Archive for the 'Search' Category

Spamatars? More or Less

February 06th, 2008 | Category: Search, Spamatars

As I sit here eating my Scooby Doo mini Vanilla Wafers it occurs to me that the big rooms full of avatars are not the only indicators that bots are being used to bump up traffic, as we covered here, I see many of the popular places sims with single avatars under water, some are under the land, obviously hiding, while others could just be under water, editing their avatars, changing clothes, etc, but some are always there, here, spread all over. Look around the next time you are at some of the popular places, if you use your camera, you can usually spot them even far away as they will flash like a little star occasionally. While this isn’t as big of a deal as a whole room full of bots, it’s still in the same vein and is PROBABLY to boost traffic numbers. (I posted a few pics below.)

I just came across this blog post by Timeless Prototype that discussed a friend of his getting 100 avatars in a simulator using sl polymorphism proxy, could this be the way places like B&B Skins are able to fill up a room with bots? Or, I should say, as she mentioned in this post at New World Notes, someone filling up a room for her? I’m not 100% sure, as this says imaginary friends and that Imaginary Friends are fake avatarpackets created by the proxy between the connection to Secondlife. I will ask Timeless when I run into him again and see if he thinks this could be used for that.

A hundred Timeless Prototypes
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Popularity: 3%

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Consolidating SL Sites

January 17th, 2008 | Category: Search

Just so you know, I have consolidated my other two sites I had going into the Grid Live, don’t ask me why I thought three blogs was a good idea, but I kept it going for a bit. Anyway, all of the posts from slreader.com and smartlindens.com have been pulled into this site, and are redirected from the old domain, so, all the links pointing to posts on the other domains should redirect to the proper post on this blog. Please let me know if you can’t find one.

Popularity: 2%

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Rigging Search in Second Life with Spamatars

January 02nd, 2008 | Category: Search, Shopping

A post over at Grid Expectations points out how B&B Skins has become one of the most visited places in Second Life, at least according to the visitor counts. Here is a shot of the room below the store that she found full of avatars, what she we call them, marketing avatars, advertising avatars, spamatars, any good names for them?

advertising avatars

unused alts

When I popped in tonight I didn’t think I would see any, and I didn’t. Which brings to my mind right off, is, if they aren’t really “cheating” then why aren’t they still there?

Empty room at B&B Skins

So, I checked a couple times tonight, with the latest time I checked being 2:30 am Eastern time. They have a couple avatars in tubes as avatar models, both live profiles, and both with B&B Skins in their picks.

B&B Models 2

B&B Models 1
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Popularity: 6%

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New Release Candidate, New Search and How to Use It

November 14th, 2007 | Category: Search, Second Life Clients, Second Life Viewer

In a blaze of posts over on the Second Life blog, Linden Labs has announced a new release candidate, 1.18.5, which includes a new search, the topics covered in the next two blog posts. They have talked about the new search previously, they are going to use some Google appliances for the search, so, right there it should tell you it will be better than it was before, I guess how much better will depend on how it is setup. In addition to the new search, the release candidate includes these bug fixes:

Bug fixes include:

VWR-2959: Windows (Visual Studio) solution file refers to a non-existing project “build_all”
Korean text display broken on Leopard (Mac OS X 10.5)
VWR-2030: Avatar only turns half-way in Appearance Mode
VWR-2803: Lag Meter network ping metric doesn’t account for residents outside the USA
VWR-2834: Builds fail on 1.18.4.0 with no mozlib Source: New Viewer: 1.18.5 Release Candidate Available Today!

The new search certainly looks different, looks like they are featuring eight spots when you first click on search, not sure if they are paid spots or not.

Search initial box

The second article they posted tonight about the new release is about the new search and contains all kinds of good information on it, the posting of a new search FAQ, some clips from an upcoming podcast about it, here and here and it talks about how it also uses the new wiki in the search, which, btw, when you click the search results in the wiki, it loads the webpage inside the SL viewer instead of an external web browser like before.

