So let me whet your appetite by giving you a summary theme of this blog…

BLOG PLOT TEASER – LL’s RELEASES A SLM KRAKEN

With the LL Commerce Team announcing a new test SL Marketplace promotional program called the “DASH DEAL”, LL is on the verge of releasing a new proverbial marketing tool “Kraken” to further collapse the $Lvalue upon an already economically slumping SL Marketplace.  The already collapsed price-points of most SL content could take another serious blow now and this time the LL Commerce Team can take full credit for this round.

It also indicates that the new LL Commerce Team is not marketing savvy, don’t understand SL economics, and don’t have much knowledge about SL’s past history.  In particular, how the current SL content $L values are now a shadow of their former self from the marketplace disasters that damaged the entire SL economy. 

They would not have dreamed up the creation of their own baby economy-busting Kraken that would now be the newest incarnation and latest spawn of the Granddad Kraken that was let loose on the SL economy in 2009 and who still haunts us all to this day with its countless other spawn.

WHAT IS LL’S DASH DEAL?

So let’s provide you some of the basic information on what the Dash Deal is which I have called the new baby SLM Kraken.

On March 21st the LL Commerce Team made an announcement that they came up with an exciting new SLM sales promotion “Test Program” called “DASH DEAL” (aka DD).

For those of you that want to read the official dirty details of the DD from the LL Commerce Teams Blogs, you can click on the following LL Announcement:

 Official LL Commerce Blog Announcement of "Dash Deal"

And the fine print of the DD program can be found on this WIKI page:

WIKI DETAILS OF THE DASH DEAL

But to save you a click and a ton of reading, this is basically what the Dash Deal is:

The DD is yet another play on the concept of a time-pressured (24 hours window) deep discount sales opportunity for bargain hunting shoppers using a set of participating merchant’s premium priced SLM items.  The Commerce Team has set the minimum deep discount on these items to 50% off the item’s normal listed price.  Prior to and during the 24 event, LL stated that they will heavily market this promotion event to the general SL residents through any communications medium they have available.

FIRST KICKER – for all participating merchants:

For all merchants (like me before I really turned my brain on and decided against this) that were initially very interested in this test promotion gimmick, not only does the merchant have to cut the price of his/her premium item by 50%, but then for any sales that are made in those 24 hours, the merchant has to dole out 50% of this sale to LL! 

50% commission to LL for sending out a tweet, blog, facebook notice, MOTD, and possibly a blog advertising the entire event?  So they get this commissioning from every sale from every participating Merchant?  Yes, some of you will say that we could consider this an advertising expense.  But 50% LL??  Can you spell Gouging? (hmm can I spell Gouging?)

BIG KICKER - Releasing another Market Killing KRACKEN into SL!

The exposure of LL’s own baby SLM Kraken called DD actually bubbled up from a Merchant forums thread I was participating in – I will give credit to Luna Bliss for turning on the dim light-bulb over my head on this one.

I will start by giving you all a clue of why DD is the new SLM Kraken by identifying his Granddad – the King Kraken…"MIDNIGHT MANIA" or MM as it is lovingly known as to most of the SL community.  MM was the first wildly popular inworld traffic stimulating promotion tool for store / mall owners.

If you don’t know what MM is, you are likely only a few weeks old in SL or you have been living under one of my finely crafted Sculpted Rock Terrains (wow am I good or what to fit in a shameless plug for my SL products in this blog).

So, I am going to assume most of you know all about MM and its several Kraken spawn of inworld traffic generating promotional schemes and gimmicks; like lucky chairs, and 40L 50L 60L Sundays, or Lucky boards, etc. etc.  There are more of these Kraken Spawn then I could list.

Now don’t get me wrong – even though the traffic generating tools have done so much to destroy most of the content $L price points, these tools in their own rights are not illegal or immoral or unethical even.  They are not in the class of a RedZone.

But their massive abuse as a tool used by countless of desperate merchants (I was one of them in 2008 when MM showed up and I was a new traffic/sales starved merchant) was the problem. I am sure most merchants with a lot of RL economics and marketing smarts would agree with little debate that MM and the explosion of countless similar inworld traffic generating gimmicks became one of the most significant economy damaging fad to ever hit the SL community.  In fact these countless Krakens continue to live inside SL to this day.

If one could wave a magic wand and does a correlation study that super-imposed the Inworld Average $L price for content being sold before during and after the MM craze... I would be very confident is saying we would see a massive drop in the average price of almost ALL PRODUCT CATEGORIES inworld.

Why?

Because, in a naive or desperate effort to get traffic to merchant stores (since even back then search was as useless as it still is now), giving away valued products for free or for a fire-sale price was initially a highly effective way to get bargain hunters and shoppers to visit your store.

In the early days of MM, the strategy worked because it was new and the HUNTERS actually felt obliged to look around at MM stores and even shop.  But, it didn’t take long for the MM usage to flood the entire inworld economy.  Almost every second merchant had an MM board.  Also, merchants then had to offer more and more valuable items to give away just to get more organized and demanding HUNTERS to show up.  The Hunters also evolved to making it an actual GAME.  They had zero intent to buy anything.  This evolution didn't take long.

