Auryn Beorn’s: Merchant Resource – Part 1

Auryn Beorn, a Second Life merchant with over 4 years of experience (Black Tulip) has started an epic-series of help guides for Second Life merchants entitled “Merchant Resource”, publishing the first part today.

“When I started,” she says, “I had no idea of things I could (and should) set in place to make my life as merchant, easier. This goes from deciding on a name, to deciding store policies, what information providing to customers, what to write on my product ads, which scripts using to make my life simpler, managing bloggers… and more. But now that I know them, I can try to help you in being better prepared when you start your own adventure.”

I’ll be acting as a marketing consultant to the series, because when it comes to that particular aspect of store set-up and practice, Auryn honestly admits: “I suck at marketing”.

So, I’ll be sharing my views with her on the marketing angles of setting up and running a Second Life store to help her with that aspect of her guides, and alerting the Stores and Creator’s list of her posts here on this blog, and in the inworld group.

I hope you enjoy her posts, starting with the first entitled:

“How do I begin? Location, information we want to have always handy, and preparing our inventory”

In this post, Auryn will cover store name and logo requirements, store presence (in world, marketplace, or both), store location, basic store information, and your store folder (in your inventory). Please remember to share this post, with any one you think might want to start a store in Second Life!

Please help make SL Blogger Support better

I’m happy to see that the Blogging Second Life and SL Blogger Support sites have such a great relationship with each other, and I’m very keen to keep building that synergy between the two sites. With that said, I’d be very grateful if you would take just a few moments to complete the first ever SL Blogger Support readership survey, and share your views with the team. Please complete the survey below:

Introducing the all-new Blogging Second Life

Nearly 1,200 Second Life blogs and bloggers. Almost 1,600 Second Life stores and creators. All exclusively recategorised, and then filtered into embedded spreadsheets placed in 25 new blogger pages and 58 new store pages. Plus, a new form system that adds your submissions to a staging sheet, for validation and finally adding to the master sheets, bringing the registration process from what might have taken sometimes longer than a week, to possibly instant.

That’s the all-new Blogging Second Life. Applications for bloggers and stores are now open.

Why did we do it?

Near the end of January of 2015, I was doing some research on Second Life blogs for a post I was writing for SL Blogger Support about niching your blog. It had been a while since I visited Blogging Second Life, and here I found a very long alphabetical list of bloggers. As I was reviewing the listings, I noticed duplicate entries, categorical inconsistency, and an inability to sort the listings to find what I was looking for – all symptoms of a list that has been built over years by multiple contributors with little in the way of data rules.

As I reviewed the old HMTL listings for both the bloggers and the stores & creators, I considered the massive amount of work and time the site administrators must have spent in transcribing data from form submissions, then formatting them one by one in WordPress. All of this was clearly a labour of love that no doubt also required hours and hours of effort among people no doubt juggling many other responsibilities in both Second Life and real life.

I figured, if I could just categorise the listings appropriately in a spreadsheet, I could display dynamically filtered sheets embedded in WordPress pages – thereby eliminating the need to transcribe, link, and even manually update new entries. We could, effectively, crowd-source the work.

Dynamically filtered sheets of blogs or stores into webpages would not only help visitors of the site find things in more ways than an alphabetical list (by category, for example), but it would also be easier for the administrators to find and cut duplicate entries, keeping the resource up to date and reliable.

The more consistent these categories were between stores and bloggers, the better. In theory, this change would not only help new bloggers more easily find stores and creators to approach and blog about, but it would also help new creators find bloggers that were more likely to blog their products.

How did it happen?

Kilolo and Evelyn liked the sound of my proposal, and after seeing a few of my prototypes, they put their trust in me to make it happen.

Both worked for months to clean-up the spreadsheets by removing duplicates and adding missing URLs for both profiles and marketplace listings, and categorising the listings along my suggested recategorisation scheme. Finally, I made up the filtered sheets, and embedded them into the pages that make up the bulk of this website today.

Forms are now available on every page that you find listings. Every category and sub-category – for stores and bloggers alike – is displayed on the sidebar navigation. We’ll add them over time as new categories develop.

Personally, I am now very happy to see the listings sorted this way. While there is admittedly some latency in bringing up some of the longer embedded spreadsheets, once they load they really sing, and are completely searchable. Further, the specificity this data now offers enables bloggers and creators to spot niches of opportunity in their own and each other’s lists that might have been before hard to spot.

I hope you enjoy the new Blogging Second Life. Please leave your comments on what you think of the new format below. Please spread the word that registration for bloggers and creators are again open, and thank you for your continued support of and involvement in this unique and valuable resource.

All the best,

Canary Beck (aka Becky)

MAJOR SITE CHANGES COMING

Greetings!

