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Monday, April 09, 2012


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Pussycat Catnap

On this one I agree with Hamlet.

And as I'd blogged not long back - I think that overall mainland is a more profitable venture for LLs to get their hands on.

Roughly 49 512m mainlanders is equal to one estate sim in revenue - but on less overhead, lacking the support and dedicated hardware. they're less risky to lose individually: being Walmart customers you can handle having a few in constant flux.

Most people do not need a full sim. Most do not need even more than a 512m (and if you scale down to a human scale avatar, even a 512m lot is big).

SL can shrink in sims -AND- becomre more profitable at the same time. Furthermore, with all of us closer together and more active in smaller space, as Hamlet notes above - it will appear more lively.

Adeon Writer

Plateau of Productivity?

jjccc coronet (@JJcccART)

It cause to web site front page sucks

Lizard Howl

Hi Wagner -

Interesting post, but I can't wrap my brain around this conclusion: "Inevitable and better that only the well-monetized, well-subsidized sims in SL remain, while the other sim owners transition to becoming Premium subscription holders. " ???

Are you implying that sim owners should stop owning sims and start buying mainland? Whatever your connection is here isn't at all obvious to me.

No amount of tinkering with Mainland offerings will entice me to get a Premium account. I have one for 2 reasons: 1. weekly Ls allowance 2. so I can own small bits of Mainland.

I used to use Mainland for my office and some rentals, but all the rest of the non-user-generated content doesn't interest me in the least.

At any rate, thanks for the post and if you could elaborate on your point I'd appreciate it.

Lizard Howl
Segarra Estates Owner

Hamlet Au

"Are you implying that sim owners should stop owning sims and start buying mainland"

Not quite, I'm implying it's better if sim owners who aren't covering tier transition to Premium and/or be encouraged to do so by LL (rather lose them entirely as customers.) LL can and should continue to sweeten the subscription deal to make it more tempting to folks like you. I suspect they will.

Metacam Oh

Wow I thought they'd have a million new premium members from their last incentive. You tryin to tell me access to premium sandboxes isn't worth signing up for? I'm shocked. :) I got an idea. Sign up for premium and you get the added ability to pay them more money monthly for tier? Done already? Damn it.


I don't understand this post neither. Maybe one has had to be premium to understand a link between sim-owners and tire and premium. I even thought one can only own a sim if one is premium, unless one rents it.

And just a thought, maybe SL would flourish if LL deletes mainland! Would have quite radical implications and boost business on every side.

Arcadia Codesmith

If you want to be a sardine with all of the other sardines, there's a sardine-can locater on the login screen.

And if that's where LL wants to go, they ought to optimize things so more people can coexist on a single sim, declare that they are no longer interested in the multiverse, and just be another boring-ass social site, so those of us with no interest in boring-ass social sites can move on.

On the other hand, if they want to be the future of virtual worlds, they need to figure out how to get MORE land into more creative hands and actively promote excellence. Second Life could and should be the default platform for small-shop design and deployment, if only they could cut the cost and put in an integrated tool suite a bit more sophisticated than prim bashing.

shockwave yareach


You think SL can survive with only big rental outfits, and no more of us running private estates? You think that all the people paying money to create their dreamworlds on their own parcels are better off giving up those dreams and paying some land baron, and being content with playing Barbie's Dreamhouse instead of owning their own space station, complete with fleet of starships?

Here's a hint for you. SL offers NOTHING to the user except fantasy; a place where they can create whatever dream they want. If people can no longer afford their dream, they'll be gone. That is all SL has to offer; make believe. And the price for this land of make believe is still too high. So, people are doing what all of you have said to do -- they are voting with their wallets.

You will not keep people in SL by flushing their dreams down the toilet and then ask them to blow more money on something they don't want. If we wanted to live in Caledon, we'd already be there. You aren't going to make people move to places they don't want and submit to restrictions they don't like, just to keep your money flowing in.

This is like the CEO of Ford killing the Mustang, because everyone can then buy a Fusion instead. If you don't offer what the customers want and at a price they can afford, you have no customers.

shockwave yareach

@Hamlet - I would be greatly appreciative if you described to me how private sim owners are supposed to "Transition" to premium, when nobody can own a private estate without being premium to start with.


Sim owner to premium? Come on, who wants to trade 256 sq. m. of creative freedom for the virtual equivalent of a preordained lot in a housing project?

Everything about Premium is antithesis to "Your world, Your way". Premium coupled with things like Marketplace cannibalizes the "well-subsidized" and "well-monetized" sims Hamlet mentions. Sims earn money in one of three ways:

1. Residential rental income.
2. Commercial rental income.
3. Having content entertaining enough to encourage donations from visitors.

