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Lucky chairs? Are you for or agaisnt?


Voodoo Schnyder
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So today after mixing up a few very basic keywords to search for specific themed clothes and found a store who had around 40,000 traffic! That's insane, I thought, then went inside and saw lucky chairs, a bunch of people standing around waiting for their letter to pop up... Now I was wondering if anyone out there ever used them in  their business or not? Do you recommend them? Dislike them for some reason? I needed a little exposure of my products and thought maybe the lucky chairs would draw in some traffic for me.

 

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I have no problem with lucky chairs.  I have two, in fact, in my store now with a few different gifts in them.  The problem is, they don't, on their own, generate traffic.  I've known of places around SL that had upwards of 30 or 40 lucky chairs around and there was always a lot of people standing around waiting for their letter to come up.  But that's ALL they were doing.  Standing around waiting.  They weren't shopping and spending money.  

I think if you keep the total number to one or two, they are fine.

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Bear in mind that it's trivial to write a script for an RLV enabled client that will listen for their letter, then force sit the avatar on that seat and unsit afterwards.

Do you fancy having an unattended avatar standing around all day with an automated process sitting them on the seat as and when?

In fact, that's a nice little service for someone to create.  A subscription to "Lucky Chairs" where there's a database of free items given away.  Then all the user would have to do is log their avatar in, then all day long while they're at work, their avatar is teleported around the grid for the lucky chairs and they'll collect.

Come home from work, try on new stuff. Who needs to spend any money in SL when merchants are falling over themselves giving items away? :P

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I for one am not a fan of Traffic Generating "Lost Laader" promotional tools like lucky chairs or Midnight Mania.  I have written a long blog post on the reasons why as these promotion tool have become on of SL's main reasons for the inworld product price valuation plumeting since their arrival in SL back in late 2008.

Initially when MM showed up - I was an early adopter of the tool and in those days MM was a HUGEEEE kickstart to my inworld store.  My store sales went from almost no traffic / no sales (we were struggling in early 2009) to 10 times improvement in traffic and sale of our Value Priced products in the store.

The reason was that in the early days of MM, the MM Hunt groups were few and well organized and the members of these customer MM hunt groups were not conidtioned to believe they were entitled to get the high quality products from the Merchant for free.  They also were reminded by the group leaders themselves that visitors should come and look around the store and consider buying things from the store.  Most members agreed and a good percent arrived, tagged the MM Board and actually looked around the store and bought.

As the MM fad exploded, more and more merchants were competing with each other to get their MM Boards noticed so they started doing the WRONG fatal thing with MM boards (and the other traffic generating tools like Lucky Chairs)... they started offering their higher valued items into these advertising tools. 

The MM Hunt groups also naturally transitioned from being VALUE SHOPPERS to being FREEBIE HUNTER GAME Groups.  Those that started showing up at MM and Lucky Chair promotions at merchant stores had and now have ZERO intention of buying anything from the merchant's store.  They simply are hunting for free quality products.  You might get 1 in 100 or 200 that will actually look around your store after they tag, but for the most part these visitors are not the visitors that most Merchants would want in their stores.  They dont buy anything - they just take your freebie and run off to the next board on the group's list.  Its a game to them.

Sadly, the traffic generating boards have evolved the inworld product valuation to a continued slide.  We all talk about how Freebies have been a major factor for destroying the SL Economy... well these traffic generating tools were the "CRACK" transport that caused Freebies to become the major factor to SL's eroded economy.  Prior to MM boards / lucky chairs, Freebies were primarily housed by a few freebie stores.

Of course the huge growing popularity of Marketplace has joined these inworld traffic generation tools in their continued growth of freebies and further escalated the SL economy erosion.

So ... unless you plan to only put your cheap outdated content in these lucky chairs to give away, then all you are doing is giving away your value content for free and with almost no gained new sales of your other store content.  AND if you put your cheap content in these lucky chairs, most of these Freebie Hunters will not stay around to use the chair.  SL Freebie Hunters have become so entitled that they actually are now picky about what they get for free.  They dont want cheap freebies - they expect valued freebies.

