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MarkTwain White on Openspace Price Increase | VintFalken.com
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VintFalken.com

MarkTwain White on Openspace Price Increase

November 10, 2008 9:43 pm

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UPDATE: Lindens just announced that they will be paying part of the USS tier fees the creation of ‘the Blake Sea’ on Linden-owned mainland to the east of Nautilus: “This is the first time that we’ve allowed estates to connect to the Mainland in this way, and it is testimony to both the great community the USS has built up, and our desire to work with Resident groups to improve the Mainland experience in different and innovative ways.” And more: “For all Residents, as well as the USS, this offers unprecedented open water to sail through, hang out in or just explore. There will be islands for viewing the regular USS race events and scripted boats or planes to ferry our intrepid residents safely across the Sea from Nautilus. If you haven’t tried sailing inworld, it might soon be time to give it a whirl!” Isn’t this just ‘bailing out’ one SL community? Never underestimate the powers of the FIC! ;)

This new Linden Policy will kill Second Life sailing as we know itMarkTwain White Paisley Beebe says on Tonight Live with MarkTwain White. MarkTwain is coordinator of the United Sailing Sims which spans total of 130 sims, spread over 8 owners.

Why is the ‘revised openspace’ or the ‘homestead’ not a solution for them? Well, sailing regattas on average have 10 to 20 participating boats, which of course, need to start on the same sim. Add to that the judges and the crowd… . More at ‘Linden Policy Change Threatens SLSailing’ on SLsailing.com. But at least you can use those ‘revised openspaces’ for Second Life Golf, right? ‘We’re not going pay 75USD/month to go back to Linden Trees.’ Yeah, ok, that definitely makes sense! ;)

At the end of his interview (which you should really watch) MarkTwain shares with us this words spoken by Mitch Kapor at SLCC 2006: “You are the pioneers and the founders of this new world, and you have unbelievable great opportunities to put your stamp, to leave a legacy, to create things that will endure and have value. That opportunity to participate in the creation of the new world is a really rare one and I hope you cherish it.” MarkTwain feels cheated, and points out that the 13000 voids are being used for exactly that, participate in the creation of a new world. And that a 67% tier increase is not the best way to show you appreciate that.

Machinima shot by Mr White at the Openspace Protest Sailing Regatta, quite spooky with all those black sails stating ‘You ruin my home. You ruin my business.’

Maybe the RCAF can use a fleet? ,) No, actually, Mr White mentions that OpenSim land was already purchased, and they were looking forward to new possibilities there.

33 Responses to “MarkTwain White on Openspace Price Increase”

Crap Mariner wrote a comment on November 10, 2008
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Perhaps we need to listen again to the SL5B speech by MitchK where he says that the Pioneer Days are coming to an end?

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on November 10, 2008
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What’s ironic is that the sailing communities themselves were leading abusers of void sims. True, they did utilize them at first for legitimate sailing activities but, the sailing estates got greedy. By the time the first 4 to 8 voids are laid down an estate is sitting pretty as the voids are paid for by the residents. Extra money was realized when voids were rented out for light residential use. Even more damning was the selling of whole voids for ownership. Just pull up the map of Sailors Cove and Hollywood (SLNE does not count as it is not a sailing community). All the newest growth was in voids. They were addicted to the cash flow that a void could bring in for minimal maintenance. Now it’s for shit as the cannot go back to the original usage. The “pooch” has been screwed,. Still’s a shame to see that activity go away.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on November 10, 2008
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GoSpeed, thanks, I did not know/realise that. Were they pushing residential use on them that much? That does suck, but does not change Linden is ‘fixing’ this wrong, imho.

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on November 10, 2008
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Plain and simple, cashflow. A void cost $250, sell it for $300 or more. Profit. Tier is $75, you charge $100 or so. Profit. They were cash cows. One tenet or owner equals less work.

