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Toysoldier Thor

Virtual LandMarks - My Proposed Idea to LL

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So all you fellow Merchants, I am sure you all can symphathize with me on the situation that landed on my lap on Sunday night.  Some of you have encountered this one or many times before.  Lucky you if it has not.

So I have had my sculpty landscape terrains store located in the same parcel of land at a mall owned by a long time friend in SL for almost 3 years.  I have been blessed having this generous large parcel of land with ample prims available. 

In all these years, I have also build my huge 7 floor art gallery in the sky above the store and I also have my home on this parcel of land.  Over all these years I have heavily promoted my store and my gallery  with their respective landing locations via LMs.  My LMs are in all my selling packs in-world and on MP.  They are in all my artworks.  They are in my profile.  My SLURL is on my websites and forum signatures.  And of course these LMs are in the inventory of 1000's of my customers and visitors.

Well the dreaded event finally happened.  My landowner decided (for good reason) that she need to consolidate her land holdings and close this parcel of land.  She was very generous and offered my twice the amount of land on her new sim / mall for the same low monthly rate.  That is great.... BUTTTTTTT you all know what pain I am not dreading and will have to go through.

ALL MY LM's will now become instantly invalid.

Well, this pain made me think of a big WHY DO WE HAVE THIS PROBLEM IN THE FIRST PLACE !!??

I then came up with an innovative concept that is not rocket science but I have to ask.... why LL didnt think of this idea longgggg time ago as its a basic as the concepts of Internet DNS.

Why does LL not develop VIRTUAL LANDMARKS ??

I wrote a blog on the idea and its details - its best you read it there as I dont want to copy / paste it all here as well.

Toy's Blog on the proposal

 

WOW... if LL could develop VLM... think of the benefits... and my blog also explains how LL could also make a lot of additional revenue from this new VLM-NS (virtual landmarks - Name Service).  Details in the blog.

 

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I think it's an awesome and very much needed solution to a huge problem in SL. Will they do it? maybe...but not anytime soon. Even though from a programming standpoint I could think of a very quick way to implement this without even knowing their database schema.

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yeah technically speaking the VLM-NS service would be fundamentally extremely simple - it would be a very basic database. 

The complexities lie in all the interfaces that would have to be re-developed to fully incorporate the concept of a VLM.

 

  • LL would have to add the VLM-NS querying and response handling as well as any other extension logic to the current LM handling into the Viewer.  Then the 3PV would have to incorporate this new code.  i.e. not only what to do with the positive response of a provided LM from the VLM-NS but how to handle errors like no response or mapping disabled etc.
  • The Marketplace would have to be coded to perform VLM-NS querying and response handling as well.
  • The www.secondlife.com website would have to be coded with a new VLM Management page along with its UI logic and interaction to the VLM-NS
  • The billing service fee handling logic would also have to be developed in the LL servers and user interfaces to handle the logic I suggested on fees from guest accounts vs fees / waivers of premium accounts.
  • Also any security aspects of the VLM-NS would have to be considered.  Related to that - would the VLM-NS offer its querying service outside the in-world for 3rd party apps and services to query?

I am sure you can go on and on regarding some of the solution architecture and develop details that would have to be worked out but.... the idea to me is a MUST HAVE.

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Just so you know, this is NOT a service I would pay for.  I think any and all upgrades for sl should be at no charge.  We pay thru the nose as it is.

JMO

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You pay to The Lab if and only if you SELECT to pay it. The basic game access is free. The Lab has no obligation to provide free upgrades beyond this basic free service and, in my opinion, should not.

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IMO not so - what upgrades do we now pay for?

  There are free accounts & they receive upgrades all the time at no charge.  Having a landmark routing system IMO is no different than adding another feature & should not be an additional cost.

Unless LL decides to make SL a Paid platform, then IMO software upgrades should remain free of charge.

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Rival Destiny wrote:

Just so you know, this is
NOT
a service I would pay for.  I think any and all upgrades for sl should be at no charge.  We pay thru the nose as it is.

