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Adult hubs on Zindra 'outsourced'?


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It has been reported in at least one blog and other SL-related fora that the adult hub (perhaps 'infohubs'?) on Zindra will be removed and replaced by hub(s) on other adult sims owned by The Freedom Continent.  The Freedom Continent won the contract "to build, run and expand an Adult Gateway in accordance with well established principles."  This group is seeking mentors to help run the adult hub(s) who "understand the problems in dealing with adult content users and work with the team to build a good sound adult mentor group who will greet and teach new users as they appear."

This would be great news for adult content 'users' (one can only imagine the sections in the mentor guidelines).

What might this mean for non-adult hubs?  Meaning, hubs on M- or PG-rated mainland?  Might LL have similar plans for these hubs as well?  Perhaps outsourcing the adult hubs is a pilot program?  Surely, improvements could be made to every new resident's entry and orientation experience to convert a new resident to one who would wish to stick around.

Thoughts?  Discuss.

The bolded bits of the OP came from here

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On the main part I can see LL wanting to wash their hands of the dirty little **bleep** under the stairs, as we say, and there may or may not be merits in that decision.  If the new people are enlightened then they may have a more user orientated feedback loop than LL presently does across its whole user base.  This though could cause conflict in the future if their more enlightened view clashes with LL's more corporate public facing view.

As regards the wider maturity rated zones on the grid then I don't see LL relaxing their grip (or lack of) on those unless Disney bid to run them, but it's an area where they are sadly lacking.  It's been said many times by others and myself included that the introduction path to SL and it's learning curve is sadly neglected by LL.  There have been improvements in the starting area but new users are then just dumped in an infohub and expected to get on with it.  It's then left to the good will of volunteers or NCI to show them the real ropes in SL.

I've said it before, but what business in the world would have a known new customer come to the door of their shop and then only show them how to open the door?

So in short, yes to the former and let's see what happens and as to the latter, give NCI a contract to run all the other hubs.  They would deserve it after all the years they've spent doing LL's job for them.

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Have to question now the contractor is going to cover costs if they have to pay for the sims.  Doubt anyone is going to take on the cost of fours sims for grins.  They will either charge for their services or 'sell' advertising and stuff to the newbs.  Now if you were a newb and your first experience was being surrounded my rampant ads and hit up for money before you even knew if you'd like SL would that induce you to stay?

I have to say I think this is an attempt by LL to wash their hands of adult content in an attempt to sanitize their image and limit liability.  Now when the press asks they can say, its not us, its 'them' we're just renting server space and aren't responsible for anything that goes on there.

On the up side maybe when I crash and the location I log back into isn't available, I won't end up all the time in Zindra.

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Ive been intimately close to this entire process and it is indeed a scam somewhat like outsourcing, except that, in outsourcing, you typically pay the outsourced talent. In this case, LL is charging a private enterprise to run an 'officially endorsed' welcome center for ALL of Zindra and Adult SL. Its backwards, at least, and beyond that, highly unethical. Why? Because they are monetizing a so-called official 'gateway' to an entire section of Second Life. A private organisation will be paying to have the 'exclusive rigths' to the name Zindra? (amazingly, that's part of the contract) Think about that. Not only is it obviously unfair on a grand scale to anyone who resides on Zindra or any of Adult SL, it is akin to a government selling the name of its own country to a private corporation, rigth out from under the feet of its population.  Its an amazing level of exploitation.

Incidentally, I have been very close to this and I actually dont think its a move to 'wash hand clean' of Adult Content by LL. I actually believe they want to make it work and recognize that the adults-only market is about to explode in importance in the coming years.Their marketing department just hasnt quite sorted out how to cope yet. And their community relations department has no clue how to prepare for it. They are destroying previous 'organic' and successful community programs to create an undoable and grossly unfair situation. I believe this is coming from poorly applied principles rather than malintent. They have about half the ingredients and intelligence to do what needs to be done. It's that missing half we are all worried about.

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If I read Rodvic's last announcement right, Basic mode is going to vanish and the UI is going to be re-worked.That's going to be a big change, and it's going to affect all the organisations which affect newcomers. It also means that the Lab's existing newcomer-support infrastructure will need a rework.

So they're going to dump all that work on somebody else?

 

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I have not been following the matter, this is the first I heard of it. What appears to be going on seems to be clear. Administrative layering under a tiered corporate model shell. A pyramidical structure with the many at the bottom supporting the few at the top.

A society modeled upon a cube would be very interesting.

  

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Ginette Pinazzo wrote:

 A private organisation will be paying to have the 'exclusive rigths' to the name Zindra? (amazingly, that's part of the contract) Think about that. Not only is it obviously unfair on a grand scale to anyone who resides on Zindra or any of Adult SL, it is akin to a government selling the name of its own country to a private corporation, rigth out from under the feet of its population.  Its an amazing level of exploitation.

