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Rene Erlanger

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Everything posted by Rene Erlanger

  1. I wish LL could cut their Tier fees....but i don't think they could, because of their large overhead costs. I think it will only be possible once LL generated other popular income streams (e.g maybe an app for mobiles)....and become less dependent on Sim/ Land income. They're losing Estate sims gradually...but it's high risk to assume that the hole would be plugged with new Sim owners if LL reduced the Sim tiers by 30 or 40 or 50%
  2. LillyBeth Filth wrote: The problem iies in the fact as merchants, we train consumers on what to expect so if there is even 1/4 of the available content being sold for 10L or free then even in a healthy RL economy, consumers start to question " Why should I buy X product when I know I can find something similar for free?" In the current economy that sentiment is doubled or tripled. It's a case of Merchants (collectively) killing their own economy over time.....we're not entirely there yet! It will be once you see quality Houses and large builds ending up as freebies.....or what were once expensive scripted gadgets. Then you'll know that the SL economy won't be worth much! Once you've reached that state...it's impossible to reverse,.... even as you've stated.....in a buoyant RL economy!
  3. ....but you are right in my opinion! I was warning about Freebies an age ago, as far back as the SLEX forums (if they can be googled)....ever since when BIAB first came onto the scene......now the problem has come back home to roost! :smileysad:
  4. Morgaine Christensen wrote: What really concerns me, we as merchants, are cutting our own throats. So, if you are a resident, new or old, you slap these boards...say 10-15 a day for a week...you have a whole new wardrobe for FREE. Now, if you can get all these FREE items...and we are not talking mediocre items here....why in the world would you want to spend real money and BUY something when you can get it for free? Or, you can join a group and get their group gift for free then drop the group? I can't tell you how many times people in the various groups make it known they are not going to spend one dime of their own money when they can get anything they want for free. I am NOT saying that all group members or customers are like that...I am just saying if you can get it for free that is where they are going to go. Isn't part of the problem our customers have the attitude give it to me for free and our attitude has been sure here you go...can I give you something else so you will come back and bring your friends so my traffic count is high...maybe I will entice a paying customer in? I have even heard in these groups, "Oh did you hear such and such is closing. What a shame, they always have nice stuff on their MMs." Folks have no clue that shops close cause they can't survive. Something needs to be done and quickly if anyone wishes to stay in business.I don't know what it is but lets stop giving away what we work so hard to make _end of rant There you have it...and the real problem for a lot of SL market sectors.....and its been going on for several years now.!! Hunts have a similar effect.....again quality free items....and masses of them! I stated earlier that over 50% of monthly repeat SL logins...do not spend a dime on Second Life. It's easy to see why. I also asked the hypothetical question, what if this occurred in real life?...well it doesn't really. We don't have shops in our Shopping Malls or in the High Street handing out free items...but we have seen the effects of something similar. The effect of Walmart and other Superstores with bulk purchase discounts capabilities...that have so many farmers & suppliers in their pockets. Small shops cannot compete in terms of pricing for equivalent quality! I know in the UK its devastated the landscape across both small & large towns putting a lot of smaller shops out of business.
  5. lol...in UK it's about $10 usd per gallon...and has been around that for a few years now. Most of the price is made up of taxes. (Fuel Duty & VAT)...i can only dream of $4-5 usd per gallon. We probably paid that in the the late 1990's!!
  6. Medhue Simoni wrote: I talked to a number of the merchants over at IMVU. From our conversations, I got the impression that the majority thought that SL content creation was far more complex than it actually is. Maybe it was the coding aspect, cause they don't really seem like the coding type of crowd there. This was all somewhat funny for me, as the IMVU animation creation workflow is far more complex than SL, but way more limiting as to what your avatar can actually do with those animations. The biggest impression I got from them, was that SL was super expensive. They generally thought that you had to buy a sim to be a merchant. I tried to explain that it doesn't cost a merchant anything, if you want, and that IMVU was WAY more expensive for a merchant than SL. It is quite hilarious to see a community where content creation is actually way more complex and almost impossibly profitable, think that SL is worse for them. :smileyvery-happy: I spoke to a number of their Merchants too...on their forums and in private messages. One leading content provider who creates on both Second Life and IMVU....said it's easier to make the transition from SL to IMVU as a creator.....than the other way round.