Fanci Beebe wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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You know, at face value, and with out looking at whats really going on here, looks shocking and if it was true.. it would be. Its not! Its far more intricate than what you are being led to believe. This can NOT be summed up in one bitter post. What is not said the the “profit” went into enlarging and preserving a way of life. Profit is laughable, believe me nobody in sailing is getting rich, or in most cases breaking even…quite contrary, many for the love of sailing are well out of pocket now and will surely have to give up at the rate this is going. Others sell land in order to purchase more and enlarge open waters for sailing. These open water sims are not inhabited. None of which is free!!! THIS is where and if any.. so called profit goes. As for abusing.. not a chance. Homes on OS sold land is kept to a standard allowing sailing to go unhindered. The Sailing Community by its very nature NEVER goes over prim allowances. A large buffer to accommodate sailing has always been a mandate.
Also, its very easy to believe someone who takes the time to put something damning down in a forum such as this. I would say this.. don’t damn until you really know all the facts for yourself. Don’t read this and say well this must be true or the original post and take that as gospel either. If its that important that you need to know.. look deeper ask those truly involved.

Delinda Dyrssen wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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Well Gospeed you have to keep in mind.. the fully open water spaces must be paid for too.. so the “Profits” you talk about are pretty much eaten up by those tiers.

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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I want to clarify a statement I made earlier about SLNE. I did not mean to deride them in any way. When I say “not a sailing community”, I meant that they did not have racing events or an active Yacht Club. They are however a nautically themed estate and the loss of the voids will impact their bottom line significantly. Whether you sail or not, the assault on the voids will damage the economic models of many estates in SL.

MarkTwain White wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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GoSpeed Racer is wrong in her contention. Our voids that are used for residences to help support the purchase of the sims keep on average 400 to 500 clear prims for sailing, unlike most residental opensapce sims which use all the prims. As a matter of fact Nantucket Yacht Club LEFT SLNE because SLNE left only 75 spare prims for boating (enough for cruising but not for racing). I think they subsequently added addition prims for boats when LL added prims to openspace. So GoSpeed Racer does not have her facts correct.

MarkTwain White wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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I believe the statement “This new Linden Policy will kill Second Life sailing as we know it” was made by Paisley not myself by the way. It will be a challege for sure, but it will not kill the United Sailing Sims and it certainly will not kill SL sailing which of course is a bigger entity. Nevertheless, all well be diminished. The eight owners of the United Sailing Sims are working hard behind the scenes to try and perserve as much of the USS as we can.

MarkTwain White wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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Heheh. But I DID say in the video that “all this goes away unless LL changes its mind. A bit of hyperbole I admit.

MarkTwain White wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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Crap Mariner wrote: “Perhaps we need to listen again to the SL5B speech by MitchK where he says that the Pioneer Days are coming to an end”.

I have listened to Mitch’s speech (which was made much more recently that the one I quoted on the Paisley Beebe Show). And yes I acknowlege that Mitch said in June 2008 that the pioneering days are ending and becoming the age of pragmatism. But I fail to see how that observation negates the earlier vision that inspired many of use to build a lot of what is good in SL and now find much more difficult to maintain because of these announced changes. Are you suggesting that raising fees by 67% as an answer to technical failings is an example of pragmatism? Not arguing with you Crap, just not sure I understand.

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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Hey Mark, No I was not saying that your use of the voids left no room for sailing. As an estate with a sailing theme it is necessary to regulate the amount of free prims to allow the passage of multiple sailing vehicles. Even places that do not allocate as much as you do still depend on the lure of navigable waterways to attract and keep residents.

When you complain to Linden Labs that you were using the voids as intended they can turn around and point at amount of “homesteading” going on and claim abuse there. LL’s proposed solution’s are no solutions at all. We’ve all been taken for a ride and our pockets emptied. So at what point do you realize that it is game over and cut your losses? Your investment and hard work could poof overnight with no recourse and it isn’t goddamn fair at all. It’s like we are reliving the mercantile economy of the 1700s where we depend on everything from our governors, and they make all the rules. Good luck with that Tea Party and all.

Drwyndwn Tyne wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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GoSpeed, you make it sound as though someone’s getting rich in the USS, that the estate and land owners are in it for the money. These estates barely pay for themselves; they certainly don’t return any sort of income for the amount of time and effort put into them.

You speak of “leading abusers”, when you know very well that the sims are never over primmed, and that scripts are policed and kept to a minimum. You know very well that there is little lag throughout the USS, and what lag does occur is on the full island sims, not in the openspaces.

I find your remarks petty and spiteful, and considering your history in these estates, I think they speak volumes against your character.

