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Time to rethink my commitment to SL


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I've just read Rodvik Humble's "plans" for 2012.  After lots of happy fluffy stuff came this:

"In addition to delivering new features and increasing our support for Second Life, we will be launching some completely different products next year not related to Second Life. Some of them will be very experimental, but all will fit within our company’s proud history of enabling creativity, which I hope may interest some of you."

My translation of that statement is: "We had a great run with Second Life but its not enough to make our investors happy so we will be spending our research dollars on other products.

Maybe its time to cash out.   What do you think?

--Cinn

 

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Maybe Rodvik was trying to give out some reassurance, by giving us early warning of these "completely different products ... not related to Second Life", so that we won't think they're about to drop Second Life and move on. For sure, though, they are after something that's going to make them more money. A 16% interest in mesh isn't really what they were hoping for.

I'm not wholly taken in by the fluff, although Rodvik does seem to be listening more than previous CEO.  At the end of the day we're just guinea pigs who pay our way/work our passage, while LL pull our strings and push our buttons. I'm happy enough to be a guinea pig, as long as no guinea pigs are harmed along the way, and as long as my own pleasure centres get fed. I can still remember what made me initially become a resident of Second Life, and it still is a useful leisure pursuit for me.

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"For landowners, existing land tier pricing will not go up in 2012."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Tier price will not go up? Dude (I have always wanted to use that expression), tier needs to go DOWN and FAST! The mainland is dead, dead, dead. People are abandoning all over the place. Hell, I will be abandoning soon. Estate land has been declining for 18 months. Tier won't go up? Gods, it should have come down a year ago.

http://deltango.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/a-proposed-land-tier-fee-schedule/

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"In addition, our service and quality focus in 2012 also means that we will be delivering features and policies that we believe will significantly assist merchants and landowners in running a business more profitably."

--------------------------------

New policies? This scares me to death. We have had nearly five years of policy failure. Please tell us that your new policies are sane.

http://deltango.wordpress.com/2010/06/24/a-strategic-assessment-of-second-life-part-2/

I have been is SL for five years! I have held on in the HOPE that somehow Second Life could be rescued from the chaos of the past four years. Having worked like a dog, daily, for the past five years, I can tell you that Second Life has cost me a fortune. I am so frustrated, I want to pull my hair out. Time and time again, Linden Lab has created massive disincentives for devoted, hard-working residents. I am practically the last of my year (2006). All my friends have left. I am the last holdout - and I am so close to quitting, it's not funny.

 

  • why on earth keep tier so high when it's the number one reason for abandonment?
  • what will you do about the VAT problem that has crippled SL?
  • what will you do about the huge legacy oversupply of mainland?
  • how will you stem the decline in estates?
  • what policies, on what issues?

Rod, give us a clearly-formulated strategy. Give us concrete examples. Tell us precisely what you are going to do. For the love of God, give us something solid.

I apologize for seeming harsh, but you must understand the misery residents have been through for the past five years. All we ever got from Linden Lab in the past was baby talk, platitudes and, quite frankly, contempt. We are smart people! Treat us like adults! There is more brainpower among residents than McKinsey could ever dream of. You want to retain new residents? What about keeping the old ones?

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this is how i see it:

why a company has to limit itself to one single product? Linden Lab as a company that its main goal is to enable creativity doesn't have to stop itself in just making a virtual world, they could for example create some physical devices that reach the same goal, or other 3D creation software not related to Second Life.

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I agree that it's worrisome that they are going to introduce new "featuers and policies" to "help" businesses. Uh-oh. Policies? About what? Features? Like putting rentals into the viewer so that Linden can take a cut of each transaction the way it does of Marketplace sales?

As for "the VAT problem," that's not Linden Lab's problem. We've been over this many, many times. It's the problem of the peoples of the EU, and their vote for socialist policies. If they don't want to be taxed so high, they need to change their government and its policies. If those policies make it harder for them to compete with American merchants, then they need to get their governments -- not Linden Lab -- to change their policies. Linden Lab cannot give discounts and remove VAT because then it isn't fair to Americans -- who have to pay more in RL for health care and education, for example, because they aren't taxed as much and don't have those goods for free. This argument has played out so m any zillions of times that it really is pointless to keep flogging it.

As for lowering tier, LL has no incentive to lower tier. They make their revenue from tier. There are plenty of people around to pay tier. The land isn't being abandoned and the estates aren't shrinking at the rate you imagine -- go and study Tyche Shepherd's reports.

 

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Another good conversation starter, Cinn.

From the end of the Rodvik's post;  “Thank you again for being a customer have a great holiday and a Happy New Year!”

