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Monday, April 11, 2011

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Ananda

Could you explain the "repeat logins"? I could guess that it's number of returning users, given the range but on the other hand, I know during February I probably "repeatedly logged in" at least 200 times due to teleport and media related crashes.

Wayfinder

Hmmmm user hours affecting concurrency. That's an interesting concept, but not sure it's relevant. Yes, if users aren't using SL *as much*... it might indeed influence the number of people that are online at one time. For myself, I'm logging on SL less, and for a shorter amount of time than I was a year ago. I have no doubt thousands of others are in the same boat.

But the bottom line is that when both user hours and concurrency are dropping... especially while "logins have been moving upward" (how do we know that?)... the only interpretation is that the popularity of SL is falling off. This is especially the case since recent figures are from WINTER months, which historically have been the "busy" seasons.

If this was summertime, I'd say, "Okay, look, concurrency always drops in the summer. People are out doing other things." But when concurrency and user hours drop during the wintertime... over the prior summer... something is going wrong. (We know what that is of course... just giving the summary).

There are many, many things that affect SL usage (I'm not sure I'd agree Scion Chickens are one of them). There are major factors that are influencing SL's in-world popularity. What seems very obvious are two things: 1) Linden Lab, as always, thinks they know what they're doing and 2) They very obviously don't.


Ciaran Laval

Well we had the bot ban, or attempted bot ban, that certainly hit concurrency, now we have the increased usage of the marketplace, that must have some sort of concurrency hit, there's the mesh beta viewer, where people are playing with mesh instead of logging into the main viewer.

The problem with all these stats is that due to changes, there isn't a reliable benchmark.

Nalates Urriah

@Ananda: Repeat logins are the count of people that logged in more than once within the time frame.

Ciaran is right that some people are spending more time ADITI than AGNI. What we don't know is exactly how Linden Lab counts those logins. Are those numbers login regardless of which grid? I suspect so. I'm guessing the login servers are the same for all the Lab's grids. But, I could be wrong.

Bots... there are a lot of them. Many are registered with LL as bots. Does LL include bot logins in the numbers? I suspect they do.

How many times a month do bots login? Do they ever log out? How many bots are there? Too many unknowns.

Wayfinder has a point about the seasonal shifts in logins. Summer is coming and I expect to see more of a decrease in logins and time in world.

Also, I spend more time building in OpenSim, testing scripts, and experimenting. Then I bring those things to SL. I'm sure I'm not the only one. So, the total hours I spend in VW probably has not changed much. However, the time I spend in SL has decreased. I can put mesh on my OpenSim regions now. To build mesh stuff for SL is much easier and cheaper in OpenSim. Only the finished object and textures need to be brought into SL. While I could do much of that work in ADITI (preview grid), I have a return-time-limit to deal with that I don't have in OpenSim. I suspect many of the core residents engage in similar behavior.

It is very hard to know what is happening with residents. It is even harder to predict the future of SL.

146 new regions were purchased last week and 129 regions closed. Thousands of new signups per day and only 1 or 2% stay... Obviously player retention is a problem.

FlipperPA Peregrine

I log in for maybe an hour or two a month to deal with customer service. While I haven't "left", I'm hardly on the many, many, many more hours I used to be!

Ann Otoole InSL

Well some number of us are actually doing all our work outside SL now. This will increase. But the biggest issue I know of is there simply is not the social atmosphere in SL that existed in 2007. I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole here because it won't do any good. The same people that made the changes since 2007 that resulted in people leaving still control LL.

Doreen Garrigus

I think Ann may have hit something really important. Once upon a time, content creators logged in and stayed logged in, using the in-world creation tools for hour upon hour. Now, they are using external programs to create products which they then upload to SL in bulk in moments. It doesn't mean much except that sculpts are popular.

PP

Well... for me its because of (as the great man said) the magic is tarnished. Things that shsuld be seamless are not. All I want to do, really, is TP every time, and change my outfits every time, and see people's profile very time... WITHOUT CRASHING. That's all really.

Instead:
When I change outfits some prims become non-removable.
When I try to save outfit changes... unsaved changes limbo.
When I TP... darn you have been logged out; or just nothing or blue myseterious floaty sim world... or corner of sim world... or sim which connects to no other known sim world.

Hey mesh might be really fun. Having my breasts bounce up and won might be fun (I'll have to get back to you about that one) But really I just wanna PLAY SL.

So Rod is right... I never want to have to think about TPs, my outfits or seeing other peoples profiles ever again.

Make that magic happen. Please make that magic happen!!! Because I am so fed-up!

