Monthly Archives: October 2014

Kitely Market to Support High Fidelity

High Fidelity

Kitely Market was designed from the beginning to be a multi-platform marketplace. To that end, a year ago we announced our content liberation front initiative for helping Second Life content creators prepare their content for sale to buyers outside of Second Life. At that time Kitely Market only worked inside the Kitely grid, but a few months later we expanded its scope significantly by allowing sales to avatars on any Hypergrid-enabled OpenSim grid. Today we’re announcing our intention to expand the scope of Kitely Market even further: Kitely Market will support delivery to the next-generation virtual worlds platform High Fidelity, once that system becomes mature enough to accept deliveries.

If you are a Second Life content creator then Kitely Market and the content migration tools that it provides can help you prepare your content for monetization outside of Second Life. You can use Kitely Market today to sell to hundreds of Hypergrid-enabled grids from one online store, and soon you’ll be able to use that same store to sell to users of other virtual world platforms as well. As Kitely Market adds support for more virtual worlds, your items will gain a larger market. To get started, see: The Content Liberation Front

Content Liberation Front update

Kitely Market is one of our main assets and we’ve been working hard to make it into the best multi-platform virtual-goods marketplace. There are many more features that we want to add to Kitely Market, so we need to prioritize what we work on. We’ve therefore decided not to spend time implementing the marketplace listing export functionality that we had described in our Content Liberation Front blog post. To date no merchant has requested to get this data, and we feel that investing our resources to support this functionality doesn’t make business sense. If there are any merchants that were counting on this data then they can send us a request (by email) and we’ll send them their listings’ metadata as a tab-delimited file. Since creating this data requires a time-consuming manual process, and we want to be able to focus our energy on the continued development of our services, we will only accept such requests until November 1, 2014.

Please keep in mind that this change affects only the listings metadata, but it doesn’t affect your ability to backup your actual items (the products themselves). You can backup your items whenever you want, in several ways: first, you can put them in a box in a Kitely world and export that world to an OpenSim Archive (OAR) file that is saved on your computer; second, you can send the items via the Hypergrid to your avatar on another grid.

Promoting Products in Kitely Market Using Ads

Today we added another major feature to Kitely Market: ads. Ads are important to allow merchants to promote their products, since Kitely Market contains thousands of products and it isn’t always easy for even exceptional products to stand out. The new ads system is fully integrated into Kitely Market’s advanced analytics component. This means that merchants can now easily advertise their products, and track the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns.

How Ads Appear in Kitely Market

When users browse Kitely Market, ads appear above the regular search results. Unlike other marketplaces, Kitely Market supports two types of ads: Product Ads and Store Ads.

Product Ads promote specific products. A Product Ad is tied to one particular product, and shows that product’s thumbnail and details. When the ad is clicked, the Product Page is shown.

For example:

Product Ads

Product Ads

Store Ads promote an entire store. Store Ads look similar to banner ads: they display a custom image that the merchant has uploaded, and they take up as much room as three Product Ads. When the ad is clicked, the Store Page is shown.

For example:

Store Ad

Store Ad

Creating Ads

To create an ad, go to the Manage Ads page by selecting “Go to > Manage Ads” from the navigation menu. Then click “Create Product Ad” or “Create Store Ad”, and fill in the ad details in the dialog.

It’s also possible to create Product Ads from the product page, by clicking “Create Ad”. That’s just a shortcut that automatically fills in the current product in the dialog, so that you don’t have to enter it yourself.

Prices

The price of an ad depends on its duration and where it appears. The location where an ad appears is called its Placement. There are two types of Placements: in the Front Page of Kitely Market, and in a Category.

Product Ads (size 1)

Placement
Price
Front page $0.33 / day
Top level category $0.15 / day
Internal category $0.10 / day

Store Ads (size 3)

Placement
Price
Front page $1.00 / day
Top level category $0.45 / day
Internal category $0.30 / day

Although these tables show the prices in USD, ads may also be purchased using Kitely Credits (KC).

Analytics

When you buy an ad, it’s important to know if it was cost-effective. Ads have two benefits: they can lead directly to sales, and they can increase brand awareness (which increases sales in the long term).

Kitely Market has outstanding Analytics, and we have fully integrated ads into the analytics component. Ad analytics appear in two places:

First, there’s a dedicated Manage Ads page that shows all of the ads in your store, and each ad’s performance: how many times it was viewed (“impressions”); how many times it was clicked; and how many sales resulted directly from the ad. The number of impressions is a measure of the effectiveness of the ad in promoting your brand.

Second, the main Analytics page has a new type of Channel called “Ads”, which shows product impressions and views that resulted from ads.

There are some more details involved with how ads work. For those who are interested, see the Ads documentation page for more information.

Other Improvements

We’ve updated to OpenSim 0.8.0.2, which contains several bug fixes.

We’ve updated to Mono 3.10.0, which contains several bug fixes and performance improvements.

We fixed a bug that prevented multiple clothing layers from working in some cases. This fix is effective, but it only works in Kitely for now because the real bug in the viewer, and we just implemented a server-side workaround. We reported this bug and how to solve it to the Firestorm and Singularity teams, and Firestorm has already fixed it, so it will be part of the next release of Firestorm. At that point all users of OpenSim (and Second Life) will get this fix.

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:

OSgrid-donation-ad