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Jo Yardley

Draxtor & Jo discuss the recent tier & fee changes

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1 hour ago, ChinRey said:
20 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

One could also mention that it's gone up many times in a short period of time, that a pattern has formed, and there's every indication that the fee will continue to rise..

Yes it will. LL is slowly but surely reducing the cost of land and increasing their revenue from other sources to compensate. Although I'm not sure if they ever said it straight, Ebbe Linden said long ago that land prices were too high but they couldn't reduce it without finding some other way to make money. I think it's fairly obvious. LL's income is way too dependent on tier as it is. 

It doesn't seem obvious to a lot of people, is the problem! I wonder if many of those who earn a bit to pay their way in SL or manage to get $100 or so on top of that are even aware that their costs are going up slowly but severely.
These are people who contribute far, far more in hours than the average resident coming in to SL to play and relax. Their compensation doesn't even approach minimum wage in most cases -- my concern is whether they will continue adding their hours & talent that enhances SL if the compensation decreases too much.

The way I see the SL population heading:
    Those who enjoy SL to relax and play.
    Those who shovel in un-optimized stolen content.
    A few super-high earners at top monopolizing the market.

It seems SL is turning less and less into what it was -- a place of creativity where most can earn at least enough through their creative efforts to pay for their lives here, and even a bit more if they put in enough time.

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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

I didn't listen to the podcast, nor am I going to... and have never listened or watched anything Drax has ever done, but his name is everywhere as some sort of SLeleb. 

Is he a LL employee? A Sansar employee specifically? What does he do for them? I thought he was just some schmo like the rest of us. 

 

34 minutes ago, KanryDrago said:

Can't say I have ever heard of either but then I don't follow sl blogs

Both Drax and Jo are schmos, but reasonably prominent ones, Drax particularly.

Drax has run a podcast about SL for . . . about 6 years now? Essentially, his posts are mostly positive, and he's been sort of unofficially adopted by LL as SL's chief and most effective public cheerleader.

Jo runs one of SL's oldest and most successful RP sims, 1920s Berlin, and is (in I think a relatively small way) also a creator in her own right. She has less celebrity than Drax, but she's generally pretty well known, and posts here occasionally as well.

Both of them do good and worthwhile stuff, and SL is s a bit richer for their contributions, Both also bring to the table a particular and reasonably well-informed perspective on this subject: Jo, for instance, has been running 1920s Berlin for 10 years now. But their's are not, of course, the only perspectives, or even necessarily the most important ones.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Both Drax and Jo are schmos, but reasonably prominent ones, Drax particularly.

It didn't even occur to me that he wasn't supposed to be an official spokesman for LL until a common friend of us joked that the only person who believed Drax was independent of LL was Drax himself. :P

I don't know, I never met him. But what I do know is that LL has always been actively promoting his vlog in a way they've never done with anybody else's blogs/vlogs and that what he says is always LL's official view, nothing more and nothing less.

It would be really interesting if he or somebody from LL saw this and commented...

Edited by ChinRey
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1 minute ago, ChinRey said:

You know, it didn't even occur to me that he wasn't supposed to be an LL employee until a common friend of us joked that the only person who believed Drax was independent of LL was Drax himself. :P

I don't know, I never met him. But what I do know is that LL has always been actively promoting his vlog in a way they've never done with anybody else's blogs/vlogs and that what he says is always LL's official view, nothing more and nothing less.

It would be really itneresting if he or somebody from LL saw this and commented...

If he was employed by ll or given incentives by them it should certainly be declares I would hope.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

It seems SL is turning less and less into what it was -- a place of creativity where most can earn at least enough through their creative efforts to pay for their lives here, and even a bit more if they put in enough time.

