wu-had

an exploration of the Secondlife platform as an immersive environment, a poltical space, and as a generative medium for architectural design.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

teledud land

(file under unedited rant)

for what feels like two years, LL collected obscene amounts of money for telehub land. land around telehubs has ranged from 10 L$ to +40L$ per m2. the telehub sims consistently netted linden lab thousands of dollars more than other sims. players payed from their pocket for priviliged a privileged position.

with the return of p2p, LL has been left with worthless land. worthless says j-wu. why? because when all land is equal on the network, and the privilege is in topogrphy, not geography, the land locked telehub land is not the most desirable real estate.

to replace telehubs, LL is placing some player project called infonet. i don't know too much about it. i really don't care actually. what i know is this: Second Hell Tourbus: worst places in SL according to Infonet

ben linden make's a very compelling arguement for the return of p2p on his blog: Mo Money, Mo Problems?. nobody can argue that p2p is not the right move. however in regards to robin linden's proposal to turn telehubs into public spaces, made in this post, to ease the pain for land owners, i firmly believe that putting a lame information thing at every old telehub is a very unconvincing public space.

with p2p, distances are only relevant where flight time is shorter than teleport time. the virtual geography of the grid has now folded infinitely upon itself. all known locations are now adjacent. we only need one infonet terminal. beyond that, it is free advertising for a squagmire's pet project. is this info terminal going to build traffic on these sights? not really. what it will do is the inverse. it will benefit from traffic of it's neighbours.

if i owned old hub land i would feel really slighted that LL flipped the switch and gave me infospam for my cash. i think LL owes land owners a lot more then that. and LL owes the community a lot more than that.

my suggestion is that LL hold regular competitions to take in bids to redevelop these sights. the builds should be different, thus worth visiting. sites that impress, inspire, educate. infonet is a good example - FOR ONE HUB. here are some easy ideas for other things:

how about hosting GNU or other freebie junkyards?
how about the prim library in noyo. purchase it's content and disperse it around a few old hubs?
how about a script library?
how about instructional builds for scripting or texturing or animating?
how about an attractive public space focused around a few public chess boards or that prim game?
how about holding contests for amazing builds. offer 500-1000 USD to contestants as prize money. entice amazing builders like starax s., neil p., or eddie e. to enter contests with payouts that would grab their attention.

i think LL needs to take the time and make a serious list of potential people magnets. then they need to put out a Request For Proposals for these things. they need to publicize their budget for each of the items (and i'm not thinking 5k L$ for "high quality houses") or to request cost estimates with the proposals. they need to dip into some of that overflow collected from 2k-3k USD telehub sims they sold and pass that on to contractors to create real value for this land.

7 Comments:

  • At 12/11/2005 09:32:00 AM, Blogger Cienna said…

    Silly rabbit, LL doesn't 'take time' or 'get serious'. It is one of their many continuing issues.

     
  • At 12/25/2005 04:09:00 PM, Blogger Prokofy Neva said…

    I totally agree. The fencing back to LL with their p2p shtick to the effect that "we only need one Squagmire terminal to him him get traffic for his project" is brilliant. Exactly. The only problem is that some of your ideas are lame, too, like the Lindens' Infonet and hippos. People don't really play chess or "that prim game". That is, there might be 25 people in SL that regularly play chess, but it's not a people-pleaser.

    More compelling educational lots with videos and interactive displays and more bite-sized information that people can adapt when they are ready make sense -- but these, too, have the sense of something dutiful and forced.

    There's really only one thing that makes sense here, if the Lindens won't compensate for land they themselves opened the bidding on at a higher price before the June 2005 change to the auctions. And that's to have the infohub areas be taken over by business improvement assocations made up of the former hub land owners who now have "worthless" land. The land could be deeded to this group without right of resale like an island is. Or some reasonable facsimile.

    These people are the most motivated to put in attractions, whether games, casinos, quests, whatever -- something that really does constitute a magnet and which helps them advertise their stores and businesses -- rather than trash them, as Squagmire's Infonet STILL does (just look at it, the tourbus from hell and such are still in there)

     
  • At 1/01/2006 04:38:00 AM, Blogger jauani said…

    prokofy, you are wrong. my ideas are amazing.

    you offer no solutions, only an unworkable bureacratic and political association which would put the onus on the transient player community to create lasting places.

    what i offer as a suggestion is a unique function and/or sense of place for each location. i am not suggestion chess boards across the grid but a game area in one location.

     
  • At 7/11/2006 02:45:00 PM, Blogger Prokofy Neva said…

    I think it's good to get up to date on this discussion, jauani, to see how wrong you were.

