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Is Second Life too big now?


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I became a Second Life member in 2006.  It was a confusing, complicated learning curve but I was hooked immediately.  I grew from my original 512 plot to moving toward larger plots and closer to water.  Moved to Fruit Islands all around for many years which was great as I love sailboats passing by my island.  Then moved to Blake Sea because I wanted more open water to Sail and Fly.  Lots of fun with sailboats and mermaids and mermen coming up to say Hi.   Now there is no one around.  I rented a Stilt in Bellissaria hoping to see people sailing around or walking the pier.  Nothing for three days.   I miss the days I can just sit on my land and watch boats, planes or avi's walking by.   Feels like COVID in SL

 

 

 

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I used to stay in the old Linden homes, and never made friends with neighbours, in fact rarely met them. It was different renting a mainland plot - we'd chat and visit one another. I stopped staying in Linden homes cos it was kinda lonely.

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Maybe things have changed as Belli has gotten bigger, but my first plot in Belli (when it first released) was great for sitting out and watching boats pass on the water. 

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Posted (edited)

@Tony Giffen , move back to the Blake Sea! Escape the shackles of consumerism in Bellisseria! Most of the boats tied up to "house boat" (ugh!) docks in Bellesseria have never sailed a single centimetre, they are there purely for decoration, or as a narcissistic display of personal wealth or status.

I would never want to live in Bellisseria, even for a day. Its "residents" don't create, they "consume", which was not the original main purpose of SL's creation.

Bellisseria is a "consumer customer continent".  Its "residents" (see: "consumers") live their virtual lives shut away from each other and the other continents inside their ready-made, prebuilt identical wooden box houses (see: "sheds") in ready-made, prebuilt identical cookie-cutter regions, consuming products bought only from SL Marketplace instead of actually bothering to create their own, or visit an actual inworld store where one might meet other residents or perhaps even the product maker and form friendships.

Bellisseria was built purely as a huge residential zone to generate income for LL and does not contain a single shop or retail zone, which can act as a social gathering area.  Belliserria is a perfect representation of a "gated community" type development with its silly and restrictive one-size-fits-all conformance rules, which in itself restricts resident creativity and imagination in that part of the SL map, contrary to the overall original vision of SL by its original creators. Every time I visit Bellisseria, I am always saddened by its soullessness, by the feeling of being "lost" in an endless residential zone of sameness and rigid conformity. You never see anyone walking or driving around in its many straightline streets. Why? Because there's literally nowhere interesting to walk/drive to!

This is in total contrast to all the older continents, where everything in those other continents looks and feels different, odd, quirky, imaginitive and strange. Everything rezzed, built or abandoned in the older continents has an actual history and a purpose, some of which are only known to their owners and have become lost over time, which creates a pleasing and interesting mystery of why certain things look, behave or even exist in the older continents. Bellisseria has none of this, it is the exception and the oddity of the entire SL grid.

To be brutally honest, I feel that Bellesseria epitomises all that is wrong about the current direction of SL as it conflicts with the original intentions and creative vision of SL and it saddens me. But it does generate cash for LL, which it seems that all LL seems to care about these days, along with messing up the viewer UI....

 

 

Edited by SarahKB7 Koskinen
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I know I've got no right to complain, because I also left for years and am hardly ever inworld these days, but yes, when I do get in nowadays there are generally very few people around. I'm part of the problem, of course. I guess that, like many others, my life has changed and I simply don't have the time or indeed the inclination to spend as long there as I used to. The lack of inclination is partly to do with the lack of people, so a bit of a vicious circle going on there.

I see no evidence that SL is dying but it's certainly changed. Couldn't expect otherwise, of course, in all that time. Still, as I've said before, the biggest change that I see is cultural, and there seems nowadays to be more of a focus on aesthetics, to the detriment of whimsy, friendliness and adventurousness. I know not everyone sees it this way, but I also know I'm not the only one who does. 

Personally I would take slightly less sophisticated (and complicated) graphics/av customisation as a price worth paying for a bit more of the old culture back, but again, I know lots of people disagree, and obviously it's not something I can change. Just my feelings, for whatever they're worth.

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21 minutes ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

I would never live in Bellisseria, even for a day. Its "residents" do not create, they "consume", which is not the original main purpose of SL.

Bellisseria is a "consumer customer continent", where "residents" live their virtual lives shut away from each other inside their identical wooden box houses in identical cookie-cutter regions, consuming products bought from a virtual SL Marketplace website store instead of actually bothering to visit an actual inworld store. Belliserria is a perfect representation of a "gated community" type development.

