Solution Provider Program Forum Transcript

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Introduction

  • Glenn Linden (you): Good Morning - or Afternoon, and welcome to our Forum on the Solution Provider Program and Directory.
  • Most of you have already know me and have also met Madhavi, who takes care of most of the daily issues, the Directory, the RegAPI program and more.
  • I've been at Linden Lab for a year and have focused most of my effort during that time on building the Solution Provider Program.
  • We're going to start by talking about the program, answering your questions, then Madhavi will talk about our plans for the Directory to get your input and suggestions.
  • The program has 3 main components:
  • 1) The Directory,
  • 2) Access to beta programs and APIs, such as the Custom Name and RegAPIs, and
  • 3) Communication with Linden Lab.
  • These Forums are one avenue to communicate with you. We also have outgoing email to sldevgroup@, the slbiz@ mailing list for general business questions, the slcorporateuse@ list for large institutional use (such as firewall) discussions and the RegAPI mailing list for the RegAPI. In addition, we put a lot of information on the web pages: secondlifegrid.net, slwiki: https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Marketing and the Solution Provider Support page: https://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Solution_Provider_Support. And we have the kiosks on SLDev Island that provide information on a variety of topics about which we get frequent questions.
  • The kiosks get about 200 visits a month, so that's a big load off Madhavi and me.
  • Finally, there's the quarterly survey we use to track the growth of the solution Provider community and to get feedback from you. We had a record % reply this quarter - Thanks!
  • Moving forward, I'm looking to improve communication and getting both the Community Team and Dev Team more involved - the Forums have been a big start. And it's been great to have good attendance - it matters in our ability to attract speakers.
  • We're also continually looking at better ways to get information out to you and to make information available.

Questions

(Whew) - so, do you have any questions or comments?

Can I direct people to slcorporateuse list?

  • Gary Bukowski: the 'slcorporateuse@' address.. ...I may direct clients there, who have questions such as: "Which ports do we open up on firewall", etc?
  • You: Yes, it's a general mailing list that anyone can join by going to lists.secondlife.com. The only list we maintain is sldevgroup, which is only for people/companies in the Directory.
  • Gary Bukowski: on a related note......if such a question reaches you guys -- do you have yet a standard document about the ports and such? because we've considered producing one for them.
  • You: Yes, there are several in our KnowledgeBase. I'll put them up in a Kiosk this afternoon. The search term to use in the KB is "firewall"

RiskAPI

  • Alexander Regent: the risk API seems to be a hidden use area. How can a developer get more information about creating an exchange since the response from RISK api people is "you must have an exchange before we will tell you about our program" ?
  • You: The RiskAPI is listed on SLGrid under APIs. We don't own that program, so we have limited ability to impact it.
  • You: If you can send me an email with some specifics, I'll see what we can do to improve the page.

RegAPI v2

  • Alexander Regent: any updates on regAPI V2?
  • You: Ah, the RegAPI - just sent an email to both RegAPI and SLDevGroup lists about that - we've run into some more issues that are delaying its availability. Sue will be sending out an update next week.

Directory use

  • Count Bayliss: With upcoming TV events and so on - I suspect that many companies will be giving Second Life a look . The current list of Solution Providers Is actually somewhat difficult to get to - taking a bit of drilling to get to. Any thoughts on streamlining the process?
  • You: We've got links to Solution Providers on every page of SLGrid on the right nav bar.
  • Gary Bukowski: actually it really is something that bothers me - frequently, but the more I look at it the fewer solutions I seem to come up with. there's just /alot/ of data in there
  • You: Yes - which is why we organized the site as we did; we do have links to the Directory from many other pages as well.
  • You: We're also looking at a number of ways to better integrate information from Solution Providers - such as the Recent Projects in your listing, and the Success Stories across the SLGrid site. For example, we may be able to eventually replace the static project description with dynamic links to Recent Projects or the Success Stories. Those also will help in finding the Directory.
  • Lewis Nerd: I’d like to see less distinction between 'consultants' and 'full service' ... I feel I can offer a lot more than what the term a 'consultant' offers but I get overlooked
  • Andy Evans: Glenn, some of us, such as my First Opinions Panel, have confidentiality agreements and therefore cannot disclose recent projects or any for that matter
  • You: I will also see if I can get some input from the many businesses I talk to about it.
  • Gary Bukowski: yah myself I have more confidential projects than public ones hahah

