Alexa Linden Announces : New Web User Group Meetings Coming Soon!

Alexa Linden's Barn

I don’t spend much time on the Second Life Forums these days, but they are still a source of good information and friendly discourse … I hope!

Other people do pay more attention and the eagle eyed Inara Pey has noticed an interesting forum post by Alexa Linden – New Web User Group meetings coming soon! :

Starting Friday, Nov 10th we will begin holding Web User Group meetings. The Web User Group meeting is a bi-weekly, public meeting intended for discussion of issues around our Web properties such as Marketplace, Profiles, Place Pages, Search, etc. Grumpity & Alexa Linden are the moderators. Please bring your questions & requests, or just stop by to say “hello”… you could even give us a compliment! Normal schedule will be to meet every other Friday at 2:30PM SLT, and any exceptions will be noted here. Meetings are held inworld at http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Denby/73/78/25

These are important topics for discussion.

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Linden Lab Announce Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees Alongside Exciting Improvements

Talking to Chief Elf

Linden Lab have announced Exciting Improvements to SL & Fee Updates to Enable Even More. This is probably going to be received as a good cop bad cop announcement because it involves a rise in the cost of buying Linden Dollars on the LindeX and a rise in cashing out, but the announcement also involves talk of future features and improvements, which will be more welcomed.

First of all the fees, the blog post informs us :

Underlying SL’s user-to-user economy and the ability to buy and sell L$’s for real currency is a significant amount of ongoing work to ensure that everything remains compliant with applicable laws and regulations, while also preventing fraud and money laundering. This work comes at a cost, and we are adjusting related fees in order to help cover those costs and enable us to continue to invest in Second Life’s future. The changes are as follows:

  • Effective today, the fee for buying L$ on the LindeX will be $0.99 per transaction (previously it had been $0.60 per transaction). These changes impact only buys on the LindeX, and the fees associated with buying L$’s during SL Marketplace transactions remain unchanged.
  • On January 3, 2018, the fee for processing credit transactions (i.e. paying real money into a PayPal or Skrill account) will be 2.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum, and no maximum. This fee is currently 1.5% per transaction, with a $3 (USD) minimum and a $25 (USD) maximum.

This isn’t the first time Linden Lab have changed the fee structure for LindeX and credit processing this year, back in June they announced Updates to LindeX and Credit Processing Fees.

There are of course, as Linden Lab point out, many costs involved in ensuring transactions are legal, that money laundering and fraud are prevented, so it’s fair that fees are associated with these transactions.

Linden Lab have given plenty of notice for processing credit fee changes but I feel they could have given a bit more notice regarding changes to fees for buying on the LindeX, maybe I missed a previous announcement on these changes.

In terms of exciting improvements, there look to be plenty and this is something to be very positive about.

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Sansar Make Friends Before Unleashing Fashion

Sansar Jenn's Gang

Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, in Sansar that hasn’t been as straight forward as it could have been because people were not easy to identify, but that’s all changing.

Linden Lab yesterday announced – Sansar’s more fun with friends! Find out how with the new Friends Release :

Sansar will auto-update to the Friends Release, and the next time you login you’ll be able to find people you know in Sansar and grow your friends list by simply searching for their Avatar IDs. With the Friends release, it’s also easier to make friends in desktop mode – just click on avatars to see their names and send friend requests.

An important point to note here is that it’s the Avatar ID you can search for, this is an important distinction to make because an Avatar ID is unique and may not be the same as an Avatar Name, which isn’t unique.

Sansar Jenn and Gindipple Face Off

As an example, a search for “Inara Pey” reveals no result, but a search for Inara’s Avatar ID finds, Inara Pey.

Talking of Inara Pey, she has an excellent blog post on this Sansar release : Sansar Friends Release Overview.

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Second Life Support Site Scheduled To Be Upgraded November 7th

Shaman Linden Pumpkin Fighter

Linden Lab have announced – Support Site Upgrade Scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 7th, 2017 :

Our support site (support.secondlife.com) will be undergoing an overhaul next Tuesday afternoon, the 7th of November.

This means that the support site will be down for a period of time, the current schedule as announced on the blog post is :

What this means for Residents is that after 3pm (PT) on 11/07 you will be unable to submit, edit, or view your current support tickets. The downtime will be used to complete a migration of all the current support tickets to our new Customer Relationship Management tool.

We currently plan to have the support system back up and running by 9am PT on 11/08.

So between 3:00pm SLT on the 7th November and 9:00 am on 8th November you won’t be able to submit, edit or view current support tickets.

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Ars Technica’s Samuel Axon Returns To Second Life and Finds Plenty Of Life

Panic of Pumpkin In Okinawa_001

Samuel Axon over at Ars Technica has returned to Second Life and published a very good article on the hopes, fears, past and future of Second Life, Sansar and much more.

What makes this article so good is that Samuel has experience of Second Life, knows all about the past hype but in a very refreshing manner he points out that Second Life is still very much around, even if users have some concerns about Linden Lab’s focus on Sansar :

Believe it or not, the platform today enjoys a healthy community. Not only does it still exist, but if you ask Second Life’s creators, the platform may be thriving. Ask its users, on the other hand, and the picture gets a bit hazier.

The article covers an interesting aspect of Second Life, how the area of commerce has in many ways followed physical world patterns, with the online Marketplace thriving in many areas whilst inworld commerce struggles with its virtual bricks and mortar version in other areas.

The article also mentions the growth of virtual pets as a product, with Fennux creator Daemon Blackflag talking about how people breed virtual pets and sell them.

Storybrooke Gardens

The article features quotes from Second Life merchants, residents and Linden Lab employees, which all adds up to a very good overview of the platform from people who know about the platform, this is a refreshing change from a lot of Second Life articles.

Karsten Rutledge of Greedy Greedy fame talks about how the hype of past years such as 2007 was always a load of nonsense, but we also get a view of how technology developments can hamper the ambitions of platforms, when Second Life was full in its hype cycle Social Media wasn’t the thriving platform it is today.

Peter Gray, Linden Lab’s Senior Director of Communications (AKA Gray of the Lab from San Francisco) touches upon these developments :

Gray even ventured a theory for why the original narrative didn’t pan out. “I think it’s worth bearing in mind that a lot of those experiments were done before people were very familiar with social media,” he said. “In short, if people were to approach creating virtual experiences for those types of things now, whether it be a marketing outreach or that kind of thing, I think they might take a different approach to do it.”

This is worth bearing mind as Linden Lab’s Sansar finds its feet, the development of Virtual Reality and other technologies could completely change the direction Sansar takes, this is true of technological developments throughout history.

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