Advertisements

  • Advertisement
Photobucket
My Photo

Tip Jar

Support Blog

Tip Jar

Official Second Life Blog

EngageDigital

« How TechDirt is Manufacturing a Pity Party for a Poster-Boy of ICE Abuse to Try to Sink SOPA | Main | The Mechs: Will They be Good to us, or Evil? »

December 14, 2011

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451cfe069e201675ec4e077970b

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference How's Business?:

Comments

melponeme_k

I think it's hard to gauge the success/failure of Second Life because there is nothing quite like it.

One day, someone will know what to do with it and he/she will create something that will take off like wildfire.

The user base all in all is pretty good. Although at times I feel as if I'm in the asylum from "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest" or in Harry's bar in "The Iceman Cometh". There is definitely a special kind of crazy that is required to get past the purposeful hurdles in place.

I once tried getting a friend in who had a background in art and marketing. She loved WoW and other games. But she was lost and a little frightened by SL. I don't know why when the place had many aspects that would have appealed to her. Who knows why people stay or like SL.

It's a singularity thing...maybe. LOL

Amanda Dallin

Many people, maybe most, want to have their hand held and be guided in what they do. SL is too open ended for them. They want goals and quests not "Your World, Your Imagination." Linden Realms could turn into something that appeals to this mass of people.

Prokofy Neva

Oh, I'm all for that, Amanda. I'm totally for the Lindens having a goals and quest game. If they can make it fun, have it earn a few Lindens, and have it be the way people learn how to use SL in a fun way, it would be great.

*If they made it for the purpose of attracting and helping newbies, I'd be thrilled*.

That's in fact why at first I *was* thrilled.

Then I heard Rod explaining that no, it was for resident devs. It was once again a FIC thing. It was once again a theory of fun based on other people making the fun, not the company (paging Raph Koster, and that reminds me, I *must* read his book by that name).

But I think it's a terrible theory of fun. I think the Lindens *should* be in the content business. In fact, they are! Look at all the magnificent work done by the Moles. Look at some of the fun games they have made like Piri. Or look at their activities areas, like the sailing. This is all good, and it should be elevated and appreciated.

That said, I'm for leaving lots of blank canvas for that "your world, your imagination".

Ann Otoole InSL

The SL economy will improve as the rl economy improves and rodvik makes changes that help new people acclimate to SL. If one is having a tough time in SL right now then the logical strategy is to downsize, perhaps even to a landless basic account, and wait it out. And while you wait you can learn mesh.

Rex Cronon

Don't the lindens have this "linden realms" game?
Have you guys tried it?
here is a link to main page: http://secondlife.com/destinations/realms

Desmond Shang

Several points ~

1) Some of the oldbie notables have incredible branding power from being first, either fairly or unfairly. But bunnies, Meeroo's, horses and chickens are essentially professional grade creations. Not in terms of code or art, but in terms of how they enhance the user experience. Many people just simply like them. Whomever provides that kind of user experience will survive over the long term, if they choose to.

2) Another critical point is that estate land has been ranked far lower than mainland in search since about August, and while I don't have hard numbers, I *strongly* suspect this has a lot to do with the loss of dozens of private estate regions most every week lately. Community based estates aren't doing spectacularly, but they haven't suddenly dried up because someone turned off the search spigot either.

3. The real story of SL is that it is still essentially stable, and not shut down long ago, as it closes in on the ten year mark. This is a very big deal.

4. Most users go through an 'I'm new, making friends' phase and then a 'not logging in so much' phase some months later. I've been hearing how the oldbies are leaving SL since 2004. This is a big reason why, and why by my recollection these lamentations seemed the loudest in late 2007.

5. SL has an older userbase of people who don't log in all the time, but in very many instances can afford to spend 15 or 25 bucks a month on their credit card for literally years if they want to. As such many users don't log in for several months, then come back for some weeks before disappearing again. This is okay. It's what they want to do.

6. Clawback. Linden Homes, de~ranking estates in land search and so forth do have the side effect of transferring inworld business income from the resident column to the Linden Research column. They know they won't break the world mining the mountain of resident profits, because the vast majority of residents are social users. If a few oldbies get wiped out, it's generally an isolated issue and often the newer merchants will delight in seeing their competition fail. Expect more clawback.

