Sigh. You can never open up Second Life any day without some nasty blow-to-the-gut surprise.
Today, Pathfinder has announced that LL, in its wisdom, is making six MORE sims for rent, thus removing rentals from the "vehicle sims," which they like to imagine are being used by residents to "test vehicles". (Erm...test vehicles? When we all know they can't cross sim seams very well and have to be portaged across sims lol? Do people actually drive around in vehicles much in SL?)
Once again the Lindens are competing with *their own customers*. That is, SL is filled with rental agents who rent entire sims out (I'm not one, actually, just don't have that size, they're in parcels). Anshe and others are happy to do this, and it's part of their business which serves the community.
The rentals will only be $3000 L$, for a minimum 3 days, so that's about $27-30 depending on the LindEx rate. That means it's likely a lower cost than what any commercial agent would charge.
Furthemore, Pathfinder explains, LL will make these 6 sims available as "wilderness" for avatars to stroll around in.
Of course, that steps on numerous projects by residents to make large and small wildernesses all over, in a probably vain effort to "preserve land," given that LL's OTHER polices to do nothing about sign griefing and extortion, club theft of FPS, and minimal response to griefing, makes keeping wilderness open a decidedly brave -- and expensive effort.
I know, because I've been doing it for the last year or more, keeping the SL Public Land Preserve with about 50,000 m2 available of not only wilderness, but interesting builds, spas to hang out at, places to put up art, camping areas for newbies, free vending space at TechHeaven, boating, etc. Clubside Granville recently generously contributed the purchase price and tier backing to purchase the Moth Temple area in Iris that has considerably enhanced this collection. It's all open, and in order to try to defray costs, we charge a one-time $50 membership fee, and then if you are able, ask that you donate $10/day if you camp. The group has 132 members; many make use of the free vending to get started in SL at TechHeaven, a place for gadgets, vehicles, furniture, etc.
Yes, it's an expanded concept of "wilderness" to include historic builds, builds people want to preserve, and efforts started by other residents, like TechHeaven, to create free marketplaces to enable people to actually survive and get started in business, instead of merely being the recipients of patronizing hand-outs of freebies, with the expectation that they will then buy Lindens and come and buy high-priced items at oldbies' stores.
I've been amazed to see the support I've gotten from this -- people put in tier when they can, and every day I get several hundred dollars sometimes in only $1 or $10 contributions. I have churches, a Tibetan lodge, a mountain grotto, a Grecian spa, forests, a camp site and giant Tree House, all kinds of great stuff, and it's always in use. Still, I can only get about 20-25 percent of the costs met -- tier is more than $100 US on this land, even with the discount, per month, and micropayments can't make up the entire amount.
But now, by just plunking down 6 sims of wilderness, the Lindens can attract avatars using their increased marketing and media capacity, and just undermine what we've been trying to do.
And of course, when I protested that with this post, it was removed by Pathfinder within an hour:
[ERASED BY PATHFINDER]
"Thanks for competing with your own residents once again, Linden Lab! I can’t imagine that the sinks from this effort would at all make that big a dent in the inflationary problems of SL.
And there are rental agents who already rent whole sims (I’m not one of them) and now you’ve essentially killed off their market.
As for the idea of creating “untouched wilderness,” you’re also stepping on resident initiative, time, trouble, toil, and expense, too.
For example: Some of us have worked over a year to create and maintain the SL Public Land Preserve with some 50,000 m2 at some 20 locations with different kinds of activity on it, ranging from enjoying wilderness and seeing historic builds to having activities available like boating, camping, art work display, games, free vending, etc., see Botany’s Grove: http://slurl.com/secondlife/Carlisle/114/76/23/
We raise donations of tier and cash, and it’s been a struggle — we’ve gotten perhaps 20-25 percent of the cost covered each month which is actually remarkable I think given how difficult it can be to sustain group projects in SL.
But now, we’re competing with the ability of Linden land to put out 6 sims instantly and use all of its own marketing capacity to draw avatars to it. It’s yet another example of why trying to make a free market for business to flourish, and a free civil society for people to contribute and help each other, is so amazingly hard in Second Life — our efforts are constantly displaced and undone by “the federal government.”
Appalling, that someone who is in charge of "education" at Second Life can delete a perfectly reasonably expressed and perfectly legitimate dissenting opinion like that from even the "official blog". Shame on him.
Take a look at the exchange and see the usual smarmy round of fanboys. Some people have gotten SO adept at learning how to "talk right" to the Lindens to make sure they get their little agendas and points. And the Lindens will social-engineer and control you to death, to try to force you, too, to adapt these little fanboy methods of shining up to the game gods, and saying just subtly enough something that will make them come back with their patronizing remarks.
Thus, Salazar Jack, whom I've always admired, steps up, and instead of saying, Hey, I run a wilderness project ahem, what's the big idea of undercutting me? -- merely says basically, "thanks for the great vehicle sims!"
That little subtle approach -- show up and make an eloquent plea-by-absence-of-plea then immediately prompts Pfinder to say: "Oh, yes, of course your Forest is wonderful" with a little fake smiley.
Then along comes Khamon, who is always ready with some sharp dig, but of course, as an oldbie, is seasoned in the ways of making a mark on a Linden blogation without getting himself deleted (these guys should have worked for Pravda). "So," he says sidling up. "What kind of return do you get on this, and what's the sink?" He too, makes a plea-by-absence to the OTHER point, which essentially amounts to this: why are you competing with your own residents, you idiots, when you don't even get any money out of this!
PF, who probably stayed up late crafting first his post, then chess-moving-ahead his pre-emptive responses, says, "Oh, it's just a money sink to help inflation, and meanwhile we encourage people to rent from residents who make it their business."
Yeah, right. Smarmy little !@#$!!@#$. Sure. Which is why...you even have this in the first place???
A few other posters fawn -- including the W-HAT-apologist Huns Valens who crows about vehicle testing. Uh-huh.
Then I come in, and I get deleted. And I don't care. They cannot make me learn their contorted conniptionist craven methods of getting posts to "stick" without being modded or deleted.
They are wrong to compete with their residents. We all know that. They know that. But they do that because they have corporate clients, or educational clients, or people they are wooing, that they want to be able to control the experience of, and show them 'wilderness" that they control on the mainland. I can't fathom any other reason.
Unlike any of us, they can RESET THE SIM and put it back just like it was -- even after one of their own crashes, when the rest of us have to pick up the bits and pieces of our builds and try to rebuild them.