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Marketplace Search Beta Now Available

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I've been doing this since 2008, trying to explain simple things, i'm not new at this thanks.  For example:-


polysail wrote:


Problem #2 : DEMOS Existing listings.

Again ~ an offshoot of the prior dilemma.  A lot of people have chosen to label their demos differently.  Not everyone with a marketplace shop currently is there to manage / curate it.   Catagorizing existing listings into specialized "DEMO" classifications automatically cannot be 100% accurate.  Not everyone's demo items are linked to a main item.  .

Right, straight away, think it through, if the item is NOT linked to a main item then by definition it is NOT a demo.  It's merely a discrete Marketplace listing on its own, it may have no useful features, may be textured oddly etc. but it is certainly NOT a demo as far as Marketplace is concerned.  If someone has chosen to pretend it's a demo and wants the customer to play "hunt the listing" then they're simply not using Marketplace correctly and no, we're not going to expect to cover all cases where people can't drive properly.

Lets please stick to how MP functions should work based upon the functions provided.

Shall we discuss multiple listings for each different colour or would you accept that they too should be under the same listing but LL never implemented that, it's not hard...

I don't believe LL are incompetent, they are however unaccountable and dismissive, unengaged and disinterested.  Or at least, that's the impression given and please don't read any of the above as hostile towards you, it's not intended that way either but I and others have been here over and over and we're not negative, just wonder why LL constantly ignores what is obvious and asked for.

Besides which, it doesn't matter whether it's difficult or not, the most important things that affect people (their stakeholders) should receive the attention don't you think?  That's not what happens.  They've spent pretty much 2 years very slowly fixing something of entirely their own making and around that all we've really had is contant meddling with search, never with a good outcome.

If you're new to Marketplace, you'll see over time how it goes but LL seem to underestimate the RL skills and RL job roles of their customer base while making mistakes that those of us in similar roles would be reprimanded, called to account for or even fired.  It's as if they look upon us as little children rather than people with equal or greater combined skill.  Fascinating really!

(anyway, I really really wanted to stay out of this thread but have only managed to disappoint myself for letting myself get dragged in :( )

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I realize we come across as somewhat deranged, but this is always Charlie Brown and the football: we are always (pathetically) hopeful, until we see it is round 243 of the same old thing.

 

In the "Lab Talk" Ebbe was asked if anything was being done about the Marketplace and he said something like Oh, yes, we have a new search beta to improve search!

 

 

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No, I don't believe the company's employees are incompetent .. not all of them. Even in a population of the greenest, newest, least real-world proven programmers, one or two will shine. These days, it's usually a lot more than just two. 

What I believe, the same as Dart btw, is that the Lab purposely disgregards and ignores the reasoned, logical and obvious solutions in favor of tasks that benefit no one we can identify .. and for reasons that have no apparent or discernible beneficiary. What good does it possibly do for them to NOT implement such things are you highlight? And they have had more than two years to resolve them. Even in a giant pool of idiots, after two years they could have had something done.

But they have done nothing.

I am well skilled in database, system communication, data management, feature creation and implementation .. and customer support. The systems I sell in Second Life are designed for large quantities of users, tie two (or more) disparate systems together in an intimate data connection, and provide features that I would have NEVER thought useful .. but are there because my customers said they needed them.

I listened, I heard, I reasoned and discussed with my customers. After some time (for some features, others are like DUH momemts), I made those features happen. Yes, I still have some that are in the creation or even beginning thought stage, but they are on that list for the same reasons: Customer Request.

I have one brain, one imagination and one way of looking at things. My customers span the range of personality, purpose, attitude and skill. But they also bring large numbers of imaginative brains, vast experience created from daily use and abuse, and a goal in mind that .. bottom line .. makes their tasks easier or more productive.

LL has for years ignored even the lowest hanging fruits. As Sassy pointed out (waves at Sassy), even the Demo issue is a simple change to a selection Query that would take probably a few hours of implentation and test. But it is a suggestion that is totally ignored .. for years .. for no reason stated .. EVER!

No, they are not incompetent polysail. They are purposely withholding features and functionality that would increase their bottom line, increase the popularity of their platform .. and ultimately increase their success. Instead though they have chosen to chuck the whole thing in the dumper, create a brand new platform .. and start sending out "softeners" in the form of PR moments and press leaks that will (they hope) ease people into paying MUCH more money for the same lack of service we receive now.

It's a business model rampant in today's economy. Retail workers paid way too little, even below the poverty level then pushed to perform at higher and higher levels without any offsetting compensation. And when prices go up, management blames their "expensive work force" (or some other scapegoat reason) and quietly pockets their increase in profits.

