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My analysis on how LL's marketing of SL can be even better while simultaneously increasing its cultural relevance


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The idea of involving the user in the world of the ad is a good one. Here's an ad for Nostos, a big MMO from NetEase in China. The key here is the first few seconds, before entering the virtual world.

Note how the brief live videos at the beginning and end engage the viewer as a part of the virtual world, not just an observer of it. Very little screen time is devoted to those, but it's important screen time. SL ads need something like that to pull in the viewer.

(The consensus on Nostos, by the way, is that its ad campaign is far better than the game. MMO reviews say it's OK, but you're done in a few hours. Great artwork, routine play.)

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My analysis on how LL's marketing of SL has shaped its public perception while simultaneously maintaining its cultural relevance:

"Second Life. Where you can pretend you are an extrovert, you introverted pervert... Download today!"  

So I've been talking with Draxtor about the topic because he does care a lot about the inworld communities he represented in his videos as he said, which he emphasized to me are his top priorities whe

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9 hours ago, AlexandriaBrangwin said:

Funnily enough mine's a mid 2016 model, not even a gaming rig!

In fact the image on the bottom is the first I ever took on it, back when St Pete's City was around.

2016 is not old.  Mine is 2014 and other than SL blows other laptops away.. But as soon as I go anywhere where avatars are, it's naked avatar for ever. Kinda takes the joy out of SL when you have to keep upgrading your pc to have a nice experience.

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5 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

The same reason they don't get creative people to make better avatars, or animations, or sims, or etc. It has been LL position since year dot not to get involved with the userbase in such things, which I think many would agree to be a mistake, but that's just how it is.

I am not quite sure how to take that ....

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5 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

The same reason they don't get creative people to make better avatars, or animations, or sims, or etc. It has been LL position since year dot not to get involved with the userbase in such things, which I think many would agree to be a mistake, but that's just how it is.

Have you not seem the same shift recently that I have? Under Rod's leadership, employees were instructed not to interact with residents, as I understand it, and Ebbe doesn't have that same outlook. I feel like things are changing. Sansar is no longer the noose around the Lab's neck and all focus has returned to SL and making it successful. They are talking and listening to us. 

And I think it's wonderful. 

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1 hour ago, Beth Macbain said:

They are talking and listening to us. 

And I think it's wonderful. 

I do get a sense that Second Life is now getting more attention from management than it did before Sansar shut down.

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SL just needs a mobile client that you can actually play and do in world stuff with. People brought up Roblox, they have almost 12 MILLION REVIEWS  on the Play Store and over 2 million reviews for the app on the App Store. If SL just had a tiny fraction of that user base, it would be several times larger than it is today. Given how Western marketshare between iOS and Android is about 50/50, yet there's such a difference in the amount of reviews, I'd wager that a lot of Roblox players aren't in the West, something SL is completely missing out on.

SL needs to shift from being something you play on a somewhat modern, decent laptop or desktop and be something you have on your phone you can pull out on the bus, train, car, etc when you're bored. What it really needs is to make a tech leap where sims can be compiled and optimized to run on lower spec hardware, like how things were with Sansar. A lot of SL's performance problems come from the desire to have everywhere in SL be a place you can build. Look at earlier in the thread (sorry, I read the whole thing and forgot who posted it). The sim and region is all set up and all the technology is there for everything to be edited. And it's locked down so much that a facial animation HUD can't be used. Why make all these performance sacrifices for a place where you can't even run scripts?

The reality is most places people aren't building. They are being social or playing with stuff. To put this into perspective, imagine you have to tell a random person to get into SL and help them get set up in world. Now imagine you tell someone to try Roblox. Getting started on Roblox is 1000x easier and less daunting, I guarantee it.

There's so much content in SL, it's a gold mine. You can find literally anything you want that's not a complete copyright violation. It is the gold of SL and it's what causes all those other virtual worlds to come and go (even Sansar). 

There absolutely has to be a way to split editing and viewing up in SL. Make current sim state where people can build together be an "edit mode" so people can be social and build together in world. Then have the sim be compiled to an optimized format that can run better on lower end and mobile hardware, but building is disabled. But it'd be a huge project and it sure would be troublesome and not fun to do the coding for. But imagine an SL where you rez into your parcel or sim or whatever and you download a compressed and optimized package containing the mesh and textures and everything is loaded and running great quickly.

I love building in SL. I never would have gotten into making mesh in Blender if it weren't for SL. And I'm not advocating making it impossible to build or some elite thing. I'm saying that SL is treated like an editor for a virtual world, and it's alienating people who don't want to build all the time by making the client overly complex, hurting performance, and limiting the potential audience by massively limiting the types of devices that can run SL.

LL is fighting changing demographics of hardware and it's not working. Android has successfully eaten away and traditional computers, and I don't think the correlation between the decline of Windows computers and the slow decline of SL is a coincidence. Focusing so much on marketing to the audience of people with decent computers is limiting your possible outreach for users.

EDIT: Just think if SL was more focused on social. You are out and about and you just pull out your phone to see who is online to talk to. That'd be awesome. Sitting around on your phone, talking to people, playing with your AV appearance, and maybe doing some light exploring. Right now when you get on SL you basically have to pick a dedicated time to do it, sit in front of your computer, etc.

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Just a heads up that we have a very special guest on Friday's "Lab Gab" - someone active in these community threads...to be announced tomorrow!

