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Tuesday, January 27, 2009


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Ann Otoole

I had a bad nightmare last night. Big Spaceship conviced foolish people a lively style 2.5D ui is what SL needs resulting in the end of SL.

Only a solid 3D UI, better policy and less copy leftists, and serious marketing campaign will result in a million users.

But keep in mind the goal is one million concurrency. Hopefully without them all being stupid retarded idiotic unethical only a dumbass thinks it is ok bots.

Caliburn Susanto

Population is meaningless until you get rid of the bots and ban camping (thousands of so-called "residents" are just dummy accounts created to sit and accumulate pennies-per-hour).

The only real residents are active users contributing time, effort, and money to the cause. The rest are leeches or "just visiting."

And beware, full sim owners, the processor you are paying dearly to use is or will be directed toward the ultimate goal -- not your private exclusive use, but power to the Grid for the public relations value of concurrency. Got lag?

Sophrosyne Stenvaag

My prediction: in 2009 Linden Lab will do at least two egregiously stupid things, leading to an exodus of early adopters and influential Residents. Lurid press, coupled with LL's ability to tarnish its own reputation, will produce a small net decrease in all user stats.

Lindens, prove me wrong, please?

Hamlet Au

"Population is meaningless until you get rid of the bots and ban camping"

From the in-world community's point of view, I agree, but from the larger Internet's industry's point of view, it will still be a big deal if SL's user base starts growing again. If that happens, to be sure, detractors will point out the presence of bots; then again, defenders could then point out that website page views also include spider bots, Spam bots, etc. etc.

Ann Otoole

If Linden Lab wants new accounts all they have to do is post it on getafreelancer.com like all the other scam operations do. "Need 10,000 signups FAST! Paying $1.00 per 1,000 NOW!!!"

Then India can come to the rescue since they pretty much control getafreelancer now.

Two Worlds

Ann, I've mostly agreed with you so far on this website, so please don't take it personally when I say if you think improving the frontpage is the only thing--or even ANYthing at all--that's needed to bring in stable, loyal users...you are an idiot.

How about improving usability? How about improving compatibility? How about improving customer service and customer relations? How about cultivating some kind of PR image other than "the Bush administration for Second Life"?

And Hamlet, don't be a dolt. Numbers are what cause suckers with money to throw said money at Linden Labs, and that's why they're so hesitant to admit that the emperor is, in fact, naked, and the numbers are horribly, misleadingly skewed--moreso than any of us thought, if some flyby surveys are to be believed.

And it's not the first time that Linden has misled people on numbers, either deliberately or blissfully unaware. I remember back in the day when LL liked to brag that they had "over a million users in-world"--and, sure enough, that was the number that Time, Wire, Newsweek, etc quoted during the big hype days. Except, as it turns out, THAT number was a big lie. There weren't a million users so much as there were just a million accounts--counting alts, people who just deserted their accounts, people who only logged on once in their whole SL experience, etc. So now we go by the agreed-upon statistic of concurrency, except it appears now as it that, too, is skewed in Linden's favor.

Two Worlds

Seriously, I keep reiterating, if we want a successful model, we need to keep comparing SL to what World of Warcraft and Blizzard are doing, and why it's working for them. Second Life is free for a basic account. You can even make and trade real money in Second Life. World of Warcraft requires a monthly fee. And yet, somehow they outpace us by orders of magnitude.

SOMETHING must be working with them that isn't working with us. They're the competition. They're the 800 pound gorilla of the MMO business. When we've outdone Blizzard, then Linden Labs' job is done. Until then, find out what doesn't work and change it. That's it. Do what works, throw out what doesn't.


I would hope that all Second Life users are regular. Getting enough fibre in your diet is easy and fun.



chitragupta sinha

There have been good rise in number of free accounts in SL but I think most of them are inactive. What I feel, SL should launch some good campaign to make people active and motivate them to start referring others to join.

Ciaran Laval

I think growth will remain pretty flat. Linden Lab's foolhardy move of biting the hand that feeds them will continue to be a barrier to growth in the early part of the year.

The forthcoming policy changes on bots are likely to see a decline in the official numbers, then the challenge will be how to present less as more, growth back to where we are now would likely mean a significant increase in active users.

Tateru Nino

@Ciaran What forthcoming policy changes are those?

Ciaran Laval

@Tateru, the policy changes Jack has been hinting at in his recent office hours. They are going to blog about them after January 13th, I think the parcel cutting policy will be first then the camping/bot policy will follow.

Apparently there has been a rise in people offering a traffic improvement service and Linden Lab are going to do something about it. What this will entail I'm not sure as the details from Jack have been rather vague.

