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OK so we know that the popularity of SL has been on the decline since about '07 but...


Hoppimike
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... I don't get where people are GOING exactly! xD

SL Popularity

SL still has no other true competitors... I mean there's IMVU and I suppose it does function as a competitor to at least a portion of the SL market, but... it's not like there's some amazing new virtual world that everyone is rushing off to! Maybe one day it will be made but it doesn't exist now!

Perhaps the buzz just dies down and you get left with a core group of people who truly want what the game offers.

It's odd though isn't it?

I mean, I adore the game, and I suppose I can see why it doesn't capture that high a percentage of people, although the fluctuations are still odd to me!

But yeah, I guess it's just odd to me the idea that a certain type of person will want a virtual character of themselves in a social world, but the only real option is SL and yet the popularity is falling!

Odd!

Maybe they're all just on World of Warcraft and Elder Scrolls Online and Minecraft and stuff feeling immensely bored - that's what I did for years xD

Anyway erm, that's all! ^_^

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10/10 non creators artists leave and never come back.

They simply don't know where, why, how, who or what to do.

They're expecting a 'game' with goals, achievements and victory conditions.

Add to that unexpected lag, slow to load sims and areas, SL simply can't keep the majority of modern impatient achievement-seeking 'players' it requires to keep it at the top, and give content creators a reason to stay.

I use SL mainly as another art media, in a variety of ways, but with no audience, traffic and regular visitors sometimes it seems like its a waste of time, and feels like a ghost town.

SL needs updating, a 'fresh' overhaul, new ad campaign, and 'in-environment' training or encouragement for content creators to optimize their meshes and textures to help sims load fast.

Land rentals should be made much more affordable then they are now, so that more users can utilize the millions of square kilometers that now stand empty or abandoned.

Don't have all the answers, but when I'm the only one left out of a group of 20 users, something needs to get fixed.

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Aw but I'm not a creator or artist lol

 

I just wanted a social MMO with an exploration component and that's exactly what SL gave me :)

 

I do know what you mean about impatient gamers. SL takes time to grow on you and you need to be willing to kind of "kick back" in it - explore and shop and chat and all the things you'd do in reality.

 

It's interesting hearing it from a content creator's POV though.

 

SL feels dead to you? To me it does feel very populated but it depends where I go. I've never noticed SL to be quiet, I've just been told that it used to be busier! :)

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Parts of SL are very very very lively.

But you can also go get yourself a home somewhere, hang out on it, and end up totally isolated. I should be the one making that complaint - that's the story of my own SL Home. But I venture forth often enough and I see crowds all over the place.

But it is true that there are more places in SL than there are people logged in at any one point.

Its a bit like some MMOs that have a half dozen expansions out - sure the old content is a ghost town, but go to where the new stuff is and you lag from so many elves getting all up in your face...

Some folks insist on hanging out at that inn 3 expansions back and complaining that the game is dead... while other people are waiting in lines to log in because the current stuff is so busy.

 

As for SL and what you see in 2007 - that's a point in time when the internet hype train passed through town and the techies briefly tried to convince the world that 'first life' was closing down and you'd all have to upload your brains to second life right soon now... there was a big boost of people coming in and setting up venues for real life businesses and places that had absolutely no business model for what they'd do in SL, or why...

After a year, they wisened up, and poof - gone. SL went back to people using SL because it was SL, and fit some interest they had.

 

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I am not sure where you got that chart but it is almost meaningless because the horizontal lines have no value.  We all know that you can make statistics say pretty much what you want them too -- or look how you would like them too :D. So some FIGURES would be much more of a guideline.

 

The highest logins that I can remember were 78,000. They are not that much lower now -- certainly not what your chart suggests. 

 

There is a LOT more land and fewer people so we are definitely spread out. But there are still busy places. Much of the mainland is abandoned (and yes that is definitely something that "I" think should be addressed but hasn't been in years) so there is that sense of emptiness. Also many folks are up in the air where you can't see them even when there are green dots.

 

I am guessing the high spot was when gambling was still part of the scene. The population definitely dropped when that was banned.

The 2007 official statistics seem to have been taken off the web (or moved) but for right now from Daniel Voyager's blog.