Also, we're still reading all feedback in this thread as our team continues to evolve our marketing focus for the coming year. One clarification: Some of the feedback in this thread speaks to product development and features (which I'm passing on to the Product and Product Operations teams). Those decisions are outside my pay grade! ;)

I see mobile mentioned a few times - I'm hoping that we can have a dedicated "Lab Gab" community chat about mobile in the near future once we have more to publicly say about our in-development mobile client...

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I noticed the Lindens' marketing post and I thought it was interesting but didn't see any discussion of it right away and didn't have much to add. I'm glad that luca in fact started this discussion earlier, not that the Lab copied him, because they would have to be preparing for weeks/months before publicizing a thing like this.

Many people who have these debates and opinions on this subject don't have customers. Some don't even log in but prefer to chat on the forums. But I do have customers. And the only marketing that has increased their number, or added longer log-ins to their number is the Linden Homes. I find that many people get the Premium for the Linden home, decorate it, then get tired of lag and boredom and limitations and come to my rentals where they can contribute tier, then go back to Linden Homes when there is a new shiny or they feel like it. So it hasn't cut into my business really, and I personally can only welcome anything that increases the number of premium accounts and aids the concurrency and the market.

The pitch for a long time has been to "creators" and "designers" and frankly, I think this leaves most people cold. The front page that says "Start a home" with an adoring couple is probably reaching more people at least in the user base. Does it reach people outside? I actually doubt it. The user base is made up of creatives, sure, but also mainly older women with some disposable income and time and younger men with same, who often end up as partners in SL where they wouldn't in SL. Just watch all the LL videos about couples that met in SL and RL and you will understand that this is the demographic. The people who have the most time for SL are those that are retired or disabled and on a fixed income, unemployed or unemployable, or able to make a living in SL. Nobody likes to think of the SL demographic as the Island of Misfit Toys or Massive RP for Shut-ins, but there's something to that -- and that's actually a good thing. In Europe the population is aging; there are a lot of people under-employed and sick and now forced to stay home due to coronavirus. So rather than seeing this as a negative, embrace it. Sure, there are plenty of ordinary people on SL with jobs and families. In fact, if you see a very successful store with good customer service, you might find it's owned by a woman with a supportive partner and multiple kids that have given her the real experience of management most men never get! 

Still, if you have a RL partner, if you have a job or run a business, like some of my long-time friends in SL or even my own children, you have little or no time for SL. You spend your time on Instagram, of all places. Why? Because you have an audience of your peers there. This is a vicious circle, of course. Like Baron von Munchhausen, SL has to hoist itself up by its pigtail to the skies to launch itself, i.e. you can't find the audience until the audience is there because it believes there *is* an audience. Whew! 

Basically, there are three things people want to do online in general, or in SL in particular: 1) play war 2) play house 3) play store. "Play" is the operative here, as it is not real life, even if you are posting a RL kitty on Facebook, it's an idealized kitty already. People who want "play war" are in the wrong pew in SL because it doesn't have the graphics and speed for it, and it annoys most of the user base. "Play  house" can extend from chatting and posing and blogging and finding a sex partner and setting up a house together. "Play store" is either making and selling or shopping. I find really most people in the demographics I see, which are people who want to rent so admittedly are self-selected from sandboxers and casual dancers, want to "play store", i.e. shop and then "play house" -- decorate and socialize in that house. 

FairreLilette is right that we should really include the decorators of houses as "creatives" in SL although that is not acceptable in the industry. I have seen people make a prim table and pull stuff out of the library they are happy arranging and rearranging even when I offer to give them mesh furniture. The point is that it is "mine" -- people want to control their environment.

Long ago Philip said the attraction of SL -- the lure, the charm -- is that unlike the real world based on atoms, you can manipulate a digital world made of pixels. You can't endlessly buy furniture and re-decorate in RL or dress crazily or fill your house with unicorns but in SL you can, and that's a draw. 

So in that sense what lucar said about "being what you want" as the ad basis could be used more -- but I think the manipulation of the environment, creator or not, is the draw. Showing avatars reaching out their hand with those white power lines coming out and either moving something around or making something move with a script.

BUT I'll be the first to note that the "power decorators" are a minority even among my renters, which is why I have furnished homes. For a lot of people, getting things out of inventory and placing them, especially with the pernicious "mesh bounce" problem, is just too hard. Even just moving around is too hard! I see too many people leave out of frustration, although I still have the impression that the main reason people leave is from a relationship gone wrong. That isn't really LL's job to fix, but they could offer a RL verification service for those who want it.

I don't think you need to insist the Lab develop other separate worlds, as FairreLilette seems to urge with a "Tinyville".  For one, not everybody wants to be in that world in the way you imagine. I recently got some Dinkie avatars and decorated a Dinkie house in the RFL decorating contest, and I enjoyed it and am planning to do more, but I don't want to be "cute". I don't want to talk baby talk -- and as I discover more tenants who also happen to be Dinkies which I hadn't noticed before, I hear they also don't want this saccharine "cuteness" with the "yusss" and the "purkle" stuff. I think Dinkies should be dignified. Certainly there should be room for anyone to take a given sub-genre in any direction they like. And I think with any separate community, whether furries or Goreans, LL doesn't need to be involved unless they violate the TOS. There is nothing to stop you from making your own separate Tinyville with any laws or features you like, on an island or even on the Mainland. It might actually be more successful if people have the freedom to come and go.