  7. Medhue Simoni wrote: Although, IMVU does do some things right, they do quite a bit very wrong. IMVU does not rent out land, they take a massive cut on the content that they sell. You must "derive" everything you make from a default IMVU created object. This is also why they spend more on getting people to buy stuff. Animation is heavily promoted there. I made 2 animations there and sold both a number of times, even tho I've never been back. IMVU made more on them than I did, and I have no way of even cashing out, unless I want to pay some 3rd party 30% to get some real money. So, to any merchant, SL wins, hands down. IMVU has some of the same problem as SL tho, which is retention. They have 150k or more strictly because they market themselves so much. As soon as you take away the marketing, it all will fall apart. Without newbies, their economy fails. SL is quite a bit different in that respect. It is not the newbies that keep the economy up here. Heck, it will be weeks now before a newb even needs to buy something, lol. 1) IMVU is an entirely different model, it's not based on land, but rather on their rooms, which in effect is the user's playground with house and outdoor parts. I suppose they could charge a nominal fee for having that room and lessen the commission on Catalog products. They would have to crunch the numbers and see what it does to retention rates. Retention rates are probably an issue for most online games. How does WOW do? Marketing & Advertising are part of normal day-to-day business costs.....the fact is that Second Life have never significantly spent money on it. Mark Kingdon when he joined LL stated in an interview that LL didn't really have a Marketing budget as such (or not meaningful one!)
  8. There were only a few hundred Teen sims to begin with....probably less than the size of the Zindra continent. It wasn't solely for costs.....it was Phillip's initial vision. The gamble was expecting the large influx of teenagers (just like IMVU)...but it never materialised.
  9. Things on SL have been broken for over 8 years....depends which parts really irritate you! Smooth Sim crossings would be nice. Freebies in themselves are not bad, it's the sheer quantity that's hit the grid over the years that's taken it's toll......it's bound to! How can you have an economy "loosely" based on supply and demand...when you have such large quantities of Freebies available. Can you imagine how Shopping Malls & High Streets would look like if that were hypothetically the case in the RW too? (for argument sake, ignore costs & manufacturing processes) IMVU has 6 million products listed on their Catalog shopping site.....not a single item is free! It hasn't done their concurrency any harm with peak logins of 140-150k.....with a younger userbase that has less disposable income!
  10. Madeliefste Oh wrote: Rene Erlanger wrote: Second Life could scale upwards, but they would have to make changes to their architecture and adopt a totally different approach. For instance they could decrease the loads by splitting the Main grid into different logins e.g all Mainland sims on one networked Grid and all Estate Sims on another..so effectively 2 different login screens. They already have that now with agni and aditi (Beta Grid)....and could use or develop Interoperability Grid technology to travel from one Grid to another without having to log out....and with Inventory transferred (or waiting) for you. This was something Phillip & his team were working with OS Grid developers a few years back.....in typical LL fashion it became another aborted and canned project.....but this is actually the future for Open Sim grids. LL cannot do that, LL is not the copyright holder of the items stored in inventories. The only reasoning for splitting the Main Grid is to decrease loads so it could scale upwards. but if both grids were part of Second Life....there must be a way to make accessible the same Inventory to be used in both parts. The only reason for splitting the Grid into 2 , is to decrease loads and thereby allowing to scale upwards......otherwise SL would forever have a ceiling of 80-90k peak logins before it falls over.
