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Monday, January 23, 2012


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Maria Korolov

Hamlet --

I agree with you that a lot is riding on Second Life -- and wish they'd fix their viewer, and do some decent marketing.

However, there are a lot of educational and business users of OpenSim that don't show up anywhere in my numbers -- and there's no way to track them down.

Are there enough users for it to be self-sustaining? I don't know. Which is why I would very much like the Lindens to get their house into decent shape.

They could do for 3D what AOL did for folks going online -- with the right vision, and the commitment. And nobody else right now can take its place. None of the OpenSim-based grids are large enough, or well-funded enough, to do any kind of major marketing or viewer investment.


I'd be amused to hear by what criteria Second Life qualifies as an "open platform".

Eddi Haskell

If you think about it, many people are moving to OpenSim because they want a cheap place to build, or to hang out with a limited number of friends. So it does make sense that population density is going to be much lower than Second Life. Few people are going to take the time to explore an empty virtual world anyway.

Has anyone done a revenue projection of how much OpenSim worlds will take in this year visa-vi Second Life? Although the OpenSim land mass is approaching 75% of Second Life's, I would think that the total revenue generation is no where as big.

Pussycat Catnap

OpenSim is a better alternative to a single point control multiverse as in SL.

But growing it will face a lot of hurdles, as I noted last post.

Content from designers is lacking.

Its lacking because, true or false, perception seems to imply that Open Sim lacks a way to secure the IP rights of a content creator, and ensure just compensation for their works.

(like it or not, a 3D modeller and graphic artist who spends a month of her real life labor making a 'furry avatar' deserves at least the $3 she currently asks you to pay for it on SL. And if you refuse to pay an artist who's work you love, directly without any middle men, $3 for the right to a copy of that work - that's some nerve.)

($3 = about 780L - and the going rate of such an avatar as those reviewed on slarf ranges from 600-1200L. 780 just pops into mind for me because the Ocelot I use is about that.)

My other concern for the growth of Open Sim is in viewer abilities / server abilities. SL is steamrolling ahead with new inventory APIs, mesh, linden-realms game code (granted a year out), multi-attach, alphas, richer rendering (lighting, shadows, ambient, etc), FUI, enhanced screen-shotting, and so many other things...

Last time this topic came up in this blog, people pointed out to me that OpenSim -is- at present working with all of the viewer 3 features.

But for it to stay competitive, it will have to maintain constant pace with the changes seen in SL. And to -become- competitive, word of this needs to be more known.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Not so sure about building in OpenSim and importing to SL.

I've done some of that, using Imprudence to import the builds to SL, and the prims almost always come across misaligned. I don't mind paying to upload the textures again to SL, but it's a bit maddening to have to re-align a bunch of linked prims.

PS: Thank you for a Gingrich-free post @ NWN.

David Cartier

A lot of the more well heeled and security conscious organisations moved to Forterra's OLIVE and the US Army's MOSES simulators.

James OReilly

Maria Korolov's system boundary lines are false...

If you run a barber shop, you want potential customers to gain attention, interest, and desire for a hair cut, then walk into the barber shop and order a haircut, and then sit on the barber chair to receive the hair cut... that's the AIDA marketing process https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIDA_(marketing)

As soon as interest drops, like in Google Trends https://www.google.com/trends/?q=opensim&ctab=0&geo=all&date=all&sort=0 , something is off-track...

Maria Korolov merely body-counts empty barber chairs https://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2012/01/is-opensim-usage-falling/

It's about software development + MARKET DELIVERY...

For software development people, please check: CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), v1.3 was released in November 2010. It addresses product and service development processes https://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/abstracts/reports/10tr033.cfm

For market delivery people, please check: CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), v1.3 was released in November 2010. It addresses guidance for delivering services within an organization and to external customers https://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/abstracts/reports/10tr034.cfm

Let's get the system boundary lines straight...

Graham Mills

Google Trends is a measure of search volume, not a measure of what people are actually doing with the platform. If you were to take Trends as a measure of viability, SL has been in catastrophic decline since mid-2007. Oddly enough, it's still with us. Precise metrics for OpenSim users do not exist as the server can be run offline and behind firewalls -- end of story. Google Trends is not a substitute.

And yes, I do have a premium account in SL but my focus has been on OpenSim since the end of education discounts and the experience has generally been good. Indeed, I now spend more on OpenSim than SL.