Luca made a very good video about cyberpunk. But I have to say this simply doesn't rent. People rent all kinds of things but they don't rent that. I even put it out because I like some of it myself. It's dead. Post-apocalypse also doesn't rent. I put that out -- zero interest. I so loved those JP "Submerged Towers" that I cleared several lots and offered people to rent just the floors or even the whole thing for half a Linden per prim. For months, I watched as I drove away my other tenants, even those with Firestorm and "de-render" (it shows you the limits of de-render when each new guest has to do it). Finally, reluctantly, I took it down, and immediately rented the lots. Then months later, a tenant asked if he could put up one, and I had to scour the areas to find something on the edge of the world that wouldn't drive others away. I am devoted to the Mainland and I won't use Firestorm and will not de-render, for lots of reasons. It's a challenge but I think you have to figure out how to get along with these different views and motivations. LL has enough freedom with islands and huge swathes of abandoned land on the Mainland that you can make any world you like. So make it, and see who shows up. 

PS I found with a "Container Community" offered for cheap with everything from vardos to old trucking containers barely rented and I kept it for years. Finally I got sick of the overprimming and complaining that always comes from the cheapest seats, plus most of it wouldn't rent. I merged the parcels, raised the price slightly, took away the "Container" theme and instantly the whole area was rented by people who wanted more "normal" houses. Boy, do I feel like a chump. I should have done this years ago. Long ago an older man who ran a successful real estate business in SL and was in the aerospace industry in RL was horrified at my cheap newbie areas. "You gotta get out of that," he kept warning me. And he was right. The idea that there are these masses who need cheap tiny living space is -- limited. Yes, some do. But frankly, they are often alts of people with entire islands. It doesn't pay to pitch to the lowest common denominator, I've found. People complain there isn't cheap land; but frankly, even the dirt cheap land available now for less than what they spend on lattes isn't what they buy. They are in a minority. SL is made up of people who spend, first of all on their own avatar, then on homes and vehicles. So accept it. People want picket fences, even though some Lindens and forums regs sneer at this Trumanville. Guess what the Lindens finally made, however....Bellissaria. 

And that's just it. SL is a harsh task mistress on the market. The market doesn't want cyberpunk, apocalypse, even containers. They want suburban lots and Linden Homes. So the Lindens have a winner with that, and they should build on that by reducing the lag and providing structured events because people want them -- they don't games where things are hard to find or giant rocks eat them -- see above re: "play war". They want somebody to organize a picnic and a hoe-down. Truly they do. Bellissaria and the Mole fandom illustrate that.

I think LL should be unabashed about advertising SL as a place to both socialize and hold business meetings during the coronavirus epidemic. Lots of RL things I'm involved in have been cancelled. The pitch to businesses failed earlier because the businesses either wanted to secure their data in SL which is impossible and they shouldn't try (it led to making "Nebraska" and unacceptable things like special stores with select creators to sell only to businesses). Businesses don't expect to secure their data on Twitter or Facebook; it's a marketing tool. So they should see SL as just one more thing. To the extent that this process of going and having a meeting with avatars can be streamlined and packaged as a "try me" cheap package, it should be. But it shouldn't be segregated from the rest of SL or displace the rest of the market. Another reason businesses failed is they didn't make things for avatars. I wept when I lost my precious Microsft-made marshmallows in a big inventory loss -- they were unique. Sears wanted you to buy a washer and dryer in RL, when we had no where to put them. They should have sold them for SL homes. LL should round up those educators and businesses they didn't scare away and get them to tout the immersiveness and effectiveness of meeting online. And why not? 

 

Edited by Prokofy Neva
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3 hours ago, Dyna Mole said:

I am not quite sure how to take that ....

Perhaps I should clarify. I am well aware and appreciative of the moles and the work they do, however they are a unique situation as far as residents go in that the are paid (albeit very little) for this.

I am also well aware that they have been working tirelessly on various projects especially new housing development. That is not what I meant.

What I meant is actual community representation outside of the moles - without payment or a specific last name. Many users would love any form of request from LL to improve the system etc for free without a specific last name. Many have even offered, but never have been taken up on the offer due to LL policy.

Does LL approach top body makers with a request of a simplified or even slightly poorer mesh body system that allows new users to have a decent body that whilst limited actually looks good that then doesn't make them feel like they are a noob compared to all the top bodies you pay 1000's of Lindens for? No. (I expect incoming "but that will impact on user creation or sales" responses which wont be answered)

Does LL approach a well animator to actually update the inbuilt avatar animations to something decent and then remove the need for new users to even need a hud ao, know what it is or need to know how to use it in an already confusing viewer? No.

Does LL approach mesh content creators to design stuff for the gifts or LL inventory library, of which could be actual useful items and also advertisement for smaller stores? No - Speaking of which the LL library hasn't generally been updated with quality (read decently) items for years.

Does LL approach well known game designers within SL that make awesome experiences to design their starting zone to be fun, adventurous etc to improve on new user retention? No.

Now as I mentioned, the moles are good at what they, however please show me a major advertising campaign that showcases a specific object or city or zone that they have created that has been used as part of the advertisement of SL? Unless they have done this recently with Belliseria then I can assume that you wont be able to. The last I heard about was Insilico which they did to death and LL generally also according to the ToS don't even need permission to go film there to advertise. It was also one of the most unoptimized places within SL and not a good use of advertisement for a new person who would go their and lag.

