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Wednesday, April 20, 2011


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Wizard Gynoid

it seems like "new signups" would not be the result of the viewer. that might be the result of some kind of promotional or marketing event. it seems to me a more useful indicator would be how many of those new signups were actually retained.

Rod Humble

Nope no promo or extra marketing.

Just new sign up flows and usability within viewer.

Within the world new users have grown primarily with Basic and its destination/guide and ease of movement options. Early days yet for sure to see how that waterfall works long term but for sure expect a lot more work on this front.

Allen Kerensky

Finally, some good news rather than just doom and gloom.

Let's see if Basic viewer, better signup, and the Snowstorm team's hard work on Viewer2 translates into some positive momentum for signups, concurrency, for SL and virtual worlds in general.

Metacam Oh

Now just need to give Sim owners access to the registration API so various communities can nurture and mentor newbies there for their specific niche/location

Argus Collingwood

Excellent news, we have had lots of drop-in new folks at our club which is listed in the DG.. we teach them how to dance and show them the link to the quick start guide. Now, if we could give them notecards hint hint;-)


@Allen - more good news. According to Charlar Linden, the Mesh project (which includes more than just 3D model import), is about to move to the main line viewer development. That is not release, but it is moving out of the "beta only" corner and getting close.

This will raise the upper limit to how good SL can look, and that I am pretty excited about. If you want to see how far there is still to go, I set this demo up on the Cryengine 3 engine:


Ann Otoole InSL

Ah good news about Secondlife® without a single disparaging word! Great article! Good job rodvik.

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

Good news is welcome. Let's hope retention rises, too.

I really like the new viewer in advanced mode and will finally leap over from 1.23.


you know - i'd love to hear some genuinely good news about SL growth. (my underwater stock would DEFINITELY like that.)

but am i reading things right? it looks like signups are up for only two days - last friday and saturday.

last friday - i myself created a new account for the first time in years - so that i could try-out the shiny new sign-up process. i suspect a lot of people did.

regardless - it seems kinda weird to jump to conclusions after just two days.

Ann Otoole InSL

Don't worry. The LL Commerce Team just moved against small businesses in SL again by removing classifieds from web profiles. The Commerce Team will offset every good move rodvik makes. the Commerce Team has done nothing but cause damage to SL since they were created. Do they report directly to Gurley or something?

Rodvik Linden

Qarl, its been ticking up since we launched mid last week. Certainly there maybe a sample effect on reg but we also see a rising number of basic users on the grid which has been around since 3/29.

Anyways as I noted, early days yet, we shall see how things move through the system and how our next wave of features impact it.

Rodvik Linden

Ann, I will look into it :)

Rodvik Linden

Qarl, correction reg has been ticking up since 4/11 when we launched new reg. Anyways rest of post remains correct :)


heh... go to bed.

yes, if this is the new trend... then this is STUNNINGLY good news.

fingers crossed.

Rodvik Linden

Qarl, I hope so. My hunch is by end of summer will be a good time to judge things, as a truckload of changes will be in by then and we will have had time to see noise work through the system. Anyways now really off to bed :)


Deoridhe Quandry

Awww, we can't give basic viewers notecards? All my newbie resources are on a notecard... looks like I have motivation to finish the newbie web pages. XD

Ann: I'm more annoyed by the fact we can't open in world profiles from in world search, but I guess that's what web integration means. 8/ Played havok with me contacting people not on my friend's list when I don't have an item they created, though!

Adeon Writer

Great news!

Does Basic Mode have the ability to buy currency and pay for content? Last I knew, it had no inventory, but I'm worried that putting so many residents out there with the lack of need, ability, or point to using L$ is going to bite us in the butt eventually.

Arcadia Codesmith

If it brings in new blood without downgrading my experience as an "advanced" user, bring it on.

It won't take long for them to tire of the newbie avatars and toggle out of basic mode when they see our radiant glamour and learn that they can be just as fabulous, for a price.

(Okay, tongue's a little in cheek there, but do not underestimate the dark side of the SQUEE!).

Ignatius Onomatopoeia

The only problem with the CEO using Hamlet's blog is that we'll all now pull out our wish-lists.

That he is clearly reading blogs by SLers is a welcome sign.

Mr. Humble, I recommend the Alphaville Herald for all that needs to be known about SL.

While drunk.

followmeimthe Piedpiper

Rod, great news and I hope the trend continues.
Slightly off topic tho, the new physics layers are fun but I still prefer Phoenix for 3 simply fixed reasons: the camera and move menus are too intrusive and need a draggable corner so you can scale them down. The nearby people info isn't as good as Phoenix's radar. Lastly it's so easy to lose focus on chat. Maybe it's me but I've never got on with it in this.
Please get these sorted before we need to use it all the time for mesh. You're almost there!

Doreen Garrigus

My ex-husband joined SL! =D (Amicable breakup a long time ago. He's a really good friend now.) I've been trying to get him inworld for a couple of years but the interface overwhelmed him and he wasn't willing to try. It took the basic viewer to convince him. He did it when I wasn't watching, without help, and friended me a couple of days ago. Three cheers for getting one of the most creative people I've ever met into SL!

Dividni Shostakovich

I'm puzzled. People sign up *before* they download the viewer -- I know, I just checked what the site asks me to do first. So how can new sign-ups be attributable to the viewer? That's completely after the fact.


