Vektor Linden testing Mono on the Beta Grid with SLer Opensource Obscure
Shawn "Vektor Linden" Kunkel is a longtime colleague who joined Linden Lab a couple years before I left the company to write my book on the birth of Second Life. Acting as Linden Lab's Server QA Lead for over five years, he's remained a dedicated supporter of Second Life, and recently, after reading reports that Second Life masterpieces were disappearing because their owners were no longer able to pay the company's monthly tier, posted a passionate plea for the company to be creative with its revenue model.
"Second only to the years in my youth where I worked on the sea with my grandfather," he tells, "my time as an employee at Linden Lab were the most rewarding of my professional life. I had the great privilege of working for an extremely innovative, smart company. To round it all out, our Residents were bar none when it came to their enthusiasm and contribution to the incredible world that we built. So I write this message with love and deep respect to those at the Lab who are in a position to make decisions regarding the monetization of the platform."
His open letter and revenue suggestions after the break:
Shawn with SL founder Philip Rosedale and founding investor/board member Mitch Kapor
I was a Linden for 6 years, from 2004 - 2010. I fought those high tier prices every step of the way (even before they were implemented), arguing that more residents paying lower prices would more than make up the difference, and open the doors to even more people wanting to join.
Linden Lab, if you are listening, I urge you to sharply drop your land and premium rates, do a huge marketing push. For example, 'give away' a lot of those vacant parcels for 6 months, without the ability to resell them; in this push, reach out to former and potential residents, and get people in the door... and breathe some life back into this amazing space.
Some other ideas:
- Very short ads on the splash screen (make it a hook that 3rd party browsers must adhere to, or login fails).
- Sponsor teleports (short ads could be buffered in the client prior to teleporting).
- Implement short/simple, non-intrusive ads in the clients for non-paying residents (as well as visitors to the 'free' parcels I described above), and draw on metatags and usage patterns (this is a superb use of your data warehouse) so they are more appropriate for each individual resident.
- Create effective pathways for real life and in-world businesses to sponsor parcels and regions.
There are tons of other things that are just as feasible that could work, and bring in significant revenue for the Lab. Be creative, please! The math can work in so many ways -- just do something, for the sake of the Second Life that so many of us share and love, and that countless others have yet to discover.
Best wishes from the guy formerly known as Vektor Linden.
Of all these suggestions I especially like the non-intrusive ads for non-paying customers -- a nudge for people to consider going Premium, while bringing in a decent stream of monthly cash to the hundreds of thousands who haven't yet converted. In any case, I welcome his ideas and hope other Lindens (past and present) come forward to present their own.