Springe zum Inhalt

After not posting entries for some days, I've got to dequeue my queued posts now. So, with no further delay here they are:

  • SL had terrible problems yesterday. They bunch varied from not being able to login to problems with teleporting up to problems with the assets. So it was unsafe to use the inventory at all. This reminds us: when you really want to do business in SL, the platform tends to be fairly unstable. Count that always in. The whole drama lasted over 10 hours. Hopefully it is over now.
  • Zee Linden posted an Excel spreadsheet about the key measures of SL. Very interesting read, you should give it a read. There are some big differences from SL's statistics to other games, and it shows. For example:
    • The time of hours spent online per month seems to grow exponential at the moment.
    • There is a big growth in land. But the area covered by private islands is 2.5 times bigger than by the mainland (102.72 square kms mainland compared to 258,08 square kms private islands).
    • Also again: big economy growth in world and big growth in the sales of the LindeX.
    • Also as it seems a big exponential groth in the number of residents at all, but the number of premiums more in some kind of linear growth, also taking off right now, too.
    • The top 100 countries of the residents: 31.19% from USA, 12.73% from France, 10.46 % from Germany, 8.09 % from the Netherlands. I would have thought that more people are coming from the USA, but it shows that the audience of SL is truly international and not dominated by US residents only. So this leads of course to separated communities and some gated communities, too.
    • Average age on the main grid: 33. Bummer. Now this is really worth mentioning it. The audience in SL seems to be much older than in other online games, which makes it of course more interesting for commercials, real life companies entering it and so on and on.
    • More males using it than females (58,89% male compared to 41.11% female), though the female population keeps growing and growing.
  • RL issues are coming strongly into SL, too, right now and this is going to be a big, big thing. Mainly: violation of copyrights. It is the title theme of The Avastar from last week. Only because there were not really actions taken against some people because SL was not on the radar of the companies and copyright holders at all does mean that it is safe to use copyrighted material. On the contrary, RL copyright of course applies also to the in world. This is a lesson people should have learned from the booming days of the Internet already, but history seems to repeat itself right now. For example they are interviewing King Pascale who sells his articles under real life brand names like Gucci, D&G, Chanel and so on. Now this guy seems to come from Denmark. The graphical ad for his shop looks like this:
    Luxury Fashion Ad
    To cite him:

    I don't do anything illegal. Producing articles and use of real life brands is forbidden. However, I don't only sell on what other people create for me. I got it in writing from the Lindens that it was not illegal to sell on RL brands.

    Dude, you are sooo wrong! When a brand is copyrighted, it can be applied to several fields. For example the name of a computer must not apply to gardening utilities and so on. But what you are doing is to use the already established brand names to sell your own goods and make your own profit out of them. Read my lips: when a brand owner/copyright owner is going to sue you, and this is bound to happen sooner or later, you will be sued. Period. Don't take the naive stance, it is not going to help you. Only a letter from the Lindens is no absolution that never anything will happen to you or binding legal consultation at all. Go to a lawyer with experience in this field and ask him for a consultation in that matter - and be quick! Be so quick!

  • Of course violation of copyright does also include streaming music, videos and much more fields to cover. With the rush of RL companies into SL expect them to take some actions against it. Otherwise you're naive.
  • Another matter if importance are the still way too much high prices for land on the mainland. The prices are still not falling down, despite some other opinions. It seems that there are still land buying bots in the grid, buying new land under your feet. The Lindens should really do something about it, like introducing Captchas and other countermeasures. This is getting frustrated.

Today there was a group notice for all members of Sinner's paradise. It was closed at 09:00 am SLT by the owner, Hunter Tempura. She said, she thought about it over one month, but she came to the decision.

The reasons? You could only speculate about them. Perhaps too much griefers attacking the sim again and again and/or the much too large entrance area. Well, it's sad, that the sim is not available anymore, since it stood out in terms of landscaping and quality!

 

Yesterday there was a very good written article about "The "New" New Economy in Second Life" in the German web magazine Telepolis written by Karin Wehn (English: Google).

It is a very good written article about the economy - or the lack of - in Second Life, what SL is, why Lindenlabs did not herald the 3rd million resident and so on, the stability of the grid, how some land barons got rich and so on and on. Also has some very interesting pointers to other sides or articles.

Well worth a read. Very important is perhaps this link to the official economic statistics from SL: http://secondlife.com/whatis/economy_stats.php. Just about 229 users had in December 2006 an in world income from 1000-2000 US-$, 140 from 2000-5000 US-$ and 90 greater than 5000 US-$.

You should always keep those statistics in mind when you think you can get there rich very fast and live off it. Mostly not happening for you, until you work really hard and are really good, so better scratch it.

The conclusion of the article is: the usage statistics should be read carefully. While Second Life is innovative, it is still unstable as a business platform and the downtimes can hinder the business for sure, so that it is no wonder that the declared priority from Lindenlabs is to stabilize the grid. Some are also in doubt if Secondlife is here to stay or not, because the prerequisites to connect to it are quite high and it should be more userfriendly in terms of usage.

I doubt it, of course, but we are going to see.

Arg! Newbies are coming around in masses again at all places recently. I've got no problem with this. But some of them are just getting too much annoying!

I've noticed quite a change in the last few weeks about the newbies behaviour; some of them are still good mannered, though they are the minority, it seems. Others are just thinking "money makes the world go round" and looking for the perfect job, though they are still newbies and inexperienced.

And guess what? They are bothering many people on many places with questions like "Where can I get a good job?", "Are here jobs available?" and so on... d'oh!

Get a life! You don't need a job at all in SL. You can play for months, still have some money and have much fun without having any job at all! And if, I repeat, if, you are really in need of money - first learn to calculate!

