SLCC On The Future Of Second Life Commerce

I haven’t been following SLCC at all this year, it all seemed a lot lower key than in past years, although maybe I just wasn’t paying attention and we do have to remember that it’s a community convention not a Linden Lab convention. Inara Pey has covered Rodvik’s speech here where Inara covers the general gist and here, where Delicia Whipsnaps questions what was meant by Linden Lab diversifiyng, I haven’t got around to listening to his speech yet but Rodvik generally comes across very well when talking of Second Life.

However there were further talks regarding commerce in Second Life, with Brooke Linden and Thor Linden at the fore on commerce and advertising, with Collosus making an appearance too. The presentation can be listened to here, at Ustream, I guess if you’re lucky you can watch it too but the video froze for me, although I could listen to the talk. First up, some comedy gold when I went to that page came in the shape and form of the advert on that page:

The Future Of Second Life Commerce

Ah but there might be a Habbo advert on my page, yes indeed but it still looks funny when it’s on a page Linden Lab are pointing to regarding this presentation and it maybe should make some people at Linden Lab think about their advertising strategy, now back to the presentation.

They cover quite a lot and to help us, Brooke has linked to a set of slides from Vogt Linden …. where currently I see an IMVU advert! Anyway! Brooke talks of direct delivery and improvements to the marketplace, Thor talks of advertising and search, pointing out why classifieds were nerfed with reduced word counts. The reason is because people were able to grab too many irrelevant words, I’m still not a fan of the reduced word counts in classifieds and would prefer a keyword field that’s hidden and a classified description that allows people to be more imaginative with their adverts, reducing the word count just means adverts generally become a keyword list anyway, pretty dull and boring when advertising in general can be used as a fun way to catch people’s eyes.

Talking of classifieds, when are they going to come back to our profiles? Picks are there and that’s a free advertising space, so why is the paid advertising space given a lower priority?

There’s also talk, but very little information regarding improvements to the premium process and ways of making it easier to buy land. One issue I have seen mentioned about SLCC is that talking of pricing models has been avoided, this is probably sensible but any sort of price rise would be extremely damaging for Second Life at this moment in time.

The Marketplace remains an area of growth, as of yet it doesn’t seem to be having too much of a detrimental effect on inworld land ownership, although that has shrunk it’s not considerable, however the marketplace is a low cost, very low risk marketing area, it costs next to nothing to use the marketplace and direct delivery has the potential to reduce that cost even further, at some point this is likely to become an issue because why have all the hassle of paying tier on a full sim if you have a product line that can do well on the marketplace? I’m not surprised to see complaints about low cost and free items on the marketplace either, again, the marketplace is a low overhead model, it’s ripe for low cost items, it’s also useful for more expensive items too of course, but the overheads involved mean people can list a lot of cheap items and not worry too much about costs.

Linden Lab at the moment do seem to be fairly positive and working on a lot of initiatives, they might not all be sexy or eye catching but there seems to be a lot of effort going into trying to give the product some oomph, this is to be welcomed but they shouldn’t take their eye off the ball of whom their existing customers are, they’ve already gone down the road of chasing those who aren’t here and it didn’t end well. However right now I’m fairly confident about the future of Second Life, it feels right but there are some real challenges for us all, especially with the global economy still teetering on the abyss.

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