Directory

  • Madhavi Linden: As Glenn mentioned, I'll briefly talk about the Directory and upcoming changes to it. and then open up the floor for questions. The purpose of the Directory is to connect you (Solution Providers) with businesses looking for content developers, event managers etc. in SL (as you all know).
  • Madhavi Linden: We continually strive to make it as effective and useful as possible, both for you and interested companies and organizations. During the past quarter, we made improvements including being able to list multiple countries and languages that a SP works in. We have several updates planned over the next few months

Certification?

  • Ancient Shriner: What about a certification program . . . you guys mentioned that a while back . . .any thoughts on still doing something like that?
  • You: Ancient, we're still working on Certification. We asked for submissions for a Basic Prim Cert, the first piece, and got 2. We'll be reviewing them next week to see if they are sufficient, or if we need to find another way - such as a commercial certification vendor- to proceed.
  • Lewis Nerd: i have trouble with the 'wiki' format... that excludes me from helping
  • Ancient Shriner: There is a trick to Wiki . . .just remember the = sign: ===Subject Header===

You: The next steps won't be as wiki-focused; it was a good way to get initial community involvement.

  • Ancient Shriner: I'm for wiki, it's a good tool
  • You: I'll be sending out an announcement to the Certification group next week.
  • Gary Bukowski: there's a group! ok that i'd missed....join by an address?
  • Ancient Shriner: It's the Inner Core group ;-)
  • You: SL Certification Devs, it's public, and it's ON THE WIKI. SL_Certification
  • You: I could go on about the politics of Cert. but won't.
  • Gary Bukowski: it is pretty political that's for sure
  • You: Anything else about Cert before we give Madhavi a chance to finish about the directory?
  • Ancient Shriner: you guys are very open and transparent, I understand you can't spoon feed us and that we need to look for the info

More on Directory improvements

  • Madhavi Linden: Now, back to upcoming changes to the Directory. First, we will improve the search function, mainly by adding a keyword search, making it easier for interested parties to find the appropriate SP
  • Alexander Regent thinks a firehose is needed for the amount of data coming forth :)
  • Madhavi Linden: also, as Glenn mentioned, we are planning to better integrate recent projects in each SP listing into other areas of the SLGrid site
  • Madhavi Linden: Third, we are planning to allow for direct updating of listings without having to resubmit the entire form
  • Ancient Shriner: that's dangerous
  • Kat Claxton: That's wonderful
  • Ancient Shriner: there should be LL review first
  • Alexander Regent: that’s wonderfully dangerous :)
  • Ancient Shriner: even if just a check off
  • Kat Claxton: lol
  • Madhavi Linden: well yes, I'll still be approving any changes to entries
  • Ancient Shriner: ok, <whew> I was worried about outrageous claims
  • Madhavi Linden: understandable

Directory usage?

  • Gary Bukowski wonders: Have you guys had a chance to check with 'users' to find out how they're using the directory, or how they might use it?
  • You: Gary - good question. Other than tracking stats and some random input, no.
  • Gary Bukowski: I was thinking, maybe we could ask some clients how they have been using the directory. When we get leads, we do ask them where they heard of us
  • You: Gary - that would be wonderful - or even more broadly, do they find SLGrid useful?
  • Kat Claxton: Yes, that is good to find out
  • Gary Bukowski: Well I can tell you one bit of info, that the number of leads we get through the dev listing dropped considerably when it changed from the long listing ages back. since then it's been a higher percentage from ad networks, etc, but I couldn't tell you why o.O
  • You: We've also heard the move to SLGrid and the change in search that happened then dropped many people's hits from the Directory
  • Ancient Shriner: yes, I noticed that too Glenn
  • Gary Bukowski: yeah but the 'why' remains a mystery
  • Ancient Shriner: Too much choice
  • Alexander Regent: yes...I haven't heard a peep since the change
  • Lewis Nerd: ditto
  • Andy Evans: Yes, us too
  • Ancient Shriner: and bottom fishing
  • You: Our guess is the loss of direct search.
  • Alexander Regent: also I think it is due to not being "secondlife"
  • Ancient Shriner: I think it's bottom fishing
  • Gary Bukowski: I think we used to get more being at the bottom of the list, literally hahah
  • Alexander Regent: it is "second life grid" .... not branded
  • You: Ironically, the Directory page is getting MORE visits now than when it was on SL.com

Who looks at the Directory?

