Newbe's Steam Powered Blog

The time has come

I knew that one day I would have to come to terms with the fact that sales have always been low, but lately, my sales have been nearly non-existent. Is it the global economy? Is it that my products merely suck? Is it the particular shade of green in my logo? I expect its a combination of a number of things.

You see, things in my life have been rather hectic for some time. Whenever I think things are settling down, something comes along to stir up the mess. And what a mess it has become.

I’ve found precious little time to be in-world, so I haven’t produced any new items for a while. I have a few products that have been waiting for release, such as the rocket ship sky diving lift, the steam-powered street clock or the maniacal, mechanical monk (steam powered and capable of holding a conversation…. It learns too!), but I’ve not found time to do the finishing touches. I expect that by not continually introducing new products, my shops on OnRez and XStreetSL have become stale.

Well, imagine my surprise when I go to OnRez and find out that they’ve been purchased by the Lab. Yes, they, along with XStreetSL are now owned by Linden Lab. To boot, OnRez is shutting down on February 11th. Well, due to the number of items I have for sale, I don’t have enough prims available in my small shops for individual vendors and since XStreetSL has cancelled their in-world vendor project, well, the smaller shops must go.

Sadly, the smaller shops have accounted for the most sales. Most being a relative term. Since the downturn in the economy, I’ve seen a steady decline in the number of sales. I never broke even in-world, but at least it wasn’t costing too much. With what sales have become, I can no longer afford to keep my shops. So….

Writer Steam Works is going out of business. February 11th will be my last day. I will sell my remaining plots of land (one 1024m plot and one 512m plot in Steam SkyCity) and close my last stores.

I might still pop in from time to time, but my grand plan to sell items in order to cover the cost of selling items has turned out to be a complete failure. Much like me.

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5 thoughts on “The time has come

  1. One word I would never use to describe you is “failure” Newbe. You have been one of my closest friends inworld and I have always thought you were a talented scripter. I hate seeing my friends leaving SL due to LL’s stupidity.

    I am very very sad about this…I’m so sorry you are leaving Newbe. I am glad to have met you. Thank you for everything you have done for me as a friend and I will miss you very much.

  2. nwriter on said:

    Thank you Elle. You have always been a good friend of mine and a positive source of inspiration. And I know that I will miss you as well, but the strange this is… I already do.

    With my RL having been so hectic and stressful, I’ve found so little time to be in-world. To me, SL has been a form of escape from the dreariness of reality. It was a way to create both technically and artistically. It was a catharsis for the world-weary human at the keyboard. It was a way to express myself as I am on inside in ways my shy RL self seldom could. But most importantly, it was a way to meet interesting, talented and good people such as you.

    SL has given me the ability to meet people from around the world that I never would have had the opportunity to meet in RL. I’ve met people from all continents and to me, that is what makes life interesting: sharing experiences with people from different cultures. Work, family, school, money, self-confidence… They all conspire to ensure that we never truly have the chance to fully expand our horizons. Yet technology, for all its failings, has given me a way to surmount those challenges.

    But lately, with time being as scarce as it is and with a need to spend what little time remains with my wife, I’ve found that I’ve been unable to spend time with my friends, both in SL and in RL. I have come to miss those whose company has given me strength and inspiration. I miss sitting in the lounge, listening to some tunes and chatting.

    When my wife was in the US and I was here in Canada, I found that I would completely immerse myself in SL for hours on end. I would start a new product just because I wanted to see if I could do it. There were times when the rest of the world ceased to exist and all around me was merely prims and scripts. It was fun, not only as escapism, but also because I love to overcome a technical challenge and to expand my skills. Some might say my skills really haven’t expanded much, though.

    So I will miss you and I will miss Kheph and I will miss my other friends in SL. You two have become like family to me. You are like a sister and Kheph like a brother. You both will always be a part of me, but it will not be the same without the hanging out part.

    Once I become a vagabond without a permanent residence in-world, I will still pop by from time to time, I’m sure, but experience has shown that those times will be few and far between. We already seldom hang out anymore and I miss that. I haven’t been to an event in months. I feel like an outsider, even though I know it is all in my head.

