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Medhue Simoni

Is it Broken Again?

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Well, you see, you're kinda trying to break an open door here :) I totally agree with you that SL is a specific game where users create their own content, otherwise there would be no value in it at all, it would be just another videogame. the content doesn't have to be tangible, for instance roleplays are content too.  However most of them do require virtual artifacts. Most users for whatever reasons do not create artifacts but prefer to pay for them to a not so numerous group of merchants.

This discussion is not about that. It is about a point of contact between merchants and customers. You and I are both old enough to remember times when XStreet had just a few hundred users. All business except for an insignificant fraction was conducted in-world yet whatever content users wished to buy they could. The Lab provided point of sale - on merchant's land - and it still provides the same, it did not change. However even then The Lab gave no assurances that even some of merchants would make real life income.

As time passed more and more users would vote with their mice for e-shopping because it is simply more convenient for a variety of reasons so XStreet was growing. Yet even after XStreet purchase The Lab never forced a single user to shop in the Marketplace instead of in-world. The users decided it themselves.

Current Marketplace problems are deplorable and yet they do not deprive merchants of a point of contact with customers. It is right there, where it has always been - in world. My own sales are heavily Marketplace and when it is slow or malfunctioning they decrease. Yet I cannot honestly blame the Lab; it is still gives me the same in-world point of contact as it always have. It is not The Lab's fault that the users don't want to shop in-world. It is our fault as merchants that we started almost totally relying on the Marketplace and don't maintain or expand in-world stores as we used to. When one puts all eggs in one basket someone just might step on it while passing by...

 

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I'm with you, Medhue, I'm halting all production as well. With all the talents I've picked up over the last few months building things for the Marketplace, I should be moving on to developing iOS and Android apps anyway. I mean, blimey, I could even pick up C# and write stuff for the Windows Phone 7 in XNA. I hear it is easy...

... the app marketplaces are actually run by reputable and reliable companies.

I'm rather disappointed.

:matte-motes-crying:

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Don't you think they know all that? Let's say you're an LL executive in charge. Here's the marketplace group apparently trying their best (which I believe they do) yet they simply can't; they fix one thing, another one breaks apart so round and round it goes... Let's say money is not a problem (which is a very big assumption). What would you do?  Obviously it is not junior programmers fault, so what you need is to bring in a cpl senior people, perhaps on a contract basis. It would take weeks for these people to come up to speed, not to mention a month or more to hire them in the first place. And here are the customers rioting, want it all today... What would you do?

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Ela Talaj wrote:

Don't you think they know all that? Let's say you're an LL executive in charge. Here's the marketplace group apparently trying their best (which I believe they do) yet they simply can't; they fix one thing, another one breaks apart so round and round it goes... Let's say money is not a problem (which is a very big assumption). What would you do?  Obviously it is not junior programmers fault, so what you need is to bring in a cpl senior people, perhaps on a contract basis. It would take weeks for these people to come up to speed, not to mention a month or more to hire them in the first place. And here are the customers rioting, want it all today... What would you do?

Well, given how important the MP is, I'd first have an extremely robust team working on it. When Rodvick got here, the MP was a mess and just got converted over, with none of the features we had before. Given all that, it makes no sense at all that the team doesn't have enough people. Besides the fact the converting of the site over to this site was the biggest mistake LL could have made. I remember the promises when it was announced, and it seem quite obvious that LL had no clue what they were even talking about when they made all those statements. Don't you think the if you were gonna make all those promises that you'd actually have some idea of how Xstreet worked before you made those statements about getting a better site?

Just look at the reviews and rating system. They heard some merchants complaining, yet they did little to no evaluation to determine whether the complaints were valid, nor if their new way was at all better. Plus, not sending us messages about the reviews, who the heck would forget about that? It's like they spent 5 minutes thinking about it and then wrote the code.

Now, how would I handle what is going on now. I'd be pulling every single person off every project I could to get all the bugs fixed as soon as possible. I wouldn't pull those people off the MP until it was working like butter and every feature we had on Xstreet is implemented. Every other project LL is working on pales in importance to a working MP. I'd have those coders combing thru every bit of that code.

Personally, I'd be happy if they just gave us Xstreet back, lol.

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Ela Talaj wrote:

Don't you think they know all that? Let's say you're an LL executive in charge. Here's the marketplace group apparently trying their best (which I believe they do) yet they simply can't; they fix one thing, another one breaks apart so round and round it goes... Let's say money is not a problem (which is a very big assumption). What would you do?  Obviously it is not junior programmers fault, so what you need is to bring in a cpl senior people, perhaps on a contract basis. It would take weeks for these people to come up to speed, not to mention a month or more to hire them in the first place. And here are the customers rioting, want it all today... What would you do?

To directly answer your post Ela... the direct answer to your question is that at this point in time AFTER LL developers and commerce team pulled the trigger on releasing DD into production and the migration started and all the bugs have shown up.... there really is nothing more LL could do (if they are doing everything possible and $ is not a factor to resolve this problem) technically to speed up the resolution.  Again - that is IF they are making this a #1 priority which from the lack of LL communication - I have my doubts.

