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Thursday, January 17, 2008


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Cyn Vandeverre

Fascinating. I hadn't heard of mannequin avatars before, but it makes a lot of sense -- possibly the only 'legit' use of the basic camping chair idea I have seen.

If you're selling clothes, you can put a display of prim attachments up, or you can make a flat "mannequin" standup figure (texture) but there is no 3d way to show clothes without putting them on an avatar. Even if you could make a prim mannequin, it could not wear texture clothing.

As for LL knowing how many people are "camping," I think it would be difficult for them to differentiate. Those things can be rather sophisticated, and I run into "campers" all over the grid. Everyone does, and complains about it.

I think the only way they'll ever know for sure is to eliminate "traffic" numbers completely, and then run "traffic" numbers just for internal use a month later. If traffic is down all over, then the difference was the camping.

Gary Hazlitt

Yea Bettina over at NPIRL covered this too not so long ago

Bizarre and very NPIRL ways to beef up traffic numbers?


Ann Otoole

If LL can tell the difference between a real connection and a custom compile connection (the libsecondlife remark was a deflection) then it is their responsibility to remove those connections from traffic metrics. Otherwise LL is knowingly falsifying participation metrics.

Nahasa Singh


Aren't these zombie avatars subject to the 15-minute inactivity disconnect ? I guess the non-traditional clients may have a workaround for that. But in that case, probably the next step will be "smart" zombies (in a Turing sense), unleashed on a camping site like Welfare Island, hogging all the poseballs and sucking all the welfare Lindens for his master (insert mad scientist maniacal laugh here). That scenario won't last much, but it will be a lot of fun to watch...

Cyn Vandeverre

Nahasa, it's called "anti-idle" and there are many devices one can buy inworld that sidestep the "away" and then disconnect feature.

They can be used without being for camping; for example, I use the one I have when I'm multitasking, and doing Photoshop, email, and SL all at the same time.

I have heard of others using them to arrive early at a meeting or event which is expected to reach capacity before it starts, and the human will do other things on their computer while waiting for the event.

R. Slade

There's no fundamental reason to dislike bots, they are used to perform repetitive tasks that a person is not required for. IMHO there should not be any discouragement of bots, just rules of conduct that can be applied if they are not run properly. For example, if a bot is being used as a mannequin, or even to camp, this does not harm other residents. If they are used for spamming, or other attacks or deceptions, then it is harmful, and should be handled swiftly like any other abusive player. Instead of forbidding all bots, they should be held to the same standards as all users, and if they adhere to those guidelines, accepted.

The problem with the traffic metrics right now, is that each avatar is counted for the same value. Other systems for measuring popularity or recommendations include mechanisms like friend-of-friend, web of trust, or other measures that can more accurately gauge importance.

Unfortunately the search ranks mainly on traffic, and that is as outdated a measurement as the basic hit counter. Until it is fixed there will be camping. Also, there are many "real" players that camp for fun and profit, regardless of the presence of bots.

More generally regarding the bots, the onus lies with the SL developers to create an environment that gives no unfair advantages to any players, with or without allowing bots.

Gwyneth Llewelyn

Mmmh I wonder, now that sooner or later the traffic will make a much smaller difference on the Google Appliance Server that LL uses for the "new" Search... will all camping chairs & bots disappear? :)

Sure, "green dots on the map" will certainly gather people's attention, even if traffic is not counted... and I believe that LL won't get rid of the green dots so quickly. Unless, of course, their asset servers start to suffer from displaying all those 60k dots to 60k users...

Daniel Smith

Using Campers to indicate traffic is as valid as the Lindens pointing to the total registered users to indicate the success of SL)

(which is to say, not really ..)

Christophe Hugo

...and YOU Hamlet, can you prove us you are not a bot?!?
Perhaps the bot invasion has already begun...

Viajero Pugilist

I went to see this collection of avatar slaves and perhaps attempt some "bot-tipping"...but the subterranean chamber was empty.

They were relocated -- sitting at tables, sipping invisible beverages, 410 meters up, and safe from my intentions, though not from prying eyes.

I believe that unless LL can differentiate between bots and "live" avatars in it's Traffic reports, mannequin and camping bots ought to get the ban. It's irresponsible at the moment because it makes those Traffic figures a lie. Keeping computers running to support anti-idling bots also puts more carbon in the atmosphere, which also is going in the wrong direction.

Hamlet Au

OMFG Viajero, can I run that pic in an update?

Viajero Pugilist

For sure. Update this mother.

John Branch

How about using "false-atar" as a general term instead of avatar bot, zombie avatar, and the rest? I admit it doesn't sound perfect, but I kinda like it.

Opensource Obscure

Rebecca Proudhon's video is really nice! I appreciate her creative take against 'bad' bots exploiting Traffic (I also love she choose Velvet Underground as soundtrack).