    Thank you for the very kind words. My leaving is not all due to LL and the incessant problems plaguing the virtual world. That has played a part, but it is much more than that. My RL has played a bigger role.

    My wife has never understood my need to make things that don’t really exist. I used to spend hours online creating something new, but now I can only get maybe 10-15 minutes at a time. It’s a rare day when I can get more than that. Without time to spend in-world, I cannot get into the groove I need to start to make things happen.

    My RL job has also had an impact. The company has had some very difficult times and continues to struggle in face of the global recession. My VP has become disillusioned by the company and takes his frustration out on us. I’ve never hated a particular job as much as I do this one right now, so I’ve begun to focus my RL free time on different ventures.

    I am about (with fingers crossed) to embark on a career change that will be both creatively and finacially rewarding. It will be a tough road ahead, but to ensure I succeed, I cannot spend the time necessary in-world or my RL life will completely fall apart. That would not be good.

    The economy has also played its part. I’m sure that with financial uncertainty looming above everyone’s head that spending on products that don’t really exist has become a luxury in which many don’t wish to partake. I don’t blame them. There was a time when I didn’t mind spending on in-world tier and paying for textures, etc. That has change for me as, I’m sure, for many others around the globe.

    My sales have become a victim of the economy and my lack of time to continually create. I always wanted to make a second living in-world, but that didn’t happen. If I had remained single, perhaps I would have had the time to invest. I know many things in RL would have been less complicated, but I wouldn’t change the past for my love of my wife transcends all.

    So, I will miss you as well, but I will always be around. Perhaps one day you, Kheph and I could meet for a coffee in RL. Heck, if my latest project works out, and I have a feeling it will, I just might have to create my own virtual world.

  3. I don’t know you or your products, but I will check them out as long as I have the time for this. I know that listing items is a real pain in the rear end, and I was JUST about to list 20 new items when the news broke. I habitually list them first on OnRez as their interface is – was – better, and I was in a way thankful I did not start yet.

    You might want to have a look at apez.biz – with OnRez dying they are the number 2 in web portals AND they have pretty sophisticated vendors too AND they seem willing to jump at the opening opportunity.

    As I said, I don’t know you but what Ealdrienne writes about you is all I need to know. Take a look at Apez, and I would love to meet you in-world and discuss some sales ideas.

    Hang in there!

  4. Mr Writer, I am sorry to hear that we will be seeing less of you. I do understand how intrusive “real life” can be ;-), and I also commiserate on the countless ways in which Linden Research makes our second lives less than optimal.

    I want to encourage you to rethink the closing of Writer Steam Works, however. I have two propositions for you. I rent land in Winterfell, which is sadly underused. I have a building right on the dock near the telehub, with my paltry wares for sale. (I do have grand schemes of becoming a master bookmaker in SL.) It would be to my advantage to have some vendors from a well-known and accomplished merchant there. Aside from whether people would notice my wares, it would allow me to publicize other things, like land I have for rent in Orcadia. I would be delighted to provide prims to you in exchange for pimping the added visibility the traffic would bring my other efforts.

    Likewise, I have vacant properties on Wyre in my little village that I would be delighted to have filled, simply for the traffic. My friend nox Pinion already occupies one space on these terms, and I would be delighted to have you as well.

    Please consider my offers, and I would point out that a favorable conclusion would perhaps result in a small, but steady, stream of income against the day you are able to reenter Second Life as a frequent participant.

    Yrs, &c.

    Otenth

  5. nwriter on said:

    Thank you, Mr Paderborn and Mr Stindberg, for your words of encouragement. The decision to shut down has been a difficult one and one that I regret having made. It’s difficult to abandon one’s hopes and dreams.

    I’ve spoken with a couple other friends about my decision and they’ve convinced me that perhaps I was too hasty. I will still be scarce within SL, and I will still be shutting down my shops, but I will still be there upon occasion. More over, after scaling back (closing my outlets and selling the land that housed the Ballroom and Gallery), I just might be able to break even. Barely.

    So, for the time being, I will keep the shop in Steam SkyCity and hopefully the market will improve. If not, then when my last remaining L$ run out, I’ll have to make my retreat.

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