  • Andy Evans: do you know from whom?
  • Alexander Regent: probably more hits go to the big players?
  • You: Gary - yes, top and bottom tend to get the most views on a list.
  • Gary Bukowski: omg! I just had a thing, what's that - a headache with pictures? oh yeah - an idea....
  • You: Andy -no, we only have google analytics to track view
  • Ancient Shriner: I think it slows the sales cycles too
  • Ancient Shriner: much more due diligence
  • Gary Bukowski: LL has not, at any point, had any plans to say - (controversy?) promote the SL dev directory - itself?
  • Andy Evans: let's chat about that... good to know who is looking
  • Gary Bukowski envisions a google ad campaign from LL promoting secondlifegrid site
  • You: All good input and questions.
  • You: But if the site is getting traffic and you're not getting calls, the issue is not publicity, it's the organization of the page.

Discussion of how to get business

  • Alexander Regent: I can't see LL promoting anything from which it does not derive a direct revenue stream
  • Ancient Shriner: I don't agree Alexander
  • You: (You sell islands for us, so it's not too big a stretch)
  • Ancient Shriner: they promote the platform itself for long term success
  • You: But I think we have a more immediate and internal problem to solve
  • Gary Bukowski: Yeah good point though Glenn, the directory is getting more hits than ever right
  • Kat Claxton: I'm with Ancient - anything that facilitates the bringing of new membership and exposure to SL is good for LL
  • Alexander Regent: The platform yes....not the people building on the platform
  • Gary Bukowski: I'm with Kat - anything that brings more business for The Wishfarmers is good for me :P
  • Ancient Shriner: we are the 'market forces'
  • You: We need to spend some time doing some investigation on who is using the site for what.
  • Ancient Shriner: we are the 'invisible hand'
  • Alexander Regent: stop touching me! :)
  • Gary Bukowski: hahahah
  • Ancient Shriner: (Adam Smith economics, sorry for the paw)
  • Kat Claxton: I'm only invisible when I haven't fully rezzed
  • Lewis Nerd: i know i'm not getting anywhere near as many enquiries as i'd like :)
  • Kim Anubis: My clients don't come from the SL Grid site -- they hear about and choose my company for other reasons. However, I know they find the site *useful*.
  • You: Yes, and we count on your ability to be visible and to essentially be our sales force.
  • Kat Claxton: interesting
  • Ancient Shriner: I, like Kim, generate my own awareness
  • You: So we'll work with our data and web team and see what we can do to look into this and improve it.
  • Ancient Shriner: other than Coldwell Banker, the rest of my business comes from internal marketing efforts
  • Gary Bukowski: yah the Wishfarmers get more leads by ad networks and referrals nowadays
  • Ancient Shriner: and Coldwell Banker came from the old format directory
  • Lewis Nerd: that’s all well and good but what about those who are still trying to get established?
  • Alexander Regent: yes....all of 1virtual work comes from local networking now.... haven't gotten an LL lead since the change
  • You: This may also represent a larger change in the market as it grows from being a community of hobbyists to a real business
  • Gary Bukowski: yup that's what I'd pretty much attributed it to
  • Ancient Shriner: true . . .but most business is clustering around MoU and Sheep
  • You: and as the broader business community starts relying more on their existing agencies
  • Kim Anubis: My main interest in the SL Grid site is that clients are able to use it to explain the value of using SL to people higher up in their organizations.
  • Ancient Shriner: as they own Madison Ave
  • Gary Bukowski: well it's not so much that, imho at least
  • Gary Bukowski: just that it's a bigger, more competitive space
  • Gary Bukowski: and increasingly so hah
  • Gary Bukowski: which is surely normal at this stage
  • You: That too. A year ago there were 25 listings in the Directory.
  • Ancient Shriner: yes
  • You: We're up close to 200 now.
  • Ancient Shriner: and that brings me back to Certifications
  • Gary Bukowski: yah i think that will cut the directory down to
  • Gary Bukowski: 199
  • Ancient Shriner: a way to differentiate the pro and the hobbyist
  • Gary Bukowski: :P

Tiered listings in the Directory?

  • You: Maybe we need to have 2 directories - the open public one
  • You: and a 'Gold tier' one that's a combination of competency and paid listing.
  • Kat Claxton: lol
  • Gary Bukowski: seriously
  • Ancient Shriner: yes, paid
  • Ancient Shriner: to be a Microsoft ISV, you must plop down 800 bucks
  • Ancient Shriner: every year
  • Lewis Nerd: that is so definitely not the way we need to go
  • Gary Bukowski: yeah i'm really not looking forward to that model
  • Alexander Regent: and here we go....LL won’t promote anything they can't derive a direct income stream from :)
  • Ancient Shriner: I pay, happily

Directory improvements--discussion of ratings, certification, paid listing and more

  • Madhavi Linden: Which brings up another feature we'd like to add to the Directory - ratings. allowing your client to rate your projects
  • Ancient Shriner: I'm for that
  • Gary Bukowski: ooh! that's a good one
  • Madhavi Linden: ratings wouldn't be open to everyone
  • Kat Claxton: A rating system - is good until the competition uses it against you
  • Ancient Shriner: client ratings = good transparency
  • Ancient Shriner: also true Kat
  • Ancient Shriner: I know some like to play dirty tricks
  • You: Alexander, not so in this case. No one is pressuring us to charge, but it is a way to filter.
  • Ancient Shriner: seen it first hand
  • Alexander Regent: filter what? all it does it put price pressure on small start ups....these can still be "professional"
  • Kat Claxton: A rating system that measures recommendation could be good - that way they worst thing your competition could do to you is not rate you at all
  • Alexander Regent: but without the ability to pay...they will still get squeezed out
  • Ancient Shriner: All industries have barrier to entry Alexander . . . even web development
  • Kat Claxton: And Alexander - you are also correct
  • Lewis Nerd: people like ESC can afford to pay anything - and they get too much exposure already
  • Gary Bukowski: yah well myself i'm not rooting for a paid listing but of course
  • Ancient Shriner: well, they are using OPM to do that . . .other people’s money
  • Gary Bukowski: what choice will we have when implemented? of course we'd get in line
  • Lewis Nerd: the only entry requirement here should be TALENT - that's self-explanatory with the projects you get
  • Kim Anubis: Maybe we would
  • Gary Bukowski: but I think some of these other ideas have more merit
  • Andy Evans: Madhavi, the "ratings" system has a problem: our clients insist on confidentiality because they are Fortune 500
  • Gary Bukowski: client ratings are good, for one
  • Lewis Nerd: far too much of SL is based on who has the most money already - and that's not a game i am going to play
  • Madhavi Linden: Andy - that's a good point
  • Andy Evans: Yes, I am sorry to say
  • Ancient Shriner: I ran into that with IBM
  • Ancient Shriner: they nixed my Right to Publicity contract deal point
  • Kat Claxton: there has to be a method by which a rater can maintain anonymity then
  • Gary Bukowski: yah very common in here atm
  • Gary Bukowski: part of the state of the market is all
  • Ancient Shriner: although I do think they would use a rating system to give me a positive rating
  • Gary Bukowski: people aren't convinced they want to be public yet
  • Kim Anubis: I have clients who've insisted on this sort of thing, too
  • Kat Claxton: me three
  • Gary Bukowski: tis normal at this stage
  • Alexander Regent: private rating system YAY .... paid access system BOO!
  • Count Bayliss: rating system will get abused
  • Ancient Shriner: even Ebay is gamed to death
  • Alexander Regent: yeah...it would be too easy to create an alt to fake ratings
  • Alexander Regent: or create an ALT to bomb a competitor
  • Gary Bukowski: yah but an ebayer has like - hundreds of ratings
  • Kat Claxton: Here's a suggestion - tie your gold or VIP directory access to people who have achieved a certain rating level
  • Kim Anubis: Also, I've been in business a very long time. It would be pretty difficult to round up someone from some of my clients' orgs after all this time to come in and give ratings.
  • Gary Bukowski: I don't envision that would apply to this
  • Ancient Shriner: they have circles to join to build up 100 positives in a couple weeks Gary
