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« Wha'ts Wrongly and Rightly About Kitely? | Main | Rental Dementia: Excuses, Excuses -- and Dated Prims »

October 22, 2012

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EmilioBellini Resident

Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are saying here and before on October 21, 2012 in What's Wrongly and Rightly About Kitely? but I believe this is not the case.

My reading is you do not like the virtual world Kitely and believe it has bad interface.

I read some of your early blogs and I say with great respecting you are frequently finding many things you do not like with Second Life.

I reach the opinion from reading you are resident in the United States. I was taught the USA is home of free enterprise so I cannot understand why you seem to be complaining about this Kitely virtual world.

Is not competition and choice what makes USA and country like it different from not democratic country like China?

I have said English is not my first language but I have done study and work and like in a country which is English speaking and democratic.

If I am not understanding you because of my English then I apologise very much to you. But I think I am understanding you the correct way and I cannot see why you are writing this complaint.

You own Company in Second Life but you frequently criticizing the way Linden Research run Second Life but you still stay in Second Life and also are criticizing what seem to be competitor for Second Life.

I do not understand what you are trying to say, it seem you just like to complain, but you write very wise things at other times, this makes me confused in what you are saying about Kitely. Are you saying it is a good thing there is competition or it is a bad thing there is competition as I cannot understand from what I am reading.

If I can suggest in the most humble way you try to meditate, it is very good to clear the mind and thoughts then come very easy.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

As you're screenshots demonstrate Kitely's terms of service are linked to from every page on the website. They are pretty clearly presented, you can see them here as well: http://www.kitely.com/#!terms

You can also see the two big "Learn More" links under the two usage options on the homepage. Clicking them will direct you to the services page that explains how time-based billing works. See here: http://www.kitely.com/#!services

When you open a Kitely account you are automatically placed on the Free Plan that provides 2 hours / month of usage and one region with 100,000 prims for free. In the first month you open your account you also get an additional 4 hours of free time. You can see this listed as "Signup Bonus" in the History page screenshot you provided.

The world's one the Public Worlds page are sorted using various criteria, one of the biggest things that effect ranking is whether the world is free for visitors. Free worlds have the word FREE listed under their Enter World button. When you visit such a world you won't get Minutes or Kitely Credits charged from your account balance.

If you skip reading about how the service works before creating your account then you may be surprised about how it works. Empirically speaking most people who open an account wither got to the site to a world page of a world that provides free access or got to the homepage and read about how the service works before opening an account.

You're right that people who don't read about how the service works can be surprised by it but seeing that most people don't have a problem finding that information before signing up it doesn't seem to be a common problem.

As for the name of the History page, most people who open an account visit it - and then get a very clear idea of what it includes. Our "Introduction to Kitely" slideshow, which is accessible from the homepage and from world pages that haven't replaced it with an image for their own world, includes this information as well.

How would you suggest making this clearer?

Prokofy Neva

I see you're not willing to admit defeat when presented with ample proof that you are using "history" in a non-standard and misleading way.

I also see that you can't admit that there is nothing about the free accounts *for visitors* at all -- as distinct from sim owners/users -- and that you think that by going here after the front page:

http://www.kitely.com/#!services

that you've solved the problem of clarity for new users. You haven't. The explanation is convoluted, buried in the first paragraph toward the end, and not clear that the metered usage is monitored in HISTORY.

So fail all the way around.

The offering for VISITORS of FREE SIX HOURS has to be on the front page, or it is misleading.

When you're willing to admit these problems as they stand, then people might make suggestions for how to improve. But until you can admit that your usage of history is misleading and even wrong, and make other admissions, no one cooperate with you. Your demand for "constructive criticism" is bogus because you're a controlling geek unwilling to admit mistakes and failures.

Whether or not a world is FREE FOR VISITORS shouldn't even be a ranking criteria. It's just socialist do-gooder claptrap of the sort that we've become completely fed up with in web 2.0.

Why should some developer who has a great offering, but needs to get paid by having the meter run down on free visitors be punished, and only those with the funds to buy their way out of metered hell get rewarded?! The grid has to contain a balanced ecosystem of users and developers and not just your friends paying more, and not just rewards in ranking for them. Imagine if Google ran things this way! Early in their history, they repudiated running things this way! It's death!

Um, I didn't "skip reading" how the account works, I read it. I got it. What I didn't see -- because it's non-standard quirky geeky bullshit -- is that the HISTORY isn't the history of development but HISTORY of my own metered visits. Nowhere on this page:

http://www.kitely.com/#!services

is the word "History" or "history" except at the tab, and nowhere is there a link to it or an explanation of what it is or what it means. Fail.

Most people don't visit it. In fact, many people have been lost because of your stubborness about this.

c3

nested menus by context.
yes.

and the ridiculupus ness of "meeting of minds" on the interwebz

INTERFERENCE DESIGN
these posts are prefect case studies for my new book.. yes i think im gonna finally writre another one.. INTERFERENCE DESIGN v.1 lol

can i use them?

Prokofy Neva

Oh please, do. It is definitely interference design. It's an excellent example of somebody trying to take expectations they think you have, but muddling them with their own coerciveness.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

People get 2 hours/month on the Free Plan and an additional 4 hours signup bonus on the first month. Most people who visit other people's worlds don't ever encounter even that limit as the worlds they visit provide free access to their visitors.

The reason most people visit worlds that are free is because those world are ranked higher in the search results. World cost to visitors is a very important criteria for world ranking because most people really want to be able to visit worlds without thinking about their time running out. Even you were wondering how you visiting a world effected your time quota on the Free Plan.

The world rating is done automatically based on objective criteria, nothing is done by hand for our friends.