 

(Page last updated: 13th April 2014) 

  • Total Registered SL Residents: 37.6+ million
  • Total SL Regions: 26, 177
  • SL Concurrency: 27, 000 (min) – 62, 000 (max)
  • SL Daily Median Concurrency: 42, 000
  • SL Daily New Signups: 10, 000 to 12, 000 per day (average)
  • SL Monthly Signups: 400, 000 new accounts > (20% of new accounts are still active a month after signing-up)

So if my memory is even close (and it is only what I noted at the time not anything official) interest isn't nearly as bad as that chart suggests.  True we now have bots and they weren't around then but in 2007 there were plenty of folks logged on camping (so also "not here"). Hard to say, just that I wouldn't consider that chart as a good measure. 

 

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Hoppimike wrote:

Aw but I'm not a creator or artist lol

 

I just wanted a social MMO with an exploration component and that's exactly what SL gave me
:)

 

I do know what you mean about impatient gamers. SL takes time to grow on you and you need to be willing to kind of "kick back" in it - explore and shop and chat and all the things you'd do in reality.

 

It's interesting hearing it from a content creator's POV though.

 

SL feels dead to you? To me it does feel very populated but it depends where I go. I've never noticed SL to be quiet, I've just been told that it used to be busier!
:)

It might be what you wanted...but the mainstream isn't interested in SL.

Many people seek totally different things, they want games or at least some RL social stuff like facebook or online dating. And many people are unable to immerse themselves into SL or they aren't patient and willing enough to stick long enough to learn how to do stuff here. They are to lazy to explore....they want easy entertainment.

SL, and virtual worlds all together, are not something that fits the mainstream. And LL is certainly not a company that has a talent for attracting people who might be interested in SL.

 

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Ah yes sorry - the chart was Google Trends, I must have forgotten to write that!

 

I also found this chart at MMOData.net which is interesting and not quite as bleak-looking:

 

http://users.telenet.be/mmodata/Charts/PCUShard.png

 

It does seem that overall SL is still very lively. It's just a shame that the buzz has dropped so far but I suppose it's inevitable. On Google Trends its search popularity is now roughly equal to EVE Online, whereas at the peak it was obviously way, way, way higher!

 

But it is true that for an immersive, online, social world, SL is so far ahead of the current competition that it's kind of crazy! Every other one I tried feels lacking in features and lacking in people. IMVU is now significantly more popular than SL, but IMVU truly is just a "3D chat room" as far as I can tell - it's pretty unfulfilling if you're looking for something more than that.

 

Just still odd that even the projected search popularity for SL still drops. I know it doesn't entirely reflect actual user numbers, but... if they ARE dropping, I still don't get where they're actually going instead xD

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That graph is actually rather confusing and I am not sure if it is really providing any really useful data. 

I had to look up 'what the data means.'

https://support.google.com/trends/answer/4355164?hl=en

What I am really not sure about and I find most confusing is this statement at the bottom of the page:

"A downward trending line means that a search term's popularity is decreasing. It doesn't mean that the absolute, or total, number of searches for that term is decreasing."

So the term's popularity is decreasing?  Compared to what?

There is not enough detailed information here from what I can see.  Who was on the Internet in 2007 compared to today?  We really didn't have the proliferation of Mobile Devices in 2007 that we have today.  What information are people using those devices searching for?  How does that impact the final numbers.

Maybe someone who understands statistics better than me can make viable, useable, and understandable sense out of those numbers but I sure can't.

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In 2007 (and a few times afterwards, but not on as large of a scale) word of Sl hit mainstream and emerging media like a wildfire. That is what caused the boom you are seeing as far as "searches for Second Life" is concerned.  Sl was featured on a few different tv show episodes, there were stories on the 'net about both positive and negative things one could find in Sl....etc.. Just like most other things, Sl hit a major boom because of this beginning in 2007 that really didn't die off very quickly, but rather slowly.

We still see those booms now and then, but certainly not on as large of a scale.  Media has a tendency to cause things like this. :)

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entity0x wrote:

10/10 non creators artists leave and never come back.

They simply don't know where, why, how, who or what to do.

 

10/10? I'm going to guess you did not intend that to be understood as a fraction of 10 over 10 (aka 1) but as 10 out of 10 (aka 100%).