  • Kim Anubis: There have been management changes, etc. at client companies.
  • Gary Bukowski: surely LL could call the referrer
  • Gary Bukowski: yah but
  • Andy Evans: I agree, and Frankly, I think the idea of a rating system is overblown. I can tell by the professionalism of my prospects and how they handle a small project which I would bring in for a large corporate client.
  • Gary Bukowski: i mean my point is ancient....
  • Lewis Nerd: i strongly oppose any form of 'gold or VIP' rating... let talent, and talent alone, get you builds - not how much money you can throw at LL
  • Gary Bukowski: 100 ratings is kinda gonna stand out ya know
  • Madhavi Linden: One idea would be to provide you with a code to give to your clients to rate projects. Therefore only your client can rate the projects
  • Madhavi Linden: we are still working out the details.
  • Gary Bukowski: ooh i like that angle madhavi
  • Kat Claxton: Nice one Madhavi, I could go for that
  • Ancient Shriner: ratings tied to success stories
  • Lewis Nerd: you have to remember that there are two types of clients that come to us developers - 1) the big companies to whom money is no object, and 2) everyone else
  • Count Bayliss: maybe something like the flash community has - promote a "project" of the day
  • You: 1) Ratings. Our idea was that we would only enable your client to rate you. They could still be anonymous.
  • Ancient Shriner: even the big companies are pinching pennies imho
  • Lewis Nerd: all my enquiries come from '2' because that’s who i appeal to... i don't talk "corporate BS"
  • Ancient Shriner: I specialize in Corpratese
  • Gary Bukowski: that's fine Lewis
  • Alexander Regent: lol....ancient....big a companies pinch PENNIES...small ones pinch A penny :)
  • Gary Bukowski: send em to meees :P
  • Ancient Shriner: lol
  • Kat Claxton: Ancient, will you be my BFF?
  • Kat Claxton: lol
  • Ancient Shriner: lol
  • You: 2) Talent - it's really hard to judge talent.
  • Ancient Shriner: that's subjective
  • Kat Claxton: true
  • You: That's why we added Recent Projects, so potential clients can judge by themselves.
  • Lewis Nerd: the trouble is i can build a perfectly good 'corporate' build ... but they don't find me because i'm only a "consultant"
  • Kim Anubis: But then someone who does a giant project that takes a year gets one rating point vs. some other developer that has a bunch of little projects.
  • Lewis Nerd: even though i offer far more
  • Ancient Shriner: Recent Projects can have 1 and only 1 rating . . .
  • Kat Claxton: I'm a full service and they expect me to do EVERYTHING for them
  • Alexander Regent: that’s why I dropped the consultant listing Lewis....but it really hasn’t helped :-X
  • You: LL can't and won't be in the position of determining who is "talented" - we don't have time or expertise to do that.
  • Gary Bukowski: actually i do think the grouping into consultants, etc has had some negative impact but - it doesn't seem to be something we can back out of at this point hah
  • Ancient Shriner: and issued a code that must be entered to submit the rating
  • Ancient Shriner: proving that it came from authorized source
  • You: wIth the change to Services as check buttons, actually we could remove the difference.
  • Alexander Regent: then what is "certification" about if not that Glenn?
  • Lewis Nerd: that works for me glenn
  • Gary Bukowski: oh! cool hah
  • Ancient Shriner: quality control Alexander
  • Kat Claxton: Glenn I like that
  • You: But having 200 companies in one listing might not be an improvement for anyone.
  • You: Sigh.
  • Gary Bukowski: yah - in short: It's Huge. :P
  • Ancient Shriner: to many people put out the developer shingle, and they really can't deliver
  • You: Certification is important as one factor, but it's going to take time and be a lot of work.
  • Ancient Shriner: yes, will take years
  • You: So quick back track:
  • You: 1) we'll look at how we can improve the current directory
  • Lewis Nerd: maybe people can't deliver - but don't they have to provide several projects before getting listed?
  • Count Bayliss: Just certify us here at the meeting and your done :-)
  • You: 2) We'll continue to solicit your feedback in how we can improve it
  • Kat Claxton: It's important to folks who are trying to maintain and establish credibility to have a way to stand out, I for one would like to see certification come soon
