2018 SL project updates 17/2: Web User Group

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group meetings on alternate Fridays at Alexa’s barn.

The following notes are taken from the Web User Group meeting held on Wednesday, April 25th, 2017.

These meetings are generally held monthly on a Wednesday, and are chaired by Alexa and Grumpity Linden at Alexa’s barn. The focus is the Lab’s web properties, which include the Second Life website (including the blogs, Destination Guide, Maps, Search, the Knowledge base, etc.), Place Pages, Landing Pages (and join flow for sign-ups), the Marketplace, and so on and the Lab’s own website at lindenlab.com.

Meeting Format

A point to remember with the Web User Group meetings is that they are informal discussions on things like the Marketplace.

While the Lab does give information on the work they are carrying out, plans they have in-hand for updates to web properties, etc., equally, a lot of what is discussed is ideas and the taking of feedback from attendees, and should not necessarily be regarded as statements from the Lab as to what will happen, it priority, or anything else.

Within these reports, I try to indicate those plans / actions / projects that are in progress, and offer a differentiation between “firm” plans and ideas under discussion.

Web Updates

On April 16th, 2018, the Lab slipped out an announcement on a number of web property updates, which notably include the following.

Marketplace Guidelines Change

The SL Marketplace Fee and Listing Guidelines have been revised with regards to the policy on pricing products on the Marketplace in comparison to pricing the in-world. Previously, the guidelines stated:

The following actions are disallowed. Note that these actions are disallowed by the Second Life Terms of Service, and are restated here for clarification.

  • Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behaviour. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, in comparison to in-world or other e-commerce sites”

This has now been revised so that in-world pricing is no longer exempted, thus:

The following actions are disallowed. Note that these actions are disallowed by the Second Life Terms of Service, and are restated here for clarification.

  • Anti-Competitive or Abusive Behaviour. Examples include, but are not limited to:
    • inflating prices on the SL Marketplace, or other e-commerce sites”

With the Lab noting:

We’ve removed the section which applied to in-world stores.  This was contrary to your interests and our interests.  Marketplace is a tool to use in your overall product marketing strategy and if you’d like to differentiate pricing between on-line and in-world stores, that’s your decision to make.

Transaction History “Quick Filter” Options

A set of “quick filters” have been added to the transaction history page on the dashboard at secondlife.com. These provide the ability to list all transactions for the current day (“Today”), the last 24 hours (“1 Day”), the last 7 days and the last 28 days.

The new transaction history quick filters available through your Second Life web dashboard

Please refer to the announce for the full set of web-related updates.

Other Items

Legal Question: Resale Prices on Full Permission Items

Is setting a minimum resale price on full permission items legal? this is being referred to the Lab’s legal department. However, such things as recommended retail price options, FTC guidelines on supply chain selling (both of which are slightly different, admittedly), would suggest the practice is acceptable.

Lootbox Legal Status

Questions have been raised on the use of lootboxes in Second Life. In some countries (e.g. China, Japan, Australia, The Netherlands, the Isle of Man (UK) and now Belgium) they are regarded as gambling and subject to regulation / financial penalties. Additionally, lawmakers in the United States and mainland UK are said to be looking at the status of lootboxes. The questions asked in relation to Second Life are being referred back to the Lab’s legal team.

Premium Subscription Changes

At the April 20th, 2018 town hall event, Linden Lab CEO Ebbe Linden confirmed that as a part of pivoting Second Life’s revenue generation away from a heavy reliance on land, the Lab are looking at introducing a range of Premium account options which will have different levels of benefits associated with them – see here for more (includes an audio extract of his comments).

While details have yet to be finalised, Grumpity Linden spoke to some of the ideas under consideration at the Web User Group meeting. Because her comments are likely to be of interest beyond that meeting, I’ve provided a transcript of her comments, with an audio recording.

In Brief

  • Need to comment on a JIRA item (bug report or feature request) and cannot? send an e-mail to letmein-at-lindenlab.com giving your avatar name to request JIRA comment access. Note that if a JIRA has been imported by the Lab or had its status changed, you may still not be able to comment on it.
  • Linden Homes size increase: Linden Homes are currently undergoing a face lift, and Grumpity indicated the plan is to increase them in size (presumably to 1024 to match the “free” tier offered to Premium members. There is no time frame on when the updated Linden Home will be available, although it is hoped they will be ready before the end of 2018.

 

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