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Join the Second Life Advertising Beta!

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Nelson Linden

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As  part of our continued efforts to provide Residents with new ways to  promote and discover products, services, and inworld businesses, we have  recently launched the SL Advertising Beta at advertise.secondlife.com and we invite you to join the program.

Second  Life Advertising is a self-service advertising system allowing advertisers to purchase targeted display ads on multiple Linden Lab web  properties such as the SL Marketplace and SL Land Auction sites. If this test is successful, then we hope to extend advertising  offerings to additional Second Life web properties. To learn more, check  out Torley’s video tutorial on the wiki, where there’s also more information about the program.

Among other things, SL Advertising features include the following:

  • Display banner ads evenly over the time period you select
  • Target ads to specific SL Marketplace product categories

To join the program, just go to the SL Advertising Beta site and click on the “Get Started Now” button. Please send us all of your feedback, requests, or suggestions to sladsbeta@lindenlab.com. And if you're on Twitter, please use the #slmarketplace hashtag.

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I was trying to use OpenX 3rd party tracking. Maybe another reason they dint want to publish my ads. but who knows :/ I wouldn't take their word for it anyway.

 

if you want i can set one up for you on my openX system. it will send you the summarized stats by email.

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So you send out emails announcing how crap you are making inworld classifieds by reducing their appeal and then you roll out this beta nonsense, Get a bloody clue over there will you.

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I tried the first beta back in October, and never once saw a single ad during that campaign. I wonder if anyone did.

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Poor Nelson. But please note: people complain, and complain vehemently when they care about something, and thus that something means a lot to them. When the complaints stop, you Nelson, and the rest of your co-workers at Linden Lab, will be out of jobs.

Considering all the stuff that needs to be fixed regarding SL, having this blog come out about a new LL advertising scheme for its "treasured" residents, is about as insulting as it can get, quite frankly.

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I may be wrong…but………

My theory on what has been going on in SL for quite some time is this.

A while ago I read something on the Internet from a major Real World Company who had set up a store in SL during the time when massive media attention was giving SL huge boost and the membership was booming.

The article said that they had come into SL with "great enthusiasm" along with other huge RL brand names.

After setting up a store there was an initial flurry of interest, but soon after their Stores had remained empty and there didn’t seem to be an effective way to drive traffic to these locations.

So this and mutterings about the seedier sex side of SL were enough to make these RL companies run for the hills in their over priced training shoes!

Now it doesn’t take a Rocket Scientist to figure out that this was a big blow to the labs.

Having established Real World brands in Second Live, would not only bring them massive income, but it would give them the kudos and acceptability factor they crave.

So (IMO) they set about on a mission to ‘fix’ things so they could attract these people back.

First……..Clean up Dodge by Segregating Sex, introducing a rating system and an age verification system to prove to these big guys that they can control this issue.

Second………Create a Search system that can allow the labs more control over manipulation so that they can Drive Traffic to their Key Account customers, ensuring busy little shops for the important shiny people.

Third………Create a presence on Face book so that when you have attracted back all the big RL Designer brands, then they can use face book to attract attention from the highest demographic of people who would be attracted to SL if they know their favourite brands were here.

Fourth………….Create a new marketplace which closer resembles RW online shopping and can give the labs a further opportunity to manipulate search and drive traffic to key accounts, and potentially a future source of high income.

Fifth……..Come up with other methods of advertising in SL to get us all used to the fact that the big boys are coming and get everyone acclimatised to commercialism on a bigger scale.

 

(this is one of the ads i read. This one touches on the 'empty shop' aspect. I will add the others if and when I find them.)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8367957.stm

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Nelson,

This looks great. I'm in. I'm not one of these hippies or Leninists who thinks there shouldn't be advertising all over the place, I love advertising, it gets media paid for, and that's why we're all here!

And I also don't care if you charge a lot, because this is prime time, your properties, eyeballs out the wazoo, such as we can never get from classifieds, which are likely invisible after the first two pages, or search which is, well, broken.

Now, I just have a few questions:

1. Do you mind if I put an add for my rentals next to your Land Auction pages? I know it might sound counterintuitive, but work with me on this. If people are browsing to BUY land but they are still a little scared and gun-shy, RENTING for instance MY LAND instead will help them get a taste of what it's like, and then they may go buy on the auction later.

2. Could you just put up a chart of your rates, you know, like all magazines do, so I don't have to click through a bunch of menus and add to my shopping cart and pick flight dates (flight?) etc. Like I said, I don't care if it costs a lot, just tell me.

Now that you're breaking the mold on the web pages and finally after all these years cutting us in on your eyeballs, I know that you may come to finally see my point (made for six years) that you have to sell advertising in the welcome areas and infohubs too.

