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Rene Erlanger

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About Rene Erlanger

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  1. I wish LL could cut their Tier fees....but i don't think they could, because of their large overhead costs. I think it will only be possible once LL generated other popular income streams (e.g maybe an app for mobiles)....and become less dependent on Sim/ Land income. They're losing Estate sims gradually...but it's high risk to assume that the hole would be plugged with new Sim owners if LL reduced the Sim tiers by 30 or 40 or 50%
  2. LillyBeth Filth wrote: The problem iies in the fact as merchants, we train consumers on what to expect so if there is even 1/4 of the available content being sold for 10L or free then even in a healthy RL economy, consumers start to question " Why should I buy X product when I know I can find something similar for free?" In the current economy that sentiment is doubled or tripled. It's a case of Merchants (collectively) killing their own economy over time.....we're not entirely there yet! It will be once you see quality Houses and large builds ending up as freebies.....or what were once expensive scripted gadgets. Then you'll know that the SL economy won't be worth much! Once you've reached that state...it's impossible to reverse,.... even as you've stated.....in a buoyant RL economy!
  3. ....but you are right in my opinion! I was warning about Freebies an age ago, as far back as the SLEX forums (if they can be googled)....ever since when BIAB first came onto the scene......now the problem has come back home to roost! :smileysad:
  4. Morgaine Christensen wrote: What really concerns me, we as merchants, are cutting our own throats. So, if you are a resident, new or old, you slap these boards...say 10-15 a day for a week...you have a whole new wardrobe for FREE. Now, if you can get all these FREE items...and we are not talking mediocre items here....why in the world would you want to spend real money and BUY something when you can get it for free? Or, you can join a group and get their group gift for free then drop the group? I can't tell you how many times people in the various groups make it known they are not going to spend one dime of their own money when they can get anything they want for free. I am NOT saying that all group members or customers are like that...I am just saying if you can get it for free that is where they are going to go. Isn't part of the problem our customers have the attitude give it to me for free and our attitude has been sure here you go...can I give you something else so you will come back and bring your friends so my traffic count is high...maybe I will entice a paying customer in? I have even heard in these groups, "Oh did you hear such and such is closing. What a shame, they always have nice stuff on their MMs." Folks have no clue that shops close cause they can't survive. Something needs to be done and quickly if anyone wishes to stay in business.I don't know what it is but lets stop giving away what we work so hard to make _end of rant There you have it...and the real problem for a lot of SL market sectors.....and its been going on for several years now.!! Hunts have a similar effect.....again quality free items....and masses of them! I stated earlier that over 50% of monthly repeat SL logins...do not spend a dime on Second Life. It's easy to see why. I also asked the hypothetical question, what if this occurred in real life?...well it doesn't really. We don't have shops in our Shopping Malls or in the High Street handing out free items...but we have seen the effects of something similar. The effect of Walmart and other Superstores with bulk purchase discounts capabilities...that have so many farmers & suppliers in their pockets. Small shops cannot compete in terms of pricing for equivalent quality! I know in the UK its devastated the landscape across both small & large towns putting a lot of smaller shops out of business.
  5. lol...in UK it's about $10 usd per gallon...and has been around that for a few years now. Most of the price is made up of taxes. (Fuel Duty & VAT)...i can only dream of $4-5 usd per gallon. We probably paid that in the the late 1990's!!
  6. Medhue Simoni wrote: I talked to a number of the merchants over at IMVU. From our conversations, I got the impression that the majority thought that SL content creation was far more complex than it actually is. Maybe it was the coding aspect, cause they don't really seem like the coding type of crowd there. This was all somewhat funny for me, as the IMVU animation creation workflow is far more complex than SL, but way more limiting as to what your avatar can actually do with those animations. The biggest impression I got from them, was that SL was super expensive. They generally thought that you had to buy a sim to be a merchant. I tried to explain that it doesn't cost a merchant anything, if you want, and that IMVU was WAY more expensive for a merchant than SL. It is quite hilarious to see a community where content creation is actually way more complex and almost impossibly profitable, think that SL is worse for them. :smileyvery-happy: I spoke to a number of their Merchants too...on their forums and in private messages. One leading content provider who creates on both Second Life and IMVU....said it's easier to make the transition from SL to IMVU as a creator.....than the other way round.
