Ana Somnia is a seriously cool immersive and interactive web experience that you should visit, if you have a web cam on your computer and you're able to turn off the lights. Best if I don't say much more than that, except to say the site creator has very cleverly leveraged the web cam to detect whether your room is lit or dark. And if it's lit, you need to turn off the light switch in this little girl's room (thereby implicating you in the experience.) And then shit gets real. By which I mean, totally surreal and dreamlike. Stop reading me already and see for yourself.
In a recent interview, Linden CEO Rod Humble claimed new SL users have grown by 40%, which caused Botgirl Questi to wonder how that can be the case, when SL's peak concurrency has remained flat at around 70,000. "What am I missing?" Well, possibly this: That concurrency is not a true and fully accurate reflection of user activity in Second Life for at least two reasons. Short version: Most new users tend to be from a younger 20-something demographic who have lighter in-world activity patterns, and because of SL's very international userbase, concurrency will naturally rise and fall as one time zone's users log in, while another time zone goes to bed.
I say "possibly", because now that Linden Lab will no longer publish monthly unique user stats (the industry standard), we're left with a lot of guesswork. However, in the same time period Hubmle reported SL was seeing record new user growth (over the 2011 holiday period), it's worth noting that SL made it back on Nielsen's Top 10 chart. Which suggests that this new user growth does seem to be happening.
Linden Lab just launched Wilderness, a new game/exploration area -- here's a look:
It's exclusive content for Premium account holders, so it looks like a bid to boost total subscription revenue -- an important move we're likely to see more of, as land-based revenue wanes due to a continued loss of private estates and the general instability of the virtual land revenue model. Wilderness uses a lot of the new pathfinding tools we talked about here, so here's a chance to check them out first hand. (If you're Premium, that is.)
- What Makes Tyche Tick: Q & A With the Leading SL Surveyor
- Second Life is Mostly Played as a Game & Needs a Game Company to Run It
- How to Promote Your SL Brand in Facebook (Without Revealing Your RL Name)
- How to Handle SL Usernames with Crazy Capitalisation and Confusing Characters -- with Complete Class!
- Where Linden Lab First Went Wrong With Second Life: Treating SL as Programming Problem
General gaming/tech news:
General gaming/tech news:
- Philip Rosedale's New Project: A Site Where You Keep a Public Promise to Philip Rosedale (or Pay Philip Rosedale)
- Linden Lab's LittleTextPeople Making a Second Life for Text-Based Shareable Storytelling
- Draw Something Now Facebook's Biggest Game: Great News for User-Generated-Driven Gaming... Bad News for Zynga
Pussycat Catnap (who blogs here) left this comment in a long, interesting comment thread over SL's failure to go mass market, and while I don't agree with all of it, she perhaps more effectively (if tersely) makes a point I was trying to make in a convoluted way in a previous post. Opines Ms. Catnap:
I would say that the ideal owners for SL would in fact be a game company. One that caters to online gaming, such as Cryptic or Blizzard or Activision. Even Zynga. Like it or not... for most of SLs users, it IS a game. It's a social game.
She goes on to explain:
Chestnut Rau has good long advice about what Linden Lab could learn from tech guru Gary Vaynerchek, but I'd go further and say it also applies to SL content creators. For instance:
[W]hat would Gary Vaynerchuk say about the dysfunctional relationship between Linden Lab and its customers? I can guess he would wonder why Linden Lab is not reaching out to the angry, loud, critical community and talking to them. I can guess he would say LL should care enough about users to develop personal relationships with them, particularly those who have a habit of writing critical things about Second Life on the Internet. Most importantly, I think Vaynerchuk would suggest the responsibility for repairing the broken relationship falls squarely on the shoulders of Linden Lab if they want to cultivate a growing, happy customer base. If customers are that unhappy with the relationship they have with Linden Lab they will eventually lose interest and move on to other competing services. It really is that simple
Much more here, including video. But as I say, a lot of that advice (as interpreted by Chestnut) should also be followed by SL entrepreneurs, whose overall revenue has been waning of late. (And yes yes, far as Lindens go, CEO Rod Humble comments on many user blogs, forums, and via Twitter, but being kinda busy running a company and stuff, hardly enough to derail the overall negative tenor emanating from certain sectors.)
Here's some important tips for trouble- shooting your Chrome web browser from Nalates Urriah, who interrupts her usual great blogging about SL viewers to bring them to us. And if you're like me, Chrome has been failing so consistently you're actually considering a re-install of Internet Explorer. (Oh yes.) For one, "You can go through and disable all your plugins. Type in chrome://plugins/. You’ll get a list of plug-ins. You can disable them. With all of them disabled Chrome is amazingly faster." Much more here.
Draw Something Now Facebook's Biggest Game: Great News for User-Generated-Driven Gaming... Bad News for Zynga
Well this is a huge milestone: For the first time in about three years, Zynga no longer has the most popular game on Facebook. Instead, my colleague Kim-Mai Cutler notes on TechCrunch, a game called Draw Something holds that spot in terms of daily active users, a much stronger indicator of actual usage than the monthly active users that are usually touted first. The cross-platform app from OMGPOP is basically a Pictionary-style game for Facebook and iOS via Facebook Connect, and while it's great to see Zynga's dominance on Facebook no longer unquestioned, it's even better to see that it's by a game that fosters user-generated content. (Go check out the game's Facebook page for some impressive entries.) Expect to see more social games with user-generated content soon. Hope one of them is Jim "Babbage" Pubrick's Creatarr.
Popular SL fashion blogger Ms. Strawberry Singh has a very useful post on how to promote your Second Life brand in Facebook. But wait, won't using Facebook link your real life name with your SL avatar? Well no, not if you do as Strawberry does here:
And as Strawberry says there: "Remember to pay close attention to the 'Your Settings' tab and make sure to check your posting preferences so you are posting as your avatar and not with your RL name, if that’s how you created the page. This is important if you wish to keep your RL name private." It's just that simple. Advantages of sharing on Facebook? Well, many, such as: