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« Avatar on the Grid: Ludo Merit and SL as "Playground, Not Game" | Main | Wha'ts Wrongly and Rightly About Kitely? »

October 21, 2012

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Ilan Tochner

A few corrections if I may:

You can see a list of the Kitely worlds you have visited, the people who visited your worlds and all your transaction in the History page of your Kitely account: http://www.kitely.com/#!startviewers

Note that Kitely worlds are all just private islands on the same Kitely grid (you have to zoom the world map to see this). You can teleport between Kitely worlds as you would between SL regions (click on the world map, landmarks, offer TP, etc.) If a world isn't currently active you will get an inworld message that it has started loading and you'll be automatically TPed into it once it is online (which for most worlds takes less than a minute). You don't have to close the viewer and go to the website to move between worlds.

You can enter the Kitely grid via the viewer or using the Kitely Plugin (your choice). The Kitely browser plugin uses encryption when communicating with the Kitely server.

Kitely plugin supports v1, v2, and v3 TPVs. The most popular one used on Kitely is Firestorm. You don't have to go looking for a compatible viewer if you don't have one installed. Our web page will provide you with one when you press the Enter World button if it can't find one it can use. For details see: http://www.kitely.com/#!startviewers

You can create an account using your Facebook or Twitter account if you want but you can also use your email and a password if you prefer. Kitely doesn't force you to use a third-party site if you don't want to.

There are more than 2,500 worlds hosted on Kitely (each one is like a private SL island). Those worlds range in size from single region worlds to worlds that are 16 regions in size. Big Kitely worrlds include Advanced Megaregion technology that eliminates border crossings (the entire world is one big region).

Some of the worlds on Kitely have been featured on the Designing Worlds show in SL (and in the magazine). There are award wining SL builders using Kitely. See for example: http://primperfectblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/09/designing-worlds-explores-kitely-virtual-worlds-on-demand/

Most people who import there worlds into Kitely import builds that use lass than 15,000 prims. However there are worlds on Kitely that include many more prims and there is even an example of a world that includes 100,000 prims if you wish to see how well Kitely performs when that many prims are used. See: http://www.kitely.com/virtualworld/Lawrence-Pierce/Serenity-Island-Prim-Capability-Test-2

Making judgment on the quality of the builds on a grid based on randomly picking a few to visit from the thousands that are available can give you the wrong idea of what is there.

There are people more than covering their monthly "tier" in Kitely by selling their virtual wares. See for example: http://www.kitely.com/virtualworld/Johnny-Night/Vaguery

Ilan Tochner

Correction link. The History page is located here: http://www.kitely.com/#!history

c3

ive been there with a few showcase "worlds" for a while now prok, all is safe with the world.
when the tree falls is the only time i want to pay for it anyway:)
its all good for social professional gatherings and such.
price is right, and it works, and the web entrance is a help when one really wants to pull vertical interest folk from a text/picture social platform into a 3d one for a session or lesson or movie gathering...

hopefully yhe pricing and laize faire attitude to clients usage will remain..
then itll be a business, and not a cult..:) the cults of open sims are already mostly dead. i saw them too.

c3

epiphany?

Sl was always about paying for the cult... to feel as woody allen put it.. like you had the good seats up front in synagogue, closer to god.

why would kitely sims look any different?.. same folks, mostly importing assets built the same way. and mostly "not trained visualists" hosting sims.

anyhow. lets hope the price and value of a just 3d server host isp continues....

those who can find a value will pay for it, those who cant, wont.

and the "metaverse" will god help us, never be more valuable/or dominating of free lives than PBS;)..or the "Dancing with the Stars Channel.

Prokofy Neva

There's a reason why I wrote this in the beginning of the piece: "I'm well aware that when you undertake to criticize the technically-experimental niche alternatives to SL, you open yourself up to fierce attacks by the devs who tell you that you can "never understand enough," and the fanboyz who tell you that you missed this or that obvious positive feature"

And Ilan Tochner walked RIGHT into that cliche by putting a comment full of non-essentials and nerdy, fussy comments about how he wishes people saw his product -- but in fact, they don't.

I have come to the site numerous times, poked around it a lot trying to figure it out, and I never INTUITIVELY and EASILY saw anything showing me a "history" of what I had viewed. Of course, I'm not sure AT ALL that I like the idea of such a record even existing, even though it does solve the problem of how to have bookmarks of where you were.