Yes, I see all the screeching above from people who hate ads. But...the reality is, everybody clicks on them. So put them inworld. In fact, I can envision a Linden-run ad network all along the Governor Linden highways and byways on the Mainland that could help you -- and us -- get paid again on the Mainland.

Don't give up, Nelson.

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The bottom line appears to be that LL sees a LOT of funds in many of the SL creators accounts and isn't really happy to think that, at some point, those creators will want to cash those funds out. Which means LL having to write them a check of very real money.

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More BS from the developers why don't you just fix the basics and quit with all of the carp

 

Also what are you doing to the servers the game is a joke Items created one evening are not anywhere to be found the next day This has been going on for several days.

 

QUIT screwing around until you have something that almost works this has again killed sales good luck on getting your clients to pay for some new worthless hype system

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The problem is simple...

There are not enough people in SL that have money; Real World Money OR Lindens to spend.

Linden Labs needs to focus on getting NEW users to participate and keeping them here to enjoy all the great stuff we have.  They need to crank up the (Banner) Advertising they themselves do a little of (be a Vampire) and until recently, did none of.

Take a look at how much Advertising IMVU, Red Light-UtherUniverse and games like WoW, Final Fantasy and a pile of others do.  The New Linden VP of Marketing, Kim Linden (Kim Salzer) ((frankly she rocks)) came to LL us from Blizzard http://lindenlab.com/about/management#salzer

IMVU claims over 100,000 users logged in, and I will bet you that not many of them are "bots"

Kim, please deliver us from this mess.  Advertise SL and boost the economy for all of us!  Share with us what you are planning and doing.

Thanks - Aprille Shepherd

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The problem is simple...

There are not enough people in SL that have money; Real World Money OR Lindens to spend.

Linden Labs needs to focus on getting NEW users to participate and keeping them here to enjoy all the great stuff we have.  They need to crank up the (Banner) Advertising they themselves do a little of (be a Vampire) and until recently, did none of.

Take a look at how much Advertising IMVU, Red Light-UtherUniverse and games like WoW, Final Fantasy and a pile of others do.  The New Linden VP of Marketing, Kim Linden (Kim Salzer) ((frankly she rocks)) came to LL us from Blizzard http://lindenlab.com/about/management#salzer

IMVU claims over 100,000 users logged in, and I will bet you that not many of them are "bots"

Kim, please deliver us from this mess.  Advertise SL and boost the economy for all of us!  Share with us what you are planning and doing.

Thanks - Aprille Shepherd

 

Exactly that Aprille.....Linden Lab have been dilly dallying with strategies that did not yield any meaningful growth.....instead of spending real marketing dollars.

IMVU invested a lot in Banner advertising around the Internet...it  has now surpassed Second Life in terms of concurrency. I've saw it hit 110k 2 weeks ago.

William Harvey (IMVU founder) : "Google is one but our most profitable is banner ad display  advertising. Sexy avatars are a great way of advertising the product and  have a high click-through rate. It works for IMVU."

 

The only way to boost the SL economy...is to increase the active userbase....everything else is pie in the sky!

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I've been considering doing my own advertising in the Real World.  Realistically, SL is a virtual world that in and of itself, isn't the attraction.  It's about what we've built, the virtual experiences we've created here.  Is it really Linden Lab's responsibility to advertise for our businesses?

Comparing IMVU to SL is not really much of a comparison.  IMVU is really just a 3D chat room, you can't create there.

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So  this and mutterings about the seedier sex side of SL were enough to make  these RL companies run for the hills in their over priced training  shoes!

Second Life is where it’s at for sexual play in an online environment... Second Life was continually credited with holding the cutting edge on adult content. (March 2006)

http://blogs.secondlife.com/community/features/blog/2006/03/27/gdc-2006

RL companies did not flee SL because of sexuality. Indeed, sexuality has long been used to sell products in RL. They left because they did not know how to exploit the virtuality of Second Life and because they could not trust the integrity of the property-rights structure. The release of Copybot in November 2006, changes to the TOS and a series of policy reversals undermined confidence in Second Life and Linden Lab.

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I've been considering doing my own advertising in the Real World.  Realistically, SL is a virtual world that in and of itself, isn't the attraction.  It's about what we've built, the virtual experiences we've created here.  Is it really Linden Lab's responsibility to advertise for our businesses?

Comparing IMVU to SL is not really much of a comparison.  IMVU is really just a 3D chat room, you can't create there.

 

Its simple really!

Linden Lab increases its active userbase, it increases it's own revenues and ultimately it's profitability! New users will use Lindex, will buy Land, will take out their premium subscriptions and will buy on Marketplace.