If I could respond to his post I'd say, I hear ya loud and clear Rod, I'm a customer.  I consider myself a resident in the world of Second Life, that was something I felt strongly about letting you know when you first came.  I understand a business has to make a profit and you were called in to help turn things around. I was hoping LL would succeed partly by listening to what users want, but the Forums seem to show a lot of people who feel they haven't been heard.

I have to agree with Deltango who posted on this thread, "New policies? This scares me to death. We have had nearly five years of policy failure.”  

My overall response to CEO Rodvik Humble Shares Highlights From 2011 and his Outlook for 2012 is that LL continues in a direction I don't agree with.  Rodvik may be helping the bottom line but at the cost of alienating established users.  It's a trade off, they lose established, as well as gain new users with new policy and features.

 

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Deltango Vale wrote:

 

-------------------------------

"In addition, our service and quality focus in 2012 also means that we will be
delivering features and policies that we believe will significantly assist merchants
and landowners in running a business more profitably."

--------------------------------

New policies? This scares me to death. We have had nearly five years of policy failure. Please tell us that your new policies are sane.


That just makes my blood run cold. I don't know how much more Linden assistance I can stand. When merchants are pleading for some basic functionality such as a working search, or making sales data available in an easily accessible format, or dozens of essential marketplace improvements, I do hope LL is not going to just ignore all the JIRAs about these things and propose  some wackadoodle ideas that no real merchant would ever have at the top of his wish list.

That said, I am here for the long haul. I will be the last one out.

 

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Deltango Vale wrote:

...An impassioned plea to LL to reduce tier...


I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment. Something needs to be done to mop up the surplus and abandoned acreage on the mainland. Reducing tier is one possibility. Insreasing the tier-free allowance for premium accounts to 1024 Sq m is another possibility. Either one [or both] would go a long way to mopping up the dead acreage on the mainland.

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Deltango Vale wrote:

"For landowners, existing land tier pricing will not go up in 2012."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

Tier price will not go up? Dude (I have always wanted to use that expression), tier needs to go DOWN and FAST! The mainland is dead, dead, dead. People are abandoning all over the place. Hell, I will be abandoning soon. Estate land has been declining for 18 months. Tier won't go up? Gods, it should have come down a year ago. [...]

Yeah, I've seen some dramatically worse conditions on the Mainland in just the past month or two, so I, too, have come around to the conclusion that a significant tier decrease is the only hope of salvaging the critical mass that is SL's main advantage over the OpenSim projects.

It's clear that they've been using profits from SL to fund development on these other projects, and that's a fine business strategy, but if this cash cow is to survive they had better be in a position to turn that flow around now -- to plow new revenues from those other projects back into Second Life so the prices can be brought down to what the market will now bear.

I'm guessing that's not in the plans, but that they rather intend to keep diverting dwindling SL revenues to fund scattershot attempts to find a new winner.  The thing is, as SL's current overwhelming market dominance over OpenSim worlds diminishes, it's unlikely the decline will be a "soft landing."

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on the land thing

ll been operating sl on the basis that there is always another person who will pay tier

is kinda true but is no real growth anymore. is just churn now that keeping land going. ll not made any new mainland for sale for ages now

mainland ownership starting to hollow out. not much at a time overall. is a creeping thing really. it goes up and down but overall is ever down for regular mainland. linden homes has a lot to with it

some ppl say if ll reduce tier then occupancy will go up. that true. like i would get double my existing land and pay same tier as now. not increase my tier tho. same most other ppl as well

so if im not paying more tier altogether than i am now and the churn not keeping up then what ???

mainland prices cant go any lower. i sell a 400m other day bc i wanted to move to a nicer place. i flick to a bot. i get 30L for it. not 30L a meter. 30L for the whole lot lol. i try flick a 144m as well on other sim so i can buy my new place on same day. i list for 10L. even a bot not buy it lol so i abandon to linden

i not really care bc i get really nice other place now on a proper ocean edge on a continent facing west so get amazing ocean sunset view \o/

but i was think about that

ll the biggest crookedess land flipper in sl (:

like they offer u 0L and then 24 hrs later they flip onto market for 1L per meter. even the lowest lowest scummiest land flipping robber thief private resident greedy not make that kinda loot lol

in the gold land rush days like 2006-2007 ppl pile into sl to buy land bc was worth something. was illusionary of course but was still worth something to someone else anyways. like car license plates. stuff like that

thing is that ll not value land ever. they try tho to make it worth something to us. by auction in olden days and now by charge us 1L per metre by flipping. is lots of land not even worth that to us now. too anyone really

