Today I want to write a little bit about the difference between building things in real life and in Second Life.

Building things in real life, for example a simple chair, can be hurdlesome. First you need the materials to build it, namely wood and at least some glue. Second you need the right tools to achieve your goal. Third you need knowledge and experience how to do it and a certain amount of time to actually build one chair. The more chairs you build, the more time you need. Please notice, that the important fact is that this is linear. For example, if you need in the average 45 minutes to build one chair, then you would need 7*45 minutes in the average to build seven chairs. And last, but not least, if you never build a chair before, you need to make some research first actually how to build it and of course the time it actually takes to build it has also some value.

How to gain profit of it? Well, you must reach the break even point, of course. Only if you have reached it actually you are making profit with your good; if you never reach it, you will make only a loss, plain and simple.

Since SL is virtual, we are now in the wonderland of software production (actually the same rules applies to other software, e.g. Windows from Microsoft). Costs for building materials and tools? None. It's all in the client, Luke. Costs for building many products? None, it's just simply copying on the server in a fraction of seconds. It doesn't matter if you actually only sell one or one million pieces of it. So what costs are left in SL to reach the break even point for a product? Simple: research and labor costs.

So if you do it right, it's actually from this point of view easier in SL to reach break even. But, and please consider this also, the potential crowd of customers is in SL of course drastically smaller than in RL, so you need some to make your product popular by all means. (All of this does not always apply to custom builds, of course.)

And this is also how Microsoft makes so much money with Windows. Actually the production costs per unit are constant low (burning DVDs is mostly automated, anyway), the research costs are constant and only happened once, so it's easy to turn it into a cash cow, when many people buy it.

Don Alphonso, a well known German blogger (mostly he blogs about startups, which he often criticizes and wrote articles at DotComTod and BooCompany), wrote an article about SL (German only) in general yesterday at his blog.

To sum it up: he thinks that SL is overhyped. Not only overhyped, but actually some kind of virtual trash can, in which a whole industry throws herself out of free will. First he criticizes the press coverage from LL about the 2 million inhabitants in SL. Well, old story.

Then he criticizes the press coverage about Anshe Chung and her being the first virtual millionaire. Well, it is actually one thing she didn't deny in an interview. The other thing he brings in as negative example is the griefer attack on her when she gave her interview to CNet. Articles about it are here and here, the video has been already removed on Youtube, but it's still available on other places in the web. He is of the opinion that no one working in public relations with a little bit of brain left would really make such things in SL, especially when everybody can film it.

Well, that's the short summary. But guess what? Who cares. Anshe Chung became famous out of SL, made much money with it, and she owns a company worth more than 1 million US-$. Other's are still trying to get rich/famous, whatever, too, and at the moment SL is hip, in, whatever, so it is not going to end so soon. Also the web was something like that at the beginning.

I've found a bounch of pyramides near a good frequented club, and this time the text in the pyramides still worked.

So, just for the reading pleasure (and to be complete) - here is the text:

Dear Moneymaker,

So, you want to make money, and lots of it.

You have come to the right place.

It is really simple :

1) Right click on the pryamid and choose "pay".
2) Pyramid will appear in your inventory.
IMPORTANT: The Pyramidt you get has not been validated, and will not work yet!!!

3) Drag and drop the Pyramid on the ground near the original and touch your copy .
4) Click yes to the money question which will activate the Pyamid. (If you do not press yes, the object will not work,
this is needed to distribute the money that will be payed to the object).

5) If everything has been done correctly, the following text will apear above your object:

"How to make money (touch me)."

This means you now have a working version of The Pyramid.

6) Delete the copy of the Pyramid in your inventory while the actual Pyramid is on the ground. (not nescecary, but the one in your inventory is useless, unless you validate it).

Take the validated Pyramid with you and place is somewhere where a lot of people will come.

Here is how it works:

After you have validated it, people can pay your pyramid L$20.
Everytime someone does that, YOU get L$5 and they get a copy of the pyramid and have to go through the same steps as you have.

If that person also places their pyramid somewhere and another person pays L$20, he/she gets L$5 and YOU get L$10.

Just sit back, relax and make money.

DisQ Hern

Please remember: DisQ Hern is not selling those pyramides anymore, in fact you can get a device in his shop for free to disable littered pyramides anywhere without being the owner of the object nor being the landowner.

Don't we all know it? The famous "Pyramid system", which brings many people to litter other people's sims with it in the hope to make some cheap money without much or no effort at all?


Every time I see this type of garbage I want to barf. Some people just need to grow a brain, somewhere, somehow - and very fast, too!

Those types of schemes are not working! Not yesterday, not today, or tomorrow! No, no, never!

The only people making money with it are in the 1st and 2nd level of the pyramid actually, the rest gains nothing. Nothing at all, well, not really true, perhaps they gain anger and want to kick themself in the ass for being so dumb to actually pay money for such kind of rubbish!

If you don't want to believe it, well, take a very close look to the article about pyramide scheme in the Wikipedia. If you still want to pay money for such a scheme and are not in the 1st or 2nd level of it actually - well, better read it again.

