Kitely starts testing hypergrid delivery

The on-demand Kitely grid announced the start of hypergrid delivery testing today.

The Kitely Market  currently has over 2,000 different product listings, about half of which are marked with the “export” permission, allowing buyers to take the content off the grid — or, once hypergrid delivery is implemented — get it delivered directly to an external grid.

More specifically, according to the latest stats from Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner, there are 4,285 product variations of which 1,680 have Export permissions, in 2,224 separate product listings.

It’s the second-largest online marketplace in OpenSim after InBiz, which serves the InWorldz grid but is not directly affiliated with it.

Top earners currently make hundreds of dollars a month just by selling to the existing Kitely user base, said Tochner. “We expect those numbers to grow significantly once hypergrid delivery is released to the general public.”

Kitely currently has around 600 active users, less than a tenth of the active users on the hypergrid as a whole, which currently number around 8,000.

Kitely is currently looking for users to test delivery to OSgrid, Metropolis, Craft, GermanGrid, and Littlefield as well as other grids and home-based grids.

If you have a store in Kitely Market then you can buy products from your own store, so that you keep the money,” said Oren Hurvitz, Kitely’s co-founder and VP of research and development, in the announcement today. “Then, you can test the ‘Redeliver’ option. And finally, you can refund the purchase if you wish.”

According to the discussion following the announcements, the first test deliveries — to Gaga Gracious on OSgrid — have gone through, though not without some viewer and lag-related glitches.

Each product listed on the Kitely Market typically comes with several variations. (Image courtesy Kitely Ltd.)

Each product listed on the Kitely Market typically comes with several variations. (Image courtesy Kitely Ltd.)

Timeline for delivery

There is no schedule for when hypergrid delivery will become publicly available.

“There are a lot of issues with Hypergrid delivery, which is why we’re having a private beta to make sure they are properly handled before we make our system available to the general public,” Tochner told Hypergrid Business. “Delivering to a third-party grid, especially over the hypergrid protocol, requires handling many different types of configurations and the interactions between them. There are also issues relating to the reliability of various OpenSim protocols which our system uses to communicate with the other grids. We’ve done a lot of work to make sure our system is robust but its reliability is limited by OpenSim shortcomings on the grids we deliver to.”

For example, it’s not enough to make sure that a product lands in the right avatar’s inventory.

“One of the problems we’ve encountered, for example, is that the grid we deliver to doesn’t always properly notify the receiving avatar of the delivery even when the items were properly delivered,” he said. “We intend to develop patches to fix these OpenSim problems and contribute them to OpenSim core so hypergrid delivery becomes more reliable.”

But those patches aren’t going to get rolled out right away — it will take time for them to get tested, incorporated in the next stable release, and deployed by a majority of the grids.

How quickly that happens is out of Kitely’s control, Tochner said.

“But once these problems are patched in OpenSim, transferring items over the hypergrid will become a lot more reliable,” he added.

The Kitely Market will even deliver to small grids that nobody knows about, by allowing customers to add new grids.

“One of the features of our marketplace is the ability to define custom grids,” said Tochner. “So if your grid is hypergrid enabled and has no firewall issues, you should be able to have exportable items from Kitely Market delivered to avatars in your grid.”

Grids will need domain names

Grids looking to allow delivery from the Kitely Market that haven’t bought a domain name should consider doing this now, since delivering to an IP address is not recommended.

“The reason is that if the IP address changes then you won’t be able to send deliveries to avatars on that grid anymore,” said Hurvitz.

For example, University of British Columbia’s Virtual Commons for Education and Research is at 142.103.123.135:9000. In fact, it is common for personal and educational grids to just use an IP address for both their Web sites and their LoginURIs and hypergrid addresses.

Home page of UBC's Virtual Commons for Education and Research grid.

Home page of UBC’s Virtual Commons for Education and Research grid.

The problem is that IP addresses can change. In fact, home-based connections might get new IP addresses every time modems are rebooted, or even more often.

Fortunately, the problem is easy to fix. Domain names run around $10 a year, and can be pointed to any destination, including IP addresses, and manually updated whenever the address changes.