JMO

 

Rival,

Your position doesnt make sense to me nor hold water IMO.  To explain my point I will will argue your point.

 

Since any and all upgrades for SL should be at no charge then I demand that all existing and new services that LL has deployed / upgraded should be free.

 

  • SL Marketplace merchant sales commissions are 100% wrong.  There shouldnt be any charges for the service form LL even though its an optional service that I choose if I want to be involved in MP or not.
  • LL should not be charged Teirs for those few residents that want to have their own sim.  Afterall, I am a resident of the service and if I CHOOSE to have land - I shouldnt be charged by LL to have it.
  • LL should not charge me if I partner or unpartner even if I choose to be a partner or not.
  • LL should not charge me for my Credit Process of $L to $US

In the same venue... if LL were innovative and decided to deploy an OPTIONAL VLM service for those residents that would like the safety and convenience of using virtual LMs... it should be completely free - regardless if I am a premium or guest account.

RIGHT???

 

PS... I am a guest account and I have not paid LL for any services related to SL that I did not have the option to pay.  If I want to leverage the MP - I have agreed the 5% sales commission.  If I want to process my $L to $US then I have agreed to incur their charges.

As such, if VLM was offered as a new optional service - I would be willing to pay it.  If you dont that is fully your choice.

 

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We are all entitled to our opinions and as a consumer/customer of sl, mine remains the same.  I have no idea how you can say that my opinion doesn't hold water when it is my opinion

You are using options that EVERYONE has to currently pay for as your examples  I am not disputing the fact that LL CAN charge for such things.  I am simplhy stating that this is a feature I would NOT pay for.

I will happily continue to replace lm's whenever there is a need to do so. 

Just to add to the overall idea, if you want LL to hear about it then you need to file a jira.

Meanwhile, I've heard of this idea before & although i'm sure it would be useful to some, there are many other features, things that are broken for example, that IMO are more important & should be addressed by LL.

 

Edited to add:

I should probably have included a bit more info here.  I am an estate owner, I have a premium membership, etc. etc. & pay LL a substantial amount each month & am most certainly not unwilling to pay for what I get.  My main point here is however, that this is something we can currently do ourselves & so IMO, is not a service that I would pay for nor is it something that I have an issue with.  There are many things in sl that are annoying and time consuming.  This is just one of many IMO.

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1.  I cringe thinking of all the manual work involved in moving store locations, even for a small store and for those with many products...just...ACK.  I'm sorry you have to move, but it does sound like when you do you will have more prims. :)  But doesn't negate the pain of updating lm's.

2   I think your idea is fantastic and I would pay for it.

3.  Considering that LL can't (or won't) clean up the mess on the MP, instituting something new might just throw them into apoplexy.  OTOH, since they let SL limp along with broken components for years and love to throw new shineys out - this might catch someone's attention.

Heading to vote for jira.

 

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Toy, this is a great idea!  I went through the "move store" -> "update landmarks" headache a while back (thankfully when I had far fewer products than I do today), and it's definitely a timeconsuming task. The good news is that updating the SLURL for your MP store is pretty painless, so hopefully shoppers will find you quickly if they use that.

JIRA voted for/set to watch.

Best of luck with your move!

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I've voted for your jira too. This is a service I would gladly pay for, although, I would kind of like to see it maybe included as part of the premum service perhaps. But even if it wasn't I would still pay for it. It does make me wonder what sort of webbased solution with a redirect of some sort I couldn't use on my own in the meantime. Maybe not an actual LM, but it would certainly be easy to setup say a URL at www.thelegantgoth.com/storelocation and include that in all my product packages and when clicked on would do a redirect via that page to my actual SLURL and force it to become a link in chat, like it does when you click on a slurl in a website. I dunno how useful it would be...but maybe!

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Deja Letov wrote:

I've voted for your jira too. This is a service I would gladly pay for, although, I would kind of like to see it maybe included as part of the premum service perhaps. But even if it wasn't I would still pay for it. It does make me wonder what sort of webbased solution with a redirect of some sort I couldn't use on my own in the meantime. Maybe not an actual LM, but it would certainly be easy to setup say a URL at
and include that in all my product packages and when clicked on would do a redirect via that page to my actual SLURL and force it to become a link in chat, like it does when you click on a slurl in a website. I dunno how useful it would be...but maybe!

