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Marketplace Update: March 2011


Brooke Linden
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In order to make sure a broad group of merchants is getting information on the current top topics on the Marketplace, I’m going to begin summarizing in a monthly communication. Much of what is covered here was discussed in the March User Group, so please review the transcript for additional answers.

Next month, expect this update before the next User Group--read on for more details.

Completed in February

During the month of February, we continued to work on the AIS project to improve item delivery. We completed some new features and fixed some bugs that had been languishing. The top items:

  • Improved gifting: New workflow to allow designating an item as a gift on its detail page rather than in the Cart. So far there has been a dramatic decrease in Customer Support tickets related to misdelivered gifts. We’ve also seen a slight and consistent increase in the number of gift transactions, not counting the spike we saw and expected to see for Valentine’s Day.
  • Improved cart and order history: The gift recipient’s name now appears in the order history.  The cart and order history now display items from different merchants in a more compact format.  Each line item now includes a link to the merchant’s store.
  • Fixes to prevent incorrect assignment of a maturity level to certain items (more to come).
  • Home page performance improvements.


Coming up in March (and into April)

In March, work will continue on AIS. In addition, the following items are currently planned:

  • Improved search options for maturity.  The shopper will be shown a prompt that more items may be viewable after login, or after increasing the maturity level of the search. See the Release Notes thread for more details.
  • Improved search infrastructure for keeping search highly available as the Marketplace grows.
  • Improved logging to help better identify and diagnose trends and possible issues with search.
  • Fixes to accurately reflect the reason an item was flagged and removed from Marketplace.
  • Beyond March, continued work on Search will include addressing Merchant control of item ranking within a Store.  Today, the items most recently added appear at the end of search results.


Updates on Top Items (Based upon User Group Survey)

The following is meant to highlight what our planned work includes, but does not include known issues that we will prioritize, then either fix or address in another way.  

  • Store Customization: Ability to sort items in the store is tops and we will fit this in when we can.
  • Inventory delivery
    • Beta testing is in the planning phase. We will communicate more details as they become clearer.
    • In the initial rollout, AIS delivery and Magic Box delivery will exist side by side. Merchants will be able to determine which delivery method is used on an object-by-object basis. This means that you can test AIS with one or two listings and add more as desired.
  • Reporting/History: the top priority here is to get the CSV downloads to include the required data. We have made this the top priority is so merchants will be able to pull the data and analyze it as they would like to. Additional built-in reports will be considered as merchant feedback comes in.
  • Merchant/Linden Lab Communication
    • A monthly update on the Marketplace will be posted in the Merchants forum. This is the first one. Next month, it will be sent out before the User Group and questions will be addressed during the meeting.
    • Release Notes will start to be communicated when a release is completed.  These will be seen as sticky posts on the top of the Commerce forum until the next release is deployed.
    • To sign up for RSS feed notification of posts by me, other Lindens or Residents, see this forum post
    • On the Forums, there is a public Commerce Forum and private Merchants Roudtable Forum. We will be continuing both groups for the time being, but we welcome feedback. Official Linden Lab Communications will be on the this Forum or the Commerce Blog. (Note: the commerce blog archives are in the process of being restored).
    • Surveys and/or polls will be used to gather priorities and feedback from Merchants and Residents in an easily quantifiable way.
  • Store Management: One thing to highlight here is that when AIS delivery rolls out, the ability to test delivery of a product (with no commission) will be part of that release. Additional work on store management has not been scheduled at this point.

Please respond with additional questions that are not answered in the March User Group transcript  or the additional questions in the first response to this post. Some questions may be deferred to the next monthly update or User Group.

Thank you,
Brooke

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Here are some of the questions that were not addressed as part of the User Group, or included above.

Question:

As we test SLM right now, it appears that a notice has vanished which reminds people to log in to see all products that they may wish to buy.  What's happened there? Can we have that warning back, big and bold, and on every page where multiple products are listed (i.e. front page, search results, all category browsing pages)?  

Answer:

We will be adding new messaging here, as well as general messaging as user education to let shoppers know they may see more results when doing a search that does not include all maturity levels.


Question:

How can a merchant file a complaint if a Marketplace listing rating is modified and you believe this modification has occurred in error?  

Answer:

Please file a ticket with Customer Service here.


Question:

Will we be able to track how many times each of our listed products is actually viewed in a day?  

Answer:

This is a great suggestion. I’ll make sure it’s on the backlog.


Question:

The Highlighted listings on the front page don't wrap from the last page back to the first page.  Will that be fixed so that a person can cycle back through easily?  

Answer:

There are no plans to do this. If you have not already, please file a JIRA.


Question:

Could we possibly have these meetings more frequently (weekly would be much better), as there's clearly too much to fit in on a monthly basis, at least for the present?

Answer:

Not at this time. This is part of the reason we are using other communication methods such as a monthly newsletter.

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QUESTION:  Is AIS the official new term for the MagicBox-less item delivery system?

QUESTION:  If so, will Merchants be able to opt-out of the AIS if they are happy with MagicBoxes and/or have security concerns about LL performing automated sales transactions directly out of our main personal Avatar inventory?

QUESTION:  If this AIS will be mandatory and magicboxes will be eventually banned/shut down, will LL give us Merchants the ability to easily create a new SLM MERCHANT Account that we can configure the AIS to process transactions from this seperate account?  I do not want LL performing SLM sales transactions from my main SL account BUT I do not want to go through the hassle of moving ALL my SLM integration to my main SL Account.  I simple want to create an SL Avatar that can replace the role of a MagicBox.  Will LL inlcude this in their new AIS design?

QUESTION:  When will we all get to see details of exactly how the new AIS works?  If it already exists, where is the link that explains exactly how this will work?  I know there are Merchants in a closed beta that already know these details.  My fear is that by the time this AIS is announce from formal release, LL will not agree to any changes that the larger Merchant community has of AIS and that the little closed beta group did not see or had no issues with.

 

QUESTION:  Regarding sales/traffic reporting of SLM.  You posted "Additional built-in reports will be considered as merchant feedback comes in. "  This implies that you and LL believe that the current SLM reports are not broken and limited.  As has been told to your team several times - the current SLM reports are only a fraction of the limited reports we got in xstreet.  but now your statement seems to indicate that "adding" new reports is not a priority to you and that just giving use on-demand dumps of CSV files is all you really will focus on.  Will LL ever get the basic SLM reports at least to the level of XSTREET? 

QUESTION:  Does LL Commerce Team even understand the the Search By Relevance is using an ineffective sort algorythm?  I am getting so frustrated that although all my SLM landscape sculpty map packs use almost identical keywords and titles - that only my top seller always shows up on the top of mose of my SLM search query tests. 

 

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SO I will reply to my own questions as it has been a couple days since I posted my questions to Brooke in this thread...

If my questions dont get answered by the LL Commerce Team at the bi-monthly Office Hours (i.e. the 1-way communication from Brooke to attendees).  And they are not answered in the forum threads.  And they are not answered here as Questions to the Blog Post.....

How does one get OFFICIAL ANSWERS from Brooke and LL Commerce if he/she is a Merchant that is not in Brooke's growing inner circle of Merchants that she will give the time of day too?

I have already seen and taken notes of the few Merchants that Brooke tends to favor and invite to the smaller meetings and will entertain questions in the Office Forums.

So.... how do the rest of us get our answers from LL?

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is this the reason why the general Best Selling list now only shows items that cost several thousand L$ starting with page 3? we've had this kind of bug many times in the past, and here it goes again! is this going to be fixed any time soon or is this how Best Selling list is going to be calculated from now on - based on the price? bye bye my high ranked items... :smileysad:

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So my daily peek into this Brooke Blog Thread on Marketplace updates to see if she took some time to answer my questions directly realted to her OP on marketplace update...  Still nothing.

Its not as if Brooke does not answer questions in this thread as you can see above - she has.

Its not as if Brooke has been too busy and/or away on vacation because today she seemed to have the time to posted in another commerce forum thread to provide clarification and updates.

So I guess my questions were too tough or she only like answering questions from those she likes.

As such, I have to conclude that my questions will not be answered by Brooke or anyone from her team, unless of course someone from the inner merchant circle asks her.  But they dont need to ask her because they already know these answers themselves.

Therefore, I guess its time for us to play....