Those who already have a domain name can point a subdomain to their grid’s IP address. For example, for the Hyperica grid, the hyperica.com domain goes to the website, and  the “hg” subdomain is used for the grid’s LoginURI and its hypergrid address, hg.hyperica.com:8022. OSgrid also uses the “hg” subdomain for its grid address, hg.osgrid.org:80. Infinite Grid uses the “grid” subdomain for its LoginURI and hypergrid address, which is grid.infinitegrid.org:8002.

Grids and the associated websites can also share the same domain name, without needing a subdomain, if the website and the grid are both on the same server. Most grids running the Diva Distro, Sim-on-a-Stick or New World Studio versions of OpenSim, for example, use the built-in WiFi web interface, and so need just one address for both the grid and the site.

Another option is to use a domain forwarding service. Hurvitz recommends FreeDNS, DNSdynamic, and NoIP. All three services are free, and each will automatically update the domain forwarding for you if your computer’s IP address changes. The automatic updates require a small client application to be downloaded to your grid’s computer, so that it can report the IP address back to the domain forwarding service.

Each also offers a variety of base domains, such as mooo.com, us.to, biz.tm, and many more. FreeDNS has almost 100,000 different base domains to choose from, while NoIP charges money to use one of their other 80-plus domain names instead of their default.

So, for example, someone could get TheirGridName.biz.tm as their grid domain, and use TheirGridName.biz.tm:9000 as the LoginURI and hypergrid address.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • ciaranlaval

    Points to note, this is in early beta, indeed it’s probably best not to talk too much about this right now, the best place to discuss it is on the Kitely forums.

  • AviWorlds

    What are the restrictions?
    Are the products that are currently being offered with the permission to be transfered to another grid via this HG delivery system quality products?
    My opinion is this; most of the products allowed to move from kitley to another grid will tend not to be of high quality or major major famous brands.
    Most of the high quality items will tend to remain inside the grid of its origin and full of restrictions. Although it is something already being done it generates no conclusive if any positive results due to the made up mind set of the big, major brand creators.
    So this will probably only serve and thats a maybe to the standalone individual that probably is already happy with all the freebies around the metaverse.
    From this I conclude that the grid should really invest in a powerful content creation incentives to its own registered community.
    The so called intergrid market is not the way to go yet, to early. Better off creating a strong content market inworld for your own grid.
    Content creators are best to just EXPAND their business into different grids but not via an intergrid delivery system. Just register into the grid you want to sell and open up a store there or even a site store if the grid offers it. Much safer and probably less restrictions.

    • That’s nice for big commercial operations. But smaller grids can’t do that — they don’t have the scale to attract brand-name creators.

      Not to mention school and company grids — they can’t attract any professional creators, at all! But they DO have money to spend. Some of them have quite a bit of money to spend, and would much rather buy properly licensed products from existing vendors than have to pay for custom development.

      And the same goes for personal, non-profit, and group grids.

      So, for 95 percent of the grids — or more! — that aren’t the top ten commercial grids — a multi-grid delivery system like Kitely’s will be a game changer.

      I myself am very much looking forward to buying some nice outfits for my avatar! I’ve got nothing against Linda Kellie freebies — her stuff is great — but sometimes you just want to wear something you paid money for.

      • AviWorlds

        Thats exactly what I wrote above Maria. Maybe the most interested ones will be small homeowned grid, standalone grids or single regions and all they will probably have availabke to buy is low quality products due to the fact that most good quality products will not have the permission from the creators to leave Kitely. And being that said there are enough good freebies around the metaverse.
        This would only be worth the trouble is good quality products were going to be offered also by the creators and dont get me wrong there might be one or two that may or would risk it. Who knows?

      • AviWorlds

        Again that is what Im saying. The attracted market here will be smaller grids, standalones, single regions etc. Kitely HG market will be a distribution center for linda kellies type of products.
        Big brand name products will preffer to build a presence in as many places as possible.

        • I don’t consider OSGrid and Metropolis to be small grids and Kitely market delivers to both. Merchants who are willing to sell to people from those grids should have no problem using Kitely Market to help them extend their reach and visibility.

          • AviWorlds

            ok Ilan lets wait and see then. I really hope you’re correct but so far my opinion is that only low quality items will be allowed by the creators to go to another grid. Remember these grids can make OARS of their regions specially OSGRID region owners, metropolis and all the other standalone grids out there.

          • There are quite a few high quality items already sold in Kitely Market with the Export permission. Some merchants understand that they can make more money selling items to whomever wants to buy them than not getting money form those people 🙂

            I expect that once the hypergrid delivery system comes out of beta, word about the merchants that are doing good business with the system will spread and the rate at which new merchants and their quality items are made available for sale to the hypergrid will increase.

