Wooot! 100K Dormant Alts

by Alphaville Herald on 22/12/05 at 10:05 am

In another milestone in the history of meaningless statistics, Second Life has now passed 100,000 “residents” — i.e. accounts (mostly free) that have been created and may or may not be in use. The last time we reported such a milestone — 40K “residents” — there were actually *more* people in the game. Obviously, the only meaningful statistic here is how much land is being rented (i.e., how much server space is being sold).

23 Responses to “Wooot! 100K Dormant Alts”

  1. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Yes, I’m so glad you punctured this myth of the 100,000, especially since Hamlet Linden is gloating over my being wrong about subscriptions hitting this number. OK they did…so…but how many premiums? And of those, how many buy land?

    Back when there were 40,000, we heard there were 9,000 premiums of which 6,000 bought land. Are these figures growing at the same rate?

    How many log-ins are there? 4,000 or so, at any given time. So even allowing for the dynamism of this figure…what would be the actual number of people bothering with SL? 20,000? I don’t even know how that works? Especially given my alts muahahahah.

    Seriously, what I want to know is how these 4,000 loggers are pulling down all that cash — have you noticed? The cash spent in SL now has quadrupled to something like 140,000. Where’s it all going?

  2. marilyn murphy

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    i predict that sometime in 2006, Linden Labs will announce it is done beta testing sl, and has closed a deal with Sony for an undisclosed amount.

    Sony will announce it will work on the technology and produce a new and improved SL in 2007, maybe 2008. They will rename it “New Life” or “Better Life” or “This is Life, Get Used to it”.

  3. Cocoanut Koala

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    It’s working like I thought it would, Prok. Basic members come, basic members go. But while they are in the game, they buy some things.

    It’s the revolving door I spoke of some months ago. Content creators like me sit there and make things, and they buy them. When they stop playing, more free basics come and buy the things. Then they leave. And so on.

    And the more basics are coming in, the more things are bought before they leave.

    This is the paradigm I began to think some months ago that the Lindens – and their close player friends – actually want.

    In addition, this creates huge competition among the content creators who stick to the game and keep making things for the revolving door people (as well as, of course, those residents not in the revolving door, but who enjoy the game, and stay, and continue to buy things).

    Some of the content creators – including influential early-on members, and those closest to the Lindens – have formed a sort of loose cartel, wherein they support and promote one another ad nauseum, in thread after thread where they nominate themselves as the “best of,” and in threads where they unabashedly announce their own latest creations (rather than mucking about in the backstabbing backwaters of the Classifieds), and announce they should be able to get away with it, because, after all, they aren’t just ANYBODY.

    And in endless threads where they ridicule and mock anyone not in their cartel who dares to question their hold.

    This cartel we could call the clique. Friends who achieve strength in numbers, and run things. They run policy, they run the forums, and the work together to run off anyone they disagree with, such as YOU, Prok. They claim this is for the better of the game, but it is actually for the better of their own pocketbooks.

    They will attempt to destroy anyone who is successful who isn’t a member of that clique and who dares criticizes any special privileges members of that clique enjoy. This is because there is a limited number of revolving door players, and they want the lion’s share of the proceeds from them.

    They could ensure that just by providing excellent content – which most of them do. But they are insecure, and think they need these extra measures to run off others. They are afraid others might make too much sense, might destroy some of the special privileges this group enjoys (such as free promotion by the Lindens, and the ear of the Lindens), and thus cut into their profits.

    Fairness of any kind threatens this hegemony. And together, as a group, they can not just form the Cook Kidz Coalition, they can work it to squash competition, promote their own products, get rid of anyone who isn’t in lock-step with them, and continue to ensure a playing field that is unlevel almost comically in their own favor.

    It’s all about the Benjamins, and the revolving door players provide those. I find it odd that this clique also considers entertainment a threat to them, particularly since without it, the revolving door players are all dressed up with no place to go. That the clique has been successful in trashing entertainment has probably contributed to the haste with which the revolving door players leave the game. So ultimately, their anti-entertainment stance works against them, but they are too short-sighted to see this.

    The Lindens themselves are too short-sighted to see that favoritism actually IS a bad thing. They are also too short-sighted to see that what they rationalize as freedom of speech creates anarchy and rule by mob; in this case, a mob of bullies who run the forums and the game and work together (shamefully so), to run off anyone who disputes their final say on all things. This clique has a death-clutch on the game and on the Lindens, and they will use any tactic possible, however inhumane, to maintain it. That’s kind of pitiful, actually.

    The Lindens have bit off more than they can chew with this number of residents, and they rely on friends in the clique to help them run it, contain it, and control it. It’s this corruption that will bring down SL.


  4. Urizenus

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Marilyn says: “i predict that sometime in 2006, Linden Labs will announce it is done beta testing sl, and has closed a deal with Sony for an undisclosed amount.”

    OMG Marily, how can you wish that on Raph Koster?

  5. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    This is about the cogent analysis I’ve ever read of the society and economy of SL, Coco, and it has weight for me because you’re a content-creator who got there the hard way, and who sells a fair amount and is able to pay tier. I couldn’t agree more about the revolving door, I see it constantly.

    I’ve always said that the harassment I experienced for criticizing these “big businesses” and “feted” on the forums wasn’t just about group-think or insularity but really about economics. These people really fear losing their ability to make money, or at least pay for their games. They really think that they have to savage competition this way, it’s an instinctive, tribal thing. The instinctively loath the land-dealing class and the club-management class because those people represent independent sectors of the economy who are not dependent on them, their divas, their boutiques, their fashion shows, etc. and who run their own parcels and their own worlds without the FIC.

    And yes, the FIC really think it’s ok to actually KILL some customers with their political positions (like being defacto pro-bounce-script, pro-Lazarus-signs, uncritical of Lindens, anti-telehub-etc) in the name of security of their unlimited creative rights, and security for their (eroding) economic bastion.

    And you’ve really hit the nail on the head by pointing out that the “freedom of expression” the Lindens enforce (which gives Aimee a berth on the Linden Hotline to scream about “ferrying text” from “the Voices of the Banned” (me), and getting a Linden to encourage her in that harassment and telling her to “open a thread on it and discuss it” — and the “freedom of expression” that we get with the Lazarus-laissez fair — is freedom of expression that only benefits this class of the feted.

    I couldn’t agree more that this clique has a death-clutch on the game. But remember, our friend Andrew Linden once said that if there isn’t a throttle on the game…he’d be included to encourage one.

    You seem to have reached the same point I reached some time ago which is to declare that yes, there is a clique with a death-grip on the game. People call this “my conspiracy theory” and they call me “a nutter”. I don’t care. It’s pretty demonstrative when you can see how they established and maintain their businesses and economic networks and how they preserve their monopolies. Cubey Terra keeps on swooping into the Welcome Area in his airships. Mentors and Greeters keep on slinging bags of freebies and folders of landmarks that lead to their businesses and their friends’ businesses. This is the perk that Jeska tacitly accepts when she gets people to do these “hard jobs”.

    I guess unlike you, however, what I say we have to do is keep on exposing, keep on pushing for things like open press calls and an open developer director, more open contests, etc. etc. I don’t despair.

    You were the one who said “Just wait til the world grows.” Yes, the world filled up with revolving-door newbs who buy the content and keep Flipper in beer money or whatever. But there are also occasionally new and creative newbies who come along and get started outside the FIC, make worlds, make networks and don’t even interact with them. Look around up north on the new continent and see that people appear, buy sims, make stores, make items — some of them are people with years of programming experience that just jumped into the game and went to work without getting clearance from Aimee Weber or Hiro Pendragon. As they become more established they will gradually displace these clutchy early adapters who want to hog the world to themselves. It’s just a matter of time. Don’t despair.

    Even when the FIC loads the dice with all that feting on the home page and in the contests and whatnot, it’s not completely under their control — keep fighting.

  6. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    You know, I won’t be surprised about that deal. And I’m thinking the deal will literally work like this: that the Lindens will tell everybody on the mainland that they are being sold to Sony, and that they had better buy their own private island. Heck, they might tell some of their private islands that they are being cut loose from LL and sent to sail over to Sony.

    What’s to prevent them from doing this?

    What will be left will be FICWORLD with the closed, gated communities, high-end content, exclusive encaves, scripterati, architecterati, all the *eratis and LL will bill itself as a spawner of worlds and an educational and non-profit group for development of the platform itself and for others to use for these ends.

    They will have hosed down all those revolving-door basics to meet these goals, and hosed down a lot of telehub land buyers and others who bought on the land auction and developed land — but then, the end always justifies the means in Bolshevism.

  7. Stubblehead

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Oh God, Cocoanut Koala, after deciding it can’t bitch enough at the forums, decides to come to bitch central and vomit some text on the screen. Great.

  8. Cocoanut

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Stubblehead, I go way back on the SLH forums.

    One correction, Prok – I can’t pay tier yet. I could if I weren’t such a prim hog, having just bought not only more shop than I need (well, that’s partly due to the huge jumps in the tier levels), and also having to pay “tier” on a large section of Azure Islands I bought where my friends and I can live and horse around.

    Anyway, yes, you are right, I have now come to the same point you did. Took a while, didn’t it? lol


  9. TrannyPet Barmy

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    what about “Get A Life” as the new name ?

