Linden Lab to Volunteers, Small Merchants: Screw You

by Alphaville Herald on 22/11/09 at 3:37 pm

by Mammon Linden


In case you didn't already know it, Second Life wouldn't be anywhere near as cool as it is today if it weren't for our volunteers and small merchants who have vended their creations at low prices.

That's why we just fired a bunch of volunteers and taxed the losers who give their stuff away or sell it cheap. Second Life can never become Suit Life™ if it's too helpful or inexpensive. Moreover, Suit Life will never attract the blood-sucking yuppies who wrecked the real world economy if they see anything for sale at less than L$ 1000 spacebux.

The problem is huge for us. Here's our plan:

First: Kill the Mentors

The Official Volunteer group size has varied over the years from a handful to hundreds to 3500. This is an army that could put us to shame if they start providing better advice for free than we charge to provide. And admittedly, that won't be too hard, because we cannot even find the tickets Residents leave or look up topics in our own mess of a wiki.

It has been our volunteers who have breathed life into lots of content Residents love, but that don't make the Lab a penny, no more than does that fagfest in the desert, Burning Life.  

At these and other free-culture events, volunteers shared the twisted belief that helping others is worthwhile and helpful to improving everyone's Second Life experience. That will now end.

Second: Kill Mom and Pop

In the real world, little shops get crushed by monsters like Wal-Mart, who can sell cheaply in volume, or by boutiques that sell the moneyed elites $1000 shoes and $100 bottles of wine. Why should a fake world be any different?

Time to put up or shut up, small-fry. Suit Life is all about being big, big, big!  Get ready to get squeezed.
Upcoming Changes: Volunteer Program 

The whole “Tao of Linden” crap is redolent of Philip's hippie beliefs. Now that he's history, we can be rid of the Mentors once and for all and make some money off our wretched UI and Orientation experiences.

The company has decided the time to evolve as a volunteer community has come. Darwin taught us that evolution can be cruel to organisms that don't make the cut, and guess which organisms did not get selected?

We need to reallocate our resources at the Lab for other Resident-focused programs such as raking in cash from the dupes who purchase Suit Life Enterprise, implementing the Sion-Chicken Poultry tax, and getting commissions from online and in-world sales, even as we sue competitors who use words Linden Lab owns like “the” and “of” and “tentacle rape.”

But our new client-base need not despair! We will be rolling out a very exciting service to replace the losers called mentors: Linden Lackeys™.

These avatars, attired in only the finest business outfits – and the sexiest underwear beneath them – will accompany newcomers from the business world who pay a monthly fee of L$ 10,000 spacebux for basic “pick up behind you and wipe your ass” services. Lackeys will provide additional in-world services for additional fees, such as helping to understand the decrepit SL user interface, giving oral cybersex, or being humiliated in public. 

Just like the real corporate workplace! 

Upcoming Changes: The Xstreet SL™ Experience


the new Xstreet SL™ Experience — solid gold e-peen, homeless HUD, diamond tire SUV

Now that we have addressed the lack of revenue from free helpers, we need to capture another revenue stream that has eluded us.

The Xstreet SL Marketplace is not meant to provide a replacement or even identical experience to that of shopping in-world.  Instead, it serves as a specialized method for sucking fake money from merchants' pockets.

Since it is clear that the increasing quantities of free or cheap goods are hindering that income for the Lab, we will take action to counteract and balance them within the marketplace, for the benefit of all Linden employees – but in particular “M means Money” Linden.  

To be clear:  we believe in a free marketplace and will not implement price controls on what merchants can charge for their goods.  We can, however, screw them in other ways while providing the illusion of listening to input from our customers!

The Roadmap:

We will enact the following new controls for the Xstreet SL Marketplace within 90 days, with at least two weeks' notice, in order to improve the money-making experience:

Monthly Listing Fee for Freebies of L$99: Die, Hippie!  Give your stuff away in-world, until we figure out how to get rid of that, too.

