I’ve had quite a few comments on my post of a few days ago – The Need to Nest – building communities to retain new users, and several have suggested that – in essence – the Lab should use the experience within existing communities to develop the program, and even – rather than developing new estates themselves – actually embed the new residents within existing communities.
I like the idea of the connection with existing communities … after all, my original example was Caledon Oxbridge. And perhaps there are some (many?) communities that would like to participate – and would offer genuine communities. However, that sort of thing would need to be judged so carefully … and would need to be monitored. That’s higher maintenance than my original proposal, and high maintenance is something that the Lab has stepped back from (quite logically, in my estimation).
But if you were to go that route, there would need to be a basic level of servicing the community that the landlords would need to sign up to – otherwise you would end up with newbies being dumped in land every bit as soulless as a Linden Home estate, with landowners trusting that inertia will prevent the newbie tenants from moving on.
Of course, many landowners and their teams will do community much better because they have an already existing community. But would they necessarily trust the Lab enough to participate? Some of the best estates poured a lot into the Community gateways … and lost it all when they closed. I would think the service level agreement would need to be pretty stringent on both sides.
I do, for what it’s worth, see such a program as benefiting content creators and other creatives. In addition to building and furnishing the new homes, there would be opportunities for musicians and artists, and also for creators of the games that enrich our lives – a Seven Seas Fishing dock in a sim and a Greedy table in a community centre would both be great ways of giving newbies (and Linden Homes escapees) something to do – and a way of connecting with others. One of the reasons that Elderglen scores (for me) over the other Linden Home Info Hubs is that it offers Fun Things To Do.
And having a few stores would get people interested in looking at things from a grid eye level and not just clicking on the marketplace.
It could be possible that the Lab could sponsor landowners to add these newbie sims to their existing landmass and run them this way, rather than creating replicas of Bay City (although Bay City is terrific – evidenced by its strong community and high land prices). But one of the points of my concept is to allow people to take an active part in BUILDING their community (as Bay City did).
The problem of being added into an existing community could be that it would be harder to assimilate. And there would be the howls of unfairness … do these new communities get distributed on the basis of how many sims the landowners currently have, regardless of their communities, or is some measure of community-ness applied to each, and the higher they score, the more new residents are directed to them? Very tricky to do. Or do landowners apply for these new islands? It may not be the most community minded who can take the most residents.
And think about the problems if you have a new sim that can hold 60 residents in your adorable village of Umgebindehausen, and all the new residents want urban grunge and head off elsewhere, The Lab can, to a greater extent, suck up the damage. Landowners shouldn’t have to.
In addition, handing this over to private landowners would kill the second part of my proposal – that existing Linden Home owners could transfer to the new estates – stone dead.
The estates have to be on Linden land for this to work. But there is certainly room for the location to be close to existing estates, and even for those estates to take on the management and provide community elements.That might work really well – and also offer landowners the opportunity to engage with new clients.Would they be interested? Would Linden Lab?