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gbvt2

I want to start a Chamber of Commerce.

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My personal opinion is that there's no way this will work. I'm not sure if you realize how many merchants there are in SL, and how varied all of those merchants are. And it's been years since SL started; by now I don't think it's really practical.

If, however, this is something you're really serious about, I suggest you create a well-thought-out, well-written, (but preferably succinct), proposal for it and post that proposal over in the main forums, in the commerce section. See what kind of response you get over there, if any.

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My personal opinion is that there's no way this will work. I'm not sure if you realize how many merchants there are in SL, and how varied all of those merchants are. And it's been years since SL started; by now I don't think it's really practical.

If, however, this is something you're really serious about, I suggest you create a well-thought-out, well-written, (but preferably succinct), proposal for it and post that proposal over in the main forums, in the commerce section. See what kind of response you get over there, if any.

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I have thought this as well and moreover, a SL Better Business Bureau to bring some accountability to the market.  A hub perhaps would be a good start but also the ability to track and investigate instances between users since SL tries to stay out of resident disputes.

Another idea I have heard tossed around that I like is an SL court where residents can be heard on disputes however, this would also require LL to engage in some sort of punitive process to give it any credibility.

But back on your point, I have been a member of RL chambers of commerce and my RL mom, who was a lifetime chamber executive has even written a book on the topic.  There is a lot of value from many activities that a Chamber of Commerce holds due to the power of the numbers.

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This has been tried before.  The problem is that such "watchdog" organizations always wind up favoring their "friends" and blacklisting people who really don't deserve it.  The anonymity of Second Life makes it very hard for any entity to properly investigate claims of problems as well as to maintain its own credibility.

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Unfortunately, efforts like that are pretty much doomed to fail in SL.

In the real world, we have consumer laws and the like that help to regulate business practices, and a consumer group like a Better Business Bureau or a Chamber of Commerce can leverage those laws and accepted practices to give some credibility and authority to their regulation attempts.

In SL, there are no internal laws regulating trade, and the only 'legislative body' with any true authority is Linden Lab, which runs the virtual world like a benign (and somewhat incompetent) dictator, while refusing to get into "resident to resident disputes". The only thing LL will do if someone commits fraud inside SL is respond to either a DMCA Takedown notice, for IP theft issues, or to an action of an actual real-world court of law that subpoena's user information for trial in the real world.

It's extremely impractical to open a real-world legal case for the monetary values commonly exchanged within Second Life. Most transactions are far less than $20 USD. Even a small claims court will likely cost you more in fees than you'll ever get back in damages, and that is if you're in the same legal jurisdiction as the one you want to sue! Good luck if you're in England and the other guy is in Russia.

Let's say you do create a "Chamber of Commerce), (or a police force, or a court system, or any other type of regulatory force). There's absolutely no reason for anyone else in SL to pay any attention to you. Even if you and your members act with incredibly high ethical standards and very honestly run your organization, the only people you'll represent are the ones that agree to join your organization. Everyone else, and there will be millions more than you have members, will either not even know or care that you exist, or will not be terribly interested in joining. And those who don't join your group may well resent your attempts to influence their actions.

I run real-world small businesses, and have for many years. I was recently a member of the US Better Business Bureau, in the real world, and had a solid, "A" rating with the BBB. Even though that is a very legitimate organization, I quit being a BBB member recently, because as someone doing business on my scale, the annual dues to be a BBB member just were not worth the almost non-existent return I got from being a member. I can't imagine how an in-world BBB or CoC, with no force of law backing it, could be of any more value to me, as a merchant, than the real BBB was. I can maintain my own high ethical standards without any help from an organization. So why would I join yours?

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I dissagree with the highly sceptical user. I think the key is to serve also as a product bank, tking full ownership of all items and running the business of thier sale and distribution. Any product endorsed by you would prety much have a waranty and guaranteed support, wheras all the others wouldn't. If creators that went through you didn't have to provide technical support to every customer, they would save immesurable timme, and the bonus in sales and a minimal service fee would be far outwieghed by this.

 

You'd have a designated alt do all the market place postings so that people would know who was legit.

 

The only issue with this idea is that you'd actuall need 2 competing bureaus to help drive down prices and prevent corruption within.

 

To sum it up, money is power in SL, both possession of it, and controll of it. As long as it's run like a business, it could succeed

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