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As many might have now noticed (or not) - the implementation of the search feature in SL has changed.

According to this article in the SL blog it is now this way:

You may have noticed that Search > Places returns slightly different results after today’s update. Previously if you had a place with a description like “clothingshirtshoes” a search on “shirt” would find that place. Now our searches work more like Google, Yahoo, ect. and will only find full words. Thus “clothing shirt” and “clothing, shirt” will be found, but not “clothingshirt”.

This, to say it simply, hurts business until the word spreads around under the users and still then some might not know how to do it otherwise.

(Yeah, some people would just right now say: LL is to blame for using the "toy database" MySQL, why have they not used Postgres or $insertyourfavoriteenterpriseRDBMShere from the beginning? Guess what? Stick this statement in your ass, those flamewars bring nothing new...)

Ah, and of course, the inevitable Mr. Prokofy Neva has written an article about it, too, using much more words to get the same message to the people like I did. I'd like to see him as a Rebel without a clue from now on.

Yesterday was one of these days - out of the blue happened one important thing, about that already many rumors spreaded around lately. The client part of Second Life was released under the GPLv2 license, which means: it became opensource.

Well, some expected it sooner or later, because there were already interviews around in which the CEO of Lindenlabs, Philip Rosedale, was very open about it. So now the first step happened. We are going to see, if they are also opening up part of the server side or not. But, and this is the important message: the cat is out of the bag right now and no way to get it back - anymore!

So, the important questions to ask are: why did it happen and what can I, the user, expect from it in the future? What does it mean to me personally?

...weiterlesen "Second Life goes Opensource – so what?"

Well, today was smooth and without any trouble. All was quiet in the garden, danced with several nice ladies and I found some stuff to read and to do.

Well, here's my roundup:

  • An article named "What do Paris Hilton and Second Life have in common?" from the CEO of Iron Realms, a company doing business in and with MUDs, from 10/20/06. Well, Matt Mihaly takes a very negative stance against SL. No great news there, because they are competitors. The quote "SL is famous for being famous" sums his opinion up very well! He has some points there, but the reason for a company going into SL is always first - cheap publicity. If you join there, then you're hip, you get big press for nothing at all and the project costs are just a very minor part in your budget. That's the way it works!
  • A piece named "Relay for Life and Exploits" from Hiro Pendragron from 06/20/06. Quote: "Linden Lab loves to play this game called "Let's release a patch befor a major release!"". About the problems of the patch schedules and that he is the opinion that the Lindens should be allowed to play actually in the world while at work to get a grip of it. Point taken there, but not all Lindens are technicians like he writes.
  • The article of the day: "Politiker in "Second Life": Der US-Kongress wird virtuell." This was today at the frontpage of the website of the German magazine "Der Spiegel". It's about a new sim, in which the US congress was put into. Well, actually good PR for LL at no cost at all, since this is a biggie.

There is a new wiki in town: the "Second Life Business Communicators Wiki"! To state from their first page:

This wiki is intended to be a collaborative resource for anyone interested in business and communications applications of Second Life, virtual worlds or 3D user interfaces.

It is in its infancy and is by no means exhaustive, complete or ready for prime-time. This is just a start, but it will continue to grow. Contributions or ideas on what resources you'd like to see here are most welcome!

So it is for sure worth watching if it is able to get a decent community.

Here is an interesting article from a marketing company named "Online Communities are not virtual", describing some prejudices of them and how they really are. Definitely worth a read, especially if you want to do business in them!

After the Copybot-incident (another article from the Washington Post about it) there was one project many blamed actually for this: Libsecondlife. Many people would have liked that this project would be shut down, perhaps even forcefully, or at least that Linden Labs is not endorsing it anymore. But nothing like that has happened. Why?

Well first: because SL is here to stay. Second main reason: many big and not so big companies are entering SL to make their business in, too, or at least to market their RL business. And here starts the problem.

Many RL companies have experiences in standard industry 3d tools like Maya, Poser, AutoCAD and so on. But you cannot use any of them to build anything in SL, since the client or just SL itself lacks a defined interface for 3rd party applications.

