The Ghost Islands of Second Life

by Urizenus Sklar on 31/12/06 at 11:43 pm

Edelman Island, The Loneliest Ghost Island of All

It was Morlin, the Prime Minister of Shivar, who called the meeting. Gopod knows I hate meetings, but I am the Overlord of Shivar and I do take my responsibilities seriously. I am Overlord of Shivar because I bought the island as my own personal Xanadu, but in my munificence I allow the little people to use it. But now Morlin was exercised. Why? Because we were becoming a ghost island. Not enough visitors. “Do we want visitors?” I asked (I really do hate people, you know). A debate ensued and finally it was decided that we shall encourage visitors, “but not Blingtards,” I insisted (there is a limit).

Stung by my defeat at the hands of my own Council of Elders, I decided to see just how bad the situation was. As of Dec. 31, 2006 Shivar showed a dwell of 4697. That’s small potatoes compared to the sex clubs like Elements (123,234), Club Arsheba (119,151), and Club Extreme (98,493), but how would we hold up compared to the islands recently purchased by the meatspace megacorps. Hamlet Au had offered a preliminary assesment months earlier, but I needed fresh data. I summoned the Admiral of Shivar, Pixeleen, ordered her to provision our best galley, and we went on a tour of the islands of the great rustbelt invaders, and here is what we learned…

The Shivari Council Meets to Discuss the Depopulation Crisis

A Tour of the Ghost Islands of Second Life

Dwell numbers on December 31, 2006

Shivar (Uri’s personal private Xanadu): 4697
Nissan Island: 3426
Scion City: 1239
Dell Island (all areas): 1150
Avastar Island: 910
Aloft Island: 728
American Apparel Store: 559
Crayon Island (all areas): 341
Edelman Island: 186

The Citadel on Shivar Island

On returning to the shores of Shivar I summoned Morlin.

“You fool, we have more people bothering us than Scion City, Dell Island, Avastar Island, Aloft Island, Crayon Island, Americal Apparel and Edelman island COMBINED”

As Morlin shook in fear before my awesome wrath, Queen Sparrohawk arrived.

“It is a social game, your Crankiness, and people are what matter. Shivar SHALL reach out to more visitors”

And so I was checked again. Where would I go to live in the trappist monk solitude that my inner Uri so craved — away from the Blingtards, Avatards, Fucktards, and Diapered Live Helpers? I summoned my Admiral once again.

“Pix, provision another galley, I’m moving to Edelman Island!”

9 Responses to “The Ghost Islands of Second Life”

  1. Eloise

    Jan 1st, 2007

    I’m always surprised people expect these commercial places to do well…

    Despite contributing here I’m not really hugely in touch with all current events in SL, especially at the moment because I’ve been hampered with spending time in SL. In fact I’ve heard of a number of the places through the Herald first. But why would I go and buy a Scion, look at Dell’s contribution to SL or similar? Even when I’ve got more time available I’ve got things higher on my list of things to do. I could go to Scion City see a possibly nice build, possibly not, get a car and…? Or I could go visit Pix, grab a freebie super car/plane/boat and then either spend time doing that social thing SL is meant to be so good for, or go somewhere actually nice and look around, or both. Since every computer I’ve owned has an apple with a bite out of it somewhere around visiting Dell and IBM seems unlikely…

    Since I’m not American, is American Apparel really that appealing? If I really wanted to I’m sure I could wear it IRL, but actually the places I shop generally make things that could be worn IRL, but that you don’t see on the high street in any city I’ve ever seen. There is some small proportion of my wardrobe that is things I could wear IRL for work, but IRL casual… pretty much forget it. I could, I expect, but I don’t shop that way generally in SL, so, again where’s the appeal?

    I’m sure I’m out of touch with what the cool new folks are doing… but finding things to do in Second Life is generally not that hard after a few hours. After a few days you’ve probably got your first shopping/clubbing/friends/sandbox/scripting/whatever circuit or you’ve left. Unless searching for Dell, or you search for clothes shops by putting “American Apparel” into the search field or whatever, you’ll find somewhere way cooler by most people’s standards. The numbers tend to rather strongly suggest that’s the case and it’s not just my reactionary old resident feeling.

    What will be interesting… how many of these places will remain and how many new ones will join them? Some of the places might well be multi-functional: I can see both Dell and IBM wanting to work in SL as well as advertise in here. I know there are a large and growing number of educational establishments and training programmes arising in SL and I’m sure that will continue, but people being here just to advertise? I guess it’s cheap at US$300/month if you’re a big organisation, but will you get a worthwhile return?

  2. Dannyboy Lightfoot

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Nice piece Uri.