To be precise, everyone will continue to be able to use Zindra in their parcel descriptions, shop names and so on.   The only context in which the use of the word Zindra will be affected is in parcel names.   

So if I have a shop on a Zindra sim other than one of the four infohub ones, I can still call my shop "Innula's Zindra Shop" and I can still say in my parcel description, "Innula's Zindra shop is located on Zindra" and, as far as I know, can continue to place adverts for "Innula's Zindra Shop". 

All I'm prevented from doing is using "Zindra" in the actual name of the parcel -- that will have to be Innula's Shop, or whatever.   See http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Adult_Content_User_Group/08/29/2011#msg_36

My impression -- and I could be wrong -- is that not that many people do have "Zindra" in their actual parcel names.   

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The idea, as far as I understand it, is to make sure that when someone just enters "Zindra" as a search term, the new welcome centre and its environs will be at the top of the results, which seems to me a not unreasonable aspiration.  

How important it is to restrict  the use of "Zindra" in parcel names in order to achieve that, I don't know; someone who understands how search works -- if there is any such person, that is -- would need to comment.   But that's the idea, I think.

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I`ve volunteered to be one of the new "adult mentors" that will staff this project, as has my submissive companion (she is much more clued up on RLV than anyone i know). I spend a lot of time teaching basic second life skills and find that the adult lifestyles involve a lot of learning.

 

It's very easy to get a bad start in second life, especially when it comes to adult issues and relationships. Even basics like getting "the right equipment" if you are a man are something that a newcomer will need advice on, even though its the most significant first step.

 

I`ve had the good fortune to be introduced to forceme silverspar's lessons on freedom continent and they are fantastic examples of how to get over much needed information. If we are able to carry over that standard of teaching and help to newcomers, it will be an amazing help.

 

As to other types of newcomers, places like the shelter are a good model. As always its volunteers and so on paying to promote second life. I must admit i`m surprised there is no official funding or "tax break" being put forward by the labs.

 

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Innula Zenovka wrote:

The idea, as far as I understand it, is to make sure that when someone just enters "Zindra" as a search term, the new welcome centre and its environs will be at the top of the results, which seems to me a not unreasonable aspiration.  

How important it is to restrict  the use of "Zindra" in parcel names in order to achieve that, I don't know; someone who understands how search works -- if there is any such person, that is -- would need to comment.   But that's the idea, I think.

Well when I searched Zindra earlier, there were a few at the top such as So and So's Zindra Store". Zindra is odd in that it's the only continent name I know, I know there used to be a map of continents in the building where Jack, Cyn and Guy had offices.

Zindra the continent name though is the one I've seen most widely used, the whole exclusive rights deal seems a bit off but yes, I agree, they do need the welcome centre to be found when people are searching for Zindra.

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It seems important to clarify that this affects the four sims that were previously the "ZEXPO" regions, not the infohubs in and around the Zindra continent.  So, it's a "gateway" in the sense that it gets favorable Destination Guide treatment, at least, some part of the new resident flow when adult content is selected, and exclusive use of the "Zindra" term as a place name.  Otherwise, the old infohubs (Gilda/Oritz, the "safe hub" at Arapaima, and at least a couple of others) remain intact for the usual infohub purposes, such as login-point-of-last-resort for folks whose previous Adult location is offline when they login.

I'm not quite clear what the new resident flow is supposed to be for non-Adult-content-specifying arrivals.  I think it no longer involves infohubs nor welcome areas, but I also understand that the old Community Gateway program was terminated. I believe there are still new arrival gateways in place that came from that program, but others were removed completely, some of which added no value to the new user experience, and were merely commercial "newbie traps".

Now, had I had responsibility for reviewing proposals for this adult gateway, I'd have heavily weighted several things:

  1. Proposed content and processes to support new adult-content-seeking residents.
  2. Measurement and reporting of key indicators of new resident progress and retention through the gateway's programs (including a requirement that LL share data with the partner under a mutual NDA).
  3. Seamless, no-drama process to transfer responsibility to a different gateway owner-operator, if either LL or the partner chooses.
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To even come close to guaranteeing a fair and neutral management of such a process (as Qie suggests with his list) is a lot more micromanagement than LL has ever done before w/ Zexpo Island or oither such projects., and it would seem a lot more involvement than they claim to desire (as they claim they want to have as little involveemnt as possible and be LESS involved than before)

I see these 3 possibilities so far:

1. though they claim to want to be involved less, thats a lie or delusion and they will end up micromanaging this entire gateway

2. they will not really manage it at all and fairness/neutrality will be cast aside as a priorit

3. The weather will change at LL again and we will all have wasted or time and energy for no reason...again!

In any case, I think someone needs to retrain LL's corporate culture so they actually know what 'organic movement' means, especially with regards to community.  Something has gotten seriously mistranslated on its way from abstract thesis to actual application. I have said once at an ACUG meeting (back when I was permitetd to speak) that their idea of organic movement was  chopping down a rainforest, and I still retain that sentiment.

