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Friday, October 10, 2014

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Joe

Looks like another failed pipe dream from 'The Skipper'.

Indigo Mertel

It actually makes a lot of sense. There are thousands of special interest groups in Second Life and no one knows how to promote their activities better than themselves. If they had a way to promote their activities it could lead new users directly to content that matches their interests. This shouldn't be as a replacement to a main gate, rather an integration.

I hope LL will plan this right and provide a front end so that SIGs, communities or content makers can present their activities, as I outlined in this post back in 2011: http://bit.ly/1goqkdy

With a good integration with social networks this could be a very effective promotional tool, a major improvement to the way we promote activities over today's cacophony of group notices, notecards and chat, and raise the bar with more rich content. I am hopeful about this approach.

cathartes aura

@Joe. Or maybe SL 2.0 is yet another failed screw their customers scheme by that greedhead Mr. Howell(Ebbe)? lmao!! ;)

Adeon Writer

No don't see it as too big of a deal. Plenty of tutorials are like this.

Pathfinder

Remember this? http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Community_Gateway

Amanda Dallin

Right Pathfinder. I was thinking how familiar this plan sounds. Maybe it will be done better this time but I"m not holding my breath.

Metacam Oh

This is a good thing, the cookie cutter one size fits all entry point for a virtual world where you can literally do anything is stupid to begin with. Ive been arguing about this for years. Community Gateways were a step in that direction but never implemented properly or promoted properly.

Pathfinder

@Amanda I remember learning a lot of good lessons (mostly through mistakes, always the best teacher ;) during the rollout and support of Community Gateways right up until they were shut down in 2010. There are definitely ways to do it right.

Lilly Eureka

Lively did this, you could even open up a portal from a webpage to go directly in the world of the owner, you could see the world of the owner from any website if you had Lively installed on your system. Nobody cares.

Anyone can use an SLURL to directly let people teleport from a webpage or email to their location in world.

Linden closed Patterns this week, they are bleeding hard now and need to scrape the cash together.

Altberg should resign before he costs 200 people their job and thousands of others their RL income.

FredTheGamer

They closed down Patterns now? how interesting, I did like the idea although I never played it.

Nalates

I did not get that Ebbe was saying community entries would be the ONLY way into SL. Just that they were going to provide them.

As Pathfinder points out. Something like this has been tried before. But, my experience of that earlier attempt was that it took place with a very different attitude on the Linden side. Plus the data provision is a big thing.

FredTheGamer

I wish I could remember the drop out rate after registrations and arriving to a info hub, other than it was a shockingly high number (> 80%) LL is perhaps trying to address that, if they do they should support "helper communitys" too instead of ignoring them, people who like helping others is a free resource that makes all the difference to new residents, splash out some free virtual currency on those organisations is my advice.

Desmond Shang

Even when the community gateway program 'ended' it didn't exactly end for all of us. New residents were still sent to this or that destination for years. Destinations that sort of made sense insofar as they retained residents, program or not. After that, the destination guide still sort of serves the same function.

During the last round it literally cost time and money to retain paying customers for Linden. Sure, takes money to make money and all that; make a good gateway and maybe they'll stay with you... I get all that.

But as it was, it cost *ridiculous* amounts of human effort, creative solutions (gateway advertising &c) and raw cash to even get close to covering the gateway's tier. Even worse, by the time a new resident was actually retained, good luck asking them where, exactly, they thought they started.

I lost about 11,000 USD or so on Oxbridge; after that, it was time for some introspection. Even so I *still* chip in a little bit toward its tier myself these days to support the absolutely wonderful, selfless people who give freely of their time to volunteer.

As a hobby, it could be a good one to do that kind of thing. But even as a 'use case' ~ anyone who thinks that people will come to your area and spend *any* money on you during a resident onboarding process, well, good luck with that. Use cases be damned, they won't financially cover your new resident experience. They don't matter, nor will *anything* else make a gateway viable without direct compensation for retention from Linden. The End. Non~sycophantic residents, fail to heed that point at your peril. Just about all us old land barons simply took a chunk of our profits that we were already making to cover the gateways; the business model paying for them was created years before any gateway even existed. A business model that, by the way, didn't *need* gateways and still doesn't.

