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Why I've decided to stop creating content in SL


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Hello everyone, for those who are unfamiliar to me I joined Second Life 6/21/2007 under the alias Ubah Paine. Through Ubah I was a casino, club and mall owner with a club group that had 3k plus members. Currently there are over 1100 members and I haven’t hosted an event in years just to give you an idea of how many of my patrons have quit sl altogether. I was not upset when they banned casinos or banks.

Through Stan I first pioneered the sculpted prim industry by offering full perm sculpted women’s shoes and other clothing accessories.  I sold each kit for around 3k linden at the time and now sell them for 500L because they have been pirated by people who don’t fall under the dmca act or people have just handed them away contrary to the ip clause you agree to by purchasing them. I’m not upset about that, the value would have dropped due to competition in a free market anyway. While I am an animator, graphic designer and game dev in the real world I will not be pursuing any further content creation in SL, mesh or otherwise. I could but I refuse…

I then moved on to scripted items because you can copybot a prim but you can’t steal the script inside. I designed several multi combat system integrated weapons and pioneered the mmorpg mob “monsters with exp and loot” industry. For those who are unfamiliar with what I mean by pioneered, I created the first ones and developed them over 4 years. I sat on that goose egg for a while and it faired me well. I had competition but none that offered the functionality of my product and I was even working on a fully integrated combat system with a level hierarchy and lootgen that would have been the first pve based combat system in SL and if not for the fall of the SL economy and hard times that fell on my main scripter it would have been finished, I’m not upset about all that however.

Anyone who has an avatar as old as I do can remember when linden labs bought out onrez and xstreet then tried to monopolize xstreet. I used onrez exclusively for my in world vendors. I would rent vendor stalls in world and while I generated revenue my patrons who owned the malls that I rented in would generate revenue. When LL decided to kill off onrez in a really short time I lost all those vendors and the revenue spent on those stalls for the rest of the month. They then made a spectacle of the new marketplace and claimed that they were going to add new pricing to free items and include a listing fee on top of the sales % which coincidentally never happened…  I know of several content creators who quit SL altogether over that whole fiasco. The majority of people now exclusively use the marketplace to purchase items instead of going in world and visiting vendor stores in your mall or club imo…

After hiring Rod Humble as the new ceo I have noticed several changes in SL. There is more publicity on random sites that I have viewed so the population is starting to grow again which is a good thing. The thing that really set me off however was the fact that linden labs is now selling linden created content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the user. They offer you prefab homes and furniture for signing up for a premium account. You don’t think that’s kinda stepping on the content creators toes who build those homes? Now they have integrated a new linden mmorpg sim and offering people linden created mmorpg assets…. Linden labs just stepped on my toes with that one...

Anyone who has been around for a while has noticed that the value of the linden dollar has dropped about 30% since 2007. My 1500L sold for 8-9 dollars in 2007 but now I trade the paltry chump change I make for bitcoins at 5-6 bucks per 1500L. I will continue to offer customer support for my products but I refuse to create any new content in a virtual world monopolized by it’s creators, mesh, sculpted or otherwise. I’ve decided to spend my time in a more profitable fashion designing and selling real world games and assets in a market that is not so small nor falling apart. Good luck to you all and enjoy the tyranny while you immerse yourselves in it, I'm done with it....

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One could say this is a typical "I'm taking my toys and going home" rant, but Stan makes some good points.  LL has always tried to compete with its creative residents.  This is a very shortsighted approach.  LL should focus on providing the platform and the creative tools, and let the residents get on with making the world.  That is the whole paradigm of SL, what sets it apart from other on line games.

Good luck in your future endeavors, Stan.

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I know that many creators have struggled and have watched sales fall under LL's handling of the Marketplace.

I also agree, when your supplier becomes your competitor it is a very precarious and difficult position to be in business wise, hence my objection to Linden Homes.

If Linden Realms is primarily a testing ground for new features, I can understand LL's use of it as long as they don't expand into more areas.

I am however puzzled about what you are saying about the exchange rate for Linden Dollars. Right now the average is about 240L per U.S. dollar.  Back around 2007 if my memory serves correct it was around 260L.  So you should be getting more U.S. Dollars for your L$ now, not less.

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Ever since man has been subject to society certain rules have been true

An Agreed Collective, advances and wealth is spread about(wealth moves down)

A Forced Collective, regresses and wealth concentrates in the hands of the few(wealth moves up)

Fair(agreed) Competition, advances and wealth is spread about(wealth moves down)

Unfair(forced) Competition, regresses and wealth concentrates in the hands of the few(wealth moves up)

Most of you have seen this as boom and bust, but it is a lot more simple than that, when the top have felt that they are losing their position they make laws to tighten things up, they restrict money or rights, this forces regression(bust) and they regain back their wealth and a little bit more, when they feel that they can't gain anymore then they relax money and rights so creating a boom, this cost them at first but as they control the money supply this will all come back with interest, plus when the bust comes they can buy up assets for pennies on the dollar, then they start the cycle all over again,

Sometimes they go to far and have to move country and change their names, but they have been doing this for at least 3000 years, same group of families, can be traced right back to the 18th dynasty, were the exact same thing happen to the known world and they got chased out, they settled in eastern Europe after being chased across the black sea, our royal family is one of these families.