That is what I meant.

Whilst everyone would agree that the moles are appreciated in what they do and have contributed greatly to Second Life, my faith in them went down slightly the last time I was at Belliseria of which I posted about in a thread previously. When they build Belliseria using old physics tricks around trees instead of proper physics shapes, or with objects that have a higher land impact and download impact than any modern variant on the MP impact to size wise or when homes have 2 layers of objects one with prim and the other with mesh combined together using multiple textures, or use prims and mesh (instead of just mesh) to make a bridge without modern smoothing techniques to remove the awkward hexagonal look etc. then as I said in the previous thread about optimisation, they and LL need to step up their game. I'm sorry to say that but, from what I saw it is true especially with optimisation on everyone's mind.

3 hours ago, Beth Macbain said:

Have you not seem the same shift recently that I have? Under Rod's leadership, employees were instructed not to interact with residents, as I understand it, and Ebbe doesn't have that same outlook. I feel like things are changing. Sansar is no longer the noose around the Lab's neck and all focus has returned to SL and making it successful. They are talking and listening to us. 

And I think it's wonderful. 

I fully agree and is why in another thread I even said its wonderful to see LL actually participating in the community again after so long.

I might add though for it to happen, despite all the requests for it over the years, it has taken their (Linden Lab's) entire world to be shaken with the closing of Sansar for us to see this many Linden's posting regularly in a thread.

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36 minutes ago, Drayke Newall said:

Perhaps I should clarify. I am well aware and appreciative of the moles and the work they do, however they are a unique situation as far as residents go in that the are paid (albeit very little) for this.

I am also well aware that they have been working tirelessly on various projects especially new housing development. That is not what I meant.

What I meant is actual community representation outside of the moles - without payment or a specific last name. Many users would love any form of request from LL to improve the system etc for free without a specific last name. Many have even offered, but never have been taken up on the offer due to LL policy.

Does LL approach top body makers with a request of a simplified or even slightly poorer mesh body system that allows new users to have a decent body that whilst limited actually looks good that then doesn't make them feel like they are a noob compared to all the top bodies you pay 1000's of Lindens for? No. (I expect incoming "but that will impact on user creation or sales" responses which wont be answered)

Does LL approach a well animator to actually update the inbuilt avatar animations to something decent and then remove the need for new users to even need a hud ao, know what it is or need to know how to use it in an already confusing viewer? No.

Does LL approach mesh content creators to design stuff for the gifts or LL inventory library, of which could be actual useful items and also advertisement for smaller stores? No - Speaking of which the LL library hasn't generally been updated with quality (read decently) items for years.

Does LL approach well known game designers within SL that make awesome experiences to design their starting zone to be fun, adventurous etc to improve on new user retention? No.

Now as I mentioned, the moles are good at what they, however please show me a major advertising campaign that showcases a specific object or city or zone that they have created that has been used as part of the advertisement of SL? Unless they have done this recently with Belliseria then I can assume that you wont be able to. The last I heard about was Insilico which they did to death and LL generally also according to the ToS don't even need permission to go film there to advertise. It was also one of the most unoptimized places within SL and not a good use of advertisement for a new person who would go their and lag.

That is what I meant.

Whilst everyone would agree that the moles are appreciated in what they do and have contributed greatly to Second Life, my faith in them went down slightly the last time I was at Belliseria of which I posted about in a thread previously. When they build Belliseria using old physics tricks around trees instead of proper physics shapes, or with objects that have a higher land impact and download impact than any modern variant on the MP impact to size wise or when homes have 2 layers of objects one with prim and the other with mesh combined together using multiple textures, or use prims and mesh (instead of just mesh) to make a bridge without modern smoothing techniques to remove the awkward hexagonal look etc. then as I said in the previous thread about optimisation, they and LL need to step up their game. I'm sorry to say that but, from what I saw it is true especially with optimisation on everyone's mind.

I fully agree and is why in another thread I even said its wonderful to see LL actually participating in the community again after so long.

I might add though for it to happen, despite all the requests for it over the years, it has taken their (Linden Lab's) entire world to be shaken with the closing of Sansar for us to see this many Linden's posting regularly in a thread.

I believe all the avatars that we see in the library are made by residents, no?

The Bellissaria houses come with packs of content for the houses, i.e. trailer type stuff for the mobile homes.

I wish the Lindens would still offer free content. They could put it on "no transfer" if they fear its re-sale. Copy/mod -- and especially mod should do.

For example there is a drive-through redwood tree in the very newest Linden homes on display at the RFL Home & Garden Dispo. They should offer this for free, as they did with the Nautilus content.

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24 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I believe all the avatars that we see in the library are made by residents, no?

Not sure, though the concensus I have seen from new user reviews is that the avatars are of poor quality, not realistic looking and generally (at least with the mesh ones) are hard to actually find clothes etc for. All clothing now is made for the popular mesh bodies. Sure, it may fit the poorer quality default avatar body, however there would be issues with this in that you will need to make your own alpha layer, all well beyond the experience of a new user.

