The doomy Gothic building just to the south of my Mainland home in Kuhrang - the one I planted a small tree to hide, in fact - vanished recently, and a cursory check told me the land had been abandoned. After a bit of thought - probably, in all honesty, not enough - I decided to take the usual Mainlander's insurance against a naff build cropping up next door: buy the plot myself.
This was enough, of course, to nudge me up into the next tier bracket, and it leaves me with 512 square meters of unused tier, at the moment. So, I thought some more - probably still not enough - and went on a little road trip out in Zindra, to see if there were any abandoned or cheap parcels available out in the Land of the Rising Libido.
The "Adult" continent of Zindra has been shrouded in controversy since it first rose from out of the depths... I'm sort of pleased, in a way, to report that I couldn't find anything, at least not in one afternoon of searching. It's easy enough to find abandoned Mainland in Moderate zones - about half the time, just TPing to an old landmark will do it for me! But the land market in Zindra appears distinctly more buoyant.
I suppose, really, what's buoying it up is precisely the sort of thing that made me look for land there myself - fewer restrictions, a sense of being on the "frontier" of SL, where, as the saying goes, men are men, women are also men, and children are FBI agents. However. There is a sense of activity, of vitality, in Zindra that you don't often see in the Mainland. There is Stuff Going On in Zindra. Not even X-rated stuff, either, at least not all the time.
I got to talking to Tali, later (as is oft my wont), and she commented about the way forward for SL being, perhaps, a contraction of the number of sims into a smaller but denser group of self-defining communities - like the Steamlands, or the SF communities, or many others on groups of private islands small or large. Tali cites the successful areas of the Mainland as already tending towards this pattern - the perenially popular Bay City being the stand-out example. I think, in some way, Zindra might be trending in that direction too; it has, in a way, a community linked by a common interest. OK, so that interest is smut, but is that necessarily a bad thing? If it brings people together?
It's easy, of course, to spot areas where community-building has been tried, and has failed - the themed Linden Homes areas being the outstanding example; there are others I can think of, though. And communities of interest need to watch out, too, in case they become too insular and too complacent.... But, as I have said before, the social function of SL is one of the two key things that keep me coming back to it, and if building a community isn't a social function, I don't know what is.
In the meantime, I have 512 square meters of snow that needs some sort of development on it... and if I can get another 512 square meters of smut cheap, that would be good too.