  11. LillyBeth Filth wrote: Perhaps the amount of freebies and freeloaders is at least part of the problem - it drives prices down and it drives consumers to "expect" freebies were once they expected to pay. I predicted this scenario over 3 years on these SL forums.......so here we are now! :smileysad: The gradual effects of price dumping!! You know the SL economy is in bad shape, when you see half decent Skins being sold for 100 L !! Over 50% of SL regular users, don't spend a single Linden dollar during any given month! LillyBeth Filth wrote: IMVU.com have around 140,000 logged in any any given time. IMVU.com market themselves everywhere. IMVU.com does not have freebies. Their marketplace has no platform for them. In short, if you place something on the marketplace you literally can not price it for free. Bingo!! :smileywink: If Linden Lab had IMVU's top level management.....Second Life would probably be twice as big with twice it's daily concurrency by now! . IMVU has relentlessly marketed themselves over the last 3-4 years right across the Internet.....and at the right time i.e during a recession! LillyBeth Filth wrote: One incentive to pay for a premium account at IMVU.com is the ability to become a merchant, you can't do that with a free account and as such, by paying for premium they also verify your ID by way of PayPal and email. You also have to digitally sign to say you have read and agreed to the TOS for being a merchant which includes understanding copyright and how to avoid it and the penelty if you choose to ignore it, which in theory at least, increases the quality of merchants and reduces copyright violations (Again, in theory) LL could learn a thing or two from IMVU's model. LillyBeth Filth wrote: IMVU.com's client is browser based (something that LL looked into 2 yrs ago) and as such they have no limitations to how many people log on at the same time. SL's client cannot manage more than 80K at the same time (Dont quote me on the exact figure) so LL cannot be as aggresive in their marketing campaigns due to technical limitations. I don't like IMVU.com, you can't compare the two platforms, SL wins hands down when it comes to the virtual experience but it seems they have a recipe for success. Yep, I don't like IMVU either...Second Life wins hands down in most departments. Second Life could scale upwards, but they would have to make changes to their architecture and adopt a totally different approach. For instance they could decrease the loads by splitting the Main grid into different logins e.g all Mainland sims on one networked Grid and all Estate Sims on another..so effectively 2 different login screens. They already have that now with agni and aditi (Beta Grid)....and could use or develop Interoperability Grid technology to travel from one Grid to another without having to log out....and with Inventory transferred (or waiting) for you. This was something Phillip & his team were working with OS Grid developers a few years back.....in typical LL fashion it became another aborted and canned project.....but this is actually the future for Open Sim grids. "OpenSim also uses an architecture known as "Hypergrid", which allows users to teleport between multiple OpenSim-based virtual worlds by providing a hyperlinked map which indexes public grids. This allows for public grids to retain teleportation links to each other without having to be on the same grid So yes, Second Life could scale upwards...but their approach would have to be quite different!
  12. A couple things, as entertainment budgets are cut....it's usually RL activities like holidays, restaurants, theaters, subscriptions to any hobby activities. Actual home entertainment increases (computers, movie subscriptions, Cable TV, XBox etc etc) as it acts as a cheaper substitute. Other MMOG platforms have grown during the recession but not Second Life. That's because Linden Lab have failed to market their own product, whilst others have. You have to remember Second Life is FREE to play, you don't need to own land...and there's plenty of content that's freely available to improve Avatar appearances. ....yet still Second Life concurrency hasn't grown. In terms of Private Estate sims on the Grid, were back down to summer 2009 levels (23k)....so even due to the lack of Linden Lab marketing, the Sim count is no worst than the beginning of the recession. I do agree that Linden Lab can't reduce Tier fees that much....as they have a lot of overhead costs. They cannot replace Marketplace commissions (a Sink) with their main Income stream, which Land & Sim fees......the maths just doesn't stack up at all! Sim & land tiers are something like $6 Million usd a month, whilst MP commissions as a sink converted into USD would be around 100k usd p/mth (That's from charging 5% comm, so even if they upped it to 30% comm, it still will be little by comparison)
  13. There you have it! It's including words & phrases in Description (or Details) box. Search "relevance" should be based on Product name and Keywords box. For 2 or 3 word phrases, it should be based with exact match being weighted higher than any partial matches.
  14. By Linden Lab standards.....if MP is working for 51% of SL Users.....the system is ok and working! :smileywink:
  15. It's not only if SL had all it's functionality working properly....and had all the shinies bolted on.......and it was the best 3D platform around, it still requires Linden Lab to market it, to the outside world. If the userbase doesn't grow...we're stuck in limbo.