There are any number of walled-garden commercial grids where IP protection is paramount if that is important to you. If not, designers such as Linda Kellie, Ina Centaur and Nebadon Izumi have provided excellent generic resources for wider reuse. As far as I can tell, mesh works as well on OpenSim grids as in SL. I'm not a fashionista so I can't comment on the fine detail but I use the FUI-based Dolphin 3 viewer for most purposes and the developer has been open to incorporating OpenSim refinements. Some aspects such as search and profiles are necessarily borked on some grids -- not a problem for my purposes though more generally it would be good to have an OpenSim viewer that handled such issues on the Hypergrid.

If LL somehow accidentally "nuke" cross-platform TPVs, I'd actually survive on what I have presently for some time. Some of the stuff highlighted as "in the works" for SL such as forced teleports and NPCs are already available for OpenSim.

There are some excellent OpenSim builds, e.g. Pic du Midi Virtuel, Mount Grace Priory, Zephyr on New World Grid; Romenna on PMgrid; NY Worlds Fair on ReactionGrid. NB. Some run on limited hardware/bandwidth, often from home, so can be fragile with multiple avatars present.

James OReilly

"Google Trends provides insights into broad search patterns."

There is no reference to search volume, like the sample size N... Google Trends correlates to "Interest", Item 2 of the AIDA marketing process.

Check Search Engine Watch article about the Decision Making Funnel, Stage 2: Interest...

Opensim (as statistically discrete search term) faces declining frequency of use... That's obviously the wrong direction, if you want to marketing process through attention, interest, desire, and action.

James OReilly

In comparison, you might want to look at Google Trends search term frequency for Minecraft, Opensim, Second Life...


Then go to the absolute Registration and Purchasing numbers of Minecraft...

20,601,977 registered users, of which 4,741,020 (23.01%) have bought the game. In the last 24 hours, 61,442 people registered, and 8,833 people bought the game.

This comparison significantly shows that MILLIONS of potential out-world newbies are balking SL and Opensim, and choosing Minecraft...

James OReilly

In any case, merely body-counting ghost town sims (or barber chairs) is irrelevant for addressing the sustainability of Opensim... the system boundary lines for encompassing "software development + market delivery" are flat false and are an un-quality waste of time...

Graham Mills

I somehow thought we might get to Minecraft.

James OReilly

1 sim, 10,000 interested out-world newbies, and 1,000 concurrent users...

is clearly better than...

1,000 sims, 10,000 balking out-world newbies, and 1 concurrent user...

Graham Mills

It depends on your perspective. Minecraft does not do what I want while OpenSim does.

James OReilly

Your in-world perspective isn't relevant for system boundary lines, correct marketing-driven system boundary lines extend to the out-world newbie at his bus stop...

James OReilly

The test question remains Sustainability...

James OReilly

For you to get a flavor of sustainablity, you would need to structurally benchmark and template yourself against the raw data that the Gaming Industry provides...

Economic Data

Growth – From 2005 to 2009, the entertainment software industry's annual growth rate exceeded 10 percent. Over the same period, the entire U.S. economy grew at a rate of less than two percent.

GDP – In 2009, the entertainment software industry's value added to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $4.9 billion.

Employment – The entertainment software industry also continues to grow as a source of employment. For the four-year period of 2005-09, direct employment for the industry grew at an annual rate of 8.6 percent. Currently, computer and video game companies directly and indirectly employ more than 120,000 people in 34 states. The average salary for direct employees is $90,000, resulting in total national compensation of $2.9 billion.

These economic system boundary lines are far away from merely body-counting empty ghost town sims (or barber chairs)...

Lucius Nesterov

Structurally benchmark and template the-what-now? Are you studying this at college, because you seem to only be able to communicate the complexities.

Was the purpose of your last post simply to say that growth in the US gaming industry is surpassing US growth as a whole, and so there is no reason why SL/OpenSim should not be growing? Or to show that one or both are going against the industry trend?

You can't prove anything about sustainability with growth figures alone; indeed it's often the opposite.

To the issue in the post of "The future of open platform 3D worlds is still riding on Second Life", is like saying that the future of the electric car relies on General Motors. If SL disappeared tomorrow there would be a large number of potential customers for 3D worlds with no-where to go. Where-ever they choose to go, revenue will push development. Concepts are bigger than companies.

James OReilly

Body-counting empty ghost town sims (or barber chairs) is a useless system boundary line.

