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Monday, November 30, 2009

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Crap Mariner

How well are those First Meta cards selling?

-ls/cm

Jovin

In a roundabout way you can buy pre-pay cards in Europe too - get a PaySafe (www.paysafecard.com) card from your local store and use it on VirWoX (www.virwox.com) to buy your L$.

Arcadia Codesmith

I'd frankly be surprised if this wasn't already in the pipeline. The only significant issue I can see is the floating conversion rate, and I'm sure that can be finessed.

Metacam Oh

This is definitely a no brainer. Why haven't they been doing this already? These things should have been on the shelf for 2 years now.

Nalates Urriah

I think those cards would be a great idea.

AOL used to have ubiquitous CD's at every computer/electronics store checkout counter. On the CD there could be a small program to get them to the viewer download, may be a special page hyping FREE. Some collection of links to free goodies in SL. LL could have an area not in search just for those coming from the promo.

Sign up with unique promo code (unique to each disk good for one use) could get them a stack of free Linden$. The card could have a prominent FREE L$1,000 or something. They will probably will stay around long enough to spend the L$.

There are many things LL could do.

Vooper Werribee

Hamlet - please yell this louder at Linden Lab and make it clear that all your 3 suggestions for mass-adoption are not just 'nice to have's - they all address significant hurdles that must be overcome for those of us running businesses in SL to actually survive and prosper.

Coughran Mayo/Dick Dillon

I am casting my vote for "H Linden"!

Doreen Garrigus

I like this one. :)

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

I like it too. That said, given that my students almost universally say, "no one I know knows what SL is," I'm worried these cards would gather dust.

All of my students know what FarmVille and YoVille are. As Hamlet noted earlier in the series, linking these simple VWs to a social networking tool made usage run wild. At Pixels & Policy I read that there are 70 million FarmVille users active monthly:

http://www.pixelsandpolicy.com/pixels_and_policy/2009/11/social-saturation.html

I bet they could already move FarmVille gift cards in the checkout line at Krogers.

To make such a Linden gift-card work for all but the few hundred thousand of us in SL regularly, LL must do other sorts of promotions and marketing concurrently.

Perhaps they'll listen to you, Hamlet. They don't seem to listen much to Residents these days.

anna gulaev

What retailer is going to want to get involved with money laundering? Credit card processors may not even allow them to sell these, and if they do the people who buy them may find their credit card de-activated for a security alert. People who buy lindens regularly may be used to this, but people who buy these cards as gifts would be in for a nasty surprise.

Patchouli Woollahra

Crap: Just to clarify, it's not really a specific card at the moment - MOL.com is known more for offering a currency called MOL e-points. While originally intended as payment for free/cashshop MMOs sharded in SE Asia, they have made it clear that they're open to working with other e-providers to denominate online content in e-points (albeit at a slight mark-up to cover profits + costs of providing such services)

Nalates: that would be problematic, in that some retard could scoop up lots of disks and open assorted accounts, then funnel the money. Such an offer would be open to egregarious abuse, and would require the sort of policing that earlier schemes such as First Land would have benefited from in light of our current society in both worlds. Not happening - a gift would have to be exclusive, non-transferably unique (a la the limited-edition freebies they give out at some MMO roadshows) and not tradeable for raw L$ even if it is valuable in such cash.
First Meta just took them up on their offer, but MOL isn't the only option on the FMX for obtaining L$ - other options include trading in cash from other virtual worlds (where the TOS allows for it), calling a premium phone number and holding the line for a loooong time, Paypal et al. To FMX's credit, they're transparent and upfront about the fact that various forms of payment require various forms of fees to be tacked on, and the check-out process at FMX clearly denominates the costs of each in USD and current local currencies (where supported mainly, such as most SE Asian currencies)

Coughran: if you read earlier into NWN's earlier recent past, Hamlet WAS a Linden, albeit more a embed than an actual working staffer - he left due to possible conflicts of interest with some of his latest writing.

Ignatius: evangelizing Second Life has been a bit harder in countries with copious amounts of physical space. In this regard, it's good to be a metaversalist in Singapore xD - we've started getting to the point where reclaiming any more land is likely to result in infringing on our neighbours' sovereignity and that tends to bring on the armed hardware, which is bad :( Being able to expand into virtual space, provided it is reasonably accessible and full-featured, is going to be tempting, whether this solution is open Second Life, OpenSim, or SL/OpenSim/Something Else Behind A Firewall...


anna: most MOL epoint points of sale tend to require payment via debit card or physical cash where I live, so the fraud that would be more likely would be abuse of the local epayment schemes or passing of counterfeit/dirty money. I would imagine that similar sale requirements exist in other countries that stock MOL e-point cards over the counter.

