Getting Your Delivery Box Right

January 21, 2013 by · Comments Off on Getting Your Delivery Box Right
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, New Products, SL Marketplace 

Selling your products in Second Life is a surprisingly complicated process that involves many different activities. From making sure you have all the proper parts in the box, to setting the proper permissions, to naming things and labeling things so they make sense, it’s a sometimes tedious process of double- and triple-checking mundane details.

It’s long been our belief at DGP4SL that the real purpose of computers is to help us poor hapless humans do things better and with less error (and more speed when possible). Because computers are tireless and don’t get bored or bleary-eyed, they make excellent detail checkers. Most everyone is familiar with common spell-checkers; some folks are even experienced with grammar checkers. But very few of us are familiar with other forms of automated detail checkers.

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Are You Giving Stuff Away For Free?

October 18, 2012 by · Comments Off on Are You Giving Stuff Away For Free?
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, New Products, SL Marketplace 

It’s not something we mind doing in most cases, giving stuff away for free. Loss-leaders, Freebie Promotional Items, and the like are common and useful marketing devices we all employ from time to time. But when the SL Marketplace chooses to give our stuff away for free, and especially when it chooses to give away very expensive stuff, it can be both disconcerting and very damaging.

We put our heads together and decided to do something to help combat this problem. I’ve written before about a product that I first discovered and then joined up with called the “iGlom RDS System”. Originally designed to let customers obtain redeliveries of their SLM purchases without needing to contact the Merchant directly, the RDS System has grown over time to include comprehensive sales reports, full record-keeping of sales and other advanced functions that are missing from the features offered by the Marketplace.

The new feature, an enhancement of the basic and very simple “OnRez” scripts available from various sources, combines the ability to detect and record rez, wear and attach events for your products with the full sales records of the RDS. Because it uses a database to store the events, it also provides historical data, the ability to capture and report multiple events, and correlate product purchases with customer usage.

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Who NOT To Buy From On SL Marketplace

Now that I have your attention, I need to explain what this post will NOT be. It won’t be a witch hunt, it won’t be a naming of bad people … and it won’t be a list of the people selling on the Marketplace for the sole purpose of ripping off customers. However it WILL be a compendium of tips, suggestions, techniques and clues that anyone shopping on the SL Marketplace can use to keep from wasting their money, goobering up their shopping experience and generally ruining an experience that can and should be satisfying.

Please Note: This article was written in the early days of Direct Delivery (mid-August of 2012). Since then the SL Marketplace has upgraded to Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM). Much of what is written here is out of date or flat out wrong now. Please read up on VMM before you begin trying to fix something that does not exist anymore (Magic Boxes and the Merchant Outbox for example).

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More New Stuff in the iGlom RDS

May 2, 2012 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: DGP4SL Info, New Products 

One of the most annoying processes every Merchant goes through when listing their Products for sale on the Marketplace is the association of the Product with the specific Direct Delivery folder or Boxed Item in the contents of the Magic Box. Because the iGlom RDS is also a “Product Delivery” service very similar to the Marketplace, RDS must also have this association set up in its database too.

Rather than forcing you to update each Product one by one, the “Connect Products” configuration page uses advanced web and user-interface technology to connect all your Products with their respective Inventory Items in a matter of a few minutes. Even if you have several hundred Products, you can accomplish the entire task usually in 10-15 minutes.
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Ripples In The Pond

March 14, 2012 by · Comments Off on Ripples In The Pond
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, SL Marketplace, The Project to Save Second Life 

After many long months of waiting for any word on the Lab’s upcoming major feature Direct Delivery, these past two weeks have been dominated by news of nothing else. It’s understandable because Direct Delivery will be a major revolution in how virtual goods purchased from the SL Marketplace are delivered. And yes I mean “revolution”, because even though it might seem a logical evolution, the possibilities of how it can be used and should be used going forward are capable of revitalizing Second Life … if done right.

With today’s post I am going to spend some time talking about things that we probably didn’t think about too much, and most likely Linden Labs didn’t think about either. However these things are issues that have a long-standing history in the world of Second Life.
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The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Well, they’ve finally poured concrete on Direct Delivery and given it a firm release date. In their recent Forum Post about DD, CommerceTeam Linden has finally put a pushpin into the calendar and announced when it will roll out onto the Marketplace … and it’s users.
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Here Comes The Sun

The news all around the Blogosphere regarding Second Life and Linden Lab over the past couple of weeks has been extremely disappointing. My most recent posts called out the Lab on several of their more obvious blunders, and I was just one voice in a deafening cacophony of anger heaped on the Lab for taking actions that seemed purposely aimed at destroying (or at least severely diminishing) the pleasure and usability of Second Life by its long-term hard-core customers. Well, in what has hopefully been the first steps in a new direction for the Lab, there have also been a number of actions of late that might just signal a whole new dawn for the embattled virtual playground.
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One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

There is this old joke about the kid that, upon arriving late at school, was stopped and scolded by his teacher for his tardiness. Instead of being contrite, the kid said to the teacher “you should be proud of me instead of being mad.” When the teacher asked why, he replied “because when I left home today, every step forward I took, I fell back two steps.” A bit amused, the teacher inquired as to why she should be proud of him for that. To which he replied “because I was smart enough to turn around backwards … and thus gained a step in the right direction all the way here.”

CommerceTeam Linden (the designated functional for LL that speaks via the Second Life Forums on all matters related to commerce in Second Life) recently announced a new feature they were planning to release soon called “Received Items”. I’m quite sure they expected people to respond with some measure of acceptance or at least not burn down the barn, but that is not what happened. Shortly after posting the announcement in the Merchants Forum, the Merchant Community as well as some non-Merchants stormed the gates of the LL Castle with pitchforks and torches ablaze. You can read the announcement and the public reaction in the Forum Thread here.

(Fair Warning – This post contains some fairly technical descriptions. I’ve done my best to make them understandable to those that don’t dream in hexadecimal, but you have been warned. I will not be held responsible for any brain leakage that occurs. Also note this post is this year’s sure-fire winner for the “tl;dr” category … hands down.)
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Care and Feeding of the SL Marketplace Magic Box

The most critical component any SL Marketplace Merchant will use is the venerable “Magic Box”. Originally created by the author(s) of the SL Exchange virtual shopping site, the Magic Box has been the focus of many ill-tempered words. While not totally its fault, there are several quirks about the Magic Box that, once learned and used, can smooth the delivery of items purchased by your Customers.

Please note that since mid-July, 2015 the Second Life Marketplace has switched to Viewer Managed Marketplace (VMM). This means the venerable Magic Box has been officially retired and should NOT be used for anything new. If you are still using one or more of these, please update.

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Tin Foil Hat Theory – SLM Slowdown

February 5, 2012 by · Comments Off on Tin Foil Hat Theory – SLM Slowdown
Filed under: Linden Lab and Second Life, SL Marketplace, Technical Info, The Project to Save Second Life 

In case you weren’t aware, for the past few months the Second Life Marketplace (SLM) has been experiencing horribly delayed deliveries of items purchased during the midnight to 6am SLT time frame. The past few posts have dealt with this problem from a technical perspective and how it has shaken (if not completely destroyed) customer confidence.

Several of my good friends and contacts within Second Life (and on the Internet in general) are … hmmm … the best description would be “habitually paranoid”. However one concept floated past me in the past few days and I’ve found myself pondering it ever since. So with no further ado, let’s dive into the Tin Foil Hat Theory of why SLM Deliveries are being delayed during a major portion of the shopping day.

(To learn more about the Delayed Delivery Issue, please refer to the full JIRA located here.)
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