SLGrid website Forum Transcript

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This session described proposed changes to the Second Life Grid website to get input from Solution Providers.


Glenn Linden (you): Thank you all for coming this afternoon! Most of you have met Madhavi or me. Madhavi is now managing the Solution Provider program. I'm working on several other things, including updating the SeconD Life Grid website. Brett Linden is part of our Creative Services team and is working with us, providing expertise in user design and web design as well as editing.

We're proposing several changes that we hope will make the Grid website more useful to everyone -both you and organizations interested in Second Life. The first is changing the tone of the site. First writing was looking from Linden eyes out - "Here's our cool technology". We're trying to rewrite it as "I'm a business or educator, what is here for me." We're also taking a much more action-oriented approach. Originally, it was 'here's everything we know about second Life". Lots of good stuff, but hard to find, and when you did, no call to action. We're refocusing it on

  • "Join Second Life"
  • "Find a Solutino Provider"
  • "Get Land"

We know there's more inbetween and besides, but that makes the key actions much easier to find and clearer. Finally, we're fixing the navigation so you can actually find things on the site. Getting rid of the right nav, making the left nav fixed, so you can see everything, and making navigation within the pages more consistent.

We also hope to be able to use the new Showcase (see as the way of showing examples in "How Organizations Use the Grid" to make it easier to update them and keep them current.

My fingers are smoking, so let me stop and aks for any questions or comments you have at this point.

  • Kim Anubis: Sounds like a lot of steps in the right direction
  • You: Thanks, Kim - we hope so, but want to get feedback from as many directions as possible this time so we can make it as good as possible.

Navigation Changes

  • SLGrid Menu
  • You: OK, here's what we're proposing for the new left navigation. Items in {} aren't in the menu but linked form the page above. This will be fixed -no popups or hidden menus that appear if you click on a section.We've tried to capture the main pages based on both: current traffic, and traffic to the old Developer an dBusiness pages on Is there anything here that should't be, or anything missing we should add?
  • Kim Anubis: Make sure they don't buy main grid land for a Teen Grid project
  • You: Ah, thanks, I'm working with the Teen Grid team on how we handle teen grid information within the Education section of the page.
  • You: Anything else on the navigation?
  • Neil Robinson: you said all the stuff on the right is going?
  • You: Yes, this will be the only navigation menu
  • Neil Robinson: cool, I'm for that.
  • You: We'll add breadcrumbs at the top of each page, so you'll see where it is in the site hierarchy and can go back easily.
  • Neil Robinson: just thinking if the menu is for potential clients coming into secondlife and geared with helping them partner with an agency or creative, does stuff like api creation need to be there alongside find a solution provider, could lead to businesses trying to do things overcomplicated for them that an agency would take care of, or tryng to set up an api when they don't need to do that yet etc or will that be off a submenu.. and also.. will the success stories be linked in with metrics on the projects etc? like, if I look at a massive intake of new users, say for secondfest or whatever, can I track the metrics of those signups etc?
  • You: We think most companies will go Getting Started->Find a Solution Provider. APIS are under Programs, and we'll provide a bit more guidance on who they're for than we do now. It woudl be great to have a direct way to link metrics for Success Stories; the best we can do today is encourage people to provide them as part of their description.
  • yukiko Omegamu: i would say add a support link for the solution providers
  • You: Yukiko, you want a link to Support for Solution Providers?
  • yukiko Omegamu: yes
  • You: Ah, that wil be on the Solution Provider page.
  • yukiko Omegamu: so if we as solution providers need direct support for serious issues with the apis
  • You: OK. We'll take a look at that.
  • Kim Anubis: There's a lot of info around on the wiki and etc. for Solution Providers - the form to fill out if you have a big event, info about what to say about LL in a press release, etc. It would be great if at some point there was one key spot to go to find links to all of this, so we don't have to IM you to locate things.
  • You: Kim, yes, we put a lot of content on the wiki because it's easier and faster to update than the SLGrid site.
  • Madhavi Linden: we're looking to have 2 kinds of pages - one for businesses etc that are looking specifically for a Solution Provider, and one more geared toward current Solution Providers
  • You: There should be a link to the wiki now, but we can certainly add one on the Solution Provider page.
  • yukiko Omegamu: i would say keep faqs thats good too have
  • You: Yukiko- thanks, we'll see how we can integrate that with the Resources page.

