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Monday, November 21, 2011

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Maggie Darwin (@MaggieL)

If more Lindens used their own product, maybe commuting wouldn't be such an issue.

Aeonix Aeon

Finally... she's gone. Now let's put somebody in the marketing position who actually knows what the hell they are doing, and how to handle an open ended virtual environment like SecondLife instead of a video game. Somebody who encourages open communication instead of tightly regulated.

Ezra

The purpose of marketing is to garner interest. Second Life has a very impressive tens of thousands sign-ups a week. For the most part, marketing's job is there. The issue of retention falls to other areas of the company that's failing Second Life.

So, not sure how new registrations have trended over the last few years, before and after her, but they're impressive right now, so I guess she did a pretty ok job.


@Maggie

Yes, very ironic that Second Life was being pitched by IBM and M Linden a couple years ago as a virtual work/meeting place for businesses and enterprise, yet Linden Lab's losing an exec right now over commute issues.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Maybe on her commute she had to cross too many sim-borders in her fake car...that would truly be the commute from hell.

Douglas Story

@ Ezra - this is very true: "The purpose of marketing is to garner interest. Second Life has a very impressive tens of thousands sign-ups a week. For the most part, marketing's job is there."

I work in the marketing of television programs making on-air promos. In my business we have saying, "Our job is just to get them into the tent. If they don't enjoy the circus it's not our fault."

Hitomi Tiponi

Sadly the tighter communications regime did not lead to more effective, directed communication - but rather to a policy of "only tell them when we have to" instead of using the resources of the community to help LL.

Hamlet Au

"very ironic that Second Life was being pitched by IBM and M Linden a couple years ago as a virtual work/meeting place for businesses and enterprise"

In fairness, Linden Lab walked away from that strategy by 2010, and started chasing after the consumer/gaming market -- which is partly why they hired Kim. By the time she came on, I doubt anyone at Linden seriously believed there was a huge market for SL in enterprise/distance meeting spaces outside the hardcore already doing it.

Ezra

@Hamlet

True, but still, the last "Second Life Work" pamphlet was updated January of this year it looks like: http://lecs-static-secondlife-com.s3.amazonaws.com/work/SL-Work-Brochure-010411.pdf

And it strongly pitches the idea of a "virtual workspace". Even if the strategy of pushing Second Life as in part a place of business changed as sudden as M exiting, its kind of proof Linden Lab wasn't practicing what they were preaching during M's years anyway if someone just quit due to the commute.

Its actually a bit of a shame. I think "Enterprise" may've been a mistake, the general idea of targeting the Fortune 500. That's a niche market by definition, to seek IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and so on, but "Second Life Work" very much could've been a success with the Fortune 5,000,000 of small businesses that want something a bit more immersive than Skype for their telecommuters.

Its just interesting that was her reason for quitting a company with a product -perfect- for solving issues of telecommuting, if only it worked dependably the way its always been described.

Mark C

Ezra, I work at one of the large enterprises you mention and I can't even begin to imagine how SL solves any of the problems of telecommuting. The whole idea was just a group-think illusion based on desperation more than anything. If there's any business problem (other than Linden Lab's revenue problem) solved by running little avatars around a virtual space it has completely escaped my attention.

Hamlet Au

Well said, Mark. Or to put it another way: IBM, Microsoft, and Amazon all had enterprise spaces in Second Life, put there by internal advocates of SL for work. (And Amazon's Bezos is a direct investor in Linden Lab, while IBM's top execs pushed SL as The Future for Work.) Yet somehow, ultimately even those three companies apparently didn't find it worthwhile, and all but ended their presence in SL.

Arcadia Codesmith

Never, ever, EVER let Marketing anywhere near Community Relations. They don't get it, they don't want to get it, they just want to use it as a tightly-regulated marketing tool.

If you can get away with locking Marketing in a closet and feeding them gruel through a slot in the door, do it. But don't feed them after midnight.

Ann Otoole InSL

Telecommuting = Citrix and a phone. Used to be able to use IM apps like skype and yahoo IM but they turned into malware delivery platforms because of the unsecure spam app cells. But hey the real work gets done in Citrix because it secures the business enterprise.

SL is an entertainment platform. Always has been. Always will be.

