Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lindens to Ban Camping Chairs

Old Times at HippiePay
Location: Hunting Lucky-Chairs (soon, anyhow)

Linden Lab has announced that they will ban camping devices that encourage avatars to stay in place in order to collect Linden Dollars. It's a long time since I kicked up my heels at HippiePay with their manager, Twyla Tomorrow.

I've used Iggy or an alt to camp from time to time, because 1) I'm a cheapskate who cannot pass up the opportunity for a few cents and 2) If a merchant wishes to pay me, I'm glad to help out.

Camping was already on the decline before the company policy, "clarified" by Jack Linden, did nothing but stir up anger from bot-haters and campers alike. The big-camping venues like HippiePay vanished long ago. With the end of the old "Popular Places" rubrics in the SL client, it was only a matter of time. Now that traffic ratings are being gamed with camping, Linden Lab decided to clamp down again.

This hurts businesses, when a simpler--and easier to enforce--solution would be to recode the Linden Lab traffic ratings so unique visits (by IP address) or some other metric would have solved the problem.

Now small shops will have a hard time, given the utterly terrible search engine in SL, getting customers to their doors. Linden Lab needs word-string, Boolean, and other features common to other search engines, or even the site they run. I don't know enough about traffic ratings to consider how lucky-chairs, trivia contests, or other games might lure enough visitors to increase a site's traffic rating.

It simply gets under my skin that the Lab can tell property owners--especially those with islands--what they can or cannot do with the avatars who come to their location. After all, the Lab does not crack down when sims get full for other reasons.


Tenchi Morigi said...

I don´t think that the ban of camping is a big blow to SL and there are several reasons for it:

1. traffic generated by camping does in no way reflect the quality of a site. I was quite happy when the search criteria of popularity where not based on traffic anymore.

2. camping locations promote one thing in first place ... zombies. People leave their avatars camping and are what not where.

3. What you get is not worth it. The camping rates lately were 2/10 if you were lucky. Imagining what you pay to keep your machine online .... well do the maths for yourself.

I don´t think that the loss of those camping chairs will affect small business owners. I think the direct opposite will be the case. Camping chairs are mainly employed by locations that already invest bucketloads of money into SL. Those locations are usually also that well known already that they will continue to generate enough traffic even though no camping chairs are there anymore. It may in fact get the people back into their orphaned avatars.

The best way to promote businesses is still to have a good slx listing along with good freebies in lucky chairs. Those normally have a better effect since it draws active avatars. And that results in a guerilla marketing effect that could never be reached with camping in any way.

Iggy O said...

I have no head for business, Tenchi.

Maybe you are correct. I would still prefer to see the traffic metrics changed to make bots and afk-campers useless at driving up traffic.

That would end camping as we knew it, without such heavy-handed and sudden shifts by the Lab...oh, wait. That's the Tao of Linden in the M Linden era. Silly me.

Elaine Greywalker said...

I agree. Leave the chairs and change the statistical method. A little boolean searching would help a lot! Also, perhaps some training to store operators on how to make their stores come up on searches that matter to them.

Nerxual Oh said...

I agree with Tenchi XD Not sure how long you been on SecondLife but I can fully understand what Tenchi means cause I have seen it a lot.

I'm glad LL got rid of camping. I was bit upset that any place I search up got false traffic. Now I look up places and they got real results of people being ACTIVE on that sim. Not cause they sit on their rear for whole night only to get $L10 or less. Camping is a scam. I get more lindens if I sell stuff, that I don't have to sit all day doing nothing for :)