Linden Lab has determined that they want more of the pie. They aren't satisfied selling and supporting a platform that works, has worked .. and has a population of dedicated customers .. but for only a reasonable amount of income. They have decided they want more income, and the way to get that is to force this platform to die while creating a brand new one with new rules and new methods of monetization.

Ignoring the truth that their new methods will enrage old customers, scare off new customers .. and produce an end-product that is neither saleable nor popular. They will successfully kill their only source of income .. and publish a new source that is a fail from day one .. and then blame the lousy economy .. or the Democrats in office .. or the phase of the moon. ANY thing except their failures to fix what they already made, failures to listen to wise and solid advice .. and failures to treat their customers with the respect and dignity people deserve.

(Whew .. okay .. soapbox got a little bigger than expected but ..)

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Pamela Galli wrote:

...[snip]... 

In the "Lab Talk" Ebbe was asked if anything was being done about the Marketplace and he said something like Oh, yes, we have a new search beta to improve search! 

And there is the proof of my point. (Thank you Pamela.) Either Ebbe is unaware of the projects in action within his company (and that alone is scary enough) or he is purposely glossing over a massive fail in progress. I will put my money on purposeful ignorance.

Would we prefer to believe that the leader and guiding light of the company is so oblivious of his employees' tasks and duties? Or would we prefer to believe that years of failure are due to intentional disregard of those things that can and should be done rapidly? Again I put my money on willful acts .. and not on simple incompetence.

(Sorry Pam .. this wasn't aimed at you ... still venting some of the built up steam)

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Yes there's a substantial fraction of items labeled "DEMO" that are associated with a single item.  ( Huzzah ~working as intended )

There's also a substantial number of items that aren't associated with a DEMO as well~ since it's restricted to 1 item-demo link.  And as was mentioned prior in this thread, there's literally 1000's of demos to removed listings, just floating around on the marketplace.  As well as original demos posted for people who do Gatcha resale.  Those demos aren't linked to any specific listings either~ they're just there as a conveneince for people.

 

Bottom line: SL is a user created entity, even it's infrastructure.
Improving on something so fractiously generated is NOT a simple task.

To further compound that people compose work arounds to an issue which generates a spiderweb of related problems.

 

Multiple color variatons of listings is a nice idea~!  I'd love to see something like that implemented.  Easy to implement ~ but difficult to retroactively determine.  IE all the old multi-color-listings are going to still have to be dealt with in a way that doesn't compromise visibility.  This means somehow creating extra listings that point to the database statistics from 15 different listings.  Perfectly doable mind you for standard listings~  a little more difficult for gatcha resale which is 100's of the same item posted in various shades.

 

I'm sorry I'm raining on the pitchfork festival with logic and reasoning.

 

I sincerely hope this discussion moves forward towards problem solving as I think we can all agree that marketplace search is a multitude of complex issues that all NEED to be addressed.

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Your logic and reasoning is ignoring one simple fact .. 

Just because a fix doesn't fix EVERY thing .. doesn't mean it should not be implemented.

Following your logic, nothing should ever be done because it might not fix all of the problems. Yes, there are unlinked demos, mislabeled demos and general trash littering the SLM. But their existence does not negate the fact that applying the "no demos in search" fix would eliminate 100's of thousands of listings that have no purpose and no right being included in the first place. Yes, it will miss a few items comparatively. But it will FIX 1000's more.

So .. do we:

1) Do nothing because we might miss a few? Or ..

2) Do we do something that addresses the majority of issues and worry about the rest after the fact?

I vote for option 2.

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polysail wrote:

I sincerely hope this discussion moves forward towards problem solving as I think we can all agree that marketplace search is a multitude of complex issues that all NEED to be addressed.

We ARE problem solving. We are showing, telling and in great detail explaining what the real problem is, how to solve it .. and using our experience and skill to do so.

Saying only nice things isn't solving a problem. Problems are, by nature, tough things to discuss. Someone somewhere is going to get their nose bent out of shape when they hear that their stuff isn't working. Tough beans!

So .. I don't know what you are doing polysail .. but WE are trying to solve a problem. We just need for LL to admit it's a problem and agree to fix it. For now? They're fixing things that aren't problems .. and with solutions that aren't solutions .. while refusing to tell us what they've done, how it's better or what needs to be tested.

Just how is THEIR approach solving any problems? Near as I can tell, it's just creating more.

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polysail wrote:

 

I'm sorry I'm raining on the pitchfork festival with logic and reasoning.

