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Second Life To Remove Free Content From Web Search

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the all-for-monetizing dept.

Censorship 187

Outland Traveller writes "In a move that continues to shake the Second Life community of content creators, merchants, and consumers, Linden Labs has declared that free virtual content will no longer be searchable without listing payments on their website portal; and additional fees will be added with the intention of discouraging content listed for inexpensive selling prices. The move is particularly troubling because the online Web listing service is the de facto search engine for virtual content in Second Life, since the in-world search tools are unable to provide information about an object beyond name and location — basic textual descriptions, pictures, or descriptions of licensing, size, or content-category are not possible. While initially the change was explained as a response to community feedback, the residents involved in this feedback process were revealed to be fewer than 100 in number, primarily larger merchants among a community of millions. Within 24 hours of the announcement, the feedback thread has swelled to over 1,000 overwhelmingly negative responses. Additionally, in-world protests have erupted throughout the day, and over 20,000 objects have been voluntarily removed from the online store by angered merchants." Read on for more details on the brouhaha.
Adding to the controversy are the officially stated justifications in the FAQ, such as 'They [free content listings] hinder the shopping experience because a "sort by price" puts all freebies first,' and the perplexing statement 'They [free listings] garner so much attention that Residents are driven toward the freebies instead of quality, fairly priced items.'

Various independent virtual content listing sites have been proposed, such as Meta-life.net and Slapt.me, but attempts to post this information on the Second Life forums has been met with aggressive administrative censorship of these links.

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Bad business model (5, Funny)

hey! (33014) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170838)

The customer reaction illustrates that the following is a bad business model: creating a service like Second Life for people who have time to waste on services like Second Life.

Re:Bad business model (3, Insightful)

TheKidWho (705796) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170948)

Even going so far as calling them merchants is silly imo...

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171692)

Silly maybe but they are making tons of money.. are you?

Re:Bad business model (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171726)

In these parts, "merchant" is rhyming slang for something else. I think it's a very fitting description.

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171944)

....blurchant?

Re:Bad business model (3, Funny)

ubrgeek (679399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172372)

Delores?

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172520)

Mulva?

Re:Bad business model (2, Informative)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172436)

....blurchant?

Merchant Banker -> Wanker.

Just FYI, HTH.

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172472)

Rhyming slang: when making up words is too intelligible.

Re:Bad business model (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172886)

Urchin? (Yeah, it's kinda a stretch)

Re:Bad business model (4, Funny)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171224)

Obviously, Second Life is trying to show how free stuff is of lower quality, and that they do not support free stuff. Like Second life...
Wait a minute! Uh... Thats not what we meant...

Re:Bad business model (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171238)

Summary of the summary: People who get stuff for free don't like it when they're asked to start paying for that stuff. Further, people on the Internet (and especially places like Second Life) LOVE to complain about stuff, and have lots and lots of time to do it. Therefore, when a company that caters to people on the Internet who have lots of time on their hands decides to charge for stuff, the impotent rage reaches epic proportions. Before you know it, disembodied penises start flying everywhere.

Summary of the summary of the summary: People on the Internet complain about everything. Companies like to make money. Result: Nerd (or in this case, Furry) Rage.

Re:Bad business model (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171460)

To summarize the summary, people are a problem. - Douglas Adams

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171608)

Summary of the summary of the summary of the summary: Pants

Trying reading TFS next time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172190)

How very inappropriate, thank you.

People GIVING AWAY stuff are going to be charged for it. One might think they had a right to complain about such a change in policy. Sure, if people getting the free stuff were complaining then you might actually have a point.

To summarize: you're an idiot who has no idea what he is talking about and simply wants to jump on the 'me too" bandwagon.

Re:Bad business model (1)

HeavyDevelopment (1117531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171678)

What's this Second Life I keep hearing about?

Re:Bad business model (1, Redundant)

dziban303 (540095) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171680)

People still use Second Life? Wow. Perhaps they should consider getting a First Life.

Re:Bad business model (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172716)

will Second Life have a Second Chance???

Who gives a rip? (4, Interesting)

LS1 Brains (1054672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170850)

Certainly nobody in my circles. I've asked - nobody I know uses Second Life. Are we missing the greatest thing since sliced bread? I'd wager a big no.

Re:Who gives a rip? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171354)

Suppose you're so fat that (1) you can barely walk and (2) everyone looks at you at the mall. An exoskeleton can fix the first problem, but SecondLife fixes both.

Re:Who gives a rip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171730)

Suppose you look into some surgery and therapy? Fixes the firstlife problem...

Re:Who gives a rip? (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171744)

And (3) you are a furry.