IMVU advertises it's product and hence its grown rapidly even in a middle of recession. Second Life spend hardly any marketing dollars....and therefore not grown in 2 years!

So which to you appears to be the successful strategy?

 

Incorrect....IMVU does allow user created content, Some of their Devs have earnt 100's of thousands of dollars in a year. IMVU takes a sizeable cut on each sale. Infact there are a lot of similarites to SL's Marketplace and IMVU's Catalog..they both have the dreaded "Cart" . You have to wonder if the SL Marketplace Devs actually tried to copy IMVU!!

eg Houses

http://www.imvu.com/shop/web_search.php?keywords=houses

Despite IMVU's impressive growth....if you read the IMVU forums, you'll see similar complaints as we see here on SL forums. It must be something in the Californian air, that has these companies forever trying to fleece it's customer base! The IMVU regulars complain about bad policies being introduced, or customer support tickets not being answered.........you get a familar picture.

+++++++

I see where LL got the idea of a single name Login name.....its' straight off the IMVU account creation page. In fact there's not a lot of difference between SL's and IMVU sign up pages.....and the same can be said of the 2 shopping sites. LL are not being innovative.....it's just straight copying someone elses format!

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hrm... my post was deleted? such an honor

I was mostly just trying to correct a couple of misconceptions so this time i'll leave out the part about my theory that you are ruining in-world search on purpose in order to herd people to the new marketplace, k? cool.

1. Grabbing keyword based Display names does not "protect" anything, it just adds to the clutter in search. After all anyone can grab the same name, since Thats how Display names work. 10, 20, or 200 users can also use your favorite keyword in the username and all it does is push any real listing out of search.

2. LL cant sell advertising for lindens because they cant cash the lindens in anywhere, it would be silly, if they want lindens they can just "print" them. They do it all the time, after all

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Incorrect Joshe. They do "print" the lindens, but they dont give them away for free. Any lindens given to them are bought and paid for - it represents money already in their pool. If you give LL L1,000, that's actually $4 or so they already have.

And the 'ruin inworld search to drive the marketplace' is almost a meme by now.

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As a long-time, successful Merchant in SL...I say, "Forget you". I will not join this new LL failure. Smarten up LL, fix whats broken before adding more junk to the heap!

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Summer,

Yay for smart people!

1) SL is sex -- even if you aren't having it you can if you want. It's the MMO that let's adults behave like adults.  While rl marketers love the teen/tween segment, frankly most kids think SL is "gay" and good luck attacking that segment of console-mentality youth.   I think anybody crunching numbers would find the cost-per-acquisition for this segment is astronomical.  To bad LL and had to go to the school of hard knocks on Teen Second Life -- who's biggest fail was cell phone # verification.

Strategically speaking, LL's approach to attracting big business is bassackwards.  A successful developer doesn't run in and try to gut/clean up the "ghetto" and make it habitable and safe.  They build a mall in the middle or a rural agricultural field and attract customers from the city and suburbia.

"Zindra" should have been a new heavily controllled retail mecca where the rest of SL wanted to go shop.   Cart before the horse and all that junk...

2) Driving and manipulating traffic is key -- for everything from designers to club owners to land resellers.  The new banners link to SLURLs as well.  How very nice.  These are a huge value.  If you can't control the market, there is no market.  I think SL is making huge steps.

3) Facebook... hmm.  I see this an uphill battle.  The audience comes here for a Second Life, not first.  To try to link these is akin to taking a pee uphill.  While it would be good for links to creator and business Facebook pages, I don't see it addressing the needs of regular SL users.  It's an alty-alt world out there.  If I were budgeting for success this would be low priority.

4) Xstreet was a great idea but lacked the integration and ease of use.  If I had a linden for everybody I introduced to it that never heard of it I'd be rich.  The marketplace will get there, however painful the process. Let's face it, you look around SL at 2 year old AVs who don't know how to fit cloths everyday.  Not everyone is a power user and the process of:  use this virtual ATM to send funds here, and it will deliver in-world-there confused and inhibited use and growth.  The marketplace is smart and will be successful in the long run.

Look, even Blizzard realized that if they were going to grow, they'd have to dumb down the game to expand beyond their core users.  New and better looking starter Avatar's were a great start. I'd if I were in charge I'd up the quality even more.  People feel nooby enough trying something new.  To walk into a 3-D world and be lost, looking stupid and feeling stupid inhibits growth.

The one thing the sign-up screen is lacking is the option to choose a fashionable looking AV at sign up for $$. The choices could be part of an annual in-world competition with designers.  While I think that viewer 2 has made attempts to reduce the SL learning curve it was pretty much fail in many areas. Clothing mesh will be huge when it arrives and that may help attract some big biz.  Let's face it, you and I rate SL clothing based on SL standards.  A business outsider looks at the shortcomings of the mesh and layers and thinks " I can't have my designs looking like that.  Our clothing is high quality."  A tough sell.