  • Ancient Shriner: you do to join the writers guild and get in the WGA directory
  • Ancient Shriner: that's just the way it is . .
  • You: LOL, Count
  • Kim Anubis: If a developer does 3 major projects for one client, is that client going to get 3 rating codes, or just one?
  • Gary Bukowski: I'm not looking forward to certification, actually....but I realize it's a necessary step in the evolution.
  • Ancient Shriner: each project I see would get a rating code
  • You: Kat - yes ,that's exactly the point.
  • Ancient Shriner: even three for same corp
  • Lewis Nerd: i just hope certification doesn't get priced out of the market for us 'little guys' who so often get overlooked
  • You: Yes, Ancient, it would be a rating per project, even if they were all for the same client.
  • Kat Claxton: Having cleaned up behind disreputable wannabe developers, I would love to see that problem go away
  • Gary Bukowski: Oh hopefully the cost would be minimal, right?
  • Gary Bukowski: hopefully
  • Ancient Shriner: Me too!
  • Alexander Regent: I don't think certification is a pay thing....I think its this "VIP listing" that would be pay...no?
  • Gary Bukowski: it shouldn't be about the cost it should be about the test
  • You: Lewis - that's a reason we didn't go directly to one of the big cert providers. -
  • Ancient Shriner: The test will cost
  • You: we hope to make it be cost of the test, yes, but you have to make an investment in any business, Ancient.
  • Ancient Shriner: if not, LL will have a big loss leader
  • Ancient Shriner: yes, agreed
  • Alexander Regent: well then testing alone should get VIP status I would think..... smaller and BS companies wouldn't be able to pass anyways
  • Ancient Shriner: I pay to take my CISSP
  • Ancient Shriner: cost me 500
  • You: Is there any way other than Ratings or Certification to measure ability?
  • Gary Bukowski: uh that's not true
  • Ancient Shriner: my Microsoft certs cost 90 each
  • Gary Bukowski: smaller and BS companies would be able to pass anyway
  • Kat Claxton: Glenn not if you want to maintain a degree of fairness
  • Lewis Nerd: that’s your problem ancient, not mine... why should i have to pay just because you can afford something?
  • Gary Bukowski: many people have many certs that do not prove they know what they're doing
  • Gary Bukowski coughs
  • Gary Bukowski: they're easy to get
  • Lewis Nerd: people come out of university with degrees and don't have an ounce of common sense
  • Ancient Shriner: 90 is the cost to admin and grade a test
  • Gary Bukowski: but this is a normal stage in the evolution of this market, I believe
  • Ancient Shriner: and it keeps the tests current
  • Ancient Shriner: by providing a revenue stream to maintain the whole operation at nearly break even
  • You: Exactly - any way to measure 'ability' or 'talent' can be gamed, and excludes some people who might be competent.
  • Kim Anubis: So can ratings
  • Lewis Nerd: i'm more than competent - but not rolling in cash
  • Ancient Shriner: there must be a baseline somewhere
  • Ancient Shriner: you need to start somewhere
  • You: So we're trying to start with ratings, which are reasonably easy to implement, are low effort for you, and reasonably high value for searchers.
  • Lewis Nerd: i build because i enjoy it - not to make a living ... don't exclude me out of the market, i have just as much right to be here as anyone
  • Kat Claxton: no, it would be nice if the test were affordable, or even broken down into a series of smaller, more affordable tests
  • Gary Bukowski: I just hope it doesn't preclude directory listing -- well not for me but for future shops
  • Ancient Shriner: is 90 bucks affordable?
  • Ancient Shriner: is 50?
  • Ancient Shriner: what's affordable?
  • Alexander Regent: Perhaps it should be a combo.... various factors? like total project completed.....client ratings......time registered in Dev directory...etc?
  • Ancient Shriner: yes Alexander, a combination
  • Ancient Shriner: more info the better
  • You: Let's be clear, there's always Classifieds (OnRez, SL) for people who don't want, or can't afford, or aren't qualified for the Directory.
  • You: *clear
  • Gary Bukowski: ah good point
  • Kat Claxton: I don't know - I have to chew on that a bit. I can see ups and downs for using a combination of factors to determine ability