Minimum Commission of L$3 on all items priced L$1 or greater: eh, we still understand Micropayments. Raise your prices and shut the hell up.

Monthly Listing Fee of L$10 for all items L$1 or greater: Mom-and-Pop Avatars, pay up.  You are damned lucky to have us to peddle your cheap crap. Big vendors, you won't even notice the tugging as we pick your pockets with this new tax.

Thank You to All of Our Xstreet SL Marketplace Users

You've been creative. We've not. But we need to get as much money back from you before bankruptcy overtakes the Lab. 

We would not have such a well developed and thought out plan without you, so sincerely, thank you and shut the hell up. We don't read the forums, anyway.

24 Responses to “Linden Lab to Volunteers, Small Merchants: Screw You”

  1. coco

    Nov 22nd, 2009

    And this is news, how?
    Tao is latin for scam… or didn’t you know?

  2. Goatse Linden

    Nov 22nd, 2009

    After taking years and years of grief off of a certain Russian blogger about how freebies are killing the Second Life economy and therefore Second Life itself, what were we supposed to do?

  3. ROFL

    Nov 22nd, 2009

    I filed a ticket 4 days ago.

    Today they pasted me the wiki…

    My question was NOTHING to do with the wiki, it was a yes/no question

    This article was right on the mark!

  4. みみか 王

    Nov 22nd, 2009

    Useful reviews of XStreetSL alternatives by Allegory Malaprop

  5. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Nov 22nd, 2009

    If it hurts your butt that much, just take your items down and list them somewhere else.

    As for the mentors, they were useless crybabies anyway.

  6. Bubblesort Triskaidekaphobia

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    The new taxation system on xstreet is a direct assault on the open source community in SL. To hell with their forums. I’m working on ideas to hit back. It’s time to stop making noise and start causing some pain.

    I run the most trafficked RL university sim in SL (whitmyre island). In RL I have been the loudest advocate of SL on my campus. That ends now. I wonder how long my university will keep their 5 sims up when I start talking up the sexual depravity and corruption in SL around the more sensitive decision makers.

    I am also looking into removing the xstreet terminal on my sim and replacing it with a terminal, or a terminal from one of the xstreet competitors. I am also considering putting up signs and running events to educate residents about open grids.

    If LL thinks that open source “clutters” up xstreet, that’s fine. I’ll just see how much damage I can do by choking off and redirecting their traffic at every opportunity. Maybe it won’t have an impact, but I doubt that I’m the only one thinking along these lines. There are thousands of open sourcers out there who are just as angry as I am. We’ll hurt this company one way or another.

    Free open source content made SL what it is today, but things like copybot and grid attack weapons also came from the open source community. I’m not going to start coding or distributing weapons and copybots, but it is important to remember that open sourcers are a dangerous community to attack. We can be your best friend or your worst nightmare.

    “Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on. We cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances. We guard you while you sleep. Do not… fuck with us.”

    ~Tyler Durden

  7. Dr. Rogue Proctologist

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    @Alyx, the only pain in the butt around here is the rod you obviously have stuck up your ass.

    Let’s face it, you are really bad at being a list-troll. Surgery might help you to remove the butt-rod (though I do not take on pro-bono work) but you might want to hone your skills at trolling a little more. Being eternally pissed off without a good “asshat” eruption just does not make for a good troll.


    –Go to Linden Research HQ with red spray-paint
    –Spray “Asshat” and “M, u suk” on Linden front door
    –Repeat last step until you…
    –Hop away, on one leg, as soon the the SFPD appear
    –Spend time in slammer / get buttraped (has bonus that rapist will remove butt-rod first)
    –Go bankrupt from fines after court visit
    –Return to Herald and let fly!

    Freedom is just another word for “nothing left to lose.” You’ll be free of your butt-rod if you follow the doctor’s orders, and you’ll have the needed angst to be a *real* troll then.

  8. LOL

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    thinks that XSTREETSL and the Retards that run it just gave the push it will need to take over.