Dividni is right, usability does nothing to generate signups without marketing on some level. New signups are meaningless, anyway. It's probably just some mafia beefing up on alt accounts.

However, lets assume for a moment that what Mr. Humble says is correct:

If this new signup spike is actually from enhanced usability with the viewer then concurrency would increase, right? Because enhanced usability makes people stick around.

So why is concurrency still falling after the easy mode viewer was released? You can see it plain as day in this chart:


It's obvious to me that easy mode did not actually increase usability one bit. The ratio of new signups to hours spent in world has actually gotten a lot worse due to the spike in signups.

LL needs to drop v2 and treat it like a sunk cost. Until you get the viewer and world exploration tools fixed that concurrency drop is going to accelerate.

Hamlet Au

Since we're talking about an improvement of 5,000 more daily signups, we probably wouldn't see an immediate or obvious jump in concurrency, since those extra sign-ups are spread throughout the 24 hour period. And remember that Humble is attributing the growth to both the Basic viewer *and* the new web-based starting interface that new sign-ups get before downloading the client. Plus there's viral growth from established Residents telling their non-SL friends "Hey, they finally made SL easy enough for noobs like you, you should check it out."

Dividni Shostakovich

That doesn't make any sense, logically speaking. You've provided no explanation how it's possible for the viewer to have any role at all, unless you think "post hoc, ergo propter hoc" is good reasoning. Also, what is the evidence that "established residents" are telling their friends anything of the sort, aside from your say-so? It hardly seems likely that large numbers of established residents -- all of whom would be on the advanced viewer (or very likely a TPV) -- would immediately go testing out the basic viewer, as though that's what they've all been waiting for. If there's actual evidence, please provide it. Otherwise the impression I get is that both you and Humble aren't thinking very clearly and are giving us an explanation consisting only of PR. At this point, most likely any explanation is premature.

Hamlet Au

"most likely any explanation is premature"

Re-read what Humble said above, he wrote that very thing: "Early days yet for sure". And I qualified by saying the spike does "suggest" the new user experience is related. I get the impression you're demanding irrefutable evidence when (speaking for myself at least), I'm only saying it's very plausible. If the spike is only temporary, that may be worth reassessing.

Henri Beauchamp


New registrations do not mean new future long term users. True, more people might give a try at SL, and even a proportion of those will stay in the long term, but I'm still extremely skeptical about raise in the number of actual, regular users.

You'll say that something had to be done in the first place to try and get the registration to grow after a steady decline in now almost 4 years, and you'd be right. But I say that if you want these new users *and* the old-timers to stay, you'd better start and turn your attention to things such as the *usability* and *features* of the viewer UI in *advanced* mode.

Viewer 2 is still predominantly hated among seasoned SLers, because unlike new users, they *know* previous viewers (v1 ones) were so much better (so much easier to use, so much more versatile and adaptable, providing a so much more immersive an experience, and so much less demanding on the hardware, providing a smoother experience).

If you keep ignoring old-timers like SL has been doing for the past 4 years, there will continue to be a decline in the regular user base (those user you actually get money from and who built all the marvelous contents in SL !), and the new users will never evolve into a regular and solid user base.

I, for one, would like the original motto to be reinstated by LL: "Your World, Your Imagination"

Oh... and about viewers... Did you try the TPVs ?... If not, please do; do use them for a few weeks and see how easier and better they are when compared to LL's viewer. Especially try the v1 based viewers (and if you really want a taste of what SL viewers were when SL had an exponential growth and rock solid, expanding, seasoned users base, then try the Cool VL Viewer).


People that use the word "Ergo" are usually douche's.

Foneco Zuzu

Lucky some of them find one that will waist several hours teaching them how to install and settle phoenix.
Then thwy will learn the ao overrider how to create a folder inside inventory, how to drag itens into it, how to wear a prim instead of adding (and not having 2 pairs of shoes or 2 pairs of hair).
How to change easly the light settings, how to move the camera around with left crtl + left alt + left mouse bottom and zoom in and out with mouse wheel, how to set the draw distance just with a click, how to see bouncing boobies, how to ceate and rezz a prim in world and the difference that it makes to wear 1 or rezz it on a sim.
To make sure what they rezz they take back again.
Time that one could be enjoying with her his lover or friends.
My only reward was to wear:
Sl is amzing, thks for showing me it fully.
So how many are ready to spend the time i did???
(more then 3 rl hours)

shockwave yareach

Unless he gives ownership back, and does something about the volumes and tomes of TOS that make it necessary to hire a lawyer before saying hello to someone, I don't have as much interest in SL as I used to have.

All they have to do to rekindle interest is make a simple rule "What you do on your own land is your own business as long as it's not visible from public land -- this includes speech, actions, graphics and animations." Tada, people have their freedoms back and the grid isn't turned into a cesspool, all with one stroke of the pen.

Giving me back ownership (which legally can't be taken away in teh first place) would make me buy land again. But if the lab thinks I'm going to spend 4 figures in cash and not own what I'm buying, they can think again.

knilly wallifers

Could Mr Humble share how retention rates have changed with the new viewer ? Either percentage point change or percentage change would be informative. Lindens IS monitoring the retention rate to evalute effectivenes of changes, right ?

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