December 16, 2009

Office Hours with Lindens AKA Land That Time Forgot!

I might just be tilting at windmills now over the changes Linden Lab is proposing for XStreet SL but I have this masochistic streak that just won't let go. So yesterday I attended the 4pm SLT session hosted by Colossus (Big Ava - Big Ego) Linden and Pink (Bunneh Cute So I Can't be Evil) Linden.

There were about 40 avas there including some well known merchants. One thing was clear -- save a few "Linden Shills", most of the attendees were not in favor of the new fee structure and pretty much everyone would far prefer LL devote resources to fixing things that are actually broken vs. adding new features into XStreet SL that may or may not have  real world benefit.

Yet, like good foot soldiers on the front lines, Pink & Colossus with, assistance from Grant Linden and those shills I mentioned tried valiantly to keep their picked topics on track.
  1. Making the XStreet SL Homepage look nicer
  2. Wishlists via Facebook
  3. Merging inworld accounts with xstreet accounts
  4. Improving search
With the exception of improving search, wishlists have never been on anyone's radar screen that i know. And while the homepage is a muddle, that too is pretty low on the priority list for most merchants.

Fixing search, improving merchant tools and getting rid of or modifying potential sales killing fees might just be a teeny weeny bit more important. But noooooo, we had to wade through a dull presentation of here's how we're going to screw you and why you'll like it. Any attempt to discuss the fees was dealt with by the obvious cold shoulder or by answering different questions that weren't asked. Lovely. It was a total dog & pony show only you didn't even get to ride the pony or pet the dog.

What we also saw where some strategically placed Linden Alts whose roles were to support Pink & Colossus with timely fan-boi comments.When an alt starts saying "well I know you Lindens have to get to dinner", you know the conversation is being "managed" to the extreme.

NONE of the tough questions any of the merchants posed regarding the new fees or how the would be handled were ever dealt with. In fact, they became officially "off-topic" about 1/2 way through the event. I think my funniest moment came when Pink asked if there were any other shopping sites we individuals thought were good examples for SL to use in developing XStreet SL.

I said yes followed by (something to the effect), "ONREZ, they had real store fronts, easy listings, search that worked, a simple interface, multiple select items. But then you bought them and shut the place down." I got a fair measure of applause and agreement over that.

The rest of the event was mostly Pink & Colossus figuring out new ways to dance around the same old issues. Even some valiant attempts at re-opening the process for new feedback went nowhere. Linden Lab is interested in your input only when it matches their carefully nurtured and insular world view.

So I wouldn't count on any brilliance out the Commerce Team. They've set their sites on a vision that goes no further than the tip of Mark Kingdon's nose. Like it our not, our shopping and selling experience is going to roll in whatever they decide, regardless of the sheer number of intelligent and reasonable people who've offered great suggestions as alternative paths. Disappointing yes. Unexpected no.

Any future office hours,  please bring your box of popcorn.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All thoughts are welcome.