  9. Fagwolf

    Nov 23rd, 2009


  10. Sigmund Leominster

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    I hit my second birthday in SL at the beginning of this month. Since signing up, every change in the virtual world has resulted in Cassandra-like prophecies of the End of the World as we know it. Apparently the World is about to end – again – because folks will be charged to promote freebies. The cost appears to be less than my weekly stipend of $500L (what, you aren’t paying to use SL and you are whining about having to pay to advertise? – shame on you!) and if your stuff is so good, why aren’t you selling it in the first place?

    This latest storm in a free teapot makes for good press but is hardly likely to cause the collapse of the entire commercial system. The “free market” is always defined by the speaker as “that which benefits me most” and rallying to its defense is always the prerogative of those who own self-interest is not being served.

    Incidentally, I seem to recall reading in the past bout how “mentors” were, to paraphrase, self-appointed busy-bodies; so now they are heroes of the Cause? I believe they can still volunteer but in other ways – go figure.

    I’m sure I’m missing some subtle nuances in the discussion but I’ve been exiled to Real Life for the past six months and somehow Second Life became trivial…

  11. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    Dr. Rogue, I am intrigued by your work and wish to learn more.

  12. Witness X

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    See, everyone – this is what happens to you after you’ve been a PN.

    You become Alyx, his sole joy in life trolling one single blog.

    You know, Alyx, you could strengthen that sauce of yours by adding some distilled water.

  13. We

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    The only thing that really bothered me about the Xstreet thing was that they tried to make it sound like it was done entirely for our benefit, “We’re charging you more because we want to make sure you have a better experience with less clutter!”.

    I understand that commissions to sell stuff in these kinds of stores are normal, 10L$ isn’t that bad really, Apple takes a 30% cut of every sale in the iPhone store. It’d have been better had they just come out and said “We’re having trouble with our profits, so I’m afraid we’re going to have to make these pricing changes to Xstreet”.

    But instead, they tried to pass it off like it was about improving user experience, and that they were VERY concerned about feedback, so they held 3 small in world office meetings with apparently no advertising to that fact. Even Prokofy hadn’t heard of them, and as far as I can tell, all he does is scour for LL meetings to air his complaints in. They’ve been spamming people with Xstreet ads, and they couldn’t have sent out a survey? They weren’t interested in user opinion, and honestly that’s fine, I can understand them needing to make more money, and it sucks but it’s a recession.

    Just this whole “Hey remember how you guys said you hated Xstreet clutter, well based on your feedback we’ve got the perfect solution that MOST of you want!” farce, makes them into conniving liars in addition to the “sorry but we gotta jack up the prices” sting.

  14. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Nov 23rd, 2009

    >Alyx, his sole joy in life trolling one single blog.
    >one single blog.

    Haha, not by a long shot.

  15. All Seeeing Eye

    Nov 24th, 2009

    Sigmund Leominster: “I hit my second birthday in SL at the beginning of this month.”
    Sigmund Leominster: “The cost appears to be less than my weekly stipend of $500L ”

    Dumbass. It has been L$300 a week for at least 3 years dipshit. You are obviously a lying dumbass that doesn’t know how to keep track of alts. You have disqualified yourself from further discourse regarding Second Life. Please hari kari all your accounts immediately as that is the only remaining honorable option left for you.

  16. Sigmund Leominster

    Nov 24th, 2009

    @All Seeing Eye: Gee, who would have thought that a slip of the keyboard could cause so much kerfuffle! What’s even more fascinating is that based on that one slip of hitting a 5 instead of a 3, you fabricate an entire image of “me” that is no more than a personal opinion. Granted we could have a discussion about the nature of the slip – after all, Freud said that “betrayal oozes out of him at every pore,” and the unconscious act of cutting down (or off) the price may well be interpreted as evidence of a still-extant castration anxiety – but that’s ultimately between me and my therapist.