Most of the boats tied up to house boat docks in Bellesseria have never sailed a single centimetre, they are there purely for decoration, or as a narcissistic display of wealth or status.

Every time I visit Bellisseria, I am always saddened by the soulless empty "lost" feeling I experience there, which totally contrasts with the older continents, where everything is different, everything rezzed in them has an actual history and a purpose, some of which are lost in time which creates a pleasing and interesting mystery of why the thing even exists.

To be brutally honest, Bellesseria epitomises all that is wrong about the direction of SL as it conflicts with the original intentions of SL and it depresses me.

@Tony Giffen , move back to the Blake Sea. Escape the consumerism of Bellisseria!

My experience of Bellisseria has been the exact opposite of this.

yes, the houses (in each themed area ) look the same and diverting from theme is not allowed, so there is less chaos in building at ground level but this also means you are guaranteed none of the ugliness and anarchy that litters mainland. There is no shortage of creativity however - just look at some of the specialist venues like Belli's Blues café, or the Animal Sanctuary or the Bellisseria Bureau of Bureaucracy.

As for the "lack of community", this is completely untrue. There are parties and events going on in Bellisseria literally every day, and there is a special thing on at the Fairgrounds almost every week. These groups and communities are active, friendly and welcoming, and the only reason for not participating in them is choosing not to do so. It's only "soulless" and empty if you don't make contact with the Citizens group and find out there what is going on (because actual advertising via Search is not allowed, the Citizens group is the main source of info). 

There is an active sailing community with an active Boat Parade 6 days a week, there are GTFO hubs all over the continent and people (including me) out sailing nearly every day. 

In other words if community is what you're looking for, you are more likely to find it in Bellisseria than in regular mainland. 

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the most number of people at any given time are where they have always been at. Always meaning going back to the beginning days of SL

giftee, freebie, dollarbie and lurky chair hunting. I went to the great 124 outfits - 247 clothing items - free giveaway, day before yesterday. I got run over in the stampede. I went to the great dollarbie mesh head hunt the other week. Got more than run over there. I got crushed, lagged to pieces and my avatar got munted, same as everybody else. But I put on my stone face, persevered and I won!

for the last two days I have been going thru, opening and trying on all 124 outfits. I got no time left over for boating, motoring, exploring or socialising. I am having a deep and rewarding social relationship with my inventory at the moment! 

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Posted (edited)

As a social place Bellisseria is dead in the water IMHO.
Yes there might be one or two groups that have activities, but I have traveled around quite a lot in Bellisseria and had at least a dozen different homes on a dozen different sims there the last month or so, because I have produced some add-ons for different type of homes.
Now in that dozen of different sims I lived\worked in so far, there was no activity at all or very little going on. I hardly saw anyone online. And I use a sim wide scanner.

24 Different neighbors, never one online when I was.
The only other possibility is that Bellisseria only comes to life during prime time of the American East coast. Then I'm seldom on.
But honestly I think Belli is a nicely decorated (chapeau for the Moles) but mainly empty continent.

Half of the owned houses and boats aren't even decorated or very sparsely.

SL is said to be a social platform, but there are a lot of introverted people using the platform if you ask me.
People who dream about socializing every now and then, but hardly do. Just like me.

Edited by Sid Nagy
My eyes are deserting today as well.
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56 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

As a social place Bellisseria is dead in the water IMHO.
Yes there might be one or two groups that have activities, but I have traveled around quite a lot in Bellisseria and had at least a dozen different homes on a dozen different sims there the last month or so, because I have produced some add-ons for different type of homes.
Now in that dozen of different sims I lived\worked in so far, there was no activity at all or very little going on. I hardly saw anyone online. And I use a sim wide scanner.

24 Different neighbors, never one online when I was.
The only other possibility is that Bellisseria only comes to life during prime time of the American East coast. Then I'm seldom on.
But honestly I think Belli is a nicely decorated (chapeau for the Moles) but mainly empty continent.

Half of the owned houses and boats aren't even decorated or very sparsely.

SL is said to be a social platform, but there are a lot of introverted people using the platform if you ask me.
People who dream about socializing every now and then, but hardly do. Just like me.

Being sociable in Bellisseria is like most other places in SL; it doesn't work by staying in your house and expecting people to talk to you.  It happens by you going to the Bellisseria events; the daily boat parade, the Blues Cafe, Far's Houseboat party, the Fairground events and whatever other impromptu events get posted in the belli groups.