Now, instead of ending up on peopleofwalmart.com in your "happy suit", you can be on Second life and never have to take it off

/running away now to bleach eyeballs

Re:Who gives a rip? (1)

Vovk (1350125) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172060)

/running away now to bleach eyeballs

Can... Not... Un... See!!!!!!

Re:Who gives a rip? (1)

radish (98371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172092)

No, Second Life makes them both worse. A diet fixes both.

Re:Who gives a rip? (0, Offtopic)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171512)

I agree. This story certainly isn’t about my rights online.

Re:Who gives a rip? (1)

ChowRiit (939581) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171514)

I have never met or even heard of anyone who uses Second Life, with the exception of journalists who seem to think it's the best example of an MMO to report on online gaming with.

Re:Who gives a rip? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172798)

I have never met or even heard of anyone who uses Second Life...

I have. Once. A very good friend of mine has a reclusive sister with a body built for comfort rather than speed, and the kind of face that sank a thousand ships. She spends hours on Second Life while she munches away on potato chips getting even fatter, hoping to meet the love of her life. [sigh.]

Apart from her, the only instances I have heard of are big corporations like this [telstra.com.au] who hoped to milk a fictional cash cow, only to find her teats were dry and are pulling out.

I guess it's a self-fulfilling thing that if 2nd Life insists on being a hang-out for losers, then only losers will bother going there.

Re:Who gives a rip? (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171576)

SecondLife is basically a gigantic Internet Drama Engine. Worse, because it creates so much drama, it tends to gain the attention of the mass media who seem to think it's the final realization of "cyberspace" that they were promised in the 80s. In reality, it's Deviantart with a crappier interface.

Re:Who gives a rip? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172450)

it's cool for creating immersive 3d geometric demonstrations, though. I wasted most of the days between last christmas and new year building fractals.

then i remembered that you dont get far by drawing pretty demos of your work, and got back to symbolics.

People still care? (4, Insightful)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170862)

Oh no, now the world will...well, continue to not care about Second Life I guess.

It was a fairly neat concept, but I always felt like media outlets were pushing it a lot harder than it was really worth. It's basically the internet given form, so there may have been some gems of innovation in there but there were a whole lot of dirty, disgusting places as well.

We Should Care (4, Insightful)

u4ya (1248548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170936)

Not so much about Second Life, but about the way in which what is happening there parallels what we have in the real world. Powerful interests consistently manipulate our world's system to benefit the interests of a tiny few at the expense of the great majority. Hopefully massive protests will stop this from happening, in both SL and in the real world.

Re:We Should Care (1)

Vohar (1344259) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171112)

There are better places to "fight the power" than Second Life. In this case the setting just detracts from the argument.

Re:We Should Care (5, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171222)

>>>Hopefully massive protests will stop this from happening, in both SL and in the real world.

Well ebay instituted similar policies in 2008 and 9 to discourage small-time sellers (i.e. people like us selling used games, videos, whatever), and there was widespread protest on the forums, but nothing changed. eBay simply deleted the negative posts, banned people with repeated "This is bad policy" postings, and nothing changed. Now the portal has become a place that favors big businesses with deep pockets.

Re:We Should Care (3, Informative)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171320)

Well ebay instituted similar policies in 2008 and 9 to discourage small-time sellers (i.e. people like us selling used games, videos, whatever), and there was widespread protest on the forums, but nothing changed. eBay simply deleted the negative posts, banned people with repeated "This is bad policy" postings, and nothing changed. Now the portal has become a place that favors big businesses with deep pockets.

And all the people cleaning out the garage, like me, went to craigslist. So, where is 3rd life? (shudder)

Re: Opensim (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172036)

It's called Opensim, virtual world regions hosted on people's own computers rather than Linden Lab (owners of Second Life) servers. Since the Second Life server software is not open source, people are having to recreate the functionality on their own, as an open source software project.

Re:We Should Care (1)

fulldecent (598482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171902)

could you please be more specific about these policies and link to the posts? or provide a relevant google query?

I would like to read more.

Re:We Should Care (1)

kingsack (779872) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172062)

That isn't entirely accurate, there was indeed a consequence. The result of these EBay policy changes was that people, like me, will no longer sell or buy anything using their service. They may be doing far better catering to the Home Shopping Channel demographic and more power to them but that does exclude people like me and many many others.

