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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

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Flashing Merlin

I disagree with the premise that the current business model is unsustainable. Sure SIMs close down all the time (that's happened to three I've owned property on), but new ones also start up. The innovators who can make their SIMs pay will stay. My gallery is on a mainland plot, and I'm not going to move that to OSGrid, or any similar virtual world - no traffic there compared to SL. People who live in SL because their community is here are not going to move because cyber real estate is cheaper somewhere else. Sure, SL has to grow the user base if it wants to grow, but they don't have to change the business model to accomplish that. In fact the steps Rod has been taking (changing the join up procedure, changing the viewer) seem to be in the right direction. Once SL is optimized, all it may take to grow the user base is a major advertising campaign.

Nalates Urriah

Nah! I'm not buying into either of those two directions.

With Phillip's last round of direction setting and Rob's new ideas I think we may something interesting happen. It is unclear who solved the registration problem. But, it has definitely been improved.

We are in the middle of a Basic Mode viewer change to improve new user experience. Plus other changes.

We may find that Rob has a keener appreciation for what is here than we may suspect. We may see Rob develop more creative spaces with results from those coloring SL. By the end of the year we will know if Rob has it right or not.

Nexii Malthus

@Nalates it would help if you could start off by spelling his name correctly.

Dizzy Banjo

@Flashing Merlin

Yeah, I'm not sure I'd say that SL is currently unsustainable. I'd suspect it would be possible to run it at a profit for some time. But as far as I understand its growth has reached a plateau.

I think this in itself is not necessarily a problem if Linden and indeed the community, aren't really bothered about SL growing, or even eventually becoming mainstream.

It also affects the speed at which Linden will be able to improve performance - as their profit will directly relate to the amount of staff they can employ to fix bugs / improve performance. ( Unless they get more funding - I understand its been a number of years since this happened last for LL. )

I've got a lot of respect for the approach Rod Humble and LL are taking now too, and indeed that of many ex Lindens. I think my comments were more about a path forward to either achieving stability / good user experience in SL with existing revenues, or working on a totally new project, or both.

I think there reasons why a major advertising campaign wouldn't necessarily work, but I'll go into this more in my other post.

Hamlet Au

*I* certainly say the sim revenue model is unsustainable. If you follow Tyche Shephard's Twitter account, you'll see private sims consistently disappearing almost every week, usually by the dozens: https://twitter.com/#!/tycheshepherd

I've seen no evidence that these disappearing sims are being replaced. Why? Common sense, really: Not many people out there willing to pay thousands of dollars a year to own virtual land.

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