1. It's not supported by Software Engineering Institute SEI under its Capability Maturity Model Integration CMMI... Software development + market delivery are the integrated areas of interest for accountable system boundary lines...


For software development people, please check: CMMI for Development (CMMI-DEV), v1.3 was released in November 2010. It addresses product and service development processes https://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/abstracts/reports/10tr033.cfm

For market delivery people, please check: CMMI for Services (CMMI-SVC), v1.3 was released in November 2010. It addresses guidance for delivering services within an organization and to external customers https://www.sei.cmu.edu/library/abstracts/reports/10tr034.cfm

2. Nor do industry associations support this low level template display of raw data...

Get back to mainstream ways...

James OReilly

3. IT service management also defines the out-world paying customer as system boundary line... System boundary lines do not end where "developers develop for developers" in their belly-button viewing sandboxes and fun shoptalk...


Lucius Nesterov

It is starting to read like an email advertising "prowess enhancement".

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

James, sounds like you simply have an agenda to bash OpenSim.

I may well be wrong on your bias, as I was a while back when poking Hamlet in his ribs repeatedly, over some remarks he once made about OS. Now I don't think Hamlet has an agenda re: OpenSim.

Perhaps the data Hamlet cites are not representative of actual OS usage. Maybe they are.

Know what? I could care less. I'm too busy teaching and designing simulations to bean-count. I do not get evaluated on the popularity of the applications I employ in my classes.

Anyhow, if the application does what I want, I'll use it if I can afford it. So far, I've found no use for Minecraft or Glitch in the classroom.

So when I use OpenSim (or SL) to build a simulation, my students come in when we use it. Then it becomes a ghost town after nearly all of us log off.

The only difference between the two experiences is that I need a sponsor to afford SL Tier. For OpenSim, I pay out of pocket annually what I'd pay for a month in SL.

Arcadia Codesmith

It's not at all unusual for a word-of-mouth project to have a long takeoff period, especially during an economic downturn.

I think SL could play a critical role as a social and economic hub for a vast array of grids... if they can successfully divorce themselves from the tier model that puts them in competition with other worlds.

James OReilly

@Ignatius Onomatopoeia: Yes, there is indeed a factually tangible and valid agenda. No more feeble excuses and blind-eyes as long as things are pointing in the wrong direction. Real McCoy remedies are needed...

Actually, Google Trends, SEI and others are very conclusive, so if you don't like their graphs and background data it would be better to carry your complaints to them...

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

As usual, James/Eurominuteman, you are the soul of tact.

I did not say a darned thing about liking or not liking the data.

Whew. Had your meds today?

shockwave yareach

Google trends as a benchmark for usage?

Let's say I'm a new user. I hear about Opensim and search for it. Tada, I've bumped the count by one. Then I hear about inworldz. Um, searching for that doesn't bump it one bit. So I have an account in Inworldz, buy an island, spend tons of time and money and get a whole new virtual life and create a business there selling Combat Pillows with realistic poofing realistic feathers. I bring in 100 of my SL group with me and we wage pillow wars on my islands until I buy a second island to keep the combat and the sexxors seperated.

And in all that activity, I've not toggled the Google counter once. So how exactly does Google's count of people searching for something relate to people actually using the service and spending money/time within it? People already inworld aren't likely to be going to google and searching for it.

foneco zuzu

And btw, since when does Sl needs Usa citizens to survive, as the biggest communities are Brazilian, German, Italian, French, Spanish ones?
And do Any here dare to compare their moral values and interests as Usa ones?
Sl is a world of diversity, the less it needs is that 1 minority tries to enforce their values!

foneco zuzu

So get real, Sl can die, that another grid would replace it, be on Usa, China Brazil or whatever!
But those who love Sl, will wish that Sl will not only survive these troubled times but grew and grew and keep growing as it is, cause is still the place where any can find and be whatever, for now!
Still its time to say, stop the greed, feed yourselves on lower tiers and more users, not the other way around!

Pussycat Catnap

"To the issue in the post of "The future of open platform 3D worlds is still riding on Second Life", is like saying that the future of the electric car relies on General Motors."

A better analogy would be Windows.

If the Windows OS stopped working tomorrow, on every PC in the world where it was installed... there would be chaos in the computing world -despite- the existence of Mac, Linux, Unix, and other options.

If Open Sim went poof though, that would be akin to the end of Thai cooking. Might suck for your night out, and for a few of us your staple diet, but there'd still be a lot of food to choose from.

