SLNameWatch Disabled for 3 Days

3:02 pm last names, policy

((
I have temporarily disabled SLNameWatch or 3 days. A countdown timer on the home page indicates the latest point at which I will re-enable the site.

I have done this out of protest. The Linden Lab software responsible for tracking friend referrals stopped working one year ago, today. As far as I know, Linden Lab has not publicly addressed the issue.

About the only acknowledgement that there even is a problem is that WEB-841 was assigned to WorkingOnIt Linden about six months ago. There are no comments from Linden Lab representatives.

This site isn’t very expensive. It runs on a shared web host. The data collection bot continuously requires a small amount of processor and network resources on my home network, which I don’t mind lending. However, the Google Ads alone are not quite enough to cover the expenses. I’m slightly in the hole, here, going by cash alone. Before the refer-a-friend system stopped working a year ago, I received dozens of calling cards per week (You can see a blurred out picture of a volume of calling cards in my inventory, here) Occasionally, these accounts would upgrade to premium. The bonuses associated with the upgrade went a long way to offset costs and were a great motivation for me to invest more into the site.

Then, it stopped. LL launched a new registration portal, and my best guess is that the developers neglected to include the referal id handler. This affects referral urls, slurls with referral ids, and postcards.

I’m not asking for a freebie, here. I assume I am still driving a modest number of new registrations to Second Life. Without the stream of calling cards I have no way to know exactly how many. Over the last year my traffic has grown, so I feel it is safe to assume that traffic I driving to Second Life has stayed steady or grown. According to secondlife.com, Linden Lab offers L$2000 (about 7.50USD) for each new account that is upgraded to premium. Linden Lab is not making good on the offer, simple as that.
I have written a few words about this on the disabled website, and on SL’s pJIRA issue WEB-841, which I created over 9 months ago.

I understand, mistakes happen. New features introduce new bugs. Some business decisions that make good sense at one point in time outlive their usefulness. I get it. But, what is promised on the Second Life official web site for the last year does not match reality, to put it in the most generous terms possible. It is way past time to confront reality.

I will re-enable the site early if Linden Lab

  • Acknowledges the problem, offers an explanation, and articulates a plan to repair it, which includes at least addressing the issue of the payment backlog, and/or
  • Removes the false offer of 2000L from the official website, accompanied by a public announcement of the end of the program. Again, the announcement must at least address the issue of the payment backlog.

I don’t pretend that this will have a strong impact on Second Life’s thousands of new registrations per day, but maybe this will raise awareness of something that is clearly unfair.

See you in 2 days 8 hours, ….
-Big Adz ))

11 Responses
  1. Refer-A-Friend System Is Broken (JIRA Issue ID WEB-841) - SLUniverse Forums :

    Date: July 23, 2009 @ 15:11

    […] 9 month mark. 1 year since the issue emerged. No word from LL. Artificial Boy ? Blog Archive ? SLNameWatch Disabled for 3 Days […]

  2. Anonymous :

    Date: July 24, 2009 @ 19:06

    I think you should’ve kept it closed longer… When I saw it, I thought “awesome, stick it to the man” but then I got to the part about only 3 days!

    The site is just well known enough to bring attention to your problem if you would have only had more resolve…

  3. Adz :

    Date: July 24, 2009 @ 19:15

    I ain’t chicken!

  4. Dusan Writer’s Metaverse » Linden Lab Doesn’t Want Your Friends :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 09:10

    […] or whatever. But to one Second Life Resident, the quiet disabling of the refer-a-friend fee is cause for protest, saying that “the Linden Lab software responsible for tracking friend referrals stopped […]

  5. Valiant Westland :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 10:50

    A properly constructed Affiliate / Refer-a-friend program can be one of the most powerful viral marketing tools a company can use to build web traffic and grow its customer base. I own a number of web properties that generate significant revenues, through a carefully chosen set of affiliate programs.

    A program like this must be tied to a subscription or up-front revenue model to work. It’s not a good fit for the current “Free access” model, Linden Lab seems content to offer and is used by the majority of users. The Lab also seems content with the current rate of word-of-mouth-driven adoption. It obviously suits their growth goals and requires no further stimulation.

    For the Lab, not sharing revenue they don’t have to makes perfect “bottom-line” sense. Unfortunately, in the long term, not offering ways for people to share in their success and share the excitement of that success with others will backfire. I believe the future of e-business and social networking will increasingly be one where customers are rewarded for helping build and grow brands. Companies that fail to acknowledge and reward the people who help them be successful will not survive this growing wave of grass-roots marketing and referral-driven sales for long.

  6. Adz Childs :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 11:14

    These are some good points. Thanks so much for posting. Very insightful.

    What I am most strongly objecting to is not that they are canceling the affiliate program — that is their business decision to make for better or worse. What I object to is that, to this day, SL’s official refer-a-friend page says 2000L per premium account referred, and this is a lie, and I can’t believe they’ve get away with it for over a year now.

    https://secure-web12.secondlife.com/account/referral.php?lang=en

  7. Anonymous :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 13:31

  8. Anonymous :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 14:18

    Why not file a complaint with the California State Attorney General’s Office?

  9. Randy :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 23:06

    OH MY….. What has my little boy gone and did?

  10. Adz Childs :

    Date: July 25, 2009 @ 23:57

    heh… this is a Big Adz post. Serious business!!!

  11. Adz :

    Date: July 26, 2009 @ 14:43

    @anonymous I’d rather not escalate it into something hostile. I do still like the platform; I just want LL to behave a little more honestly on this issue. Besides, I doubt the AG takes anonymous complaints…
    Thanks though

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