  7. Medhue Simoni wrote: Although, IMVU does do some things right, they do quite a bit very wrong. IMVU does not rent out land, they take a massive cut on the content that they sell. You must "derive" everything you make from a default IMVU created object. This is also why they spend more on getting people to buy stuff. Animation is heavily promoted there. I made 2 animations there and sold both a number of times, even tho I've never been back. IMVU made more on them than I did, and I have no way of even cashing out, unless I want to pay some 3rd party 30% to get some real money. So, to any merchant, SL wins, hands down. IMVU has some of the same problem as SL tho, which is retention. They have 150k or more strictly because they market themselves so much. As soon as you take away the marketing, it all will fall apart. Without newbies, their economy fails. SL is quite a bit different in that respect. It is not the newbies that keep the economy up here. Heck, it will be weeks now before a newb even needs to buy something, lol. 1) IMVU is an entirely different model, it's not based on land, but rather on their rooms, which in effect is the user's playground with house and outdoor parts. I suppose they could charge a nominal fee for having that room and lessen the commission on Catalog products. They would have to crunch the numbers and see what it does to retention rates. Retention rates are probably an issue for most online games. How does WOW do? Marketing & Advertising are part of normal day-to-day business costs.....the fact is that Second Life have never significantly spent money on it. Mark Kingdon when he joined LL stated in an interview that LL didn't really have a Marketing budget as such (or not meaningful one!)
  8. There were only a few hundred Teen sims to begin with....probably less than the size of the Zindra continent. It wasn't solely for costs.....it was Phillip's initial vision. The gamble was expecting the large influx of teenagers (just like IMVU)...but it never materialised.
  9. Things on SL have been broken for over 8 years....depends which parts really irritate you! Smooth Sim crossings would be nice. Freebies in themselves are not bad, it's the sheer quantity that's hit the grid over the years that's taken it's toll......it's bound to! How can you have an economy "loosely" based on supply and demand...when you have such large quantities of Freebies available. Can you imagine how Shopping Malls & High Streets would look like if that were hypothetically the case in the RW too? (for argument sake, ignore costs & manufacturing processes) IMVU has 6 million products listed on their Catalog shopping site.....not a single item is free! It hasn't done their concurrency any harm with peak logins of 140-150k.....with a younger userbase that has less disposable income!
  10. Madeliefste Oh wrote: Rene Erlanger wrote: Second Life could scale upwards, but they would have to make changes to their architecture and adopt a totally different approach. For instance they could decrease the loads by splitting the Main grid into different logins e.g all Mainland sims on one networked Grid and all Estate Sims on another..so effectively 2 different login screens. They already have that now with agni and aditi (Beta Grid)....and could use or develop Interoperability Grid technology to travel from one Grid to another without having to log out....and with Inventory transferred (or waiting) for you. This was something Phillip & his team were working with OS Grid developers a few years back.....in typical LL fashion it became another aborted and canned project.....but this is actually the future for Open Sim grids. LL cannot do that, LL is not the copyright holder of the items stored in inventories. The only reasoning for splitting the Main Grid is to decrease loads so it could scale upwards. but if both grids were part of Second Life....there must be a way to make accessible the same Inventory to be used in both parts. The only reason for splitting the Grid into 2 , is to decrease loads and thereby allowing to scale upwards......otherwise SL would forever have a ceiling of 80-90k peak logins before it falls over.