Kitely is extremely cheap when used for building, machinema, and other activities that don't include a lot of people. When world managers expect to get more visitors they can switch that particular world to a fixed-price model to provide unlimited free access to all their visitors and still pay a LOT less than they would for the same land / prim / user concurrency in SL.

I don't think that $40/month for a private island with 100,000 prims and 100 avatars capacity is a very demanding price to "buy their way out of metered hell". If they can't afford even that to provide their users with free access then they can require their visitors to cover their own access costs. Most of the worlds on Kitely don't provide free access to users and still get some visitors, especially if they promote their worlds in other sites as well.

The people who can't afford to provide free access to their visitors wouldn't even be able to have a homestead region in SL so complaining about their worlds not getting a good ranking (when people on the Free Plan really care about not running out of time) is really looking for something to complain about.

The History page might not have an intuitive label for you but, our site statistics prove that most people do indeed visit it, in fact most do so quite frequently to see who has visited their worlds. The few people who never visit that page may do so if we changed the tab label but even if that were done the page usage statistics don't have a lot of room to improve. You're free to believe otherwise but I'm basing my statement on actual site usage statistics.

OpenSim is not a Kitely competitor, it is an open-source virtual world project that Kitely both uses and contributes to. It's site is not used by users for virtual world account management. The Kitely website is. The History, My Worlds, and Settings tabs are displayed for users even when they aren't logged in but those pages provide logged out users with a message that they need to log in in order to view them. Some users even create an account from these pages in order to see what they include. When they do so they get the Welcome dialog with getting started instructions.

Web site design is measured in user conversion from a site visitor to a logged in user to a paying user. Kitely has great numbers on all these fronts. We also have a lot of people writing very good things about us on their blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. This doesn't mean your constructive comments don't hold merit but it does mean that you are mistaken about how people view the ease of use of our service and us personally as the people who run it.

In other words, you're stating your conjunctures as if they were statements of fact when, based on the actual user response as measured on our site and in social media, your statements represent mostly your personal opinion which is at odds with real-world measured user behavior.

Prokofy Neva

Worlds that are free shouldn't rank higher just because they help newbies that want more time for visits. That isn't fair to those who aren't the more resourced developers who can pay for the cost of their visitors. It's like paying tier in Second Life only worse, because if you don't pay more tier, you can't get customers. It shouldn't work that way. The market should be open. The market can only be open when it isn't like a fascistic or medieval crafts and guilds society where the craftsmen are kept alive by the Medicis and are superior to the hoi polloi.

The entire metered visit/on demand concept is debatable, but what's more operative now is search. Search should not be contaminated by your socialist prescriptions and aspirations. Search should be open and neutral. It should be agnostic as to whether someone paid more or less to show up. You've violating the principle "don't be evil" concept of Google, and it's awful.

Of course, every "automatic criteria" is in fact a manual notion put into automatic form. So your notion of "complex build" may be based merely on number of prims. Or merely on numbers of mesh pieces or scripts. So it's subjective, even if automated.

$40 a month is reasonable for a building or machinima sim. But $40 a month is *not* a reasonable fee just to show up in search higher. It's not fair. It means search is purchasable, and not as a marked classified, but as a basic element. That's wrong. Indeed I'd have to pay $40 to get my beautiful complex build sim out of metered hell. What if some brilliant designer from Brazil can't get PayPal to work and doesn't have the $40. He should still show up in search without having to pay a tax to the devs to do so.

The analogy of your $40 to be in search as an unmetered "free" place is NOT, most definitely, the $40 parcel in SL or the homestead for $95 or $125. Because whether I have 512 or 4096 or a homestead in Second Life, and pay $9.95 or $25 or up to $125, I still get to rank in search on MERIT. If my little costume or motorcycle or prefab is the cat's pajamas, the world will beat a path to my door and buy my product and browse my store and give me traffic.

In your world, I'd have none of that freedom or free market or access to free enterprise, I'd have to pay a $40 licensing fee just to even get in search (and that evidently scales up).

I don't care what your "site statistics" show for 2500 nerds (or less, as some have multiple sims) and their nerd freebie visitors, which is likely another 2500 at most. Please. Let's not be children here. Your "history" thing is daft and you now know it. Admit it.

When people realize that the history is their path to returning worlds they like, it will get more use. They will also budget their time.

Of course Open Sim is a competitor. It makes software, but it also has a grid where people have sims. So they buy them from Adam or the others on OS type grids and not from you. I'm amazed that you would try to weasel out of being caught using "history" in a counter-intuitive annoying way, and be presented with proof from OS which should be absolutely authoritative for you, but then...I shouldn't be amazed. The capacity for denial is enormous in the open source movement.

Kitely may be adored by its little niche crew with the 2500 arty and edu-punk sims that don't even use all their prims. Great! And that may be the place for people to go if they don't want to deal with the dilatory nature of other OS grids. You haven't even begun to understand what it means to deal with the general public. Not even a hint. I'm a more educated, and less demanding and more tolerant figure from the general public of normal non-geek users than you will ever be fortunate to see.

My statements are statements of fact. "History" is a non-usable tab for the normal person. The lack of a heads-up obvious statement on the front page that the meter is running is misleding and doesn't build faith but undermines reputation. The connection between the meter and History, which has to be made explicit both to warn consumers AND to get them to enjoy coming back because they have a bread crumb trail is simply missing.

c3

ilan...
truth is i really dont see any logic in the categories or the where or when any of my 3 worlds (each with a well made "info page) shows up in any of the search tries....

i certainly didnt pick shopping over fun for the "starbasec3" sim, and i would place campuspods in meetings as much as education...etc...

anyhow. i really dont look to the search to drive nahy traffic.. and very little is drawn;).....

when i want to draw ill post and market in other ways...

as i said.. or was lost saying in amissing post.... i dont look for kitely to be a "virtual world" as it seems prok and most "consumers to possibly be" would...

i see it as an isp for 3d server space... no different than bigbiz.com who serves up the html/video/flash based "virtual world" at starbasec3.com --in all its 15 year old htmlality.

yes. the history page is the "only important" page after a while, if you run a sim, and just want to see if anyone visits...and what its costing you or them...

a well learned markering hint ilan..

dont be a portal to your clients, only offer to be a showcase, for a very few who make you look good..FIC.:)

that way the "good products" that can be made with "kitely assistsnce" is the sell... not kitely.

again... the suggestion not to follow in SLs footsteps may be a good one...if a long term tech/tools company is your goal.


Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

Search needs to provide what people are looking for. In Kitely, like in all the other girds I'm familiar with, there are a lot more non-paying users then paying users. This means that most people continue to look for things that don't cost them anything. Those things can be freebie goods or free-to-access worlds. The number of people currently inside a world is even more important for ranking than whether it is free because people want to find worlds that currently have other people inside them. When two worlds that are both free to access are compared other criteria is taken into consideration. If your world is interesting it can be non-free and still be ranked higher than free-to-access worlds. But if you can't get people to visit your world or promote it then no good search algorithm will rank it higher than worlds that have been endorsed by other users using Likes or time spent inworld. I don't think it is hard to understand why worlds that are free for access will more easily get people to spend time inside them (and/or promote them).

You don't have to pay $40/month to enable the unlimited free access for visitors option just to offer free access to your visitors. You can elect to pay the $0.20/hour/user for time in order to promote your world to people who are seeking worlds that they can visit for free. Once enough people visit your world they can Like it which will also help your world's ranking.

There are currently more than 4400 registered Kitely users. The 2500 number is just the number of worlds that they had a while ago (there are now more). Most of those worlds are hosted on the Free Plan. There are people who don't have worlds and people who have several worlds so making sure the people who want to visit worlds for free can find those places easily is very important.

As for fairness, there are great YouTube videos that hardly get any views, the same goes for many websites, blog posts, etc. People use search to find content. If you want to promote your content you have to be proactive either by spending time to blog about it, share links about it, etc. or by spending money on advertising. The Kitely search functionality has a random factor which can help promote worlds that haven't been visited often but the most important thing is for it to help people find worlds that they will find interesting. When the criteria for such interest can be most often measured in "how many people are there now?", "can I access it for free?", "do other people Like it?", "is it an interesting build?", etc. then those are the parameters we need to focus on when sorting search results. As for world complexity, there is more to it than the number of prims, meshes, textures, etc. - giving good search results is part of our secret sauce. Google doesn't share their ranking algorithm with it users and neither do we. Doing so would only drive people to try to optimize for our automated heuristics instead of focusing on making their build more interesting to people (see all the SEO that is done for websites as an example).

I don't know if that's fair but it helps people find the content that fits their desired search phrases and has the highest chance, given the data at our disposal, to fit their expectations.

OpenSim is an open source project that is developed in collaboration between many individuals and organizations - it is not an organization in itself. Kitely is one of the organizations that contribute code to OpenSim's development. OSgrid is a non-profit service where people connect mostly user self-hosted OpenSim servers to form one grid (a minority host their sims with for-profit companies). OpenSim doesn't compete with Kitely. At best you can say that OSgrid, which runs the beta-builds of the next OpenSim release, competes with us for users and that hosting companies that host sims that connect to OSgrid compete with us on revenue. If you want to compare apples to apples then compare Kitely to those hosting companies. You'll find that Kitely's service, online tools, and pricing are usually much more attractive.

You can call our users geeks if you want but most of them are just regular long time SL residents that have heard about Kitely, checked it out and decided that it was good for their needs and the needs of their own users/friends/students/community.

The name of the History tab is irrelevant if the great majority of people discover what it is used for just by clicking on that top menu tab to see what it contains. A better name might get more people to see that functionality but, again, even if everyone of our users decides to see it because of that name change the number of users who will see it can't change much. We may do some A/B testing to see if a name change helps make this small increase but the effect on adoption won't be drastic.

Ilan Tochner

Hi c3,

The links next to the search field in the Public Worlds tab aren't categories but rather search shortcuts for multiple related keywords. So when you click the Shopping link for example it will look for commerce related words in worlds' names and descriptions. If you add such words to your world name or description then your worlds will appear when people press the Shopping search shortcut. If you include words that are related to both shopping and education then your world will be returned in the search results for Shopping and for Education.

These particular subjects were chosen for the search shortcuts because those are the things people actually searched for on Kitely. If the search statistics change enough to warrant an update then we will make one.

Having a good world description can help increase both your world(s) visibility (i.e. making it more likely to be returned for the user's search) and search ranking (i.e. it will be placed higher in the returned results). Adding a good inworld profile image is also very important for ranking.

I agree with you on the service definition.

Kitely's main goal is to provide virtual worlds on demand. That is, with Kitely you can get a world of your own for your own needs quickly and at a very low price. Kitely includes grid functionality to enable people to discover and easily teleport to other people's worlds but it is not designed to provide one big mainland continent.

As you can now have Kitely worlds that are up to 16 regions in size (using either time-based pricing or for $100/month with unlimited free access for all visitors) the need for one big mainland has decreased. People who need a lot of space can get it on Kitely without having to deal with the type of neighbor issues you encounter in SL's mainland.

c3

oy. ilan;

"A/B testing " and "secret sauce" are
death words....

do yourself a favor and never use them in public again:)

remember, im a white hat.

and, dont worry about "search and what google is" until you have 400 million eyeballs on 4 million sims ... not 4400.