I wouldnt use these tools as a way to attract real paying Customers - they do not bring these kind of visitors to your store.

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I have a happy little business. Just sometimes will I send something to my group, but it's only when I want to, and it's always good. I don't do freebies. I do weekly sales, but would rather that my best customers know before anyone else. I will never have a chair in my store. Traffic in my store sometimes drops below 200, but 80% of the people who visit make a purchase. I like it that way. I like my customers a lot.

My point is.... traffic is not important. 40,000 is insane. I bet the people standing there waiting for their letter are NEVER going to be customers.

I appreciate that you might have good stuff, and need exposure, but never forget what you create, and who will be your actual customers. Strive for quality.

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Tiffy Vella wrote:

I have a happy little business. Just sometimes will I send something to my group, but it's only when I want to, and it's always good. I don't do freebies. I do weekly sales, but would rather that my best customers know before anyone else. I will never have a chair in my store. Traffic in my store sometimes drops below 200, but 80% of the people who visit make a purchase. I like it that way. I like my customers a lot.

My point is.... traffic is not important. 40,000 is insane. I bet the people standing there waiting for their letter are NEVER going to be customers.

I appreciate that you might have good stuff, and need exposure, but never forget what you create, and who will be your
actual
customers. Strive for quality.

EXACTLY RIGHT Tiffy....

Traffic Generating tools only attract those that want freebies from you.  These visitors are GAMERS not CUSTOMERS.

Stay away from these tools.

Sim Traffic does not mean as much to popularity and search as it did 2 years ago.

Tiffy's concepts are the right concepts.... focus on growing your past / loyal customer base.  Reward them with sales and promotions!  They will be the ones that buy again.

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I am not against but i never visit a place because i know that i can find lucky chairs there and maybe get a freebie. Land and business owners use them not only to increase the  traffic as already mentioned but to make their places / shops / clubs known to many residents. The more people know your place, the more possibilities you have for sales. My feeling is that a businessman doesn't put in his store 20-30 lucky chairs for nothing if he has no returns and more benefits except of traffic. Some others put instead Midnight Mania's or sploders for the same reason. Residents, especially new ones run to get a free gift or some lindens, so all are happy.

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i don't use the chairs but i use a lucky board from the same creator i have nothing against them my lucky board doesn't exactly pull in hoards of people but then neiter does my MM board i see these devices as adding something to the shopping experience if someone drops by and their letter is on the board they may click and walk off with a with a prize if i shop inworld i don't go somewhere just because there's lucky devices back at the height of the MM craze i would have but if the store happens to have one i might hang around a while see if my letter comes up

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Voodoo Schnyder wrote:

So today after mixing up a few very basic keywords to search for specific themed clothes and found a store who had around 40,000 traffic! That's insane, I thought, then went inside and saw lucky chairs, a bunch of people standing around waiting for their letter to pop up... Now I was wondering if anyone out there ever used them in  their business or not? Do you recommend them? Dislike them for some reason? I needed a little exposure of my products and thought maybe the lucky chairs would draw in some traffic for me.

 

I don't spend a cent on SL. There are stores I visit in order to get stuff from Midnite Mania. I don't bother with lucky chairs unless I just happen to see my letter come up. There's no way that I'm going to hang around waiting for it to come up, like so many people do. SL is too much fun to waste time doing that. There are some chairs that a ? comes up which represents any letter. These may be worth hanging around a few minutes for. I appreciate the stuff I get from MM but if you think its going to get me into your store so that I will spend real money there, forgeta bout it. I often order freebie stuff from the browser Marketplace, too. If I fail to receive it it's no big deal, since I didn't pay anything for it. Vendors or content creators who think that doing away with freebies, MM & lucky chairs will force people like me to spend real money on SL, are wrong. It will just force us to be content with a newbie look or to leave SL altogether.

Jeanne

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They are good traffic builders and fun.  The key is that they are fun and anything we can give users to do that provides some sort of entertainment, in my book is good.

It stops being as fun when a friend IM's you and tells you she just got something you made and gave out as a freebie being distributed inside a Lucky Chair.  My feeling is that if you are going to do them, use your own products.

