Kitely Donates $250 to help OSGrid Recover from its Crash

OSGrid is OpenSim’s official development grid, and its existence is crucial for testing new OpenSim versions. Unfortunately more than a month ago the hard disks that were used to store all of the grid’s data crashed, and OSGrid has been offline ever since.

Recovering from that data loss has cost more than $4800, and the people that manage OSGrid have asked for donations to cover the expense. We’ve therefore decided to step up and donate $250 to OSGrid. If you’d like to support the development of OpenSim then please donate some money as well, by clicking this image:


A Minute of Your Time Can Help Bring More People to Kitely

Hypergrid Business is now holding its fifth annual OpenSim grid survey. Please help us attract additional people to the Kitely community by answering this short multiple choice survey. Last year many of you participated in the survey and, as a result, Kitely came out on top for “How do you rate this grid overall?”.  Your support helped Kitely grow and become the leading commercial provider of hypergrid-enabled regions. It also helped convince content creators to list their items in Kitely Market, which has given people from across the metaverse access to high quality content they couldn’t have easily acquired otherwise.

Thank you!

Advanced Analytics for Kitely Market

We’re proud to announce that we’ve added a major new feature to Kitely Market: detailed, actionable analytics. This new system enables merchants to track how their store performs, and gives them insights on how to improve their sales. In addition to its already considerable utility, the analytics system is also a prerequisite for several exciting features that we’ll be rolling out in the coming months. These features will help make Kitely Market the most advanced virtual-goods marketplace available on any virtual world platform.

Today’s update also includes a couple of other user-requested features.


Analytics provide merchants with information about how people interact with their products in the Kitely Market website: how often the products are viewed; how often people who view the products choose to buy them; which products sell best; and much more. This information is useful for deciding which new products to add to the market, and how to set prices in order to maximize sales.

Analytics are available for each product individually, as well as for the entire store as a whole.

Store Analytics

If you have a store in Kitely Market then you can get to its analytics page from the navigation menu:

Navigation Menu: Store Analytics

This is what the Store Analytics page looks like (using a demo store, “Astoria”):

Let’s go through the parts of this page one by one.


Analytics Header

On the left side of the header you can choose which group of analytics to display:

  • Conversion – shows how many times your products were viewed, and the relationship between views and sales (this relationship is called “Conversion”).
  • Channels – shows how people find your products.

On the right side of the header there are date selection controls. The date picker lets you choose which dates to view (the default is the last month). The resolution buttons determine the resolution in which the data is displayed: Day, Week or Month. For example, if you choose a large date range (e.g., a year) then viewing 365 separate data points would be overwhelming. It’s more useful to view just 12 data points instead, so the resolution is automatically switched to Month (but you can then switch it to Day or Week if you want).

Store Analytics – Conversion

This section describes the charts that are shown if you select the Conversion option in the header.

Store Summary

Store Summary

This panel shows the total number of views and sales of your products in the selected date range.

  • Impressions – how many times your products’ thumbnails were viewed.
  • Product Views – how many times people viewed the Product Page of your products.
  • Sales - how many times your products were purchased.
  • Revenue – how much you earned from these sales. The revenue is shown after Kitely’s fees have been deducted.
  • Demo – how many times users sent themselves demos of your products.
  • Wishlist – how many times users added your products to their Wishlists.


Timeline Graph

This graph shows your products’ Impressions and Product Views over the selected date range. It also shows the revenue from sales. The graph makes it easy to discover relationships between product exposure and revenue.

You can hover your mouse over any data point in the graph to get the exact value of that point.

Top Categories

Top Categories Graph

This chart shows which of your categories sell the most (by revenue). This can help you decide which types of products to add to your store.

Top Grids

Top Grids Graph

This chart shows where your products are delivered the most. (If you don’t have Exportable products then only Kitely will appear in this chart.)


Products Table

This table shows each of the products in your store, with detailed statistics about their views, sales, etc. Click on the column headers to sort by different statistics.

At the bottom of this table there are links to download CSV reports:

  • Download timeline report – creates a report that contains the data shown in the Timeline graph, i.e. the total statistics of the store for each day in the date range. (Or each week or month, if that’s the resolution that you selected.)
  • Download products report – creates a report that contains the data shown in the Products table.

