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Update on Marketplace Login Failures (and Search Results)


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Hi all,

As you all are aware, login failures on the Marketplace are still occurring, albeit at a lower rate. We thought we had found the cause yesterday evening and fixed it, but, before I could add to yesterday’s forum update, login failures started happening again. We have been keeping the grid status page up to date, and that is the best place for the most up to date status on these kinds of issues.

Just to clarify the issues we are seeing are as follows:

  • Intermittent failures to login to the Marketplace and the Support Portal.
  • If there was a failure to login to the Marketplace, search results are not as expected (this is due to the login failure).
  • If a user is able to log in successfully, or is not logged in and has not experienced a log in failure, search results are as expected.


We will continue to investigate and post updates on the grid status page.

Brooke

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Sorry, but I can't be as sympathetic as others. Why? Because I'm the 1 that is losing money. My affiliates are the 1's that lose money. My friends are the 1's that lose money. I'm not saying all our problems are related to the marketplace or it is Brooke's fault, or Rodvik's fault, or even M's fault. It is definitely LL's fault tho, and I have to come to the realization that I can do nothing about it. This is a very painful realization for me. It does not matter how many hours I invest, or how much I spend on marketing.

It took me 6 months in SL to climb to the top 20 animators in SL. Just before V2 and the changes to the Inworld search, I was ranked in the top 10 and actually climbed as high as 7th. Immediately after, I could not be found, but thanks to all my loyal customers, I survived. For the past year and a half, we have gotten by, again thanks to our customer base, and our affiliates. Over the past 3-4 months tho, those affiliates have gone, they could not take all the changes. Over the past 2 months, pretty much all avenues have crumbled. About the only bright side was more sales on the Marketplace lately. Now with the current problems, it is plainly evident to me that I have to shift my focus, or I will be back working in a factory, not to mention all the people that still rely on me.

Admittedly, I've spend probably too much time focused on mesh, and I'm now truely a mesh nut, but I did not anticipate waiting a year to be able to sell a mesh item, especially since it works the exact same way it did a year ago, with the exact same stability. The only thing that is different are a few bug fixes and a ton of BS accounting crap, which was only implemented in the last 2 months.

Despite spending ungodly amounts of time learning and working on mesh, I still consistantly released new products and updates, with vast improvements to my existing line of products. The past year, I've spend more time with my head down, busting my ass, than I ever have. With no results to show for it. Heck, I've only been out golfing once this season.

These marketplace issues are the final straw for me to realize, I have to stop focusing on SL. I no longer think anything will get better here. I'm not pulling out, I make way too much to pull out, and covering the tier is still relatively easy, but I can't rely on the money anymore. Maybe Mesh will be a hit, and I will relaese all that I have done with that over the past year. I will still fully support my customers and products, but I have to focus less on SL. I've neglected all the outside opportunities, and now it is time for me to grow things there.

Every1 will still be able to find me around SL, but all my development and expansion needs to happen somewhere else. For me to be a responsible father, and a responsible business man, I must go where I can make an impact.

My attitude about this whole creative environment will never change tho. I LOVE animation. I LOVE creating. I LOVE my customers. I LOVE being a merchant. I LOVE mesh. And I LOVE SL. These things will never change, at least, I hope not.

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Ditto, Ditto, Ditto, Ditto.

just did not want to be the first to say this.

I'm going in to clear land right now, and the first that will have to go is a FREE market center that I provided as an experiment to try to keep people shopping inworld.

Part of that experiment was to see if I could work that operation solely from a social media marketing standpoint - which worked fantastically, and would have continued to work as a FREE resource for merchants and a FREE marketing event on twitter that by the way had a combined reach of over 150,000 for a week in place with serious blog posts and tweets. It won't work now, because you pulled rug out from under me on main store, and I don't have that luxury to experiment anymore.