Re:We Should Care (5, Interesting)

Shihar (153932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171414)

No. We really shouldn't care. A small time struggling corporation making a desperate attempt to boost profits before they go under because their game frankly sucks isn't worth caring over. They are altering their own internal search engine so it costs a few bucks to advertise free junk. Holy shit. Bring out the protest signs. There is nothing to get worked up over. There are no "powerful interests". . Blizzard has more money invested in their urinals than SLs makers have even dared to dream about. There is just a tiny pin prick of a size company that runs this crappy game, and they need money to expand / stay afloat / pay server costs / whatever. They figure they can probably rake in a few extra bucks by charging "merchants" a few bucks to advertise free virtual junk on their wretched game. There is no story here, and certainly nothing to care about unless you happen to be one of the three people playing this game.

Re:People still care? (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171976)

Read up on the "Hype Cycle" (The Gartner Group came up with that description). Most new technologies go through it. Some survive. The process is roughly, new idea comes out, someone implements it, the promoters and the media go crazy for a while hyping it. Lots of people try it, many find it *isnt* the best thing since sliced bread and give it up. Then it goes into hibernation for a while. Some technologies die at this point, either lack of interest, or something else takes over that space. The good technologies go on to version 2 and version 3, and sometimes people find good uses for it and build on that. So the general curve is first over-hype, then under-hype, while the actual uses are a more steady growth curve.

Virtual worlds like Second Life are not the answer to everything. If you want 3D without interaction, you have 3D video. If you want just interaction but don't need 3D, there's instant messaging, VOIP, and webcams. If you want *both* 3D and interaction, that's where virtual worlds have a space. Breaking that down further, if you don't want user-content, you end up with something like an MMO game - someone else makes the content, you enjoy it. If you *do* want user content, you end up with something like Second Life.

Besides the entertainment uses, the serious uses revolve around "cheap simulation and training". For example, the Red Cross is using Second Life to practice post-disaster setup. You can use the same people as you would in a real disaster, and simulate your refugee camp setup, or whatever to get some practice and work out the bugs. It's way cheaper to do that than bring out the real aid tents. It's not 100% replacement, any more than airplane flight simulators are 100% replacement for getting in the real airplane and flying it. But in the flight simulators you can practice losing an engine, which you don't *want* to do in real training.

Another good use is any time the users are widely dispersed and bringing them all to a training facility would be too expensive. An example is car repairs, where a 3D walkthrough for a rare repair would be handy, and the repair guys are scattered all over the world. Something like that would work better with 3D glasses and force-feedback gloves, but those are not commonly available yet, PCs with graphics cards are, so for now, use what you got.

Re:People still care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172044)

Oh no, now the world will...well, continue to not care about Second Life I guess.

It was a fairly neat concept, but I always felt like media outlets were pushing it a lot harder than it was really worth. It's basically the internet given form, so there may have been some gems of innovation in there but there were a whole lot of dirty, disgusting places as well.

We here at slashdot would like to know more about those 'dirty, disgusting places!'

Please elaborate.

Re:People still care? (1)

Orbijx (1208864) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172468)

You don't want to know.

Trust me, I'm from the Internet.

They are (2, Insightful)

scarboni888 (1122993) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170882)

Greedy fuckers

Quit putting half your comment in the subject line (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171530)

ns.

But that's what you did you hy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171790)

pocrite

Re:But that's what you did you hy (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171984)

No, I put all of it in the subject. Intentionally, as a bit of a joke.

Go all or nothing. Going halvsies just looks stupid.

Fu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172958)

ck You.

Where is second life big? (5, Insightful)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170888)

For real, here in the Netherlands media hyped about 2nd life about 3, 4 years ago. Some banks even bought some land etc. But nowadays, I personally don't know anyone using it. So where is second life big? This is not meant as a flame or anything, I am just curious. 1000 protests doesn't seem like a lot. Check the protests on Forza 3 missing custom lobby or the Modern Warfare missing custom servers... That's a bit more than 1000...

Re:Where is second life big? (5, Interesting)

solevita (967690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170960)

The BBC has an article today - What happened to Second Life? [bbc.co.uk] Seems like a bad day of news for the decreasingly popular SL.

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

santax (1541065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171036)

Thanks for that link!

Re:Where is second life big? (1, Interesting)

CalcuttaWala (765227) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171288)

Second Life ( and 3D Virtual Worlds in general ) is what the web will look in the future. When I built my first website on Tripod people laughed at it and the whole concept of web. Geocities is dead and Tripod will most likely follow suit but the web lives .. and has become an integral part of our life. I am not saying that Second Life will die, but even if for the sake of argument we say that it will, the idea that it has spawned -- of persistent 3D virtual worlds that are built by users -- will continue to evolve and mutate ... and will spur the the growth of parallel technology in the area of 3D screens, 3D imagery and so on. Net net, new technology always seems quirky and geeky ( and that should not be a crime in slashdot :) but I believe that this will evolve into something useful and ubiquitous in future.