In the meantime, the MM craze already drastically damaged the inworld economy because it fundamentally transformed the general customer culture to EXPECT TO GET GREAT PRODUCTS SOMEWHERE IN THE SL GRID FOR FREE OR CHEAP. 

Even the merchants that didn't participate in the MM craze or stopped using the tool, were still being impacted because while their great products were available at $900L, their 10 competitors already offered competing products at lower and lower prices or even free in the MMs.  This continued to drag down the inworld content price point to where it is now.

I will admit I was one of MM's most early adopters back in early 2009 and at first it was amazing for my store with almost no traffic to selling products! But I quickly got out of it about 3 months later when the early damaging impacts were becoming apparent and that I noticed no one was showing up at my store's MM announcements - AND I refused to play the game of giving away more valuable lost leaders.

A good example of the impact of MM Kraken... just before the MM craze (Feb 2009) I was selling a pack of 7 animated sculpted raging rivers prims for $5000L - and they were selling !!  In the fall of 2009 my revised/updated pack to 15 sculpted river maps was and had to drop the price to around $900L to be at a pace that I previously could sell them at $5000L.

HOW DOES THIS ALL RELATE TO LL's RECENT SLM PROMOTION...

This is exactly what LL Commerce Team is now introducing into the SLM market.  DD is a tool like the ones that devastated the inworld economy.  And this tool will only add further pressure to reduce $L price points on products.  So, instead of helping merchants, the LL Commerce Team is introducing a tool that in the long run will hurt all of us.

But we must also remember... the reasons behind why the MM craze was so popular was significantly driven by the weak support from LL in providing more effective ways to generate traffic to an inworld mall or store - primarily a completely horrid search for inworld content. 

And well I guess history is repeating itself - because LL Commerce Team continually refuses to solve the same problems in SLM that would fairly generated SLM shopper traffic to the SLM merchant items.  Merchants cannot get effective fair visibility on SLM search and cannot rely upon the over-priced / under effective SLM item advertising tools will get desperate to establish or regain traffic and sales.

With Brooke's team focusing completely on SLM initiatives that do nothing but reduce traffic and sales (i.e. the maturity filtering fiasco that aids LL in their Teenification Quest), Brooke's team is naively falling for the same tricks of MM to regain SLM sales that happened in 2009.

But as is the case with all else in LL, we would have to assume LL is going to do it anyway - there will be no stopping it.  The only ones that benefit from this damaging strategy will be the Early Adopters that are also the Early Abandoners of the program.

Thanks Luna for your posting that woke me up about what the DASH DEAL was – the latest Spawn of the economy killing Krakens!

Toysoldier Thor

 
This is my first Blog entry…. EVER! 

So OK… in my long ( I do mean Loonggg as I first connected onto the Internet with a dialup modem back in about 1994) life on the Internet I have created more online user-group & forum postings than grains of sand on a beach.  Countless of these postings could be blogs in their own right because of their length and depth of topic.  In fact, I have a well known tendency to run-on in depth about many stories I tell.

Once I get engaged in a topic that stimulates me – and a lot do – then I am in instant typing mode and before I know it I have already created a 500+ word thread posting.  Often loaded with spelling mistakes since I will openly admit that I am a horrid speller and the online forum spell checkers are terribly slow and not that stable.

I have even on a couple occasions been asked to be a regular blogger for their sites as a way from them to attract more traffic.  It must be my wide-ranging opinions and passionate expression of provocative ideas in the face of “The Establishment”.  Hell, I am sure Linden Lab has a photo of “Toysoldier Thor” posted in their lunchroom in the form of a "MOST WANTED" poster often asking themselves "why does he seem to hates us so much and criticizes everything we do?".  To you LL Staff that are asking that question – I will make that topic one of my future blog postings.

With all that being said, I am sure most of you that know me would think, “For Toy to blog would be as natural and easy as walking”.  And yet here I have sat in front of this big whitespace on my “NEW BLOG ENTRY” page on my screen for almost a week – every time just closing it and working on some other part of my new Blog site.

It is not for a lack of having anything to say.  My head is oozing from every orifice with topics I would like to express my 2+ cents on.  Some of the ideas I have include my frustration and also possible ideas about latest SL hot topic of REDZONE, and topics around SL / SLM commerce, and my entry into the new competing grids of Inworldz and Avination, and even about the topic of “why does Toy seem to hate us at LL?”.  (PS – I don’t but that will be explained later)

I think the reason I am lost for words and even a bit nervous about my first blog is likely because I seem to have an increased feeling of ownership about the thoughts that I will be expressing here.  The completeness of the thoughts I wish to express in a blog must more fully assured than my random and impromptu thoughts I have been known to express in forum posting.

So, I am going to end this blog now by just welcoming myself to the world of Blogging.  Hopefully this first mindless rambling Blog Post will break the ice for me.  Strangely, I feel like this first blog entry is the equivalent of the Seinfeld TV series - a lot of writing with nothing of real content said to you all. 

:)  Well I promise the next one will be better.