It's quite bemusing that Rodvick Linden has reached out to SL Universe forum users and asked for feedback and thoughts on what would be necessary to convert casual signups in to long term users
Rod Humble, Secondlife CEO says :
'Right now after performance our biggest issue is not getting new signups or even people to experience SL for a bit, it's turning them into long term users. Any thoughts on what you would do? We have some ideas but before pulling the trigger I would be curious what folks thoughts are here. The more varied the better.'
The responses are the usual mix -
Fix the viewer
Fix the bugs
Fight the lag
Better first user experience
Better this, that the other
Kill the Marketplace because it takes people away from the product, which is land (unfortunately true)
We've all heard the above a thousand times. Fix the bugs and fight the lag etc, etc, blah, blah, blah, that's Linden Lab's job. That's every company's remit. To make their product better. I'm kind of fed up of of people saying fix this that and the other.
HERE'S THE REAL FACT
Linden Lab can fix the viewer, fix the bugs, kill the lag, create an awesome first user experience, better everything. Cake and flying ponies for everybody ! None of the above will make any difference to the bottom line or conversion rates. Concurrency will continue to sink, sims will continue to be abandoned (see previous blog).
THE ONLY THING LINDEN LAB CAN DO TO STOP THE ROT AND CONVERT PROSPECTS IN TO LONG TERM USERS IS TO DROP SET UP FEES AND LOWER TIER
We can not have a grown up discussion about converting signups in to long term customers without addressing the incredibly painful and onerous tier costs - THE SECONDLIFE PRODUCT, LAND, IS TOO EXPENSIVE. Right now, core, passionate, true believing users are leaving Secondlife life, abandoning their land because they can't take it any more. It's TOO EXPENSIVE.
$1000 USD set up fee. $300USD per month, EVERY month, for a full sim. That's a destructive outdated pricing model.
And not being able to buy a Homestead without first buying a full sim is utter nonsense. Way to go Linden Lab, block your passionate users from getting the product they want.
Secondlife is on the cliff edge, a precipice, we are a stones throw away from a massive landslide of abandoned sims.
497 sims lost in the last 4 weeks. Forget converting new users, how about retaining the already converted. And if you really do want growth you have to CUT TIER IN HALF.
There is no clever solution to this problem. The problem is, LAND IS WAY TOO EXPENSIVE and without the removal of setup fees and a substantial reduction in tier we're going to see an avalanche of sims abandoned
The decline will continue until Linden Lab understands that to FULLY experience Secondlife it's essential to own your own sim. If Linden Lab wants to make more money, the solution is simple, believe in your product, lower tier and you'll get more customers. 30 million people have tried to sign up - Good grief, that shows there are a ton of people out there interested in virtual worlds ?
So in answer to Rod Humble's question - Any thoughts on what you would do to create and retain long term users ?
LOWER TIER. There is no trigger to pull other than lowering tier. All the other triggers will shoot blanks.
Linden Lab appear to have so little faith in their own technology, they think if they lower the price they will make less money. WOW how short sighted that is. This is a sad story of lost visions and lost dreams