In this blog post I will be talking about Ad Farming. As with my previous post, I’d like to then move the discussion into the forums so that as many of you as possible can give us your opinion.
Please keep in mind that this post is about the Linden Mainland, and does not apply to private islands where the estate owners choose how they wish to run their own estates.
So flex those typing fingers and join me after the cut..
In recent months we have had a large amount of feedback about the need to improve the Mainland experience. We have listened and we agree. There will be a number of phases to this work that will include policy changes, land recycling, zoning and urban regeneration programs. The DPW was the first step, and the next step is to tackle ad farming. After my previous post you gave us a lot of input about advertising. You made it clear that this is the most urgent issue right now.
Back when the Mainland began there were very few restrictions, driving creativity and adding a little chaos to the mix, but as in the real world, a lack of controls can lead to misuse. Unsightly advertising rapidly spread across the Mainland causing the situation we see today, with some kinds of advertising driving down land values and adversely affecting the majority of residents. We need to remove the bad forms of advertising whilst encouraging and controlling responsible forms of advertising, just as city planners do in the real world.
The good news therefore, is that Network advertising (Ad Farming) will no longer be permitted on the Linden Mainland unless you have a written agreement with Linden Lab (essentially meaning a license to advertise). Anyone currently operating such a business inworld will need to remove their adverts by the 1st October 2008.
By Network advertising we are specifically referring to the practice of using many parcels over multiple regions, especially small micro parcels where the predominant purpose of the land is to hold advertising. In the vast majority of cases we believe it will be very clear whether a particular use is a violation or not but we will provide a way for people to appeal and discuss their own case with us before any action is taken. We will assess any edge cases as we encounter them.
You’ll note that I’ve mentioned Licensing. I’d hope that most of you will agree that advertising itself is not the bad guy here, the issue has been with the way in which advertising has been done and the excessive number of adverts. There are lots of positive forms of advertising already inworld that are no problem at all, from the signs you place above your own stores to the club owner that will place your ad on the wall behind the bar for a fee. Besides, much of what we call Ad Farming is not genuine advertising at all, but geared more towards selling the parcel.
So, whilst we are no longer going to allow Ad Farming, we accept that there may be genuine advertisers who wish to operate on the Mainland and are prepared to sign a license with us to do so. The idea here, is that where we do allow a small amount of network advertising to take place, it is highly controlled, low impact and managed responsibly. Licensee’s will be limited in number, capped to a specific number of advert locations and with strict rules about how their adverts look. No more spinning, floating cubes, no more unsolicited notecard givers, no more improper use of ban lines.
We will provide more information on the license process and terms very soon, we hope to finalise them as soon as possible. Here is where you come in..
Please let us know what you think, we’d like your opinions on what licensed advertisers should and should not be allowed to do on the Mainland. Adverts as light sources? How high is too high and when is an advert too large? We would really appreciate your feedback as an aid to us finalising the terms themselves. As with my previous post comments are not enabled, so please head over to this forum thread to let us know what you think. We may not reply to all the posts, but we will read every one of them.
Your feedback was clear, and we’re pleased to make this change to improve the Mainland for everyone. ‘Ad Farming’ will no longer be allowed on the Linden Mainland.