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12/30/2007

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Frankie Antonioni

Well here is what I think the Lindens should do. Right now Linden Labs makes money from premium and tier, so lets add to that a parcel fee. Lets say that you own land that is 2048 sq meters, that can be one parcel of 2048, or 4 parcels of 512 sq meters. There is no parcel fees paid on that, however if you want to divide the land into 5 or more parcels, then you will have to pay a parcel fee of 20 cents for each parcel.

Now you are going to be paying tier of 8.00 US$ a month, and if you have that land divided in to 100 parcels, then you will have to pay 20.00 US$ for the parcel fee plus the 8.00 US$ tier fee. This is for a total of 28.00 US$ a month.
So go ahead and buy as much land and divide it into 16 sq. meter parcels, but you will be paying a higher fee than anybody else.

Now if you can make 50 L$ on each billboard, then you might be able make back the money that you paid for tier and parcel fee. However in order to do that, you are going to have to place the billboard where it will be seen by a lot of people.
Now if the Lindens could do away with premium, and replace that with a sales tax on land, and a parcel tax, then you might see land sales go back up.

Here is what the land sales tax would look like.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1/128 Region 25 Percent
512 m2


1/64 Region
1,024 m2

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1/32 Region 20 Percent
2,048 m2

1/16 Region
4,096 m2

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------
1/8 Region 15 Percent
8,192 m2



1/4 Region
16,384 m2
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1/2 Region 10 Percent
32,768 m2


Entire Region
65,536 m2
-------------------------------
This tax would not be added on, but instead would be inclusive, so if a 512 sq meter of land sales for 10,000 L$, then the seller would get 7,500 L$.

Prokofy Neva

The Lindens are allergenic to the idea of "taxation" because when they used to have a "prim tax," their residents revolted, including some who went on to become Lindens, and this is burned into their collective consciousness as something they will never, ever allow.

It also creates havoc for people trying to fix up rentals, lay out communities, arrange events, etc. You can't make temporary divisions; you can't fiddle with parcel sizes to get them right on an oddly numbered parcel -- there are lots and lots of them.

Each time you make a motion, you get punished by this tax of yours -- it just isn't workable and I wouldn't support it.

It won't get at those idiots who already have parcelled, and already have 16 m2 everywhere.

economic mip

The problem is that the 10% bonus for group land causes some pretty interesting land shapes. Personally, I don't find it worth it to get the one group I own the extra 48 sqm they can hold (our last 16 sqm redevelopment project was a near disaster and netted 10 lindens total for the group). A better option would be to allow owners to join land in other parts of a region to their existing estates, in an attempt to weed out the major eyesores.

Prokofy Neva

My God, economic, the land bonus is NOT the reason there are ad farms or odd amounts. I have lots of groups and I don't rush to apply my land bonus to some odd parcel like a 16 m2 ad farm!

Instead, you move it around until you have 512 m2 obviously.

And in fact, land in any part of the sim *can* be joined. You can first of all use the prims from it anywhere on the sim, and second of all, actually join it using the yellow box if you wish. So that's not an argument. Perhaps you weren't aware of this capacity?

Removing group bonuses will not solve ad farming, because they aren't the source of ad farming, and that would needlessly punish people who have the benefits of the bonus in a group, an incentive they need for sticking it out on the mainland which is less lucrative and more difficult.

Fleep

Not quite sure what I think of the blue proposal, but I completely agree that the mainland is blighted by ad farmers and "buy back the view" jerks. The ad farmers and abandoned land that Linden Lab never reclaims are the bane of our mainland community's existence. Personally, I think LL has pretty much abandoned the mainland altogether. Our sim still doesn't have a road after all this time and even when Governor Linden does reclaim a plot, it never seems to go up for auction, so you're just stuck with whatever crap the previous owner left behind - in our case more than a year ago!

I'm not sure there's any incentive to stick to the mainland, it seems to be a holding ground for people who can't afford a whole sim. They don't really give you the tools to deal with any of the blight, you get less control than estates, and are subject to griefers and litterers at a much higher rate. Further, the way the math works out, it's more cost effective for a single owner to purchase land than it is for a group of people to contribute tier to a group, so it even penalizes collaboration.

Mainland is a drag these days.