ll could maybe change that way of thinking

like they set a real bottom price for land. not by setting a min flip price but by setting a min governor linden buy price. like when u abandon/sell ur land to the governor linden then u get 0.5L$ per meter for it. ll can still flip to open market for 1L and make markup of 100%

can be extended to private sims as well this. like u get back some of ur setup fee if u relinquish ur sim. the bottom price for sims is 0$ as well at the moment

ll pimping the economy by now paying l$ credits to mostly newbies to play on the realms

ll always asking how they can make better for premium accounts. only reason to be a premium is to own mainland or linden home. so if that the reason for us then make it worth something. something more than 0

if u know that u can get a min 0.5L for ur land in worst situation then it kinda makes u more confident to splash out a bit more

land dealers also come back into market as well i think. probly build up their landbanks again and start pay big tier again and hold out for higher prices. is good that. bc it makes the neighbors lands more valued. can annoy the neighbor tho if they want to buy it. but i rather be in a high price sim than a low one bc can always sell and buy other place more cheaper. not so much today. just dump and move to other place like me or dump and move right out of sl altogether like some other ppl do

am not saying should go back to the old days of 2006-2007. just saying that if ll valued its own land more than 0 and kinda put their money where their mouth is. like they doing for newbies on the realms, then maybe premiums would as well. maybe even start buying land again as well

 

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

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While that split resources to work on new products sounds very scary. If that new products will be dealed with the same staff ...

What worries me more is the line about - release this new build features for Linden Realms only to a selected crowd - (not his original words but thats the meaning).

Monti

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he also said in that last part "In addition to delivering new features and increasing our support for Second Life"

to ,me that doesn't sound like they are going to be thinning out  for these other projects..

most likely if they start other things they would have a group that would be assigned to those..probably taking on more staff for those start ups..

companies do this all the time..and if they work out it could lead to lower tier and more awareness of second life as well..

if LL started to dip beyond the profits of SL and into it's bin..then i would worry..

if these other start ups do happen to work out and increase LL's bottom line..it could be good for all their projects..

as long as they play with profits from each and not the budgets..

if you ask me it is much better for them to experiment outside of SL with these things than in SL..

because then it would be pulling from the bin of second life..

the survival of second life is going to depend on LL's bottom line and not second lifes..

so if they can expand and find more fortune..LL will become a little richer and may be able to do more of the things they really want with second life..

as long as these projects can stand on their own with their own group of staff and support or even pull profits..it's a good thing..

if they fail and LL say's ..well we just need to fund it a little more..we can afford to dip a little bit this month from the second life budget bin..then they are gambling with the house mortgage and we may as well start to cash out..

myself..i've really liked what Rodvik has done so far..i think he hears us and i think he thinks we have great ideas..

these ventures could be anything..they could be outside tools that actually end up working for everyone but also work really well with second life..

I'm gonna give it some time before i start freaking.. instead i'm gonna be a little excited to find out what they are..

i think Rodvik has earned enough of my trust to give him that much..because i feel he is like one of us in many ways..he's into the game or the world and it's users..

where if this were something that M had written..i would have already been gripping my britches and tucking them in my boots for the bullcrap river that was about to flow through..

he's been here for the year and doing good things for us already..i just can't see it all being a setup for a fall..

but hey that's just me..

my family has three different businesses in the real world..they started from the original and all help the one bottom line..the family that started them..so we can afford to do many different things with each now when they need some upgrades or support..

we would still be with only one and probably struggling right now with how the economy beat us down the past few years if we had never tested the waters in other areas..

we all want many things for second life..but it all comes down to LL's bottom line for them to happen..not second life's..

 

 

 

 

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I already decided that 2012 will be a year of getting my certifications updated and going back to work as a consultant. Not because of LL decisions or anything but because there is little future in non tablet applications and I am not into stupid childish 2.5D garbage on facebook.

The ominous suggestion that permission to create and sell will become limited to only those LL wants doing it spells the end of SL if LL does that. And it won't stop content rippers from vacuuming content out of SL much the same way a number of authorized mesh uploaders are vacuuming content from every video game they can into SL and selling it unimpeded on SLM.

Even LL appears to be moving on and developing non SL products so I'll take the hint. SOPA, if passed and signed into law, is the end of all user created content in the USA anyway.

 

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Ann Otoole wrote:

I already decided that 2012 will be a year of getting my certifications updated and going back to work as a consultant. Not because of LL decisions or anything but because there is little future in non tablet applications and I am not into stupid childish 2.5D garbage on facebook.

