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Nuhai Ling

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Blog Comments posted by Nuhai Ling


  1. Well the plot thickens... or at least the sludge that LL continues to aimlessly plod through. I saw the new secondlife.com welcome screen and although cute, it sure devates as far from resident content as possible. It may say "Your World, Your Imagination" but the images are all from Linden content including over-hyping their in-house "Linden Realms." On top of that, the webpage looks like it was made in 1996 and targeting tweens (thats the 10 - 14 year olds in case you needed to know)! At least the previous welcome screen had some great short videos that showcased the rich diversity made possible by residents in Second Life. If I were a new user looking at this and over the age of 16, I would not have any interest in it. In fact, if this is what I saw 4 years ago when I joined because of a college class I was taking, I would have questioned my professor's maturity and probably asked to be re-assigned to a different course.

    One other comment I have to make is agreeing with some about the "pay to play" and semi-style camping for lindens that this game encourages. On the one hand it seems to counter what the Lindens have been strongly ridding the grid of for years. On the other hand, with so few ways to make lindens in-world these days it may be the only way left for free account holders to earn anything. At least it will help the linden exchange metrics though; any bets on how much it boosts the Economic Participants or L$ Supply statistic? 

    Lindens, I hope you are reading all these comments and LISTENING to what is being said. We are about to start 2012; time to grow up and become competitive in today's sophisticated virtual world. This ain't your daddy's SIMs game!


  2. Remember when:

    * SL was "Your World, Your Imagination?"

    * Businesses used to sell things in-world?

    * You bought or rented land to set up your own home?

    * Gambling?

    * Tipping residents for good service like DJs and Hosts?

    * Unhidden and accessable content?

    * Adults?

    * No lag?

    * A viewer people liked?

    * The occasional restart vs. daily or more often?

    *And last but not least, SL not being a game?

     

    I think most would agree progress and innovation are good for business but watching SL just become another company-built game is sad. On top of that, it seems the new server updates are already causing havoc with exhisting scripts and content. If this LL game was a testing platform for better things it certainly seems to be causing a regression like so many other "improvements" over the last two years. Put together with the viewer 3 issues and I am not suprised about the decline in overall user hours during a quarter that normally reports a significant increase after the summer slowdown. We will see how it all affects SL as a whole but my opinion is that LL could have used their limited resources and man-hours on other things much higher on the priority list.


  3. Hey Nelson, I think it is time to end the Wayfinder show on this post. As much as I like his guests Gavin, Mike, Rene,and everyone else it has run about 200 posts too long and off-topic. Thanks for the info and good luck in the next quarter coming up!

    Peace and love everyone!


  4. Nuhai Ling wrote: "Can anyone explain to me how Linden Lab can state there was "…falling supply on the LindeX…." under Average Exchange Rate and then say, "Money supply grew significantly…" under L$ Supply?  Either the supply of L$ increased or decreased but I can't figure out how it can do both. Can any professional finance or account person shed light on this?"

    Nelson Linden wrote: "Thanks for the question, Nuhai.  These two "supplies" are different. One refers to the total amount of L$  put up for sale or "supplied" to the LindeX by residents in a given  time period. The other refers to the total amount of L$ in resident accounts at any given time, or the total "supply" of L$ across the entire economy.  Falling supply on the LindeX puts positive price pressure on the L$ (meaning each USD is worth fewer L$).  When the LindeX supply is insufficient to meet demand without significant price fluctuation, and other economic indicators are strong, Linden Lab may increase the L$ supply.   In that way, LindeX supply and total L$ will frequently be inversely related when viewed in a relatively short period."

