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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Feb 9th 2008 6:08PM (Unverified) said

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Well, compared to camping:

(a) it does not lag everyone else who happens to be in the same sim, the main issue with camping;

(b) it may or may not be effective at all, and probably will not remain effective for long given that the algorithms change frequently.

At this stage, you know, the new search result seem to provide such random results _anyway_ that these crude stacking procedures I would imagine to be pretty pointless.

Posted: Feb 9th 2008 8:43PM (Unverified) said

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Fine points. Aside from skewing search results - this *does* seem to impact the least on the grid itself.

It *does* make me wonder if Linden Lab will get increasingly secretive about how search rankings will be driven, though. On one hand, being open about it breeds exploitation, and on the other you don't want the advertising of your business to be substandard.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2008 8:57PM (Unverified) said

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Tateru, you've got to stop being so fastidious about the free market. You can't control it -- it's free. If you don't like it -- filter your search and don't look.

I truly find it preposterous to say that campers "lose money in absolute terms" from camping. Of course they do *not*. They make money by camping.

And the person who buys their eyeballs and presence/traffic isn't "lying" to them (huh?) because he's not claiming his venue is somehow attractive in its own terms. He's just paying for eyeballs. It's a poor man's classified ad. Instead of paying hundreds of US dollars, he pays much less, in $2 dribs and drabs. When there were casinos, some of the camping establishments had a racket whereby you had to pay into slot machines to get higher camp payouts, but that's pretty much over now.

Now, the only thing you could possibly complain about is that the campers are lured into buying from vendors, stuff like skin or hair. So? Most of them earn money from camping in order to buy...skin or hair.

Truly, you've made a totally overblown portrayal of camping, Tateru. I personally don't allow camping on my land, because I think it's not worth the money, and it doesn't pay out what people's time is worth, and I think other types of advertising is more effective.

As for Picks, long before it became an element of traffic, I put one of my picks up for sale, blatantly, because this is a game where advertising capacity is paradoxically very limited (despite the wealth of ugly ad farms). *Good* advertising that is effective (ad farms are not) is scarce.

The Lindens are fully capable of ungaming this if they find it being gamed. I wouldn't fret about it so much. In a world where people's bodies and time are for sale in cybersex, you can hardly chide them for selling a sandwich board part of their avatar.

Posted: Feb 9th 2008 10:45PM (Unverified) said

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Dood, you're reading too much into the article. All she's done is note a certain new phenomenon with disinterest. Is it good, is it bad? You'll notice she's asking about that of her readers.

Please don't put words in people's mouths. thank you.

Buying people's picks is indeed nothing new. Crystal Gadgets has long had a programme that offers free tools on a select basis to those whose Picks contain jumps to their shop. it's become a bit ineffective of late though - when you build a good multitool and lots of very useful freebies, and even give away an older (but still usable) version of another for free, tricks like these become unnecessary.

Most of my personal picks tend to be about stuff that I genuinely have an interest or like for, though. Thank god.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2008 10:57PM (Unverified) said

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Patchouli, you're a well-known cheerleader, and my God, if you entitle an article "Money for Lies" -- you really need to back up the claims.

There isn't any "lie" involved in paying campers. It's as open as a book. You pay them to come and be eyeballs and maybe buy from vendors, full stop!

There isn't anything inherently evil in selling your profile picks spot, or paying people to put something in picks. It's the natural tendency in a closed society, where a closed, gaming thing like "the Linden search" is controlling the economy and whiplashing it.

You may have forgotten, if you ever knew, that I was originally the one who promoted the idea of using people's honest picks, rather than traffic, to arrange the popular places. At the time, I figured the buying of picks just wouldn't be very widespread, because people are too fond of the limited picks places to sell them, they want them to be genuine as it is part of their self expression. So I wanted a folksonomy of picks, and even Philip Linden picked up the idea. I asked him to research the list of top places by picks, as contrasted with trafficking, it was intereresting and the subect of a Herald piece.

