From Zandramas to ZanGrid: New name, new membership model

Zandramas — an invitation-only closed grid — will become ZanGrid tomorrow, where anyone is welcome to join.

In addition, hypergrid visitors will be able to come in and get a preview of the grid on the hypergrid-enabled Club Zandramas region.

According to manager and co-founder Suzan De Koning, the grid decided to change its membership policy because would-be members who didn’t know anyone already on the grid were contacting her and other residents through social media.

However, to keep out griefers and reduce alts, the grid will be instituting a small registration fee.

“We know that lots of people create an account and give fake names and a fake temporary mail address,” De Koning told Hypergrid Business. “We do not want that. This way, we will have their real life data on file.”

ZanGrid's new welcome region build by Rique Giano. (Image courtesy Suzan De Koning.)

ZanGrid’s new welcome region build by Rique Giano. (Image courtesy Suzan De Koning.)

The new registration fee is US $5, and will be credited towards their first land purchase.

“We hope that people with bad intentions will stay away, since we have their data after they paid with PayPal or credit card and serious people will not mind to pay this small entrance fee,” she said. “It is, after all, only a coffee and a donut.”

As part of the change in business model, the grid is also getting a new website, new logo — and a new name, ZanGrid, to make it easier for resident.

“Lots of people already call our grid ZanGrid anyways,” she added.

Region prices will not change, she said. A full region will unlimited prims costs $35. Full price list is here.

However, the grid will have a special $25 offer in February for those who buy a second region.

ZanGrid februari offer small

However, the grid will not follow other commercial grids, such as 3rd Rock, that have recently decided to fully embrace the hypergrid and have seen dramatic growth as a result.

“We will only hypergrid-enable one region, our event region, Club Zandramas,” said De Koning.

This means that people from other hypergrid-enabled OpenSim grids will be able to visit, she said.

“But our residents will not be able to leave ZanGrid not will the hypergrid people be able to take anything out of ZanGrid,” she added.

Although not hypergrid-enabled, Zandramas is one of the few closed, commercial grids, that accepts deliveries from the Kitely Market, having set up that functionality last spring.

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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

12 Responses

  1.' Alex Ferraris says:

    I really do not see the DYNAMIC growth in any way shape or form having to do with been HYPERGRID ENABLED. My experience is that a visitor will add up in the stats for unique visitors in the grid. THATS IT!
    A hypergrid visitor does not contribute to no economic factor in a grid. NONE NOTHING NADA ZERO!
    Now lets see the NEGATIVEs.
    A HG enabled grid brings a very negative factor to any store owner, creator that wants to sell his or her creation.
    It contributes to a very unfair competition that allows residents to go out of the grid and bring back FREEBIES. No incentive to create , no incentive to grow.
    Yes we have tecnology now to DISALLOW content to go out of the grid and into the grid. And some people say well HG ENABLED grid allows people to go travel and see abroad the wonders….
    Well I want the WONDERS to be built in my grid not abroad. I want the people to stay and stablish residency in MY GRID not abraod. Thank you very much!

    • Alex — It all depends on your grid’s business model.

      Say, your grid’s business model is that you have lots of great, live music and a social community around that music. People come from all over the metaverse to listen to the music, and to hang out. A certain percentage find themselves spending a lot of time on your grid, and, when they’re ready to buy virtual land and set up a home, they think of your grid first.

      Or say your grid’s business model is to provide a place for book authors to experiment with immersive storytelling. You hold book readings, classes, write-ins, and other events that attract writers to your grid from the entire metaverse — and beyond, from the real world. Some of those authors get to like your grid, and when they’re ready to buy virtual land — for their homes, or for their own virtual story telling builds — they naturally think of your grid first.

      Or, say your grid’s main attraction is fantasy role play. Or nude beaches. Or virtual escorts. Or virtual racing. Being hypergrid enabled means that you can have a lot more people come to your grid to check it out, to play, to hang out at the beach, to race cars, to patronize escorts — or to work as one. Some of those people will want a place to live, to hang out with their friends, to have their own RP stronghold, to park their race cars… why not rent on the grid where they have the most fun?

      Alex, you already have a group of people who know your grid and who will always show up. (I don’t understand what your magic sauce is, but hey, whatever works…) But many grids don’t, especially grids that are just starting out. No matter how great the attraction they offer, if it requires people to create a brand new avatar, that’s a significant barrier to entry because creating new avatars IS A BIG PAIN IN THE BUTT. There are …. currently 262 active grids. (I just checked my database.) I added two new grids just today. Now, only 55 of those grids are closed — most grids are now hypergrid enabled. But still, who has time to create 55 avatars in order to visit all these grids? Everyone has an SL avatars, maybe one for InWorldz or Avination, maybe a couple of other grids… after that, it’s just too much of a pain. A small grid has to have a very compelling reason to be closed — such, as, say, that it’s a grid for elementary school students, or that it’s a private grid for a group of friends, or for an RP community that’s moving over in its entirely from SL.

      But for a generic social grid, being closed becomes a bigger and bigger disadvantage as the hypergrid continues to grow.

      •' Alex Ferraris says:

        Maria that is my point. Why do you need to register in 55 different grids?

        If a grid is good enough and has all that you need why do you need to go registering in over 200 grids for? That is exactly what I am saying here.
        OPENSIM community is missing the whole point here. That point you are talking about does make sense for people who want to create home based grids that are shut down during the day and at night they are up and once they get tired of it they just delete it.