 

 

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If anyone ever writes a textbook on how NOT to manage a company about 90% of it could be based on LL and their consistent mishandling of SL.

They're either unwilling or unable (or both) to handle getting new users up and running in SL so they want to dump the responsibility onto a third party AND make that third party pay the Lab for the privilege of doing so? Who the hell do they think is going to pay them almost $800 a month to be doing their new user training?

Unbelievable. Every time I think the Battery Street Blockheads can't possibly do anything dumber they prove me wrong and come up with something.

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You are so right, Venus. Paying someone (LL) so you can have the priveledge of running their own 24/7 marketing/outreach center is more than insane, UNLESS you take into the account the 'promise' that LL will market  your own specific interests as being 'official' and (as a result) underme the rest of the population/market. That takes it from the realm of 'insane' to 'wrong'. Because it means that LL wont really hold the 'new owners' to the high standard of neutrality and fairness that they should with anything 'officially endorsed'.

Even if the new owners try their best to be fair, the position itself is still unethical.

You can't have true community-building if certain private interests are favoured over others . Making them pay for it is akin to letting private interest 'buy' their way into a coveted position. Hmmm. Buying a seat in government, so to speak

I don't envy anyone who gets stuck in this arrangement, because the dynamics are set up for endless stress, from all sides. I only hope that a backup plan is realized, to save (once again) those who are harmed should things fall apart.

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I can see the group selected to manage the adult hubs (Zindra) selling advertising space (not necessarily shop space...at first) to sellers who target the adult market and, with a touch and click, the new resident is off shopping or visiting any number of places that cater these residents.

This would make meeting tier payments much easier.

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Right, Venus, selling adspace would be a predictable method and I pray that is not the road traveled, because its entirely innapropriate for what should be a civic public space to be turned into an adfarm. By contrast, each and every project the Zindra Expo group works on does not promote specific commercial interests or 'lifestyles'. There are far more clever AND nuetral ways to draw residents into the Adult Sl experience without catering to unbalanced advertising gimmicks. It takes time and patience, and an eye for the common good.

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Ginette Pinazzo wrote:

Not only is it obviously unfair on a grand scale to anyone who resides on Zindra or any of Adult SL, it is akin to a government selling the name of its own country to a private corporation, rigth out from under the feet of its population.  Its an amazing level of exploitation.

 

Your analogy is not good. 

First:  LL actually owns all of Zindra, not the residents.   The so-called "population" are all LL customers, who choose to spend their money in SL.  SL customers, AKA residents, are not actual citizens of a country that is being sold or leased out from under them. 

Second:  The name "Zindra" is wholly owned by LL, as is all the land, and as such LL has every right to do what they wish with said name.  Also, LL has not "sold" the name Zindra, it is allowing an entity to use the name under a contractual agreement.  LL still actually owns the name Zindra.

Third: I've read through this thread, and it appears that you are focusing on preemptive negative publicity strikes against those who were able to secure the Zindra infohub contract.   In others words, you have an ax to grind, and are practicing a traditional method known as FUD.  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt) 

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Ginette does have an axe to grind, but I do have sympathy with the exclusive right to Zindra aspect of this, although the people who have the most right to complain are the people who use Zindra in their parcel name, there aren't many of them. However if your land is in Zindra, you should be able to use the name, it's a silly situation to not allow it when that's where a parcel is located.

The problem is that the new welcome hub needs to be found, Ginette would be better coming up with a better suggestion on how the welcome hub is high in relevancy without the exclusive rights aspect, the search term is valuable.

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I wonder if part of the idea is not, in the long term, to attempt to discourage the use of Zindra as a search term altogether, and persuade people to focus, instead, on, and search for, Adult Content in general rather than where it happens to be located.  

There are, after all, only some ~350 sims on Zindra as compared with ~ 2580 private estate ones (http://gridsurvey.com/) (though we don't know how many of the latter are residential homesteads, I agree),  so it would seem to make sense for both LL and the Welcome Centre to encourage people looking for Adult Content to look for it wherever it is to be found rather than to privilege locations on Linden land.

While certainly it was the case that, back in 2009, people forced to relocate from the Mainland to Zindra needed temporary assistance to cope with the disruption LL had caused our businesses -- I certainly found not having to pay tier on Zindra land for several months very helpful indeed -- that's more than two years ago, and everyone's had more than enough time to adjust.

To my mind, the distinction between Adult Content in general and that minority of it to be found on Zindra is very artificial now, and not helpful to anyone any more.

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