Monday, November 05, 2007

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

I_am_legend_entrance

I Am Legend enters high, likely to go higher; Gossip Girl self-reports over 20K weekly visits

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

I Am Legend in Second Life takes place one year before the upcoming Warner Brothers film. Players choose either the Infected or Uninfected faction, choose one of several classes, and stage pitched battles over resources and control points - with a little ambushing here and there for good measure.

What makes the game so strong? From a design perspective, the basic layout is a tensioned series of nodes designed for the control of space, while still allowing for exploration and surprise. The overall design of obstacles and open spaces alternately fosters the line-of-sight of each participant, and the restriction of it by turns. Players are tantalized with risk/reward scenarios spaced at a comfortable average of 20 seconds or so between decision nodes.

The combination of environment-based play and hunting individuals and groups maintains both high levels of tactical and visceral engagement through frequent, though not tiresomely constant decision-making. People are more effective than any programmed intelligence, and the people you meet on Manhattan's dark streets will challenge and surprise you.

How did it actually fare in the charts, though - and what's the deal with Gossip Girl? We'll be back with the site rankings and more, after the fold.

Site

Est avg hourly visits

Est avg hourly visits (peak hrs)

Estimated total weekly visits

The Pond 69 38 11,664 (up 6.81%)
IBM 41 39 6,984 (down 3.96%)
I Am Legend 39 10 6,608 (new!)
The L Word 26 30 4,500 (down 8.98%)
Greenies Home 25 36 4,344 (stable)
Pontiac 25 33 4,296 (down 7.73%)
Playboy 19 26 3,288 (down 10.75%)
Virtual Holland 17 26 3,012 (down 17.43%)
The Weather Channel 16 18 2,832 (down 4.84%)
Nissan 14 14 2,460 (down 7.24%)

Right now, from an interest and engagement perspective, the I Am Legend game is really kicking it. Despite it operating on limited hours from last Friday, it still enters our chart in the number three spot.

Barring any unplanned temporary closures of the site, I Am Legend will likely be a strong contender for second place next week. It's still more than a month before the film is due to be released - it will be interesting to see how the site fares when that time comes.

*Gossip Girl (which we will be counting in the coming weeks) has reported to us that they've pulled in 127,000 visits (a round figure) in the six weeks that they've been open. That's a bit over 21,000 visits per week. We'll definitely be taking a look at them and seeing how well our own measurements bear this out.

At the other end of the spectrum, we have the neglected and mistargeted Comcast (108 visits), and the slipshod Armani (144 visits), snagging the bottom places this week.

Much of our tracked sites this week are relatively stable or did not shift in ways that are significant or revealing of trends - with many of the changes appearing to be part of ongoing stable cycles.

The most significant gain at the low end was employment agency Manpower HQ, which pulled a 56% gain to 658 visits.

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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Tenshi Vielle

No CSI sim ranking?

Tateru Nino

For reasons explained in the last column, no, no CSI counts. We're looking at ways to reduce the workloads of counting a couple hundred locations every six hours, seven days per week.

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