  • You: We can afford to be a bit exclusive, because if a F500 company is looking for a project, they will expect quality
  • Ancient Shriner: yes
  • Ancient Shriner: error on the side of quality, break eggs to make the cake
  • Alexander Regent: expensive does not mean quality
  • Gary Bukowski: Yah that's about the content of the test, Kat. I think it's just important to keep in mind certification won't solve everything all at once.
  • Ancient Shriner: agreed
  • Lewis Nerd: glenn, i can deliver as good a build as any "full service" provider - but they don't even get as far as asking me because the big companies get promoted first
  • Kat Claxton: such as - quantity - what if I have developed two really outstanding regions compared to someone who has done 12 average regions
  • Madhavi Linden: one of the many reasons we are being very deliberate before we institute certification or ratings
  • You: I didn't say expensive, I said exclusive. The two are not the same.
  • Gary Bukowski: Lewis you just need to promote via other avenues more -- it's uphill in the directory hahah.
  • Ancient Shriner: Quality is exclusive in and of itself
  • Gary Bukowski: Promote in places where you're not right next to Big Massive
  • Lewis Nerd: quality is subjective... i've seen builds in SL by other 'professionals' that make me cringe
  • Kim Anubis: If I build a house for my mom it's worth the same rating as building out 3 islands for an educational institution?
  • Alexander Regent: to fortune 500 it does sometimes..I once lost a video conferencing bid because they said my solution wasn't "expensive" enough
  • Ancient Shriner: that's a good point Kim
  • Gary Bukowski: quality is subjective, yes - this is art -- not construction :P
  • Ancient Shriner: but you're leaving it up the market to decide the value of the customer who you did the work for
  • Ancient Shriner: you must list it
  • You: Just to remind us all, in the classic marketing simulation game, the company that spends the most on marketing always wins over the company with the quality product.
  • Lewis Nerd: well this is an opportunity to CHANGE that!
  • Ancient Shriner: Glenn is right
  • Kim Anubis: I think the ratings, like any ratings, are just an invitation to game.
  • Kat Claxton: gentlemen, start your checkbooks
  • Gary Bukowski: yup you can win with poor quality and superior marketing hah
  • Ancient Shriner: which is why I bust my bank spending on marketing!
  • Gary Bukowski: good to know, Ancient /me notes :p
  • Alexander Regent: yes I thought the beauty to the VR would is it REMOVED some of these barriers?
  • Alexander Regent: barriers
  • Ancient Shriner: heheh
  • Gary Bukowski: Though as an aside, I've always admired Phil's approach to marketing
  • Ancient Shriner: it only makes them come at you faster Alexander
  • Kat Claxton: Alexander, you can't change common practice overnight
  • Gary Bukowski: LL doesn't spend much on it, it relies on public media buzz
  • Gary Bukowski: For example: LL has /never/ had a magazine ad, right?
  • Gary Bukowski: but this approach is slow. I digress.
  • Ancient Shriner: in program guides they have
  • Ancient Shriner: for conferences
  • You: Whew, I'm not sure we've solved any of the problems of the Directory, but this has been a very interesting discussion.
  • Gary Bukowski: yah good crowd this time hahah
  • Kim Anubis: I think that trying to filter things in a way that distances LL from the dirty work is not going to do the trick.
  • You: Madhavi and I will review your comments in moving forward.
  • Andy Evans: Different needs; different points of view
  • Lewis Nerd: any update on the mention a while ago of us getting 'concierge' access?
  • Madhavi Linden: Thank you all for your wealth of input
  • Ancient Shriner: Thanks for the good topic Glenn and Madhavi
  • You: Lewis - the updates to the Concierge tools are in progress,
  • Alexander Regent: I still thinking charging is a bad idea...one year ago when I was just clawing my way up..if I would have had to pay..I wouldn't have don't it...wouldn't have gotten first few clients....wouldn't be doing this full time now..it will suppress the market for startups
  • You: Alexander - point taken.
  • You: Thanks all for coming and for your participation!