Store Analytics – Channels

This section describes the charts that are shown if you select the Channels option in the header.

Channels: Top Level

Channels track how people get to your products. Each way in which people can get to your products is a Channel. There are three top-level channels:

  • Direct – the person entered your product page directly, without coming from a search page. This can happen if the person had bookmarked the URL, or refreshed the browser while on the product page.
  • Search Market – the person was browsing Kitely Market, and saw your product.
  • Search Store – the person was browsing Kitely Market inside your store, and saw your product. We consider this a different channel from “Search Market” because when a person is inside your store your products don’t need to compete with other merchants’ products for that person’s attention.

The “Search Market” and “Search Store” channels are further subdivided into these channels:

  • Front Page – the person saw your product in the front page of Kitely Market or the front page of your store (i.e., without entering any specific search terms or viewing a specific category).
  • Categories – the person clicked on a specific category, and saw your product inside that category.
  • Keywords – the person entered text in the search field.

For example, you can see which categories people find your products in, and how that affects which of your products they actually buy. In the following chart, notice that the “Business Tools” category is over-performing: it has a low number of views but contributes the most to the merchant’s revenue. That means that perhaps the products in that category are especially desirable, or face low competition. On the other hand, the “Interior Design”  category is under-performing, with high views but low sales. Perhaps something can be done to improve the products in that category.

Channels: Categories

As you can see above, the Channels page shows three charts side by side. These charts form a sort of table: each of the rows corresponds to one channel, and each of the charts shows one statistic for that channel. We use three separate charts instead of a single chart because each of these statistics (Impressions, Product Views and Revenue) uses a different scale.

You can click on the column headers in the table to change the sort order. When you do that, the charts change to show the top channels according to the current sort order. If you sort by the Sales column then the Revenue chart  will be replaced with a Sales chart.

Product Analytics

All of the charts described above contain statistics for your entire store. You can also view statistics for individual products. There are two ways to get to the product analytics page:

  • In the Store Analytics page, go to the Products table and click on a product name.
  • In the main Product Page, click on the Analytics link.

Most of the charts shown in the Product Analytics page are identical to the charts shown in the Store Analytics page, so we won’t discuss them again. However, the following charts are unique to the Product Analytics page:


Variations Graph

This chart shows the distribution of sales between your product’s variations. This can help you find out which colors people prefer, whether they prefer to buy Export or No-Export variations, etc.

Timeline Details

Timeline Table

This table shows a numerical representation of the same data that is shown in the Timeline graph at the top of the page. By comparing the “Price” and “Sales/Revenue” columns you can find the effect that changing a product’s price has on its sales and revenue.

Additional Notes

You can learn more about how analytics work in the Kitely Market Analytics section of our wiki. It explains a few subtle points that we didn’t mention in this blog post.

The analytics system was completed today, September 16, 2014. Data such as Impressions, Product Views, etc. is only partially available before this date (and not available at all prior to August 8, 2014). However, sales data is fully available for all dates.

The analytics charts are updated once per day, after the day ends (in GMT time). So if you change the date range to include the current day then you’ll only see some sales information, but not full analytics. For this reason, the default date range doesn’t include the current day.

Other Features

Besides analytics, we also implemented a couple of features that were requested by our users:

Merchants have a feature available called “Test delivery” that sends their avatar a test version of a product. This feature can be used to deliver the product to other avatars as well, by changing the delivery target in the Shopping Cart. In order to make it clear which avatar will get the test delivery, we now show a message with the name of the receiving avatar before delivering the product.

In the Edit Product page, we added a Delete All button to the Variation Items table. This button deletes all of the variation items at once (instead of having to select them one at a time). This is useful when updating a variation, since at that point merchants frequently need to delete all of the existing items and upload new items.

New Kitely Market Homepage and Increased Idle Timeout

Over the next few weeks we’ll introduce several big upgrades to Kitely Market. Today we’re releasing the first (and smallest) of these upgrades: a new homepage for Kitely Market. Today’s update also includes an increase of the idle timeout for world managers and Premium Account members.

