Kitely pricing confuses; Zetamex steps up to cloud

I understand that virtual worlds are a new thing, and that companies need to experiment with business models and pricing structures to see what fits the market best.

And I’m totally in favor of lowering prices, simplifying pricing structures, or providing more options for customers.

But I don’t understand where Kitely is going with its announced set of pricing changes.

Maybe I’m not really understanding this well, but it seems that Kitely is eliminating the free plan, getting rid of plans where visitors pay for their own access, and expanding the flat-rate pricing options.

The problem is that Kitely started out with the assumption that the current virtual world pricing system is fundamentally unfair. People who enjoy a virtual world typically don’t have to pay anything to visit it, while region owners pay the same amount regardless of whether their region is used only a little bit each month, or a lot. Kitely’s original pricing structure was an attempt to set things right. Just having a region cost almost nothing, while everyone paid for the time they spent in-world.

This was a simple and fair system, but, in practice, didn’t work particularly well. People would rather pay for land and content than time. Customers would rather pay extra than have to deal with keeping track of how many minutes they use — something long distance telephone companies learned a long time ago, and mobile carriers are still catching on to.

Kitely's new Welcome Center. (Image courtesy Kitely.)

Kitely’s new Welcome Center. (Image courtesy Kitely.)

Some people liked the system, however. It’s great for creators building warehouses for goods that they sell elsewhere. It’s great for schools and other groups that use their virtual regions intermittently. And it’s great for museums and other organizations that want to be able to put up a low-cost region, and let visitors pay for their own access.

But everyone else wants to pay a flat price, get a region, and then not have to worry about how much time they spend in world, or how many people visit their build.

So a little over a year ago, Kitely added flat-rate regions, starting at $40 a month for 100,000 prims.

It was a reasonable price for high-performance regions. But it added a new layer of complexity for both visitors and land owners. For land owners, they could now choose between having just one free region that other people would pay to access, renting on-demand regions and paying for just their own usage, renting on-demand regions and paying for other people to access them as well, or renting flat-rate regions that everyone could access at no additional cost to anyone.

And visitors had to figure out if the region they wanted to visit was one of those that charged visitors for their time, or a region where the owner paid for the time out of their own pocket, or a flat-rate region.  With the advent of hypergrid access next year, the situation would be getting only more complicated.

I don’t see how Kitely’s proposed new pricing structure makes things easier.

I’m not the only one.

Renee Miller — known as Ener Hax in-world — has been using Kitely to host her 16-region Enclave Harbour build, a science resource meant to be used in conjunction with educational workbooks. She also has a few other builds up on Kitely, that anyone can visit at no charge. She pays $35 a month, which allows her unlimited time to spend in-world, and gives her 20 regions — 16 for the Enclave Harbor, and four others to play with.

But she’s confused about what will happen under the new pricing structure, especially if she decides to open Enclave Harbour to visitors.

Would she have to pony up for the $100-a-month fixed rate plan for the 16 regions? Pay for the time that visitors spend in world? Or require visitors to get their own $19.95 “Premium” subscriptions before they can visit?

“I know enough about the publishing world to know that we won’t sell enough workbooks to cover people’s minutes or the $100 plan,” she said. “So with Kitely’s new model, we may completely abandon them.”

Clash of models

The way I see it, is that Kitely is trying to simultaneously embrace two different business models with one product.

Perhaps it’s time to simply switch over completely to flat-rate pricing, or set up two separate grids — one flat-rate, one time-based.

Or, taking this idea a step further, go all the way and become a hosting company.

Kitely already runs like a hosting company in many ways, rather than like a traditional commercial social grid. Most commercial grids, for example, have a certain percentage of land area owned by the grid itself, for welcome and meeting areas, freebie malls, residential areas with free or low-cost land plots, and open landscape. Most commercial grids also have dedicated staff working on community development, events, and outreach.

Lately, Kitely residents have been getting together and building a welcome area, creating a mentors’ group, and otherwise developing a community, but it’s taken a couple of years to get to this point. On most other grids, community-building is the first owner of business for the founders.

Even Kitely’s home page looks more like that of a hosting company than a grid. Grid websites typically feature attractive images of people enjoying in-world amenities and announcements for upcoming events, while urging visitors to sign up for a free account and visit the grid. Kitely’s home page calls on visitors to get their “own virtual worlds,” with a choice of pricing options.

If you didn’t know that what Kitely calls “worlds” are actually regions on a grid, you might, in fact, get the impression that Kitely was a hosting company and a not a grid.

Zetamex embraces the cloud

Meanwhile, speaking of hosting companies, another one is embracing the cloud — Zetamex. Which uses “Build your own worlds” as a tagline, but, in this case, Zetamex actually means worlds — the company offers white-label hosting for commercial grids.

Starting next year, Zetamex plans to expand its use of the cloud, offering always-on setups starting at $20 a month for four regions, 30,000 prims and up to 50 simultaneous users.

Prices go up to $80 a month for 16 regions and 120,000 prims — more prims and a lower price than the equivalent from Kitely. Plus, the regions are never suspended when empty, meaning that visitors can teleport in without having to wait for the regions to boot up.

“We been planning this for a long time, and we been testing our butts off on this technology and we are happy to say that the beginning of the year we are finally going to bring affordable cloud hosting to every grid that wants it and everyone who wants it,” said Zetamex CEO Timothy Rogers in an announcement yesterday.

One reason that Zetamex is able to keep prices so low is that it uses traditional, low-cost dedicated servers in conjunction with the cloud to get the biggest bang for the buck. This required the company to look beyond Amazon, Rogers explained.

“We are now with a few different providers that have insanely reasonable cloud servers and pricing, and setups that make since,” he said. “A year ago, cloud hosting was a bit crazy, but now other companies are making it make more sense for always-on usage.”

 

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • ciaranlaval

    Nothing should change for Ener, Gold and Silver options are being grandfathered in.

    The free model is not going away, it is becoming known as the basic account. The concept of how time is going to be measured is going to change. Ilan tells me that more will be revealed in the new year.

    I do think it would have been better had they announced all the changes at the same time.

    Personally I think that having the fixed price or time based options are good. Telephone companies have restrictions on their plans, I get evening and weekend calls, I pay on week days. Mobile phone companies have umpteen different options on number of calls, free minutes and text messages.

    However maybe people aren’t easily able to track their usage or find it too restrictive.

    I’m sure Ilan will explain more.

    • thanks ciaran, but it seems that our model where new free accounts have 2 hours a month is no longer an option. no one in our target user group will sign up for a monthly subscription but they might pay $5 for an extra 1000 minutes

      the science field trips use OpenSim to illustrate science concepts – 3D pictures if you like

      the book walks them through the desalination plant and has questions, diagrams to label, and science concepts (like osmosis)

      our customers need the lowest entry barriers possible – like shopping on Amazon without being a Prime member

      • ciaranlaval

        When I interviewed Ilan recently I asked him about what will happen to the free plan and he said:

        “The Free Plan will be discontinued. The Regular Account that will replace it will also include 1 free Metered region (what is now called time-based billing region) but will not include the free time quota that you have now. What will replace that will be announced on Jan 1.”

        So more details in a week and a half hopefully. However in the discussion over at SLUniverse Ilan has made positive noises about the ability of free accounts to explore Kitely, in one post he said:

        “The Free Plan will be replaced with a Regular Account, which will continue to offer 1 free time-based billing (Metered) region. The concept of time will be changing in a way we haven’t announced yet so I can’t address that part of the changes yet other than to say people will no longer need to be afraid they’ll be charged for visiting other people’s worlds. The goal is to enable people who don’t own land to be able to use Kitely without taking out their wallet.”

        So hopefully it will work out for you Ener.

        • Hi Ciaran,

          Please see my reply to Maria. People visiting other peoples Kitely worlds will never have to spend anything to do so – just like in regions in other grids.

          People who own land will need to pay for it, they will have the option of a fixed-price per world or paying per use. If they choose to pay per use then they, not someone else, gets charged when people use that world. Again, just like in any other grid.

          The only exception is that people on Premium Accounts don’t get charged by our system for time they spend inworld. This means that they won’t get charged for time they spend inside their own Metered worlds and other people won’t get charged when Premium Account members visit their Metered worlds. A group of Premium Account members can therefore get a lot of Metered regions for which none of them get charged for each other’s visits. Combined with our easy-to-use world access controls this enables scenarios where people pay a lot less than they can anywhere else for the same amount of land / prims / avatars, etc.

          People who find that confusing can just stick with using our upcoming fixed-price world deals. In any case, if you can access someone else’s world then you won’t need to care how that person is paying for that world – whether it is fixed-price or Metered your own access to that other person’s world will be free for you.

          • ciaranlaval

            Hi Ilan,

            If the regular account has no free time period, how is someone on a regular account going to be able to access their own free world? Will they have some free time there?

          • Inara Pey

            Already answered. They purchase KCs and use them for their time in their own world. $5.00 purchases 1,000 KC – or up to a little over 16.5 hours in-world a month (depending whether or not they are using KCs for in-world purchases).

            $20.00 buys 5,000 KCs or up to just over 83 hours in-world a month – or across a number of months.

            And, of course, there is the option of buying KCs in 5,000 “packs”.

