Archive for the ‘Land’ Tag

Hopefully Linden Lab takes note of things on blogs like this. Not all Residents are gripers full of hot air; the tier cost is really severe, especially for non-profits, who had their tier doubled this past year to standard rate. If a viable way can be found to cut tier, it should help encourage region growth again.

Prim Perfect

I’ve now got the results of the poll I set up recently and they are very interesting – and in some ways reassuring for Linden Lab.  But they also highlight what are people’s serious concerns.  I print the full data at the bottom of this post, below my thoughts on this.

I had 246 responses, which isn’t bad for a representative selection – the average UK opinion poll is about 1,500 surveyed for 67 million, so we’re doing rather well. However, balanced against that we have to take into consideration that this was a self-selected poll, in that people had to be sufficiently interested in Second Life to be reading this blog or another that recommended the survey – which suggests a relatively high level of engagement.  There’s also the possibility that individuals could have ‘gamed’ the poll by multiple submissions – however, this does not seem to be…

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Third House Move This Year

For the third time in less than a year, my landlord decided to close down — apparently because of lack of time to handle the responsibilities this time, but once again I was in the house market.

It took some work, but I found this place in Tropical Sands region, pre-furnished and at my price.  I even have 60 prims left in allowance.  Add in tons of water, full house controls, beautiful landscaping around the entire sim and a long-established landlord, and I think I’ve lucked out.

If anyone is in the market for a house or apartment, check out Heartsdale Rentals; you can teleport from here.  They have places from luxury to basic 25-prim apartments, and it looks like a good location.

Posted February 16, 2012 by Harper Ganesvoort in Lifestyles, Personal

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Desmond Shang Comments on Land Loss in SL

In case you haven’t read this already, click through to New World Notes and read this comment by Desmond Shang, the “Guvnah” of Caledon, on why the loss of regions in Second Life may be a good thing for the Grid, instead of a tale of woe, doom ‘n gloom.  I’ve wondered myself if SL has grown too much over the years, as I see the Map expand with more and more isolated islands that don’t link together except at the corners — where you can’t cross over from one island to the next by just walking or flying in.  According to Hizzoner, a drop in land expansion might be a good thing in the long run.

(Personal thought:  if it brings people back to the Mainlands, along with a general cleaning of house there in many of the junkier sims as a form of “urban renewal,” it might be more than just a Good Thing.)

This Is a (House) Moving Year

After my landlord at Pandora Island decided they had to close shop, I moved to another sim and bought my first plot of ground.  That was about two months ago.  Now he’s gone out of business. (I can’t blame either of them on this; one of the things dragging on SL’s economy is the RL economy.  People just don’t always have the discretionary income that lets them buy islands like we did in 2007.)

I checked out someone the Pandora landlord suggested, and the one lot they had in my price range was surrounded by hills I couldn’t drop down — they were the property lines, essentially — and had a pond along one side that was also a terraforming no-no.  I didn’t know this until I had put down a week’s tier on purchase.  Apparently non-refundable, as well, or else I’m just too tired of the whole affair to try for my grand back.

Well, one of my cohorts on the Fashion Emergency group came through, suggesting her landlord, and I found a nice apartment to rent.  The good news:  it’s in my price range.  The bad news:  I may have jumped in on a long-term tenant who just missed their rent by a day or so.  The place is loaded with furniture I can’t delete — including a room of kid’s furniture, and a Hello Kitty rug that’s driving me up the wall for some reason.  (I think I just don’t like Hello Kitty; too kawaii cute, as in Cute Overload, as in “Himawari-chan is so cuu-uuuuu-uute!”.)  Any road on that, I’m letting the landlord here check with the previous tenant to see if they’re still interested.  I did a little research on the group page, and the tenant had a recent login, so it’s entirely possible.  This landlord is willing to refund me if it comes to it, though, which is a Good Thing.

