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Clara Seller
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I wonder if anyone knows what Sansar is yet, especially Sansar? The revenue for it's existence is being siphoned and now it seems like they are desperately trying to siphon it's purpose.
I kinda get the feeling that the conclusions have been written before all of the evidence has been examined. Are we indeed in a better world now? Has the greater good been served? Are we really being honest? When I first came to SL, I personally had the impression that it was a little bit of a male-dominated environment. My feeling has changed today. Oddly enough, when I first came to SL, it felt much more culturally diverse. It felt more welcoming and free. Has "girl power" been good for SL? Do the numbers support this? Are these shorter avatars really better? When you go to events, have you really looked at the disfigured female form that has reached epidemic proportions? Are we really in a better place? I don't know. Some of those "bad" extinct avatars housed some treasured friends and acquaintances from places I would never dream of meeting people. Sometimes what was on the inside made the outside more appealing or unimportant. I fear by the time we're all finished being squeezed and empowered through this cookie press of correct absolutes, we're going to be about as interesting as a box of vanilla wafers.
Sometimes the "fragile male ego" world is an oasis and in need of such simple solutions when one is weary from the bottomless pit of dissatisfaction and the scorched-earth solutions that women can impose on those around them. Just stop, already. If you succeed in prosecuting those accused of the crime of being too tall, you aren't going to have much of a world left. I am a shining beacon for diversity, as long as you look, act, and think just like me. We're on a road trip to Crazy Town.
I just don't see how anyone can plant a flag on any side of this quagmire and claim immunity from hypocrisy. This horrible situation has come from so much willful blindness, disregard for consequence, and a complete blurring of any legal line that might have once existed. It's a stew of contradiction.
In real life, we have plenty of restrictions (like genetics and authoritarian governments) to stop most of us from being everything we desire to be. The author can breath a sigh of relief that identity categorization is doing just fine. It feels a little unhinged when you see a desire to start controlling people's imaginations and their imaginary height and appearance, especially when they are working within the parameters of legality and with the common tools they have a right to use and are paying to use.
Instead of clubbing people on the head, if this is really a problem for the lab, why don't they offer some incentive? A better proportioned base avatar might go a long way in stopping people from going to such extremes to look correct. It's all really built on a bad foundation. It's not always "our problem" to make them money.
What's done is done. Unfortunately, I don't feel like anything has been learned from this experience if we really think that " data mining by a hostile foreign power" spending a few thousand dollars to influence our button pushing every 4 years is a real threat. Nope, I personally think it's that "protective" pink blanket of lies that we are wrapped in from cradle to grave that's doing the real damage. We can't see who we are, what we're really doing, where we came from, or where we're going. That smokescreen was laid down by friendly fire. We all know that another trap is already waiting for us down the road and it wasn't placed there by some boogeyman. We'll sashay right into it with our most trusted handlers greeting us at the door.
Chic Aeon- there's a practical rationality to your point of view. You're a SL merchant and you come at this world and leave it with that perspective. I'm a merchant in RL and consumerism is my SL escape hatch. Like you, I am an artist who makes my product and sells it at a premium. Where we differ, is I don't have the luxury of doing business in a "content creators are king" fantasy. In my world, customers have multiple homes, platinum credit cards, Ivy League credentials, and passports to the world. Even the ones who don't, get treated as if they do. Try slapping a buck-fifty processing fee on a millionaire's credit card and see what kind of reaction you get. Tell them to simply "budget better, if you don't like it" and see how long you stay in business. From my perspective, this SL fantasy of making customers the "low class" is destroying it. Sansar can't fly because it was designed on this insane premise. Just my two cents. $1.52 with fees.
I also say it's too early to tell. My observation from my particular land baron is available new sims have popped up at reduced "special" pricing. In order to get that discount, you have to move and start over. If you stay put then you're gonna be paying the same price that the big giant has set long ago. In doing some quick price comparisons, I'm seeing some smaller barons offering mild reductions and the big giant holding firm. I think all of this is probably a cost of living pacifier for the barons and a parachute, that was carefully designed not to open, for the residents who are falling into the fee increases.
I think it's a mistake to assume this is about "low income" people. I've found that people of all incomes generally hate being "milked" and respond in the same way. It's easy to overlook that many of these "little people" in SL have much larger RL incomes than the most celebrated SL merchants and land owners. The "little people" may have different priorities. They may be business owners, accountants, sales people, and work with real budgets every day of their life. Maybe they have a healthy outlook on how much they can reasonably justify spending on a fantasy game. Fifty dollars a month doesn't necessarily buy you a luxurious second life and that's what is insane. Customers who are willing to spend $600.00 a year on a game shouldn't be dismissed as stupid "low incomers" who need to put themselves on a spending leash and live a frugal life. There just may be a line to how far the inworld elitist fantasy can be pushed onto the real world before it backfires.