    • Many of the merchants who come to Ktiely Market come in order to be able to sell from one online store to multiple grids without having to create and maintain a presence in all those grids. Both the quality and the quantity of exportable items on sale have been increasing and some of our merchants are explicitly branding their stores with “Hypergrid Merchant” and other such titles that clearly state their intentions.

      See for example: http://www.kitely.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=35&t=1161

      • AviWorlds

        I understand what HG MERCHANT IS. I also am very aware of the merchants mind set spevially the good quality ones.
        I applause the effort but in the current merchants mind set; it would be safer and more profitable to expand into the grids.
        Also if you have a brand name u want to EXPAND and be seen, otherwise Mcdonalds instead of having a store in every different town would only have a one store in one town and having to ship burgers around the world.
        That is my thinking. If I have a business I want to have a presence in as many different places as possible.

        • Maintaining a presence in multiple grids is both time consuming and potentially expensive (especially if you need to get land to do so). This means that you need to sell a lot more items to just cover your ongoing land-related expenses and justify the time you spend updating your goods on all those grids.

          Maintaining a presence in Kitely Market, however, has no ongoing expense. After you’ve listed the items each item you sell adds to your profit.

          Merchants who want to maximize their sales can therefor do better by focusing their effort on creating more things to sell than spending time maintaining a presence in multiple grids.

          If they want to visit those grids they can do so via hypergrid travel using an avatar based in whatever grid they prefer to call home.

          • AviWorlds

            Maintaining a presence in different places is not more expensive. That is an illusion. You will sell more, you will be known more and yes a presence gives your business more value and yes since it is a virtual world you need the land markets to be balanced and have a value.
            Being in multiple places is more profitable so the fact that yoilu are paying for different stores and land is really going to pay for itself.
            Look just take a big look at.the major stores all over the world. Macdonalds, kmart, Starbucks, and so on….

          • Most real world brands that are not food-related are also sold on Amazon even though those brands have their own websites and often have a presence on shelves in multiple real world stores. In fact, it’s marketplaces such as Amazon (online) and Walmart (realworld) that are causeing some realworld chains with their many locations to go out of business.

            It’s a lot less time consuming for merchants to deal with a limited number of stores than to maintain multiple ones. Time equals money. Maintaining a store also equals money. In order for that extra expense to be justified the merchant needs to have the inworld location generate more income than its cost plus the amount of sales a marketplace would generate selling to that same demographic.

            Many people from SL can testify that many merchants who sell in SL Marketplace are no longer keeping as big an inworld presence as they used to (if at all). Many people want the convenience of a marketplace, enough that the justification for maintaining land for shops has decreased significantly.

          • Just to chime in as a merchant who sells Export items on Kitely – Ilan is indeed correct, maintaining stores in multiple grids is potentially expensive and unavoidably time consuming. I certainly don’t have the time or inclination to setup a store on every grid. Owning a store in OS based grids invariably means you have to create a “prims and mortar” store *I think I just coined a new phrase :)* because none have a webstore.

            I am very excited about the possibilities a HG market brings to creators. Of course, the whole venture has its pitfalls, but what truly pioneering venture doesn’t involve a little risk?

          • Comparing virtual goods to physical goods is like comparing apples and oranges. Do you think if somehow you could get your McDonalds or Starbucks directly through your PC or Tablet that all those physical stores would still exist?

            We are seeing a decline in “physical retailing” all over the world right now largely driven by the ease of ordering goods via the internet. I dont have a store in SL now, but I make it very clear that people can contact me and arrange to see things inworld if they need to and I have really enjoyed this approach. I get to meet and chat with my customers and make sure they are happy. I have made a number of good friends this way, and I actually make money these days, which makes customer service much more meaningful and fun.

            If the price is right, of course an inworld store is always a consideration. but it is in no way a necessity.