            So options come down to how much time people are going to be spending in-world a month, how much they want to spend, and where the break-point between using KCs and opting for a Premium account comes.

            The only element of off-putting this may create is those who can currently access Kitely for a specific “special event” – such as the eductional elements Ener refers to. They may not wich to purchase KCs which will not otherwise be used, and may not necessarily have a PayPal account – which is currently the only means of paying for KCs (and is something I personally find limiting). And if they are unwilling / unable to pay for KCs, the world holder faces the bill, which could be restrictive.

            (ETA to re-add last sentence, which appears to have been chopped when first posting.)

          • ciaranlaval

            That makes the concept of the free sim a bit of a misnomer if people can’t use it without making a purchase of KC’s.

          • Hi Ciaran,

            What would you call a region with 100,000 prims that can have up to 100 concurrent avatars inside it 24/7 and doesn’t cost the world manager anything to host? I think that the word Free is quite an adequate description. 🙂

            The fact that the people who can visit this world must be Premium Account members for the world manager to be able to get that type of deal without paying for it doesn’t make it any less free.

          • ciaranlaval

            I’m sorry Ilan but if the situation is as Inara describes, that the world manager needs to purchase KC’s to visit their own world then it’s not free. They won’t even be able to make an initial build if they have no free hours at all.

            Personally I think that’s something that needs to be looked at, even if you only allow them two hours a month free time on their own world or you should change the wording to reflect that the hosting is free but access isn’t..

          • Hi Ciaran,

            Please see my previous reply, about people being able to create the Metered world and start using it for free using the set number of hours we give them when they create a new account.

            Let’s compare the existing free account/plan option and the new one:

            Our existing Free Plan includes 1 Metered region supporting up to 100K prims and 100 avatars, 6 free hours worth of personal minutes on the first month, and 2 free hours worth of personal minutes per month after that.

            The new Regular Account includes 1 Metered region supporting up to 100K prims and 100 avatars, X free hours worth of personal minutes to use in your Metered world (they don’t expire at the end of the month like the current minutes do) and no free hours worth of personal minutes per month after that.

            As you can see, the main difference here is how much time you have after your first free time allotment. Both cases provide you with free hours to start your build.

          • ciaranlaval

            Thanks for clarifying that there will be free mintues initally Ilan, that was the concept I was having difficulty with.

          • New users will get a certain number of hours to use their free Metered region before being required to pay to get additional Kitely Credits, upgrade to a Premium Account, or switch their Metered world to a fixed-price payment option.

            In other words, new users will still be able to create a new account and immediately get the same type of world they’ve always gotten on Kitely, they just won’t have additional free time added to their account every month. If they want more time they’ll need to pay for it.

      • Hi Ener,

        I’m sorry but the option for people to pay their own way in other people’s worlds a-la-carte is being discontinued. That said, people can still pay their own way in other people’s worlds by upgrading to the Premium Account (a fixed monthly price) and thus stopping us from billing anyone for the time they spend inworld.

        We’re discontinuing this pay-as-you-go option as not many people bought KC just to visit other people’s worlds and we just ended up subsidizing the server time for all those 2 hours/month Free Plan users. People who want their own worlds have bought KC for time but most often than not they ended up quickly upgrading to one of our premium plans. Meanwhile the existence of this option scared away people who were afraid they’ll get charged for visiting other people’s worlds.

        With this option gone, and ignoring the new simplified Metered world option, our billing becomes similar to how other companies bill region/world owners. The main difference being that our on-demand system enables us to provide sims with a lot more server resources than they can get for similar prices with providers that need to reserve server resources for all the sims they host even when no one is actually using them.

  • Hi Maria,

    First, a Kitely world is a private island on the Kitely grid which is between 1 and 16 regions in size. Most Kitely grid services are cloud based so they don’t stress the server running the sim and Kitely users have access to the many value-added services we provide. There is a growing Kitely user community but most people come to Kitely to get their own virtual world.

    The new plan is very simple. If you are visiting someone else’s world it doesn’t cost you anything and you aren’t limited by time, just like in other grids. If you have your own world then, like in other grids, you pay for it. That payment can be in the form of a fixed price per month for a world with a certain amount of resource allocation or it can be for a world that uses a pay-per-use (Metered) model. You can mix and match to have some worlds that are fixed-price and some that are Metered.

    If you select to create a Metered world then you get charged for the time Regular Account members spend inside your world (including for your own time in that world if you’re on the Regular Account). People who are on Premium Accounts, however, are not billed for time so they can spend as much time as they want in their own world for free and they can visit other people’s Metered worlds without it costing those other people money.

    Premium Account membership also comes with the benefit of getting 5 Metered regions (for use in creating Metered worlds) without being charged the Metered worlds’ standard world storage fee.

    In other words, either choose one of 3 fixed-price options or select an option to pay-per-use. This really isn’t rocket science. 🙂

    Regarding your comparison of Kitely and Zetamex (Timothy’s company)

    If you’re making comparisons then maybe provide some details on what cloud computing provider Timothy will be using where he can afford to keep sims always on with that amount of resources? Is he placing a lot of simulators on each server? Is he using very low-end servers that cost less? Just a month ago Timothy came out claiming that he wouldn’t use cloud computing because it costs more than dedicated servers so how exactly is he going to start offering it for a lower cost than his non-cloud, dedicated server-based offering? http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2013/11/should-you-host-on-the-amazon-cloud/

    Kitely uses the same California-based Amazon cloud-computing datacenter that is used by the world’s most successful Internet companies. What provider is Timothy using? Each Kitely world can get up to a full Large EC2 Instance: multi-core, 7.5GB memory, 1 Gigabit network connection. What is the resource allocation for each of Timothy’s always-on cloud-based sims?

    Do I really need to point out the difference in backend capabilities provided by both companies? Timothy stating he’ll keep servers always-on using the cloud with that many resources means he needs to run them on very inexpensive cloud based hardware – providing much lower performance than you get on Kitely. Kitely also developed various optimized cloud-based systems (such as our Advanced Inventory and Assets systems) that provide much better performance than the regular OpenSim systems that are used by other OpenSim hosting companies.

    Cloud computing costs more if you’re always on, not less. If he’s providing lower costs then he’s either using cheaper hardware or using expensive hardware but either time sharing it (which he isn’t doing as he claims the sims are always-on) or space sharing it (placing many sims on each server thus giving each sim a small part of the server’s resources). That should be reported as well. Leaving a comparison as if Timothy provides more than Kitely does for less money is misinforming your readers.

    If Ener decides to move her 16-region world from Kitely to Timothy’s hosting company to save 20% off her monthly hosting cost then we’d be sad to see her go. Timothy doesn’t provide the same level of performance or have the expertise Kitely has to fix serious software-related problems that require more than just changing OpenSim configuration files or using open-source projects that other people have developed. Timothy developed his company’s web-based control panel. That isn’t the same as solving the complex OpenSim multi-threading and memory bugs that Kitely, Intel, MOSES and other organizations with experienced server developers handle on a daily basis. If something bad happens Ener will do well to be with a company that can fix hard OpenSim bugs and not have to rely on others to contribute patches for them.

    The comparison is very lacking: Kitely’s existing prices to Zetamex’s future ones; (Kitely) a company automatically dedicating a lot of server resources to running sims to (Zetamex) a company that provides each sim with a lot less server resources; (Kitely) a company with developers who’ve contributed a lot of code to OpenSim and is run by people who’ve been at it since 2008 to (Zetamex) a company lacking such technological expertise and that is run by a person that has opened and closed OpenSim hosting companies multiple times in the last couple of years.

    Kitely has been developing a cloud-based solution for more than 5 years now and still occasionally encounters problems it hasn’t already fixed. Comparing our existing soon-to-be-cheaper offering with the future untested offering of a company that just last month said cloud-computing wasn’t adequate for what it is doing doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

    • hack13

      I do apologize, but I believe you miss read our page but every cloud simulator purchased gets its very own isolated cloud server meaning 1 per cloud server no more. So kinda like having your very own dedicated little server in the cloud per simulator.

      Though I don’t know what you mean by us opening and closing several hosting companies? We haven’t changed companies once, we started out hosting a grid in 2010 but failed due to medical issues of some of our staff. We then started SoftPaw Host which evolved into Zetamex we never closed SoftPaw Host, only rebranded as it made people feel we were furry only with the old name.

      • Hi Timothy,

        Using a cheap virtual private server (VPS), which is what you’ve
        described your using for your solution isn’t the same as
        having a dedicated server for each simulator. Each virtual private server is actually sharing a real physical server with many other virtual private servers. In other words, instead of running multiple simulators per physical server you’re running multiple virtual private servers per physical server and placing one OpenSim instance inside each one of them.

        You say you aren’t using tier 1 cloud computing providers such as Amazon (which is what Kitely uses) but still, please show me a reputable datacenter that will provide you with enough resources for a VPS to run your claimed “four regions, 30,000 prims and up to 50 simultaneous users” for $20/month. How many dedicated CPU cores are you getting for each such VPS and how much dedicated memory? On what type of physical server? How many other VPSs is that server hosting?

        I VERY much doubt you can run what you promise on any VPS deal I’ve seen offered by any reliable cloud computing provider.