New Homepage for Kitely Market

When you visit Kitely Market, before you execute any search, you see the Kitely Market “Homepage”. Before today we didn’t have a special homepage for Kitely Market, so we simply showed 15 random products. But starting today the homepage will show products that are likely to be interesting and useful to you. We do this by showing a few popular categories, and some of the most interesting items in each category. The new homepage also displays a few of the newest products, which will help these products get exposure.

Kitely Market Home Page

If you’re logged-in when you visit Kitely Market then the homepage will become even better, because it will be customized to you. For example, the products that you see may change depending on which products you’ve bought in the past.

Increased Idle Timeout for World Managers and Premium Account Members

Kitely automatically disconnects avatars who have been idle in-world for 30 minutes. This ensures that worlds don’t keep running indefinitely if you forget to close your viewer. However, we’ve received complaints that sometimes this timeout is too short. That’s especially a problem for builders, who might be working in Blender for a while and then return to the viewer to find that they’ve been disconnected, and have to login again.

We’ve therefore decided to increase this timeout to 2 hours for world managers in their own world, as well as for all users who have a Premium Account (even when they visit other peoples’ worlds). This will eliminate timeouts in the most common cases: people who are building their world, or are actively using their world but not moving (e.g., using voice).

Some User Interface Improvements

We updated our website today with a couple of user interface improvements.

Shorter “New World” and “Manage World” Dialogs

We redesigned the New World and Manage World dialogs to make them shorter, because previously they were too high to be fully displayed on some low resolution screens. In the new dialogs, the selection of Access Control Groups has been moved to a separate dialog:

Manage Access Groups

Direct Access to Try Demo

Kitely Market allows products to define Demos. Previously users who wanted to try a demo had to perform two steps:

  1. Add the product to the Shopping Cart
  2. In the Shopping Cart, click “Try demo”

In order to make Demos more accessible we simplified this process, turning it to just one step, by moving the “Try demo” link to the Product Page:

Try Demo

OpenSim 0.8 and Improved Search

We updated Kitely today with several improvements, including an enhanced version of OpenSim 0.8; experimental support for BulletSim; and better in-world search. We contributed some of our patches to OpenSim core so other grids will be able to benefit from them as well.

OpenSim 0.8

We upgraded to OpenSim 0.8. For the full list of improvements, see the Release Notes.

We spent several weeks testing this version of OpenSim, and we found and fixed several problems. One of the most important fixes was for a problem where attachments disappear from the avatar after a Hypergrid teleport. We fixed this bug in Kitely, and we also contributed the patch to OpenSim core. Regions in other grids that run the latest version of OpenSim (i.e., not an official release) should already have this patch. However, regions that use only official releases of OpenSim still suffer from this bug. Therefore, if you Hypergrid teleport to a region that doesn’t have the latest cutting-edge version of OpenSim then your attachments may disappear from your avatar. They’re still in your inventory, however, so you’ll be able to reattach them once you return to the Kitely grid.

On top of our frequent code contributions to OpenSim, our enhanced version of OpenSim includes more than 400 features and optimizations that are exclusive to Kitely.

Changing the Physics Engine

We now allow world managers to choose which physics engine their world uses. This is done in the Advanced tab of the Manage World dialog:

Select Physics Engine

There are three options:

None – no physics. Avatars can walk through any objects in the world. This is sometimes useful for testing, e.g. to check if the cause of high lag in a world is due to the physics engine.

ODE – uses the Open Dynamics Engine library. This is the most widely used physics engine in OpenSim, and it’s the default on Kitely.

BulletSim (Experimental) – uses the BulletSim library. It has some improvements and some drawbacks compared to ODE. If you don’t have a specific reason to choose BulletSim then we recommend sticking with ODE.

We’ve been testing BulletSim for a while now, and unfortunately it doesn’t seem ready for general use. When a world includes moderately complicated Physical objects, BulletSim is very slow (much slower than ODE). We’ve reported these problems and we hope for a solution, but in the meanwhile we strongly recommend using ODE. Nevertheless, we’ve enabled the option of using BulletSim in order to facilitate testing. If the problems with BulletSim become overwhelming then we will remove this option (i.e., leaving only the options “ODE” and “None”).

Improved In-World Search

The in-world search page (which is reached by pressing Ctrl+F) now allows searching for worlds. (Previously it only allowed searching for users.) When you find a world you like, you can teleport to it. This doesn’t replace Kitely’s main search page; it’s only used when searching in-world.

