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11/15/2008

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Dale Innis

/me waves at Prok attractively.

You really have to make up your mind on me! Is it that I'm a Linden tool, or that I'm an IBM tool being used to control the Lindens, or that I'm one of the elite that secretly controls the Lindens? I expect the thought that I'm one of the elite that secretly controls IBM and thereby the Lindens is too unlikely to occur even to you, although I have been in the boardroom once (really nice table). :)

It's possible that I'm naive in my theory of how the recent screwup happened, but for what it's worth what I posted really is my opinion, and not some carefully-crafted PsyOps piece drafted by the Mind Control Committee in the Secret Underground Base. And I think it's at least as reasonable as your "not a conspiracy theory" about how the Lindens are consciously trying to destroy the land business by doing things like raising land prices and lowering land prices.

(Could you maybe explain again how raising land prices and lowering land prices are *both* attacks on the land business? I'm having a hard time diagramming those sentences...)

Ciaran Laval

People really need to be careful what they wish for. Landlords are seen as evil money making bloodsucking leeches. Tier prices will almost certainly go up if Linden Lab do everything. Homesteads will almost certainly be sold direct, USD$125 qualifies people for concierge support. That's the price you pay for Linden Lab support.

Grandfathering, it will come to an end. However it should be over a period of 1-2 years, sixty days isn't enough time for people to adjust. Grandfathered status on transfer should go though, I don't see why that should remain. There could be a case made for class 4 sims but even then there could be a clause that transferred class 4 sims need to be upgraded to class 5.

Ideally tier will come down in the next year or two and then as grandfathered tier doesn't benefit from the cuts a slow price rise on a smaller scale could even the situation without causing too much damage. However I'm speaking from a landlord view rather than the view I expect will be prevalent in this sort of decision making.

I don't think the group tier bonus will go but you never know.

I've heard even tier mentioned for a while so it wouldn't surprise me at all but it would be a real kick in the bollocks for the rental market. The rental market is very beneficial to Linden Lab but they simply don't think of the world as a whole when they make decisions, they think from a very narrow perspective. I've even seen people suggesting that a way to even tier is to put the price up at the top end, this is plain crazy.

I was impressed with Zee's performance in the forums, I haven't changed my opinion on the price rise being plain wrong. However I wasn't impressed with the second blog about the rises and didn't see why anyone was happy about it. Nothing really changed. Zee is very much involved in this, I think people are hoping to hear something back from that conversation, that's the real test now for Zee.

Whether Jack actually does have any input is a fair point, this could explain why he doesn't really have the answers. I've seen some people suggesting that it was very much Jack's decision and others saying it wasn't. There's no way it could have been Jack's decision alone.

Crap Mariner

I agree that the grandfathered $195 islands will be forced up to $295... I think that'll be linked to the Class 6 migration folks are waiting on.

Cube Republic

I agree with the individual purchase of OSpace sims becoming likely. I'm still awaiting the core count on the wiki regarding the new homesteads. Crap Mariner...I dont think there will be a class six migration, I've heard these will be a separate high performance product with $600 tier, 200 agent, 45k prim settings.

Prokofy Neva

Dale, you're both a Linden tool AND an IBM tool, as needed. Such opinions occur naturally playing the role of tool, which you clearly find natural, too.

It's surely not a "conspiracy theory" to report the obvious patterns they've engaged in over and over and over again for the four years I've been watching them. Since when is the reporting of history a "conspiracy theory"? Only on the "always on" and "ever present" Internet where there is no history because it's always deleted.

Raising and lowering prices destabilizes the land market. It makes it impossible to make good on any investment, which requires usually 10-12 months to realize in SL. It means land purchases are totally arbitrary and have no set value as they may be crashed at any moment. It means that a cost can never be calculated in a business even 6 months out. The point is to constantly shake loose arbitrageurs -- and it succeeds.

Obviously you don't understand anything about business, being an IBM programmer. Perhaps you can get other people at IBM in the other departments to explain to you the concept of "stability" of prices.

There's a myth that landlords tell themselves about how they are "needed" by Linden Lab to "take care of customers" and therefore appreciated. The Lindens have never said that. Ever. In their lives. In fact, they now have such a streamlined and efficient customer service system that they don't need such middlemen, who themselves become demanding, and very critical and whining customers because of the large number of sims they own.

In the entire 4 years I have been in SL, I recall only one post, by Ben Linden, on the old Linden Answers, that said they *didn't mind* people re-renting their land. That came as a response in a furious forums debate in which the old forums FIC insisted that renting was evil and the Lindens hated it.