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171688)

am not saying that Second Life will die, but even if for the sake of argument we say that it will, the idea that it has spawned -- of persistent 3D virtual worlds that are built by users -- will continue to evolve and mutate ...

The games Neverwinter Nights and Neverwinter Nights 2 have been doing this for years - albeit on a smaller scale. (And without the graphics, MUDs have been doing the same thing, in a way). Each server is a privately owned virtual world that supports a community ranging from a handful to a few thousand players, with its own rules. Combine that with augmented reality, a mix of personal, government and corporate servers (ie, like the web today), and I think it paints a clear picture of the [distant] future. This won't replace the "flat" internet of today, but it will be built atop it.

Actually, Tad William's "otherland' series comes to mind -- I got bored with it after the first book and a half (gee, let's just slap these characters into whatever setting my imagination come sup with and keep doing it... and doing it... and doing it...) ... but I think it's also not far off the mark in terms of how it will be run.

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171426)

Looks like a banner day for "first" life!

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171526)

And yet from that article...

"But Linden Labs isn't worried, because the number of users continues to rise.
"Monthly repeat login - a metric we use to gauge the number of users engaged with Second Life - grew 23% from September 2008 to September 2009," says Mark Kingdon, chief executive of Linden Lab."

I wouldn't know as I've never used it, but after all the huff and puff it seems they're doing alright.

Re:Where is second life big? (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170998)

Second life is a big hit among people who have never played a competently developed computer game. Just navigating the world is intensely painful. The tools for content creation are even worse. The documentation reminds me of that for drupal... inadequate, and when you point this out you're referred to a fucking video tutorial. Second Life is a huge fail because it's almost as big a pain in the ass as FIRST life.

Re:Where is second life big? (2, Insightful)

megrims (839585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171452)

Unfortunately, Drupal stands out from the crowd by actually having documentation, despite the inadequacies.

Re:Where is second life big? (2, Interesting)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171888)

SL is about as competently developed as it can be.

It doesn't get the benefit of an optimized and static world with well picked textures, because there's nobody to enforce such a thing. Before SL there was ActiveWorlds, which had exactly the same issues for the same reason.

And SL isn't really a game. It's more of a MUD with a GUI. You couldn't do the same things in say, WoW, and if you managed anyway they wouldn't be tolerated (Blizzard doesn't really like people messing with their system).

Re:Where is second life big? (4, Insightful)

Random Walk (252043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172082)

It's a big hit among the people who have the creativity to actually do something, rather than just consuming. It's a big fail with those who expect a game with a set goal, those who need to cling to someone/something telling them what to do.

I'm doing freeform roleplay, and it's great fun. There's plenty of roleplay communities in SL.

Re:Where is second life big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172744)

It's a big hit among the people who have the creativity to actually do something, rather than just consuming. It's a big fail with those who expect a game with a set goal, those who need to cling to someone/something telling them what to do.

I'm doing freeform roleplay, and it's great fun. There's plenty of roleplay communities in SL.

No. I am a creative type who, if I bothered to learn it, could most likely be able to actually do something with SL, and yet, it's not that much a big hit with me.

As is evidenced, though, it appears it's more of a big hit among smug douchebags who like to lord their skills that nobody else cares about over the people who don't care about them. It seems self-defeating to me, but I guess it's just something I don't understand, not being in SL and all. Maybe you'll have a chance to call me "pedestrian" as you stroke your goatee?

Re:Where is second life big? (-1, Offtopic)

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Hey, Taco - how hard is it to filter out spam? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171462)

I mean really, how hard would it be to just add a regex that modifies posts from this asian counterfeiter? You know he's doing it for the link juice, so a simple "s/coolforsale.com/goatse.fr/gi;" would do it ...

It would keep them from continually creating new accounts. Just a thought ;-)

Re:Hey, Taco - how hard is it to filter out spam? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171570)

Better solution. Ban their IPs.

Oh, and better filter: Just replace their entire post with “I AM A HUGE FAGGOT PLEASE RAPE MY FACE”, followed by the link they tried to post.

Re:Hey, Taco - how hard is it to filter out spam? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171694)

How do you know they are harley riders?

Re:Hey, Taco - how hard is it to filter out spam? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171714)

Maybe we should talk nicely to this guy. I'm sure he's just confused.

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Re:Hey, Taco - how hard is it to filter out spam? (1)

clone53421 (1310749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171748)

Ooh... yeah, the filter should also do the WhoIs and post this automatically!

