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Cost Of Name Changes Out Of The Bag


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47 minutes ago, ItHadToComeToThis said:

At the minute you have the grand old choice of “Apparel” which loads anything and everything relating to “All of the above”.

Maybe I’m misunderstanding but I can already drill down using the left hand subcategories in the ‘search this store’ tab, without even using any keywords? 
 

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1 minute ago, Beth Macbain said:

Bad? If businesses don't increase the prices, they go out of business. NOT increasing prices is a terrible business model. 

Yes prices 'have to' increase because corporate mentality demands higher profit margins every year; it's how it's done that's a bit on the nose. At least spread the burden evenly.

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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

Bad? If businesses don't increase the prices, they go out of business. NOT increasing prices is a terrible business model. 

And over inflating those prices for no particular reason and against your clients expectations locks out potential customers from spending that money and increasing your profits. Its the same reason why the adage old saying of get 3 quotes still exists.

If I create a program perk like the username change and my total cost for production including all overheads is $1000 and when it goes live it is fully automated needing no more additional cost to maintain and I price that perk at $40 I lock out many of my userbase due to the high cost meaning the uptake of it will be low. Sure it will pay for the production cost fast but it will not provide any substantial long term profit.

If however, I charge $10 for the same item, sure it will take me longer to pay off my production cost, however due to there being no extra cost after I pay off my costs it will also mean that I engage a much larger segment of my userbase with the possibility of repeat purchases from the same user and consequently have a much higher profit turnover long term as more can afford it and more will use it.

There is nothing wrong with increasing prices, but increasing prices beyond what your customer base expects, you will end up with a large backlash as has been the case with this price leak.

I have no idea how LL came up with this figure and all I can think of is it is high for security reasons due to how the system doesn't add the username back into the pool. That said, with the amount of threads since the announcement of the project they should have had enough data from those only to gauge how much their userbase were willing to spend on such a thing (most posts were $10 - 20) and they missed the mark tremendously.

Business's don't go out of business because they didn't increase their prices, businesses go out of business because they overprice something outside of consumer expectations or willingness to buy or, they charge too little for those prices and cant cover their overheads because they have to charge a lower price to sell them due to customer expectations and/or competition.

Whilst yes LL have overheads and do need to increase their products every now and then, this perk is a create and forget system that is fully automated once implemented and therefore charging $40 for it is expensive and unnecessary. Unless it seriously is a person changing each username and the $40 is his wage.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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1 hour ago, Fauve Aeon said:

Maybe I’m misunderstanding but I can already drill down using the left hand subcategories in the ‘search this store’ tab, without even using any keywords? 
 

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That’s very true, you can, but that’s assuming the developer has selected the correct category and more often than not I find that some items are categorised correctly and others are missed out as they are not.

What I was suggesting was custom categories. So, il give a better example than earlier as I had only just woken up at that point.

You have a developer and let’s say they head two projects.

Project 1 : Mesh body called “Avatar Ultra”

Project 2 : Motion Capture AO’s

With my idea you could create a new category called “Avatar Ultra” and then under that category you could create sub categories for each of the clothing types for that particular body or perhaps add existing categories to your custom category. The same goes for the AO project. When creating a new category you could upload an icon and then when you enter a persons store you see a series of tiles with the category name beneath or even simpler...the custom categories appear on the left side panel.  
 

To use myself as an example, I have three separate combat systems that I maintain and I have that spread out over three dedicated alts. If we could create custom categories / sub folders I could collate all of those systems onto a single account and then sell their products via a single store. At the minute if I was to do that it would look like a coders jumble sale 😅.

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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

Bad? If businesses don't increase the prices, they go out of business. NOT increasing prices is a terrible business model. 

That's ... broadly incorrect and oversimplifies things to suggesting the earth is flat because no hills can be seen from the porch.

Price increases, even in an inflationary economy are not mandatory and are often a last resort. Dollar Tree has been selling everything for a dollar since 1986 and has been showing steady growth at that price point for years. Increasing economies of scale, growth and product shrinkage have more than kept up with inflation affording them a very healthy year on year profit.

