X Street Fail

I think by now everyone’s seen the changes that are upcoming for X Street.  Minimum L$99 fee for listing a freebie, listing fee of L$10 per item per month for everything. Minimum L$3 commission on everything (this affects all items under L$50 sale price).

People are de-listing their stuff in droves.

It seems to me, based on their stated intentions, that this is exactly what they want to happen. LL are not interested in allowing small businesses, newcomers or hobby merchants to trade, because they (potentially) won’t bring in as much commission. This, coupled with their new proposal for a FIC mall of major designers paying 30% commission is paving the way for a SL Grid where the only merchants that are able to trade at all are major ones with a massive annual turnover that can swallow LL’s fees without blinking.

Someone suggested piling all your freebies/cheapies into one box and selling them at a decent enough price to swallow the fees, but really this is what BIAB resellers are doing anyway, and that’s one of the stated things that LL want to get rid of.

There are a few alternative merchant sites where SL content can be found. I went off to look at one of them and the first thing I saw on the main page was a box of eyes for L$400; the same box of “fantasy eyes” that’s available in all the freebie stores for nothing. In any case as soon as any competitor gets anywhere near being popular or successful, LL will carry out a hostile takeover, and shut it down, as they did with OnRez.

Now that LL’s main “product” is the Standalone behind-the-firewall grid, and the only customers they really want are corporations, the rest of us; the consumers who only buy, and the small merchants who run a business with only enough profit to maybe cover their tier, are seen as pests to be gotten rid of ASAP because we spoil the professional image with our nightclubs and sex clubs and roleplaying games.

I am left wondering now, how long it will be before LL apply commission charges and “listing fees” to all inworld merchants too, not just those on XStreet. Playing Nostradamus here, I’ll take a guess at 12 months, and then the death of the grid as we know it very shortly after, because then the only people who will be able to afford to stay in this supposedly “free” grid are those major corporations that LL are so keen to suck up to. Small merchants will be gone because they can’t afford the fees. Major merchants will raise their prices because (a) they have to recover the value of the fees and (b) they have no competitors any more so they can charge what they like. Consumers will leave because there’s nothing interesting to buy any more, and what there is left is pretty, but too expensive. That leaves the IBM executives. And none of them are going to buy stuff either, have you ever noticed that people who are inworld for actual work are still wearing system hair and skin, and wearing the same freebie suit their avatar started with.

For the rest of us, I think it’s time to look for another grid. And don’t think that’s not what LL really want. They don’t want your hundred bucks a year. They want residents who are going to spend thousands.

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at the back of the wardrobe

First of all a little background. I’m writing a novel, for NaNoWriMo, so I’m not in world much at the moment, but one thing I did yesterday was look for a writing group. I found one on the Events listing, though it was too late for me to attend, but it had an interesting exercise, to write about the oldest wearable thing in your inventory.

That got me curious, so I went looking through my inventory for my oldest things, and I put them all on.

oldeststuff_001

The oldest garment  that still remains in my inventory is this t-shirt, which was one of a bunch of things I got from the various freebie places, and dates from 2 days after I was “born” (I think it took me 2 days before I left Help Island). This one was from either Velvet or the Freebie Dungeon. Most of the freebies I deleted, mainly because they were both not very good, and also instantly recogniseable as freebies. This t-shirt was the only one I liked so I kept it. Green goes well with ginger hair, and it has thistles on the back, and I am very fond of Scotland.

I apparently didn’t keep any of the jeans or other pants from the freebie places, and my oldest pair of pants is actually also my first ever purchase in SL – this pair of jeans was purchased from the Rebel store, by Rebel Hope, and it’s still one of my favourite pairs of jeans.

I can’t actually remember what skin I wore before this one I purchased from Signature. I think I just wore system skin, because I remember having a ginger beard right from the start.  My first hair I do remember – that was the ubiquitous “Dirty Biker” hair which I tinted to ginger instead of black.

When I think about my hunt for the right skin I recall it having taken ages, and if I’d been asked to guess I would have said a month. Apparently it took only two weeks, and I’ve worn this skin ever since. There are a couple of other freebies in my inventory (a few Eloh mods and a group gift from Belezza) but I’ve never worn them. And, honestly, I never will. I can’t imagine any reason why I would want to wear another skin when the one I have is absolutely perfect. All I’ve done since then is purchase a few more beard options.

This hair came from Laqroki and was purchased on the same day I got the skin. I wore it for a long time, and I still love it, despite the awful alpha isues. It looks great in still photos but not so much moving around.  The shades are also from Laqroki, and I also picked them up on the same day. I think they were a store gift.

I didn’t bother showing the shoes because I don’t have anything left even from my first month in SL. I think I mostly wore the sneakers from the “Boy Next Door” avatar.

So, considering that everything in this pic, I got when I was 2 weeks old or less, I think I did pretty well. Mind you I did have a lot of help in the early days.

Now I suppose I could go back even further, to my first SL avatar which I had briefly in 2006 before I got bored with it…

Cas_002_004

Unfortunately I have no idea where any of these things were from. The tanktop had a wolf on it and I wish I knew where I got it because I loved that top, and would have it again if I could. The jeans look like the basic freebies. The hair, from the looks of it, I’d guess Here Comes Trouble. No clue on the skin. I looked awful.

So… what’s at the back of YOUR wardrobe?