    Nuhai Ling replied: Thank you Nelson, that makes sense. I find it interesting then, from your explanation above, that people in-world are cashing out less - putting up lindens for sale - while the total amount of lindens is increasing. That seems to indicate a few things. To start, less cashing out means falling sales are creating fewer profits to withdraw, residents are holding on to lindens because they are 'saving,' or they cannot cash them out (or cash them out as fast as they are purchased). No matter the reason, it appears that the decrease in the amount of lindens put up for sale really reflects a stagnation / decline in user activity both in-world and between worlds.  Could this decline also be caused by the recent change in the amount of time it takes to cash out lindens versus purchasing them? If so, is this being purposely done by Linden Lab as a means to support the exchange rate of the linden as a response to lower resident demand? If the answer is yes, then the decline in demand of resident-based selling and purchasing of lindens is also causing a decline in Linden Lab profits from exchange fees which would make the company more reliant on its other major sources of income such as tier fees. That would explain the move to double the tier rates for non-profit and academic regions this year among other things. The big factor missing in my train of thought is knowing what percentage of the increase in total linden supply is coming from Linden Lab vs residents purchases. Your comment above seems to indicate that much more is from Linden Lab 'printing' more lindens. If Linden Lab is slowing the exchange rates and flooding the economy with lindens to offset declining resident-based transactions between SL and RL, how long can they maintain that before the whole system collapses? At some point the Second Life economy would become completely dependent on Linden Lab providing lindens through stipends rather than resident purchases. Of course the stipend level would have to be based on the total amount of land tier since that would be the last remaining income stream to support the withdrawals being made by businesses.  Consequently, if land tier declined for whatever reason so would the supply of lindens until finally there is nothing left. This could happen for numerous reasons such as businesses no longer needing land to maintain in-world stores or free land / homes eliminating resident-based rental properties. With all of this in mind, am I correct in making the conclusion that Linden Lab is purposely keeping the exchange rate low by flooding it with lindens and slowing withdrawals in an effort to stop a run on the bank greater than the demand for purchasing lindens and prevent the collapse of the total economy?

    On a side note, I am totally impressed that you directly replied Nelson. That is the first time a Linden has acknowledged any of my comments which makes me happy to know at least one has read my posts with serious interest. I get a lot of feedback from residents about what I write but until now I always felt I was posting things more for them then the Lindens. Thank you for the reply and interest in resident comments.

    As always, remember the first rule in Second Life is have fun! Love and peace!


  5. Can anyone explain to me how Linden Lab can state there was “…falling supply on the LindeX….” under Average Exchange Rate and then say, “Money supply grew significantly…” under L$ Supply?  Either the supply of L$ increased or decreased but I can’t figure out how it can do both. Can any professional finance or account person shed light on this?


  6. Very well put and thank you! The shift of commerce from in-world to web has been accelerating for the past year and already having the effect you mentioned above. Smart businesses also have moved strongly away from renting satellite stores to producing affiliates which has pushed common rentals down even further. This was a known and planned outcome by Linden Lab who does not benefit directly from in-world sales but does take a percentage of all web sales. If you add the introduction of Linden free housing to the mix the impact on rental business is huge, so much that it has been driving the large increase in abandoned land. That may contradict what Linden Lab says about the 'size' of the world growing but then again they did not provide information about the amount of abandoned land or how the inclusion of the teen grid impacted land growth. Remember that Linden Lab can maintain as much unused land as they like so 'land growth' by itself is a useless statistic.

    Due to these issues, my stand on commerce opportunities in SL has changed dramatically since 2006. When asked now, I tell potential business people the best thing to do is produce and sell product only, hold the minimum amount of land needed to get products listed on the web marketplace, and invest in affiliate vendors. Setting up direct sale in-world stores is simply a waste of money. The ONLY reason anyone should hold land in SL now is for their own personal use and without expectation of breaking even under any circumstances. As harsh as that sounds, it is good business practice in SL which is vastly different than RL. Linden Lab banks on people forgetting that simple fact!

    As always, remember the first rule in Second Life is to have fun, NOT make money! Stick with that and you will be just fine! Peace and love everyone!