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171106)

Second Life is about as popular as it's ever been - which is to say, still fairly niche. It's just the media have stopped hyping it and lost interest.

Re:Where is second life big? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171176)

You can not buy land in Second Life. You can only rent. The "community of millions" must refer to the silent minority of abandoned accounts...

Re:Where is second life big? (5, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171184)

Second Life has always been a mediocre-to-awful virtual reality primarily filled with furry perverts.

What happened is about 3 years ago, they hired the BEST PR TEAM EVER. They got companies and even some governments to set up shop in there, thinking it was the next big thing. They got stories in the news almost every day-- if you visited this site, you probably remember how often it came up here. It was remarkable, when you consider what product they were actually selling!

Either people actually tried Second Life and realized the marketing was all lies, or their awesome marketing team is gone. For whatever the reason, in the last year or so all the hype has virtually disappeared, and now Second Life is back to being a mediocre-to-awful virtual reality primarily filled with furry perverts again.

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171268)

One point I forgot to bring up, but should be apparent: It's pretty obvious that none of the journalist writing about Second Life, and executives demanding online land be purchased, never actually downloaded and played the game.

Also, no post about Second Life would be complete without the brilliant Wonderella comic on the topic: http://www.graphicsmash.com/comics/wonderella.php?view=archive&chapter=14739&mpe=0 [graphicsmash.com]

Re:Where is second life big? (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171516)

One point I forgot to bring up, but should be apparent: It's pretty obvious that none of the journalist writing about Second Life, and executives demanding online land be purchased, never actually downloaded and played the game.

Actually, Reuters did [bbc.co.uk] , then abandoned it.

American Apparel closed its shop just one year after opening. Reuters pulled its correspondent in October 2008. When asked about his virtual experience, Pasick says: "It isn't a subject we like to revisit."

Second Life needs to get a life.

Re:Where is second life big? (3, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171246)

I'm still there because I got grandfathered in to the old weekly allowance years ago and, with the Linden real dollar exchange being what it is, they actually pay *me* to be there. I haven't actually logged on in ages.

Re:Where is second life big? (2, Interesting)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172244)

I looked at Second Life, but it was unusable with my old, slow computer.

When I got a new computer, I tried it out again, and found that it was still...unusable. Clunky, laggy, slow, awkward, and ultimately not very interesting. A pity really, because it was a neat idea.

To answer your question, I don't think it's big _anywhere_ now. It had its heyday, and it's dying painfully.

Obviously written by a freetard (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30170904)

Adding to the controversy are the officially stated justifications in the FAQ, such as 'They [free content listings] hinder the shopping experience because a "sort by price" puts all freebies first,' and the perplexing statement 'They [free listings] garner so much attention that Residents are driven toward the freebies instead of quality, fairly priced items.' This summary was clearly written by a Loonix-using freetard. He must be constantly chafed that people would rather pay 200 dollars to buy a copy of the "bug-filled and security-hole ridden" Windows 7 rather than something that has been given away for free. How does it feel freetards that after 19 years that Loonix only has 1% desktop market share while Win7 has over 3% in less than a year from the public beta and only 1 month in retail sales. Oh and how that monstrous "failure" of Vista which holds 20 times the market share of Loonix on the desktop. Loonix really is the Windows ME of the current OS market.

Second life needs an internal network (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30170978)

Where community members can establish there own virtual webservers and virtual search engines. And they should use ipv6 because somebody has to.

It's the damn Communists again! (2, Insightful)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#30170980)

'They [free listings] garner so much attention that Residents are driven toward the freebies instead of quality, fairly priced items.'

How dare people give away their fairly created goods instead of charging through them! How dare they be non-materialistic in this fictional world! That's just un-American!

If you can't sell your product, you're pricing it too high. If someone can make it cheaper, expect to lose business. Welcome to reality.

Re:It's the damn Communists again! (2, Interesting)

Aldenissin (976329) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171174)

If you can't sell your product, you're pricing it too high. If someone can make it cheaper, expect to lose business. Welcome to reality.

THIS!

People make choices, and free is a choice. Limiting that is like a gang, just crying for attention because the system is broken. How about work on a real fix, like perhaps divide it into a separate free section, and demonstrate why the pay stuff is better. If you can't do something along those lines or better, then your business model was doomed.

Hanlon's Razor (4, Insightful)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171240)

Or we could just apply Hanlon's Razor: Never ascribe to mallice, that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

While some collusion _is_ possible there, it could also be that they just listened to the wrong crowd. That's also a "welcome to reality" kind of thing. A vocal minority can often seem like they're the majority, or at least representative enough for a majority of players. It's not just a Second Life or selling goods issue, it's that a tiny number of vocal people can generate more posts and whole circle-jerk treads, than the vast majority... who's too busy playing the game or coding flying penises for Second Life and doesn't bother much with posting.

