I saw something yesterday that reinforced my feelings. Someone I know is holding a Crafter's Fair to give folks in Inworldz an idea of all the talent we have here. I admire her very much for doing this, especially when rent on the stalls was completely free.
There's only one problem, and it's one that was dragged over from Second Life: a sense of scarcity which comes off as greed.
Many snagged whole rows of stalls when they could've done just fine with one. Others yet snagged stalls on more than one level for the same business. I know a lot of creators that I did not see represented there, including myself, who deserved just as much to be there.
Granted, I did not hear about the Fair till it opened and did not realize there had been a public invitation on the forums - but even if I had, I would've had a hard time snagging a stall with people behaving like that. I did offer advice to the lady hosting it, that maybe she needs to put some basic rules on taking stall(s). It's entirely up to her whether she takes it; after all, it's her Fair.
If traffic was on and classifieds were paid we'd have the same thing going on - people would be gaming the system in a desperate struggle for the top.
This also ties in to my previous post concerning Linden Lab PTSD. There was fierce competition in the economy driven primarily by how much it cost just to be there. People were gaming the system, just to be seen. Some were obviously gaming it out of greed.
So, was it greed, or a SL-bred sense of scarcity that caused people to do what they did at that Fair? Perhaps a little of both. As much as Ele has striven to level the playing field here, you will always find some whose self-generated sense of competition compels them to do whatever they have to do to "stay ahead" of other merchants and creators.
Some will settle down and realize they don't have to work so hard, especially when they have a good product and great customer service. Others will never change. That's why it's so important to not turn on traffic or switch classifieds to paid. It'll just happen again, and I'd hate to see that.