 

You have been in SL for a little over a year, and have 13 items for sale on the MP.  My family depends on my sales, including MP, for their support. Could it be that your investment in the MP is not what mine is, and that might account for the fact that my level of concern is a great deal higher?  For me the stakes are very high, and that shows in my posts. When the stakes are as high for you, come back here and tell me that I am part of a "pitchfork festival". And I don't see much logic and reasoning, just the implication that you alone are the one in possession of them.

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Oh I'm not belittling the importance of marketplace needing to be done right.  85% of my sales come from MP which is a substantial percentage of my monthly RL income.

 

Which is WHY these problems need to be addressed *correctly* in a calm sane manner.

 

The narrative this has taken these last few pages has mainly been ranting and sputtering and very little productive chatter.  So~~ instead of sitting here and commiserating about how our doom is inevitable ~ and everything's a 'done deal' because LL is clueless whilst screaming "YOU'RE FIRED" at random people  ~  cause you know ~ that's productive.... Why don't we pick out the details of what we need~  what we want, and how we'd like to see it done?

 

So with that ~  let's get on with the technicalities.

What priority should be assigned to sales frequency / popularity for overall relevance?

If the review system is put more front & center / overhauled ~ how much relevance should that sub-system pull?

How do we deal with keywords?
Some people suggested reducing the number of allowed keywords.  Since reducing the number of allowed keywords will make older listings "more valued." as they will turn up in more searches~ is this acceptable?

Another person pointed out that they should have their relevance "tuned down some." To reduce the exploitation of them.  What should take their place?

 

How do we filter store names out from listings when we as creators stick our brand names on everything we make?

Do we try and compare store names to listing names in an attempt to exclude store names from listing somehow?  Is that even possible?

Are we willing to re-list stuff?   Are we willing to edit our existing listings?  Is there some sort of automated handler LL could implement?  ( is that even feasable? )

How about listing naming conventions? 

How do we handle the Demo situation?  Do we delist them?  Do we give them their own unique status on MP listings?

If we delist them~

How do we deal with retroactively processing the existing marketplace database so that Demos are able to be associated with more than one listing.

Is there a way to accurately automate delisting of the thousands and thousands of existing demos on the marketplace? ( Both associated & unassociated? 

Will the delisting of those items negatively impact sales of the merchants who own them or will the sold item gain the ranking of the associated demo. 

Will the sales relevance of the existing demo be added into the ranking of the existing product?  What sort of "marketplace merging tools" should be created for managing our listings?

What if that demo *should* be associated with multiple products?

If we don't delist them and opt to remove them from search results via a tickbox.~

How do we deal with the fact that for many merchants their demos currently have far superior listing relevance than the item they're selling?

How do we deal with demos that are presently "unassociated" namely ones for gatcha items or for expired listings?

How do we condense mutliple listings for color variants.  

What sort of visibility priority would a multiple "variant" sales listing gain over a dozen individual listings? 

How do we compound various sales statistics from a multitude of slight variant listings. 

If there's an automated "variant association algorithm" available ~ do we trust it?  Are we willing to put up with reassigning miscatagorized products?

 

How much work are we~ the creators willing to do for a possible improvement in visibility?

Are we willing to pay added premiums for a professional marketplace environment??

 

There's a lot of very important unanswered questions.  And a lot of discussions that need to take place.

It requires conversation between us ~ the merchants and the commerce team.  So please~

Because this IS important.

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*sighs*

 

As numerous have already pointed out, we've done that over and over, weary of it, they don't listen and this is the result.

 

I for one am not going to repeat the same offers of solutions over again and expect a different result but I wish you luck. I'll sure that your membership of the club will be held open as long as SL lasts that long.

:)

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polysail,

Go dig through the archives please. You have (in some places) repeated things said over two years ago .. by those now expressing frustration that nothing has changed. Why are we expressing frustration? Because we already pointed out the problems, the solutions and the need .. more than two years ago. And nothing has changed. (like DUH??)

Exclusion of Demos from Search

Demos are already a unique class of item. The Marketplace already knows they are different. It says on a Demo product page "click to see the full item". The reverse is true because on the full item page it says "click to see the demo item". So .. excluding demos from search indexing? Exclude those items that would cause the "click to see full item" display on the item's product page. DONE!

Broken Demo Links

One SQL query, run on a timed basis, scans for broken links. Any product, demo or full, that has a broken link is marked as "Inactive" by the query. The Merchant is then notified by email or (for lazy programmers) just on the Merchant Home Page. They already leave us notices about products taken down or blocked for some reason, so the mechanism exists. They also send us email notices about sales and reviews, so they have that mechanism too. All that is lacking is someone to write the query and schedule it .. and .. DONE!

