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Town Hall 7/9/03/8pm

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7/9 8pm Town Hall Chat Log
SL Marketing Fireside Talk


Hunter Linden: Okay - welcome all to a Second Life Town Hall
Hunter Linden: Cool - well welcome - let me say a few things and then we'll get going
Hunter Linden: If this is your first townhall, here's how it works
Hunter Linden: We say a few things and then....
Hunter Linden: open up the floor to questions
Hunter Linden: When we start Q&A, you say "Question" if you have one and then.....
Hunter Linden: I'll call on you
Hunter Linden: Also, please "shout" everything so everyone can hear
Hunter Linden: Cool - well today we have a new subject for SL Town Hall Hunter Linden: Marketing Second Life!
Hunter Linden: Tanya and Robin Linden, the marketing gurus, will talk a bit about launch
Hunter Linden: and what's coming up in the future
Hunter Linden: So without further delay.....
Hunter Linden: Here's Tanya and Robin!

Tanya Linden: Hey there everybody!
Robin Linden: Hi everyone
Robin Linden: Tanya and I are responsible for marketing SL
Robin Linden: I thought we'd give you some info on the launch and what we're planning.
Robin Linden: Then we'll answer questions.
Robin Linden: As you know, we launched SL on June 23, after being in beta for about 8 months.
Robin Linden: We had about 50% of the beta testers who converted buy lifetime memberships.
Robin Linden: Another 30% bought quarterly and annual memberships.
Robin Linden: There are people from all over the US and Canada, and even from around the world.
Robin Linden: We have lots more women than many games, and a broad array of age groups.
Robin Linden: This is really exciting, because it means we have a strong group of interesting and
Robin Linden: committed residents who are building the world
Robin Linden: and making it a cool place for themselves and newbies.
Robin Linden: That's why the referral program is so important. Tanya's got lots of ideas for that.
Robin Linden: We also need to try to reach lots of early adopters and convince them they should give
Robin Linden: SL a try.
Robin Linden: I'm looking at online advertising on sites that recreational programmers, digital artists, and gamers use.
Robin Linden: We also continue to do lots of press out reach.
Robin Linden: the New York Times, and numerous game sites. If you want to see what the press is saying, check out the
Robin Linden: Reviews page on the Second Life site, or news on the Linden Lab site.
Robin Linden: So who's got questions?

James Miller: T-Shirts are being mailed next week right? I haven't worn a shirt in many months, I could REALLY REALLY use one. PLEASE send ASAP. Back of chair's
Hunter Linden: too much info james
Tanya Linden: the shirts are set to arrive at our offices tomorrow
Tanya Linden: so we'll start mailing them out later this week
James Miller:

Ezhar Fairlight: Are European players legal now?
Robin Linden: Our terms of service say that we can't accept members from outside the US and Canada
Hunter Linden: Official line is international support will be coming soon

Mo Money: I missed something you said, you were saying you need to get more early adopters?
Robin Linden: we want more people like you -- people who are willing to do neat things and put up with a lot of changes
Mo Money: I'm asking because some article from the website said you were looking for casual gamers
Mo Money: I guess they're two different kinds of things
Robin Linden: some day we'd like to have casual gamers in but probably not at the moment

Maggie Miller: I think you answered my question in part cuz you said you're not after casual gamers...
Maggie Miller: I would have been in that category...actually a NON gamer...
Maggie Miller: why go after only gamers?
Hunter Linden: Okay - so here's my thoughts on "casual" vs. "non-casual" folks
Hunter Linden: It's not really about being a gamer or non-gamer at this stage - we have tons of both
Hunter Linden: It's more about wanting to help build something, as opposed to just attend something already built
Robin Linden: actually we're looking for ways to reach people who are creative -- maybe gamers, but also programmers, artists, architects, designers
Hunter Linden: Right now - folks who really like SL are creative, social, fearless, etc.... regardless of whether they game or don't game
Robin Linden: we love all of you
Maggie Miller: i understand now, Hunter. Thanks.

Ironchef Cook: related question. what do you fear casual gamers will do to the community?
Hunter Linden: Ironchef - good question
Robin Linden: casual gamers are important as the audience, the explorers, the shoppers --- but we need you to
Robin Linden: make it all worth while first
Robin Linden: you guys are the ones who make the world special and interesting
Ironchef Cook: So you're saying you need more themed sims or other attractions first before bringing in the casual gamers?
Robin Linden: we need things that will make the environment and the world more interesting for people who have a different idea
Robin Linden: about what they want from the experience
Robin Linden: yeah - themed communities, things to do, cool parties, events like the hot air ballroom race
Mo Money: Well, in terms of making things easier for casual gamers, I like how you can jump into races and stuff with one of the competitors