Pages to be removed

  • SLGrid Removed
  • You: OK, here are the pages that we're actually going to delete - most of them are in the How Organizations if we can replace them with something like the Showcase. Is anything on this list that you think is important and we should keep? Weekly traffic is the number in parentheses.

Grid Showcase

  • Brett Linden: If you haven't seen the Showcase, it is at -- imagine a grid-specific version of that
  • Neil Robinson: dealing with Rl businesses coming into SL or SL businesses in general?
  • Brett Linden: both, i would think -- we want to show off how orgs are using sl there
  • Neil Robinson: the stuff in the grid showcase - will that be limited to PG content?
  • Neil Robinson thinks maybe it should be.
  • Brett Linden: that's a good question, neil...i don't know if that has been determined yet
  • Neil Robinson: Ok. I'm just thinking that this is going to be the first impression really for a lot of people
  • You: At least a preponderance - many busiensses don't want to be in a place that has visible adult content.
  • Brett Linden: agreed...
  • Neil Robinson: yeah thats what I'm thinking
  • Neil Robinson: I think brand protection is a huge issue for a lot of companies coming into SL, if the first thing they see is something they're aghast at being assocaited with, etc.
  • You: Neil, yes, we've heard that a lot!
  • Neil Robinson: they dont wanna see their brand, click next case and see strokerz toys etc lol. Not that it isnt a fine company.
  • Brett Linden: point taken, neil...we are definitely thinking about that as we revise the grid site
  • You: Part of the reason we separated SLGrid for organizations from for consumers.
  • Neil Robinson: cool :) Thats why I'm thinking initially that having a grid version of showcase for RL brands in SL and a seperate community orientated showcase thingy might be good
  • You: Neil: exactly!
  • Neil Robinson: one can be contributed to by the community and another can be a lot more vetted or something.
  • Brett Linden: in theory, there could multiple focused implementations of the showcase within grid...whatever makes sense
  • Neil Robinson: yeah

Other suggestions

  • You: Anything we should be thinking about that we haven't covered?
  • yukiko Omegamu: yes i would say list the prices for stuff that are accessable too sldev users and solution providers
  • Kim Anubis: I'd like to see people coming in to do SL projects very strongly encouraged to log in and check out SL before contacting solution providers or buying land.
  • You: Yes, you'll notice under Getting Started, it was: Join, Find a SP, Buy Land - really pushing them to spend time in SL
  • yukiko Omegamu: oo in the registration give them the option too select a solution provider for their needs if they are a business
  • You: Yukiko- we're working on a number of things to make it easier for businesses & organizations to find a Solution Provider.

Changes to Solution Providers section

  • skribe Forti: Sorry, I came late to this and it may have already been discussed, but what are the plans for the solution providers section? It's certainly not working for us. We've had a total of one click thru to our site and that was me =)
  • You: Ironically, the traffic to the Directory is about the same as it was on the old Busieness page on Madhavi will be doing some upcoming SLDev Forums on the changes we're making to the Directory and teh program to address that.
  • yukiko Omegamu: nice hehe :) ya that will help alot since the focus of companys are way different for alot and some just go for the bigger ones so in theory it would give the ones that are down lower a chance too get some of the media ;)
  • Madhavi Linden: we are in the process of reworking the SP DIrectory. As Glenn said, I'll be hosting a forum on changes in the near future
  • You: Some of the problem is the navigation and the language we use to send people to the Directory, and we're hoping the navigation changes will help that.
  • Neil Robinson: I thnk the metrics stuff is pretty important too - maybe as important as the showcase. The questions I always get asked, who is in there, where are they from how old are they,what do they like. The classics bascially and the info is kinda there if you look but you gotta dig around and then it comes in as a pdf or something

Updating Solution Provider listings

  • skribe Forti: are there plans to make it easier to update our listings?
  • You: (Madhavi, do you want to talk about the Directory stuff now?)
  • Madhavi Linden: Sure I can briefly go over changes to the Directory if no one minds?
  • You: So we know some of the problem is the Directory itself.
  • Madhavi Linden: There are several changes and updates we'd like to make to the Directory. First, as Glenn mentioned, bringing the Directory up in navigation, not having it so buried. When someone clicks on the Directory button, they are greeted with a search page where they can search by keyword, language, services, etc. That will filter the results which will help companies quickly narrow down who they are looking for.
  • You: We're also looking at how we can enable editing your listing, so you can update parts of it quickly, as well as add or remove projects.
  • skribe Forti: Cool, Glenn. That's a huge beef. Having to input the same info every few months