Right now, the record of my visits lives in SL folders in an obscure text file, and lives inside Linden Lab, but it isn't in my account on their website, which might be hacked. Of course, anything can be hacked, but it just seems that the more personal data you cluster together in the web-based account, the more vulnerable all of it is.

Yeah, I figured that the Kitely grid is just a lot of private islands with a lot of space around them. BUT you can't see that with a zoom-out inworld on the World Map - at least I certainly couldn't. If you technically *can* and I haven't INTUTIVELY AND EASILY found this, so what? I haven't INTUITIVELY AND EASILY found this, and it's not clear EVEN IF I could, that I could easily teleport BETWEEN these worlds so as to approximate the SL Serendipity function. I have to wonder, if the worlds are kept on ice until you "demand" them, how you'd see them on a map to teleport to anyway! How can you even see it? I don't see it. Where are those other "asleep worlds"? And why is this so *hard*?

In fact, the main way you find out about the various worlds is *on the website* -- obviously not *from inside* one individual's world. That's the problem. Duh!

I get it that you can use other plugins. But they didn't work (for me). And since some people recommended using Imprudence or their worlds would lag out terribly, I chose Imprudence, with absolutely no love for them, believe me. All of this verbiage about Firestorm and other options -- again, who cares?! THE USER does what is EASY AND INTUITIVE, not the "correct' geeky thing!

The problem is that you recally cannot create an account WITH JUST your Facebook or Twitter. You really can only use Facebook or Twitter as a way to *start* the account process that you still have to continue to process with your email, real name, and a confirmation email -- always an annoyance, but standard, of course. So
the issue isn't that Kitely "forces" you to use a third-party site, damn it; the issue is that *you can't JUST* use a third-party site as you can on so many forums and news sites. And that's why this is so illusory. You cannot "just" use these third-party social media sites as a way of REPLACING the sign-up process; instead, you merely LINK to them.

The 2500 worlds hosted on Kitely might as well be invisible. Only the top view as you scroll through the list on the web page are visible, and maybe a few that you turn up with some search terms. THAT is the problem. As for the mega region "eliminating border crossings," well, we'll have to test it. I wonder if these mega regions even fit into the average not high-end graphic card setting such as to even constitute a boon.

It's great that there are award-winning worlds. But there's no way to see them except...again, can't over-emphasize this enough! -- the front page of the "worlds" list on Kitely.com THAT is the problem -- discovery. I read Prim Perfect and I know they visit other worlds, but I can't even find back issues of Prim Perfect in my slow-loading or non-loading inventory in SL (I checked the other day) and I can't be bothered to try to find them in world. So that's that.

No, making judgement on the quality of the builds that are even from prize winning builders, and which surface on the front page, is completely legitimate. It isn't random. It's what's fronted. The reality is, in a test of these worlds -- maybe a dozen at the most -- I couldn't see anybody using all their prims. Far from it. And that's important to admit. They don't. Now maybe I only saw 10 percent or less of the worlds. But I suspect that if I even visited 1,000 or the devs gave us reports from 1,000, we'd still see under-usage of the vast amount of prims.

As for people making money to pay their $40 tier -- well, great. I'm happy for them! It shouldn't be hard to do! But HOW ARE THEY GOING TO BE DISCOVERED WHEN THERE IS ONLY THE KITELY.COM WEBSITE TO DISCOVER THEM?!

Prokofy Neva

C3, I don't see how I would know to find you there. It's great you like it and it's great it's cheap and all the rest, but am I suppose to hope that "starship" will turn up your sims?

Kitely was so hyped with all these technically superior features that I thought it would really look different. It doesn't. Mainly because of the same Linden trees. But also because, well, people just tend to make the same Frank Lloyd Wright or Arab Asian stuff everywhere.

I'm trying to see if whether I get a "free" sim that has "114 minutes" would mean that if I spend 60 minutes building something I've used up all the time and now only 60 odd people can visit me for one minute per month? Or? lol

I don't see that the cults are dead at all.

c3

http://www.kitely.com/virtualworld/cube-inada/Cubic-Space-Virtual-World

the unitycenter concept.... or dont taze my kuran bro.

ask ilan about the 5.00 a month plan. its a good deal for a few showcase /garages.

i dont see the gold bronze silver plansd listed on the site anymore.. i "hope" they still exist and thats what im signed up for....

i hope to find more time -if the real world allows- to build out starbasec3 and some other spaces using kitely... but the need for inexespensive "canvas" is paramount for creative developers who must prototype before they can sell ...:)

Prokofy Neva

OK, I hope to visit your worlds again.