  11. LillyBeth Filth wrote: Perhaps the amount of freebies and freeloaders is at least part of the problem - it drives prices down and it drives consumers to "expect" freebies were once they expected to pay. I predicted this scenario over 3 years on these SL forums.......so here we are now! :smileysad: The gradual effects of price dumping!! You know the SL economy is in bad shape, when you see half decent Skins being sold for 100 L !! Over 50% of SL regular users, don't spend a single Linden dollar during any given month! LillyBeth Filth wrote: IMVU.com have around 140,000 logged in any any given time. IMVU.com market themselves everywhere. IMVU.com does not have freebies. Their marketplace has no platform for them. In short, if you place something on the marketplace you literally can not price it for free. Bingo!! :smileywink: If Linden Lab had IMVU's top level management.....Second Life would probably be twice as big with twice it's daily concurrency by now! . IMVU has relentlessly marketed themselves over the last 3-4 years right across the Internet.....and at the right time i.e during a recession! LillyBeth Filth wrote: One incentive to pay for a premium account at IMVU.com is the ability to become a merchant, you can't do that with a free account and as such, by paying for premium they also verify your ID by way of PayPal and email. You also have to digitally sign to say you have read and agreed to the TOS for being a merchant which includes understanding copyright and how to avoid it and the penelty if you choose to ignore it, which in theory at least, increases the quality of merchants and reduces copyright violations (Again, in theory) LL could learn a thing or two from IMVU's model. LillyBeth Filth wrote: IMVU.com's client is browser based (something that LL looked into 2 yrs ago) and as such they have no limitations to how many people log on at the same time. SL's client cannot manage more than 80K at the same time (Dont quote me on the exact figure) so LL cannot be as aggresive in their marketing campaigns due to technical limitations. I don't like IMVU.com, you can't compare the two platforms, SL wins hands down when it comes to the virtual experience but it seems they have a recipe for success. Yep, I don't like IMVU either...Second Life wins hands down in most departments. Second Life could scale upwards, but they would have to make changes to their architecture and adopt a totally different approach. For instance they could decrease the loads by splitting the Main grid into different logins e.g all Mainland sims on one networked Grid and all Estate Sims on another..so effectively 2 different login screens. They already have that now with agni and aditi (Beta Grid)....and could use or develop Interoperability Grid technology to travel from one Grid to another without having to log out....and with Inventory transferred (or waiting) for you. This was something Phillip & his team were working with OS Grid developers a few years back.....in typical LL fashion it became another aborted and canned project.....but this is actually the future for Open Sim grids. "OpenSim also uses an architecture known as "Hypergrid", which allows users to teleport between multiple OpenSim-based virtual worlds by providing a hyperlinked map which indexes public grids. This allows for public grids to retain teleportation links to each other without having to be on the same grid So yes, Second Life could scale upwards...but their approach would have to be quite different!
  12. A couple things, as entertainment budgets are cut....it's usually RL activities like holidays, restaurants, theaters, subscriptions to any hobby activities. Actual home entertainment increases (computers, movie subscriptions, Cable TV, XBox etc etc) as it acts as a cheaper substitute. Other MMOG platforms have grown during the recession but not Second Life. That's because Linden Lab have failed to market their own product, whilst others have. You have to remember Second Life is FREE to play, you don't need to own land...and there's plenty of content that's freely available to improve Avatar appearances. ....yet still Second Life concurrency hasn't grown. In terms of Private Estate sims on the Grid, were back down to summer 2009 levels (23k)....so even due to the lack of Linden Lab marketing, the Sim count is no worst than the beginning of the recession. I do agree that Linden Lab can't reduce Tier fees that much....as they have a lot of overhead costs. They cannot replace Marketplace commissions (a Sink) with their main Income stream, which Land & Sim fees......the maths just doesn't stack up at all! Sim & land tiers are something like $6 Million usd a month, whilst MP commissions as a sink converted into USD would be around 100k usd p/mth (That's from charging 5% comm, so even if they upped it to 30% comm, it still will be little by comparison)
  13. There you have it! It's including words & phrases in Description (or Details) box. Search "relevance" should be based on Product name and Keywords box. For 2 or 3 word phrases, it should be based with exact match being weighted higher than any partial matches.
  14. By Linden Lab standards.....if MP is working for 51% of SL Users.....the system is ok and working! :smileywink:
  15. It's not only if SL had all it's functionality working properly....and had all the shinies bolted on.......and it was the best 3D platform around, it still requires Linden Lab to market it, to the outside world. If the userbase doesn't grow...we're stuck in limbo.
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