Prokofy Neva

Let's see if we can put this in terms of your own geek religious doctrine so that we can try to penetrate your impenetrable smug armour on this burning question of search, which you are busy -- like the Lindens -- fucking up miserably due to your bad ideology.

If Google were to allow the Koch brothers to pay them to place their pro-Romney political ads at the top of Google search returns for the term "presidential debates" or if British Petroleum were allowed to pay Google top dollar to put its own web site at the top of searches for "oil spill," or if the Boy Scouts could buy the slot for "gay Eagle Scout," you would find that "evil", correct? You would find that horribly biased and outrageous. Very early in its career, Google said to itself, and to the world, "don't be evil," and it meant just that sort of practice. To be sure, it's caved now and allowed more of that on the side, and more of that in social media, than is really still "not evil". But at least the actual first returns for key word searches aren't bought out by the rich and venal and powerful.

But in your domain, an evil land baron or an evil Romney supporter like myself could simply buy the top slot by putting up a build with 100,000 prims used and using a popular term like "Celtic" or "medieval", buy the bigger sim packages that pay for more free visitors, and then secure the top spot in search.

It sounds like you're trying to tell us that you're more sophisticated than this by having a secret algorithm that rewards other things besides "free," like "likes" or "time spent inworld". Good Lord, haven't you heard of bots and camping? Don't you think the "Lazy Linden" script can't be copied on to your grid? I could sit 50 of my customers there all day collecting pogey and have them like me on Facebook all day and you'd be staring at Ravenglass in the number one slot for the rest of your life. Good thing I condemn all those methods.

Whether it's technically the $40/month option or the 20 cents a user, who cares? The point is that by making your search results contingent on somebody paying for visitors, you've created a world in which George Soros buys the socialism for everybody else and gets his name on top.

If there are more than 2500 worlds, you should put it on the front page. I'm going by what all the blogs said.

You keep complaining that I have written "inaccurate" or "mistaken" material. I haven't. Either a) you're wrong about my actual experience or b) you've hidden some fact in some back page or under some wonky long explanation instead of fronting.

There are no factual errors in my first post. There are reports of my experience in not getting search to work. It doesn't, on two viewers you and your customers suggest be used. You tried to double-talk your way out of the problem with Imprudence; now let's hear you double-talk your way out of the problem with Catznip, which is a viewer 3 type of viewer. Well?

I don't need your endless condescending smarmy lectures about how the Internet works. Truly I don't. We all get it that there are wonderful Youtubes that never get visitors. But if George Soros can buy everybody the socialism for everybody else and put his name on top, or the Koch Brothers can just buy big sims and make all their employees sit on them and buy the search, it's not fair. It's not a free market.

I think that algorithms for search should be publicized in fact, and so do a number of analysts of Google and all the complex SEO machinations. And a simple hard IP-attached track of visitors and length of stay should do it, just by deprecating the Lazy Linden script and spot-checking for bots and such. That's all. Traffic should count -- it is the best helper for search and marker for merit.

As for "complexity" -- I see you are now lurching back to saying this is subjective? Or is an automatic formula that you won't tell us based on ...whatever? Prims plus scripts inside them?

Open Sim *is* an organization whether you like to admit it or not. It does business and gets consulting contracts. It's not just some airy-fairy "movement". That names is used and associated with the OSgrid service. You can be technical about it, but everyone knows what it is. It's like saying Coke is not Coca-Cola.

By babbling on about the technicalities of what competes with you for users, you're dancing away from the cold, hard fact that you are busted on the question of "history".

Anyone who needs 100000 prims is by definition a geek; no, let's put it this way; anyone who insists on 100000 prims and then uses 2000 is by definition a geek. The people in your early-adapter club are geeks. Pretending they are ordinary just won't fly. Normal people don't fuss with the difficulties of early-adapter worlds, especially "sim on demand" with its obvious obstacles.

Enormous swathes of people ignore "history" because they think it's the tab where the company natters on about itself self-referentially and irrelevantly. Oh, and they would be right, because it's emblematic of your insistence on doing things different, calling it "innovative," and then pretending it doesn't lose customers.

I'm glad we've FINALLY brought you around to considering an A/B testing. A/B testing is notoriously stupid and biased and always gives the results the biased geek wants. We've seen this a zillion times. It's a controlled test in a controlled environment with deadlines. So Lindens say "let's put out landmarks to furry clubs and to Cubey's aerodrome and see if either of them get better retention than just the ordinary orientation and let's give it 90 days".

Yet everything about such an A/B test is wrong. Most people don't want Cubey or furries, they want a dance club or a meeting place or something interesting to explore like a historical or fantasy sim. And 90 days isn't enough time even to test Cubey.

I guarantee you if you call the tab "Prokofy's Cliff" you will have a zillion people clicking it.

c3

well, only those from the SL "history" cult...lol

all other "blind consumers" who happen onto the site from any webpage that may mention just "kitely.com"

will be asking who the russian guy is....

Prokofy Neva

Hahahaha, absolutely!

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

When you say things like "Enormous swathes of people ignore "history"" which is numerically not true based on the Google Analytics of our site (and our own internal logs) then you are not stating the truth you are stating your opinion that happens to be very wrong.

When you say "with Kiteley's worlds, you have to log out, go back to the Kiteley website with the directory, and then log back in to find the other stand-alone, on-demand worlds." then you are stating an uninformed statement that is blatantly false.

When you say "you can no longer use the SL standard view for viewing alternative world ostensibly because 1.23, which they are all based on, ..." you are not stating the truth and ignoring the fact that almost all modern TPVs are based on v3 viewers.

When you said "Kitely has adopted that most annoying of the log-in loops -- the seeming ability to log in with Twitter and Facebook, and bypass new sign-up regimes, but then the forced-loop back to having to sign up with the service again after you've logged in with Twitter or Facebook." you were not reporting the truth. You Can create an account with Facebook and be done or create one with Twitter and be required to provide information that Twitter doesn't provide. In either case you don't have to sign up again.

