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19 November 2005

Linden Lab is always experimenting with ways to increase the number of people with premium (land-owning abilities) accounts on the grid. As I see it, the percentage of people who like Second Life is not going to change, so the only way to increase the number of premiums is to increase the overall number of people who try SL. That seems to square with LL's thinking, too. They've tried lots of things. Off the top of my head:
There is a basic account -- which used to be $10 but is now free, resulting in a great influx of people trying SL.
Choice of spawn areas is/was offered so one may choose to enter the grid in, say, a nightclub, or perhaps in a forest.
A limited-time choice of gifts was given with a move from basic to premium (there was a folder of my clothing in that promotion).

Now LL has build a wee Levittown and is offering a free tiny house and 512m2 plot of land in a limited-time promotion. I like the way they try to figure out this knotty problem, which, after all, is of utmost importance to us all. No matter how much a few people love SL it won't be around if it can't pay its bills.

Judging by the newbie response on the forums this is a highly-regarded thing. It's not the same now as when I bought my "Land for the Landless" as that was assigned and not my choice (I love my landless land and always have - but many people didn't). Now new people can choose from a varying number of "First Land" parcels (it's available in different areas in various numbers of parcels that are always 512m2 at 1Lm2) and move wherever they think might be good. From what I hear, typically the newbies sell the land fast at a profit (the land becomes, then, just ordinary land) and move elsewhere. There's First Land scamming, too, where older players offer newbies a slight profit if they sell their First Land - which may actually be worth much more. Newbies have a bad experience if they have a tiny plot and something huge and ugly crowds up against their property lines. The new sim requires a 3-month residency before turn-over, and it's zoned for houses, so the worst newbie experiences can't happen. Well, something else will, most likely, but I hope not.

So, anyway, I went to see this sim last night. After a bit I TPed Enjah and we rode around on our bicycles, then fell through a bit of pavement into the sewer. After a bit of larking around in Blumfield we went to the neighboring sim to look at some pre-fabs floating in the air. They looked awful due to the fact that everything had shiny turned on and some things were shiny and bump-mapped - I can only guess the creator doesn't have shiny setting turned on or he'd see how terrible it looks on these paticular objects. I've run into printed signs twice in the past two days that were "shiny," and, therefore, unreadable. Anyway, I was doing something on my bicycle and fell off the platform, plummeting down, down and landing in... the elephant's graveyard of sex balls.

In SL if you want your avatar to, say, use an umbrella, fight with a sword, or swim, you need an animation. It's common to see animations in round prims attached to furniture, so that you can sit in the right spot in the way someone has decided you should sit. Most of the female anims are heavy on the sexeh affected super-model. People being as they are, there is great variety in the sex animations, which are commonly put in poseballs (usually one is pink and one is blue) which can then be placed in furniture or sold as-is to the do-it-yourself sexual set designer.

When I fell off the platform I landed in the midst of a bazillion sexballs. Enjah came down and we started trying out the sexballs (while still on our bicycles). It was pretty funny.

After that we went and bought little hoverpad-style flying craft from Max C's spot, and flew around. We ran into Max who gave us the Builder's Eye, which I was interested in as I thought it would help in machinima-making (and it will, which is exciting, but there's a fundamental problem for me with machinima-filming as my right arm only works in a limited way for a short time but has great capacity for pain, apparently).

Afterwards I sailed to the Moth Temple and part of the way back, stopping in the middle to talk to Siltar in IM and ask her to script the weathervane - which she worked on. I later TPed her into the middle of who-knows-where as I was standing there and we both started working on the weathervane. As yet it... sort of, kind of, partially works - needs me to beat on the prims a bit.

posted by - 8:56 AM


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