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Friday, August 21, 2009

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Ann Otoole

Regardless of anything Jack Linden has published Linden Lab clearly continues to allow blatant traffic falsification to raise search relevance. It is just that they started limiting who they allowed to do this to people they want to have an advantage.

I see LL published an odd blog saying they were changing traffic calulations away from the way they calculate it now (avatar minutes on parcel per day) to avatar minutes on parcel. This has to be one of the most epic blog postings of all time. Apparently Linden Lab doesn't know what code computes traffic or that, after all it's machinations, the current magical mystery tour traffic computing code produces nothing but avatar minutes on parcel.

Ari is correct about attracting the right sort of visitors. Hunts don't do that. But some hunts are good because it is just something cool and involves people giving gifts you are not otherwise able to acquire. Hunts are actually a symptom of a broken presence awareness system (search) in Second Life. Since such technology is in no way LL's core competency then the best bet is to advertise on the internet where Linden Lab does not control who sees your information. Adult entertainment will certainly have to begin raising public awareness to the opportunities inside SL by advertising outside of SL. And bring new residents/customers to Second Life that already know where what they want is located when they sign up.

Peter Stindberg

Which is exactly the idea behind the Designer Showcase Network. We don't believe in traffic, we believe in customers. Traffic helps nothing if nobody buys, which is where all those inflationary hunts get it wrong. To quote from our mission statement with the DSN:

"On the other hand, business owners realize that traffic does not equal revenue. So instead of having 200 people coming into a shop because of a hunt or a FashCon announcement — but leaving with empty hands except the advertised freebie — it is much better to have 2 people come into the shop who actually buy something."

Wolfgang Szondi

Any experience or thoughts on an outbound campaign to avatars that visited your shop recently?
We collect visit and avatar info, and see how long they stay in the shop etc, ...
Our campaign tool is in beta-test, so a bit curious what we can expect.
Should you sell a visit (like in Ari's article) or a product in an outbound campaign?

regards, Wolfgang Szondi (www.virtualworldanalytics.com)

Ciaran Laval

Ari sells a line of products that lend itself to having few keywords, there are only so many keywords people would use to find Ari's items, which allows the rest of the space to be used in the fashion he suggests.

That's not the case for people who have a wider variety of items and use of plain English is therefore wasted keyword space.

However he's right about the type of visitor, if you have traffic of 2,000 and only 10 people buy or traffic of 200 where 20 people buy, the latter is better for business.

Ari Blackthorne

Wow, I had no idea this post was here (thank you, Hamlet.) And thank you commenters.

@Ann: ditto. I concur, a large part of the problem is how hosed the "search/traffic" system is. This, it is good to use outside tools to help sell your stuff.

The best tool for awareness of presence right now is, ironically, XSL - because it offers a lot of space so it behooves the merchant to use it wisely, e.g.: details, details, details.

As sloppy as that search engine is, at least it parses the entire description field.

@Peter and Wolfgang:
I have been looking since early 2007 for a campaigning service (Wolfgang, I looked specifically at your services but just didn't find a good fit at the time).

I, as a merchant am willing to pay for a service to help in awareness - especially which a service who knows SL and how the shopping culture in it works, which brings me to:

@Ciaran:
Yes, you are correct that I do have a rather niche product. At least, that's what I'm known for. However, I do also create furniture. We all know the stuff: living rooms, bed rooms, kitchens, and all that other stuff.

So what I have chosen to do with regard to my 'awareness' effort is to focus on the niche product: role playing thrones. And I recommend others try that as well. I know you are in (virtual) real estate, which is probably the most difficult of SL business to be in not as much because of the competition (I know it's rough) - but also because it is far more difficult to cut through the "noise" to make yourself and services known.

I personally classify "real estate" as a service rather than a product. As services are almost always a "hard sell". My expertise (in the real world - in SL I only claim "experience, not expertise) - is in "tangible product' and not so much in services, which are a different monster altogether. :)

Maggie Darwin (@MaggieL)

Is "outbound campaign" the new hip code word for some form of spam?

Anything that results in IMs, notecard offers, etc. without an explicit opt-in from the target is spam as far as I am concerned. Just visiting a store (or being in senor range) is not an excuse to capture an avi key and send advertising.

Wolfgang Szondi

@Maggie,

Yes, good point, if the avatars perceive it as pure spam it will be counterproductive.
Opt-in should definitely be looked at ! The idea is more that you can keep existing customers informed by new products or updates.

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