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Phil Deakins

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Posts posted by Phil Deakins

  1. 2 hours ago, Wili Clip said:

    I don't think those 2 things are the same because. What information does traffic metric provide?

    It provides the information that on the land with high traffic there is some kind of a social activity happening - that there are real people that you can interact with. In case of people playing the game.. those are real people and one can interact with them.

    But in case of bots.. now those are not real people and you can not interact with them and there can be no social activity. Because they are bots which are not real humans.

    I think that your dislike of me is clearly shaping your reasoning (you are letting your emotions influence how you think). I've noticed that with some commentators. Some are even retorting to name calling.

    I didn't say they are the same thing. I said they are there for the same purpose; i.e. inflating traffic so that the store, or whatever, gets better search rankings. You, the seller of the fishing product, advertise it for that purpose, and not for the pupose of people enjoying fishing. They do the same job, and for the same purpose. So one calling the other 'black' is a bit much, isn't it.

    • Like 3
  2. I only just realised that the OP, who asked the question, "Is BOTs traffic gaming SERIOUSLY breaking Second Life search?", is the one who created the fishing game, and advertises it to increase traffic numbers, consequently "SERIOUSLY breaking Second Life search". Increasing traffic numbers is for things like store sales. It's a bit rich asking that question, isn't it? Especially when he states in this thread that it is useful for places, such as stores, that are nothing to do with fishing, but need customers to increase sales - building the brand.

    Traffic bots are illegal and traffic fishing is not, but their intentions are the same - to increase the traffic for the search results - and they both affect the search results in the same way, resulting in false traffic numbers when related to stores and such. So why ask if one is "seriously breaking" the search results, when he's busy selling and plugging another method of intentionally "seriously breaking" them? That's way too rich, for want of a better word.

     

    • Like 4
    • Thanks 2
  3. My suggestion is to pick the area that you can have the earliest success with - i.e. that you can sell the soonest.

    Imo, that would be animations. You don't need mocap to make decent animations, and you can sell them initially in forms that don't need much in building skills; e.g. poseballs with free scripts.

    Then you could perhaps get into mesh and create furniture that your animations can be used in, again using free script systems.

    After that, and only if it makes sense to do it, you could get stuck into your own scripting.
     

    An example (sort of):-
    I made and sold furniture with my own animations in it. I'm a programmer and was fully capable of writing the system to use the animations in furniture, but why bother when there was a perfectly good free one around, so I didn't do it. That was until someone in the forum wrote that they are now using systems that don't use poseballs. That's when I wrote my own. That's what I meant by "only if it makes sense to do it".

  4. 12 hours ago, Rowan Amore said:

    I've asked and mentioned this in another thread.  Let's say I'm a store owner and I'm looking to open a satellite store or pay for an ad board.  I find this place at the top of search with 50000 visitors.  Awesome, I think.  I go there and see a bunch of avatars up on a platform just standing there in their newbie avatars.  Now, being a fairly intelligent person, I'm not going to pay for anything at such a place.  Not going to rent your ad board or your vendor space.  So, what exactly does being at the top of search get you?  Nothing from me or any 1/2 way intelligent person.  So, in that respect, traffic numbers are irrelevant whether real or faked.

    For the purpose you described, large traffic numbers won't get you to be a customer. You wanted to buy traffic and the owner was trying to sell you fake traffic. But most circumstances were different to that.

    Back when SL was the original SL (when there were stores all around) traffic got those stores everything. People going to the stores generally weren't bothered how the traffic came about, or even what is was. They just wanted to know if there's anything they fancy buying there. So the store owners used bots, and other methods, to get the store listings in front of people's eyes so that they could TP there. There are still stores left in SL, and it's still the same for them.

    Clubs are another type of place where it's important to get the clubs' listings in front of people eyes, although there are other ways of doing it for clubs than bots.

    • Like 2
  5. 8 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    I'm glad I can enable you to bask in a sense of superiority a while longer, Phil. You're not the only one who reads my posts addressed to you lol, you'd be surprised.