Meanwhile some additional critiques of this platform:

1. Search doesn't work. It hangs. There is no inworld search. You can't search for people or names of sims. How can you expect to find anything ???

2. You can zoom out, but the world map doesn't load for whole minutes. That's why it looked like the stand-alone sim had no neighbours.

3. After five or more minutes, yes, I could find...5 other neighbours to cube's world. That's it! That's with the zoom cranked all the way to the left. There is no way I could see 2500 worlds or whatever on that map. Unless I'm missing something?

4. Yes, I could hop from one world to the next if it were open. So I hopped to Design World from cube's starship world. It first had to load, however. I wonder if load time counts on my free minutes! Anyway, I visited, and found they only used 4000 of their prims lol. This is a pattern, trust me. Most people aren't using their prims. Which makes me wonder if the expense of providing them is really warranted, or whether it's all psychological, like the snow skis in the garage.

Obviously prototyping cheaply is only viable if you can export and import between worlds. And you can do that with your own content in Imprudence.

c3

prok. all your comments are corect about the "interface" of the website...

just as ridiculous as the "designers in house hired- a writer about design- and a game gesture designer at google...;)

anyhow-- as i know it kitley like most vr start ups is a 2 man-- no marketing design expert- company and suffers as the hundreds of others like it before them...

if they make buck, and grow they may solve the "communications design" problem they have.. and they may find a "marketing boom"... roblox for example was obscure for years.. only after minecraft did they get "real" about "designing solutions for users/new users"

or they can do like SL, and really mess up in search of new users...V2 and website from BIG SPACESHIP.:)

anyhow... if they want help they can find it.. i grok that they are a two man band.... but most two men bands in vr worlds online i worked with over the last decade plus never realized what most must-- you dont know it all.. and unless- you allow others to push you too- and get them paid a bit too... you end up eventually just selling the tech and getting jobs inhouse from the same type of company you left in disgust before..lol

anyhow -- like everyting else in vr worlds ... waiting and lag is part of the game.

c3

i am feeling under the weather this week... BUT it does seem that the hompeage has changed in the last hr?:)lol to show a "new" "free hrly rate" thing... that does link to a page that does talk about bronze/gold etc plans... 5.00 plan...

maybe its my brain being sick..lol but i ddint see that homepage "ad" a day ago... only one for the "40 dollar plans".. so as i said.."communications design";)

such is the way of the web-- lead by experiemnts without lab walls:)

that wisdom... will soon find its answer.

so.. check out the bronze plan.. i think the hrs changed a bit since i started paying it.. and i see some change to how they bill the "extra" world points etc..... but the 3 sims i need seem up. and for my needs..alls good.

Ilan Tochner

You made factually incorrect statements in your article. I corrected your mistakes. Nothing geeky about saying that you were wrong when you stated that some functions don't work when they actually do.

I wonder how you could have missed the big History tab in the control panel. It is on the same top menu bar as the Public Worlds tab which you visited to find the worlds you blogged about. A top menu bar that only has 5 tabs.

The Public Worlds has a simple search field and arrows for seeing more result pages. There are even 5 quick search links for Education, Shopping, Fun, Meeting, and Adult (the last is hidden if your account is not set at the Adult Rating - you can change it in the Settings tab). Many people use these functions and have blogged how simple they are to use...

Single region worlds are placed 8 regions on each axis from other worlds. If you don't see worlds at that distance then their managers have simply deleted them. Just scroll a bit more to one of the sides and you'll see other worlds on the world map.

Worlds remain on the world map even when they are inactive so, again, assuming you are an SL resident it would be very intuitive to just press them to try to teleport.

You can also use your viewer's built in search tools to find other worlds. I'm sure you use that functionality in SL, so you should be able to intuitively use it in Kitely as well.

Each world also has a World Page, which is like a one-page website for the world that includes the world's name, a description, images, social media sharing buttons, and an easily sharable URL. More than 30% of the people who get to Kitely create their account from such a World Page that they got to from a link that was shared on some third-party site by that world's manager.

Kitely offers you all the viewer-based world-finding options you have in SL and a web-based directory for searching for worlds. The conversion rates for people getting from our home page to the Public Worlds page and then into a given world are very good. It's really not rocket science.

Firestorm is the default viewer that the plugin looks for. If it is installed then that is what the plugin will use (unless you go to your account's Settings tab and tell it to use a different installed viewer). If a user doesn't have any of the viewers the Kitely Plugin supports then it will provide the user with an installer for Firestorm. Again, no guesswork required.