Before I published this idea I thought about how this VLM idea could be effectively developed and operated by someone other than LL for two reasons: 

 

  1. If its something I could setup and make a profit on providing this solution - why would I give it away to LL?  It would be awesome to create another huge continuous revenue generator like what I proposed in the blog and have that revenue come to me instead of LL.
  2. We all know that even if this idea was the 2nd-coming of a deity to SL and it would revolutionize SL - LL typically does not listen to any ideas from the community unless its small token improvents (and rarely that either).  So I knew going into the effort of publishing this for LL that there was a 98% chance that LL wont even take the time to read my idea - much less seriously ponder developing & deploying the idea.  As such, if it were feasible to deploy this idea without LL involvement then it had a far better chance.

 

But, as much as we all could come up with very small scale work-arounds to the problem that VLM would solve, these ideas just wont have the effectiveness required to be successful.

The to to VLM concept being successful is that the VLM Asset (in your inventory and what you can hand to other people) and all VLM services and links (i.e. VLM cabable SLURL's) are integrated into all interfaces of SecondLife - primarily the Viewers.  It has to be known by the entire community and be able to be used by the entire community and SL respective services.  I would want to be able to hand a VLM asset to complete SL resident strangers like I do an LM and they would known what it is and it would work no matter what viewer they are using.

If its not, then as effective as a custom small scale work-around would work for our own use, it would not be adopted or used by the large scale community and as such rendered of limited value.

Therefore, reluctantly I had to publish the idea in hopes that LL would take the rare opportunity to read the JIRA and say "WOW why didnt we do this longggg time ago and this would really be helpful and even make us some more revenue by increasing sinks".

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As for the proposed recommendations for how LL could potentially charge for the VLM services, they were only suggestions.

I am like anyone else that would rather not pay for service if I dont have to.  I am also a SL GUEST ACCOUNT so it would have been in my best interest NOT to suggest to LL to charge for usage of VLMs.....

BUT in RL I am also a systems architect and do business proposals for new ideas all the time for the Business to consider.  There is one key to the success of a business proposal being seriously considered and adopted....

WHATS IN IT FOR ME?  AS GOOD AS AN IDEA AS THIS IS - HOW WILL IT BEENFIT ME?

As such, I saw that the ability for SL Residents to create and manage VLMs would be a perfect situation of a Value-Add service that many residents who do not run stores, malls, clubs, art galleries, etc. would not really care for nor use.  But for all those like us Merchants where LM's are a critical part of marketing and promoting our business... VLMs would be worth every penny.

As such, LL should be able to use VLM Services to promote the benefit of being a Premium member and also to make an on-going revenue stream for the use of VLMs.

So that is why I suggested that LL should consider charging for this service in some manner.  Maybe the LL Bear will turn its head and be attracted to the HONEY in this idea.

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LOL - thanks Darrius.  I know with your technical prowess that you will have a lot to say about the idea and its technical feasibility for LL to deploy.

I think that although it would take some time to develop the new interfaces for VLM and adjust the existing interfaces to use VLMs, the architecture of the VLM-NS and VLMs would be no more diificult than LL's effort to develop and deploy DD but with far greater benefit reach.

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Okay, now that I've read your blog on the VLM idea:
 

  1. I also think it ought to be a free service. As you point out, implementing the VLM-NS Server would be almost child's play ..the real effort being implementing them in the Viewer code. Considering the other complicated features they've added (and also have been added by various TPVs) that too should be very simple. Thus charging a fee for this service would make them unnecessarily expensive and thus unused by most folks. Remember that Newbs land with nothing in their pockets, so asking them to pay just to make a VLM of their favorite places or their friend's home would just not work.
  2. I really like your ideas regarding round-robin VLMs and backup locations for a VLM in the event of failure to TP to the first location. Implementing this would also be extremely easy and would further enhance the "Shared Experience" of Second Life.

