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Friday, February 27, 2009

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Ann Otoole

With Linden Lab running the show you can be sure nobody will see your expensive classified ads anyway. Of course there are issues finding anything. Have been for some time since this issue with LL turning off classifieds on the all search has been going for a while. (They finally turned it back on today after an uproar began) Of course their apparently outsourced to people with no knowledge whatsoever of Second Life support staff will tell you to clear your cache since that is all they see on their pop screen as a potential solution to 100% of all issues with Second Life. Of course we know the issue with classifieds had nothing to do with the story they are now telling related to "mature flags and cache" since the ads were not showing after a clean reinstall with no chance of a bad cache.

The issues with Second Life begin and end with their so-called tao and the unwillingness to hold people personally accountable for errors. Perhaps refunding all classifieds for a week and deducting the expense from the pay of the people responsible might help convince them that errors are no longer acceptable.

You simply can't find anything in Second Life anymore. Second Life needs to be cataloged and Linden Lab does not appear to have either the talent or the resources to do it right.

Shoulda built the metadata repository first. As usual the same error all companies that refuse to follow proper information discipline make.

Gigantopithecus Hellershanks

I think its more of an SL issue and an economic issue. We're in a time right now where people are keeping their money in their pocket or being very frugal in how they spend. How is an estate owner going to compete at all in these times with 100 extra in tier as opposed to the mainland. I do realize sims like this one offer something that perhaps Mainland would never offer, but still 100 dollars a month is a lot of savings in these times. I think at some point Linden is going to have confront the land price. I imagine if they don't owning a private estate will just be a luxury that the wealthy can afford to toss around 295 a month, because I'll be honest I dont see anyone who is struggling or is trying to keep their virtual business afloat to really make back that 295 in tier without it breaking your back.

The original appeal to many in Second Life is to come and have the opportunity to make money. The success stories seem to be coming less and less and I feel partly because people are hurting to pay their rent to Linden. If Linden lowered prices or even got rid of their 1200 set up fee, it would leave more money for peoples business to sustain themselves... more feel good stories about how people are really making money here and would drive more people to Second Life.

Jovin

Surely we just need more people spending more time (and therefore more money) inworld? Owning (or renting) land in SL changes your relationship with it, gives you a stake and encourages you to spend time inworld. So we need to give more people the taste for land-ownership - I've previously suggested giving new signups a piece of free land for an intro period ( http://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-3821 ), but it's not the only way to do it.

Cutting existing prices might keep more of the existing builds in place for longer and might stimulate a few more people to buy - altho' I doubt many new users first thought is to buy a full private island - but it could also reduce the money Linden make each month and make SL less profitable and does anyone think that's a good idea in the present climate?

The land economy as it's currently structured makes more money for Linden if it has a lot of owners each with small parcels of land - a few big landowners with huge estates makes less money since the average tier per m2 they pay is significantly less than smallholders pay. There are 2 birds sitting here waiting to be hit with our one stone - get more smallholders into SL and sustain, or even boost, SL's overall profitability thereby reducing the need for Linden to further screw their existing customer base by hiking prices.

YP

I feel sorry for all the talented people who wont get the chance to shape their own sims.

If the set up fee was 100 and monthly tier 50, I'd be in there like a shot.

anotheridear

I am very steampunky and I gave up on Rivet Town after a few tries. The roleplay rules were way too intense. There were no helpful people around, there was no "training area" for new players.

If you are going to have a strict roleplay area, you need a staff of people to bring new players in and get them trained up. You need a community to support the vision. Rivet Town just left everyone on their own and so people ambled off to Babbage or Winterfell or Steam Sky City, or any of a huge number of less strict/more fun options.

Just building a beautiful place is not enough. Try the same thing again, but improve the new user experience, and you could have a winner.

Posted by: another idea |

Saffia Widdershins

I think the enthusiasm for vintage and steampunk is still there. When I set up The Primgraph magazine, I didn't expect it to get the sort of circulation it has done (or at least, not so quickly). We're now on Issue 4 (http://en.calameo.com/read/000004234d48262a9a863) and we actually have an article on Rivet's Town - written before the closure was announced.

That issue also looks at another group of sims - Tombstone - where roleplay is strictly enforced (indeed, some of the reporters had a tough job even accessing the place!). But there does seem to be strong support in place there for new users and visitors, with frequent events announced in the main group as a starting point for people to become involved.

I don't know Rivet Town well enough to confirm 'another idea's argument. But, in the abstract, I would agree that vintage and steampunk sims are more likely to succeed where there's a measure of freedom and/or support for new users, especially where the ongoing story lines are strong and there are alternatives with an easier game interface.

I do wonder if economies of scale apply; is a group that is backed up by residential sims (where there is greater capacity for individual creativity) more likely to succeed than a single sim?

Koinup Burt

The Rivet Town closure is an other example of negative trends in the Second Life land growth.

Along with a reduction of the prizes (and I'm fans of this move)
I think that LL should make some actions in order to give land owners more tools and devices to get more traffic and even a sort of revenue

1) Create a sort friend feed for the landmarks

The best travel tips are the places visited by friends. If you could see where you friends have been, probably you would have more reasons to visit those places. And you would also have continuous suggestions of sims to visit

2) Don't remove advertising, but please enchourage and provide land owners tool to manage it

If a sim with a few visitors per week decide to close I can see a reason, but if a sim with hundreds of daily visitors is going to close then, you can see, there is a problem in the business model. The problem is that sim owners can't have a business model. So, then, why not think on Second Life a sort of Adsense/Adwords Google Network? Why not put the classifieds in other sims and share the revenue with them?