Removing Merchant Name from Search Indexes

The Search Indexer doesn't need to remove Merchant Names from ALL listings, just from the Merchant's listings. While indexing the listings for Merchant "NeatoStuff", the keyword "NeatoStuff" is temporarily added to the Stop Words list. When those listings are done, the Stop Word list is purged of the Merchant's name.

DONE!

How much are we willing to pay?

Nada. Nothing. The features we demand are not extraordinary or unique to SLM. They are basic features of ANY ecommerce web site. Therefore we expect them to be included here too. We will not pay them EXTRA to do the BASIC job. Would you pay extra to have gasoline actually put in your tank at the gas station? No? Then why should we pay extra for something that is part and parcel of the ecommerce function?

Relevance

A complicated issue that needs a lot of thought, study and experimentation to get right. Even Google is continually tweaking their algorithms and methods. So there is no easy solution to the problem. But instead of fixing those items I mention above, the Commerce Dev Team has been silent for a very long time and then announces they have "fixed search" as evidenced by their new Search Beta.

Yet they have not fixed it. They have instead broken it worse. And instead of engaging in a back-and-forth cycle .. tweaking and ajusting and incorporating feedback, they leave it there, say nothing to anyone .. and will shortly roll it out as "production" code.

Summary

Instead of fixing those things that NEED fixing, Commerce Dev has instead chosen to tackle the most complicated and involved issue ... break it more .. and then go dark. Once again they have shown complete lack of respect or understanding of what havoc they wreak. ONCE AGAIN! Not just "gosh this is new" but ONCE AGAIN.

Go read the archives polysail. Go see how history is once again repeating itself. Instead of basing your position on just the limited peephole you have now, go learn from our past. THEN you can speak with authority. Until you know the full history, you are speaking out of turn and have insufficient basis on which to stand.

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

 

Go read the archives polysail. Go see how history is once again repeating itself. Instead of basing your position on just the limited peephole you have now, go learn from our past. THEN you can speak with authority. Until you know the full history, you are speaking out of turn and have insufficient basis on which to stand.

_________________________________

Amen.

A good way to become enlightened as to what has gone before and the context in which we are speaking is to search this board for the term : low hanging fruit.

Nothing like coming into a conversation that's been going on for years, which includes some of SL's best informed people, and telling them how they ought to behave and think based on your own limited experience.

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Hi again, everybody, jsut a quick revisit, please don't drag me into any itneresting discussions again! :P


polysail wrote:

It requires conversation between us ~ the merchants and the commerce team.

Yes it does but where is that conversation? A conversation means that both sides say something and that both sides listen to what the other says. So far the commerce team has done neither. I have read through some of the older posts and it has been that way for much longer than you and I have been in SL, the old-timers have every good reason to be mad and frustrated because nothing good ever happens.

And the worst part, the way I see it, is that there doesn't seem to me any reason for this misery. I do not for a moment believe the Commerce Team are as incompetent as they appear to be and I can't even start to comprehend the idea that they don't understand the situation. But I can't for my life think of any other plausible explanation either.

 


Pamela Galli wrote:

In the "Lab Talk" Ebbe was asked if anything was being done about the Marketplace and he said something like Oh, yes, we have a new search beta to improve search!

oh.

 

That is bad. That is really, really, really bad. It's as bad as a very bad thing that got even worse just as you thought it couldn't possibly.

 

I'd really like to see the exact words he used though. I couldn't attend the show myself and still haven't found any recording or transcript so I don't really know what happened there.

 

Edit:

Fortunately not that bad... See my next post.

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Pamela Galli wrote:

Darrius Gothly wrote:

 

Go read the archives polysail. Go see how history is once again repeating itself. Instead of basing your position on just the limited peephole you have now, go learn from our past. THEN you can speak with authority. Until you know the full history, you are speaking out of turn and have insufficient basis on which to stand.

_________________________________

Amen.

A good way to become enlightened as to what has gone before and the context in which we are speaking is to search this board for the term : low hanging fruit.

Nothing like coming into a conversation that's been going on for years, which includes some of SL's best informed people, and telling them how they ought to behave and think based on your own limited experience.

When the Market Place first went live I posted screen shots of the Merchant/Item problem.  In that same thread one of the Commerce Team replied to me wanting to know why I hadn't flagged those items.  I like a fool went and started flagging them.  Well sh*t, they had the evidence (screen shots) right there inn front of them.  All they needed to do was make a note to themself to "check into it."

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ChinRey wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Here is a summary, not his exact words:  

Thank you. It's not quite as bad as you thought, Pamela.

