A couple of events have recently caught my somewhat bloodshot Eye, and from that particular organ made their way slowly along my Nerves and Sinews towards the Fingers, from whence they now emerge in the form of Words. As the First and Briefest Matter, the Electric Sheep have demolished their previous Aethernet Establishment "SL Boutique", and in its place now stands "shop.onrez.com". Fear not, previous merchants, as Saleable Items have been automatically shipped across; adding further items, though, I believe will require them to be placed in a Box of the new style.
(At this point I should perhaps declare an interest, in that I have been doing a small quantity of recent work for the Sheep, on an entirely independent matter to this, but I believe that regular readers should really know me well enough to appreciate that I am not given to any sort of promotional puffery. Irregular readers I suppose must simply take my Word on this matter.)
I note with a slightly furrowed brow that previously-included links to my own SLBoutique page and products now do not work, and visitors are simply taken to the ShopOnRez front page. Admittedly it would then be the work of moments for said visitors to then type the name of the desired product into the "Search" box, and hopefully, they will do this, but since "itemid" appears to remain the same between products in Old and New some sort of rewriting rule would seem appropriate.
That small detail aside, something that I do find an encouraging development is the option to use In-World Vendors that are automatically linked to one's ShopOnRez storeroom - in other words, a free Networked Vendor System that is also an Aethernet Vendor! I must say that this is seems a very wise move for the Encouragement of More Widespread Use. If, dear reader, you will permit me a moment or two of self-indulgence, I shall write a little on my Priorities in the Matter of Stocking. (Not Stockings, for the benefit of that urchin at the back.) On the increasingly infrequent occasion that I actually finish a product to my own satisfaction, my sales priorities are:
My Caledon shop; from here, the vast majority of my sales arise. I will make sure that whatever the item might be is boxed up and placed in a Prominent Place with an Appropriately Attractive Appearance. I will likely begin to compose advertisements and a Journal piece about said item once I have done this, and during that process will suddenly realise that I have not placed the items on SLX or SLB.
"Confound it!" I cry at this stage. "Must I really do this? I can't stand blasted SLX, I can never get the page I want, and SLB is always broken." (One must remember that, as stated previously, I am not one of Nature's merchants and find the entire process a complete pain, thus I am rarely in a positive or sober mood at this point.) Yet I am aware that these efforts are necessary, and, draining my glass, I pour myself another and grimly set to the task.
At this point I begin with SLExchange, not because I prefer it - I most certainly do not, I find it ugly and impossible to navigate as a salesperson, though I must say that as a customer it is quite simple to use - but in the knowledge that the majority of my Aethernet sales originate there. I rewrite my advertisement in BBCode (BBCode for heaven's sake!), click on the wrong links a few times, go back and forth until I remember how to actually put things up for sale, and eventually manage to force the damn thing onto the Site, where it squats, sullenly, not selling.
At this stage I am aware that I should also put the thing up on SLBoutique, and quite frequently I do, but also quite frequently I don't, because I know that not doing so will not be significantly injurious to my livelihood (not that I make much money from SLExchange either to be frank) and after previous activities I am in a Foul and Mulish Mood. This is not, I might add here, the best time to demand that I assist with a Drinks Fridge over Instant Message, unless, perhaps, you are a collector of sarcastic and hostile responses.
Thus, you see, poor old SLBoutique comes last or not at all, through no real fault of its own. However, with the addition of this new Network Vendor Function, there will be the added incentive that populating ShopOnRez will now result in a Network Vendor System being populated as well - and I keep meaning to have one, and have indeed written my own, though suspicion of my own skills leads me not to use it for anything more valuable than notecards. For those folk out there without an established shop of some sort, or with only a very small shop, or with a predeliction for the rental of Vendor Space in sundry other establishments, this would be even more of an attraction to the use of the service. Thus: a good move for all, I believe.
An Addition as of Saturday 28th: Oh, now that I actually come to play with the in-world vendor that is available, it really is a joy to use compared to the absolute trial that configuring such vendor systems in-world usually presents. What is more, moving products from the Old to New style of Box requires just the removal of the existing Box Script and the addition of two new ones. I was not looking forward to having to entirely repopulate a new Box.
Oh dear, I did mean for that to be the shorter part of this entry, and now it has grown to ridiculous size. Quickly, before I become utterly sick of the idea of writing for another month, I should mention the other point, which was of course the Laboratory's recent Prohibition on Wagering.
I was gratified to see that as well as actually having the term "wagering" in the title of the Announcement, they also listed Baccarat first in the List of Prohibited Games, Sufficient but not Necessary. Speaking personally I have little love for organised games of chance, given that my everyday Scripting Activities involve the regular possibility of losing large sums of money due to random decisions by Difference Engines anyway, but the fact that I do not particularly like something does not in itself mean that there is anything wrong with it of course; Loofah-Fondling Societies are not my cup of tea either but as long as I am not approached too often by gentlemen bearing said desiccated gourds and inviting me to have a feel, I am not concerned.
I am, and always have been, a harsh critic of those who abuse the Resources of a Sim by emplacing dozens of Campers in front of Colourful Machines, and many careless Mainland Casino Owners are appalling in this regard, but really, even though this will drastically reduce the problem, the solution should not be to ban the activity itself, rather to address the abuse that is causing the issue. The Lag is the problem, rather than the Gambling.
It must be said though that this does remind one that there is a Higher Power than even King Philip. This is no random decree by the Laboratory, who previously have been quite happy with wagering, but a response to the terrible and inscrutable Elder Gods who make decrees affecting unfortunate dwellers in that particular region, based not on what mere humans perceive as Rationality but on Awful Cosmic Whims, the reasoning behind which Man Was Not Meant To Know (and should not delve into, lest one be stricken with madness and end one's days in the feared asylum that, I believe, is known as Washington). Alas, even the most sparkly codpiece cannot change what approximates to their "minds".
It might well be said that even sim-hogging graspers deserve a little more notice, let alone those operating innocent establishments on their own sims, but, well, these sudden decisions are a trademark of the Laboratory, and surely we must appreciate their artistic integrity. At least it is good that in this instance, what has been prohibited is fairly clear.