Patchouli Woollahra

I seem to have misplaced some paragraphs on that previous comment, my apologies for the length and disorder.

AnnOtooleInSL

Linden Lab is going in the opposite direction and killing off gift cards (LL no longer accepts gift cards for purchases judging from a flurry of concerned/upset residents in Second Life Answers a month ago) so exactly why does anyone think LL has any interest or inclination to pursue any mass market appeal/expansion programs like allowing gift cards like these?

Sasy Scarborough

Whimsy Winx went to first metas reps with this idea last year, it's actually really distressing how it turned out...but aside from that, the fact that there may just be a positive from this, the idea that those that refuse to buy lindens, could be doing so more to do with the trail, than just downright not believing in the product.

If they had a way to buy a five or ten dollar card when out grabbing the milk, they may just start doing so. My info is all linked up with them, but I can honestly say, that if I was at the checkout buying groceries, I wouldn't think twice about throwing in a card or two as well. It would make budgeting a lot easier...and perhaps save some people some debt they find themselves in without realising.

xoxSasyxox

Balthasar Bookmite

I can see this working. I would be nice for me because it would emmlimate my impulse buying habits. Maybe if LL gave new avatars a set amount of cash when they begin it would allow people to go and shop for things and get them interested in what they can do and thus pulling them into the game. I would also change Orination Island, but that is for another post.

Balt

Arwyn Quandry

YES! I've been begging for this for the longest time. Currently, if I want Lindens I have to wire them from my PayPal, something I've lost faith in after a transfer failed and stole my money, then stranded me without recourse. I would buy more $L if I could just pick up a card at the local convenience store for a set amount of USD and cash it in on the exchange at the online going rate. This would also make it easier for members of the Teen Grid to get Lindens instead of having to go through their parents' credit cards.

Before, Lindens said they wouldn't do it because the economy fluctuates. Please tell me the last time it's changed more than 5 or so $L overnight, because last I checked, it grows and shrinks on average only one or two per day. It's much safer now to bring in gift cards, and high time they do it.

aileen sim / tyra fierrens

Looks like Patchouli pretty much got most of it covered. :)

@anna on fraud: most of the payment channels are via cash in the stores and thus the payments are irreversible (in addition to guarantee by MOL.com) so there wont be a scenario where a user wouldn't get the lindens he paid for via this payment method.

@annotoole: "so exactly why does anyone think LL has any interest or inclination to pursue any mass market appeal/expansion programs like allowing gift cards like these" all the better for us. ;)

@sasy: "Whimsy Winx went to first metas reps with this idea last year"

Sasy, i haven't spoken to Whimsy Winx. Whimsy's has a physical card payment channel too?

@Arwyn: You're right this would actually be perfect for teen grid, though we don't have atms there to disburse the lindens at this point. In fact i'm not even sure we're allowed to have atms on the teen grid.

about fluctuating exchange rates, our system takes care of that. If you purchase US$10 denomination in the stores, when you convert that to lindens on First Meta Exchange, we'll let you know how many lindens that converts to, and you can always specify your rate with a limit order too.

--
plug: First Meta is re-launching our sim and the First Meta Exchange with a fashion show by AVENUE Inc and a dance party with 7th element djs spinning all week.

18 Dec 12 noon SLT

Do join us. :)

aileen sim / tyra fierrens

In addition to southeast asia, we're able to accept cash payments in most of these regions too :)

• Europe – via Wallie card, UKash, paysafecard and direct bank transfer
• Middle East – through OneCard and CashU
• Australia – through ePay (New Zealand coming soon)
• India – at the largest cyber café chain, Reliance World

Brett M.

Personally, I am at that age where I can still enjoy video games like Second Life but also remember a time when paying for things online was unheard of. Seems to me that no matter how secure an online merchant, weather it is Second Life, or not, buying prepaid cards is a whole lot safer against hacking. Credit/Debit Card number is not stored cause these cards can be paid for with cash plus there is no risk of auto-debits. It is just all around safer plus the added benefit of having old fashioned customer/merchant face to face contact.

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