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Old 01-26-2009, 03:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Bot Wars

Let me preface this <rant> with the fact I am *F'n PISSED* And can be a bit emotional.

For months now I have been following most every post in any forum on the use of overwhelming numbers of bots specifically to "game" traffic and rise to the top of the search. I've read all the indignations and justifications from "There are good bots!" to "There's no way to detect bots". IM SICK OF IT! I've sat idly by as my traffic has dwindled and sales trickled wondering how this could be. Up until now I have maintained a single Greeter Bot that group adds on each of my sims.

I've taken Top Spot in the classifieds paying upwards of 400K. I've done promotions and lowered prices. I've cranked out new content with weeks and months of dedication.

I'll tell you why LL allows TRAFFIC bots to proliferate. When your competitor resorts to gaming traffic, most think the "right" thing to do is take out an expensive classified to keep your sales up. Your competitor has no such "moral obligation". Keep playing by the rules..see where it gets you. File AR's..post FLICKR shots of their hordes, voice your indignation! Meanwhile, classified prices keep going up and up and up.

I've visited the "Top 5" in my respective industry (sextoys/beds) as they are listed in search by keywords, counting people as they drop in. One after another after another. I've watched purchases of products that are created using stolen or non-intended full perm animations and scripts, while I have spent months and YEARS creating a business that respected the intentions of these professionals and tried to set a "higher standard" and a "good example".

All that ENDS TODAY. I have a *NEW* business model.

Here is my plan:

1. Since Linden Lab has never met a bot they didn't like, I'm going to give them 100's if not 1000's. (Just doing my part to hoist those concurrency figures!) I intend to see just how far you can push (game) traffic. I am going to flood my sim with bots. I'm not going to hide them at 4000ft. I'm going to put them out in plain view. I will not use your average NPC mind you, but a custom hybrid that uses little to no resources designed SPECIFICALLY for gaming traffic.

Violation of TOS you say? No more than 5 accounts?. BAN MY ASS! I wont go down w/o a fight, and I will take a LOT of people with me. I've spent 10's if not 100's of thousands of dollars on tier and upload fee's and Lindex fee's. I'm tired of playing "by the rules" while LL turns a blind eye to their own TOS, after repeated AR's and public awareness.

2. I am going to FULL PERM SexGen. I will flood the grid with it. Just as the MLP system that contains the animations that were never intended to be resold has flooded the grid. SL Forums However, I am going to license EVERY SINGLE copy. I am going to dedicate a team of employees to scour the grid for illegal copies. Since we have a trademark and the DMCA is our last great hope, I will have Linden Lab track down and remove every single UUID that violates our license. I have that right? Yes? Again..BAN ME!

3. Since LL seems to not give a damn about stolen content and will rollover at the first complaint of "You broke/removed my _____ !" Responding to Questions about the DMCA Process ę Official Second Life BlogI am going to give away the very same MLP system with the anims that were removed then restored for FREE!. I have contacted most (w/few exceptions and some are gone from SL) of the animators that were affected by this debacle and secured their blessings. I'll be sure to include the BSD license it was released under, that so many have ignored and claimed as their own.

FREE SEX FOR ALL!

Sure, I'll piss off a few "oldbies" and they will wield their "FIC-foo". They haven't bought anything from me in years anyways. So who cares. Given the status-quo of SL these days we are all working for free anyways. LL has all the content/attention they need to make a boatload of money at YOUR expense. Batten the hatches! 100K concurrency..Here we come!

Wake up businesses. It's all about the CHURN. If you think that new accounts give a damn whether your product/service is "better" or "supported"..they don't. They go to the first bot-infested shop in the search that has the appropriate keyword in it. New accounts DO spend money, they just don't stay around very long when they realize that 90% of the content they purchased in the first 30 days SUCKS and they aren't about to spend MORE $$ once they realize they have been "had" by freebie resells and stolen content that everyone else has already.

I really don't care anymore. You want to make personal attacks against me, lambaste me in your blog, Go for it! Come grief my sim, ban me from your parcels, boycott me! It's all been done before. SL is not my "Be all..end all". Hell, I may just give EVERYTHING away for free! I built an empire..I can burn it to the ground too! It's "MY" world "MY" imagination...right?! Hell I could surpass Yadni even!