For LL. In the face of a declining customer base they have been mostly working towards streamlining and cutting service overheads (the whole 'moving SL to the cloud' thing) and attempting to create growth via diversification. Sansar's lackluster performance has lead to cutting costs (layoffs) on that side, and improving the offering for us (Linden Homes) soa s to justify price increases. Not due to inflation, but overall company performance having just spent the last few years burning money in a pit no one wanted.

As for SL overheads, they have come down dramatically year on year since launch. Hosting our mess has only ever gotten cheaper as our numbers decline and as server resources per dollar has increased. The cloud move is an extension of continually decreasing physical infrastructure costs.

While I'm not privy to LL's inner machinations, it's not a stretch to say we paid for Sansar and we're still paying for it via increased costs. LL are off to regroup and work out their next long term adventure, which we will pay for (and is far more likely to be Sansar2 than anything SL). Heck, some other company could wander up, offer LL a bucket load of cash and that would be that, standard business practices all but guarantee the only reason this hasn't happened is because LL have failed to attract a buyer or seal the deal. 

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Yes, I would be assuming that someone who wanted to sell me things did take care to put them in the correct and most targeted category available. 😉 I have enough native wit to buy a combat system and add-ons from a merchant that offered 3 systems provided everything is clearly labeled with the compatibility, so think what you are asking is something that would be very useful to you but perhaps not useful enough to the majority of the residents that use the MP for LL to justify spend time developing and implementing it. That’s just my thoughts. To address the thread topic, I pretty much also think this about most of the suggestions of ‘this but make it more x’, or ‘yes but only if y’ conditions people would like to attach to name (and any other given feature)changes. But anyone can always open a JIRA for any feature requests. 
Aside: And no, I’m not at all implying that people shouldn’t discuss, disagree, make suggestions, everything...just that each of our suggestions at any given time probably don’t represent enough of a majority of the user base to be viable, and all of them together can maybe sometimes make a very long thread with not much usable info. I wish LL polled the users more, even if they didn’t actually release the results. 

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2 hours ago, Fauve Aeon said:

I wish LL polled the users more, even if they didn’t actually release the results. 

It would be good if they had a more scientific way of knowing what's really appealing to the most users.

If this thread is any indication, I don't think they'd have ever invested the heavy lift needed to make this name-change feature.

Of course this thread may be no indication at all and they may sell as many name changes as anyone could dream. We'll see.

It's pretty clear to me that they wouldn't sell twice as many by cutting the price in half, nor four times as many by cutting it to USD 10. They might sell more if they let us use L$s to pay, even though that's a scary big-looking number. 

Anyway, they only made the feature because (for several CEOs now) a vocal group of users have made it sound like this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING needed to retain and attract users. In contrasts, this thread is full of vocal users who don't think it's worth all that much. 

The way I look at it, if it's not worth USD 40, it really wasn't worth doing. I do NOT mean that revenue from the feature needs to cover the whole development cost (including QA testing, Support training, ongoing maintenance, etc). It's certainly possible that the availability of the feature is worth more to the platform's value than the actual market for the feature itself. Just the customer good will of having been listened to is worth something in retention.

But it comes with a big opportunity cost: Lots of other possible improvements couldn't be made so that name changes could be developed. That's where it sure would be nice to know what SL users really want, as opposed to what they say in forums, town halls, jiras, etc.

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There's a staggering number of people using displaynames to cover up poopyname6778, I have no doubt of the demand, and not just from people post the death of original last names. How do I change my name? is probably one of the oldest support questions going back to the very start of SL, one of the only online platforms where customers have no choice but to go make a fresh account from scratch (establishing a quasi new relationship with LL and abandoning everything in the process).

Why this took so long to address is almost as big a question as the price !

 

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I'm sure some people would defend price even if it was 150$. "But it's to discourage people from even doing it" is a bad argument. LL put a lot of time and work into it and not because they don't have anything else to do with their already limited dev hours, but because it was something people have been asking for ages. So it's finally happening, after years and years. And they slap 40/52 price on it.

What makes it even worse, it's not just the arguable bad choices people made (like this account's name, which I always used for side stuff, like in-world tests, pose fitting and such, so never really cared how it's named) they have to pay for, it's also whole "Resident" thing, which is purely on LL.