This. I have been preaching exactly this now for the longest time. It started when they released mesh. Before that anyone could come to SL and start developing immediately using the in world tools provided. Even sculpture developers created sculpt packs that other developers could texture and mix up to create something new and unique. These days however it’s a market filled with 798373 versions of the same item with the top tier developers monopolising content and a distinct lack of potential developers due to the sheer learning curve now required to simply create say...a top. I love mesh, but I do miss the pre mesh days when everyone would have a go at creating, not just the select few and when there was more diversity than there is now

Edited by ItHadToComeToThis
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3 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

You know, it didn't even occur to me that he wasn't supposed to be an LL employee until a common friend of us joked that the only person who believed Drax was independent of LL was Drax himself. :P

I don't know, I never met him. But what I do know is that LL has always been actively promoting his vlog in a way they've never done with anybody else's blogs/vlogs and that what he says is always LL's official view, nothing more and nothing less.

It would be really itneresting if he or somebody from LL saw this and commented...

I've had a few dealings with him, both through this account and, back in 2014, through my alt. I don't in any sense "know" him, and I certainly don't have any insights on the nature of his relationship with LL, but I can attest to how really positive and enthusiastic he is about SL. And he's always looking for new angles to say nice things about the platform, in ways that I don't think necessarily reflect the "official" view. So, for instance, he recently contacted me about diversifying his "SL love stories" videos with some LGBTQ content. That's pretty cool, actually: good for him.

I suspect he probably is influenced by LL, but I also think he's pretty genuine and sincere.

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7 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

but I can attest to how really positive and enthusiastic he is about SL

I think that's awesome, and I'm certainly aware of who both he and Jo are.

Nothing against either of them, but it does bother me how LL seems to endorse certain SL residents time and time again. Why in every single hell did Ebbe legitimize Hamlet by granting a sit down interview, for instance? 

I, too, have a long running SL blog, and have been nothing but positive and enthusiastic about SL for years and years and years... where's my sit-down with a Linden? My legitimacy?

Oh wait... I know! I do naughty dirty vulgar things that must be swept under the rug and people like Ebbe and Drax like to pretend we don't exist, and Hamlet literally wants to ban us all from the entire earth, I think, not just SL.

Yes, I am a bit bitter about LL not being more sex positive and putting any focus on endorsing adult content creators, sim owners, bloggers, machinima makers, photography, etc., etc., etc. 

And yes, I know the reasons. And no, I don't think they're valid.

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36 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I'm glad you're recording SL History :)
Yes it's great that the fee increase is shared by those beyond the MP (more fair, as there's lots of economic activity outside the MP and the cost should be shouldered by these people too).

If you listen to the exchange between Draxtor and Jo you can hear how (when Jo is attempting to make her case that she's not all to happy about the fee increases), Draxtor enters with the 'but other games take far more' as his reason for why our fee increases should be okay. I hear this sentiment frequently as a justification for why fee increases are fair -- I hear it 'out in the wild' as well as by those who have/have had close associations with Lindens.
There was an article by Hamlet sometime back where he's basically saying we've got it too good as merchants and that LL should get more money like other games do. I believe in that same article he published cashout stats, demonstrating there is LOT of cashing out going on (unlike what some seem to believe on this thread), and demonstrating that LL would gain a lot financially by getting 30% of it.

Once again, I'm kind of shocked that people are comparing apples and oranges, as SL is so very different from other games.
I only hope LL recognizes this, and it seems they might as they are proceeding slowly to test what the effects of fee increases will be.
If they're not aware of the differences I can only say 'they're doing it again...looking outside SL in an attempt to make SL into something it's not'.

 

I AM making a valiant attempt to be able to source all my quotes and have been taking screenshots along the way also LOL.  I also don't count rumors or "facts" that others cannot source as being official ^^. But there is a LOT of info out there. 

 

Ebbe has mentioned in some town halls that the mesh head folks are cashing out HUGE amounts of money --- like in the olden days when it was the skin folks.  I will say that  chatting with people that I know from  events and other business friends, that generally' sales are down -- this before we started into the Summer Slump.    Mine certainly are and the other creators that I have known for years are echoing that refrain. 

