Distinguished Aesthetics

unabashed commentary & reviews by a gentleman of the grid

Using Xstreet

Xstreet logo

In efforts to assert that my blog is not JUST about my apparel addiction, I present to you sundry methods of navigating Xstreet (the SL product purchasing site formerly known as SLX). Mind, my purpose for navigating the seemingly labyrinth-like digital hallways of this epicentre for virtual consumerism is but one method I use to stay abreast of new clothing ensembles, shoes, and more. But still… there is more to my blog than fashion. … Really. You are not buying into my proclamation, are you?

I realize that most people likely have no difficulty making effective use of Xstreet, but for those who are new to Xstreet, or quite simply have not had an opportunity to make use of this informative system, I present to you some tips, tricks and methods for procuring almost anything (provided it is listed on Xstreet, that is; and even then sometimes Xstreet simply serves as a stepping stone on your quest for whatever obscure paraphernalia you have your heart set on).

Basic Notations

Xstreet allows for intensive organization and categories for nearly every type of creation. While this is wonderful, know that not every creator lists their item(s) in the appropriate category, or a category that is logical to you. Moreover, some items truly do defy categorization or potentially span several categories. Therefore, do not rely on categories alone to find what you are searching for.

Creators do not always advertise the same price on Xstreet as they do at their in world shops. Before you buy on Xstreet, check the creator’s in world shop (if they have). You may also find more of a selection at their in world shop than they have on Xstreet.

The Advanced Search interface and the Sort by drop down list sometimes run along the same results (i.e. both will provide with items from newest to oldest etc.). Do not be confused by this. Both mechanisms are useful in their own right.

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First Things First

Obtain an Xstreet account, if you have not already. It also very true that it is easier to sign up via an in world terminal.

Depending on your preferences, and what you are searching for, I suggest searching Xstreet in an uncensored capacity. You will be asked to agree to their warning/disclaimer. If you are searching for anything that might even remotely be classified as “adult” (furniture, clothing, etc.), it’s best to have more options at your fingertips. If, however, what you are searching for in no way encroaches on mature subject matter, then you can fine tune your search immediately by disregarding those items from the adult pool.

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If, after searching with mature content active, you decide that your search results are being hampered by the adult content, you can easily disable the mature content from view.

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As screen resolution varies, choose a suitable number of columns for viewing items (1, 2 or 3). I suggest 2. Choosing a Large image size is preferable for those of us with failing eyesight.

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Let’s Get Started

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The main page displays some featured Marketplace items, Real Estate listings, and links to other regions and displays of Xstreet. This is not an important page – usually. If you use IE 6 or earlier, or some other browsers, you may not be able to see the interface for navigating through the Marketplace items via the main page. If, on the other hand, you are using Mozilla Firefox, then you will see a nice little navigation interface for the front page Marketplace listings. Is it important? Not really. Is it amusing or a great time-filler while on hold? Sure, why not, and you may discover something interesting that you were not even searching for in the first place. Once you’ve reviewed the items displayed, simply click Get More or the >>. Click the << to return to the previous presented list. Click Stop to halt the cycling. Items cycle every 30 seconds.

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Instead, go straight to the Marketplace. This page is a general repository, showing the day’s most popular items. Is this important? Not really. What is important is that this page offers up every important link and text box that is essential for your search.

To the left you have a listing of Categories. Beneath each category are subcategories and sometimes more subcategories (on and on). Be aware that creators will sometimes mis-subcategorize within a main category according to your perception, and therefore you may need to step out of a finely tuned sub-sub-sub-subcategory. More on this later.

Close to the top, centre, you will find some interesting links to: My Favorites, Popular, Featured, New, Free and Merchants. These can be quite useful in various capacities.

At the top right you will have a Search the Marketplace region, which, if used as is, may provide results as accurate as finding a polyester Hawaiian shirt in a Victorian gentleman’s haberdashery. On the other hand, depending on your search, it may actually yield some acceptable results. I try to never say never. Click the Advanced Search for more options and to increase the accuracy of your results.

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Basic Search

There is a difference between performing a general search for Victorian prefab and “Victorian prefab”. Take note of the category matches to the left of the screen.

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The search results when not using quotation marks will provide you with a larger list of matches, and quite often a pain in the backside to sift through, especially if you are searching for the most recently added Victorian prefabs (sort by age: new to old from the drop down below).

