How to locate more quality items using Google

slm101014Have you ever been shopping on Second Life marketplace only to not find the right item? You want to find a quality item, but the items you’ve looked at so far have zero reviews. The search engine built into the marketplace has limited filtering abilities. Fortunately, there is another method to find what you need.

Google can search the marketplace by adding the syntax site:websitename after search terms. For example, the following search term on marketplace returned around 71000 items while logged in and including all maturity levels.

Halloween

The following search terms at Google returned more than 89000 items.

Halloween site:marketplace.secondlife.com

You can take advantage of Google’s filtering to exclude specific words. For example, the following search terms on marketplace returned 3700 items.

Halloween -skeletons

Every item returned contains a variation of the word “skeleton” even though a minus sign means to exclude that word. The following search on Google returned 88000 items with none containing the word “skeleton”.

Halloween -skeletons site:marketplace.secondlife.com

The marketplace allows sorting results by “Rating: High to Low”, however this still returns fewer results than Google.  Using Google to search marketplace with the following text returned 53000 items all having at least one review because it excludes items with zero reviews.

Halloween -“Reviews (0)” site:marketplace.secondlife.com

The same techniques can search most web sites including discussion forums, online shopping, and blogs.  Speaking of blogs, to receive notices of updates to this blog please click the SignMeUp! button at the left side of the screen.

Keep visitors by preloading textures with these five tricks

GreyRez256Visitors are arriving on your Second Life parcel regularly, however they are teleporting away after a few minutes without exploring the area. When you ask why they left so soon they explain that everything remained gray for too long and couldn’t see anything.  They cannot read the signs or see the ground and so they leave.

The most important textures useful to visitors need to load into their cache first such as nearby signage describing the area and directions to go. This includes interactive objects giving out notecards, landmarks, and invites to your group.  Use one of the following methods for preloading textures.

  1. Identify prims with small faces visible to the avatar and apply textures from nearby signs to them. Small faces such as those found at the end of long skinny poles as well as arms of chairs are good candidates.
  2. Identify prims having a larger face which serves no purpose and retexture with the same images. Finally, set that face fully transparent through the built-in editor (do not retexture with an alpha texture because that will replace the texture you had just placed on it)
  3. Objects containing multiple prims often will have faces inside the object facing one another which are never visible to an avatar regardless of the angle they look at it. Move your camera inside that object, select just those inside faces, and retexture them with images from your signs.
  4. Some locations need visitors to wear an HUD during their travels. Usually only one or two faces are visible on the screen leaving the top, sides, and backs of the HUD available for texture preloading.  Place the HUD on level ground and zoom in with your camera to retexture other faces.  Afterwards, take it back into inventory and provide copies to visitors.
  5. Create a prism prim then hollow it, path cut it, and finally slice it in half. Now the prim has eight unique faces each containing a different texture. Change Z size to 64m resulting in the balance of the prim being 32m in length. After retexturing sink the prim under the surface leaving the center of the prim just aboveground.

You have just learned five methods of preloading textures and increasing the likelihood that important signage textures load into visitor’s caches first. Try combining multiple methods together at the same time.  Alternatively, pick up a copy of SequenSlideshowV2 which combines method one and method five. Configuring this to preload will cycle textures among all eight faces.

GACHA at KI Amusement Rides

KIAR-Gacha081014-1942A modern-style GACHA vending machine is now dispensing spinning top toys in various shapes and colors, there are eight available with two of them being rare. The vendor features single pricing (L$35) and quad pricing (four items for L$100) along with a visual display on the front showing the last three items received. Next to the vendor is a single-question survey kiosk asking what other items appropriate for a carnival/fair should be made available via GACHA machines. Stop by today and collect them all!

KI Amusement Rides