When you covered a handful of worlds out of more than 2500 available ones and stated that what can be found on Kitely is "amateurish" then you're misleading people. Specifically you selected the first world Karima Hoisan's created on Kitely and ignored her other worlds, two of which have been featured on the Designing Worlds show.

Complaining that Kitely offers more prims than most people use is a very weird thing to say to most SL builders. One of the first things SL residents blog about when they create their own Kitely world is that they now have more prims than they need (whereas they usually need to be very cautious on how they use their prim limit in SL). Just Google other people's responses to Kitely and see that the complaint is unwarranted - this is a feature people want.

Complaining about the lack of lag, is a very weird way to critique a grid. Had Kitely worlds performed badly and with the same amount of lag as you get in SL I'm sure you would have noted that as a bad thing.

In order to reach top Google results you have to spend a lot of money marketing your website and getting people to add links to it. You may not be paying Google directly but you are paying for it. If you prefer paying Google then you can use Google Adwords and can have your website appear above the top organic search result.

When Google sort results they sort them based on what people are lookign for. When people prefer free information over websites with paywalls then you see websites that provide free information appearing above websites that have a paywall. This is exactly like Kitely ranking worlds that provide free access to visitors above worlds that require people to use Minutes or Kitely Credits from their own balance to access those worlds.

If you try to abuse a "Lazy Linden" type script to simulate visitors on Kitely then you'll have your account suspended for breaking Kitely's terms of service. If you have people Liking your world on Facebook all day long then they are promoting your world on a third party site all day long (which may bring more people to it) but each such person only contributes one Like point to your world's ranking.

Just uploading a 100,000 prim world with a ton of scripts won't get you the highest score for the world complexity component of the ranking algorithm. If you figure out a way to create something that looks good to our heuristics but is actually not interesting to people then we'll just have to readjust our complexity ranking algorithm (just as Google constantly does with its own ranking algorithms).

Paying more for a world doesn't increase its ranking the only parameter that relates to how much the world manager pays is the cost for visitors of accessing that world. A 1-region world which provides free access to its visitors on a time-based billing plan would get the same visitor cost ranking score as a 16-region world that pays a fixed monthly price to provide unlimited free access for all its visitors. This would be true even if the time-based billing world manager never had any visitors to his worlds and therefore never paid for their access.

In other words, you aren't buying a higher ranking using more money any more than a site deciding not to use a paywall in order to get more traffic from Google. Sites that do so usually have to pay higher hosting bills to their hosting companies to subsidize this bigger traffic volume. To cover those expenses they usually replace the paywall with advertising, often using Google ads on their site (ads from which Google also profits).

As someone who keeps badmouthing socialism you seem to have a problem with both people paying for their own usage (Kitely's time-based billing is exactly that) and with people paying more so that other people can have free access (which is how sims are paid for on other grids and with our new fixed-price options). So in your non socialistic world view who exactly should pay so that you can get something? You or someone else?

Prokofy Neva

You haven't admitted that your next best choice for a viewer (outside of Emerald) -- Catznip -- doesn't have search working, either.

"Enormous swathes of people ignore "history"" which is numerically not true based on the Google Analytics of our site (and our own internal logs)

I'm certain that the number of people who came to your site and looked at the front page and didn't click on "history" is greater than the number of people who have clicked on history.

Um, try looking under "bounce" on your analytics lol.

You *do* have to log out if a) search doesn't work on two of the main viewers in your list recommended, one for optimal viewing of heavy builds and b) you have no other way to get to that world because you can't find it on the world map by scrolling endlessly. I most certainly am right here!

As for the 1.23 viewer -- indeed, all the TPVs are based on 1.23, and they stayed on 1.23 well past v2 and even v3. That's why some of them still look the same. Yes, some of them now have moved on to v3.

As for the Twitter issue, I think I found the problem. One huge annoyance is that when you hit "log out" of Kitely, it logs you completely out of Twitter, too. And when it did that I realized what its problem was. I have two Twitter accounts. So when it logs me on with Twitter, I have to *first* log on myself to Twitter as the Twitter account used to sign up with Kitely, then it should work. Annoyance! So I was wrong, but all I did was simply find *another* annoyance lol.

In fact, most art in the entire Metaverse is amateurish. It's very rare to find something more than amateurish, like Bryn Oh. Even when you do find those that are far more competent and reach a far higher level, they still have an over-reliance on those classic urban noir props of the sad clown, chess pieces, time pieces, doll parts, fairies, broken umbrellas. Like I said, the broken umbrellas and the time pieces must have a union where they demand appearances in every SL machinima or they blockade all machinima lol.

It doesn't matter if Hoison has two other worlds featured on Designing Worlds, which is, while professional, still in the overall scheme of things, an amateur by contrast with RL. The work is amateurish, even if prize-winning. It's okay to say that. I like amateurish art. I'm an amateur myself. Amateur art isn't exempt from criticism. I've seen a fair sampling of both actual worlds and blogs and screenshots now from Kitely, and it's safe to say that it contains the same healthy helping of Myst and elf and hobbit stuff that all worlds do. It's derivative.

Yes, I myself said that complaining about the lack of gravity, if you, is an odd thing. But it is unsettling to zip around a world very quickly and not have any sense of it loading, which creates a different sense of expectation in SL.

It's not true that you have to spend money on marketing to get on the top of Google. TechCrunch got on the top in its day, even given its inside relations with Silicon Valley, by sheer persistence of Michael Arrington in doing critical journalism. Reddit got on top of the Internet not because the Reddit devs spend more money on marketing than AOL -- they couldn't possibly -- but because people like to gather and look at stuff ranging from game chit-chat to porn. And so on. Google ad word payments don't appear *in the results* of the organic search -- although I realize "organic" is a relative concept given all the more subtle manipulations.

