Friday, April 13, 2012

one of these days, the ground will drop out from beneath your feet

The irony of everything that follows being posted on Friday the 13th is not lost on me, just so you know.

Yesterday, NWN posted about recent developments in Marketplacegate, and, before I talk about anything else, I want to pull out a specific line from Rodvik Linden's Tweet sent in response to Sera Lok:

It was not an acceptable level of quality roll out.
I have to give full and total props to Rodvik for finally talking about this situation and not--like the rest of the commerce team--hiding his head in the sand and hoping this will all blow over.

That being said, once again, he points to an update of that same existing post sent out in the community forums (
WHY, my gods, WHY WHY WHY do they keep doing that?!?).

But the major updated points seem to be:
  • Pursuant to this JIRA, a patch is now in place that delivers items based on the name they have in individual inventories, instead of whatever whacked-out Unicode-character-containing names they have on Marketplace; and
  • Pursuant to the existing Marketplace JIRA, updates have been made to the Marketplace code that should allow store search results to slowly fix themselves over the coming week, and they're narrowing in on the issues causing the remapping data for listings. And a quote from the update that I think is vaguely important: "We do know that this issue has existed since September 2010 (during the migration from Xstreet to the Second Life Marketplace)."
I have a couple issues with this uodate, honestly. One's Linden-based, one's resident-based.
  1. The resident-based: Okay, who was the idiot who thought it was a good idea to use Unicode characters in product names in the first place? Are these the same morons who routinely put Unicode into display names? Because there's your problem, people--fixing the code is great, but what we really need to do is fix the idiots.
  2. And the Linden-based: This issue has existed since September 2010--and has been actively bitched about since problems first surfaced in the Marketplace--and you're just getting around to fixing it now?!? You had to wait until legal action was threatened before you decided fixing the code just might be worthwhile?
Honestly, guys. Really, it shouldn't have had to come to this before you did something.

From Sera Lok in a comment on the New World Notes entry:
I think a good portion of LL office lacks understanding of how important communication is to its users, particularly residents who are in Second Life daily and hear the panic and confusion of many residents when things go wrong. Often an update that takes two minutes or less to write will make most people feel better ("thank you, we're paying attention, no news yet but it's coming" etc), but stone cold silence from the Lab for days is torture when there are major issues that need to be dealt with.
She's absolutely right. Moreover, this is something that any tech company does, and does constantly. Something goes buggy in Windows? Microsoft posts an update. Netflix has a database issue? They post something on their blog, or when their customers log in. Media production houses, game companies, software firms, they all have Twitter access now, Tumblr access, Facebook pages.

Save for Linden Lab. Linden Lab does not communicate unless forced. Why is that?

I'll keep a watch on the Marketplace nonsense, and keep y'all posted, but this has moved beyond frustrating for me, into automatic eye-rolling territory. I cannot comprehend why a tech firm that's existed for this long is still this clueless about all aspects of customer service. It's just baffling beyond all reason.


Serenity Semple said...

Thanks for the post Emi. I really just can't keep up on this stuff anymore. My marketplace items have still been selling even if I'm not switched over to DD. I wonder if it's really making any difference. I really really hope they push back the date of forcing people to swap to it if it's so buggy as it is - probably not though. Here's failing hopes towards LL trying to communicate more and actually do something worthwhile.

Emilly Orr said...

They are extending the date for total DD conversion--I believe the current is June 1st, but I'd have to check to be sure.