7. SL isn't facebook, it isn't google or world of warcraft or any of those things. Anyone pretending it is, is naturally going to be disappointed. It is what it is, and it's vaguely stable.

dos computer

Business process management (BPM) is a holistic management approach focused on aligning all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of clients. It promotes business effectiveness and efficiency while striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration with technology. BPM attempts to improve processes continuously. It can therefore be described as a "process optimization process." It is argued that BPM enables organizations to be more efficient, more effective and more capable of change than a functionally focused, traditional hierarchical management approach.

Thanks
Michael

Starting a New Business

It takes a process aware organization to achieve this level of agility and and BPM has both the tools and the knowhow to transform you into one.

Prokofy Neva

Another critical point is that estate land has been ranked far lower than mainland in search since about August, and while I don't have hard numbers, I *strongly* suspect this has a lot to do with the loss of dozens of private estate regions most every week lately.

Desmond, this sounds completely crazy to me. What possible evidence *do* you have if you don't have numbers? How do you know this is true for ALL estates and not just YOURS? How do you know if your search rankings are lower that you are just moved around on the carousel (the Lindens do that, perhaps?)

And are you saying the Mainland is now the winner of search?

That's just nuts. Classifieds continue of course to be bought by estates, and they show up in search more. I don't know what your actual point is, or how you arrived at it. Estates are showing up less than mainland? That just can't be. That has never been. There are thousands more estate rentals -- huge empires -- than little mainland companies.

Estates are showing up less than Linden Homes? That may be true, but how does that work?

I haven't been able to stand the latest iteration of the viewer long enough to figure out how my rentals are doing in search, and I won't for awhile, with a crappy computer now but I'm just not buying this claim of yours. Makes no sense.

Desmond Shang

>>What possible evidence *do* you have if you don't have numbers?

Complaints from other land barons who were happily listing parcels in land search, only to find a sudden and inexplicable dramatic fall in search ranking as compared to mainland parcels. I think it was Ayesha that did a search rank test to verify this, and the post describing the details was on SLUniverse somewhere. This was, roughly, last August. I'm presuming that nothing has changed. It may have.

Furthermore, other things are happening that lend credence to this: a dropoff of estate regions generally 'across the board' (not just big rentals) as per Tyche Sheperd's data. Also, if I understand things correctly, Thex Lecker just sold all his regions to another estate which will continue managing it... that's a fair sized estate (50 regions or so). A move one would expect if land search were suddenly a lot tougher for private estates, and stayed that way a few months. Other significant operators have cut back a bit also (not all of them but a few).


>>How do you know this is true for ALL estates and not just YOURS?

First of all, I don't use land search. Seen "yellow" on the Caledon estate map lately (as in since 2006)? You haven't. Winterfell and Zeppelinheim use it (geographically neighbouring estates) but not Caledon. I saw this coming like a freight train. Directly parallel issue: look what happened to merchants who relied on inworld search 18 months ago. No way was I going to risk dependency on inworld land search. Using Google Adwords back in 2002 taught me _never_ to do that. The market maker (google) via keyword competition eventually forces search to cost advertisers almost exactly what it makes for them, or even a little more. Back to the question ~ search acts pretty much as it does universally; it kind of has to work that way, technically speaking.


>>How do you know if your search rankings are lower that you are just moved around on the carousel (the Lindens do that, perhaps?)

As stated above, I simply don't use the land search feature for land sales. Caledon is still 99% word of mouth.


>>And are you saying the Mainland is now the winner of search?

Yes. As best I understand it, all else equal, a mainland parcel will rank far higher in search now than an estate parcel. Don't take my word for it. Test it. Let's see if it's still the case.


>>That's just nuts. Classifieds continue of course to be bought by estates, and they show up in search more. I don't know what your actual point is, or how you arrived at it. Estates are showing up less than mainland? That just can't be. That has never been. There are thousands more estate rentals -- huge empires -- than little mainland companies.

It has more to do with direct land sales than rental, per se. I'm not a land search specialist (I shun it entirely) but others I trust are, and they noticed the change instantly when it happened. And immediately did an A/B comparison test with estate/mainland test parcels and saw a huge difference. Ayesha knows a lot more about the specifics than I do.


