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Is Second Life too big now?


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Thank you for everyone's feedback.   Great responses and I agree with most people's comments.   I enjoyed all the replies.  I may be the odd ball here, but I have never had an SL relationship so never needed the privacy that most crave.   But I like to sit at my house and see an occasional boat or jet ski ride by and have a chat.  Which made me get a place in Bellisseria since it was the new continent.   I do appreciate the clean look it has compared to most parts of mainland, but as everyone has agreed there is no traffic unless you specifically go to events.

The whole buying without knowing where your plot is going to be is just so foreign to me.   Its like a game in itself.   Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Until you get close to what you want.   

Anyway, the people here are the best, and are frankly more fun these days than "Inworld".  :)

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12 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

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.

LL recently updated their jelly dolls protocol. The problem with both jellydolls and even impostors is that all data for the mesh those users wear is still being downloaded, rigged and calculated.

So if I go to an event with a max non-impostors of 1 & max complexity of 20k and I see literally 50 impostored avatars, they eventually start turning into jelly dolls because their mesh is being downloaded, rigged and complexity calculated while they are all rendered in sprite form. That downloading, rigging, calculating and finally jellydolling consumes ram and lags me just as much as if I had half of them fully rendered from the start.

There is also an issue with the viewer seeing agents far outside your draw distance and still downloading their mesh, etc as well.

LL needs to block downloading of attachments for impostored agents and honor draw distance and not process data for agents and their attachments outside of it.

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12 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. 

And it would also be a nexus for trolling/spamming/lagging/crashing on a scale 1000x bigger than infohubs and LL isn't going to moderate it.

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3 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

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.

There not being shops or businesses doesn't mean there aren't places to congregate. There's plenty of public parks, pools, beaches, and even other bigger community areas like lounges and a pub. I find it odd you're so hung up on there not being stores in Bellisseria, given in your first post in this thread you seemed to criticize Belli as calling it all about consumerism. 

That said, I wouldn't mind limited commercial space in Belli, but I'm not sure those would become hotspots of activity where people would make friends or anything. 

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12 hours ago, Janet Voxel said:

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.

There were almost 100 people at Exhale the other night.  I wasn't there but I checked it on the map.  Elysion used to have event that had almost that many people.  I have no idea if they still do.  I'm sure Exhale was like swimming through soup.

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2 hours ago, Tony Giffen said:

Thank you for everyone's feedback.   Great responses and I agree with most people's comments.   I enjoyed all the replies.  I may be the odd ball here, but I have never had an SL relationship so never needed the privacy that most crave.   But I like to sit at my house and see an occasional boat or jet ski ride by and have a chat.  Which made me get a place in Bellisseria since it was the new continent.   I do appreciate the clean look it has compared to most parts of mainland, but as everyone has agreed there is no traffic unless you specifically go to events.

The whole buying without knowing where your plot is going to be is just so foreign to me.   Its like a game in itself.   Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Until you get close to what you want.   

Anyway, the people here are the best, and are frankly more fun these days than "Inworld".  :)

Another option, of course, is to create your own community.

I live with three other women on a small island (a quarter region) that we rent. We're by no means always in-world together -- we live, between us, in three different time zones -- but we are nonetheless very definitely our own "neighborhood," and we talk to each other every day, in-world, or through external platforms. We also frequently get together to go clubbing, or take pics.

I'm a pretty gregarious person, and I have lots of friends and distinct "communities," but this one I helped construct, and it's the bedrock of my SL experience.

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10 minutes ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

.... and I have lots of friends and distinct "communities," but this one I helped construct, and it's the bedrock of my SL experience.

My SL genuinely hasn't been the same since I had to give up the region I built from scratch and disperse the group that had settled there.

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On 5/5/2021 at 12:09 AM, Tony Giffen said:

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

 

 

 

I think actually SL has shrunk in size and population since 2006, you can look up news stories and it really seems the case, and study Tyche's grid surveys, but I think they are more spread out and people don't log in as much. I can only say that from the sample of my tenants, I see some who don't log in as much.