    In part, the Lindens did have a kind of bid system. It wasn't much of one, it was just an open announcement on the Linden forums that you could apply with a project to develop the infohubs, it was run by Torley and called LINDEXPERIMENT. It didn't get hardly any takers. Then, there was a lame-assed attempted to get 'architectural students in colleges' to come in and design 'public spaces' but I don't think a single one outside of SL ever applied. More thumping was done, and finally enough bids came in.

    The result is that on about 14 of these hubs, we now have projects of interesting diversity. Not all of them could pass the test of your Builders' Manifesto, I suppose, but in fact you'd be surprised. Various people have participated such as Chip Poutine, Osprey Therein, Salazar Jack, Lordfly Digeridoo and others in the Miramare group City Slickers, even Lewis Nerd and even Prokofy Neva (I commissioned a build by Jessica Ornitz and also asked scripters like Static Sproket and Ordinal Malaprop to volunteer to make landmark generator scripts and such).

    This wasn't like the railroad stations bid, where there were monetary prizes, and the Lindens worked speedily to open and close the contest on a fierce deadline to keep out amateurs, and professionals like jauani wu executed static designs that have never had a drop of traffic on them since.

    Instead, I think there's an interesting thing going on here, though it is far from perfect. For one, there is no cash prize, no pay-off, no glory, and so it is taking a long time -- but then the builds are just more lovingly done as I think you'll agree by flying around and seeing them. I've paid some fees but not at commercial rates, and I imagine others are all entirely volunteer -- and therefore done in spare time.

    The Lindens finally heeded our long-time request (when I say "we" I mean telehub land owners who began negotiating with LL last year) and had those newbies who opted to skip orientation rez directly on to these sites and others included in the "Linden Places" list like the Welcome Area at Waterhead and have it "set home to here".

    So that has performed a kind of force-ported telehub-like function, but only if you "skip orientation". You're then free to fly away and set your home elsewhere on those lots you can do that, either welcome areas or your own land or group land.

    The result is that these places have traffic at least up in the 1000-3000 level, instead of 10-30 as they had when they were lame Linden-only infohubs with Infonet glowingly in the dark with no readers. The info stuff is stylized by region or group or concept, though it has a light core set of Linden stuff.

    Before the Lindens opted to rez newbies there, we had a chance to see that in fact they gathered traffic on their own, more like 300-1000 per day, because people do like to look for gathering spots.

    The spaces got further advertised by having them appear as a default initial selection in the FIND PLACES search.

    There are a number of things still imperfect about this system, but in fact what became of it was exactly what I proposed, which turned out not to be bureaucratic at all: that those with an interest in the regions around the hubs, either those who owned the former telehub lands and didn't take the buybacks (as I do or as people in Miramre do) or those who just like to make visible public spaces, could in a sense do a "business improvement" type of bid.

    All of these Linden places remain Governor Linden land, but they are set to the group of the resident project leaders and designers. You could argue there is something "impermanent" about this, but if you do, you'll be taking a wack not only at me or Lewis Nerd but against your friends fellow builder-class colleagues in Miramare.

    BTW, my land never became worthless. I bought it for $6/m when Anshe was a very early bird on figuring out that she had to dump some of the TH land. I had a plaza there before p2p that was usually rented out pretty well and got a fair amount of traffic, for being in PG.

    After the telehub was pulled, I commissioned a rebuild, it remains at 100 percent occupancy and the traffic, while low compared to big shopping islands, is good enough to get sales and keep tenants. It's been fascinating for me to see how it develops.

     
  • At 7/11/2006 09:50:00 PM, Blogger jauani said…

    prok, i’m not sure how I was wrong. you’ve confirmed that:

    1- the land is not nearly as trafficked as before
    2- its value is not anywhere near what it was when telehubs were active.
    3- LL once again exploited the residents.

    LL showed cunning business savy. they gave the now worthless land to the community that surrounded them and convinced them that this was a good thing. players lost land value, they lost traffic. LL didn’t give players a new method of acquiring equal value. instead they gave players a land subsidy.

    you point out that, with the extinction of telehubs and the advent of p2p, players no longer focus their activities around these hubs. almost all highly evolved projects are moving off grid to island sims. traffic is following suit. you got what you wanted – localized initiatives to appropriate the old telehub land. however, what was the result? nothing worth writing home about. not yet.

    are info hubs compelling content? perhaps the first or second time around. not only are there too many of them, but the ones I’ve visited are essentially the same. pretty builds are fine, but what about the info? is it some homage to the history of the sim? classifieds for land sales? freebies? does anyone really care about these things? hopefully what is happening with many of these hubs is that they are becoming information depots for very specialized topics to make them each unique and worth visiting. time will tell

    there is a precedent for residents creating the pre-eminent content in just about every category. infohubs are no different. the best infohub to date was built several years ago, in 2003 i believe. it didn’t require community involvement or LL subsidies. it is the perfect example of what all infohubs should aspire to be. want to take a guess?

