A recent blog posting by a very misguided author caught my attention today.   The blog posting — which will not be linked to from this article — is almost entirely full of wild-ass speculation stated as fact, and dead-wrong on almost all counts.  Here are some quotes: 

I am so very disturbed by the latest spin of the moral compass by the highly esteemed (at least they hold themselves in high esteem) of the whats being called the Inner Circle (defined: a term being more and more widely used to refer to a clique of long time residents of Inworldz) in the virtual world known as Inworldz.

Blink blink.  Okay, I will partially agree, and refer to this author as “very disturbed”.

/me rereads that.  Again.  Must be a different InWorldz than the one I know.

First — and I recognize that this is subjective and personal assessment, and the other author is entitled to their own — the residents of InWorldz are the most laid-back collection of folks I’ve come across.  Somewhat protective and passionate at times, and squabbling among themselves sometimes, yes, but typically sorting this out as the best families do.  The fact that this is done transparently, in the full view of anyone who wants to read it, with the direct participation of the InWorldz owners (known as “the founders”), is encouraging to say the least, after the experience I have endured in the Second Life world over the last several years.  The residents are also very inclusive, with respect for everyone’s differences.  There certainly *is* a moral compass there, unlike some grids, but there is no “Inner Circle” as the author implies negatively.  I would not be posting this article if this was the only faux pas on the part of the other other… but what I want to correct the most is the (restraining my language now) complete crap that spewed after this point.

The first thing I want to point out is:
Anyone who thinks the founders of Inworldz are not in this business to make money then they’re delusional. The founders make money on leasing virtual real estate AND they also make money on IZ sales and exchanges. I wonder what the IZ is backed with. Don’t you? Now I know we can all sit around and sing the praises of and cannonize the founders but fact of the matter is, they are making money. You better believe there are benefits for them. Sit back and hone your math skills by crunching some numbers. Sorry for suggesting this but go check the Lindex. The founders HAVE based the IZ on the L$ but really, most hrrmmm “BIG NAME” pricing is based on USD. I am waiting to see how long it takes for the price control mafia to move from the forums to in world.

Well… where to begin with that?  First, I think the author of the quote above is the only one who wants to “cannonize the founders”.  The residents, who live there, and know the founders well, want to canonize them.

Those who do not know the InWorldz founders may believe this nonsense, but it just goes to who how fundamentally wrong the author of that article is. Complete and utter manure coming from that author.  Show what numbers “your math skills” have crunched, shall you, you delusional twit.

The founders make money on leasing virtual real estate AND they also make money on IZ sales and exchanges.

No, no, NO!  InWorldz LLC, the company, gains revenue from the subscriptions for virtual land, yes, but that money is then reinvested in InWorldz.  The founders prefer to encourage the growth of InWorldz, and to enable others to live that virtual dream, keeping resident costs down, charging just enough to pay for the professionally hosted servers and the bandwidth of the residents, and maintain a balance there for the considerable expenses that come along.  Every week they need to purchase more and more hosted servers, and the required upgrades, such as the new cluster of database server additions to which they are upgrading tomorrow.  As I understand things, InWorldz is a corporation, and prior to September 1st (last Wednesday), all employees have been unpaid staff.  They have been volunteering huge amounts of time and energy and personally putting their own money at times into making things better there.

Some day it may grow enough that everyone who works for InWorldz will actually be paid, but as I write this, there has only been one paid employee, and he has worked a total of 5 paid days so far (and probably hasn’t actually been paid yet).  And this comes after many many months of unpaid 80-hour weeks (on top of his full-time “RL” job).  As the software engineer responsible for the grid servers, IT infrastructure, security, architecture and server software, “Tranq” has a lot on his plate, and it is about time that InWorldz has been able to finally steal him from his full-time position elsewhere.  So he’s been able to trade one full-time job for another, which hopefully will allow his weeks to drop from about 120 hours of work to only something like 100 hours, total (an increase for InWorldz!).  (This are my rough estimates, based on seeing him in action every day.)  The other two founders, Legion and Elenia, have been working very long hours for almost 2 years now, unpaid, without so much as a day off.  Elenia has been starting work each day very early, hours before 8am, and not stopping until she practically drops every night, usually well after midnight.  I have no idea how she can go on day after day with such little sleep.  And all of that is unpaid.  For the benefit of the residents.  Maybe some day they will be rewarded; I hope so, they sure do deserve it.