You can go for days on end and never see another soul in Bellisseria unless you join one of their groups to sail or chat or collect stamps or whatever. It's like anything else, you need to find an interest and join a group to hear the chat and go to various events.

I would have thought that sailors had all kinds of social groups but maybe they have died down?

 

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Big "land investors" also seem to be holding out still, so there's a decent chunk of land effectively dead with some token building rezzed on it.

I just wish the ones on horizons wouldn't rez the same 3 giant skyscraper builds everywhere.

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17 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. 

I was torn between the 💓 and 😄 (in a good way) reaction. 

I guess that many users wouldn't like this "forced login" for different (and understandabld reasons) but I definitely think it's too complicated for new or even casual users.

The destination guide and in-world search with the option to sort for traffic goes in that direction, but maybe a bit too much to expect from overwhelmed new people to figure out.

I imagine a function that pops up and asks something like "Hi, it's great you're here. What do you want to do today?"

Then you get several options like "Take me to a club!" (Kind of club/music sub options for choice), "I want to roleplay!" (different genres for choice), "I want to see what SL artists are up to!", etc.

And then, the avi would automatically be sent to the place of choice with currently the most users. 

This might be too complicated technically, I don't know, but seeing the difference from starter avatars and duck walk from years ago to mesh heads with facial expressions and bento hand movements, I'd like to think it's possible.

______________________________________

I've mostly done roleplaying, and I have the feeling it's the same there, "too big", meaning too many roleplaying sims of the same genre at any given time, competing against each other, instead of working together, which ultimately isn't good for either players or sim owners.

Same as with Bellissaria, or main land, all the "hopping around" is counterproductive to avis accumulating at one spot.

______________________________________

In roleplay, you can often see this phenomenon when people in chat go "Oh no, this sim closed? But it was so lovely, I used to be there so often! Why did it close?" Well, it closed because you, and many others, *used to be* there often but hopped away to check out the next big thing with potentially greener grass, and the owners eventually saw no sense in keeping it open just for themselves, or couldn't afford it anymore because you rented elsewhere.

______________________________________

I took a long break myself because the real life death of my best SL friend who had been very ill over the last years made it too hurtful, but recently, I've been logging in again, and got a house in Bellissaria first, but eventually bought a mainland plot again. 

There weren't and aren't many people around, at least not when I was or am logged in, and I didn't succeed in finding a roleplay sim that is a good fit for me yet either. Those, too, have become more complicated, or let's say complex, you often need to join some site off-world, apply, allocate skill points, and so on, before you can even start to play a bit to see if you can get along with the people, whereas in the past, you could simply start playing (after reading the rules, sure), or at least could apply in-world. There are even huds now that require you to register and input your info on whatever website.

All those things probably don't help with retaining especially new people. 

Myself, having been in SL for a long time, I know how to find people if I want to (like others here in this topic, I don't really want to socialize in my "private home" much (although I'd be thrilled if a neighbor or someone on mainland exploration would actually come by for tea).

For new people, though, I imagine it's probably pretty hard. And I too have the impression that SL people, as a whole, are less friendly and contact-friendly than they used to be. Even many profiles more or less seem to scream "go away, especially if your other avatar isn't already in SL for a hundred years like mine, if you're not meshed out, etc.). Maybe many have become jaded, or simply have too many people on their friends list already to really care or want to spend time with new people, but with how steep the learning curve for simply making your avatar as nice as those in the ads look has become, it must be really difficult to figure all of that out on your own, and even if you're willing to spend the time and try to learn how to through forum or dedicated websites, it might be hard for many people to throw money at it without even really knowing if there are enough other people "out there" to find their own circle and make it worthwhile.

______________________________________

Sorry, this got much longer than intended, I hope it wasn't too boring to read if you got this far :) I enjoyed reading the topic, and the different standpoints, forum reading always makes me look at things in a more positive light, and makes me want to spend more time in-world again!

Maybe it would be a good thing to pitch the forum to people logging in to make them (more) aware of its existence, perhaps a pop-up with the "hottest topics" with posting date, so it's clear immediately that it's active. 