  7. Hi Rod! Welcome again to Second Life! I hope this has been mentioned above, but just in case here is something you definitely want to do. In your browser and search, make sure you enable the "Adult" content box so you have access to the ENTIRE grid. Then go to SecondLife.com, sign in, and under 'Account' complete the Age Verification process. Once you do that you will have access to visit some of the top places in Second Life!  Case in point, take your raft to Orgy Island and relax for a while or try one of the many activities there like surfing, skydiving, sailing, 7Seas fishing or play games in the arcade. Don't worry about bringing your own surfboard or sailboat, there are free ones on the beach for you to use. While you are there, talk with the staff and guests too, they are some of the most fun, exciting, and knowledgeable people in Second Life that will be more than happy to help you get familiar with the best the grid has to offer. Feel free to get your picture taken with the staff too; the OI girls will be more than happy to send you autographed copies as a way to remember your visit!

    I hope to see you on the sand soon and remember that the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Peace and love!


  8. Good posts so far by everyone, positive and negative. Here are my two bits into the information pool:

    A few have asked "Why increase groups to 42 if you know the system cannot handle everyone doing that?" I have to agree completely. If you cannot supply that many groups to every resident then do not do it. In fact, that statement implies a reduction is inevitable because incoming new residents using 42 groups will push the system over its threshold. In that respect it looks like the number of groups was set looking at current resident levels and did not consider future growth.

    Residents also need to be aware that although connecting to Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks sounds exciting, it also means linking into your Real Life information. Facebook is especially keen on enforcing its TOS policy of not allowing avatar-based (false names or alias) members; they can and have deleted accounts based on avatar names and information. So if you link into any of the social networks plan to either run the risk of having an avatar-based account deleted or being directly associated with your Real Life identity.

    As always, remember the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Peace and love everyone!

  9. Linden Lab's New CEO


    Welcome Mr. Humble! I wish I had seen this before going to church and starting holiday celebrations but your upcoming staff enjoys dropping bombs and then fleeing for the weekend (or in this case longer)!

    Hopefully you will read the comments above with interest and take notes. Let me echo some of the most important:

    For most residents, SL is NOT a game. I am certain that your background will be a valuable asset in the development of the platform but every day start by saying. "This is not a game, these are real people."

    Customer service should be your number one priority walking into the position. The viewer 2.XX debacle, lack of help desk assistance, and search malfunctions are just a few items that need fixing under the umbrella of customer service. Currently the majority of SL users are NOT satisfied with service and are currently looking hard for alternative platforms. Competition will come so you will be fighting the clock on this one.

    As you become 'familiar' with SL in-world, remember to manually set your viewer to accept adult content so you don't miss the 1/3 of the platform that has 2/3rds of the activity!  If you would like a tour guide please let me know and I will be more than happy to accompany you.

    Finally, simply lead. Take charge of the ship and get it in a direction your customers want to see. Hire a good public relations officer to make professional statements (before 5:30 PM on a Friday and then fleeing for the weekend), edit staff announcements (so LL does not look silly or hypocritical), and oversee the Lab's (lack of) public image. Finally, hire someone to oversee the in-world economics of SL who understands the impact of decisions such as the elimination of gambling, banning the banking system, forced sequestering of adult content, free Linden home rentals, SLMarket Place, etc. This is, of course, if Linden Lab's goal is to maintain a viable economic system and not reduce it to a pay-in only 'game' like Farmville.

    Good luck! As I state in all my posts, remember that the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Love and peace!


  10. I am going to go out on a limb here knowing full well this will probably get flagged off, but....

    While we all had fun at the Linden-sponsored PG Winterfest event there were also many parties, activities, and concerts held on the other 1/3 of the grid in adult regions. Some were exceptionally creative such as The Nightie Before Christmas party, the Polar Bear Skinny-Dip, Santa's Ho Ho Ho show, and I'm Dreaming of a Zombie Christmas. We know the Lindens will never acknowledge or attend these events but hundreds of residents put in thousands of hours creating them and I think they should be commended as well.

    I also encourage Linden Lab to start allowing the adult-rated regions to create mature-rated booths and exhibits for their annual events such as Winterfest, SL8B, and others. So far most adult-rated projects are rejected before applications are even read simply because the name of the location is taboo for Linden Lab.  My Christmas wish this year is for the Lab to grow into a costomer-based company and mature their content views to the level of the residents that built their world.

