Forum Link: Original Post

Town Hall with David Linden
Topic: Marketing

Jeska Linden: Welcome to the Town Hall with the SL Marketing Team!
Jeska Linden: David Linden will be answering your questions today!
Jeska Linden: We will be focusing on questions about Marketing. Please don't submit your technical support questions, as they will be skipped over.
Jeska Linden: Also, please try to keep your questions as concise as possible to allow the best flow of conversation.
Jeska Linden: Questions can be sent to me (Jeska Linden) in the form of an IM. Questions will be answered in the order they appear on my screen.
Jeska Linden: Also, for those of us in Brampton, please hold down the noise and offers of friendship until after the meeting!
Jeska Linden: Take it away David :)
David Linden: I recently joined Linden Lab and I'm looking forward to this first Town Hall.
David Linden: I am interested in hearing your thoughts today on Second Life. I'll also share with you some of my ideas as to what we will be working on in the months ahead.
David Linden: I'm not doing "cut and paste" and Jeska will start by giving me some questions, we'll then open it up to Q&A
David Linden: First Question Jeska
Jeska Linden: Beryl Greenacre: The target market of Second Life, until fairly recently, has seemingly been mostly gamers, graphic artists/designers, and more technically oriented folk. Will we begin to see a shift toward marketing in mainstream media venues to attract
Jeska Linden: a broader scope of customer types?
David Linden: Great question. We need great content to attract mainstream users into SL.
David Linden: I have two focuses in mind. I would like to continue to attract great designers and developers to create great experiences.
David Linden: This will be followed by broader outreach to the "masses" later this year.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: PetGirl Bergman: What kind of marketing will you do in Europe - or Scandinavia? If we from that part of world want to help what kind of support will we get from Linden Lab?
David Linden: Global programs will start coming on line later this year as well. Recently we added double byte support which will help with our Asia efforts.
David Linden: I am very interested in opening up Europe further by providing contry specific help.
David Linden: I believe we haven't even begun efforts. I know we have a strong following in some European countries, it's time to open it up and attract a broader audience.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Gwyneth Llewelyn: Despite the successful renovation of SL's site, there is still too much emphasis on the "game" aspect of SL....Would you be agreeable to having a group of volunteers helping you to design a "serious" site about SL?
David Linden: We're always interested in ideas and ways to create better messaging on the SL website. Recently, we began an effort to talk less about games, more about the overall experience about SL.
David Linden: You'll see those changes/messages on the website soon.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Hiro Pendragon: What milestones (such as features, revenue, employees, standards, performance) do you have before marketing Second Life to the general public?
David Linden: BTW, if anyone wants to make suggestions about the website, send me an email
David Linden: We're always openly marketing to everyone. The overall effort is "organic" and we'll continue to push. I doubt there will be single inflection point.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Jeffrey Gomez: I understand that stressing SL as a target market for real money brings in consumers at a rapid pace. However, how should this objective reflect on SL itself? I've noticed a stark change from "what we can do" with SL...
Jeska Linden: ...into "how much we can make" with it... What are the long-term implications of this? Are virtual gold miners, as it were, the target demographic SL wishes to reach?
David Linden: The way we are adding features, we believe that you can make more things. Making money is a result of the those efforts.
David Linden: Virtual gold miners won't do well in SL. We want people involved for the long term.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Snakeye Plisskin: Is LL planning on advertizing in magazines? ie; PCgamer, Computer Gaming World, CPU - Computer Power User, Maximum PC, and the tons of other computer mags out there? I haven't seen any myself, maybe I read the wrong mags?
David Linden: Advertising is something we do mainly online.
David Linden: The effects of print advertising is sometimes difficult to measure and certainly very expensive. Right now we'll focus efforts on internet based ads.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Prokofy Neva: Does LL plan to stress content-creation in marketing SL to a wider audience or the land auction and home-making social aspect of SL or both?
David Linden: Content creation is important to attract the masses and ensure they have experiences they want.
David Linden: We need to do both as one feeds the other.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: FlipperPA Peregrine: There have been problems in the Welcome Area with some Residents being hostile to new Residents. As marketers, you must know full well you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Are you concerned about this behavior?
David Linden: Of course we are very concerned about any hostilies within SL.
David Linden: We rely on community members to report these issues so we can investigate and take appropriate actions.
