Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Zaara Larin Skirt & Son!a Top

I love the beautiful ethnic clothing and designs at Zaara but sometimes have difficulty working them into an outfit. I'm always elated when I find something that compliments her exquisite work. The Larin skirt from Zaara was giving me a hard time - I absolutely love it but couldn't seem to find the right top. Then I remembered the cute colorful top from Son!a I had bought long ago. Ta-da! Now I'm happy.
This RL/SL composite photo uses a background photo of the interior of a convent in Mexico.
This composite uses a background photo of a groin vault in the portico to the church of Santa Maria Maggiore at Guardiagrele in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy. Both background photos are from the Wikimedia Commons and released under a free license. The foreground snapshots and digital photo editing are by me.

Hair from LAQ
Top from Son!a
Skirt from Zaara
Prima sandals from Kalnins

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Cheap Way to Buy Land in Second Life

A friend asked me for advice on buying land in Second Life. My reply might constitute a jumping off point for discussion of ways to acquire land in Second Life without incurring prohibitive costs. Here's my fairly brief advice on buying land in Second Life:

There are lots of ways to get land - all complicated and a hassle. Also not cheap. You could rent from someone. That is cheaper in the short term. But, rentals vary wildly both in weekly rent and prim allotment/size/quality. Buying can be just as cheap as renting but is more complicated. There's two kinds of land - the mainland controlled by Linden Labs and private estates. I own a parcel on the mainland. [Ed. note I just don't even mention Homesteads]

What I did was get a Premium account for $72/year. You can read about the account plans at http://secondlife.com/whatis/plans.php A premium account gets you benefits one of which is 512 sq m of land you can buy "tier free" meaning you pay no monthly fees. You also get 1000L signup bonus and 300L per week stipend. So, it works out cheaper than the alternative which is free basic account and leasing private land. But private islands are way way nicer than the mainland.

Here's the cost breakdown of what I am doing:
(assuming 250L = $1.00)

Premium membership $72 per year = 18,000L per year
Signup bonus (first year only)              -  1,000L first year
Weekly stipend 300L/wk                     - 15,600L every year

Net cost of Premium account = 1400L/year or $5.60 the first year & $9.60 subsequent years.

That is a generous estimate. The actual exchange rate is more like 260L per $1 and then when you want to turn your Lindens into US dollars there is a fee. So, it works out to be a bit more. Still, under $10 per year for the right to buy 512 sq meters. Then you have to find the land you want either at auction or resale. I don't know how much 512 goes for now but probably a few more bucks like maybe $5 but that is a one time cost as long as you maintain your Premium account.

The other thing wrong with my cost analysis is it assumes you cash out your Lindens. Actually you end up spending them on clothes and cool gadgets :)

That's my intro to buying land in Second Life on the cheap. I might also add it is possible to find Premium account holders who are also private estate owners/renters - those folks don't need their 512 sq m mainland tier allotment. If a mutually beneficial agreement can be reached, private estate Premium accounts can join a group land purchase and deed their 512 sq m to the group thus increasing the amount of tier free mainland available for purchase. The key words in that last sentence are "mutually beneficial" and "tier free".

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