Ratings for Recent Projects

  • Madhavi Linden: Also, we will be adding ratings. Your clients ONLY will be able to rate a recent project that you have listed
  • Neil Robinson: as in one they've gone to visit in world
  • Neil Robinson: or one you've done for them specifically
  • Madhavi Linden: one you've done for them that you've listed under your "recent projects"
  • Neil Robinson: ok makes sense if you get to agree that it'll be put there for them to comment on, as long as its not an ebay type ratings system for every project
  • yukiko Omegamu: o are you going too allow more then 4 projects too be added then thats one super down side too the listing as it is
  • Madhavi Linden: yes we are considering that. Do you have suggestions about how many projects should be able to be listed?
  • Neil Robinson: why cap it?
  • skribe Forti: no cap
  • yukiko Omegamu: the cap is ok but its like a resume if theres more people can see how well they really are

M* adhavi Linden: yes that is a good point everyone

  • skribe Forti: maybe 4 in the listing that is randomly generated from an uncapped list
  • yukiko Omegamu: if the project gets scraped after its complated we can remove it from the listing
  • IntLibber Brautigan: Who gets to rate developers?
  • Madhavi Linden: intlibber: only the client whose project you have listed
  • Madhavi Linden: they will specifically have an email sent to them when you add them as a project to rate and comment on it.
  • Kim Anubis: So is it going to be made clear what ratings go with each project? Last time this was discussed I understood clients would be able to make anonymous ratings.
  • skribe Forti: so we'd have to include an avatar name in with our listing? And they'd get sent a message?
  • Madhavi Linden: we're still working on the best way to make this possible. I'm talking with my colleagues about it
  • Neil Robinson: I think the agency should get final copy over whats written about them
  • Neil Robinson: there is a lot that can go wrong with a project that an agency has nothing to do with
  • You: Neil: you could chose to not list a project.
  • Madhavi Linden: avatar name or email address you provide would be good ideas
  • Neil Robinson: I think it should be something the creative goes to the company with "hey, we're so proud of this we want to list it, would you like to write a testimonial" etc
  • IntLibber Brautigan: thats a good idea
  • skribe Forti: that would be good
  • skribe Forti: great idea, neil
  • Madhavi Linden: neil: yes that's right
  • yukiko Omegamu: if we have rateings they have to agree that testamonials that slander or other wise hurt the solution providers rep can be removed without warning

skribe Forti: are our listed projects going to be wiped every 3 months from our listing like what was proposed a few months back?

  • Neil Robinson: no, I think something stronger needs to be in place than that madhavi. if someone writes something really nasty about me just before they compete with me for a project, it getting removed is little help when they've won the bid
  • IntLibber Brautigan: right
  • Neil Robinson: there have been cases before of an agency using an agency then setting up as an agency themselves, using the first agencies work as tehir home sim
  • Neil Robinson: I think all comments need to be moderated/validated by the agency being written about/rated
  • Madhavi Linden: well yes; they won't automatically be posted. I moderate everything that comes through the Directory. It is manually approved.
  • Neil Robinson: ok cool. But we get moderation too on it?
  • Neil Robinson: first us then you, cuts your workload prolly too.
  • You: Neil: good point, we'll see how we can accommodate that.
  • Madhavi Linden: Neil: would it help if an email was sent to you when received a rating from a client and you could let us know if you don't want it approved?
  • Neil Robinson: yeah - I actually quite like the idea of going to my client with the whole "we're so proud of this we want to make an example of it, would you like to write something from your side" thing
  • yukiko Omegamu: that would work alot better cause we get too see it and then you guys
  • Neil Robinson: but basically yes as long as we get moderation I think its cool and on changes.
  • skribe Forti: Neil: Yes, it works for both parties.
  • Andy Evans: Good solution