  16. CommerceTeam Linden wrote: The Direct Delivery launch does NOT include sending items besides Direct Delivery items to the Received Items folder. Changes to send additional items to the Received Items folder are currently on hold. sounds good...hopefully that is the end product too. i.e this new folder only receives Marketplace items purchased. Don't spoil it with any future additional items. How does this effect all the 3rd Party Viewers? .....they'll need to add in this new code asap?
  17. ..as well as "Product name" and keywords from the "Keyword listing box".....does it also include words used in " "Description" and "Features" ?....i hope not!
  18. Faye Feldragonne wrote: You and your partner are in a more limited market, childen's sales. It would be nice to have real stats to work with, but everything is unknown. In real life, say if you want to run an ad in a magazine or a website, or a cable TV show, those advertisers show you their target markets and some numbers. I know, b/c I bought ad time for my employer for paper and TV. LL doesn't give us any numbers. They don't give us anything at all to base our decisions. My partner's product line that i was referring to above....were Meeroo Interactive Toys. They seem to be selling like hot cakes in-world and now on Marketplace. It's her only line of products she has listed onto MP. Under separate accounts, my partner and i have several other product lines that we haven't even listed on Marketplace.....stuff like textures, scripts, Furniture, kids clothing, poses and animations. All of those type of products we haven't listed......we'll probably end up dumping everything into Marketplace (for our sins).....if you can't beat them....join them! :smileytongue: Yep, I've worked in Marketing & Advertising sector for over 20 years RL...and later on with Organic Inc (website designs, Internet advertising and Keyword Search optimisation)....all I can say is that SL's marketing tools are generally p!ss poor. The audience reach is very poor too. I'm still a big advocate of In-world commerce......and prefer if that were the hive of activity as oppose to using an off-world shopping site. I signed up to a 3D virtual world environment and prefer to be immersed within the Grid. .
  19. Meeroos food? They also happen to be the best selling items on the entire Marketplace shopping site. Even when i typed in "eating animation"...it still came up mainly with Meeroo food products, due tof the "eating" keyword, most likely entered in their "Keywords" listing box There lies the fault in the entire Marketplace Search system under "relevance". It works on "partial matches" and not "exact matches"...hence alll the rubbish results (or non relevant) ones you'll see.
  20. It's apple and oranges Chelsea...it's not like for like Search criteria even though the use the same Search software. Marketplace Search is geared to search for actual "product" ...the listing provides, detailed descriptions, features, permissions, reviews, price & photos. In-world Search focuses on "location"...and is really dependent on Land name & description, size of land, text density, traffic, object name & description......you don't get really get any visibility of the actual products themselves (unless you use the older viewer 1.23, that have the GO buttons to product location on the product listing page.) You already have a system that is biased towards successful businesses (and deeper pockets) and that is Classified adverts. Why handicap new & small businesses from the outset from getting in-world visibility? All businesses should have an equal chance & opportunity when starting out. The problem of In-world Search (all search tabs including Classifieds) is visibility inside the Linden Viewers...there up against an obvious button called "Shop" which is Marketplace. It's not the Search engine that has killed in-world traffic....it's the bias towards Marketplace. If you performed an exercise with 100 new SL residents and asked them to purchase and bring back a product XYZ .....i'll lay money that the majority will hit the button called "Shop" which leads them into Marketplace. People are not using In-world Search like they use......even Classifieds get less TP's....because it's hidden and tucked away. Paying for keywords won't help either and i know that for a fact. I've been monitoring all of my shops in-world traffic for over 4 years now (Excel spreadsheets).....the difference is startling when attaining a no.1 spot for a popular keyword in any of my sectors in 2012...when compared to similar no.1 positions in 2008/ 9. I'm talking about 75% reduction in unique visitor traffic. Example : A shop that might have had 150 -200 unique visitors per day whilst at top of Search for a popular keyword.....it receives less than 50 (around 25 to 50 per day) in 2012. I monitor 20+ shops located around the Grid and these are not rogue results ....not when it's right across the board.....it's no accident.!