The Lindens needed to make land sales then even more than they did now. It is LL which made the phenomenon of Anshe Chung possible, because they needed it. Ben, who was an early beta resident-turned Linden, a junior Linden nonetheless, and one responsible for content, not land, came on and said this merely to quell the nasty debate of the time, but it wasn't anything like a robust endorsement of resident rentals.

When M mentioned rentals, it was to mention it as one of many laggy activities that people indulge in on openspace sims, not as any kind of appreciation.

Ordinal Malaprop

1. Yes, I agree that this will happen, particularly now that they have decided on "no need to grandfather void sims". Your grandfather on your old sim has just died. Let us shed a tear, and then increase your tier.

2. I am not sure. I don't believe they care a lot. I wouldn't be surprised though.

3. Whilst I see no reason why this might not happen, I see no reason why it will, either, and if in doubt, "no action" is always the default.

4. If LL wish to make zoned sims they will have to do an _awful_ lot better than the basically unzoned Bay City and Nautilus. I do not actually consider that they know what they are doing. They may well be aiming to make proper zoned sims, but they are unable to do it at the moment and the chance of them GOMing anyone, I suspect, is basically nil.

5. _Possibly_. It would make sense, but that isn't always a deciding factor.

6. No, they don't give a monkey's about that. They will not do anything unless there is another scandal on television. They have had their moment of exposure, they got past it, and unless there is another one there will be no action; not that there was any anyway.

Dale Innis

Of course it's a conspiracy theory, Prokofy; you are talking about history, but you're also speculating about intent. You're saying that a group of people had a shared common program that secretly guided their actions, while they were claiming to be guided by something else. They raised and lowered land prices intentionally to discourage land investment; they proposed various things intending to fall back quasi-reluctantly to other things when people complained. The only way that's not a conspiracy theory is if you think all the lying was done by just one person, who fooled everyone else. Not clear who that'd be, though; M or Phillip? I guess it could be a Sith...

On my toolishness, do you imagine that I get explicit orders from the Secret Underground Headquarters ("this week, say nice things about Open Source, so we may convert the world to communism", "today dress extra-well, so we can make people think content creators are important"), or is it just that I have certain sincerely-held beliefs that, when expressed, tend to advance the interests of people or groups you don't like?

I'm trying to decide how offended to be. :)

Yumi Murakami

Well, if they increase tier on grandfathered sims I'm gone.

Fleep Tuque

I'm sure Chilbo would survive if they got rid of the 10% bonus, but that's really one of the ONLY incentives to donate tier to a group instead of everyone owning privately, and is one of the main selling points when talking to people about the benefits of doing a group owned land project. I hope you're wrong about that one! (But wouldn't be surprised if you're right.)

Prokofy Neva

Dale, it's not a "conspiracy" when Philip Linden gives interviews openly, and makes statements in town halls or meetings in SL, in which he very explicitly says he does not favour arbitrage, and which he wishes to opt for flat tier. Do I need to go dig up all the references. Philip definitely, most certainly has said this, over and over. It's a report, not a conspiracy theory.

Of course they raise and lower tier to dislodge the arbitrageurs. As soon as they see that a product is undervalued and being snapped up to flip, it becomes a resource issue. You simply have to realize that resource issues like 16 people straining an OS sim doesn't become a problem first; what becomes a problem *first* is that land agents see a quick buck, they buy 100 sims to flip, and they pack 16 people on a sim. Then the Lindens realize, oh, ok, and they have to shake them loose. Same with islands, where they needed to encourage companies. Read what they actually say in interviews. Read the splash screen, which advertises "business meetings in SL," not cybersex humper bunkers.

All of the Lindens -- Philip, M, Zee, Mitch, etc. have all sung from the same hymn sheet here. It was evident years ago, from what Ginsu and Philip said, and now we are merely seeing its implementation.

Point to me a single statement from the Lindens that says, "We love it when our customers develop rentals because that helps take care of our other customers". That's a land baron conceit, but never, ever, ever a Linden statement. It isn't because they discourage it, and discourage it now vigorously.

You're of the type of tool that doesn't need to get instructions wrapped up in a stone under the bridge and left by your controller at the KGB; you just instinctively follow the line. Such agents of influence, as they are called, are priceless to the Center.

Of course I don't like people and groups that advance interests that are detrimental to a free civilization. Sure as hell don't. And that's why I fight them. Absolutely. Ask yourself why I wouldn't like an elite class of tools shilling for people who are crushing democratic civilization...

Prokofy Neva

Fleep, well in advance of the Lindens getting around to this, we need to find all the groups that have tier contributions and projects, whether non-profit or commercial, and inventory them for the Lindens, who are sure to say "But we don't find anyone doing this anywhere." So I will get to work on that.