        • hack13

          Hello Illan,

          I do apologize that you don’t believe us. But I guess you just like everyone else will have to wait and see it to believe it. I am not going to tell you anything to satisfy your cravings into our secrets, but we assure you we are with a company that owns datacenters around the world. To them, if you called them cheap they might be hurt by that, but that is on you.

          I am not going to sit here and defend myself with words, but let when it comes out be shown through the hard work me and my staff did to achieve this goal. Also it is not a VPS, it is truly a cloud system, that is fully movable between datacenters, servers, and more floating just like Amazon.

          Anyways, keep in mind this is Maria’s article and not ours. We are not out to compete with any grid, host, etc directly. We are only out to provide the best for our clients, and so far we have seen all the love our clients have for us. So that is our motivation, we never use anything second par. We wish all grids the best success in everything they do, also enjoy the holidays you celebrate in Israel and your religion. It is the season about family and friends, and not confrontation.

          • Hi Timothy,

            I called the VPS plan cheap as they are charging you no more than $20/month for it or you wouldn’t be offering this package for $20/month.The datacenter you’re using is not losing money on you and if they are as big as you claim they are they wouldn’t bother providing a special deal to you when you host just a few dozen servers (last month you claimed to be running only 20 servers).

            There are market rates for VPS deals, people can Google them and see what type of VPS they can get for $20/month. If you claim they are not just VPSs then they should cost you more than the available VPS deals. In other words, you can get less server resources for $20/month with a cloud computing provider than with a VPS provider.

            As a type of hosting provider you owe it to your customers, not to me, to be transparent about where exactly their simulators will be located and the fine details of what servers and configuration they will be hosted on.

            That is what we do, that is what other serious hosting providers do and I suggest you start doing the same.

        • Samantha Atkins

          Yes. I tried one of the VPS units tying it into osgrid. It “worked” but was much less stable in fps and lag than a regular EC2 instance, even a smaller one.

  • Sherrie Melody

    “$20 a month for four regions, 30,000 prims and up to 50 simultaneous users” From his blog entry on blog.zetamex.com, those are max values that are negatively impacted by script resource usage. So, depending on how much script time you use, it looks like prim and user allowances can be dramatically reduced. The max RAM allocation I could find for existing zetamex services was for the currently $85/month 1-16 region/40 avatars at 3072mb RAM, significantly less than half that currently provided by Kitely.
    It would be hard to do any real comparison at this point. Zetamex indicated in their blog post that there will be a “large” setup fee in order to get the low monthly fees.
    Kitely has yet to tell us what their new fixed price plans are going to consist of (prim allowance and avatar allowance wise) and what the costs will be. However they have said that the new plans will be cheaper than their current fixed price plans, and that the prim/avatar allowances will be reduced.

    • Guest

      Scripts in Kitley need to work in every region like in SL before it becomes a great place to be!

    • Lucy Day

      But Sherrie, from what I have heard, scripts don’t always work in all regions of Kitely…you cannot compare anything until that issue is resolved! From reading the forums, I see that this issue has still not been fixed,

      • Scripts that take into consideration the fact that they’re running in megaregions work just fine. Scripts that assume the region ends at 256m can also work if you set the world to not use Advanced Megaregion mode (which can be easily done via the web-based control panel).

        • Lucy Day

          Sorry Ilan, have been there done that, have a friend that still can’t have others run scripts on his land and he has been asking for help for months to no avail! He has asked you for help several times.

          • At this point its quite clear from your other comments that you have some, not so hidden, agenda against Kitely. So you’ll forgive me if I stop addressing your comments. When you start providing actual links, names, etc. I can look into then I’ll be able to address the facts that are relevant to your questions, comments, and remarks.

          • Lucy Day

            I have no hidden agenda and I’m not the only one that feels this way. Don’t worry Ilan, I sent your link. I am only addressing facts and it’s to bad you don’t actually listen. This is the only place that people can actually make a comment without the “gang” jumping on everything. Don’t worry I will stop now, I have made my point and as usual, it’s not really going to go anywhere.
            Oh and tell your bunch to not bother coming in for attack, save it for the poor unsuspecting Kitely members that post in your forums!!!

          • You got into an argument with some other Kitely users in the forums and now created this alias to attack me because I didn’t side with you in that argument. I can easily provide a link to that argument and point out the identity you used. The only reason I’m not doing so is because of your PM request that I not out you. Your lashing out is not helping your cause. If you have an issue with people in our forums then please take it up with them directly.

          • Lucy Day

            Okay, I was Catya Smith in the Kitely game, which is now closed down, as I requested. I did create an alt, but not to come in here and but not for the reasons you are insinuating and you know that. So out me if you want! I am not attacking you because you didn’t side with me, I am not attacking you at all. You never side with anyone anyways, unless they are from your group and I learned that early on!
            When I saw the posts above and how you reacted to people’s comments about the article, it made me realize that not only are the people that man the forums in Kitely bullies, but you are too! No one is allowed to have an opinion or they are jumped on and made to feel like they should say sorry Ilan.
            As one poster suggested, you really do need to hire some people that can manage things, how you deal with people is very unprofessional!
            Don’t worry Ilan, as usual, I will let you get the last word in, because if I don’t, I know this will keep going for days…I have seen it in your other confrontations with people.
            Have a great holiday!!!

          • Have a peaceful and confrontation-free life as well Catya 🙂

          • Hadenuf

            You’re not alone, Many of us see right through the nonsense going on in Kitley.

  • Mee

    I think I am getting to grips with the pricing system and what will be will be. I do have a quick question that is a little off subject though. One of the things that made Kitely stand out to me was the ease of signing up, getting inworld and visiting other regions with the viewer launch plugin, but I have noticed this is now not working. So my question is will this be coming back and if so when?

    • Hi Mee 🙂

      We used to offer Kitely Plugin, a browser plugin that would
      automatically launch a virtual world viewer and log you into Kitely when
      you pressed the Enter World button in a World Page. Unfortunately, by
      January 2014 both the Firefox browser and the Chrome browser will stop
      allowing such plugins to be used. Therefore we were forced to switch
      from providing an automated login option to using manual login (like other grids use). We won’t be able to get Kitely Plugin to work again unless Google and Mozilla change their browsers to allow such plugins to work again.

      Please note that the login flow from world pages hasn’t changed. You
      can still press the Enter World button to enter a world, and you’ll
      either be logged-in (if you’re currently offline), or be teleported into
      the world if you’re already logged into the Kitely grid. The only
      difference is that now you have to start the viewer manually and press
      the login button inside it; it won’t be started for you automatically.

    • I loved the plugin, too. Configuring the viewer is one of the obstacles to getting people into OpenSim, and Kitely’s plugin was a big step forward.

      My ideal solution would be to have a web-based viewer. Even a temporary, stop-gap measure like the SpotOn3D plugin is better than nothing.

      • Unless SpotOn3D are hacking the browser in unsupported ways, their browser plugin will soon stop working on Firefox and Chrome as well. If they are hacking the browser their plugin will likely be added to antivirus companies’ malware lists.

  • nikita

    Thanks Maria, this was a very good commentary and it is very good that their is growing development like zetamex for those of us who might not like the kitely business model/management style or agree with kitely recent policy of forcing creators to censor the creations they make incase a child buys an adult skin that’s shifting the responsibilities away from those responsible for supervising children in their care and loads it up on the seller
    I think the move is very self destructive and will make the marketplace further unattractive that will stop creators from setting up shop on kitely marketplace less diverse offerings that all has a trickle effect all the way down

    while sure the marketplace is growing its nothing like it could have been if
    just some common practices had been applied in the beginning like paying an underwriter to cover losses on marketplace had they occurred due to chargebacks while allowing sellers to cash out much sooner then you have the difference between listings for cash or credits it confuses the buyer

    Ilan looking over the shoulders of sellers nit picking each ad they list plus forcing them to list variations in one ad not a choice but forcing them otherwise its seen as spam can be very discouraging as many have came wanting to help only to find an over aggressive hands on business management style that some might find ok and like having a daddy like figure help guide them while others would prefer not as a seller and adult being forced to worry about some schools unsupervised children

    I would suggest Ilan invest in some customer service staff who can really be that middle cushion in situations were his ideas of good business practices fly past reality and even common sense if this is an exaggeration then talk to the owner and mods of the SLUniverse forum

    while this is no moral judgement against Ilan he can be very charming man my feelings as a departed customer my views yes its the kitely marketplace but it will never be the open sim marketplace dreamed of now it will only fuel more copybotting as people search for more options

    If you want to really have a business roadmap that takes you higher then stop being a Preston Tucker

    Just my commentary and opinion i thought i might add maria if its ok with Ilan ?

    • Hi nikita,

      I’m sorry for your personal experience with the Kitely Market. I
      contacted you repeatedly about issues that I didn’t need to address with
      most other merchants.

      I’d like to address your comments about things you didn’t like:

      First, Kitely Market is used by supervised children, unsupervised
      teens, educators, people who need virtual items for work, …, and by
      adults looking for adult items for adult activities. In order to cater
      to all these various groups we need to make sure that products are
      listed using the correct Maturity Rating. People looking to buy
      General-rated items, which should be family safe and appropriate for the
      work place, shouldn’t be surprised by getting an avatar with a naked
      skin. It has nothing to do with children using the system and everything
      to do with products complying with the standards that are expected by
      each Maturity rating. People who want naked skins can find them in the
      Adult category, having Moderate and General not include such items
      doesn’t prevent adults from doing adult things.