Major Kudos on this idea Toy. Amazing how extreme emotion can sometimes turn into marvelous innovation. Well done!

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Okay, now that I've read your blog on the VLM idea:

 
  1. I also think it ought to be a free service. As you point out, implementing the VLM-NS Server would be almost child's play ..the real effort being implementing them in the Viewer code. Considering the other complicated features they've added (and also have been added by various TPVs) that too should be very simple. Thus charging a fee for this service would make them unnecessarily expensive and thus unused by most folks. Remember that Newbs land with nothing in their pockets, so asking them to pay just to make a VLM of their favorite places or their friend's home would just not work.
  2. I really like your ideas regarding round-robin VLMs and backup locations for a VLM in the event of failure to TP to the first location. Implementing this would also be extremely easy and would further enhance the "Shared Experience" of Second Life.

Major Kudos on this idea Toy. Amazing how extreme emotion can sometimes turn into marvelous innovation. Well done!

Thanks Darrius.

Let me clarify what the proposed charges would be for....

The usage of a VLM throughout SL would be free.  A Merchant that created a VLM for his store location could hand out VLM assets as readily and easily as they hand out an LM.  Those that receive a VLM from a vendor, or from inside a purchased pack of content or that is given to them via an IM or Notecard would be as free to use as an LM is.

The proposed usage fee would be for those that wish to create a VLM into the VLM-NS system.  These would typically be the merchants, club owners, concert stage promoters, major event hosts, art gallery owners, etc. They are the ones that would typically want to create and manage these VLMs for mass distribution.

The average SL resident that only TPs around SL to enjoy the experience and the noob that just arrived in SL would likely have ZERO interest in creating any VLMs... they have no need to create them and so they wont and as such wont be charge for creating and maintaining the VLM entry in the VLM-NS.  They are simply a user of a VLM and use it free as much as they currently use LM freely.

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Hmm .. okay .. I see your point. The creator of a VLM would have to have a web interface or submission system to "Edit" the VLM's destination LMs .. and administering that could be a bit more involved. Granted, it could be as simple as a single form, but no doubt would require a hefty security system to prevent some miscreant changing everyone's VLMs to point to their own store.

Probably something similar to what is involved in the DNS system now wherein a series of emails must be sent, received and approved before a change could be recorded. But it could be done, and once done could be almost entirely automatic. Also since it wouldn't be the Name on the VLM that people fight over, it would just be some nonsensical string of letters and numbers, so creating one wouldn't involve people fighting over a name the way they fight over domain names now.

I still think pricing is a bit high .. even for a system of VLMs that only Merchants create. Every cost is carefully watched now and charging weekly for something that might never change is .. well it's a lot less interesting than life insurance. How about a fee per change structure?

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Yeah, as I posted in the blog/jira, the VLM Creation/Maintenance page would be just another page off your logged in www.secondlife.com account page - where you find your transaction history page and your contact info page. 

This would be a new page that - based on if you are a premium or guest member - gives you the prompts on creating a limited number of new VLM entries (unlike DNS where I could create as many as I want and try to park on popular names) as well as being able to change parameters for any created / existing VLM that the account is allowed and has created.  The member could also delete VLMs if they have no more need for an VLM and dont want to keep paying for the VLM.

As for the fight for popular name and the issue similar to squatting on DNS... this would not be an issue for the VLM-NS since the NAME that a user creates for a VLM is nothing more than a label to the actual VLM asset ID in the VLM-NS.  In fact 10 users of VLMs can all call their VLM "BEST CLUB IN SL" if they want.  But when a VLM is created in the VLM-NS each of these 10 VLMs would be given unqiue hidden Asset IDs in the VLM-NS.  When user hands out the VLM to his userbase, they will get this VLM that is labeled "BEST CLUB IN SL" and they can completely rename it just like an LM can be renamed.  The reason is that the VLM's hidden VLM-NS record ID would be what the internal systems would use to query the VLM-NS and get back the responding LM.

As such, the problem you mentioned is not a problem for the VLM-NS solution.  Therefore, there would be no fight for names since VLM names are not exclusive - they are only labels initially defined by the VLM owner. 