After diligent searching, I may have located a lot that I can move to if worse comes to worst at this place.  It looks like the neighbors are more diverse than the herds of My Little Ponies I was surrounded with in Parkside, and the tier, while over what I thought, is reachable.  But if I lose out on this lot through needing to wait….  Well, take a look at the first picture.

UPDATE, August 28, 2:13 a:

The old tenant is no more in the apartment.  I’m laying it out as I get a chance.  If I get this place finished, which I never did with the Parkside site, I’ll shoot some photos and let you see.

Get Along, Little Doggies

Taking a break before I start unpacking

Whoop-ee-ti-yi-o get along little doggies,
It’s your misfortune and none of my own.
Whoop-ee-ti-yi-o get along little doggies,
You know that Wyoming will be your new home.

— Woody Guthrie, “Get Along Little Doggies”


A sign that all is not as we could wish yet in the RL economy:  two days ago, my landlords with Nukunono Estates contacted us on Pandora and Pitcairn Islands and said they would have to close down the sims, as they just weren’t getting enough tenants in to cover their tier.  I’d been on Pandora for close to two years, my longest tenancy in Second Life; and so having the virtual rug pulled out from under me again was something of a wrench.

Instead of the search taking a few days this time, I lucked out right away.  Indeed, I had one offer from a friend to take up a quarter sim for myself; but the tier was far too much for me to handle on that; another friend pointed out to me a plurk that I had not noticed of someone offering a lot.  If things don’t work out here — which I hope they will — I’ll reconsider that one (assuming it’s still open).  In the meantime, though, I’d committed to this place.

This is a step up for me, actually, just as moving from the cabin to the loft on Pandora was.  This place was just land, an open 2048 m2 lot, which meant I had to buy or build a house.  I could probably build, given lots of time, but I elected to buy, as nice prefab houses are quite affordable.  I did wish I’d spent more time looking at houses at the Home Expo a few months ago, though!  In the end, I chose a house built by Hunter Nieuport, an architect recommended to me by another friend.  The design was long but left me enough space for a side yard, while the width just fit within the rectangular lines of my lot.  It’s big and light, with lots of glass.  And the lot gives me more than double the prims I had for only L$300 more rent than I was paying, so I have room to landscape, and maybe even add a more sophisticated photo studio on the second floor.  The only thing down I’ve found so far is I’m surrounded by folk who are breeding and selling breedable horses like nuts.

So here I am again digging stuff out of cracks in my Inventory, figuring out how to distribute it, and probably buying more furniture than clothes over the next few weeks.  With any luck, I’ll show the place off eventually in photos, so keep tuned here for more news.

Linden Policy Change on OpenSpace Price Hike

Those who have been around the Grid since last October will remember the uproar generated when Linden Lab announced with no fanfare that they planned to raise the purchase price on so-called “Openspace” sims.  The price would increase from $250 to $375 — an raise of 1.5 times — and nearly double the monthly maintenance cost, from $75 to $125.  The rationale given at the Big Blog was that these new land areas, which were meant as light-traffic green zones, were being far overused in terms of both traffic and prims.  Protest erupted quickly, and I commented on it in several articles on 10/28, 10/30, 10/31, 10/31 (second article), 11/3, 11/4, 11/4 (second article), 11/5 and 11/8.  (You will find links in these articles to many more.)

When Linden announced it was changing the decision, many were pleased that the Lab seemed to be listening, at least in part, to the affected Residents’ fears and anger.  The planned compromise price restructuring, however, still chased away many who saw themselves as unable to afford the planned increases even on a stepping-stone basis.  Most analysts of the Grid map noted a large falloff in the number of islands.  Linden Lab denied that there was a massive selloff, as reported by New World Notes.

