The following notes are taken from the Sansar Product Meetings held on Tuesday, March 6th and Thursday, March 8th. These weekly Product Meetings are open to anyone to attend, are a mix of voice (primarily) and text chat. Dates and times are currently floating, so check the Meet-up Announcements and the Sansar Atlas events sections each week. Official notes, when published can be found here.
The subject for both of the week #10 meetings was Events in Sansar. These notes are an attempt to bring together the key points of discussion from the meeting note that they represent discussion points, not necessarily ideas the Lab will be implementing in Sansar.
Changes to Event Submissions
Currently, the process of adding events to the Sansar events calendar (visible on the Web Atlas events page, and within the Client Atlas) is via e-mail submission to Linden Lab.
- This will be changing soon to allow users to post their events directly to the events listings.
- However, the option will initially be limited to hosting events in a user’s own experience – it will not be possible to post events taking place in an experience run by someone else.
- This is primarily to prevent issues of people trying to unfairly monetise other people’s experiences.
- Once there is a means for splitting revenue between event organiser and event “host” (experience creator), this restriction would likely be lifted.
- As an alternative, LL might consider ruling that events can be held in any public experience, but where the experience creator is not the event organiser, than the event must be free of charge to access.
- Some time after the events submissions process is revised, the system will be expanded to allow people to invite other users directly to their events.
How Should Events / Event Access Be Governed?
Controlling who can access events is still under discussion, with the Lab courting feedback on ideas for how this might be managed.
- The Lab’s thinking is that there should be two broad categories of events:
- Public – as in anyone can attend (subject to the payment of any associated access costs)
- Private – the event is restricted to a defined access list / via invitation for the event host / experience owner only.
- The above could be expanded to a more defined set of event types that experience creators might use to define their events (e.g. live music, DJ / Dance, etc.,).
- This is seen by some as potentially limiting and requiring additional management overhead (maintenance of the central list to suit all needs; experience owners having to resign “allowed” events depending on what they want in an experience at any given time, etc.).
- There has been a feature request for the Lab to provide event-focused access control lists (ACLs).
- A single ACL could be used to control access to multiple activities of a similar nature across multiple experiences.
- Combined with the idea of scene “privacy volumes”, ACLs could be used to control access to content with an experience (e.g. there is a puppet show in the experience, but casual visitors don’t get to see / enter it, as it is within a privacy volume, until they “pay” an entry booth, which then adds their information to the controlling ACL – and they can access all other puppet shows controlled by the same ACL).
- A counterpoint to this is that if better persistence of data is provided by LL – such as an API to allow experience creators to store data in an external database -, then such “hard-coded” ACLs would not be required, and experience creators could script them.
- There are questions as to how user-friendly would individually coded access lists be; how would they scale, etc.
Accessing Events and Event Instances
Instances of experiences are capped for the number of users able to access them. No hard limit has been officially defined, although the number is currently around 30, and the Lab has indicated they are aiming to perhaps have 100 avatars active within an individual instance of an experience.
However, when attending events, this does raise questions, including:
- How can large numbers of people witness a single event?
- How can people wishing to attend an event together be sure they will be able to access the same instance of that event, and thus share it?
To address the first question, the Lab has already raised the idea of having a “broadcast” or “parent” event.
- This would be the primary instance of an event (e.g. a live band performing on stage, a presenter on stage addressing and audience, etc.), which broadcasts out to multiple instances of the event as they are spun-up to meet the needs of the audience numbers.
- Those in the “audience” instances might not be able to communicate into the “parent” instance or directly interact with avatars in other “audience” instances (e.g. dance with them) – but they would see / hear everything going on in the “parent”.
- There is currently no time frame on when this capability might be introduced.
To address the second question – people being able to access the same instance of an event together – the Lab is looking at various ideas, including:
- Access based on group size / queuing: people define themselves as a group, and effectively access an event together, allowing them to be sent to the same instance.
- An “event lobby” system where users can see where they could go in order to be together.
- The ability for people to directly invite one another into an instance of an experience.
- Some combination of all of the above.
The ability to monetise events – particularly events hosted in experiences created by someone other than the event host – is unlikely to occur until the supply chain / licensing system has been deployed. However, some ideas for monetisation that have been put forward include:
- The ability for people to “rent” experiences built by others for a specific event / specific period of time.
- The ability to make the “parent” instance of an event a “premium” experience, where people pay extra to be in it and able to interact with the performers / presenter(s) – so they could, for example, ask questions during a presentation.
- The ability for people to charge subscriptions to events / activities.
- The ability for event hosts / experience creators to define a specific “event” scene of a public experience.
- This “event” version could be “reserved” for those paying / allowed to access the event (e.g. a dance, a hunt, a game, etc.), and instanced accordingly.
- Anyone not paying the admission fee go to a “normal” instance of the experience which does not have the event running within it.
- However, creation of such an “event scene” of an experience would still count against the creator’s allowed total of published experiences, even if it is effectively a “copy” of an existing published experience (although the scene could obviously be unpublished after the event).
- A suggestion put forward to offset hitting the cap on the number of published experiences a creator can have, is to allow a creator to pay a nominal fee to have an “extra” experience published for a specified period of time, before it then goes away.
Monetising events touches on the wider aspect of monetising experiences in general, and during the meetings the Lab re-iterated that coming on the roadmap is:
- The ability for creators to build and sell entire scenes / experiences.
- The ability to offer direct tips in Sansar Dollars (which encompasses both events and experiences).
- This is seen as more relevant at this point in time than offering a means to pay wall experiences.
- Possibly the ability for experience creators to charge people wishing to access their experiences.
- This does raise the question – as the Lab acknowledges – of how do users gain an assurance that the experience / content is worth paying for in order to view it?
In-World Commerce as an Event
In-world shopping events are a major feature in Second Life. “In-world” commerce as a whole in Sansar is something the Lab is looking at, and plans to allow, but it is seen as being further down the road (if nothing else, it requires the licensing / permissions system to be implemented).
One of the things the Lab is keen to avoid in Sansar is event spamming / group spamming. Some ideas around this include:
- From the /Lab – allowing users to opt-in / out of receiving notifications of events / updates on an event, even when they have signed-up to attend an event (e.g. if they sign-up to event A, they only get notifications of other events by the same group / updates on the event if they opt-in to receiving them).
- Via a user suggestion – possibly levying a nominal charge for all copies of a notification sent out to users.
Other Points of Note
Desktop Animations Updates
The Bust a Move update (see here for more) introduces a set of avatar “emotes” (aka animations) for Desktop Mode. Triggered by chat commands, these allow an avatar to clap, give a thumbs-up or dance. As a result of feedback it now looks likely that the dance animation is liable to be updated:
- So the dance animation loops until stopped, such as by making the avatar walk.
- So that users can choose which dance they want to use (e.g. “/dance1” or “dance2”).
Live Stream Lounge Template
Recently, the Lab introduced a live stream lounge design (as seen in their Twitch event presentations – see the Sansar events page). It now seems likely that, as with the gallery template recently offered to Sansar users, this live stream lounge scene will also be made available as a template.