You like every one else is a victim, money is being squeezed and they are feeding extracting assets for pennies on the dollar, this will carry on till they can feed no more, linden labs is just trying to survive in this feeding frenzy, they may go bust, then they will become food for them and be sold for pennies on the dollar, like i said this has gone on for 1000's of years, they were the bankers for the rise and fall and stripping of the roman empire and every one to date, including the british empire, they are now feeding on the US empire.

money is shrinking and debt expanding, that has always been a sign they are feeding.

when money expands and debt shrinks then there will be some crumbs for you.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

I am however puzzled about what you are saying about the exchange rate for Linden Dollars. Right now the average is about 240L per U.S. dollar.  Back around 2007 if my memory serves correct it was around 260L.  So you should be getting more U.S. Dollars for your L$ now, not less.

You are right. L$ are worth more US$ now than they were in 2006 when I arrived. The OP is mistaken about that particular aspect.

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Stanton Sinister wrote:

@ perrie are you looking at the figures for purchase of linden dollars or sale of them. I distinctly remember about a $2 drop in product sale.

I was looking at this statement:

"Anyone who has been around for a while has noticed that the value of the linden dollar has dropped about 30% since 2007. My 1500L sold for 8-9 dollars in 2007 but now I trade the paltry chump change I make for bitcoins at 5-6 bucks per 1500L."

I was taking that statement to be referring strictly to the exchange rate on the Lindex.

From a sellers perspective, 270L per  $1US would be about the worst I ever saw since I started.  Right now it is around 240L.  (talking the average rate now)

So right now you are getting around $4.45 U.S per $1000L at 240L  verses  around $4.00 U.S. at 270L. 

But again, this is talking strictly exchange rates, not taking into account other business factors that are affecting your profitability.

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It's taken you a very long time to arrive at your current conclusion. It became obvious to at least the forum people when LL bought Xstreet and OnRez, and then opened the marketplace and took commissions on sales. I arrived at the same conclusion over two years, and I decided to stop then. What I didn't do was close the store because it was, and still is, earning decent RL money for me, but I stopped creating. LL was the main reason but I also got bored with SL, so LL wasn't the only reason. LL was one of those two big reasons.

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The thing that really set me off however was the fact that linden labs is now selling linden created content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the user. They offer you prefab homes and furniture for signing up for a premium account. You don’t think that’s kinda stepping on the content creators toes who build those homes? 

Did you ever actually rez that furniture?  It's really crap.  Completely disposable, and no competition to anybody with basic design sense.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "prefab homes"... perhaps Linden Homes?  Those are a very much more serious case of the Lab competing with residents, but certainly not because of the prefabs themselves.  Rather, the unfair advantage is the prim subsidy granted to the little Linden Homes parcels by rooting the home outside the parcel, thereby making it simply impossible for any landlord to compete, Mainland or Estate, at the 512 sq.m. low end of the market.

 

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I actually joined before all the free linden created content but my point is still valid even if it is crap. Why should people continue to create content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the residents when Linden Labs has decided to start providing their own content for sale, content that has the capacity to be far superior in many ways to that of the general market using havoc 4 physics souly and taking into consideration the new mmorpg assets that aren’t crap contain new unreleased methods of ai. It reminds me of the US government using insider trading to proffit...

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Qie Niangao wrote:


The thing that really set me off however was the fact that linden labs is now selling linden created content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the user. They offer you prefab homes and furniture for signing up for a premium account. You don’t think that’s kinda stepping on the content creators toes who build those homes? 

Did you ever actually rez that furniture?  It's really crap.  Completely disposable, and no competition to anybody with basic design sense.

I'm not sure what you mean by the "prefab homes"... perhaps Linden Homes?  Those are a very much more serious case of the Lab competing with residents, but certainly not because of the prefabs themselves.  Rather, the unfair advantage is the prim subsidy granted to the little Linden Homes parcels by rooting the home outside the parcel, thereby making it simply impossible for any landlord to compete, Mainland or Estate, at the 512 sq.m. low end of the market.

 

Crap or not, it would take away customers who would be happy purchasing crap.

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Perrie Juran wrote:


Qie Niangao wrote:

Did you ever actually rez that furniture?  It's really crap.  Completely disposable, and no competition to anybody with basic design sense.

 

Crap or not, it would take away customers who would be happy purchasing crap.

I've seen this discussion before. I can only offer my personal viewpoint; I have not surveyed nor asked. What I have done is observed, and from my observations I am not at all unusal. In my case, when I was new, I would have been—and was—perfectly happy purchasing crap. Did so. As I matured and was exposed to better things, I became more selective.