GUESS WHAT LL COMMERCE MIGHT BE DOING?

So is there anyone else outside of LL staff that might want to publish guesses to the answers above?  If you are from her inner trusted merchant circle, I can understand that you will not be able to play this game for risk of being ex-communicated.

But if you are a friend of a LL Staffer in the know, or you are a friend of an inner circle Merchants and can safely guess what rumours you have heard about the new MagicBoxLess strategy or LL's plans on fixing SLM's borked reports, or the current borked SLM search by relevance.... please post here.

In the mean time I think I will poke at some other LL Management about this issue of LL Commerce Team Management's "favored communications" approach.

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Traffic has been pretty light on questions, so I'm addressing in bulk. Here you go (note that I've paraphrased questions for brevity and pulled in details from the Update post as necessary):


Question: Has something changed recently with Magic Boxes?
Answer: There have been no recent changes with Magic Boxes. We monitor delivery rates regularly. If there is a trend downward that does not recover w/in a few days, we have a developer take a look to assess if there is a quick fix that can be applied. Note that the long term goal is to improve delivery with the AIS delivery system.
 
Question: Is AIS the new official term for MagicBox-less delivery system.
Answer: It's the term we are using to refer to the system during the development cycle. It will be branded differently when we roll it out.
 
Question: Will merchants be able to opt-out of AIS delivery?
Answer: During the migration, merchants will be able to choose which items will use the new delivery system by uploading items to the Marketplace using AIS. Items uploaded with a Magic Box will use Magic Box delivery. Items uploaded with AIS will use AIS delivery. There will be no explicit opt-out.
 
Question: What is the migration plan? Can I just move all my AIS transactions to a new account?
Answer: This migration plan to move all users from Magic Boxes to AIS delivery is still in progress, though the system is designed with migration in mind. Let's table the rest of this for the User Group, as I'd like to understand why a new account is desirable.

Question: When will merchants see the details of AIS? When will we have access to try AIS out?
Answer: We are still working on the user experience. The work that has been going on up to this point is infrastructure to support delivering items to a shopper in world and pushing an item to the Marketplace to sell. The basic idea is similar to the Magic Box flow: you put an item in a particular location in your inventory, and you will be able to sync it to Marketplace and list it for sale. New items purchased on the Marketplace will be delivered to a specified location in purchaser’s inventory.

Since the user experience and beta test plans are still in progress, I cannot give a hard date for communicating either piece of information. The goal for getting the Beta plan completed is mid April. There is no current private Beta group.

Question: When will reporting match what we had on XStreet?
Answer: This is currently not planned. We are aware that there is much that can be done with reports, and we would like to address it. The “when” will be based upon company priorities and feedback from merchants. It will definitely not happen before Q3.

Question: What is the Marketplace doing to assess effectiveness and address issues with the relevance algorithm in search?
Answer: We are working on getting better logging in place for anlalysis of search results. We have identified a couple of small fixes that we would like to address over the next couple to a few months (as we can fit in with AIS work) that may help with problems (new item ranking, keyword stemming analysis). Additional issues we'll be addressing as we gather data and prioritize within the backlog of items we are working on.

Question: Is there a bug with Best Sellers?
Answer: Not that we are currently aware of. I just went to the Best Selilng Items page and see items worth thousands of dollars intermixed with less expensive items. If you still see this problem over a period of time, please file a JIRA.

 

At this point, additional issues will be addressed in the next update and the User Group.

Thanks!

Brooke

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Hey Brooke,  

Thanks for the answers and being straight about them (even though I dont like the answers).  So my feedback to some of your Answers:

>>  Question: Has something changed recently with Magic Boxes?
I never asked that as I didnt think nor notice there was a change yet to the current magicbox system, but it was interesting to confirm the answer to that.  I must be one of the rare merchants that generally does not have a big issue with Magicboxes or part of the silent majority.  I also like the model of SLM Sales Transaction Isolation from my personal inventory (more details later).   
  

>> Question: Will merchants be able to opt-out of AIS delivery? ... There will be no explicit opt-out.   

Sadly I didnt think there would be an opt-out. 

 >>  Let's table the rest of this for the User Group, as I'd like to understand why a new account is desirable. 