 

This is just a personal thought -- nothing official at all --- but:

I think when The Lab changed the exchange rate in Sansar (in theory because of STEAM rules) and cut the profits of creators by TONS LL learned a valuable lesson. Aside from outcry (well, duh) there was also exodus.  Now much of that exodus was back to Second Life, so not all that bad for the company as a whole, but the Sansar store suffered greatly. I watched new additions for a long time and while there are folks still having fun making things for themselves and possibly for others, many of the accomplished creators have left.

 

Many that have stayed were, from their own words, never in Sansar for the money.  Others have moved their products off of the store onto websites. I am making a tiny percentage of what I made before that change and will, when the grandfathering runs out simply take everything off the store. Since the STEAM connection didn't really help much ...  Well you get the idea.  

 

So while it is true that money from SL has gone to fund Sansar, it is also (possibly) true that experiences with Sansar have "saved" SL some of the grief of that 30% that was touted a bunch a year ago.  Again, nothing at ALL official about this idea. 

 

Some people that create, create only for their own enjoyment, others are trying to put the kids through college or pay the electric bill. But I don't think many -- no matter what their inclinations -- are are thrilled when their "worth" gets diminished.  Taking a big chunk of the current (lower for many) profits would simply move creators back to inworld sales OR possibly have them getting out of creation altogether. Neither of those effects are good for LL's bottom line. 

 

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43 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Why in every single hell did Ebbe legitimize Hamlet by granting a sit down interview, for instance?

Hamlet is one of the original Lindens. That's not a secret at all, he's even published a book about it.

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13 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

Hamlet is one of the original Lindens. That's not a secret at all, he's even published a book about it.

He's also a loon who wants every remotely adult thing in SL banished to the pits of hell. 

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15 minutes ago, ChinRey said:
59 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Why in every single hell did Ebbe legitimize Hamlet by granting a sit down interview, for instance?

Hamlet is one of the original Lindens. That's not a secret at all, he's even published a book about it.

And to clarify further: Hamlet was not only among the very first Lindens, but his specific job was also to write the blog article about Second Life from the inside and to document its construction and growth. He simply continued the blog after leaving official capacity as a Linden but still has very strong threads into the company; he is a trusted "journalist" that tells things the way they are, good and bad.

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3 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

he is a trusted "journalist" that tells things the way they are, good and bad.

I respectfully disagree since I don't trust him or his agenda as far as I could throw them, and he doesn't report fairly. In his mind, adult activity = bad. That is his opinion, sure, but it's far from fact and as a "journalist" he is supposed tor report facts. 

And when that opinion, which disses a very large portion of residents, is granted legitimacy by LL, I see it as a problem. Unless, of course, they give equal legitimacy through interviews, endorsements, advertising, etc., to the opposing view. 

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2 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

I think that's awesome, and I'm certainly aware of who both he and Jo are.

Nothing against either of them, but it does bother me how LL seems to endorse certain SL residents time and time again. Why in every single hell did Ebbe legitimize Hamlet by granting a sit down interview, for instance? 

I, too, have a long running SL blog, and have been nothing but positive and enthusiastic about SL for years and years and years... where's my sit-down with a Linden? My legitimacy?

Oh wait... I know! I do naughty dirty vulgar things that must be swept under the rug and people like Ebbe and Drax like to pretend we don't exist, and Hamlet literally wants to ban us all from the entire earth, I think, not just SL.

Yes, I am a bit bitter about LL not being more sex positive and putting any focus on endorsing adult content creators, sim owners, bloggers, machinima makers, photography, etc., etc., etc. 

And yes, I know the reasons. And no, I don't think they're valid.

I'm not going to disagree with you. LL certainly does rely -- when it bothers taking advantage of what members of the SL community produce at all -- on what I suppose you might call "tame" bloggers. I like Drax, but his unbridled enthusiasm does mean that he tends to fall into that category. The same, frankly, could have been said about Strawberry Singh, who also contributed a great deal to the broader community.

