Hunting In Second Life: Part 1

One of my true favorite things in Second Life (next to shopping) is hunting!  Of course the great part is that shopping and hunting can be combined of course…much to the detriment of my Linden balance.

For the uninitiated, a hunt in Second Life is kind of a scavenger hunt.  You start at one store and look for a special object.  When you find it, you can buy it for usually $L0, depending on the hunt.  This will usually give you a folder in inventory with a gift from the store, and a landmark to the next store in the hunt.  You use the landmark to move to the next store and repeat the process again until the end of the hunt.  It’s a lot of fun, you get to see new places and things and sometimes walk away with some pretty nifty gifts, most of the time without paying a dime!

Trophies
Some of the hunt objects I’ve sought in the past on proud display

Now I’ve been hunting for about a year and a half now and I’ve found not all hunts are created equal.  What makes a hunt great or a flop?  Well, here’s my two Linden..

Continue reading Hunting In Second Life: Part 1

Tired Of Unsolicited Groups In SL

The title says it all.  I avidly do store hunts in SL, and most of the stores and merchants are wonderful.  They put their time and effort into creating a gift and creating a wonderful experience for hunters.

Unfortunately, there’s always the bad seeds.  For them, the hunt is a way to add people to their advertising group, whether they want to be added or not.  I’m constantly receiving notecards from objects with some variation of “You’re receiving this because you participated in a hunt in this region..”.  Am I the only one that’s severely annoyed by this?

In the last hour I received an unsolicited notecard from Royal Thai Galleries, a store in-world.  I sent a notecard to the owner of the offending object and requested removal from the group I never joined.  In turn I received a notecard saying I was the only one that had requested to be removed, which I sincerely doubt.  Anyway I IM’ed him saying that I may be the only one that requested removal but I doubt I’m the only one annoyed by it.  Others probably just mute him or the object or ignore it.

The response was a snotty little IM saying I must have a sad life to be so upset by his goodwill gesture and he’d leave me be to enjoy my life the best I could.  I in turn replied with a quote from the Second Life TOS (Available here) that I thought appropriate:

8.3 You agree that you will not post or transmit Content or code that may be harmful, impede other users’ functionality, invade other users’ privacy, or surreptitiously or negatively impact any system or network.

You agree to respect both the integrity of the Service and the privacy of other users. You will not:

(ii) Post or transmit unsolicited or unauthorized advertising, or promotional materials, that are in the nature of “junk mail,” “spam,” “chain letters,” “pyramid schemes,” or any other form of solicitation that Linden Lab considers to be of such nature;

Amazingly I got no response back.. how shocking.  This is not the first snippy little reply I’ve received from asking to be removed from an unsolicited advertising group, but it was one of the worst.  A big thumbs down to Royal Thai Galleries for this attitude.

I’m getting seriously tired of being added to groups simply because I set foot in your store or region.  I DO have a spark of intelligence and can find your group joiner and click it if I want your group.  If I don’t click it, it’s safe to say I don’t want to hear from you.

Are any other citizens of SL getting tired of this, or am I the only one?

Business In SL – The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

SL of course has a thriving business sector.  There are more shops there than you can shake a stick at.  But as in RL, SL businesses vary in their customer service.  Some are better than others in my experience.  Let me share my experiences as a Super Shopper just over just the last week.

The Good: LGJC Productions.  This is a pretty new business that sells, um, well, bondage toys.  *blush*.  As I was looking around I decided to test one out.  I hopped on and was instantly stuck.  The machine would not let me go.  Normally I have “safe word” enabled on my collar – yes, I wear a collar, did I forget to mention that?  😉  This means I can break out of most RLV (Restrained Love Viewer) enabled objects.  However, there seems to be a bit of a bug in the collar scripts, at least for me.  Occasionally the relay settings change themselves – usually after a viewer crash.  Needless to say, safe word was not enabled…

About that time the owner of the shop, LoreleiLynn and her assistant Sultana showed up and greeted me.  Figuring I’m pretty embarrassed already, I confessed that I was stuck.  To make a long story short, the machine kept hold of me even after a reset of the collar and LoreleiLynn deleting it.  Strong stuff!  Finally I had to relog and that fixed it.

