tables at night with their families and fund Second Life's running. 

A lot of people who are angry about these increases also need to remember that LL is a business. The Lindens have families they need to feed. They need to upgrade their equipment to provide a better experience for residents. They need to give back something for the price increases, but it can't cut into the profits in the long run because that defeats the purpose of what they're trying to accomplish. Vitriol helps no one in the situation... LL knew that the community would blow up from this - and they were prepared for the backlash, which makes me sad because LL has taken care of us for a very long time. They do LOVE their SL community. We should love them in return for all they've accomplished and graciously allowed us to be a part of - free of charge.

As a creator, I will keep creating. I will adjust my prices accordingly with the percentage increase as any RL business does in the cases of inflation and natural progression of supply and demand. For a while, it will hurt, but like LL, I'm looking at the long term. People will get used to this, and they will come back. While it might be an unpopular opinion, I staunchly support Linden Labs in their endeavors to make Second Life a better experience for everyone and to stabilize our stagnant economy. Linden Labs has been impressive over my last 11 years with Second Life, and I'm looking forward to many more years. This move, on their part, assures they will continue to be here.

TLDR; Be kind, and don't be afraid to support the Lindens even if it's a little painful. In the end, it's all worth it. 

Edited by Dove Darkfold
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I don't mind paying extra for content, I work so I can do that, and I think having the thing is worth whatever is a reasonable cost, even if I sometimes have to have less of the thing.
I have never ever drawn a dollar down from the game. I work there so I can live there.
And I use my group to build a community, do we not need those any more?

@Kat Linden just for the record, my IMs go to email, but I still regularly log on to the message that my messages have been capped

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2 minutes ago, Cam Mode said:

But the big fly in the ointment of this is Second Life is a community, a world.

Two decisions (this reduction in group slots for basic and the maybe dropping off line group notices going to email ) CUT RESIDENTS OFF FROM EACH OTHER AND MERCHANTS.

If we can't connect, why bother logging in.

Yep. This is my worry.

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1 minute ago, Saturday Melody said:

@Kat Lindenjust for the record, my IMs go to email, but I still regularly log on to the message that my messages have been capped 

This^

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35 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

That's how it works. I'm a consumer. Go ahead and raise those prices. You have my permission. Please.

Oh, I will, if I have to. I'm lucky enough to have a limited number of products, so the effort is quite manageable in my case.

Longer term, I will also try changing the product mix, tweaking my promotion strategy, and eating fewer carbs. I have not given up.

I am, however, asking Linden Lab to rethink their strategy for recalibrating the SL economy a little.

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Posted (edited)
6 minutes ago, Jo Yardley said:

Improve functionality of groups by for instance allowing us to chat/send messages only to people with certain titles.

Add more titles!

These are both functions currently available to group owners. You can define them in the roles section.

Edited by Blush Bravin
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7 minutes ago, Vanity Fair said:

As an SL fashionista I need as many group slots as I can get! As it is I am constantly leaving and rejoining groups to take advantage of deals and hunts.

The problem isn't the number of groups needed. The problem is with the organizers not coming up with a better way to run their events. This should be possible without using groups, IMO.

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3 minutes ago, Blush Bravin said:

I didn't say I don't like group chat. I am a moderator for the Maitreya Lara Friends group. I very much see the advantages of help groups and chat. But what does get to be a problem is people thinking they must be a member of a group to get the benefits of a particular merchant. Take your store for instance, yes, group members do get an added store credit, but those who are not members also still receive a store credit, smaller to be sure but they still get a perk for being your customer. We see enormous lag issues in group chats because of the sheer volume of people in those groups. I know people turn off chat because they are tired of the constant pings though. So why not have a subo for advertising that has all the benefits of being part of the chat group? And have another way to reach your customers who would actually prefer to not be bothered with chat and constant notices? Wouldn't that better serve your customers and your business? Right now we all turn to groups to be this all encompassing answer to advertising. I think it's time that merchants and customers realize that groups were not meant for this purpose and were not designed for this purpose and that's why there are such big problems with groups.

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. 

