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11/04/2008

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Ann Otoole

What is this "SL Certification" stuff you are talking about? That thing they tried to start in April 2007?

What a joke. Linden Lab does not know who is on the other end of the connection. Certification is total bullshit unless you physically go to a testing center and use their system. And pay the test fee (minimum $100 USD) And then your not really doing anything but answering tough questions that are written by people that know what they are doing and also know how to write questions properly.

I see someone even suggested using VNC so someone from LL can remotely access your computer screen to see what you are doing. Good god with a goal of 1 million concurrency what exactly would they do? hire 10,000 certification testers? Or have a 10 year backlog?

No. Not happening.

Certification is possible. Via the same testing centers everyone else uses. And it will be multiple choice testing. Oracle certification tests are hard. You can't fake those. If LL wants certification then they have only that choice end of story. I can't believe they are silly enough to even be engaging the community other than to develop a panel for question development.

And then the cheese is always moving around. What would be the most significant part? Defect avoidance? Working around LL induced issues that get fixed and then return? What is the best way to ship everything out of SL to a website for handling by real code?

*sigh*

Maggie Darwin

Engineering that's worth doing *includes* doing "what the public wants". Especially when the public doesn't know what it wants--or more precisely: doesn't know how to articulate it.

What you're more likely to hear is what the public *doesn't* want...which should be a clue. An engineer who hasn't read Donald Norman's "Psychology of Everyday Things" (or at least understands what Norman is saying) is likely not fit for exposure to humans.

There's way too many of them....erm...the engineers, not the humans.

(I recall encountering that "arrival point under building" design failure at the Sun Microsystems region when I first got here.)

Reading old magazines is a wonderful way to learn form the past...and there is easily twice the information in the advertising that there is in the editorial content. As a child, I was fortunate enough to have available to me massive collections of back issues of "Scientific American" and "National Geographic".

Prokofy Neva

Yes, they are wheeling it out again. They just haven't gone public yet. And no, they don't mean with testing centers and standard written tests and fees (well, there might be fees, who knows). They mean by Lindens at the Lab, inworld, of your building skills. Of course they will find the time to do this.

Yumi Murakami

Prok, I don't know where you have gotten this idea from, that I would "tell people not to risk a business as they will fail". NCI even has a free mall explicitly so that newbies who want to start businesses can get a start.

What I, and most helpers, *don't* do is to tell the "how do I get L$?" crowd to start a business; or at least, list it only as a later option. And that isn't just about the risk of failure: it's about the likely need to buy some L$ to get started (even if you can use a free mall you still need marketing), and the fact that business is not a good way to earn L$ with which to do other things, since usually to remain competitive, you'll need to spend almost all of your SL time (assuming you have a day job) making things or managing sales of them.

The idea that I would try and tell a newbie who had made something, not to try and sell it, is actually offensive to me because I generally encourage newbies who have made and enjoy making things, to try selling them. In fact, I find it a little upsetting when newbies who do make things want to give them away - it's understandable, it's because they've been forming friendships with groups of other newbies and none of them have any money either.

Now, ok, I might be a bit jealous of a newbie who'd made a magic wand. But that's about all ;)

Prokofy Neva

Thanks for proving my point in spades. By failing to tell newbies they CAN start a business, sell things, make things, get free market space, get free vendors, you ARE discouraging them and ARE steering them -- and I'm glad we've got that on the record.

They have no need to buy Lindens to do any of those things.

You don't have to wait to see a newbie make something that fits your idea of what content should be, you can tell them to make content, and by God, they can at least make a t-shirt or a table, even I can do that.

As for this, "the fact that business is not a good way to earn L$ with which to do other things, since usually to remain competitive, you'll need to spend almost all of your SL time (assuming you have a day job) making things or managing sales of them."

It's total, utter, socialist bullshit. It simply isn't true. There are plenty of people who have made things and sold them for a fair amount of money right from the start -- I can think of Barnesworth and Ingrid for example, and today, Barnesworth can make a RL living doing this. I remember when he made newbie starter houses for $200 Lindens.

The idea that you have to 'spend all your SL time' to remain competitive is simply false. You don't. If you have a good idea, if you have an entrepreneurial spirit, and if you are willing to learn the skills, you can make your way. There are challenges, but they need not be over-emphasized.

We know everything that you already think, Yumi. You think the market is saturated. You yourself are burnt from your own self-admitted failures. So scared, scarred, burned, you stand at the gates of SL, creating a cramped, fearful impression. We need to put you in the close along with the Lindens.

Yumi Murakami

Prok, you'll need to take this further than just complaining at me, because even most static tutorials in world now suggest buying L$ for US$ far above trying to start a content business. Even the Lindens' own introductory notecard, that used to be dropped on you when you arrived in a WA, did that. In fact, I took my lead from that trend.

Many newbies just don't _want_ to create content. If you "tell them to" when they ask how to get money, it jars with their perception of what they wanted to do in the world, and they get upset. You know the newbies who _do_ want to create content, because they're asking "how do I make content?" - not "how do I get L$?".

Yes, they can make a t-shirt or a table. Maybe they can even sell them, although that's by no means guaranteed. But is that what they actually want to do?

