Thursday, November 19, 2009

xstreet alternative- metaverse exchange

Test drive 4: Metaverse Exchange

We may have a winner, for me. It's strange, and not 100% ideal, and reinvents the wheel. But, it might be my best option.

Also, you'll see that my evaluation is coloured by previous things- meta-life plus proper image integration is currently what I'm measuring things against (in other words, I want to see them get close to that, _or_ similar convenience in another package- this approaches the second). I'm also more concerned with cursory listings and will work on more of the extras later, while skimming through each to get the overview.

For convenience (and my wrist's) sake, I'm going to be referring to this as MVX because I can barely _remember_ the full name, aside from it being long. The info from digging around the website looked interesting- a "listing here is weird, but that's because we actually let you group alternates". And listing IS weird.

Signup's a little strange because this is an "integrate all your virtual worlds into one account" thing (as well as multiple SL accounts, from the looks of it)- there's currently one other world (Legends Online? or something like that. I've heard of it, never been), set up an account, integrate it to your SL account second, and they actually USE your email address in sign it makes sense to ask (maybe that's why the whole email signup process on slapt was weird to me? I don't know). Box gets sent, you don't have to leave the privacy of your skybox while wearing awesome but wacky demos and other neat things people send you while you're standing around. p.s. I'm also a fan of convenience.

Good Things:

Multiple options of the same item (like colour alts) collapse into one really easily. One listing, dropdown for all the items on that listing. Totally different system than any of the others, and a nice one- cuts down on the dreaded clutter that omg is the reason the sky is falling and we have to fuck with you. Editing the batch is also pretty quick and reasonably simple...once you know what you're doing, which is not easy.

Image uploading with multiple options, including the ability to grab previously uploaded images fairly easily. Also, you can assign a crapton of images to any single thing (I threw in all 30 alts of the shirt, just to see if I could- it doesn't have a scrollbar, so it's rather useless beyond the first 5 or so, but it DID let me), though it doesn't tell you in the thumbnail that there are other images than just the default. It automatically reorders things as you assign in a manner that appeared random to me, so beyond image 1, who knows what the order will be- this only makes any difference when you have too many images and some may get shoved off screen!

edit: I just looked back- thumbnails are smaller than before so I can see more, AND it now scrolls sideways if you have more than fit. So, something may have been hinkey when I first checked that's ironed itself out.

I think you can do copy and transfer options integrated into single listings easily as well, if you choose to. I largely avoid transfer on web based systems when I have a copy alternative because I don't trust redelivery and unscrupulous people. (Generally, this is why I don't like transfer, period, btw, and only offer it in very particular cases now.)

Bad Things:

Holy crap is listing confusing. It sort of kinda makes sense once you've done it, but even then, parts are NOT where you expect them to be, divided up between two sections- and some things in one part don't carry over but others do...generally, very steep learning curve. You WILL need to have the Help page open while you're listing, and will have to look back at it for every. single. step. The instructions are pretty good, but they are 100% necessary, and it will probably take me a handful of listings to get used to it at all to where I _don't_ have to refer back constantly. I also got totally turned around trying to edit a listing, and learned a lot the first time that will help out next time, but did a LOT wrong the first time, even going through their instructions. It would be nice if there was an easy way to integrate fatpacks too? However I think that would involve changing the system a bit- prices seem to be constant, and that should be a somewhat different option in the dropdown instead of just, I don't see an easy way to do it that wouldn't just cause more confusion. This is also assuming that there isn't that ability and I just didn't see it because I'm still picking up on the system. But I was able to easily edit the non fatpack and the fatpack listings to link to each other (BB Code, not HTML- I'm more comfortable with HTML, but BB is pretty common and what most of these sites use anyway, and it's not bad)...once I figured out how to edit active listings (I also made it active before I meant to- again, first listing WILL confuse the crap out of you).

Generally, I'd overhaul the organization in certain ways and move some of the info back and forth- the setting info from one to apply to all thing doesn't make as much sense when you've also got a SECOND place to put in info that applies to all, and the division doesn't entirely seem to make sense. Some does. I also found it may not have applied things across right, and couldn't see where to change the info in the individual and apply it across to all _again_- which is useful.

Images are not bad, but could be yet less clunky. Meta-life's the only one that gets close- let me apply secondary images to all the selected at one click, please. Also, would love to see thumbnails at the item list so I had a clue which ones I'd done what with yet! I had to go through my listing repeatedly to make sure I hadn't listed everything, and some of that won't change with practice, because it isn't so easy to see how the lot of it is set up at a glance. This is less a "bad thing" and a "wish it was this way thing", of course!

All shirts, plus fatpacks, listed. Took (quite a bit) longer than meta-life because a) figuring out system, b) actually changing the pictures for each one! Proper meta-life listings WILL take longer as I didn't slot out the image for each, and c) it may still take slightly longer generally because of the way things are set out across two pages, and how that info there is organized. But, listing all didn't take much longer than one (main problem being assigning images to each)- so for colour alts and such, very good. Listing singles is divided up in the same manner, so that _is_ a little clunkier than some, but not altogether horrible. Still, this is my current personal frontrunner, with meta-life not having uploadable images supported. It has beaten out apez in my book, although single listings are probably a bit more time consuming in the long run than apez.


Noirran said...

with MVX I found assigning all the images to items then going back and group, pricing, listing a lot easier. But I do not have near the number of items you do :) Every time I see MVX I think MXC and keep waiting for a Japanese man in a cheese suit to come out and whack me with a baseball bat.

Allegory Malaprop said...

Hahaha, yeah, I'm actually not suuuper sold on the names/abbreviations of most of these services, but good names are a pain in the ass to come up with.

If I stick it out with MVX, the listing process _will_ become easier. It's going to take a few batches to get into the groove- I purposefully choose one of my most painful listings to test these out, as batch features are the _big_ thing I miss in xstreet, and a huge part of why I HATE listing on it versus it being a chore but not really so awful on onrez. I would LOVE a thumbnail view on the list of all items so I could see what I've assigned what to- it's easy to accidentally skip over one.