Monday, November 12, 2007

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Tateru Nino's Mixed Reality Headcount: Top 10 Corporate Sites in Second Life

Gossip_girl_site_2

How well did RL corporate sites engage SL's community?  Tateru counts heads...

Last week, we started counting Gossip Girl - the Second Life site of the television series of the teen novel series. The television series doesn't air where I am, but a quick walk through online resources tell me that it's a drama/romance/comedy about teen girls, targeted at adults.  "Gossip Girl on TV is basically about teens having lots of sex and being mean and wealthy at each other," a friend informs me. "It's basically written as if it's for 12 year olds."  I quote her anonymously, because she then added that she didn't want to admit to knowing anything about the show.

The Second Life game is undeniably popular - incorporating gossip, gossiping, forming cliques, and playing personal reputations off against one another, through a graphically slick HUD that represents an integrated mobile phone/PDA.  (And disclosure: Gossip Girl is produced by Millions of Us, a sponsoring partner of this blog.)

Gossip Girl is pulling pulling in interested people who are keeping the game hopping. The site remains relatively busy at all hours. After the fold, we'll see how it stacks up against our other ranked sites, including IBM, Playboy, and I am Legend.

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 70 42 11,772 (stable)
Gossip Girl 56 6.29 9,408 (new!)
IBM 46 60 7,764 (up 11.17%)
I Am Legend 37 31 6,304 (down 4.60%)
The L Word 26 32 4,524 (stable)
Pontiac 26 28 4,368 (stable)
Greenies Home 24 34 4,176 (down 3.87%)
Playboy 23 34 3,936 (up 19.71%)
The Weather Channel 17 18 2,988 (up 5.51%)
Virtual Holland 17 24 2,928 (down 2.79%)

Some of the numbers got a bit messed up this week. Blame user-error (that's me!) Notably the counts for Gossip Girl are missing some data, but there was enough to average out to get a useful number, though it may not be completely accurate.

That sees Gossip Girl entering the charts in a strong second place, pushing IBM and I Am Legend to third and fourth respectively. I Am Legend dipped a little during the week, and IBM made an unexpected and significant gain, remaining stubbornly ahead of Electric Sheep's survival-horror movie tie-in.

Playboy is still performing solidly trending generally upwards - while Armani (120 visits this week) seems to be the new Adidas - going nowhere but down.

Visit my blog tomorrow for the complete list of ranked mixed-reality sites (native sites, you'll see later in the week).

Tateru Nino is a Second Life consultant and widely-read blogger who counts heads every week for New World Notes.  Contact her for more info on her mixed reality reports.

Methodology

Mixed reality sites in this headcount are selected for their prominence, either from publicity or real world name recognition. Sites with consistent low traffic (500 or less weekly) may be dropped in future Headcounts in favor of other sites. We do not count sites with camping chairs, or visitors in the orientation sims, as there seems to be little evidence to suggest that they will become visitors to the parent site - and if they do, we catch them when we headcount the site anyway.

We collect data four times per day, seven days per week for each site at 2am, 8am, 2pm and 8pm (times in SLT/US Pacific) plus/minus 1 hour. For each sample we count the number of people at the site at the time. We average those samples across the week, and then assume that average to hold constant, with each visitor spending a half hour on-site. This methodology does not necessarily include one-time events that generate high traffic missed by our sampling, which we'll make note of whenever possible. Headcounts do not factor in returning visitors, so assume that the total number of unique Residents are likely to be significantly less than the estimated total visits.

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economic mip

Yes well the Gossip Girls Second Life site is designed for 12 year olds, and since Millions of Us forgot to put the Second Life age requirement anywhere on their API, it is highly likely a lot of 12 year olds are running around the site.

Not to worry though, the famed "Metaverse Mod Squad" is there to ban anyone who mentions the existence of a larger Second Life world, and who does not fit in their white female stereotype of what the area should be about. Oh, and no they won't help you read the orientation signs that take 25 minutes to load running at the maximum Second Life connection speed (1,500kbs).

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