The people reading your blog can see how simple Kitely is to use by just going there and opening a free account... so why claim to have encountered problems that other people can see are not really an issue?

If you use Facebook to create your account then you're done. No other info required. If you use Twitter, which doesn't provide us with your email, then you will be asked for your email and given the option of changing your name so it won't be the same as you used on your Twitter account. If you choose to use the email/password account creation method then we ask you for the basic information that is required to create your account. SL and countless other sites ask for a lot more information. So, again, what exactly are you complaining about here?

People build with as many prims as they want. Some use a few while other use a lot. Using a lot of prims in a none copy-paste sort of way takes time. It isn't very surprising that not many people have enough time to build with anything close to 100,000 prims. You will note however that one of the template options we provide for new worlds (for people who would rather not have to build themselves) is a 4-region Universal Campus build that has more than 45,000 prims.

The question is what can you do with Kitely that you can't with SL not whether you use all the additional server power we provide your worlds when they are active. It's about having options. In Kitely you pay a lot less to get a lot more. That would still be true even if you didn't use all the prims we put at your disposal.

Ilan Tochner

Hi c3,

We updated the homepage when we rolled out the new fixed price options on October 3. See blog post here: http://blog.kitely.com/2012/10/03/unmetered-regions-for-40-month-much-less-for-bigger-worlds/

Rex Cronon

I seem to have problem finding technical info about kitely servers/viewers(there is an html5 viewer?).
I am interested if it supports lsl, meshes, sculpties, pathfindind...
There is no link with all this kind of info for developers available on the front page.
So, how do I find the technical details?
They have a blog, but searching for sculpties or lsl finds nothing:(
The front page is so heavily scripted that you only see a spinning earth if you have scripts off.

Prokofy Neva

Yeah, this is how the conversation always goes, and it's so stupid.

I didn't make "factually incorrect statements" in my post. Most if not all the points you made are about selling features that you want to promote in your product that you're irritated I don't agree exist or are selling features, or come from things you think I asked for that I didn't.

I couldn't remember a place I visited and didn't seem to have a good way of remembering -- no landmarks, no post-card sending with name and grid coordinates automatically printed -- nothing. So you took that unstated need because of a photo caption and said "oh, go to history" -- which I didn't even see, and for good reason.

I wrote about how hard it was to find the worlds, either from the web page, or from inside one of the worlds. And that is true, and that is the case, and that is not incorrect. If you can jump from world to world, who knew -- the map loads so slow. If you can teleport to other worlds that do load eventually on demand -- who knew, the map only shows five even all the way zoomed out. If you can find other worlds, who knew, search hangs or doesn't work at all. The functions sure didn't work -- they must surely did not work. I've described my experience accurately and factually.

What you're having trouble hearing is that *the user's experience differs from the architecture as you conceived and built it*. That's a bitter thing to hear, but if you want your grid to expand beyond an exotic experiment for a few geeks, you're going to have to heed what I'm saying as a user. It's the truth.

You know how I can miss the "big History tab", big guy? Because I can. I did. Numerous times. Because I don't EXPECT history in a virtual world web page, I EXPECT it only on my browser as a whole, of all my Internet page visits. A history *within a web page's tab* is something that I don't think I've ever, ever seen *in my life on the Internet * since 1995. And I'm right about this. Most people do NOT expect such a thing. Furthermore, I was concentrating on WORLDS. You know, WORLDS? I wanted to FIND THEM. I don't care where I've been -- it's not useful except in a system where the meter is running on visits, where there is no search, and where the website itself doesn't have a fair and easy way to access all worlds.

DER, I can see those five categories that YOU dreamed up. They are completely uninteresting to me as a non-geek casual but informed visitor. Why would I care about education? And let's see -- "fun" and "meeting" and "adult" -- um, why are they all separate things? I mean, what's the friggin' difference between some of them? I could sit and think up other ways of arranging a list of worlds that would be a lot more INFORMATIVE. You know like "art" or "historical" or "futuristic" or "socializing" -- because "meeting" makes it seem like work-related things and "fun" is something that could relate to ANY of them. I don't care that "many" people have blogged about this tiny niche virtual world -- which is completely falacious as I googled this and read the blogs before I started and it's basically only Maria Korolov.

I *just knew* you'd tell me if I complained about a way to surface the variety of words that the problem was "my maturity setting". DER AGAIN, I got it that I could change to "adult" and get some stupid BDSM sim. I don't care. That's not what finding sims means to the majority of ordinary users.

