Second Life “November Marketplace update”

On Thursday, November 1st, 2018, Linden Lab blogged about further updates and fixes to the Second Life Marketplace. the post also confirms that the promised clean-up of older listings is now in progress.

The clean-up is something that has been requested multiple times through various forum threads over the years, and has been a frequent topic at Web User Group meetings in recent months. In short the clean-up should only  affect:

  • Merchants who have not logged in for five years
  • And only those items which have not sold within two years.

The clean-up is an unlisting of items, not a deletion. Should any merchant notice items have been unlisted that they believe should not have been, they are asked to raise a Jira so that Commerce Team can investigate.

New to the Marketplace with this update are:

  • Three new Categories to Marketplace:
    • Gachas
    • Anthropomorphic
    • Animated Objects
  • A new Anime Marketplace communities.

The blog post lists the fixes for the update as:

  • Marketplace order confirmation mail should include a product link and seller data. So it will from now on.
  • “Items per page” kept resetting to 12 in wish lists.  Annoying!
  • Any search field will now display an x on the right side once the user has started typing.  This will allow you to quickly remove/delete all text in the field instead of having to backspace out the information.
  • Merchants can no longer review their own listings.  Obviously, yours are the best. 
  • Store favourites used to say “Sold by [current user]” instead of the store owner.  That’s silly!
  • Merchant dashboard Report pages were missing the store banner
  • Updates to search for more precise results
  • Fixed searching within “manage listings”
  • Marketplace review helpfulness rating buttons were broken, but we unbroke them.
  • We will now notify a marketplace shop owner if items have their rating changed
  • Marketplace profile – some incorrect truncation of Policies box content was going on, so we put a stop to it
  • You could not preview listing with no price, but now – you can. 
  • Buying item for users not in the marketplace would throw an error, but that’s fixed.  
  • New Marketplace wish list didn’t work in other languages than English.  Wish list Joy to the world!
  • Added a helpful pop-up for the keywords field, which describes Boolean search functionality, so more people can discover it. 

While it is subject to confirmation, the next Web User Group meeting should be on Thursday, November 29th, 2018. Check the WEB wiki page for the schedule nearer the time.

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SL Marketplace update: wish lists and favourites

via Linden Lab

After  pause of a couple of weeks when a last-minute hitch held up deployment, the latest Marketplace update rolled out during week #41, with the Lab blogging about it on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018.

It’s an update that sees a trio of new features added to the MP, all of which have been the subject of numerous requests – wish lists and favourites / follows. The update also includes a number of bug fixes.

For this article, I’m looking purely at the wish list and favourites options:

  • Wish lists:
    • Add items you’re not ready to buy to your personal wish list.
    • Make purchases from your wish list.
    • Share your wish list with friends (so they can buy you rez day gifts, etc.).
  • Favourites:
    • Add favourite items to a personal list for easy relocation.
    • Make purchases from your list.
    • Add favourite products to your wish list.
    • Add favourite stores to your list (use them to check on new releases more easily).
    • View one of your favourite stores from the list.

Adding Items to Your Wish List and Favourites Lists

Individual items are added to your wish list   / favourites list by viewing them in the Marketplace and then click on the Add to Wishlist or Add to Favourites options, located on the right of the item display.

Individual items can easily be added to your personal wish list or favourites list

Add A Store to Your Favourites

To add a store to your favourites, open the store’s main page in the Marketplace, and click the Add To Favourite Stores option on the left of the store’s main page.

Adding a Marketplace store to your Favourites

Viewing Your Favourites

You can view your favourites whilst on the Marketplace by clicking on your account name (top right) to go to your account page, then clicking the My Favourites drop-down, which will display the options: Products (favourites), Stores, Wishlist. The Products page will open by default, but may be blank if you have not selected any favourites.

You can access your lists from your Marketplace account page : click your account name at the top (arrowed) then click the My Favourites drop-down (circled, left). This will display the list options and open your Products (favourites) page (shown). Note the Add To Wishlist button, arrowed at the bottom.

With these lists:

  • Clicking on an item in the Product or Wishlist pages will take you to the Marketplace listing for that item.
  • Stores in the stores list will be displayed with up to four of their most recent releases.
  • Clicking on a store in the Stores page will (unsurprisingly) take you to the store.
  • Listed items / stores can be removed individually or in bulk by clicking on the check box on the left of an item / store and then clicking the delete button.
  • Favourite items can be added to your wish list via the Add To Wishlist button on the Product page.
  • You can share your wish list with friend using a dedicated URL:
  • You can view your wish list or list of stores directly using the following URLs:

 

SL UG updates #35/3: viewer and Marketplace

Grumpity and Alexa Linden host the Web User Group meetings monthly Alexa’s barn.