      In order to make sure buyers get what they expect we need to make
      sure that merchants who list items that include adult content change
      their product’s Maturity rating to indicate the true nature of the items
      they sell.

      Kitely Market includes a feature for listing multiple similar items
      inside one product listing. This enables us to save people from having
      to browse through many different color variations of the same shirt
      before seeing a different shirt in their search results. This also
      enables people looking at one product variation to easily see all the
      other available variations of the same product. Adding another variation
      to an existing product listing takes less time then adding a new
      product listing. Enforcing the use of the variation feature makes Kitely
      Market much easier for buyers to use than other marketplaces and
      enables more merchants to have their goods presented when people get search results. Merchants that list the same product in multiple
      separate product listings instead of as variations in the same product
      listing ruin the experience for buyers and gain an unfair advantage over
      merchants that actually follow the product listing guidelines. We
      therefore act to enforce the use of this feature when people list
      variations of the same item instead of leaving it to merchants to act in
      their own self interest and make Kitely Market less usable for everyone
      else.

      Kitely Market’s 45 day real-money withholding period is inline with
      the 30-60 day withholding period that most online marketplaces that deal
      with real currencies use. Using an underwriter to offset the cost of
      fraud means increasing sales commissions to pay the underwriter. Most
      merchants prefer to wait than to earn less from their sales.

      Merchants that want to earn real money simply list their items for US
      dollars instead of listing them for Kitely Credits. There are quite a
      few merchants who’ve made a good profit doing so. There isn’t anything
      conceptually complicated in listing your items using the currency you
      want to get when people buy them. If you don’t want Kitely Credits then
      don’t sell items for Kitely Credits. 🙂

    • Lucy Day

      I totally agree with you Nikita

  • Savino van Meirhaeghe

    oh yeah a war in opensim price’s Zetamex Versus kitley …i giggles as i see all this silly talkings. and yes kitley give me headache all this changes..and kitley is not a grid she can never are a grid never or never…. as regions are alle time Down and up….
    i give it more as kitleyCloud…as you walk out is this region gone so simple…
    and now Zetamex how it go fight back this will i see in this next future in 2014.
    hugs
    savino

    • Guest

      Business is Business folks and they will change to what is needed for their business model. You all know how quick technology changes! They have to adapt and adjust to save money and to offer their customers ‘better’ deals if at all possible.

      Customer feedback is essential to any business so you can improve and do better, but no need to slam someone for growing pains or learning from past mistakes, that’s how we all grow. Think about it 🙂 (Andress R)

      • Merrie Schonbach

        Acck Savino this was not meant to be a reply to your posting but in the general discussion column..so sorry!

        • Savino van Meirhaeghe

          not problem 😉
          hugs
          savino

  • Danko Whitfield

    It’s funny to me that the most common criticism I hear when a virtual world company announces a service is: “Oh that’s just like such and such a grid.” In other words, it’s been done so it’s not good, it’s bad. But then when a company, like Kitely, comes along and does something differently, the criticism is: “How come they don’t do it like everybody else?”

    At a time when overall business strategy is to give customers more options, I continue to be surprised by the negative reaction people have when Kitely does just that.

    From a PR standpoint, it would be better for Kitely to announce everything about their pricing overhaul at once, rather than in two separate announcements, two or three weeks apart. However, Kitely knows this too and I’m sure they would like to do it all at once but can’t pull that off logistically so it has to be in stages. As the two stages are only a couple weeks apart, I think we’ll all survive while we wait
    to hear the rest of it.

    For those who just can’t wait – if they really were interested in this info, they could have had it already – the discussions about what the new pricing structure should be was conducted at public meetings – not “announced” but rather ”discussed” – users were asked for their input on this. (Can you imagine that happening on other grids? “We’re going to have to change our pricing structure to make it easier for people to understand…what do you users think we should do? What should be included?” I can’t assume that no grid has ever done that but I have the distinct feeling that if I were to count on one hand the number of times the above question has been asked in virtual worlds, I won’t have to use all my fingers.)

    But I can wait for the rest of the plan to be announced, so I haven’t been paying close attention. However, even without doing so I have picked up on Ilan’s comment – I think it was in the Kitely forums but it might have been in public comments elsewhere – that the new fixed-pricing will include an option that is less expensive than the current fixed-pricing and is very competitive with other grids.

    Kitely has explained that their overall emphasis with their pricing changes is to make it so people don’t have to “worry about their minutes.” Since this minutes thing has been a big complaint for non-Kitely users, I would think people would be welcoming the change.

    While there are several uses for virtual worlds that are common, there are many other ways to use VW. Therefore, a pricing system for any commercial grid or host will be fine with most people but won’t work the same exact way for everyone – especially for those with less common approaches. Some in that grouping will be able to get more bang for their buck than the average user while others will not be able to meet their needs with that very same pricing system.

    That is why giving more options in your pricing structure is smart business…while having easy to understand basic or regular plans is also smart. So it makes sense to do both. To me, it looks like that is what Kitely is doing.

    Will people still be confused? Yes, those who don’t read the whole thing, will be confused. I know so many people who were scared off by Kitely’s old pricing system – especially by the whole minutes thing. Had they taken time to read the whole thing they would have seen they were worried about nothing. These people missed out on the biggest savings of the virtual lives.

    Unfortunately, Kitely has to dumb it down now. But it’s in their best interests to do so, so they are. They are doing what people have asked them to do. They are responding to the biggest complaints people have had.

    And yet everybody still complains.

    What the hell is the matter with you people?

    • Lucy Day

      “Kitely has to dumb it down now” you totally summed up the whole problem with Kitely….ATTITUDE of the people in the forums and the game! Hold on, I will throw you a shovel…you and your buddies are burying this game with your attitude…all anyone has to do is read the forums to see this!

  • Danko Whitfield

    It makes one literally laugh out loud to read the comment from Zetamex, “We been planning this for a long time…” when just last month, he posted a blog article called, “Why I Don’t Use The Cloud” and dissed those that use it.

    He promoted that article on Google+ which led people who obviously know much more about the cloud than he does to comment on what he wrote. And, as he usually does, he ran away like a scared rabbit from the claims he made in his post.

    Obviously, these people proved to him that he was completely wrong about cloud hosting – to the point that he investigated it all over again, did an about face and determined it was not a bad idea as he had claimed but a very good idea…so good, he would adopt it himself.

    Now, in a cya approach, he pretends he’s been planning to do this all along.

    The only way that can be true, is if his column from just last month was a complete lie or hoax. Or maybe it was a joke and I just didn’t get it.

    But I think I do get it. I know what the joke is. Or should I say, I know who the joke is.

    • hack13

      Hello Danko, I do apologize for the confusion it has caused and my article should have been addressed better to the issue at hand. When I went into the article, I only ever knew about cloud service providers that make you pay for what you use, and I mean every aspect of paying for what you use.

      The article was not a total flop, and is not far from my still embraced feelings. I still refuse to use big cloud companies such as Amazon EC2 or Rackspace Cloud Computing. Because I must pay per hour of the server, then a separate price for bandwidth, then another for the storage. To me that just sounds so crude, but not to everyone, just to me.

      The cloud providers we have learned about now and are using, offer plans that are more understanding and are way less confusing to us. Were they give an allotted of ram, disk space, bandwidth, and top notch phone support on top of that. Not to mention easy scaling up and down of services, with rock hard Solid State Drives for the backend.

      This article seems to be having people up in arms about us trying to compete for dominance in the market, but we are not in this for the money, we are in this to just provide our users with the best experiences possible.

      So if I had a choice when I wrote that article a while ago it would have been “Why Cloud Hosting Is A Risk” and kinda what I talked about, and just go more in depth about how if one month your users use more bandwidth, oops I gotta pay for that. There is no magic sliders or anything that let me just build my dream pricing, but again this doesn’t mean it is bad, just means it is not right for how we do our business.

      As far as how I was called hypocritical, and I know I very much look like it. I explained this on the Google+, and we have been working on it, and tossing money down the drain when using services like Google Compute and Amazon AWS and well the reason why was simply put that right now politics of selling services you got to have cloud incorporated in order to land the younger hipper crowd. So we were banging rocks together, wasting money, just trying to come up with an affordable way to do this stuff. Just so announce we had cloud services, to land more play with the more hip crowd, whether we liked it or not, but now with our new providers it is totally possible.

    • Lucy Day

      So aggressive and mean…welcome to the Kitley Forum!!!