The issue here is that when a person looks at all the marketing done by LL showing all these good avatars that in some cases can look comparable to a lot of modern games, they join SL EXPECTING to look like that (or at least comparable) from the get go at least base avatar wise. That is what marketing is and what effect it has on a potential customer. Not to show what you can look like after many dollars spent on a different body but what you will look like from the start. Even modern games that have item stores, whilst yes advertise using some of those items worn, they also have a standard default avatar that looks just as good with or without buying items. In a way modern games doing this has driven this mentality.

Instead in SL they find out that their avatar doesn't look anything like the adverts, cant find clothes, or hair or tattoos or skins that fit them and therefore require massive investment to actually look semi comparable.

What happens? We get new users coming into the forums or posting in other external unrelated to SL blogs etc., that SL doesn't look like modern games, avatars are bad looking and that there isn't any in world way a new user can make enough money to buy an avatar and accessories they can actually dress up etc to a comparable standard they have seen in the marketing campaign.

No, I am not suggesting they should be handed everything on a silver platter when they join however, what you market is what you should get reasonably bare minimum. That is the expectation of marketing on a customer side it give the user an expectation of something and if that isn't met with the same standard upon trying then they leave. If I was to market to my RL clients that if they use my service they get X quality in a bare minimum package and they instead get an inferior quality than what was advertised then, that marketing campaign isn't just a failure but also will get me negative reviews and therefore a bad reputation and lack of customers.

We see this in SL whereby their first experience differs from the marketing campaign and therefore their expectations go from high to low and in turn negatively review which hurts the system rather than improve it.

24 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The Bellissaria houses come with packs of content for the houses, i.e. trailer type stuff for the mobile homes.

I wish the Lindens would still offer free content. They could put it on "no transfer" if they fear its re-sale. Copy/mod -- and especially mod should do.

For example there is a drive-through redwood tree in the very newest Linden homes on display at the RFL Home & Garden Dispo. They should offer this for free, as they did with the Nautilus content.

I agree. There use to be a time when the free LL library was updated regularly but they seem to horde their items now rather than releasing them to users. For instance not every premium person may like the community nature of Bellissaria, however like the houses. The might think of buying a mainland parcel to get a little more freedom but like the houses in Bellissaria and want that on their free mainland parcel but cant due to this.

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3 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

Not sure, though the concensus I have seen from new user reviews is that the avatars are of poor quality, not realistic looking and generally (at least with the mesh ones) are hard to actually find clothes etc for. All clothing now is made for the popular mesh bodies. Sure, it may fit the poorer quality default avatar body, however there would be issues with this in that you will need to make your own alpha layer, all well beyond the experience of a new user.

 

Oh, I agree that a few generations ago, the avatars were horribly ugly. They looked like drug addicts or zombies -- come to think of it, I think some of them *were* vampires. But they did get better in subsequent rounds to the point where I would put a few of them on alts. 

Here's the thing about your general premise, however. Either you have it be a world like World of Warcraft where the company makes all the content, and the user buys that experience in full, with perhaps only a few minor mods by users, or you have an open-ended world with a market.

The question is really begged, if you have an open market (such has it is, kind of like China or Russia due to currency, media, etc. controls), and you have the company make a lot of content, particularly avatars, are you depriving your customers who are merchants of business? Of course you are! And if you bill this as a world where you can come and create and sell your things, aren't you undercutting it with all kinds of company-made stuff?

To be sure, the lucky creators who got contracts to make things for the Library probably made more than from their inworld business -- but maybe not, especially if they got the flat, low wages of, say, the Moles.  We can't tell as there are no open statistics.

There's also the problem of the FIC, that is, the class of people who receive favours from the company ("the Feted Inner Core", about which I and and others have written reams over the years), and therefore get a boost in the market that others don't have. If I'm the creator who is featured in the Library to a captive audience and on the front page, I get a lot more free advertising than the next guy.

I recall when I once objected to this largesse given to the chosen few -- not just one ad on the splash page but two splash pages even -- that creator howled relentlessly and to this day blocks me from purchasing his products. (I find that one of the most pernicious features of SL, and also stupid, as I can either use an alt or get a friend to buy something I really want).

Nowadays, with the explosion of events, which is really the only effective advertising, it would useful to know whether having a booth at an event (for which you might pay $1000 or $5000 or more) makes more sales or having the Lindens feature you on their front page or in one of their ads or even in the Library.  There is someone who is STILL in the library with a few textures that I bet no one has used in years (they are more likely to use the Spanish tile from the library than those building facades). Why? The Lindens never seem to change the library. 

Since a lot of the thrill of SL is shopping and parading around in your new duds or showing off your kitty or your house, why would you want more in the library that grows dull and static pretty quickly?

I'd rather the Lindens put out content from builds in those communities they built, like Nautilus, where they have done this in some specific areas like marketplaces.

I don't know why they stopped, and for all I know, the residents they hired as Moles demanded they stop as they felt it ripped off their work to spread it so widely.

I suppose the Lindens should give some thought to the idea that if they make a fancy ad with fancy clothes and lure someone in, and it isn't in the library (and it never is), that people have been lured in not realizing they will have to go out and spend the equivalent of US $10 or $20 to get that "look". But again, what is all this for? It's to bring in people and stimulate the economy both for merchants and for the Lab. Most people who bother with SL don't seem to complain that they have to buy $1000 Lindens for US $3.75 and assemble at least a cheap outfit from sales or freebie places. You can do that, after all. If it weren't for "$60 Happy Weekend" I would have no new clothes as I hate shopping and hate dressing up.