    TrannyPet Barmy
    The REAL ONE

  10. Earnest Candour

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    C’mon these stats are a little selective don’t you think?

    When I logged on the other day, there were c4500 online (as opposed to the 1906 you show above), even when I checked it just now its 3445.

    then 40127 accounts, 2137 online (5.32% online)
    now 100,000 accounts, 4500 online (4.5% online)

    Proportionally its almost the same, so what’s your point? That participation rate has stayed the same?

    We know you’re bitter but skewing the stats like this isn’t doing your credibility any favours.

    Though I don’t see the daily inworld transaction figures displayed anymore, which are as good an indicator as anything else. Which is a little worrying.

  11. blaze

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Tell me something Urz, do you purposesly do no absolutely no research before you post? I mean, is that a part of the whole shtick here?

  12. Earnest Candour

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    OK I know, they still have the daily transactions figures, they just don’t display on the new website when using IE.

    That’s the last nail in the coffin for IE as far as I’m concerned, though you think LL or Linden Research, or whatever they call themselves these days could develop a site that works properly in more than one browser.

  13. Bam

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    If Linden Labs was in some kind of financial trouble it would have become evident by now. In fact I don’t think it is far out to think they have raised a significant amount of money from new investors i.e. Wells Fargo or other venture firms.

  14. Prokofy Neva

    Dec 22nd, 2005

    Earnest, Uri just happened to snap it in the morning US time when it doesn’t show many log-ons. What of it? We all know it always shows 3000-4000 throughout the day and never gets over 5000 even when they have log-a-thons and offer prizes.

    Is 5 percent logged on a good number for games or worlds? I dunno.

    And how are they making all this money — there aren’t enough of them really to account for all those transactions unless there are huge club or land sales going down or something.

    blaze, what do you suggest would be the “research” one could do here? We’d all like to pry apart these numbers! But how?

    I mean, I look at “last 10 things purchased in world” all day, and I wish I had a program to make the aggregates of that run (do you?). You’d see that all these little $10 camp chairs or $10 casinos or $100 poseballs aren’t adding up to $149,00 real US dollars. So..what is it? Clubs with huge halls from…what? cashing out and paying Currency Linden?

    Do the Lindens count stuff like texture uploads, stipends, dwell payouts — all their own Linden transactions — in these numbers? We can only keep asking the Lindens questions like this, but i don’t know what you expect to be “researched”.

  15. Fallen Hasp

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    How corrupt and dated Second Life has become. Embrace denial. “SL is doomed” “No it isnt” Who cares. Second Life is not the future. Id like to read more about the new crop of games coming out next year.

  16. TrannyPet Barmy

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    VOTE FOR ANSHE !!!!!!!!!


    TrannyPet Barmy
    The REAL ONE

  17. Hiro Pendragon

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    Instead of whining about what LL may do, perhaps we could focus on pressuring LL to publish more meaningful stats on the home page?

  18. Urizenus

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    Hiro, I’m guessing that they aren’t going to release the meaningful stats, whether they are good or bad — that would be to release too much info to their competitors (or so they would think).

    Fallen, we are always watching other games, and Herald staffers are in beta and alpha of several games. I myself would report on Roma Victor, but it is so boring I can’t make myself go in game.

  19. TrannyPet Barmy

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    damn you only have to have a look at a few of the screenshots and videos to see why you’re having problems getting yourself to go in there !!!! It looks AWFUL

    TrannyPet Barmy
    The REAL ONE

  20. Whatever

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    What we will never know is exactly how many of the 100,000+ accounts are alts, how many are not used, etc. I know more people who have more than one alt than I know people who have only 1 av.

    I personally do not count alts or abandoned/unused accounts in the population as LL does. It’s really too bad we can’t get more accurate numbers. However, that would take down the population pretty drastically and LL wouldn’t want that now would they?

  21. Fallen Hasp

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    Uri <3 Really glad i took the time to read and post more. Second Life is tedious but you have interesting stories and the efforts of your staff shows. Tomorrow is Christmas so if I dont have an opportunity to post Id like to wish you all happy holidays. Prok, Tranny, Whatever, Coco . . but not Linden Labs – they are getting coal this year and I know they are on Santa’s naughty list.

  22. TrannyPet Barmy

    Dec 23rd, 2005

    *flicks LL the bird* hahahahahappy xmas LL – NOT

    i’m with you on that one Fallen

    TrannyPet Barmy

  23. Anshe Chung

    Dec 25th, 2005

    Cocoanut’s assessment of the “clique” 100% fits my personal first hand experience, both as insider (when I was still cute little newbie Anshe) and later as target. I am not going into detail here, because the story would be too long for one blog comment. But at least one big part of what some call conspiracy “theory” I have seen in practice, with my own eyes.

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