Find Worlds In Viewer

Customer Testimonials

We now show a few customer testimonials in the homepage. We want to send a HUGE thank-you to the people who agreed to let us publish their quotes! These testimonials are important to show prospective new users that other people are using our service and find it useful.

Other Improvements

There was a problem where avatars would hover a little above the ground; now they should appear to walk directly on it. Note that this can only be tested when walking on flat terrain or prims, since when walking on slanted terrain the issue of where to show the avatar’s feet is very complicated and therefore it isn’t easy to tell if the avatar is appearing in the correct height or not.

We improved the World Map: the maps should now render meshes more accurately. Since we only update map tiles once per day, it will take a little time before this change becomes visible.

We’ve enabled a system called XBakes, which reduces the time that it takes avatars to fully rezz when they enter a world.

We now prevent the creation of users that have an underscore in their first name, because Firestorm doesn’t allow such users to login.

Updated Mono and Faster Mesh Loading

We updated the system today with several performance and reliability improvements.

First, we changed the way viewers download meshes from Kitely to make mesh downloads faster. This means that worlds that use many meshes should render faster in viewers, while exhibiting less lag.

Next, we upgraded from Mono 3.2.3 to Mono 3.4.0. (Mono is part of the system software that runs Opensim.) The new version of Mono includes numerous bug-fixes and performance improvements.

Finally, we now allow using the character “+” in email addresses when signing up to Kitely. This is useful in some cases, e.g. when an educator uses gmail sub-email accounts to create Kitely accounts for his or her students without needing to manage multiple email accounts.

Removing Metered Worlds and Introducing Premium Worlds

We’re announcing a change to how Metered Worlds work, and we’re naming this new option Premium Worlds. If you’re a Regular Account user who has Metered Worlds in your account then make sure to read this blog post.

UPDATE, June 19 2014:  due to some misunderstandings, we want to clarify that the changes described below only affect world managers. Users who visit Kitely worlds never have to pay, regardless of their account type, and this hasn’t changed.

Kitely offers two ways for world managers to pay for virtual worlds:

Fixed-Price Worlds – the world manager pays a fixed cost per month (starting at $14.95), and then never has to pay anything more to use the world. In particular, the world manager doesn’t need to pay when users visit the world.

Premium Worlds (formerly called Metered Worlds) – the world manager doesn’t pay a fixed cost per month to use these worlds, but instead pays a small fee for various actions performed on the world. In particular, when Regular Account and Hypergrid users visit the world, the world manager pays 1 KC / minute for each such user. (Premium Account users can visit Premium Worlds without costing the world manager anything.)

The change that we’re announcing today is that from now on only users with a Premium Account will be able to create Premium Worlds. That’s the reason that we renamed them (from “Metered Worlds”): to emphasize that having Premium Worlds is a benefit that is reserved for users with Premium Accounts.

Despite this change, there are still ways that users with a Regular Account can end up with a Premium World. E.g., if they created the world while they had a Premium Account, but later they downgraded to a Regular Account. In such cases we don’t delete the worlds: they remain in the users’ accounts. However, only users with a Premium Account will be able to visit them: Regular Account and Hypergrid users will be prevented from visiting a Premium World that belongs to a user with a Regular Account. Note that this includes the world manager herself.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is Kitely making this change?

A: Premium Worlds are an insanely good deal, which no-one but Kitely offers because only a company that automatically provisions cloud computing resources like we do can afford to provide so many virtual worlds for such a low price. However, it turns out that the deal was a little too insane on our part, as our profits on Metered Worlds are measured in cents per active user-hour. This would have been sufficient if we had tens of thousands of active users, but we don’t, and so the clear preference of Regular Account users to use Metered Worlds instead of Fixed-Price Worlds deprived us of the revenue that we need to grow the company. By requiring a Premium Account in order to create Premium Worlds we will receive some recurring revenue from each active Kitely world owner, thus improving our financial standing and long-term viability.

Even after this change Premium Worlds are still by far the cheapest way to get many virtual worlds, since you can get 5 full-size regions with 100,000 prims each for just $19.95 / month (plus a few KC when Regular Account and Hypergrid users visit these worlds).

