Not a few weeks ago Terrence Linden spoke to educators at the Virtual Worlds Education Roundtable. He made us feel that the company might re-dedicate itself to education. I'll repeat some of what he noted:
- 800 educational institutions, 550-600 of them colleges or universities, currently in SL.
- of all land owned by organizations and not individuals, 50% is owned by education, a figure that does not include museums or libraries. No one comes close to education, with non profits coming next.
- Edu growth more than 10% since last year.
- Education sector is about 5% of SL and about 10% of avatars in-world are associated with education.
- A Linden education product has been under discussion; there are no concrete plans for this. Terrance notes, "we ask for patience," as LL discusses this idea.
- In response to a question about Linden Lab's view of OpenSim, Terrence concedes that OpenSim grids have an advantage of being more focused.
Patience? Focus? Dedicated? Linden Lab?
Okay, I'll agree with the last. Dedicated to shoving educators off their grid.
In a move that was either long-planned or decided in panic by a failing company, Linden Lab will double the cost for educators and nonprofits to rent server space from them.
We never owned anything. None of us. If you have your own hardware and grid, you own it. We SLers have all been renters, and our landlord is in some sort of deep trouble. Why else jack up prices and then wrap it in this baloney:
"In the spirit of giving you as much advance notice as possible about changes that may have an impact on your plans and budgets here are two important updates on 2011 pricing."
We should have never trusted this company. Now it's time to vote with our pocketbooks and move operations to other grids that actually value education instead of giving lip-service while planning to soak us. What's worse, this happens not only in a time of financial constraint for many schools but in the middle of a fiscal year when grant funding has been allocated and operating budgets set.
I'll come up with a more coherent reply later, as well as a call to action for my colleagues who have been so royally screwed by Linden Lab, even as Philip Rosedale feigned interest in our community at the recent SLCC meeting in Boston.
Perhaps that rankles me most: Rosedale was someone who held my respect and admiration.
What a chump I've been. Hasn't been the first time.