    As a great philosopher once said, "Come on, you do it. You love to do it. We all do it. You do it... I do it, I love to do it. I just did it and I'm ready to do it again, don't tell me you don't do it!" Linden Lab... Just do it!

    Happy holidays everyone, love and peace to you all!

  11. Viewer 2.4 Released!


    Oh, I forgot another obsevation!  Why does Linden Lab release things right at closing on Friday night (or even later as is the case above) and then flee for the weekend?  You would think if they released something they were proud of or that they expected to get good reviews about that they would do it on Monday, have some office hours soon after, etc. etc. Or in the case of something that might have issues, they would release it when they have full help-desk hours instead of the limited hours and staff on the weekends. Hmm...

    Ok, back to the grind in-world! Have fun everyone!

  12. Viewer 2.4 Released!


    So not to point out the obvious, but here it goes...

    Did anyone notice the 2.4 Beta was released on December 3 and today December 16 it was released as the default? That is 13 days apart... but it gets better. The 3rd was on a Friday which means two weekends have passed and we all know LL shuts down Saturday and Sunday. That leaves 9 working days between the Beta and full release.  Are we really to believe all the Beta testers submitted full reviews, LL had enough time to sift through them to establish a priority list, correct all on that priority list, and then release the viewer?  Hmmm....

    I also liked this line, "Viewer 2 performance is improving, as shown by steadily decreasing crash rates that are now close to those for Viewer 1.23, but we know there’s still more to do..." I had to laugh because in one statement Esbee admitted that 1.23 is still more reliable AND that it is the bar for which they are trying to get Viewer 2.XX up to!  I admit it is nice to get strait comments like this from LL but from a business side who in their PR department is letting comments like this get published!??

    Oh well, SL plods on. I will take the above as a recommendation to stick to Viewer 1.23 until they fix Viewer 2.XX or run out of update numbers in March and release Viewer 3.0! As always, remember the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Peace and love everyone!


  13. If Viewer 2.4 is a maintenance update it will only be a matter of months before Linden Lab runs out of 2-point numbers and we get to Viewer 3.0. At that point Linden Lab will say with great fanfare and gusto, "We have heard you loud and clear and have dropped Viewer 2.XX as our flagship! Enjoy all the perks of Viewer 3!"

    I obviously mean this in jest as a slightly humorous observation... unless it comes true... in which case I get credit forseeing it first!

    Peace and love everyone!


  14. Thank you Wayfinder for the comments. Yours echos those by Lannorra Sion above and I think I can address both with one reply. First, you are right as far as what I have heard second-hand; Linden Lab has messed with many accounts in many ways when residents hit a bad payment status. For the most part it is an automated response such as when a credit card expires and you have to call in to update it. It has always been Linden Lab's standard operation not to do anything for an automated frozen account until the holder calls in, and if a length of time passes a loss of inventory may occure if a system purge deletes inactive data.  For this reason and others, most business owners keep three avatars in use, one for personal fun, one for business, and one for back-up. That way if you do run into the 'bad credit goblin,' loose your business avatar, or there is a data dump it is not a complete loss. With Linden Lab's reduction in staffing and customer service this past year, I recommend this more than ever.

    On a simular note, remember that if your avatar does get revoked that any inventory, land, etc. has NO value in real life BUT any pre-paid services such as a yearly membership, advertising as described above, pre-paid tier, etc. can have a claim set against it as a failure to deliver service (you would be due the pre-paid portion that was not used at the time the account was frozen).

    I think that covers your comments and I will wrap up with this last thought. Any company may freeze a client account if there is non-payment or a payment dispute. That is just good business practice and one I expect Linden Lab follows. You do have to be prepared for that and there are ways to safeguard yourself as I have described above. Linden Lab, like any other company, can also refuse you as a client at any time. What they can't do, however, is take your money and then refuse the service you pre-paid them for.

    I hope that helps and as always I wish everyone love and peace!