Prokofy Neva

Fleep, I had one of those abandoned lands, too, where it went for nearly a year. It was insane. Worse, it had red ban lines put on it and a plywood board -- obviously from a newbie who tried his land for a day, put out a wood block -- and then never came back. Am I to believe he bought a $72 annual subscription and left his land, and the Lindens couldn't bring themselves to put it back in the auction queue?

Why can't they develop a policy about land like this, and at least clear it of ban lines and junk, say, after 90 days?

After several of us banged on the concierge several times with tickets, finally the land was put up to auction again and my neighbour was able to buy it, but of course, at a bid-up higher price. Then somehow another piece like it suddenly went to sale with a cheap prefab on it for some ridiculously outrageous high price.

It's so hard to win on the mainland.

But I do think if we keep filing the tickets, we can get the Lindens finally to respond. It shouldn't take so long, however.

Desmond Shang

Fascinating proposal.

Of course, in some respects it just pushes the problem to a meta level (what is a valid AR? what defines 'ad farm'? what of corruption?) but overall, the problem is a bit easier to manage that way.

In some sense, we already have such a thing. Except it's called a private estate. Not parallel of course, but definitely there are different market expectations along similar lines - I've yet to see a spinning ad farm on a private estate.

The whole issue is one that touches on eminent domain. Say an ad farmer scores a 256m parcel in the middle of 4 beautiful mainland regions owned by one land baron. At some point, justice means that the ad farmer should be removed - either that, or we acknowledge that parasitism or extortion is acceptable.

Prokofy Neva

There is a simple reason that there aren't ad farms on private islands, and this reason lets you know as well that when you "buy" land on an island you haven't really "bought it" but only bought a sort of access deed.

And that reason is that the primary owner of the island can reclaim the land at any time "for no reason or any reason", but especially "for the reason stated in the covenant".

I don't think that any private island owner has ever had to do this, however, because the ad farmers know that the minute they tried this stunt of putting land to a ridiculous price to make others "buy back the view," they'd be out on their ass. So they don't try it.

jasmine Anadyr

Prokofy, can you explain to me, no I'm not just being troublesome but I am interested.

I have land on an a sim with plenty of bothersome signs, but to be fair they were there when I bought, it was interesting to note the farmers putting up prices as some of the land sold turned into suburban homes and cute gardens, oh and a big slot machine shop thing.

Now ideally I'd like to own the whole sim and fashion it in my own image, but I can't. Or the have neighbors like next door who have a skybox and nothing else. My view at 500 feet will never be the same (ha ha).

But in a free enterprise system you wouldn't put planning controls on public sims (it is a imposition of governance on the freedom to use ones land as one wants).

Isn't wanting to distort the market, to have what in the rl would would be a Govt implemented planning control a bit socialist, dare I ask communist?

I'm not just being provocative and I admit in my view getting my neighbors too look and even act more like me (and I could even take the red ban lines down then) would be fantastic.

But I remember a very local politician promising no planning controls and much much nicer better planned neighbourhoods - I still chuckle at that one.

Happy new year.

Prokofy Neva

jasmine, this proposal isn't about setting zoning standards based on somebody's tastes -- Goth or suburban, skybox or modern, prim lawns or FLW boxes. It's not about centralized planning. It's not about zoning, but about regulating a form of blight that we can all agree on.

We can all agree that big ugly, often spinning boxes, towers of ads usually for cheesy sex parlours or tacky and dubious financial "services" or camping, are a subtraction, not an addition to land value.

The leering mug of Mr. Lee and his Hong Kong promising such wonderful muchness is an eyesore, not an enhancement. There can't possibly be many clicks on these things (I've tested this theory myself by putting my land preserve and/or Ravenglass signs, which are low on the ground and more tasteful, among ad farms, and seen that they don't get hardly any clicks in sims where they are in a huge nest of them, and that they get far more clicks integrated into a setting where people don't mind an ad -- a mall, my office, a bulletin board, a wall space with space for ads intended. Those areas simply get way more clicks -- the ads in ad farms are in fact on sims where the owners of neighbouring parcels obviously aren't going to click on them, and only the occasional wayward newbie would bother. Yet their deployers imagine that if they just paper the landscape with enough of them, mathematically they will win. It's just the most insane argument, like email spam, that only serves people to ignore ALL ads of the type.

