Saturday, January 17, 2009

Obtaining Lindens

I do not advocate attempting to earn Lindens. They are very inexpensive, as are most items in SL, and it’s easier to simply buy them. I set up a Pay Pal account using my credit card and buy Lindens as I need them. $10 US buys about $2,500 Lindens, which is more than you will probably ever need unless you're a shopaholic. In fact, I usually use my Lindens to reward site owners and rarely buy anything. I spent no Lindens at all the first month I was on-line, and now have over 10K items in my inventory. So, you really do not need Lindens to find all sorts of cool stuff and have a really fun time! Check out my page on Freebies for more on that subject!

But if you still believe you need Lindens and would rather earn them than buy them, there are a number of options available:

First, you may be able to find “camping” sites where you are paid to sit on a bench or occupy a pose ball for a period of time. These usually pay very low amounts for long periods of time – a typical site may offer $2 Lindens for every 15 minutes you camp. If your time is worth less than having Lindens in your wallet, these may work for you. Otherwise why waste your time when you could be having FUN? Camping spots are also typically crowded by others with the same idea. Although it should be against the rules, there are those who abandon their avatars for hours at these places, using anti-idling software to trick the SL viewer into thinking the avatar is active. In this way they can rack up Lindens without actually occupying their time doing nothing. So you may end up waiting a while for a camping spot to free up!

There are also modeling jobs available from some of the clothing vendors. I once earned a whopping 20 Lindens modeling for 40 minutes. That's not quite as lucrative as modeling in RL, even after taking the exchange differences between currencies into account. Furthermore, I have some suspicions about how those pictures were used, and fully expect to someday see my head superimposed on sleazy porn shots on some avatar sex web site. LOL!

You could try opening your own store. Rent isn't cheap, but I'm not going to go into that here. The real challenge is making something that isn't already being sold or given away. As I understand it, SL has been around since 2003, and the most popular SL merchandise was created long ago. Novel ideas spring up all the time, of course, but anything one designer can do, another can re-do. Reverse engineering occurs a whole lot more quickly in SL than in RL because the basic elements are freely available and more easily manipulated. Any marketing advantage of a new product rapidly dwindles in SL.

Thus, it frankly appears to me that few SL vendors are making any real money, given that most SL objects are selling for a few hundred Lindens (less than $1 US). I would love to be proven wrong about that, but I just do not see crowds of avatars anywhere except around freebie exhibits, so I do not think I'm too far off in that observation. But if any company can prove to me that it's actually making any real money in SL, I'll eat my words!

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