You tell me LL that you don't want that kind of reach for FREE on a weekly or daily basis?  Fine - I hear ya loud and clear.  That required a huge amount of time and effort,  that you do not have to pay anyone for, and that it appears you do not have the skills for at the moment, judging from your social media activity and reach....and it reached people who are possible subscribers.  It also reached people who have not logged into SL for months and months - they told me so!  and they said they would finally log in!

This post that you presented is NOT an update. 

An Update would have appeared the minute that someone set foot into the office this morning and saw that things were not working.  An update is not news that we already know.  We already know that the marektplace is not working.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE everything that Medhue just stated and probably more!  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE posting stuff to twitter and seeing 80 hits on a second life pic within 5 minutes, and would have LOVED, LOVED, LOVED to triple and quadruple that for you within the next month, and there was no problem reaching that - the numbers are there.

But I have family responsibilities just as Medhue and some others, and the current situation is insanity.  Final straw.  A simple update this morning at regular opening business hours would have squelched this particular post as well as half a dozen others.  It was the least that was required. 

You guys want merchants who sell items for 9L without paying for large amounts of land? 

You got it.  Several thousand products available for that.

Ditto, Ditto, Ditto to Medhue's statement.

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I'm probably the most shameless example of a 9L merchant, and I'm not totally unsympathetic to your situation.

For my part, I am sorry that things have not gone better for you the way you've been doing them.

It's only partly your own fault that you've been playing the game as the Lindens have described it to you, rather than the way it is actually set up to be able to function; it's not your fault that there are so many gaps between what LL says and what they actually do, and that these gaps are so hard to spot.

The truth is that I'd really like things to work the way that LL describes them working, but that's not up to me; that's up to LL.

Until they close these gaps, though, our choices are to play either by the suggested plan, or to play by what we should already know will actually happen.

I'm slightly ahead for the day, even after loading a larger than normal number of new products.

Is everyone else ahead for the day?

I doubt it.

Divide your listing enhancement costs by about 30 and multiply by the number of days your sales have been down (keep counting, eh). That is the absolute minimum amount of money you should have earned in that time in order to warrant the cost of the listing enhancements for those days.

I expect sh## to happen because sh## happens.

Other people expect it not to happen because they are both actively and tacitly led to believe that it will not happen, despite any hard empirical basis for the solicitation of their confidence.

"Who you gonna' believe - me or your lyin' eyes?"

-Richard Pryor

 

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Thanks Mickey!:smileysad:

I did leave out 1 thing. I'm not ashamed to say that I have shed a few tears typing these things, and coming to these realizations. Why? Because many people put their trust in me, most importantly, my business partner. I can handle anything, but to let people down who believed so much in me, that hurts. Sure, I could yell and scream about what LL did or did not do, but in the end it was my decision to focus our efforts here and to trust what a corporation is telling me. Now, I see that I was wrong, and my very close friends are suffering because of it. And if I keep down this road, even more will.

Maybe I believed in myself too much, maybe they believed in me too much. I'm human tho, I know that, and now I will try to make things right, and do whatever I can to get us back to where we need to be. If there is 1 thing I know I do have, it is passion. This 1 thing, can take people very far in life. I'm not done yet.

 

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Brooke Linden wrote:

HI all,

We have resolved these issues. We will continue to monitor Marketplace this evening. Please alert us if you see any additional issues.

Thank you.

Brooke

Thanks for providing a status....  would it be too much to ask you or someone else at LL what the root cause of the RESOLVED problem was?  Why was SLM borked for 2 days?

In case you didnt realize, your Merchant customer base is made up of a huge deep base of pretty smart RL ppl that know as much about technology as your team does.  We would find it very interesting to know what was the root cause that was resolved.

In RL when I engage with my IT suppliers and they report a major incident - like what has happened here with SLM that has caused who knows how many $10s of 1,000's of dollars or more in lost sales - I expect and I get details as to what the root cause to the outage was.  If its an outage within our corporate nework, our vendor tells us what it was (i.e. a damaged interface card on a PE Router in xxx CO that was replaced).

LL needs to stop treating their Merchants like babies..... Please have someone provide a bit more details as to what the root cause of the problem was that impacted all of us for 2 days and what you did to fix it.