     
  • At 7/17/2006 04:27:00 AM, Blogger Prokofy Neva said…

    >prok, i’m not sure how I was wrong.

    I already outlined it in depth. In fact these projects are pretty much a success.

    >1- the land is not nearly as trafficked as before

    The comparison is not to telehub land before when it had forced travel and high-priced malls, the comparison is to Linden infohubs with 32 traffic of no interest, and these more interesting and localized builds that draw more traffic and returns. To be sure, they have newbies rezzing on them, but even before that was started, they had quadruple the traffic they had before as Linden-only. Areas that can get 1500 traffic a day, which doesn't seem much (and is actually more than the Larsen shops got many days *cough*) are areas that are doing pretty well. That kind of traffic I find is usually enough to sustain vendor sales, for example.

    >2- its value is not anywhere near what it was when telehubs were active.

    That's ok. They are public lands, and they are repurposed and are better off. Most of them aren't done yet, and more has to be done with them. It's an experiment, and I think a pretty good one. The result is far more lively, and draws more traffic, than any other Linden sponsored thing I've seen. Certainly nobody waits for the trains in the new continent at the Linden stations, and nobody goes to the Waterhead Recruitment Center just to "hang out".

    >3- LL once again exploited the residents.

    Yes, except *cough* He Who Got Paid Nearly Top Dollar to build Frisch, eh? So what's YOUR beef? Yes, they exploited them, but in another sense, the people got to put projects into place to expose to newbies and test their ideas about how to orient people. It's all good, and it all looks a hell of a lot better than orientation island, too.

    >LL showed cunning business savy. they gave the now worthless land to the community that surrounded them and convinced them that this was a good thing. players lost land value, they lost traffic. LL didn’t give players a new method of acquiring equal value. instead they gave players a land subsidy.

    LL offered telehub owners buybacks. Most took them. I'm probably the only infohub developer who actually owned and still owns the old telehub land. I didn't lose any land value, I bought it for $6/m and it has always been rented. It's just like any land, and it's in PG, so I have limited expectations.

    Players aren't given a land subsidiy, because they do not possess this land. It is Linden Land upon which they've been given a chance to implement ideas to try them out. At any time, LL could wipe the builds, or remove parts of them, as the land remains in LL hands. LL had almost no consultation with anybody on these areas and have basically just left it there to people to fool around with.

    My near-telehub land in Hyles took a greater beating. But I didn't get to develop Hyles, Kim Anubis, who has nothing to do with the area or telehubs or anything, just grabbed it. That's basically how it was done.

    >you point out that, with the extinction of telehubs and the advent of p2p, players no longer focus their activities around these hubs. almost all highly evolved projects are moving off grid to island sims. traffic is following suit. you got what you wanted – localized initiatives to appropriate the old telehub land. however, what was the result? nothing worth writing home about. not yet.

    Oh, I don't make any great claims about it. My claim is that the resident builds are better than the lame infohubs, not that they are better than the enriching old telehubs. Islands btw still have telehubs, and telehubs still do their old job on islands of forcing arriving avatars to fly around the area and go past vendors and stores and information. Exactly the same damn thing. Hilarious.

    To be honest, I don't see any really "highly evolved projects" in SL. I see enormous ego-driven vanity builds. I see some builds with heart with interesting things like live music. I don't see anything that really is a city or village which has real participation of people in any kind of engaged and intense way. I just see teams of builders paid top dollar to build shopping sims, and then they move on to the next construction site. Looking at these, I might as well be viewing my old Disney Viewmaster.

    >are info hubs compelling content? perhaps the first or second time around. not only are there too many of them, but the ones I’ve visited are essentially the same. pretty builds are fine, but what about the info? is it some homage to the history of the sim? classifieds for land sales? freebies? does anyone really care about these things? hopefully what is happening with many of these hubs is that they are becoming information depots for very specialized topics to make them each unique and worth visiting. time will tell

    Well, you probably never visited mine, and I'm sure that no matter what we did, it would never pass muster with your and your hyperactive yet provincial and uninformed criticism. We have specialized information and all the rest. It's not the standard menu. In fact I've gone to a lot of trouble to make it different. It's hard work, and I'm not paid for it. I have to fit it in after hours after RL and SL work and that's hard.

    >there is a precedent for residents creating the pre-eminent content in just about every category. infohubs are no different. the best infohub to date was built several years ago, in 2003 i believe. it didn’t require community involvement or LL subsidies. it is the perfect example of what all infohubs should aspire to be. want to take a guess?

    If this is the SL History "infohub," I can only yawn. It's a clunky build and interface and presents history in a skewed fashion, and makes use of none of the actual technology of SL or anything innovative or artistic to present this world. It's a 2-d build with notecards describing a 3-d world, only nerdy tekkies could come up with something lame like that.

    If there's some other thing you mean, I have no idea what it is.

     
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