I'm glad to hear that Kitely bars the Lazy Linden type scripts. That's really important and I wish the Lindens had done it, at least on the teen grid.

Your literalism keeps getting in the way of just basic common sense. If you pay more to cover the costs of visitors and get higher in search, you are paying more for search, and that is not fair in a simple schema where the search results don't have things like marked ads or key words to the side -- they really should!

Other people paying more for others to have free access isn't a model that I believe to be viable -- look at the Lindens' free accounts that are a mixed bag. It should be restructured to provide more incentives and conversions. Even having a $5 purchase of $1500 Lindens to shop with would help.

I'm not the one who thought up the on-demand sim concept. You are. I don't like it precisely because it creates a cost center -- visits -- that should not be where cost is located. It's a friction against the open and free market and it distorts search, which should be accurately reported news. It's very corrupt.

Imagine if real life had stores on Times Square, at the top of the search view, so to speak, where the store owners paid people to visit their store, or where their visits were debiting down off a time clock, and some Soros had to pay their time clock. It's friggin' absurd and you know it.

Making virtual life so twistedly unlike real life is always a recipe for failure.

There should be free accounts, but various increments up from them to convert to pay, whether monthly subscriptions or one-time pay packets or one-time vehicle purchases without the monthly repeat. Some people fear repeating bills, but they'd spend more than the subscription fee on clothes and homes and cars.

The cost of bandwidth should be paid by those who use it -- sim owners. Visitors don't use bandwidth per se on an always-on sim. On an on-demand sim, they do -- but then that's why the on-demand model is all wrong, shifting the burden of payment to the person who should be the engine of the economy with exploration, word-of-mouth, sales, etc. The people who make content and put it out, or people who make venues and open them up for visits, or the people who just want a big house to socialize in, they should pay the bills like land rent in real life. There should be a range from high to low so that as I said the Brazilian designer can get himself a little 512 m to put a store on and not be penalized in search paying for square meters or paying for people who visit his land. That's the non-socialistic world.

On demand will also fall back to socialism and oligarchy. It's not liberal or democratic and not free enterprise.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

(the following three paragraphs are a copy-paste from my reply to your "More Search Wrongly than Rightly at Kitely" article - please forgive me for not rewording them but they answer the same question you had asked on that other thread)

As I did state in my previous replies to you (should I quote them here? :-)) some viewers are hard coded to go to SL for various things. I guess Catznip falls under that category. Honestly, I haven't checked it more than to verify that our plugin can correctly load it if it detects that you have it installed and don't have Firestorm installed as well.

Firestorm, which is by far the most popular viewer in SL and Kitely, works just fine with Kitely. Your mileage may vary if you use something else.

Imprudence renders certain things faster than Firestorm while it is unable to render other things that Firestorm can render without a problem. It's your choice what viewer you use but we recommend you use Firesotrm and that is the viewer we provide new users that don't have any of the viewers that the Kitely Plugin supports already installed.

The bounce rate for logged-in users is very low for the home page and close to zero for the History page. It is higher for people who are not logged it, which is to be expected especially as people who aren't logged in can't see the contents of the History page. Once someone has seen the History page - which most logged in users who visit more than just a world page have - they enter it again almost every time they visit the site. The only logged in users who can be said to not enter the History page in significant numbers are people who never see more than the single world page they arrived to our site from. World pages don't include the top bar menu so they really have no way to know about the existence of the History page before they visit the main site (or happen to have viewed the Introduction to Kitely slideshow from a world that included it).

When someone pays for website hosting they usually pay a fixed cost per month for some hosting package that will cover their bandwidth requirements. They often get charged extra if they go over their monthyl bandwidth quota. To get more bandwidth you would need to pay more for a more expensive hosting package. Nowadays many of the biggest websites are hosted on Amazon Eb Service, or its ilk, that charge directly for metered bandwith, CPU hours, etc. When people provide content on the net from their own website or server(s) they pay more to offer more people a free service.

Kitely takes that same model and instead of calling it bandwidth and CPU hours it bills for user-minutes (which represent an average amount of CPU and bandwidth usage consumed). As an alternative we offer a fixed cost plan for unlimited usage within a defined user-concurrency and prim-count quota. In either case it is exactly like the existing models used for web hosting, just instead of hosting an HTML-based website running on an Apache webserver we host a virtual world running on an OpenSim virtual world server.

The analogy for time-based billing from the visitor's perspective (as opposed to that of the world manager) is cellphone plans having a given minutes quota per month, with extra minutes costing extra. If you call a 1-800 support line then you don't get minutes deducted from your own plan but the company providing the support service pays the cellular provider for them. Companies offer 1-800 numbers because customers are more likely to buy from companies that they can call for support without charge. The same goes with free-to-access worlds. People are interested in them so companies choose to offer them. Our search results reflect that user preference.

When you pay for your own entertainment / resource usage (like you do with Kitely's personal time-based plans) and not have someone else subsidize it for you then you are using a capitalistic pricing model. The socialistic thing to do is to expect other people to cover your own expenses for you (like they do with the fixed price plans). Both things are fine, choose the one you are more comfortable with and with which you think you'll get the people you want to visit your world to do so.

I don't think you'll disagree that people are much more likely to access content which is free than content they have to pay for. Do you think search results shouldn't reflect those user preferences?

