The aim is to get new clients for Second Life in the cheapest way possible and in a way that they stay. This is my last post in the series as a couch manager. Only a month of frequent usage of SL is enough to start an addiction.
Two points I’d like to look at before looking at more cheap improvements/ changes.
Ever since the introduction of foot appliers (fake feet for shoes) it has become more and more clear that the clients are screaming for a new Standard avatar. The current one has become insufficient.
Even Linden Lab created Mesh avatars stepping outside their own standard. Merchants fill the gaps with laggy wearables forcing high resolution images and laggy mesh through the viewers throat. (a skin always defaults to 512×512 no matter in what resolution is uploaded) The new ‘things’ are not compatible with just about anything. It is impossible to help clients that wear mesh body parts to explain why their clothing looks strange or doesn’t show up.
A new *standard* avatar is an absolute requirement. Unfortunately this can not be left to merchants, as those solutions are very non-standard and non-compatible. The standard must be more flexible and requires new standard clothing layers. A new standard will be a blessing for clothing creators that are not Blender aware. We can have tattoos back. The clothing industry will grow (back to what it was before), creativity will flourish and clothing addicts will add a new stockpile.
I fear this new standard won’t be implemented in this version of Second Life though there are work-arounds possible. Avatar type 1 (old) and Avatar type 2 (new, higher res mesh, more sliders for the shape, wearable (buyable) shape parts (bum, feet, breasts, nipples). In SLv2 Avatar type 3, with modifiable rig completely, optionally, replacing the standard avatar, can be introduced (Avatar type 2 remains the standard future Avatar and is a form of Avatar type 3).
Mesh has divided the creator community in quite a negative way. Many creators have stopped creating, many have seen their income drop to nothing, many have abandoned SL. A Mesh creator can create, off-line, an object with a LI value of 6 that would appear as a prim object with a LI value of 200. Mesh has divided the SL communities.
To make SLv2 compatible with SLv1 a tool is required that can also fill the prim creators gap of SLv1.
A prim wrapper.
This tool (server side) wraps around a linked prim object and creates the Mesh object including textures (for 40L$). After the introduction of SLv2 the (now) Mesh object can be exported towards SLv2.
Back to the more cheap improvements.
Cherish the old residents! We oldies have created and funded the way SL looks now. Prevent us leaving Second Life with an offer we can’t refuse. Increase the free-tier amount of land from 512 to 1536 for Active (and already owning more as 2048+512) Premium members that are older as 5 years. That won’t upset the rental market, most premium members don’t rent, it won’t upset the land market much as there is plenty of unused (and unpaid) land on the map (for that it won’t cost Linden Lab anything). The effect can be calculated forehand. Land prices would increase and abandoned main land would have appeal again and can be auctioned by Linden Lab creating additional income. If announced properly it will rush people to tier up to 15 us$ and above. Mainland would look much better without the holes of deadness. It can be as a one time deal but it would be cool to do this every year on a specific date.
Lowering tiers or Premium membership cost will not have much effect, it would cost LL money without making SL much cheaper nor better. As most have left Second Life due to the cost of it I looked at pricing and could not find easy-to-fill holes. Part of the problem is departure of clients (merchants) due to less SL income and that can only be fixed with new clients.
Bring back life-time-membership. (Combine with microshares)
Know your customers! I suspect that Linden Lab doesn’t know much about it’s clients. I assume that if ever Ebbe wanted to chat with me and he would want to know me forehand he would have a difficult task to know me. He would be able to see my profile, my account info and my Support history. What he would never find out is my interactions with employees and former employees. Did I cause a freeze in SL, did I make something flourish? Did I cause any changes? Linden Lab obviously knows some about my finances, but won’t have a clue what I do every day. Ebbe would have to ask the (former) employees, each and every one of them: What is a Vick Forcella? The law of customer relations dictates a centralized (local) database that every employee is required to fill in each occasion, with each interaction, and only a few could read. The added bonus is prevention of FIC behaviour and preference treatment (as all must be recorded). Tracking clients (compliant with the privacy rules) is a requirement. Clients are more as a statistic, they are a cherished asset. Know them is to know how to keep them.
