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May 03, 2008


Dr. Internet

Linden Labs and SL are more or less a scam. you should just take it all with a grain of salt and milk what you can out of it. Linden labs are starting to show their true colors as a company run by immature grown-up children who have no responsibility and have no idea have to run a stable platform or stable company. There's no point fighting them or protesting them in world, they control the world, and have god-like powers to boot, they simply don't care. At this point the people at the top care only about how much more water they can squeeze out of this stone before bailing out or declaring bankruptcy, leaving thousands of people in the cold.

You often wonder why certain elements of SL don't take it seriously at all? That's why.
They realize it's a huge scam that got propped up by hype that finally fell flat last year.

Now Linden Labs is scrambling to stay relevant. They're trying to whore themselves out to potential investors, and are even trying to create a more "professional" setup for business purposes. But All the PR and bullshit won't hide the fact that Second Life is nothing more than a hyped up tech demo that can be easily attacked, that is exploitable, and is run by partial staff who have serious social problems. It has no use with business, it's nothing more than entertainment, if you can even call it that.

Seriously, take a step back and look at second life as an outsider looking in, without the rose tinted glasses Linden Labs provide. You'll begin to wonder why you even started playing with it.

Cat Magellan

Hey, Prokofy, I'm sitting in front of some acres of RL farm and park land. Know what? To plant here, one cannot edit, you really have to break your back with a shovel and get a lot of dirt on your hands. And love every minute of it. So I just read your post and I want to sign it as well. Somebody just asked on my SL blog (I'm not linking it, not even that, because I dont want to blog about it) what has changed on SL in answer to my post "I am done with this", so I will link this post and this is my answer. Have fun and a happy life.

Khamon Fate

I'll sign as well. Logging into Slate to build the odd stuff and take care of customers is pretty much my experience over the past year anyway. Posting at SLU has far less to do with Second Life as it does happily bantering with the people there. Frankly, I believe loads of land owners are doing this and LL have begun to notice that the silence has deepened every time they've turned to their core user group.

Thank Heaven Dr. Internet's wisdom fell on me in 2004 so that I've not invested any real money into the game but only spent what was earned by Fate Gardens. LL have faithfully confirmed the truth of my position every month since 1.2 was released.

Velouria Infinity

I disagree on calling a strike but I understand a position that speaks for how uncomfortable so many feel about SL these days. I speak for friends and clients who share those feelings and for whom a retreat away is now a viable choice.

However, I agree with your views on the consequences in regards to killing the traffic data and I did sign your JIRA.

I believe not everybody at LL is convinced that removal of traffic is beneficial. What we get in the end, quite predictably, is a boutique, not an economy.

Many interest groups do not realize that suicide can come the strangest ways.

Ciaran Laval

Guys please come to the traffic meetings and make your voices heard. I'm not a big fan of traffic but the alternatives being suggested are even less appealing.

Desmond Shang

Ciaran, I think it would be pretty pointless.

There's no way I could get across where I'm coming from in the usual "talk past everyone" chatblasts where everyone is near each other but nobody's listening.

You yourself *profoundly* demonstrated that you don't get it, here:

Camping is just additional traffic. The problem with it, is twofold:

1) The grid has issues handling a lot of traffic.
a) There is a low, finite maximum of avatars per region.
b) Every time you go by 50 campers, 50 campers start streaming bandwidth and hitting the asset server.

2) There is *every reason* right now for a small business owner to add as many camping avatars as they like (it's so easy!) and almost no reason not to.

Read this:

...and tell Vittorio that he should give up his 800% boost in sales, and that others should follow suit, by not dumping camp bots on their land. This dirty little secret is even less of a secret every day.

Ah... where do you think this will go? Think: email spam. But worse than email spam, it's a reason for every biz owner on the grid to leave several camp bots logged in 24/7. Any rational person can see the problem here.

It's not like adding more scripts. More scripts don't do anything to attract people via warped search stats. Right now the traffic stat *encourages* systematic platform abuse in the most egregious way. Which wouldn't matter, except that people disable logout for inactivity to camp.

