Posts Tagged ‘Second Life’

Second Life: Creativity Sink?

For me, Second Life has become little more than a creativity sink.  I’ve wasted enough time dreaming up ideas, coding and designing products for so little financial gain.  Without going into specifics, I’ll just tell you that sales have hit rock-bottom for me and I don’t think it’s going to get better anytime soon.  I’m selling about 20% as much as I was this same time last year.

And it sucks, too, because I love making stuff in SL.  Love it.  As much as I bitch and complain about the lack of features, I really think it has potential.  So while I’m not going to devote as much idle brain cycles to crazy new product ideas, I’m not quite ready to pack up the shops yet.

There’s so much amazing art and architecture and coding going on in SL.  Unfortunately, there’s hardly anybody around to see it.  So I’m gonna go cry and stuff.    See ya.

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Second Life – some thoughts about business

Here’s a post I rattled off to slashdot a few min. ago…

From my experience, a virtual economy can support itself without any intervention or participation from outside companies. For example, there are lots of people who sell skins, clothing, accessories, you-name-it to the residents of Second Life, and *I* make money by providing business tools to them (for visitor counting/automated greetings/report services/surveys, etc.).

I think Second Life paved the way for bigger and better things, but by no means should it be considered the model for the way a virtual environment should work. The utter lack of an interactive forms API and zero support for interaction with real-world documents (such as PDF, .DOC, Excel, PowerPoint) are big flaws that are already frustrating businesses that try to conduct meetings in SL. And don’t get me started about their “land” approach to paying for CPU cycles.

From the outset, SL hasn’t been about business. Linden Lab created a barren virtual landscape and has let the residents create just about 100% of the content using a very limited (dare i say “primitive”?) set of tools. It has been a big hippie-furry-fetishfest that has concentrated on bugfixes rather than connecting to the outside world. Considering how long it’s been around, Second Life shouldn’t still be regarded as a place where cyberweirdos go to get their kink on…and yet it still is very much regarded that way by even hardcore geeks.

Now that Linden Lab is starting to realize that their talk of SL as a place for serious business isn’t just the hot air even *they* thought it was, they’re trying to turn the ship around with some meager business-related integration. Fortunately for them, most other tech companies have watched them struggle and have stayed out of the game.

Run multiple instances of Second Life for easier scripting

When I’m programming, I love it when I enter “the zone” and the code just flows from brain to computer.  In Second Life, nothing breaks that flow like having to minimize my script windows and Edit dialog, and then having to fiddle with my camera to get a look at how my script is affecting the object I’m working on.

Here’s a little tip for anybody who, like me, has about twenty LSL script windows open in Second Life at any given moment.  If you want to grab a quick peek at the object you’re working on try this:

Run two instances of SL!  Keep your alt’s screen tidy and centered on the object you’re fiddling with.  When you want to take a look at your scripting handiwork, just Alt-Tab to switch between your scripter and your alt.  This is really handy for folks with multiple monitors.

To run multiple instances of SL, you’ll need to modify your Second Life shortcut. Right-click on the shortcut and go to Properties.  In the Target textbox, just add “-multiple” to the end (no quotes).  Make sure there’s a space between whatever is already there and the hyphen.

I advise you to rename the shortcut to “Second Life – Multi” or something like that, because subsequent installations of SL will overwrite your icon if you leave it just “Second Life”.

Happy scripting!

* PS: A word of warning…I ran two instances of the Release Candidate so I can compile scripts in Mono, and I encountered a really strange permissions/ownership glitch wherein my alt got permission/ownership of an object, while my main toon lost permission/ownership.  I suggest running the alt toon with the standard client instead of the Release Candidate.  I’m reporting the issue to the proper authorities.

New Skull Stuff at Serious Wood’s!

Over the past week I’ve built and released two new items: Terrence, the Flying Flaming Skull Greeter and the Sceptres of Doom.  I plan on adding a LOT of creepy/halloween stuff to Serious’ line of products.  You can find ’em in-world at my shop.

Both of these bad boys were made possible by this kick-ass single-prim skull by TheFriedGeek Althouse.

Terrence is the creepiest thing I've built so far.

Terrence is the creepiest thing I've built so far.

Oh yes, they're demonic!

Oh yes, they're downright deeee-monic!

Ripped Off!

They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If that’s the case, then I’ve received a double-dose of flatterization this evening.

I’ve been stuck in World of Warcraft *a lot* the past few months and haven’t been active in Second Life at all except to answer a few questions and handle some small issues for customers.  In that time, it seems, the imitators and thieves have been at work.

Imitation is something I can handle.  It has happened on the FunSign – most notably by the XtremeTag, which is a *great* product and has several advantages over my product; and on my Farty Follower Advanced – there’s a guy selling a “Fart Follower”, but based on his ads/marketing I’d say it’s nowhere near my quality.

I was told about the “Fart Follower” this evening , checked it out, and to be honest I’m not at all worried about losing market share in the virtual flatulence area.  But I did some digging around tonight on SLExchange.com and found some douche had COPIED, almost word for word, my description for my Sic Title product on his (vastly inferior) “Fun Title” pile of crap.  Horrifying!!  I sent a message to SLX’s merchant help folks and we’ll see how speedily this guy’s wee-wee is spanked.

Use my ideas – build a better mousetrap – make improvements and do your thing…but don’t ever, EVER plagiarize my marketing text!

Back in SL

I sell stuff in Second Life. My two main avatars, Buckminster Rust and Serious Wood, have been offering quality virtual goods since mid-2006. A couple of months ago I decided that I’d withdraw Bucminster from SL, mainly to just stop getting all those group emails and spam from sex clubs. Sales were dropping off anyway, and I figured I needed one fewer complication in my real life.

Well, it turns out that I really miss having the extra little bit of moolah I made every month, and I started getting emails from people wondering where they could buy a Primsworth, my greeter robot. I actually got more email from potential customers than SL spam. So last week, I upgraded Buck to a premium account (Serious always has been a premium) and bought a new chunk of land for Rust Automata. It took a couple of days, but my new (admittedly hideous) shop is getting traffic and making sales.

If you’re in SL, stop by Rust Automata sometime.