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10/25/2008

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Cherowolf Redgrave

I quit reading anything Tateru wrote long ago when I realized she is not capable of saying anything positive about LL/SL. BTW, I had not yet looked at the numbers - thanks for clarifying them for us.

Ann Otoole

The only metric that looks really interesting to me is the lack of interest among the 18-24 crowd. That needs to be studied and fixed.

The rest of the numbers indicate the global recession is affecting optional entertainment and LL would do well to take some cuts (drop tiers on islands to match mainland and level the field for fair trade purposes and maybe cut tier in half from there until the recession is over) to keep people from leaving.

The recession will be lasting for years. It is not a short term condition. Keep prices high and your business will die.

Ciaran Laval

I thought PMLF excluded tier when it was calculated. That's one of the reasons I don't pay much attention to that stat.

Having said that, even if that is the case, plenty of inworld business owners rent land and pay that rental inworld so if they're successful their PMLF would be important.

Jane2 McMahon

You nailed it re Tateru Nino and Massively. It's like she didn't get a job there and has been in an "I'll make you regret it, you bunch of losers" mood ever since.

And as to why Massively hires her, I have no clue. One would think you would want your writers to spark some interest in whatever product or service it is that you concern yourself with...in this case, she's about the worst advertisement for SL, negative or positive. There's no "news"....it's all dark speculation based on flimsy or nonpexistent evidence.

Jane2 McMahon

"There", meaning Second Life. Must read more thoroughly before posting!

Sean Williams

"Games measure sign-ups and user hours; countries measures GNP."

And ... Second Life is not a country, it's a computer program, run by a private company.

Let's not confuse the two, hmm?

You measure how well a program or service is doing by sign ups, user hours, registrations and other factors. That is all that is required.

Until the day some nitwits in the real world decide to break the barrier between what is real and what is not and declare second Life a Country ... It will remain a program and nothing more.

frankly, it does not matter how many times a person tries to toot that horn or what criteria they come up with: It's a program, it is seen as a program to the world at large (the REAL world) and thus will remain so until the day it is declared a country by those who cannot bear to separate reality from fantasy.

And no: You're not qualified to make that change in status.

Amanda Dallin

If your looking at how well the Linden Lab program or service Second Life is doing then examine the signups and user hours. If your looking for how the economy of Second Life is doing then Prok is right. We're dealing with two different if related things here. Tateru Nino in this article mixes the two.

Nuschi Martynov

Believing in Linden's Hooray-News is one (stupid) thing. Being a resident who doesn't care about land and prices, I can say I LOVE reading blogs that have their own (and different) opinion, like Tateru's!
LL says: Don't mind the vanishing Premium Members, just observe the inworld hours!

This summer me and a few friends spent a few nights counting BOTS - grid wide! And it was shocking: 25% off all avatars we found were Bots!!!
Bots spend much more time inworld than human users, of course. Many of them are logged in 24/7.
This is what increases the User Hours!
So many alts, so little real growth.

Make Botspotting Your Hobby and see what i mean.
Traffic Bots kill SL.
You see the bubble burst in RL econonmy... You Land Owners blow up the SL economic bubble, short sighted and greedy just as those idiots out there in RL banks.

Greetings from the bus, Nuschi

Prokofy Neva

No, that's not true at all. Games are measured in number of user sign-ups because the ONLY way the game manufacturer has to measure his income is by *subscription*. He can't sell land or currency or services. Just the subscription. So showing lots of sign-ups has traditionally been the way to show MMORPG profitability.

User hours, if they increase, even if sign-ups aren't so great, indicate stickyness or addictiveness or whatever, so that becomes another way to measure a MMORPG, in the hopes that those who have more user hours will be likely to buy the extensions, maybe buy multiple accounts. So MMORPGs put great store by them.

In a real country, the number of users and the hours they spend at labour or leisure do not correlate necessarily to the GNP, and there need not be such an obsession about them.

M Linden said that 45 percent of new sign-ups are from the 18-24 crowd, so that's interesting, but that's where the attrition is, too.

I'm hardly one to believe in Lindens' hooray news, but I do believe in portraying it accurately. If businesses have increased, Lindex volume, and people making expenditures, sorry, but you simply cannot call that a "falling" economy or service as Tateru does. It's just wrong.

Hardly scientific to decide how many bots there are just by what you count. I could get a completely different figure going on 65 sims and counting my tenants ANd bots in infohubs I work at.

The Lindens say 10 percent of the log-ons are bots. I tend to believe that figure from what I've seen.

Live people using anti-log-off scripts on camping also make for user hours. Camping has fallen off, however, as I will explain in a bit.

Ciaran, PMLF does NOT subtract tier, and we only know that something like half pay tier and have a profit, but we don't really know because they don't give us that number. And you're right, a store owner who pays rent inworld in Lindens and keeps the rest in profit is a true profit-making figure.

But that's not the point here. The point is that there are MORE of them, and at least 1,000 more or so in that category of $50-100. That's relevant.

Desmond Shang

The following is just my opinion, based on data I'm not willing to share in detail (my own observations of visitor, shopper and landed resident stats from the Caledon estate) - so take it for what it's worth.

1) Tateru ran some stats regarding Caledon avatar visits for several months, once. This was just raw data, but the patterns I saw in it matched overall estate performance in a number of other factors with unholy accuracy. I would not discount Tateru's numbers or conclusions so quickly.

2) I have seen recently, a *very* powerful link between:

a) resident economic activity,
b) USD to foreign exchange rate.

With the global financial crisis in full swing, the 'flight to the dollar' strengthened the USD so significantly that it has deeply harmed non-USD based *consumers*.

They find themselves paying something like 150% more for the same land tier or estate services, purely due to exchange rates. And don't forget the VAT for many of them.

Ironically, that same devastating hit has *deeply benefited* non-USD based content creators, insofar as they now make perhaps 150% more for the same sales volume. At least on the short term, as overall the consumers have been hurt bad.

Prediction: If global exchange rates don't somewhat stabilise and recover in the next few months, we'll see a sharp decline in overall spending. Which really won't be a decline, just the effect of the *same* spending not being nearly as many dollars. Also watch for the rise of the Euro content creator barons. Due to the ridiculously strong USD (and therefore, $L) the content creation playing field is now tipped strongly in their favour... and Euro-consumerism is tipped strongly the other way.

3) I suspect we'll see some recovery in the spring... only to have the bottom fall out of the recovery because, well, it's spring. When high season ends, and people get off their computers after a long, dark winter. On the plus side, I have little doubt the grid will survive as a whole, and when the USD weakens a bit I see the world rushing back.

We shall all see, I suppose.

Prokofy Neva

Desmond, perhaps this explains why some non-US residents are unloading islands or mainland now, but yet, some of them are still going strong, maybe they make money off other Europeans or Asians.

You -- and the Lindens -- also fail to note that 40 percent of the user hours are owned by Americans. Americans are a huge factor in SL still, and for them, the dollar, whatever its strengths against foreign currencies now, has shrunk in its purchasing power with the higher cost of food, even if the price of gas is falling.

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