If somebody becomes inactive it would be known immediately (before the credit card fails) and the reason why would be known.
Market Second Life as it is. Don’t pretend it’s a kids playground. We want to meet, we want romance, want to have adult activities, we want to create and we want to have a break from RL. The time that we want to be wealthy and swim in L$ has gone long time ago. I don’t see any marketing activities coming from Linden Lab but that might be because I have several ad blockers on my browser. One of the best investments of Linden Lab was to support Drax (LL listens to me sometimes). Drax is doing a great job in changing the perception of Second Life. Perhaps Drax can be persuaded to shift his focus from individual creators towards the many communities, including the adult ones.
Find different ways to guide new clients towards what they seek. Perhaps lock them up in school until they have learned the ropes, make it a game experience, give rewards (Get an airplane if you know how to sit and stand up in two different ways). Identify places where there are *alive* clients and have the new clients explore those places first. A BIG complaint (reading the internet) is that new clients feel that Second Life is empty and that it’s close to impossible to meet other clients, unfortunately they are right. Parts of the destination guide could be traffic driven.
Make SL easy to use! Reduce options for new clients. Remove options, options on options and optional options on options but make damn sure it works as expected.
Clean up unwanted activities. Get rid of green dots in oceans, bots and inviter’s in meeting areas. If not moving (no movement input) for more as 30 (or 60) minutes on public land, eject home, add that also as a land option for private owners. If needed add an automated Q&A verification step (IM: Reply to this IM with an Oui/ Jahwohl etc). If a client wants to stand still for hours on end they can do that on their own land. Instaban griefers as they areth a pest. Disallow anybody to wear only one shoe on public land. Police new resident areas.
It is absolutely ridiculous that half of the green dots in world are inactive! I don’t want to pay for that!
If there is a serious application for non-active green dots, create an “off-line interface” to do that, so we don’t have to look in total confusion at the ocean dwellers.
Pamper new clients! Treat them as the most valuable asset as they are the future. Perhaps offer them, even the Basic ones, “Premium” support. Give them free access to games and exploration arena’s. Follow (and mentor) one every 100 new clients. Learn from that experience. Discover the pitfalls new clients encounter (griefing, harassment). Ask Drax to follow one new client for the duration of a month. Perhaps do a before and after improvements.
Discover that most new accounts are alts of alts (of alts)(and why). What happened with the rule that one client could have only five active avatars?
For Pete’s sake give them noobs an AO! Replace the wiggle walk that is 100 years old and proof of a non progressing static world.
Find positive publicity! Follow my (closed by Linden Lab) Jira request to use Donation Linden and donate “In the name of the clients” millions (!!) of dollars to charity and donate the fees you would normally ask for a cash out. It is an absolute shame that Linden Lab makes profit from our donations. A donation from Linden Lab in the name of it’s clients would be the ultimate proof that Second Life is active and well alive.
LEA does not receive sufficient (out of world) attention. There have been truly amazing LEA installations that were not recorded and now are lost for ever. This is something Drax and Torley should look at. LEA should be experienced by everybody (not just SL) and should be preserved with a good video!
The current effort Linden Lab makes can be divided into 80% for old residents and 20% for new residents. That effort *must* be swapped around. Defer actions if required, we oldies don’t need much.
We now have 20.000 active clients a day (and 20.000 bots), make it 40.000 active clients in the next year! A Target that I know is possible.
And that my friends concludes my thoughts about Second Life and my suggestions on how to make it more appealing for new clients.
Can I have cookies now? Is it too late to discuss my fees (one lifetime free mainland region)? Dear Linden Lab, feel free to contact me if you have questions. (bribe hint: chocolate)
Oh, by the way, I speak of Clients since Clients have a choice on where they are, what they do and how to spend their cash. Residents is in my opinion a degenerating term for locked up addicts that have no choice (I know what I am…).