If you can't see search results in your viewer then you don't have to close it in order to switch your window to switch to viewing the Kitely Public Worlds page in your browser. Just switch windows to your browser, find the world you are looking for then press its Enter World button to have your avatar start the teleport process to your world in the already open viewer. Please just try it and see it isn't as complicated as you make it out to be.

c3

its not a world prok.. its a server host.

now as they/ or you keep pushing the presentation/expectation of features that were offered by LL or AOL, or facebook, or myspace, as opposed to what bigdaddy, or bigbiz, or geocities every really offered.. the more the cylcic sillliness of what a virtual world "is" persists.

5-40 bucks a month for a 3d server hosted and no worries about managing geeky,apache, unix or a server farm... good by me:)

EmilioBellini Resident

I do not understand. You reply to all others but not me when I ask are you saying competion for Second Life from Kirely good or bad?

Could you pleas say why you not answer me? Have I said something wrong? Also please can you say what you are thinking of competition for Second Life and Kitely.

Thank you

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok, I had another comment disappear after having been reported as posted. Please return it from your spam folder.

Ilan Tochner

Hi c3,

I think your last reply about Kitely being a server host is not a bad way of looking at it. I would say we perform better, cost less and add more value than your run-of-the-mill OpenSim hosting provider but that is besides the point.

Stating that you can get your virtual world hosted on Kitely without a lot of hassle at a very low cost, while maintaining the ability to visit other people's virtual worlds with your avatar, is how we would like people to view our service. In other words, as more than a collection of standalones (or private islands in SL parlance) but not trying to offer one big shared world (i.e. no SL mainland).

Prokofy Neva

EmilioBellini, you sound like such a neuralgic and whiner. What is your problem?! First of all, you can't *force* people to answer you, they're busy or they don't notice your comment. Second, if they don't answer you, it isn't intended as a slight, and your belief that it is belongs to some realm of neuralgia and self-preoccupation. And knock it off with the "my English" crap. Many, many people don't have English as a first language and they don't have to apologize every five minutes for it. The rest of your comments come from some place of ignorance I can't grasp. Why do you imagine that someone doesn't support free enterprise if they criticize another company?! Is that what happens in the Latin American dictatorship where you live? I can complain about *whatever the fuck* I want, and still robustly support the right of Kitely or any other company to exist, thrive, and compete with Second Life. It's precisely because I take Kitely seriously that I *bother* spending all this time on it to see if it really is a good and viable alternative to SL. What's *wrong* with you? Why can't I stay in Second Life AND criticize its competitors? That's how things improve. That's how you find out the truth. I suggest you try more of it and get out of your self-imposed ideological shell.

Um, I'm not going to be "meditating". My thoughts and beliefs are not generated by my "need to get a life" or "need to take medications" or "need to meditate". If you are confused and upset by my blog, then...don't read it? LOL. Free speech is free speech and it will get on your nerves when you can't control it, you know?

Prokofy Neva

Of course Kitely is a world, whether it aspires to that role or not. Every company has a culture, every company making virtual worlds makes decisions about their fundamental nature. Kitely isn't just some parking lot, it's a grid that decides that the socialist/oligarchic "on demand" model should prevail, instead of entrepreneurship and free and low-access to the market for all -- it creates a cost center in visitation that doesn't exist in the "land model" of Second Life which in fact is closer to real life and the salvation of the struggling company Linden Lab.

Kitely has a TOS with all kinds of things that might be different than SL (I haven't studied it) but I see has a far more strict attitude toward traffic manipulation, for example. Kitely has a secret algorith that fronts some people and not others (the Kitely FIC). And all the rest of it. Wherever humans gather, there's a world, and this is no different

Prokofy Neva

Ilan, you're really being disingenuous by pretending that you already answered my question and you need to "cut and paste". You claimed the issue with Imprudence not getting search to work on your grid was some kind of function of me using an out of date version of it or of it being tied to v.1. But I used the most up-to-date version, and while it does appear to be based on v.1, I didn't see the point in using its other offshoot, Kokua because it might replicate the same problem. So I moved down the list to a v.3 viewer, Catznip, and that most certainly didn't work, except oddly, only for group search. So there's two viewers you recommend on a list where search doesn't work in your world/grid! I suspect if I keep going down the list, I'll find more of the same. Teapot doesn't seem to exist for Windows, I won't use Emerald/Phoenix/Firestorm, so that leaves whatever -- I'll test those eventually.

If you're really saying that Firestorm is the thing you most recommend simply because it's most popular, then I guess you should put a disclaimer on your website that search may not work with other viewers. Search is awfully important for everything about a grid, whether educational or commercial.

The people not logged in can't see the contents of the history page and don't click on it, and bounce also because they can't see what the plan is, really. It's just not a clear explanation at all. You should become curious about the bounce rate and wonder whether it's because you aren't clear, people don't get it, history is completely opaque, and they leave. But you're like the Lindens, who never really seemed terribly to care that 9 out of every 10 visitors left soon after making accounts.

I first came to Kitely I believe from another blog that took me to a world page. And I recall I gave up when I saw I'd have to get another viewer AND download yet another piece of software -- not because I mind those things, but because it wasn't that "browser world" that I had somehow expected and I didn't have the time to play with folders and struggle with passwords not working, etc.

The bandwidth model *for websites* really is archaic and went out with the 1990s. I recall when I used to use tripod and lycos for web pages and blogs before they were called blogs, it was a bandwidth metered plan, and if I had a busy day, it would get used up and I couldn't have visitors then unless I paid more money. That was annoying, because I lost a lot of people that way. Today, blogs are run differently on sites like Typepad, where you sign up for basic, professional, commercial or whatever which contains implicit not only greater bandwidth but other features like more templates, more options for customized things, etc.