And if you DO get any kind of success with a gateway you'll discover what we did: a solid percent of the new residents aren't new at all, but shills for other venues (gambling, vampire games, shops, other estates, what~have~you) that will immediately IM the real new residents and try to drag them off to their dens for fun and profit. It's an amazingly cheap strategy! Some fool like me drops 11k USD, and gets a zillion friends involved, spending a zillion hours to build a venue and try to sustain it, only to have it bled out by dishonourable losers with ulterior motives. Losers who admittedly save a *whole* bunch of time and money... because why build a venue yourself when they can be hijacked 24/7? Got caught? Laugh it off, roll another alt.

Personal takeaway: dangerously inexperienced management team considers even less experienced new residents to try to pull off the nearly impossible, all while putting the company's overall rep and new product on the line to do it. Get some popcorn, folks.

Lilly Eureka

Desmond Shang makes an important point about how griefers and abusers can do what they like in world and Linden Lab does not care at all and refrains from taking action these days.

I see how bots send friend requests to then later receive teleport requests by those bots to Sushene gambling places. Griefers laugh hard and tell you they will create new alts and do the same again. Even with serious spam situations Linden does not do anything at all.

It is almost like Linden Lab wants to make residents leave from their grid.

FredTheGamer

ah, that is experience talking. If LL was smart they would suck that up like a sponge when trying to build this next thing, but from my experience from meetings with LL they sadly wont. I think two communities should be encouraged, the "helpers" and also the now dead police force in SL, you may laugh at it but I spent time talking to these guys and they atleast tried and was pretty good at it too. When designing a game experience you need to cater to all players needs, some want to do something useful, some want to be a merchant and some thrive in the rich social context of SL or chase (or get chased ) attractive avatars at those adult sims etc. while others dont mind spending a evening helping new players onboard. if they do - reward them!

FredTheGamer

ah, that is experience talking. If LL was smart they would suck that up like a sponge when trying to build this next thing, but from my experience from meetings with LL they sadly wont. I think two communities should be encouraged, the "helpers" and also the now dead police force in SL, you may laugh at it but I spent time talking to these guys and they atleast tried and was pretty good at it too. When designing a game experience you need to cater to all players needs, some want to do something useful, some want to be a merchant and some thrive in the rich social context of SL or chase (or get chased ) attractive avatars at those adult sims etc. while others dont mind spending a evening helping new players onboard. if they do - reward them!

shirc desantis

Actually Pathfinder thats the first time I have seen that CG page - seems the whole program more or less passed me by during its existance, at least in that form. As it is I recognise roughly 3 names from the featured ones, which is odd considering that was the period of my 'formative' SL time.
Its a little like the Mentor program - I don't recall ever meeting one in the flesh (to possibly misuse a phrase) before that program vanished, and thats from the beginning of 07. Now run across the odd profile proclaiming so and so was one but....
I did wonder if it was due to some time zone difference but during that period I lived on EST so doesn't really make sense.

Arcadia Codesmith

Do NOT, I repeat, Do NOT outsource first-time user experience to amateurs. I'll grant you, some of the amateurs... okay, many of the amateurs are more talented than anybody on the LL payroll. But you can't afford to invoke Sturgeon's Law on that critical first log-in.

Preferably, a new user would never see or hear another user until after he or she was thoroughly acclimated to movement, inventory management, avatar customization and other systems. It would be instanced, private and totally off the grid. Hand them off after they've mastered the basics, and not a moment earlier.

Ajax Manatiso

Giving 2 to 1 odds SL2 will die within 2 years of launch. Any takers? ... I thought not.

FredTheGamer

@Hamlet can you IP block that "R ULosingha ir" bot? Because it's a bot right, nothing it says makes any sense.

@Arcadia: Yes! just like any (and sorry for using this term) "game" has a proper onboarding process. The whole "hello?" and "Oi?" thing between noobs in the beginning should come a LOT later.

Lilly Eureka

Ajax will most likely be right. Two years seems plausible given the fact Linden is pumping all that cash in the new virtual world. So they will want to give it some time.

The new world will be about creating experiences. When I would want to create a virtual experience I would use Unity because it is well documented, free and has a large userbase. Unity would allow me to build a website to document my experience towards users and then use the web player which is a small plugin allowing visitors to directly engage in the world. No registration just load and login. You can do so much with Unity to create experiences both single user and multiplayer I do not directly see the need for another experiences platform. One that will most likely offer less than Unity does today and will cost a lot more. To me it sounds Linden Lab is trying to reinvent water.