Enter here: libsecondlife. The people there have made deep efforts to reverse engineer the protocol used in SL to create such an API. Even if companies want to extend their programs in a way to work with SL directly don't use libsecondlife they can use it as base for their own efforts. The protocol of SL is documented in the source code of libsecondlife, more or less.

And this is the main reason it is here to stay and why LL endorses it. Endorsing the project simply means that they don't have to invest manpower in such an API on their own. Why bother doing it yourself, when someone else is already doing it for free?

Such a project normally starts when a developer tries to scratch a need, not being able to satisfy it otherwise. And reverse engeneering the protocol does not mean reverse engeneering the client, btw. You can do this without it, using proxies (like this one) or using a network sniffer like Wireshark. This is not the first nor the last time something like that happened on the Internet, there is quite a history about protocols being reverse engineered (like Oscar from ICQ, CIFS for Samba and so on).

So, if something like that already happened, and you are the company defining the protocol, there is then the question what to do with it. Work with the guys, ignore them or try them to shut down? The wisest choice is of course to work with them, because when they are going to stumple upon inconsistencies or exploits then for sure they are going to tell it you first.

Also another aspect of this "incidence" is, that if not made by this project itself, sooner or later someone would have tried to reverse engineer the protocol and made such a tool by himself, but if this person/project would then have also a friendly relationship towards you would be another kind of matter.

So this is why Libsecondlife is here to stay: first to make it easier for the content supporting industry to build their own tools and second because it is a vital part for LL to attract even more business into the platform, which is of course good for them.

So it is a win-win situation for both sides.

Right now we had a massive griefer attack at the garden. First some avatar named Mxxx Ax came to me and asked me what I am looking for. I askes him: "why?" He told me on an instant message, that he is a pimp and wants to sell me the services of his whores for about 10 L$. I told hime: "Fine, thank you, but my girlfriend would mind." Then this moron said something like "Well, than I must cage you" and began caging all people in the entrance of the garden. Another friend of his, named C.H. came in, too, and helped him.

Here is some transcript of it, anyway:

Mxxx Ax: barth
You: hi mxxx.
Mxxx Ax: what do u play this game for sex?
You: Why do you ask?

[15:33] Mxxx Ax: cause im a pimp and im selling hoe's if u want sex i can sell u a gurl for 10L$
[15:33] Bartholomew Gallacher: no, thanks, my girlfriend would really min.
[15:33] Bartholomew Gallacher: +d

Mxxx Ax: fine then ill just cage u

Caging is quite difficult, since when you are in such a cage it is normally not possible anymore to get out of it on your own - besides logging off and logging on.

It went even more worse, they had some bigger cages, too, and plastered them all around the garden and threw some kind of napalm on it. At least some time you could not see anything in the garden because of the smoke and it got laggy, too.

The whole attack lasted for about 10 minutes, then it was over. The griefers got banned on all parcels of the garden and all griefing objects were deleted by the owners.

So, what's the moral behind this story? If you want to do business in SL, better count on if you are having success or behind your store is a big real life company, that sooner or later some griefers are going to show up for sure to make your life hard as hell.

And of course in the moment where you cannot handle them at all, like a press conference going on.

So - better invest some money in good security and security precautions! It can save you from many potential headaches. SL is like the Wild West, sometimes!

I've stumbled across some interesting blog posts and magazine entries about doing business in Second Life. Here they are:

  • Going pro in SL. Aimee Weber discusses the topic of turning your passion into your profession, what to expect and how to do it. Very interesting read. Also some comments are very interesting, but some advises are just sooo obvious. For example, write an invoice. If someone wants to become a pro and does not think about that - ouch. Or "put your pants on" - double ouch. You can sum up all advises under a single rule - be on good behaviour and if you want to be a pro in SL, than SL == RL. And, of course, you are not going to have much time after this step to play at all nor is it a fast way to become rich or a guaranteed source for a steady income. So better be sure!
  • Another big content builder, doing custom builds: Millions of us. They have links to some interesting articles, an own blug and other stuff, worth a read.
  • "Second Life Lessons" from the Business Week. It's basically about how a real life company could enter the universe of SL and what they should consider if they have no experience and knowledge about SL at all and about some possibilites only SL offers to the customers.
  • "Hot to Get a Second Life", also from the Business Week. Some rules and advises what you should do before you setup a shop in SL. Also a very interesting read.