There are Euro-friendly events. The weekly Belli Blues party is 10am on Mondays, thats too early for me if I don't have the day off work  but I get to Far's party (12 noon Fridays)  most weeks. The Boat Parade is 4pm every day except Sundays, when it turns into an Air Balloon parade. I don't know what events happen after that time of day, I'm gone by then. Fairground events tend to start around 10am or noon and go on for several hours.

Right now there's Zoopalooza on the Fairgrounds. I believe that todays events start at 10am. There will be plenty of people there. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

All true there are events, but still, Bellisseria looks and feels totally empty just like most of the mainland only it is far better decorated.

My main point was and is, that a lot of people don't really want to socialize that much in SL.
They simply ain't the socializing type in RL and are in the end not really different in SL.
If you hate events with more than a few people in RL, you simply don't go to them in SL all of a sudden.

People who like going to events in RL, logically don't hang out in SL as much. They find their entertainment in RL.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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45 minutes ago, Sid Nagy said:

All true there are events, but still, Bellisseria looks and feels totally empty just like most of the mainland only it is far better decorated.

My main point was and is, that a lot of people don't really want to socialize that much in SL.
They simply ain't the socializing type in RL and are in the end not really different in SL.
If you hate events with more than a few people in RL, you simply don't go to them in SL all of a sudden.

People who like going to events in RL, logically don't hang out in SL as much. They find their entertainment in RL.

If I'm wanting to socialize, I don't do it from home.  Home is where I am when I'm reading notices, sorting inventory, getting dressed to go OUT and socialize.  I've been that way since day 1.  I've only recently moved to a mainland home and although I see quite a few people around, I have no intention of socializing with them.  I don't want neighbors seeing me at home and messaging me to see what I'm up to.  I chat with people away from home as home is my alone time place.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

and there seems nowadays to be more of a focus on aesthetics, to the detriment of whimsy, friendliness and adventurousness. I know not everyone sees it this way, but I also know I'm not the only one who does. 

Personally I would take slightly less sophisticated (and complicated) graphics/av customisation as a price worth paying for a bit more of the old culture back, but again, I know lots of people disagree, and obviously it's not something I can change. Just my feelings, for whatever they're worth.

The first sentence is what I've experienced living one's SL life as a tiny and going to all the tiny events.  Tinies are whimsy to begin with and at our events they sound much like the events Maitimo is describing above, friendly and adventurous, plus goofy, adorkable and fun but with great music and entertainment.  I loved that Saturday morning we all danced in a circle on the Shire listening to a solo performer playing the Hurdy Gurdy but that was one of many, many great and unforgettable events.  To be active in SL is to join the groups and for tinies good ones to start are Small Talk and Raglan Shire.   For, Belliseria, follow Maitimo's advice above and go!

As far as being in my home, I may not always respond right away as I work offline in Photoshop quite a lot.  

The way to socialize is to join groups and then go.

Edited by FairreLilette
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2 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

*snip*

24 Different neighbors, never one online when I was.
The only other possibility is that Bellisseria only comes to life during prime time of the American East coast. Then I'm seldom on.
But honestly I think Belli is a nicely decorated (chapeau for the Moles) but mainly empty continent.

Half of the owned houses and boats aren't even decorated or very sparsely.

SL is said to be a social platform, but there are a lot of introverted people using the platform if you ask me.
People who dream about socializing every now and then, but hardly do. Just like me.

You may be right about the East Coast- that's my time zone and I've had decent luck with neighbors and excellent luck with the Belli Citizens group. I'm keeping my Bellissaria house because I love it, but I recently got nostalgic for 'the old sl' and rented a place at the Chelsea Hotel. There were a couple of people at a gallery, one in Demimonde (furniture shop) and I met a lovely person who came over and we sat at my lil table, had coffee and a chat and became fast friends. It was lovely so now I have an apartment in the city AND a home in the burbs. 

You're also right about the socializing- I spend way more time decorating and putting together outfits or trying to learn building techniques than I ever did going anywhere.

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As long as there’s a limit to how many people you can have on a sim, you’re never going to experience a truly crowded place in Second life. As long as you start to lag, or it takes forever to load a sim when there’s more than 15 people on a sim, you’re going to have people that aren’t willing to stick around.

Its always been like this. When LL solves one of these two problems or both, you might start to see places with more people. As it is though, none of this is really new.

