I said it would be done by the weekend.
Well, here it is. Please go to the official project site for all information, including how to subscribe, how to join as a designer, how it works, etc, etc, etc. This here is just a very brief summary.
The Designer Showcase Network connects content creators of Second Life with potential customers. Subscribers of the network receive a randomly selected promotional sample each day. This takes the pressure out of visiting shops and grabbing freebies, and potential customers can check out the sample at their leisure in the comfort of their own place. The aim is to bring targeted potential customers to a store, thus generating more sales. The focus, therefore, is on sales instead of traffic.
Traffic versus clients
For the longest time, traffic was the mantra of many Second Life businesses. The higher the traffic on a parcel, the better the business was supposed to be. This was fostered by the fact that places with high traffic appear higher in various search listings. As a result, the goal of high traffic numbers led to questionable actions like bot farms, ridiculously high priced classifieds, reward systems for profile picks and an abundance of gridwide hunts.
While at first each of those measures seemed to have the desired effect, lately residents grow weary. Places with high traffic scores are more and more often seen synonymous with “bot farms”, and the number of those reached so high that anti-bot policies have been instituted by Linden Labs. And with almost weekly new gridwide hunts, the patience of the shoppers gets challenged.
On the other hand, business owners realize that traffic does not equal revenue. In fact, too much traffic makes a sim laggy and a shop less attractive to regular shoppers. So instead of having 200 people coming into a shop because of a hunt or a FashCon announcement — but leaving with empty hands except the advertised freebie — it is much better to have 2 people come into the shop who actually buy something.
Despite some prominent voices claiming otherwise, we are convinced that a free item is the best way to show a potential customer the level of craftsmanship a content creator can offer. Our vision is to connect the brilliant and gifted creators of Second Life with potential new clients, to remove the stress and drama from SL marketing, and ultimately, add value to both the consumer and the designer.
The “Designer Showcase Network” is a new and unique approach to bring customers and creators together. The network automates the way in which content creators deliver their showcase samples to targeted potential shoppers. The subscribers of the network only receive items from areas they are interested in, and the content creators only connect to people looking for their kind of products. (A description of how it works behind the scenes can be found in the FAQ section)
Taking the stress out, taking the sense of entitlement out, bringing a surprise and fun factor back in, giving small creators a huge audience, and allowing subscribers to discover new and exciting shops is the idea behind the Designer Showcase Network.