We have movement on Virtual Landmarks. I’ve been writing about Virtual Landmarks since August 2012 when Toysoldier Thor proposed them (see SVC-8082). See: Virtual Landmarks. They are a feature that is on the Linden ‘would really like someday’ list. The last I’ve heard is they are not on the production schedule. This means there is a bunch of stuff ahead of them and no definitive priority has been set.
That no priority has been set means we have no idea when we may Virtual Landmarks (VLM) in Second Life™. But, Darrius Gothly has just written an article titled: Time To Push Second Life Forward – Virtual Landmarks. Obviously it is about VLM’s. It does a very good job of explaining the purpose of VLM’s. The best part is there is now a way to get VLM’s.
Darrius and I have both compared VLM’s to URL’s that use a web site’s domain name, like blog.nalates.net. Somewhere there is a server that looks up that name and tells your computer where my web server is and how to connect. VLM’s in SL will need a server to provide a look up service too. It is setting up such a server that the Lab has yet to prioritize and start work on.
It Is Done
Some people wanted VLM’s now. Apparently Darrius is one of those people. So, they made a service external to Second Life that can be used on web sites (like the SL Market Place or my blog) and within Second Life. A person can now purchase VLM’s from a service to use with their products.
One can get five VLM’s with up to 8 locations each for L$299 (US$1.58 per the Market Place conversion) to L$5999, which provides unlimited VLM’s. It is a subscription or lease somewhat like registering a domain name. The basic 5 VLM deal is for 1 year. I’ll point out that the number of VLM’s you get has nothing to do with how many you can hand out. I’ve purchased one domain name (Nalates.net), but I can give out the name/URL to as many people as I want and post links to the site in as many places as I want. VLM’s or sort of the same. You could give your ONE VLM to everyone in SL… let me know if you figure out how to do that… and you just pay for one VLM.
Eight locations per VLM… that one had me scratching my head. There is a web page that explains that. See: VLMVW™ – Virtual Landmarks for Virtual Worlds. There is a wearable VLM. It has the 8 locations if you decided to set them up. A menu gives you a choice of which location to teleport to. The site describes it:
Virtual Landmarks also have a feature not available with standard Landmarks: Multiple Destinations. A VLM can have up to 8 destinations called “Locations”. If a VLM has more than one Location, it will list each of them in Nearby Chat then present you with a simple menu. Once you select the desired Location by clicking on the corresponding menu button, you will be instantly teleported there. Each time you wear a VLM, you can choose any of the available Locations.
All in all this sounds like a really handy service. Getting 5 VLM’s for US$1.58 per year or about $0.32 per year per VLM is a pretty good deal in my thinking. Domain names are about $7 to $10 per year.
One of the nice things about these VLM’s is the statistics they provide. You cannot get any usage information on the standard SL landmarks you hand out. With these VLM’s are used the hosting server can record stats. You can access those and see how well your marketing with VLM’s is working.
We often want the Lab to do things for us. But, often when they don’t do something in the time frame we want we forget that an opportunity for an entrepreneurial solution is waiting to be developed. Darrius or Darrius and crew have stepped up to provide a service many of us need now.
We can see the difference between the SL government (the Lab) being involved, as with the Mesh Deformer, and an independent entrepreneurial private effort, the VLM’s. All the things the Lab controls take time and are never quite the way we want them. I don’t mean the Lab does poor work, they just have to meet all the company’s criteria and design for the general use. We see that compliance with criteria problem slowing viewer development among third party viewers. There is nothing to be done about this, it is just the way it is. The less we involve the Lab, the faster we get things.
While this private solution is here now, we can still let the Lab know we want the service in SL. If you have not clicked watch on SVC-8082, visit the page and try clicking watch. Some JIRA items still allow that.