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1 hour ago, Prokofy Neva said:

I suppose the Lindens should give some thought to the idea that if they make a fancy ad with fancy clothes and lure someone in, and it isn't in the library (and it never is), that people have been lured in not realizing they will have to go out and spend the equivalent of US $10 or $20 to get that "look". But again, what is all this for? It's to bring in people and stimulate the economy both for merchants and for the Lab. Most people who bother with SL don't seem to complain that they have to buy $1000 Lindens for US $3.75 and assemble at least a cheap outfit from sales or freebie places. You can do that, after all. If it weren't for "$60 Happy Weekend" I would have no new clothes as I hate shopping and hate dressing up.

But therein lies the problem and as I mentioned that is the relative complaint of new users. The avatars are substandard despite any form of upgrading due to the limitations imposed on them from the get go in that clothing is hard to find for them. The marketing reflects one thing but offers an entirely different option.

Whilst yes, you are correct that the whole point of the marketing is to bring in new people, it is not the main area that needs to be looked at and is only one aspect of any marketing campaign. It is the retention (and potential referral) of those users and by all accounts that seems to not be happening. The general consensus is that money is hard to earn in SL for a new user to buy those things to at least get them started and without them having that initial cash they will not stay as they see it instantly as cost prohibitive irrespective of the actual cost. No new person (in any game or software) is instantly going to invest money, however little or large, into a platform straight away to update their look and if the default look doesn't satisfy the expectations that the marketing has hyped they will just leave. After all, SL is a glorified  dress-up and decorating world.

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5 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

But therein lies the problem and as I mentioned that is the relative complaint of new users. The avatars are substandard despite any form of upgrading due to the limitations imposed on them from the get go in that clothing is hard to find for them. The marketing reflects one thing but offers an entirely different option.

Whilst yes, you are correct that the whole point of the marketing is to bring in new people, it is not the main area that needs to be looked at and is only one aspect of any marketing campaign. It is the retention (and potential referral) of those users and by all accounts that seems to not be happening. The general consensus is that money is hard to earn in SL for a new user to buy those things to at least get them started and without them having that initial cash they will not stay as they see it instantly as cost prohibitive irrespective of the actual cost. No new person (in any game or software) is instantly going to invest money, however little or large, into a platform straight away to update their look and if the default look doesn't satisfy the expectations that the marketing has hyped they will just leave. After all, SL is a glorified  dress-up and decorating world.

The avatars in the library come dressed. And I see plenty of those avatars in those newbie clothes at events looking for new clothes. Again, buying 1000 Lindens is US $3.75. That's less than a Starbucks latte.

World of Warcraft is $15.99, and plenty of people shell that out without the qualms you describe. Fortnite costs . SL is now $11.99 at the per-month cost. So surely someone can spend that same $15.99 to get the premium, its $300, and then have some left over to buy 1000 or 2000 Lindens.

Fortnite is "free," but you can buy game currency packs for $10.00 and other customization. Good Lord I see something on e-bay called the "Deep Freeze" in Fortnite selling for $3000. 

I don't think it's so much clothing that is at issue. It's "things to do" and how to arrive at your interests, and how to meet people. The circles are very insular in SL.

It's true that money is hard to earn because you can't camp and mine gold the way you can in games. There are a few places like that in SL (still) but have you ever tried them? They are ridiculously hard and time-consuming and beg the question of why you just don't spend the $10.75 on a three-hour wait market buy (which you can do right now) to get 2500 Lindens. That's not enough to get a mesh body, but it's enough to get some clothes and a start.

 

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yes i also think that marketingwise could be done a lot more than what is happening now, For exalple there is a big lgbtq scene in secondlife where they can talk in a very safe envoirment, (not counting the trolls but they are everywhere) A very good way to attrackt more lgbtq people is targeting on them, Advertising,media,blogs and so on.... 

Originaly i came to sl in 2007 (as this one is a new avi from 2009) but secondlife did help me alot ... I was able to be a female here... i was in the closet rl for a very very long time and thanks to sl (in 2012) i came out of this closet now living my life also in rl fully as a female, I think this is something that Secondlife could target at... As a marketing campaing i would suggest : Secondlife, : the (virtual) place where you can always be yourself. Or the place where you can be you. or the place to be yourself, Things like that, If LL is interested more in a topic like this or to have help in marketing in the lgbtq scene just let me know, In rl i work with a few foundations as well. 

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7 hours ago, Drayke Newall said:

The general consensus is that money is hard to earn in SL for a new user to buy those things to at least get them started and without them having that initial cash they will not stay as they see it instantly as cost prohibitive irrespective of the actual cost. No new person (in any game or software) is instantly going to invest money, however little or large, into a platform straight away to update their look and if the default look doesn't satisfy the expectations that the marketing has hyped they will just leave. After all, SL is a glorified  dress-up and decorating world.

I think you hit some important points. Mainly that newbies just don’t look like everybody else and the lengths you have to go through to do so. You’re going to lose a lot of people in that onboarding process. It’s funny you said this because I talked to a newbie for about an hour yesterday and these things came up.