Q: Does this change affect me?

A: If you only visit other people’s worlds, but don’t own your own worlds, then this change doesn’t affect you at all. The rest of this FAQ is only relevant for world managers.

If you have a Premium Account then this change doesn’t affect you either (even if you do manage your own worlds).

If you have a Regular Account but your worlds are all Fixed-Price Worlds then this change will be barely noticeable. The only change you’ll feel is if you Copy one of your worlds, because the new copy is always a Premium World, and as a Regular Account user you won’t be able to visit it. But the copied world can still serve as a snapshot of the state of your world, and you can Export it, or change it to a Fixed-Price World later.

If you have a Regular Account and you own any Premium Worlds then you will no longer be able to visit your worlds, nor allow other users to visit them (except for users with a Premium Account). See the next question for what you should do.

Q: I have a Regular Account, and I own some Premium Worlds. What are my options?

A: Your first option is to upgrade to a Premium Account ($19.95 / month). This will allow you to create Premium Worlds, and to permit Regular Account and Hypergrid users to visit your Premium Worlds. A Premium Account includes 5 free premium regions, so whatever you’re currently paying for world storage fees (10 KC / region / month) will probably be lower. A Premium Account will also allow you to visit your worlds for free (currently you pay 1 KC / minute for the time you spend in your worlds). And finally, a Premium Account lets you visit virtual worlds that are only open to users with a Premium Account (this is a common access restriction).

Your second option is to change your worlds to be Fixed-Price Worlds. E.g., a Starter World costs $14.95 / month. This will allow both yourself and anyone else to visit the world without costing you anything. If you choose this option then you can remain on the Regular Account.

And finally, you can choose to do nothing. We will not delete your Premium Worlds: they’ll remain in your account (as long as you pay the storage fees of 10 KC / region / month). However, since you have a Regular Account you will not be able to visit them – only users with a Premium Account will be able to visit these worlds.

Q: Does Kitely still provide a free trial period to new users who want to create a world?

A: Yes, if you’re a new user then you still get a free 1-region Premium World that will remain in your account indefinitely. We also give you 6 free hours in-world to try out your world. The free trial period allows you to visit your Premium World even though you have a Regular Account. However, this doesn’t extend to other users, so other users can only visit this world if they have a Premium Account. In addition, once the trial period ends you will not be able to visit your world anymore. If you upgrade to a Premium Account then you’ll be able to continue visiting your world, as well as allowing other users (not just users with a Premium Account) to visit it.

Please note that we don’t require you to give us your billing information in order to get this free trial period.

Q: When does this change take effect?

A: Users with a Regular Account can’t create new Premium Worlds: this change is effective immediately.

However, users with a Regular Account that have existing Premium Worlds in their account have a grace period until July 1, 2014. During this grace period, Regular Account and Hypergrid users will still be allowed to visit these worlds. On July 1 the full rules described above will take effect, so Regular Account and Hypergrid users will no longer be able to visit these worlds.

New Virtual World Gateway

We’re happy to announce that we rolled out a new and improved version of the Kitely Welcome Center. This updated version of the main entry point to our grid is more visually impressive and includes more interactive elements that help visitors understand our service. Visitors to this virtual world can now find various dynamically-updated objects that will direct them to the content, locations and events that may interest them in Kitely.

Virtual World - Kitely Welcome Center

It Takes a Village

The Kitely Welcome Center is the result of an ongoing community project that was first launched in 2013. The current round of improvements was made by the following people who generously contributed their time:

  • Paislee Myrtle: was responsible for redevelopment of various areas, landscaping, replanting, information and avatar kiosk models, new secret area.
  • Dundridge Dreadlow: created information and event board models, event system and scripting, Kitely Portal for featured worlds, continued work on showcase world boards, and other general awesomeness.
  • Dot Matrix: is the ongoing project coordinator and also expanded the Community Meeting area.
  • Min Tigerpaw: scripted menus for seating areas.
  • Chav Paderborn: updated skins for avatar area.
  • oopsee joseppe: updated clothes for avatar area.
  • Deuce Halsey: contributed a crate of new tee-shirts and tops for the avatar area.
  • Marstol Nitely: worked on photography and testing.
  • Handy Low and Selby Evans: created a Google calendar for Kitely events.