But then again, I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet and I could change my mind on this by tommorow. It's just sour grapes anyways

Last edited by Stroker Serpentine; 01-26-2009 at 03:14 PM. Reason: *edited for "Search" and not "Classifieds"
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Jesus man....

You really are pissed off.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is stupid.

EDIT: LL's policies, I meant. Stay in SL and keep fighting the good fight.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Full Perm SexGen? Rly?

Oh, but licensed. Okay, no SexGen Durance chair, then.

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Old 01-26-2009, 03:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Here is my plan:

FREE SEX FOR ALL!

WOOT! Thank you Stoker!!!!!




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Old 01-26-2009, 03:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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No but seriously, I have the same problem Stroker. It's unfortunate that this is what it comes down to though.

Check your PM's.
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Let me preface this <rant> with the fact I am *F'n PISSED* And can be a bit emotional.

But then again, I haven't had my second cup of coffee yet and I could change my mind on this by tommorow. It's just sour grapes anyways
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Old 01-26-2009, 03:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I hate traffic bots too. However, they have a minimal effect on the All search, so focus on keywords and Picks and you can beat them. I know, because I've done it.

Might I also suggest, gently, but with honesty, that bots may not be primarily to blame for your decline in sales. Your prices are. I tried selling your products as an affiliate in my somewhat newbie oriented sim and they did not sell. I had demos out, I encouraged people to compare with other beds I sold..they went for the cheaper bed every time, even though it wasn't as nice as yours. This was after you lowered prices, too.

I am not into SL sex myself, but can still see that your products are superior to most of the others out there. However, when buying demos to show, I had one MAJOR concern - the beds are no copy. That means if SL barfs, a several-thousand-Linden investment is gone forever. I'm in the land business, I deal with large sums of money daily....and I still am hesitant to invest that kind of money in an item, if it is no copy. I can only imagine how Joe Average with his freebie weenie feels when looking at the price. The other beds may have so-so animations, but for 500L$ instead of 5000L$, many people will choose price over quality.

I'm not saying you shouldn't sell your beds for more than the ubiquitous mediocre ones, but perhaps go with just slightly above their pricing - enough to say "this product is superior and therefore costs more" but not high enough to scare off Joe Newbie. Or, keep your prices the same, but make your items copy/no transfer. Then people can buy with confidence, knowing they won't lose their investment.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Bot-bomb my stores plzkthx
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you Ayesha for your sincere and thought provoking reply. We intend to slash prices. Considerably

However, you may not be aware there is an exploit/client that allows "Copy/No Trans" items to be transferred. It was how one of our products was being replicated and resold by the 1000's. Perhaps that client has been disabled, but we felt it not worthy of taking the chance it still exists. As I stated above, I really don't care any longer.

Thieves will go to any length to make money, because it is a "game" to them. Thwart/game the system. Exploits will always exist. It's up to us as to how much time we are willing to put into a business or service to benfit ourselves and the populace.

We ARE changing our business model. I sincerely appreciate your suggestions.

But, I have come to the sad realization, that with no support, random DMCA/TOS enforcement and reverse-DMCA griefing, there is no level playing field.

Bots are beneficial to LL as they are free testors for tweaking concurrency and driving up account stats. I have seen literally dozens of productive uses for them. Huddling them all together in a skybox with the specific intent of gaming traffic is not one of them.

Who's best interest do we serve here? Think about that question and weigh it against your own enterprise(s). See if your answers change as mine have.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:40 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I think you are completely justified to botsquat your store, but you'd probably have better legal ground to protect yourself if you didn't make a post showing that you intend to break the TOS and dare them to ban you.

I sincerely hope it goes well for you, for the sake of everyone.
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Old 01-26-2009, 04:58 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm pissed that LL keeps telling us they're going to neuter traffic (kill its relevance for Search- Jeska Linden made 2 separate SL Blog posts about this), but Search > Places is still 100% reliant on traffic.

Prokofy submitted that Jira to make traffic bots an enforceable TOS violation but he doesn't want Search > Places to change. This solution will never happen because it requires policing by LL.