        When I talk about a COMMERCIALL GRID, a closed doors grid I talk about being able to OFFER all that player needs so that he or she will not need to go around over 200 or so grids!
        Everything is in ONE centralized grid called AVI-LABS for example.
        My players will be able to make money there, meet new friends there, settle with their residencies there, join groups, parties there and create wonderful WONDERS there. NO NEED TO GO OUT OF THE GRID.

        A grid can have many different types of communities, fantazies, like you said above nude beaches, clans, vampire estates, barbie places, romance you name it!
        I can have all that in ONE only ONE grid.

        The idea of SPREADING around is what is breaking the back of many GRIDS! Look at the number of grids shutting down everymonth!
        I only shut down due to problems other than financials. My grids always made money!
        I really do not see an advantage in being a HG ENABLED grid letting my people go to other GRIDS when my OBJECTIVE is to have them stay IN MY GRID spending money there, MAKING money there etc etc.


        •' Bryce Cannon says:

          “We become a bag of nothingless…”
          Nice conclusion you’ve pointed out about yourself. I think you will find many in agreement.

        • Alex — Your approach might work if you have a core group of users who are committed to your grid. I don’t know if it will work for long — you might think you’re offering your residents everything they could possibly need, but do they agree? They might want to listen to some music on 3rd Rock. Or go to a book reading on Nara’s Nook. Or buy something only available on the Kitely Market.

          A user with an avatar on a hypergrid-enabled grid can visit … let me check the latest stats … 171 different grids. 50,872 different regions. Interact with 12,402 different active users. The only closed OpenSim grid that can come close to matching that is InWorldz.

          Of course, none of that matters if you know exactly what your residents want, and you can give it to them. Like, if you have a very tight, exclusive fetish community or roleplaying group that just wants to do its own thing, doesn’t want outsiders dropping by. Even then, though, it’s likely that residents will *also* have avatars on the hypergrid.

          I just checked the numbers for InWorldz based on the 2014 grid survey — the average InWorldz resident has visited 2.9 other OpenSim grids. Now, the numbers don’t say WHY they visited. Maybe they visited the other grids once, didn’t like them, and decided to stick with InWorldz. Or maybe they visit other grids on a regular basis, and keep InWorldz as their home because that’s where most of their friends are.

          My point is, that no matter how much content you can offer to your residents, they’ll still visit other places. You can make it harder and annoy them, but you can’t stop them.

          •' Alex Ferraris says:

            Maria I cannot stop them you are correct.
            But I can make my grid ALL IN ONE which makes it harder for a resident to WANT to go to another place. That involves alot of work yes!
            Here is my equation
            user+friends+family+love+places+parties+world+currency+opportunity+economy = Avi-Labs grid.

            I am sorry but I do not agree when you say that HG enabled users can interact with these thousands of people you are mentioning above.
            Most of the time when I TELEPORT to another grid I SEE NO ONE. Even in INWORLDZ which I visited 140 of their regions I couldnt find anyone. HELLOOOOOOO!! ANY BODY THERE!!!!! no one responded.

            What I am doing in Avi-Labs now is something I did not do before and you will actually see people everywhere you go.

            Plus the grid will have money to support itself. Already is! 🙂

          •' Minethere says:

            So, you are saying you didn’t even see the ghosts on those visits?

          •' Alex Ferraris says:

            no….:) I saw my shadow

          •' Alex Ferraris says:

            Well its been about 5 years since I have first started AviWorlds grid. My community has followed me since then even IN FAILURE do you think they will not follow me in success?

      •' Alex Ferraris says:

        No Maria.
        If Alex builds it, they will come!
        That is my favorite saying…lol
        Anyway I build a grid so its residents want to stay in it and NOT want to stay or go somewhere else. That weakens the grid if that happens.

        I build a grid for them to stay in it not to go away from it. It does not compute in my head to build something for the people to go spend time out of it…

        If I was a bird and I built a nest. Then the female bird goes to another NEST and another nest why do I need a nest for?????

        but I am not a bird….

  2.' Susannah Avonside says:

    For me Hypergrid is what it’s all about. When I first joined SL back in 2009 it wasn’t long before I questioned as to whether there were other, similar worlds to SL and discovered the Open Metaverse. By early 2010 I had an avatar, and by chance disovered Hypergrid. It was clunky, and was a bit hit and miss, but what a revelation. SL just seemed to be the 3D equivalent of the early AOL or Compuserve wheras OpenSim offered far more, the 3D web, as it were, and that caught my imagination. The commercial aspects of anything don’t interest me one bit – I think it all needs to have it’s costs covered,and I am happy to contribute to that end, but I would draw the line at anyone making a profit out of anything.

    I just don’t understand the mentality of closed grids, any more than I understand why anyone using Microsoft products (even less so Apple products) when there is so much available that is open source.There are issues with development, as we know, but we also know that crowd funding seems to be quite effective in dealing with this.

    I’m sure that the economy of any grid other than SL and maybe InWorldz is going to be tiny. Kitely Market has a chance, but that seems only because it has deliberately decided to use Hypergrid as a way of distributing virtual goods. I personally think that the economy of the Open Metaverse will grow and that the fears of the nay-sayers will prove unfounded – and the ‘walled gardens’ either open up or cease to exist. Remember, there used to be countries in the real world that were walled gardens. But then the ordinary people in them realised that there it this nebulous thing called freedom, and that they wanted it. It’s a bit easier in the virtual world, especially in the OpenSim variety of virtual world, soon enough people get fed up of being in a kind of sub-par SL, and want the freedom offered by the Open Metaverse. Medium to long term I think it is having Hypergrid enabled that is going to be the deciding factor.

    Who in their right minds is going to swap SL for a closed OpenSim based grid with virtual merchandise reminiscent of SL c. 2005?