And yes, like already mentioned, other services that also weren't made with name changes in mind are not charging as much. Best example would be PSN. It's also quite old (13 years) and Sony finally added ability to change the name this spring. It's 10$ and 5$ for PSPlus subscribers and the first change is free. Aside of price it's very similar to SL's case, it was something people have been asking for many years and it also needed a lot of work to do it right (even then, it breaks some leaderboard/trophies for a few games). Obviously Sony is much larger company than LL, so maybe they felt like for them a lower price means more profit, since they have so much more users.

I'll still change my "main" account's name, it was something I wanted to do for a long while, so you win LL. But it comes with a bitter pill that really wasn't necessary.

Edited by steeljane42
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I admit that I have not read all the posts or all the other information.

So feel free to ignore me if you think that is lazy, and I should find it out for myself.

My question: Will it be last name lists open for free, for new avatars?

Or are all new avatars forced to start as "Resident" and have to pay for a name change?

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3 hours ago, Kimmi Zehetbauer said:

As per Oz Linden --- all new avi's will still start as "Resident" and will have the option to become a premium member which after you can apply for the last name.

If they were not intending on allowing new users to use the last name feature from the start they would have been better off adding the name change as a free perk to a higher subscription model to entice them over to it at a later date. This is another mistake on their behalf.

5 hours ago, Qie Niangao said:

It would be good if they had a more scientific way of knowing what's really appealing to the most users.

But it comes with a big opportunity cost: Lots of other possible improvements couldn't be made so that name changes could be developed. That's where it sure would be nice to know what SL users really want, as opposed to what they say in forums, town halls, jiras, etc.

There is a better way for them to obtain such information. Move the feature request section to the forums or at least have a feature request on the forums and link it to then post on Jira automatically as well. The first place people go to for any sort of information or to make requests are these forums, only to be told no you have to post it somewhere else on a system designed for bug reports and very complicated for a new (and sometimes older) user to use.

This results in either the feature request not being submitted or, if it is, no person from these forums or the userbase itself goes over to Jira to vote on it. By having a feature request section in the forums it will allow users a chance to give their input on a topic much better than Jira that most people only see as a bug report system.

These forums also don't, from what I can see, have the usual poll function users can add to their thread.If one was introduced, many of the topics that discussed the username change feature would have been able to add a poll "will you change usernames if last names come back" Yes or No to their thread. This would allow LL to grasp very quickly (with no effort on their behalf other than looking at the forums) how the user consensus is regarding matters rather than having to read through multiple posts and threads or relying on feedback at a VERY small representation of their userbase at in-world meetings.

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If this thread is any indication, I don't think they'd have ever invested the heavy lift needed to make this name-change feature.

Of course this thread may be no indication at all and they may sell as many name changes as anyone could dream. We'll see.

It's pretty clear to me that they wouldn't sell twice as many by cutting the price in half, nor four times as many by cutting it to USD 10. They might sell more if they let us use L$s to pay, even though that's a scary big-looking number. 

There were plenty of threads within these forums that showed the same result, very few people wanted it and if it was going to be introduced they wanted it to be a reasonable price even giving their own opinion on how much they would be willing to pay. It was ignored. But, as you say we can only wait and see what happens. I'm not convinced though that there will be a large uptake of it as most people now are use to display names and clicking that hide username button in options. Most people, I would dare say, will continue to use display names as if they RP in different RP sims they may change their name to different names regularly of which a $40 fee would make it to restrictive.

Usernames and display names are not a new thing and have been around well before LL introduced them. People are quite aware that a username generally results in a random series of letters and they use the display name. They just hide the username. It would be better if at sign up Linden Lab have it so you create your username and also choose a display name from the same page explaining the difference and how they are seen.

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Anyway, they only made the feature because (for several CEOs now) a vocal group of users have made it sound like this is the MOST IMPORTANT THING needed to retain and attract users. In contrasts, this thread is full of vocal users who don't think it's worth all that much. 