The ominous suggestion that permission to create and sell will become limited to only those LL wants doing it spells the end of SL if LL does that. And it won't stop content rippers from vacuuming content out of SL much the same way a number of authorized mesh uploaders are vacuuming content from every video game they can into SL and selling it unimeded on SLM.

Even LL appears to be moving on and developing non SL products so I'll take the hint. SOPA, if passed and signed into law, is the end of all user created content in the USA anyway.

 

if SOPA passed..the internet can kiss my ass..it won't be just SL i'll be leaving *winks*

SOPA has been bumped to 2012 to be voted on.

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Cinnamon Lohner wrote:

...Maybe its time to cash out.   What do you think?

--Cinn

 

 

Nah, while I completely agree with your translation the sky isn't falling - just getting a little lower every day.  SL has survived a long time, even despite the mess that M made of everything.  This news is not exciting but at least it shows a purpose LL seems to have lacked for a very long time.

Rod's a game developer, wants to make SL a games platform and LL a games company.  That's not what I want for it/them but whatever happens I hope it works well for them.

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PeterCanessa Oh wrote:


Cinnamon Lohner wrote:

...Maybe its time to cash out.   What do you think?

--Cinn

 

 

Nah, while I completely agree with your translation the sky isn't falling - just getting a little lower every day.  SL has survived a long time, even despite the mess that M made of everything.  This news is not exciting but at least it shows a purpose LL seems to have lacked for a very long time.

Rod's a game developer, wants to make SL a games platform and LL a games company.  That's not what I want for it/them but whatever happens I hope it works well for them.

SL does need more strategies, as after awhile it gets very boring, such as I feel I'm just listening to the radio *yawn*.  SL is mindless entertainment for those who do not create content, like me.  It's just too boring as it is, and the role play sims seem to be pretty empty or very gorey and creepy.  Linden Realms seems like a start, but don't treat us like mindless idiots and expect a sort of listening to the radio with visuals as an entertainment that will keep us here.  SL is far too mindless.  And, I don't like hunts.  I don't want a bunch of heavy prim items I can't use or a bunch of clothes I may not like.  Residents do need something to engage our minds before we are bored to death. 

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Replying to Monti Messmer who said, "What worries me more is the line about - release this new build features for Linden Realms only to a selected crowd - (not his original words but thats the meaning)."

I believe this is the part of Rod's post? "we will be releasing new tools used to develop Linden Realms, which will allow Residents to create even richer original experiences in Second Life. To prevent abuse of these tools, we will introduce a "creators" program in which verified members will be given access to these very powerful capabilities."

I'm with you Monti, I had a bad feeling about that too.

 

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PeterCanessa Oh wrote:


Rod's a game developer, wants to make SL a games platform and LL a games company.  That's not what I want for it/them but whatever happens I hope it works well for them.


I'm getting the same sense Peter.  Linden Realms, for example, is going the opposite direction from what I want from SL, but Linden Lab gets to make their own choices regardless of what I, or may others, want.  I wish them success and thank them for SL.  I'll be here as long as there is a world/culture that works for me.

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Mayalily wrote:


PeterCanessa Oh wrote:


Cinnamon Lohner wrote:

...Maybe its time to cash out.   What do you think?

--Cinn

 

 

Nah, while I completely agree with your translation the sky isn't falling - just getting a little lower every day.  SL has survived a long time, even despite the mess that M made of everything.  This news is not exciting but at least it shows a purpose LL seems to have lacked for a very long time.

Rod's a game developer, wants to make SL a games platform and LL a games company.  That's not what I want for it/them but whatever happens I hope it works well for them.

SL does need more strategies, as after awhile it gets very boring, such as I feel I'm just listening to the radio *yawn*.  SL is mindless entertainment for those who do not create content, like me.  It's just too boring as it is, and the role play sims seem to be pretty empty or very gorey and creepy.  Linden Realms seems like a start, but don't treat us like mindless idiots and expect a sort of listening to the radio with visuals as an entertainment that will keep us here.  SL is far too mindless.  And, I don't like hunts.  I don't want a bunch of heavy prim items I can't use or a bunch of clothes I may not like.  Residents do need something to engage our minds before we are bored to death. 

this is what it has become which is sad to me..because if you had joined so much earlier you would see what used to be..

it would have taken years before you became bored..

now to see people becoming bored so much faster really makes me sad for the things they missed from before..

i hated turning 1 year old here because my first year was so much fun..so many things were alive and so many things you could do..

now it's just more quantity of the same things that are all over rather than the quality of things to discover..

so ya i'm excited to hear what they have instore for us  hehehe

it took me a few years to become bored..but bored is bored no matter how long it takes hehehe *winks*

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