It's the intimate relationship between LL and a persons credit card that keeps all of this going. This comment thread is being very condescending to those who have become the lowest on the Second Life social food chain. The social food chain isn't the real power of the economy. It's just the pretend one created by the most visible residents. Impulse buying is everything. Kill it at the peril of of everything. Without impulse buying, you just have a fruitless small town of big egos like Sansar. The last thing you want is to force your little people to think about spending their money on "nothing". School them and talk down to them until they wake up. Then it's "game over" for everyone.
After I wrote the last paragraph of my last posting, I signed out and went inworld. I abandoned my mainland and canceled my premium account as my way of complying with the call to be more budget-conscious. Problem solved. I will also never "waste" another Linden on any vendor who publicly advises me that I need to be a little more conscientious on how often I fill my coffers. Thanks for sharing your "smartness". After I "woke up" a little, it just seemed insane that LL is imposing ANY service charges on my Linden purchases, no matter if I charge five bucks a day. It's making you five bucks richer than you were the day before. It's the cost of doing business. Up the cost for cash out. That's where you lose money. Eyes open, I'm keeping my private sim because I want it and I'll pay the vampire tax because I can afford it. I can afford it all, but you made me not want it all. So to any peddler, big or small, who has allowed themselves to become so arrogant and delusional in this lopsided system of buy and sell... don't ever tell me how I need to consume your crap more effectively. My credit card is nobody's bitch.
I think that Chic Aeon is right about the merchant class. They won't be affected much at all, unless sales drop. Sales are only going to be affected if the consumer class is awake to what is really happening to them and I'd never bet on that. Granger is right about the economic hocus-pocus in presenting an extraction wrapped up with a stimulus bow. Hamlet was right when he cautioned about a straw that breaks the camel's back. Second Life is supposed to be fun and there is nothing fun about insisting your customers be more budget-conscious in their buying habits and writing them off as "stupid" if they're not. Add this to the list of drudgery the average user needs to endure to maintain some kind of status quo. Downsize, compact, HUDS, relays, third parties, resource-conscious, impact-conscious, scam-dodging, and budget-savvy. Want to excel in this game? Take some classes at community college and learn how to use advanced graphic programs. What's not fun about that? Like to try your hand in virtual gaming real estate and community building? Sell your car and you can be up and running in no time. It's a fun-filled world of dreams. LL, merchants, and land owners should be passing out Sominex for free and never ever ever ever be so arrogant as to berate or punish their consumers for not paying attention to their monetary harvesting habits. That cavalier flapping of the hand and instructional "buy larger, less often" smugness deserves a middle finger the size of the Empire State Building.
In the end, I'm not sure the "good" is good enough to make a huge difference and the "bad" is bad enough to hurt all that much. It's really shifting a little more of the burden of empire on the consumer. It's the American way. It's cheaper to buy something that most people don't want anymore and still impossible to directly buy what they do want. Yes, I do understand there is talk of better deals ahead, but for now, the little guys are left with a trickle-down hope and change vendor. You deposit your change and get back hope. The Sansar team thanks you for your support.
Thanks Nalates, for laying out the facts. What's happening is horrible, but the road to these horrors have been paved by a crew of our most admired. If we're unwilling to look at that, we're also the problem. When the media is working this hard for our attention and crying their tears at a million dollars per droplet, you can bet there is something going on they they don't want us to look at. My guess would be Social Security and Medicare "reform".
I don't applaud LL very often, but they are taking incremental steps in the right direction. I see Homestead sims being the sim of choice for the average user and this still looks like it's requiring a broker to offer that to the little people. Will the savings trickle down or will they end up being absorbed in the process?I don't know. I guess we'll see. I would have liked to see a more direct line of sim ownership being offered to the average user. LL could have collected more premium memberships in that process. It's cheaper on one hand, but is it breaking down barriers? I'm truly sorry, really, for feeling that this is merely expanding happy hour discounts on the Titanic. I really don't want SL to sink and I feel radical change is the only shot to save it.
This is the future. Even if it's snuffed out now, like a cockroach, it will crawl out of the cracks some place else. When you look at e-Estonia and the project NEOM, you can get a glimpse of what is in store for you. There is really no where to run because it looks like all of the puppets are holding hands and dancing together for this one. Consolidation is being served.