    I’d be interested to see what the equivalent figures are for Pontiac’s Motorati, and to know why you chose not to include them. They’ve impressed me with their user-focused approach to keeping their sim fresh and enticing, but I don’t know if they’ve delivered so far. Let’s not be too quick to judge as well – the entry-level cost of turning metacorp can still be kept relatively low, making SL worth experimenting with for many RL businesses and brands.

    One to watch for 2007 is the Vodafone sim. I dropped into their ‘teaser island’ while it was open over Christmas, and kept a note of my experiences. As a mobile network they might have more to usefully offer your average SL resident than many brands, but it going to be interesting to see if they can hold a crowd.

    Finally, it does seem odd to lump Crayon in with your meatspace megacorps. Last time I checked Crayon wasn’t a consumer-facing operation, so it seems a tad simplistic to assess the effectiveness of their SL presence on the basis of traffic? I spent thirty minutes in Crayonville early in December, liked the style of the place, and crossed paths with a couple of meatspace movers and shakers while I was there. Surely one of the lessons of the last year or two is that strength doesn’t necessarily lie in numbers.

  3. Frederic Prevost

    Jan 1st, 2007

    I really don’t know the point of comparing Shivar to the rest you sampled…

    The objective of these island and Shivar is totally different so I would think.

    If you are talking about increasing the traffic to the small shop area that you have, I understand. There may be a strategy and purpose there.

    Shivar is a beautiful place however, would I really want everyone to go there everyday?

    I really don’t want them to be overrun by noobs, like Appollo recently became, where used to be my quiet hideout, now I can’t find any open spot then some noob flying into the sky picnicarea and sit next me and put up afk sign…

    My personal sentiment aside…

    One of the main reason I left AvaStar was exactly related to this.

    “What is the objective of having a sim, or Having an outlet in SL?”

    I did not see it. And Probably they don’t have it.

    The lack of understandings of SL resulted in abysmal traffic. They do not have any plan to implement their marketing objectives to the newly created sim, efficiently.

    So as
    Sony BMG sim(459-Media Island 222),
    So as BMW (110)

    I am not against corporate noobs, however, if they want to have a outlet in SL, they should be run by their own SL resident, who has “experiences” in SL.

    And yes, I offer to plan promotion tour for AvaStar, since I have a experiences in hosting the club events and such.
    I used to host in the 2000 sqm club and constantly attracted 7K-8K traffic when the total SL resident was under 200K and concurrent users was less than 8K.

    The project manager brushed me off ” I am professional, I already have a plans.”—lol

    So,I can see pretty much as if I was watching the island, traffic of 910 is like AvaStar staff member AFKing in office while they are in SL, doing nothing in their Aimee’s island.

  4. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    We must keep a keen, weather eye to see that the Lindens don’t just plain *remove* traffic. They are quite capable of doing that, under pressure from the FIC, the SIC, and the CIC (Feted Inner Core, Superior Inner core, Corporate Inner Core). Blogsters like Forseti are constantly agitating about traffic and saying “it’s broken”.

    Just because the top 20 sex palaces have camp chairs and the system is gamed doesn’t mean it’s broken.

    The real key to what people imagine as the “broken” SEARCH and the “broken” traffic is to *use them together*. Together, the turn up results. If you type in “sneaks” you will get a list of the stores arranged by traffic, not by how much they paid for their ad.

    Traffic is gamed, but traffic does not lie. I see places with camp chairs even nowadays that don’t have traffic because camp chairs alone cannot bring it. Even a gamed site cannot get to the top without some content or draw, too.

    Getting up above 1,000 is actually quite respectable. Getting to 5000 means you will have a steady flow of 4-6 avatars at least per hour or more who will buy something and pay your tier, or perhaps justify your ethereal corporate existence.

    I am waiting for all these metatards to figure out that not only should they hire all these builders like Aimee and Forseti, but they should hire event organizers and sim managers who keep the place flowing with traffic.

  5. Ghaz

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Since Nissan Island hardly ever has anybody on it I use it as a sandbox, no sense letting the space go to waste :)

  6. DNA Prototype

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Sweet pic of Edelman. Looks like a dead robot or something. Thanks.

  7. Cocoanut Koala

    Jan 1st, 2007

    And I keep saying I wish you would stop clueing them in on that, Prok!


  8. Frederic Prevost

    Jan 1st, 2007


    Even after we keep clueing in, they aren’t still getting it! lol

    If AvaStar offered me to be their sim event manager for 20K a months in stead of becoming a writer, i would have gladly take the position… lol And they would not be in that list.

  9. Prokofy Neva

    Jan 1st, 2007

    Thinking of these empty islands, I’m remembered how SnoopyB once came on to Democracy Island — which was deserted of all its would-be democrats — and found two dragons cybering. It was a hot experience, I’ll bet.

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