This is very disturbing news (see Dusan Writer’s Metaverse post below) ... & I can't agree more with Dusan. Even if you don't work in the non-profit world... it is time to look at our alternatives. It sure looks like SL is walking away from education and other Cause based customers. What about .gov sites? How do these new rates compare to the alternatives? Once this ‘weeding’ out is done will they be raising prices for us lowly ‘regular’ folk? Just who do they want for customers? If I were responsible for my non-profit's media presence I would be looking closely at providers such as rezzable.com or Reaction Grid, etc. In the mean time I will be checking out pricing at inWorldz for my personal plot… I’ve felt the need to do some remodeling anyway… I can just as easily do it there as SL. This increase in pricing to Education and Non-profit organizations sure erodes my already faltering trust in Linden Labs.
Quoted from http://dusanwriter.com/index.php/2010/10/04/linden-lab-raises-prices-for-non-profits-and-schools/:
Instituting a 200% price increase, as Linden Lab has done today, seems to me more akin to what a company would try to do if they were looking to exit a particular market and does nothing to change the narrative that the company is ripe for a sale, takeover or meltdown.
We do limited work in cause marketing and education. But without any reason given I’m left to guess what’s motivating the Lab, and I can’t for the life of me think of anything other than falling profits, a wish to be a pure consumer company, or some sort of insight into the appetite for higher costs from these communities that I don’t have (a latent desire to, um, spend more?)
Regardless of which of these reasons it might be (or is there some reason I’m not able to guess at?) the move by Linden Lab represents nothing short of a blow to their credibility and judgement, and while I’ve long been a supporter of the community and possibilities of the virtual world, it’s clearly time to start dusting off the blog posts looking at the alternatives.
While a move in the education market might not seem to have implications for enterprise, my feeling is that this move erodes trust in the viability of the Lab’s strategies and indicates they are taking a lowest common denominator view of who they think their target Second Life user should be.