There is no justification for an ad tower. Let's say a sim has 8 or 12 or 16 owners on it. All of them own 512 or 2048 or even 16,000 meters. None of them want any ads in their residential areas. So why are the ads there? Because a predatory has managed to seize a 16 m2 left over at a roadside -- or more likely than not -- in the middle of a field or on prime waterfront! It's totally insane.

Therefore that idiot with the tiny parcel gets to upset the view of 16 other people -- or more if he has grabbed a 4 corners as some try to do -- just because he is an unethical slash and burn adster. Why is that fair? There's absolutely nothing right about it.

All the other people have paid hard-earned money, $30 or even $300 US real money for their land, but right smack in their view is this ugly crap. Why is that fair, in the name of "freedom" or "creativity" when it TAKES AWAY freedom and creativity for everyone else?

Who can have a nice home when the ugly stupid tower of ANCIENT SHRINER, a total bonehead, is looming up above your home?

How is it "getting your neighbours to look and act like you" to remove only these signs, and demand that the landscape be clear of them, particularly in residential areas where NOBODY WANTS THEM. If you were to take a vote of the people who own the land on the sim, they'd say HELL NO. If you even asked the people who idly click on them like loonies whether they really like having them there to look at all the time, they'd say "Likely not".

The very word "zoning" to some people gets their back up. They picture awful American suburban enclaves that keep out blacks and gays or even just poorer people. They think of awful New York City co-op boards that want your soul and have hysteric attacks if someone so much as scrapes a chair on a floor. They think of horrid New England stuffyness, where people can't paint their houses pink -- or even anything but slate gray or dark blue.

But even those who would rail against all that sort of heavy-handed control or even discrimination could all readily concede that even if you want a chicken shack and you wish to paint it purple, you don't need Mr. Lee's head bobbing over your marigolds.

jasmine Anadyr

Thanks for the long response I agree, it is a clear case of the individual right needing to bow to the collective advantage.

But so are zoning and planning laws, but then again I support them in most cases.

Khamon

"I've yet to see a spinning ad farm on a private estate." - Desmond

Thanks for playing the home version of our game Desmond. The Mainland *is* a private estate owned and managed by the Lindens just as Caledon is owned and managed by you. You just happen to do a much better job of it.

"And that reason is that the primary owner of the island can reclaim the land at any time "for no reason or any reason", but especially 'for the reason stated in the covenant'." - Prokofy

This is possible on the Mainland as well. It simply requires, as you said, that the Lindens formulate a policy and enforce it the same way every other estate owner on the grid does. They claim that "wouldn't be fair to the users." Compared to what? Implementing tier after the production release, granting residents the power to destroy common use of the official forum (and now the JIRA), secretly revising the dwell formula, holding land for absent users on request, selling lindens on the Lindex, flooding the land market then not then doing it again then not then, continually replacing governance team members so they can continually claim innocent newbie status, suddenly updating the search algorithm?

Prokofy Neva

Wow, Khamon! Best. Post. Ever!

Desmond Shang

Ya know, I've been tempted for a very long time now.

Occasionally large swaths of mainland come up, and I sit there, with hundreds of people whispering "mainland colonyyyyy..."

...and I think: Maybe I should snap up 1 to 4 mainland sims in the span of a couple minutes, trench a no-man's land as a defence against lolcubes, and put a wrought-iron neovictorian arcology smack in the middle of it. With quiet, pastoral civility inside its megaprim superstructure... roses, horse trails and tea.

But somehow, I don't think that would be 'playing ball' quite right on the mainland, so I haven't.

It would be even more ironic to do that in a vast wasteland of spinny ad-towers, random freebie junk and random prim fires.

Come to think of it Prok, you'd be in a far far better position to do something similar yourself.

Prokofy Neva

I contemplated this very thing myself. That is, over time, I've wrested civilization back from the barbarians at the gates on a number of older sims, and have 4-6 sim areas where either I own the land and zone it, or I have great neighbours who would never cave to ad farmers or put up ugly spinning chickens and purple lolcubes. I do have my problem neighbours, but there's always a lower draw distance, which is your best friend on the mainland.