    In this particular case, my knowledge is way superior to yours, and I do appreciate you enabling me to bask in that superiority for a little while :D

    I would not only be surprised but I'd be positively astonished if anyone actually reads all of that super-long post of yours that was addressed to me. Perhaps it would tempt someone who wants an early night but isn't yet feeling sleepy lol.

    • Like 1
  6. 8 minutes ago, Silent Mistwalker said:

     

    It's what the bot policy doesn't say that gives it away. lol

    Just for the grins and giggles, we have several desktops and probably at least 4 laptops we could use, so doing a bit of rough math here, say 2 viewers per pc, we could have 18 avatars logged in at one time.

    Hehe, you could yes - maybe. Remember that you'd need some very good bandwidth to run 18 viewers - even thin ones. Each avatar is perpetually receiving data from SL. It doesn't just sit dormant.

     

  7. 17 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    I realize you are labouring under a deep assumption that you know, if not everything, everything about this topic.

    Nope. But I DO know more than most, including you, about this topic, so don't make untrue statements about me, please. I'm posting about what I do know.

     

    17 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    You're belabouring the literal search-string words of me saying "code snippets in little boxes" the way I might say "little houses on the hillside made of ticky-tacky" but that is merely my way of saying *code*.

    If you quote something, as though I wrote it, I will take it the same way that anyone would - that you think you are quoting me - and I'll reply accordingly. If that's not what you want, try writing it another way. E.g. I use single quotes when it's not an actual quotation. You just used another way -  *this way*. Clarity is usually very helpful.

    As for the rest of your post, I'm sorry, but it's waaaay too long for me to bother even reading it. Apart from the first bits of the first 2 paragraphs, I have no idea what you wrote. Sorry.

  8. 5 hours ago, Doc Carling said:

    But what about AFK places? A loop hole in the TOS?

    If an AFK place is on a parcel that's set to show in search, then avatars that are operated by programmes, rather than by humans, are prohibited. AFK places that are not on such land can have bots all over the place.

    If the avatars that are in AFK places are logged in with viewers, then they are operated by humans, regardless of whether or not the humans are at the keyboard, so they are allowed. Maybe the occasional super-keen Linden might see it a bit differently, but the rules are only against avatars that are operated by programmes, so they do allow it.

    That could be considered as a loophole. It's certainly a way to have avatars counting for traffic. But they each need a viewer and it's unlikely that very many avatars can be run that way, even with thin viewers.

     

  9. 3 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    PS I'd like to see a robust graduate student level thesis about the ways that Apache really copies proprietary GSA or mimics it or has to link to it. You never get away from Google.

    I have no doubt that the Apache engine mimics Google (not specifically the GSA). Every general purpose search engine has mimicked Google since Google showed them how to make money, and produced better results than the others.  Search engines weren't making money before Google. Maybe Inktomi was because they sold their results to websites and didn't face the public themselves. But none of the GP ones made money until Google showed how. Even MSN, which didn't have its own engine, got into the act and came up with Bing. They all copied Google's fundamental method of ranking pages, which was easy since the method was published online (it's still there). So I'm sure that the Apache engine did exactly the same thing.

     

    3 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    I said "modified," you said "it wasn't modified" and now you say "oh, but code snippets in little boxes can't be modified". OK, but if they did something by ADDING their own bow on top of that box, that's modifying.

    I said they couldn't modify the code/algos. They couldn't. I've no idea where "oh, but code snippets in little boxes can't be modified" came from but it wasn't from me. I suspect that there's something I wrote that you haven't managed to grasp.

    They created html pages, and told the GSA where to start its spider. That's it. That's all they did to get traffic taken into account. That's not modifying anything. It's not a little module, or code snippets in little boxes, or anything similar. The spider had to start somewhere, and the operator,  LL, had to tell it where to start. From there on, the spider found and indexed pages. You could have known all this if you'd read the forums back then. I described it all.

     

    3 hours ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    Plus, we don't know if this is true. Gosh, it's great that you can peer under the hood and look at HTML pages.

    Sigh. YOU don't know that it's true. Get it right ;) Some of us examined the pages. As for peering under the hood - do you know how to look at html pages? You type their URLs into a browser's address bar and up they pop. You are looking at one right now! They weren't "under the hood". That's EXACTLY how we looked at the traffic pages. First I had to find them, but they weren't difficult to find. It was actually Kitty (forgot her 2nd name) who first found them, and gave me a clue about them. Would you like me to explain exactly how they dealt with traffic? I will if you want me to. I can even tell you where the pages were if you want me to, although that was changed when LL realised that the secret was out.