Hamlet . . . yeah, I have mixed feelings about him. He is often critical of LL, so I don't know that I'd say that he's "tame," exactly. But like Drax, he certainly has "insider" status.

I think this is really just orthodox corporate PR culture -- go with proven "allies," don't take risks, make sure you don't offend any sizable segments of your market base. It's unfortunate for a lot of reasons, one of which is that a lot of us don't feel we are valued or being listened to. (Which is why I stopped going to Linden office hours long ago -- yeesh, they used to get grumpy if you started asking about things not on their agenda.)

I think LL would be doing itself a real service if it segmented its marketing strategy, allowing it to highlight the diversity of the SL experience to different target audiences -- and not incidentally making much better use of the range of voices available.

But, frankly, LL's marketing is so pathetic that it doesn't even measure up to the most basic standards, so that may be asking too much.

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2 hours ago, Chic Aeon said:

I think when The Lab changed the exchange rate in Sansar (in theory because of STEAM rules) and cut the profits of creators by TONS LL learned a valuable lesson. Aside from outcry (well, duh) there was also exodus.  Now much of that exodus was back to Second Life, so not all that bad for the company as a whole, but the Sansar store suffered greatly. I watched new additions for a long time and while there are folks still having fun making things for themselves and possibly for others, many of the accomplished creators have left.

 

Good info to know...and I hope your speculation is right....

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6 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

I think this is really just orthodox corporate PR culture -- go with proven "allies," don't take risks, make sure you don't offend any sizable segments of your market base. 

I agree with literally every word you said, but what they are failing to realize (as you pointed out they rather suck at realizing certain things) is that by ignoring the adult side of SL, they already are offending a sizable segment of their market base.

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Posted (edited)

Ok now I listened to this "important" podcast. Sorry to ask you Jo and Drax, but can I have, my time back now? I simply don't get it. Now we have yet another thread discussing all the things we already said elsewhere again...

Edited by Fionalein

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8 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

But, frankly, LL's marketing is so pathetic that it doesn't even measure up to the most basic standards, so that may be asking too much.

It has been from the get go. I don't have any faith or hope left that it will ever change. Not after more than a decade of no changes.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Nothing against either of them, but it does bother me how LL seems to endorse certain SL residents time and time again.

With the Hamlet question out of the way (or possibly not), time for a longer reply.

I think Drax' pretence of independence is kind'a cute to be honest. This is a fantasy world after all. And it's not important at all. Apart from a few old-timers and even fewer people like me who have to stick their nose into everything, who has even heard of him? Ask a hundred random SL'ers and you may find one but don't bet on it. If Drax gets paid for promoting SL and Sansar, well, good for him.

I'm not a serious blogger, it's a lot of work and no money in it, but I was a builder and it seems to me it's the same there. When I started, I kept hearing about this SL Mafia who had all the power and all the privileges and how difficult it was for regular SLers to compete against them. There is no such thing, I know that for a fact. But people have friends and some of those friends may be in high places. If you were around back when the Lindens were visible in-world and you were in regular contact with them, you're likely to have friends within LL.

Who doesn't want to do their friends a favour or two? Or three?

It's the Good Old Boys Club, the same in SL as it is in RL. All very informal and all very real. It was far more evident before Ebbe took voer and established clearer rules for how LL empolyees interact with customers but it's still very much here, it can't be avoided.

In a thread here long ago, one old well established merchant said that the people who had been here from the early days deserved favours because they were the ones who had built the SL we know today. That's a very valid point - apart of course from the fact that not all old timers enjoy these privileges. But how many of the more recent SL'ers - let's say those who have joined since 2011 when LL quit the last names scheme - have succeeded in SL as merchants, bloggers, landowners etc.? There have to be a few but I don't know of any and last time I asked the same question here, nobody answered.

This causes two serious problems. One is that LL still tries to give the impression that SL is an even playing field. Look at what these people have achieved here! Join now and you can do it too! People who fall for that have all reason to feel cheated and all reason to tell their friends (who will tell their friends) to stay away from SL. That's bad PR. You can build a business on hype but not sustain it in the long run.

