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Stanton Sinister

Why I've decided to stop creating content in SL

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leliel Mirihi wrote:

You're telling me these people quit sl and went to other grids just because of the market place? That sounds a little fishy to me.

Regarding this earlier quote....research is your best bedfellow! i.e Merchants have left SL because they're no longer profitable and cannot afford to rent SL land in relation to in-world sales.

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/02/credit-card-thieves-attack-opensim-grids/

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@ everyone

I think we are all saying the same thing, but from slightly different angles.

Look, Second Life is a virtual world, a virtual country, an alternative reality. It is a social network 100x more powerful than Facebook. It is an interactive 3D movie, a global nightclub, a residential paradise, an international center for arts, fashion and music. It is the most advanced dating site ever created. It is also a political economy with a sophisticated private property rights structure. It's a world of interlocking lifestyles and commerce.

BUT this amazing world is currently being run on a Commodore 64 by a bunch of old geezers who think Farmville is the apex of human achievement.

Shimmy is right to say that LL is destroying incentives for creators by competing with them. Pussycat is right to say that SL is more than just commerce. Qie is right to say that there is a serious tactical problem with SLM, inworld search and their pricing models. Rene is right to say the sky is falling because LL has neglected the business community. Porky is right to say that Linden Lab has mismanaged the technological infrastructure. And I believe I am right to hammer home the message that SL is not a computer game. The question now is how do we give Linden Lab an adrenaline shot to the heart?

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Shimmy Shemesh wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote
Not to the merchants.

But merchants are -NOT- the life of SL.

Entertainment and social venues are venues are.

 

If merchants dried up, SL would survive. It'd look like Open Sim but it would survive.

If places to go dried up, SL would be dead.

 

Merchants are a solid part of a popular places survival. Entertainment venues rely on merchant rentals to pay tier. Without it. They would not be able to afford the cost. . People do not donate and tip enough to cover employee wages (which is a vital part of a thriving economy) and tier at the same time. . Removing the money from circulation only leaves you holding a bag of money and people standing around saying : "thats the trickle up affect"

Which is exactly what I said. :D

 People feed merchants --> Merchant feed land holders --> Land holders make the places we love to go to --> Once we go there we want stuff from merchants. --> So people feed the merchants.

- Change those arrows into a circle.

- Now slice a line through the arrow between merchants and land.

- The line just sliced is called Marketplace.

 

Cut the circle, the whole thing unwinds.

 

Its great for merchants - no longer need to pay fees for a shop.

Its great for consumers - quicker shopping.

But its death for both of them, just indrectly - because it kills the very thing driving them to each other. Short term gain at the cost of long term survival.

 

 

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Deltango Vale wrote:

BUT this amazing world is currently being run on a Commodore 64 by a bunch of old geezers who think Farmville is the apex of human achievement.

Sig line waiting to happen.

:D

 

SOmewhere I read an interview with Zynga's CEO: he has no interest in games. He saw Facebook taking off, was there when their API hit, and thought "how can I sell crack down on the block here?"

- That's all Farmville was ever meant to be?

He was looking for the best way to monetize that place and exploit its users desires to connect, for as little return to them as possible. And he found it first. That kind of mentality won't make for good long term viability.

 

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

 

Its great for merchants - no longer need to pay fees for a shop.

Its great for consumers - quicker shopping.

But its death for both of them, just indrectly - because it kills the very thing driving them to each other. Short term gain at the cost of long term survival.

 

Great last line quote....almost worthy as a signature!  :matte-motes-tongue:

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Rene Erlanger wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:

 

Its great for merchants - no longer need to pay fees for a shop.

Its great for consumers - quicker shopping.

But its death for both of them, just indrectly - because it kills the very thing driving them to each other. Short term gain at the cost of long term survival.

 

Great last line quote....almost worthy as a signature!  :matte-motes-tongue:

"Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society's future, we – you and I, and our government – must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without asking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow."

Dwight D. Eisenhower

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

Marketplace commission, like other sinks can be equated to real money, they’re just not thought of as revenue because they’re not a direct income. However, ask an accountant how this works and they’ll tell you that it is income and on what side of the balance sheet it falls in real world accounting.