What they could easily be doing better in this situation is to be a lot more transparent and OPENLY COMMUNICATE what they are doing and how big the problem is and provide more assurance that they are doing everything possible.  This could come right out of Rodvik's lips.  This is in their control when they have a massive out-of-control problem they created in their #1 SecondLife ecommerce system.  They could keep those impacted much better informed.

NOW.... lets talk about the bigger picture....

Where LL massively screwed up happened long before the DD production release into MP.  LL's software development team has clearly proven once again they are not a mature shop and they have also proven they do not have the talents, skills, and even full knowledge of the MP & LL's backend systems.  The DD deployment has shown that they never had a strong rock-solid grasp of how MP inter-plays with all the critical backend systems.  There also appears to be evidence that they were already aware of a flaw or corruption of an MP DB and didnt take this flaw in some listings ( the dreaded 14... ).

YET.... based on how fundamentally DD needed to integrate into all these critical systems AND considering the maximum level of risk that tinkering with such a fundamental system compoenent is to the overall operation of MP AND considering their proven lack of 100% full understanding of MP's system components.... 

LL's mistake that they could have avoided is to NOT TAKE ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THIS HIGH RISK FUNCTION INTO MP.

DD was not a critical life-or-death required feature for MP in the first place.  MP could have continued on ok without it.  Sure.... if DD was a simple and low risk development & deployment new feature then it would have been worth deploying.  But we all knew that DD was a fundamentally complex solution to take on even for a development team that was very talented and had a complete understanding of MP's systems.  The risk for LL Development taking it on was 10 times higher risk. 

Sr. LL management should not have taken on this project in the first place.  It wasted a year of several developer's time.  It diverted LL Commerce Team's attention from several much more visible and easy improvements to MP that would have made so many Merchants and Customers happy many times.  And now, LL has rolled the dice and lost on the risk in deploying a system they cannot back out of now.

 

A good example of the situation LL is in now is equal in situation economically as is the situation that the Japanese Government and TEPCO is in with the nuclear plant after the earth quake /tsunami (obviously not at the scale / magnitude or impact to life as the nuclear disaster).

In Japan, a lot of people now see the aftermath disaster that has occured when political/corporate/technical incompentence, poor planning / design, cutting corners for the sake of profits, and lack of communication are allowed to fester.  Now that the earthquake / tsumani has unfortunately exposed the results of all these years of flaws by allowing a nuclear plant to become deadly and dangerous for a long time to come.... there really is nothing more than can be done by TEPCO to speed up the clean up of this disaster.  BUT... what could have been done but was ignored and neglected was all the decisions made BEFORE the tsunami exposed all these flaws.

And just like LL and their refusal to openly communicate with the merchants and customers affected from their mistakes... TEPCO was and continues to be critisized for their lack of transparency and agreement to openly communicate on the situation and what they are doing.

Thankfully for LL... their decisions only impact a critical primary ecommerce component of their own #1 business model of SecondLife.... it does not impact life and limb.

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jazon Uxlay wrote:

lol who are they kidding it was a saterday, they just wanted to leave work early or not be there in the first place.

anyone else notice that you can just about ignore anything they post on the grid report on weekends?


I know I do.  I tried to get in this weekend AFTER that notice was posted and the marketplace would not even ATTEMPT to load.  Personally, I think it was someone at home, logging into the system and making that post.  I have seen no evidence now or in the past that convinces me that somebody is there in the Lab on weekends.  I can just imagine...4PM friday afternoon...mass exodous from the Linden Lab building with not even a backward glance.

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>I'm with you, Medhue, I'm halting all production as well.

I think if you ask around even a little bit, you'll find that the list has not ended with the 2 of you.

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>Let's say money is not a problem (which is a very big assumption). What would you do?

The first thing I would do is stop making users pay monetarily for LL's mistakes.

Even if it's not clear what went wrong, LL is responsible for allowing the ambiguity to be produced, so I would direct my underlings to pay off as quickly as possible anything that is not clearly 100% a user problem.

In fact I would have at least 1 person on staff 24/7 specifically to act as an investigative, proactive agent of compensation for LL's errors.

If, after that, such a new policy were costing too much to maintain, I would try to reduce the cost by producing fewer errors and through better documentation of user action.

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Wow. Just wow.

I'd love to heap all kinds of ire on Linden Labs but, frankly, when I type in specific terms that would lead customers to my products... um... my products do appear... and they appear within just the first few pages of results.

The only conclusion that I can draw from this is that people have just stopped buying my products for whatever reason-- and they've stopped buying them very suddenly.

This leaves just a few possibilities:

1) Someone is making products that serve my niche better than I am
2) My customer base has been satiated by existing product line
3) My customer base has maxed out
4) People are spending their money elsewhere

 

I guess I'm just going to have to sit tight and hope people start buying again...

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When I list new items they sell like mad for a few days and then fall completely off the map. I doubt it's a problem with your products or market, MP is just messed right now. Search is wonky, pages are slow.

Those who manage to slog through and shop on MP during the slow times probably just aren't seeing listings that they normally would.

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