I'll just note that there is precedent for people being permabanned from SL for creating too many alts. They were not high-profile users, but it's happened, and LL doesn't seem to care as much about their high-profile users these days.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:06 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I never said "I" was going to create the bots
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Prokofy submitted that Jira to make traffic bots an enforceable TOS violation but he doesn't want Search > Places to change. This solution will never happen because it requires policing by LL.
I really think that would be the best option for the Lab, that accommodates their tendencies towards laziness and cronyism. It's flagrantly obvious what constitutes a case of "abuse". So far, no one has even been clever enough to make bots that HOOOOOOOO and HOOOOOOOOOOWL at regular intervals. It's always a clump of green dots with noob avatars standing around doing nothing, and they're never situated where you can walk to from the landing point.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's even easier to enforce than gambling really.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:45 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Good luck Stroker.

There's no doubt in my mind you have a great product. I own several - and the lady I've been seeing just bought a brand new bed. I look forward to trying it out thoroughly.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:46 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Related, 1L$ land listings have completely drowned out mine which are priced for the pro rata first month's rent.
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Old 01-26-2009, 05:58 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Man, I so dig this post.

It just blows me away that people paying to use resources are punished with price increases while not a damn thing is done about bots driving up concurrency and taxing resources without contributing to the environment.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:02 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I don't make anything. I'm not in business. However, I think if yu are successful in this, you would improve SL vastly for EVERYONE except bot users.

Go for it Stroker.



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Old 01-26-2009, 06:05 PM   #23 (permalink)
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It just blows me away that people paying to use resources are punished with price increases while not a damn thing is done about bots driving up concurrency and taxing resources without contributing to the environment.
I am absolutely not against bots. I am against a completely artificial system that rewards sociopathic behavior though.
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:33 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Related, 1L$ land listings have completely drowned out mine which are priced for the pro rata first month's rent.
Oh gawd, I'm only still in business because of word-of-mouth from existing tenants. I tried the L$1 listings for about 2 weeks 'bout a year-and-a-half ago, and although I got a ton more traffic, 2/3 of the "buyers" were false alarms by newbies, scammers, and non-english-speakers who apparently didn't read the parcel name, parcel description, or covenant before buying.

I do not judge others for doing the L$1 land listings, but I admit to a distinct sense of schadenfreude when I notice a fellow landlord using L$1 listings when just months before those same people were saying, "That's dishonest, unfair, and we will never do it!!!"
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Old 01-26-2009, 07:01 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I want to go on the record as saying that I am NOT against bots. I've seen some very creative uses for them. Everything from passing out notecards and modeling skins and clothing.

Just don't placate me and tell me that you cant distinguish a skin modeling bot from a tightly packed horde hidden away at 4000ft.

This is apples and oranges. We all have seen the pics, we have been to the sims, we know EXACTLY what they are doing. Gaming traffic to increase search rankings.

Would it take some policing to remove them...YES! Are they violating the TOS?...YES! Have I AR'd them?...YES! Not just MY competitors either. Clubs, Rentals, Clothiers...it's the new black!

All I am saying is.."If you cant beat'em join'em!!"

My "reputation" cant be any more soiled than it already is. I've been on numerous media outlets touting SL and it's potential. FFS, I wear my "First Bling" in every TV/Magazine/Photo. I'll utilize the same venues to bring attention to what a bunch of hypocrites Linden Lab is for luring businesses then sucking up all their creativity and content, just to be ambivalent towards those that prey upon the VERY SAME CONTENT CREATORS they claim to empower.

Five years into this deal and we STILL do not have a INWORLD business liaison? With REGULAR business hours? WTF! Even my tiny, local RL bank highlights "Business of the Week"

I've made my contribution to SL, many, many times over. Not just with cybersex, but by raising awareness and standing up for whats right. I've been told that "DRM doesn't work", that "LL doesn't have the resources to police every instance", or that "there will always be exploits, just change your business model". While they spend 10's of MILLIONS of dollars on their own private network. Ongoing Updates from the Grid from FJ Linden ę Official Second Life Blog

I've had so much smoke blown up my ass I should have a cancer warning label tattooed on my forehead.

It's time LL made examples of these thieves and bot-squatters and enforce their own goddamned TOS!.. PUBLICLY! Not tucked away on some blotter that no one reads anyways. Spend a lil of that 300+ million on attorneys and file copyright/trademark infringement charges on BEHALF of the very people who still believe there is hope.

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I bet you do Philip..I BET you do!
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