    Still, you’re entitled to your personal construct of who “Sigmund Leominster” is, but that makes no difference to the existential fact that LL will be charging folks for Xstreet listings and that this is just another cost-of-entry to the SL market. C’est la vie, as those French chappies say.

  17. Neo Citizen

    Nov 24th, 2009

    My account’s two years old, and my stipend is $500L a week, so “All Seeing Eye” needs to do some fact checking.

    Or maybe this is just something emo trolls don’t like to do much, I dunno. Maybe it’s just an emo troll thing.

  18. Obvious Schism

    Nov 25th, 2009

    Sigmund Leominster: “…who would have thought that a slip of the keyboard could cause so much kerfuffle!”

    Obvious Schism: “Who would have thought that a few lil chickens could have stirred such emotions” (

    Will variations of this phrase be appearing in the comments of every Herald article now?

  19. Valentina Kendal

    Nov 25th, 2009

    /me scratches her head – I’m 3 years old and I get $L400 a week…

    I agree – if the Lab had just said ‘we need more money, or we’re gonna fail’ it wouldn’t have sucked as much to have to take 100 items down off XStreet. I kept my prices on a lot of things low so people could actually afford to buy them -many things only sold once a month or so – obviously that made them clutter. I’m sure in the new better SL economy we will all be able to pay $1000L for a pearl necklace from JCNY… The ‘Die, Hippie’ line is priceless – oh wait, make that $99L a month!

  20. Antonius Misfit

    Nov 25th, 2009

    I receive a $500/week stipend, because I had upgraded to Premium way back when the stipend was at $L500. When the Lindens chopped down stipends twice(to $L400 then $L300), they only did so for new Premium signups.

  21. cokesupply

    Nov 28th, 2009

    WTF? When I started, it was 500 p/w but I’m only getting 300 p/w now :s

  22. Sylvia S.

    Dec 18th, 2009

    What do you expect from dictatorial regimes?
    I am not surprises and beyond getting angry on certain LL actions. My aversion has, over time, become a more stable constant boiling point :)
    We closed down our SL involvement last June and now I can sleep again :)
    LL has proven time after time that they are way too unpredictable to create a healthy business plan to run a company in, or related to, SL. Add the constant aggravating of their customer base and you have the two main reasons why companies and serious players are leaving.
    Yes I do suspect LL keeping their statistics artificial high as a last try to survive.
    I say “long live” OpenSim. Mark my words: “2010 will be the exodus year for SL and THE growth year for Opensim based worlds.
    I think SL was the biggest invention in Internet history but I have never in my life seen such a great idea so badly managed by the founding company. oh well, Maybe Philips with their V2000 video system came close :)
    I can say one positive thing about LL. They do not discriminate. We paid over 23.000 US$ P/MO to LL (156 sims) and the customer service was just as crappy as 1 sim owners get.

  23. A.N.

    Dec 18th, 2009

    Great Gods.

    Dicatorial regimes? For fucks sake, Second Life is not a country or anything, it’s a product made by a company. And you are warned well in advance that the company doesnt owe it’s customers a single thing, according to the TOS that you (are supposed to) read and understand before starting to use the product.

    Yeah, LL sucks. But dammit, stop behaving like you’re suppressed political prisoners.

  24. Axel Oakleaf

    Aug 15th, 2010

    Yeah i had a friend on a website that i told about Second Life to,and he tried viewer 2,and i tried telling the person about Emerald ,but the person was so frustated by viewer 2 that he quit and unistalled it. Great Going LL,you lost a customer!

    Because even though it’s wrong to blame M. Linden for everything,the stuff happened on his watch.

    Login glitches

    Trouble with sim crossins

    decrease of the population

    General disregard for the customers.

    Pushing viewer 2 on us without listening to us.

    Devaue of the LL Mainland.

    Just go to world map and type in something like Horan and see how much land is for sale or abandoned.

    Best regards to any company hiring Mark Kingdon,he is the worst CEO ever!

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