5) SL is already commercialized.  Frankly, some of the brand development and design here outpaces a lot of award winning marketing in print and other mediums though it's often featured next to cubes featuring rudimentary photoshop hell.  Welcome to user defined.

The "Helm" of LL has lost sight of what they are and they are fishing in multiple ponds, looking for the big catch, and ignoring the basics -- resulting in the lack of a clear mission that leads the company.

1) SL is an Affinity Membership Company that provides users access to an interactive 3-D social environment for entertainment and/or profit.

2) There are two core groups of Members. Users and creators.

3) Without users, neither LL or the Creators will prosper or survive.

That said, recruit, recruit, recruit -- at the lowest cost per acquisition and invest in tools and features that increase user frequency and maximize the life-time value of a member.  Any plan or effort that strays from these basics is pointless.

 

 

 

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Sorry Guys.

Search is a waste of time. Even worse when you wrap it in the Viewer2. Can't browse, can't explore, can't find what I want to find so don't try. Everywhere I shop is based on friends recommendations, past experience and word of mouth. SL is dying because people can't find things to do.

Classifieds are dead. Thank you so much for that, really.

Marketplace Adverts. Look so nice. Waste of time and money.

Advertising Beta?! Did you really just screw every other route to market over and then try and replace it with a new fancy bag of nothing? COME ON! FIX THE SEARCH

I have ZERO faith in any of the Labs new advertising schemes to deliver anything close to ROI. I will be canceling all but the essentials and I will not buying more when current terms are up.

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Ya know, after reading a few comments above, I have to say this (not contrary to the comments-- sparked by them):

Linden Lab makes its money selling/renting/whatevering LAND, right?  That's their bread and butter, yes?

Sooo.... let's employ external sales areas like SL Marketplace, so merchants don't need land to sell their objects.  They can just display on SL Marketplace and ignore land rentals.

Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.  Seriously... they can't see that SL Marketplace is directly competing against Second Life?  Then they wonder why sim sales are decreasing.

I'm not knocking SLX  / Xstreet / SLMarketplace.  Fun places to shop.  I am saying that if you're a company that rents land for a living, it just might not be a good idea to set up a shop that competes with your land owners.  Especially when that land is ridiculously expensive.  And especially when those folks can then say, "Hey, I'm selling more on SL Market than I'm selling here... I don't really need this land."

The point?  When you've got a company that can't see something that obvious... there's a good chance they're going to be pretty clueless about every other business operation as well. ; )

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My classified ads don't show up in 1.23-based viewers, unless people disable PG and mature content and leave only the adult checkbox enabled. And in v2, the text is now truncated. Could this perhaps be fixed at some point in the foreseeable future, maybe before you're asking me to waste even more money on advertisements that nobody can see?

No, that new behavior is intentional, on purpose and wont be fixed.

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I have to agree. The push is to move SL to the web as though its some kind of magical cash laden panacea. Only doing so detracts from the value of the core product, yes selling server space isn't exactly fun or glamorous but at the end of the day that is the business LL are in.

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Simply Amazing. It's as if Toyota was spending it's time making an advert on the thrill of driving. Then demonstrated the adrenalin rush of having a car that will do 130 MPH on it's own and who's brakes and steering were uncertain.

  • Your market place in nearly non functional. People pay and do not receive. Merchants can't sell or advertise on it.
  • Your new viewer to access SL is buggy and frustrating. Third party developers are struggling to make something of it so people will use it.
  • User base is dissatisfied and shrinking. I haven't any contacts in world who feel confident anymore. Many have started accounts in other worlds.
  • Contrary to Microsoft Corporate policy, Bugs are not "Enhancements" Don't follow their lead.

Why not sort the users complaints, then advertise?

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Until I see Linden Lab doing some solid external marketing, another onion layer of internal marketing just looks like monetization of the merchants. I am not saying that was the intention, in fact I'm almost certain that wasn't the intent... it just does have the appearance of this, which is why you got 74 comments mostly full of irate disgust for this new program.

Linden Lab, please market Second Life with some smart real world marketing blitzes (I don't mean more lame IMVU-style net ads). Make Second Life known. If we see Linden Lab advertise more... we'll want to advertise more too.

Make concurrency start upticking & I will be all over your new ad products like white on rice

Oh and let us pay for ads in L$ please... thats another showstopper. You guys don't accept your own native currency? oh yeah "tokens" sorry... but still are you sure you don't want my L$?

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Linden Labs will squeeze money out of its residents & merchants any way it can.

I'm not looking forward to the day when they strart selling billboard ads in SL itself.

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