>>Estates are showing up less than Linden Homes? That may be true, but how does that work?

I don't know about Linden Homes, I saw test results with regard to mainland proper.

* * * * *

I would say ~ do your own research, I haven't looked at this too carefully since August. But *something* has caused a significant downtrend of private estate regions in November as per Tyche's data, and this is the only significant change I'm aware of. My guess, is that mainland demand and possibly premium memberships will go up a bit, and estate land demand (for those who rely on search) will stay down *unless* they pay for classifieds &c.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond,

I'm just not buying any of this. It sounds like one land owner, not more than one -- Ayesha -- has made this judgement, and that you're speculating about the others.

Estates have begun to go down not because of how land "sales" go in search, but because there is a drop in people willing to spend money. Whatever concurrency numbers there are, whatever even unique log ins there are (and they have dipped somewhat), what really matters is "number who spent more than $1 in world" when it comes to business.

That number went down for a number of quarters and only recently just started going back up. It was at 488,000, now it is at 475,000, up from something lower.

When you have only less than half a million people willing to buy things and a subset of them willing to rent land -- not a million, not whatever -- then you have an economy of X size that can only hold so much. If there are 10,000 rental agents chasing these people -- and there are probably in fact that many! -- you can easily see how little pie there is for everyone.

I don't see the Lindens -- who are controlling this -- would have any reason to deliberately favour mainland sales over estate sales. That makes absolutely no sense. Their tier for mainland is less -- $195 per sim instead of $295 -- so that makes no sense. Unless you think they are somehow hoping to play the retail market of lots of $25 or $40 a month customers who might be paying somewhat less to island owners -- but that strikes me as very volatile and impossible to make money on (but maybe they have different numbers they see on this).

It's much more in their interests to have prosumer consumers who buy their islands and re-rent them and manage their customers, than to create more primary customers draining their customer service with mainland ownership. They're certainly not banking on some big mainland entrepreneurs to buy up lots of mainland to re-rent (unless I missed such people somewhere).

I think *if* the Lindens *are* doing this, it's merely to serve as a corrective to a mainland market they themselves destroyed.

Because by allowing the estates even to be in search, they are allowing $0 sales on estates -- of which there are zillions -- to show up first. Mainland obviously can't have $0 sales.

I don't think they got rid of $0 sales, I'd have to check and I can't risk going on the new viewer now.

Mainland has been shafted for years. You're one of the people who helped shaft it with your very deliberate ad series showing people horrified and going into Victorian faints over the awfulness of the Mainland, and then going to your rentals for salvation and peace.

The Lindens, by allowing ad farm and extortionists for 4 years, decimated the mainland which is only now starting to recover.

But sure, Desmond, go ahead and make it seem like the Mainland of only 4,000 sims or something is really a threat to 30,000 islands.

Who knows, maybe Ayesha kept using repeat words or other gimmicks and now is getting punished in search.

Desmond Shang

I've had it confirmed (at least at one point in the past) that mainland makes more than private islands do. Or at least, they did. They certainly have more potential.

Remember the lack of tier discounts ~ mainlanders with less than a full region's worth pay a premium. Also, they may pay that premium, and *not even use* the resources. Just like having 3000 meters on the ground but tier payments for another 1000 or so. That "right to buy more land, even if you didn't" has a monthly fee associated with it.

Add in everyone who goes premium on a quarterly or monthly basis, and you'll soon see that private estates barely tickle the revenue possibilities of mainland.

Also, add on to that, the fact that at least 50% of the private estates have no interest in subleasing land to anyone. Probably more like 70%.

I don't have Tyche's stats handy, but when considering *actual* mainland vs private estate rentals, the numbers are likely on par (roughly). Say 4000 mainland to 4000ish private estates actually available for sublease.

I do agree, mainland has been shafted for years, and this is likely part of their 'do something about it' plan.

I'm curious, Prok, how do *you* explain the rather sudden, roughly 50 regions per week steady drop in private estates over the past month or so? It could simply be the long~expected result of an overpriced product, but I suspect there is more to it, specifically strategic tinkering. Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Advertisements

  • Advertisement

Advertisements

  • Advertisement
Blog powered by Typepad

Networked Blogs

  • Networked Blogs