Second Life Jobs Editorial: Second Life Camping, “The upside”

April 24th, 2008  |  Published in Second Life Jobs  |  9 Comments

By Enoch Wozniak, Founder of The Society of Enoch

Camping in SL refers to the act of keeping an avatar in one location or on a particular piece of property for a period of time in exchange for pay or products. It is a very common means of making money in SL and many people make substantial amounts using advanced camping techniques.
Camping is a quasi-temporary in world job. A resident clicks on a scripted object in a place of business and her avatar is then paid a set rate for time spent in that location–sometimes being animated by the script, sometimes free to wander the property. A land or business owner sets objects on his land as camping spots to advertise and attract more traffic. Many use camping signs, such as Campmaster and SIM Camping, that allow the camper to move around within set boundaries while earning money. This is a fairly productive strategy in that a business owner can reasonably gamble that a percentage of campers will spend some of their earnings in the business they are working for.
The reason businesses pay for campers is that as more avatars remain on the same piece of land over time, they show on the map as a concentration of people–which attracts interest which generates traffic, thus increasing traffic figures for that land. If you are searching for a place to shop and the search returns 100 listings, most people will go to the places that have high traffic numbers because the perception is that a lot of people shop there.
Most of the time camping means getting paid to shop at a business. From the business owner’s point of view, camping ideally creates sales and new customers when the campers themselves become customers. This often involves campers joining the business owner’s group so they can receive advertising notices from the business, which are hopefully passed on by word of mouth to even more people. Campers attract others by creating the appearance of a “mapped” concentration of people, typically encouraging map viewers who want to see what is going on. This gives the appearance of popularity in search results because of high traffic numbers.
Campers can and do attract potential customers. Some business owners think that people going afk while camping is a problem. If a business owner does not want people standing around, obviously camping and sometimes blocking corridors, then they can use camping benches or some other camping animation. Or they can locate the camping spots away from where customers are going to be, such as in a skybox. To attract campers, use a camping sign that permits roaming , set the pay rate fairly high and the daily limit fairly low, put the sign in an area that will not obstruct business traffic flow so that those campers who are not interested in shopping will not be in the way of people who are shopping, and provide places for the AVs to sit. The key factors are including a high pay rate and a low daily limit.
Another great strategy for generating sales with those who camp at your business is to limit the age of the camper, i.e only permit people to camp who are younger than 90 days. These are people who need the money and who are most likely to spend it where they work. I have introduced people to SL who immediately wanted to camp so they could buy stuff because they were too new to figure out how to make things themselves.
Here’s some examples of good camping strategies for businesses:
Business Owner GT buys some land, puts up a new shopping mall, and fills about 30% of the mall shop spaces with regular clients who rent space in his other malls. Now he needs traffic so he can advertise for other renters to fill the remaining spaces in his mall. The kind of avatars he wants to attract are those who are probably 1 to 6 months old in SL, have some money, want more money, and who like to buy the kinds of things the Mall owner’s regular clients sell. If he thinks his strategy through, he will set up a group access Campmaster or similar camping sign with relatively high rate of pay and a low daily limit. For example, pay 3/10 with a daily limit of L$24. This means avatars will spend an hour at the business camping. A camper can only make L$ 24 per day. Professional campers, those who are using alts, are not going to buy anything from you anyway, and because their strategy is to find a lower pay/high limit spot to leave their av on, they will move on. But newbies, the people most apt to spend, will be attracted. There really is no point in testing for such a short time period (I believe that anti-bot testing is a very foolish strategy for business owners to use in any situation–simply because it creates an adversarial relationship between employer and employee.)
In this case, a sign that allows roaming will encourage those who are so inclined to explore and possibly shop. Business owners should understand, however, that many of those who camp may not shop; they are there to camp.
Another common and effective strategy involves camping for free items. This allows a business owner to obtain the benefits of camping without expending much capitol. There is tons of free stuff available with full permissions
Business Owner MW has just opened a custom skin shop. His target customer is the party person–the socialite in SL. He wants to attract the club scene crowd to his shop so he sets up a sky platform where low pay/long term camping spots are set up. 1/10, unlimited. He hopes to attract people by traffic numbers and map concentrations, but he doesn’t want campers to be seen by his customers. So he isolates them from his business area and pays professionals to camp there. One has to be very dedicated to obtain and hold a long term camping spot and the land owner should not be concerned if the person camping is a primary or alt, because either will produce the desired results. Testing, anti-bot code, and so forth are pointless here because those filling these spots will be camping professionals who know the moment they leave their spot, they lose it, and are thus motivated to keep their avs on that spot. This way the land owner gets desirable results at a much lower cost.
Placing camping spots in neat rows and close together is a good strategy if you want to attract more campers. But if you want to create the appearance on the map of a party or event, it’s more effective to place individual camping spots quasi-randomly around the property. Placing individual camping spots in out of the way nooks on your property that pay very high but with very small daily limits and changing location daily encourages people to try to locate them–andexploring your property in the process. You just have to think through your camping/advertising strategy and use the best, most natural, strategy to meet your goals.


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  4. Billy Laffer says:

    April 25th, 2008at 5:45 am(#)

    This is an interesting story about strategy, but doesn’t really talk about the actual benefit to the business owner very much. How does this actually affect sales? What is the ROI? It’s a strange counterpoint to the previous story.

  5. Juana Matova says:

    April 25th, 2008at 10:39 am(#)

    A rushed article with no meaning and obviously designed to make it look like the newspaper was neutral in its reporting approach.

    Poor article with again no balanced input. This newspaper’s articles are just based on their writers narrow minded views and not on the reality of what is out there and how the majority of people think.

    Don’t give up the day job!
    (Unless you are a reporter)

  6. Zillion says:

    April 25th, 2008at 10:56 am(#)

    Oh, dear – “no balanced input” – this is an **editorial** called “Second Life Camping, ‘The Upside'”, so I wouldn’t particularly expect balance … An interesting article, in my opinion

  7. PrinterBrian says:

    April 25th, 2008at 1:50 pm(#)

    While I find the SL to SL side of business and interactions interesting, I personally would rather see more reporting on SL-RL and RL-SL business pieces. It seems as SL gins population it will be the latter two that increase in size and leave the Sl-SL as more of a niche.

    I think s that niche loses relevance it will act out and fight louder more and more to defend itself. This to me seems wrong, niches are wonderful things and should be celebrated, not push down to a loud yet annoying roar.

    I could be completely wrong, but maybe not.

  8. Mony Markova says:

    May 2nd, 2008at 1:25 pm(#)

    Dear Enoch,

    Please take this as feedback. You have certainly some enthusiasm over the camping topic, you might want to be a camping consultant.

    You wrote: “Many people making substancial amounts of money using advanced camping techniques”

    -What is subtsantial amount of money to you?
    -How many people?
    -What are the advanced camping techniques?

    I am sorry I found none of these answers in your article, you left me like, Enoch must know all this but he is not sharing, or maybe he is 12.

    I think you need to be more disciplined with your own assumptions.

    Pls share the answers?

    Honestly my intention is not to pun. I just want more out of my SL and SL Media.

  9. Cash advance payday loans says:

    July 21st, 2009at 2:58 pm(#)

    I’m going camping this weekend and it has been forever since I have been!