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Monday, April 23, 2018


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Chic Aeon

Good article. Thank you. And some thoughts.

I arrived (that big composite "I") at the peak of SL's growth period. I can remember the one million graphic floating over the moon and across the sky. It was pretty spectacular.

I found Second Life though a Harvard class. The class turned out to be pretty lame really, but not so Second Life. I told a few friends and they joined too and for a long while we had a great time. Some have moved on now, others remain but those early memories are some of my fondest.

The lab has made a few mistakes over the years and sometimes choices were made FOR them (that nasty US law part of the equation), but I don't think that their moves and machinations are the cause of the stagnation.

I remember when researching virtual worlds more than a decade ago that I was drawn to Second Life because it was listed as the world for CREATIVE and TECHIE folks. I am undoubtedly both of those things. The techie attribute has cause plenty of problems over the years; SL is simply NOT easy to learn. Items came in boxes that needed to be unpacked in an area where people could rez things and open them.

Think about that sentence and all you had to learn just to get some free clothes to try on your avatar.

Then there was the getting dressed without getting naked -- a big deal early on but not so much now where everyone pretty much rezzes naked anyway and just opts for pantie appliers *wink*.

It takes a real interest to stick around and learn all you need to know to navigate these virtual world waters. For many years, my theory has been that the peak of SL's popularity gathered up all those techie and creative folks -- those in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60 and a few beyond; they stayed and became the baseline populous of our world.

While some young folks do come and participate, most all of the people I know -- the creators, land barons, educators etc. -- have a few decades or more under their belts. They were willing to put in the time and effort so that they could enjoy the world on a daily basis. I am certainly one of those folks that make up the 90% of inworld hours. I am here about sixty hours a week, creating, blogging, helping others in the forums, chatting with friends --- pretty much in that order.

Many of the younger folks simply don't "get" Second Life. Their world is different than the world of their parents and grandparents -- and rightfully so. They want things NOW, not later. They want their fun handed to them, not earned. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it is simply a change. And in my mind, that is why our population stays stable but without much growth.

From comments at the Town Hall meeting last week, The Lab is intent on pushing the platform forward in the growth area. I wish them well, of course and I will be watching closely to see if they can accomplish that goal.


Comparison with 10th anniversary infographic:
While there are new registrations everytime (and the total amount of accounts is obviously increased, from 36 to 57 millions, in about 5 years), the declared number of new accounts per month has dropped from 400,000 to 350,000 (but how many of them are new users? People keep creating new alts and bots).
The most apparent difference is likely that the 2013 infographic tells: "more than 1 million users visit from around the world monthly", while in the 2018 infographic that info is missing.
That can be for any reason, but if it isn't among the promotional info, it's pretty possible that the current number won't be so promotional now. In fact two years later, in 2015, it was reported (as in the other NWN blog post) to be 900,000, of which "historically, only 600,000 or so of those active users are regular, returning users". Further 3 years later, it's likely it's even less, by looking at the constant dropping of the user concurrency (although perhaps it's more stable lately).


Mixing 2009 and 2015 data is a little confusing and misleading. That's a 9 years economic gap in wich several of the top contries that access Second Life have been through crisis back and forth, including United States.

David Cartier

I've been seeing a fairly large number of new accounts, lately, where the driver clearly doesn't have a fricking clue what they are doing, so we are seeing at least SOME new people. I've also known quite a lot of people who've simply died over the years. That has to be affecting the numbers just as much as getting tired of receiving the friendly - and yet dreaded - "Wow your really OLD!!!" IMs. Given the generally older user base I'm guessing that is going to trend upwards in the future.

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