Hans Zinnemann wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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I do not agree with GoSpeed that it is game over. There are many resourceful people in the SL sailing community who are working hard to find a workable solution. They are fighting for our right to live our way of life and are declaring in one voice: “We will not go quietly into the night…we will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive!”.

USS will survive for us to enjoy for a good time yet. That is much appreciated so we can continue our lifestyle until independence day.

GoSpeed Racer wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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First of all it is no surprise people are passionate about this issue. The amount of vitriol be directed at ME however is dreadful. I can dedicate months, years to a cause only to be crucified when I say something that displeases someone. I do know what I’m talking about because I have been there. Did you forget that already? I guess it’s true that some communities “eat their young”. Feel free to check my blogs and Flickr stream if you wish. The history is documented.

So go ahead, smear me if you like. It’s not like you can ban me from sailing. (Irony intended). In the long run LL is going to mindlessly tread all over us. All you can constructively do is plan, plot and adapt as the situation dictates.

P.S. Shame on you Drw, glass houses and all eh?

Paisley Beebe wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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Focusing back on the issue…..:) I guess I should have said “This will kill Second Life Sailing as we know it..) which is closer to the truth if you can do any sort of forcasting. Being a Show host Im always going to err on the side of the Dramatic :) its my job. But knowing the Sailing community as I do sorta, I’d say that its true that Mark Pat and all the other owners will be doing their damnedest to try and continue to provide the “lifestyle” that they had, all be it in a different model. Lets hope that they do not get foiled at every tack…..by LL. I saw an interesting breakdown of costs and benefits recently on this entire Open Space fiasco on the forums and if the “Accountant” who wrote it is anywhere near the truth, it won’t matter if everyone who has an Open Space sim dumps the lot of them, they will still make a huge profit, the bottom line as Mark puts it on my show is probably true, they are clever enough to work out that if the market dumps all the O.S they still come out way on top, so who cares, user pays and all that.

At Jack Lindens last Office hour he answered one question out of every 40, he sat there and just put out little spot fires, he was in front of the firing squad so to speak, and really clarified nothing, promised nothing. Weather he was listening or filing his toenails I don’t know, but there was no hope in that office hour for refunds or conciliation. Its all PR folks, appear to listen and care, but “The Bottom Line is” Its a business and the economy is in a mess, the Darwinian theory the survival of the fittest is what they are imposing on this Virtual world, and while we are at it, we had better be able to adjust our part of it quick smart as they change the rules at every turn. Im really sorry for the good people who invested in Land in SL. A year and a half a go I sold my last block and it was just a small one, vowing never to buy land until I could afford to lose it. I’ve rented ever since, If I feel that? how many others will too. The thing we all go away with now, is the knowledge that this world is not worth investing in……unless you can afford to lose your investment, surely a very bad thing for LL who are pushing to get serious real life business to invest in their…note I said…their Virtual World. And please don’t give me the “Wow your all so passionate!” speech again LL…its not just passion its money!…. our money! every time they use the Passionate term its belittling and demeaning, They provide a service (some would say not) and we pay for it have some respect for your customers please or at least appear to.
regards Paisley

Drwyndwn Tyne wrote a comment on November 11, 2008
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No one is trying to crucify you, GoSpeed; but by the same token, the USS isn’t an abuser of OpenSpace sims, nor are they “addicted” to profits or to be “damned” for selling voids. You have a penchant for using inflammatory language, and then complain when people respond to your invective with facts.

No one in my hearing has ever denigrated you, but I have had to console several that you have driven to tears. People that have considered you a friend, until you turned on them like a rabid dog.

You have a long history of this behaviour; it is a tactic I’ve seen you use in Sailors Cove, and before that when you were removed from SLNE. It is, in essence, the reason you’ve been asked to leave both areas – you, Tasha and Izabella are far too divisive an element in an otherwise harmonious community.

You use innuendo and partial facts to distort the actual history of events. I don’t know what you’re trying to imply with your remark about glass houses. If you intend to make people think that I’m somehow “profiting” in Sailors Cove, I can assure you I’m not. I have not accepted any money for rebuilding the town that you and your cohort destroyed and I pay full tier on the land I own in the area. I do what I do out of love for the community and the people within it, not for pecuniary gain.