#1 - Tabling any 2-way conversations at the User Group meetings is simply not viable as you know.  The crowd is too large and is just suited for you to post commerce updates to the crowd and answer a couple select questions.  So..... to answer yoru question... 

#2 - Since your team have no plans to allow us Merchants having serious concerns on LL performing automated sales transaction from our personal main inventory (that contains 10's of 1000's of non-SLM non-Merchant related content), we would like to have an "out-of-AIS-solution" alternative.  By creating a new SLM-Merchant Account exclusively for being the source for the new AIS, it will re-establish the SLM Sales Transaction isolation from my #1 priority main personal SL inventory. 

So Brooke, I am sure you are wanting to say to me:  "aww come on Toy you are being so paranoid.  LL has a history of developing perfect software where nothing has ever gone wrong.  As such, LL has developed a perfect coded AIS software solution and I can personally assure you Toy that the new AIS service will never encounter a bug that could in some way damage or affect your main personal inventory.  The AIS service will never accidently corrupt my inventory or expose a secruity weakness that would compromise your inventory.  Therefore, you dont need a seperate Merchant Account that only contains SLM sale Items.  Trust Us - You have no reasons from our past history of software deployment for you not to trust us!" 

Sorry Brooke, but I want to maintain a clear seperation between the content I make available / accessible for SLM to process and my main SL personal account.  If other Merchants want to put their full trust in LL's software development and deployment, more power to them.  They either have no knowledge of LL's past software development Ooopsies or they do not have enough I.S. experience to know the risks of your AIS solution that performs direct automated asset transfers from their personal inventory. 

So all I am asking is for your AIS/SLM service to provide the flexibility to allow Merchants the ability to select which SL Account your AIS will execute upon.  We will figure out how to tranfer our SLM Items to our SLM Avatar. 

>>  Since the user experience and beta test plans are still in progress, I cannot give a hard date for communicating either piece of information. The goal for getting the Beta plan completed is mid April. There is no current private Beta group. 

That is interesting since there have been merchants that have mentioned in the inworld merchant group that have known what you just said and it was understood they had already been trying this AIS service as a beta.  Were they in the pre-beta beta or are you saying there was a beta group but its closed now? 

 >> Question: When will reporting match what we had on XStreet?
Answer: This is currently not planned. We are aware that there is much that can be done with reports, and we would like to address it. The “when” will be based upon company priorities and feedback from merchants. It will definitely not happen before Q3.

Well at least you are being honest.  Many Merchants have been screaming for the SLM to fix reporting since the day that SLM's reporting showed its lame ugly face and until this posting there has been no response from the Commerce team that it will be fixed.  Its utterly useless.  but based on the priority of the company needing to plug all the holes from the TEENIFICATION of the Grid strategy, I guess it makes sense that most Merchant priorities will not be seen on SLM till Q3.
 

>> Answer: We are working on getting better logging in place for anlalysis of search results. We have identified a couple of small fixes that we would like to address over the next couple to a few months (as we can fit in with AIS work) that may help with problems (new item ranking, keyword stemming analysis). Additional issues we'll be addressing as we gather data and prioritize within the backlog of items we are working on. 

It is so shocking that all us Merchants can see the problem with the SLM SEARCH/SORT BY RELEVANCE issue.  Brooke, your statement that more study and research will be needed sounds just like a common strategy used by governments when they want to constantly push off addressing the problem.  The scary part is every time your team slaps in another tweek to the search engines, my sales get hurt more.  Please think twice before you implement these changes.... your team has already done enough major damage to the SLM market with all the Company's priorities on the TEENIFICATION maturity filters.  We dont need anymore half baked solutions.

(Changed colors just for Dart)

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It is never in good taste to mount an LL inquisition in red text. Much too obvious and so 1500s.

Might I suggest something in a nice teal.

@Brooke Thanks for the AIS clarification, waiting to test this when it becomes available against our current networked delivery in-world to evaluate. Hoping that goes as well as anticipated.

