Jump to content

Freebies and junk Cause Poor Retention Rates


ralph Alderton
 Share

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 4032 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Recommended Posts

Linden Lab are working hard to improve retention rates, doing this that and the other. Improving signup numbers, making it easier and more fun etc, etc 

But they are overlooking one of the most obvious reason why retention rates are poor - Freebies and the SUPERABUNDANCE of low quality content that dominate the marketplace and consequently dominate the world

And what's the problem with low quality content ?  It don't look so good

Which means Secondlife don't look so good

There's is loads of brilliant content in Secondlife, amazing creators, incredible products - swamped, drowned out, mobbed by a plethra of dross and currently the Marketplace enables this smothering of the good stuff

The zero cost to market in Secondlife is both an amazing thing and a destructive thing.

The SUPERABUNDANCE of anything is dangerous - The equation is simple, the bad is driving out the good

Secondlife retention rates will NOT improve when freebies and low quality JUNK  dominate the visual look of the marketplace and the world 

If Secondlife is to attract and retain new and existing customers it needs to LOOK BETTER, it needs to look more attractive to attract.

The Lab can do a hundred good things but unless they address the massive overwhelming SUPERABUNDANCE of dross Secondlife will never attract and RETAIN.

Denial ain't just a river in Egypt
Mark Twain

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 148
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

There seem to be two issues here. 

One is that a lot of freebies are crap (true).

Another one seems to be that you seem to think you're personally competing with freebies.

Have you considered trying to compete by making stuff that warrants the price difference between zero and whatever it is you want to charge?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I must agree with you to a point. The marketplace has become a bottomless pit...Free stuff can be added and will sit there as long as the av has a box inworld.

It will get far worse when the stuff is DD. A premiun must pay his dues or the account will poof,along with all the stuff.

A free account holder will be able to fire off stuff to the marketplace that will stay forever even if the account is not used.

There must be some way to cull the old stale rubbish that has sat there for years or the system will logjam............

Retention is not helped but there are many other reasons appart from freebies that still put people off staying here.............

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As usual Ralph, you run to the extreme in an effort to fix a problem. Unfortunately, I think you've chosen the wrong albatross in this case. Let's take a "for instance" ...

JohnBoyMountainMan33 Resident joins up using the slick new registration page, picks out his favorite Avatar and logs into SL. After a few short hours trying to figure out what to do, some nice Mentor teaches him how to enable Advanced Mode in the Viewer and then gives him a few pointers. And a tiny bit of advice:

"Get some decent clothes or you'll look like every other guy that chose that Avatar."

So where can our new customer go to get clothes? They haven't put any money into their account and won't either until they're sure they will stick with this "game". But they need to at least try to look a bit different.

Now here's a user that has barely conquered walking, probably doesn't know about boxed items yet and has this burning desire to change clothes. They're certainly not TPing all over the grid. Heck, they don't even understand the Map yet. (Although the new Destination Guide may help overcome that barrier a bit more.) Where CAN he go?

Marketplace.

In short order, JohnBoy is busy combing through freebie clothes for men, ordering a ton of stuff and trying everything on (including some very stylish boxes LOL). Before long though, JohnBoy has several nice outfits (t-shirts and torn jeans .. duh!) and he's feeling right handsome. Now it's time to socialize .. and back to the Destination Guide he goes.

Now let's look at the outcome of his first hours in SL without any money and without Freebies available on the Marketplace. He combs through a bunch of clothes listings, finds everything costs money ... and by golly he's not gonna ante up any (and go through THAT particular nightmare) until he's sure he's going to stick around. Presto .. another abandoned User Account.

Freebies serve a very important purpose, they provide entry-level users with a ready resource of unknown quality stuff .. but it's STUFF. Stuff they can wear, use, rez and learn all about Second Life. Zero risk learning too. All they have to invest is some time.

However, you do have one point I will partially agree with .. that being that "Freebies on Top" is contributing to the decline in overall Market Value. Marketplace uses Lucene as its Search Engine. To date the SLM Developers have been toying with the various "ranking factors" (variables) that they plug into Lucene when you search for something. But I think they're missing a very valuable "ranking factor" that would help tremendously.

SLM knows how much you have in your L$ account. If you have zero L$ on deposit, then put the Freebies on top. If you have a decent balance then pick some fraction of that amount and center the search around that value. So if you've got L$200 on deposit, then weight items that cost L$100 higher than those that are more or less expensive. In short, you create a result that is much more relevant to the shopper's "buying power".

