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question for sl oldies (those that have been here for a few years)


Kurt Jiagu
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Having been in sl for over seven years now, I have seen many changes during that time , some good , some not so good , and having thought it about it a lot , was wondering how many still think SL is the same experience for them that it was when  they first discovered sl .......... and am I the only one who thinks there seems to be far less people in sl now than there used to be , despite the seasonal fluctuations ... ?? share your opinions  :)

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Been here for nine, if the purpose of this exercise is to keep count. And I still love Big Brother Second Life.

Is it the same experience? Nope, I bump into fewer walls now. I still wear boxes on my head but it's usually an aesthetic choice. The Second Life experience has improved in terms of service quality - no more mystery disconnections, and my adventures in scripting never crash a sim accidentally. I remember being pretty happy when I first saw Windlight, I'm still at least as impressed by some of the mesh stuff that's coming out. In nine years I've grown up a lot in myself, too, so my expectations have changed a lot, but I can still easily enjoy my time in-world. I don't suffer any unusual/unexpected lag problems (aside from the occaisionally too-large inventory), something that I ascribe to keeping my hardware in ship-shape condition (even though I've never upgraded my 1st generation DSL).

I've even reluctantly grown to see the value of Marketplace - in a recent time I got disconnected from my usual sources of must-buys and lost my bearings a bit in terms of what's available to buy - Marketplace finally found its value by having some search capability.

Socially? I don't notice global population during my time in-world (never have), though I track it obsessively (always have). For all I care there could be 10 people on the whole grid - so long as those are 10 people I care about it's all good. It's not like 10,000 people are ever going to be doing the same thing I'm doing. I'm pretty skilled at keeping busy (something that appears to be a rare skill in today's SL - lots seem to expect you to provide their entertainment) and finding cool people to talk to - I've actually impressed myself this year by getting to know people I'd be veryveryveryvery reluctant to get to know usually - intimidating! Unplanned conversation and interaction is waaaaaay down however - I have so much pity (but not sympathy) for those people who log in and just stand in places, waiting to be approached or talked to without offering any value (seems to be the majority of planned social experiences now?). Sometimes I go and watch/laugh as those kinds of sims fail, and write up bullet point lists of the brilliantly obvious reasons why. (everyone needs a hobby)

To my mind only one thing got missed while SL was developing as a product - the transition of LL to being a Service Provider instead of Service Operator. Since we hit the brick wall of LL's capability SL's now - more clearly than before - a limited life product. This happened a while ago now though (2009-2011?), and nothing we can do about it anyway except enjoy the last of its lifecycle.

The only thing that has worried me is the transition from SL being a service inhabited primarily to people with tech experience, emergent culture and leading social values transitioning to a culture of very low tech know-how and high senility/reluctance. I've had to alter my behaviour some in order to meet those kinds of low expectations, or insulate myself from them.

Lots of opinion contained above!

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Five years for me and honestly, SL lost its luster many moons ago.

Lag is unbearable, people are just hateful anymore and every place that actually has people in attendance seems to be geared toward the pixel sexers. 

For the lag and instability issues, I blame the introduction of mesh. It changed a lot of things - and most of them were not for the better. I used to LOVE going to building classes to learn new things, but now - you can't even participate in 95% of those without having Blender/Gimp/some other program installed and running while in SL - which compounds viewer performance issues.

I was never a real fan of most clothing options for women in SL anyway, but now - the majority of designers are catering to the Slink/Lola/Other mesh part users, leaving the rest of us with even far fewer choices than we had before.

These are just a few of the reasons my time inworld is limited anymore. 

 

*longs wistfully for the old days*

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Kurt Jiagu wrote:

Having been in sl for over seven years now, I have seen many changes during that time , some good , some not so good , and having thought it about it a lot , was wondering how many still think SL is the same experience for them that it was when  they first discovered sl .......... and am I the only one who thinks there seems to be far less people in sl now than there used to be , despite the seasonal fluctuations ... ?? share your opinions 
:)

Even after 2 years in SL it isnt the same as when we first started. I have been here for 7.5 years. Still occassionally wear a box, mainly because it is a boxed item that says wearable on the MP.

Does it seem like there are less people in SL now? Did you pay any attention to the online numbers back then? 12K was a busy night. Currently it is 5:26 AM SLT and there are 31,743 people online. Sounds like a hell of a lot more. However, there were less sims back then, so the land was smaller with less places to go so it seemed fuller. Now there are people who spend their whole time with their partner or alone on their sim. Sounds pretty boring to me.