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@Brooke - I echo ToySoldier's concerns about AIS "getting it right" at initial rollout. But I also see where having a Central "Delivery Only" Alt can be very beneficial for other reasons:

 

  1. Customers will be able to rapidly identify the Store Brand because the Delivery Alt will have a Display Name that matches the store brand name.
  2. Multiple Creators that all sell as partners through the same store can continue to do so. They won't have to give their stuff to one of the partners, they'll all give their stuff to one central Alt.
  3. A Delivery-Only Alt will have a very limited Inventory thus improving delivery issues because the total count of inventory items will be lower (and in some people's cases, a LOT lower).
  4. For many of us, having a clear separation (as we have now with an external Magic Box) helps with the mental and physical organization of our "For Sale" items. In-progress versions stay in our personal inventories, Release versions go in the Delivery Alt (now Magic Box).
These are just off the top of my head. Given some time to sit down and think through the entire process (and having a bit more detail would REALLY help ... *hint hint*), I'm sure I can cook up more scenarios where having a separate Delivery-Only Alt will be beneficial.

 

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Darrius Gothly wrote:

@Brooke - I echo ToySoldier's concerns about AIS "getting it right" at initial rollout. But I also see where having a Central "Delivery Only" Alt can be very beneficial for other reasons:

 
  1. Customers will be able to rapidly identify the Store Brand because the Delivery Alt will have a Display Name that matches the store brand name.
  2. Multiple Creators that all sell as partners through the same store can continue to do so. They won't have to give their stuff to one of the partners, they'll all give their stuff to one central Alt.
  3. A Delivery-Only Alt will have a very limited Inventory thus improving delivery issues because the total count of inventory items will be lower (and in some people's cases, a LOT lower).
  4. For many of us, having a clear separation (as we have now with an external Magic Box) helps with the mental and physical organization of our "For Sale" items. In-progress versions stay in our personal inventories, Release versions go in the Delivery Alt (now Magic Box).
These are just off the top of my head. Given some time to sit down and think through the entire process (and having a bit more detail would REALLY help ... *hint hint*), I'm sure I can cook up more scenarios where having a separate Delivery-Only Alt will be beneficial.

 

 

Thanks Darrius....

I didnt want to get into all the other valuable benefits of the larger picture of Merchants using SL MERCHANT Accounts within SL, but you nailed it.

If LL Commerce / Development actually think more strategically and design the AIS to allow for this flexibility, not only does it provide the option for us Merchants that wish to have this Role/Function separation from our SL Personal Accout, but it will allow SL Merchant and the shopping community to leverage the added value of all you mentioned.

It also potentially will benefit LL Commerce Team for future features, services, and even controlled scope of any potential damage thier new SLM applications MIGHT trigger if/when their code accidently does something rogue and potentially causes damage.

Brooke, including in your list of AIS beta testers (as well as people you are asking in the SLM community for requirements), you should be looking for people that not just your top SLM Merchants/Sellers.  You should look for people that also understand systems since I am surprised that you and the LL Development Staff are even curious and openly asking why I have aske for a SEPARATE SL MERCHANT ACCOUNT FOR THE NEW AIS. 

LL Development needs to introduce SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE into their SDLC of creating new solutions/systems/applications.  Your design of AIS tells me the team is not thinking this through.

I know that when I have brought up this issue in the inworld IM GROUP and in other forums, those Merchants that were already in the AIS closed beta (which Brooke says doesnt exist) could not understand my concerns and do not see the big deal about AIS executing auto transactions from their perosnal inventory.  Being that in RL I am a Solutions Architect, I can tell you from experience that often the road to identifying and addressing longer term "what if" scenarios can be very lonely.  We are often perceived as being PARANOID and worrying about things that will "NEVER HAPPEN"

Well if you want an extreme example of what can happen when you down properly think through about all the "WHAT IFS"...

Take a moment to think about the situation at the Japanese Nuke Plant.  Looking at the situation now... who was paranoid ??

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I'm not sure a delivery alt will be usefull to me. But we will surely need an alt for our business when this AIS comes alive. 

One of my biggest concerns with this new system is inventory loss. I have experienced this before, 6000 items in my inventory were lost for about three weeks. I have heared experiences from others who had lost (a part of) their inventory, that never came back. Since my products were in boxes in my shop and in magic boxes on (by that time) xstreet, my business had no negative influences because of my inventory loss. But once this new sellling system will become the only system, inventory loss will mean a loss of income. 

