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To believe or not to believe - product reviews on the Second Life market place (Model: Liza)

I think everyone reads the reviews bevor he decides to buy an item on the market place. Provided of course, other customers left one. Good reviews can boost sales while bad ones can literally destroy a business. But how much can we trust in reviews? How can we be sure that acutally other customers wrote them and not foes or friends of the merchant which want to to harm or to help his business?

We aren't psychics. We can't say most assuredly, if a review is true or a fake. However, 5 star reviews like "OMG, I love it!" or "Perfect! I waited for that!" or "I know the merchant. He always builds perfect products!" I would list under the category "help from friends or paid". They all have one thing in common: they don't offer any informatons about the good or bad sides of the product that I want to buy. But informations are what I'm searching for. So what are those reviews worth anyway?Model: Liza
Many merchants have so called reward programs. Buyers which leave a review get a discount or receive other benefits. Well, can those "ordered" reviews be honest and objective? I wonder, if buyers which leave a bad review receive a reward also. lol

One sentence reviews like "Beware! Merchant is known as cheater!" or "Caution! Stolen content!" without further details or proofs are obviously just made to damage the particular merchants reputation and not very credible.

If you browse the market place, you find many negative 1 star reviews of this kind: "Item not delivered!" or "Shape doesn't look like on the picture." And similar. Those reviews are blaming the merchant for something that is actually not his fault.

"Item not delivered!" It's the market that manages billing and delivering. Not the merchant. He isn't involved at all.

"Shape doesn't look like on the picture!" How a shape looks is depending on the skin that is used with the shape. So when buyer and merchant use different skins how can the look be the same? Read more about Skins and Shapes here.

So what would I consider as a useful review? First, reviews made by avatars with a totally empty profiles have little to no value for me. In contrast a short review like "Works fine." from a buyer who appears like an experienced SL resident to me convinces me in the most cases that the item is ok. I also like reviews which tell something about customer support. When I read "Contacted the merchant. No response.", I will most likely refrain from buying.  In general one can say the less emotional, fluttering and lavish a review sounds the more I listen to it.

Believe or not to believe, I don't have an universal answer, sorry. But perhaps I could give some useful hints. :)
Model: Liza
Category: Info
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As attempt to reduce rezzing times and server loads Linden Lab., owner of Second Life, introduce in these days a new feature that calls "Jelly Dolls". Currently this feature is supported by the Linden Viewer and the most recent version of Firestorm (4.7.9). Other viewers will probably implement it soon as well.

So what are Jelly Dolls?
In short from now on avatars have a complexity value depending on skin, clothes and attachments they wear. For example a little piece of jewelry can raise your avatars complexity to an incredible high number. While a long coat at the same time may only add a little bit.

However, in your viewer you can set a maximum complextity. This maximum is not for your avatar. If you set this number for example to 100,000, all OTHER avatars you meet which have a higher complexity than 100,000 will be not rezzed as usual, but shown to you as flat colored silhouette. See example below. The avatar has about 113,000, but the maxium is set to 100,000. Therefore the avatar is rezzed as a so called Jelly doll.

Your avatar will be always rezzed normal for you no matter how high it's complexity is. But as I said only for you. If your avatar exceeds the maximum that other people configured in their viewer, you will be shown as Jelly Doll to them even when you see yourself normally rezzed.

At this time you are not obliged to set a complexity maximum. You can set it to "no lmits" and then ignore it.
Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised, if Linden sets after a testing phase a certain complexity limit by default.
Apart from that, if you now suffer from lag, I bet smart people will most likely advice you to lower your avatar complexity maximum without to take any other reason in consideration. As for me I never had issues with avatar rezzing on my average machine. And from what I read in the groups many other people neither had. But the point is not far away where Second Life and Firestorm with all their new features and updates demand the entire resources of my pc.

Jelly Doll example

Where can I check my current avatar complexity? (It shows the number over your head.)
Linden viewer: Activate Advanced Menu > Perfomance Tools > Show avatar complexity information
Firestorm (4.7.9): Avatar > Avatar health > Show Avatar complexity information

Where can I set the avatar complexity maximum? (All avatars which you meet and which have a higher complexity than the maximum that you configured are rezzed as Jelly Dolls.)

Firestorm (4.7.9)
Look for row Maximum complexity in the right column. Choose a number or "no limit". If you choose "no limit" all avatars will be rezzed for you as usual.

Firestorm, set complexity maxium

Latest Linden Viewer - look for row maximum complexity in the left column, configure the value you want or "no limit".

Linden viewer, set maxium complexity

For more and detailed informations about Jelly Dolls click here.
Category: Info
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