Marketplace: Commerce Team refuse in-world meetings (at least for now)

On the 7th November, the Commerce Team gave their latest update on activities. The post reads in full:

Merchants,

Thank you for your continued feedback. Following is an update regarding your latest questions and requests:

  • Direct Delivery email notifying merchants receipt of item by customer: We understand your request and are looking into this.
  • Marketplace category changes: We’re working on some proposed updates to these categories and will give you the opportunity to provide input. Stay tuned for more details – including a survey.
  • JIRA changes: We are working to adjust our communications practices to make sure all Merchants are kept up-to-date on bug fixes.
  • Marketplace weekly user group: We will not be adding a user group at this time.
    [My emphasis]
  • Publish Marketplace six-month backlog: There are no plans to provide this data.

In addition, we are evaluating ways to improve communications practices with Merchants that will allow us to address technical and support issues more effectively. This includes direct email correspondence, such as the direct email that was sent November 6, 2012 to let all Merchants know about the benefits of Direct Delivery.

We appreciate your patience while we continue to improve marketplace functionality and merchant communications.

The Commerce Team

Of particular interest here are two statements – that the Commerce Team are “evaluating ways to improve communications practices with Merchants”, while simultaneously refusing to agree to in-world user group meetings.

On the subject of the former, the Commerce Team point to their recent e-mail to merchants extolling the virtues of Direct Delivery; virtues which are, as I commented at the time, actually non-existent for many in receipt of the e-mail because Direct Delivery is for them proving to be at least as unreliable as Magic Boxes (and the Marketplace in general). As such, I’m actually unclear on exactly how such an e-mail is actually “improving” communications practices given the frustration it might generate, much less addressing technical and support issues “effectively” – but, c’est la vie.

User Group meetings: a source of positive LL / user interaction the Commerce Team remain unwilling to embrace

The refusal to hold in-world meetings, although hardly unexpected, is regrettable. While it is true that in this day and age, face-to-face meetings are not always required in order to resolve technical issues and problems, the fact remains tat face-to-face meetings – even in the digital domain – do serve a valuable purpose. They help promote a more positive attitude between people and they encourage greater mutual support and respect for one another (and I’m deliberately not mentioning the very practical results which can come out of such meetings by way of ideas and suggestions for dealing with issues and problems or providing LL with information on issues of which they may have no prior knowledge).

Anyone who has ever been to other SL user group meetings cannot fail to note the appreciation and understanding they generate towards LL. sure, there may be occasional bursts of frustration when things are going wonky somewhere on the grid – but by and large both sides of the equation – Lab and users – benefit from the interaction and exchange.

It’s therefore regretful that the Commerce Team continue to step back from in-world interactions with merchants. While the initial meeting may well be a little rough on them – I would venture to suggest that the vast majority of merchants would actually welcome the opportunity to have such face-to-face meetings and would be only to willing to engage with the Commerce Team fairly, rationally and respectfully.

Of course, there is the little caveat to the Commerce Team’s rejection on the idea of in-world meetings, the “At this time.” This suggests that at some point in the future they may well reconsider their position. I hope they do – and that they do so sooner rather than later – because doing so really would be to be to their credit and do far more to help to “improve communications practices with Merchants that will allow us to address technical and support issues more effectively” far more than any number of bland e-mails or forum posts is ever likely to achieve.

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Viewer release summary 2012: week 45

This summary is published every Monday and is a list of SL viewer / client releases (official and TPV) made during the previous week. When reading it, please note:

  • It is based on my Viewer Round-up Page, a list of  all Second Life viewers and clients that are in popular use (and of which I am aware) and which are recognised as adhering to the TPV Policy
  • By its nature, this summary will always be in arrears
  • The Viewer Round-up Page is updated as soon as I’m aware of any releases / changes to viewers & clients, and should be referred to for more up-to-date information as the week progresses
  • The Viewer Round-up Page also includes comprehensive links to download pages, blog notes, release notes, etc., as well as links to any / all reviews of specific viewers / clients made within this blog.  

Updates for the week ending: 11 November, 2012

  • SL Viewer updates:
      • Beta version rolled to 3.4.1.266708 – the first release since confirming the crash issue appears to have been resolved realloc disabled  (release notes)
      • Development version rolled to 3.4.3.266625 on November 8 and then to 3.4.3.266835 on November 9
  • Dolphin released version 3-3-4-1-26336 on November 10 – core updates: pathfinding support (excluding navmesh visualisation, this is pending LL’s sub-licence); RLV has been upgraded to the latest version, 2.08.03.04; area search has been reworked and improved by Techwolf Lupindo from Phoenix-Firestorm; No further support for logging into OpenSim grids (see here) – release notes
  • Kokua rolled to Beta 3.4.1.24900 on November 6
  • Niran’s viewer rolled to 2.0.2225 on November 6 – core updates: fading chat / IMs; imported and update to Hide LookAt from Firestorm; webkit plugin tweak
  • Cool VL updates:
    • Stable branch rolled to 1.26.4.38 on November 10 – core updates: Improved Reload Selected Texture feature to allow sculpt objects to be redrawn on reload of their sculpt texture; changed anisotropic filtering graphics hardware settings so that restart is required between changes; further media on a prim (MOAP) backports and fixes, option remains disabled as work continues; changes to settings names for streaming parcel media to make them more meaningful; reverted experimental “UseNewTargetOmegaCode” setting to FALSE due to vehicle issues; removed “dead” grid from OpenSim grid selector & updated URIs.
    • Experimental branch rolled to 1.26.5.18 also on November 10 – core updates as per main release, plus: tree rendering fix (phantom trees sometimes appearing on the horizon when hovering over a parcel with trees) and tree shadows issues (bad shadows)
    • Release notes
  • Libretto – removed from round-up page due to website being unavailable for a month and no response from creator on status (also removed from the SL Third-party Viewer Directory)

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