Thanks

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Josh Susanto wrote:

If they don't want to announce to everyone things that might make them vulnerable to (more?) hackers, I'm actually OK with that.

 

 

So you are assuming they got hacked ??  I dont think what happened was a hack.  I think it was LL installing new code into the SLM to prepare it for something - like DD and this update screwed things up.  If so, they likely backed out some code they installed.  Might explain why it took so long to fix.

Alternately - it was a network issue in their DC - the "sometimes it works next time it dont" could point to a undersized or misconfigured network device like a proxy or firewall.  But until Brooke comes clean - we can only come up with theories.

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I also suspect that it was what I told people would probably happen; that they installed not enough of the DD code to provide DD, but just enough to create problems.

The next time something like this happens, you can expect to have not boxes anymore as backup , so look forward to that.

This is consistent with LL's ongoing record of telling a patient waking up during a heart transplant operation "don't worry; we may almost have found a donor."

OTOH, looking at what (I'm told) has happened to Farmville and Mallworld this week, I also suspect there may have been a rash of subtle infiltration of online games.

That's an excuse LL could use if they would dare to use it.

The larger picture is that, whether it's a coding problem or a security problem, this is the annual time for Burning Man related failures all over SF. Most likely someone is just more focused on Burning Man than on the thousands of dollars that they're dumping down the drain every hour that they're just not doing their job at even the normal level of diligence.

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Josh Susanto wrote:

Divide your listing enhancement costs by about 30 and multiply by the number of days your sales have been down (keep counting, eh). That is the absolute minimum amount of money you should have earned in that time in order to warrant the cost of the listing enhancements for those days.

Ok,

L$2899 / 30 = 97 or about 40 cents per enhancement per day.

Ya know I reckon I will be ok, thats about 6 minutes takings.

 

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Ziggy21 Slade wrote:


Josh Susanto wrote:

Divide your listing enhancement costs by about 30 and multiply by the number of days your sales have been down (keep counting, eh). That is the absolute minimum amount of money you should have earned in that time in order to warrant the cost of the listing enhancements for those days.

Ok,

L$2899 / 30 = 97 or about 40 cents per enhancement per day.

Ya know I reckon I will be ok, thats about 6 minutes takings.

 

I think there is one more factor to the formula that Josh didnt mention and its not a factor in the formula that is easy to quantify.  So to me Josh should have said... "Its the absolutely minimum NET NEW Revenue that the listing enhancment should generate over that period".

If you are not comparing the COST of the enhancment vs the REVENUE the enhancement takes credit for, then all you are saying is that you have enough revenue in general to cover the cost of the advertising.  It does not tell you if its worth while having the enhancement all together.

Quantifying how much NET NEW REVENUE the Enhancement can actually take 100% credit for is not easy and an extrapolated estimate at best.

But... based on my 4 experiments in using time period enhancements over the past couple years, the Enhancement Costs never generated enough net new revenue to warrant the cost of the enhancement.  In fact, the enhancements proved every time to be 100% ineffective to generate any new sales... ANY NEW SALES!

Another reason I steer away from SLM Enhancements is that if you decide to spend money on say a 7 day listing enhancement and then LL has a 2 day major traffic dropping incident (like they did this week), LL does not reimburse you for running an enhancement that was rendered ineffective because of their mistake.  They even state that they would take liability for wasted costs or lost revenue caused by LL's mistakes or failure of the service.  TO BAD SO SAD!

I have long since given up on listing enhancements.  Maybe it works for some of you Merchants (i.e. you can prove that you generate more revenune from enhhancements then the costs of the enhancements) because of the market sector you are in, OR, you just convinced yourself that enhancements are a significant revenue increasing factor when it actually is not the enhancements, OR, you just want to advertise and as long as GENERAL REVENUE covers the cost - it makes you feel good that you are adverstising.....  but for me... SLM Listing enhancements are an utter waste of hard earned revenue. 