We have temporarily disabled and are not accepting store creator applications, blogger applications or event applications until we can roll out the new and improved website.  If you applied prior to 02/07/2015 for a store creator, you have already received posting rights in the inworld group “The Stores & Creators List”.  If you are a blogger in our inworld group or hosting an event, we are still working on getting your tags, however please keep in mind that bloggers do not have posting rights in our inworld group.

In order to provide our readers with a good website, we have taken this necessary step so as to focus on the content we already have and streamline it for a more useful and enjoyable experience for you.

In addition, we will be adding in new entries for our newer members that have already received posting rights, but weren’t added to the site in this format.

While the information that is on the site is available, new information will be visible once the site update is complete.

Again, we apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience while we work toward bringing you a more improved site.  Thank you and have a nice day.

Cee, Evie and Becky

SITE UPDATES…WHEE!!!

Happy February everyone!

First, we’d like to welcome a new volunteer who is helping us revamp our blog site so as to make the data we are giving you more useful.  Becky (Canary Beck) is an ubersmart and incredibly resourceful resident and has been instrumental in helping us move forward with the next evolutionary phase of The Stores & Creators List.  Thank you, Becky and welcome aboard!

Second, all posting rights for creators are up to date in the inworld group and we are working on getting the other tags for both bloggers and event planners updated as quickly as possible.  Please remember that our staff is super small and we all have RL pressing on us as well as our inworld obligations above and byond that of this site. While we try to collectively tow the line of working for TS&CL and handling our other responsibilities, we do ask for and greatly appreciate your patience while we get everything to a level that will be suitable for our readers. Sufficed to say we are incredibly busy, but we are remaining 100% dedicated to Evie and Cajsa’s vision of giving you guys the most accessible information possible.

That being said, this blog site is going through some MAJOR changes on the back end. And we’re hoping that you guys will like the new look!  We are still working on where every piece fits, but rest assured, we have not forgotten about our new members to the stores, creators and event lists.

Some things to know:

  1. Over the next few weeks, the applications will be changing. While we try to capture as much information as we can, not all information provided on the application will be listed in this new format.
  2. Inworld stores that do not have marketplaces will still be listed on the site. Unfortunately, due to time constraints and the fact that stores do move on a more frequent basis than not, we won’t be adding inworld SLUrls to the blog listings. This is a practice we have used for a long time, but we wanted to make sure that you understand why we haven’t been adding “just” inworld slurls to the information. Please know that this doesn’t mean that your store won’t be listed on this site. It will, but we will have links that direct them to the store creators profile (as we do with ALL of our creators) so that they can check for the current slurl to each store that way.
  3. We are revamping HOW the site will show listings.  As you have seen over the past few months, we have moved to an alphabetical listing for blogs.  The same is about to happen with the stores and creators side of the site.  This will make it easier for us to update and easier for creators to find their information on the front end.
  4. Events will also be changed. We are still sorting out details as to how these changes will take place. But we assure you, we are considering great care with each facet of this site.

That being said, a huge thank you to Becky for her help and a big welcome back to Evie who has been helping part time with this transition.

As always, if you have questions regarding the Stores & Creators List, please do not send messages to Cajsa or Evie as they are no longer permanently tied to this project. They have spent a great number of years shaping this project and while Evie is around part-time, we are also aware that with new life changes for her IRL and possibly SL that we do not wish to burden either of them with issues regarding the list. Please send an OFFLINE message to me, storesncreators resident inworld.  Do not send notecards; they get deleted on login.  Also, please allow us up to 5 business days (7 regular days) to process new applications.  While each of our staff members have specific jobs, we also have a great deal of applications to sort through and need the time to go and confirm information submitted.

Again thank you all for your patience and have a wonderful month!

Sincerely,
Cee

November Update

Hi everyone!

I  (Evelyn) am having to have another break from Blogging Second Life because 2 weeks ago I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl so she’s been taking up all my time. I will try to work on the blog once or twice a week when Megan is sleeping but no promises.

Whilst I’m gone, there will be only one person working on the blog so please bare that in mind when applying for the blog/ inworld group. Your application may take a while to be processed.

Thank you for still using Blogging Second Life. It wouldn’t be here without the readers!

Evelyn

Current Status of Blogging Second Life.

There are currently hundreds of applications waiting to be added to Blogging Second Life, for both blogs and stores. Storesncreators Resident (Cee) is working extremely hard to get these new additions added to the blog, however real life comes first. Both also have other commitments in Second Life. 

I (Evelyn) will help out as much as I can before my baby arrives (in less than 6 weeks) with the blogs and events pages. Unfortunately, since I am unable to log on to SL (laptop can’t handle SL), I can’t help with the stores list. 

If you would like to help Cee with this, please contact her inworld. Kilolo Jenkins is an emergency contact only.

I ask you to please be a little more patient.

Thank you