Size Does Matter

Here's the thing.

When people leave "The Big Grid" for whatever reason -- money or policy are the typical grievances -- they make a choice.

Moving to a small grid works well for some people. It is considerably cheaper (free to $75 a sim rather than $300 a  month). The Linden policies that they may not have been in agreement with are often non-existent. 

But ----

There are tradeoffs. Small sims in most cases mean small rewards for retailers. The big names that SL folks are used to are busy making -- in some cases -- suitcases full of virtual money on The Big Grid. So why would they want to spend time if not money (uploads are free on all the non Lab grids I have visited) to set up shop where they will likely make much less than on the most popular of platforms?

Let's look at some real life examples.

It took four years for Vista to come to Inworldz. I assume they are doing well there being the top name of only a few AO makers. But I doubt they are making more than a small percentage of what they make in Second Life (R). I should note that I am very happy they ARE in IW and I have one of their AOs there as well as a few in SL.

Vista is also in Avination -- or at least they used to be. I can find remnants of their history (a classified leading to a now abandoned sim) but only a very tiny mall shop with older items could be teleported to. That leads me to believe -- in that sleuth manner -- that it wasn't worth keeping a sim in the 3rd to 5th largest grid.

Moving on to Virtual Life (a two month old grid formerly known as Virtual Paradise) we see the typical starting grid scenario. Brand new grid; in this case with the least expensive 45,000 prim sims that I have seen, excellent mesh uploader with friendly "rules", very good starter avatars and attentive support. The grid is growing at a fairly rapid pace for a brand new grid. Folks are now wanting stuff. Appendages for the guys are in high demand *wink* and AOs.

As it stands the second and third tier creators (my terminology) are coming in. There are some nice things; not The Arcade or COLLABOR88 or FaMESHed things, but perfectly good items. There are also plenty of not so great items that can be found on any grid. VL citizens want more STUFF. But in some sense they have traded that in for freedom and frugality.

The Lab or at least the leader of the lab seems to understand that problem. No matter how great the New World might be, it will never surpass SL 1.0 without the top designers.  Some have no doubt already made commitments, at least in spirit; but as with the rest of today's reported scenarios critical mass comes into play.

The New World needs enough first and second tier creators to invest in the new platform in order for it to be a success. The Lab apparently doesn't care much about the hobbyist creators and from a business standpoint that makes sense. It is unlikely that many of those who like to dabble in business will want to learn the new rules and scripts needed anyway.

Personally, the elitist part of me (I am very dual moded teeter tottering from elitist to egalitarian and back again) would like to see all the secondary creation go away. I preferred it when the people selling the products were the people that made the products. I still like buying from original mesh creators who of course make their own textures.

So perhaps in the best of all possible scenarios, the top designers can move over to the new grid keeping a presence in SL 1.0 for some time --  if not producing that many new products. The hobbyist can remain on the old grid happily doing their thing with plenty of folks content to buy their often quite good looking products.

I suspect that is the big picture the corporates see in their looking glass.

It would work very well for me.



Sifting Through Breadcrumbs

I like writing notes to my future self, so that I can look back and recall at least in part what was happening in this time. I have never been much for "journaling" but blogging is a form of that sometimes.

I am trying to get the pulse of various platforms, to see if there was (or is) any fallout from The New World announcement.

SL seems to be fine with so many venues to explore and things to do I don't see how anyone could get board. We have established (previous post) that folks are indeed still shopping.

I have to say that for me this week has been slow. I have no inkling why that might be. Kids are back in school, vacations are over for the most part -- at least for the Northern hemisphere folks.

One thing to note in Inworldz (second largest grid after SL but very small in comparison) is that some SLers definitely moved over. How do I know that? Well -- some introduced themselves on the forums. But for me, the tell-tell event is the increase of sales for me on the Inbiz marketplace.

Historically I have sold VERY little there. Now I don't have a lot of stuff on the market there as -- also historically -- the Inworldz folks don't shop on the Marketplace; they shop in world.

So -- let's look at that. Six months of only a few sales (most all the same minimall LOL) and then an increase with a variety of things being sold. To me, this means the SL folks are shopping. And -- as well all know; SL folks are GEARED to Marketplace shopping. Many don't buy inworld at all except perhaps at venues.

So concurrency in IW is up a bit. Monthly logins also up a bit. And Marketplace sales (for me anyway) up quite a lot.

The new grid, Virtual Paradise (which seems to be changing its name to Virtual Life) is growing well. Still tiny it is up about 30% in the month that I have been there. Lots of things work very well there which is a plus. So you don't really feel you are in a "beta" type world. I was trying to make an AO since there really IS no AO except for the free-and-we-are-glad-we-have-it one :D. I have some stands painfully made (no mocap here) but the frustration level is too high and I am not having fun so that project will probably be abandoned.

In SL I am covering The Jewelry Fair, Clockwork Spiral, The RFL Home Show along with all my regular release and venues so it will be a busy week.

OH, one more thing. The OS grid has been down for awhile. Major issues it seems. I haven't tried logging into Metropolis lately but the symptoms people were reporting with OS grid are much like I experienced when trying to explore.

And that's what's happening a third of the way through September 2014.

Leaders Sometimes Lie

A bit of real life is creeping in  this morning. Another more virtual post is in the queue for the dinner hour.

Eric Francis sent out a long article this morning called The War Goes On. On the eve of the 9-11 event the US military is off again. I am not a political person any more than I am a networker, but this was a good reminder that leaders often lie.

And with that memorandum, I won't be putting too many eggs in my New World basket. Things change. Heads of companies as well as heads of state are replaced. Themes often repeat but the new storyline can't be foreseen - exactly.