(Thats ten minutes now and my outfit changes are still unsaved... OOh log I'm gonna log in frustration!!)

PP

Oh and peoples' profiles... they load um a third of the time... or in crowded sims, never.

PP

And while I'm having a really therapeutic rant :)

The magic is also destroyed by the huge quantity of gray people you meet... and the lifetime it akes for them to rez.

Magic so isn't gray!

PP

And search :) I know I know but it REALLY is awful.
Example: dance club.
Top item: GCD MEGASTORE! - The Best Of Everything, All In One Place., GCD Club Equipment (124, 126, 34) - Moderate

This is NOT a dance club. I know I'm standing there now!

Those 10,000 potential newbiw's who give up. Its hard to be in their shoes. But really can't we see why they give up... nothing actually completely works seamless, flawlessly.

Now I'm going to find a quiet sim and have a little lie down.

hmm, search "quiet sim"
Oh god.

PP

Me again... sorry Hamlet
But as these things are never ever repeatable I have no idea how to put them on the JURA thing.

Having logged (see above :) )
The first thing I want to do is change my outfit (I'm a woman: live with it)

Can I?
No.
Beause:
I have not yet fullr rezzed
My inventory still says: loading.

Um why?

/me smiles sweetly

PP

PS: I thought it was getting too creatory and not enough usery above... I hope I have single-handedly redressed the balance...

:)

PP

No P.P.S. Whilst I was waiting for my inventory to load... which it never did ooh look: darn... you have been.... bleugh!

PP

P.P.P.S.
I lied.. I'm back :)

And why is my name one thing... but when I use /me in IM my name is something else. How none-magical is that!

Balpien Hammerer

Wrote Au: "there's no evidence these users are leaving Second Life -- rather, that they're logged in for less time on average than they have been in the past."

Many reasons for that. Few people will abandon their accoutns because then they lose protection of their names. They'll just leave it active and check in on occasion. And, since people will tend to downgrade to basic to avoid paying fees for horrid or no service, they then have to log in periodically to assure their basic account does not get cancelled for lack of use.

To that add people doing more of their work outworld (sculpts, mesh, audio) mainly because either inworld tools do not exist or the cost of previewing is free in other grids.

That adds up (or subtracts to) less concurrency. I used to see people take strolls, and spend a lot of time shopping. Now they go WEB shopping, again another reason for a drop in concurrency.

Has the concurrency drop correlated with a drop in lindens spent?

Wayfinder

What we know is this (to the best of my memory):

Concurrency dropped 11% in 2010.
User hours dropped 12% in 2010.
Total sims dropped.
Users are raging at Linden Lab, in forums, blogs, chat (when chat works).

Those are facts (not sure which is the 11% / 12%... but close enough).

Now, are users leaving Second Life? Sure they are! We have no way of knowing how many, but yes, people's accounts are obviously being cancelled, they are closing accounts, they're leaving the platform.

Now as Balpien points out, that's probably a rather small number, because most people leave their accounts intact so they can come see their friends once in a while. "Don't burn your bridges behind you."

But those people are not buying land. They are not paying tier. They are not buying merchandise. They are non-paying entities, which are of little use to the SL platform.

Those people are playing other computer games, finding other forms of entertainment, returning to real life or... in vast numbers... are switching to other grids such as Inworldz and the OpenSim project.

Myself, I spend very, very little time on SL these days. I attend an event once in a while. I keep my group functional. I'm a freebie user and proud of it. Most of my time these days is spent building on Inworldz... and my creations there far exceed anything I've ever done on Second Life.

There are THOUSANDS... TENS OF THOUSANDS of people who have taken the same course. No, we haven't "left" Second Life. We've simply turned our focus-- and our finances-- elsewhere.

So it comes back to Linden Lab's old residency claims: saying the company has 22 million residents is a far cry from their more-realistic 750k. Of that 750k... many are bots and alts.

So the reality of Second Life: user numbers don't tell the story and never have. Concurrency and user hours tells the story. If people LIKED Second Life... they'd be spending time in-world. The very fact that merchants build offline is an indication that the system isn't designed to meet their very openly-stated needs.

How many times have merchants asked to be able to log in totally invisible to the grid? If Linden Lab had met that need, they could still legitimately count those user hours and concurrency. Since they didn't meet that need, merchant are building offline and spending far, far less time in-world.

So we ask: is a merchant who builds offline, shows up to upgrade his/her vendors, leaves, and never pays Linden Lab a dime really a "user"?

There are tens of thousands of people doing the very same thing. That is why concurrency and user hours have dropped. Those people are making a very plain statement: they don't like the Second Life environment.

12% loss is a fairly significant chunk.


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