      • D. Charles

        don’t get out much do you there Lucy 😉

  • lol, i’m still confused! and i’m not a rocket scientist but since my education is geology, i’m a rock scientist =p

    Ilan wrote: “If you are visiting someone else’s world it doesn’t cost you anything and you aren’t limited by time, just like in other grids.”

    the “just like other grids” isn’t the same. inSL, you do pay for your land but it’s like a website, a million people can visit you and it’s still the one flat rate

    if i understand the new Kitely plan, a million free visitors would cost us a ton!

    and no worries, i won’t be moving to Zetamax. Kitely has a great offering, phenomenal coding, and gives back to OpenSim. i have always said good things about Kitely and been a great word-of-mouth avatar for them

    but . . . if their pricing model is what i think it is, then Enclave Harbour won’t work and that’s fine – it was a risk we took and there are other options for Enclave Harbour (such as free on SoaS)

    i’ll blog about it and one thing is always for certain – things change =)

    • Okay Ener, I’ll try to simplify even further 🙂

      From the perspective of a visitor to other people’s regions things are the same in Kitely as they are in other grids. In both cases you don’t need to pay to access any region that is open to you. If you don’t own land then that is all there is to it.

      From the perspective of a person who owns land (a World Manager) things can either be exactly the same as in other grids or they can be different – all depending on the choices made by the world manager.

      If, you, the world manager of Enclave Harbour, want to pay a fixed price to have anyone visit your world then simply choose one of 3 fixed-price world hosting plans – just like you would pay some fixed monthly price on another grid or OpenSim hosting company. With this option you don’t get charged for usage so you don’t need to worry about the number of people who visit your world or the amount of time they spend inworld.

      Alternatively, you can opt to set up your world as a Metered world which may either cost you more or less than paying for it using the fixed-price option. If you don’t know whether it will save you money or not then simply buy a certain amount of Kitely Credits, use them to pay for the Metered world, and see how long it takes you to spend those KC. Worse case that can happen is that you run out of KC and we prevent non-Premium Account members from accessing your world until you load up your account with some more KC. In other words, you can’t ever spend more KC than you have in your account so your risk is limited by the amount of KC you bought.

      Once you figure out how much using the Metered world will actually cost you for your specific usage scenario then decide whether to keep it on the Metered world plan or switch it to one of the fixed-price world options.

      If you don’t want to do this cost optimization procedure then simply choose one of the fixed-price world options 🙂

      • this fixed price $100 a month 16 world one is incredibly affordable – that is a heck of a value and better performance than we had with our own server

        Ilan, is my math right here: if KCs are still for sale as they are now, then 15,000 KCs will cost $50 and that would mean we could cover 250 hours of visitors?

        if that still holds true in January, then we could budget like $55 a month ($35 Gold plus minutes bought at 33% discount) and cover about 100 hours of free visitors per month?

        if that will be a possibility, then that’s worth a try

        • Thank you Ener 🙂

          We provide superior performance by using the various cloud-based systems we developed to replace the regular OpenSim implementations. That and running our sims on Large EC2 instances on the Amazon cloud.

          As an aside to people who aren’t familiar with our offering, our fixed-price options currently start from $40/month and will soon start from much lower prices.

          Kitely Credit prices and discounts remain as they are now so your calculations are correct. You can pay $50 to get 15,000 KCs which would buy you 250 visitor-hours worth of time. You could store those KC in another account and then top-up your main account with 6000 KC from that account at the beginning of each month to limit your monthly expense (6000 KC = 6000 visitor-minutes = 100 visitor-hours). This strategy will limit your expense to $55/month. 🙂

        • Samantha Atkins

          I think that the 16 region one is misleading because it is still 100K prims right? 100K / 16 is 6K prims per region. Naturally you wouldn’t spread it like that. So in effect the same amount of system resources or a bit more is being stretched across a larger virtual land area.

  • Merrie Schonbach

    Businesses need to run as businesses folks and they will change to what is needed for their business model. You all know how quick technology changes! They have to adapt and adjust to save money and to offer their customers ‘better’ deals if at all possible.

    Customer feedback is essential to any business so you can improve and do better, but no need to slam someone for growing pains or learning from past mistakes, that’s how we all grow. Think about it 🙂 (Andress R)

  • marybeth

    Hey no use crying over spilled milk right? you know no matter what grid your in unless you own the grid then whenever they decide they make changes that might throw you under the bus it’s just business kiddo nothing personnel.
    Sell from a free website then make deliverys into each grid?
    nothing beats good old fashion customer service plus not having to split your sales.
    Look at Metro or Osgrid thats as easy as finding a hosting service or getting sim on a stick or just starting a small public grid yourself otherwise this will not be the last disapointment your going to find sweetie.
    Heck if the residents of kitely are comfortable wearing skin diapers then by all means let them! they might like it if they can throw diaper partys then when their fanbois show up to ‘reeducate the masses’ we can call them the poop squad (makes a big chucle)
    Whatever happens live,love,lough and if you get upset with the bad feelings of your dealings in kitely just imagine kitelys founders in diapers that sould make a frown turn upside down.

    Merry christmas + God Bless

    Marybeth

    • While I understand this full comment is meant disparagingly, this part did give me my first morning laugh:

      “Heck if the residents of kitely are comfortable wearing skin diapers then by all means let them! they might like it if they can throw diaper partys then when their fanbois show up to ‘reeducate the masses’ we can call them the poop squad (makes a big chucle)Whatever happens live,love,lough and if you get upset with the bad feelings of your dealings in kitely just imagine kitelys founders in diapers that sould make a frown turn upside down.

      I realize this shows some of my twisted sense of humor, too, but that’s ok…lol

      But the real point of my commenting is to say that an old debate tactic [inRL] is to imagine the audience naked, thus making us all equals, and thus taking away any sense of insecurities related to public speaking, for some.

      Personally, in vr, I imagine that with any ppl who try to show themselves “better” than others…it amuses the heck outta me.

      • I never understood that “imagine the audience naked” advice. It certainly wouldn’t make me feel comfortable about public speaking!

        What makes me comfortable is preparation, and a run-through of the speech in the actual venue itself, so I’m comfortable with the location and technical setup.

        • hehe….but yet, for some, it works. Being prepared was also good for me.

    • Mirielle

      “Sell from a free website then make deliverys into each grid?”
      Yeah, that’s great, but SL Marketplace seems to show that ppl love to have easy access to view, compare and choose from thousands of products marketplace offers.
      I experience Kitely Marketplace as very well designed and I’m sure residents are already happy with having it.

  • Joe Builder

    Wow, A lot of die hards here crying over prices in opensims. Run it all on your own PC, shut the thing off when your not using it. Its not like these grids have a business going and need to run 24/7. Opensims have HG for everyone, No need to be locked into 1 grid. Any PC damn near can run a small grid or standalone, With a moderate internet connection. I simply don’t get all the fuss about who will get 30/40 or $50 a month for regions that they can run for free thenselfs. With the same functions others have. Remember with HG installed friends and events are just a teleport away 🙂

    • Alex Ferraris

      Yes after my experiences trying to make a grid based on open sim be profitable: I find it more and more impossible to do if I may get into the conversation here.
      The problem with all this and I agree with Joe Builder on this; is that open sim is free and anyone can use it in your own pc or even pay for a linux server and use it.
      OSGRID, NEW WORLD STUDIO AND OTHERS MAKE IT SUPER EASY TO PLACE THE GRID ONLINE OR A REGION FREE.
      This take a big chunk out of the hosting market. Yes there are people that will pay for hosting.
      But in order for a commercial grid using open sim to be profitable; it will need a strong and attractive and active community in it. Since open sim is HG this again takes a big chunk out of the chances this grid will be able to build such an attractive community.
      And SL is there all set already offering all that. Also if you can agree with me SL is its own. No HG. There is only one SL, and its not spread out around the world like open sim is.
      After all the analises above my conclusion is that id you want to make money on open sim; create something like content that no one has, scripts and all
      So that the thirst for content, scripts, developments can be satisfied. Example: create a HG region with paypal module or virwox and place the biggest mall on it filled with all the goodies that cant be found no where else. People would go to that region from all grids just to buy that product.
      Now; Im not saying this is bullet proof. It may work or it may not.
      I will place AviWorlds back again when Im out of this financial problem but I will no longer persue a commercial type grid. It will be just a collection of all the nice places
      AviWorlds had so people can visit. And Me offcourse to play around with it.
      I dont see a reason to keep trying a commercial strategy. SL is there and done that already.
      Alex Ferraris.

  • Jonny Vayro

    We have our hosting with Zetamex and we made the change to cloud a few days ago. I have to say the difference is brilliant.

  • TropicalWatersGroup

    I personally wish that Kitely hand’t changed the way they were pricing things etc the way it was set up before they changed was very appealing to us.

    Kitely’s new model is very confusing to us, we were thinking about moving to Kitely for our mini Grid but now we are questioning that.

    Will be checking out Zetamex look forward to seeing what you guys offer!

    Really disappointed in Kitely….. 🙁

    • Hi TropicalWatersGroup,

      If you’re confused by our Metered world option then simply go for one of our fixed-price world options. That way you pay a fixed price per month and neither you nor your visitors will have to think about time.

      Kitely’s fixed-price world options will provide your worlds with better price/performance when its actually needed than Zetamex’s fixed-price options.

      • Lucy Day

        Too much information, too many changes, too many free residents thinking they are running the game!!! That sums it up for Kitely! Just read the forums any day to find that out. The same people making the same empty comments about things they really don’t even know about!
        The owners need to take over..map out a plan and stick to it! Stop sneaking around and letting people leak things and changing the way it is at he last moment. Take over your game, make a plan and run it…you are going to let it go down the tubes if you keep letting these people DICTATE what they think they know to you!!! I was going to set up in Kitely, but reading the forums, I think I will skip it. Seem like more trouble than it is worth.

