Thursday, February 25, 2010

13 of 52 - Send in the Clowns

Four of the olympic games last amateurs are ready for the final against Canada, and that's really cool. Yes, it's a joy to watch the girls win the cross country skiing relay, but somehow the taste is a bit dry in the mouth, because we know the size of the support organization behind it, and all the money spent just to gain those few extra seconds to get a medal. Our clowns had to pay for their own trousers:-)

Viewer 2.0's tight http/media integration promises great possibilities. But to really make use of those you actually have to have access to a web server. And you need a server that is running 24/7, communicating with your vendors or whatever gadgets you use in your store.

Even worse, if you plan to sell anything with an HTML-based GUI or HUD, the end user of your products will be dependent on you keeping that web server running. If you make a glitch, the great menu driven bed with HTML HUD you sold a lot of may die under their naked avatar skins - just imagine how popular that will make you:-)

In short, any product that is dependent on an external server is no longer a self-contained product in-world, but more of a service. This has two implications:

  • A service should not be sold as a product with the customer expectations that it should run inside SL forever. Instead, it should be licensed as a service with periodic payment to cover your hosting costs. That's the only fair way to treat the buyers of your products.
  • A larger percentage of SL's gross products will be services, instead of ever-lasting products. This will counter the problems of ever-lasting items that is slowing down the economy (if you perceive that as a problem)
Finally, since a lot of the best products will actually be externally hosted services, it will be even harder for amateurs to compete in SL. Just as it is in the olympics. A lot of us will avoid establishing a responsibility to run servers for our in-world customers, leaving those markets to the professionals.

I do wish that LL would start a kind of hosting program for HTML pages and images; they do host our textures now, why should they not host our media based content based on the same model: Pay once for the upload, LL provides the hosting for the common good of all SL inhabitants. I guess the answer is simple: LL really would prefer most content to be sold by professionals. They no longer care for our world - our imagination. Sad.

But I guess in the end, a clever SL amateur creator with a good idea may still succeed in this world - just as our guys in their genius idea of an outfit. So please: Send in the clowns!

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