Let me stress that the machine did exactly what it was supposed to do.  The prisoner is not supposed to be able to free herself, and I couldn’t.  LoreleiLynn and Sultana were very helpful during all this, and impressed me greatly.  Even though I got myself trapped, I still came away with a good feeling about this store.

I encourage anyone interested in the lifestyle to check it out at LGJC Productions.

The Bad: Michigan’s Shack.  The other day I was doing a “hunt”.  For those not in the know, a hunt is kind of a scavenger hunt.  They usually involved multiple stores and you have to find the hunt object in the store.  Often you’re given a hint by the store owner as to the location of the object.  You then “buy” the object for $0 when you find it, and there is a gift from the store and a landmark to the next store on the hunt contained in it.

Anyway, occasionally you get store owners that seem to think the goal of the game is to hide the object so well that it takes two days to find it.  Strangely it just becomes tedious to me at this point.  Well, Michigan’s Shack likes to do this.  I’ve been there on several hunts.  The store is *huge* and the hint is usually quite vague.  I can’t recall offhand, but I don’t believe I’ve found *any* of their hunt objects after hours of looking.

This time I became frustrated and did something I should *not* have done.  I filled out one of their handy customer feedback surveys in the store.  Granted, I was in a bit of a foul mood and said some things I should not have, but I *was* civil.  No foul language or threats or anything like that.

The upshot is that a couple of days later I find myself unceremoniously banned from the region without a word.  No contact by the owner or anyone at the store, just banned.  Is it just me or is banning a customer because you got feedback you didn’t like a bad business plan?  In RL I run a small web-based business and I *value* my customers.  I would *never* pull a stunt like this.

What’s unfortunate is that I was trying to go to *another* business in the region.  I wonder if the other businesses there know that Michigan’s Shack is just banning people for bad feedback…  If I were a business owner there *I’d* be less than thrilled with them banning customers from my store because *they* had a problem with them.

Two thumbs down to Michigan’s Shack for poor customer service.  Just a word of advice to anyone visiting there – stay well away from the feedback forms.  Or just tell them what they want to hear…

The Ugly: X-Clusive Animations.  Again I was on a hunt yesterday and found myself at X-Clusive Animations, one of the stops on the list.  Now X-Clusive is another huge store and the hint was vague.  Also when I teleported in there was a lot of activity going on.  Some kind of dance or something.  Since the lag was high, the hint was vague, and there was a lot of gesture spamming going on I decided to skip to the next hunt location.

Now to do this, you have to use the SLURL from the hunt blog.  You can’t click on it directly, so what I do is cut and paste it to local chat, and say it.  then you can click on it to teleport.  I did this, and had been at the next location for about 5 minutes when I get an IM from the owner of the X-Clusive Animation sim, telling me to stop spamming chat or he’ll eject me.

This confused me a bit, since I had no idea what he was talking about.  After asking him, it was because I had “gave a URL to another store” in local chat.  I apologized and told him what I was doing.  It seems that one of his employees had reported me to him for chat spamming.  To his credit, he apologized to me after figuring out the situation, but I have to say it left a bad taste in my mouth.  I doubt I’ll be back.

Just a word of advice maybe for future customer relations.  Maybe you should determine exactly what happened before you start IMing customers and accusing them of things.  Also, maybe a little better employee training might be in order.

-Cass

 

Edit (10/22/2011):  The other day I received an IM from a representative of X-Clusive Animations saying she’d read the blog and was sorry I’d had a bad experience there and invited me to try them again.  I haven’t had a chance to get back there, but this is a step in the right direction.  Kudos to X-Clusive Animations for customer relations!

