LL introduce ads on the SL webpages

secondlifeNot too long ago, I discussed the matter of tier and revenue. The main thrust of the piece was an attempt to point out why tier cuts, rather than being the magic bullet which will solve all of SL’s perceived woes, are actually likely to inflict a mortal wound.

As a part of that piece, I scratched the surface of other options open to LL for revenue generation – including the use of advertising. Now, to be fair, the idea wasn’t mine – it is something my dearest Lord of Dee, Ciaran Laval suggested in his blog (which, if not on your reading list, should be).

Indeed, outside of SL, the Lab have already dipped a toe into the use of web advertising as a potential source of revenue in launching dio – which is specifically geared towards revenue-through-ads.

dio: LL dipping a toe into the waters of revenue-through ads
dio: LL dipping a toe into the waters of revenue-through ads

Well, now it seems as though LL are taking Ciaran’s advice on board: advertising using Google AdSense / AdChoice is starting to filter into the SL webpages.

Again, Ciaran reported on this ahead of me, and a thread is up on the forums concerning the move – and the negativity is strong, sadly. The ads themselves comprise a banner at the top of some pages, together with a vertical ad space down the right side of a page. As such, they are not overly obtrusive, but they are noticeable.

Google AdSensse / AdChoice ads starting to filter through the SL website
Google AdSense / AdChoice ads starting to filter through the SL website

I could have sworn I actually had an ad appear on my dashboard earlier, but I was scootling around so much, I’m not sure – and repeated clicks on my browser’s BACK button failed to turn up anything.

As mentioned above, the reactions on the forum thread haven’t been overly positive to this move – but it is hard to fault it. Advertising is a fact of life on the web, and if LL can use it to generate a modest additional flow of revenue to their coffers, then all power to them – it’s not as if we can’t avoid the ads if we so wish; there are plenty of browser plug-ins available for those wo don’t wish to see ads popping-up hither and thither.

Currently, the ads have yet to hit the SL Marketplace, which would appear to be an ideal target for advertising, given the volume of traffic it receives, providing the page layout can be tweaked sufficiently enough so that real world ads aren’t getting confused for SL product ads. As I mentioned back in January, when discussing tier, the Marketplace would potentially be the ideal spot for LL to try-out Ciaran’s idea for strategic partnerships with other companies.

It has been suggested that perhaps the system could be extended to provide in-world businesses the opportunity to use the advertising space as well. I’m actually not convinced this would actually work, for a number of reasons. Which is not to say it shouldn’t be tried, is the software would allow for it in a meaningful way (i.e. links to in-world stores and / or SLMP listings. Certainly, it wouldn’t be the first time LL had offered direct advertising opportunities to users, as those of us who remember the MOTD promotional “opportunity” from 2010. However, were LL able to walk a similar path again, I would hope they’d avoid trying to charge people between $1,500 and $4,500 USD, as they did with that offer …

Overall, there is no real harm in LL seeking to generate money in this way – and it really shouldn’t be taken to mean the company is in “dire straits” financially. It may not generate a significantly large amount of revenue when compared to land, but that doesn’t invalidate the move as a means of removing at least a further small portion of reliance on tier as the company’s sole means of revenue generation.

SL project news 8 (2): servers and issues

Update February 24th: Metabolt 0.9.64.0 (Beta) was released on February 23rd to address the issue of nearby objects not being recorded following theserver-side interest list updates.

Update February 22nd:  Radegast 2.8 has been released, which both provides support for server-side baking and resolves the interest list releated issue of failing to correctly report nearby objects noted in the first poart of this report.

Week 8 Main (Second Life Server / SLS) Channel Deployment

The expected Main channel (SLS) deployment took place on Wednesday 20th February, as anticipated. The SLS channel deployment came a day late as a result of the Presidents Day holiday in the US – Main channel deployments will be back to their normal Tuesday slot from week 9 (week commencing Monday 25th February.

Issues

  • There is a report that both the Radegast and Metabolt text clients are either incorrectly seeing local objects, or failing to see them at all, possibly as a result of the interest list code deployment.
  • There is a bug in the  interest list code which means that child prims within a linkset do not always render from a distance – you need to cam in towards them for them to appear, and they can then vanish again on camming away. A fix for this is expected in the “next round” of interest list updates.

Week 8 Release Channel Deployments

There have been signficant changes to the RC channel deployments occurring on Thursday 21st February (again a day late due to Presidents Day).

Due to a last-minute bug being found in Baker Linden’s large object rezzing code updates, the package intended for both BlueSteel and LeTigre has been pulled. Instead, these channels will receive the code targeted for Magnum, together with the updates made to the Main channel.

