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Oct 14

Brady Forrest

Brady Forrest

Second Life to Start Selling Names

Second Life is going to start selling "real" names to people (just like they do with virtual land). CNET is reporting that Linden Labs, the creators, have decided "to charge individuals who want a real last name a $100 setup fee and a $50-a-year maintenance fee. Companies that want their corporate name can have unlimited accounts for a $1,000 setup fee and $500 a year. " My assumption from this pricing and general social conventions is that corporate names are exclusive whereas individual last names are not. As PT from Make: pointed out when he sent this to me, this could be the next virtual land grab.

Currently, the virtual world company allows you to pick a last name from a dropdown and pair it with a first name of your choosing. This has its advantages; no one has duplicate names or is forced to have "jenny2000". However, for people who want to build a business or make a living around their name this will become a must have -- assuming that they find Second Life a worthwhile place to have a presence. Certainly enough companies and people are doing just that, but in many ways it's still like 1996 on the internet and picking out a personal or corporate domain name; they're not aware that they will need to have a presence.

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Kempton   [10.15.06 10:25 PM]

I like making money but the way Second Life is doing it by selling "real" names just seem a bit too much. For those who care, it may be a good use of their money. But somehow it just seems like a money grad kinda idea to me. A setup fee and then a "yearly" fee, wow, it is so much worst than registering for a full internet domain. Just my 2 cents.

brady   [10.16.06 10:06 AM]

it is a lot of money, but i think that is why they have waited this long to do it. by making 2d life more valuable they are able to charge more.
i wonder if this type of aggressive pricing stems from the fact that they are the only ones who can control that type of content within the world. i wonder if it will lead to upset users.

Kempton   [10.16.06 04:11 PM]

Brady, I guess we were being nice, you use "aggressive pricing" and I used "money grab" but I think $100 setup fee and $50 yearly maintenance fee is honestly highway robbery. Now, I truly hope people in the second world community will be upset enough to protest inside and outside Second Life.

On the other hand, when people are willing to pay for other things in Second Life, I suppose it is their freedom to pay or not to pay. Ultimately, it is just sad to see, even it is a "game", people get exploited in this kind of calculated and "unreasonable" manner.

Mind you, I have no qualms about Reuters (or other commercial entities) paying $1,000 setup fee and $500 a year. I just hate to see the average users get robbed blind or open-eyedly like this. Just feel sad.

Anonymous   [10.18.06 10:50 PM]

Kempton - I couldn't have said it better.

The commercial pricing seems to be consistent with the island pricing. But the pricing for an individual who simply wants a single use of a last name is, well to me at least, unacceptable. It will be interesting to see if the individual pricing is accepted by the SL community.

Rudy   [10.19.06 12:44 AM]

Nice to know that we'll be charged to avoid a created inconvenience.

Austie   [11.19.06 10:13 AM]

This is so silly that everyone thinks this is a big deal. It's obvisious the reason why it's such high fee is because they would prefer people to use the 'free' way (picking from their list). It's orderly, it works and there's really no reason to change. It's like a vanity plate. If you want it, you pay a price. If it were cheap everyone would do it and it would get completely out of hand with free accounts.

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