Dale Innis

Well, no, it's not a conspiracy theory when you say that the Lindens probably mean the things that they say in public. :) But your describing them, for instance, as 'following a conscious, deliberate policy which consists not only of making the harsh and planned announcement, but then feigning a modification of it and feigning even that they "screwed up"' is. So perhaps we were just talking about different parts of your ouvre. :)

Dale Innis

On my toolishness: So I know nothing whatever about business, but I'm able to sort of intuitively sense what I should say to best further the business interests of my Masters? Wild... :)

Prokofy Neva

Dale, you haven't been around long enough -- or you are a tool -- or both. Probably both. The Lindens THEMSELVES talk about how this is their deliberate policy. I've heard them say as much. They view themselves in these revolutionary special circumstances where there isn't time to allow things to play out for long periods, it's all so innovative and new blah blah and they justify acting that way. Seriously, they do consciously plan this, and follow the plan to the letter. Go back and study history. Oh, it's probably hopeless since you're such a tool.

Yes, you know nothing about real business, you've probably never worked in a 7/11 in your entire life, and you do instinctively know where your bread is buttered and yes, mouth the platitudes of your masters quite well. It's probably unconscious by now.

Dale Innis

The Lindens themselves talk about how they have a 'deliberate policy which consists not only of making the harsh and planned announcement, but then feigning a modification of it and feigning even that they "screwed up"'? Wow, that would really surprise me! Can you cite some Linden statement in which they talk about this?

Prokofy Neva

Go and talk to them. You have access to them. They will explain this to you. It's been explained many times in office hours. This IS their method, and they admit it.

Go and have an honest one-on-one conversation with any of the senior ones, and they will break it down to you. It's not something they put in writing as such, but you can basically find it as the undercurrent of each and every one of these crises.

Prokofy Neva

Go and read the blogs, the forums, and the office hour transcripts of the VAT crisis. Each and every one of these steps I've outlined in PainPoint are visible for all to see. It's a conscious policy, that they throw up the harsh pronouncement on the wall, they see what sticks, they see where the pain is, the ameliorate it, then they say they're sorry.

Every single one of those chimes was rung on VAT. Read the entire VAT collection, and then come back and read the collection of the materials for OS sims. Exact. same. pattern. Exact same people even saying the exact same things. They know EXACTLY what they were doing with this. For that matter, go back further, to the first time inside tipoff about the sims price going up. Same exact statements. Sudden annuoncement. Pain points and anger about the inside tipping. Philip, then coming on the blog and in press accounts to say "we shouldn't have done that". Except they did.

Like they did the crisis before that -- age verification. Or telehubs. Or GOM. Or pick-a-crisis. Each and every crisis works on the EXACT SAME pattern with absolute DELIBERATE implementation of this policy and with a final round of goofy "we screwed up" faux confessions to dissipate the hate.

It really makes me sick to see this for about the 10th time now. And of course, what makes it possible for this pattern to repeat and repeat is tools like Dale Innis who keep shilling for it and pretending it's all new and genuine each time.

Sigmund Leominster

Is it just me or does everyone and their dog using the Second Life(TM) virtual world seem to think they OWN it? I hate to burst delicate bubbles - especially those of the folks who don't even have a premium account and could be less charitably describe as "freeloaders" - but the product, Second Life, is little more than a "fee for service" communication application, not unlike a mobile phone. The company who own it, Linden Lab(R), are no different than any other (say, Verizon, who irritate the hell out of me) and can, quite frankly, do what they damn well please with their prices and policies. The current glut of omphaloskepsis accompanied by the almost biblical wailing and gnashing of teeth boils to to whether you want to play the game or switch carriers.

Sometimes companies make mistakes and have to do something about it. They don't have to apologize or explain themselves, just as I don't neither. Verizon decided some years back to charge 25 cents for text messages, an increase from 10 cents. Was I, and the world, pissed? Damn right! Did I leave Verizon? Hell no? Why not? Go figure! Did they explain why the price had to rise or even say "we're sorry but..."? Once again, no.

Playing Second Life is a game; making money in Second Life is a business; running the Second Life infrastructure (and preparing for IPO) is big business. I neither love nor hate Linden Lab because I don't have to. They are a corporate entity that provides a service and I, the mighty consumer, can chose to use it or ignore it. When LL goes public and y'all get a chance to buy shares and earn voting rights, then you'll have a chance to exercise some muscle, no matter how feeble or atrophied that may be. Until then, bombast, indignation, and hot air will do nothing but hasten the heat death of the universe - it won't change the pricing structures. So go hold your in-world protests, write to your congressman, send a letter to the Times, but ultimately the only vote you have is to uninstall the damn software and go play World of Warcraft, Lively, or Hello Kitty: Island Adventures.