LL took a big step by improving the starter avatar. It’s a big improvement. However, most noobs are going to want out of it as soon as they hit the grid. Here’s where noob story comes in:

So I was shopping and I ran into a noob. He literally said, “Can you help me with my avatar?” So we talked for a while and he really just wanted to know where to get a body and head. Then I explained to him he would still need a skin for both the head and body. He was pretty sharp and quickly figured out it would cost him about $50 to get on par with most people. Needless to say, he was a little overwhelmed by the process before he even got to cost. Here’s what he said “I don’t have a problem with the money, the problem is spending the money and then deciding I’m not sticking around.”

He said that as a creator just came out with another 5000L body that everyone is going to be tripping over themselves to buy. 

That’s bad.

It’s 2020, people are used to micro transactions.  I don’t think most new people would truly have a problem buying 20 worth of L$ if they thought it was worth it. Part of the noob experience is to basically come into SL and see that they have to completely overhaul their avatar, spend money, just to spend money at a point where they’re not sure they’ll be here next week. What part of the newbie experience tells them it’s worth it?

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18 hours ago, Brett Linden said:

Just a heads up that we have a very special guest on Friday's "Lab Gab" - someone active in these community threads...to be announced tomorrow!

I'm pleased to announce that Luca (who originally started this thread) will be the guest on this Friday's "Lab Gab".  Luca will share thoughts about machinima as a platform for marketing and spreading the word about SL, as well as other observations. The livestream will be available on our various social channels at 10 a.m. (SLT).

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17 minutes ago, Brett Linden said:

I'm pleased to announce that Luca (who originally started this thread) will be the guest on this Friday's "Lab Gab". 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTeEanYpO50UdSGBXpovoS

 

Way to go Luca!

Edited by Selene Gregoire
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19 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The people who have the most time for SL are those that are retired or disabled and on a fixed income, unemployed or unemployable, or able to make a living in SL. Nobody likes to think of the SL demographic as the Island of Misfit Toys or Massive RP for Shut-ins, but there's something to that -- ...

Still, if you have a RL partner, if you have a job or run a business, like some of my long-time friends in SL or even my own children, you have little or no time for SL. You spend your time on Instagram, of all places. Why? Because you have an audience of your peers there. ....

It's embarrassing, but they're right.

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What a bunch of crap. 

I have a job. i have time for SL. I have time to work. I have time to socialize. I have time to see my family. I have time to do whatever the hell I want. Oh, and I have time for Instagram, too.

Because I know how to manage my time. 

I am not retired (I wish!) or disabled or on a fixed income or unemployed or unemployable. 

I'm an introvert, yes, and anyone who wants to argue with me that there is something defective about being being an introvert can bite my introverted butt. 

And congratulations, @lucagrabacr! I can't wait until Friday!

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12 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

The avatars in the library come dressed. And I see plenty of those avatars in those newbie clothes at events looking for new clothes. Again, buying 1000 Lindens is US $3.75. That's less than a Starbucks latte.

But you don't seem to get the argument. They may be there looking at new clothes etc, but new clothes don't fit the newbie outfits as all clothes these days are made for the major mesh bodies. You say that you only need 1000L$ but this is just so insanely wrong. No new user wants to look like the starter avatars, they all want to look like those that they have seen in the marketing campaigns. Go ask them or just read some of the external out of the SL sphere posts of people that have left.

It on average, for a newbie to look anything like the mesh avatars that are shown in the advertising campaigns, will cost them $50 USD just for the body, hair, skin, head and any other body accessories such as tattoo etc. Then on top of that they have top buy the clothes.

For a new user the spending that kind of money with the possibility they will leave in a month isn't worth the investment and instantly puts a negative thought into the new users mind that this 'game' is to expensive. Sure there are some that stick around for the long haul, though the majority leave cause it is cost prohibitive from the start.

Quote

World of Warcraft is $15.99, and plenty of people shell that out without the qualms you describe. Fortnite costs . SL is now $11.99 at the per-month cost. So surely someone can spend that same $15.99 to get the premium, its $300, and then have some left over to buy 1000 or 2000 Lindens.

No. Just no. Once again no new user will get premium as they are not sure whether they are going to stay around. Even if they did, to get a decent body like the marketing campaigns they will need months of stipend to actually save enough and by that time they would have left.

Comparing SL new users to WoW is just ridiculous and shows a lack of your understanding on the mentality between gamers and what they would expect in SL. Which is why in my first post I said it is not worthwhile for LL to advertise to the game market unless they change the first experience accordingly.

When a person pays $15 for WoW a month they get an entire game, objective, avatar cusomisation (within theme), ground mounts, flying mounts, all inworld armor and clothes, questing, objectives, hairstyles, guilds, RP communities, chat, adventure, auction house, in world currency is earnt to buy from the AH, a game that is regularly updated with QUALITY updates and things to do etc. I could go on and on. They get all that FOR $15 USD.

On the flip side in Second Life premium gets them what? no full and decent objective driven game, armor or clothes that need to be bought with real money, hairstyles that need to be bought with real money, mounts that need to be bought with real money, communities that need to be found but are no where near what games provide, a marketplace that costs real money, and no way to earn in world currency. In other words they have to spend MORE money over their subscription to 'PLAY' the game. Everything bar the house in the premium model is worthless to a new user and even the house generally is as well due to them then needing to spend even more money just to furnish it.

So no, don't even compare the value of a SL subscription to the value of any subscription model game as you will not win such an argument.