Diagonal Region Rendering Issues

I’ve reported on this on a number of occasions recently, and JIRA SVC-8130 is still open on the matter. The incidence of occurrences seems to be on the increase, with more people having anecdotal evidence of problems. Following his comments in the second part of my week 7 report, Simon believes a fix is in the works, with Simon reporting at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday 19th February that it is, “With QA now.”

Missing regions: bug fix on the way ...
Missing regions: bug fix on the way …

Region Crossing Issues

Numerous problems are being reported with region crossings, some of which appear to be on the increase of late.

Content “Warping”

I first reported on this in week 48 of 2012, as one of a number of region crossing issues being reported. When crossing between regions, the contents of the region you’ve just left suddenly “warp” into the region you’ve just entered, appearing for a time and perhaps somewhat deformed.

When the matter was first raised, Andrew Linden thought it might be more a server-side issue than a viewer-side problem – although all the issues raised at that time seemed to be split between possible issues within the server code and the viewer code.

warp-4
Sometimes on crossing between regions, objects from the region you’ve just left seem to appear “warp” into the region you’ve just entered, and may appeared deformed…

In looking at the problem as a server-side issue, Andrew had hoped that the matter would be resolved via the interest list code roll-out. However, it has persisted despite the interest list code having been deployed to an RC channel, and is now largely regarded as a viewer-side issue. The status of any fix for the problem is unclear.

...only to disappear after a few seconds / as you approach them
…only to disappear after a few seconds / as you approach them

Camera Position Lost on Region Crossings

There has ben a return / increase in issues of the camera position getting “messed up” when crossing between some regions in a vehicle. This can take a variety of forms, most notably with the camera suddenly shifting to show a side view of the vehicle while driving, rather than the usual forward-looking view SVC-7684 provides the details, complete with a video demonstrating the issue. It appears that fixes for this problem have thus far been on a per-region basis, as there is no clear indicator as to the underlying issue – although it is recognised enough such that Motor Loon now incorporates a scripted workaround for the problem in lieu of a fix, which forces the correct camera positioning to be re-applied on a script crossing. The Lab have been trying to investigate the issue, but are having a hard time reproducing it in a consistent manner. Those routinely experiencing the problem on given region crossings should consider filing a JIRA specifying the issue and region crossings where it occurs and reference SVC-7684.

Increase in Crossing Disconnects and Other Issues

The Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday 19th February saw an increase in the number of other region crossing issues, with people reporting several issues, ranging from a disconnect on attempting a region crossing through to an increase in teleport failures when moving between issues and getting stuck in the corner of a region and spinning during a region crossing. Again, it is unclear what may be causing these issues, some of which have been reported as increasing somewhat sharply over the last 2-4 weeks.

Sudden Region Lag

It has been a while since I last updated on this issue, as reported in both a forum thread by Toysoldier Thor and others and in a JIRA BUG (BUG-355). In sort, the problem remains, with live event venues reporting issues, and the Lab uncertain as to the cause. When the issue was raised at the Simulator User Group meeting, Simon Linden replied, “Hmm, that sounds like it needs a fresh look. It seems like there’s a spike in networking traffic, performance goes bad and thus all sorts of things don’t work well.”

Interestingly, the four regions of the recent OBR in SL event did not suffer any such issues, despite a constant and high volume of traffic, although these had apparently received additional attention from the Lab to help ensure problems might be minimised.

Server-side Baking Load Test

A final reminder that there will be a Server-side Baking load test on Aditi on Thursday February 21st, following the Server Beta meeting. For details, please see my original announcement.

Login2life: the YouTube encore

l2l-header

In 2011, I – among many SL bloggers – covered the release of Login2life – a documentary on Second Life, virtual worlds, and the people who use them, directed by Daniel Moshel which was some four years in reaching a broadcast.

I was fortunate enough to watch the video when it was broadcast by the German television channel ZDF in 2011, and provide a review and thoughts on the programme – which is perhaps the most comprehensive, watchable and intimate look at people’s virtual lives which has been produced.

Inspirational: the creation of Virtual Ability and Virtual Ability Island seen through Login2life
Inspirational: the creation of Virtual Ability and Virtual Ability Island seen through Login2life during the ZDF broadcast is 2011

Now everyone has the chance to see what makes this programme so very special – as it is (for the time being at least) now available on YouTube.

If you didn’t get to see Login2life back in 2011, I really cannot recommend that you take 85-90 minutes of you time to sit down and watch it. It really is worthwhile.

I was informed about it’s appearance by a little birdie at the weekend (and my apologies to said birdie for not blogging sooner on the matter – I’ve not been entirely on-the-ball the last week for a range of reasons).

Anyway, here is the video and for those who wish to know more, Daniel Moshel has a very short Q&A video dating from November 2009, addressing questions raised by ZDF back when, if I understand things correctly, they were still in the early phases of mulling over broadcasting the film.

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