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« The Cultural Revolution | Main | Metanomics Country Club »

April 12, 2008


Prokofy Neva

Helpful to see the groups on this avatar as follows:

Friends of EOLUS
Life 2.0
RL Architects in SL
Siemens Employee Team
Siemens PLM Software Group
Siemens SL Coordinators

Peter Haik

it's quite unfortunate to see this, and it's something that goes almost as a matter of fact for musicians in SL. It is something that should be fought, people should not be exploited and paid in L$ for work that someone else is no doubt making tons of money for. Many times with musicians, they're also strongarmed into agreeing to ludicrous contracts turning over their rights to the performance, when being paid next to nothing.

Prokofy Neva

Peter, you're absolutely right about the musicians, they are often strong-armed, sometimes even to just work for free, in the belief that they need "exposure" and will be happy to play free for some corporate dick. Of course, that's a good way to break into the business, but my God, we have SL musicians with plenty of exposure that they are paid more for in their tip jars than some companies want to pay them.

I'm afraid I'm going to be particularly harsh and loud-mouthed on an IT guy from a giant German corporation with csven for his friend. If someone else wants to play this differently and catch these vermin with honey rather than vinegar, they are welcome, but I think vinegar is a good disinfectant too : )

What's especially nasty about this particular interchange -- which is not unique -- is that this big swinging dick is saying to me: be nice to me, suck up to me, be craven and fall over and be willing to take some fraction of your rate, and maybe, just maybe, as my corporation is willing to pay more, I will ease you up to a higher salary in due course.

Maybe there are other people willing to take on painful anal therapy in that fashion, not me.


Wow, who *is* this asshole? Where do these people get off thinking just because they log in and see an avatar instead of a website (like, for example, if one were logging into E-bay)that the people interacting here aren't REAL?

He must be new to the internet, still under the impression that he can somehow hide behind the FACADE of an avatar. And apparently that's not working out so well for him because Prok managed to identify his RL personality trait of 'dickhead' fairly quickly.

A little aside note to everyone involved in RL business coming into this virtual space for the purpose of marketing: Don't assume the effort I put in at my JOB is somehow inconsequential because of some insipid set of parameters YOU have assigned to it. Don't come into the area I work, and treat me like I'm the pimple-faced teen waiting to take your order and then listen to you ask for a discount on the fries. Let's try to keep in mind that I and others like me CREATED this space you're so damned interested in, and YOU wouldn't be here were it not for what WE have built.

Prokofy Neva

Also, as a correlary to this, look up this Twitter exchange with another one of their friends who is berating me and telling me he is in SL just for fun, that he is creative, and that I must be greedy and grasping and uncreative if I'm in the land business.

He thinks $6800 is too expensive for consulting in a world that should be "fun" and that L$200 is the right price. I'm afraid that you couldn't get your virtual dick sucked for that amount these days, dude.

I think this pattern is frequent, whereby people in big corporations try to lure their bosses into SL by spending even their own money on islands and then expecting everyone else to bend over for them because they are gentlemen explorers who might bring something bigger.

I wonder if we will ever see builders unionize in SL. Probably not. The Lindens would respond by refusing to certify them and making a caste of certified builders who aren't unionized.


Something needs to happen, that's for sure. There seems to be two paths these corporate types take, and that's either to throw money around, get a gorgeous build and then think they don't have to promote that space and integrate themselves with the community in order to attract people, or they spend fifty dollah so they can then spend a thousand bucks to attend conferences like VW or SXSW and tell other corporate types they already have a presence in SL and it isn't working.

The truth is they DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW TO MARKET IN THIS VIRTUAL SPACE. And they will continue to look like assholes till they actually PAY for the expertise of the successful marketers occupying these spaces, the people who have managed to establish a track record branding in these spaces.

By the way, Prok, your fees are too low. You should be asking $40 an hour.

sean percival

I'd say $25 is more than fair, in fact pretty sure I paid twice that to get a good SL DJ once! (doubledown)

Prokofy Neva

Universal Infinity: you can't post here without a recognizable SL first and last name. An alt with no payment on file and no groups except one club with no other information isn't what is intended by "recognizable SL name". Bye!

I don't need "reminders" that "Second Life isn't Real Life," but you may need to catch up and find out that it is as legitimate a part of Real Life as the Internet or TV. Um, blow me.

Prokofy Neva

Simone, I don't build or design or script. I just push land and prims around and provide insights from running a peasant's business with heavy customer contact. I think it's probably fair enough. I priced low to avoid dicks like this, and to encourage more of them to pay at least that much. I don't mean to undercut you, but look, I'm basically pretty unskilled labour in SL.

Prokofy Neva

One of the things I hope could happen is that Siemens, like other corps, would develop employee guildelines, the first of which should be "don't be an asshole to other people here". I'm not sure IBM has incorporated that into their guidelines, I'll have to check. But I think a notion of being courteous in approaching people for goods and services might be in order.