Quote

Fortnite is "free," but you can buy game currency packs for $10.00 and other customization. Good Lord I see something on e-bay called the "Deep Freeze" in Fortnite selling for $3000. 

The difference is fortnite is free but they base avatar looks comparable with those that can be bought with cash. The other issue is that a new user doesn't need to buy an entire new avatar to wear those items. It is a simple I like that and so i'll get it.

In SL a new user hyped from the marketing campaign has to update their body from the starter avatars to wear any decent clothes, then from there they have to work out which mesh body they want but find issues that some skins don't work for those bodies so have to be careful and research what skins go on which bodies and which heads go on which bodies and which clothing goes on which bodies. The entire process is 1000's of times more complex than system like Fortnite where they login, select a character then buy outfits that suit that avatar with no ambiguity or thought as to whether it will fit or not.

Quote

I don't think it's so much clothing that is at issue. It's "things to do" and how to arrive at your interests, and how to meet people. The circles are very insular in SL.

All users I have talked to and all reviews out of the SL blog shere I have read point to a few things as to why they leave and top of the list are the cost of the 'game', the starter avatars are to different to what they saw and updating them is confusing and expensive, and that it is hard to find something to do as all sims they go to are empty.

So yes it is very much the clothing and avatar issue that is the cause of lack of retention.

Quote

It's true that money is hard to earn because you can't camp and mine gold the way you can in games. There are a few places like that in SL (still) but have you ever tried them? They are ridiculously hard and time-consuming and beg the question of why you just don't spend the $10.75 on a three-hour wait market buy (which you can do right now) to get 2500 Lindens. That's not enough to get a mesh body, but it's enough to get some clothes and a start.

You are missing the point again. They want to look as advertised FROM THE START in the base body form and it is extremely difficult to actually buy decent clothes for the starter avatars. It is to much of a complicated process for the new user to have to learn not only the viewer but the complexities of what will work with which body.

Many new users even state that they wasted so much money in buying clothes only to find they didn't fit for the starter avatars or mesh ones as they EXPECT everything to fit (due to every other game or platform being this way).

2500L$ is not enough to get the look the advertisement hyped and as I said before no new user is wiling to INVEST in SL until they know they will like it therefore they leave because they don't look like what was advertised.

Also you have to remember that not everyone lives in the USA. This is a major gripe of mine when I see people saying it only costs x USD. Good for you, however unlike games and many other services like Netflix, WoW,  fortnite etc, which cost $15 (or whatever) per month in another country IN THERE OWN CURRENCY (as they have found statistically by charging the same everywhere they will get more users) LL have refused to do this and so what costs $x for the USA costs far more for other countries. For example it costs an extra $6 in my currency to get the same amount of lindens your $10.75 gets. Your argument will probably be that is only $6 but it all adds up in a budget especially when every other western country in the world has a higher cost of living than the USA. You also must not forget markets change and even now another GFC is looking likely which will severely impact on peoples spending habits.

9 hours ago, janetosilio said:

I think you hit some important points. Mainly that newbies just don’t look like everybody else and the lengths you have to go through to do so. You’re going to lose a lot of people in that onboarding process. It’s funny you said this because I talked to a newbie for about an hour yesterday and these things came up.

LL took a big step by improving the starter avatar. It’s a big improvement. However, most noobs are going to want out of it as soon as they hit the grid. Here’s where noob story comes in:

So I was shopping and I ran into a noob. He literally said, “Can you help me with my avatar?” So we talked for a while and he really just wanted to know where to get a body and head. Then I explained to him he would still need a skin for both the head and body. He was pretty sharp and quickly figured out it would cost him about $50 to get on par with most people. Needless to say, he was a little overwhelmed by the process before he even got to cost. Here’s what he said “I don’t have a problem with the money, the problem is spending the money and then deciding I’m not sticking around.”

He said that as a creator just came out with another 5000L body that everyone is going to be tripping over themselves to buy. 

That’s bad.

It’s 2020, people are used to micro transactions.  I don’t think most new people would truly have a problem buying 20 worth of L$ if they thought it was worth it. Part of the noob experience is to basically come into SL and see that they have to completely overhaul their avatar, spend money, just to spend money at a point where they’re not sure they’ll be here next week. What part of the newbie experience tells them it’s worth it?

This has been my experience as well when talking to multiple new users and your quote of what he said is a great example of what I just replied with above.

Edited by Drayke Newall
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Thank fu... dge SL isn’t one of those goofy fighty-fight games where adult men and preteen boys spend hours insulting each other’s mothers. If getting started in SL is too complicated or expensive for them, good.

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25 minutes ago, Beth Macbain said:

Thank fu... dge SL isn’t one of those goofy fighty-fight games where adult men and preteen boys spend hours insulting each other’s mothers. If getting started in SL is too complicated or expensive for them, good.

No, instead we have people that go around naked on G rated sims, have sex in other peoples homes when they think the owner is AFK, cause drama and abuse of other residents or their choice of life, grief users or sims they don't agree with, actively crash sims just for giggles, pretend to be little boys and girls and have sex trying to not get noticed or banned by LL, need the function in chat areas to ban people due to spam and the very abuse you say only exists in fight games. All this making SL the prior of the world and known for only as "that's the virtual world where you can have sex".

I bet those people you talk about would be saying to themselves thank goodness I'm playing a "fighty-fight" game instead of that game that is so expensive, graphically dated and is the brothel of the internet.

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