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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Blueberryxx said:

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

I actually get more sales from my subo group than my regular VIP group. But I don't have a huge customer base like you do. So perhaps my experience is closer to the majority of merchants in SL. I decided a long time ago that having the VIP group isn't all that beneficial with how often people drop one group for another just so they can get the free gift or a store discount. I've been around SL for a very long time. My main from 2003. I have seen the evolution of groups. They were not originally intended for how they are being used today. Does that mean we just stop using them? No, but to think that they can be fixed by simply adding more groups, as they've done over the years, has only compounded the issue. We need a solution. And thinking we can go on as we've been doing is only putting our heads in the sand. We need a better method.

Edited by Blush Bravin
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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Cam Mode said:

Timing matters, doing this when so many people were  really excited at the great new Linden Homes but didn't get them is like the waiter saying we're out of your ordered entree but you can buy something else for more. (They usually comp at least the increase). You should have waited until after the SL16B ,the next new model reveal AND a release of an adequate supply of them. Really adequate supply.

Fee increase for cash outs, makes sense. The full region decrease won't save or sell many regions.

But the big fly in the ointment of this is Second Life is a community, a world.

Two decisions (this reduction in group slots for basic and the maybe dropping off line group notices going to email ) CUT RESIDENTS OFF FROM EACH OTHER AND MERCHANTS.

If we can't connect, why bother logging in.

Using group slots in a strong arm move to collect money is really a shot at the very heart of the --correction - YOUR business.

When people leave  Second Life your firm knows better than anyone how hard it is to replace them. Cutting people off from their connections is dumb, IMO.

(What is the churn on groups- why not make a non land/ avatar location based Groups  v2 . so that over time the legacy bandwidth hog groups will die off, even offer a way to have groups transfer to v2)

 

 

 

Indeed. It is about community and groups are the most used social communication system on the grid. 

When LL released the first batch of the new LL homes, they were cooing and insistent about a 'real sense of community', thus banning ban lines as one way to go towards that sense of community. 'We want to really make a community with these new LL homes.' 'There should be more community in SL as it has been lacking in years.' So, LL is all gun-ho about it all being about community. 

However, they can just chop basic accounts group slots by 7 and then boost the premium memberships group slots go up by ten. 

Groups are important to a wide majority of the grid. All sorts of different groups: fashion groups, building groups, family groups, friends groups, land groups - groups is the basis of the social communication network on the grid. (I am simply meaning within SL itself, not outside of SL not the point I'm trying to make here). 

Yet, just a few months after the release of the first batch of new LL homes that was intended for the spirit of community - here you are LL, slashing the biggest social community that we have in SL - Groups!

I've been in SL for 13 years. I've been a premium member for a long time now. It is not fair to slash the group slots of basic account holders. I don't need 80 group slots! 60 is enough for me! I don't need 80 offlines waiting to spam me when I log in either. It is not fair how LL has done these changes to groups - it's not fair and it's not very 'community spirit' of LL either. 
So for $99 a year, so far, like what I can actually -see- that has changed for that price is this: more group slots (10) and more offlines.  Currently can't get a LL new home because they aren't in stock and when they are in stock they go faster than the 2015 Horizons land grab. I am really struggling to see what the actual incentive is here. 

Oh, perhaps it's more of the 'promises' - '...coming later in the year.. change of names!'  - that was in 2018 - and it hasn't come yet. 
'...coming later in the year, we'll fix this! That will be improved! All these wonderful changes... later in the year.
To me all that is is us paying our new money for old stuff that should have already been given to us based on promises. 

Shame on you LL - seriously, slashing basic account holders group slots is by far the crappiest thing  you have ever done - it's unfair, not community minded and actually, a bit bullish. Why punish them? Their lindens are as good as any premium members! 

/end of rant/ (This started out to be a simple agreement reply to @Cam Mode  but the more I thought about things, the more I directed my words at LL - didn't mean to derail!) 

 

 

 

Edited by Asadora Summers
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2 minutes ago, Asadora Summers said:

Indeed. It is about community and groups are the most used social communication system on the grid. 

When LL released the first batch of the new LL homes, they were cooing and insistent about a 'real sense of community', thus banning ban lines as one way to go towards that. Really strong sense of community and neighbours they insisting on making the new LL home areas about to be. 

 

 

 

 

This made me laugh, because it made me realise since the linden homes went live I have had to join four groups, one for the community group, one for the paper and two land groups for friends homes. That was what took me up to 60 finally.

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