Pussycat Catnap

ps to my above comment: There's another reason that's comparing to Windows is a good analogy. 10 years ago the world was all PC-everything. Now it isn't. PC/Windows still has its dominance, but its no longer 'the shiny' and unless it does something, will eventually lose luster to something like Android or iOS or even a Unix variant that works across desktops and tablets...

That's where SL is. It 'owns' the 3D metaverse, but it may be losing the 'shiny'...

James OReilly

No need, I'm protagonistic, not antagonistic...

James OReilly

@shockwave yareach: Statistically, a large number of events shows the trend, that's the advantage of Google. Singular events don't gain weights. Google is clearly statistically significant...

Maria Korolov's statistical design is mostly under-statistical... especially her random conclusion-making...

shockwave yareach

@James - you miss the point. A hundred million people could be owning sims and visiting inworldz every day, and how would google "trend" this? Search requests? No, none of the hundred million people are searching for it -- they are there. webbeacons? What, in inworldz itself -- nope. And even if 100million people made 100million searchs for "inworldz", that wouldn't register as a search for "open sim" in the first place.

The trend is only valid data for what people are searching for and only for that phrase. I see no coorespondence with people actually being in inworldz and spending time and money versus searching for it (when you are already there) by another name. You may as well calculate the number of Fords sold by the trend in Toyota.

Gwenette Writer Sinclair

Numbers are misleading and often meaningless, as many pointed out above. What IS interesting to me is the comparison of the KNOWLEDGE folks need to attain before participating in SL or opensim worlds. I would hazard a GUESS that the percentage of individuals in opensim worlds who UNDERSTAND the nature of content and world creating and actually CREATE is HIGHER than that percentage in SL. It is possible the literal number itself is even higher (especially considering that the resident number for SL involves tens of thousands of alts and bots and drop-outs). This development of skills and conscious perception of possibilities in more individuals will contribute to the creative horizons of out future. More shoppers and tourists will not . . imho;-D IF we are to see the vision of a ubiquitous 3d virtual universe - where humans create, communicate, educate, and entertain - with easy hypergrided travel between all worlds on multiple platforms, we can not underestimate the significance of the small numbers of pioneers surfing the leading waves. . .

Ener Hax

i think it's tough to gauge via active users because there is no one single source or place

there were 6,500 downloads of sim-on-a-stick last year. some were like me where once downloaded, i have it on two computers at home, one at work, and on two USB drives (so 20 regions)

some downloaded and never used it

i still go back to regions online. we know that Maria's numbers are a minimum because many don't report their regions (like the US Air Force Cyber Security dealio which uses OpenSim and many schools)

the number of regions indicate that at sometime some real person setup a region (or regions like our 16 regions used by 4 people)

since it takes more effort to setup a region than create an account, i'd say it's the most meaningful metric

and OpenSim regions can't be directly compared to SL sims

for Linden Lab, the true measure of growth is annual revenue, imho

Troy McConaghy

Any article talking about the growth of OpenSim usage (or the lack thereof) should compare to Unity, which has similar use cases.

Unity is growing like gangbusters. Here's a Google Trends chart related to Unity:


(You can't look for a trend in "Unity" because that word is too generic; Unity3D can only mean one thing, I think.)

Graham Mills

WebGL and HTML5 are doing pretty well too. Google+ on the other hand...

James OReilly

@shockwave yareach: I don't miss the point...

1. Maria Korolov has the wrong the system boundary lines, and her numbers are under-statistical. She also makes non-valid conclusions from such. She is not in-line with quality standards and does not benchmark with industry associations.

2. The following article is completely grotesque...

Maria Korolov did adopt some advise to benchmark with Gaming Industry style economic indicators!

In 2011, virtual currency OMC cash flows for Opensim rose at a super-sized double-whopper rate of 500% from 750 OMC (US$ 2.77) to 3,000 OMC (US$ 11.11).

Well, she forgot to add, how this hooting and tooting result translated into Opensim Sustainability and into an impact to GDP and Job Creation like the Gaming Industry does...


In comparison, the Gaming Industry template: What is the fiscal growth? What impact did this fiscal growth have to GDP? How did this GDP impact translate into job creation? https://www.theesa.com/facts/econdata.asp Who offers jobs and career opportunities? https://www.theesa.com/careers/index.asp

That means OMC can buy TWO Double Whoppers per month... maybe, if it invoices on the OMC revenue sheet.