 

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

I for one am not a fan of Traffic Generating "Lost Laader" promotional tools like lucky chairs or Midnight Mania.  I have written a long blog post on the reasons why as these promotion tool have become on of SL's main reasons for the inworld product price valuation plumeting since their arrival in SL back in late 2008.

Initially when MM showed up - I was an early adopter of the tool and in those days MM was a HUGEEEE kickstart to my inworld store.  My store sales went from almost no traffic / no sales (we were struggling in early 2009) to 10 times improvement in traffic and sale of our Value Priced products in the store.

The reason was that in the early days of MM, the MM Hunt groups were few and well organized and the members of these customer MM hunt groups were not conidtioned to believe they were entitled to get the high quality products from the Merchant for free.  They also were reminded by the group leaders themselves that visitors should come and look around the store and consider buying things from the store.  Most members agreed and a good percent arrived, tagged the MM Board and actually looked around the store and bought.

As the MM fad exploded, more and more merchants were competing with each other to get their MM Boards noticed so they started doing the WRONG fatal thing with MM boards (and the other traffic generating tools like Lucky Chairs)... they started offering their higher valued items into these advertising tools. 

The MM Hunt groups also naturally transitioned from being VALUE SHOPPERS to being FREEBIE HUNTER GAME Groups.  Those that started showing up at MM and Lucky Chair promotions at merchant stores had and now have ZERO intention of buying anything from the merchant's store.  They simply are hunting for free quality products.  You might get 1 in 100 or 200 that will actually look around your store after they tag, but for the most part these visitors are not the visitors that most Merchants would want in their stores.  They dont buy anything - they just take your freebie and run off to the next board on the group's list.  Its a game to them.

Sadly, the traffic generating boards have evolved the inworld product valuation to a continued slide.  We all talk about how Freebies have been a major factor for destroying the SL Economy... well these traffic generating tools were the "CRACK" transport that caused Freebies to become the major factor to SL's eroded economy.  Prior to MM boards / lucky chairs, Freebies were primarily housed by a few freebie stores.

Of course the huge growing popularity of Marketplace has joined these inworld traffic generation tools in their continued growth of freebies and further escalated the SL economy erosion.

So ... unless you plan to only put your cheap outdated content in these lucky chairs to give away, then all you are doing is giving away your value content for free and with almost no gained new sales of your other store content.  AND if you put your cheap content in these lucky chairs, most of these Freebie Hunters will not stay around to use the chair.  SL Freebie Hunters have become so entitled that they actually are now picky about what they get for free.  They dont want cheap freebies - they expect valued freebies.

I wouldnt use these tools as a way to attract real paying Customers - they do not bring these kind of visitors to your store.

Howdy, Toy Dude!

I have a business partner and he put out the chairs.  Inside them are things he and I specifically made to go in them.  We do not have (and have never had) people just standing around waiting for their letter to come up.  It's all a matter of shoppers coming in to shop and their letter being up while they are there.  

I have a midnight mania board that I put up also.  The few items in it (and it cycles between them) are all older stock but still good.  

I don't feel like these entertainment items harm my business.  If I ever find that they do, away they will go.  

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I personally find them quite valuable, as both a merchant, and a customer. I don't have any chairs up atm. But I do periodically put up MM boards. In particular over Nov-a few days ago, I had one specific board out that drew in a decent amount of people, AND it brought in more sales too. I didn't send out a lot of ads "calling" the board, but others did when they came across it. Turned out to be quite the little handy heper over the holidays too.

I think, like with everything, people can overuse them, or put too much faith in them. That said though, they *can be a valuable tool for those who want them to be. Not to mention, sometimes they're fun too!  I'm quite certain most fols who use them, and things like them, don't believe they-alone-will draw in both more traffic and more sales. A few people may believe this, but most people don't. I talk to other merchants who use them all the time. Seems for most, it's simply just "another fun thing to do", really. I don't see anything at all wrong with that.