 

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51 minutes ago, Meccha Suki said:

(although I'd be thrilled if a neighbor or someone on mainland exploration would actually come by for tea).

I shall make sure to at least wave if I see you on my travels :D

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Posted (edited)

Although you 

17 hours ago, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

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.

Although you can't actually purchase anything from them, many residents have turned their homes into shops and cafes. There's a list of them in the notices in the Bellessaria citizens group. People gather at them and give a heads up in the group. There are also random parties at residents homes that get announced in the group. And there's the passports you get through the BBB (Bellessaria Bureau of Bureauracy) you can get stamps at various locations and at special events- it's pretty neat.The Bellessaria Travel club has a nice headquarters with free vehicles and their own group that meets to explore.

Aside from the resident owned spots, there are some Linden built pubs and 'resorts'.

Edited by Stella Carver
to add info
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Posted (edited)

I think it all depends on your reasons for being in Second Life. Although many would argue that Second Life is not a game, there are game elements present. 

Bartle divided gamers into Achievers, Socializers, Killers, and Explorers.

You can take the Bartle Test yourself here

I scored 93% Explorer, so I don't think that Second Life is too big, but I also like having a 'home' and a sense of place, so I value Bellisseria and other Second Life communities.

 

Edited by Rufferta
second and third thoughts
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My community used to have large lands almost daily events, newbie help center and a starter HUB nowadays only a few clubs / friend zone with tiny parcels left 😮

Not sure why it rapidly shrink in size with 2-4 year despite development on mesh and overall realism.

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

There are lots of people in SL who think because of whatever reason (mostly self importance) they are in a FIC environment.
Why not adding Bellisseria to it as well.

A plot with a little shop (1024 plots) would be an excellent theme for it. Why not?
Just like the other themes let it grow and grow until the market is saturated.

Edited by Sid Nagy
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Posted (edited)
On 5/5/2021 at 4:56 PM, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

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.

There are no zones for Shops and Businesses For Profit, you mean.   There are plenty of non-profit businesses in Belli. The reason for that was, it would attract crowds of shoppers and create lag.  It can't be because SL believes in a free utopian world,  just look at their fees :)

Edited by Jaylinbridges
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Posted (edited)

As long as you keep the shopping zones for small 1024 m plots and maybe even mix them into the already existing themes, I don't see the problem at all.
There ain't that many smaller shops that have constantly visitors on the grid.
And seeing how empty Belli is people wise, that would be totally doable IMHO.
 

Edited by Sid Nagy
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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Jaylinbridges said:

Bellisseria only has one purpose, a residential zone

That is not strictly true. The open fly corridor is a blessing for aviation and the waters are ideal for sailing and other water-related activities, free of ban lines and send-home security devices. 

There are the social gathering areas, too, supported by the Bellisseria residents' groups.

Edited by Odaks
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On 5/5/2021 at 8:33 AM, 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. 

Well that's one way to get me to stop logging in forever. There are many reasons to avoid crowds. But hey if people like logging into lagfests and not be able to tp out because there are more than 50 avatars in a very small space at the landing point, go for it. Watch that retention rate drop even further.

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On 5/5/2021 at 9:20 PM, Tony Giffen said:

Thank you for everyone's feedback.   Great responses and I agree with most people's comments.   I enjoyed all the replies.  I may be the odd ball here, but I have never had an SL relationship so never needed the privacy that most crave.   But I like to sit at my house and see an occasional boat or jet ski ride by and have a chat.  Which made me get a place in Bellisseria since it was the new continent.   I do appreciate the clean look it has compared to most parts of mainland, but as everyone has agreed there is no traffic unless you specifically go to events.

The whole buying without knowing where your plot is going to be is just so foreign to me.   Its like a game in itself.   Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Rent... abandon.....  Until you get close to what you want.   