Still, in an announcement on Tuesday in the Big Blog, the Lab has stated that they will lock down the price increase scheduled for July 1 on owners of their new Homestead sims, as long as the land was purchased prior to July 1.  Landowners who abandoned their Openspace regions may have the land reactivated for no charge.  The grandfathering will last for one year, until July 2010.  Anyone purchasing a Homestead on July 1 or later will pay the full price as stated in the November 5, 2008 Big Blog announcement.

Ari Blackthorne in Common¦Sensible suggests that this is a potential move to avoid another land abandonment or selloff, although he also sees it as a potential olive branch.  The comments on the SL Discussions is the usual mixed reaction, a combination of appreciation and sour grapes for various reasons, with a leavening of unrelated posts.  Generally, though, judging by the lack of traffic on the matter, reaction is muted.  It could be early days in the debate, but very little, either of palms or screeds, has been published.  (If I’m wrong, please leave links in the comments below.)  I do wonder if any great notice has been taken of the announcement.

For those interested in owning land in Second Life, the move seems to me a generous one as far as it goes.  Those who stayed in world and were bracing themselves for an economic shock in a month will get at least a year’s relief on the matter, and in their bill.  Former Residents who left for OpenSpaces have the opportunity to rebuild their areas in Second Life at little penalty, other than paying the $20/month boost from what they started out with.  What would be nicer would be a continued freeze on prices if company revenues allow next year.  Hopefully Jack and Mark will consider this as the next year rolls around.

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Transcript of Adult Continent In-World News Conference

Click through here for a transcript of the in-world news conference held by Linden Lab on the planned adult continent.  The transcript was provided to members of the Second Life Media Consortium group; the conference took place on our island on May 1.  Participating on the Linden side were Cyn, Jack and Ken Linden.

Aside from some very light editing to correct punctuation and grammar, the transcript is as provided; no redactions have been made or material added by me.

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Second Life “Adult” Definitions Draft Published

The plans for the new adult continent are proceeding apace at Linden Lab. The Big Blog announced the progress in an article published yesterday, with links to a draft of current proposals for what constitutes “Adult,” “Mature,” and “PG” content. (Adobe PDF copy of the draft document from the Knowledge Base)

The key to the whole enterprise will be to devise a fair and comprehensive definition of what should be tagged “Adult,” and what is “merely” art.  This is something of a concern for me as an art dealer in world, though I haven’t handled any nudes yet beyond a few quite tasteful things by such as Maxfield Parrish.  (His Daybreak is my biggest seller — which is a relative thing (grin).)  At this point, though, I’m satisfied with what I’ve read.  Though I haven’t followed the discussion on the Forums — I have enough to read and process every day! — it seems that the Lab is trying to work actively with the Residents to get something workable and that will, if not please everybody, not totally displease everybody as well.  That’s the working definition of “compromise,” by the way.

Any road, come approximately June, the changes will be implemented to everybody with the new 1.23 viewer, and we’re gonna need to live with it.  One can hope that, if the policy needs tweaking, Linden Lab will be open to it.  Such things are almost never gotten right on the first go, and I expect some fine tuning will come.  Just in case, I’d urge a workable appeals process as well, so that someone who gets banged by the policy wrongly can get things fixed.

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Lindens Follow Up On Adult Continent Question

After I left for RL work yesterday, Governor Linden published a quickie article on the Big Blog to inform us of where the discussion over adult content changes stood.  Nothing deep here; just a distillation of where the Forum discussions started by the Lindens have traveled to, and the top concerns raised there.  According to the piece, the main questions for solving are:

  1. Enforcement of the content demarcation
  2. Definitions — what is “adult content”
  3. Scope — how far-ranging this will go
  4. Impact on businesses
  5. Impact on private estates
  6. “Why not a PG Continent?”
  7. Personal information and 3rd-party partners — probably the “age verification” issue

I suspect number 6 is the easiest to answer right now, and I haven’t even been involved in any of the discussions.  There will be a PG continent, simply because all the “by definition” raunchy stuff on the Mainland will be moved to the planned red-light continent.  Having said that, the definition itself has still to be thrashed out.  That will, of course, be one of the hairier problems faced by the Lab, will contain continual “grey areas,” and will no doubt bring constant charges of unequal enforcement against the Lindens by various quarters, based on that exact amount of “grey area.”

