Part Three of the Second Life Merchant Resource now available

Art_PreparingToWriteAllTheDocumentation

Auryn Beorn, a Second Life merchant with over 4 years of experience with her store (Black Tulip) and as a CSR for Dutchie, has published the third part of what is bound to be an epic-series of free help guides for aspiring and existing Second Life merchants entitled “Merchant Resource”.

The third part in the series addresses issues of great importance to Second Life merchants, including:

She’s packed the third instalment with a huge amount of practical information that is clearly wrought from years of hands-on customer service work as a Second Life merchant and CSR.

Read and bookmark: “Deciding on Store Policies and Customer Service”

Featured image by Auryn Beorn.

Part Two of the Second Life Merchant Resource now available

Auryn Beorn, a Second Life merchant with over 4 years of experience with her store (Black Tulip) and as a CSR for Dutchie, has published the second part of what is bound to be an epic-series of free help guides for aspiring and existing Second Life merchants entitled “Merchant Resource”.

The second part in the series addresses issues of great importance to Second Life merchants, including:

She’s packed the second instalment with a huge amount of practical information, and includes data from surveys of shoppers asking what they want from merchants.

Also in this part, I share my recommendations on naming products to facilitate searchability and word of mouth.

Ms Beorn also includes links to free scripts for merchants to use when preparing their products for unpacking, including

  • One script to unpack on touch
  • One script to unpack with an animation/pose of your choice while the box is being worn
  • One simple HUD with information buttons, a spot for your product ad, and unpack on click

Read and bookmark: “Preparing your products for sale – permissions and more”

Featured image by Auryn Beorn.

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!

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 are now open
-> Bloggers
-> Stores 

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)