What I mean with this one? Well, one US-$ could be exchanged into 280 Linden-$ at the moment. Most good clothes are around 1000 L$. So... which job is getting paid most in here and all can do it? Right: being a prostitute, or nicer called being an escort. An escort gets around 1000 to 1500 L$ normally for an hour of sex. These are average rates, first they need to invest into themselves let's say 10.000 to 15.000 L$, to have a nice skin, hair, shape, dresses, toy for sex and so on.

If you calculate now those rates back - 1000 to 1500 L$ would mean around 3,57 to 5,35 US-$ per hour. That's not much money, and if you are earning for example 10-12 US-$ normally in your daytime job per hour - well, you're blasted there.

So, what's the bottom line of this? When you want to get money in SL - either play in a casino, or just, for goodness sake, buy it! And if you really, really want to earn money in game, become an escort, or better a custom builder, shop owner with a nice niche, scripter or try to rent land to people at affordable prices!

But, hell, stop bugging us all for jobs! It's annoying as hell. If you've get it inside yourself - fine. Be your own self-made man or girl. If not - take some time to grow up. Most better paid jobs are only available for avatars at age > 30 days, and that's for very good reasons.

 I've stumbled about an interview with Mitch Kapor through a blog entry of Prokofy Neva about a possible happening decrease in land prices. Seems the interview has been edited since then, but the lines Neva cites where there. Definitely.

So... Mr. Neva is upset about the possible opening of the server side. Well, I can understand him (and needs to write an article of biblical propotions again, just to say: "This is nuts", like always...), but it is the only way to take it on the next level.

How Lindenlabs can generate money after opening up? Well, for example perhaps like this:

  • You want your own server connected to the maingrid? Well, you can, but you will have to pay a monthly fee to LL for it.
  • You want access to the central login- and asset-manager of LL? No problem, also available for a fee.
  • Need to backup your database? Yes, do it with LL.
  • You want to be able to buy and sell L$ on your own server? Sure thing, again availabe for a monthly fee...

and so on and on...  I would not be surprised if some of those ideas are going to manifest in the future.

It seems that after opening up the client code some people just cannot await the arrive of the server code under an Opensource license any longer and took matters in their own hands right now.

Enter: Opensim. This is first project that I know of trying to reimplement the server side parts of SL, written in C#, using libsecondlife. So far they claim that you can login, object creation, movement, object updates and chat are working. It started at the end of January and is considered pre alpha.

But - who cares. It has started and now I am curious to see where this project goes and how far it is going to evolve.

So, if LL never opens up the server, people could aid this project and well - who cares, then, if they make it right and get it going.

Today Lindenlabs dropped the bomb: there is going to be a new continent in the east! Not only that, they are adding the new regions at a higher speed than earlier (which was 4 regions per day) and putting up some mechanisms to avoid the buying of the parcels through bots.

This sounds like a nice move. Ok, the people seeing land as an investment are going to cry if the prices drops significantly, but in the end it's better that way, because so more people are able again to get new land and for Lindenlabs to generate more income, of course.

If LL would not have taken this step, it could have been that many people were leaving the game or just not buying land anymore, so that LL would have been on quite a stock of unused land sooner or later. Now, there is a new force in the land business, a new motion and I am thrilled to observe in which direction this might leed us!

Darius Lehane did it, again. This time he wrote an article about the land bubble in Second Life. Quite an interesting read and he got some critical points absolutely right.

He's right: land prices are out of control, taking off to unseen heights and are prone to crash sooner or later. Why? Well, what are you buying actually? Not really. Actually the partition of computation time of one server. One server normally hosts two sims and consists of a dual-core CPU. And servers can get added day by day, a fact unseen in the real world. So you theoretically can add as much land to the grid as you like.

Why is it going to burst? Because sooner or later the point of no return will be reached when most people are unwilling and/or unable to pay the prices. That's why, and the fes are eating up he owners.

And if this point is reached most are going to sell their land - even with loss - just to get it away.

Another possibility, of course, would be when the Lindens are opening up the server side part of SL and you can host your region everywhere you want. This would also ruin the land prices immidiately.

So, investing into land is perhaps a short time investment in SL, but no long time investment nor a good investment at all.

The German magazine "Der Spiegel" (English translation via Google) has opened up an own avatar for media coverage in Second Life. This is after "The Avastar" and Reuters another major media player - well, at least in Europe - joining this world. The main usage seems so far to report Second Life and make some entries in a blog actually.

The avatar him(her)self is named Sponto; no surename given in the article so far. It's a rather nice read about the impressions a newbie can get out of SL and seems to be the first in a series of entries. They even opened up a German forum on their website to discuss SL, well, we're going to see how it is going to develop.

Yesterday, 1/27/07,  Philippe Borremans wrote in his blog an article about the arrival of the Front National (FN), a right-wing party from France in SL and the possible implications of this move.

He's musing about the implications like this:

Well, both Le Pen, the head of the party and some of its members have been condemned in court because they made negationist comments about the holocaust. But I guess that doesn't count in a virtual world.

Wrong; depending on the country it can count. Very much so.

How will anti-racist organisations react ? Do the same, set up a presence in Second Life and take the political battle online ? Does this mean that what is considered as condemnable by law in the real world is not in a virtual one ?

Good question;  but after some investigations you should already know the answer. Yes, those organisations are - or at least their supporters - are online too, and yes, they take this battle online. Very much so.

Just take a look at this article from the German magazine Der Spiegel from 1/12/07 (Germany only, here roughly translated via Google). There already have been in world demonstrations against the FN in SL before the article from Mr. Borremans was written.

So, SL already turned into another platform for this political struggle - for both sides. Where the one goes, the other follows suit in no time at all. That's the way it goes.