Friday, April 19, 2013

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Now With 300K Members, Second Life's Facebook Page is By Far SL's Largest Social Media Presence - And Disproves an Old SL Myth

Second Life Facebook Group

Daniel Voyager called it first: The official and highly active Second Life page on Facebook is by far Second Life's most popular social media presence, now with 300,000 members. (And it's been growing steadily over the last few years.) I have it on good authority that Second Life's actual active userbase is about 600,000, so that Facebook number constitutes up to half the userbase (give or take). Compare this to the Second Life presence on other social media sites (figures from Mr. Voyager) too:

  • The official Google+ Second Life page has +4,435 friends/followers.
  • The official Twitter Second Life page has 34, 571 followers
  • The official Flickr Second Life group has 15, 862 members
  • The official Plurk Second Life page has 494 friends/341 fans

There's no comparison. And I can tell you from personal experience Second Life's Facebook group is highly active. An NWN post was recently put on the page, where it was shared by dozens of members, and clicked by several thousand of them.

What's this mean? Well obviously, if you're a Second Life content creator, Facebook is the Internet's biggest promotion venue. And even more important, it puts to rest a recurring myth:

It is simply not true that most Second Life users are extremely concerned about keeping their SL and RL identities separate. Many do, no doubt. Maybe up to half of them do. But the vast size of Second Life's presence on Facebook gives the lie that it's a large or overwhelming majority. Those who insist on this myth anyway are doing so despite the evidence otherwise, and are missing all the opportunities that Facebook might provide them.

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Adeon Writer

I'm not sure how joining a SL Facebook group means your RL and SL identities are no longer separate.

Ignoring all the pseudonymous group members for a moment, no one is making them give their SL name.

I have no problem telling people I play SL but I'm not going to give them my Internet name.

Of course, I don't use Facebook so I may be misunderstanding something here.

ZZ Bottom

Excuse my French but i did beta test facebook so no way you are going to get me back after i left in 2007, lol!

DBDigital Epsilon

I don't think that the amount of people following the facebook page proves your theory. Consider that most of the people I know on facebook don't use their real names at all. I would say half or less use their real names.

Granted you can get your account banned, but with Google allowing pseudonymous I think it is only a matter of time before Facebook relaxes a little on that point.

And Adeon has a excellent point, even with their RL name you don't have their SL name unless it is posted in their Facebook profile somewhere. Therefore your theory is far far from proved. I personally wouldn't use my RL name. For example it gets very confusing if Aunt Jane see a post by a friend of mine with the name John Konbis34 and wonders who that is. You tell them oh that is just a friend on Second life. Then they say "Second Life? Isn't that a sex world?" Or something to that effect. Sadly many of the mainstream media have given this bad impression in the past (I even recall one reporter calling a skin a "sex suit"). And you end up in a long conversation where you may or may not be able to change their mind as to what Second Life really is.

I know people that had this exact issue and started running separate facebook accounts as a result.

Marianne McCann

Uh. Myth busted: I "Like" SL on facebook. I also keep my identities separate. You simply cannot count "Likes" the same way as followers/members

2013

I also have Facebook in my avi name, would never give my RL FB account. Liking a page on FB is like a gold star in school, at the end of the day it doesn't mean a whole lot.

Eddi Haskell

I think that 300,000 Facebook likes (if current, that number may contain inactive SL accounts) points to way more than 600,000 active Second Life users. Of the Second Life residents I know, only about 25% at most bother with Facebook. And not all of those have liked the Facebook page. I have an account on Facebook and rarely like anything. That is a remarkably high and encouraging number.

Han Held

"But the vast size of Second Life's presence on Facebook gives the lie that it's a large or overwhelming majority. "

Until you stop for five seconds and realize that most of the people there are using their SL aliases.

tl;dr I call bullshit.

CronoCloud Creeggan

Why yes, Facebook is a valuable promotional tool and perhaps SL residents might need some kind of technorati consultant to consult with on how to gamify/monetize their SL facebook presence.....NOT!

You can't count "likes" as active involvement...it's no more involvement than a "me too" The reason it "seems" SL's facebook page has more involvement is that it's easier and quicker to hit "Like" than to be actively involved with the other social media that requires more of a time involvement.

You, like many of the technorati like Zuckerberg and those at google may be big on RL identities, how else to know if the other technorati you're thinking of doing business with went to the "right university" or how else to brag about your ski trips to vail you took while at MIT.... that sort of thing...it ends up enforcing classism in the technorati community and don't tell me it doesn't exist.

