Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ad farming

I've been meaning to write on Jack Linden's ad farming, well, not ban, but almost.

Ad farms are theft, in that they steal the value from people around them. However, what made LL act was not this, since complaints about ad farms had been endemic for a long time. No what happened is that LL's ability to sell mainland sims took a nose dive. Mainland sims are a big hit of cash, they used to sell for upwards of 2000USD each. However, people stop buying them to flip because what would happen is that ad farmers would grab a few small parcels, ruin the value of the sim, and the sim buyer would be stuck moving parcels at budget rates. As a result, LL stopped being able to offer mainland sims, and we have been on a long land pause.

Now this decision is not really good for land princesses like me. I mean, the worse mainland is, the more people will be willing to pay to get off of it. However, it is good for Second Life. Second Life is infested with flees. Flees are people who take from the game, and create annoyance for others, to make themselves happy. They piss in the well, and want to charge for not pissing in the well.

And in the long run, what is good for sl, will be good for all of us. Now as an interested party, it would be nice to see LL start to lower island fees, as they start to compete more directly, but even that isn't really necessary. What would be better is if we could have more control over our islands. For example, the ability to rename islands ourselves, even if we had to pay some nominal amount to prevent people from doing it too often, would be great. People want that, their own sim name. Another thing that would be wonderful if we could do it is the abilty to look at more of the sim information, so that we can improve the performance of regions more. Mono will help performance, but only if we can recompile scripts. It would be nice to be able to force recompile on objects as an estate manager. In short, better than money, would be ways of making money.

Mainland needs to be more actively managed, since the impression of second life cannot rise higher than mainland. Ending ad farming is an important step in this direction, and one long over due, because ad farmers weren't making money, but stealing other people's money.


  1. As I said on the forum somewhere (I'm terrible at finding things in the forum) I'm skeptical that this move will actually do much to solve the problem.

    If the problem is really that people are putting ugly things on tiny parcels, disguised as advertising, and then selling the parcels at high prices to people who just want to get rid of the ugliness, then regulating advertising doesn't address it. Those same people can just start putting ugly things on tiny parcels, disguised as art or political expression or decoration or anything else, and continue the same game.

    Annoying and subjective though it would be to enforce, I think LL will ultimately be forced to ban putting up ugly stuff just to get people to pay you to remove it. If that's in fact the real problem...

  2. Its part of the problem - but you may have noticed Jack saying they would keep an eye on the L$ transactions for the advertisers - meaning if they dont have revenue on their ads it is a TOS violation.

    But the problem with people filling their parcels with particle-emitting ugly stuff just to get you to IM them and ask if they are willing to sell (since the land is not officially for sale its not harassment per se...) is not solved by this. But one can only hope Jack means it when he says the Lindens will be a more active estate manager.

  3. The IM itself would be enough, I know of at least one case where this has been used.

    The question of a policy is how serious they are about enforcement. Signs are that Ll is serious, because this is hitting LL's bottom line. They virtually cannot sell mainland, because ad farms come in, grab parcels, cut, sell then put up adds, leaving the person who bid on the sim with 80% of the sim, whose value has plummeted.

    One person ordered 20K of sims, that is USD, and was barely able to break even. He complained not only to LL, but to other mainland sim flippers, and as well to land barons not on mainland.

    I think we can safely assume that Ll will pursue this at least to the point where they can auction off mainland sims at a profit again.