A brief update, as it was pointed out to me that I missed the Web User Group on August 22nd, and the updates to the Marketplace that were reported in the forums by Grumpity Linden at around the same time.

SL Viewer

A new Maintenance RC viewer was issued on Friday, August 31st. The Rakomelo Maintenance RC, version 5.1.9.519162, offers some 29 fixes and updates, including two for receiving Friend requests and Group notices when off-line via the new HTTP capabilities, and which had not been working correctly following the initial deployment of the capability. These update should match recent server-side updates to the caps, and prevent group notices and Friend requests received whilst off-line failing to be delivered when next logging-in.

There are a number of other useful fixes with this release  – please refer to the release notes / download page linked to above for details.

Marketplace

I didn’t actually make the August 22nd Web User Group meeting, hence the lack of an update in week #34.

However, as has been pointed out to me, Grumpity Linden posted to  the forums concerning a number of Marketplace updates, which I’m simply going to list here for completeness:

  • Gift email was missing if the gift message was blank.  Everyone should get a gift email!
  • Residents with the last name Resident couldn’t leave product reviews.  That was bad, and is fixed.
  • Character count of product description included newlines and so was obviously wrong.  Righted that wrong.
  • Favourites which are no longer available are now marked as such, and can all be removed with a single click
  • Email changes on SL now propagate to the Marketplace.
  • Allow merchants to choose to list multiple “Custom Avatar Brand Names”
  • Retain “Sort By” preferences between pages and sessions.  Makes sense.
  • You can now remove items from the Related Items pop-up.
  • It’s “Land Impact” not “Prim Count”.
  • The Mesh Quiz is a thing of the past.  It will stay in the past, but will surely live on in our memories.

Grumpity also notes that some much-requested updates are “coming soon”: wish lists, favourite sellers, and an auto-complete for brand names.

She also indicated a fix for BUG-225309 “Marketplace: ‘Best selling products’ no longer sorts by best-selling” is in the works, as is a fix for BUG-225307, “Editing Marketplace Listings does not show inactive items to add as related or demo” – although this has apparently been closed as “working as intended”, which is slightly different to providing an actual “fix”! 🙂 .

The next Web User Group meeting (which is open to discussion of all of the Lab’s web properties, not just the Marketplace, is scheduled for Wednesday, September 26th, 2018 at 14:00 SLT. I’ll try to drum this into my head so as not to miss it, as I have done for the last couple!

Lab blogs about web and Marketplace updates

secondlifeOn Friday, November 4th, Grumpity Linden posted news via the Tools and Technology blog, on the recent updates to the Lab’s web services which support Second Life, and improvements / updates recently made to the Second Life Marketplace.

It was the updates to the SL Marketplace which made up the bulk of the summary, which has been listed chronologically rather than via service. However, as people might prefer reading thing by subject matter, I’ve split the list of updates / improvements between the Marketplace and the Lab’s other web services.

The SL Marketplace updates and improvements, implemented in September and October 2016, comprise:

  • Fixes:
    • A fix for sorting reviews by rating.
    • A fix for duplicate charging of PLE subscriptions.
    • Fixes for some remaining hangers-on from the VMM migration (unassociated items drop down + “Your store has been migrated” notifications.
    • A fix to Boolean search giving overly broad results (BUG-37730)
    • A fix to the Marketplace for an issue where a Firefox update was ignoring browser-specific style sheet settings on Marketplace.
  • Disabling of fuzzy matches in search on the Marketplace so that search results will be more precise (+ a switch added to allow the Lab to enable or disable fuzzy matches in search).
  • Archived listings are no longer indexed.
  • If a store is renamed, all of its products are now re-indexed.
  • Blocked users can no longer send gifts through the Marketplace.

In term of the remain web services, Grumpity notes that the Lab has recently:

  • Provided a number of unspecified bug fixes for the support portal
  • Provided a fix for the “Create Your Own Map” link, which used to generate an invalid SLurl
  • Updated the new user sign-up flow to give more consistency in password requirements
  • Updated the Second Life System Requirements.

Finally, and launched just ahead of the November 2016 premium subscription offer, is a  Premium Membership landing page aimed at potential incoming new users as a part of the Lab’s rotating series of landing pages, and which currently features the premium subscription offer.

The new Second Life Premium landing page, highlighting the current Premium subscription offer, and launched on October 31sst, 2016
A part of the new Second Life Premium Membership landing page, highlighting the current Premium subscription offer, and launched on October 31st, 2016

 

Second Life Marketplace: full permission product scams

MP Scams
Image: Strawberry Singh

The Second Life Marketplace is both a convenience and a pain. Convenience because it provides an ease of selling / buying to users. Pain because its sheer size can make it difficult to effectively police, leaving it open to various forms of abuse.