Actually such schemes are a violation of the Terms of Services of Lindenlab. So littering such a thing makes you a receptive for a Abuse Report.

Well, at least the author Disq Hern got the message, he's not selling these pyramides anymore since the mid of December 2006. You can get now a device for free at his shop, called "Pyramid stopper", to get rid of this rubbish even when you are not the land owner or tenant of a parcel. Just go and grab it in his shop at Insula Inferi West.

As many might have now noticed (or not) - the implementation of the search feature in SL has changed.

According to this article in the SL blog it is now this way:

You may have noticed that Search > Places returns slightly different results after today’s update. Previously if you had a place with a description like “clothingshirtshoes” a search on “shirt” would find that place. Now our searches work more like Google, Yahoo, ect. and will only find full words. Thus “clothing shirt” and “clothing, shirt” will be found, but not “clothingshirt”.

This, to say it simply, hurts business until the word spreads around under the users and still then some might not know how to do it otherwise.

(Yeah, some people would just right now say: LL is to blame for using the "toy database" MySQL, why have they not used Postgres or $insertyourfavoriteenterpriseRDBMShere from the beginning? Guess what? Stick this statement in your ass, those flamewars bring nothing new...)

Ah, and of course, the inevitable Mr. Prokofy Neva has written an article about it, too, using much more words to get the same message to the people like I did. I'd like to see him as a Rebel without a clue from now on.

Yesterday was one of these days - out of the blue happened one important thing, about that already many rumors spreaded around lately. The client part of Second Life was released under the GPLv2 license, which means: it became opensource.

Well, some expected it sooner or later, because there were already interviews around in which the CEO of Lindenlabs, Philip Rosedale, was very open about it. So now the first step happened. We are going to see, if they are also opening up part of the server side or not. But, and this is the important message: the cat is out of the bag right now and no way to get it back - anymore!

So, the important questions to ask are: why did it happen and what can I, the user, expect from it in the future? What does it mean to me personally?

...continue reading "Second Life goes Opensource – so what?"

Yesterday I visited the new home of my dear friend Lu Stapleton. It's a very nice and modern house somewhere on the mainland, which is definitely a good fit. She was quite impressed by the work of the builder and for sure is going to recommend him to others.

While I was there, some classic music played on the parcel. She told me that she bought SLTunes, a nice interface for iTunes to set the media URL on the parcel based on the radio station list in iTunes. It was a cheap buy, doesn't get in the way and gets its job done. A well thought out piece of software, just like all software should be. A tool that doesn't get in your way!

Well, I was curious, so I used Google to find some information about this tool and stumpled upon the website of the maker, Darius Lehane, named "Darius Lehane's Second Life." Doh!

Ok, the name of my blog isn't exactly brilliant, either, but I gave the site a try and it was worth it. First, if you want to buy some nice software, you can get some very good things there.

But, more important and fun to read for me, was Mr. Lehane's "Hall of Shame". It's a list of 8 points and listing some of in his opinion bad developments in SL. And guess what? He's right!

For example he mentions empty malls (even the idea of opening another mall is bad), Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong and other stuff. It's worth a read!

Well, he also has a short list of three points of "Top Places" in his opinion, also a very nice read.

And last, but not least, his very interesting article "Guide to Land: How to Own Land and Make Money (or not spend much)." It has some very good tips you should consider when buying land and tells you in all glorious details why it sometimes could be better to buy land from a land baron, and sometimes it is better to buy on mainland and the differences between these two fundamental choices.

Well, today was smooth and without any trouble. All was quiet in the garden, danced with several nice ladies and I found some stuff to read and to do.

Well, here's my roundup:

  • An article named "What do Paris Hilton and Second Life have in common?" from the CEO of Iron Realms, a company doing business in and with MUDs, from 10/20/06. Well, Matt Mihaly takes a very negative stance against SL. No great news there, because they are competitors. The quote "SL is famous for being famous" sums his opinion up very well! He has some points there, but the reason for a company going into SL is always first - cheap publicity. If you join there, then you're hip, you get big press for nothing at all and the project costs are just a very minor part in your budget. That's the way it works!
  • A piece named "Relay for Life and Exploits" from Hiro Pendragron from 06/20/06. Quote: "Linden Lab loves to play this game called "Let's release a patch befor a major release!"". About the problems of the patch schedules and that he is the opinion that the Lindens should be allowed to play actually in the world while at work to get a grip of it. Point taken there, but not all Lindens are technicians like he writes.
  • The article of the day: "Politiker in "Second Life": Der US-Kongress wird virtuell." This was today at the frontpage of the website of the German magazine "Der Spiegel". It's about a new sim, in which the US congress was put into. Well, actually good PR for LL at no cost at all, since this is a biggie.

In Terra Nova is an interesting article about potential backlashs about Second Life in 2007 by Ren Reynolds.

Points one to three are:

  1. It’s all just sex. sex sex sex I tell you
  2. It's not just sex, it's prostitution
  3. It can be used for hiding / laundering money

Well, guess what? Point 3 already has happened, there are already articles about this possibility in the web. Definitely also worth a read and some of them are just bound to happen sooner or later!