Canary has a nice summary of the First Lab Chat meeting. See: The Linden Lab Chat summarized in 7 minutes. It is a 5 to 7 minute read. This one is like 2,700 words. At 200 to 250 words per minute that is 11 to 15 minutes read time. Way less than listening to the 90 minutes audio of the meeting.
I put my thoughts at the end, page 4.
The meet makes it clear, at least to me, that the Lab is working to promote Second Life™. They are spending ad money and actively working to figure out what works best with new users via A/B testing in SL. They say they are making small advances at several levels.
When asked about gateways, Ebbe tells us that the current ‘beta’ (?) gateways are not producing any better results than the Linden Welcome and Learning Islands. We don’t know much about the current gateways. We do know Firestorm has theirs in place. But, some concerns about the current gateway API they can use has stopped them from pulling their promotional trigger. To me that calls into question the importance of a statement that no gateway has outperformed the Linden entry points.
While that sounds a bit premature, if one were looking at just percentages of users retained from the gateways it might be a valid comparison. Still, we haven’t had a very long test period. They are still watching and testing.
The Lab is going to be changing the gateway API’s, the way third parties can work via computer speak with the SL signup process to register new users. The Lab’s direction is to help SL developers create their experiences and allow them better control of their users.
Lab Chat Meeting November 2015
This summary of the Lab Chat meeting is my paraphrasing of what was said. To get an accurate flavor and context for what was said you need to listen to the hour and 30 minute audio. I haven’t seen a video of the meeting pop up anywhere. We might yet see one appear.
2:40 – the actual start.
5:15 – Cost of land in SL – Changes in land products. 6:13 answer starts. Ebbe thinks land is too expensive. But, making land cheaper means getting the money someplace else. That is hard to do in SL. So, the big changes will be in Sansar.
Reducing land cost can produce a significant drop in the Lab’s income. Figuring out how to maintain an income is a challenge. People resist change so changing the existing financial mode is risky. Change to ‘volume pricing’ models take time to make up the difference on volume. There is an initial drop in income as the new model ramps up. If it doesn’t ramp up, game over.
The Lab is looking at other types of land products. The recent change in setup cost is a first step in current changes. After they see how it settles in, they’ll take a next step.
They plan to keep working toward a better SL to hold users and adjust pricing as they go. Don’t expect any preannouncements of price changes as history has examples of how that fails. (read Osborne Computer Failure).
A big question within the Lab is what can they do to help people that are in both SL and Sansar. They have thought of package deals or something to help Sansar startups. There more on this later in the meeting. See 01:14:45.
11:00 – Will there be a weekend with a free setup when purchasing land? This is something the Lab has done in the past. Ebbe is non-committal but there is a possibility.
11:40 – Retrieving users as well as retaining. What can Lab do to recruit and retain users?
Over last 6 months, more marketing has been done. The Lab is improving targeted signup emails. Apparently a significant number of people sign up and download viewer but never login. Building better tracking of users after they sign up should help the Lab understand this problem. Putting more instrumentation in Welcome and Learning islands to see what works and doesn’t in those places.
Additional pages – links below…