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Ginette Pinazzo

ARTICLE: Attracting and Retaining Adults in Second Life

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Gavin Hird wrote:Ginette has been pushing for increased marketing of adult content under the guise of "sophisticated".


SL "adult content" = "sophisticated"? ROFLPMSL!!!
That
's your

*

problem. It

*

isn't, and LL's target

*

customers don't

*

want it to be.

***

Rudi

***

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Hey Innula Zenovka,

No, I don't really know where it was I was first rezzed but checking my teleport history says http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Welcome%20Island%2027/28/226/25 

Then I think I used the destination guide to go to a few adult rated places and found them more or less empty of people.

I the point being my experience was much like Gavin describes above, that is except I am not just your average porn surfer, but someone who is willing to search hard for where the authentic, interesting, and sophisticated are hanging out.

I will check out the new Zindra hubs, that is eventually. I'm still trying out the various viewers to see what works on my crappy hardware.

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I do get the point thata adult content does not equal adult mentality, maturity, w/e. It's 2 different things. I think care should be given to remember that adult rated places are those designated that will allow adult rated conted to be veiwed and used by residents who have a a verified account and that with a little bit of varriance perhaps, probably should not be squandered so much on the same stuff that is widely available in general and mature, because most of those users are actually adults also who have made a choice not to be spending that particular time frame on a sim where explicit things can be seen and done.

 

The broader adult market? Well, I can tell you what I see other adults doing on the internet whie not on SL. Many use things like facebook where they can talk with friends and family, meet others etc. A lot of them like games. The not too serious type of games. They may frequent pogo or yahoo or some other web-space that offers some casual gaming. In other words, there's something to do that is a past time when they are not enging in conversation with their facebook contacts Shopping of course. Ebay and such but for real life objects. I'm not sure that really equates to SL shopping.

I have also noticed in a popular MMO that I play, that the vast majority of people on there are actually adults, though the lower age is limit is young teen. Adults do enjoy an emersive world though many are not necesarily drawn to roleplay per se'.

The biggest thing and I think it really leans to Gavin's point is they like it to WORK...NOW. Most are not going to fiddle around for 6 weeks to perfect their time in a virtual world which lets face it spends more time having some server issues than not and where they can't even rez their own character properly half the time.

So for me, on the broader side, make it work right, ALL the time and for everyone. SMOOTHLY. Add some things to do while you are bored. Some sort of fun stuff to pass the time. Maybe some optional game objectives that could earn linden built objects or something, I dunno. As to the adult areas, yea, keep the content adult. I can find 9000 other joints to go sip soda in my blue jeans. If I head for adult, I'm probably looking for some action.

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I totally understand your POV, Eileen. What I was addressing (and maybe this wasnt made too obvious, because I see others quickly concluded something very different than what i was trying to express....) was the way LL markets Adult...not so much abt the content itself. I am really talking abt the mesage going out to the world....the marketability of Adult SL...which directly will affect everyone in it, of course.

One of the main issues that LL has had in marketing the Adult side of SL is simply that it cant market it as a sex-only enterprise, and if it does, the trap will continue forever: Adult Sl would remain a 'problem'. This is the exact reason LL is adopting a more 'sophisticated' angle and emphasizing the 'total SL experience'...in other words, not tripping over itself worrying abt the marketing of sex. This is the marketing can actually be accomplished. Rather than an watering down of content...its an expansion of it.

Not sure what the anger is from some of the posters on this is about. Its precisely this plan that is opening up doors NOW for Adult SL (Destination Guide etc) and, if pursued genuinely, will continue to open more doors and benefit everyone. I'm not talking about wild theory here or a long-shot propsoal. This is what is being attempted now and (if done well) will allow Adult SL to not only survive, but thrive!

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The problem with your analysis and idea is that you seem to be under the impression that SecondLife needs more marketing when the fact is that there are over 16000 signups every day, or 5.84 million on a yearly basis, yet the participating avatars are more or less stable at 1.3 million. 

The solution is not to pile up more folks at the gate when you immediately loose them once they are inside. 

The solution is to make these people feel welcome once inside the gate. I have no idea how large proportion of the current signups are interested in adult content, but since most of them presumably are adult, I would think relative proportion is rather high.  

I have outlined a few actions that could activate and retain a good portion of these otherwise lost signups – actions that will not make Linden Lab look like they are peddling smut (and if that is the problem here as it may be, the solution to this must be handled very differently as damage is already done.)