So I will definitely need a 'back-up alt'. It will get a copy of all my merchandise. In case of inventory loss my alt will be able to hand over the merchandise to my main avatar again, that will save me a lot of frustration and new uploads costs.

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I am glad others are seeing the need for this SLM Business Alt.

You are correct Mede... The risk plays both ways on LL's current plans for the AIS.

With my inworld store having its inventory independantly rezzed inworld from my personal inventory AND with the MAGICBOX currently holding the critical SELLABLE items to service all my SLM products and it being autonomous from my personal inventory, impacts or damage to my store because of a possible loss or corruption or damage to my personal inventory has been negated.  As you said, its not rare for someone's inventory to become lost or damaged.  Also, I have heard there has been some instances of weird 9000 item limits to the inventory... with the current AIS... these limits or impacts will affect my SLM delivery.

I only personally wished that when I decided to start becoming a Xstreet Merchant that I would have created this SL MERCHANT ACCOUNT right there and then.  I never thought in 2008 that my SL business would become this well established and grow - and I was totally naive on all the tips and tricks of being a merchant.  In hindsight I wished there was advice then to suggest that new merchants should created a separate Merchant Account.

But now with the upcoming AIS, I am willing to create this new Merchant Account.  BUT... I need Brooke and the Development Team to be willing to think the AIS solution through and develop the AIS so that the SLM config allows me to select which SL ACCOUNT the AIS will establish a link to.  It should not assume it is the owner of the SLM Store. 

This would be good for larger store operations where it is run by business partners.  Currently the MAGICBOX acts as the nuetral middleman enitity that holds the inventory.  With AIS, this enitity will go away and without AIS allowing for the solection of WHO THE SL ACCOUNT WILL BE that the inventory is interfaced from, this could cause more AIS migration grief.

So Brooke, I hope you now have a better understanding why Merchants might want to create a NEW SLM MERCHANT ACCOUNT FOR AIS.

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Madeliefste Oh wrote:

I'm not sure a delivery alt will be usefull to me. But we will surely need an alt for our business when this AIS comes alive. 

One of my biggest concerns with this new system is inventory loss. I have experienced this before, 6000 items in my inventory were lost for about three weeks. I have heared experiences from others who had lost (a part of) their inventory, that never came back. Since my products were in boxes in my shop and in magic boxes on (by that time) xstreet, my business had no negative influences because of my inventory loss. But once this new sellling system will become the only system, inventory loss will mean a loss of income. 

 

That's a good point, what happens in those cases of disappearing inventory. That hasn't happened to me personally in quite a while, but sure, been bitten by that one before. Not sure if I'd create an alt specifically for that reason.

A backup folder means less chance of both folders disappearing for a time, and of course I could continue to keep things in boxes with either system as backups. An alt makes as much sense as a box though for organization and backups.

 

 

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I think having a business alt for this makes excellent sense and have been worried how this inventory devlivery was going to work.  I might have more than one item packaged with the same title, but some refer to earlier versions.  Am I supposed to delete my earlier versions?  I do not think that is wise.  Does delievery work off of UUID?  I admit, I do not know all of the answers, but I am a little hesitant to just have the MP delivery system pluck things out of my inventory.

 

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Dartagan Shepherd wrote:

 

Madeliefste Oh wrote:

I'm not sure a delivery alt will be usefull to me. But we will surely need an alt for our business when this AIS comes alive. 

One of my biggest concerns with this new system is inventory loss. I have experienced this before, 6000 items in my inventory were lost for about three weeks. I have heared experiences from others who had lost (a part of) their inventory, that never came back. Since my products were in boxes in my shop and in magic boxes on (by that time) xstreet, my business had no negative influences because of my inventory loss. But once this new sellling system will become the only system, inventory loss will mean a loss of income. 

 

That's a good point, what happens in those cases of disappearing inventory. That hasn't happened to me personally in quite a while, but sure, been bitten by that one before. Not sure if I'd create an alt specifically for that reason.

A backup folder means less chance of both folders disappearing for a time, and of course I could continue to keep things in boxes with either system as backups. An alt makes as much sense as a box though for organization and backups.

