Les Fest 2018 in Second Life

Les Fest 2018

Now open through until 22:00 SLT on Sunday, September 16th, is Les Fest, a 2-day, region-wide festival that celebrates lesbian, bisexual, pansexual and transexual women in Second Life.

The event features lives singers, DJs, spoken word artists, a pageant, fantasy grand ball, talks, games, movies, a boxing tournament and shopping!

Les Fest 2018

For 2018, Les Fest is raising money for Immigration Equality, the leading LGBTQ immigrant rights organization in the US. They represent and advocate for people from around the world fleeing violence, abuse, and persecution because of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or HIV status.

Full details of event activities can be found on the Les Fest website – check the performances, key events and fun activities pages for the major goings-on through the weekend. The video below provides more information on the event’s adopted charity.

Event SLurl

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September 2018 Town Hall with Ebbe Altberg: transcript with audio

Ebbe is still into his T-1000 look. But then, he does keep to his promises to “be back” (and take people’s questions and offer thoughts and insight into the Lab, SL and Sansar) 😉
On Thursday, September 13th, Linden Lab hosted a further Town Hall meeting at which questions were put to the Lab’s CEO, Ebbe Altberg.

Those wishing to ask questions were asked to submit them via the forum thread September 2018 – A Conversation with Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Altberg, a thread that is now locked from having further questions added, but remains available for viewing.

As many of the questions require a technical response, the decision was made to have the Lab’s subject matter experts address them directly through the forum thread itself after the Town Hall meeting, a process which may take several days to complete. So if you did ask a technical question that wasn’t raised at during the event, be sure to check the thread to see if an answer in provided there.

The following is a summary of the answers to questions asked during the Town Hall session, audio extracts and video time stamps provided as reference. The video is embedded at the end of the article.

Please note that this is not a full transcript of the event. Producing a word-for-word transcript takes a lot of time. Instead, I have attempted to bullet-point the replies offered, and have included an audio extract and a time line to the relevant point in the video.

Also note that:

Table of Contents

  • These notes don’t necessarily follow the chronological flow of the session, as I’ve attempted to group subjects by topic for more concise reference.
  • There is a degree of choppiness in Ebbe’s audio (present on the videos as well). This is down to Voice issues in SL. Because of this break-up, some of the audio clips are edited to remove elements where the break-up is particularly bad, but hopefully without losing the actual context of what was being said.
  • Video timestamps will open the official video in a separate browser tab at the start of the specified time period, allowing readers the choice of listening to the audio extract, or the video recording.
  • Due to the brevity of some answers, not all replies given below have an audio extract – but they all have links to the official video.

Opening Comments

  • Exciting year for Linden Lab – 15 years in the business, lot of investment in SL going on + growing the SL team. There’s a lot going on that has the Lab optimistic about the future, and looking forward to being on the journey for a long, long time to come.
  • In March LL announced a very aggressive roadmap, possibly more than could be achieved within 2018, but goals have been pursued and people hired to help meet them.
  • Perhaps most noticeable work has been the re-balancing the economy: reducing the price of land and finding other means by which the Lab can generate revenue that are fairer for everyone – users and the Lab.
    • This means some things get cheaper [e.g. land], and other may get more expensive [e.g. transaction fees] for people as things are adjusted.
    • Overall response has been positive – particularly the lower Mainland costs – increased “free” tier, which is still keeping the land team busy in handling purchase requests.
  • Roadmap also noted new games and experiences, and the next one is “not far away”.
  • Themed learning islands were mentioned, for more vertical acquisition of new users, and tests have been run.
  • Marketplace improvements are starting to come in, with more on the way, helped by a new hired in the commerce team.
  • New land auction process was deployed, but has had issues, so user-to-user Mainland land auctions still to come.
  • There have also been performance improvements.
  • Animesh is very close to release, and the Environment Enhancement Project (EEP) is close to public testing. Bakes on Mesh is following behind them.
  • More value for premium members is coming, but no announcements to make during the town hall.
  • Return of last names may not roll-out before the end of 2018; there’s still a lot of work to be done.
  • Grid-wide experience operation for users also may not be deployed before the end of 2018.
  • Work is continuing on Linden Home improvements, but not clear if this will be deployed all at once or in stages. The hope is to start releasing some of them before the end of 2018.
  • Moving SL to a cloud infrastructure will not be completed until “well into” 2019. Work is progressing on a server-by-service basis.
  • He is personally every excited with all that is happening, the SL team is dedicated to the work and is growing, and Lab is very pleased with the positive responses from users to the changes and improvements being made.

Video: 4:05-12:54

Audio:

 

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Ebbe and Xiola at the September 13th Town Hall.

Q&A Session

Land and Pricing

What was the rationale the up-front higher fees for grandfathered regions?

  • The 2016 buy-down offer was to encourage people who knew they were going to keep land for at least 6 months to obtain lower tier.
  • The structure meant that the up-front cost (US $600) could be recouped in 6 months, allowing the land holder to continue to enjoy a much reduced monthly tier.
  • The transfer fee of US $600 for grandfathered / bought-down regions (compared to the US $100 for “retail” prices regions) is intended to operate the same way: to encourage those who wish to obtain grandfathered land and will hold on to it for a period of 6 months or more to do so, and so continue to enjoy the lower monthly tier.
    • The US $100 transfer fee can still be applied to grandfathered regions, but they will revert to the full monthly tier rate, so the US $600 isn’t necessarily a barrier to selling the land.
  • Currently no plans to make further changes to tier rates – Lab still absorbing the data from the June private region pricing restructure.
  • However, there is still a commitment from the Lab to do more where land is concerned, once with economic situation resulting from the June 2018 change can be fully understood.
  • Personally has a belief that those who commit to holding land for a period of time should be able to benefit from doing so.
    • This may again involve a higher up-front cost that is recouped over a period of time.
    • Does mean that tier pricing differences (e.g. grandfathered to retail) could vary over time – just as the June reduction narrowed the gap between grandfathered and retail monthly tier.
  • But even with the June retail price reduction, those who used the buy-down offer are still enjoying a lower tier than those who buy at retail.

Video: 18:42-23:15

Audio:

 

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Will there be further land pricing reductions / increases in land capacity (prim allowance)?

  • Both are things the Lab wants to do.
  • Land price reductions depend on the Lab being able to generate revenue and remain healthy as a business via other means – increased transaction fees, increased check-out fees, increased and broader Premium subscription options, etc., all of which are constantly being looked at.
  • Increasing the land capacity is a matter of performance and hardware improvements. If these continue to be made, then further increases to land capacity might be possible.

Video: 23:28-24:54

Audio:

 

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