Oh God, I simply cannot help myself.
I was discussing the tediousness of the "end phase" of commercial production with Mera Pixel earlier today, as I put the final touches to the box that sells the above product (available from Caledon and shortly SLX and SLB, as usual). I simply cannot imagine that anyone actually finds it fun. For the non-commercial and the new resident, I present the following guide to what I, at least, do:
1. Take photographs of product and of my good self holding product. Edit these to put in appropriate text for an advertisement.
2. Copy a product sales box in my showroom. Edit it so that it is appropriately named. Add in the above advertisement on the front. Change the sale price. Add the product to the inventory. Check that it has the correct permissions. Realise that there is no documentation.
2a. Open a bottle of wine and fetch a glass.
3. Write the damned documentation, mentioning all of the functions that one has introduced and how to use them. (No afficionado of the Difference Engine has ever enjoyed this in itself, even though I, being irrepressibly verbose, do not mind this as much as many do.) Place the documentation into the item. Make sure the item has a help function that provides the user with the documentation. In times of sloth, merely place the documentation into the sales box, though this can be most annoying later if people then lose their product instructions and bother you, the creator, with questions.
4. Place updated product in inventory. Add documentation notecard to sales box, to be given out to customers looking for further information. Sigh with relief that everything has now been done.
5. Realise that it is still not in the vendor (I have my sales inventory mirrored in a separate vendor even though I usually sell from boxes, just in case I ever wish to sell things elsewhere). Luckily, I have designed my own custom, immensely-simple vendor, into which I merely need to drop the object, notecard and advertisement, and edit the product listing notecard therein. Sigh with relief.
6. Realise that folk only sometimes pop into my showroom on the off-chance that I have added something new, and thus advertising is necessary. Open new bottle of wine. Compose advertisement in BBCode for inclusion in the Classified section of the SL Forums. Post advertisement. Think about posting it on other forums, generally conclude that one cannot be bothered.
7. Add things to SLExchange and SLBoutique. This is easily the most tedious part of the enterprise. Adding the item itself is easy, simply drop it into the appropriate box in my "Room Of Things That Are Not Very Interesting", but then one must go to the appropriate sites, click the correct links, type in the details all over again, add photographs and test both the item page and delivery.
8. Knock over half-empty wine bottle, curse, attempt to find salt to pour on carpet.
9. (optional) Realise that there is a fatal flaw in item which requires complete re-engineering and changes in the entire behaviour, and that this means going back to stage 1. Swear indecorously, making abusive gestures. Fall over while attempting to do something completely innocuous. Realise that it is probably time to go to bed.
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I do not mention the "compose a product demonstration video" part above because that is quite fun, though I expect that, in time, it will become dull. I still do not understand why it has not become a standard part of commerce on the Grid, though, at least for people who sell things that, well, do things, not furniture or houses or whatnot. Prospective customers do not gain any greater understanding of the nature of a sofa if they see a grainy video of somebody sitting down on it.
But anyway. Honestly, why would anyone wish to submit themselves to that? My vintner clearly would encourage me to continue, but it is not terrific fun. Someone offering a one-stop service for such a process - "give me a copy of the item, I will write up documentation and ad copy, do promotional photographs and video, post it on all of the appropriate sites and go around to Ahern and show it off" - could make a veritable mint.
On that subject, I wonder if there are already any firms offering the services of "street teams" as I believe they are called nowadays. Since so much on the Grid happens by word of mouth and personal contact, a group of people who went around to the popular dancehalls or bingo parlours or coffee shops or wherever it is that people go (I do not keep up with the behaviour of the young these days) talking about their latest amazing purchase could do very well for themselves and their customers. It is rather tricky to evaluate the efficacy of such a company beforehand, but were I so inclined, which I am not, I'm sure I could build up a reputation through an initial promotional phase of low prices in exchange for testimony.
Incidentally, I am only at stage 5 right now, if that. I do rather like the flare pistol, though, it really is rather colourful.
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: The question of why I do is, I feel, a matter for another post.
Some SL Related Links...
Here is rather good review of Second Life from someone who took it for a test drive. It's good in that it comes at things from a very technical side......