Heck when facebook was founded it was originally Harvard only, then it was ivy League only then they let Standord in... then you had to have an .edu mail address to sign up, basically still excluding many of those who weren't among the elite...(at that time many schools didn't give students their own .edu addresses) Then it opened to high school students...as long as they had an .edu e-mail address...and oh what high schools give out those....the ones ivy leaguers went to. Then they finally opened up to everyone.

But still the Google/Facebook inspired technorati culture is still education/class elitist so forgive me if I don't want to promote that sort of thing.


Kim Anubis

My SL and RL identities aren't separate, but that doesn't mean I am interested in using a service that does things like tracking its users even when they are logged out.

Maxx Nordlicht

"It is simply not true that most Second Life users are extremely concerned about keeping their SL and RL identities separate"

I think this IS true... Try if you can make a connection between their RL and SL identities...
I don't think a lot of people who like the Facebook page with their RL show their SL name.

Ciaran Laval

I have Facebook pages, no RL Facebook account though. I can click likes as one of my pages.

Facebook is good for advertising but I highly doubt that 300,000 people are linking their Second Life self to their RL self.

Tracy Redangel

I two separate Facebook accounts...one for my avatar and one for my RL. My RL Facebook has family and all my business contacts so I don't post much about Second Life or really any gaming on it. I'm much less prohibited on my avatar's facebook account so in many ways I really prefer my avatar's facebook. I think it is a good idea for content creators to create facebook pages. Redgrave is a perfect example of a creator who makes good use of facebook. Whenever they have a new release, they post it in their page along with pics. Blogs and websites are great, but not everyone thinks to go check a blog/site, whereas news of releases pop up on people's news feeds.

Eurominuteman

1,063 Second Life Users are membered on Steam
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/sluser

Eurominuteman

Convergence Culture is underway...

Henry Jenkins, Communications Professor at MIT, talks heavily about the 'Black Box Fallacy' and how convergence effects older media. For example Jenkins talks about how 'Cinema did not kill Theatre or TV did not kill radio' but rather each medium was 'Forced to coexist with one another'. Henry also talks about how old media is not being displaced, but it's status has shifted by the introduction of new technologies. The black box fallacy argument is that all media content will eventually flow through one 'black box'. The reason why the term was coined is because we see more and more black boxes around our homes and work places (VCR, DVD and CD players), but these boxes over the years have started to converge and have multiple uses http://convergence-culture.wikia.com/wiki/Black_Box_Fallacy

Hitomi Tiponi

What I think you meant to say is "Second Life users have no problem with admitting that they like Second Life" - that is all it proves.

Arcadia Codesmtih

Sorry, Hamlet, but I'm afraid that my observations concur with other posters. Half of the people on my Facebook friends list are using phoney names.

Pseudonymity is liberation from meatspace baggage. Zuckerberg's crusade against it is symptomatic of his desire to bring his own real-world status into cyberspace. Forget it. I'm not showing my papers, and I don't give a flying flip about who has the ivy league degree and who's stealing a wireless connection while living in their SUV. It's the strength of your ideas that counts, not your wallet.

Hamlet Au

"Half of the people on my Facebook friends list are using phoney names."

Even if it was that many people, the fact remains that they're still using Facebook, a social network predicated on real identities. When the page first launched, many SLers complained that Linden Lab should not use Facebook at all. But it's really not an either-or situation, in any case. Pseudonyms are great in some contexts, and real names are important in others. Both have their place.

But wait a minute -- if you think it's such a bad thing, why are *you* using Facebook? I guess you're not so either-or, either. :)

Arcadia Codesmith

I'm not using my real name on Facebook either :)

Well, okay, on one of my multiple accounts. But that's mostly for family.

And yes, pseudonyms really are roughly 50% of my friends list. Your dubious response made me go back and count. Not all of them are Second Life avatars -- there are plenty of others who have multiple noms for different occasions.

The primary virtue of Zuckerberg's toy is how easy it is to subvert. I reserve the right to totally mess with anybody trying to get inside my head, and most especially those trying to do so for profit.

Wolf Baginski

The big problem with "real" names is that they are not globally unique.

It's the Chinese telephone directory problem: everyone dials the Wong number.

Ciaran Laval

I've just noticed, three months later, that TechCrunch have removed Facebook comments, in part because the total number of comments dropped when they introduced Facebook comments.

There are plenty of people, inside and outside of Second Life, who don't like the linkage Facebook does with their wider social networking.

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