 

 

 

First of all, remember that protecting your SL/SLM sellable inventory that is part of the active 7/24 online transaction processing is only one of the issue and reasons for having an SLM MERCHANT ALT.  Its not "the" reason.

Secondly, if there is an incident or isse that has impacted your main account's inventory, it would include potential any or all of the folders within the inventory.  So, having a BACKUP FOLDER to the new AIS folder on the same inventory would be equivilent to making a copy of your "MY DOCUMENTS" folder on your PC's hard drive to another backup folder on your PC Hard drive.  If the drive fails or corrupts - there is an excellent chance that both folders will go.

Third, since in general the data structure or inventory that has the most activity, volitility, and/or growth would have the highest risk of encountering a corruption, keeping your critical SLM AIS FOLDER on this personal inventory structure would be the highest risk of a failure.  Locating the primary active SLM AIS folder or content on a structure / inventory that has low volitility, simple design/structure, limited in its uses, would be the better location option for storing the SLM AIS folder.

Forth, sure it is an option to place the SLM AIS in an inworld rezzed box that is considered autonomous to the main personal inventory - hmmm that would be called a.... MAGICBOX.

So, if LL ends up saying that even in light of all the benefits listed by myself, Darrius, Made and other on why a SLM MERCHANT ALT would be the best location to store the AIS items, there is another alternative that would be potentially a viable option....

LL introduces the option of MULTIPLE INVENTORY STRUCTURES per ACCOUNT.  With this option - if the SL service and the viewers could be ready for this idea technically, the AIS would create a net new INVENTORYstructure that would be directly available to the Merchant along side his/her Main inventory.  In this way, he/she can very easily transfer content from his main inventory to his production SLM AIS inventory.  Consider this the same as your PC having two hard drives.  Then a folder on the main inventory could hold a copy of all the content that is in the SLM AIS inventory.

The idea of multiple Inventories could be leveraged for so many more ideas related to organization and bbackup.

But I want to stress that - for the points brought up by Darrius - the idea of a SLM MERCHANT ALT has many more benefits than just protection from LL bugs and backup.

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It's interesting for sure, some sort of external inventory. Not sure you'd get any more savings on reliable delivery or inventory integrity though. Adds more complexity and more points of failure, I think. For sheer spitballing, I like the idea of an account wide inventory, but of course we'd need alts tied into an account system first.

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I agree with the comments of having a separate marketplace account for the AIS both for reliability, protection of personal inventory and it would also make it more viable for some to tie it to their real life identity without spilling the beans of one's personal SL dealings.  It would also, as being said, make it possible to have an identity with the name of the store or company which would improve brand building. 

I have for quite some time advocated account wide inventories, connected to all alt accounts. This should simplify life for those who juggle multiple identities, and possibly help reduce the size of your asset store, as current configuration duplicates what in reality are identical items stored with different UUIDs due to no transfer settings. 

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OK, so Brooke put out the question to me basically asking to help her understand...

(paraphrased)  "why one would want to have a new / separate Merchant Alt Account to use with AIS as opposed to just having AIS interact with a new AIS folder in the Merchant's main inventory"

I believe my explanation on some of the critical reasons why a separate inventory entity for AIS was important.  Currently we have that with MagicBoxes and AIS's plans have not taken this critical system / business requirement into account.  Then, my reasons for this need were followed up by some excellent followup / additional reasons for the benefits of a MERCHANT ALT ACCOUNT for AIS to process transactions upon.

So I think we have provided Brooke enough reasons and explanations to help her understand the importance for LL's up-coming AIS to incorporate this critical function.

I have also followed up our reasons for this need with an viable solution alternative of Mutiple Inventory Instances managed within a single SL ACCOUNT.  Although I will admit that this would not address the excellent business reasons brought up by Darrius for having a SLM MERCHANT ALT that services AIS and all of the Merchant's SL/SLM business.

The ultimate solution would be the combination of Multiple-Inventory Capabilities and the funtion that Dart coined as "Account-Wide Inventories".  Both would be needed in order to address all the benefits mentioned in this thread regarding this topic.  Multiple Inventories are needed for AIS Transaction Isolation from personal inventory and Account-Wide Inventories would address the ability to easily establish and manage a MERCHANT ALT that much more effectively ties into the branding of the Merchant's Store Branding and busines activities.