There IS NOT THE POSSIBLITY to "just know" that you need to scroll a bit to the side. When you've maxed out the zoomer all the way to the left, that's it, that's what you see. Ordinarily, the EXPECTATION is that you will see what there is to see when you push the lever all the way to the left. That's an expectation not only from SL but from other Open Sims. It's not about deletion. It's about a map that doesn't work intuitively and easily to see the breadth of the whole grid so that you can jump around and explore.

I *did* press them to teleport to them, DER. What you are NOT HEARING -- and I have to shout because you are a typical dense geek who doesn't want to hear about real and true user experience -- is that a) a lot of them don't work, they're closed b) those that do need to load for awhile and most importantly c) there were only three in the view of the zoom all the way to the left. Pushing the map hard or "scrolling to the left" to try to see more of the islands is NOT a solution in a grid with 2500 islands! My God, why is this so goddamn hard to get across?!

Um, look. I used "my" viewer's inworld search. And as I wrote in the comments, IT HANGS. IT DOES NOT WORK. NADA. ZIP. NOTHING. JUST DOESN'T WORK.

It's great that each world gets a web page -- a thing that -- DER -- I discovered and LINKED TO in this very article here. But how will you discover them in general without arduous individual trips to each arduously-found world? Sure, somebody can put it on their website and get their little crowd to come see their little world. But really, how will the entire grid/community/metaversal node get discovered? These are real problems that I'm really describing and you're not hearing it because you're simmering in your own soup.

Who cares if "30%" of the traffic comes from various edu-punk nerds who follow the latest in exotic alternative tech have their worldlets on their web page for their school or their little nerd blog (like mine, for example). How is THE REST OF THE WORLD going to find this?

The viewer-based world directory didn't work for places or for people or anything. It hangs. Maybe it had a bad day, maybe I will get it to work, but since I've discovered in other open sim worlds that the search isn't even hooked up at all, it's reasonable to dismiss it here, too.

The world directory on the web site is the best bet for THE REST OF THE WORLD NOT IN YOUR FOUNDERS' CLIQUE to find the worlds. Do you care about your customers being able to get more customers, Ilan? Or do you care about just being fussily "right" about your architecture? Well? That's what it comes down to. A web directory that only surfaces a few things at the top; a web director that has five categories that are just frigging' ridiculous and not meaningful; a web directory that doesn't have other techniques like "best of the month" or "readers' favouries" or lists of typical key words along the side is just a failure. I'm sorry, but it is. It has to be made better.

And don't you dare tell me that I have to be part of the cult and have to be patching and participating in the software cult to make it better. If you open a world, people like me will come, we will criticize and get frustrated, and either you listen and make it better or you continue to stew in your own soup. The Lindens suffered from that problem dramatically in the early years and lost numerous opportunities to organically grow. They still suffer. As do you.

And please don't tell me there's only two of you. If you see that world-finding in a growing list is a problem, if you find that inworld search doesn't even work at all, or works poorly, then you ask the customer base to help if you don't want to do it, or I guess, don't grow. Always an option.

It's not true that if you use Facebook or Twitter to create your account you're done. Because I did, and I wasn't done. The thing would give me a notice that I had already signed up with Twitter. Great. So I tried logging in. Couldn't. Tried getting my password. Couldn't. Over and over, in a loop until I just finally made a new account to end the misery. At some point, because I really value my name in other worlds, I will go back and try to wrestle it some more.

The fact that customers are not using all the 100,000 prims is a story that needs to be told. Because it suggests that you think 100,000 is a great sales gimmick and could be wrong, and it suggests people who think they need nearly twice the primmage of an SL sim in fact aren't really using it. It's important to point out that this is not being used, just like most computer power isn't really used by the average user. So the grid owner can figure out that perhaps he needs to have a different, even cheaper offering! Heaven forfend...

Who cares if you have pre-built worlds?! The use case for now is the SL sim owner who wants -- as c3 put it -- a garage to build in that is less expensive.

But yet this collection of people's garages, which might merely be a kind of glorified Manhattan Storage Company, seems to aspire to be a destination in the Metaverse that people will enjoy exploring, and which has items for sale that people would want to discover and buy. So it's not just about "what you can do with Kitely", but whether anyone can find the worlds on Kitely.

It's not true that you pay a lot less and get a lot more with Kitely. You get a big garage that you don't use most of. You don't get fast, workable, intuitive search.

