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Ugh, when will this SLM madness end?


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Most of us woke up expecting the SLM login and search problem to be resolved and some were even lucky enough to log in the first time they tried and everything seemed fine for the most part. THEN (like me) they tried logging in a few minutes later and the PROBLEM WAS BACK, they couldn’t log in and freebies flooded the top of all their pages. This cycle has been going on for too long and LL should never allow it to go on for this long as the financial consequences that it bears are evidently too costly for both us merchants and LL. This madness must end promptly!



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Oddly, we make very very little and therefore loose very very little compared to what LL makes and looses over this.

A few things that seem to be missing in their Dev Standards.

1. Scope of Work

2. Alpha

3. Code Check

4. QA

5. Scope of Work

3. Beta

4. Scope of work

5. Code Check/Fixes

7. QA

8. Code Lock

6. Production Release

What I  bleieve to be their process is:

1.  Tinker and come up with a cool idea on your own then do what you want to do and hope it works or that people like it after detailing it on a cocktail napkin.

2.  Production release

:smileyvery-happy:

At the end of the day, just remember this to keep your sanity...It's still just a video game.

 

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Chelsea, I made just about the same statement about software development and change control over in the sever forum when the sim rollout a few weeks ago crippled homesteads for two weeks. 

I am constantly fascinated by the antics which are so clearly put on public display in front of their world wide audience, many of whom are competent professionals in a similar field.

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I'm just fine with my actions here being characterized as "antics".

Yep... zany, madcap antics.

Hijinx shall assuredly ensue. Cue the Carl Stalling music.

But no one is actually paying me to comport myself with greater decorum, so... there you go.

OTOH, I'm frustrated that I'm being constantly upstaged by LL.

The build-up to mesh release, for example, was the kind of shameless hucksterism that probably would have sent WC Fields, PT Barnum and Ken Lay into a triplicate face-palm like 3 little wooden monkeys; captioned: "think no train wreck... think no train wreck... think no train wreck".

 

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It has been said and pointed out by many of us LL Customers (that includes us Merchants) countless times how LL's software/services/policy development and deployment is constantly stuck in the immature "startup" company culture of shoot from the hip since a long as i have been in SL and observing LL's childish strategies.

We all are in violent agreement - because so many of us are in the same I.T. industries that LL struggles to run - that LL's SDLC is still in the early stages of maturity.  The problem I have is with all this is that in the 3 years of observing and engaging in this topic of interest for me - I have not seen really any serious progress since 2008.

LL is in a stage in their Corporate Lifecycle that I refer to as STAGE 2 - CONTAGION.  In 5 Stages of corporate maturity - this is the stage that so many young startup companies get stuck in and ultimately die in or get bought out in by more mature companies that want to pillage the idea but not the people and processes that failed the startup.

This stage is where there is a lot of growth in revenue from a successful idea, product, service, etc. created in Stage one, BUT, the startup entrepenuerial spirit and culture of the company is no condusive to move the company forward to a lavel of business processes maturity and control disciplines.  That is Stage 3 - CONTROL.

Over the past couple years LL has made a lot of sr management overhauls and shifts in an attempt to rid itself from the Stage 1 culture that is holding it back.  Sadly - so far - they have enough of the old guard in place in sr. management as well as informal yet powerful influencers in lower staff positions that does not allow LL to shake the old "shoot from the hip" immature business / IT processes that holds it in CONTAGION. 

The Control stage is an ugly stage for Stage 2 cultures and staff to swallow.  Why? Because they dont like control.  It limits their freedom.  They see controls as bureaucratic and slows things down and impedes technical progress.  They also get bored of controls like proper systems management and maintenance.  They really dont like dealing with all the complaining customers who are not satisfied with the crumbling services that LL staff dont want to support - since they would rather be working on the next COOOL NEW IDEA!  They long for the good old days of the Startup.

As such, for LL, their startup culture is so strong that even after firing 1/3rd of their staff and management and replacing the CEO - the startup culture remains.

So, until we see this shakeup or until LL dies or is bought out within Stage 2, we will not see any improved Customer Service, Customer Support, proper services/software maintenance, and low risk new software deployment.  This is the culture that LL staff do not see the value of - even though most LL customers complain constantly to them daily of these weaknesses.