If that's what you meant you really need to get out more. There are tons of us who are neither creators nor artists. We may make stuff because it's fun, and we may even try to be artistic. Most people do, in RL and in SL. But we're not here for that reason at all. It isn't why we came, and it isn't why we stay.

PS (were it not for us, in our tens of thousands, the ones who DO spend all or most of their time creating would have a pretty puny market for their goods).

 

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Hoppimike wrote:

Ah yes sorry - the chart was Google Trends, I must have forgotten to write that!

 

I also found this chart at MMOData.net which is interesting and not quite as bleak-looking:

 

 

It does seem that overall SL is still very lively. It's just a shame that the buzz has dropped so far but I suppose it's inevitable.

Its for the best. Look up what SL was like during the hype.

You think the forum spam is bad... look up images of micro-parcel adfarm spam lots... And traffic gaming avatar bots.

One reason SL looked so busy in 2007 is 123% of the avatars were bots either spamming each other or sitting on camp chairs to give places boosted traffic scores. :P

Once the "real world" realized SL was not the internet 3.0 boom... this place improved a LOT for the actual people using it to enjoy it.

 

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SL has no one bigger competitors but total open sims now have more land then SL, all tho still less people

http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2013/08/opensim-sets-another-land-record/

second life grid survey I think gives a better idea of use over time, which dosen't have the same sharp curve as news head lines

http://gridsurvey.com/index.php


I don't think I would measure the success of SL in terms of news head lines, it's wasn't until 2012 that the SL land mass went back down to the 2007 levels.  The large spike in news head lines in 2007 had to do with SL getting over hyped as a business platform, no video game has likely even gotten that much news coverage, what made SL stand out was that it was a new concept with many uses, and for many people it's not a game, but you can certainly build games in it.  I think that SL has last this long with out being in the news all the time says something about it survivability.

 

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entity0x wrote:

10/10 non creators artists leave and never come back.

They simply don't know where, why, how, who or what to do.

They're expecting a 'game' with goals, achievements and victory conditions.

Add to that unexpected lag, slow to load sims and areas, SL simply can't keep the majority of modern impatient achievement-seeking 'players' it requires to keep it at the top, and give content creators a reason to stay.

I use SL mainly as another art media, in a variety of ways, but with no audience, traffic and regular visitors sometimes it seems like its a waste of time, and feels like a ghost town.

SL needs updating, a 'fresh' overhaul, new ad campaign, and 'in-environment' training or encouragement for content creators to optimize their meshes and textures to help sims load fast.

Land rentals should be made much more affordable then they are now, so that more users can utilize the millions of square kilometers that now stand empty or abandoned.

Don't have all the answers, but when I'm the only one left out of a group of 20 users, something needs to get fixed.

I have lots of long time friends (have known for 5 years plus) in SL that are not creators, but what did make them stay was getting involved, most my friends that stayed that are not creators got involved with hosting clubs and events.  But I all so have seen a big decline in a lot of the social groups I'm interested in.  I don'

t think LL promotes SL more right now because as you have pointed out there's lots that need to get fixed first.

 

 

 

 

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To be honest I'd be pretty surprised and confused if SL failed to maintain a reasonable popularity level until a true "successor" comes along. I'd imagine that there are always social MMO "gamers". They're not going anywhere :)

 

And SL is still REALLY busy I think - I couldn't believe how packed it was when I came over from other social MMOs like Entropia and Onverse. I was blown away! :)

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2007 (and also the year I began SL) is generally referred to as one of or *the* peak year for SL.  There are likely a number of reasons 2007 was a peak year; a few I can think of offhand:

*SL was still a relative novelty

*Many/most of the first people who joined SL back in the day were creative types who were interested in building this new virtual world, literally pretty much from scratch.  Some remained in SL and began businesses of various types.  Which leads to the next reason...

*When I was first in SL (joined May 2007) - one forum post topic that was seen VERY often then was: "Ok, I'm here.  How do I make the big money?"  This was likely largely due to a SL resident, Anshe Chung , becoming the first millionaire to have made her fortune in SL which was picked up by various publications.  You can see the date on this particular article is November 26, 2006.  Over the years I have seen different reasons for people joining SL being posted on the forums, but I rarely see the "How do I make the big money" posts these days.

