PostHeaderIcon SL Changes Web Search, Screws Business Owners Over

Most Second Lifers have likely not used the web-based 'search' function for searching all things Second Life. Even though there has been quite the controversial ping-pong diatribe with regard to all the newest changes, including the new 'Adult' rating and search-result filtering efforts; traffic gaming and ranking in results; I. P. offenses (such as with recognized commercial logos and namesakes) and a whole-lotta other hoopla about it.

I, on the other hand don't partake in the shrill side of these changes, bashing Linden Lab directly or their policy changes and additions. You see, I clearly recognize and understand I am the guest in their house. Because of age or experience or both I have simply learned to adapt and 'go with the flow' making do with whatever I have to make-do with. In adapting I am referring to turning whatever the powers-that-be come-up with to my advantage wherever possible.

Surely you have noticed by now that Linden Lab has implemented their new web site look. I actually like it. It's interesting, it's new and fresh and I prefer the subdued colors more and it makes things a bit easier to read.

I don't really have any complaints or whines about any of it.

Except one.

The main search page on the Second Life web site was clean and simple. It was the same kind of lean, minimalist design that made put Google on the radar and map and literally the first and primary reason it became so popular. The Second Life web search was fast and light, returning results from the "all" category with incredibly high relevance - so accurate were the results I was stunned enough to use the web site search more often than the in-world search. it was accurate, fast, lean and graphically minimalist. The same recipe Google implemented.

I have absolutely no idea if it was a different set-up from the in-world search (I know the results are from the same data, though) - I liked how it didn't (and still doesn't) show traffic rankings, I liked how the results always seemed to be regions first, then parcels, then people, then groups. At least that's what it looked like. There were no sorting options or other 'filtering' features - just a plain results list that linked to the web page equivalents of user or group or parcel or region profiles but also to in-world profile versions (launching the viewer and opening the profile in-world.)

The one caveat was that all results were PG-only (and likely still are). Which really is just fine and there is no reason or need to show other than PG results out in the first-life space called the world-wide web, which the first world population as a whole have access to.

However, as Linden Lab beefs-up their world called Second Life and tries hard to up the ante of 'value' and 'benefit' to all - especially the commercial users to which they so badly want more of and actively now cater to, they have integrated the in-world search function into the first life world web site in a highly consistent way - consistent with the in-world version. By this I mean it looks, feels and acts like the Second Life search widget you find in the grid viewer: tabs for "All", "People", "Places" and so on.

An Optical IllusionFair enough. Filtering your search to drill-down to what you are specifically looking for is good. But to me it just seems slower. It likely isn't. At least not in any humanly-perceivable way. Any slow-down is surely in my head, like the visual illusion of a circle inside a square makes the vertical and horizontal lines of that square appear 'bowed' when they aren't (the lines in this example are straight, not bowed.)

But that doesn't matter. The point is that it feels slower.

So I repeated my little search test and popped the word "throne" in there. In the "Places" tab my 'company' shows first in the listing as it always has. In the "All" tab it doesn't. It's showing groups first, then people. That's a change I will have to adapt to. The 'Classifieds" are the same distraction here on the web as they are in-world, on the right rail. I personally never look at those in-world and likely never will here either. However, on the web search there is no "classified" tab. So my little L$50 classified appearing on the web site at all (meaning not) is no loss as far as I'm concerned. I just don't really care about that area of it.

New Design: SLSearch

So with the word "throne" - I appear in "Places" and that's it.

Though, if I pop the word "Thrones" in there (plural) - I appear at the pole-position in the "All" tab, but not in the "places" tab - and it's my land group to-boot. Yes, this is 'more fair' for everyone, but as I am selfish just like you, I want that pole-position on all tabs.

Ironically I do also get that first position in the "Groups" tab, too.

So, shall I scream and shout at Linden Lab, perhaps even specific employees like Pink or Blue or Jack or even Philip and Mark and deride them for hosing and ruining and totally mucking-up the entire web-based search experience... because my position in the results are changing?

In the end what has really happened is what should have happened sooner or later: the web-based search was using a different "calculation" from the in-world version to determine the query results and all Linden Lab has done was to integrate the in-world version of search (and the user experience of it) to the outside web.

Good for you. Kudos and all that stuff.

Does the change in my "search result ranking" make me happy? Of course not. However, I recognize change is the way of the world and what keeps life interesting (in both worlds, actually). But the change doesn't make me angry, either. The grand race is a long one and our position in it will change over time. Sometimes we will get ahead and other times we will slip behind.

When we slip a little it's no reason to shout-down the world in vitriol just because we think the whole universe revolves around us and it's unfair that anyone else might move ahead of us when (and where) we were in the lead.

So with regard to these changes - all of them: the "Adult" rating, the segregation of the naughty from the not-naughty, the search result filtering, bot-ban on traffic-gaming and all the rest - I side with Linden Lab and say hey "you go, LL and more power to ya".

Does it mean I agree with all or even any of it? The answer to that questions doesn't matter, does it? I am a guest in Linden Lab's house. Does it mean it all makes me happy? It doesn't matter. I am a guest in Linden Lab's house. Does any of it make me angry as hell? God, I hope not, I am not so conceited as to have an entitlement attitude and expect anything from my hosts because: I am a guest in Linden Lab's house.

It simply means I understand what they are doing and why they are doing it.

And it's amazing how attempting to actually understand things can give you some serious piece-of-mind - even in things that seem to drive others off the wall, screaming at the top of their lungs in shrill, artery-bursting vitriolic hatred that causes them to see in blurry-double-vision in red tint - at the very hosts who openly welcome them into their house.

As for me?

I say go ahead, Linden Lab. Do whatcha gotta do to remain a viable business to keep the grid alive and kicking. Thank you for at least trying not to rock-the-boat too much and actually - shockingly - allowing me to continue coming-in for free and still wearing my freaky-squeaky-kinky latex g-string butt-floss and slave-collar and running around in virtual public with 'more-real-than-Barbie' boobs all hanging-out and low-rider jeans that impossibly manage to remain in the up-position to cover my crotch, but really doesn't actually covering anything and jumping from raunchy sex-x-rated poseballs to fulfill my incredibly wickedly demented fantasies that would put the most foul-mouth, dirty-minded people into a blushing-fest and not actually disnifying the entire virtual world you have created.

The 3D FingerOh, and also allowing me to absolutely chastise with venomous-hatred-sounding shrill bitching and whining at you, your company and even specific employees in a fashion that would make a meek and meager mouse want to see me dead and burning in hell while you do all this, and still actually and amazingly remaining relatively polite and civil back to me about it all.

Now you damned Lindens better fix that damned web search! It's all screwed-up! Do you have any idea how much business I am losing now that you've changed the web design? Hell I shoudl sell by 1543 private islands! You are so SCREWING ME OBVER LL!! How will you feel now that ALL the business people is SL are now goona LEAVE SL and go to teh othre grids!!! You'll see what ascrew up you have done nwo!!!!!! Do you have any idea how much RL money I am losing? You are screwing over every business on the entire grid and people can't put RL food on their RL table any more because you are ruining the entire economy and hosing the whole grid all because you changed one itty-bitty-teeny-weeny detail on your web site search!!!! Damned you all, burn in hell!!!! YOU shold all BE SHOPT!!!!! (Oh and for some reason I can't login now. Can you please fix that part first? Please?)

/me snickers.
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