Then again I don't put much faith in traffic in sl, to begin with. It's almost always messed up lately and it's not nearly as telling as it oubht to be. My inworld traffic doesn't even remotely reflect my actual sales. Probably helps that I have a teensy store, people don't have to wander far to get around, and it's easy to see everything. Stands to reason they'd likely spend a little less time in stores like mine, even when making purchases.

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JeanneAnne wrote:


Voodoo Schnyder wrote:

So today after mixing up a few very basic keywords to search for specific themed clothes and found a store who had around 40,000 traffic! That's insane, I thought, then went inside and saw lucky chairs, a bunch of people standing around waiting for their letter to pop up... Now I was wondering if anyone out there ever used them in  their business or not? Do you recommend them? Dislike them for some reason? I needed a little exposure of my products and thought maybe the lucky chairs would draw in some traffic for me.

 

I don't spend a cent on SL. There are stores I visit in order to get stuff from Midnite Mania. I don't bother with lucky chairs unless I just happen to see my letter come up. There's no way that I'm going to hang around waiting for it to come up, like so many people do. SL is too much fun to waste time doing that. There are some chairs that a ? comes up which represents any letter. These may be worth hanging around a few minutes for. I appreciate the stuff I get from MM but if you think its going to get me into your store so that I will spend real money there, forgeta bout it. I often order freebie stuff from the browser Marketplace, too. If I fail to receive it it's no big deal, since I didn't pay anything for it. Vendors or content creators who think that doing away with freebies, MM & lucky chairs will force people like me to spend real money on SL, are wrong. It will just force us to be content with a newbie look or to leave SL altogether.

Jeanne

And this is not an insult to Jeanne at all....

but this type of user of the traffic generating tools like MM and lucky chairs is EXACTLY what makes up 99% of those people you will attract.   They are not SHOPPERS.  They are not interested in any way to pay anything for your store content.  and they will not be promoting your store after they leave.  Heck, I doubt if they will even remember your store the next day. 

Their inventory is sooooooo full of freebies from countless stores, your high valued gift you gave them is just thrown into their inventory that resembles a garbage heap of goodies.  In fact I have talked to many of these MM Freebie Hunters and they even admit that several of the items they get as gifts they have not even opened.  To them it is often the thrill of just getting something for free.  Its like a game of easter egg hunting.

So for the merchants that see MM and lucky chairs as a valuable tool to generate significant sales or even noticable sales - throw that thought away.

Focus your advertising and promotion $ and time and effort on your proven past customers.  Give them the discounts, the freebies, the advanced sales.  Build your customer list up and use it to provide them the value they wanted from being on that list.  They have the money and they have proven to spend it.

The Jeanne's of the SL world are not customers - they are Freebie Hunters / Gamers.

I will be completely honest in that from day 1 of me joining SL in 2008, I also made the personal commitment to never spend one penny of my RL $ on SecondLife.  The only difference is that I am also not a big customers / shopper in SL in general and other than a few times over the past few years I have only used an MM board a handful of times.  But, I now generate my own $L cashflow that when I want to buy something - I will.  (I just hate shopping :)

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Voodoo Schnyder wrote:

So today after mixing up a few very basic keywords to search for specific themed clothes and found a store who had around 40,000 traffic! That's insane, I thought, then went inside and saw lucky chairs, a bunch of people standing around waiting for their letter to pop up... 

I guess those are all bots or scripted agents that are not reported as scripted agents. But to hide that it is actually fake traffic, the onwer made up a situation where it looks more or less natural that people are standing there doing nothing.  Lucky chairs was the ideal solution.

I don´t know what is behind it, he might for example have shops for rent and want his future renters to think they will make a lot of sales with so much traffic around.

I´m not for ar against lucky chairs, when it fits a business to use them, they must do. I have never used them myself, because I think my shopping audience is not amongst people who have time to wait for a lucky chair. 

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I'm an avid freebie hunter, I'll admit that. I enjoy slapping MM boards. Lucky chairs are great, if I'm around and my letter comes up. Other than that... I've a short attention span, unless I'm doing other things and just checking back now and again.