Sic vita est.

Prokofy Neva

No, we own it Sigmund. Server space is property. If we stop paying and leave tomorrow, Linden Lab has no revenue. It gets the lion's share of its revenue from tier. Try to grasp this is not like a public phone utility where the sustaining of the utility comes from millions of small payments plus various other sales and investments. This is a smaller form of media with the subscribers paying huge amounts -- thousands of US dollars in quite a few cases -- to sustain the company. It's a different model; deal with it, and stop trying to shoehorn it into the models of the last century's media or communications utilities.

You, like other tekkies who hate land and hate the idea of this model of social media and its social consequences for companies, would like to go on privileging companies endlessly as power-holders and scream to you are blue in the face that land doesn't mean anything and it is just code. But it isn't. It is revenue and it is a commodity. It is social software, social media, that is a transformed form of media by contrast to the last century. Deal with it.

SL isn't a game, not when I go out and buy groceries to feed my family with money cashed out of SL, sorry.

People who earn their living from my revenue sure do have to avoid mistakes, stop apologing (which is all fake anyway) and get it right. They earn their money in a joined context called "social media" which is not like the one-way media push of TV or newspapers, or the narrow band of communication of a utility like a telephone. Deal with it, it is now different, it is now the new century. Tekkies are always the last to "get it" about the revolutionary consequences of their own invention.

The Lindens are unlikely to "go public". And en route to doing that, we have to insist that land holdings will equal shares, not that "the public" has to then go buy another set of shares elsewhere that then has ruling righs over this space. The shares does indeed have to be the tier. That's how it has to work. That's how it will work because people will struggle to make it that way, they will now allow other share-buyers to rule them with their own paid shares unrecognized. That wouldn't happen in any other company in the universe.

No, I sure don't take a position that the solution to the problem of the Lindens and their pets is to go play Hello Kitty. That's like being banished to Siberia or exiled to the island of Crete if I'm a dissident in Russia. What matters is that you fight on the main platform where the struggle is real with real consequences.

Sean Williams

"SL isn't a game, not when I go out and buy groceries to feed my family with money cashed out of SL, sorry."

Sorry, that does not change a damn thing concerning what Second Life is. It simply means that you're a twit. If you have to cash real money out of Second Life to seed your family: You have a problem.

On the topic of ownership of the computer program: No, you do not own it. You cannot produce a single receipt or other document showing that Linden Lab transfered ownership of Second Life to you or to anyone else.

Until Linden Lab, the company itself, comes and and states that they are shutting down and transferring ownership of the program and all server systems to the users of Second Life ... They retain their ownership and full rights to do what they please with the system.

Sorry, those are the facts: YOU deal with it.

Idealists and other Utopian twits like yourself are always the last ones to wake up to the harsh realities of the real world. The longer it takes them to do so ... the more likely it is that they'll simply crash and burn when it finally happens.

Prokofy Neva

If you have to cash real money out of Second Life to seed your family: You have a problem.

As you are someone who apparently lives on welfare or the wages of others, let me explain to you how it works, as your head is shoved very far up your ass.

You rent servers at a bulk. You parcel and develop them and make communities as nicely as you can. You put houses and stores and such. People rent them, and the difference between what they pay, and what I pay to the Lindens in tier, is called "profit".

I can then take what we like to call "profit" and buy, oh, shoes or a gadget or another piece of land, and never have it leave the world. But I could also cash it out and buy groceries and pay bills.

That isn't "a problem". That's how profit *works*. Can I live solely off my SL business? Of course not! I'd have to work 3 times as many hours, and probably couldn't make it. That's why I have my RL jobs that take up more than a 40-hour week. My SL business is just a small business on the side. But there are people who can make a living from rentals or content, albeit a modest one unless they live in a place where their rent is low.

Sean Williams

Prokofy, I don't need you to explain to me how it works: Doing so only shows you attempting to rationalize away your problem.

Let me spell it out for you: The simple fact that you've decided to cash money out of Second Life for something as basic as food shows that you have a serious problem: As does anyone that uses Second Life in that manner.

See, if you're using the money you've made from your HOBBY to pay for basic needs, you've either got a serious financial problem or you simply take what amounts to a Hobby or a Game to the rest of the industry and just about everyone else that actually lives in the real world ..... far too seriously. Which you do.

Therein lies the problem.

Next time: Think before you respond to me, otherwise you come off as making excuses.