The people who get the Linden homes and free furniture are usually newcomers. Without those benefits they might very well stay homeless (as I did for close to six months) while they see if SL is for them. I think there's a very good chance that LL's freebies aren't really impacting the market all that much because those who take them wouldn't have been buyers in any case.

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Stanton Sinister wrote:

Why should people continue to create content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the residents when Linden Labs has decided to start providing their own content for sale...

 

Because some people simply enjoy creating and really don't care too much about profit? ;)

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I think th


Fluffy Sharkfin wrote:


Stanton Sinister wrote:

Why should people continue to create content in a virtual world that is supposed to be created by the residents when Linden Labs has decided to start providing their own content for sale...


Because some people simply enjoy creating and really don't care too much about profit?
;)

I suppose there is validity in that but my discussion was geared toward content creators who desire a profit for their time spent creating content. I consider SL to be an investment of my money and time and I consider the linden created content to be a threat to my investment.

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Stanton Sinister wrote:

 

After hiring Rod Humble as the new ceo I have noticed several changes in SL. There is more publicity on random sites that I have viewed so the population is starting to grow again which is a good thing.

This might just be fetchback ads. My RL company uses them.

A fetchback advert will appear acros the internet advertising websites you have visited in the past.

- As a result people within a community will see more adverts for it than those outside. The idea is that this captures people who came by but didn't make a purchase - reminding them of that interest. That itself is a good idea, but its flaw is that it appears to trigger for places you visit regularly as well as those you just went to once or twice.

 

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Which free furniture are we talking about?

If we're talking about the new premium gift couch and flower vase - those weren't crap. They were very good. Better than about half of what residents put out - maybe more.

I've only justified not having it be my main living room furniture by replacing my living room set with a new mesh one. My older sculpty set was far inferior to the premium gift one.

If we're talking about something else, in the library or something, sure.

 

And free goods have been around since SL began... competition from them is nothing new. For a long time they've been 'upping the ante' on what folks could away with charging for.

 

ps: The SL "economy" is saturated with too many merchants at the moment anyway. Too many folks think this is a market of some kind, and not a social community. Its a community, with an added market to supply goods to use in that community. For that market to be healthy, the ratio of merchants to users needs to seriously alter to make it about half what it is now.

 

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I was just talking about the use of furniture and housing as a ploy to get people to purchase premium accounts in general. I’m not sure what items in particular the other posters mentioned. I was a sim owner way before they offered the linden created furniture so I never received any. It's interesting to know that there are addspaces that track what sites you view..... I was unaware of that.

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I feel your pain and share your grievances. I have been selling prefabs since 2005. I used to focus heavily on the noob prefab market back then and had 15 builds suitable for 512 sqm plots. When Linden Homes launched, LL went into direct competition with me and they won, sales on 512 sqm builds dropped by nearly half within 6 months of Linden Homes being launched. I had to switch my focus to bigger builds to fill the gap. They were/are offering 512 sqm plots with double the prim count! How can we compete with that? They awarded themselves an unfair advantage. New users who would normally have spent that premium 512 sqm land allocation on a mainland plot and bought a prefab were effectively hustled away by LL. In one move LL gave a big "F U" to the prefab sellers, furniture sellers and land renters.

However, for people like us who have been around for a long time doing business in SL, we should have learned a fundamental lesson long ago, and that is LL will try and bone us at every opportunity. A key part of doing good business here is having the ability to be adaptable and to roll with the punches. Eventually we will all take a punch on the chin and LL will knock us out cold, but for now I'm gonna keep on dodging and adapting.

Good luck with your future projects. Sounds exciting.

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Just to set the record straight. No company/website can track where you go on the web unless you let them. Each website you visit can place cookies on your computer, but cookies are just data that can't do anything other than be written and read by the websites that placed them. No other website can read them so cookies can't be used to discover other websites that you visited.

What can happen is dynamic ads. E.g. if a webpage has an ad on it that is fetched from, say, Doubleclick (an affiliate dealer), then when you visit the site, you also effectively visit the Doubleclick server to get the ad. Google operates such advertising, called AdSense. Their ads are all over the web and they are delivered to your browser by Google, so Google can know many sites that you visit and, in a very limited way, they can track you. But they cannot track you to any site that doesn't display their ads, so it's not really tracking.

Of course, if you have a company's toolbar installed for your browser, that company can track you everywhere where you use your browser. That's the only way by which you can "let them" track you.

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

ps: The SL "economy" is saturated with too many merchants at the moment anyway. Too many folks think this is a market of some kind, and not a social community. Its a community, with an added market to supply goods to use in that community. For that market to be healthy, the ratio of merchants to users needs to seriously alter to make it about half what it is now.

 

Absolutely. I think this is a crucial point often forgotten.

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