          • Gaga

            Since I was Ozwell’s first Hypergrid Market customer I have to say I am really impressed with the way the service worked for me (even with a few initial glitches). I personally feel more than comfortable knowing the products I bought are legal and properly licensed. In fact, the very fact the goods came from the Kitely market means I don’t have to make any special effort to check the license. It is enough for me to know I clicked on the settings for Copy/Mod/Trans/Export to feel confident there will never be a come back for accidentally acquiring stolen goods. I am pretty sure the clothes, etc my avatar wears and the things on my sim that I haven’t made myself are legal and that makes my life less stressful and much more happy. For those thieves that copybot and struggle to sell for penny’s on Second Life market then let them face closure often and constant changing of address to try and cover their tracks. Let them live a stressful life looking over their shoulder for the strong arm of the law to come knocking. Me, I just want a peaceful and creative life thanks and I believe the vast majority of potential Hypergrid customers do too. I would quite happily pay a premium for branded goods too! So, well done Kitely. Long may your market prosper!

          • Thank you Gaga 🙂

          • I second that! I would *happily* pay a premium for goods that I can have on my own grid, that I can save to backups, and that I *know* are fully legal. There is nothing more embarrassing for a new grid than to have someone point at you and yell, “Thief!!!” Even if it wasn’t your fault, it sticks to you! (Been there. Speaking from experience.)

      • AviWorlds

        Another problem is that once you have a central delivery service like this you are undermining the need for Land. Maybe Im wrong….but I dont think so.

        • Yes, a successful hypergrid marketplace may not be the best thing for closed, commercial grids.

          But it’s a wonderful thing for the rest of the metaverse — which doesn’t care about the land market. School grids, company grids, personal grids, group grids, non-profit grids, art grids, group role playing grids — these are the grids that are multiplying like crazy, that are often hypergrid-enabled, and that want content but don’t necessarily want to create and manage an in-world economy.

          Right now, these grids have two main choices for content — Linda Kellie, and OpenSim Creations.Or they can try to get creators in SL to sell them export rights. (You never know — some do say yes.)

          But a successful cross-grid marketplace means that you will be able to pay for content, buy as much stuff as you want. And the hypergrid is growing,

          There are now around 8,000 active users on the public hypergrid-enabled grids (not counting the thousands of private grids), more than on InWorldz, the single most popular OpenSim grid.

          So it’s already a sizeable market. Plus, these guys currently don’t have any place to spend their money. It’s a wide-open field. The merchants who get in early will make money, and will gain a great deal of good will.

          And, as I mentioned before, almost half of all of Kitely’s products are already marked okay for export. So they’re doing a good job convincing creators to take a chance.

          I also had hopes for the HG Exchange and Cariama, but the creators of those two platforms didn’t follow through with the marketing and outreach it takes to build a platform.

          So far, Kitely seems to be doing an excellent job at it.

          And it might inspire other vendors to step up their game, as well.

          And, in the end, the customers win .. and we get another step closer to a successful metaverse.

        • People need land for many types of activities, shopping is just one such activity and even with a great marketplace some people still prefer browsing items inworld. I don’t see this eliminating the need for land.

    • I actually think this is a great idea to help bring HG enabled grids even more together. If peeps dont want their stuff on other grids then they dont even need to put it in the kitely market, its that simple.

  • hack13

    This is very exciting to see finally released. However I and a couple of my clients have asked me to raise the following questions.

    1. I have noticed that if a grid dissapears or goes down, and they got their content from that grid. It becomes inaccessible because it connects back to that grid for the asset. So the question is, how might this happen for you grid? If god forbid Kitely closes or you guys have downtime, what happens, or have you guys already compensated for this?

    2. A couple have asked me, if they enable this can they restrict what content comes to their grid. Such as some grids I host are strictly PG and not mature or adult content allowed. They want to know if they can prevent people from bringing it in, as they are a closed grid and would be opening up just a connection to allow your delivery.

    3. Do you have restrictions about the grids that can connect to this service, as we have grids from open with hypergrid to closed with invite only registration we provide service for. They and I want to know this restriction, if there is any.

    Anyways, I look forward to hearing back and asked publicly because I am sure others want to know this information as well.

    • Hi Timothy,

      When you use our system to deliver exportable items to an avatar on another gird then all the assets that are part of that item are transfered to that grid as well. They reside in your avatar’s inventory just as if they were given to you by another avatar on that grid. This means that once the transfer is complete your grid can disconnect from the hypergrid and the avatar will still retain the item and all its assets in its inventory.

      At this time we haven’t added a feature to restrict access to a grid to items of a certain maturity rating but that is certainly an interesting (and not too difficult) feature to add. We’ll consider adding support for that.