Not all bots are evil, though...here is my 'Bots have rights too' video :-)

Tracey Sassoon

Someone today pretending to work for this blog with a 5 day old avatar no profile IM'ed me that he is going to write a nasty article about my store because I have a camping zone so I can compete with competitors and that I have 6 models in my store since I opened my first store 2 years ago. After I set him straight about his claims he still preceded to harrass me as if having models showing my creations is going to be posted negatively. Since this person has no profile and a 5 day old avatar name. I can only assume its someone posing pretending to work for this blog to harrass me. Is there anyway that you can post your approved authors you use so that people cannot go around pretending to work for you to harrass people. Thanks for your time :)

Tracey Sassoon

Models showing my shape sizes for over 2 years in my store just like several other shape and skin creators in SL. The better shape creators use models in their store to show samples of their shapes. Until there is a way to put a shape in a form as it is without having an avatar to wear it then I will continue to use models in my store just as I have since the day I opened my store. Just like many designers in sl have models showing their product. Sure the places that have 80 ruth bots is why many of us have to have a regular camping area so we can compete with the 80 bot places. I cannot wait till the day that traffic stats are taken off search and business is by word of mouth, picks and landmarks or even better change traffic to 1 per unique visiter per 24 hours that would be awsome and then places like mine can spend the money we do for campers to advertise in classifieds more :) until then for us to compete for traffic we have to put up camping areas to get some placement under the 80 bot places :)

Princess Eva

Upon seeing this post from Tracey Sassoon, I went to Alady (her sim) to seek out the camping zone. What I found was an island full of bots, both modelling shapes as well as in a pit, disguised as a camping zone.

Now this isn't critism as I am sure Alady is doing this as a result of needing placement along side the many that use bots to get search ranking in SL.

Its just a shame when once of the oldest and seemingly popular shape places, has to resort to breaking TOS to put, I calculated about 10 - 15 bots on her island for her own gain.

As a fellow designer, the only advice I can give to Tracey following her comment "Sure the places that have 80 ruth bots is why many of us have to have a regular camping area so we can compete with the 80 bot places", is to develop better products. The best quality products sell in SL - you need to continue raising the bar or your competitors will swallow you up and eat you for breakfast.

Don't worry it will improve, but focus your energies on presenting your products in a great sim, with great packaging and great quality.

Tracey Sassoon

Princess Eva

shame on you for lying first i do not have any camping bots and the camping zone is a regular one that has 5-20 people in it camping... Shame on you

my models 3-7 of them are in my store and have been for over 2 years to show my product. If you dont like it that I have models showing my product then dont shop in my store.

Shame on you I wonder who you really are ?

Your wording sounds just like the fake writer who claimed to be a writer and in looking found you were not.

I am not breaking any Tos by having a regular camping zone and we boot people who try to log in more than 2 avatars to camp there...

Next time get your facts straight before posting something like that....

Princess Eva


I have no interest whether Alady has bots or doesn't have bots. However lying about it, will only cause more people to come and see the truth. And I don't think I said anywhere that you have "camping" bots. I said you had numerous bots, which you do, or are you going to deny that too now?

Concentrate on creating better products and get your sim redesigned. Do that and you will get more sales. Its simple, the real buyers in SL buy from quality places, not from places that game the system for their own gain.

Black Rockwall

Yeah Alady sucks, I went and saw Alady last night after seeing Tracey Sassoon's comments, its riddled with bots.

Tracey Sassoon

Yeah I am concerned about two anonymous people who come here fabricate and tell me how to make my products better....

:P dont you love anonymous people

I have no more time for this game posting anonymously under different names is very fishy...

I am sure when I need some advice on how to run my sl business anonymous people is who I will turn to.....


Tracey Sassoon


by the way based on your wording on both your anonymous posts.. I know who you are and its funny that your real sl name is someone who has a liking for bots on your own parcel but not others having them...

I do know who you are hun...

you need to come up with different style of wording and not give yourself away like that.

Posting anonymously I guess hiding behind your keyboard you feel like you can just bash others under different names....

I dont care how many names you post under here I already know who you are.

Princess Eva


I have no interest in you or Alady. I just went to explore your Island and was shocked at what I saw, bots all over the place, tired rows of BIAB like vendors and SL building styles that went out of fashion 12 months ago.

I was just trying to offer you some advice on how to increase your sales - but obviously you are someone not willing to listen to others.

Good luck Hun !

Shawn Wirtz

hey princess you "have no interest in alady" but you come several times to alady and count avatars on the islands. You sound like a petty idiot who has too much time on your hands and take second life way to seriously. Maybe some professional help is needed to help you get over your "shock" of robots. What a joke cant believe anyone takes it this seriously to have to come here be so worried. Reading your post makes me roll eyes

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