Posted: Feb 9th 2008 11:32PM (Unverified) said

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The point of picks as originally conceived was to allow Residents to go "That's funny/wierd/cool/awesome, come take a look at it, guys.". Things they favored.

Re: the Herald piece?

http://www.secondlifeherald.com/slh/2006/04/picking_the_pic.html

One line kinda jumps out at me.
"It's what they really pick -- themselves, democratically, voluntarily, without being paid to do so, or being guided by a pre-fabricated popularity list."

I'll grant you that you indeed said that. Also: I established my first serious presence in SL half a year after this article, so yeah, I suppose I wasn't aware of your stance on the matter.

But it certainly seems right now that pretty much everything on the grid has a price. it's just a tad lower than we figured in the case of these paid-for picks.
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Posted: Feb 9th 2008 11:42PM (Unverified) said

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And two more things:

1) imho, I thik it's a tad unfortunate for people to decide that a pick on their profiles is worth only L$30 for a month. At some point hopefully, people will figure out otherwise. lord knows we don't have enough of them to make giving a spot away so cheap.

2) I have criticised and badgered Ms. Nino on mistakes, errors and serious fallthroughs of "Common Sense" (She's had plenty) before. To her credit, she does fix problems when I've pointed them out, and apologises where it's only fair to do so (and often, when it isn't).
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Posted: Feb 10th 2008 2:32AM (Unverified) said

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It is sad that people are selling their profile picks because profiles are a good indication of who a person is, what they like about SL, how they spend their time. It's like getting a tattoo that advertises Wal-Mart for a fee. I do have links to my favorite shopping places in my picks, but they're there so I can quickly get to those shopping places by opening my own profile, and the descriptions and photos have been replaced with my friends' names and photos.

Posted: Feb 10th 2008 4:00PM (Unverified) said

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Patchouli, I haven't changed my views one iota, since I wrote the Herald article. As far as I can tell, picks really *are* a kind of genuine democracy.

These people selling their club picks, or my having one of my own pick slots for sale doesn't change that. This type of use of picks isn't very widespread and doesn't change the SEARCH any more than camping does, really.

In fact, the hilarious thing is, I've only had one offer for it, that didn't pan out, and one taker, who paid for one week, then quick. Maybe I need to lower my price! But...I honestly think it's not something that will catch on in any kind of big way.

Can you understand that this world needs constant experimentation, testing, thinking outside the box, trying things -- and being willing to set aside your received wisdom, Patchouli?

Posted: Feb 11th 2008 5:54AM (Unverified) said

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You're talking to a wildcat who keeps two shops open: one conventional build that meets the neighbourhood's convenant (on a mainland even), and another that has never stayed the same for more than a fortnight in many ways: location, design ideas, success (I make mistakes very regularly on my products design wise)

and you're renting thes same old mainland day in and day out. make of it what you will.

"Can you understand that this world needs constant experimentation, testing, thinking outside the box, trying things -- and being willing to set aside your received wisdom, Patchouli?"

In all matters I welcome the possibilty that my elders are damned fools. This has gotten me out of trouble as much as it has gotten me INTO it. And in the end it is just that till it turns out otherwise - a possibility.

Everyone needs a stepping stone to start from, even if they dive off it into the unknown. There is a reason why mankind is so keen on telling stories compared to, say, otters.
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Posted: Feb 10th 2008 4:51PM (Unverified) said

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No one want to hear anything from you, Prok since you have been making up stuff.

That last post didn't even make any more sense.

Posted: Feb 11th 2008 5:45AM (Unverified) said

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I am actually. The main problem is that I also love picking at things before I swallow them up.

It's a habit I suppose. When you get served slightly gritty meals in your youth, you learn to think very hard about that next swallow all the time.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2008 5:59AM (Unverified) said

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And regardless of what Prokofy winds up saying, Nacon, I would prefer if you could concentrate on his message rather than his supposed lack of bona fides too much.

There are certain courtesies that I am always prepared to accord others in discussion because to do so is a recognition that open discussion is a given in here, the ability to open one's mouth and speak civilly being one of them.