  15. Vangel, this brings up a good point. Linden Lab can definately pull anything they want, it is their service after all. BUT... and this is a big one... because they are only accepting Real Life currency they are obligated to either provide the service or give you a refund NO MATTER WHAT THEIR POLICY STATES! This is simple fraud law 101. Instead of getting into any lawsuits, however, simply use a credit card issued by a company that has a lost/damaged/fraud protection plan. If your ad is pulled, simply fill out a loss report with your credit card company and their service department will represent your claim against Linden Lab free of charge.  With Linden Lab currently so understaffed that they are automatically dumping a percentage of their service requests, they most likely will not fight any claims made on your behalf by the major credit card companies. If they are foolish enough to fight a claim they have no legal option except to provide the service or give a refund.  Granted this does not prevent Linden Lab from arbitrarily pulling ads but it does guarentee they cannot do it without refunding your payment. I hope that helps!


  16. Summer, I think you are hitting some interesting points but are off the mark due to a lack of information. Let me add this tidbit I learned about 6 months ago and then let you run with how it affects your theory.

    The major companies you mentioned all left at a very particular time because of a change Linden Lab made to the content policy. When SL first started, the TOS policy stated that all content creators retained exclusive rights to their property, content, and loaded material. In 2007, however, Linden Lab changed that policy to basically state anything loaded or created in SL was owned by Linden Lab with copyrights and other content protections granted out as a second party contract of sorts. This caused most RL companies to withdraw from Linden Lab and Second Life for legal reasons with no intent on returning (and they stated this very openly in most cases).  This fact has come up again during conversations between the companies and non-profits / educators. The latter are consulting the former pending their withdrawal from Second Life at the end of the month before their land and tier rates double The big companies being consulted have run on OpenSim and other platforms for three years and have so far been very eager to help the outgoing non-profits / educators much to everyone's relief.

    One other thought is that we all need to acknowledge that Linden Lab is a for-profit, bottom line company now. Their investors are demanding either returns on their investment and/or preparing the company to sell at a price where they can get some or all of their investment back (it is anyone's guess right now which it is). Some clear examples of this are the emergence of a web-based Linden Lab controlled marketplace that does not promote in-world stores or sales; home and land sale programs designed to undermine in-world renters and realtors; TOS changes claiming ownership of all content; the elimination of reasonable rates for non-profits / educators who are not allowed to have revenue-creating resources; etc. etc. Linden Lab is nothing more than any other game-based company running an entertainment grid platform for their profit. Once we accept the way Linden Lab views themselves today the faster we can get past being 'surprised' and upset by announcements such as the one above.

    With that said Summer, I look forward to seeing how you revise your theory! Peace and love everyone!


  17. I love the fact that this announcement has  been out less than 24 hours and in that time there have been 216 lengthy replies of which 90% are about how this is a bad idea!  We all knew Linden Lab was going to ignore the previous million comments requesting some sort of identification of teens for the protection of ADULTS. In fact, I was so certain of it when they first made the announcement that I went to my university's school of law and asked their faculty for advice. Here is what they told me much to my relief.

    Virtual worlds have very few local laws and even fewer national laws written specifically about them which is why companies like Linden Lab are ripe for lawyers looking to set precedents. Those cases, however, are aimed exclusively at the company and not their users as the company usually makes two errors; they don't think they can be sued because there are few precedents / laws and they fail to provide adequate privacy / security for their users.  Cases such as those against Yahoo for allowing pedophile chat rooms and Facebook for privacy violations are good examples. Cases against users are very rare because of the law's evidence requirements. In brief, local law enforcement must be able to prove that the actions of an individual were made by that individual without a doubt.  This is why computers are confiscated and other real life, real time evidence is collected at the time someone is charged.  To complicate matters a little bit, here in the United States the viewing of nude or explicitly sexual or violent caricatures by children is not illegal unless they depict under-aged acts. Chalk that one up to the fight between art / freedom of speech and pornography with comic books getting the nod as art so far. Another good analogy I was given to the above was the music industry where the production companies are liable for lawsuits and not the artists producing it, the stores selling it or the parents buying it for their children (I am a child of the early 00's but was there really a song by Guns and Roses in the 1980’s that had a live sex act recorded on it???).