The other problem is that there's no room for new blood. We need people who can see things with fresh eyes and come up with fresh new ideas without suffering from the how-it's-always-been-done syndrome. Sadly there's little or no room for that in SL anymore.

It's not only SL btw. I did follow Sansar for a while until I didn't anymore and I saw the beginning of the Departure of the Content Creators Chic mentioned. LL spent a lot of time and effort to recruit experienced 3D modellers from outside SL to Sansar. They were the first to leave. I doubt there are any of them left at all by now. And of course, they will tell their friends to stay away from Sansar, and the friends will tell their friends and so on.

Edited by ChinRey
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9 minutes ago, ChinRey said:

With the Hamlet question out of the way (or possibly not), time for a longer reply.

(This is rambling and I jumped all over the place with it!)

I agree with you as well. I have been in SL for many, many years, though not as long as the oldest oldies but well over a decade and you're correct that most people have no idea who Drax or Jo or Berry are, especially within the SL that I tend to inhabit. 

There are people on the adult side, though, that have been around just as long and most certainly have had, at least at some point, close ties with a Linden or two or three or four, and have had a huge influence on SL being the SL of today. Why aren't they getting those same favors? Some of these people have been great innovators and have worked on some really cool projects (teledildonics, anyone?) that really make it easier and more fun for people from around the world to... er... connect.

How to keep residents from leaving SL? Get them to fall in love with someone on the other side of the world with little or no hope of being able to make the RL changes that involve being together in the real world, and give them ways to immerse themselves in a billion ways to make it seem like they are closer than computer monitors. I know couples who have been together in SL for a decade or more. Sure, there are other ways to stay in contact and we all use Skype or some other method of communication outside SL, but those don't give us ways to build a life together that we can actually see

And for most of those couples, a huge part of that closeness is the sex.

I just think it's really unfortunate that the adult side of SL gets absolutely no attention - unless it's negative - when we spend as much, if not more, as PG folks. 

I really wonder what the numbers are when it comes to adult spending in SL. Adult furniture, adult land, adult clothing and lingerie, adult club fees, adult toys, etc. I know that a couch with adult animations is frequently a couple thousand lindens more than a couch with PG only animations. I've spent more on a single color set of lingerie than I have on some t-shirt fatpacks. I have mesh nips. Do PG people bother with those, as well as other bits and add-ons? And, um... systems that do... things? Spankers? Hair-pullers? Collars? My original reason for going premium was to have more group slots so I could belong to more adult clubs with membership fees even.

No idea if there is a way to see what those numbers are, but I've long assumed that the adult side of SL was holding up the Linden economy with very little thanks for it. Purely anecdotal, of course. 

I'm just a tiny bit passionate about passion. 😋

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merely my opinion but for what its worth

I prefer to discuss things here with real people that use sl than to listen to bloggers with an unknown agenda. Do I always agree with real opinions, hell no because we all come from different viewpoints. But that to me is better than listening to the views of someone who may or may not have a hidden agenda. At least here you can look back at peoples posts and see where they are coming from.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, ChinRey said:

I think Drax' pretence of independence is kind'a cute to be honest. This is a fantasy world after all. And it's not important at all. Apart from a few old-tiemrs and even fewer people like me who have to stick their nose into everything, who has even heard of him? Ask a hundred random SL'ers and you may find one but don't bet on it. If Drax gets paid for promoting SL and Sansar, well, good for him.

I'm not a serious blogger, it's a lot of work and no money in it...

That's fair. Also, Drax's main thing has always been videos, which are much more difficult and time-consuming than blogging or podcasting. And I certainly have no grounds for complaint given that it's all I can do to come up with a monthly column in the Bay City Post.

I absolutely marvel at the productivity of Second Life news blogger Inara Pey. (Not particularly making a point from that; call it adulation.)