Rin Tae

I am not sure what I should think over her leaving. Back when she started I remember many people expressing the idea that fianlly someone takes over the marketing and teaches LL how to do it. However, this has not happened. The one thing with the breadables wasn't much of a fantastic idea and the start of a new marketing era. LL still fails to advertise SL and nothing has changed during her time in the company.

I also remember posts about where she is and what she is doing not long after she joined and then vanished from view as fast as many other LLs who came in and promised how they would always be talking to users and how they will improve communication with them.

As head of marketing in a company that does not seem to have any marketing her job must have felt difficult but from all as it seem when looking from the outside, she failed at it. Of course if she managed to improve things in the company outside of what her job description seem to have implied then at least something was gained from her brief stay with LL.

Vanadis Falconer

Her most important contribution is a more gender-neutral marketing. The caricature of "the American girl's dream", husband, married, house and children as soon as possible disappeared.
She herself is a clear proof that the fantasy belongs to a bygone era.
She gave Second Life a more internationally viable marketing.
She seems to have understood that the USA is a relatively small market and that Europe has twice as many inhabitants as the USA and Asia have twice as many inhabitants as Europe and that it is those who are the growth markets.
-Vanadis Falconer, Sweden, Europe.

Johnny alt

Let's bust some silly myths/excuses.

Myth 1
SecondLife is not yet a fully-formed consumer-ready product

Myth 2
Secondlife is too difficult to use

Myth 3
Secondlife is a niche product who's target audience is clever, lonley farmers with one leg

The above myths are really just excuses, ways The Lab use to explain to themselves and others why Secondlife is not taking off.

Really ??? After 10 years development it's not yet a fully-formed consumer-ready product and too difficult to use ?

So if it's not yet ready or fully formed, why is The Lab charging 300USD per month for a sim ?

The real truth is :

Secondlife is a very well formed product with amazing potential RIGHT NOW

Secondlife is not that hard to use, it's no harder than any other current 3D game

It's not a niche product - incorrect pricing model keeps it niche

The real reason why Secondlife is not taking off Right NOW is because the product, which is virtual land is too expensive.

Current monthly tier costs are the real and only reason why the Secondlife grid isn't 10, 100, 1000 times larger than it is NOW

The sooner The Lab stop 'Myth Making' excuses and remember what the actual product they are selling is (Land) and realise that tier is way too expensive, the sooner Secondlife will realise it's true potential as the incredible mass medium it is

bongo

international vampire and pets banner ads...

Hamlet Au

"Johnny alt" (not sure why you're not using your RL or SL name, but OK): I've asked you in previous posts to show your evidence that there's a large market for land at reduced tier costs *and* that Linden Lab could make such reductions without hurting their existing revenue base. (And that's not even discussing the outcry from land barons, who pay most of Linden's tier, any deep discount would cause.) Until you can provide such evidence, I'm not sure how productive it is to keep repeating such a shaky claim.

Pep

Thanks for confirming what my mate Rudolph Ukka pointed out about a month ago ( http://pserendipitydaniels.blogspot.com/2011/10/corporate-hysterionics.html#comment-form ) and got his ass banned for doing so.

Now maybe you can get a comment from Marc Viale Linden on his plans for converting the forums into advertising space.

Pep (is available for comment at all times.)

Orca Flotta

I guess the real problem with SL - if there is any problem at all, which I highly doubt - is that LL doesn't realize what kind of product they are selling. This definition is long overdue. Not for us, we customers know more or less exactly what we are doing and what we are using SL for.
No, I think the confusion exists inside the lab itself.

Let me define it for you labbers:

LL is a server hosting company.
Simple as that, easy as that.
LL's procuct is server space (land).

We users now that. And most of us, at least the paying customers, don't need kindergarten ideas like games in game, premium sandboxes (we have our own land which we can use for building) and other perks and specials. I don't even know why LL is wasting any energy and time in the development of such nonsense.

So Johnny Alt is correct when he claims that reduced tier fees would be the most important, if not the only, really successful marketing strategy. Besides that of course they must give us a technically much better grid, get rid of borked sim crossings, get rid of lag, stop patching up bad code but do it right in the first place.

To make it short: be happy for every spin doctor like Kim leaving the company and hire a bunch of hardworking coders and networkers instead.

Orca Flotta

Tssk, stupid me always forgets something ...