They also need to calculate the "Price Curve" for a Category. Just like most distributions, I strongly suspect that the prices for any particular category could be accurately represented by a Bell Curve. If someone's L$ balance is below the peak of the curve, weight the lower priced items slightly more "relevant" than the higher priced ones. If they have more in their balance, rank the other way.

But they also need to offer "Buy L$" on pages where the ranking factor lean toward the lower end of the price range. There needs to be a lure to convince folks to put their money in. Subtle weighting adjustments and on-screen offers can do that quite effectively. And it won't be done with a brickbat, it will be done with a polite nudge.

So anyway Ralph, as usual I disagree that "Death To Freebies" is a viable solution. But it's okay, we all enjoy hearing you shout anyway.

Have a good day.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Darrius Gothly wrote:

Freebies serve a very important purpose, they provide entry-level users with a ready resource of unknown quality stuff .. but it's STUFF. Stuff they can wear, use, rez and learn all about Second Life. Zero risk learning too. All they have to invest is some time.

SLM knows how much you have in your L$ account. If you have zero L$ on deposit, then put the Freebies on top. If you have a decent balance then pick some fraction of that amount and center the search around that value. So if you've got L$200 on deposit, then weight items that cost L$100 higher than those that are more or less expensive. In short, you create a result that is much more relevant to the shopper's "buying power".

They also need to calculate the "Price Curve" for a Category. Just like most distributions, I strongly suspect that the prices for any particular category could be accurately represented by a Bell Curve. If someone's L$ balance is below the peak of the curve, weight the lower priced items slightly more "relevant" than the higher priced ones. If they have more in their balance, rank the other way.

true for the first .. but WAY too complex for the second.. we really do not need a more complex weighing system because the one they have now is inadequate.

 

A simple master category for Free and Items below say 25L that is EXCLUDED from search unless you are viewing the category.  In the beginning the free items page on SLX was a help to most of us.

Considering that the current marketplace is Killing in world sales and forcing store owners to give up their stores in droves is a clear indication that something drastic must be done.

I had no problems finding free items way back.. you just had to look for them.  One thing is for sure, they were not handed to you on a silver platter.  Maybe they should take all free items on the market place and bulk deliver them directly to every memebers inventory so that everyone has one.. a great way to test their ne direct delivery system.

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


VonGklugelstein Alter wrote:

Maybe they should take all free items on the market place and bulk deliver them directly to every memebers inventory so that everyone has one.. a great way to test their ne(w) direct delivery system. 

ROFLMAO!! Okay .. now THAT's a stress-test I can get behind. LOL!

I could support a separate website just for Freebies .. sort of. But building a dual-class system into Marketplace? Nahhh .. that just wouldn't work. Humans being what they are, they would just either be confused by it or totally ignore the "pricey stuff" and shop exclusively the freebies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the cure is charging.

if they charge 100L a week to offer freebies its a value to people who are looking to help newbs and marketing to their shop name(every thing can't be free.adds cost money,land why not free Market place marketing)

 

If they charge a real fee to list on market place it  also clear out the old crap.

example ,over chaging a % a sale.Just charge 400L a month bulk rate market place memebers fee.Somthing small but will not be a dumping box for people with strange building taste gambling on a sale.

 

Also the big cure to it all is no free accounts can use the market place as a vendor.If you are trying to make a buck here you better be able to pay atleast 9.99 a month...after setting up a payment just keep a cash balance from cashing out linden.I have not paid my account in years out of my pocket..the shop pays it..and I got 9.99 a month to loose at a chance to make money.

I thinkt he fun of SL is the dream,So I say let there be junk and poor builds!! just not a free for all in the market place.as they do not make a sale and have to pay to host it they will take it down and learn to get better to keep trying.

This is day 1 stuff....why can not any one else see it...

 

recap

9.99 a month account

400L bulk rate (lets say 400 listing per 400L and you pay 100L for every 100 more listing you want)

at the cheap price of land these days you could still srtart small with very little investment(nothing comes free in life that is worth anything)

I did the cost on land with 500 Prim limit.

Land  = 3 dollars a week.

account 9.99 a month.

400 market place a week(no adds) = 1.40

 

22 bucks a month and you can sell junk online too!!

im sure 10,000 people will say im wrong,but in my eyes im always right :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One simple method might be to require that merchants have to refresh the listing, perform some action to keep it alive.  This would solve the long since departed merchants, those for whom there is no product support and will stop dead content being delivered from direct delivery.