Ann Otoole

I pay more than $25 an hour for high quality expertise and skills when I need it. And I should. When I consult irl the bill rate is really high. I don't get all of it but quality, expertise, knowledge, and wisdom are valuable.

And guess what? If they complain then they can't afford the power of knowledge and are thus out of their league. They need to go back to counterstrike or habbo hotel where they belong.

Sort of like a certain virtual world service provider that apparently can't afford world class database related talent.

Sered Woollahra

25 bucks an hour totals to 400 a day - say 300 euro. At my former employer, no one would be allowed to work for a customer at such a low rate.

Sered Woollahra

bugger - obviously that should be 200 a day. In my line of work, IBM Software consultancy, that's what you'll sometimes pay for one hour, not one whole day :-)


Ann's right, Prok. Knowledge is indeed valuable, and you have more than most do in this virtual space, so ... don't sell yourself short. That was a mistake I made, but that's another story.

And if these jerks can't afford to pay for professionals, let's make a concerted effort to point out the freebie islands so they can get their IT guys to slap together a build out of crappy texturing, sloppy prim work, and other stolen goodies. I had to laugh the other day when I came across a 'professional' build, and there sat Forseti's freebie barn on it. Way to go guys! I'm sure the residents of SL will laugh as loudly as I did.

And then immediately ignore you, and all you attempt to do in VR.

Prokofy Neva

Simone, my purpose in having a $25 advertised consulting rate (most people don't advertise their consulting rates but attempt to bargain them) is to keep all the low-lifes from demanding my time for free -- or to try to chisel for $10/hour.

If I heard that what they wanted is more complex/time-consuming/etc. I would say well, this is looking not to be a simple date here, and I'd ask for more.

My main purpose in my ad now is to keep away the LEGIONS of people who want to pick my brain FOR FREE. Students doing surveys. Grad students doing research. Marketers doing research. Big Important IT guys trying to learn the ropes. Journalists with a book grant or advance who want to exploit me. Etc. That's all.

The purpose is not to undercut somebody else who wants to charge more for in fact the much more skilled labour they bring.

I'm waiting for someone to go take a look at Clever Zebra and see what the builds and scripts are in their "open source free package". I'm betting there are not only free scripts that people didn't intend to be a loss-leader for a rapacious opensource based cynical "consulting business" but possibly even newbie builds not intended for them to use as a loss leader or even commissioned builds. Someone really needs to go get it and inventory it.


This is the insanity that prevails when you confuse "an immersed rpg character" " working" for tokens, with a networked media platform that willl be used for business via augmentation for sales/ marketing/ branding/ ip exposure.

the problem is on both sides, but thats the exact chaos system linden as "middleman" built- they get dollars coming and going-- a medium, not a tool for business or play.

i must also note here, the same unjust insanity that is at play here between Augments/ and Immersision "players" is also evident in your wanting desire to hold onto "server space" as LAND and your inabilty to see that LAND is not the "rock" of wealth in the digital world as it is in the real world past.

in a media world, a "picture" will be more valueble than the servers it travels on.

the "land baron" motif was a linden creation in cyberspace based on a temp bubble- as was AOL billing hourly in 1990...(phone line as value)

offer a "service" a unique community- or "preseantation" - thats the most valuable asset of digtial networked open ended media.

get past the "land" as key core for metaverse social justice.... its not the provides food and place of shelter...but these are not the media of virtuality.

social justice is only held away by access and time. and the humanity of those who darwin called the fittist to survive.

thats the reality of mans virtual world. and how it will affect us all in nature/gods built reality.

Prokofy Neva


You don't get it. You think you get it because you worked on IT for a zillion years or even made a virtual world in the year 1963 or whatever it is you did.

People in avatars, even if they are "immersed characters" don't somehow cease being people who need to make a living. In fact, most of the world are not highly-paid affluent IT guys and cannot use virtual worlds as their sandbox. In fact, most aren't the chiseling cheapass fucks like these IT guys who not only try to chisel down an already low fee -- they are the very people that whine to me for an hour over something they perceive as wrong, or insufficient about their $1.89 US a month -- a month!!!! -- apartment in a newbies community I have.

A market is a market. You can't price-fix it. People work for low pay because that's all that people will pay them. Low-paid people are readily available in a setting like this. That doesn't mean that has to be the norm. As I said, even sex workers want usually something like $3.65 US, which is about half minimum wage in many areas.

I don't have an "inability" to see that land "isn't" the "rock of wealth" it was in the meat space and earlier age. YOU don't have an ability to understand a basic thing about human nature/human life/real life/wherever it manifests, which is that space and people's time is valued; space is VALUED. People will pay for it, because it needs to be held and maintained and kept available. It is not endless; it is of value.

I'll tell you what the temp aberration is: free social media. This model will go down the drain in time as even Google realizes that scraping all our data and using it to try to hawk stuff to us doesn't work.

I don't need to "get past" land as a key feature of metaversal social justice. Indeed, the fierceness with which Linden Lab, its pets, its FIC, and tekkies like you try to destroy this key feature of metaversal social justice lets me know just how profoundly valid it still is.