Here's a novel idea: Boss Linden, make it madatory for every LL employee to spend at least 1 h/day in SL. This will hopefully help your ppl to get a better feeling for their own product. Don't just have them sitting around in Linden village and chat but give them small tasks, tasks every resident does daily (for recreational values I might add).
Give them some money and tell them to buy a vehicle and ride along Linden roads and/or waterways and airways.

Send them out to explore the grid. Tell them not to TP all the time but try a simcrossing from time to time.

Tell them to go shopping in highly frequented areas. Let them see how it is when you go on eternal walks or walk in the same place for minutes without moving a meter.

Let them suffer and experience all the stuff your customers are complaining about. Maybe then you really "get" your product and what it could be like if "those Lindens" would do a better job.

Thanks very much for your friendly faked attention.


foneco zuzu

Orca, You got it all right;)

Moni Duettmann

I really would be much more comfortable, if you'd challenge the term "consumer" a bit more than you do, Wagner, and eventually remember the term "emancipation", when it comes to pondering over strategies for Second Life. Why must everything be "consumer-friendly"? Can there at least be one or two things in the internet that still be of a more experimental nature? I.e. freedom of where it will go instead of where a corporation wants us to go? Especially when people are willing to pay for it as it is?

foneco zuzu

Ham said He used it as a social webchat mainly.
What i fear is if the Lab only uses Sl as that as well!
They are missing so much and will never realize the fact that high tiers are an issue, but hardware problems will be the main reason to fear Sl death!
As long as we can be in world we will pay, but as soon as We can't, and the more it passes the more users are complaining (See the Jira's, that should be the 1st concern of a company between its clients!!!)
And as im seeing a bit of improvement over that, i hope that really instead of marking they will hire true programmers cause that's where the problems need to be sorted and solved to ensure that the ones that join can use Sl as it deserves, NOT AS A WEB CHAT, BUT ALSO AS ONE PLUS ALL ANY CAN WISH OR DREAM!

Alisha

" Until you can provide such evidence, I'm not sure how productive it is to keep repeating such a shaky claim."

The evidence is there. When openspace sims price dropped to 75 a month LL sold 10s of thousands. We all know they messed that up, but it illustrated the demand and price point very well.

Arcadia Codesmith

I don't think there's any serious question that LL has priced itself out of the virtual land market. I've said before that tier for a full sim should not exceed $30/month, and I'm sticking by that.

That price point may put the land barons out of business, but... good riddance. We can't afford to support flippers and speculators. Quality landlords that know how to do aesthetic builds, customer service, and other value adds will weather the shakeout.

Time to pop the bubble.

Some revenue lost will be recovered through increased volume, hopefully with robust instancing tech to balance server loads.

The bulk will probably come from transaction fees. They're not popular, but they're a much more reliable revenue stream in an active virtual economy.

We might even be able to win back some of the business and education users that LL screwed over. And while I personally couldn't give two rats' tails about business, colleges and universities can give us some of the best creative, experimental and innovative applications of the tech, if they're encouraged to do so.

It IS a lab. Just remember that the residents are the researchers... not the rats.

Toxic Menges

I will miss Kim, she knew what had to be done and seemed to be behind a seachange at LL that WAS making a difference. People are impatient, good luck to whoever takes on the role next - big job, impatient customers, lots of historical working practices to change.

Pandora

Well said Orca, you have it spot on.

Johny Alt is right too, the prices are too high. I would have bought a Homestead by now if it were at the old price, that little extra the Lab started charging tipped it from "omg, I'm having one" to "nah, I'd like one but I'm not paying that". It has nothing to do with whether someone can afford the price or not, the product gets weighed against the cost, and if that cost is too high, few will choose to buy it. Lots of the old Homestead/Open Spaces were dropped the minute the lab put up the prices.

LL could offer more flexible land options too. They could have different packages of land product that is not mainland, 1/4 sim, half sim, 3/4 sim, up to huge mega spaces without sim crossings. You could bolt on extra bits or take off sections as an when you could afford it/needed it.

Yeah, reducing fees will hurt LL in the short term but they need to rethink their pricing structure/packages, otherwise they will continue to lose Sims/customers at the rate they are doing lately. Gaining more revenue from transactions on the Marketplace or inworld ones add income for LL but they should not forget that land (server space) is their main product.