        • Most of the people who comment in our forums are paying customers. They’re either on one of our plans, have a fixed-price world, and/or buy Kitely Credits from us.

          Kitely has both long-term and short-term plans but we take our user’s wishes into consideration when prioritizing what we work on. That often changes our timeliness but it keeps our customers happy and is one of the reasons that Kitely ranked top grid overall and 3rd in community in the latest Hypergrid Business annual grid survey. I find it curious that you’d prefer to use a service provider that ignores your wishes.

          • Lucy Day

            From reading the forums, I see that you actually ignore a lot of people’s wishes and concerns. I read the forums and there is a core group that constantly comments and backs you up over any matter that users post. There isn’t any room for change, all of the people in the forums eventually give into the pack mentality that exists in this game and end up going along with what you want.
            By the way, you are missing the point…You need to step up and start moving away from this group and running the game as it should be run. You have a good thing and you are letting it go down the tubes with all of the ass kissing and stupid comments. Step away and take the top step and stop letting one group tell you what to do, make the decisions yourself! I often wonder when I read these forums, if these people aren’t relatives, or alts…I cannot believe such a group can have so much say. It’s like there isn’t anyone else existing in Kitely, other than this group! Is there actually anyone else in this game other than this core group? I would like to know how many others are on at one time, other than this group, is there any way to find this out??? I look at the log ins on members and most people only sign up for a minute or two and then they never come on again. Am I reading this wrong, or is this group the only group online ever? Is there a way to find out how many actual members that signed up actually come back online????

          • Anyone can comment in our forums and even new users who’ve just signed up are welcome to our weekly Kitely Mentors Group meetings which is located in the Kitely Welcome Center – our official greeting area.

            We’re very welcoming to new users which can be easily seen when you read our forums. There are almost 8000 posts in our forums, the great majority of which are from our users. There are people who are more outspoken than others (like in any online forum) but quite a few people participate and it’s very rare that someone’s post doesn’t get answered by Kitely or someone from our community.

            First you said that we’re lead by a small vocal community, now you say those people are “ass kissing” and just going along with what we want. Which is it? Are we being lead or are we leading? 🙂

            Our monthly stats are published on Maria’s site: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/statistics/

            You can calculate the ratio of active users to registered users from those stats. Most people who use Kitely do so in their own personal or group private worlds and not in public ones. If you’re friends with them you can see when they’re inworld. You can also see which public worlds currently have the most people inside them by visiting Kitely’s Public Worlds page: http://www.kitely.com/search

          • Lucy Day

            You pretend to lead, but in the long run they are leading….read your own forums…you are very combative in many articles online and also in your forums. It would be diff. if you had diff. people posting, but it is always the same group.
            Also, you always throw out numbers and statistics and never address the actual question or concern, sometimes they don’t even pertain to the actual concern or question that is the topic. Then your group jumps in and they always bring the question off topic. If you were to read over your forums you would see this is a common occurrence over and over. I’m sure you are aware of that though!

            I asked you if there is a way to see if those people that signed up are actually a part of your world after they sign up? Go through the names and the times they logged in and out…I did, I don’t see that they ever came back in, am I missing something???? Oh btw I don’t want links or statistics again, just an answer 🙂 ty

          • Like in any other online forums a very small subset of people who read the forum post in it. The people who do post often share various personality traits and outlooks that you may or may not like depending on how close you are to those people’s view on the subject matter they’re discussing. New people who post often feel more comfortable doing so if they are either close to the opinions of the group or are confrontational and wish to argue with said group. As that is the case, and as many of the posts by users who are confrontational are addressed to “Kitely owners”, “people who run Kitely” or me by name, I am the one who replies to their comments and try to bring them to a peaceful resolution. More often than not, that works and some people who started off as naysayers become active members of our community.

            It’s hard to answer a numerical question without quoting numbers and, as it’s quite clear I Iove stats, I hope you believe me when I say that I’m very aware of Kitely’s conversion rates, retention rates, activity rates, time spent inworld averages, etc. 🙂

            You, however, can only see the people you’ve met or know to search for. As there are currently close to 17,000 people with Kitely accounts your sample size is very unreflective of actual Kitely usage. As I’ve stated previously, most people spend time in their private worlds so, unless you know to reach out to them, you won’t even know they have a Kitely account. Also, please consider that there is a significant number of people who actively follow our blog and forums even during periods of time when they’re too busy to go inworld. Community isn’t just about time spent inworld, it’s also in the forums and private messages between people.

          • Lucy Day

            So if I was to log into Kitely right now, or the day you had the mentors meeting, are you saying there would be other users online, other than the posters that continually monitor your forums? Come on Ilan, there are thousands of posts that I call goobly gook..yes that’s what I call it, because they are nothing about nothing…they go round and round and round and never address the actual questions. If I keep this going, you will go and go for days saying the same things over and over. I can see why the mentality of your group is the same, it is such a pack…just add some new members please…ones with a diff. opinion or idea, you really need too. The forums tell the whole story of Kitely and where it is headed…no statistics or links will tell the true story like reading the forums does. Put your pitt bulls behind the fence and mind the game on your own!!!!

          • I’ll give you an example that may make things clearer for you. Look at SLUniverse, the most popular SL community forums with over 30,000 registered members. There are some people there who are VERY active, so much so that you get the impression that there are only a few dozen active posters and that no one else is there. However, if you dig dipper you’ll see that that isn’t the case. There are many people who post in those forums its just that the people who belong to the active group often becomes a lot more vocal than those other people.

            The people in Kitely’s forums are a lot more accepting of others than some of the active posters in SLUniverse, but the concept is the same. You see a group of prolific posters and you get the impression that they make up the entire group of users.

            Are you seriously saying that actual usage numbers are not as reflective as the forums? You’re basing your assessment of the number of active users we have on a heuristic, while I’m using the actual numbers. The only thing you can tell from our forums is that there are quite a few people who are engaged enough to post multiple times a day, that they are very welcoming to new users and that they try to help each other out with information, content, etc. How that is a bad thing is a bit beyond me 🙂

            Regrading your question, yes despite it being Christmas Day and past midnight in Europe (where some of our more active users live) there are people inworld who are not part of the group you refer to. Some of them are even in public worlds which you can visit to see for yourself. 🙂

          • Lucy Day

            Actually Ilan, in SL the forums do not have the same group of 12 or so people posting over and over. I do not recognize the names and I also notice that the people do not attack each other like they do in Kitely when a poster has a diff. opinion other than the people in Kitely do.
            I also know when I log into SL I will also see lots of people, actually I have never seen more than four on at a time in Kitely and that surprised me! I am mean where are the others, not just the same twelve or so that are also in the forums. Acually I never saw people in Kitely. There are no dance places, no shopping centres (that actually have anything other than the great free items Linda offers) there are no parties or events or anything. The only thing to do is go to the monthly mentors meeting with the same small group of people each month.
            Where are the people???? I have gone from place to place and paid for it, searching for things to do. You ask us to pay like we are in SL or another game with thousand of people, but there aren’t any people or things to do in there. I think you need to tell it like it is and not like how you pretend it is.
            The game will not grow without places and people and with the negative group that run the game, it will never grow, they are very dominant and don’t really contribute, but have lots of opinions!!!
            AGAIN where do I find how many people are online at one time and where they are situated??? I have never seen anyone on except when there is a mentors meeting. Also why are there so many sign ups that show they came on for one or two minutes, but never again??? Please explain that to me…those are the only two questions I really want answered.

          • Carol O

            I like the Marketplace in Kitely (Not) it reminds me of Opensim Creations, But with a price tag pffft.

          • You’re welcome to compare the amount and quality of items in Kitely Market to that in OpenSim Creations. While you’re at it I suggest you try to find some shoes:
            http://opensim-creations.com/category/avatar/shoes-avatar/
            http://www.kitely.com/market?cat=50304

            You may also note the difference in usability between each of these marketplaces… 😀

          • Go to SLUniverse (which is what I referred you to) not the SL forums and see for yourself. Saying that it isn’t run by a specific group of very active users goes against the experience of most people who read that site.

            There is very little drama in Kitely forums because most times there isn’t a lot to argue about. When people disagree in a civil way then no one gets attacked. When people start attacking the community people respond. If the drama becomes excessive we step in and intervene. Even without our intervention I think you can count the number of threads that include personal attacks in our forums on less than two hands (from more than 1000 existing threads).

            Even today on Christmas Day there were about 10 people who attended the weekly (not “monthly” as you’ve stated) Kitely Mentors Group meeting. There were people in other worlds at the same time who didn’t attend. Some of them from the group of users you keep referring to. The meetings are open to everyone, I invite you to visit the next one on January 1st at 1pm PST and see for yourself: http://www.kitely.com/virtual-world/Ilan-Tochner/Kitely-Welcome-Center

            There are more than 5400 user regions in Kitely, the number of people who visited your world reflects just how much interest you succeeded in creating to attract visitors. If people left your world after a couple of minutes then your world didn’t interest them enough to want to stay which could explain why they were less likely to tell their friends about it and why your visitor count remained low. Please keep in mind that your History page just shows when people visited your worlds not when they visited other people’s worlds (I think you misunderstood that part). If they didn’t like your world to stay in it for more than a couple of minutes then they’ll have no reason to ever want to visit it again.