Personally, I would love to see a LL run place with music and dancing where people can socialize. Might breathe some life back into SL. Or the appearance of it anyway.

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When I started in late 2006 you had to know where to go to find privacy. Now, you have to know where to go to find conversation. Complete reversal.

Some of that is because there are a lot more sims per person now than there were then. Mostly, though, it's because there aren't many people exploring for the first time. In late 2006/early 2007 the grid was full of people visiting welcome centers and clubs and stores, and they chatted openly and they IM'd you out of the blue and asked questions and solicited for sex and dropped boxed of freebies on you whether you wanted it or not, etc etc etc.

Every plot of SL interest that isn't manipulated by LL or obscured by resident automation looks like the following image. Even the plot of classified spending looked like this, before LL stopped publishing it. That is, interest peaked in early 2007. By late 2007 I was suggesting club visitors were mostly bots and people told me I was wrong.

There are probably about as many people at their keyboards today as there were in late 2006, but in addition to being more thinly spread out, most of them are doing things they discovered years ago, and not exploring and asking questions and chatting.

second-life-interest.jpg

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It is very different. There were a lot more people back then though things were crappier. It was fun loads of people gathering at dancing clubs and many cafes even newbie areas and they were friendly. Now the only place you'd find more than 3 people are at shops and shopping events minding their own bussiness. Even sandboxes have very little people. There's one sandbox that I used to go as a newbie, it was always filled with people now there's never more than 10 people in it. Loads of people making things with just plain prims in the sandbox back then now I guess everyone's doing mesh outside of SL and only logging in to release their stuff for sale.Compared to SL then, SL now is very dead. Minecraft proved this better things does not equal more fun or more players.

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yeah,  must admit ,I`m not a big fan of mesh either ........2 reasons ...... mostly to get any to fit ,i  have to keep altering my shape .......... Jiagu is a lot bigger than the average sized av :), and secondly like you mentioned I think learning to build in Mesh  is not the same learning curve or ease with which learning to build with prims is .....this is probably half the reason so many are stood around doing nothing in  sl ....... where as before they might have been learning to build and texture with prims .......

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yes , I agree ........a lot more sims ,  usually with just one or two people in them ...........which is hardly encouraging for social activities ............maybe the solution would be for LL  to make sim ownership more difficult .......with the reasoning being more social interaction .........or maybe limit the uses of sim ownership .........ie , no sims for private residences only ........ but of course that will never happen because of the fall in  revenue for LL ....... but  we can all wish :)

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Concurency was higher when I started. 

But as Drake pointed out a lot could depend on the time of day (or night) you logged in.  Once the majority of the U.S. went to bed and until Europe began to wake up, SL could be pretty "empty."  It could be harder to find active places between those times.

Perhaps I was fortunate because I got 'adopted' early on by a group of friends who already knew where things were happening.  But as I explored on my own also I really never gave thought to the fact that some places were empty.  But in retrospect, many were. 

I think a lot of what you are seeing is a matter of perception.  You are more aware of your surroundings now.  Some things are very real changes.  I'll agree sand boxes are no where as busy as they used to be.  As far as other places go, bots and camping have been reduced a lot.  Of course the only ones really capable of knowing what percentage of the concurrency back in 2007 when I started were bots and campers is LL. 

I do think the one major difference I see is that the new people I meet aren't exploring as much.  Among my original circle of friends we were always out exploring and sharing new places with each other.  That is something that I don't see happenning as much.  But that is just what I see in my little circle of the World.

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i remember when logins were getting close to 30,000 and people were wondering if the grid could take it :smileylol:

Then it just kept climbing.

i remember it getting close to 100k  but never seen it reach that..

90k's but never seen 100k

There are more log ins now than when i started,but it sure seems like less people running around everywhere like back then.. hehehe

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Perrie Juran wrote:

Concurency was higher when I started. 

But as Drake pointed out a lot could depend on the time of day (or night) you logged in.

I think a lot of what you are seeing is a matter of perception.

Some selected interesting points, in a very comprehensive post. :)

I agree with your general summary. My collected data implies to me that SL has only broken the 80,000 concurrent users milestone on a few individual days, and that the average hovers between 30,000 and 50,000 (depending on selection/data choice) concurrent users almost constantly throughout SL's peak/post-peak phase. 

I did get lost in the chaos that is concurrency statistics earlier this year, and feel that  this old thread  may still have some value to anyone interested in measuring concurrency. This link starts at the point where outside data was introduced. A lot of sources were provided on both sides of the discussion (which got a little heated), so please feel free to take your own time to draw your own conclusions. I don't mean to rake up old drama, but if data previously analysed saves some time in this thread then maybe we can move past the "well, that's not how I remember it." discussions in record time.