Also, why can't LL restructure things to make their product cheaper? Why can't we have our inventories (saving LL server costs) on our own computer (like the Sims games for example) and be able to edit them offline? Why can't we have "instanced" Sims? Maybe these are unworkable ideas, but it's a lab, it could surely think of cost saving schemes where part of that saving is passed on to the customer, making everything more affordable.


Rin Tae

Almost every person I knew on SL wants to buy their own sim. Me too. Be it a homestead or a full one. And just as myself everyone is stating just one reason for why they are not doing so.

The cost of it.

It is of course a gamble for LL to drop prices and count on the revenue being replaced by people buying and keeping more sims. But then this would also mean more content and most likely transfer into more people spending more time inworld and buying more things.
And any land baron who knows what they are doing will take this to invest into more sims. Actually I would not be surprised if a drop in prices by LL would lead to a sharp increse in land prices as LL might not be able to supply enough sims to meet the demand and for some time there will be more buyers then free land.

No one can be sure that this will happen like this but in all the years on SL I have learned one important thing:

People want sims and have many ideas as to what to do with them.

Johnny alt

Hey Hamlet,
The evidence that price effects sales for any and all products on this planet is abundant and overwhelming

1. The current price structure is totally killing sim sales. No growth.

2. Dropping the set up fee recently created a surge of sales

3. The Oct 2008 price hike caused 5000 sims to be dropped because of the PRICE

4. Sales fact - lower prices = higher volume sales

5. People love SL. People say they love it all the time. They also say - I'd love to buy my own sim but can't afford it. There is great evidence of desire for the product.

6. For every new sim LL picks up they lose one. There's a hole in the bucket ! High Tier costs are that hole.

7. There's a demand for sims that Linden Labs can NOT take advantage of with these silly prices and blockers like set-up fees and not letting people buy their own Homestead without a full sim - absurd !

8. How many Linden Lab employees own their own sims and pay for those sims out of their own money ?

Hey Linden Labbies ... would you pay these prices ? EVERY MONTH !
Do an internal poll. Seek evidence

9. Secondlife is AMAZING. It's one of a kind but The Lab has clearly lost faith in it's own product if it think that lowering tier cost will lose them money. Lowering tier cost will make them LOADS MORE MONEY.
People want this product !!

10. If any Lindens are watching - have you guys EVER done a poll of the 400k people who log in every month and asked them how much would they pay to own their own sim ?

What is the price point ?
What is the sweet spot ?

The real and simple evidence is that people are not buying. SL is stagnant and even slipping a little and it's because of tier cost. The constant churnover of sims is the best evidence of all. Gain one, lose one.

Great product - great demand for product - wrong price - weak sales - no growth

For goodness sake Linden Labs, believe in your product, it astounding.

Metacam Oh

Guys, the fundamental problem and solution is this:

Second Life is like the internet. Second Life is used for so many purposes that picking even a few key uses still pigeon holes the whole platform to the outside world.

When the internet burst on the scene, were there advertisements touting "the internet" itself, or did the people who own web pages drive the mass adoption?

It is as simple as day, empower the residents to do the marketing. The current situation does not promote this, why? Because say I have a business/community/organization and I want people to come in and be a part of it and check it out, they have to go through the Second Life webpage and get dumped god knows where in Second Life and I may never see the fruits of my marketing labor.

Now if you let me have access to the Second Life registration API, and allowed people who signed up through my website (where people will land from my own marketing campaign) to be dropped in my virtual location, you change the dynamics 100 fold.

Re-brand the viewer name (ie: Linden Lab Viewer, preferably something catchier though) so when people download the client after they sign up on my web page, they don't get freaked about the horrible name Second Life and all the bad connotations that go with it.

Then they are in SL, in the location of their interest first, with people who will now have a vested interest in mentoring these people and making them customers or part of there community, and they are hooked on this whole virtual world thing before they even realize, "oh wow, i am just in a larger thing called Second Life"

Ive been ripped here for chastising the Vampire marketing and the pet marketing, but this further proves my point. I am not slagging off people who roleplay as vampires or breed virtual pets, no not at all, these are fun things, but once Joe Schmoe sees "roleplay as a vampire in Second Life" ad on youtube, and he is not a roleplayer or whatever, he is going to think from now on, that there is nothing for him here, and that is just absurd.