    So (I asked) where does that leave me as an adult in Second Life?  Can I be arrested and charged under the concept of "guilt by association."  Their reply was "No" because Linden Lab's own policies and statements protect me as a user unless I am intentionally seeking out under-aged people, identifying them in real life for myself, and then providing content and / or trying to convince them to do an illegal act (in other words, purposely trying to circumnavigate the security / privacy protocals set up by Linden Lab).   What the law school recommended was to print a paper copy of Second Life's TOS and any statement directly made by Linden Lab saying that underage users are kept separate from and cannot access areas with adult content. Once a company makes that type of statement, the users are being assured that the company's security and verification processes will keep the two age groups separated. This is why the cases against Yahoo and Facebook do not include claims against their users.

    This is of course a condensed version of all the information I received but it is enough to make my point here.  I cannot speak for other nations, but we as adults in the USA are fairly well protected as users because Linden Lab assures that their security and privacy practices do keep under aged and adult content separate. I know we have all pinpointed every loop-hole teens will use to get adult content in Second Life and have told Linden Lab over and over and over how it can be done (that is actually to our - the users - advantage because we as a community tried to prevent it as a whole).  Linden Lab, however, has made very specific statements such as this announcement which clearly say, "These Residents will not be able to enter Moderate- nor Adult-rated regions, even if they have payment information on file and/or have used our Web-based identity verification system." As adult residents, all we need to do is copy and hold onto a current TOS agreement and the announcement above as our proof that Linden Lab has assured us under aged interaction is not possible unless we ourselves willfully try to circumnavigate their security and privacy protocols.

    This of course has no bearing on protecting the teens which I also feel strongly about. I agree with most of you that it will not be long before lawyers and mass media pick up the story and put Linden Lab under the gun again. As adult users, however, I feel pretty confident that we will be avoiding any "guilt by association" issues as long as we are not willfully preying upon the teen users.

    I hope this helps some of you deal with the whole teen-inclusion mess.  If I had to predict an outcome, I am nearly certain either nothing will happen legally if Linden Lab is able to keep this out from under the media scope or they will change their policies rapidly once CNN starts showing teens looking at all the adult pixel bumping going on in the mature regions next door.

    As always, remember the first rule in Second Life is to have fun! Peace and love everyone!


  18. Did anyone else notice that at 4:28:33 PM (PDT), Philip Linden wrote, "Changing my role, and searching for a new CEO" followed by Viewer 2.2.0 being released at 4:37:55 PM (PDT)? That officially means that Philip was NOT the CEO of Linden Labs for any of you having complaints about Viewer 2.2.00.  Don't even think about blaming him, he is not responsible! Seriously, he said it himself that "... we all feel like we are in a better place now, with a clearer sense of direction and more focus..." That means everything was running smoothly and without issues before Philip left to go play with his LoveMachine. I don't want to hear one word otherwise. If you are going to complain and point fingers, then Bob Komin is the one to blame. He took over as CEO long before Viewer 2.2.0 was released and Second Life started going downhill after Philip's latest departure.  Stay or leave for OpenSim or wherever else you think is more stable and better, just don't think Philip had anything to do with Second Life's eventual outcome!  He was the great creator and will always have my unwavering love and devotion! God bless you my hero!

    This moment of sarcasm was brought to you by Viewer 2.2.0, same great product with a new fresh scent! All rights reserved, a Bob Komin production.


  19. Jack Linden writes: Although the base technology that drives mesh is in good shape, we still have some way to go before this is production ready.

    Jack Linden means: Mesh will be released onto the main grid next week, we are just giving our customers lip service. We gave our mesh team the week off to celebrate their half-made product before releasing it.

    Jack Linden writes: They will look like flat shapes and will not resemble the real mesh objects .