Now probably what will happen with all the dedicated girls around something like this of the type who likes to help and explain like Fleep is that someone will make a better directory than the scrappy thing put up there now. Then it might get more people.

c3

Ilan.
you know i wish you guys well...:)

form vs function.

and i had to dig to find mention of the plan i have.)

ps. from my experience, every time a tech company has to tell a consumer with problems that what they offer isnt "rocket science"... it turns out a bomb.

i am trying to help you here.:)

next up, a long hyper detailed response from this blogs owner...;)
i tried:)


Ilan Tochner

Hi Rex,

Kitely supports LSL, meshes, sculpties, media-on-a-prim and pretty much everything else that the latest viewers support other than pathfinding.

Kitely is based on augmented OpenSim (currently 0.7.3.1, we'll be upgrading to OpenSim 0.7.4 in a few days). We've added some capabilities that are not part of standard OpenSim. Including our cloud-based distributed asset system and our Advanced Megaregions technology (doesn't suffer from regular OpenSim megaregion limitations). You can read more about these capabilities on our FAQ and blog.

You can find answers to more technical questions on our support forums (linked to from the bottom of each page): https://getsatisfaction.com/kitely

The entire website is an AJAX web application. It won't work with JavaScript disabled. It's about 200KB in size (not including images) and loads quickly when JavaScript is enabled (especially once it's in your browser's cache).

We investigated the option of using a C++ to JavaScript compiler (Emscripten, developed by Mozilla) to port the viewer to HTML5+WebGL but we concluded that the viewer code was not a good candidate for doing this (some 3D engines have been ported using this method).

c3

i did say i was slow today and not feeling well right? well my previous post... one TOO late.. the long hyper deatailed response is 2 above this one:)

try as i may for sanity in virtuality... its a lost cause.

c3

as to my mention in the long hyper detailed response above:)

"garage" is a good thing. just to be clear.. for me. its also like a loft space. live work.. gallery and work space- very important for a creative designer/artist/etc.

i will offer this reading of this cnversation..

prok identifies Kitely as a business that it might verey well not- or never attempt to be... that Second Life cultike mix of world/play/virtuality that Linden Spawned using realtime 3d technologies and cybercoinage, and virtual IP.

it may just be an ISP... which is fine by me., what it becomes is up to its makers.

15 years ago when i moved to CA i started an AOL account( work related) and a Big Biz isp webhosting account...

AOL was the SL meme... Bigbiz, the isp meme .. i still use bigbiz to host 3 websites for 30 bucks a month.... AOL- wel they destroyed a credit card, and owe my thousands of dollars...a few hundred of that in charges after the account was closed for years:)

check out bigbiz.net easy to see that they are not in AOL biz.

My thought for a free nickel. Kitely is now getting a level of attention that would be best served by decided "what it is" and matching all forms to all functions.

its hard for a 2 man band when all of a sudden your being played top 40 across the nation.... and every disc jockey has their say....

but this is reality:)

value my thoughts or not... but nothing really has changed since i loaded virtus into my mac in 1989


c3

oop. bigbiz.com they no longer allow the .net access

but hey... that's WHY they never bought Time Warner as a bad joke.

Ilan Tochner

Thank c3, I know... :-)

The homepage, has been redesigned to put more focus on the fixed-monthly price options as those are the options most people expect and understand. The Time-Based Billing options have been moved to the service page that is linked to from the big bold "Learn More" links. See: http://www.kitely.com/#!services

A lot of what Prok complained about in the original post was true in the past but most of it has not been an issue for many months now (things such as needing to close the viewer to switch between worlds, no ability to teleport between worlds, no inworld search, etc.).

The service is not really aimed to educate people who are new to SL how to use a TPV viewer. Those people are not the current target audience. Almost every Kitely user who've I talked to (and I talked to hundreds) is either an SL resident or someone coming from some other OpenSim grid.

Kitely isn't perfect by any means but it has a very simple user interface which has been blogged about in many languages (luckily we have access to Google Translate to understand what was said). It has also been presented in multiple conferences (mostly by people who aren't even related to Kitely) and the crowed reactions were very positive as well.

The reason I'm saying this isn't rocket science is because I'm seeing the conversion rates from site visitor to logged in user to paying user. The problems people complained about, and there were many when we just opened more than 1.5 years ago, have mostly been addressed and we see a lot less new issues being raised in the support forums.

c3

i know:)

its always a game of matching expectations and actualities.

form and function.

the notice your beginning to get from outside of the OS/SL cult, as reviews here, and on linkedin will show..just indicate the coming need to address those who may want to become your customers.

very soon possibly and hopefully, youll find many who never used any SL viewer or ever had a SL account visiting your customers spaces...

whos "job" it is to educate them on "whats what" is something that both you and your customers will hopefully figure out and balance.