Anyway, the people here are the best, and are frankly more fun these days than "Inworld".  :)

I did that 3 times, ended up right back to the original houseboat in tern key and decided it's where I need to be.  I actually like the location for boating. The problem with Bellisseria is for me, once you tour the waterways a couple times, it's quite boring.. Except that one time I ran those people over on a party barge.... lag related.  I myself, have a very hard time with lag there. (Yes, I know all the tricks to reduce)

 There is a very snobbish attitude from many of the people in the Belli group, I have spoken to several members who have been berated, shamed and just ignored.  It's like a snobbish country club atmosphere so I do not even try. (with a few exceptions)

The problem is you have thousands of private regions that are waiting to be explored, but LL does not promote or list them. Even if you submit to destinations and pay for advertising.... and when I visit places in destinations, it is usually just a little spot to explore and tons of stores.

 

I have always had a region, sometimes a few at once... But since I just can not get mine to show in listings, or destinations despite my best efforts... it is very lonely there.

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On 5/5/2021 at 6:30 AM, SarahKB7 Koskinen said:

@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....

 

 

I think your one-line summary of the Bellisseria culture is apt, but two points: one, some Bellisseria people in fact *do* create. They have art galleries or content stores etc. and their homes reflect that. Some people have made various clubs and venues in Bellisseria, and that is a form of creation, too. I'm not for being a creator snob and insisting that creation is only what occurs in Z-brush or Blender.  Decoration is creation, too. A group that thrives is creation, too.

Secondly, it's more than fine to have even most of the population be consumers, not creators. That's like real life. Otherwise you have this kind of very insular artists' colony or worse, a Renaissance Faire where the makers are a privileged class and everyone else is boxed out of that rarefied society.

Belli has plenty of socializing without shops or retail zones. To be sure, this fastidiousness about commerce -- something the Lindens have always suffered from due to their techno-communist roots -- seems silly. Humans have been making markets for centuries, and tyrants that try to close markets are always defeated. All you do when you close commerce is create black markets which of course go on in Belli. If every painting in a Belli home has a URL that takes you to the MP to buy it, how is that not commercial use of the home? I personally have no problem with it. But it's the sort of violation of their own law that the Lindens allow as they are selective in prosecution. The Lindens have talked about bringing back "Busy Ben's" which was never the popular mall imagined. That's not going to cure your concerns or build the better world. I think likely they are better off just sticking to making Belli be the bedroom community to which people return after they go shopping or to clubs or events on islands or Mainland.

I find Bellisseria and its denizens kind of sterile and shallow and sort of Trumansville in a way, yet I have fun even making my houses in it that are parodies or galleries, which I then delete when I get bored with them in a few weeks. And I see lots and lots of people having fun in their houses and in their Belli groups -- and who can begrudge them that? That's great. I'm all for a middle class that has a decidedly middle brow or even low brow culture, that wants picket fences and flamingo chaise lounges and sparkling kitchens. Why not? It's what people want. Mass taste is ok because it pays the bills. There isn't somebody to pay the bill for a few of us to have a West Village experience circa 1968 or something. There are no Medicis, or very few. Let this mass culture part thrive so that the business of Linden Lab succeeds and floats all boats. The popularity of Belli shows that this is what the average customer wants -- a controlled experience, things done for them, freedom from other people who ruin the view, rules, control, and the sort of G/Ms like Club Med has (the Moles). 

What were the original intentions of the original Lindens? To make a VR rig. The world was an afterthought. It was a use case. It was a prototype to test the rig. When the rig proved too hard to make and sell, they decided to make the "better world" open source collaborative cult a thing, but that didn't sell so well either. Let's not romanticize the founders' dream because the founders did not live their own dream and were indifferent to how well it worked for others. They had to rent out server space to test their software and make their Lab thrive. So they made islands. Islands sold. But then not everyone can afford islands. So they made Linden Assisted Living (Bellis). All of this has brought longevity and stability to the world. 

I think there's really only one solution for the kind of direction you want out of SL, which is to find some like-minded people -- which is very hard -- and try to pool your resources to buy land and maintain it -- also very hard. Yet people do it on 512s. It can be done.

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