     

  10. 19 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    The Lindens used GSA out of the box years ago, yes. But they modified it -- "adding a traffic factor to it is" is not "letting it be used its own way" -- it is MODIFYING it. Then using Apache IS that. 

    They didn't modify its algos. They couldn't. Google didn't allow it. They could tweak some parameters, and that's about it. They added traffic in exactly the way I said, so that the GSA could incorporate it in exactly its own way, just like I said. I suppose you didn't actually see the html pages that LL created for that purpose. I did ;) I even described them in the forum.

     

    19 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    And I did read your beliefs about how you had discovered how they did that. That was not enough to prove to me that they did it that way.

    That's fine. I freely gave my expertise. Nobody had to accept it if they didn't want to. I use the word 'expertise' because I was an expert at that time, and well-known in the RL world for it.

     

    19 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    Just as your say-so that they somehow stopped using GSA isn't confirmed; or that their open-source Apache is ONLY what they use and not other things.  The Lindens do not answer questions about how they do Search, they think for obvious reasons.

    Ah but what you don't know is that I had an inroad into the SL search team at that time - specifically, the leader of it. So I DO know what happened, and I was privvy to "how they do Search" back then. It may not be confirmed to your satisfaction, but it certainly happened as I said.

    People are free to accept whatever they want to accept, and reject whatever they want to reject. I'm perfectly content with that. Back then, I was very helpful in the forum. You chose not to accept it. That's fine.

     

    19 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    AND you don't know that they aren't planning to use GSA NOW. That something about Google, even if they use Apache, is forcing them to change how they do things.

    No I don't know that. The GSA was VERY expensive and they had to have 3 of them, each costing a fortune every month, so I would be absolutely astonished if they went back to it, knowing that they can't tailor its operations to they way they want, AND that they can tailor the free, open-source, one to their needs. I think that's a tree not worth barking up.

    • Like 1
  11. 3 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    Except the know-it-alls in the forums don't know HOW MANY PEOPLE USE VIEWER 1.23 SEARCH STILL IN THE TAB IN FIRESTORM AND NOT WEB.

    That's true. Personally, I said at every stage that it's my opinion, and I don't recall reading anyone claiming to know those numbers. Can you point me to any posts that claim to know, please.

    I can't respond to the rest of your post because I simply don't understand it.

  12.  

    14 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    The SL Viewer algorithms in the form of the GSA the Lindens use, because it wasn't perfect for them, in fact tries to compensate for bots by creating algorithms that use other factors to surface parcels on the top (the bots are illegal so they should just be removed but that's harder to do that putting in some snippet of code).

    LL doesn't use the GSA. They stopped using it a lot of years ago. They replaced it with a free, open-source, search engine - Apache, I think. LL didn't do what you said with the GSA. They had no choice but to let it do things exactly in its own way. They added a traffic factor to it by making use of the GSA's own way; i.e. by adding links to parcel's page according to the level of traffic it got. If you'd seen it, you would have known. But, unless you read the forums at that time, you probably wouldn't have known how the GSA ranked pages. I explained it all in the forum back then. It's still there in the archives.

  13. 9 minutes ago, Prokofy Neva said:

    Except the know-it-alls on the forums don't really know how this functions because the Lindens, like Google, do not reveal their algorithms. 

    But the know-it-alls in the forum do know that the web search and the legacy search are totally different search systems ;) Or at least some of us do lol.

    There is no need for LL to reveal their algorithms concerning the legacy search because it's blatantly obvious. When they had the GSA, is was known how that worked too. They replaced that with an open source engine, so those algos are known. All that's left are any modifications that LL has done to the open-source search engine. So don't confuse yourself with the know-it-alls in the forum ;)

     

     

    • Haha 1
  14. 24 minutes ago, Doc Carling said:

    No relevance? Places are ranked in the search results by the same number that's to find in the parcel details of a place under traffic. Don't take my word for it. Check it out by yourself.

