Linden Lab have blogged about a new perk for Premium Members : Premium Membership in Second Life Just Got Better! The perk? Premium Members will be able to join 60 groups, instead of the meaning of life 42.
There’s an interesting part of the blog too, which shows that Linden Lab have thought the consequences of people downgrading through :
Premium members can immediately take advantage of the new limit. Downgrading from Premium membership will not remove you from any of your groups, but it will mean that you cannot join any new groups until you remove yourself from enough groups to get below the Basic account limit, which remains at 42.
Therefore if you’re a premium member today and you join more groups, if at some point in the future you downgrade, you won’t be forced to leave any of your groups. However it will mean that you can’t join any new groups unless you shuffle the group pack until you are below 42 groups again, which may involve some advanced and painful juggling. I also assume that this means if you’re a member of say, 53 groups, and then you downgrade, you won’t be able to join more groups, you’ll have to shuffle the pack until you are below 42 again.
When it comes to groups, there will never be enough. This is one of the reasons why I’ve been a fan in the past of web based groups, whereby you would read the information on a group page, rather than the current system where all the messages, notecards, landmarks and messages are sent to you. Another idea I’ve been a fan of in the past is the idea of different types of groups. Social groups don’t always need land, so why include them in the land system which creates overheads when checking things such as group access.
However both of my proposals would require a major overhaul of how things currently work, so I can understand why Linden Lab aren’t keen to tinker too much with the current system. Whereas the system has flaws, it does to a large degree work as intended. However concerns will remains regarding group chat.