Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First Land killer for SL

Taken by the endless opportunities for Second Life I upgraded my account to premium about a month ago. One of the benefits is that you can trade.... and are entitled to a speck of dust in the virtual landscape, 512 sq. meter to be precise.

This 1st land comes cheap, at L$ 512,- (Linden Dollar) , so $1 for 1 mtr. whereas normal land now trades at beyond L$20 per meter, and I even saw USD$ 42 /month being asked for a tiny speck of land. So, in order to have yourself a nice little home to start out with, 1st land is a must have.

First Land Catch
However, the catch is: You're entitled to it, but 1st land is not always available. After 1 month of searching I encountered 1 piece of 1st land sofar. And it was sold before I got there. I stuck around though, and within the hour over 200 residents came looking at the speck of land, hoping for their chance to finally own a virtual yard. Each and everyone frustrated that 1st land was hard to come by, and all that sort of stuff.

Last week I spoke to this Linden guy -the one in charge of land sales- and he said that on friday 50 bits of land were made available for 1st land. The time and amount of available land varies daily. All cute and true, but on Friday I was ill and had spend about 8 hours online from bed, regularly hit the search button, but never did it return results for 1st land. In fact, I'm pretty darn sure that from friday till tuesday not a single piece of land has gone up for 1st land.

Virtual Moneymaking Machine
In short, First land is the promise of virtual land accompanied with the disclaimer that it might not be available. Thousands of members have paid for it -paid for Linden to plug in extra hardware, but they don't have to deliver. Wow, this is good marketing! People are paying for something they might never receive. Linden must make millions from idiots like me.

The Dying Grounds
Numerous frustrated paying members have now organised themselves in groups like "First Land Searchers", and are trying to get Linden to deliver. If this group gets organised and more media attention, this will surely have a downcast on Second Life. Will Linden commit suicide on First Land, or not?



Additional Resources:

From Wikipedia:

Land Ownership: Premium members also have the ability to own land (up to 512m2 without additional fees). Owning larger areas of land attracts an increasing additional fee (what Linden Lab calls "tier") ranging from US$5 a month up to US$195 a month for an entire 65,536m2 of land or individual island.[3] [4]

Land sales system: Linden Lab usually sells land in small 512m2 blocks (16 by 32 meters) through its First Land program, or as entire 16 acre (65,536m2) regions. Residents also buy and sell land to other Residents, generally intending to make a profit by selling the plots of land at a price higher than the original purchase cost.

The First Land program is used to reserve small blocks of land for first time land buyers, intending Residents to purchase their first parcel of land below the current market value.[5] This program also serves as an incentive for new Residents with free accounts to upgrade to premium accounts. A Resident pays a fixed fee of L$1 per 1m2 for a 512m2 plot.[5]

These First Land plots are frequently consolidated into larger plots when the original owners sell them to other residents.

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