If you wish to speak of glass houses, it is you, not I, that inhabit them. As far as I’m aware, you, Tasha and Izabella are the only ones that have made any significant money in the USS, and that from the legal settlement that your lawyers negotiated so we could be rid of you.

You are a very talented person, but your character leaves much to be desired. You’ve got your pieces of silver, can’t you just leave us be?

Crap Mariner wrote a comment on November 12, 2008
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“Are you suggesting that raising fees by 67% as an answer to technical failings is an example of pragmatism? Not arguing with you Crap, just not sure I understand.”

I don’t think it’s the best answer LL can come up with to resolve the real issues they are encountering.

The problem is that LL is doing this with a shaky relationship with the customers. Trust has been an issue before, and the limited metrics we customers are being shown have people questioning if the problems Jack has said LL is having with these sims is, in fact, valid. Gwynneth L. has come up with an interesting scenario in that contracts for the servers running the Class 4 sims are coming up and the Class 6 rollout is a major factor in the timing of this change.

There’s lots of other theories as to what happened: Harper B may be closest with hers, RaR has a few numbers crunched. On the other hand, you’ve got Prokofy and iNTlibber agreeing, with Nexeus acting as Chief Apologist (or perhaps Devil’s Advocate) for LL among the residents.

In the end, something got offered which ended up causing some kind of issue to merit a desperate and unpopular reaction, so the product needed to be changed to avoid further problems of an uncertain nature. Folks bought one thing, now they’re getting told they will end up with one of two other things that are at a different price and/or service level. Is a bait-and-switch any less wrong if it’s unintentional and unplanned (aka “We didn’t realize how popular these sims would be”) vs deliberate?

Whatever the case, it certainly doesn’t help the trust issue, and the recent backpedal to announce Homesteads, well, that was just a circling back to pretty much the same position (only with incentives to recombine sims and a snooze bar on the price hikes).

As for the extremists trying to go back to their own agendas time and time again, let’s see - if you’re looking for a RL example of violated trust and conspiracy theories, try watching “Spare Change” by the 9/11 Trufers… truly, a case of deranged individuals without all the facts, so they make up their own, relying on general frustration and a loss of trust with the Bus Administration. And just like people believe in angels, UFOs, and Elvis being alive, they’ll jump on that bandwagon as well.

Why? Lack of complete information, and a lack of trust with those providing it. Absence of fact lets the imagination run wild, and Your World, Your Imagination sure attracts some fast-thinking clever-dreamers.

I’m hoping that when you suggest that stuff is happening behind the scenes that it’s Jack and others reaching out to the sailing communities to measure what y’all need, how they can provide it in a manner that’s reliable and fairly-prices, and how to put in safeguards that it won’t be “abused” or cause harm to the underlying grid.

Customers and the Company, working together to come up with products and service levels everybody can be happy with, profit from, enjoy, and grow together in a stormy economic future.

if it isn’t, well, then the claim by M that they will try to work out future issues and policy changes with some sort of interaction with the community is ringing just a tad hollow. And that’s not helping with the trust deficit.

rightasrain wrote a comment on November 12, 2008
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seems like sailors should meet people that want to live in the clouds (no not the Lindens)

Gwyneth Llewelyn wrote a comment on December 20, 2008
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For the record, Crap, apparently Linden Lab *buys* all their servers and doesn’t lease them; I got that wrong, since the “buying instead of leasing” was the norm during the early days of LL and I thought it was a policy long abandoned (it’s just not the best way to waste funders’ money, but, alas, I guess that LL does things ever so slightly different than anybody else :) ).

On the other hand, the co-location agreements might be renegotiated regularly. After all, the racks with the old Class 4 servers use much more power and (probably) space. Class 6 servers will allow a much higher density of sims-per-rack — four times as much! — and will consume way less power, so LL will probably benefit quite a lot from the renegotiation with their co-location facilities.

Vint, an allusion to the FIC? :) Ha! That was a low blow :) In fact, LL is trying to “bail out” as many communities they can, but, as usual, they start with the largest first, specially if they’re the type of communities that make “proper” use of openspace sims as LL defines “proper”. With the deadline for conversion coming up next week, the drama levels will increase once more (remember, 2/3 of the SL population doesn’t speak a word of English, and 99% of the registered users don’t read blogs) as the prices rise “unexpectedly” for many. Giving some good news during the Holiday Season — that communities don’t need to wither and die, there is a way out, talk to LL about it — is just PR.