If I'm on the basic plan and I suddenly get a deluge of visitors from Reddit as I did the other day, the site doesn't hang and I don't get a bill for more bandwidth and I don't "use up" my plan for that month. That's in the world of hosted blogs. The world that you can link to on your website or blog, and then just "drop into" as cube3 as described it, is something that extends the world of websites -- web 3.0 if you will. And that strikes me as how it should be -- on demand from that website, if 30 percent of the traffic comes from that. I actually think that's a rather torturous business model to have to live with, doing things like flogging your customers constantly as you do even in my comments, telling them like a net nanny to get pictures and descriptions or they won't get traffic. I think it's going to be so hard and slow as to be a deal breaker. The Lindens tried this, remember. They tried for a time around 2005-2007 to get various pre-made large communities, whether Suicide Girls or Gossip Girls or L-word Girls or Podcast Pickle or whatever to come in en masse and use SL coming from another community site. *It didn't work* (a longer discussion, but it didn't).

By using the Amazon model - which should remain out of site so that users don't have to think about it ideally -- you impose the socialism/oligarchy on your user so they face friction using your site. I think virtual worlds are so exotic and such a niche still that platform providers have to keep free accounts that don't get punished either for time or content creation in order to remain viable. But, maybe you will rediscover the wheel and make a square wheel turn.

User-minutes aren't even fashionable anymore on telephones. A lot of cell plans now have "unlimited" minutes at least for texting and Internet, even if they might have a cap (albeit generous) for voice telephony. Your notion that you are "exactly" like web hosting is only "exactly" for the provider of a service, like Typepad or Blogspot. The individual user on top of that mega user does not get punished by visitors.

So your analogies are contrived. You've taken -- from the CONSUMER perspective -- a 1990s blog feature of punishment for bandwidth and/or visitors/traffic. You've taken an early 2000s feature from the world of cell phones that companies are moving away from. And you've grafted it on to virtual worlding.

Platform providers who are aspiring socialists can chose to put their socialism into free accounts, that might still evolve to capitalism through entrepreneurship -- as the Lindens did -- or they can keep the user paternally trapped in the socialism of minutes used up and causing him to bounce forever, or eternally paid for by benevolent oligarchs. It's not a growth plan.

I'm not paying for my own entertainment in Kitely. Because of your model, I have numerous Soros-like figures willing to sponsor my visits to their realm for hours on end. When even this generous socialism has to come to end with my hours, I can at least buy the cheapest sim plan and stay on my sim and go nowhere and not use up my minutes elsewhere. Sounds like a society of silos. The socialistic thing in fact is going on -- my free minutes are paid for by oligarchs or essentially the company. But because I can't get into search unless I'm a big paying customer like them, I have no path to enterprise as I do in SL. That's where the socialism kicks in big time.

Access to search should not be purchasable. That's what your plan is: purchasable access to search -- period. It's wrong, and ultimately it's oppressive and counter to free enterprise except for a few oligarchs in the Rennaissance/craftsmen guild model or worse, titans of entertainment like Disney or Time Warner. Again, I'm not talking about ads to the side of search. Cube3 is also right -- you should stop playing Google with your secret sauce and all the rest. A simple database table should operate as in the old Second Life before v. 2 which is still operable in v 1 which is why v 1 is so much better still. Search times just pull up what is in that table, and arrange it by times viewed without all the other jazz. Search/places plus traffic=sales. This has been proven over and over again in SL, and it's too bad we have to endure another new platform that will cripple sales and free enterprise because of search ideology.

You seem very ideologically-wed to the idea that failure=people having to close the browser. Too many windows open is in fact a lag on the entire computer. With Twitter, even Second Life as well, email, various other things always open, in fact people will find it faster and less confusing to close the browser and kick start it again from another web page.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

Kokua is a v3-based TPV that is designed to work with OpenSim, as is Firestorm. Most of the other v3-based TPVs have certain SL-specific things hard coded into them. It'll be trial and error if you want to test them out. Most things will work but various searches may attempt to go to the SL grid, which will be slow and eventually fail. Hardly anyone ever encounters these problems on Kitely because, unlike you, most people coming to Kitely don't have an issue with using FireStorm or Kakua, most people even have them already installed.

You can see some quite recent viewer statistics for our grid here: blog.kitely.com/2012/09/27/removed-support-for-the-second-life-viewer/

People who do encounter a problem very often look for a solution in our support forums, e.g.: https://getsatisfaction.com/kitely/topics/inworld_search

If you wish to complain about TPVs that are focused on SL not working well with Kitely, which is an OpenSim-based grid, then you are free to do so but it isn't an issue for most people as most people (even SL residents who've never heard of Kitely) already use a TPV which does work well with Kitely.

Kitely provides hosting packages for worlds ranging in price from $40/month for a single region world to $100/month for a 16-region world. This is the exact same pricing model that SL uses (but Kitely charges significantly lower prices and offers more for it).

We also offer a time-based billing option that has various pros and cons. Many people like it and find it to be an extremely cheap alternative for their virtual world needs. If you have issues with what this option provides then don't use it.

It's a user option, either pay a fixed price per month to get a world or pay a variable cost and have your visitors cover their own access costs and have less chance of discovering your world in the public worlds page. If you want, you can also use the time-based billing option and opt to cover your visitors access costs and have a higher chance to have your world discovered.

Most people understand that if they opt to use a supper cheap plan then they will get less than with a plan that costs more. Both the fixed monthly price and the time-based billing options are MUCH cheaper than what people pay SL and almost all third-party commercial OpenSim offerings.

Again, if you think the deal you get with time-based billing isn't fair then don't use it. Choose the other option and you'll still be saving a ton of money each month.

If you state that you have to close the viewer when you don't then you are misleading your readers. Some may care about it, some might not but they need to hear how things really work. If people prefer to close their browser then they can do so but they should at least know that if they keep it open then they can easily discover new worlds and visit them without needing to first exit their virtual world viewer.

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