Of course, having said that, I have no say in the matter if Prok engages in behavior that results in that ban being reratified by a much larger group of bloggers this time around.
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Posted: Feb 11th 2008 12:21PM (Unverified) said

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Excuse me, but I have done nothing to be banned here, Patchouli, nothing. Nor did I do anything to be arbitrarily banned by a tiny grouplet on the old Slinsider.com, a ban opposed even by other Slinsider offers, as you know. So knock it off with that one. If anything, Nacon's permanent troll posture ought to be the ban trigger, not my perfectly legitimate and needed criticism. It's perfectly fine to criticize a post by your beloved author, Patchouli. You can fiercely oppose the criticisim, but it's completely justified.

Tateru is claiming flatly that people who engage in entrepreneurial practices that she finds cheap and tacky are "liars".

But nobody has "lied" here to camp, or offer picks -- if someone is paid to come to a parcel or put a pick on their profile, they aren't "lying," they are merely being paid to do what others do spontaneously. That's life in the big city. And they are doing that to earn money to have to spend in Second Life just like you spend money in SL either from working or cashing RL currency. No need to be judgemental about it. Second Life is not some big art park.

I agree that paying lots of people to monetarize their picks seems tacky. But it's one of those tacky business behaviours in SL, like "business in a box" or tacky malls everywhere, that you cannot stop without stopping the free market. I don't see that it harms the common good -- like the unethical practice of ad farming/extortion harms the public good of everyone else's land value. The worst that you can say about camping or monetarizing picks is that it somehow skews the search. I don't see that it does, however, as it is not widespread, and unlikely to be come so.

And even camping, and even the old search, was not as skewed as everyone imagined, because most people use SEARCH PLACES when shopping, not search ALL, and they discount the first few camped spots if they look iffy. The anger about camping skewing search comes from Popular Places, a category and selectivity that itself is a giant skew that the Lindens manufactured, which isn't on Google or Yahoo, because people would have to pay to get that kind of top visibility in a recognized classifieds system on sidebars.

"you're renting thes same old mainland day in and day out."

Actually, no. I change my land *constantly*. I have to, to keep up with the market, tastes, newcomers, different prefabs that come out that are better than the last set, changes in demands, etc. Even in communities with more or less static builds, I have to change aspects of them constantly. So you're wrong there.

I suggest you revise your concept of elders.

Posted: Feb 11th 2008 1:55PM (Unverified) said

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"Nacon's permanent troll posture ought to be the ban trigger, not my perfectly legitimate and needed criticism."

Ahh.. ok? Could you let me know if I've been banned to post? It's not like I banned from posting at LL's blog, like you for one.

"Actually, no. I change my land *constantly*. I have to, to keep up with the market, tastes, newcomers, different prefabs that come out that are better than the last set, changes in demands, etc."

Correction... you have to change because you have few idiots on your back after you opened your mouth about some non-sense. Pretty common thing anyway.

Ok... this is getting dumb.

Posted: Feb 15th 2008 3:04PM (Unverified) said

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"Buying people's picks is indeed nothing new. Crystal Gadgets has long had a programme that offers free tools on a select basis to those whose Picks contain jumps to their shop."

I'm the owner of Crystal Gadgets. I'm not sure I appreciate being included in a dicussion about "buying people's picks" but for what it's worth I don't consider that I'm paying people to put me in their Picks. The sign in my store begins with "Like this place?" in a large font, which is a subtle hint that I'm only interested in being added to people's picks if they genuingly like my store. The incentive that Patchouli picked up on is merely a simple prize draw where I pick one winner each month. Nothing more than that. It's more of a fun element to it, with the sign being more of a reminder to add me to Picks if they like the place more than anything else.

I haven't seen anybody else do a Picks incentive until more recently - I noticed someone has a sign which pays anyone on an individual basis who adds them to their Picks (and who return at a later time), which I personally find tacky and convoluted but hay. I think a "Get paid to add us to your Picks" sign is a world away from my simple "Like this place?" sign.

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