The refreshed landscaping includes new items that were bought in Kitely Market from the following stores: 21strom, Worlds End Landscaping & Roleplay, Heart Botanicals and Brayla Sana Gallery. It also includes plants by Selea Core from the Hypergrid.

We want to give special thanks, yet again, to Dot Matrix who has been organizing this community project for many months now. She’s been doing a phenomenal job of getting everything and everyone in order and there would not have been a Kitely Welcome Center without her ongoing dedication and coordinating skills.

Thank you all past and current contributors who’ve helped build this wonderful virtual world. We welcome everyone to come and visit!

New Homepage and Many Bug Fixes

We updated the system today with several improvements and bug fixes. We also made progress in our branding project, with a new homepage that is much more professional-looking than before. The new homepage explains what Kitely does in a way that even users who don’t already know virtual worlds can understand. It includes many screenshots, and we’d like to thank all the Kitely users who donated their time and creativity to help us create these images.

Kitely Homepage


For a world manager, when you view your account history to see who has visited your world, we now show the profile pictures of Hypergrid users.

When you buy products from Kitely Market for delivery to another grid, you are now allowed to review these products. Previously only the user who received the products could review them, but this was useless for Hypergrid deliveries since the receiving user isn’t a Kitely user (by definition), so they can’t login in order to review the products.

For users with many items in their Wish List, only the first 12 items were shown. We added paging buttons that allow you to view all the items in the Wish List.

We now prevent login to a world if the entry point to the world is in a banned parcel. This rarely happens, but when it did happen the previous behavior was that your avatar appeared to enter the world but then failed with a cryptic error message. Now we show a nicer error message :)

Bug Fixes

You can now use the “Home” command (Ctrl-Shift-H) while in a foreign grid in order to return to Kitely. If you haven’t defined a Home location then you’ll be teleported to the Kitely Welcome Center.

We fixed a problem where in some cases, when you took an object in a foreign grid and brought it back to Kitely, the item turned out to be non-Exportable. This happened if the item didn’t have Copy+Transfer (CT) permissions. But it was a silly restriction since the item had started out its life in a different grid, so there’s no point in keeping it from leaving Kitely. To solve this, we now flag items that came from a foreign grid as being “foreign”, which means that they’re allowed to be Exported even if they don’t have CT permissions. Note that this change doesn’t affect items that are created in Kitely (including items that enter Kitely using Upload OAR, when creating or replacing a world).

We fixed a certain peculiarity in the World Map. It’s possible to type in the name of a region in the World Map, and then teleport to that region. But there are two formats for entering region names: for regions in the current grid you’re supposed to enter only the name of the region (e.g., “Kitely Welcome Center”), whereas for regions in other grids you need to enter their full Hypergrid address (e.g., “ Welcome Center”). If you tried to enter the Hypergrid address while in Kitely then the map would fail to find the region. This is a problem because our World Pages show the Hypergrid address of worlds, so it’s natural for users to try to enter it into the World Map. We fixed it so it’s now possible to enter the Hypergrid address of a Kitely world even while you’re in Kitely, and the World Map will find the region and let you teleport to it.

We fixed a bug that prevented Export World from working in worlds with many prims. This is a recent bug; it was introduced during the big Hypergrid update. If you’ve tried to export your world and failed then please try again now; it should work.

We fixed a bug where very large deliveries from Kitely Market to foreign grids could fail. There was a certain limit in place, which we’ve now greatly increased.

We fixed a permissions bug: an object’s Next Owner permissions ignored the permissions of the items inside the object. For example, suppose you rez a box, set its Next Owner permissions to “CT”, and then place inside it an item whose Next Owner permissions are just “C”. Then, you take the entire box into your inventory. Previously the box’s Next Owner permissions ignored the items inside it, so the item in your inventory got Next Owner permissions of “CT”. Now, the item will get the correct Next Owner permissions of “C”.

In rare cases, some Hypergrid users who tried to visit Kitely couldn’t enter because their avatar names were not allowed in Kitely. This restriction has been removed for foreign users, because they aren’t able to change their names. (It’s still in place for Kitely users, because for Kitely users the name validation takes place when creating a new account, and at that point Kitely users can easily choose a different name.)