James Miller: This may be slightly off track, but, I think it is related. What is with Minors in SL? I remember hearing a lot about this issue during the days of Jack Miller. I even remember a user that claimed he had been placed in a 'minor mode', (Continued..)
James Miller: in which he couldn#t get to mature sims. but, as of now, I haven't seen any minors in SL yet. What is happening with this? was this feature taken out? is it there w/o our knowledge?
Robin Linden: Because we have mature sims in SL we don't allow people in who are under 18.
Robin Linden: we told Jack that when we have the ability to make sure we can keep minors safe in SL we would let them in
Robin Linden: until then we limit to adults

Candie Apple: i'm confused by the concept you're putting forth that casual gamers which would necessarily includes non-gamers
Candie Apple: would not be active participants but only want to shop? to be an audience?
Robin Linden: we think that there are lots of different ways to experience second life
Robin Linden: some people will want to build, others to explore or find inspiration in what the builders have made
Robin Linden: so-called casual gamers are people who are less likely to want to spend a huge amount of time
Robin Linden: creating. we think they'll be more likely to want to explore and socialize.
Robin Linden: as with all generalizations this one is risky
Robin Linden: but most people who are "casual gamers" tend to look at the way they play as taking up less time and being more social
Tanya Linden: In terms of getting others in here -- what we'd like to do is to reach out into the communities
Tanya Linden: Robin mentioned earlier -- creative people like yourselves who will continue building and pushing
Tanya Linden: the limits of SL
Tanya Linden: To that end -- you can help us by referring more people
Candie Apple: may i give a tip on that?
Candie Apple: on referring people?
Tanya Linden: I'm sure you all know about our referral program -- anyone have any feedback?
Tanya Linden: Candie - would love to hear your tip
Candie Apple: what i did is a few searches on google like for '3d forums'
Candie Apple: and i went to those forums and posted -- on just a few -- and my 5th referral just came in about an hour ago
Candie Apple: it doesn't take long, and you can get come of that referral money
Candie Apple: *some
Tanya Linden: That's great Candie!
Robin Linden: thanks Candie -- I've been experimenting with different key words so if you have ideas just send them to me on a notecard
Tanya Linden: We've tried to make it really easy to spread the word by SL - by providing in-world leader board points
Candie Apple: i will do that
Tanya Linden: and Linden dollars as incentives for trials and converted users

Rathe Underthorn: is there a button, banner, or similar graphic that we can use to link on our websites with?
Tanya Linden: Right now we give you a personal "referral link" -- that when you post it, will automatically
Tanya Linden: credit you for referrals when referrees click on it
Tanya Linden: We'd like to add more graphics -- buttons and banners -- for fan sites, affiliates, etc.

Ironchef Cook: will you ever go retail? if so, what is the timeline for that
Robin Linden: i'm looking at putting game time cards at retail. but we don't have any plans to try to package SL for retail
Ironchef Cook: gametime cards. wow
Robin Linden: no box
Weiss Roentgen: Time cards is a good idea - good stocking stuffer at Christmas
Hunter Linden: Retail package - we could include a cd-rom of textures, a t-shirt, some other cool swag
Robin Linden: yeah - what do you think about gift certificates?

Petey Metalhead: were you guys at E3
Robin Linden: yup we were in the nVidia booth and we had a meeting room for press
Petey Metalhead: neat
Robin Linden: in fact several SL folks dropped by which was fun

Tanya Linden: IN terms of shows - and the 3D folks Candie brought up...
Tanya Linden: We're also going to be at Siggraph, in San Diego later this month...
Tanya Linden: We'll be in the Vortechs hands-on play area -- if you're going to be there, come by and say hi

Mo Money: Yeah... I noticed that you go to best buy and you see lots of online sim games... do you think a 3 month membership card on the game rack would help get people in?
Mo Money: That's what the sims does
Robin Linden: Mo - I hope it will -- it's a good way to reach a lot more people
Archanox Underthorn: the lack of time cards is why a few of my friends aren't playing right now, for the most part
Robin Linden: is it a lack of time cards or a lack of cash payment options
Mo Money: cool. If the Sims can put memberships in a game-sized box, you guys can too
Archanox Underthorn: well payment options i guess, they don#t wanna pay with a credit card is a big thing i think
Mo Money: plus, they don't need to pay with a credit card online
Robin Linden: we're working on adding a cash payment option. I hope it will be functional by next week

James Miller: I know 100 people that would signup for SL in a heartbeat if you had a Mac version
Robin Linden: we'll have a mac version this fall
Robin Linden: Linux too
James Miller: I just bought my iMac yesterday, so, I am kinda interested

Ironchef Cook: are you confident the servers will handle a huge number of new players?
Robin Linden: as new players come in we'll add more servers to keep up
Jonathan VonLenard: iron.... they just add servers whenever a certain number of players join... so number of players is not an issue on the servers as i understand it
Jonathan VonLenard: each sim is a server
Ironchef Cook: i see

Hunter Linden: Great - thanks for coming - chat logs will be posted tomorrow
Hunter Linden: Thanks Robin and Tanya
Tanya Linden: Thanks everybody for coming -- see you in-world soon

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