 

Money comes in from whatever source (tier, buying $L, premium accounts, etc.). LL puts some of this money into a global pool of L$ we call the economy. The more they take out of that global pool (which was purchased originally with real money), that’s the ammount they get to keep in real dollars.

 

Take the last published quarterly report, where gross Marketplace sales were published.

 

Quarterly gross Marketplace sales: L$1,183,000,000

 

5% quarterly commission in L$: L$59,150,000

 

Converted to real dollars at a rate of 260 (just because, even though there's no real correlation between what the exchange says a linden dollar is worth and what it's worth on LL books as real cash), it’s roughly $227,500 USD for the quarter.

 

Roughly $76,000/month USD gross earnings from the Marketplace commission.

 

This isn’t complete because it doesn’t include advertising sales or purchases in real dollars (PayPal purchases on thr marketplace, which are inflated substantially from items purchased with L$)..

If we were dealing with a fixed sized economy then we could do something with these figures, because sinks take money out of other users hands and therefore it leaves a big gaping hole for Supply Linden to put his selling hat on and sell Linden dollars directly, which brings to Linden Lab, real, bankable income.

However it's not a fixed sized exconomy, so sinks are not so straight forward to evaluate. The other shoe of people buying Linden dollars has to drop for sinks to work, they aren't just about selling Linden dollars, they are aimed at balancing the economy so we don't get steep changes in the exchange rate, they are there to ensure the economy isn't awash with money, too much money in the economy would be bad. They definitely servee a purpose but it's not one that's easy to quantify.

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Pussycat Catnap wrote:

Short term gain at the cost of long term survival.

 

This pretty much sums up human civilization in the modern era. Well put.

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Ciaran Laval wrote

If we were dealing with a fixed sized economy then we could do something with these figures, because sinks take money out of other users hands and therefore it leaves a big gaping hole for Supply Linden to put his selling hat on and sell Linden dollars directly, which brings to Linden Lab, real, bankable income.

However it's not a fixed sized exconomy, so sinks are not so straight forward to evaluate. The other shoe of people buying Linden dollars has to drop for sinks to work, they aren't just about selling Linden dollars, they are aimed at balancing the economy so we don't get steep changes in the exchange rate, they are there to ensure the economy isn't awash with money, too much money in the economy would be bad. They definitely servee a purpose but it's not one that's easy to quantify.

Oh agreed. The "economy" itself is un-guessable, as are sinks. Primary reason is because on LL books, the economy doesn't exist. There's simply no place in general ledger accounts for it.

It's a manufactured fiction that doesn't really have anything to do with real cash on the books.

It's a real-money income that just gets fictional money printed wherever it needs "balancing" out of existing real income.

There's not even a guarantee that fictional money in/out is restricted to only money that comes from purchasing Linden Dollars. To the company it doesn't matter if that money backing the economy comes from Linden Dollar sales or tier or premium accounts to "balance" anything.

As a matter of fact, a large part of the global pool of L$ doesn't even have to backed by real cash. You could back the equivalent of a $5 million dollar "economy" with half that amount when you factor in money that just churns from one user to the other, people that never cash out, balances in users accounts that just leave, etc.

The economy is a dinosaur, lots of mechanisms that must be maintained just for the illusion of economy. They'd save money and be more versatile in pricing packages if they flat-rated everything, treated sinks as straightforward fees and called it a day, adjusting those fees as needed as simple fees that can be put into pricing packages, etc.

The only people who would suffer are those trading virtual currency. The upside is that pricing would be more flexible, understandable, create more trust in flat-fee L$ purchases.

That'd require LL to be quicker on their feet to adapt, though.

But yes, as-is the whole concept of economy vs. LL income is a moving target, and it seems that's the way they like it. Hides a large part of their business model and revenue.

It'd never fly if these were treated as real funds though, and that's the reason for the fake currency and part of the ecnomic mechanisms. You can't be a bank but not a bank. You can't be a currency trader without restrictions, etc. The assumption is protection because it's "your" money and not LL's, which is not at all true.

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Rene Erlanger wrote:

You''ve answered your own question (bolded text) ...spread out across more Merchants. MP is great of lazy Merchants or ones not knowing how to market their own products in-world......MP does it for them more or less.