And on balance I'm still a big fan of Jo Yardley who has accomplished a tremendous amount with strong visions for evocative and important SL environments. That's why I'm disappointed in what seems extreme naivete about the effects of credit processing (cash-out) fees.

It also irked me that she so readily agreed with Drax's party-line Sansar stance. It's not even wrong for LL to want a foothold in future VR, but there comes a point when throwing bad money after good is no longer virtuous patience and becomes mad obsession. 

6 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

Qie aren't you similar in many ways to those opensim communists who believe all content should be free?    :)  I remember you disparaging content creators quite a few times, and now you seem to have issues with people who cash out of SL.

You have no idea how radical my RL economic politics are; Communism is quaint by comparison: I see no long-term future whatsoever for humans as economic agents (and I desperately fear the transition; it will be difficult for folks like Bezos to accept serfdom to the AIs they're creating now).

But all that has nothing to do with the simple fact that the SL "economy" is anything but a closed system, with only a sliver of the wealth added to the system even eligible to be spent on user generated content, the vast majority consumed by Land product fees to the service provider. It's not that I "have issues" with people who cash out of SL, except to the extent they imagine themselves representative of a substantial share of SL users. They simply aren't, and in this system, can never be. And while we're at it, yeah: It's way worse than a zero-sum game, so whatever money they take out of the system is money that won't be available to new creators who hope to cover some part of their SL expenses as encouragement of their craft. If those big-revenue creators really have no other jobs and have college bills to pay, sure, it's a free market, but there's nothing inherently virtuous about it.

It could be that the system benefits from the dream of achieving cash-out status. I doubt it. That seems a capitalist fetish fantasy.

Edited by Qie Niangao
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8 hours ago, KanryDrago said:

If he was employed by ll or given incentives by them it should certainly be declares I would hope.

a FYI

back in 2015 Drax did say what his relationship was with LL.  I don't know if this continues today, it may or may not. Dunno

back then Drax said that LL sponsored his blog and that as part of this sponsorship LL were able to use Drax's work as LL promotional pieces, But he, Drax, retained all editorial control

Hamlet Au asked this question back then also, to which Drax replied: https://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2015/08/second-life-draxtor-despres-linden-lab-sponsorship.html

 

i just add here about Jo Yardley. I like Jo - her attitude is always upbeat and positive, and that while Jo has travails with SL, like most everyone, she doesn't let it get her down.  The other thing I really like about Jo is that she works within her means, managing the business components of her vision and the associated financial risks to her, very well

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19 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

...agenda...

No such thing as a journalist without an agenda since Edward R, Murrow; they all have one and "balanced reporting" is a misnomer. It is why the universe is so divisive these days. Hamlet is no different than Inara or Tateru and all the rest, including the so-called "RL" journalists.

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Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

No such thing as a journalist without an agenda since Edward R, Murrow; they all have one and "balanced reporting" is a misnomer. It is why the universe is so divisive these days. Hamlet is no different than Inara or Tateru and all the rest, including the so-called "RL" journalists.

I would think that since he was once a person in greater power within the SL establishment, that he could more easily understand and share their perspective over 'the little guy'. And the fact that he would not want to offend them too much (in order to continue getting interviews from them), only adds to his possible bias.
Now if Linden was a former resident perhaps they would be able to see the perspective of 'the little guy' more.

Edited by Luna Bliss

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9 minutes ago, Luna Bliss said:

I would think that since he was once a person in greater power within the SL establishment, that he could more easily understand and share their perspective over 'the little guy'. And the fact that he would not want to offend them too much (in order to continue getting interviews from them), only adds to his possible bias.
Now if Linden was a former resident perhaps they would be able to see the perspective of 'the little guy' more.

Sure. In general, my original post on the Hamlet subject was, more or less, to explain *why* Hamlet as such access (he's also in SF so a hop, skip, and a jump into their offices.) - Not only that he's an alumnus of original Lindens, but also that he was their official blogger at the time. Regarding impartiality with any journalist, that's a matter of perspective, etc. - not only of the journalist but also of their audience.

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