Nobody blames all grid ills on camping like you've suggested - that's a ridiculous straw man argument. But as someone with tier payments of 79020 USD a year for bandwidth and engineering services, I damn well consider it's a parasitic practise worth removing.

The landed and renters pay for just about everything on the grid. That includes the bandwidth and engineering costs of non-spending users.

I don't begrudge freebie users who are checking the place out. But if there's anyone feeling entitled, it is those who feel it's cool to toss another few dozen avatars on the grid on someone else's dime.

* * * * *

Take that to the traffic meeting, if you want.

Rebecca Proudhon

I've been on strike for many months now. I deleted my payment info yesterday, just in case farmers are about to start cleaning out bank accounts.

That database break-in from last year is really bothering me. Who knows how many names and CC info was taken and what will happen once they are able to unencrypt those credit card numbers.

The Keylogger crownd is sure to move into SL en masse.

I really enjoyed Second Life for some time and saw great potential, but these days I can barely bring myself to log in just to pay a little rent.

I waste time reading forums and getting personally attacked.

Being an Advocate for a Non-Moronic Second Life, is like sweeping back the sea.

I am still addicted to hoping that all of a sudden there will be some general awakening. Time to move on, but still I'll stay till i am banned for subordination.

I admit I'm still attached to my own vison of how Second Life could be, but the good has been consistently eroded away by the bad.

It kills me when I see naive people being scammed and all the Kool Aid kids, rushing to condemn the hapless victims and LL tacitly going along with it.

My ugly little video about Zombie Bots sums up my feelings about the degradation.

I'm afraid it is all parasitic.

Ciaran Laval

Desmond, more people appear to be sat your side of the fence than mine. Indeed far more people listen to you than listen to me, your input would be extremely important.

My take on the camping issue is that it should be part of a wider debate on grid stability and limitations, that the focus needs to go further, which is why I welcome the idea behind avatar rendering costs, not sure about the execution yet but the theory is sound.

The question that nobody answers regarding camping is why do people camp? Bots aside, as they're purely for manipulating traffic stats, those who camp to have Linden dollars in their balance do so for a reason and eliminating camping without answering that question could very well lead us all into "Be careful what you wish for" territory.

The landed and renters do indeed pay for the services of others, but some of those so called "freebie" accounts are renters.

Over on ebay where the management want rid of small sellers and the idea that flea market sellers are welcome, some of those sellers are pointing out that they reinvest what they take out. They buy from other ebayers, it's a point the ebay management don't get and it's one that could very well be damaging. Campers in many cases carry out the same important role, they redistribute Linden dollars.

I'm not big fan of traffic, I've said this before. I can sell more on a parcel with double digit traffic figures than I do in a location with five digit traffic figures. The size of the parcel, the location, performance all are factors but the most important statistic for any business owner is the amount of sales.

However the camping focus is too narrow and needs to be expanded. There's a whole domino effect with removing camping, as there is with removing traffic.

Tammy Nowotny

I had a minor but slightly troubling run last month with an ad farmer. It was one of the ubioquitous ones... I will just say it's not the one who is one of my neighbors on Okemo Canyon (who I have had trouble with.) I built something which overlapped one of his ad towers which he has erected in a location which gets no traffic except when I host an event (3 times a month or so) at the club where I work and/or when someone drops by my shop.

I would have been happy to take it down when asked, but he ARed me immediately. (I wonder if he may have had some covert way of finding out... since I have never seen him--- or any other ubqiquitous adfarmer avis--- actually flying around the grid.) He was within his rights, and I have ARed others for less. Wghat scared me a little was that I was officially warned and my offending prims totally deleted rather than returned within less than five hours. This indicates that these guys are very well connected and defending their displays from casual encroachment is a high LL priority. Although these guys do pay lots of tier, and hence are profitable LL customers, this still worries me... even though I am involved in inworld advertising myself.

I can see why LL wants to encourage inworld advertising, but this is an intrusive and highly ineffective form of advertising, which does indeed often devolve into outright extortion.

(I even have a sneaking suspicion that some of these guys are Linden alts and/or have inside connections.... and I am also wonder if someone was using "God Mode.")