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Searching within quotation marks indicates that this precise wording must exist within the item’s listing (as opposed to at least one of the words existing, not necessary sequentially, within the listing). However, by using the quotation marks in your search, you are banking on creators using the same language. I know for a fact that there are more than 20 Victorian prefabs on Xstreet. Having said that, sometimes use of the quotation marks will yield the results you wish, so do not discount this search method entirely.

As an aside, clicking on the Category Matches to the left, after a search has been performed, will reveal the items in those categories based on your general search verbiage. However, based on the example above, there are approximately 3,000 items containing the word Victorian or prefab under the Residential Structures category, and thusly this is not always an effective search method.

Targeted Search

Knowing that there are more than 20 Victorian prefabs on Xstreet, you may try a different angle for your search. Proceed to the main Marketplace page. Under Categories, click on Building Components, then Structures, and then Residential Structures. You can easily navigate back via the arrowed links above the Subcategory listing on the left.

Now enter Victorian into the Search text box. Check the Search within the current category checkbox and click Search.

If you wish to see the latest additions, either Order by Age Ascending or Sort by age: new to old.

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You will find some unwanted items resulting when creators misuse keywords. For example, a creator who offers Victorian and Medieval prefabs may use the same keywords in both listings. Worse still are creators who make Gorean silks and Victorian prefabs, whose keywords never change even between extremely different item listings.

Some items, especially prefabs, can pull double duty (functioning as a home or shoppe). As such, and based on my previous remark that creators do not always categorize according to your perception, you may do well to search further back. In other words, step back to Building Components -> Structures, and then Search for Victorian within the current category and subcategories. Order by Age Ascending if desired.

More on Advanced Search Features

As useful as the advanced search features are, some of the parameters can be limited to downright useless.

Searching by a specific language is only useful for items that require considerable documentation.

Price Range I have never seen a use for, although I see this as being useful in land sales.

Ratings are subjective and tainted by creators bribing friends, using alts or being the victim of others playing silly bugger as is oft to occur on the Internet. While numerous consistent ratings may be telling, even excellent products remain unrated for numerous months or even years.

Permissions are quite useful for those of us who wish specific permissions for certain products (i.e. modify prefabs, copy clothing, full perm sculpt building aids etc.). However, I do caution that this is not always useful as creators may not categorize properly and limit themselves inadvertently. Use this as a last resort or for very specific searches.

More on Views

My Favorites

I find favouriting items very useful when performing research that may span more than one session on XStreet or as just a list of items to “one day buy”. No one else can see your favourite items (for now).

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Popular

I do not find the listing of Popular items to be particularly useful except as a gauge to see what people are buying.

Featured

Featured listings only tell me who is willing to pay for featured listings, and what those items may be. Useful? Unlikely.

New

I do enjoy viewing new listings on occasion. This list changes by the minute as creators add new items to Xstreet, but I find it fascinating to see what is currently being listed for about five pages before my attention is drawn somewhere more exciting.

Free

Free listings may sound wonderful at first, but often you will find demos in here – so don’t get too excited when you see something spectacular, and it’s really a demo. L$0 and L$1 items are listed. However, for the newcomer to SL, this may be an excellent listing to sort through for those beginning necessities (clothes, AO, silly gestures, vehicles and more).

Regular Use

For those, such as myself, who have certain addictions, we find ourselves on Xstreet daily, weekly or whenever you begin twitching for something new. Don’t forget to Order by Age Ascending, and when you hit a sequence of items that are familiar, you know you’re finished perusing new items in that section.

I routinely search out the latest men’s goth outfits, themed outfits, costumes, and footwear. I also perform routine searches of Victorian, and steampunk in the wide expanse of men’s apparel because god forbid I miss a gem hiding in a category I do not always search.

In Closing

Comments, questions, anything I missed? Please comment here or ask.

As a reminder, don’t forget to check out a creator’s in world shoppe for more items than they may have listed on Xstreet, along with any variances in price.

Happy shopping!


About The Author

Elric Anatine is an apothecary in Second Life with a penchant for exquisite apparel (especially canes), Victorian & Elegant Gothic (and inspired) fine fashions, and intoxicating absinthe. Within this blog will reside his reviews and thoughts regarding these very important topics.

Comments

3 Responses to “Using Xstreet”

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