 

In saying that, I will spend money in SL, when it's possible for me to do so. I look at things like the lucky chairs as being a way for me to judge whether or not I like what a store makes. Same with freebies. If I like, then chances are I'll either go back and buy if I think of it, when I have money in SL... or I'll recommend the place to others looking to buy. There has been more than one occasion where this has happened, purely because I got something free, one way or another.

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"And this is not an insult to Jeanne at all...."

I didn't take it as being. Rather, yours is a good & interesting post that I'd like to comment on some more, if I may...

"but this type of user of the traffic generating tools like MM and lucky chairs is EXACTLY what makes up 99% of those people you will attract.   They are not SHOPPERS.  They are not interested in any way to pay anything for your store content..."

I don't spend a cent of real money on SL and don't ever intend to. This is not to say, however, that I never spend any $L I acquire inworld by various means. It isn't accurate to say that I never SHOP. Just yesterday I won $L500 in a "Best in Blue" contest. When I saw that the contest was up I quickly changed the red blouse I was wearing to a blue one, put on a blue skirt that was a different shade of blue that actually clashed with the blouse, and won the contest even tho I don't think I deserved to win. I'll be spending that $L500 somewhere. Maybe in your store, if I even bother to go there without being attracted there by freebies of some sort. You may think that I'm not the type of big spender you even want in your store but the thing is, the "vast majority" (Wikipedia's term) of people in SL are just like me in regard to our spending habits. Only something like 4% (as estimated in another thread) of players actually spend real money on SL. You might be better off catering to people like me, with a few spare Lindens to spend now & then,  rather than to an elite minority of big spenders who are actually numerically inconsequential.

"...and they will not be promoting your store after they leave.  Heck, I doubt if they will even remember your store the next day."

This is likely true. If someone asks me where I got an item I'm likely to respond, "Oh, from a MM somewhere... Don't remember..." On the other hand, there are a few stores that regularly offer nice things on their MM. These I tend to hit and to remember. If you consistently offer nice stuff, people like me can serve as effective word-of-mouth marketing agents for your stuff.

"Their inventory is sooooooo full of freebies from countless stores, your high valued gift you gave them is just thrown into their inventory that resembles a garbage heap of goodies."

LoL Yep, this describes my disorganized inv pretty well! One of my favorite things to do in SL, tho, is to dig thru all this clutter to find just the right item to complement a look I'm trying to put together. I call this "playing Barbie" and I can easily take an hour putting an outfit together from disparate items I got who knows where. Just because I haven't opened something or worn something yet doesn't mean that I never will. I don't delete very much because I never know that the thing I might delete won't be the very thing I was looking for.

"So for the merchants that see MM and lucky chairs as a valuable tool to generate significant sales or even noticable sales - throw that thought away."

I would tend to agree except that, once again, SL has a high turnover rate and your valued spending customers this month may be gone from the game next month. You need to constantly be attracting new people to your store, even tho most of those people aren't going to spend much. Going for many small sales over few big - quantity over quality - may be your more viable option. Isn't this the strategy Walmart has deployed?

"The Jeanne's of the SL world are not customers - they are Freebie Hunters / Gamers."

True enuf but isn't SL just a game? Or a gaming platform on which a variety of games run, the play economy being but one of the games? Putting an attractive outfit together with freebie items can be a satisfying & rewarding passtime. I would contend that an attractive avatar one assembled him- or herself from freebie items can be more of a source of pride than that derived simply from spending buku Linden bucks on one's looks. The toy economy game may not be one of the many SL games I'm interested in. If you as a vendor care to siphon a few of the $L I may manage to acquire then your toy business model is going to have to accomodate people who think along the lines I do. Just ignoring us deprives you from >90% of SL's traffic.

"I will be completely honest in that from day 1 of me joining SL in 2008, I also made the personal commitment to never spend one penny of my RL $ on SecondLife."

I commend you for this TT. Anyone affluent enuf to spend real money on SL could find a lot more socially beneficial ways to dispose of that income above & beyond their actual needs, than channeling it into LL's clutches.

