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Sunday, February 24, 2008


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Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Am I being dense, or hopeful? Perhaps:

The client, lately, has been relatively stable. Wednesdays are not as black as they once were. Perhaps with fewer frustrations, more of us keep coming back.

Cynical alternative:

Or we bring our alts along and that bumps up the numbers...


this isn't weird at all - per Ignatius, if the grid has been more stable and can support larger numbers of concurrents you're just seeing that the previous #s were demand capped, they were support capped. i.e. the real demand for SL among members is higher than the grid could concurrently support but as that limit is raised, the gap is quickly filled by current users.

dandellion Kimban

Hmmm... this is an interesting puzzle. Providing that we have valid data it seems like our presence concentrate at the specific points. It is to be expected that most of us spend significant amounts of time on Sundays. That is the free day for a large percent of the population so we have more time, and also (because of that) many events are scheduled for Sundays.
BVut still, that doesn't explain the puzzle. Maybe the type of residents changes, maybe our habits change.

Ann Otoole

sleekbots, griefer alts, etc. i have observed a decline in actual new users coming around so the numbers being manufactured by LL are probably "enhanced" somehow.

Takuan Daikon

I seriously doubt the numbers are "enhanced", though I would not be surprised if they were not exactly correct; the difference being, of course, that "enhanced" implies an ulterior motive which I personally doubt exists.

I think it's likely some combination of enhanced stability (even I have to admit to that and I love to complain) and increased use of bots and alts. It also seems to me that many RL friends I know have decided to "check that SL thing out again", digging up long-unused accounts and logging in for the first time in months.

Put a bunch of subtle factors like that together and it might almost account for it, I suppose.

Luce Imaginary

i have observed a decline in actual new users coming around so the numbers being manufactured by LL are probably "enhanced" somehow

Because we all know that Ann Otoole keeps the most accurate SL related statistical database online.

Tateru Nino

Ann is right that the number of new people coming in is falling - however the logical chain has to end there. If the numbers are cooked, there's no point having this conversation - you couldn't trust any of them (including the number of new users coming in).

I agree with Hunter. The problem has been that demand (users wanting to be online and having a relatively smooth experience) has exceeded supply (the ability for the grid to deliver that).

I see we're still having network glitches today too - but they're not related to the number of people online.

Hamlet Au

I'm not sure system stability is an adequate explanation-- over the last few months, user sessions have been crashing 20-22% with no measurable improvement:


Also, while system outages seem to be down last month, they spiked in Nov. and Dec., and still peak concurrency kept growing during that period:


I don't doubt it's *part* of the explanation, I'm just not convinced it's the whole of it.

ArminasX Saiman

I don't know about anyone else, but I'm spending a lot more time in world lately. Is it because the grid is somewhat more stable? Could be. Is it because as my avatar ages, he finds more SLthings to do? Probably.

I also gotta point out that I've been wondering this too, since my traffic counter stats indicate that visiting avatars at my parcel are becoming older! Check out the graph and story at Second Effects

Ann Otoole

maybe the effect of certain actions LL took, viewed in the negative by some, have finally had a positive effect. maybe people are returning to use of sl for what it seems most suited for.

or maybe its all part of the annual ebb and flow that these numbers take. statistics are not really worth much unless consistently collected, published, and retained for over a year. then you can compare to the previous year. if your stats are not published and retained on a go forward basis without dropping early data then it isn't very useful. at least some folks around here are keeping all the data so it can be plotted over time properly.

Laetizia Coronet

If someone is going to cook the books, then why the concurrency and not the total number of residents?

Eggy Lippmann

It seems fairly logical to me that network effects take some time to kick in for each person drawn in by them. It takes time for people to make friends. Among the 10+ million people who have tried SL and then became "inactive" a lot of them were probably drawn in by more "active" users who already had an established relationship with them, and communicated with them through other means.
Some of the "once-a-month" people are likely to become "once-a-week" people as time goes by, since they make new friends among SL people, stumble upon interesting content, and overcome the learning curve.
This means that there is plenty of wiggle room for SL concurrency to grow without adding more accounts to the inactive pool. After all, thsae numbers are orders of magnitude apart!

Hiri Nurmi

It is my impression that people who join SL and stick around for a few months often never really leave thereafter. They may put it down for a while keeping the subscription open by logging occassionaly, but it's then not uncommon for something (or someone) to catch their eye and therafter they resume the habit.
This seems particularly true is they've purchased as small amount of land (not necessarily from LL) and built something on it as it's then quite hard to destroy what you've made when you're only saving loose change.
The increased stability of the grid undoutably encourages people to stay around longer, so I'd guess that a lot of the increase is with semi-dormant accounts becoming more active again. Of course there will be a flow the other way too - it's more a snapshot of a dynamic situation than some sort of firm statistic.
Incidentally my gut feeling is that the figures are if anything underestimating real active time inworld as with the new search algorithms offering camping is becoming less of an attractive way of attracting real traffic.


Who cares about new signups, if people who had already made an account but never really used it are coming back and staying, that seems better to me. They are spending their lindens and supporting the economy. As been said, making friends, maybe buying or renting land. It's a good thing. More new users are not exactly a blessing for the grid.

Rheta Shan

It's called emigration. Now that SL's society slowly comes to its own, and that technical impediments get less, more and more of the people coming to the new world consider emigrating for good. Simple, really :)


correct me if I'm wrong, but from POV of digital math and statistics it means that current level of returning visitors (for that or this reason) is same/stable while surges of bigger and bigger size shows that system has some more capacity (for that or this reason, again) to serve load spikes. What it means is completely different question, and to answer that we need much more data than provided by Linden Labs. As for lousy speculations in interpretation in absence of better data, it might mean that overall system went into mature stage, and whether it will go for some time and then decrease (e.g. for emigration to another worlds) or Linden Labs would find some another dimension to grow and manage not to waste it into technical issue - this is still good question. My favorite rather-guts-feeling-than-logical-analysis is that currently Linden Labs is like huge cachalot filtering meaty plankton (of returning customers) from biomasses of CSI-caused incomers of classical entertainment consumers, desperately trying to achieve bigger body mass, but one day some another (or few) consumer-oriented world will still this incoming auditorium and DMCA-addicted lock-it-in "creatives", while opensimulator.org will take that (almost) all gained stable clientèle remained for sake of having a fun without wasting resource on supporting Linden itself and ... yes, this end of story is not nice to Linden Labs but good for all others.

Dedric Mauriac

I have been spending less and less time lately with school in full session again. I'm down to about 47 hours a week now.

More bots that are logged in 24/7 to do simple tasks that LSL can't do could be one answer. If the LSL Script could support inviting people to join a group, I wouldn't need to keep an alt logged in at all times.

Perhaps in the future we can see some heat maps, or a top 100 sims list of where all of that concurrency is focused for a given month/week.

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