Prokofy Neva

Um, what am I supposed to use my SL money for? The purchase of a mink coat? Am I supposed to save it and buy myself a fabulous piece of bling inworld? I'm not getting this. Why can't I buy groceries? Seems like a good use to put the SL money.

I don't want a mink coat. I'd rather use it for groceries and bills like my telephone bill. Why can't I do that? I could, say, use the check that comes in from one of my other jobs to buy the groceries, instead of the SL money, but I use those bigger checks for bigger items like rent or doctors' bills that are bigger than grocery bills.

I dunno, I just like to budget it that way, because it's all going on a PayPal and I can get the cashbacks from the PayPal and track the expenses that way, it just seems convenient. So what does it matter, which particular revenue source goes to cover which particular life expense? Huh?

If I use my SL money saved over a few months to pay for a computer, does that make it somehow "less a problem" because I bought a geeky thing like a computer, instead of normal groceries?

I don't see why any value judgement would accrue to cashing out your SL money and buying milk for your babies. Why not? Money doesn't stink. Who cares where it comes from? It comes from various jobs. Among the jobs is this funny thing in a virtual world. Perhaps it's as funny as winning $25 on a scratch-off, but, as I said, money doesn't stink. It works fine to buy the milk.

It's only a dysfunction, utopian, sick geek who has somehow his own job and money flow problems and internal convulsions who could come up with some strange guilt- trip like this that makes no sense.

Why can't I use the money from something that seems like a hobby for milk and bread? As I've explained now several times, I have real-life jobs that give me the bulk of my income each month to pay all my major life expenses of rent, health care, clothing, etc. etc.

If I were able to spend 12 hours a day or more on SL, and could somehow muster a few grand a month to live in RL, would I do it? Well, probably not, because it would be dull, and I'd miss my RL jobs that are interesting to me and always have been. But if someone who wants to make a living in SL working 12 hour days to scrape a living out it, more power to them! God bless them! I'm all for that. We need MORE of that. We need MORE people to run the gauntlet of assholes like Sean Williams or Dale Innis who fail to value land and people's work, who fail to understand that this is really a viable means to make a living online, and to prove this by the purchase of milk for their babies.

Again, I spend at least 40 hours a week if not far more in my other jobs that have nothing to do with SL. How else could I live?! Why does this even need explaining three times lol?

I realize now I'd dealing with someone who is not only stupid, but psychotic, and truly, the only way such a person can be dealt with is by not engaging them and not responding to them.

Melanie

"Let me spell it out for you: The simple fact that you've decided to cash money out of Second Life for something as basic as food shows that you have a serious problem: As does anyone that uses Second Life in that manner.

See, if you're using the money you've made from your HOBBY to pay for basic needs, you've either got a serious financial problem or you simply take what amounts to a Hobby or a Game to the rest of the industry and just about everyone else that actually lives in the real world ..... far too seriously. Which you do."

Oh, wow. Seriously, this is just palm-faced, jaw-droppingly IGNORANT.

Lol, it is really funny to read how preachy you got there just now. There are college kids paying for their CARS with the money they make in SL. People are paying for rent, groceries, electric bills, with their SL income in here.

Do your research before you spout off further uninformed nonsense and make yourself look even more like a fool.

Sean Williams

You have me laughing here Prok, you really do.

More excuses and a weak dismissal, cooked up by your own dysfunctional little mind in an attempt to save face.

Here's what you do with the money you make from a hobby: You put it in your savings and don't touch it for some time. It's a Hobby for Christ's sake! The money should be stored in the event that an emergency comes up.

What we need is LESS people with their heads in the clouds and who actually have a head on their shoulders and their priorities straight.

Do yourself a favor Prok: Stop wasting time coming up with weak, pathetic excuses, comebacks and brush off attempts and do something constructive with your life.

The next time you feel the need to make up thoughts to put in other people's heads or words to put in their mouths ... Don't.

You quite frankly do not know the first thing about properly responding to another person, as you have demonstrated time and time again. You cannot type up a response without belittling a person in some way, using a label or other such thing and calling it a 'report' (which it is NOT, it is an OPINION), making up excuses to cover your own shortfalls and all around trying to find a way to brush aside anyone who does not agree with you.

Sorry: That's not the way the world works, nor how you respond to people.

There will come a day when you respond the wrong way, to the wrong person Prok: Such a thing always happens to those without the ability to act in a proper and civil manner.

I can only hope that when that day comes, you manage to walk out of that confrontation intact: Too many end up not coming out of it at all.

Just look at some of the bully types I warned in the past, during the time I was in school: some of them are now in prison or worse.

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