Jeanne

 

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I am giving an in-world store another chance due to a promise to a friend.  I have been debating the use of a Lucky Chair and an MM Board in order to generate traffic...to get my name in-world so to speak .  I just recently joined a Builders MM Group in order to see what the hub bub is about and to educate myself how they work before deciding if they are something I wish to use.

I have used the MM experience to learn of new shops I wouldn't ordinarily go to or probably find in search because I too HATE to shop.  AND, I have spent Lindens with those folks and referred others to their stores.  So, from my perspective, the MM Boards do do their job in generating some revenue.  Not all residents are freeloaders, some of us do spend RL $$$ in world and are conscientious about supporting other merchants...we support the merchants and LL so there is an SL for everyone to come and play for free.

I don't know what capabilities the MMs and Chairs have as far as data is concerned, but I would say, if folks are worried about the freeloaders, track who comes to your store.  Easily enough done if you don't do it already.  Compare it with your sales transactions...I may be old fashioned but spreadsheets work wonders and holds lots of data that can be easily sorted and compared.  Don't have the software, download openoffice, it's free...It's pretty easy to figure out who the freebie only folks are. If all they do is just come for the freebies, ban them from your store.  Does the Lucky Chairs or MMs have ban lists? If not maybe it is a feature that needs to be added.   Let other merchants know, and they can ban them as well.  Or, maybe an add on needs to be created such as "no one over the age of XXXX days" is allowed to participate. Still allows you serve the new folks. 

I think if I do decide to have an MM and Lucky Chair, I will do as someone else said and create specific items for those vendors systems, or maybe some of the experimental builds I create and delete.   I don't think this question can really be answered except by each individual merchant. 

 

 

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Shiva Draconia wrote:

I'm an avid freebie hunter, I'll admit that. I enjoy slapping MM boards. Lucky chairs are great, if I'm around and my letter comes up. Other than that... I've a short attention span, unless I'm doing other things and just checking back now and again.

Perhaps the most profound thing said in the forums today.  The discussion on freebie items in the MP could benefit from this and here is why.

Hunts and such are fun as are Chairs. Why? Because it creates a fun challenge.  I personally have things in my inventory I have yet to look at but I had fun getting them. If we flood the MP with freebies that require little more than a click through a few pages to get to, then where is the reward? It's more often the adventure and not the reward that is the most fun.

If SL is a game, then make it a game with things that inspire and challenge us or at least require some investment of either time or money.

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I've never minded the lucky chairs although I pefer lucky toilets myself. ;) One thing I don't understand is the purpose of camping chairs. I would think merchants would prefer shoppers to be browsing the store rather than sitting in one place for an hour. Unless I'm missing something, it would seem shoppers are more likely to make purchases while browsing.

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Just curious why people invest so much time manipulating "Traffic"....it never had much influence on GSA All Search rankings.......and it's not that much more weighted with the latest OS Lucene search engine. I could understand the importance of "Traffic" in the old 1.23 viewers....as it had a Places Search tab ranked by traffic, but the V2 and 3 Viewers don't.

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wrong Jeanne....it's 20-25% that support the SL economy in any given month and not 4%

In that other GD thread, you made the mistake of assuming that the 21 million SL accounts were current ones (it's actually over 27 million!)....these are an accumulation of accounts from day 1 of SL....so back to 2002/3. Obviously 95% of those accounts are "dead" accounts for want of a more descriptive word!

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Rene Erlanger wrote:

wrong Jeanne....it's 20-25% that support the SL economy in any given month and not 4%

In that other GD thread, you made the mistake of assuming that the 21 million SL accounts were current ones (it's actually over 27 million!)....these are an accumulation of accounts from day 1 of SL....so back to 2002/3. Obviously 95% of those accounts are "dead" accounts for want of a more descriptive word!

No Rene, if I had used total accounts the percentage of paying accounts to non-paying would be <1%. I used logins per month to arrive at the 4% figure. 20-25% greatly inflates the ratio of paying to non-paying accounts.

But... What difference does it make? Even if we use the 20-25% figure you insist upon, the fact remains that the few support SL financially to the benefit of the many.

Jeanne

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