Oh, and this announcement, while making USS landowners a bit less frustrated and depressed (not exactly happy, but less sad) certainly made East Coast Nautilus mainland owners insanely happy as LL so gracefully gave an excellent pretext for the land values there to rise astronomically :)

Oh yes, survival of the fittest indeed. Remember, when the economy is bad, not everybody loses. Some have to win!

Ciaran Laval wrote a comment on December 20, 2008
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Yes it is bailing out one community, it’s also testament to how crap a product the new openspaces are, they’re using mostly homesteads.

Ener Hax wrote a comment on December 20, 2008
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i am kinda mixed on this too. it’s great for Linden Labs and those USS sim owners but it’s a hell of a great way to get loads of new customers for those private sims too :(

we used our OS under the guidelines with most having over 50,000 sm of free public space as water. so with 81% being open water space for boating in 13 OS sims, don’t we have the same issue?

oh well, if I wanted fair, i would leave in Cuba or something with communism . . .

Ener Hax wrote a comment on December 20, 2008
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oh added note, someone above said they kept 400 to 500 prims clear, we kept 1000 clear . . .

Argos Hawks wrote a comment on December 21, 2008
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Exactly, Ciaran. LL is acknowledging that they’re openspaces aren’t up to the task they claimed they were to be used for. I’m wondering if there’s a sign-up list somewhere to get LL to foot the bill for other communities. I’d like to build a community around 40 homestead regions paid for by LL.

Vint Falken wrote a comment on December 21, 2008
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With the deadline for conversion coming up next week, the drama levels will increase once more (remember, 2/3 of the SL population doesn’t speak a word of English, and 99% of the registered users don’t read blogs) as the prices rise “unexpectedly” for many.

Yes, Miss Gwyneth, I realize this all to well. My alluding to the FIC was self-irony and my opinion on this move from LL dual:

It’s indeed great that they are willing to help out an existing community, and I’m sure that a lot of avatars appreciated. But for those that “can’t be helped”, before January 5th or those who already deleted there sims, this must come as an extra blow. Because, well, if the USS gets linden ocean to go with their estate, then should not everybody who owns a full sim or so, get a free (linden owned, but still free) ocean to go with their sim? I feel glad for the USS, but this is giving them an unfair advantage. So a complaint “about the evilness of the FIC” as we sometimes see by certain others seemed to be ironically appropriate. ;)

@Anonysomething. This is MY PERSONAL BLOG, and your comment will be deleted. If you are going to be an ass on this blog, have the nerve to back it up with your “real SL name” or STFU.

Inara Pey wrote a comment on December 21, 2008
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Whether or not this can be construed as “bailing out” a single community has yet to be seen, given Jack has indicated (albeit with caveats), that other such “partnerships” could evolve in the future.

It is, however, fair to say that one sailing community has been offered a substantial benefit over the others - and this is reflected within comments by their own members. How long this advantage remains - and how effective it actually is - also remains to be seen.

Leaving aside Prok’s inevitable wanderings into personal attacks, her blog entry on the matter is potentially more to the point:

- If this is the “first” of a range of possible partnerships, how is LL going to openly promote this?

- What are the detailed criteria for engaging with LL so that other groups can benefit from such arrangements? Again, Jack in his forum posting only gives the vaguist (and totally subjective) allusions to the requirements (groups must be “strong” and “established” - and potentially “PG”, itself a limiting factor)

In this, I’d say that whether this stands as an indictment of the “new” openspace sim capability or not is besides the point. What is important and needs addressing is (as in fairness Ciaran himself pointed out in the forum) the entire lack of transparency on the matter.

- Why no announcement in advance that LL was considering doing something like this?

- Why not simply post a blog outlining the requirements in clear-cut terms, and invite submissions from all?

It is simply insufficient for the potential for other “partnerships” to be hinted at in a forum reply post (rather than up-front in a blog post).

It’s also not enough for Jack to play the other Linden “get out” clause that, given these vague parameters, it is down to individual groups to come up with ideas to pitch the LL. Aafter all, if we don’t know the guidelines, criteria or selection process, LL have a fairly free hand to simply reject anything that comes in as “not meeting requirements” for them to consider further.

