July 2022 Web User Group: Premium Plus, MP and more

The Web User Group meeting venue, Denby

The following notes cover the key points from the Web User Group (WUG) meeting, held on Wednesday, July 6th, 2022.

These meetings are generally held in-world on the first Wednesday of the month, with dates and venue details available via the SL public calendar. They are usually chaired by Reed Linden, who is the Lab’s Product Manager for the Second Life front-end web properties (Marketplace, secondlife.com, the sign-up pages, the Lab’s corporate pages, etc.).

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.

Premium Plus – Quarterly Membership

[Video: 2:55-6:42]

  • There has been what LL regard as a “positive” response to the Premium Plus launch on June 23rd, with take-up being “ahead of the curve”.
  • Quarterly accounts:
    • These were Grandfathered for Premium in 2018 (so those on Quarterly could continue, but those upgrading after the grandfathering could only opt for Monthly or Annual). As such, Quarterly was not listed as part of the original Premium Plus offering.
    • I raised the question through the Meet the Moles session at SL18B (via Saffia as host).
    • Quarterly has now bee added to Premium Plus – but only for those upgrading from Quarterly Premium. If you are not already on Quarterly Premium billing, you will only see the Monthly / Annual prices.
  • Coming soon: the ability to directly pick a Linden Home parcel (one that is available but not part of the allocation system as per my Premium Plus notes) that is currently offered via filing a support ticket will be moving to a web-based ability.
  • Still under discussion / in development for Premium Plus:
    • Reduced mesh upload fees.
    • Premium Plus linden Homes.
    • Premium Plus “VIP areas”.
  • The Premium offering will also continue to be updated.

Future Subscription Levels

[Video: 42:29-end]

  • Are their plans to offer more Premium subscription levels? Plans, no. There is nothing definitive being planned or in the works for further levels of Premium at this time.
  • Are the discussions about / interest in possible permutations of subscription options? Yes.
  • It is certainly true that the system is now set-up to support different subscription offerings if more levels were to be added.
    • This latter point sparked a discussion of what people saw as “ala carte”, which largely came down to people wanting only pay for something specific – such as Linden Home or free tier – rather than picking a range of options – please refer to the video for details.

Name Changes – Pricing Updates

[Video: 4:25-4:45]

Currently being worked on but not implemented at the time of writing:

  • The promised lower cost for Name Changes for Premium Plus.
  • A reduction (unspecified at this time) cost to Premium members, to be introduced alongside the new Premium Plus pricing.

“Land Journey” Refresh

[Video: 7:15-8:20]

  • Work is now in progress for this.
  • Will involve a complete overhaul of obtaining land – from private islands through Mainland to rentals.
  • Intended to be a tool for all who are seeking or selling land.
  • The Lab is open to suggestions as to how the overhaul of the “Land Journey” can better serve land rental businesses across SL – those with ideas should file a Feature Request Jira.

Marketplace

[Video: 8:20-16:36]

  • Work on Marketplace variances (e.g. multiple colour options for an item available from a single listing) was placed on hold as a result of the work on Search and Premium Plus, and so is now Unlikely to be deployed until the autumn / fall period.
  • Currently for the MP, the focus is on taking the work for Search relevance that has been carried out and implementing it within Marketplace search, plus updated capabilities including Boolean searches, exact matching, fuzzy matching, etc., plus better relevance ranking, better filtering, better sorting, support for special characters.

Marketplace Rebuild

  • This was mentioned at the June 2022 meeting as a potential project – rebuilding the Marketplace from the ground up.
  • The project is still in the discussion stage, and feedback is being sought – again please refer to the June meeting notes to see what was discussed and forward ideas to LL via Feature Request Jira.
  • This is a long-term project that will not be ready for ant form of surfacing until some time in 2023 at the earliest.
  • It is possible that as and when roll-out does commence, it will be in stages until such time as parity is reached with the current MP / sufficient store owners have move across, it makes sense to complete a migration and shut down the current MP.
  • Equally, an iterative approach allows any work to be halt and reconsidered if things do not go well / do not meet with a positive response from users.
  • The new MP will be built to support mobile device access.

In Brief

  • No major news on SL Mobile, other than “avenues are being investigated”. Also see Mojo Linden’s comments from SL19B.
  • There have also been discussions on “how to engage” with the core SL product (outside of the Marketplace) via the web. Things under consideration include:
    • Group chat.
    • Inventory access / management – although this is noted as being problematic (e.g. reflecting updates on the web whilst also logged-in).
  • Also in the works are more landing pages to help promote Second Life to potential users / groups who might be interested in using the platform.
  • The future of Place Pages is uncertain. They need attention, but it is not clear how valuable they might be.

Next Meeting

  • Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022. Venue and time per top of this summary.

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