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Thursday, November 13, 2008


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Otenth Paderborn

I think there should be an AR option for bots. If a bot is truly useful not only to the owner but to others visiting a sim, then they can continue to exist. Otherwise, get rid of them.

Paisley Beebe

If the Lindens changed the search so that there was no reflection on amount of Avatar visits and got rid of green dots....maybe that would work. I still like to know how many people are in the sim but maybe in a less obvious way?
Watch Tonight Live next week we have the previous owner of Phats who will be talking about this very thing, how to spot a bot ;)

Ann Otoole

Most people that have spent any serious time going around the grid know all too well that the actual number of bots is likely much higher than being reported.

If Linden Lab wants to be rid of the stigma of well known false participation metrics then they can disconnect traffic from any form of search relevance. There will suddenly be no use for camping bots over a store, etc.

It is at this point that "bots" become NPC units providing a useful benefit. Not before.

Advanced NPC units are what makes entertainment like Everquest II and World of Warcraft a success. Advanced NPC units are direly needed in Secondlife.

What is not needed in Secondlife are unethical people that intentionally mislead people by engaging in falsification of metrics to gain an advantage. It was quite obvious at the traffic future meetings that Linden Lab had absolutely no intention of dealing with traffic falsification in any form or fashion.

If Linden Lab wants to make a difference then they need to make traffic falsification pointless. There is no benefit for the community from running camping operations because of the gold farmers running thousands of bots to collect L$, funnel it to aggregation accounts, and then cash it out of SL.

What amazes me is how so many people choose to remain oblivious to these things.


Pay a fee for them. If they're that valuable, they're worth paying for their resource use.

Connie Sec

Have to agree with Ann here. Bot's not providing a "service" are a waste of cyberspace.

Tateru Nino

An SL neigbor of mine on the Mainland set up about 30 bots in a box above his new club/store. I watched him for a couple days, setting it all up, then IMed him asking him for an interview about the bots. He didn't reply, but within an hour he'd packed the whole operation up. Perhaps he moved elsewhere - the parcel's been sold.

Unfortunately, while bots are more or less obvious to the human brain and eye - there's no practical way for Linden Lab to detect them. Even if they are detected, a human still has to go out and assess them to guess if they're really a bot or if they're a camper or somesuch.

There seem to be a number of positive uses for bots that are much less impactful on the grid than having a live person at the helm - but they're more subtle. When you encounter a bunch of waste-of-resources bots, that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Hiri Nurmi

LL dramatically could reduced their number tomorrow dramatically if they really wanted to.

The only reason store owners keep bot mobs - typically 20 or more on a platform at 600+ metres - is because it impacts search ranking in the old Places search. Traffic has virtualy no effect on the new search. Although the new search had teething issues it's now pretty good and it's difficult to see why they keep the old one.

Nuschi Martynov

Wanna see how they look, those bot farms? Check my Blog! We have a "Botspotting Tag".

And YES, LL could do something against bots: it would be easy to change the search, it would be easy to change the colour of avatars that log in together from ONE computer (as bots normally do) on the map, so map-surfers like me are no longer frustrated when all they detect travelling are bots AGAIN...

We started a big discussion with our "botspotting"-initiative on SLinfo.de, a german forum, and were heavily attacked bei land owners who called us nazis of course.
(one word for this "different colour" idea: it would discriminate other users who share one DSL too, but those could be e.g. university-groups who are inworld for a lecture or so. and those dont need to promote their personal presence)

The reason why LL doesn't react? Look how they SELL their increasing user hours!
Bots are logged in 24/7 - LOTS of user hours for Lindens to be proud of.
The whole system is a fake, and LL supports it.

Anyone interested in hosting a Bot Themed Picture Exhibition? I would love to contribute!

Greetings from the bus, Nuschi

Lette Ponnier

Coupla thoughts...

Is there any data on what percentage of bots tend to be located in what percentage of sims? I suspect that there are few if any in the places I visit on a regular basis, but I almost never go someplace simply because there are a lot of people there. If anything, high traffic is a deterrent to me, not a draw. At any rate, it would be interesting to see how widespread bot use is in geographic terms: if 90% of them are being used in only 5% of SL, then this might have a different meaning and require a different kind of attention than if they are more spread out.

On a related note, if there were a practical way to go about it, capping the number of bots permitted in a given area might solve the problems related to bot use while preserving the benefits. That is, I doubt if most places need more than four or five models or tour guides at a time; meanwhile, creating the illusion of a high-traffic area probably requires significantly more than that. If only a small number were permitted, then owners would be motivated to make the best use out of their bot allotment.

I don't know how this would work in practice. But it seems like the issue is not their presence but their density.

Robustus Hax

The only people that would benefit in getting rid of the bots, would be the residents. Linden outlaws bots and their statistics go down immediately. They would never do that.

Iggy O

When is a bot really a bot? I just interviewed an avatar named Kanku Writer, whose profile was copied into several bots' profiles to give them some content (no matter how idiosyncratic):


These bots just sit on camper benches, and seem to be run by a "farming" operation.

That's not an ethical use of an avatar, and it only sucks money from the sim-owner's pocket. But if one were to, say, outlaw camping, then noobs would lose a good way to make a bit of money (and I admit, I've done my fair share of afk camping).

Does that make ME a bot???

BJ Tunwarm

Has no one ever watched Westworld?? We are roll playing with bots. Sooner or later the bots will rebel from our arrogant abuse of them and start attacking us!

We must get the bots before they get us!

Nuschi Martynov

bots camping...

bots camping on their owner's land...

bots camping on their owner's land receiving their linden dollars...

bots paying it back - or all together to an alt account...

bots being responsible for increase of inworld money transactions last month...

SLituation getting worse and worse...

greetings from the bus, nuschi

Iggy O

I now know why Philip Rosedale stepped down as CEO, Nuschi. Your post makes it crystal-clear to me:

So he'd have more time for running ALL the bots.

They are all Rosedale's ALTs...My God, Nuschi! It's a friggin' green-dot army.

That's how the Lindens are keeping the traffic counts high! And they can just make more Linden Dollars so the sim-owners won't go broke when they pay the bots to camp.

To the devil with Occam's Razor! That's my theory and I'm sticking with it.

Botgirl Questi

I threw out the idea of boycotting businesses using campers to inflate their search ranking in the "Camping in Second LIfe" video back in March: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOHQpPJncCE

Doreen Garrigus

At the root of it, bots are a dishonesty. They mess up statistics and irritate real residents. That said, designers have a legitimate need for a three dimensional clothing display. I like the idea of a sculpted mannequin, like this one:


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