However, Strawberry Singh has highlighted one area of concern content creators are facing, and has asked for people to pass the word on.

In Full Perm Marketplace Scams,Strawberry points to the abuse of full permission items content creators make available on the Marketplace.  Typically, these items are offered individually or in kits as templates for people to re-use in their own creations, and they generally come with an end-user licence agreement (EULA) specifying their intended use. More often than not, these EULAs forbid the re-sale of such items on an “as is” basis and / or re-sale as full permission items. And if a dedicated EULA isn’t offered, the fact that the items are not intended for full perm resale can generally be found in the listing description.

However, there are unscrupulous individuals doing just that: purchasing the items and reselling them unchanged, as full permission items, thus violating the original creator’s intent and licensing. To add insult to injury, the items undercut the original creator’s own market price.

To help raise awareness of the problem, Strawberry offers some advice on how to identify or avoid such items:

  1. Before purchasing look at the seller’s other listings. If there is a hodgepodge of brand names and the vendors all look different, they are most likely an illegal seller.
  2. Purchase the items from the in-world store of the full perm creator instead of the marketplace, to ensure that you are not purchasing from an illegal seller.
  3. Most of the illegal sellers have blank profiles. Real full perm sellers usually have a full profile filled with links to their websites, main stores and marketplace stores.
  4. Most Full Perm sellers have started using water marks on the vendor ads which say the name of the avatar that is supposed to be selling it. The illegal sellers are still using those ads, even with the watermark. So it is important to look at the name of the creator on the watermark, and if it isn’t that person selling it, don’t buy it.
  5. Try to find a way to report these items, either to Linden Lab by flagging the listing or to the original creator of the items.

It’s sound advice for anyone looking at full permission items. I’d perhaps only expand a little on point (5.) for clarity. While we may grumble about the DMCA process, it is the means by which such items can be most effectively removed from the Marketplace, as the nature of DMCA filings requires that Linden Lab respond to them accordingly.

So, if you believe an item on the Marketplace is being illegally sold and can identify, or are aware of the original creator, do be sure to contact them directly and make them aware of your concern.  Provide information on the item: where it can be found (listing, etc.), so that they might investigate for themselves, and if necessary, file a DMCA. This approach not only helps the creator take the required action to have violating listings removed, it also potentially helps to establish a history of violations which they can also put to the Lab, if necessary, which might in turn encourage the Lab to take more stringent action against repeat offenders.

Strawberry also has an article concerning in-world Giftbot scams as well. Given these are still very much a problem in-world,I’ll point you to that piece as well.

Lab announces new SL Marketplace search now live

secondlifeUpdate: August 16th: Merchants have been reporting a number of reported issues with the new search tool. The Lab has set-up a forum thread for general discussions on issues and problems. If you are experiencing issues with the new MP search, please join the discussion on the forum thread.

If you are noting specific issues which appear to be bugs, the Lab requests you add details to  BUG-37670.When doing so, please provide the following: Affected Field:  (Demo linking, Related Items, Quick Fill, etc.);  Name of Product you are editing:  (What is the name of, or link to, the item listing that you are trying to add a demo or related item); Search Term:  (What is the exact search term you have entered to try to locate the Demo, Related, or Quick Fill Template);  and if possible, provide a screenshot showing the empty search return showing the search text and the lack of results. The exception to this is “Adult rated items that contain profanity”.

On Monday, August 15th, Linden Lab announced the “new” SL Marketplace search is now live.

First issued as a beta test in November 2015, the updated search has been undergoing refinement and improvement (and bug fixing!) since then, hence why it has taken some time to reach a release status.

The new search mechanism is designed to address some of the shortfalls inherent in searching for listings and products on the Marketplace, which can often by a frustrating and time-consuming, as anyone who has used it will be able to attest.

To achieve this, it is said to be a complete step away from the older infrastructure supporting Marketplace search, with the new system hopefully being faster and more robust. In particular, the Lab point to it having a learning algorithm intended to improve search results over time – essentially, the more search is used, the better it performs. The new search also supports the use of boolean operators – AND, OR, NOT – so users can hopefully set-up more focused search criteria.

During testing, the Lab took feedback from merchants and users into account, using it to further refine and improve the new system. This obviously doesn’t mean it is flawless, but the hope is the overall experience will be improved, and will continue to improve over time. Should anyone encounter significant bugs or issues, they are asked to file a bug report. There is also a pinned Commerce Forum thread where general discussions might be continued.