an exploration of the Secondlife platform as an immersive environment, a poltical space, and as a generative medium for architectural design.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Second Life Population Myth

The Linden Lab figure on the website has always pissed me off. I'm a big fan of SL and a big fan of LL, but I’m not a big fan of dishonesty, especially about something I'm so passionate about.

In answering a blog entry on Corante - "Second Life: What are the real numbers?", I offer the following economic statistic as the best clue:

Monthly Spending by Amount (2006 November)
Transaction Size Residents
1 - 500 L$ 51,940
501 - 2,000 L$ 19,158
2001 - 5,000 L$ 14,744
5,001 - 10,000 L$ 10,556
10,001 - 50,000 L$ 18,130
50,001 - 100,000 L$ 3,604
100,001 - 500,000 L$ 2,697
500,001 - 1,000,000 L$ 277
Total Customers Spending Money In-World 121,332

Its high time LL stopped posting such a ridiculous statistic as 1.9 M as the figure for Population. As Clay Shirky points out, SL seems to have become a "Try Me" Virus due to the explosive hype from the adoption of the environment by high profile corporations, media agencies, and news agencies. It's reached some kind of "tipping point" this fall and now all of a sudden people in my RL who drew blank faces and glazed over when I spoke about Second Life, now excitedy tell me they logged in once or twice but were dismayed that all they could find were strip clubs and couldn't figure out what else to do.

Amongst the dozen RL friends and associates of mine that have tried SL, you would find none of them would call themselves Residents. Yet LL believes that their two or three dissappointing incursions into SL are worth noting and that their voyeurism is sufficient to label them a resident. I would contend that a resident must reside. Metaphorically speaking, one could say I reside in SL. I log in almost daily for extended periods of time. SL is my part-time place of work. Two or three logins just doesn't cut it for me.


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