Just look at almost any gaming board and you can see the same phenomenon: a minority of fanboys or malcontents can generate more posts than everyone else combined. And if left to their own devices, can actually gang up on anyone saying otherwise and try to drive them off. It can be about off-line single player games too (about half a dozen fanboys were enough to insult anyone who had a problem with Morrowind, back when that launched), online games (just read the Stalker boards in COV and you'd think that (A) 99% of the players want only PvP, and (B) everyone agrees that Stalkers should be able to one-shot any other class, including tanks), etc.

And occasionally you see some game screwing up spectacularly, because they listened to the wrong crowd. Without any anti-communist ideology being involved at all. E.g., it seems Vanguard owes half its screw ups to listening too much to the gang that, basically, went, "I've played WoW for 2 years straight and raided every night, and then discovered that everything about it sucks and only an idiot kiddie would like it." If you figured out by now that whoever makes such a claim, just called himself an idiot kiddie, and that only an even bigger idiot would take design advice from a self-confessed idiot... well, then you'd be smarter and more perceptive than some designers ;)

They live? (3, Funny)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171058)

SecondLife community

I thought they were all wiped out in the Final Flying Phallus/Furry War of 2007.

Re:They live? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171226)

I thought they were all wiped out in the Final Flying Phallus/Furry War of 2007.

But trust me, you don't want to see their mutant offspring.

3rd Party (1)

Applekid (993327) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171152)

So, the predicted doom and gloom of free virtual items given away by good, decent people assumes that no 3rd party directories will rise?

Doesn't seem very likely to me. If it's as popular as this news item suggests then I could see MANY 3rd party marketplaces popping up practically overnight. If no 3rd party marketplaces are created, then, as the saying goes, "nothing of value was lost."

Re:3rd Party (1)

houstonbofh (602064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171272)

I know that no one reads TFA, but you couyld at least read all of TFSummery.

"Various independent virtual content listing sites have been proposed, such as Meta-life.net and Slapt.me, but attempts to post this information on the Second Life forums has been met with aggressive administrative censorship of these links."

Hmmm (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171180)

I wonder if search engines will start treating paid listings as they do any other shopping site for indexing purposes. Hmmm???

Spam (1)

_KiTA_ (241027) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171278)

I cannot imagine how much spam items these search results must get.

But having said that, an option "hide free items" would be nice, instead of just taking that option away from the users.

Thirty-Five Merchants Involved in Decision (2, Informative)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171356)

I examined the logs of the three "office discussions", and a total of thirty-five merchant avatars showed up. It was 3 hour-long discussions, held on a single day, that didn't even discuss all of the supposedly discussed changes.

There were no e-mails, although they claim to have twittered about the office hours.

This just in: Squeaky wheel gets grease. (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171374)

Linden Labs is a for-profit entity. Most of their income from Second Life comes from two sources: people renting virtual 'land' (who quite often use that area for storefronts), and people buying in-game currency so that they can buy in-game clothing and realistically vibrating penises.

People who hunt out the freebies, as opposed to shelling out a few real-world dollars for something that might be better, are a drain on both Linden Labs' resources and a frustration for the people who pay upwards of a hundred dollars a month for their shopping plaza islands, and who encourage more spending on in-game currency.

Freebies lose the company money. Charging extra to list them is simply recouping costs. Deleting posts that point to third-party catalogues is pissing into a forest fire.

Re:This just in: Squeaky wheel gets grease. (2, Informative)

the_fat_kid (1094399) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171904)

"realistically vibrating penises"

Ok, maybe you are new to the idea of what a penis looks like and what it does.
untill the Parkinson's disease takes over, they don't vibrate.
That thing in mom's drawer is a vibrator, not a penis.

Oh, the irony of it all. (2, Insightful)

Tsu Dho Nimh (663417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171408)

A company that runs its servers on Linux griping that free stuff will drive the big costly stuff out of business

I like Second life ... it's graphical chat with some wildly creative visual artists. (not all the furries are perverts, and you don't get issued a freenis when you join.)

Re:Oh, the irony of it all. (2, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171840)

I like Second life

You are a very brave entity to actually come out and say that here. My codpiece is off to you sir/madam/whatever.

I read this article and (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171666)

I have no idea what this is about?