I recently scoped out a 4 sim area where a nice rentals company already had a full sim of well-planned and managed land, where I already had a little set of cottages on some flat grassland and a store on another sim, and I and contemplated for the longest time buying land strategically placed around it -- not the whole thing, my God, you're forgetting that auction buys are $2500 or more, and inworld buys could be as high as $3000 even on a cheaper sim.

So I was looking and looking at this Ulyanovsk oblast (lol, actually, in Russian you'd have to call it Ulyanovskaya oblast but it probably didn't fit on the namer), it was PG, and there I was fussing, talking to land barons to see if they'd come down, talking to existing residents to see if they were going to remain strong in adversity, as signs were encroaching along one of the flanks precipitously, etc. etc. Over in Baikal, where I had the roadside store, with an annoying neighbour who kept demanding I sell him my land, even though there was land everywhere else on the sim he could have bought to set up his same mysterious server or sales empire. I wanted to stay put, with a nice rentals wall back of me, Linden road, and a guy with a dojo sort of thing set up, which all counts for "protection on 3 sides". It was rented, so I forgot about it, until I realized the tenant was merely a stalking horse for the guy who kept wanting to buy the land, who was putting mega prims then on my land despite being banned because the tenant was undoing the ban. Sigh.

I set that to sale at a high price to encourage the annoying neighbour to buy his view (hey, when in Rome, as they say...). He made no offers. I continued my reconnaissance. One day I flew by and saw he had liquidated out of there, evidently finally taking my advice to simply go buy the 4096 or whatever he needed on another sim, geez there are gadzillions of them.

The sim was rapidly going to the dogs, as a casino had to rapidly crab-walk out of the huge land purchase they made by cutting it to smithereens for sale, and there were a million spinning things AND red ban lines, which was a marvel, given that...the land was for sale, so...why ban people from it?

Governor Linden had failed to show up to build the road, and a trough overgrown with weeds ran jagged across the sim, ensuring that dozens of parcels had stupid jagged edges. I wonder if Governor Linden could rethink that policy, and cut the squares nicely in two to make neater borders...

So there I was, flying around, brooding on the vicissitudes of the mainland, occasionally making bomb runs up the road (to be) where things were even far worse...and taking side trips out to Cortina, where I saw a very nice area on sale by Anshe for a bit above market next to Buster Peel's land preserve (yes, he's back in SL!) -- I held off over there because of a numbnut who had put a giant sign tower at the four corners, but really, the slopes there were so pretty, I regret not making the move there, now it's a furniture store -- but a nice one...

So back I flew over the bedraggled steppes of the Russian provinces, step' da step' krugom...But, I dithered too long -- well, actually, I just abruptly concluded that the half tier I was forced to consume by accident on an auction buy of Jaunita (another story completely) just wasn't worth trying to keep (the system doesn't warn you that it has to have PERSONAL not GROUP tier available because you don't get to pick it up inworld, it assigns you the land automatically and tiers you up automatically if it sees you as an individual have no tier.)

While I dithered, Elianthus' price came down on UO, because he has it on a scientific basis, not on any market concept, i.e. he puts it out at a hugely high price to see if anyone values it, and then runs it down like a Dutch auction after that. So Barb Carson grabbed it to flip it before I could -- it had come down from some absurd $19 to like $10 and I missed it falling after that.

For the life of me, I couldn't see paying Barb Carson $10/m for PG she had likely picked up for $7, given the awful way she behaved to me on her Nantucket empire (didn't even realize she was back in the land biz).

Meanwhile, this other resident on UO I had assiduously talked to, offered to swap parcels with (I had one) trying to convince him of the way prims worked (he kept insisting that he had to have contiguous land) blah blah blah...well, the usual mix of mainland challenges.

I was still considering to walk into it, even when sign extortionism broke out all along the edges, when evidently the Voom people sold out when their already cheapened PG land didn't sell -- I was going to buy it, but then they let some of it go and it go spliced.

I contemplated entering this mix -- which would have been only a question of variation on the theme anywhere else in any other 4 sim area, and I said: "Pass".

Now, you say, why didn't I just muster $6000 and buy a couple of inworld sims, or try to get 2 sims on the auction? You know, that's hard to do, frankly...

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