SL could change over night if this happened, but the Lab is still thinking their problem is because the fly button is in the wrong spot or whatever. God people, wake up!!

Flip

@ Johnny Alt
So what your saying is, there are just millions of people outside of SL who are thinking "geez if only land in Second Life was cheaper I would just jump right in because other than the price of land it is EXACTLY what I want/need"?

Thats absurd!! If the prices were cut all that would happen is that people inworld already, who have land, would increase the amount of land they have up to the amount they were spending BEFORE the price drop. No increase in income for LL but a whole lot of increase in costs for them.

Do you really believe that a large proportion of the 10000 sign ups per day have the most amazing experience this side of Shangri La and then promptly leave in disgust at the land pricing? I think not.

Land is NOT the main reason that people come into Second Life and it is NOT the main reason they leave.

Johnny alt

@Flip

Today's Minecraft Statistics

16,872,366 registered users, of which 4,137,673 (24.52%) have bought the game.

In the last 24 hours, 58,268 people registered, and 7,414 people bought the game


Geez, who would have thought !

Don't make me post Farmville, World of Warcraft numbers and a countless other examples of people wanting to build and play in virtual worlds.

Secondlife is so much more than any of these. It's the generic. It's the 3D web

Karim Marquette

I've been in SL for 5 years and use it primarily as a social network. However there are some SL merchant making a lot of cash in SL. Even heard some people are making their living in SL. Which is awesome given the worldwide economy, more power to all the merchants.

I disagree that SL is "easy" to use. I think there is still a tremendous learning curve. When I describe SL to people they are thrilled. However, they haven't got a clue as to how to even get started. So I think the demand is definitely there (we must face the fact that "Adult" related activity is huge on the net).

I think a whole new revenue model is necessary. And it's not based on charging for $300 for a sim, because a lot of us don't own any property at all. If SL is to thrive, there must be some form of payment from each user. The least expensive form of "payment" is advertising. Before cable TV, that is how TV stations survived. And there is advertising all over the net, it is what gives social networks value.

Therefore, my proposal is allowing and promoting in-world advertising for real life products. If RL advertising firms began to dedicate developers to LSL, I imagine there would some kick-ass sims. And, of course, plenty of billboards. Lastly, for non-premium members, they would be "required" to land in an RL advertising sim, hopefully one that interests them.

Secondly, I believe SL should have a "certification" process for people who want to teach people how to use SL. This should be free, and the people who certify could be "rated" and "reviewed" by their clients to keep scammers to a minimum. I propose that these instructors also be paid for their efforts, yet the fee should be controlled by LL.

One demographic which I think would really enjoy SL are seniors, however many of them are PC illiterate. There are legions of gamers who could be certified and make $15/hour or whatever, to teach seniors one-on-one how to use SL, from just creating a basic avatar to building or whatever.

My goal is to keep SL alive and grow to its full potential, and to get some cash in the pockets of unemployed or underemployed people, e.g. university students.

If these proposals have already been considered by LL and nixed, it wouldn't be the first time I had an idea and someone has already thought of it. However, just in case they haven't, I hope there will be some interest.

Hamlet Au

"Secondlife is AMAZING. It's one of a kind but The Lab has clearly lost faith in it's own product if it think that lowering tier cost will lose them money."

Not really, Johnny. They just looked at who is paying their tier now and realized that they can't discount tier drastically without devastating their existing revenue base. The overwhelming bulk of tier revenue comes from land barons. The more they discount tier, the more the land barons would suffer. You're asking Linden Lab to undermine its best customers, and you haven't provided any evidence that doing so will bring them more revenue. If you have actual research to suggest that there's a large market of people who are willing to pay $1000+ for virtual land a year, show it. And by "large", I mean 50,000 or more, because you'll need that number to maintain current tier levels. Until you have anything like this evidence, I'm not sure how productive it is to constantly bring up this topic.

Seriously, I've talked with Lindens about this. Significant tier discounts are simply not feasible.

Flip

@ Johnny Alt

I am not quite sure what your point is...but heyho. As far as I was aware Second Life was actually free to register and use.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

@Johnny Alt:

"Myth 3
Secondlife is a niche product who's target audience is clever, lonley farmers with one leg"

Johnny, if I were a lonely, one-legged farmer and you were Ellie Mae Clampett, this would be a marriage proposal. Brilliant.

