Customer retention & new playersI'm no expert on this but I can tell you that for most people, the new user experience sucks. The official SL viewer is bloated and over-weight. New users get no help on arrival save some guided quest type stuff. And suggestions on what you should actually do in SL are pretty thin at best. So here are some ideas:
- Release two viewers. One a grandly simplified, lightweight, FAST practice viewer. No inventory, no building, no anything except picking an avatar and moving and interacting. Concentrate on making SL as fast as possible. This viewer would expire after 14 days by which time, you'd have to move to anything BUT the practice one.
- NCI does about the best job of encouraging new users as anyone. I'd forge a stronger with them for new users.
- Want more premium accounts Linden Lab? Increase the free tier allowance to 1024. I'll bet you'd have a lot of alts suddenly become premium in addition to reducing the frustration that comes from only having 117 prims available in a 512.
A moh bettah tierWhile Tateru argues that simply lowering tier won't increase land usage, one of the biggest complaints I hear about (myself included as a complainer) is that any small land purchase that kicks you into the next tier level forces you to pay the entire amount for that level.
For example, if I hold 4096 sq-m of land and want to buy another 512, it will cost me an extra $15/mo since the tier for up to 4096 is $25/mo while the tier for 4097 – 8192m is $40/mo. I think Linden Lab AND its customers might be better served charging $25/mo for the 4096 plus a percentage of that level for anything over. For example, buying another 512 sq-m would only cost an extra $2/mo (about 1/8 the price of the current tier) and not $15/mo. A good example of this is a small 300 sq-m parcel next door to me. I'd probably buy it today except it would kick me into the next tier level since I'm right at 1024.
In fact, I had to carve up my original land purchase to get myself DOWN to 1024 by selling a microparcel on the backside of mine to a land baron. I know a number of people who have simply carved off micro-parcels and abandoned them (hoping of course that no one puts anything silly on them). If one could hold land that was in-between the tier breaks without getting charged the full amount, I'd imagine less land breakups and more contiguous parcels across most of mainland.
Anyway, those a few of my random thoughts. Any others? I know, I know. Second Life may be a lost cause but I keep hoping it isn't. :P