Friday, February 27, 2009's a funny thing

Recently I began working on a new Series to report here in the Blog. Before I get started on that though, a few "bricks need to be laid" as a foundation for this new series.

Integrity is something many people would say they have, yet few would actually obtain it. Even more so, Integrity seems to be all but non-existent in many company's today, unfortunately this is even more true for Linden Lab.

Let's take a look at what I mean. Integrity means you do what you say, you live what you say, you uphold the highest moral compass possible. When I first came to Second Life, I would be the first to tell you that the people at Linden Lab seemed to truly care about their work, the community they were building, the future. As time went on though, I discovered that either these people were very good liars or greed had changed them; I'm still unsure of which of these two it is, but it doesn't really matter, they both lead to what we have today in Linden Lab. Today, you would be hard pressed to find anyone in Second Life, older then 6 months, that think Linden Lab has the Second Life Community in it's best interest. Why do you think that might be?

If we start chronologically, many will point to the recent past as to the largest mistake on record for Linden Lab; that being the OpenSpace fiasco. Linden Lab was fully on-board when they began selling OpenSpace SIMs to customers, and although they put a "sliver" of verbege in the "rules" of using an OpenSpace SIM, they themselves never once enforced those rules, even after their own admission, that these rules were being broken. Not only were these rules broken by the owners of OpenSpace SIMs, they were also being mis-used by Linden Lab employee's as well. Linden Lab suddenly decided the rule-breaking, but only by the Community, needed to be dealt with. So, M came along an posted a Blog that blamed the Customers for all the OpenSpace SIM problems, yet never admitted Linden Lab culpability when it was pointed out that Linden Lab Employee's had mis-used OpenSpace SIMs.

This is a prime example of what it means to LACK integrity. Not only that, but we can look even further back to see this isn't a one-time thing. Two years ago, the Second Life Community began reporting that inventory was disappearing. Linden Lab, in what seems to be their practice, began questioning whether the Community actually knew the extent of their Inventory enough to say it was missing. Then, made one excuse after another, before FINALLY admitting there was a major problem, SIX MONTHS after receiving the first report.

Once again, we can see the true lack of Integrity here by Linden Lab. Instead of trusting what their customers where telling them, they decide to attack the integrity of those customers. This has been a long standing tradition with Linden Lab for years now. Tell your customers they don't know what's going on, that way you don't have to do anything until more and more people are screaming.

I could continue this practice of pointing out Linden Lab's lack of Integrity, but I think my point has been made.

Now, that we understand that Integrity isn't something that Linden Lab is interested in, we can more easily understand why they operate in this manner.

Two or more years ago, it was announced by Linden Lab that they would be using a NEW search engine. This new engine wouldn't look at Traffic Figures, Keywords, or other known "tricks of the trade". Here we are, long passed this announcement, and what have we seen wrought? We have seen a HUGE RISE in BOT activity, more Keywords then descriptions, and more "tricks of the trade" being used by Store Owners to keep their place among the OLD Search Engine, that was supposed to be a distant memory by now.

So, what has happened? Why are we still using the OLD Search Engine, when we were promised long ago that something new was coming? This can probably be answered by relying on the old stand-by that never seems to fail; Linden Lab doesn't know what Integrity means. Oh sure, some in the Community will say that the person that was supposed to be doing this new Search Project was dismissed and no one else was assigned, but why would that stop Linden Lab from at least announcing that Plans had changed? There is the crux of the problem of Integrity. When you lack it, you do all sorts of things that wind up upsetting your Customer base.

So, for my new Series, I've decided to conduct an experiment. How hard is it to "massage" your traffic numbers? How difficult would it be to make more then the supposedly allowed 5 acct limit accounts? Do keywords really work? Does adding your store to other's PICKS increase your Search Ranking?

These answers will be forthcoming in upcoming Blogs, and to make sure these results can be verified, I will go into exacting Detail that will allow anyone/everyone to setup their own BOTs and setup their own ALT Accts. This way, everyone running a store can see just how easy this is, and everyone has an even playing field when it comes to Search Rankings.

Of course, all of this would be for naught if Linden Lab would finish the new Search Project, but seeing how that is unlikely, then I will proceed.

Finally, let's talk about the BOT problem. While many would blame the owners of BOTs for this problem, I would point out, that these people are doing what they must do to survive in a system setup for Failure by Linden Lab. If Linden Lab would have had some Integrity, they would have finished this promised new Search Engine Project, and these BOTs never would have come to fruition. So, let's place the BOT blame squarely where it belongs, with Linden Lab. Since M is the new spokesperson for Linden Lab, I, and I'm sure everyone, would like him to speak up concerning the lack of Integrity of Linden Lab and the many dropped projects that were promised to us Customers, but never fulfilled.

The ball is is your court M, show us that things are changing, as you promised when you started, show us you want to bring back Integrity, tell me, tell us, I'm wrong; but do more then just say the words, shows in your actions.