Someone who owns land on the three sides of the ad farm parcel I encroached on just put up a strategically located megaprim box totally blocking the view of the 4by4by100 sign array. It will interesting to see what happens next. LOL. And I hasten to add that I had NOTHING to do with the erection of the megaprim box.

Tammy Nowotny

oops... I have NOT had trouble with my neighbor on Okemo Canyon is what I meant to say. Sorry about that!

Desmond Shang

I hear what you are saying Ciaran, and in case I haven't been clear: I am fairly philosophic and don't take it personally if someone is on the other side of an issue. It's about ideas, not people.

On the other hand, there are times when civility verges on sugar-coating, and sometimes we all have to say what needs to be said. I've said my piece; as such, if anyone really cares what I think they would have read it somewhere by now.

I think others have simply felt the same way. It's easy to lose focus in the blog world. Like Prok says, people can end up being considered important in very small circles. All too often, circles of one.

Imagine a bunch of regular people discussing the possibility of global email in the 1960's, and I think that's about the level of relevance we all have.

Stan Pomeray

Thanks, Dr.Internet. That is the best, and most concise insightful post I have read in months.


Nicholaz Beresford

I wanted to quit, but the effect that had, was stepping back and putting SL back into perspective (pretty much in line what Desmond says above) and guess what: now it's even fun being inworld again (which is something I haven't had in over 9 months).

I'm hearing that from a couple of people (levelling down or taking breaks). Dunno if it's "in the air" or the Lindens are doing something differently, but I guess the times of people believing that LL/SL will be The Future of the Internet(TM) and The Next Big Thing(TM) are over.

Maklin Deckard

"I'm hearing that from a couple of people (levelling down or taking breaks). Dunno if it's "in the air" or the Lindens are doing something differently, but I guess the times of people believing that LL/SL will be The Future of the Internet(TM) and The Next Big Thing(TM) are over." - Nicholaz

Considering it myself, both tiering down and cutting back time. Its not he future / next big thing, as I never bought into the hype...but its the constant emotional toll of dealing with (pardon my language) the immature techie pricks that run LL and their equally annoying fanboys.

Seems EVERY time I log in there's a new blog entry that blindsides me...started back with new search...I take a huge hit on that but adapt and wait for it to roll out fully...but it doesn't roll out fully - another forgotten project and I take another hit from having adapted to what ended up a half-assed implementation.

Then comes the grid instability and more hits. Can't build, can't sightsee, can't chat quite often when it really lags.

Then constant and omnipresent corporate lawyerspeak (they have to protect trademarks, understood...but you know, they could be a little less pompously asshole-ish in how they word it).

Then they try to cover over grid-wide issues by making the rendering cost settings and trumpeting that...I canot remember the last time I experienced significant render lag from anything but GIANT avatars. But I've already heard tell of morons blaming SL-WIDE lag on high ARC av's in their sims....uh, failed porting and no inventory being SL wide is NOT avatar related. But LL wants folks to treat ARC as a cure, takes the heat off them, you know (My base AV, minus clothing is a bit over 1000 and a nice orange for easy scapegoating).

Traffic? Instead of removing it, just do like google does, remove folks caught gaming it from search. Club loads every keyword known to man? Hides tons of bots onsite? Hit 'em where it hurts and block 'em in search for a month or so...deleting traffic is a typically-Linden approach akin to swatting a fly with a 20-pound sledgehammer. Overkill

Dealing with LL is just draining mentally....they have no direction for SL, are deceptive, arrogant in posts and office hours and quite often clueless about their own product. I fully understand and respect those that have pulled back from blogging or the game itself.

Ciaran Laval

"Dealing with LL is just draining mentally"

I definitely agree with you there, indeed I agree with nearly everything you say.

The showcase business with them promoting business and not being able to see why it might be objectionable, I mean it's their world but ffs, if they can't see there's an ethics issue there I don't know what to say, never mind that they haven't made a commitment to exclude any Linden alts from the process, there's a reason companies don't allow their employees to enter competitions.