Thanks for stirring the pot. I don't know that lower tier would bring in the tens of thousands of new paying users, but every week I meet an educator who asks me "which OpenSim grid should I move our project to?"

Tier is killing them, a slow bleed of revenue for LL. Hole in the bucket, indeed.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Hamlet, I understand the Catch 22 the Lab faces re: tier. I want the lights to stay on. But I didn't come to SL to help land barons make money. Most older SLers did not.

I came to help build a new world of the sort I saw in Cyberpunk fiction. Something that would ripple back and rock the banal real world.

If this is what SL has become, maybe Atlas does need a good shrug.

Pandora

But the barrons rent out their land to tennants, making a profit.

If land was more affordable to buy for all, then the current renters would buy that very same land for themselves. There shouldn't be any land lost?

People still want land, and especially if they "own" and can manage it.

Pussycat catnap

@Orca: I agree the Lindens need to spend more time in world. Make them spend time in a variety of places inworld too...

No hiding out on Linden isles or Sandboxes, get thee to some cheesy free-XXX sim and then over to a Vampire Meeroo Furry Child AV RP zone, and then off to a live music concert, an infohub, a few private estate that are publicly open (and one or two not open when the owners are offline), and all over mainland...


But that of course, would be in direct conflict with the 'tight lines of communication' policy.

The problem is that when running an online community, you need to be part of that community.

Look at WoW for a just a second - every WoW dev plays that game. Some of them quite fanatically - and they're open about it. Some of them post quite regularly in their forums. Sometimes they make amazingly bad public goofs (like their recent airing of a fan's homophobic rant at Blizzcon during the ending concert, as a part of the show)...

But they're involved.

People know it, and feel it.

The lindens though, seem to be AFK. You see them now and then, but when they post they do it on 3rd party forums, and when inworld, they limit themselves to isolated engagements, use voice only, and run it like a scripted show rather than just being there to be seen.

Arcadia Codesmith

Tier is not sustainable; not at current levels or anything near current levels.

We change or we die. Linden Lab needs its revenue stream or they'll pull the plug. Residents need the space to live and create at an affordable price or they'll go somewhere else. Either way, the party as we know it is over.

Meanwhile, in MMO land, DC Universe Online just went free-to-play and saw a 700% spike in income. How? Cash-shop microtransactions, tightly integrated with the game client (just as the Second Life Marketplace is not).

I don't think that's a magic bullet. I think we're going to need a broad mix of inputs to replace the revenue from tier.

But I think we're going to have to start soon, or we're going to be seeing SL only in history books.

Ezra

Hamlet, what you don't understand is that the "land barons" are MIDDLEMEN. They rent parcels, homesteads and entire sims to the ones actually creating the experiences we log into Second Life for. Ask yourself why "land barons" exist in the first place. Why can't Linden Lab sell non-mainland land directly to the ones bringing money into Second Life?

Part of the reason private regions are being shed anyway is because if you go to any land barons chain of sims, there's a whole host of vacant parcels. Discounts trickle down, lowering land baron's operational costs won't dent their profits one bit; all it'd result in is allowing them to offer their parcel renters lower prices per prim and infact help land barons. It makes zero sense to say lower land prices will undermine land barons when they're the ones bailing first and foremost on private region ownership. Obviously they're in need of help.

Your go to is always "I talked to Lindens", but that's empty unless you quote one exactly so that we can discern the situation ourselves. There's no authority in a sourceless quote.

Dice up the $295 a month and explain to us exactly what goes where, and why Linden Lab is the only technology company of that type that can go 10 years without being able to reduce costs for providing the same service. If you can't do that, then you're the one with no proof of what you claim.

Johnny alt

"If you have actual research to suggest that there's a large market of people who are willing to pay $1000+ for virtual land a year, show it."

There's an abundance of evidence that people will pay 10/20 bucks and more to subscribe to a virtual world and MMOs. WOW have more than 10 million registered paying users and gather more than 150 million USD per month. If the price is right people will pay.


Linden Lab are trying to collect too much money from too few people. They should start thinking about collection less money from more people.

This is the crux of the problem.


Linden Lab want 10 million premium members paying 10 bucks a month, like WOW, but they ain't going to get them unless every premium member gets a starter sim or unless sims are

Johnny alt

..... until every premium member gets a starter sim or sims are considerably cheaper.

