PostHeaderIcon SL Exchange = Linden Lab Savior?

Internet MapThe rumor and following factual news that Linden lab acquired both and SL — (Sorry, the new name "XStreet SL will never take, I think) — made quite the splash. As usual, the vocal minority was loud, but not shrill.

And do note that when I say 'minority' I am referring to anyone and everyone who has the slightest care at all about what Linden lab is doing - as compared to the Second Life population at large (which I suspect is about 75% bots by now - try some sim-hopping based on green dots and see what I mean.)

In the time since then to now I the whole thing has popped into and out of my head as passing thoughts. Then, like most, the cloud solidifies and things begin to make sense, right or wrong (though often wrong.)

I can see why Linden Lab might buy XStreet SL. But OnRez?

I suspect Linden Lab approached both and Electric Sheep Company basically said "…you can just have the thing. Hell, we'll pay you to take it".

But the real target was and is XStreet XL. OnRez will be killed-off, which is a shame because technologically and user-experience-wise it is far suprior to XStreet SL. By leaps and bounds. To the point where working with XStreet Sl is actually quite the drag.
"Oh God, I have to update my stuff on XStreet SL... damned... do I have to? Guess I'll have to set aside a full hour to update ten products. ~sighs~"

Why would Linden lab want these portals?

I can proclaim to be in the know, but in hindsight a few ideas come to mind:

  • The Linden Dollar (L$) sinks are not removing as much L$ as they used to. People are still uploading pictures and textures and things, but the entitlement freebie attitudes so prevailent on the grid these days means fewer and fewer people are actually doing this. They simply are not spending any funnymoney in any way, shape or form. I even heard a complaint a couple days ago about a 14-month-old group that has members contribute to costs (about L$1 or L$2 per month!) XStreet SL commissions on sales will fill that sink gap.

  • Though the Open Grid is several years behind the Second Life grid in technology, features and abilities, Linden Lab needs a hook. Something that will keep them in business in a few years as Open Sim gains in popularity and use.

  • These portals (OnRez and XStreet SL) carry huge, nay massive influence on the Second Life grid with regard to merchants selling wares and patrons buying them. it is actually faster and easier to shop via the web than it is in-world. People don't 'shop' the way they do in real life where they browse and window-shop and so on. In Second Life, most shopping is really hunting. A specific product or tool is sought-after. Trying to find a "script that will delete a prim after a specific grid date" for example is bad enough in the web portals, not to mention a pure nightmare in-world.

    When Open Sim becomes a real alternative to the Second Life grid, XStreet SL will keep the buckaroos flowing into Linden Lab buy whatever means by then.

I am not usually one for predicting things. Predictions are almost always wrong or so far off the mark time-wise that they can hardly be be reliable in any way. But I digress.

The XStreet SL, which I'll refer to from here on as SLX as we all are used to, will be very tightly integrated into the Second Life grid.

Just as the Second Life web site and forums are directly linked to your grid account, so too will SLX be. You login to the Second Life web site and there's your full account. L$ balance, friends online and so on. The forums work the same way: you don;t have to create an account. You simply login for the first time with your Second Life credentials and they are verified through the grid.

Eventually, the same will happen with SLX. You won't even have to deposit or withdraw L$ back and forth into your Second Life account. it will be live, just like the Second Life web site account information and Lindex L$ exchange.

You will go into SLX and see your actual Second Life account balance. Make a purchase and it will be deducted from your Second Life account balance (minus the commission, of course - the requisite "sink" - just like uploading a texture or sound file — all for the convenience of purchasing through the web instead of in-world.)

Sim-HoppingEventually, perhaps a year or two or three or eight, the entire grid will be listed on SLX. Everything. Every single prim that is marked "for sale" at first. This will be automated. Scripted vendor users will have to continue the manual configurations at least a time.

The entire SLX library also will be integrated with the Second Life grid in a way that you can use it in-world. Certainly you can do this now through the in-world web viewer. I am referring to some other kind of tight integration that we don't imagine yet. Some way of actually being a part of the Second Life viewer or grid directly and not so disconnected the way the world wide web is right now.

I am seriously disappointed that OnRez is being killed-off. I am seriously hopeful the SLX web site will be ripped apart and the user experience rebuilt from a new corner-stone, though I think we all know damned well that'll never happen.

So, Linden Lab, I beseech you, plead you, beg you, fix that f*c*ing SLX user experience to make it more pleasurable to shop, (such as a 'more like this' link to search similar products,) and make the damned search actually work, (drink+script pulls anything and everything with either word in a product description.)

Make it like OnRez with one page that lists ALL my products so I can edit all of them at once and then hit the big "update" button instead of having to perform acrobatics through no less than 3 and up to 25 web pages just to update anything, (edit a product on page 15, go back to edit the next item and you are dropped back to page one. Every. Single. Damned. Time.)

So, what hopes do you have about SLX now that it is a Linden lab-owned property?
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