            Saying that there is just LK content in Kitely is absurd, just visit worlds from the Public Worlds page: http://www.kitely.com/search

            Saying that Kitely charges “like you are in SL” is beyond absurd. Are you seriously comparing Kitely’s $40/month for a private island with 100,000 prims (with no setup cost) to what SL charges?! 😀

            Asking the same question multiple times is not going to result in a different answer. If people want you to know when they’re inworld they’ll add you as a friend. If you want to find people who are currently in public worlds then go to the Public Worlds page and enter one of the top worlds currently showing. If you want to know where people who aren’t friends with you and are not in private worlds are inworld then open the world map and start scrolling. Worlds are spaced at least 4 regions apart and, as stated, there are thousands of worlds to go over. Even if you see the green dots you won’t be able to visit most of them as most activity is in private worlds.

          • Lucy Day

            Whoaa this is where you always get cray cray and start writing and writing and posting links. Ilan, if I were to ask you which people came to your Kitely mentors meeting today, you wouldn’t have to even tell me who, because it’s the same people every week, or month, or whenever you have it.
            I ask the same question multiple times because I never get the answer. I asked if there was some place I could go that would tell me how many users are online???? I can’t add them as friends as you said, because I never saw anyone (other than the core group).
            I never said Kitely charged the same as SL, I came to Kitely because they were cheaper than SL and offered more prims, plus no charge for uploads, which was great!
            Again, you are twisting and turning things around to get off the topic…I didn’t even bother reading everything this time. I just wanted to know two questions…Is there any way to see how many people are inworld at one time? Where can I do this?

            P.S. No drama in Kitely forums???? Hahah that’s like saying there is no drama in Hollywood!

          • It’s sad that you consider a point-by-point answer to your questions “cray cray”. If you don’t want a long answer don’t ask many questions. 🙂

            Of the people who came today 3 were not from the group of people you keep on referring to. You’ve never attended the Mentors Group Meetings so why do you keep referring to them? It’s been a while since people posted the meeting notes with an attendance list so why do you assume you know who attended?

            There is no place that you Lucy Day can see how many people are inworld. You can see how many people are currently in the forums (and their names) by viewing the forums footer but, as I’ve explained and you decided not to read, you can’t see the number of people inworld. If you want to know why that is please spend the minute it takes to read my reply – if you don’t bother reading my replies to your questions I won’t continue to spend time answering you… 🙂

          • Lucy Day

            I WILL MAKE IT SIMPLE: Where can I see who is online? I don’t give a hoot about your forum creepers..I want to know who is INWORLD and HOW MANY???? Not on your forums. PLEASE ANSWER! Not going to ask anything else except this from now on!
            If you can’t answer this, how do we know the statistics are accurate???? No one is ever inworld when I am on…all the worlds in your list are always offline when I go to them. I know you will say the ones online are not listed, but that is making it really easy to hide the truth!

          • Read the replies I’ve already written you to that exact question. Repeating the same question again and again and not bothering to read what I write in reply won’t provide you with any additional information. You can only see your friends (and people who’re nearby), you will not see other people as, frankly, if they wanted you to know when they are inworld they would befriend you inworld.

            We don’t provide the total number of people inworld as most people are in private worlds which you can’t visit (unless you happen to be part of the group of people the world manager allowed to visit that world). As people will doubt numbers we provide when they can’t visit those worlds we don’t want to publish them. As for publishing just the number of people in public worlds: most people spend most of their time in private worlds so that number would give the wrong impression as to how many people are using Kitely at any given point in time.

            If you can’t accept the reasoning then I’m sorry but that’s the answer I’ve now written you twice and I have no intention of typing it in a third time.

          • Lucy Day

            Okay since that is not available, than please answer why you have so many people under the members list that sign up and it says they are on for one or two minutes and never again??? I have gone through pages and pages and pages of them and it says they signed up and then signed off one minute or a few minutes later and never logged in again. Is that a real person in the game or a statistic???

            If you don’t believe me, go under the members list. I have several times, because I noticed it in the beginning. People signed up and were on for one minute and never came back on again. Are they are part of the thousands of inworld avatars????

          • What members list are you referring to Lucy? Link please.

          • Lucy Day

            You don’t need a link…just go to your members list, open them one by one and see when they logged in. A lot of them are for a minute and lots more for a few minutes and then never again.

          • I need a link because there is no such publicly accessible members list. If you claim to have seen one then you’re either lying, confused, or have access to information you shouldn’t have access to.

            The only place you can see visits is in your own History page and that is just the people who visited your worlds: http://www.kitely.com/history

          • Lucy Day

            Wow so angry, go to Kitely members list, it tells when people signed up. It tells the last time they were in the game. We actually made a game of it of which people were real and which people were not!

          • Where is that magical list Lucy? How would one get to it? 😀

          • Lucy Day

            http://www.kitely.com/forums/memberlist.php?sid=e3bd90c5ea00f491f85a9ee797113046
            Open them up one by one and lots and lots say the person signed up that day and never came back. Some show they are in the game all of the time, never understood that part!!!Just want an explanation is all…please don’t send the troops in for attack Ilan 😀

          • That is the FORUMS member list Lucy, it just shows people who entered the forums not people who went inworld or even opened a Kitely account. 😀

            It’s no wounder most people aren’t shown as active there, as most people who entered the forums never post anything in the forums or have a reason to visit them again.

            This list does, however, demonstrate what I’ve said about many people being active in the Kitely forums – not just the small group of people that you claimed are the only ones there… (flip threw the pages and see who posted comments). That’s exactly why I asked you for a link. When you provide one your misconceptions can be easily addressed. 🙂

          • Lucy Day

            Yes this did answer my question and shows how many people are also involved in the forums lol. I have flipped through several times and see it is the same group over and over.
            Ilan, I’m not playing a one up you game as you like to do. I also “came out” above as Catya Smith (the account I had you shut down) when you brought it up in one of the other responses. The way you handled that was very childish.
            Just to state the facts: Kitely was a game I thought would be great and it was new and the owners were very helpful. I took a lot of time and money to set things up and once the game was running the only place to get help was to post in the forums.
            It became frustrating very quick, you could not get normal responses that made sense, because the people responding didn’t even know what they were talking about and didn’t understand what was going on. Add in all of the other comments in between that were people talking and joking (jokes that didn’t even make sense) just so they could post. Nothing to do with the topic involved!
            My first major problem was when I was setting up my mp store and discovered scripts wouldn’t work in some worlds. I tested it by going from place to place and told Ilan. I was sent to the forums. No matter what I did I could not get any help with this, I just got the same round and round talk and responses that are the norm in Kitley.
            This was months ago and I had brought over lots of items that required scripts, I never bothered to list them when I had my store. I know this problem is still going on, because I know a person that has land where other peoples scripts do not work. Imagine the nightmare of MP purchasers receiving items that may or may not work in certain areas?
            The MP store thing was another huge frustration. I sold lots, but of course the forum creepers started issues about ratings and comments on peoples items. Add that to the nit picky attitude of Ilan when putting products on and it was just not worth the hassle. I pulled my store, it was supposed to be fun, it wasn’t! Ilan, you really need to back up the people in MP, they are the ones making Kitely grow, not the people sitting back and making rude comments. Unless your commenters have a store, they should keep quiet! Also by store I mean with real items, not an egg or a box for sale!
            I thought I could come into this game, build my land and store and have fun. The smallest issues are always made so large and drama always follows. This is why I never went to your mentor meetings. After reading the minutes where you actually got into it about a chair and argued with someone about that, I thought, why would I waste my time? It’s the same people, saying the same things every time and nothing gets addressed.
            BTW I first heard about the prices going up in Kitley because someone from one of your meetings leaked it. It was never discussed with everyone before the meeting. There were no notices sent out letting people know you were discussing it, it was between you and your mentors group. Maybe more people would have come if they knew this was the topic??? Not everyone reads the forums all day like some do.
            Just answer peoples questions from now on and stop attacking people for having opinions. You really need to hire some buffers to deal with new people coming into the game, you are going to lose newbies fast if you don’t!
            People get mad at the way things are handled in Second Life, I myself have been at one time or another also, but now I can see why they stepped back and do not get involved in the day to day drama. Stop giving a small group so much power and stop jumping on people for every comment that you don’t agree with! Good luck with Kitely, I have better things to do now than keep this going, I know you will have the last comment 😉

          • Our contact page includes an email you can use to contact us, I also gave you my direct email which you used repeatedly, and we’ve both PMed and IMed during your time in Kitely. Do you want me to forward you these emails and PMs so you can be reminded of the type of help you’ve received? (you’ve seemed to have forgotten) 🙂

            Some of the people responding in our forums are very knowledgeable about OpenSim, LSL, viewers, and content creation. The answers they provide are very informative. There are jests and other tangents that sometimes appear in comment threads but that isn’t specific to Kitely. You started such a tangent yourself in the thread we’re communicating in now.