Of course I answered my own question, I listed the only three possible answers so one of them had to be right. You could also say that the MP is great for merchants just starting out since they can't afford to spend the same amount of money on marketing as the well established merchants.

Anyway I think I'll drop this tangent since it's drifting away from my original point. I was never denying that the MP had an effect, I just don't think it's the main reason for SL's decline.


Its about 16% drop. 58k Jan 2010, about 48/ 49k nowadays  (drop of 9-10k)....but that graph is over 2 years, so about 8% drop per annum.

It's an almost 50% drop if you go back to the historical high of 89k in the fall of 2008. Yes I know a lot of that was bots. But it's also the same time LL suddenly announced the 66% increase on homestead prices as well as many other very unpopular moves. Those were some dark times in SL, many people were very pissed off, and concurrency was dropping fast.

 

 

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leliel Mirihi wrote:

It's an almost 50% drop if you go back to the historical high of 89k in the fall of 2008. Yes I know a lot of that was bots. But it's also the same time LL suddenly announced the 66% increase on homestead prices as well as many other very unpopular moves. Those were some dark times in SL, many people were very pissed off, and concurrency was dropping fast.

 

 

Again you answered you own statement....Traffic Bots! How many Bots?...10k, 20k or more.?  That's why i take the concurrency before the Traffic Bots ban with a pinch of salt. In reality 2008 concurrency might have only been slightly higher than Jan 2010.

They hiked the prices, because they did not anticipate the excessive growth in the demand for Open Space Sims (its proper name at the time)...it was the most popular land product at the time!  LL wanted to jump on the gravy train for these OS sims and used sucking up of resources and bandwidth as the excuse.......to increase the Tier pricing from $75 to $125 p/mth.

Due to the Resident's backlash (i was at that Jack Linden's Office Hours session)...LL later decided to phase in the increases in stages....it ended up being nearly 2 years later that it was set at that $125 price tag.

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An idea just came to mind. Instead of looking for revenue in the consumer base itself why not incorperate a bitcoin mining pool into sl? Something similar to http://www.bitcoinplus.com/generate but with gpu mining as well for the systems that can handle it of corse giving the option to toggle. Personally I'd rather donate my gpu/cpu usage to LL rather than have them take the money directly from my pocket. X users * hash rate = revenue. Websites already do it why not applications?

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Rene Erlanger wrote:

Again you answered you own statement...
.Traffic Bots!
How many Bots?...10k, 20k or more.?  That's why i take the concurrency before the Traffic Bots ban with a pinch of salt. In reality 2008 concurrency might have only been slightly higher than Jan 2010.

Um no, I didn't answer my own statement and neither did you. We don't know how many were bots and how many were people no matter how eager you are to jump to conclusions. We're never going to be able to answer that question definitively one way or the other. I doubt the answer will be as simple and one sided as you seem to make it out to be tho.

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Ann Otoole wrote:


Pussycat Catnap wrote:...

ps: The SL "economy" is saturated with too many merchants at the moment anyway. ...

 

 

I don't think so. Odd how some quality creators somehow manage to market themselves effectively and bank good money while most sit on their hands wondering why the world is not kneeling before them. The best advice I can give struggling creators is to take a break and reflect on reality for a while. There are plenty of customers wanting to spend money out there. They simply cannot find you for one or more numerous reasons.

I have to agree with Ann here. There is only 1 market that is saturated, and it really is only a couple sections of that market.

Apparel = 741696 items ....Specifically, Apparel/Women's = 554367 items. Oh, and you can just tack 48k on to that with UNISEX, cause we all know that means womens clothes that designers think can pass as men's clothing. Heck, I'd be willing to bet that the vast majority of women's apparel is tiny panties and bra outfits. In dresses alone, women have more choices than all of men's clothing.

The vast majority of all the rest of the markets are wide open. There are still more than enough customers outside of Women's apparal, to take care of all the rest of the markets.

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And yet even with all that stuff for sale, 1) only some of it is something someone would want to wear and 2) women's clothing is far and away the most-purchased merchandise.

Meaning there is still a good market for good women's clothing.