As a sidenote: Did you take a look at kickstarter projects for virtual worlds, they do not get a lot of interest or funding. There is a limited niche audience and I do not see that changing anytime soon. Oculus Rift is people strapping cellphones to their faces. People are experimenting with the Oculus Rift SDK for several years now and there are no spectacular use cases for it. It is just a gadget.

Oculus might find its market outside of games in combination with 3D camera streaming.

Pussycat Catnap

"Retention" has always been low because there is no Captcha or other "are you human" verification system so most new accounts are actually spam bots that don't even know SL is not just another web-forum.

However, in the old days when new accounts mostly came in through localized portals / communities - more people joined.

So returning to the old method, as E suggests there, will boost new account creation. But it will not impact retention - doing that requires some method to prevent the creation of fake accounts.

Actual retention in SL has always been very good.
- But people keep including the bots when they look at it, thus thinking its bad...

Pussycat Catnap

"@Hamlet still has a habit of censoring valid and due-diligent fact-findings."

- No, that is the blog software the screens out posts with a spam-load of links in them. It hit me last week but rather than get accusatory I examined my post to find what was causing me to get filtered, and edited my links down.

Due-diligence is NOT spamming 20-links at people and expecting them to go read it, without explaining it...

My edited post was still spammy - but you can figure that out for yourself. I'd much prefer you learn to start actually posting your points rather than posting links to other people's research papers and expecting us to understand the context you see there that we are not aware of.

Pussycat Catnap

I was not aware Desmond was so bitter about his experience running Oxford.

From my perspective that place always seemed like a shining example of doing it right.

Granted LLs should pick up the tier for that sim. It is probably one of two resident owned places in SL I will make that argument for... The other being NCI Kuala - for the same reasons.

But not just because of what they each try to do, but also because they both hit levels of success that made them worth pointing people to.

I've sent many people to both over the years - sometimes with a link, sometimes escorting them over.

I disagree with Desmond about the people who leech users away though. They too are a sign of the value of your venue. Everybody knows - go to Oxford to find people. That works for the leeches, AND for the new residents trying to find out what to do in SL.

Heck I should make a new account and go stand there just to see if the results are better than the destination guide... :)

The people leeched away, they will come back, and/or send other new people there once they get 'off the ground' in SL.

That leechers come to oxbridge is an aspect of its success, not a parasite. It becomes a valuable 'hub' for the new user both in learning, and in finding what to do in SL.

Pussycat Catnap

@Fred: "the now dead police force in SL, you may laugh at it but I spent time talking to these guys and they atleast tried and was pretty good at it too."

I can think of two examples of resident police in SL on opposite ends of the spectrum. One very bad, one very good. In the good one I'd agree with you - with a question of how to encourage that.

Bad: The JLU guys that got all into drama and covert inquisitions against users they decided were villains... They had a massive database of conspiracies going, and lots of personal conflicts that made things very nasty and wrongful.

Good: Arbor Project. They didn't keep records on anyone, didn't investigate anybody, had no drama that I can think of. Arbor Project did only two things: 1. They bought up small plots of land and offered to give them to neighbors at-cost. Essentially cleaning up in the wake of micro-parceling.

And two: Arbor project would gather in mass numbers anytime someone made them aware of a TOS violation involving the rules over land - sit in front of it and debate the TOS rule covering it, and if they all agreed it was a violation, file an AR. Then they would all leave.
- This tactic worked very well to getting Linden attention on problems very fast. And because they debated things and often decided NOT to file when a violation wasn't clear; when they did file it also got attention.

Arbor was/is an example of doing it right. By self-policing when to file, very strictly, they maintained a high standard. By never investigating people, never keeping records - they remained above drama and vindictiveness.

FredTheGamer

Pussycat: good points, I don't recall which faction I was speaking to back then but they put in the hours and tried to offer a service that was needed. Right now the only effective tool against griefers is the mute button. I've filed a dozen AR's but never got any indication that anyone even bothers to read them.

If you want to encourage good behaviour give a reward such as recognition, status, tiers whatever. You'll get a long way with patting someone on their back saying they've done a good job and it's appreciated.

Well, long post but to summarize I think we agree, if done right it's a good thing, if done wrong it's VERY bad. :)

jjccc coronet

this is the interview its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its secret project its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its not going to tell you any thing its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its its ---- its its its is really secret lingo for a sales pitch ---- its its its its its its show us a video of this secret sim that looks better than second life or is it it it to secret its its its

LunaAzulejo

I'm just happy to see Ebbe has a nice avatar.

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