So many times I have my head in my hands over their decisions and yet I keep going back for more so I must like it a lot.

cat magellan

Ciaran, I can tell you, it's much easier than trying to quit smoking. :)However, the feeling I get is that, for LL, since I continue to pay tiers (can't pull the rug under my partners/tennants/all the newbies we provide help,just like that), the only diference I make is that I am one less avatar straining the grid. The answer to always going back? LL runs a monopoly and they know it, there's no alternative for SL, opensim is still starting.

Maklin Deckard

"opensim is still starting." - Cat

And it seems to be run by the same ethically impared techies that fanboy for the lab. No economy, no setup for moneymaking...but they want to charge to hook to the grid? Not all of us are made of money. The one thing LL got right is having an economy...just wish they didn't continually make it near-impossible to adapt.

In a way, I envy Prok and Des, they have the patience of saints to run their respective mainland/island rentals with LL steering a course similar to that of a drunken sailor with the economy.

Martin Magpie


Martin Magpie.

Nicholaz Beresford

"Dealing with LL is just draining mentally" - Marlin

*metoo* to what Marlin and Ciaran says.

draining mentally and emotionally describes it best ... when reading about stuff the L's do my most common reactions are *facepalms* and *shakeshead*

CabSav Lane

Sigh, an avid user for 2 years, I have nearly stopped using 2L over that last few months. The official blog seems to have no Lindens reading or acting on ANY comments, just logging into 2L is nearly always a problem.

Like others, I am reducing my land ownership, selling what inventory that I can, and getting ready for the collapse of what was a great concept.

It is such a pity that LL could not, would not, and do not listen to their customers.

What a waste of everyone's efforts.

Mitch Wagner

I'm not on strike. But I haven't been able to use Second Life for more than a few minutes at a time for four days now, so I might as well be on strike.

I filed a support request on the JIRA. I have a premium account (and I rent a small tract of land), and I filed a trouble ticket. I DMed Torley Linden. Desmond Shang and his posse have tried their best to be helpful. But the Lindens are ignoring me.

Most of the people I know who tried to treat SL as more than just a casual game are in the same boat as me.

Martin Magpie

Take to the hand Linden Lab.

Feel free to link.



When Linden forces their largest supporter and most critical helper to turn her back on them, it's a sad day indeed! Miss those Governance services now don't you Prok!

Tammy Nowotny

Micth said: "I filed a support request on the JIRA. I have a premium account (and I rent a small tract of land), and I filed a trouble ticket. I DMed Torley Linden. Desmond Shang and his posse have tried their best to be helpful. But the Lindens are ignoring me."

That shows why I thought why my little misadventure was worth posting. I made a small mistake, which I would have corrected on my own anyway... but I got punished before I could correct it. (It was not that terrible a punishment, but seeing a police blotter report for parcel encroachment on Woolybear was embarassing even if no one but me and the adfarmer knew who it was about.)

I found the swiftness and decisiveness of it a little suprising, given how unswiftly and undecisively the LL Gods deal with other problems.

BTW, I found out a little more about the economics of the 16 m^2 adfarm towers. One of the leading adfarmers, the Hong Kong Mr Lee's caretl, rents out space for a (real life) dollar a month... and they automatically put you on xxx (I forget how many) towers across the grid. The guy I fell afoul of has hundreds, maybe thousands, of 16 m^2 spots with 3 4x4x10 metre pylons on them. Most of the ads you actually see, however, are the adfarmers' own ads. But some money is evidently being made, maybe even enough to cover the tier.

I have some land near the railroad station which I could rent ad or vendor space on. Hehehe. It would have be tasteful 'cause I live there and am rather attached to the place.


I am a small landowner compared to most of you (1 sim's worth) and have some rentals, which are mostly residential. I have good and long-term relationships with my tenants. But I am also thinking about tiering down, although that would hurt my tenants. But my main question isn't about the SL economy but rather about the ability to express my viewpoints and thoughts.

I experienced a weird incident which I won't go into much but the only conclusion that my friends and I could come up with is that I expressed my views on LL and SL to an Linden alt. Are Lindens supposed to even have alts? This seems to me like a huge potential conflict of interest if they are also invested into businesses and land. How can I compete with someone who has special knowledge of things (like dropping island purchase prices) in advance? Has anyone in LL ever addressed this?

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