The AIS solution development would have to tie in its development with both these excellent needed features - if they were deployed.  The AIS would need to be coded to provide the flexibility to allow the Merchant to configure which ALT Account AND which Inventory it uses as a source for SLM Sales Delivery.

So......  here is the $million question.....

How do we get Brooke and the LL Commerce/Development Team to take this critical function/service serious and make it a part of the AIS solution that gets deployed?  

As we all know all to well about LL history of software development and deployment, by the time us end users even get a wiff of an upcoming new LL solution (like AIS), LL is so blindly committed to they plan to deploy that they almost NEVER consider changing their solution to accomodate for corrections / improvements in their plans.  This could be the best idea in the world and we could all agree that AIS would be so much better if LL would have thought of this issue/solution themselves and/or they would stop and add this capability.  But I suspect this will be how it will be played out in the weeks/months to come...

Brooke will sooner or later come out with a brief statement that will say something like this:  "Our team has reviewed the reasons why Merchants would have a need for creating Alt Merchant accounts which they would want the new AIS to be able to tie into.  These are excellent reasons. BUT we have already gone too far in our development and deployment/testing path to incorporate these features.  We feel that there is little risk in our AIS processing SLM sales transactions from a special folder in the Merchants' existing inventory - and so we will proceed with our current plans.  We will consider a future release of AIS that allows merchants the ability to point to alternate SL accounts or to the idea of AIS processing to a separate account inventory if this capability in the future is available."

Feel free to use this quote Brooke :)

In the meantime, how does the Merchant community convince Brooke and her team to stop AIS testing and planned deployment until this feature is integrated into AIS?

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Brooke,

What I am curious about is: are the plans for script limits and inventory limits still on the agenda at the lab?

In the past there have been plans to implementate those, with the argument that the available recourses will be spread more equally amongst residents when you put limits to what each resident can use.

What will be the route to go, when it comes to inventory? First create a boxless situation for merchants, and once that is accepted come up with the inventory limits?

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PS... to help me answer those in Twitter that are asking me what AIS stands for and that I actually dont really know as she didnt clarify what AIS means:

Ideas of what AIS could mean:

:

  • Automated Inventory System/Servce
  • Automated Inventory Sales
  • Another Impending Screwup
  • Application Interface Service
  • Arthur Ingrid Samual     (possible names of the 3 linden developers)

Anyone else have ideas?

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Toysoldier Thor wrote:

So......  here is the $million question.....

How do we get Brooke and the LL Commerce/Development Team to take this critical function/service serious and make it a part of the AIS solution that gets deployed?

I would suggest filing a Feature Request JIRA for Marketplace, posting the link here (and on twitter) then asking people to follow and if desired comment.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

 


Toysoldier Thor wrote:

PS... to help me answer those in Twitter that are asking me what AIS stands for and that I actually dont really know as she didnt clarify what AIS means:

Ideas of what AIS could mean:

:
  • Automated Inventory System/Servce
  • Automated Inventory Sales
  • Another Impending Screwup
  • Application Interface Service
  • Arthur Ingrid Samual     (possible names of the 3 linden developers)

Anyone else have ideas?

 

Am I Scared = YES!

Access Inventory Scraps

Assess Involvement Sincerely

An Intergrity Search

:smileywink:

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Argus Collingwood wrote:

 

Toysoldier Thor wrote:

PS... to help me answer those in Twitter that are asking me what AIS stands for and that I actually dont really know as she didnt clarify what AIS means:

Ideas of what AIS could mean:

:
  • Automated Inventory System/Servce
  • Automated Inventory Sales
  • Another Impending Screwup
  • Application Interface Service
  • Arthur Ingrid Samual     (possible names of the 3 linden developers)

Anyone else have ideas?

 

Am I Scared = YES!

Access Inventory Scraps

Assess Involvement Sincerely

An Intergrity Search

:smileywink:

 

(tongue-in-cheek..)

 

  • Advanced Inventory Scrambler
  • Acronym Invented Strategically
  • Apples In Syrup
  • Avatar Insanity Solution
  • All Ideas (are) Stupid

 

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