My SL gets Weirder – Part 3

In parts 1 and 2 I introduced my core family, Allan and Sal.  They’re the ones I live with am around most days.  There are two more girls I just have to mention, though.  The ones I consider my best friends and really my extended family in SL.  Caitlyn and Sheree.

Caitlyn I’ve know since almost day 1 in SL.  She was pretty much my first true friend there and has helped me a lot and shown me the ropes.  She’s been hanging around SL for almost four years now, and knows it all.  She’s also a shorty like me.  As is Sal, I forgot to mention.  We take pride in our *normal* height, as opposed to the prevalent seven and eight foot Amazon women of SL  ;-). 

Caitlyn is a talented builder and used to run her own shop here in SL.  She likes to use me as a guinea pig for her new creations which I don’t mind, as I have fun doing it.  One I like particularly is the necklace/collar she gave me.  I’ve fallen in love with it, it’s just so beautiful!  She has put some of her items up on XStreet, including this one.  You can get your own at a *very* reasonable price from Caitlyn’s items on XStreet.  A word of warning, though – the picture does not come *close* to doing this necklace justice.  In person it’s gorgeous!  If you can’t decide and want to see it in person, IM me in-world. I’d be happy to show it to you.  I wear mine every day.

Sheree is even younger in SL than me.  I’ve known her since early on, too.  She was only days old when we met.  Since then she has become one of my fastest friends.  Sheree is Australian so is 15 hours ahead of me.  Makes my head spin.  I keep asking her what the future holds, but she just shakes her head and mumbles something about paradox.

Sheree is a slave herself.  She was a slave before I was a Mistress, so she helps me fine tune my Mistress skills with a bit of good advice here and there.  She gives me the other point of view.  She is not *my* slave though, and I am not *her* Mistress.  She has a Mistress she is very happy with.  We are simply friends and peers.

Well, that’s the important events and people.  I have several more ideas for articles so be sure to come back often!

-Cass

My SL Gets Weirder – Part 2

Where was I?  Oh yes,  I’d mentioned my new look and my wonderful slave Allan.  What I perhaps failed to mention is how much she means to me.  That was brought home to me the other day, when through a misunderstanding and equipment failure I thought I’d lost her for good.  It broke my heart.  Fortunately all is well now, and we’re stronger than ever!

Thirdly, at least chronologically, is Sally.  Or the hottest, sweetest, most wonderful girl in SL, as I like to call her…  We met in Carnal City, and after a whirlwind romance I asked her to marry me.  Two months ago today, as a matter of fact. 

——
Wed 4/14/2010 5:05 AM
Dear Cassandra Kestrel,

You have received a Second Life partner proposal from Sally —–.
——

I actually proposed, but she crashed right afterward.  When she came back online, she had been busy and formalized it.  🙂

I *do* have a picture of her that’s worth posting:

My Sweet Sal

Is she cute or what?  *sigh*.  Yep, I’m smitten.  She’s wonderful.  Young, but wonderful.  Unfortunately, she’s a busy lady RL, so I don’t get to see her as much as I would like.  She’s so sweet to make as much time for me as she does, though.  I appreciate *any* time I get with this special girl! 

A bit about Sal, without giving away anything she doesn’t want made public.  She’s Dutch, first thing which makes her seven hours ahead of my time.  That can make it a bit tough on us, since she’s in bed by 4pm my time.  She’s young but legal as she says in her profile.  Why she hangs around with an older lady like myself I’ll never know.  Look at her – you *know* she could do better.  ;-)  Especially since her personality is even sweeter than her looks.  She’s mine and I’m keeping her, though!

And I am *soooo* hers…

I’ve been with her for two thirds of my life in SL now.  Wow.  It seems to have gone so fast, yet I feel like I’ve known her forever if you know what I mean.  She’s one of the best, most important, and special things ever to happen to me in SL or RL.  She’s amazing.

Even more to say in Part 3..

A Newbie's Take On Second Life