Anyone who thinks they don’t deserve a pat on their back for their never-ending contributions and dedication to the residents has no idea what they are talking about. It is just uninformed total bullshit and misguided speculation, and the author should be ashamed for writing such drivel.

The founders HAVE based the IZ on the L$

Well that is a common misconception, so I forgive the author, but completely false.  The InWorldz exchange rate is based on — and tied solely to — the US dollar.  The author is probably basing this false belief on the fact that currently there is no direct InWorldz-to-US$ cash-out mechanism, but that is a matter of mechanics, not exchange rate.  This is why the InWorldz-to-Linden$ exchange rate was adjusted recently — the Linden$ has tanked so badly (due to the Lab’s mismanagement of land and economy) that the InWorldz founders could no longer swallow the difference out of InWorldz funds (keeping it simpler for everyone), but instead had to finally adjust that rate to keep the InWorldz dollar closer to the US$ value.  The exchange rate is 1 US$ == 500 InWorldz.  End of story. 

they also make money on IZ sales and exchanges.

No, actually they don’t.  The original author should at least make an attempt to verify facts before spewing such falsehoods.  However if the founders did make money on cash-outs, there would be nothing wrong with bolstering the InWorldz financial stability by taking a small share of the economic trade.  That kind of small “sales tax”, and only when cashed out, would also help to keep land prices low for a longer period.  I hope they move to this model in the near future, perhaps when the direct InWorldz-to-US$ cash-out exchange work is completed.  Hopefully at that time the InWorldz-to-Linden$ exchange will be shut down.

Secondly: Anyone who thinks for one second any income a “BIG NAME” can earn in Inworldz can do anything other than support their holdings in Inworldz with income from Inworldz, then again, is delusional.

I’m not sure I can even read that.  If I am interpreting that poorly-phrased statement correctly, I believe the author is saying that big name vendors in InWorldz won’t have anything leftover to withdraw, to help fund their SL activities.  Well, we know this to be false, especially in the case of the landlords in InWorldz, who initially complained about the exchange rate change cutting into their pocket, which only applies on transfers from InWorldz back to Second Life.

Furthermore, the author of this statement claims this second point is false with the third point below. Saves me the trouble of arguing against it.

Thirdly: If Inworldz residents wanted Inworldz to be a world of only creators, stagnant with a total lack of growth, it’s economy based on residents creating and giving each other free skins, clothing, textures, sculpt maps, hair, shoes .. you get the idea and/or just create your own items, then why did the founders create a currency and a way to cash out. Oh .. Ohh .. OHHHH that means someone must have been making MONEYYYYY!

Yes, exactly, the InWorldz residents do not want a stagnant world of creators only.  Fortunately, that is not the case.  Many Second Life content creators have come to InWorldz and are making money, as this author speculates.  Many have also come only to expand into a new and growing market, investing in the future.  New content creators from Second Life are very welcome in InWorldz, and regularly praised and welcomed on the InWorldz forums.  It is a world growing tremendously quickly, first in content, then economy, and now I believe we are on the verge of a significant growth in the social side of things.  All three are critical for the long-term and continued growth of InWorldz.

I think the second and third points above contradict each other.  Also, the third point is meaningless, if it is meant as a criticism, since it fully supports the notion that there is money to be made by investing time and effort in InWorldz.  Okay, point accepted.  I agree.

Fourthly: Let’s be done with all the chest beating, the finger pointing, the name calling, the accusations, the intimidation, and the attitudes

Kinda defeats the fourth point if the first two are spent chest beating, finger-pointing, … and attitude.

To the original author, I have not seen such an unfounded, speculative and grossly incorrect article since I read a couple of Prok’s wild-ass personal attacks on people she did not know.  Congratulations on a total waste of Internet bandwidth.

By the way, it’s “I’z$”  not “IZ”.