Note – the change outlined yesterday will not occur until 1.20 RC10 (the next version of the release candidate). I apologize for any inconvenience.
We are continuing to iterate on improvements to the Search feature. Although the release notes for 1.20 RC7 indicated that Search>Places was moved to a web-based feature, this tab will be returned to its previous interface, which includes “Sort by alphabetical” or “Sort by traffic” options. This change to Search>Places will appear in 1.20 RC9… see VWR-7335 to track this fix.
The Search project aims to transform more search functionality to the web-based form (currently present in the All tab). This includes the switch from Popular Places to Showcase outlined below. We are continuing to research and discuss the future of ‘traffic’ with the Resident community. Together we’re working toward an improved method of providing metrics both to land owners and to all Residents of Second Life.
[ORIGINAL BLOG POST]
Looking for cool places to visit within Second Life? We are too! We’re pleased to announce that the Second Life Showcase is coming to the 1.21 viewer release, which is planned for Release Candidate in 2-3 weeks and in final form in 6-7 weeks.
For a sneak peek at this new feature, please visit Second Life Showcase on our website. The Showcase is an editorially-managed guide that highlights a variety of inworld venues and intriguing locations to new and existing Residents. For more info, read our Second Life Showcase FAQ; it includes information on how to suggest a venue for feature placement. We are currently developing an easier way to nominate inworld experiences for the Showcase from within the viewer, so keep an eye on this blog for more news!
The Second Life Showcase is all about quality over quantity. Our internal editorial team periodically selects new and/or popular venues to rotate into the various featured spots within the Arts & Culture, Fashion, Hot Spots, and Music categories. This new feature complements, but does not replace the more comprehensive Search tools within Second Life. However, it will be replacing the old Popular Places tab.
Since many of the inworld builds created by our community — small and large alike — are both amazing and overlooked, we’re introducing Second Life Showcase as an additional way for Residents to discover interesting places to visit. We hope this feature will make it easier and more effective to help those hotspots shine (instead of Popular Places).
Brief History of Traffic
Popular Places was initially created as a list of the 20 parcels with the most traffic on the previous day. The data that drives Popular Places has been based on raw traffic numbers, which do not differentiate between bots, campers and active Residents, and as some have pointed out, this has resulted in the tab not being an accurate reflection of true popularity among Residents.
Traffic, as currently calculated using a complex algorithm for display in Popular Places, is a number for each parcel which is based on the amount of Residents who visited, and the time spent on that parcel out of their total time inworld that day. Traffic was put in place as a way of determining interest in a build or location and was a replacement for the earlier inworld Voting Stations system. Previously, it was tied to a “Traffic Incentive” wherein parcel owners split a portion of a shared Linden dollar amount based on the total traffic their parcel has earned (this was deprecated in 2006).
For the last few years, Traffic by parcel was available to support the Popular Places listing and the sort functionality of the Places tab. It is also currently used (along with several other determiners such as Picks) to rank listings in the new Search > All tab.
Future of Traffic
It is clear that the current Traffic system is not an effective means of determining the success or popularity of a parcel, nor does it provide useful information about Residents visiting those parcels. We are interested in creating a new traffic measurement system with the goal of giving parcel owners more metrics about how many and what sort of Residents visit their parcel(s), while providing all Residents with higher-quality feedback on which places are really visited.
We are opening up the discussion about the future of Traffic: anyone from our community who is interested is invited to join the “LL Traffic Future” group for further updates and info about inworld brainstorming sessions to come. To find it in Second Life:
- Click Search button on the toolbar at the bottom of your screen, then click All tab (on the left).
- Search for “LL Traffic Future”.
- Click the match that comes up in results, then click “View Full Profile”.
- Click the “(Join L$0)” button and you’re in!
We look forward to your ideas!