Another way would be to incur a re-listing charge per item...but the outrcy when this was proposed before was deafening yet the underlying problem pervades.

When renting mall or shop space, merchants pay for prims for products and display content accordingly yet this seems to be so alien but it's accepted that any and all "junk" (define this how you choose) is ok to list with an unlimited timeframe?  I'm not sure how that reasoning works. 

People focus more when there's a cost involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Tinker Darkbyrd wrote:

Also the big cure to it all is no free accounts can use the market place as a vendor.If you are trying to make a buck here you better be able to pay atleast 9.99 a month...after setting up a payment just keep a cash balance from cashing out linden.I have not paid my account in years out of my pocket..the shop pays it..and I got 9.99 a month to loose at a chance to make money.

This I disagree with strongly.  I don't wish to be forced to enter into LL's "lose your inventory if you run into arrears" programme which is what happens if you are a premium member and get behind for any reason.  They delete the account and inventory.  Is that good for you as a merchant?

I have an alt which is premium and is the land owner but has no inventory of worth, I on the other hand have the free account and a very valuable inventory.

I don't mind a cost to list on the marketplace though and support that notion. 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sassy Romano wrote:

[..] People focus more when there's a cost involved.

Agreed, but money cost is something that most people can't afford. Time cost though, most everyone can do that. So a process that requires monthly action (or even weekly) would be more acceptable IMO. Of course that's ONLY if SLM notifies you by email that your Freebie item is about to be delisted and again when it is delisted ... and includes concise instructions on how to relist it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i don't think freebies are the problem i've tried out other grids where freebies unless they are a demo are banned you first land at the welcome island see there is stuff for sale you automatically think it's freebies for new people to improve their noobish appearance when you look closer none of it's free and if you have no way of getting money in to the grid your not going to stick around the novelty of mesh system hair & the noob duck waddle only lasts so long

what i think is causing poor retentions is the buggy LL V2 viewer all new sign ups are pointed to when they find the viewer wont load up or the log in process will get so far before crashing or they get logged out every time after 2 minutes they are going to give up you can see it in the forums there are some new people determined to get inworld if they can't and they want all the fixes so they can do i bet far more people just give up delete SL and never give it a second thought 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Sassy Romano wrote:

Both could be options Darius.

Option 1) No cost but merchant has to actively "refresh" the relist option monthly

Option 2) Merchant subscribes at a cost, the subscription auto relists.

This achieves the typical trade of free vs time vs cost

Excellent suggestion Sassy! I can support that.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 thousand sign ups a day - fantastic achievement

15 thousand nine hundred and ninety nine walk away from Secondlife, we don't appear to even be retaining 1 user per day .. Concurrency proves this, SL is totally flat and slipping

16 thousand people a day are walking away because SL does not look cool enough to retain their interest.

There are dozens of computer games with millions of users which are far more complex than SL. If it's beautiful and compelling enough people make the effort needed to acclimatize to the new

But and here's the biggy and I'm going to say it again because it has to be said :

Secondlife is drowning in junk and poor quality content and the SUPERABUNDANCE of said JUNK in the marketplace is to blame.

Linden Lab should stop pretending that the massive AWESOME amount of junk is having no effect. They are pushing everyone to the marketplace which is full of junk. So people see junk, they buy junk, they download junk, they use junk

Let's be real let's STOP prentending............ ' You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear'. 

Junk in, Junk out

Denial is not just a river in Egypt
Mark Twain

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The search was messed up the day the marketplace went down.

Because they did not explain upfront in a timely fashion about what the glitches were....I flipped and boxed some under 25L items, ready for action.  Not waiting around anymore when they do these flip-flops on us.  Haven't loaded them just yet.

However...they came in explained why the algorithm thingy was messed up for the day, and explained that they corrected it.

Next day...

Most of my sales were back to normal.

So not really understanding the freebie problem.

If I were a guy getting ready to play SL I might type in the following to marketplace, and this is what I just got on the first page without doing any kind of adjustments:

 

leather jacket  0 to 1500L
 
white t-shirt 0 to 350L
 
ripped jeans  0 to 175L
 
motorcycle 1 to 5000L
 
bachelor pad 10 to 1500L
 
sex bed 499 to 1599L
 
beer 0 to 125L
 
(left out the items that were obviously abusing keywords and not related at all)
 
that's a pretty healthy mix of price ranges, so not sure what it is that everyone is seeing (on a normal functioning day) about all the freebies.
 
