The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, April 6th, 2022.
These meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. A video of the meeting, courtesy of Pantera, can be found embedded at the end of this article (my thanks to her as always!), and subject timestamps to the relevant points in the video are provided. Again, the following is a summary of key topics / discussions, not a full transcript of everything mentioned.
March Progress Summary
- The front-end work on Marketplace Styles (aka variant listings) is close to being finished.
- [Video: 16:22-17:19] The sales tax on recurring US billing (see Linden Lab announce sales tax on recurring US billings) actually came into force on April 4th, slightly delayed from the planned introduction.
- Note this is a state requirement, with no money going to LL, and the Lab has tried to structure things so the impact is initially felt by as few in SL as possible.
- [Video: 53:47-55:20] Search:
- The Search instance is being upgraded to Python 3 so that it can be hosted by an expert third-party service, who will then manage the update of the instance.
- Once this is been done, work will commence on building a Relevance Engine to assist in managing search results.
- The overhaul of the Destination Guide is still being planned.
- The “Land journey” – how to obtain Linden Homes, land via the Land Store through to obtaining an entire private region – is to be overhauled to make it easier for people to understand how to obtain land directly or rent it from others.
- The release of Premium Plus has been pushed back until the latter part of May. Then main reason for this is to allow additional time for all the teams involved in managing / marketing / supporting Premium Plus to be ready for the launch.
- When released, there will be a pro-rated amount for those on annual subscriptions with 6 months or more of Premium membership left until their next renewal, and renew at their normal renewal date at the Plus rate.
- Details to be clarified when Premium Plus is launched.
- The overall contents of Premium Plus are locked down, but will be made public at the time of launch. However, it may include (and as noted in my January WUG summary):
- A higher amount of free tier than Premium’s 1024 sq m.
- A higher stipend.
- A higher sign-up bonus.
- More group slots.
- Lower fees “on certain things” (unspecified).
- Where “more” is being offered (e.g. free land tier) it is liable to be roughly double that of Premium (so the stipend will be more than double that of Premium, for example.
- Upgrades to Premium form Grandfathered accounts:
- Grandfather stipend accounts will receive the “standard” Premium Plus stipend, not a Stipend based on their L$500 Grandfathered status.
- [Video: 43:59-45:10] It is not clear at present if Grandfathered accounts would recover their Gandfathered L$500 a week stipend on downgrading from Plus to Premium, or revert to the standard L$300 a week. This will be clarified for the next WUG meeting.
Questions / Poll from LL
The Lab is looking to gain feedback from users, with a series of questions asked at the meeting, which may well be asked again through the forums as well. These included:
- How do you to find things to do in SL? – responses included: opening group chat with the message “I’m bored”; using the Destination Guide; asking friends; using travelogues such as in this blog; visit the What’s Hot section of the viewer splash screen; Tweeted from other SL users.
- How did you get started in SL? – responses included: friend already active in SL; seeing one of the SL video ads; seeing people discussing SL on Twitter.
- What makes you stay? – responses essentially revolved around creativity of others, ability to explore, opportunities to meet people, a group of close friends, art, building etc.; force of habit.
- How familiar with the SL client and finding things you’re looking for would you say you are? – most said they felt they are all reasonably familiar.
- What’s the hardest part about finding friends/activities in SL? – responses varied from simply finding other who are willing to engage in conversation through to the rate at which many social spots can be opened and closed (and the reasons for this, which flowed between tier costs and the sheer amount of work involved in day-to-day running of a venue); timezones.
- [Video 36:06-37:10] BUG-226218 “Ability refund purchases but disallow redelivery on Marketplace” – a feature request that has been accepted for consideration.