And so the changes come?

The highlights –

Linden support of most events, other than educational events will be discontinued starting next week with events scheduled 17 January and after.

Bonus amounts paid out as weekly ‘Stipend Ratings’ will be decreased over the next several months, beginning next week.

We will begin charging L$25 for a rating – starting after the update tomorrow.

The Top Picks will be replaced by “Sponsered Links” which will be auctioned off on Ebay. This is an experimental program to gauge community interest in advertising in an in-world directory. If successful, we’ll bring it to the internal auctions. If not, we’ll can it.

There is no change to the basic weekly stipends you receive.

Finally, please note: there will be no changes to Second Life land fees or membership fees paid to Linden Lab.

— Robin Linden

Alright, I know that 3 pages of forum threads already beat this topic enough as it is… I guess I just wished to put it here for myself, though. I don’t know yet whether this is going to have a positive impact on Second Life as we know it (perhaps on middle- or long-term only), or will turn to be the next catastrophe just waiting to happen. The only thing I’m sure of is that, as usual in such a situation, there are LOTS of talks, rumors and misunderstandings. Misunderstandings that the stipends will be halved, for instance when in fact the basic (50/500) stipends won’t be touched. And from there… the escalation? It’s hard to think quietly about all of this, especially when the news downed on us so fast after the New Year.

In fact, I think I can’t decide what my opinion about all of this is. I’m not very worried, but also, I don’t depend on stipend and ratings bonus to get L$, so in itself, my opinion is already biased. The ratings… couldn’t care less about them; perhaps now they’ll finally become “fair”, and not a contest of I-rate-you-you-rate me? Or at least prevent random fly-by neg rates? (I must admit that I already happened to give ratings back, yet not if I don’t see something deserving a rating, even if this something is “only” a nicely dressed avatar.) The Ebay stuff related to the Top Picks… I’m not too fond of this idea, likely because it just reeks of “those with the more cash will get it all, and the little/new ones will get the shaft”. I’m not sure. As for events… this is to be seen as well. I can at least foresee several types of events where the support wouldn’t be absolutely necessary (for instance, it’s not an absolute necessity at events such as bingo, where attendants help making the pot anyway), and some others (“Best clad-in-blue-and-green AV contest”, etc etc) which numbers would maybe decrease – let’s admit it, we get a shitload of these as well.

Hard to tell, yes. So… Personal policy on this? “Wait and see”. In the meantime, I’ll finish working on my kimonos in my little corner of Varney. This never harms!

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