I recognize that LL has reversed part of their new policy. Non-premium members keep some of their groups, great.
As a premium member there remain concerns. First, I don't believe it is unreasonable to increase the Premium fee structure. Any business needs to be solvent and profitable and LL has been dirt cheap for years compared to other platforms. Try to play GTA5 for free or some of the MMOs. I am less than amused at the features provided to premium members compared to those who are riding SL coattails for free. Sure we get the opportunity to wait for the new homes or the old homes which have been around for years and years. We get the opportunity to buy into the mainland ghetto where there is no zoning or recourse to settle land disputes. We get access to live chat, which for the life of me, I cannot locate. Still I believe we should invest a nominal amount to have our voice heard. Though are our voices really being heard, as premium members, compared to those who don't pay into membership?
The reduction of tier and set up fees makes a lot of sense too that cost was overpriced for years. So there are good things happening with LL and SL. I watched your CEO's YouTube interview and I get and support the concept of "balance". Where you reduce participation costs in one area, LL has to increase revenue in other areas. However, it seems to be more on the back of premium members who perhaps aren't as vocal as the nonpremium participants. Voices should have relative weight the thing is, I don't mind paying more if my voice has greater comparative weight. I don't mind paying more if I see some improved value from my contribution. Otherwise, call "premium membership" a donation.
One topic which I have read is a concern is the fees applied to withdrawing funds from SL. Forgive me if I don't have the actual rates presented accurately but I do have a point and suggestion to share. For nonpaying participants in SL, the fee to take Lindens into the RL should be greater than the fee for members. Here's why, as members, we are already paying into the community for the greater good. We are part of the profit scheme LL has. It isn't to say nonmembers do not contribute toward the SL economy, many do but what value is membership when nonmembers get the same relative benefit when they don't contribute? Perhaps by charging nonmembers a 5% fee to withdraw and charging members a 3.5% fee to withdraw inworld earnings, more people would choose to be members and membership would have another value add.
At present, there is marginal value or benefit to membership to justify the expense when there is value in being a nonmember. I'll continue paying my membership fee because it is the right thing to do. LL is on the right path and finally well led. I would encourage, unless you are, to listen to your premium members first and with greater weight than those who have made the choice to not be a member. There are politics at play and like any business or community, you have a degree of vulnerability.
Thank you for what you do.