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This is why I suggested a central location where everyone arrives into SL regardless of where they logged out. This Nexus will create a crowd that makes people know they are in a large community. It will also impress new users who first arrive. You don’t have to stay at a Nexus since it’s just an entry point to the rest of SL. It’s a place where strangers meet without any purpose. A place for accidental meetings and serendipitous events. Where do we get things like that in SL? Nowhere. 

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There's a lot of truth in this

2 hours ago, Sid Nagy said:

My main point was and is, that a lot of people don't really want to socialize that much in SL.
They simply ain't the socializing type in RL and are in the end not really different in SL.

and this

1 hour ago, Rowan Amore said:

If I'm wanting to socialize, I don't do it from home.  Home is where I am when I'm reading notices, sorting inventory, getting dressed to go OUT and socialize. 

Whether I am in RL or SL, I don't use my home as a place to socialize (actually, I don't socialize a lot anyway, but that's a different matter).  In both worlds, my home is a place to keep stuff, to work on odd projects, and to use as a refuge. When I want to be with people, I go somewhere else.  So Sid's right.  I suspect that a lot of SL residents, like Rowan and me, are not party people.

I have owned a private region for the past decade.  When I am in world, I am either chatting with a small handful of longtime friends who also live on the region ---  three or four evenings a week for about an hour each -- or (more likely) out exploring.  Most of the time, my region is totally empty, just like my neighborhood in RL (CoVid not withstanding).

I have never been a Premium member, but I find Bellisseria fascinating. I do a lot of exploring there because I love the landscape and what residents have done with their own property. As I wander, I don't usually see many people -- Sid and Sarah are right about that -- but there are usually more people than I see if I wander in much of the mainland, or in my town in RL either.  People gather in the party venues or in popular stores when they want to, just the way they do in RL.

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2 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

This is why I suggested a central location where everyone arrives into SL regardless of where they logged out. This Nexus will create a crowd that makes people know they are in a large community. It will also impress new users who first arrive. You don’t have to stay at a Nexus since it’s just an entry point to the rest of SL. It’s a place where strangers meet without any purpose. A place for accidental meetings and serendipitous events. Where do we get things like that in SL? Nowhere. 

London City comes close.

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2 minutes ago, Ingrid Ingersoll said:

I wonder if there were sims like Belli but with less restrictive rules re housing choices if the few scattered mainland owners would go for it. The mainland is quite empty for sure. 

I live in Horizons.  Although not specifically a Linden region, it is a Linden planned community.  Each plot is 1024, each comes with homes (ugly ones almost no one uses) which you may remove.  There is no covenant just as with regular mainland.  Compared to a friend's spot on mainland, there are always people somewhere around.

Being an adult region with double prims, it is quite expensive but honestly, I like the uniqueness that it allows in comparison to belli regions.

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You'd have more chance of seeing boats and people if you go to the fairgrounds and the area around there. I don't know if the boat parade still happens, but that area is a better starting point if someone wanted to sail somewhere. It's likely the water by your home is simply access to your home. There are also events at the fairground.

This will put you on the pier there: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Whiskey Bay/159/15/22

But really, if you want to meet people, events have always been the best bet. The majority of people I've seen this week were at Fantasy Faire. I've met a few neighbours living on the mainland over the years, but I never saw them that often. I've been around over a decade now, so this isn't new.

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19 hours ago, Tony Giffen said:

there is no one around

This is one of the few (if not the primary) fundamental issues facing new users and their perception of SL.

This comes up over and over. My first SL account, waaay back when lasted 2 hours as I never saw another player and figured SL was dead. Yes, there are solid sensible explanations, but how many stop to ask why before moving on, how does this impact new player behavior, how many times have we kicked a newbie off our land for gravitating towards a dot on the map and not realizing it was private space.

The destination guide is a nice idea to try and answer the question, "where is everyone", but in order to use it a new users must first assume there are people hidden away somewhere, somehow find their way to the guide, and then magically know what's going to work for them.

The basic question, "why is there no one around?" desperately needs to be addressed - front and center as part of the on boarding experience, and not as a tangential question that depends on assumptions or basic information obvious even to LL, specifically "why is no one here", "why am I alone".

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Posted (edited)

There is nobody around because there is literally nothing to see or do in Bellisseria.  That's because Bellisseria only has one purpose, a residential zone. There are no zones for shops or businesses.

Edited by SarahKB7 Koskinen
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