I'm kind of a statistics nerd, but I will try not to get in the way. I won't be fact-checking everything. :D

Hope this helps! I know you're often the one with an impressive memory for sorting material posted to this forum.

P.S.


Perrie Juran wrote:

I do think the one major difference I see is that the new people I meet aren't exploring as much.  Among my original circle of friends we were always out exploring and sharing new places with each other.  That is something that I don't see happenning as much.  But that is just what I see in my little circle of the World.

The one-time statistic I've seen (source) is that 70% of account sessions (the time a user spends online, between logging in and out) don't involve a teleport event. This - if accurate along a reasonable timespan - implies that your perception here is correct. The source (while once-upon-a-time having been granted a vanity Linden surname) does have some conflicts of interest, and a habit of making false assumptions - so again, please weigh your datapoints carefully for bias.

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yes maybe, as someone else suggested , these "new" people are no longer exploring as much because in fact they are not  new but merely new alts of existing players ......... so they would have no need to explore having already done so . Or  is that me being cynical ? :)

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7 years, 6 months, 3 days and 2 hours.  LOL  I still love SL, and like Freya, still wear the occasional box on my head just for fun.  I am very much a loner and so don't really notice less, or more people; I'm by myself unless involved in a Virtual Ability community activity; I own a few land parcels, both mainland and estate, and still have fun 'doing stuff' on them, and setting up things,  I used to care about 'privacy', now I don't.  Used to trip if I caught a stranger in my bed, now I know how to kick, send home and ban if I care enough at the moment.  It's easier, less obsessive.  I still log in daily.  So yes while it's probably changed, 'my' SL hasn't changed that much, and I'm fine with that.  :matte-motes-bashful-cute:

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7 yrs, 9 mths old and I think mostly the same as Freya: I just don't care if the grid is bursting with people or if we're just a handful friends online, sailing a race or going shopping. As long as I'm having fun all is ok.

And yes, I too think that SL lost its appeal in big parts cause of the diminishing quality of residents. Sounds harsh but is true. In 07 the population of SL was made up from curious, computer savvy technophiles, people willing to learn and to work hard and build a world and the tools and in the end have a society. Remember the freaks conductiing physical experiments in sandboxes and filming them? Nobody's doing stuf like that anymore. We had a common goal and a more or less a shared general experience. These things are gone now.

Back then it was fun to find help and give help once you knew how to. Your willingness to help wasn't wasted on snotty entitled teens who expect to get a perfect SL experience on their not-so-smart-phones and tablets. People were more open and more social, even though most of us thought of ourselves as socially challenged hermits. Nowadays everybody is on social networks, they even think SL is kinda facetwit when in reality most can't type a full sentence in english and they have like zero manners but a lot of attitude.

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Kurt Jiagu wrote:

yes maybe, as someone else suggested , these "new" people are no longer exploring as much because in fact they are not  new but merely new alts of existing players ......... so they would have no need to explore having already done so . Or  is that me being cynical ?
:)

I don't think you are being cynical but hasn't that really always been going on?

And here when I say new people I'd break it down into two categories really.  I've got no statistics to back this up, this is just my feel for things.

Accounts under 30 days I can pick out some of the alts.  While I know there are some very fast learners I've got a fairly good grasp of the learning curve and they will give themselves away simply because they know too much.  I'm not going out of my way to look for this stuff but sometimes it's simply too obvious even when they are trying to act the Newb.

After 30 days it becomes harder to distinguish because by that time people have usually become comfortable with the basics. 

People who do Alts are doing it for a reason and they aren't going to waste their time to long acting like a Newb.  They want to get busy doing whatever their purpose for Alting is.

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Kurt Jiagu wrote:

Having been in sl for over seven years now, I have seen many changes during that time , some good , some not so good , and having thought it about it a lot , was wondering how many still think SL is the same experience for them that it was when  they first discovered sl .......... and am I the only one who thinks there seems to be far less people in sl now than there used to be , despite the seasonal fluctuations ... ?? share your opinions 
:)

I think Second Life is like Real Life in the way that it evolves, constantly changes - with the some good, some not so good in both. 

For example, in real life, I HATE saverbulbs. It feels like we've taken ten steps backwards with evolution having to wait for a bloomin' light bulb to warm up and the quality of the light isn't as good as what we had. And in SL I struggle with some of the newer features in the same way; do not feel it is progress.