Given the way things are being handled by LL, then one can see why people are upset - this does very much smack of the feeling that because MTW and his friends screamed the loudest and kicked the hardest, they were “cut a deal” and any idea that this is the first of a series of opportunities reeks of back-pedalling on Jack’s part.

As Crap says, trust is, and remains very much an issue where many of LL’s longer-term users (dare I say investors - given we have all invested time, effort and money into Second Life, however insignificant the amounts may seem in relation to those provided by Mitch Kapor and others). Right now, this announcement does very little towards rebuilding that trust.

That said Jack’s posting is again proof of the new Tao of Linden is working; leave us not forget the Tao insists on transparency and openness in communications within Linden Research - but only between colleagues; it is pointedly not extended to include communications with users.

Inara Pey wrote a comment on December 21, 2008
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Apologies. There were supposed to be links to the relevant postings in my comments above….between writing this and preparing dinner, I forgot to insert them….

Zonja Capalini wrote a comment on December 22, 2008
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Am I too tired (I should be in bed right now instead of reading blogs^^), or isn’t that just another simple example of the well known “divide and conquer” technique? Get people wondering what are the (of course unspecified) conditions to get free homesteads near their private realms, so that 1) they will “behave” (otherwise no future gifts) and 2) the almost unanimous front against LL is broken. It makes LL appear as “nice” and people who continue to complain as “fixed on old grudges”. I think the best attitude is to simply ignore it as a blatantly evident marketing move destined to make people believe that the OpenSpace rip-off did indeed never happen.

Inara Pey wrote a comment on December 22, 2008
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Zonja,

You have possibly in part hit the nail on the head. However you look at it LL rarely acts in a altruistic manner - moreso since Kingdon arrived. I’ve already posted myself on this matter in terms of waiting for the “other shoe” to drop - i.e. what LL’s real goal is in moving in this direction, and “divide and confuse” may well be a part of it.

Certainly I’ve had the feeling that this kind of move is a extension of policy we’ve seen elsewhere (noticably the blog and forums), which has been to gradually eliminate the voice of those who take issue with LL.

Should we ignore it? Weellll…there’s actually not a lot we can do about it physically at this point in time, so in a sense you’re right. However, there is an argument that goes the other way: if we ignore it, we condone it and thus freedom of expression within SL takes another hit.

Personally, I accept what has happened as being something I cannot change; corporate wheels in motion. However, I care enough about SL (for as long as I remain there, and that in itself is open to debate as other grids start to stabilise both in a technical sense and in terms of investment and financial footing) to continue to discuss matters such as this and use the message it sends as a possible barometer of just how far faith / trust in LL is liable to be further eorded….while simultaneously moving the content I’ve created in SL down to my PC ready for a move elsewhere - or at least creating copies elsewhere.

Zonja Capalini wrote a comment on December 22, 2008
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Inara,

I don’t th¡nk LL is interested in freedom of expression whatsoever; as far as I can see they are trying to convert SL into a Disney-like world, treating customers as retarded children, closing forum threads as they see fit, deleting inconvenient posts, and mandating what’s proper to be discussed and what’s not (the infamous “let’s keep the subject focused” of Katt Linden).

And I don’t think either that the trust issue can be solved in any way (short of firing M, Katt and Jack, amongst others, offering a public apology, and giving us one year of free SL as an indemnity for the time and money they’ve already made us lose :-) ).

For me the only question is how long we’ll have to wait to be able to do our things in other worlds.

For educators, as I see it, only voice is needed, OpenSim is otherwise almost ready for production, as it can consistently deploy simple “sit” scripts and texture changing scripts (for presentations). The first company which offers voice in an OpenSim environment will receive a big part of the SL Exodus.

For the rest of the people it’s a bootstrap problem: you need a platform stable enough to support simple scripts, the m/c/t rights schema, and a currency, a company which looks serious, and some big names in content creation. Then people will start to move, reduce presence in SL until they become homeless, and SL will slowly become a skrinking museum of its own past splendor.