The cool value add to this concept is even though the VLM owner created the VLM with a name and handed it out to a 1000 SL residents and 750 of them decided to rename the VLM to a name that makes more sense within their inventory...  like:  "Toy's Club at xxx sim",  it is still a VLM and when the owner changes the mapping to the VLM, all 1000 holders of these VLMs will still get the new LM - no matter what they called it.

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I agree. i think you have to send it out as an idea to LL. Doing it ourselves....like you said could work on a small bandaid solution type scale but definitely i agree, I doubt it would be worth pursuing as a solution to the masses as a product to offer. too many headaches. but until they do decide to do something with it, might be the best solution to do something for yourself until they can get around to it.

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Hi, great idea and should been implemented long ago.

Correct me if i´m wrong. Isn´t everything in SL already just a link ? UUID

You can apply a texture linked to your inventory. If you change it the object will change too ...

So far bascially the viewers can already handle this just not for LMs.

Monti

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OMG I hope LL listen to this.

This is the reason why I don't add landmarks on my boxes anymore. Cannot bother to update everything whenever I decide to move. Last time I rented a piece of land the place was pretty popular, then I moved. I lost a bunch of customers. The new renter messaged me that lots of people were there visiting trying to find my store and how annoying that was. To make it worse I own a PG store and the new renter rebuilt the land for "mature" stuffs. I had to update hundreds of boxes deleting LM's. And till today lots of my old customers are getting redirected to who knows where...

I know lots of people that buy from marketplace are missing the great opportunity of seeing my great store inworld as well *coughs* xD

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As a quick update, it was suggested to me but forum members in the SL SERVER forum that I bring this proposed JIRA for Virtual Landmarks up as an agenda item of the CONTENT CREATORS user group. 

Apparently LL staff actually engage at these meetings and would need to take notice of a proposed suggestion JIRA that likely wont get noticed if its promoted in the community forums or just sits there patiently waiting as an unassigned JIRA.

 

My only problem is that all LL User Group office hours are during north american work days and hours.... well I work RL then too so attending one of these to propose the VIRTUAL LANDMARKS is near impossible.

I am going to see if I can get it as an agenda item and point to the JIRA # and let the user group talk about it even if I am not there.

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So an update for all my fellow Merchants that I truly believe this proposed VIRTUAL LANDMARKS solution to LL would be a huge benefit if LL decides to take this VLM idea serious and implement it overtop of the existing LMs service....

FIRST:

You all know I have created a JIRA for this proposed idea.  I have seen some of you vote / watch / and even comment on it.  If you miss the JIRA in this thread, here it is...

https://jira.secondlife.com/browse/SVC-8082

SECOND:

The Server forum thread on my topic of VLMs suggested that in order to be noticed by LL, a JIRA is not good enough.  It needs to be presented to one of the LL User Groups.  After talks with some of you - it was agreed that it should be presented at the next User Group for Servers / Sims / Scripts.  I have formally placed my JIRA on the agenda for tomorrow at 16:00 SLT.  Here is the agenda details for tomorrow's meeting:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Server/Sim/Scripting_User_Group

If you really agree that VLMs would be an invaluable solution for the Merchant community, I would love to have you try to attend the meeting and voice your support.

THIRD:

In prep for a formal presentation of the idea to LL, I have taken one suggestion to "de-bloggafy" the JIRA description and summarize it more to the details of the proposed idea.  I have done that as well as corrected / clarified a few smaller aspects of the solution.

I have also decided to whip up a couple BEFORE and AFTER diagrams that show visually how both the current LM model works (and its major weakness) as well as how the proposed VLM model works (and its several benefits).  The diagrams are attached to the jira.

(I wasnt able to insert the images in this posting - getting an HTTP ERROR when I try - so you will have to go look at them on the actual jira)

FINALLY:

If you really belive VLMs would be invaluable, please watch / vote on it as well as socialize it and the JIRA within your circle of SL friend.

Hope to see you at tomorrow's User Group meeting.

 

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