One of the most exciting things about SL, in it's prime, was that notion that this could be place for do-overs. God knows we could use that now more than ever. Somewhere along the journey, SL became more of a reflection of the real world than a challenge to it. Your world, your imagination, kinda got squashed under the heavy hands of "Americanism". This is where that road leads, until it's so full of potholes you can't navigate it anymore. Your money, our Empire was a choice, not an inevitability.
Agree that the avatars are impressive. It's a crying shame that all of this VR advancement feels like it's chopped up and spread out in what looks like inevitable individual dead ends. If only we could take some of the level-headed spirit and willingness to please from Sinespace, throw in the quirky coolness and playfulness of High Fidelity, and funnel it to the community and resources available to Sansar, we might have something with a future.
Imagine finding "decay" in your 2018 search for decade-old remnants of John Edwards failed primary campaign. Groundbreaking. Sadly, this half-baked Digg article likely has more influence on LL perception of their SL product than the actual happenings inside the world itself. Second Lifers ain't got love, but we still got money. The pigs will return to our trough for dinner.
Dartagan is right. "So the only way to get more 'screen' in front of people is to wrap the screen around your head so it covers more pixels " This idea is right up there with doing bongs and the inevitable group vision of burning acres and acres of grass and getting the whole town high. Then you grow up and you need your head unwrapped all day and you need to trust that the majority of the professionals around you aren't trippin'.
I truly appreciate Luther's frankness. It's not the easiest task to open up your personal financials about SL. His numbers are very believable and his "reasonable estimate" is probably a little on the low ball side. Pull back the camera just one notch and you see that 20 Luther's has earned you one million dollars. Whether you are a small business or large corporation, one million dollars is worth 20 smiles and 20 handshakes. If you can't bring yourself to do that, the problem isn't your customers. It's you. Now, when you think about how many notches LL has to pull back to view their entire customer base and how many Luther's are in those grains of sand, you start to see a crime scene. Even if you have to pay someone a generous salary to only smile and shake hands, isn't it worth it? We actually had the top weenie, overseeing all of these grains of sand and holding all of these Luther's in his hand, not only refuse a smile and a handshake, but publicly denounce them and toss them into the fires of an egotistical ritual sacrifice to the golden calf of Zuckerberg. Big gamble and big loss. I'm not as nice as Luther. I won't be happy until the customers get their own ritual bonfire and weenie roast.
Luther Weymann has illustrated a similar profile of countless people I've met in SL over the years. It makes me want to bang my head against the wall when LL doesn't seem to see the value in retaining him as a customer after 14 years. I'm willing to bet he wasn't a freebie addict or a bottom feeder. He had the time and resources to give his SL character a good life. He had the place in RL to act as a conduit to bring new people with resources into SL. He had the skills and time to orient them within reason. Multiply Luther many times over and you start to get a picture of a segment of the SL customer base that has been downright abused. Wouldn't it have been worth monitoring Luther a little more closely as a customer? After 14 years, did he ever receive a computer generated email or message wishing him a happy birthday or rezz day? Was he made to feel valued? Was he given any kind of status or recognition for his contributions of loyalty? Was he ever asked what can we do to make your experience better? Did he ever receive a computer generated message saying you haven't logged in in awhile, we miss you? Ebbe, it takes more than content creators and bloggers to make a community and a viable business. Your hollow-shell Sansar is a fool's monument to that. It was constructed already broken and it can't be saved. You can't be saved. It's way past time to turn the ship around and go home. The mission is now clearly search, rescue, and damage control. You waged war on your own people and you lost. Everybody has paid the price.
I can't imagine that this shuffling is going to change anything, especially since it seems targeted toward Sansar. I can't quite think of another business that has be so obvious in it's apathy toward it's paying customers, sometimes even contempt. Second Life needs some exciting advancement. It may not be the future, but it's here and now. There needs to be some balance where LL is putting it's energy. Sansar hasn't delivered anything that anyone wants. Apologists can varnish and shellac til the cows come home, but the numbers don't lie. We've all seem this before. We know how it ends. Rock bottom. It's like dealing with an addict.
Wasn't this scenario apparent and predicable from the start? They couldn't define the product beyond their hopes and dreams of making money and every lame attempt to define it has slithered away like a greased pig. It's nothing like WordPress. It's not ground-breaking. It's less interesting and less promising than Sinespace and even High Fidelity. It's an unfocused, financial tar pit. The only thing I would take with a grain of salt is the praise for the CEO. I guess Carly Fiorina and Marissa Mayer could also be described as "inspiring" hot messes.