And yes I’m copying everything I created too, to several worlds, in addition to my own PCs :-)

Inara Pey wrote a comment on December 23, 2008
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Zonja

Fair to say you and I are not only on the same page of the same book…we’re actually reading the very same lines! :).

To be honest, when I referred to “fredom of expression within SL”, my words were not well chosen; what I should have said was “freedom of expression among SL users” - for while I wholeheartedly agree with you vis LL’s attitude on the forums, etc., - we still have places like this and other blogs, and other forums where matters can be discussed.

Dana Bergson wrote a comment on December 23, 2008
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I certainly do not begrudge MarkTwain and his group for successfully “persuading” Linden Lab into “bailing them out” or whatever you might call it. Lobbying is a part of the economy since the time of the kings and Second Life has always been a crazy mix of feudalism and laissez faire capitalism :)

I am just not sure (read: I doubt), that selecting one of a few projects and keeping them alive with added incentives while killing most others is a successful strategy in the long run. Second Life is like the better Web 2.0 platforms (although it was created before the term was coined) in that it depends on the creativity of its users. Weeding out user-generated projects into nice ones and bad ones weeds out most of the creativity in such a community.

I understand that - from a PR point of view - supporting the sailing sims seems to make much more sense than supporting other communities (say, the Goreans, for example). Such a strategy might look good in the board room, too. But in the end, what you saying to your customers is basically: “I like what you do here. I will support it.” and “I don’t like what you do here. I might not forbid it, but I will certainly try to make it harder for you.”

No one denies Linden Lab (a company with a vision and shareholders) the right to do so. But it looks a bit like a planned economy to me. And it is my belief, that - while a certain degree of regulation is necessary - a free society and a free economy will usually win in the end as it utilizes resources and creativity most efficiently.

And as soon as there will be platforms around, that support the building of such a free society (like it can be found on the web of today) Linden Lab might see, that basing its business on a (un-defendable) monopoly is not a wise stragey

Dana Bergson wrote a comment on December 23, 2008
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ADDENDUM:

I always have to smile, when I see arguments like this here where people defend their position (or the support they expect) with “but I am not making a profit” or other “accusing” them of making a profit.

Why is it bad, to make a profit?

Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Aren’t projects and communities who ARE making a profit those which should be supported? Because - as we all know - projects which are not making a profit depend on the goodwill of a few people with money to spend. And that goodwill may wither in time …

There are many wonderful projects in Second Life which probably do not turn in a profit, though. And thats fine, too. But it should not be the norm or the standard, which defines if it is “good” or “bad”.

I would not compare our own project with the sailing sims. But The Otherland Estate is a small sub-continent of some 150 sims these days. It was created because of the fun I had with creating beautiful landscapes. This got an expensive hobby, soon, of course. :) So I had to sell this land to be able to create more ;-)

I think, what has been created this way, is a beautiful addition to Second Life. Different from the mainland (and not as realistic in its landscaping). Different from many other Estates, too. You will find many unique and truly beautiful landscapes here - as well as wonderful projects by our creative customers, who really ADD VALUE to SL.

Otherland was generating a small profit for a while - and all of this was re-invested into new land. It was never very profitable, because we leave a lot of land protected and a lot of the land does not sell too quickly because it caters to customers with a special taste. But the project was able to pay its costs (initial investments were never recouped, though). This was bad? :)

We accept a loss every month now, since Linden Lab started experimenting with the real estate market, lowering prices, flooding the main land market, changing features, raising prices again … etc. etc. This is good? :)

We keep our water ways open to sailing (no regattas). Some people do sail. Some dont’t. Still … except one area of the mainland and the sailing sims, our Estate is probably the largest connected water area of all of SL. But we do not focus on sailing alone. People do many different things here. Most just like to “live” here, create their homes, decorate them, meet friends, dance in the gazebo, build crazy stuff. Some might even - gasp - have virtual sex in their homes. So what? :)

It has a bad taste, that currently it feels as if our government condones certain kind of resident activities and looks down on others. I, like many other residents and entrepreneurs, do accept this - what else can I do? But I - and many others, judging from the articles and comments I read a lot, lately - won’t shed many tears, probably, when we will leave the Second Life Grid sometime next year to re-build our businesses elsewhere.

Or maybe I WILL shed a tear. Second Life was a great vision and an incredible opportunity.

Care to comment?