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I say someone needs to build another marketplace and work with the 3rd party viewers and offer the creators of the TPV viewers to encorporate a Marketplace in their viewers other than SL marketplace and swoop in on their proffits just as they have done us. Free market deserves a shot in the ass

 

The TPV viewers can split the sales proffits while the market place creator can capitolize on the ads

It can be done..

Stick it to the man :)

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It's been tried, unsuccessfully.  I think it's hopeless.  First, the margin is so low with the current Marketplace commission that there's not room for a competitor to undercut LL enough to build a critical mass of users.  Giving it away for free wouldn't be advantage enough to overcome inertia in this market.

Second, LL could have real monopoly power here, if they ever quit farting around.  They can know everything about our in-world lives. If they can't do "social search" to make Zuckerberg jealous and have a Jeff Bezos wetdream of a recommendation engine, it's only because they don't care enough to bother.

Frankly, I wish there were a way for a competitor to get past the first barrier, as a way to motivate LL to do something with the second. 

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Pamela Galli wrote:

And yet even with all that stuff for sale, 1) only some of it is something someone would want to wear and 2) women's clothing is far and away the most-purchased merchandise.

Meaning there is still a good market for good women's clothing.

Considering that a good percentage of all the Women's Apparel is skimpy hooker type of clothing, I'd have to agree with you. Not that there is anything wrong with skimpy clothing. I'm just saying that many people focus on this market specifically. This is the complete opposite in most other markets, which barely cover the basics. I'd also say from my quick glance, that these skimpy outfits should really have their own category, cause they are scattered throughout the Women's Apparel sub categories.

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leliel Mirihi wrote:


Rene Erlanger wrote:

Again you answered you own statement...
.Traffic Bots!
How many Bots?...10k, 20k or more.?  That's why i take the concurrency before the Traffic Bots ban with a pinch of salt. In reality 2008 concurrency might have only been slightly higher than Jan 2010.

Um no, I didn't answer my own statement and neither did you. We don't know how many were bots and how many were people no matter how eager you are to jump to conclusions. We're never going to be able to answer that question definitively one way or the other. I doubt the answer will be as simple and one sided as you seem to make it out to be tho.

.....and that is why I stated that i take concurrency figures before the Traffic Bots ban with a pinch of salt. As we don't  how many of those 80-90k were actually Bots. I've read suggestions on blogs, anything from 10k to as many as 30k......but those are just guesstimates too.

My jumping to conclusion.....is that concurrency figures before the TB ban were unreliable, most people would be in agreement!

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Shimmy Shemesh wrote:

I say someone needs to build another marketplace and work with the 3rd party viewers and offer the creators of the TPV viewers to encorporate a Marketplace in their viewers other than SL marketplace and swoop in on their proffits just as they have done us. Free market deserves a shot in the ass

 

The TPV viewers can split the sales proffits while the market place creator can capitolize on the ads

It can be done..

Stick it to the man
:)

it had been done a couple years back....Slapt.me, Apez and a couple of others. They've all since shut down.

If the TPV viewers did that (which i would support)....it wouldn't be long until LL find a way of choking off TPV Viewers from logging in.

 

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Medhue Simoni wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

And yet even with all that stuff for sale, 1) only some of it is something someone would want to wear and 2) women's clothing is far and away the most-purchased merchandise.

Meaning there is still a good market for good women's clothing.

Considering that a good percentage of all the Women's Apparel is skimpy hooker type of clothing, I'd have to agree with you. Not that there is anything wrong with skimpy clothing. I'm just saying that many people focus on this market specifically. This is the complete opposite in most other markets, which barely cover the basics. I'd also say from my quick glance,
that these skimpy outfits should really have their own category,
cause they are scattered throughout the Women's Apparel sub categories.

Are you suggesting that we have a category for 'whore -wear?'  ;)

 

 

 

/me ducks before I get trounced by all the ladies.

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Are you suggesting that we have a category for 'whore -wear?' 
;)

 

 

 

/me ducks before I get trounced by all the ladies.

Don't go slinging all your whores in one basket.

We need lots of sub catagories too, to cater to the large variety of sluttish looking female avatars we have in SL.

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