Saturday, March 31, 2012

everybody at the back of the line, it's midnight at the lost and found

Once more into the breach, dear friends, and it's a serious breach indeed--of ethics, of commerce, of trust, of understanding. We'll lead off with stephanie Leclerc, who's now so upset she's losing command of the English language:
Marketplace still open ?
With this bug, we can see some PORN product, on the PG Pages.
CommerceTeam Linden isn't a serious team at all.....
Second point, the merchant aren't informed on the Merchant Home.....
All THING THEY CARE it's this stupid Direct Delivery.
4 Days with this bug, it's really annoying.....
So they cause many damages, and like usually, they will take 1 Year to fix that.
And if the Lindens seriously do fail to fix this before 2013? People are going to have long since scrambled to find other means of support. And again, it's a domino effect--if a merchant leaves for other work, they'll leave behind their business, their sim, and their premium account. So no Linden payments for ads, no Linden tier fees, no Linden monthly premium account fees...If enough people do this there will be a serious dent in the company's financials.

Sera Lok again:
Just attached image (UNAVAILABLEseralok.jpg) of an item (https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/Dean-Razorback-Electric-Guitar-18/1405954) that has a messed up listing. That's the other merchant's link, but it shows my image. I tracked down the item in my store inventory and saw that it was marked as "Unavailable," so I don't even know why it's been showing in my listings.(??)

Since it was already unavailable, I decided to delete it to see if it would remove the listing from my store. No, the listing is STILL there, and now I have NO access whatsoever to the listing because on my end, it is supposed to no longer exist. So apart from having an unavailable and now deleted item showing on my store page, it also shows the incorrect creator, price, etc.

I am also hearing of reports that some merchants think their product images are being "stolen," and shoppers who doubt the reliability of a seller because of the incorrect and strange information.

I'm absolutely and completely disappointed that the Commerce Team allows this craziness to continue without any informational updates (besides, thanks, we're working on it) and continuing to leave the Marketplace open in its current state and leaving the merchants open to be vilified, DMCA'd, and our integrity questioned because of YOUR mistake and unwillingness to take the problem seriously.

Why haven't you shut the Marketplace down already?
It's such a good question. Maybe they've finally decided this is the best way to kill user content once and for all. After all, if the Marketplace is unusable, they don't need to worry about people complying with the rules. Or owning sims. Or paying them money at any point.

Finally, the last (for now) comment on this JIRA, from Holgi Fall:
OK Lindenlab you dont close the store whyever but i will, i have now disabled all my items if i ever enable it again i dont know.. Good bye i can not make business with such a bad company who dont care about his users and the persons who bring YOU the money and pay your jobs
I doubt they are the first to leave, and I know they won't be the last. There have been several mini-exodus movements from the grid; I've covered some but not all. But this one? This one has the potential to be much, much larger.

I'd like to wind this one up with some quotes from recent blog posts:
"It is again in situations like this where Linden Lab do themselves no favours, something I've recently touched upon. There are times when silence simply doesn't work – yet all too frequently, silence is the main tool the Lab uses in dealing with a situation. It’s also an approach that reinforces the negative attitude many people feel towards the Lab, justified or otherwise.

"Linden Lab has channels of communication open to it – and where e-mail is concerned, it’s not as if they’ve not used that channel to reach out to merchants in the past. Given the fact that even now, three days after the initial problem was first noticed, some people are still only just finding out about the problem – and in some cases leaping to the wrong conclusion – an advisory posted to the blog and / or e-mailed to merchants would seem to be a practical step to take, particularly as we are now facing the weekend with absolutely no indication as to whether the matter will be resolved sooner rather than later."
That entire entry is worth reading, and yes, the Lindens have an amazing array of communication options open. They can use the Grid Status page to report changes (they've done that before, with embedded links to more imformation). They can send emails to all their business clients (they've done that before, too). They can send forth another sacrificial Linden to comment on code debugging on the official blog. They can link a "find out more!" info post as everyone logs in and sees the (rotating, but still) Message of the Day. Finally, they can use their own community forums, the SL Universe forums, or simply send out notecards in-world about upcoming office hours or "Town Hall" style meetings.

Instead...none of this is happening. And it's the silence paired with the intense confusion that is making everyone extraordinarily frustrated.

Something weirder in the works:
"Well this latest change I am NOT pleased with at all, why? Simple I got told by one of the Lindens themselves that the only way to work around the issue in my own case is to create a NEW account and start over from scratch if I wish to continue selling my items on Marketplace. Yes you read right, “start over” as in create a NEW account and transfer over all my product lines to the new avatar and using that new account publish everything from scratch back onto Marketplace."
This is the first I've heard of this; can anyone else confirm that the Lindens are saying this? Create an entirely new account just for merchanting on the Marketplace? What?

And will that fix the errors, or will it simply compound them?
"I've asked Linden Lab for an update to these issues, and will post their reply, when and if I get one."
And my instincts still tell me, if a former Linden doesn't have ways to break through the wall of silence, what chance do the rest of us have?

Finally, I'd like to point everyone to Darrius Gothly's take on the topic, which includes this paragraph:
"The one thing that sticks in my craw the most about this situation is the Commerce Dev Team’s belief that the Merchants ought to be fixing up these errors. I’m sorry but that is not our responsibility. I will grant you that finding and fixing the real cause of the error is probably going to be tough. But this was not an error caused by the Merchants, and as has been shown by several others, it’s not even possible for the Merchants to fix all the errors. However it IS possible for Linden Lab and the Commerce Dev Team to fix them, or at least fix most of them."
And yes, exactly. That's what they need to do.

And it's the one thing they seem extraordinarily unwilling to do, so...the question keeps occurring, why? Why aren't they fixing this? Why aren't they putting a halt on editing, at least, if they can't just shut Marketplace down until it's fixed? Why do they seem to be insisting that it's not their problem?

Because as long as they insist that it's not their problem--via keeping silent on the issue, or outright turning blame--the more faith will be lost with the world, with the company, and with the individual Lindens themselves.

(Is it any wonder I keep flashing back to that Search Engine Watch post about Linden Lab mucking with their business customers in Second Life? This just seems a vast and unnecessary continuance of the issues presented there.)

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