      To deliver items to a sim we need to be able to transfer items using the hypergrid protocol to that sim / grid but have no other requirements. If it is a closed grid that makes an exception for our delivery system then that should be enough.

    • Zandramas Grid

      This is wonderful news to have a feature like this, and I would like to say these are pretty much the same questions we have as well.

      Thanks and look forward to an answer.

  • Where is my 1,119,480 kcs??????

  • Joe Builder

    Well its a venture that one must try, Failures are not made by advice given but by the individual. With all the free going around, Craft World for 1 and the many many free stores selling decent content and opensim creations offer almost same quality its just a gamble. Not counting commission and wait time, well again it may be ok, But being the next best thing to sliced bread highly doubt it

    • Some merchants in Kitely Market are already making good money selling to Kitely users despite the availability of content for sale outside our marketplace. Some of these merchants also have a presence in other grids or sell via their own website.

      Quality varies, like in any marketplace, but Kitely Market already has some higher quality items on sale than those available in OpenSim Creations. The number of product variations available in our marketplace is also far greater than the number in OpenSim Creations. There are currently more than 4270 product variations on sale in our marketplace, more than 1660 of which are sold with the export permission.

      Lastly, the user experience our marketplace provides to both buyers and sellers is way better than that offered by other marketplaces serving OpenSim (and in many ways better than that offered by Second Life Marketplace).

      The availability of goods online has not stopped succesful marketplaces from being created in other fields, there is no reason it should stop them being created for virtual worlds. Marketplaces offer advantages to both merchants and buyers which is why you often see convergence of both these groups towards using them.

  • Deuce Halsey

    Speaking as another former SL merchant who is now established on Kitely and selling through the Kitely Marketplace, I am excited about the forthcoming HG delivery (and eventual HG travel) updates to Kitely. I was happy to volunteer to help test the new system and continue to do so.

    The follow comments are responses to various points raised in the comments above:

    1) I find it interesting that a grid owner would insult potential clients by insinuating that the merchants on the Kitely MP offer low quality products. Has this person purchased any of the products on offer? I have, and I can tell you that the quality is much better, on average, than that found on the SL Marketplace and from inworld SL merchants. Obviously as the Kitely MP grows it will have products of widely varying quality – that’s the way of such things. The customers of the Kitely MP will have their say over time, rewarding the merchants with higher quality products.

    2) There is a cost to having a “physical” presence on multiple grids. Not only does a merchant have to take time to set up a store on each new grid, but that merchant is then reasonably obligated to provide support and service for their products on that grid via the messaging systems on said grid. Time spent by a merchant hopping from grid to grid to handle support and sales inquiries adds up to time not available to do other things. If a merchant sells to all OpenSim grids via the Kitely Marketplace, the customer on a non-Kitely grid is obligated to communicate with the merchant via Kitely messaging systems, or perhaps via real world e-mail if the merchant prefers. Either of these options would be a lot more convenient for a merchant selling products across many grids.

    3) It is undoubtedly a drag when a grid goes down or disappears. Since exportable items from the Kitely MP can be backed up via OAR, customers can protect themselves from losing those items, just like they can backup all their other items on a particular grid. A grid vanishing is a major drag for a merchant with a store on that grid. Not only does the merchant lose all the work put into setting up that store, but the means of communicating with customers on that grid will also be lost. At least with Kitely MP the customers will still be able to communicate with the merchant via Kitely messaging systems, and of course the merchant can be sure that the person really is their customer, even if they were forced to move to another grid.

  • Dorena Verne

    money, money, money ..
    I see the opening of Kitely from the social point of view. Welcome to the colorful world of hypergrid. 🙂

  • I am not sure if this has been asked and answered in Kitely since I cannot find it, but this might be a good place to ask it here thinking that Ilan is a regular reader/correspondent …

    Will I be able to exclude specific grids from delivery?

    • Anything that is exported to the hypergrid can be, by the nature of the hypergrid, moved from one grid to another. So, even if we implemented a feature to block delivery to specific grids people could still deliver exportable items to a trusted grid then move them from there to the blacklisted grid.

      We could deliver items that are locked into a specific third-party grid using OpenSim’s export permission but I don’t think there will be a lot of demand for such items.

      • Thanks, Ilan. I’ll have to adjust any licensing, then. Although that locking to 3rd party does seem to be an option.