Here's a recording of the entire show:

The MP question starts exactly at 00:25:00

Oh ... yeah .. it IS that bad.

First of all his "body language" (in the form of his word choice, vocal waverings and inhalations .. since we can't see his face, his shoulders or his hands) indicate one of two things .. both of which fall in the "Deceit" category:

Either:

  1. He is aware of the "Feedback" provided so far and the exact manner of that feedback, and he doesn't want to say anything about how negative it has been, or
  2. The show was recorded prior to the first post in this thread and thus his comment is what caused this post to exist.

I've listened to far too many "Executives" caught in the headlights. Ebbe was obviously suffering from "whirlwind thoughts" as he tried to answer. He stammered, he faltered, he hunted hurriedly for the right words to say something that he absolutely did NOT want to say. So he couched it in "possibles" and "not fully aware ofs" to ensure nothing he said had any weight to it.

Considering that #2 above would require not only a bit of technical magic to make everyone at the talk think it was "live", but it would also require stand-up folks like Jo be in on the deceit .. and I cannot process that one! So I'm gonna have to go with my #1 conclusion above.

When you consider that Linden Lab has two main web sites with customer sales and monies involved .. and the Marketplace is one of them .. is it really "okay" for the CEO to have no clue how things are going? Or what things are going?

If Ebbe is truly unaware of how Marketplace is doing and what projects they are currently involved in then Linden Lab has far more basic problems than just the failure to heed customer feedback. He is the "Driver" .. and the Marketplace is akin to the tires. Do you really believe the Driver is unaware of flat tires? Would you get in a car where the Driver is oblivious to such basic faults?

Thank you for sharing the link ChinRey, but you should really listen to his answer to you. It tells far more than just the words he spoke.

PS: I find it just as illuminating that ANY possible goal for Sansar might include sales to business folks for the purposes of conducting business. The loss of all body language is a step backward, not forward. Any business type that invests in the platform in hopes they will improve their business communications ... hasn't a clue how to communicate.

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ChinRey wrote:


Pamela Galli wrote:

Here is a summary, not his exact words:  

Thank you. It's not quite as bad as you thought, Pamela.

Here's a recording of the entire show:

The MP question starts exactly at 00:25:00

"The more precise the feedback............"

Does Ebbe even know how precise everyone has been all this time, over and over again?"

I wonder if Jo even looked at this thread?  And as soon as she cleared that question, let's get back to Sansar cause that's what I want to know about.  Jo has shown in other comments in this Forum she doesn't give one bit of concern for SL's Merchants.  Just her f*cking Berlin SIM.  (No disrespect meant to any Berliners here).  

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I don't know what LL did with search but for steampunk the old first page had no steampunk items, and the new search is all steampunk, if this goes live for the first time in 5 years I may start building steampunk item again.

 

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Oh they are quietly working on it. A search of house no longer brings up nine listings by an avi called House M------- onthe first page, and there are actual houses showing. Still has a bunch of non houses in the unhelpful drop down thing as you type. 

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

Considering that #2 above would require not only a bit of technical magic to make everyone at the talk think it was "live", but it would also require stand-up folks like Jo be in on the deceit ..


I would also have had to be in it, it was a reply to one of my questions at the session. ;)

And since my question was a direct result of this thread, it would have taken a bit of clairvoyance to pre-record it too. :P

 


Darrius Gothly wrote:

When you consider that Linden Lab has two main web sites with customer sales and monies involved .. and the Marketplace is one of them .. is it really "okay" for the CEO to have no clue how things are going? Or what things are going?


Oh, he was definitely uncomfortable with the question, no doubt about that. That means he wasn't aware of the situation until very recently, no doubt about that either - I have to agree that is a bit worrying. He does know now though and that's what really matters.

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ChinRey wrote:

 He does know now though and that's what really matters.


Not quite.  It's not what he knows that matters but what he does with the information.

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ChinRey wrote:

...[snip]...

He does know now though and that's what really matters.

If he applies that knowledge to effect change and fix the internal problems that have led to all these pages of anger and invective .. then yeah, that's all that matters.

And it would also mean that this thread, and ALL the negative feedback for which we have been derided? Succeeded in netting improvements and changes.

Now, the question comes up: Will he John Wayne it and act as if any changes were just a fluke, they were already in motion when we just happened to say things exactly paralleling the changes? Or will he and the rest of his staff own up to the fact that they don't understand 100% of their product, that they DO need input from others and that by themselves they have racked up years of failure, but this time having listened, they might actually produce a success (on this one slim issue at least)?

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