Business motives from a business? outrageous (4, Informative)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171670)

Just before the announcement of listing fees, there were 1.15 million items listed on http://www.xstreetsl.com/ [xstreetsl.com] , their web commerce site. Many of them were just color variations of the same item, or free items. By not having a listing fee previously, people had no incentive to be efficient in what they put there, in fact they had incentive to spam the listings with as many items as possible to be seen (just like email spam occurs because sending emails is essentially free).

So this move will force people to be somewhat efficient in what they put there. Note that the fee is L$10 per month, which equates to about a postage stamp for a year's worth of listing. Big surprise that people whine about the changes in a social media space (not). They were whining before the changes that it was cluttered with too many listings.

For those who say it's not popular, they have 750,000 active accounts (people who log in more than once a month), which is probably more than the active accounts here at Slashdot. It does not appeal to everyone, but then *nothing* appeals to everyone. It does, however fit with some of the tropes at Slashdot, the people who like to make their own stuff, and mess around with open source. The viewer code for Second Life (the client software you run on your PC) has been open-sourced for a while now, and around 40% of players are using alternate viewers (especially the one that has enabled "breast physics" *heh*).

Disclosure: I'm a top 20 currency trader in SL and derive a moderate monthly income from that and other in-game activities. I'm also a developer for Blue Mars, a new virtual world that's in early beta (much better graphics, using the Cryengine2 graphics engine from the Crysis games), so I'm agnostic about virtual worlds if they are good ones.

Benn there done that left it. (1)

Araneas (175181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171690)

Tried it - just a vacant boring wasteland with a crappy interface. Even the hookers were uninspiring. The text MUDs I used to play had more users, more interesting content and were easier to use.

You can not compete with free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30171702)

They [free content listings] hinder the shopping experience because a "sort by price" puts all freebies first,' and the perplexing statement 'They [free listings] garner so much attention that Residents are driven toward the freebies instead of quality, fairly priced items.'

So... Obviously there is a significant portion of 'freebies' of adequate quality to satisfy residents needs. What exactly is the problem here?
OMG PEOPLE ARE GETTING STUFF FOR FREE! THE ECONOMY WILL CRASH AND BURN! SAVE US LORD!!!

On a related note, I've seen many expensive items that sucked balls and many freebies that turned out to be gems of wonder, both in RL and in SL.

Explanation (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171764)

It's very simple: there are hundreds of thousands of things on the website, the vast majority of which are crap. Not just bad, but crap. And they stay there because even if nobody wants them, there's no incentive to get them removed either.

It got so bad it's nearly impossible to find the right thing unless you know the precise thing you're looking for.

So, this move is them trying to get people to remove all the crap that doesn't sell, to get a more cleaned up listing.

So counterproductive it's mind blowing! (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171796)

So... they concluded that the listing of free content was harming the sales of for pay products.

Which may very well be the case, but without them, it's a certainty that there is a not insignicant customers who might have otherwise stayed and browsed for a while will not. While it might be easier for people who are willing to pay for products to find what they are looking for, with fewer customers in the first place, it's not at all a far stretch that this move will result in *FEWER* sales, not more.

A much more sensible move would be to improve the searching capabilities of their service... to instead of removing free items altogether, at the very least, allow the consumer to decide whether or not he or she wants to see them. It seems to me that such a move would satisfy all of their concerns about free items.

That this idea did not seem to even have occurred to them in their discussion suggests to me that they didn't spend nearly enough time actually thinking about solutions to the problem.

-ebay (1)

BumpyCarrot (775949) | more than 4 years ago | (#30171880)

I can understand their justification to some point. I have to append -ebay to all my searches on Froogle to turn up anything useful. Nevertheless, they're already at the bottom of the pit, why have they started digging?

Why not just give people a choice? (1)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172008)

If there's a real problem why not just give people searching a choice whether or not they see the free stuff? That can't be that hard to implement and wouldn't make life substantially more difficult. The lack of such a simple solution really does suggest that this is about the big merchants.

search results (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172126)

A funny thing, to me, is the fact that free items actually show up at the bottom of the search results. Anyone with experience knows your higher priced items will be at the top.

Good riddance, SL (4, Interesting)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172318)

SL was neither the best nor the brightest of the various shells that tried to offer a 'new' way of browsing and providing web content. I can think of at least 4 off the top of my head, and that was 6+ years ago. It was essentially nothing more than a graphical shell for a MUD, an ancient concept in Internet years. (TiA: I was a beta for ViOS: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vios [wikipedia.org] in 1999, so SL in 2003 was utterly not impressive.)