            The nice thing about links is that they allow people reading a comment thread to view the facts and decide whose comments are more inlined with the truth. 255 different users (of the 1345 logged in users who entered our forums) wrote at least one comment. I’ve sorted them by the number of comments each user wrote so you can easily count them for yourself: http://www.kitely.com/forums/memberlist.php?sk=d&sd=d

            Some scripts don’t run the same in OpenSim as they do in SL. This isn’t a Kitely-specific problem. There are hundreds of thousands of different LSL scripts that are running just fine in Kitely. Sometimes particular regions have problems. When that happens we investigate the problem to determine its source and more often than not fix whatever OpenSim bug has created it. You can find quite a few such issue reports in our threads and see how quickly those problems where resolved. Again, something that is easy for people to check for themselves.

            Prices aren’t going up, they are changing. The result is lower prices for the great majority of our users. The discussion was announced ahead of time on our forums and quite a few people attended that meeting. A meeting that BTW, lasted close to 5 hours. The discussion was then continued in the forums as well. Do you need me to provide you with links? 😀

            Your subjective perception is not reflective of how most other people perceive the events you refer to. 🙂

          • Lucy Day

            ps: WHERE are the close to 17,000 people???? I only run into the ones on your forums and the only time I ever saw them was on the day of your mentors meeting…they are the only ones that ever came and I’m sure once their free moments ran out they weren’t even in the actual game. I want to know WHERE I can see how many are online when I log in????That’s all I ask!!!!

          • Carol O

            You’re never going to get a straight answer why bother 🙁

          • Lucy Day

            I usually give up and go away, but tired of that. In Kitely the group always attacked but there aren’t so many of them here. I just want a straight answer, will keep trying to get it 🙂

          • Some of those registered users are not currently active and some have not been for while. You can see the reported statistics for active users compared to registered users. These last 30 days there where about 600 active users. Some of them logged in just once and some have spent more than 100 hours inworld during that time.

            Many people in our forums mention that they’re on the Silver Plan, Gold Plan or have an unlimited free access world (fixed-price world). It’s not hard to find such comments, see for example:
            http://www.kitely.com/forums/search.php?keywords=silver+plan

            To remind you, we started our public beta in March 2011. Do you really think Kitely would still be in business if we weren’t making money?. As you can easily tell, there are no advertisements on our website so how do you think we’re making money if not from people paying us for our service?

            As most of our users spend their time in private worlds we don’t publish number of users who are inworld. If we did some people would blame us for making up numbers because they can only see the people who are in worlds that are accessible to them. If you’re inworld you can tell which of your friends are inworld at the same time. If you want to see more people then make more friends. 🙂

          • Lucy Day

            I had friends in Kitely Ilan, the only ones I had were the ones that were part of your mentors group…they are the only ones I ever saw in there and it was the one day when I popped into the sandbox on mentors meeting day 🙂 P.S. Please answer the last part of my last question about people signing up and also read my private im I sent to you in Kitely 🙂

          • The people who attend the Kitely Mentors Group meetings are, not surprisingly :-), most often part of Kitely’s more active user base. You wouldn’t find people in private worlds as they are, most often, not looking for stranger’s company. They have their own friends, colleagues, and students who they meet inworld. Those people are also less active in the forums though some of them do post from time to time. The fact that they aren’t involved in the forums and don’t visit many worlds that don’t belong to their communities doesn’t mean they don’t have their own community, it just means that (very often) they’re looking for private spaces for their activities and have no need to seek you or your worlds out.

            Thank you Lucy, I’ll look at your PM after replying to this post in Maria’s site 🙂

          • Guest

            From reading the forums, I see that you actually ignore a lot of people’s wishes and concerns. I read the forums and there is a core group that constantly comments and backs you up over any matter that users post. There isn’t any room for change, all of the people in the forums eventually give into the pack mentality that exists in this game and end up going along with what you want.
            By the way, you are missing the point…You need to step up and start moving away from this group and running the game as it should be run. You have a good thing and you are letting it go down the tubes with all of the ass kissing and stupid comments. Step away and take the top step and stop letting one group tell you what to do, make the decisions yourself! I often wonder when I read these forums, if these people aren’t relatives, or alts…I cannot believe such a group can have so much say. It’s like there isn’t anyone else existing in Kitely, other than this group! Is there actually anyone else in this game other than this core group? I would like to know how many others are on at one time, other than this group, is there any way to find this out??? I look at the log ins on members and most people only sign up for a minute or two and then they never come on again. Am I reading this wrong, or is this group the only group online ever? Is there a way to find out how many actual members that signed up actually come back online????

            see more

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          • Joe Builder

            Not sure that grid survey holds any merit, Just look at Aviworlds for example. They just fell short of being ranked top grid and closed a few weeks later. Numbers can be fudged easily and multiple votes are simple. Living in the land of OZ anything is possible just ask the wizard 🙂

          • The accuracy of other grids’ reported stats is up to them. Kitely reports grid numbers exactly as our system records them.

  • [pls do not tell lucy that I am the only person behind all avatars in Kitely…..shhhhh]
    [p.s. I am also the only person behind all the avatars in the Metaversum…shhhh]
    [p.p.s. I realize this is insane but I am going for a Guinness World Record]
    [p.p.s.s. but the multitasking is getting very difficult and my hands hurt so I may stop soon] shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, this is a secret!!!

    “Lucy Day
    Wow so angry, go to Kitely members list, it tells when people signed up. It tells the last time they were in the game. We actually made a game of it of which people were real and which people were not!”

    • Lucy Day

      Actually you post on Kitely in response to any comment, or here if it is about Kitely, so maybe you are behind a few of them 🙂

      • aww Catya…this is so sad to me. I don’t even know what the issue is that has gotten you so upset. If it has to do with content stuff, then I rarely get involved in any of that. My memory is failing me [it really is, unfortunately] so I am sorry that whatever happened with you, has caused all this.

        I have never seen you speak such ways, so it had never occurred to me that you would be Catya also…I knew it was someone with a beef, tho, of course….lol [as in, I am dense, but not that dense…lol]

        My comment above was just me being silly…nothing in all this vr is serious to me, my real life gets center stage with seriousness.

        be well, I wish you the best, Happy New Year, and I shall remember you when I rez the items you gave me so generously-))) hugss

        • Lucy Day

          Thanks Minethere, hope you have a great holiday. I guess when I came into Kitley, I should have just realized it wasn’t for me. I thought I could build my store, etc. but when problems get tossed around and pushed away instead of solved, it just becomes frustrating. People really need to think before they speak in Kitley!
          Hope you have a great holiday! Take care 🙂

          • without having read the other comments since I went to the store, and I won’t involve myself further in this dispute.

            Grids in opensim, all of them, have various issues, just as SL does, of course, it is the nature of all this…I just personally take it all with a grain of salt.

            Many things are greatly improved since I started in all this VR just a few years ago, but much more needs to be done, for sure.

            But, honestly, these grids, both commercial and in free opensim all have issues, it really just boils down to what is acceptable for each person, and considering if the issues and problems are more than one wishes to put up with.

            I personally realized I was hooked, so I just accept this.

            I can positively assure you that since all grids other than SL are small businesses, you will find different problems in them due to them not being a large corporation as SL is where people can be mostly anonymous players…you WILL get noticed just due to so few being in them.

            The reason being that they are run by just a few people, so how they are run is a trickle down thing.

            I recently did a little blog synopsis on my own personal look back at 2013, if you wish to read it, and comment there, perhaps we can talk some things out…I think comments are open to anyone in that particular page [if not I will fix that if anyone ever comments]…and I would welcome the comments-)) of any kind…lol

            http://minethere.blogspot.com/2013/12/reflecting-2013.html

            Whatever your personal issues are with Ilan, and Kitely, I hope this has given you the opportunity to work out some of that, in some way…we got a new year coming, and I, for one, am really, really hoping it is better than 2013 was.

            I will now leave this page and not comment on it any further.

          • Guest

            @Kitelythere:
            How long do you want to take the people for fools?

  • Anonymous HGB User

    Wow – It seems to me that when a commercial enterprise has to take up a whole comment section of a news/blog site just to explain your pricing/policy structure, to current, and potential new customers. then you have already lost the marketing game.

    KISS = Keep It Simple Stupid.

    I run a successful real world business, that has nothing to do with virtual worlds, and I am also a grid owner. No matter what business field you are in, your pricing and policies should be straight forward and simple. The average person doesn’t read the blurb, especially not the small print. If it isn’t clear and straight forward at a simple glance…then it’s YOU who has got things wrong, Not your customer.

    Secondly NEVER attack your customers – NEVER! Sometimes disputes do arise, and sometimes it may be for whatever reason you do need to take legal action against a customer, may be for not paying a bill, or for libel etc, but other than that, you should NEVER “attack” your customers, certainly not bad mouth them on a public forum. Your reputation is best upheld and defended by your current customer base, because they are happy with your service, your pricing and the product.

    Factually incorrect information can be corrected, but it should be done properly, and through appropriate channels.

    I will state for the record that I am not a member of Kitely, I have never signed up for an account, I have not met Ilan, personally, or on a forum, or ever engaged him in a forum.

    • Frankly, I think it is a testament to Kitely’s success that so many with obvious agendas are coming out against it, in so many ways.

      I think it’s great they do, it shows Kitely is on the right track…keep it up folx-))