Please explain.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, I read this to mean extremely low-quality, crappy looking freebies are the problem... not all freebies in general... and I agree.  I don't think most people want to get rid of freebies entirely; that would be way worse as far as retention goes.  But when you choose 0-10L and Best Selling, the items that pop up there are largely the same ones that were there 2 years ago when I left SL... and things have changed ALOT since then.  All those ancient full-perm outfits you used to be able to pick up in every freebie place- with the awful textures and rampant bling- are still being posted to the marketplace for 5-10L by people thinking they can actually make money selling freebies, and since it doesn't cost anything to post them, they literally flood the marketplace with ugliness that is going to have most people saying "wtf".  I try to search using "newest" but that's the worst of all... highest rated helps some, but you often end up with a lot of crap that a new person would not be looking for; also, sometimes the things I get on that filter have no ratings at all, which is confusing.

On an sort of related note, there needs to be an exclusion option for search... such as searching "blue boots" in "0-10L" EXCLUDING "demo" in title.  Wading through demos when freebie shopping is extremely frustrating.

 

***edited to add*** I guess they redid the forums while I was gone for those 2 years too- this is far from my first post! lol

Link to comment
Share on other sites


VonGklugelstein Alter wrote:


Darrius Gothly wrote:

How many from L$10 to L$1000? L$1000 and up?

1.5 Million from 11-1000

65000 over 1000L

 

100,000 + 1,500,000 + 65,000 = 1,655,000 items total

L$0 to L$9 = 6% of the total market

L$10 to L$1000 = 90% of the total market

L$1001 up = 4% of the total market

So to Ralph's point, the 6% of the entire marketplace that are free (or "freeloading" in that they don't pay commissions) are totally ruining the entirety of Second Life for the other 94%. Hmm .. doubtful.

Granted, I doubt that those 6% of the inventory are accounting for 6% of deliveries, but I also don't believe that 100% of those are (in Ralph's opinion) dross.

Unless I'm mistaken, that price distribution looks a lot like a Bell Curve. (Mocks a "Home Alone" shocked expression. LOL)

Y'know, another advantage to SLM using "Median Price" as a relevancy factor is that they could carefully influence the market price "sweet spot" just by weighting the center-point slightly one way or another. (But I didn't say that .. *wink*)

home%20alone.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you want to talk about retention rates....

let''s talk about the viewer that they get.

I just had to load the new viewer to check on some keywords in inworld search.

there was a nice little plug on front screen for places for newcomers to visit.  I clicked on it, and nothing appeared, but found it on my main web screen after I logged out of SL.

There are messages flashing, and I have to put on glasses to find them.

I messed up, and missed a message from a customer.

So I did what "might" be considered common sense and pulled up the people tab to find her, but plugging her name into people tab did not work.  I think you have to use main search for that, higher up...but I saw People Symbols and tried that.  Didn't work.

More messages flashing again.

Messed up again and hit wrong button.  They are gone.

Typed in keywords and blessed that store still makes somewhat of a showing...but when you click on MORE info for a store...you do not get MORE info.  You still get a relatively small pic, with just a few words.

You can not tell much at all about a place.  Imagine same thing happens when looking for a venue.  Suppose you have to tp to a dozen places and be disappointed with the first 10.

I hear more dingy bells going off...probably messages...I don't know...can't find the dang things.

Log off.

I meet newcomers when I'm working on my house in Costa Rica.  Fortunately they at least made it to a very pretty spot with things to do.

Add them to friends list...see them once or twice...then they disappear forever.  The one or two times that I do see them back on, they are wondering what to do.  I can hand them LMs, but the stuff I like to do is entirely different than what they like to do.

I can teach them how to use search, and type in keywords of their interests...but if I can't use the dang thing after 5 years...doubt they will have success with that.

They never mention marketplace...got most of their stuff at a newcomer's help center.  I don't really think they are ready to shop just yet....I think they want to meet people and do stuff.

EXCITEMENT.

granted...I betcha we get a ton of new joins from people who type in general terms to google....I certainly gets hits to blog from those, so know that marketplace gets a zillion more....

and those folks are probably intrigued when they get to the marketplace...

but betcha they want to DO STUFF EXCITING once they get their leather jacket and motorcycle.

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are about to reply to a thread that has been inactive for 4032 days.

Please take a moment to consider if this thread is worth bumping.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...