Land is space, time, service, and a form of valuation and exchange. It will not go away any time soon. Destroying people's space, time, service, and valuation and exchange makes the go away. You cannot make a viable world of creator fascists and corporate-paid flunkies. That is, sure, make that world, but few people will show up, especially if they have no way to make a living.

Paisley Beebe

Good post Prok, 2 weeks ago...very similar discussion , Big RL company wants musicians to play at their sim, the agent calls me, and tells me the fee is actually LESS than what I usually get for similar gigs in SL, but get this....not other Corporates, but just regular SL folks with venue openings ect...When I asked why a big corporation like this won't pay artists at least the same fee as a SL company will, or perhaps dare I say it More!!! I was told in no uncertain terms that if I didn't want the gig....thats too bad...I asked if there would be any special publicity? or anything other than it being just a regular gig that would entice me to play for them for less than my usuall SL fee.....again no answer was forthcomming just told that clearly I didn't want the gig...the agent was miffed that I thought her fee offer was turned down,,,$50 for a 1 hour gig...I won't tell you what I charge here in SL it varies depending on the circumstances sometimes I play for only tips...If that were a RL gig I would get no less than $500 thats for 2 players btw, and thats at the very low end of the scale.for a corporate, so you can't compare the RL price at all. Why do musicians get soooo much money for gigs in RL? well cause we might only get 1 a week, and by the time we set up and break down the gig your looking at a 4 hour call..
This isn't the first time I've been approached like this either. These big Corps think we should be falling over ourselves to get Real companies to play for, I charge what's reasonable, and take into account what the venue has to offer, and what we both gain...sometimes I cover my expenses mostly not...So if I ask an agent why I should play for a Corporation opening, for less than I would usually get from a SL resident, and they treat me as if I just insulted them, well I can only assume the corps just think we are a bunch of no hoper losers and are just sitting here waiting to be exploited.

Jane2 McMahon

25 bucks an hour for consulting is ridiculously low, and corporations know it. And personally, if I was charging some modest amount like that and someone thought it was too much (someone who is likely making far more than that, btw), I'd just sit back and wait for the inevitable news that said corporation failed miserably in SL.

Robert Bloomfield/Beyers Sellers

IBM's code of conduct does indeed say "don't be a dick," but they word it a little differently. This link may be too long to work here, but here it goes:

Not broken up:

Broken up (so you can copy and paste):

Ann Otoole

Here is that long url to the ibm stuff in a tiny url:

Desmond Shang

Prok is downright kind compared to me.

50 USD/hr, 10k USD minimum job. Far more if it's creating a miracle in ridiculously short time.

I could care less if it's SL or RL, time goes by the same.

Prokofy Neva

Paisley, that reminds me of a huge media corp that offered me a ridiculously low price for blogging/podcasting that even the Herald would blush to offer, or SLNN. One of the ways these folks cover up their exploitative deeds is by gaining an agreement up front never to talk about their projects, many of which never come to fruition. And small wonder. They see themselves as early evangelists of VWs that they have to pitch to their bosses as cost-free or nearly cost-free, and one of the ways they do that is by saying everybody will earn 50 cents in the project.

Paisley Beebe

Yup my thoughts exactly, Prok, If I were a fly on the wall so to speak.. it would go like this...Agent- look, you really should have an event to open your sim, the residents will come and look at your sim then...we have some really good musicians here on SL, Corp Rep-...really? wont that cost a lot of money, (thinking about comparable RL concerts) Oh no! says agent, you have to remember SL is not RL and the musician here are really lucky if they ever get paid anything! they will feel privileged and thrilled to be recognized by a RL Corporation, I can get you maybe 4 musicians to play for 4 hours for only 200 bucks! Corp- wow ok great! but I do have to go to the boss and justify that 200 bucks I mean this is only a game right! ......
Now I won't point the finger at anyone in SL who wants to work for below "scale" wages...Im not in their shoes, I don't pay their rent and their mortgage, and there will always be someone who is blindsided by the Glamour of playing a gig in
SL for a real life Company, or they don't want to fall out with the agent...But it makes me mad, cause I know its not just me getting patronized....And I heard an almost identical story to the one Prok spoke about with the builder being ripped off, in fact Im having that particular builder on my show, where we will in fact be discussing that heinous act! I wonder how often that is actually going on....The fear of being blackballed and gaining a rep as being difficult and also not being financial enough to fight the big guys creates a nasty wall of silence, and thats wrong!

Chav Paderborn

I wonder how much it has to do with two price scales operating in SL. One is the prices in SL shops, where it's maybe 300L for a dress someone spent hours on, and one where RL wages are expected for what's effectively RL work done in a virtual environment. Yes, 25 USD seems a lot *to me* but then I'm not a corporation or indeed anyone working with more than micropayments of 100L for a shirt. I'd expect IBM and the like to be paying RL wage scales, all things considered.

So when someone wants consulting for 200L, are they thinking in terms of the prices they see for content creation, both from the amateur level and people who make an RL income from their work?

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