Monday, June 10, 2019

A Reader Responds on Linden Lab's Price and Fee Hikes, Group Limit Cuts

On June 4, yours truly made a commentary about Linden Lab's decision on May 29 to raise Premium account prices by 37% (or a little over 25% for those paying monthly), the doubling of the fee to cash out Linden dollars (2.5% to 5%), and their decision to cut the group limits on basic accounts from 42 to 35. While the Lindens canceled the last part of their plans due to feedback, I questioned why the Lab made that move to begin with while also raising prices and fees while their successful Linden homes were already bringing in more money.

Some people felt the commentary was overreacting to Linden Lab's move. Most of those comments on Facebook were simple ones to the tune of "If you don't want to pay, you don't have to play." But one reader, an Elizabeth Jarvinen, took the time to explain why she felt the comments were a little harsh.

I've been one of very few residents who routinely helps out both the Lindens and the third party viewer devs with bug reports and problem solving on SL. There's been talk for years about how group size and group numbers have been problematic. Whether people believe it or not, the facts remain the same. Group membership, particularly very large groups really weigh down the SL system. That's also why they limited viewing group members / roles to groups with (under) 5000 members. 

Balancing Public Relations with Technical Solutions is not easy. It's one of the hardest things with doing anything 'on the internet' in this era~ people can always construct a narrative that has conspiracy and ill intentions, marked with corporate greed and personal gain for~ well~ pretty much any situation really. That being said, I also condemned the notion of cutting basic groups, and I'm glad they listened.

I also feel a bit compelled to point out that with regard to "small land owners" a year ago they literally doubled their parcel sizes for FREE. How was that forgotten so quickly? I get that people remember bad things more readily and that Loss Aversion is a human propensity ~ but, I really wish it wasn't.

Also also~ random addendum, the reason there was teleport failures was literally related to the linux version that the servers were running on. Not, as your article suggests, things being moved to the Cloud. Sounds silly, but that's what it was. So the issue was basically an unforeseen consequence of some other software developer that changed a thing that SL uses to exist~ and that caused teleports in SL to change behavior.

The parting words of your post seems to indicate that you believe that the Lindens of old were less greedy somehow~ and that the new ones are putting the screws to the residents just 'cause they can. The fact of the matter is SL is a dinosaur, an aging behemoth. It's made it this far, due to some very good design choices by those early Lindens you revere, but it also is struggling due to some very poor ones that did not age well. Solving these issues may not always have the most socially expedient solutions, and I may not always agree with them. But I'd rather they try than we all get a "June surprise" of Linden Lab closing it's doors and the Second Life we all know and love becoming a footnote of the history of the Internet.

Do you the readers agree? Disagree? Further comments are welcome below, as well as any reader submissions.

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