    Jack Linden means: Now I have all you that complain about Viewer 2.0 by the !  Wa-ha-ha-ha! Whatcha going to do now, leave for OpenSim or another paltry alternative? You will pay my rate increases, watch as your businesses collapse under the flood of torrential mesh downloads, drudge through the constant flaws I embed in my products and embrace lag like a commercial break every fifteen minutes!  You will do this and more, cursing my name while taking the stale bread from my hands and thanking me for my kindness!  Kneel son of Jor-El....

    >>Snaps awake!<<

    Oh shoot, I fell asleep again reading the threads. What a dream I just had....

    Love and peace everyone!


  20. Just for fun lets test how good Linden Lab's service is now. I mentioned earlier here that I had a ticket still listed as "new" from July 1. Well, with ticket history finally back up I was . . . well, read below. This is the ticket I just submitted (again). I will keep you posted on the progress and you are welcome to comment as we go.  Time to have some fun!

    ________________________

    Linden Lab Ticket 00930656

    Between 08:25:10 and 10:20:06 on July 1, 2010, two automated payout scripts operating on Orgy Island incorrectly paid out funds from my account to others. The original two payouts logged at 8:25 and 8:26 each for L$600 are correct, but then they were paid out a second time incorrectly at 8:52 when Linden Labs corrected a known payout issue that was posted on the Grid Status board.

    I first reported this with ticket number 00840009 at 6:37:46 on 2010-07-02 (July 2) and updated / requested action again with an update on 2010-09-13 at 01:26:10. At that time it was still listing it as “new.”

    In an attempt to update my request for correction, ticket 00840009 now fails to load according to the ticket history.

    I am submitting this new ticket and requesting a reimbursement of L$1200 to my account.  This was a double-payout error caused by a Linden Lab server / software issue.  The following are the four transactions referred to above:

    6db47c28-53c6-fa63-f26b-0e8116f69e49 on 2010-07-01 at 08:25:10 to : Paid L$600

    0aa1fa9d-f8ad-8452-ba57-b835e96b5013 on 2010-07-01 at 08:26:45 to : Paid L$600

    3e2a59a6-9944-9cbd-be1c-6fac861cce30 on 2010-07-01 at 08:52:36 to : Paid L$600

    c0e194a4-d79f-cb0f-e909-a482a519908f on  2010-07-01 at 08:52:37 to : Paid L$600

     


  21. I was going to write a smart comment listing a specific ticket number from the first week of July that has yet to be moved from "new" status but like many have noted above the ticket history has been down for several days.

    Do I need to say more?  I mean... well do I? I am not sure if I should point out the obvious for fear of appearing to be talking down to Linden Lab. Then again it seems they miss the obvious.  Can anyone help me out here? Should I say more about the quality of service?

    Love and peace everyone!


  22. I can't say that I have kept up much with this part of Linden Lab's evolution but here are a few loose comments:

    Its nice to see that Second Life is down to one real-world product purchasing site again. It will be less confusing for the diminishing number of new residents and should take up less time for merchants once all the kinks are worked out.

    There are several things that seem to be overlooked as always despite the repetitive requests from the customers Linden Lab says they are listening too. They include the 5-day lag of cashing out to PayPal, lack of favorites, apparent continued lack of service, etc. The most perplexing thing is that Linden Lab rolled out an incomplete product again. I have never seen any retail business roll out a new sales site without having everything migrated over and several test runs made. This seems to be in-line with their rolling out a lot of product changes since their lay-offs which leads to an interesting point made by a real-life merger consultant in another forum...

    Since the 33% layoffs this past spring, Linden Labs has closed all its foreign offices (the UK office closed this last week), rolled out every project they had in the works whether it was ready to or not, shut down all their purchased branch companies such as Avatars United, XStreet, etc., made a significant drop in customer service (man-hours diverted from customer service to clearing in-house issues), and are in the process of running out their publicly-funded clients (doubling rates for non-profits and educators in the middle of their fiscal cycle). Combined together, this is a text-book case of preparing a company for sale where all liabilities are being settled to either satisfy an on-going negotiation or make it look attractive to potential buyers.

