here were we dear reader?
Ah, yes, the time after private islands and direct teleport.
While things seemed quiet enough in the world, there were a few very enterprising Wizards deep in the far reaches of the quite wood who had invented a “magic box”. With this box the shopkeepers of the world could sell their wares directly to customers without the bother of them having to come to their shops. The wizards gave the magic boxes away freely, but levied a very modest tax for the service they provided. This seemed like wonderful new invention and everyone was very happy. More and more shopkeepers got magic boxes and the wizards were well on their way to becoming very rich.
Then the gods took notice and they were envious. They coveted the magic boxes for themselves so, being gods they met with the wizards and made them an offer they could not refuse. The gods defended their actions saying they could do a better and safer job of managing the magic boxes from their towers and castles; and they did in fact do a very proficient job of managing the magic boxes. So good in fact that many shop owners closed their shops and just sold their wares through the magic boxes, or they closed their branch stores since no one was traveling the mainland roads any more. People either shopped by teleporting directly to their main store or through the magic boxes. More and more of the mainland became vacant. The roads were untraveled. People did not meet even their neighbors, they stayed on their tropical islands and skyboxes, only to teleport to those places they and their friends knew of already.
Then the gods did something completely unexpected. They looked at the mainland and saw the vast swaths of vacant land and said to themselves “there are new people coming into the world all the time and they will need a place to live”. So they created 2 new continents with cookie cutter houses for the new people and anyone else too lazy or unmotivated to buy land on the mainland and set up their own home. More of the mainland became vacant.
I wish I could say my story has a happy ending, but the end has not yet been written. Will the gods find a way to encourage people to refill the mainland? Will people get out of their homes and spend time meeting their neighbors and reforming a community? Will shopkeepers find a way to encourage people to come to their shops and see their full range of wares instead of just ordering what they see from the magic boxes? We will just have to see.
As you might have guessed I have some suggestions.
1- As a part of the current “increased premium benefits” program, increase the land allotment. This will make mainland ownership a natural progression from an initial Linden Village residence. This will not increase LL’s tier income from mainland, but occupied land is better than vacant and I suspect people will increase their tier commitment as they develop their own homesteads.
2- Create a team of mainland Assistants empowered to terriform Linden land and move/plant/remove Linden plantings, especially along the roadsides. The present system of “put in a ticket” and “you just have to live with what we have made” hardly qualifies as support and is surely not assistance. These same assistants could conduct classes on the basics of land management for the new and inexperienced.
3- Since many people shop marketplace from work or the coffeeshop, where they are unable to log in world, provide a prominent button on a product’s marketplace page that will put a Landmark directly into a resident’s inventory. There really is no need to cue it with an acceptance popup if you are logged into marketplace. Marketplace is the best product index yet, way better than search, but it needs to be linked in a much better way to an in world store.
4- We, the residents need to get out more, meet your neighbors, take a bicycle ride on the mainland, ride a train, look around and meet people.
5- Take the time to find your way from Marketplace to an in world store. If someone is making one product you find interesting, chances are they have others.
What ideas do you have to recover a sense of Second Life Community?