    Coffee is talking about the web search. You are talking about the legacy search. They are two different things - as different as chalk and cheese, or as coffee and tea :)

    • Like 2
    • Thanks 1
  15. Obviously, I have to enter this thread. It's traditional 😁

    I haven't even fully read the first page, but I want to post a couple of things.

    Imo, traffic isn't far off being as effective now is it ever was for inworld search rankings. That's because the majority of users use 3rd party viewers, and the default search (I believe) in them is the legacy search. So I believe that most inworld searchers use the legacy search, which ranks on traffic. That's my opinion, of course.

    When LL brought in the web search system - the Google Search Appliance - they incorporated traffic as a factor, but it was only a small factor. After that, they used a free, open source, search engine (Apache, I think) because they didn't have the degree of control with the GSA that they wanted. They are probably still using it. But the results it produces (the web search) are likely to only be produced for a minority of inworld searches, while the results for the majority of inworld searches are provided by the legacy search (traffic). That's still my opinion, of course.

    The OP's question is "Is BOTs traffic gaming SERIOUSLY breaking Second Life search?" and the answer is a resounding YES for Places in the legacy search. It's not new like the OP seems to think. Bots have always changed the results in the legacy search, so that they state false popularities for places. The inworld web search isn't spoiled by traffic bots though. I suggest that the OP uses it.

    LL did things to change it, like bringing in a web search, and not counting scripted agents (bots) for traffic, but they stopped short of doing the one thing that would have killed traffic bots off. If they'd stopped providing legacy search results, traffic bots would have died out at a stroke. They could still do that if they were in the slightest bit interested.

    • Like 2
  16. On 1/30/2021 at 3:38 AM, Lucia Nightfire said:

    Why can't they update a live agent count value

    They did that, didn't they? I'm sure that, at one time, there was an indication about the number of avatars (live popularity) on the parcel at the time of searching. I could be mistaken though.

  17. On 1/20/2021 at 7:19 PM, RowanMinx said:

    Why even bother making a rule if you have no intention of enforcing it?

    Because, for a long time, there had been an outcry from some users about traffic bots. It was to pacify some users. The same users didn't complain about camping to improve traffic counts, perhaps because many of them still earned a bit of money from camping but, for some reason, they didn't like traffic bots.

    Banning the gaming of traffic did nothing to help LL. If fact, it was detrimental to LL because a lot of avatars would no longer be logging in, so concurrency went down A LOT. A very significant percentage of the concurrency numbers was down to traffic bots. I alone withdrew 35+ avatars that used to log in all day. Most didn't use that many, but they still accounted for a very significant percentage of the concurrency figures. So banning traffic gaming was against LL's best interest at the time.

    • Haha 1
  18. @RowanMinx If the avatars you see are obviously bots, on the same parcel, and not registered as Scripted Agents, then they are not allowed. When LL banned the gaming of traffic, they said that they didn't want users to report bots. Possibly because we can't see whether or not an avatar is registered as a Scripted Agent, and we would no doubt be swamping LL with false reports. But why are obvious bots reported and nothing done? Simple answer - LL doesn't care.

    LL could ban or prevent 3rd party viewers from using the legacy search but, again, they don't care. LL isn't in it to be fair. They are in it for profits. It's a business.

    • Like 1
  19. The definitive answer in no, neither camping nor money trees were ever banned. What is banned is gaming the traffic count on land that is set to show in search. That's it.

    Camping was almost always merely a means to have avatars on land that is set to show in search, so that the traffic count increased. It was a tool to improve search rankings so that people would go to the store/club/whatever. That was when the traffic scores dictated the rankings, as it is now in 3rd party viewers, unless the user chooses the web search. It was allowed right up until LL banned the gaming of traffic.

    If you find any camping now, on land that is in search, then it breaks the rules. It isn't allowed. Any camping now must be on land that is not in search. Some probably still exists.

    Money trees were simply people being generous, and never infringed any rules.

     

  20. My guess was wrong. I now understand it. Only General parcels are listed unless you are logged in, and then you can choose what to have listed. Inworld, the default is not logged in, so only General parcels are shown.

    It turns out that my parcel is listed after all.

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