Like a RL business, if you your advertising/marketing costs are not demonstrating to generate new revenue to cover its cost - its wasted money.

 

Yeah this topic is OT to the OP... but I wanted to chime in.....

 

I am still waiting to hear from Brooke as to what the root cause was for the login failures and SLM instability.  LL obvisously know what the problem was - they say they fixed it.  So what was it and how did they fix it?  Was it a code backout of DD?

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Net new revenue would be very difficult to quantify.

The bottom line is that if people are reporting paying out less daily than they bring in, even during this (um) "incident", that's a reasonably compelling case for continuing with existing listing enhancements in their case.

I would be interested to know, though, whether all the same people as usual have been profiting and all the same people as usual losing.

I would be interested, but even that would be a bit more work than most people would be willing to put together, given the tools for doing so available at this point.

(and now, I again point out my theory as to why there are no metrics as there were with Xstreet)

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Well, you do have a point regarding the mathematics.

I havent done a lot of experimenting, because if the experiment goes how I think it will I will lose a few hundred dollars. However when we migrated from Xstreet I was very slow updating my listings and setting up the enhancements again, I was thinking a bit like you guys at that time, knowing there were likely to be teething problems, I thought I would let things settle down and get everything updated before I spent any money.

When I finally got enhancements running again the difference in revenue can only be described as profound, now although this test is in no way scientific, it was enough to convince me. From time to time I drop certain enhancements and run others and I always see a difference in sales. Obviously what I spend on advertising is a fraction of total sales. 

I can't imagine enhancements work for every product or for every merchant, but there are 1.7 million listings produced by some of the most creative people on planet Earth and making yours stand out from the crowd is a big challenge. All an enhancement is required to do, is to put your product at the top of the relevant page, assuming this happened, it would suggest that people saw your product and then elected not to buy it, when this happens to me I dont convince myself that it was the advertising that failed.

You tried it and for whatever reason it didn't work so you cut your losses and stopped it, that makes perfect sense to me. Josh's argument is somehwhat different in that he believes the odd technical difficulty is a reason never to advertise, after all you could lose 40 cents and for entrepreneurs of Josh's calibre thats not a risk worth taking.

 

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My position is not never to advertise. My position is to withhold advertising revenue for as long as LL makes it as much a question of betting on them not to drop the ball as it is a question of betting on yourself and on your own products.

I'm actually planning to experiment with listing enhancements "eventually", but only if direct delivery significantly solves existing delivery problems without significantly creating new ones. And I'm not confident that this stage of Linden ass-coverage will be achieved any time before 1 January 2012.

Expect a near total meltdown of the delivery system in-between, and please feel free to quote me.

 

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Hi all,

There’s been some speculation in the community about the cause of the recent login failures.  Just to clarify a few things:

  1. We have not deployed any Direct Delivery code, and we won’t do so without advance notification to Merchants.
  2. The problems with search results (i.e. numerous L$0 and L$1 items shown) were caused by the login failures, and therefore were resolved along with the fix for login failures.
  3. A garbage collection issue related to a server upgrade several months ago was the cause of the login failures.

We appreciate merchants’ patience over the last week.  We’re taking steps to prevent this kind of problem in the future, and for the system to alert us sooner if for some reason such a problem might occur again.

Brooke

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OK, scratch that.

My sales were better during the incident than they have been since the fix, even not considering my current rash of delivery failures... which are something new to me as a pattern, because they are not multi-item orders, and started only as I was editing one of my boxes. ONE.

Adding 2 new items to one box (I added 6 last night with no problem) caused ALL the items in BOTH boxes to become unavailable. Combined with the fact that the other box had been working OK alone up until right them, this reinforces my belief that boxes do not function independently, and can't cover reliably for each others' failures for that reason.

Re-rezzing both the boxes in both the separate regions has no effect.

I haven't been able to verify yet, but it also appears that with the sales that are going through, the money is actually not going into my account.

If this turns out to be true then to whom, other than LL should I provide a sworn statement?

 

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