David Linden: It is a serious issue and we will deal with them case by case. This falls into Robin's camp and I know she is on top of it.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Ok, those are the questions from the forums, please feel free to IM me now with your questions. Here's the first:
Jeska Linden: Sky Shaw: Is there a place online (within SL or at a URL) where we can find out the general marketing plans for SL?
David Linden: No, not yet. Certainly a great idea. Messaging about our marketing plans is a "double edge sword". We want to let you know some of it, but not all...
David Linden: is meant for publich consumption.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Ferran Brodsky: Will Marketing to the public for SL ever feature or address the "adult" content in world?
David Linden: There is no doubt that adult content is part of the SL experience, but as with any media type, there are sensitivities to it...
David Linden: in the RL that requires we manage it carefully in terms of marketing outreach.
David Linden: I am not opposed to it. We are exploring some options.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Mulch Ennui: The site that introduced me to SL has user comments, and there was alot of critisizm that this is not a game as much as a glorified chatroom. ..
Jeska Linden: How would u turn that percieved lemon into lemonaid considering how important community is to SL and its content?
David Linden: Actually, I believe that SL is not a game at all.
David Linden: Games can be part of the SL experience and we need to be much better at communicating what SL is.
David Linden: If we position SL as a game, those that are new may not get it.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Weedy Herbst: Q- Will LL eventually sell public shares?
David Linden: Hmmmm, no comment...
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: ReallyRick Metropolitan: I am 6 SL days old but have played in other "worlds." However I find myself totally overwhelmed understanding prims, sims, script, etc. What can you say to someone like me, a non-designer, non-tech person for me....
Jeska Linden: remain in such a L$ driven society?
David Linden: The issue you mention is really about training.
David Linden: We need to be able to point you at resources that help you learn how to do things in SL, especially using the tools to bulid.
David Linden: We are in the process of creating a developer program that is designed to help people understand the technical side of SL.
David Linden: It will include training and point people at resources that will help them be more productive. '
David Linden: This will include 3rd party (non LL) websites and resources.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Csven Concord: What guidelines does LL currently have in place regarding the marketing and advertising of RL products in SL, and any measures (if any) to limit the impact of RL advertising on SL's newly emerging internal markets?
David Linden: People can advertise in SL with prior approval. That's something that Robin manages.
David Linden: Currently we are not actively pursuing external advertising.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Twinky Bling: My question was: Do you have a loyalty scheme where I get my friends to sign up and get a % of their payment. I tell everyone about SL I love it
David Linden: We have a referral bonus that gives you about L$2000 for a premium subscriber.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Beryl Greenacre: Some months back, Philip said in a town hall that his goal for membership was to have one million people in SL in 2007. Is this still a goal, from the LL Marketing Dept.'s standpoint?
David Linden: Oh ya! I'm all for it. I am analyzing sign up trends to determine what the subsriber updside will look like in the months/years ahead.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Oerbewustzijn Archer: Is there in the marketing strategy also room for nonprofit projects, and what for nonprofit projects are you like to have?
David Linden: Yes, non profit projects are something we want to support. I suggest sending an email to robin if you have an idea.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Pisces Minogue: Will marketing emphasize the ability to create new in-game things? Like clothes, for instance? I know that's what sort of got me interested...
David Linden: Content creation is one of SL's strengths. As you know, there is a broad range of content types you can create.
David Linden: Calling out any single type, clothing, scripts, objects, etc would possibly put too much emphasis on that type. We need to generalize the diveristy of possibilities.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Digi Vox: Have you considering offering web or blog hosting through the SL website so that in-world groups and individuals can have their sites directly associated with SL?
David Linden: The community group (Robin) is looking at a blogging engine that could give that functionality. Stay tuned, we'll update you soon.
David Linden: next
Jeska Linden: Pendari Lorentz: Does LL want to market SL as a world created by LL with a hands on approach - or as a *user created* world, with LL taking a more hands off approach?
David Linden: Great question. Our position is that SL is a user created world at all levels.....
David Linden: LL is creating a platform and maintaining it for users to let their imaginations dictate what the world will be.
David Linden: That is our strength and we will continue to position SL in that manner.
David Linden: Great questions, really enjoyed being here and I will be doing this on a regular basis.
Jeska Linden: Thanks for coming out everyone -
David Linden: Thanks for your questions and we'll look forward to chatting soon.
David Linden: bye, see you soon
Jeska Linden: if you had anymore questions, please feel free to post them in the Hotline to Linden for a response!