Sunday, December 20, 2009

The XStreetSL Commerce Forums: A hotbed of creator/merchant elitism?

Yesterday I checked up on the Commerce Forums to see if anything hopefully interesting or positive was being discussed. What I found was something absolutely disgusting: A merchant championing the total abolishment of Basic accounts and "No Payment Info On File" account status under the paper-thin guise of content protection.

This is another example of the elitist attitude that has been boiling over in the Commerce Forums since the XStreetSL listing taxes announcement. While the OP of that thread got tremendous and firm pushback, it has emboldened some to suggest other economically destructive ideas such as requiring a premium account to be able to sell things, and even creating a separate grid for free accounts.

This elitist hate of Basic accounts has to stop. Now. It is ill-conceived, misguided and ultimately destructive.

What the elitists fail to see is that Basic(and NPIOF) membership is what gets people into SL, as it's the easiest point of entry to a virtual world compared to some competitors, and as a result Basic accounts are extremely vital contributors to the economy(Hint to elitists: In other words they are your customers). The Premium account status is a carrot-and-stick proposition for Basic residents who want some relatively small perks(not counting Linden Homes) in exchange for a recurring fee to the Lab. Lording premium status over the entire grid will result in an economic disaster that will see Second Life crumble faster than the current XStreetSL exodus, leaving only the few elitists left to wonder what went wrong.

Nobody who loves SL(including the elitists) would want that to happen, but that is the direction this movement is pushing the Lab. The only way to stop it is to vigilantly keep pushing back until the elitists give up. So keep on pushing back, folks. Stand up for your right to be Basic and proud!(Disclaimer: I've been a Premium account for over 3 years, but I stand with many of my friends and customers who are Basic accounts as I know they are the heart and soul of SL, as Prokofy eloquently put it.)


Botgirl Questi said...

Let them eat (virtual) cake! ;)_

Zauber Paracelsus said...

Why do we have elitists? Because people have a misplaced need to be superior to others. That is why we have things like racism.

Wayfinder said...

Well written post. I'm not sure I saw any actual solutions there (ie, HOW to stand up to the "elitists") and I'm not even sure I'd rate them as "elitists" so much as I would people who simply have a different idea.

I surely agree that removing BASIC accounts would pretty much destroy SL. But I also think Linden Lab is doing a pretty good job of that already-- and seems blindly unaware of that fact. How it is that so many industry analysts can predict the upcoming demise of Linden Lab-- yet Linden Lab continue on in their same self-destructive course-- is just beyond my understanding. There's only one concept I have for such: arrogance. Arrogance in the extreme. A bad case of "We Say So" syndrome that's driving their company into the ground.

But to be honest, it is getting to the point I really don't care any more. After seeing what Linden Lab has done over the last year-- witnessing them single-handed destroy thousands of sims in a grab for absurd profit, only to watch them fail to learn from that blunder and carry the same decision making process into XstreetSL... I have finally decided to give up on that company as a lost cause.

When the heart stops beating, it can be resuscitated. If muscles top working, they can be given therapy. But when an entity goes brain-dead... that's pretty much the end of the story.

Linden Lab is one of the most customer-abusive companies I have ever seen. Such shows no sign of stopping. So at this point, I'm just waiting for the major stroke to hit, making no more investments in either money or time in this platform... and I'm shifting my eggs to other baskets.

AntoniusMisfit said...

@Wayfinder: The way to stand up to abusive elitists is to simply expose their power plays for what they are. This has been done already in the subject thread many times over, and must be done vigilantly.

There are elitists in the forum thread, btw. A perfect example is the first replier. She was the loudest voice to cheer for the XStreetSL listing taxes, and now this idea. As a matter of fact, the OP herself was wholly aware her idea smacked of elitism(emphasis mine):

""I'm a Basic member, and I contribute to the SL economy just as much as you Premium elitists!" Partly true, and thank you for your contributions to the SL economy. But Premium members contribute (by definition!) more!"

Indeed, my own predictions for SL in the new year aren't very rosy either, but I haven't completely given up on SL just yet. Many of us are still here despite the Lab's bad decisions, and we're still managing fairly well. If the worst does happen though, most of us may land back on our feet in a viable alternative too(hopefully one that isn't Blue Mars).