Premium competes in all three of these avenues with:

1. Linden Homes which encourages new users to do their residential renting with Linden Lab rather than tier payers.

2. Marketplace which while in the end is a good product and simplifiies shopping, has come with a 4+ year opportunity cost of working on web-based commerce instead of in-world commerce.

If Linden Lab spent 4 years of working on in-world shopping instead of buying XStreet, who's to say in-world shopping couldn't be better than shopping on Marketplace is right now? And maybe then Linden Lab wouldn't be undermining tier payers by encouraging in-world store ownership to diminish.

3. Now Linden Lab seems privy to open more Premium-only sim attractions like Linden Realms and Wilderness, when they should instead be promoting and empowering sims like MadPea. It won't be long until there's Premium-only nightclubs with Linden Lab's attention turned on music lately.

This attrition will continue as long as Linden Lab is empowering themselves more than the platform. There isn't going to be 30 new premium subcribers for everyone 1 lost sim to make up the revenue difference. Heck, there isn't even 30 concurrent users for every 1 sim open today.

Second Life will grow again as soon as Linden Lab gets out of the compete-with-customers mindframe for good, and focus instead on making their tier-payers lives easier. Hopefully that happens before they're the only content creators and sim owners left, which oddly at times seems to be their aim.

Deep Semaphore

:) I know someone who is going to complete transfer of Second Life islands to kitely soon. Hope the shrinking of Second Life is not exponential.

Adeon Writer

@Roger I believe the missing bit of information is that you most certainly do not need to be premium in order to own a sim. You only need premium to hold mainland.

Lizard Howl

"Not quite, I'm implying it's better if sim owners who aren't covering tier transition to Premium and/or be encouraged to do so by LL (rather lose them entirely as customers.) LL can and should continue to sweeten the subscription deal to make it more tempting to folks like you. I suspect they will."

Thanks for your response.

From reading the comments it seems I was not the only one who was confused by your conclusion. Your follow-up response at least makes it a bit more clear what you mean.

To clarify my own position:

1. I am the owner of a good sized, profitable Estate.
2. I am also a Premium account owner.
3. I am a Premium account owner due to the twin benefits of the Ls allowance and being able to own Mainland.
4. *User Created* content is what makes (made?) Second Life special.

Linden Labs' continued focus on *Lab Created* content is (IMHO) misguided. It is leading SL further *away* from the things that made it attractive in the first place.

Now, going back to your point.

A sim owner who isn't "covering" their tier doesn't have a sim any more.

There are a wide variety of reasons why someone chooses to pay for a sim.
Not every sim owner intends to run a profitable business.
Trying to *convert* someone from owning a sim to owning, what, a large parcel of Mainland?

Really doesn't make sense.

Thanks Wagner for the post, and to all for the lively thread.


sirhc desantis

OK so let me see....i get 'incentivised' to stop renting out at $100+ a month (having dropped my premium) a large chunk of which feeds to the lab to sign back up (and decide that I can live with my 512 after all as I can happily test on that inworld) at a cost of max $100 a Year and this makes sense to the Labs business because....
No, lost me there Ser Au


I see more and more of a disconnect between people who see themselves as "gods" of Second Life and the actual resident tax payers who live and work there.

The residents need more financial relief and good service and less divine intervention.

Hamlet Au

"*User Created* content is what makes (made?) Second Life special."

Yes. However, most active SLers do not create 3D content, and those who do rarely update the content they've created to a significant degree. And sim owners are *paying* Linden Lab to create content for Linden Lab's customers, but few of them are making a return on their investment. So my argument is that Linden Lab should try to keep sim owners as Premium account holders, since most of them will gradually give up on being sim owners.

foneco zuzu

Why waist as i still do 37.000 L month plus premium to own 3750 prims where i dont have God rights, if i can have, for free, right now, 8 full 15.000 prim sims?
That is what the Lab should be thinking about!

shockwave yareach

When sim owners give up their sims, they frequently also give up SL entirely.

Don't believe me? Show me proof that people who have lost their land are still around. Where are they? Give us names. You are willing to bet the future of SL on your unsubstantiated opinion that people stick around SL even when they have lost their magic world that they worked so hard to create? Got any proof in that assessment; a few hard figures to back it up?

And one need not be a builder to create your magic world in SL. Scripters and builders are still hired to create custom works for people inworld. People still buy stuff and assemble it in their sims to create whatever vision they may wish -- just like people rent the parcels of mainland to create a vision they want too. Just because 90% of the people in SL don't know how to rez a cube doesn't mean they aren't making their little happy world the way they want to see it. And when they lose their happy world, they lose any reason for hanging around SL anymore too.

