The Art Galleries of SL List is available at http://sasun.info/ArtGalleriesOfSL.htm.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

What? No Blog For Your Gallery? Shame!

Make a blog for your gallery! It's a great way to announce events and keep your fans updated. It's so easy to get started. I'd highly recommend using Blogger.com for your blog. I'd highly recommend you DO NOT use wordpress.com - you can not put secondlife:// links in a wordpress blog and they have no plans to change that. BOO! But those links work fine in a blogger.com blog. All of my links are secondlife:// links here.

Slurl.com links are in general bad - why go to an intermediary website that just makes you click one more button - and guess what that "Teleport" button that pops up is for every link to slurl.com? Yep, and secondlife:// link. So skip the middle man and ALWAYS use secondlife:// links.

Once you have your blog set up, go update your RSS entry in your kiosk, and the following monday you will see an [RSS] link next to your gallery name, so people can find your RSS feed and add it to their favorite aggregator (I recommend using Google Reader, btw). Having a blog is one very simple and effective way of marketing your gallery in a fun and effective way. Give it time, don't get discouraged if no one reads your blog at first. Just keep at it, keep it up to date, write about SL art related things that interest you, and your readers will come.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Gallery Tour HUD problems

Did you know that the gallery tour HUD that is given out to each person that clicks a kiosk is by far the most accurate list of locations in SL? This is because the database of locations that are used to update the HUD once a week is updated automatically by the kiosks themselves - it is impossible to maintain such a huge list of locations manually. However there are the usual glitches and gotchas that cause you to land on the occasional empty lot at one of the locations in the HUD. Here's why.
  • The actual data in the HUD is not completely automatically updated. Though gallery locations are updated immediatly in the database (see http://sasun.info for the live data) I have to dump that data to a custom script that formats the data to the correct formats for the in-world notecards, the HUDs, and for the blog. This is done every sunday night. This means that if a gallery moves, it won't be corrected until the following sunday. So monday morning, the list is completely 100% up to date and slowly degrades a little until sunday as galleries come and go.
  • There is a longstanding bug that causes the map to display incorrect x/y/z coordinates when using the llMapDestination() LSL call. Sometimes it will show the correct sim but the x/y/z coodinates from the LAST location that llMapDestination() showed on the map. I've worked around this with a trick. If I call llMapDestination twice with the same exact location data with a short delay between them, the second call always works. You can see this when the map pops up, then 2 seconds later, it shifts over a bit. If you click too fast when the map pops up, you may go to the wrong location and the map will pop up again. Give it two seconds after it pops, then click. Extra laggy sims may need more time!
  • Telehubs and forced landing points will stop you from dropping in front of the gallery kiosk on sims that have telehubs and parcels that have forced landing points. You can tell this is the case because you'll see the big red arrow and red ring on the map but you will be somewhere else. All you can do is fly to the arrow and you'll find the kiosk right there. Ask the parcel owner if they can turn off their forced landing point, that's about all you can do. Just realize it might not be their fault, if the sim owner has a telehub set up for the sim, there's nothing the parcel owners/renters can do except complain to the sim owner.

So what should you do if you find a bad location in the HUD? Go to http://sasun.info and see if the gallery has moved. If it's there, and the location still points to an empty lot, I just haven't gotten around to cleaning it off the list (which I do manually every day or so). If it's not there at all, that means the gallery just plain closed doors, I removed the inactive location from the database after confirming that the kiosk is gone, and the owner has not rezzed their gallery kiosk elsewhere. Rez your HUD after monday morning to get the new HUD automatically and check again with the search function in the HUD.

BTW did you know that the HUD can be used for private group tours? They have a very nice group tour mode that can help herd a pack of tourists from one location to another. Please contact me for help if you are interested, this feature is still in testing.

Happy gallery exploring!!