And yet, I have NEVER seen any evidence in articles or from new users saying they left SL because they don't have a last name or, that long term users are leaving second life 'cause they don't have a last name. Even those people demanding the last name change up till now are still around and stuck around for over 9 years since their removal.

Because of this small vocal group LL took over 1 year of resources to put into place a system that has had no evidenced effect on user retention and consequently areas that do effect user retention such as the viewer complexity, land price, mainland emptiness, optimisation, destination guide, lack of inworld mesh creation etc. are put to the side to gather dust to appease a minority.

LL have no one else to blame but themselves for any backlash or lack of uptake of a feature if they go with a vocal group and not evidenced based fact of user retention statistics.

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10 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

There is a better way for them to obtain such information. Move the feature request section to the forums or at least have a feature request on the forums and link it to then post on Jira automatically as well. The first place people go to for any sort of information or to make requests are these forums, only to be told no you have to post it somewhere else on a system designed for bug reports and very complicated for a new (and sometimes older) user to use.

I have been in SL for over 12 years and have yet to meet a single person in-world who I have also seen in the Forums. Just from the parts of the forum I visit, I wonder if there are more than a couple dozen regular users of the Forum? Perhaps there are more, I think the Bellissarria (spelling?) or Linden Homes or whatever thread has quite a lot of traffic. Still, can it be more than 100 people using the Forums regularly? This also hits on another point you made, about polls. I feel these would be completely non-representative for many reasons, including the very small subset of residents that uses the Forums.

18 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

most people now are use to display names and clicking that hide username button in options

I find display names only marginally useful, personally. Perhaps I am doing something wrong, but we are using a good example of what seems to be their failing, this Forum. Forum usernames are your SL username, not your display name. Display names also are not used in Search, which makes it very frustrating to find people you know by their Display Name. The Display Name kludge seems to be very much a halfway implemented measure, which is the general approach by LL.

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4 minutes ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

I have been in SL for over 12 years and have yet to meet a single person in-world who I have also seen in the Forums. Just from the parts of the forum I visit, I wonder if there are more than a couple dozen regular users of the Forum? Perhaps there are more, I think the Bellissarria (spelling?) or Linden Homes or whatever thread has quite a lot of traffic. Still, can it be more than 100 people using the Forums regularly? This also hits on another point you made, about polls. I feel these would be completely non-representative for many reasons, including the very small subset of residents that uses the Forums.

Wouldn't know but yes these forums are a minority of residents. That said if there was a poll system and LL created a poll it would be easy enough for an announcement section to be added to the SL login page on the viewer highlighting there is a feature vote in place and click this link to go to it to vote. Or just have the voting system on the viewer login page itself the latter being the better option as it reaches all residents not just those that go to the forums or follow a link.

There are countless ways they could implement a feature poll system or highlight upcoming feature discussions all within the viewer login page. Will we see such a thing? I highly doubt it.

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The Display Name kludge seems to be very much a halfway implemented measure, which is the general approach by LL.

As you state nothing new for LL. They always go halfway with a new system and never develop it for the start or into something better. I mean its not like its hard for them to make the search page search for display name, they just either cant be bothered or lack the foresight. Windlight is the current prime example of LL implementing a system half way and taking 12 years to do anything meaningful with it.

As far as forums go, twitter manage just fine with the username in light grey @username and the display name in bolder black text, so why cant LL do the same in the forums. It already has the @username function built into the posting system.

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3 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

That said if there was a poll system and LL created a poll it would be easy enough for an announcement section to be added to the SL login page on the viewer highlighting there is a feature vote in place and click this link to go to it to vote. Or just have the voting system on the viewer login page itself the latter being the better option as it reaches all residents not just those that go to the forums or follow a link.

There are countless ways they could implement a feature poll system or highlight upcoming feature discussions all within the viewer login page. Will we see such a thing? I highly doubt it.

Lololol.

Wow, talk about massively moving the goalposts, Yes, of course, there are many ways LL could implement a semi-valid poll, but you were specifically proposing the Forum as a that means, unless I misunderstood you?

7 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

They always go halfway with a new system and never develop it for the start or into something better.