Hamlet Au

"When sim owners give up their sims, they frequently also give up SL entirely. Don't believe me? Show me proof that people who have lost their land are still around. Where are they? Give us names. You are willing to bet the future of SL on your unsubstantiated opinion that people stick around SL even when they have lost their magic world that they worked so hard to create?"

That's not my opinion, because I actually agree sim owners who give up their sims tend to just leave entirely. (Or downgrade to a Basic account.) Certainly true of just about all the sim owners I've talked with for Sim Deathwatch. My point is that the Premium offerings should be offered to them before they completely go away, and that the offering itself should be improved enough that it's actually a good deal for them.

shockwave yareach

Ah. Well finally, we agree on something.

It's worth a try. But I don't suspect it would work. Going from Metatropolis and its massive rocketry test range and space pirates gunbattles to... mcLindenhomes? I may be an oldbie, but I just don't see people willing to shell out bucks for a dreamscape being willing to downsize to a garage apartment afterwards.

Now if you made it so they could afford to stick around in their land in the first place, now you can accomplish something.

But in truth, taking a far eye to SL as it is today, it appears to me that LL has decided that private estates were a mistake for some reason. Thus they are perfectly happy to let them all die, wanting a single land body of Mainland so the original "Unified World" can once again exist. But if they think they will ever recreate that unified world when Mainland itself is several different landmasses and you encounter different ratings as you walk it, they are fooling themselves. And throwing out the cash-paying baby with the bathwater is even more silly, especially as it costs nothing more to serve a private estate than it does a mainland sim.


OK, warning: None of this is scientific, but I've rented estate and I'm a premium member whose 512 of mainland comes in handy, and I've watched landlords abscond (In this case I had rented retail space) and nearly absconded myself (I did give notice). I've also seen landlords come and go and sims disappear.

I do a lot of walking around. Venture off the road on mainland or go island hopping one afternoon, or just climb over that jungle wall or cross that moat, and it won't take you long to realize people will buy their fantasy on a 4096. On top of it all, I don't want to call Second Life additive, but on those who get hooked enough to consider putting money into it, it has a hold at a very deep level.

What this means is that most tenants and most tenants of whole sims who in turn become landlords are not sane. Some like to "spec land" and gamble. Some "buy" a whole sim for a lady love. Every time I get bounced by a security orb, I think I feel the crunch of broken needles and old glass vials on the ground in those seconds before the stupid device ejects me.

In short, most SL land buyers are not quite sane. Addicts just aren't. They overextend themselves and then when medical bill comes in, the car in real life needs fixing, they have trouble explaining their passion to their real life partner, the sim or the 4096 or the 2048 goes poof.

The other side of this is that somehow there still is a glut of land on islands. Linden Labs hordes abandoned main land making plenty of nice green places for a walk, but on islands and in retail malls it just sits there. It seems there is still always more supply than exceeds demand.

And yes it would be nice if prices came down across the board starting with tier for mainland and monthly rent to LL for islands. I'd also like to see Linden flood the market with horded mainland. Dropping the cost of entry might let people stay in the game after they come to their senses or take a risk in funding a small retail space.


@lyoba, you wrote,

"Some 'buy' a whole sim for a lady love."

Lee Majors, aka TV's Six Million Dollar Man, built this monstrosity of a castle outside Lexington KY for his lady, the late Farrah Fawcett Majors.

The difference in SL is that (I'm guessing) many who make such noble gestures don't pull down Lee Majors' salary, even the one he pulled down in 1978.

Academic Sociologists and Anthropologists are slow on the uptake for virtual worlds. By the time they realize what a rich field of study SL is, it will be too late to study it. Tom Boellstorff's book may well remain the one academic piece of fieldwork to come out of SL, while it was still a viable community.


Ezra's post (7.53am) hit's the nail on the head, with all very valid points.

Linden Lab needs to stay out of the SL economy and stop competing directly with it's customer base.

RobsterRawb Jaxxon

Random thought, Want to rent more land? Delete Marketplace? As in take that 2d interface that makes people think they've seen all there is to be seen in 5 keyword searches and make them embark in the adventure of finding it all? Take away the 2d interface in-between the user and the immersion? Ok, ill stop using question marks.. I know SL makes a pretty penny off of marketplace taxation, but at what cost to the land taxation fund-age does that come to (I said i wouldent). Plus I like hunting for cool stuff

Send Flowers Pakistan

i like the information of the blog. all the pictures looks pretty.

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Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
Dutchie 0223 Masssage table Slideshow
my site ... ... ...

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