As a grand final, Maria Korolov concludes, "This is a potential indication of unmet demand, and a sign that some merchants would do well to start experimenting with hypergrid in order to establish their brand identities early." Funny, 3000/750 only delivers 400%...

Hypergrid Business makes sweeping conclusions from a 3 dollar to 11 dollar movement... If that's not astroturfing, what is?

Googe Trends is a bona-fide service in comparison...

yoshiko Fazuku

Some where..there is a bridge missing its troll :P

James OReilly

Rhetoric propaganda and flaming doesn't tip the following facts...

Maria Korolov has the wrong the system boundary lines, and her numbers are under-statistical. She also makes non-valid conclusions from such. She is not in-line with quality standards and does not benchmark with industry associations.

Google Trends is a bona fide and relevant statistic for showing the decline in search for Opensim... Decline is the wrong direction for things...

Silverfox Rainbow

i dont understand what this whole thing has to do with google trends and numbers?

so people arnt searching that much for open-sim? cause its ALPHA!! its software thats still being develped and worked on, so that it can keep up with SL, can run both and just have fun creating in both worlds.

James OReilly

Read the references about the AIDA marketing process (attention, interest, desire, action) and how Google Trend correlates to this marketing approach by measuring search term interest for the term "Opensim" farther up...

foneco zuzu

James, now that seems so easy to speak about lobbies in the Country of Yours, just tell Us how much You are getting from the lab, free realm crystals?

foneco zuzu

The fact is that I just brought to OS grid my love and our pet as well!
None of us had a single problem connecting and being on Sl and on Os grid at same time!
Stil didn't manage to have 3 things i can't leave without!
A horse that i can ride, a bike that really works, a penis that cums!

James O'Reilly

@Troy kk, add Minecraft to Unity3D

James O'Reilly

@foneco zuzu... What lab? I don't take anything... It's too simple to key-in terms to Google Trends...

Why don't you just take it straighforward, instead of twisting and bending things around as antagonist. It is straighforward for a protagonist...

AIDA Marketing Interest <=> Google Trends Search Interest

Google Trends: Minecraft, Second Life, Opensim, Android, iPad

shockwave yareach

@James - I guess I'm not being clear enough. Mayhaps a puppet?

Google can only trend things that are searched for or websites that are visited. They have zero data collection in VR. So unless people are searching for that term before going to their VR, trend cannot measure how many people are using that VR. People who already have opensim land aren't doing searches for what they already know in Google. People who are already in Inworldz aren't doing searches for what they already know in Google. And even if 100million people were doing searches for Inworldz every single day, the trend for "opensim" would not even budge -- it's not the word being searched.

Google's trend is a valid tool when it is being used properly. But when managers think it's the alpha and omega of tech and they don't have to understand how it's properly used, that's when the problems come in. If you want magical tools that you cannot use incorrectly then I recommend the unicorn horn handled screwdrivers I sell in SL. But real tools giving real data have real shortcomings, and to use the tools you have to understand the limitations of said tool.

Every single person on Earth logging into Inworldz would not affect the Trending in Google as Google cannot monitor traffic in Inworldz. And every single person on Earth searching for Inworldz would not affect the trending for the term "Opensim", either, just as people looking up Toyotas don't affect the trend for Ford.

James O'Reilly

Google Insights for Search is a service by Google similar to Google Trends, providing insights into the search terms people have been entering into the Google search engine.

Unlike Google Trends, Google Insights for Search provides a visual representation of regional interest on a country's map. It displays top searches and rising searches that may help with keyword research. Results can be narrowed down with categories that are displayed for each search terms.


This is what the search term Opensim provides... again declining... Opensim search interest is declining by over 60% in a 3 year period...


James O'Reilly

@shockwave Your guessworking is not needed...

foneco zuzu

But lets face it, its Google even worth being used as measure tool?

foneco zuzu

The fact is that if Open sim was a profit company, they would need to find a way to know how much use it.
But they are not!

James O'Reilly

Google has bona fide statistical validity, comparably far more than the astroturf chanting and raindancing of others...

shockwave yareach

No, it doesn't. Unless you can explain the specific method used to measure how Google can know how many people are in Inworldz, it is you who is doing the chanting here.

I'm well aware of the techniques used to measure web traffic. Not one of them measures visits to Inworldz or any other Opensim VR space. So how does Google measure this traffic, since you are expert in all things Google Trend?

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