I dunno, maybe they figure Google makes massive profits, and that is how they do things, so must be a good way to go? My take is that LL has always had really bad management, and they have horrible judgement and poor focus and follow-through. Or, it could just be that I am far too picky and have unreasonable expectations. In the end, I don’t think it matters why, it more matters whether participating in SL is worth it to individual people to put up with the frustrations and disappointments, factoring in how much faith you have that things will be different going forward. Personally, I am not so sure it is at this point. OTOH, lots of people love the crap outta SL as it is, and think LL is doing a great job, so I doubt I would be missed.

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26 minutes ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

Lololol.

Wow, talk about massively moving the goalposts, Yes, of course, there are many ways LL could implement a semi-valid poll, but you were specifically proposing the Forum as a that means, unless I misunderstood you?

No, I still think the forum poll would be better as then that can tie in with the link to Jira. I just mentioned the viewer method as an alternative if a wider non forum user subsection of the userbase was wanted.

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I dunno, maybe they figure Google makes massive profits, and that is how they do things, so must be a good way to go? My take is that LL has always had really bad management, and they have horrible judgement and poor focus and follow-through. Or, it could just be that I am far too picky and have unreasonable expectations. In the end, I don’t think it matters why, it more matters whether participating in SL is worth it to individual people to put up with the frustrations and disappointments, factoring in how much faith you have that things will be different going forward. Personally, I am not so sure it is at this point. OTOH, lots of people love the crap outta SL as it is, and think LL is doing a great job, so I doubt I would be missed.

Who knows to be honest and feel the same way. I fully understand things take time and effort to put in place, however there seems to be a really big disconnect in what LL thinks the user wants and what the userbase wants/needs. Your always going to have those people that love SL as it is and I am glad they are happy with it, but those people wont bring in the new members to keep SL alive especially if competition starts ramping up for virtual worlds as it looks like it may.

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1 hour ago, CaerolleClaudel said:

Forum usernames are your SL username, not your display name

<----- i had to make 500 posts before I got a forum display name on here. Unlike the inworld my forum display name is underneath my user name

other forumites seem to use it like they would a titler, but hey! is all good 🐱

 

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7 hours ago, Mollymews said:

<----- i had to make 500 posts before I got a forum display name on here. Unlike the inworld my forum display name is underneath my user name

other forumites seem to use it like they would a titler, but hey! is all good 🐱

 

I always thought of that title as persona. What people put there tends to give a hint of who they are or how they think. You are boring epic-fail! Hahahaha! (Though, we still love you. Mostly.) :D

Edited by Alyona Su
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8 hours ago, Mollymews said:

<----- i had to make 500 posts before I got a forum display name on here. Unlike the inworld my forum display name is underneath my user name

other forumites seem to use it like they would a titler, but hey! is all good 🐱

 

I know I am just cranky and cynical about all this, but to me some little text that (as you and Alyona says) most people treat as something cutesy, while the large text is what people really notice, is just not the same. It’s very confusing. Display names are really only effective in-world, in direct interaction only.

The 500 posts bring up something else. I don’t know, perhaps that info is somewhere, but the only way I know about it is from hearing people mention it. Same with needing 5 or 25 or whatever posts to turn on signatures (really???). Everything LL does seems to be arcane and opaque, and not really very helpful to new users. I know I am lazy, but I am used to just joining forums or comment sections and just using them (which you can do here, too, and I did, but like add versus wear in-world, you are going to get caught out and learn stuff the hard way).

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I like to think of a lot of things as social psychology experiments. In the length of human history, virtual worlds, AR and VR (and the way people interact with virtuality) are still in infancy, even in SL...if you can consider a 16yo platform a ‘baby’ still, so if AR and VR are really as game-changing as some futurists seem to think they will be even more than universal, metaversal, and are still striving towards it, then this is a very long game, which still needs much study and also studies of the users. Just seeing how people deal with stuff (with say no, little, some, lots or all info available) is valuable too. I think some things are deliberately not widely broadcast, just to study how we go about finding them out, how frustrated we get in the process, how far we will go to learn, at what point do people give up, etc.

Linden Research, Linden Lab. 😉 just some Sunday brunch thoughts....mmmm General Tso’s Chicken. 

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