The points below highlight the key things you should know about the new Search:

The new search is additive to the current search
The new search returns information about land, profiles, groups, wiki documents, events, classifieds, and some individual objects
You have the ability to choose what you want to include in search
Classifieds are returned both within and next to the search results
Using the New Search
There is a new “All” tab in the Search window, but the rest of the tabs, including the All (old) tab with the current All search functionality, are still included and functional. Using the new All tab, it’ll be easier to find relevant results when you’re searching for land parcels, Resident profiles, groups, classifieds, events, and individual objects marked for inclusion that are present on public parcels. In order to try out the new search, you will need to download the latest Release Candidate. Once you have installed this new version, you will notice that there is an additional tab added to Search that looks different than the current version. This is the new Search All tab! Source: New Search with Today’s Release Candidate

Torley has posted his latest tip as well and guess what, it’s about the new search as well.

One of the aspects I love most about working at Linden Lab is creating friendly guides to new features, especially those which you may’ve waited a long time for. Search is both special and expected in this regard, so this Tip of the Week is about how to use the new Search. It includes:

How to get started with the Search bar
How to find people, places, objects on parcels, etc.
Using special Google operators (not all of these apply) to do advanced searches (at long last!)
A couple neat interface improvements: resizable Search window and easier teleporting Source: Tip of the Week #10: How to use the new Search

He’s even included a video how to.

The search is definitely improved, in the old search you could get extra traffic by entering hot search terms, such as when the CSI:NY show was out, lots and lots of search items had those terms included to get some extra traffic. Looks like the initial release of the new search has already helped a lot of that, check out the search results for CSI:NY now.

CSI:NY Search Results

They have also included classifieds beside the new search results, hopefully users will get more bang for their buck now with those. As you can see, the second page results are not near as good, but that could just be because of a lack of enough objects.

Second page results

Here is a shot of the old results.
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Popularity: 5%

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CSI: NY - Down the Rabbit Hole

October 18th, 2007 | Category: RL Meets SL, Search, Second Life Browser, TV

By Stone Culdesac

I don’t believe I had seen the name of the CSI: NY episode that will feature the star going inworld in Second Life to try to track down a killer, the episode name is Down the Rabbit Hole. I also did not know that game one of the World Series is going to air that night as well, wonder how that will affect viewers? Think many baseball fans and Second Life Users cross over? I’m sure they do and I bet most will Tivo or record it on their DVR. Notice I didn’t say which they would record.

I also wanted to comment on Prokofy’s posts and comment about the Electric Sheep Company and how they are handing search in the OnRez browser. The Prok seems to think they have hidden it where it is hard to find and that they are getting an unfair advantage, she says things like classifieds will be hard to find, if you can find them at all, that the search will only search the OnRez site and whatever they have scrapped from Second Life. Now, I admire how she stands up for the community, how she tries to protect her own interests, but I’m not going to get worked up over it until I see the browser for myself. No use on going on someone else’s word just to find out they were wrong or mistaken. Take a chill pill Prok and wait until you get a copy of the OnRez browser for yourself to try.

Giff Constable has posted on the ESC blog about some of the issues the Prok has raised, and goes on to mention that the SL search will be the only search in the OnRez browser initially, but they are working on their own search saying that Second Life’s search is flawed, which it is, and that they are trying to improve it. As long as the improvements don’t just mean adding the stuff they have for sale or their own sims, I look forward to trying it out for myself.

There have been a lot of questions about Search in the new Viewer. Here is the scoop. There are two input boxes at the top of the OnRez Viewer. In one you can enter a location name (complete or partial) OR a url and it will teleport you or open a website inside the viewer. The other search input box queries Linden Lab’s standard mix of services [All, Classifieds, Events, Popular P laces, Land Sales, Places, People, and Groups] and pops up the tabbed window you are all used to seeing. As of next week’s launch, that is the only search feature in the Viewer but we are actively working on improving Second Life’s search since it is, to put it rather mildly, flawed. To be explicit, we eagerly await Linden Lab’s improvements and as most people know, we are experimenting with solutions of our own and we will roll them out when they are ready (and ready encompasses many things like data coverage, data accuracy, scalability, accessibility of privacy options, etc). Source: Viewer Clarifications; Big Picture

On the TV.com site they have a CSI:NY section, with many forum members and posts, if you are a CSI: NY fan you should check it out, they have a pole in which only 31 readers have voted about whether they are going to tune in or not, you have to register or there would be more votes I’m sure, but 30 out of 31 have voted “Tune in! Hopefully it will live up to all the hype.” I know that doesn’t mean much, but it doesn’t sound like any of the CSI: NY regulars are disappointed about the episode, yet.