Every time they roll something new out in Second Life it gets positive excitement from some, and negative feedback from others.

Such is Life/SLife.

I don't feel there are fewer people in Second Life than there were when I first started. Indeed, in early-2008 I only remember there being about 36,000 residents logged in at any one time, whereas now it can be 55,000, and there are certainly far fewer bots, as these used to be clustered about all over the place. Now there are bot-like avatars (playing Tiny Empires), and still are shop models and scripted agents, but definitely fewer bots than there were.

Some of those initial friendships have ended, maybe because those people have chosen to leave Second Life or we went our separate ways, and in Second Life this has certainly seemed to be more the case than in Real Life, so those little pangs I sometimes get when I miss someone can falsely lead me to believe there may be fewer people logging into Second Life now.

So no, I don't feel there are fewer people in Second Life now.

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Madelaine McMasters wrote:

I'm swaying that statistic. I can't even remember how to teleport.

;-).

Admittedly I did too, though accidentally (and only technically, since I'd imagine a move between sims would be counted as a teleport in the recorded values).

When I first joined in the heady days of September 2006, point-to-point teleporting had only just (so I'm told?) come within our grasp. For this reason (or my own noobness, I leave this an exercise for the reader) all I did was walk between sims. I first rezzed at Miramare, and walked until I found a place that came to hold many of my dearest Second Memories in Halfway (not far from the Iridium group of sims). Halfway was also the region where I owned my first 512m^2 plot of land, giving me a place to sit down and press buttons.

That was - in perceptual, in-world terms - a little over 34,191,240 seconds ago. I haven't stopped pressing since.

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well thats another issue there which may  have changed sl somewhat .......LL  allowing teens into sl , maybe if the new people arriving in sl are not in fact alts of existing avs ,  but teen players .....then that would probably explain the lack of social interaction and the attitude  of some ...... but they are usually easy to spot ........ :)

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about differences then and now

i just add something to the mix

+

if the orientation path back in the day thru the new resident only (+mentors) Welcome and Help Islands back in the day served one retention purpose well it was friending. The channelling/clustering pathway enabled this

many new people joining would request friendship of just about everyone else they saw. And would accept any they got themselfs

they did this bc was a acceptable practice on the internets back then. A practice learned on social sites like MySpace and others where was common and acceptable to request and accept 100s and often 1000s of friendships from complete random strangers. And also to friend/fan your fav bands, artists, creatives, sports teams, etc to build your social circle and express your interests to others

when can quickly get a lot of people on your friends list then your opportunites to engage with others chat/social wise increases. After a time then some of them become actual friends and some dont work out and you donk them off your list

having the opportunity to friend a lot of people at the start is whats missing today

+

before anybody goes yeah! but looked what happened to MySpace. Facebook ate it. Yes it did

but FB is even more easy to friend on. On FB you dont even have to go looking for friends. FB will actual find other people and present/offer them to you for friend invite to enhance/promote engagement

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Freya Mokusei wrote:


MadelaineMcMasters wrote:

I'm swaying that statistic. I can't even remember how to teleport.

;-).

Admittedly I did too, though accidentally (and only technically, since I'd imagine a move between sims would be counted as a teleport in the recorded values).

When I first joined in the heady days of September 2006, point-to-point teleporting had only just (so I'm told?) come within our grasp. For this reason (or my own noobness, I leave this an exercise for the reader) all I did was walk between sims. I first rezzed at Miramare, and walked until I found a place that came to hold many of my dearest Second Memories in Halfway (not far from the Iridium group of sims). Halfway was also the region where I owned my first 512m^2 plot of land, giving me a place to sit down and press buttons.

That was - in perceptual, in-world terms - a little over 
34,191,240 seconds ago
I haven't stopped pressing since.

 

My first few days/weeks in SL were spent flying around and then falling out of the sky into crowds of green dots. Once I settled in, I preferred walking, or driving Arcadia's Metro Bus while wearing a huge poofy evening gown. I lived two sims away from Bogarts for a time and loved driving there, through the woods, with my date. I ran over an unsuspecting fella in a tux while trying to park the bus one evening. I love those unexpected bonuses.

My RL is hectic these days, so it's harder to find blocks of time for uninterrupted escapades in SL. I can access the forums from my phone, so you're more likely to find me here.

Is it really your perception that it's been only 34 million seconds ( (late 2014 - early 2006)*365*24*60*60/8 )? Although SL is virtual, my memories of it are on my RL timeline, and it feels like I've been here forever.

... presses "Post".

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