(recently rewritten so that it is more informative and not unreadable rubbish)
Hello and welcome to my new Journalling Environment! At the moment, it is a fairly basic affair, but I assure you, dear reader, that its sophistication and appearance will both improve in the coming weeks.
That now over and done with I would like to write on the matter of my latest project. I have been motivated by three things:
wishing to learn how to use the new function
llHTTPRequest, and finally having Hosting Space with which to experiment;
the constant concern that the "Find" tool inside Second Life is a little... well, unreliable, due to it being exploited by various operators of Chairs and Roulette Wheels and other Devices. In addition, it provides little except a list of which are, in theory, the most "popular" areas, and that in itself is of limited use. Just because a place is popular is no guarantee that you will like it. After all, most people have no taste;
One idea might be a dynamic mainland composed of all the most popular places (generated by time people spend there and tagging systems), so you can get the topsight view of the most interesting places all in one glance, helping you navigate what you're most likely to like easier than just links.
Now, I think that a completely dynamic landscape, while interesting, would be extremely confusing and not something that would be very livable in for any length of time. Imagine if you woke up one morning and looked out of the window to see that your neighbourhood now adjoined somewhere completely different, because of some change in "interestingness". It also makes little sense to me, when considering that the "sim" is an entirely artificial unit of space in any case, to change the way that sims connect to each other when spatial relations inside each sim remain the same. Sim boundaries should, really, be entirely invisible to residents, with only the name of the sim changing, and the way space operates across them should thus be the same as it is inside them.
I did, however, become interested in the idea of sim tagging, and so I thought about a system which would allow for this. I came up with a simple HUD device with four buttons. One gives the user an informative notecard; one sends the user to the web page listing the tagged results (more on that in a moment); but the most important ones are marked "Vote" and "Clear". The idea is that the wearer clicks "Vote" if they like a sim they are in for whatever reason. Perhaps they think it is beautiful, perhaps they like a shop there, perhaps they live in it, perhaps someone has paid them to, it doesn't matter.
That vote is then sent to the voting server via an HTTP request and recorded. The data gathered are visible from the sim voting results page on this site. The initial page of this is simply a list of sims ordered by votes received - something which I might remove, it doesn't really give much useful information as to quality - but there is a link marked "similar" by each sim name. Clicking this will send the viewer to a page listing all of the other sims that people who voted for that one have voted for, ordered by the total number of votes. For example, here are sims that people who vote for Caledon also vote for.
Note also that there is a "visit" link by every sim, using SLurls, allowing easy travel.
Given enough data from users, I think that this has the potential to be very handy in suggesting places to visit based on places that you already know you like. I have always found "people who bought this item also bought..." services very interesting and useful in other contexts, myself.
If you would like to participate in this it would make me extremely happy. The system requires a large number of contributors. You don't need to spend ages marking every sim that you like and keep the HUD on all the time - if you only visit some of your favourites and vote for them now, then forget about the whole thing, that would still be terrific. And if you do obtain one of the objects, do consider giving it to any friends of yours who might also be interested - it is free to copy and transfer.
The HUD is available from: