Linden Lab purchased XStreet SL and OnRez

Linden Lab has announced their purchase of the two web based merchange systems XStreet SL and OnRez. Their plan is to incorporate these services directly into Second Life. This is a smart move on Linden Lab’s part; by incorporating these service merchants are able to streamline their items, and goods through one platform. When Linden Lab created LindeX, the currency exchange service, it tied the purchasing and selling of currency to user accounts making it more accessible and easier to transfer currency throughout the platform. I feel the XStreet SL and OnRez acquisitions will provide a similar ease of use, a more robust classifieds system and an easier method for searching for virtual goods within Second Life.

I do have some reservations, my first being of personal preference. Linden Lab is shutting down the OnRez service and migrating to XStreet SL, I found OnRez to be more flexible than XStreet SL with its features. However, my decision to move from XStreet SL (formally called SL Exchange) to OnRez was centered around sale fees, which brings about my second reservation. When an item is purchased through XStreet SL, a fee is taken from the sale amount. Now that XStreet SL is going to be integrated into Second Life this policy makes little sense. Why list an item through the web based store when I can sell these items, without a fee, through my in world store. I’m sure the lost revenue can be recouped through listing enhancements (visibility, bold item listing, “featured” postings), and an advertisement system.

With the purchase of these systems I hope several enhancements can be added to the service. I feel XStreet SL is clunky, it requires an item in world to maintain sellable goods. When the grid is down, or a sim is inoperable, purchases are unable to occur. An idea would be to tie the inventory system to the web platform, moving items to a “store” folder where XStreet SL can operate from.

I also hope that Linden Lab opens the platform through some sort of API with possibilities of running a store through a personal domain (at a cost), and creating stronger ties to the in world classified system.

One interesting thought creeps to mind. The fact that the Electric Sheep Company is selling OnRez does say something about their activities within the virtual world. It seems like the final nail in the coffin for their interactions with Second Life and more of a push towards their own web based platform.

5 thoughts on “Linden Lab purchased XStreet SL and OnRez

  1. Uh, a question: I’ve heard nowhere (unless I totally missed it) that Linden Lab is planning on removing that 5% take off of every sale. So there’s really no reason to believe that tying in-world-sales to XstreetSL will not simply mean 5% being taken off the top… as it has been for years now.

    It’s all about the money.

  2. Nexeus, explain to me why you would immediately celebrate this GOMing as a “streaminglining” that is “better”. If suddenly, the government came and took over Macy’s and the Gap and Lord & Taylor’s and said they needed to “streamline” delivery and sales, wouldn’t you find that a load of crap? That’s not free enterprise and it may kill many things you take for granted about an independent sales force.

    Why is it that you think the Lindens, who brought you an inworld search and an external web site search that are widely knocked as clunky, are going to magically transform XSt, which already works pretty well? What could be better about XSt, except, oh, getting rid of all those people who enter into their pages and search every single colour of every single stuffed chair or dress they make? Like many things in life, XSt would only be “improved” by culling some of the amateur stuff and junk — yet that’s what makes it beloved by residents.

    Of course Linden will take a fee — and they said as much in their FAQs. That was the whole point, duh! they want in on this huge revenue stream of one million dollars a day. who wouldn’t! What can they possibly add to all this that Apotheus isn’t already doing — and it will be Apotheus who goes on running it?

    I don’t see what merchants get out of this except the risk of centralized clearance of content, a possible removal of some objectional adult items or weapons, closure of the forums, and some other hindrances. It’s not good for SL.

  3. From previous examples, when Linden Lab has ‘GOM’ed an idea, it has made the server better. LindeX is better than GOM.

    This most doesn’t prohibit anyone from making a new version of XSt, or OnRez, they just purchased the top two and it makes sense. Again I have my reservations and not completely excited about the move; but I see the potential. How it’s done is a different story.

  4. Closing OnRez so swiftly is a very strange move from LL. OnRez has lots of content creators who spent HUGE amounts of time putting their content on it – closing it down so fast doesn’t make lot of sense.
    Also lots of residents have expressed their wish to keep the vending system that OnRez provided, so other networked vending systems will have to take OnRez place, to provide such systems. There are already some strong solutions in this field for example metaLIFE(http://meta-LIFE.net) and Apez(Apez.biz) are both providing networked vending systems that are capable of performing various activities.
    It will be very interesting to see how this new movement by LL will change the whole e-commerce arena around SL, I expect some other companies offering good solutions will rise as a side effect.

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