Its not a simple step, but its not impossible, thousands of blogger are living thanks to adsense. Let advertisers come in Second Life, try to list the sims in categories, let advertisers put (automatically) they ads in the sims they want (in certain areas), try to imagine some formats for the ads and decide a metric for the payment (cost per click, cost per impressions, etc), and then share the revenues coming for the ad, with the sims owners hosting the advertising.
I can't see other stream of revenue for sim owners

3) Use the Direct Slurl to save money for sim owners able to drive a lot of people to signup in Second Life. Right Now SL has itw own referral program. But, well, why not put it in the hands of land owners? By using the Direct Slurl, you should see how many people will register because interested in certain sim and you will have the chance to "award" the more virtuous sim owners, the sim owners able to drive in second life hundreds of people.

They should have the chance to see redued their fee to pay and will have the chance to stay for long in SL

Barney Boomslang

Instead of taking any failed business idea as a sign of "downturn of Second Life economy", "Failure of marketing tools in SL" or other silly things like that, how about actually looking at the business modell first? We have a currently tight market on rentals - that's a fact anybody can get by just reading a little bit about SL. So having a business model rely heavily on rentals means, you have to get people to actually rent - but to run a roleplay region, you have rules and canon to look after. And Rivet Town went quite far with regards to canon. But well, if you think about it, in a world where you can be what you want, why would you want to _live_ in a very strictly ruled area?

Strict RP rules and rentals don't go well with each other, because people want to play and don't want to only play one thing. Casual RP is much more compatible with rental business as the flourishing Caledon and New Babbage sim clusters show (to just name two that cater to the needs of Steampunk).

I'm not in the least astonished that they didn't get enough renters. And from my own experience with other RP areas, I'm not even astonished that they didn't get enough RPers, either.

Rivet Town is just a business idea that didn't work out. Nothing special there.

Random Merryman

I'm in Caledon (at least for my non-work time, as my RL business operates in SL too) and I've wandered over to other vaguely similarly-themed areas such as Babbage and Winterfell - but never Rivet Town. Why? Barely heard of it.

The places I'd heard about were the places my new neighbours talked about. And seeing the comments here and elsewhere it feels like the prevailing view is 'went there once, very impressive, never quite got round to coming back'.

Heck, Babbage just announce the addition of another sim today. Tow Rivet Town over there, bolt it onto the side, transfer ownership to Mayor Tenk, let it become part of Babbage - it'll flourish.

stellenangebote berlin

Gut!

Zaphod

Wasn't Rivet Town previously the fantasy RP sim Everwind before Everwind closed in sea of angry drama?

Maybe a lot of people stayed away despite the renaming and rebuilding?

Chenin Anabuki

I didn't even hear about Rivet Town until now. My guess is it might be another case of over-emphasis on development and lack thereof on community building. Unfortunately, this is such a common mistake for sim owners. I feel bad about this news as I'm a major supporter of all things Steampunk.

Mako Kungfu

I heard about Rivet Town a while back and went over to check things out, since I am a steampunk fan. The town entry point (where you were bombarded with the extensive RP rules and regulations) was deserted and had a busted teleport, so no one could get into the main part of Rivet Town without hopping blindly on the map. I hopped, was hit with a wall of lag (in a deserted sim), so I gave up on Rivet Town and split.

I went back after reading this article to give Rivet Town a second chance and take some photos of the build... but again, the place was deserted (blocks of unrented store spaces) and interactive elements were often broken. The overall build was decently done, but without people around to breathe life into the endless brick and brass it was all very disappointing. I'm assuming I'm not the only one to have this experience. Money may be at the root of the closure, but I suspect there are social reasons as well.

Elegia Underwood

I have visited Rivet Town several times. I liked the build, but I rarely ever found anyone there except right in the beginning.

I am certain that strong constraints are essential in an RP sim, but as noted above, strong constraints & rentals are less compatible.

I am playing in Novatempus (Solheimer sim) at the moment. It is an RPG with a storyline (machines v magic, steampunk v fae) & a firm foundation. There are rentals for those who wish to immerse themselves, but I doubt they are the income generators for the owners. There is a large, but incompletely rented skymall above.

It is my perception that RP sims are for the pleasure of the owners. They are playthings. If a skymall can generate income great, but don't expect to make money to feed the cats IRL.

And I agree with Koinup Burt above, Rivet Town was just a failed business model, not indicative of the times. Babbage is growing & thriving. Steelhead is planning new sims. Steampunk RULES OK!

Too bad about Rivet Town. I will miss its foggy, seedy streets, but not the emptiness. :)

Elegia Underwood

Oops. Read "Barney Boomslang" instead of "Koinup Burt". ;)

Grace Loudon

I would just like to clarify that Rivet Town did *not* close due to lack of traffic or rental incomes. The community was never created to generate income. If was my work of art and contribution to the steampunk roleplay community that, to be blunt, I was done with. I have other genres I wish to explore and new creations I am working on now. So rest assured, it was not a failed business model - it was very successful and accomplished exactly what I wanted.

Steamjunk Missy

I've been reading through, and the response by Miss Grace herself, well, frankly blew me away.

Having come from a long line of various RP sims, I find it kind of appalling to say that a roleplay community, looking to invite more people in and create an environment which a character can thrive and flourish, was intended to only have a limited run in time for the genre.

It's like inviting everyone to a party, then abruptly telling everyone "Okay, I'm done with parties. Get out of my house now."

As a contribution to a community, I can't say I see much sense in the explaination that was given, however 'just' it may have been in the closure of Rivet Town.
The idea that is "accomplished exactly what was wanted" is kind of hypocritical in the terms of a role play environment being shut down- no role play can happen there henceforth.

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