Also, reactivation of dormant accounts could be a far more effective vehicle to retainment. There is a customer base in the order of 25 million that can be addressed, and reactivating a fraction of this could be far more efficient than trying to build some subtle sophisticated adult message. 

 

 

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SL does need more marketing, across the board.

Its not just about number of signups, its the type of signups.

That is related to the retainability, hence my article about attracting Adults, and defining that ina  mroe marketable way.

PS Gavin/Counter:

Brainstorming and idea generation tip which you might pick up during the next group dynamics workshop you attend, if ever:

When someone proposes something or puts forward a notion, you don't try to shut it down out-of-hand and replace it with your own or simply naysay every point........that is unprofessional, devaluing and needlessly confrontational. It's what causes most of the alleged bickering out there. Instead, acknowledge the ideas and then add positive commentary, edits or improvements, OR (if you totally disagree)  start a new idea someplace else. Effective ideas evolve when people listen. If you can't say something, and only negate, you sound petty. This is teamwork basics.

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So you are basically saying the 5.8 million new accounts on a yearly basis are the wrong people since they can't be retained? 

Thanks for the tip! Gee, I might hire you as my personal coach. ;-)

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It would be interesting if you could draw up a profile of the persons and the marketing messages targeting them with your approach, and also explain how these profiles fundamentally differs from the current signups.

It would also be interesting to understand why the efforts (manpower and monetary) is better spent on this marketing rather than use the same resources on retaining those who actually sign up and then leave (5.8 million annual signups.)

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The curent situation doesnt work well. Why else do you think there is a concern re: retention?

Ive already explained the profile and message well. You need to actually read and digest rather than jump to the attack. And PS - make room for other people's ideas beyond your own.

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Ginette Pinazzo wrote:

The current situation doesn't work well. Why else do you think there is a concern re: retention?


As I understand it, one of LL's main areas of concern is, and has for a long time been, that no matter how many people sign up -- and, at least according to Rodvik's blog back in October , the actual numbers are very healthy ("August was the biggest growth month for Second Life in nearly four years") -- the vast majority of people who do sign up log in once or twice and then don't come back.   

A variety of reasons have been advanced for this, and any number of them may, or may not, be correct -- difficulty in figuring out how to use the viewer, getting put off by finding yourself in a snake-pit like Ahern, not being able to find anywhere to go, wanting some skin that doesn't have painted-on underwear and not knowing how to find it, and, when you do find some, then getting frustrated with trying to buy L$ so you can buy it, and then not being able to work out how to take the damn thing out of a box and wear it, and not finding it easy to meet friendly people, and so on.   

Some people -- I'm one of them, as it happens -- might think that a major reason "the current situation doesn't work well" is the fact many people's initial experience of SL is neither as easy nor as much fun as it might be and that it's this that needs addressing, rather than that they're apparently marketing it to the wrong sort of people.   

 

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I agree that all of the reasons you stated for retention issues, are high factors. It's about the content (experience) in so many cases.

This does not invalidate my actual article's thesis, which

1)  addresses a marketing approach (getting more people certainly cant be bad and healthy intake is very important, and if you get them in under better pretenses, all the better for everyone and for your retention). Remember this is about marketing in way that brings in more people likely to invest.

2) postulates that making the process more lucrative to content creators is key, as content creators are most likely to invest. (be retained)

If it's 'not easy and not fun', a big part of that is the meeting of expectations. This can be addessed by altering the expectations in the marketing and by meeting more and more of those expectations with your strategy once they arrive. Note that my article is both about attraction AND retention, and specificlaly about making things more appealing for content creators which could include such diverse ideas as help for business startups, or incentives to buy land for business, or a marketing campaign that highlights small business.

In the end, I think we are both on the same side here and there is room for all of these ideas.

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Since SecondLife up till very recently was intended for an 18+ audience only, your entire point about adult and age is moot. SecondLife is for all practical purposes already, and has always been targeting an adult (as in age) audience.  (This was very evident to see when LL used to publish demographics stats.)

In addition, Linden Lab's marketing does not even include adult as in sex, (I don't think it ever did), so I am interested in understanding exactly how your suggestion dramatically will increase the number of 5.8 million who already sign up, but don't stay? Let alone how it will help retention when the people who are largely exactly the target you "suggest" already leave frustrated?