  21. I think Ilyra was talking about Marketplace Search The new In-world Search works differently, it's weighted towards Land name and then Land description....object names helps a bit, but not as much as before, but still essential (a reason for that). There are a couple of other categories that effect Search ranking, that were not so important in the GSA Search Engine. I don't think we should pay for "Keywords", as it favours the biggest businesses with deeper pockets,....we already have that system with Classified adverts, no need for duplication.. The biggest problem & drawback to Search & Classifieds and any other in-world search are the lack of visibility within the LL official viewers (for new residents). It appears as a "Looking Glass" icon...whereas Markeplace appears next to your Linden balances and BUY buttons as a shopping cart and titled "Shop".
  22. The problem with MP Search...is the same as the current in-world LL "Classified Adverts" listing in both their V2 & V3 viewers. They both work off "partial keyword phrase matching" as oppose to "exact keyword phrase matching" like the Classified Advert listings from the older 1.23 Viewers. What this means, that products shown when searching for "Sculpt Books"...only have to have 1 of those 2 words listed in their "Product name" or "Keyword Listing Box" to be thrown into the "relevance" section of MP Search. So a "Sculpt Bed" will be listed because of the keyword "Sculpt" regardless that it's completely the wrong product type for your Search. Marketplace Search would work much more effectively, if it were weighted towards "exact keyword phrase matching"....and preferably scoring higher ranking points if it were contained within the "Product" Name box as opposed to 1 of the words listed in the "Keywords listing box.". If they did it that way, you'd see a definite improvement to MP searches, with purely relevant products listed in the top pages.......whilst products that only contain 1 of those 2 words i.e "Sculpt" or "Books" would be listed lower down the search listings.
  23. The power of Marketplace! My SL partner has never been very good at marketing her own creations. She created a line of products that had been doing pretty well with in-world sales since March 2011 (a niche sector)...though sales in last few months were declining slightly ...but still enough to help cover Sim tiers! (just about!) She had never listed any of her products on Marketplace (or XStreet or SLEX before that)....it's as if she had some kind of administration phobia, despite my constant nagging. In the end i took charge of her In-World marketing and finally got her to list on Marketplace too....yay!!. I helped with her descriptions & features and tried various 1 week trial runs with Listing Enhancements switching between different products. For her products it seemed that Homepage Enhancements worked best! Anyway ...after 7 weeks of having her products listed on Marketplace her sales are now a 50/ 50 split...matching her in-world sales. She now makes a decent monthly profit, to which she can re-invest (in building tools) or cash-out. I could not believe how quickly MP sales could match her in-world sales ( my own personal experience, that was never the case with any of the previous shopping sites) Note** Her top selling product is not the one with the Enhancement advert....but i guess it does the job of attracting users to her MP Store. .
  24. I'm not convinced Medhue....and the proof will be in the pudding, when we see the key indicators of the SL economy growing in the right direction! For the last 3 years that hasn't been the case. I still believe it all comes down to Linden Lab marketing their Second Life platform to the masses across the internet (like other MMOG companies). What you've described above, might help improve retention rates, which is the other historical bug bear that Linden Lab has. I do agree Mesh and some of the new tools does improve SL environment and makes it more compelling. Creating grid wide Games are the way forward imo......people need alternative engagements to what we have now.
  25. Gavin Hird wrote: OK, I'll test copy of own creation and see where it ends. Actually I don't mind everything ending up in the received folder for instance when doing uploads. I usually have to hunt all over the place (with the recents tab) to place things in folders that keeps all items associated with the creation of a product together and not lump them all into the textures folder for instance. I suppose it falls down to working style and what you prefer. You should use Filters in conjunction with "Recent Items" Tab.....then it becomes dead easy to manage. We dont need one bucket to capture all......it will end up be disorganised and over-bloated "Objects" Folder. Just because one or two might we very organised in filtering out the "Recieved" folder each and every day.....doesn't mean the vast majority of SL users will have that sort of discipline to order that RI folder each day.
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