    That thought aside, I am most saddened to see this change because although it seems an improvement in the two-dimensional sales world of standard website marketing it is in fact furthering the regression of shopping in the three-dimensional world of Second Life. Merchants no longer are finding a need or desire to maintain in-world stores or even display their items. Instead, they rent enough land to form a link to the website marketplace and rely on self-automated affiliate venders distributed by third-party in-world buyers believing they can make a few lindens by setting up mini-shops and getting a commission.  This fundamental change from in-world to real-world sales, however, could be a good thing if the marketplace merchants find a way to sell their products to both the closed system of Second Life AND to the emerging open systems of OpenSim and others. A simple tag on their products saying, "This item is also available for OpenSim use by visiting our home at www.---.com." would be a huge marketing benefit to the merchants.  With all the non-profit and education regions looking to migrate out of Second Life in the next 90 days, this has significant potential for merchants who probably already know their Second Life products will be highly sought in other platforms very soon.

    Of course I could take that thought process one step further. If the new marketplace becomes widely used as a source of products for both Second Life AND similar open systems, that would make it look extremely attractive to a buyout. In that case, a new owner would purchase Linden Lab, take its core materials to create an easy open platform system and viewer, hype up the marketplace for sales to those open systems they support, and shut down the rest. That sounds too familiar though... I don't think that would ever happen.

    As always, remember rule number one in Second Life is to have fun! Peace and love everyone!

     

     


  23. Well put Qui!  This is exactly the options that education and non-profits will be looking at this week. Option 1 - pay the increase - is simply not viable for most schools and non-profits at this time of year. Option 2 & 3 have them leave Second Life entirely which actually causes a decrease in revenue and grid use for Linden Lab. Option 3 - cut back half their presence in Second Life - will probably be the most common because schools have to use their money for what it was budgeted for. That will get them though the end of their fiscal year and consequently provide no increase in revenue for Linden Labs (not to mention loss of good-will and a ton of other associated benefits).  At the end of the year the non-profits will be going to their boards and grant agencies with new requests. At those meetings they will present the new more expensive (and less service orientated) Second Life option alongside others like OpenSim. Assuming that the funding agents agree a virtual presence is still worthwhile, I think at the very least that Second Life will seem way overpriced for the product. On the other hand, this could be the catalyst that has OpenSim break out as the prefered virtual world and frees everyone from Second Life once and for all.  Now there is an interesting outcome!


  24. As tongue-in-cheek at this conversation with the Dean is, it is exactly what has been happening this PAST year BEFORE this rate increase announcement. If you don't think so, call any university and ask their Second Life support staff. Better yet, go to the New Media Consortium website and read how they started seriously looking at converting to OpenSim starting two years ago. For educators and non-profits, the cost-to-product ratio was slightly different between Second Life and OpenSim but not enough to tip it one way or the other. This huge price increase, however, will completely unbalance that ratio in favor of OpenSim for educators. In other words, OpenSim is the only option that will fit the budgets and needs of education and non-profits who want to maintain a Second Life-type experience. If that is still too complicated to understand, think of it this way; you can't buy a $10 toy with a $5 bill. Get it?

    In reply to those who feel the education sims are a waste of space and not occupied frequently, you are right. These sims are for educational purposes, a place to learn, hold classes, and use as a lab. They are not used 24/7, cannot sell items or collect rent, and are not meant for entertainment. That is what justifies the reduced pricing on the school side. On the other side, Linden Lab benefits tremendously from schools. Each semester hundreds (thousands) of students world-wide have to mandatorily discover Second Life for their classes. That is better than any suggestive advertising. Don't forget too that Linden Lab gets to write off the discount as a non-profit donation.

    As I see it, standard residents better get ready for a rate increase soon because this change for educators is going to cost way more than it makes. Non-profits will simply leave for what they can afford in OpenSim. That will cause Linden Lab to have fewer regions and fewer new residents. Less income + fewer residents = greater cost per remaining resident = rate increase.

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