As Innula and others have pointed out, it is the technical issues a new resident almost immediately bumps into, in combination with a very strong pressure to spend quite a lot to blend in, and even be welcomed and accepted, that turns the new residents away. Nothing you have suggested will change that, because even if what you suggest brought more motivated people to the gate, they are even more likely to be turned off by a massive learning curve. It does not help sending a larger flow of folks to the gate under the guise of adult sophistication, when in reality the sign at the door says "Geeks only need apply".

 

"The secret to retention in SL is simple: attract Content Creators" - No it is not. 

There is no lack of content creators in SecondLife. But the content creators does not govern the first hour experience, and if they to any extent do, it is most likely in the form of pressure to start spending. 

Content creators has no say in the abysmal user interface of the viewer.

Content creators have no say in how difficult it is to understand how to change clothes for instance or the intricacies of attachment points. 

Content creators have no say in how SL search is set up

Content creators have no say in how the profiles are difficult to navigate and is very hard to search

Content creators have no say in how new residents (and regulars) often crash on teleports

Content creators have no say in how difficult it is to actually find people and not destinations (which have improved)

The first hour experience is more or less 100% in the hands of Linden Lab, and no content creator recruitment efforts will alter this unless you completely hand off UI design and first hour experience to someone else.  The majority of the 5.8 million new residents are gone forever within the first hour. 

It is like a Nokia smartphone - you hate it the moment you start to use it because of the clutter and inconsistencies.

It was only when the iPhone (that the industry laughed their asses off at first) came around that people really started to enjoy these handsets and saw the real potential in them. The first hour experience of the iPhone is what makes people love it. They can pick it up and immediately start to use it. Then, and only then will the content creators be able to step in and add to the experience and versatility. The combination has been a massive success. 

Only a revolution of the kind of the iPhone will dramatically change the retention, and help move SecondLife into mainstream. 

What has been suggested particular to new residents interested in adult content (since that is the theme for this part of the forum), is to make changes to the profiles, make the profiles easier searchable, make it easier to indentify who is online, and finally equip and clothe the avatar to take the majority of the "configuration" frustration away. 

 

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Throughout the history of SL, the Lab has progressively reduced the amount of information shared with residents from which we might devise methods to help with retention, or even to know what to suggest as measures that the Lindens might take.  

All we know is that the share of new arrivals retained is, to a first approximation, zero.

I've given up trying to guess why, and investing time, effort, and L$s in trying to improve the situation. If Linden Lab ever decides to get serious about the problem, it can share what it knows with those who might have the means and motivation to do something about it.  Or they can keep us in the dark and hope that whatever levers they're adjusting will have the desired effect -- and we see how well that's been working.

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I still think Gvain makes a great point though I don't disagree with Ginette. And I still maintain that the future sucess of the adult areas (as well as the rest of the grid) is largely contingient on them once and for all - finally - making it all work properly most of the time.

But I wanted to focus on what he said about people feeling welcome once they are here. What I am about to say may sound like complaining but it's mostly just illustrating a point.  I'm a suscribed resident, have been for close to 3 years now. I do get the modest weekly stipend from LL, but besides that, in the entire time since I  have been a paying member, the only item of customer appretiation I have seen come along was a living room set.

I do love the set. It was wonderfully done but by the time I got it I's already purchased tons of furniture myself.

I really do have to wonder if that's the best LL can do to appreciate it customer base, ya know?

I do realize that many things have been added to default folders. New avis look tons better than they used to out of the box. I already had my avatar done by then. Linden homes were added. I already had built one home and purchased two others.

lol

So, I hope to see more things like the furniture in the future. Incentives for being here

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I checked in to the Adult Hub today and was greeter by Gary, the greeting bot, which furthered my anxiety over the question I currently wrestle with, Do we need a sex bot capable of passing the Turing test or do we need to be learn to take care of each other?    Obviously I phrase the question as I do out of my own belief system. It's real human beings that make SL where I want to be.

My observation from standing at the gate for the last 60 days or so is that it is the content providers that make the difference. But then I have a broad definition of content provider, every person that sits at a keybourd and interacts with others in SL is a content provider.

If you accept my defition then what happens in the first hour of SL is in the hands of content proviers. We can make a differences. And all the a forgone facts of the difficulties of the first hour are just grit for the mill of the activity of helping each other and thus binding the noob to the social life here. By and large that is what most want, (well maybe after sex anyway). We need to keep in mind that sex is much like air, not a big deal unless you're not getting any.

 

 

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