I’m sure Linden Lab realized that they were brewing up a potential hurricane when they began this initiative.  I just hope they realize how ongoing that hurricane will be, how long it will last, and how ugly it can get in both the short and long term.  The Governor has been under a lot of criticism over the past year or so for the banking ban, gambling ban, and various other decisions that were imposed without discussing with the Residents first.  Now they’re gonna find out the true meaning of democracy:  that, even when the public is involved with the rulemaking process, no turn goes unstoned.

(Addendum:  Kitt, my other half, suggests a very simple rule:  if it involves sex, it goes to the mature continent.  Even if it’s just as benign as holding hands and kissing, it goes.  I can imagine the fanfare of welcome that definition would bring….)

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“Red Light” Continent in Second Life’s Future

Lots of commentary has, no doubt, been delivered already on Linden Lab’s announcement yesterday of planned “adult-content reform” for Second Life. I suspect that Residents have been looking for the next thing they can excoriate Governor Linden about; and, lacking any major crash and burn of the 1.22 viewer release (which is unlikely, considering how long it’s been in development and testing), this is the Next Big Piece of News to Hit the Grid.

Just in case by some accident you haven’t heard, the Lab plans to designate one section of the Grid as exclusively for adult-level content, with access by some acceptable form of age verification.  This will not be a single sim/region; even based on the 2-4% estimate of content as falling in a definition of “adult content,” that would more than fill a single sim, even using the airspace above ground level.   (Imagine the lag in that single sim!)  It appears that they are planning to build a subcontinent designated for red-light activity, to which all such content on the Mainland will need to move by deadline.  Estate islands will not be subject to the move.  However, all user-created content must be flagged with an appropriate age level, regardless of its location.  Access to the red-light continent will be by age-verified accounts only.

This last may be one of the stumbling blocks faced by both Residents and Linden Lab.  The methods suggested in the original Big Blog article:

…We will implement account verification systems that provide an additional level of assurance for providers of Adult content that only adults are able to access their content. Such a system might be tied, for instance, to a verified payment method like a credit card, a validation by our age verification provider, or another credible method of validation….

Considering all the fun I’ve heard concerning Residents from outside RL North America trying the “age verification provider,” I don’t see that method being very popular.  Credit cards may be more likely a method.  I’ve wondered if that meant that all Residents will eventually need a full, paid account, but I find that unlikely; after all, Profiles today say “Payment info used,” which should be enough for most purposes.

Of more concern, and the main thing that is being debated in the Forums now, at Linden Lab’s invitation:  what is “adult content”?  The final decision on this will affect hundreds of Residents, and is going to be almost literally thrashed out.  One definition might include combat sims, and those folk will resist that as much as they can.  For instance, would you call the duels that take place on one of the regions in Samurai Island complex “adult”?  I would encourage you to go to the Linden’s article, about halfway down the page now, and click on the links to take you to the Forum threads, where you can express an opinion, and help in the shaping of these matters.

A speculation on my part:  once this new system is finalized, the Teen Grid will probably be closed down.  This is a reasonable conclusion, assuming that the plan moves through; without the adult-oriented content out there, there is no real reason to segregete off minor Residents — assuming, of course, that they have not forged some sort of age verification.  Still, this could open up the main Grid for educators’ more thorough use.  Despite the comments of some in other venues, Second Life is what you make of it, what you want it to be.  Several corporations are already discovering savings in their transportation budgets by holding meetings in world; and a good educator will scout out locations that fit their lesson plan, then bring their class in to experience it.  Time will tell on this; but, considering the remarks of Philip some time back, I would think the eventual closing of the Teen Grid will be at hand.


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