*I *think* it was also in 2007 that the TV show "CSI:NY" incorporated SL into either a few of its shows or one season, with its ads inviting people to join SL to help "crack the case."  This brought in a wave of new residents and, iirc, there was a CSI sim at the time.

After about 2008, population/interest began to decline; it's anyone's guess as to why but it could be due to a lack of advertising/reaching out to the public on the part of LL - they are notorious for not really advertising SL very much.  In 2011 there was a bit of an exodus, mainly of content creators/business owners, when LL made a change to its TOS.  Prior to this change any item that one had 100% permission rights to could be exported out of SL and backed up.  This would include not only a content creator's own work but any full-perm textures, animations, etc. that were purchased as part of a creation.  The new TOS permitted only items that were 100% created by a person to be exported.  There was a mad dash by many creators to back up their work before the new TOS went into effect.  Many of these creators did not agree with this new TOS and moved to InWorldz*; some leaving SL entirely, others setting up secondary businesses in IW as a hedge against something happening to their businesses in SL.

Over time any virtual world or MMO/game will gradually lose some members to "the new shiny" - before discovering SL I played EQ for seven years and recall while I was still playing that there was a big server merge because the EQ population was dwindling and instead of having less people on more servers, servers were combined to have more people on fewer servers. 

Now many people, especially those newer to SL, are interested in using phones and tablets to access online venues and since SL at this time is not really conducive to those types of devices, this may discourage some people to check it out.  (Realizing there are text-only SL viewers and some programs that will run SL on smaller devices, but to really experience SL these are still not optimal.)

Just my take on some of the reasons the SL population has appeared to decline (I have no idea if it has significantly declined in actual residents or just due to the absence of bots, etc. as pointed out by other posters) since 2007.

*ETA - The OP mentions IMVU as the only real competition for SL.  InWorldz was created by a former SL resident and is probably the virtual world that most resembles SL.  The majority of its "influx" was in 2011 due to the issue mentioned above and, although it has a loyal following, the population has never grown very much.  As another poster mentioned, all the Open Grids are also what I would consider competition, per se, for SL rather than IMVU.

Edit: clarification

 

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Hoppimike wrote:

 

Just still odd that even the projected search popularity for SL still drops. I know it doesn't entirely reflect actual user numbers, but... if they ARE dropping, I still don't get where they're actually going instead
xD

In some cases it doesn't mean that the people are "going" anywhere else, except maybe spending time back in their "first" or "real" lives.  I've spent a LOT of time over the past 20+ years in various online venues, primarily IRC, EverQuest, a bit of time in WoW, and SecondLife and now just pop into SL every now and then but spend way more time now offline.  Maybe I'm getting old. ;)

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Its the "Gold Rush" mentality that explains the population graph.

I was a monitor in the early days when there were 30,000 people a DAY joining SL, the two main questions hatchlings asked were Where do I go for Sex and How do I make Money in SL.

There were news stories back then of residents making enough money to quit their day job and get rich in SL  Although very few made that kind of money it triggered the gold rush.  Despite the LL puritanical objection to the sex business it is probably the biggest remaining attraction.

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AnnMarie Otoole wrote:

Despite the LL puritanical objection to the sex business it is probably the biggest remaining attraction.

When was the last time LLs did anything to enforce their maturity policies?

While I am one of those who felt splitting 'A' off from 'M' was a good idea - the resulting implimentation was about as confused as a Sarah Palin speach.

And it seems like they mostly ignore the thing now - unless somebody gets all up in people's business about how they're violating it.

The actual de-facto system seems geared to mostly keep things 'calm'.

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Of the close to one hundred or more "friends" on my list only around 15-20 pop in, of these just 10 might be regulars, so thats like 70 to 80 not bothering to log in again or doing so extremely rarely.

Edited to fix some mistakes.

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bebejee wrote:

Of the close to one hundred or more "friends" on my list only around 15-20 pop in of these pop in of whom just 10 might be regulars, so that like 70 to 80 not bothering to log in again or doing so extremely rarely.

How did you gather so many people on your friendlist? :matte-motes-oh-rly:

 

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