I don't think that the market is completely saturated, but I _do_ think that the market has moved on from selling things that a random person who has just wandered into SL can produce. And that's a good thing - if it hadn't done that by now, that fact alone would make it a spectacular failure. But it does make thing harsher. Yes, I'm sure that Barnesworth and Damianos and all of the others started making basic cheap houses - but they didn't have to compete with Barnesworth and Damianos. Moreover, they did it because they enjoyed making houses, not because they wanted the nifty outfit they just saw in a shop and quickly dashed off a house build in order to get back to what they actually wanted. That might have worked at one point but it certainly won't work now.

It isn't as simple as "learning the skills" - there's a talent component involved as well, that you don't have a choice about.. and that's not just from me - it's what practically every building helper I've ever had has told me.

Prokofy Neva

Yumi, duh, I always tell people to buy Lindens instead of camping, because they can spend just $3.65 US and get 1000 Lindens. However, here's the problem, as I've found on my constant polls on this issue:

o a great number of women, far more than you'd ever think possible in this modern day and age, are dependent on their husbands. Their husbands will not let them run up charges on the cards, and leave them with restricted amounts of cash. They are afraid to use the card for this

o Yes, you'd think they could just go buy a card at Wal-greens, but maybe that system isn't so available in all cities, I have no idea, we have it here in NY, you can buy a temp card for $10 or $25 or $100 and use it without having to get a credit card per say, you just fill it with cash on the spot

o People who are non-American often have trouble getting some kind of payment system online

o People are terrified of giving payment info on line and want to scrounge for awhile -- I have tenants who camp and scrounge like that, living in a rentals for a month, then leaving for a month, then coming back -- I have the land preserve for them to hang out in for free if they want

o I have no art skills. I'm someone who actually failed high school art, even attending the classes and making the objects. That's actually possible to do. Yet I make and sell stupid little objects. Anyone can! I also have ideas sometimes and commission a talented person to make it, then give them a fee or split sales.

o the market has never moved on -- it is ever fresh -- there is always a newbie landing who will spend $2 on something stupid, trust me on this

o there are so many people now on SL and from so many countries that the new Barnesworthski of Poland will never have heard of Barnesworth, and just go ahead and compete and sell to other Poles. Of course it works. I see it work CONSTANLY with new people entering the 512 prefab market ALL THE TIME and selling to people who happen to find them -- the world is quite spread out n ow

o You hate and fear commerce, Yumi. This is a psychological disease for which there seems to be no cure.

Yumi Murakami

I don't see any relevance to the "reasons why people might not want to buy L$". Yes, that's true. Again, people who are going to become successful content creators will be people who like creating content and doing business, not people who are doing it only because LL don't accept their credit card. Content creation and business just don't work when done as sidelines. I'm sure you know that.

"There's always a newbie landing who will spend $2 on something stupid, trust me on this." Yes, and in a few days they will realize it was stupid and that their US$ (or camp time) is now gone, and start distrusting creators. I'm all for newbie creators getting a chance to be noticed, but not at the cost of newbie consumers feeling cheated.

I don't hate or fear commerce, Prok. I just know that it's work. And not everybody wants to work in SL.

Sean Williams

Prok, your notion of how easy it is to sell things that you have made is, quite frankly, 'bullshit' in today's SL.

Ingrid and barensworth? Old user of SL?

Guess what?

It WAS easy back then. Now? Nope, it isn't quite as easy as you seem to think. There's this little thing called Time that, as it flows along, causes something else called Change.

Now, let's see what has Changed shall we?

1. The base focus of new users is no longer on how to create and sell content. It has moved to instant gratification in terms of getting Linden Dollars.

2. The current 'market' is FLOODED by the sort of businesses you describe. So much so that a new user, fresh off of the boat does not even have a snowball's chance in Hell of making anything. TO do so, they'd have to learn a whole host of OTHER skills to make their wares truly unique.

Let's take one of my friends for example: In real life, he designs web pages and is a graphic artist. In that alone he has a leg up on the typical new user. Add to this the fact that he is a perfectionist and makes damn sure all of his builds in SL are aligned properly (both the prims, AND the textures). In addition to this, his specialty, low prim furniture, is aided by the way he thinks.

Ever seen a chair done in TWO prims? with the cushions, sides and 'legs' intact?

He's even started doing buildings and custom orders. The funny part of this?

I taught him a few of the tricks he now uses. Not all of them, but some of them.

See what I mean however about the need for a unique item? A special skill set?

Hell, another of my friends is a scripter that has quite literally been able to take many projects that the older resident scripters will say are impossible ... and he manages to do them, proving the nay sayers dead wrong!

Second Life no longer has much of a 'market' for basic, generic 'products'. Had these two friends not had the skill set and ability that they do, they'd never have been able to sell a damn thing.

Oh? The builder? He goes by word of mouth and people seeing him working on his builds. No real advertising, no shop ... Just on the spot.

Melissa Yeuxdoux

"...there is always a newbie landing who will spend $2 on something stupid, trust me on this..."

Or, as Mr. Barnum said, there's a sucker born every minute. Even further back, "homo vult decipi, decipiatur." It speaks volumes about one's attitude towards newbies, and I know I'd react as Murakami describes once I realized I'd spent my L$ on dreck.

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