Hamlet Au

"They should start thinking about collection less money from more people."

That's exactly what they're doing with Premium subscriptions.

"Your go to is always 'I talked to Lindens'"

My argument doesn't depend on what the Lindens say, but on what the publicly available data shows. The data shows SL isn't gaining more monetized customers. If it was, by quite a bit, discounting tier might be feasible. But significantly discounting tier now means land barons will lose their existing customers, or gain more competitors. The very fact that land barons already have "a whole host of vacant parcels" strongly suggests things will get even worse for them, if tier prices are drastically cut.

But yes, parenthetically, I have talked with Lindens about tier cuts, and they say as much. However, don't take my word for it, look at the data.

Flip

Land can be rented for $5. $10 everything in between and upwards. So I have to ask this...is land REALLY too expensive or are people really talking "bang for buck". I suspect the latter and if so it does not necessarily follow that tier fees are killing sl. The land market although the biggest income generator for the lab is not the ONLY income generator for the lab. Comparing mincraft and WOW to SL is not a fair comparison. But it continues to be made. So in that vein - Residents are spending plenty of their hard earned $ on Marketplace goods and premium membership and both showing growth. Yet there is no discernible rise in either inworld population or indeed land mass. Yet land can be had at the amounts I mentioned at the beginning. Those prices compare VERY favourable with expenditure in other online games/vw's. Yes it would be great to have a full sim at the same price of a 4096 currently. But how long would it be before it would be nice to have two sims at the price of one sim "currently". As for land barons and "what they do". Are LL really going to chop up sims to suit all the individual requirements of individuals tastes and wallets? Are they really going to service those individuals to a satisfactory degree? Even if sims are reduced in costs there will still be those that cut up sims into smaller parts and act as middlemen.
The whole problem here is not Land per se it is the lack of engaging experience (sign ups) from the off that is the brick wall that LL needs to breach. Reducing the Labs income by slashing tier fees will surely mean that investment on product improvement will also be slashed. This WILL kill SL.

bongo

It's a feudal system thats dying.. both the king and his lord (land barons) are no longer in favor in a increasingly larger metaverse ..such as free to play DC online and BSG etc.

And "residents" have paid over the top for 6 years for the "privelege" of being the rats...

Only the very stupid thought they were the "researchers" and even worse were those they got to pay them ridiculous amounts (CBS) to be "sherpas" to this gated, fake Camelot.

They called it a "lab" not because it was an experiment-- greed pyramids are old hat- but only so that they could deflect responsibilty for all the crap they would pull on the "cyberclass" of dolks.

Hamlet Au

"When openspace sims price dropped to 75 a month LL sold 10s of thousands. We all know they messed that up"

They reversed their Openspace pricing because they weren't making enough money on them. Yes, they said it was because too many Openspace sims were being abused, but if they were making a healthy profit, they wouldn't have made such a drastic reversal. Also, if they went back to such pricing, even if there tens of thousands of new customers (doubtful), they wouldn't sustain their existing revenue.

But hey, we're in an age of social media, so there's a good way to prove (more or less) that there's a market for discounted sims: Put together an online petition and/or Facebook group saying something like, "Linden Lab, if you cut sim tier to $75 a month, we the undersigned users promise to each buy a sim for at least a year." Get 50,000 actual users to say they will, Linden Lab would be crazy not to lower tier prices.

Go for it. I'll even promote such a campaign on NWN. And happily admit I was wrong if you get over that number.

Alisha

I'm no magician, nor business psychic. I am only pointing out the, possibly squander now, demand for private openspace sims. We all know they were a hit at that price point. Simply, LL would be wise to sell "a" product, that they can support and profit from, at the price people obviously accepted.

Dave Bell

What astounds me is that the marketing director sets company policy for internal communications.

Either a lot of your information is wrong, or the people running Linden Lab are something close to clueless.

Ciaran Laval

@Hamlet a survey on land pricing has been sent out, the person who talked about it said they'd purchased a sim during the recent sale where the setup fee was greatly reduced. I haven't seen the survey myself, if you know anyone who has it may make interesting reading.

sirhc desantis

Have to echo Dave Bells thoughts on that one - unless things in corporataville have changed drastically in the four years since i escaped, marketing being in charge of internal comms would have been laughed out of the room.

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