November 24, 2009

Collusion on changes to XStreetSL?

 Colossus Linden created a second thread in which he steps deeper into the muck by confirming residents' suspicions that this was an ill-thought-out adventure after all. The programming isn't in place (but it will be in 60 - 90 days), the methods of notification to merchants aren't decided, possible improvements to search aren't locked down, and they haven't confirmed whether an "inactive" listing will be charged a listing fee or whether the item has to active for the $10L fee to kick in.

As a number of people have also noted, one goal is to completely segregate the real freebies from the rest of the market. Which means that demos of products, like shoes or hair, won't be found in the same category as the product itself. Some surprisingly naive statements by Collossus make it clear he doesn't understand GNU or GPL licensing which forces people not to charge. In trying to avoid the minimum commissions, one would have to charge $3L for an item to break-even. If you don't charge something period, you have to pay a $99L/month listing fee. There aren't too many who'll pay that just for privilege of giving it away. LL calls it a "marketing fee" -- I call it a get rid of freebies altogether fee.

In his post,, Brokeback Kaul pulled out the salient points from transcripts of Colossus office hours where all these changes were supposedly vetted. (Note that hardly anyone in the Commerce Community knew these office hours were even being held.) What we see read is Colossus pushing the Lab program forward at each session while a few larger merchants chime in with unconsidered agreement. One in particular, Rachel Darling, sees the whole exercise as a first step to getting rid of freebies and small merchants period. (She's now on my list of merchants to avoid.)

And still, the Lab hasn't figured out how to do very basic color or size selectors, or to create a search system that actually worked -- both of which would cut down on 90% of the clutter. If we can't solve it through technology, we'll charge more and see what shakes out seems to be the attitude.

1 comment:

  1. i love your perspective on stuff (and LOVE your name)

    i am glad to have found your blog via Linden

    thanks for being so passionate and sharing your thoughts =)


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