In fact, it was one of the slowest, kludgiest ones I ever had the misfortune to try. (In truth, that probably had a lot to do with the unprecedented amount of access the users had to customize their experience and manipulate the world in non-trivial ways.)

Probably inspired by books like Neuromancer and Snow Crash, it was an attractive concept ... only until you analyzed it rigorously. Let's see, I can type "Deutsche bank berlin customer services" in a browser, wait 0.246 seconds for the links to pop up, and click one to get to their site. OR, in the 'internet as virtual world' paradigm, I could log in to my avatar, and go 'flying' at Mach 15 to wherever DB Berlin's virtual hq was (which I'd probably have to look up), "enter" it, and then navigate in some Euclidean way to the customer service 'office'. Lot more fun, sure, not so efficient (not to mention orders of magnitude more hardware and bandwidth required). I can turn on "NPR's Science Friday" or d/l from the web to listen at FM-radio quality....or I could go into SL (login), travel to the SL place, and then watch my screen flicker at 15 fps while the giant penis-avatar to my left keeps lagging into the zebra-chick hovering over the stage, all the while the audio stutters and drops all over the place. Improvement?

It took all the efficiencies of the internet, and rendered them BACK into their real-world constraints of geography and linearity - being able to fly really fast doesn't really help that. Putting the internet in a real-world context doesn't improve efficiency of use nor quality of results, so what good is it? Who ever thought that was actually, a good idea? As far as I can tell, only the promoters.

Second Life somehow managed to gather a tiny bit more focus and attention (probably because it was free for users), making it the "go-to" place for all the people WHO DIDN'T REALLY UNDERSTAND THE INTERNET IN THE FIRST PLACE. Thus, some businesses followed out of simple cash-sniffing self-interest. Some other sorts of organizations showed up - as the BBC article says, you could hardly open a newspaper Technology section or computer magazine without some reference to SL for a couple of years there.

Couple all this failure with the Linden Labs' arbitrariness and hypocrisy*, I was astonished then that people (and especially businesses) bought into it for so long.

* and I do mean hypocrisy; The only value I thought it MIGHT have was that I thought the whole thing MIGHT be an interesting social experiment of the concepts of the Commmons, broadened to numbers of people undreamed-of by late-90's standards. The ability to customize the code, plus what was a strict hands-off policy by the Lindens, seemed like it might be a cauldron for a working-through of the Greater Internet Dickwad Theory (http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2004/03/19/). Sadly, when actually confronted with a situation that turned somewhat internet-ugly, they folded to their interventionist sensibilities to make sure everyone 'played nice'. (http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2003/07/war_of_the_jess.html)

People using Second Life to experience the internet always seemed to me like chimps futilely trying to use their termite sticks to dial a phone....it *might* work, clumsily, but conceptually you're light-years away from really 'getting it'.

I used to WORK in Second Life. (1)

myddrn (1234656) | more than 4 years ago | (#30172476)

And got paid *real money* too. A universities ill conceived attempt at virtual classrooms, or something. I never understood why the hell they were making a replica of the campus and need FIVE islands (which is like $600 something a month) to do it. Anyway, Second Life is ridiculous. Its probably used to be awesome or something when there were only 1000 people using it, but when the general public got a hold of it it became some kind of demonic three dimensional rendition of MySpace with the intelligence level of Youtube comments. I imagine they started doing this for two reasosn. One, dealing with spam. If you can imagine, take all the spam you've ever gotten, mix it in a bowl, and then shove it into a search index. Two, they need cash flow. And Second Life "residents" are probably the most self-righteous people on the internet. Their main functions consist of make spam and bitch about things they don't understand.

anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172514)

I'm sure this is really going to piss off the 25 guys living in their parent's basement that are using second life

from an actual sl user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30172830)

I see a lot of people commenting who have never used or don't understand second life. It isn't a game, it is a social networking platform. Linden Labs has taken many steps to clean up SL such as removing gambling, advertisements, and putting sexual content in restricted areas. Their product search was actually an independent product that was bought by Linden Labs. If this is such a big deal, someone else will make a new site and take their business. The graphics have improved dramatically, and users can now import models from Maya and other 3d packages. The client is open source, and the server has been reverse engineered to create the opensim project. http://opensimulator.org/wiki/Main_Page . This could prove a compelling platform for virtual worlds, and if you don't like it: fix it. It's open source. The number of concurrent users 3 years ago was about 20,000. There was a pr blitz and it ballooned to about 60,000 where it remains today. I think there are over 20,000 second life servers, or 'sims', which cost about $250 a month in rent. This is where they make their money, and it appears to be working. The world is constantly growing. Hopefully this will clear up some of the misconceptions about second life.

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