Then LL Management and staff will defend their business practices by only working with Customers and partners that are open champions of LL's cause  (brown nosers or those that are being rewarded one way or another for openly defending LL).  LL will also isolate themselves from those (like me) that see all their problems and troubles and weaknesses because it only scares them.  They are like Ostriches - keeping their head in the sand and closing their ears to ligit criticism.

The only hope for LL is Rodvik but even though he is the CEO - he is not powerful enough to change a company's entire culture unless he seeks out and listens and embraces criticism AND then seeks out the champions of the old culture and replaces them with those that can think more business strategically and are strong Change Agents.  These people are very hard to find as they have a lot of smarts and are very out of the box thinkers and are very stubborn.  Some call these the AX MEN.

There you go.... as the deafening silence from the LL Commerce Team continues - those are my theories as to why LL's immature practices will not stop.

(PS due to time - i apologize for bad grammer and spelling - didnt have time to check it)

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thanks for clarifying.

hate coming in here and having to continually ask for answers or at the minimum time frames to know how long we're going to be without income to pay tier.

might look like antics on merchant's part too, but without a customer service outlet that will answer a question....not sure what else to do.  embarassed to have to do this in front of customers - last resort on that.

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Something is wrong, agree with you on a few points for the second time in two days.

I partly joke that west coast companies need to move to the east coast to grow up, we tend to be all about production and polish.

Sometimes I put the blame on not enough resources rather than the failing of dev process, it helps digest the food while reading forums.

Do agree on the fact that there "used" to be a cultural failing, not sure if that's true any longer. If it is, it does indeed need to go.

Was sharing with someone the other day that there needs to eventually be a slick, polished, pro toolset and a treatment of Merchants as pro's regardless of pro/non pro status of Merchants. Agree that much of that needs to be built to Merchant specs, and to tap into that input rather than be driven by so many internals and monetization. That follows after.

From here to there will mean getting past Direct Delivery, though, as everything else ties in, I would imagine.

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Dartagan, betcha every merchant posting in forum today has that skill set.  I knew quite a few with that skill set that said to hell with SL a long time ago and left.  And they had brilliant ideas ready to place into action. 

We demonstrate that skill set every single day to our own customers.  Guarantee you that each person posting today demonstrates a better skill set on customer service than LL does, or we wouldn't be in here concerned.

It's very hard to pull off that level of professionalism when the service provider you are using does not pull off the same level, and your efforts are thwarted no matter what kind of workaround you have as backup.

I feel no need to present my skill set to LL until they present theirs to me.  All they have to do is read my last conversations with customers for the last few months.  They have access to that.  And it's 24/7 service.  I do not wait a week to respond to a customer service request. 

And if a customer posts something in group, desperate for an answer....(such as this page full of forum postings today)....dang straight I'm getting my butt in there asap to take care of it.

Now, tell me whose skill sets you need to verify.  :)

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My skill set should be irrelevant as long as I'm providing them an opportunity to pull more money into the system and then remove it from exposure to cash-out by causing it to be paid to LL.

In fact, if their bread and butter happens to be nothing but a hobby to many of us, that should seem to be all the more reason to take things more seriously than we do, and to set professional examples.

What happens if we all just take our ball and go home?

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True, one thing that does impress me greatly are SL Merchants who are on their game with customer support. They put many companies to shame. Good to see some community dev input too without needing to force feed those qualifications ;)

@Brooke: nice to see the one thread as a sticky. Belated thanks on the Mesh/Merchant docs on the wiki, very easy to follow for customers as a reference, I think.

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Quite.

It's less a question of what to do than of when to do it.

SPOILER WARNING

Next up (bet on it):

Multiple direct delivery orders will interfere with normal access to your personal inventory much as multiple box orders currently interfere with box content editing and vice-versa (interestingly, even if you have one fully-functiong box and rez a second one just to edit it, items in both boxes may become temporarily unavailable - just think for a minute about how that must have been coded... no really, think about it for a minute).

BUT, by the time LL acknowledges that merchants' personal inventories are increasingly paralyzed by market orders, the magic boxes will all have been long deleted or disabled, providing no immediate alternative.

What will LL do about it?

They will tell us to put fewer sale items in the sale items folders in out inventories, which they will seem somehow not to be able to understand are not accessible, which is the whole problem.

OR, maybe this will NOT happen.

Maybe.

But why should I think that it wouldn't at this point?

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