Since Ari *cough* ranted *cough* about people who complain about LL's services... I thought I would put my two cents in :p

As someone who doesn't own a business in SL, I don't complain about losing money when the grid is down and transactions are borked. But it does irk me sometimes because it means I can't do the things I wanted or planned to do. It's like you planned to have a picnic outside under the trees, but suddenly the skies open and rain begins pouring down, so you have to change plans. Or you wanted to drive out, but you get in the car and discover the car won't start.

car won't start

I don't see why residents shouldn't feel unhappy when Linden Lab sneezes and the grid goes wonky. I feel unhappy when it rains and I can't go on my picnic, even though that dude up there who controls the weather doesn't owe me anything. I know LL doesn't owe me anything, but they are providing a service, and since they choose to provide this service, I expect them to provide a reliable one.

It's their prerogative if they decide not to worry about reliability, of course. But if they want people to use their service, then reliability has to be emphasised. Because if people find the service unreliable, they become frustrated. When they are frustrated, they will leave.

You see, for most of us, SL is like a hobby, something we do in our spare time... something we do for fun. Ari has said he doesn't rely on SL to provide him an income, and of course I don't either, since I don't have an inworld business. In my case, SL actually bleeds me of money because I don't have a way to get other people's cash to pay off my obligations to Linden Lab, as Ari so nicely put it :p

So why am I still here?

money money money

Ari suggested that I'm still here because I believe I'm getting my money's worth: "Based on the real money you spend with Linden Lab, are you getting what you pay for? Obviously you do, else you wouldn't still be in-world," he said rather wickedly. Nice way of boiling things down, but the problem is, that's the wrong argument to use. Hobbies can't be measured in monetary terms. They can't. Because cost is not the issue; the issue is enjoyment.

So if the grid were unstable to the point where residents were unable to get anything done, the frustrations would likely make everyone give up on SL. The thing is, although people complain about downtime and hiccups, it actually isn't a terribly regular occurrence. It occurs frequently enough for people to groan, "The grid is borked again," but it doesn't occur so often that SL residents find it impossible to have any semblance of a normal, enjoyable Second Life. Otherwise, people would have thrown in the towel in frustration long before this. They wouldn't find their hobby worth so much stress and annoyance. Hobbies are supposed to be enjoyable!

Of course, people still complain despite the fact that the grid is much more stable than we generally make it out to be. There doesn't exist a single person on this earth who hasn't complained when things aren't going their way. That's human nature. If the grid had zero downtime, residents would still find something to complain about. Life is like that. *shrugs*