Web2.0 features

  • You: That pretty much covers the changes we're hoping to make.
  • You: If you have other input on either the SLGrid or the Directory, please let us know. We'll send more information about the Directory changes out before we make them, so there are no surprises
  • Neil Robinson: Thanks :)
  • yukiko Omegamu: can you make it web2.0 friendly and less refresh time on some pages
  • You: Yukiko - if you have specific suggestions about web2.0. The showcase is one way we hope to make SLGrid more timely.
  • Brett Linden: with the showcase, we can update immediately to add or remove content -- very little webdev time needed
  • yukiko Omegamu: brent: cool, though with the forms can you make it so that we can add more then one project simply by adding more with ajax
  • You: Yukiko- cool idea. Brett, is that something we might be able to do?
  • Brett Linden: i'll take some of these suggestions to the wider webdev team to see how/if we can implement...
  • yukiko Omegamu: cool also the forms would be a good idea too have something too say their good to go likea check beside it so we know its filled in correct and that we dont need too relook it in case we missed or forget something

Categories in the Directory

  • skribe Forti: are fulls and consultants still going to be separated? Separation is causing confusion
  • Madhavi Linden: skribe: yes, we are planning to keep full-service and consultants separate
  • skribe Forti: madhavi: why>
  • Madhavi Linden: skribe: because they tend to serve different functions. Full Service is more about companies that provide program management, and strategic planning, where consultants focus more on building and other specific activities
  • Madhavi Linden: skribe: how would you suggest we categorize those in the Directory?
  • skribe Forti: madhavi: my suggestion...
  • Andy Evans: I think you would find consultants here very much involved in client/corporate strategic planning
  • Neil Robinson: Maybe they could be lumped together but tiered somehow
  • Neil Robinson: like, a small 3 man team wouldnt be in the same league as ESC but could still provide the same services, on a smaller scale
  • You: We thought about trying to expand the Servcies list as a way to be able to do this, but haven't gotten far with that.
  • skribe Forti: madhavi: Pool them. And then allow the listings to include what they do...a full list rather than just the 5 currently. Why would any company use a consultant when they can have 'full' service? The name is a misnomer. Many full service developers don;t offer a full service.
  • Neil Robinson: yeah seems like it'd be hard to arbitrate who got into what tier. Maybe something to do with the certification thing on building.. as for event management.. no idea
  • IntLibber Brautigan: I agree theres issues, in our application for full service, we were limited to 5 things we could do
  • You: Sorting by size and experience was something we considered, but that got people even more excited than our current "full service" and "consultant" categories.
  • IntLibber Brautigan: a full service does a much wider range of things than just 5
  • Neil Robinson: what about
  • IntLibber Brautigan: personally I think it should be an index like a yellow pages
  • Neil Robinson: part of me just wants this new dev list to just say who people are, what they've done so far and make it really easy for the client to click a button and say 'contact me, i'm interested'
  • Neil Robinson: 'click here for RFI'
  • Neil Robinson: then let the marketing companies market themselves
  • skribe Forti: The list should provide info not be an arbitary tiered system. Consultants are essentially second-class in the listing.
  • IntLibber Brautigan: if its an index then people could have listings under whatever category they provide services in
  • You: These are all great suggestions.
  • Neil Robinson: let the clients decide, ok this company has 5 RL offices, we prolly cant afford them, or yes, we want a small dedicated team, etc.. trying to fit too much info into the dev list maybe or something
  • skribe Forti: Neil: That would make it harder to find a provider. A list of services that can be searched offers clients a much easier time
  • You: Clearly, a lot of it is about providing clear information to enable businesses to make a decision.
  • Neil Robinson: assuming they know how to search through that list
  • Neil Robinson: and that its accuratley filled in
  • Andy Evans: also, maybe ask some of the F500 companies using SL to give you feedback..
  • skribe Forti: we make a listing that is easy to search.
  • IntLibber Brautigan: yes, the big clients need to see it as user friendly too
  • You: The current search is confusing and doesn't help.

Server Licensing

  • IntLibber Brautigan: given competition from opensim based grids, is LL looking at allowing people to license the server and access to LL's asset, money and other central servers?
  • You: IntLibber: that's our long-range plan. We haven't made any recent announcements.
  • IntLibber Brautigan: what is the time frame on that?
  • You: Intlibber: we've made no statement about timelines


  • You: We continue to work on how to improve the Directory, and we'll consider your suggestions.
  • Madhavi Linden: yes definitely lots of great suggestions
  • You: We're out of time. Madhavi has scheduled future Forums specifically about the Directory, and you all know how to find us if you have more ideas. This has been very helpful; thank you all very much for your time today.
  • Madhavi Linden: thank you all for taking the time to talk with us today and provide input
  • Madhavi Linden: I will sending out dates for the Directory specific forum later this week
  • Brett Linden: good bye everyone :)