There is also a five or six page discussion of the show on the Second Life forums, SL CSI Promo…will the grid survive Oct 24th?, most don’t seem concerned about the search yet, as they are taking the wait and see approach. I figured the Prok would’ve posted about it, but she’s probably banned from there or something, guessing.

Popularity: 6%

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Popular Places in Second Life?

September 23rd, 2007 | Category: Search

Is that really the best name for that tab in the search function in Second Life, Popular Places? I’ve been visiting them periodically for different reasons lately, and EVERY ONE of them have been because of camping spots. I was looking tonight and noticed that at least three of them were Brazilian and I thought I would check those out to see if there was anything different from the other popular places.

Nope.

Camping, camping, camping, oh and of course shopping spots and clubs. I did find one that had a cyber cafe in it, but don’t get me started on that.

What the popular places tab needs is to be rated by us, with some kind of favorite tool, like an add to favorites, a vote for, or some kind of system that lets users pick actual popular places, and not places that are there just because of traffic. If not for us regular users, at least do it for the newbie’s, they will end up going to these places just because of some of the keywords, like sex, dancing, free, make lindens, etc. Its no wonder lots of people think all Second Life is about is sex and dancing, and these camping sites are also reinforcing the myth that everywhere is deserted. While you land in the places with lots of avatars hanging around, half the time you don’t see anyone when you get there.

Come on Lindens, give us a say in the popular places and it will help us all out. Just make sure users can only vote once per place.

Popularity: 2%

4 comments

Linden Labs Toying with Google Search for Second Life

August 28th, 2007 | Category: Search

I have a love/hate relationship with Google, although it seems it’s more hate/hate ;) but I am very interested in the blog post from Nick Wilson of Metaversed saying that Second Life may be integrating Google for their search. While I don’t want Google to be involved in every aspect of my life, I do want better search out of Second Life, so we shall see.

Jeska Linden, the community manager at Linden Lab, the company that publishes Second Life said in a discussion today at an InformationWeek meeting, that the development team were playing around with Google Search Appliance. Google’s enterprise hardware/software search solution would allow residents to search the Metaverse far more effectively. In theory, it would knock home grown efforts like the upcoming revamp of Sheep Search, Meta Mart and SL Browser right out of the game. Source: Second Life to Integrate Google Search

The results would be in flat HTML, he says this would bring us one step closer to the fabled “html on a prim” ideal of bringing markup in world.

Popularity: 3%

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A Better Search for Second Life?

August 18th, 2007 | Category: Search, Second Life Viewer

The folks behind the SL Browser HUD think they have a better search than Second Life, how could they not, indexing 1.4 million products, but are currently only getting about 2000 searches per day. Second Life Insider has this to say about it,

But this isn’t about numbers … I’m excited about several features that surpass the searching capabilities available in the SL client. For one - you can search based on keywords and in your results you get the location and relevant object/keyword image (instead of the picture of a storefront). This helps narrow your search at-a-glance, without wasting time teleporting to tens of sites to find something close to what you have in mind. It even sports an “impulse buying” option through the “Public” search feature. If you have that box checked, your HUD will react to searches other people make using the browser. If you like what you’re hearing, go get your own here.

If you’re a business owner and wish to update your object description, simply change the object description and the Browser will automatically update in a week’s time. Felix is also working on creating tags for those who wish to have their objects stay un-indexed by his gadget. For the techies reading this, continue on to hear about how the browser works, pitfalls, etc. Source: SL Browser - In the Run for Being Second Life’s Google

Heck, if we just post about everything in Second Life on the web, making sure we had the appropriate Second Life URL’s, we can have Google index it, there are already some big websites selling the products, like SL Exchange, so lots of the stuff is already out there, but these guys are starting from the beginning, so it may be awhile before we have a search function that is really good.

Second Life URL

If you don’t want the robots crawling your land, ban these avatars:

Computer Allen
Collaboration Yoshikawa
Cyberr Kidd
Savvy Lisle
Studious Jacobus
Web Debevec
Hack Swindlehurst
Innova Despres
IP Benelli
Smark Slade

Popularity: 3%

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