Two Worlds

Ciaran, so what you're saying is they're going to outsource traffic bot patrol? Hmm...I can't decide if that's a good idea or a bad idea. But it's an idea, and I consider that at least progress. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it.

Although I'd still remain skeptical, especially after the last boners that Jack Linden and the other assorted Lindens pulled with the Openspaces debacle. It takes a special kind of company to receive such a wellspring of outrage and protest over a policy and pricing change...and then change their pricing again...in EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE direction that the paying users want. A

nd Hamlet, I love how you describe that whole thing as having "mixed" success. I don't know what kind of technological Gibson-esque utopia you think you live in, but my guess is that it isn't one in which people actually have to work for money, and make difficult decisions with how they need to spend that money.

Ann Otoole

Maybe Linden Lab is going to offer NPC units. Instead of renting them from some unlean anonymous person off the internet just rent your traffic falsification bots directly from Linden Lab.

Every avatar connects to the presence database and to an asset database instance. Each connection, whether used or not, uses up database resources. When the system hits peak loads it is unfair for bots to be allowed to remain online. Since you cannot tell who is a bot and who is not a bot then LL needs to begin punishing the blatant offenders (bots in a box, camping system owners and creators, and parcels with more than 2 models). And then, since they claim to have a magic box that knows who is a bot and who is not, simply prevent bots from logging in at all and logging off/banning all bots unless a bot fee of $1000 USD a month has been paid. May as well profit off it.

Hamlet Au

"I remember back in the day when LL liked to brag that they had 'over a million users in-world'--and, sure enough, that was the number that Time, Wire, Newsweek, etc quoted during the big hype days. Except, as it turns out, THAT number was a big lie."

That's not the case, actually; what happened is they used to have a "Total Residents" number on the homepage. That number used to be meaningful up until early 2006, when SL required a $10 registration payment fee up front, but after it became a free service, quickly lost most of its relevance, except as a metric of how many people tried it out.

In any case, from 2006 on, it was always possible to click through to the Stats page to see how many of those total Residents were recurring log-ins over a daily/weekly/monthly/60 day period. Most media (even Clay Shirky, in his famous Dec. 2006 essay) didn't bother to do that and just reported the number of total log-ins. But even in Nov. 2006, Philip Rosedale readily told this blog that recurring active users were 10% of that given homepage number, i.e. about 200,000 active users at a time when the homepage read 2 million. LL can definitely be blamed for not being more transparent about this, and not making more effort to correct the many media reports that simply ran the largest number. (Their punishment was the 2007 backlash, when advertisers expecting millions of eyeballs visiting their SL sites only got a few thousand at best, and pulled out.)

In other words, calling it "a big lie" seems pretty simplistic, and doesn't reflect what really happened. I've never found any evidence of willful deception, but if you have a source, please post it. You're entitled to your opinion. Just keep it civil, please.

Tabliopa Underwood

I guess over a million. If only because I wish for that to happen =)


@Ann - are you suggesting that Linden Lab might actually "GOM" the bots? :-D

In any case trying to enforce issues of who is a bot and who is not sounds like an administrative nightmare, even if it's outsourced. Not to mention that there are plenty of bot types that perform some sort of useful function beyond just generating traffic. It would make a lot more sense for LL to finish making the switch over to Google-esque relevance algorithms for Search and abandon traffic numbers altogether.


Hi folks,

I'm one of those edu residents likely to remain a newbie or dabbler, whether "leech" or "just visitor" a matter of perception.

After initial puzzlement and wows, getting around is still not easy, landmarks sometimes land in the middle of nowhere & highly publicised edu sites are kind of empty or RL replicas. There may be lots of "newbie-friendly" islands, but I can certainly see why many account-holders are just occasional visitors. What if LL focused on engaging these? I'm horrid at scripts but reasonable at developing edu contents, why am I being put off? How much time did you have to spend to really get going? Ever wondered this may have an impact upon SLED instruction? Whether flying, in a lounge or on the go, why mainly f2f or hyperlinks?

Yep, mine is a free account, same as I normally go for tryout before purchase. Why would I pay when I have trouble coping & LL doesn't provide any support? It's the community who does. Now escalate it to an institutional level and have a laugh.

Sorry for plunging in on behalf of the overwhelming (silent) majority:)!

Archie Lukas

Problem is;

how many are active users
and how many are bots?

I simply do not believe the figures.

arden voss

Whatever. I'm out. I've tried for TWO hours now to find out how to auction land and I cannot find it. I see dollars being taken out of my credit card account, but no support. I'm out. You can find me at facebook. Augmented reality!

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Wagner James Au
Wagner James "Hamlet" Au
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