LL never really figure this out.. they always tried to be a desert topping and floor wax. and thus always got bad reviews for both.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

If you had set a landmark then you would have had one, just like in SL. There are worlds on Kitely that send you a note when you enter them and there are ones that don't - exactly like in SL. People who don't send you a note make it harder for you to return to their worlds. Again, just like in SL.

I suggest you use a modern viewer that works well with OpenSim, such as the latest Firestorm viewer (which our website also provides), and see how quickly viewer search results and maps load. Some viewers are hardcoded to send searches to SL, which would obviously fail when you are logged into Kitely. It's a bit like using an old v1 viewer to access SL and complaining that meshes don't work. The problem isn't with the service provider it is with your choice of viewer.

Not realizing there is a big labeled History tab that is located just two inches from the tab you visited is, well, ... There is a convention that has been used in applications, browsers, websites, etc. for many years now that something called History contains the history of the user's actions (you can see it on many website, not just in your browser). It's pretty intuitive to most people, and many people use that function in Kitely. If it wasn't clear there wouldn't be so many people using it and we wouldn't be constantly adding more events that people can view there.

You are used to discovering new regions inSL on a map but most of the things people discover online are found using a search field and search results. The Public Worlds page is very similar in design to YouTube search results, which are intuitive to many people. If people want to see more results then they click the forward arrow below the search results to get more. You can see all the public worlds this way. Next / Prev is a common design used for search throughout the web...

The search results on the Public Worlds page are sorted based on various criteria, including the number of Likes the worlds received, the complexity of the build, the number of people currently inside them, whether the world provides free access to visitors, whether the world provides an inworld image, and more. You'll see that these results can fluctuate a lot during the day but what most of our users consider the "best" public worlds are closer to the top than worlds which aren't as popular. Regardless you can click through all the search results and to get to all the public worlds.

The quick search links we display were selected to contain those terms because they are the most popular things people search for. Your examples are not as common. Most people find what they are looking for by just using the search field on the Public Worlds page instead of clicking on the links.

When the search results hide worlds with Adult rating because your maturity rating isn't high enough you see this mentioned below the search results and have the option to change it without switching to the Settings tab.

When people want to advertise their worlds they use the social media buttons on those world's world pages or they add a link to their world page from their own blog, email, etc. As I said 30% of new users get to Kitely by first entering such a world page - which means this is not exactly an obscure function. Those are not just educators. See for example this very current example:
http://forum.devokan.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=294

People who don't promote their worlds inworld, on their websites, or using social media don't get a lot of visitors, again just like in SL.

Prokofy Neva

Um, Ilan, I know you think it's oh-so-superior to talk over my head to c3, but you're wrong. What I reported *is true*. Why do you think these problems went away?!

I *do* have to close the viewer to go to another world *on the website list*.

Unless that world is next door to the world where I happen to be, how can I get to it?

How can I "just know" what the various worlds are on offering? ONLY from your web page list! How else?! I can't "just know" that there might be "all these blogs out there" that "30 percent of traffic comes from" so I should...go find them in Google or something. Stupid!

Again: when I opened up the map, it was blank everywhere except where cube's sim was or any sim I visited from the web page list.

When I finally got it to load minutes later -- because cube assured me that it should show finally -- it showed only 5 sims even pushed all the way to the left on the outermost zoom. That is the truth. WTF, I have to go and screen shoot this?! If I can push and shove the slider over to the left and try to find more worlds, great, but I can't find the ones that I saw in the list that I want to visit. If there was "world map search," I didn't see it, even being very familiar with viewer 1.23. But for that, I'd have to know that I need to go to "Waysmeet" or this or that precisely-named sim.

But I don't know the names yet -- and I only learn them from the sim list on the web page.

The most intuitive thing for the user to do in this case is to close the browser to leave one world, go back to the web site, and crank up the browser again.

Search just hangs; search does not show places. I tried this again and again. This is how it is. The next thing you'll be telling me that, um, my router is an "old consumer model" or that my computer is "ready for kindergarten". Right?

I don't need education for using a TPV viewer. TPV viewers are based on 1.23, and they are extremely familiar to me as I have clung to 1.23 well past many others and only recently moved to 2 and 3 out of need to serve new customers. So it's not about mastering TPVs or being "new to SL" when I've been in SL for 8 years, and visited many types of other worlds in that time.

The user interface isn't simple, when the only way to find out worlds to visit is a list that says FUN MEETING EDUCATION ADULT. I mean any dozen or a hundred people could tell you how odd that is, because "fun" is a meaningless category, as any of them could be fun, and "meeting" connotes work rather than socializing opportunities like a club or hangout. The thematics or purposes of the sims aren't captured at all with these very vague sub-headings. In fact, paging through the offerings slowly as the web page loads slowly with the world ball showing, I can see that a lot of them could fit in any of these categories. So why not make better -- and more categories? Is that so hard?

As for conversation rates, whatever you see has to be minor. There are only 2500 of these things. The overwhelming majority of them, as in any power curve with any world, are likely to be freebies and five dollarbies like Cube. Especially because you have a new offering of $40 unlimited time, instead of his metered stuff which could get to be annoying very quickly, you need to think about SCALE and how to become more DISCOVERABLE and user-friendly. Your attitude has to change 180 degrees from where it is now.

That Kitely has been blogged about in other languages means nothing. That it has been presented at insider nerd conferences on the metaversal myrmidon circuit means nothing. Do you care about the rest of the world within the wider circles around these niches? Then you have to be findable.

Or else not. It doesn't matter. Having a Sunday afternoon garage world that can't even find other Sunday afternoon garages except by Google and thrashing through websites, well, that's fine for what it is.

But as cube3 says, you have to hear criticism and think "How can I solve that?" not answer with irritation "But I already solved that, how can you keep saying I didn't?"

o your map doesn't load
o your search doesn't work
o there isn't an easy intuitive way to find islands and go to them with those two problems
o the web site list can only show so many on top
o the categories aren't helpful

These are all true statements and other people will replicate them and maybe you'll hear it eventually.

Cube is right that I go and explore other worlds because I'd like to be their customer. Like anyone else, I'd be happy to find cheaper and better alternatives to SL, at least for some purposes. I spent $75 on a badly working open sim when it first came out, utterly wasted, but I spent it just to experiment. I signed up for There on a repeating account for $10 a month even though I have no time for it.

But why would I even spent $5 on a place I can't find other places in? It's just that basic. I'd like to, but I wonder how annoyingly hard this is going to be, especially if the devs can't and won't hear criticism without automatic dismissal and without getting the fanboyz (in this case, cube 3) to stump for them.

I don't think ANY of the alternatives to SL are ready for demanding and persistent customers like me who in fact are ordinary customers because we don't care about tech and aren't impressed with tech bullshit.

But I *bothered* with this one, spending hours on it, coming back to it again and again over a period of weeks -- time that is all volunteer and not compensated in any way.

I've avoided Inworldz, Third Rock and some of these other places which I will review in coming weeks precisely because the one thing I hate about the alternative worlds is the thin-skinned geek quotient is high, and I want to wait until everyone has broken in the geeks before I have to come and deal with them.

Ilan Tochner

Hi Prok,

As for your comment about the 100,000 prim limit in Kitely. Being able to support so many prims with good performance, i.e. no lag and fast rezz times, enables Kitely to provide even better performance when less prims are used. This benefits people who don't use all the prim allotment they are given.

Most people don't use anything close to 100,000 prims but there are several hundred worlds (most of them private) that use more than 15,000 prims. Having the ability to build without constantly thinking about your prim limit is very liberating. Go to the user-created, user-managed Kitely user forum and just ask people about how they use Kitely: http://kiteflying.vanillaforums.com

If you want to provide constructive feedback then you are also welcome to join the weekly Kitely Mentors Group meetings. Those meetings are open to all Kitely users, you can see announcements about them on the aforementioned forum, in our Twitter stream https://twitter.com/Kitely and on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Kitely.Virtual.Worlds .

If you read the recommendations people have been writing in Kitely's LinkedIn page (recommendations that are connected to people's professional real world profiles) you can see that we are very service oriented and open to customer feedback: http://www.linkedin.com/company/kitely/virtual-worlds-on-demand-183188/product

Rex Cronon

@ ilan:
thanks for clarifying things:)
don't you think that things would have been even simpler if your site had a section devoted to developers? sometimes the FAQ section doesn't have all the answers, and searching the blogs/forums can become a pita:)

@ prokofy:
-i think the lindens might also be toying with the idea of taking a sim offline as long as nobody is in it. if i am not mistaken scripts are(or soon will be) turned off if nobody is in the sim.

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