Op/Ed: Second Life Needs Ad Farmers

by Alphaville Herald on 12/07/09 at 4:22 pm

Falling land prices  – Donut & Reverse Donut Hole Traps – The Arbor Project  – ROBO Marx permaban

by IntLibber Brautigan

For years there has been an ongoing conflict between two mainland commercial forces: the landbot runner and the ad farmer. The land bot runner makes his money by hedging low land prices and selling to market prices, profiting a few percent or more on large volume of millions of square meters of churn per month. The landbotter will grab up parcels as cheaply as possible, frequently stealing land mistakenly priced low by mistake or which was intended to be a friendly transaction between friends. For many SL users, the user name lookup dialog freezes their SL client for up to a minute due to LL laziness/asset server scalability issues, so they sell  their parcel to "anybody" thinking that nobody else in the sim means no bots will steal the land.

The landbotter is a drag on market prices, driving the average price paid per parcel down, like any Bernie Madoff doing large scale naked shorting of a stock. It is thus the natural outcome that large scale land bot operations tank real estate prices. Normal land sellers see the LL published average market prices, which average all land sales, and try to underbid the average. Landbotters constantly seeking to underbid the average, and drag the average down with them.

There is also a non-market drag on prices: low priced transfers between friends. If you sell to a friend for a few L or a few hundred L, your sale is registered and the price paid drags down the average. This is why, at the present time, the published market average for mainland says the price is 1.6 L$ per square meter but the lowest price you can find land for sale in search on the mainland is 2.1, with the average ranging above 3.0 L$ per square meter, almost twice the LL published average. The typical user sells their land below the low false average, and their land quickly gets bought up by land bots and set for sale at a higher price.

Frequently, these friend-to-friend transactions are interfered with by land bot runners and the land gets taken at a low price, but no matter who winds up with the land, it drags down average price stats.

Ethical land bot runners double the damage

Some land bot runners claim to be "ethical" and assert that they will return land caught in this way. They may have good intentions here, but their actions, of selling the land back at the same price, causes TWO sales at the low price to be registered, which only exacerbates the erosion of average price stats even more. So even when land bot runners claim to be doing good, they are doing evil.

This pattern of price erosion motivates people to seek to liquidate their land sooner rather than later, which further contributes to the crash. This is not a unique pattern. Hedge fund managers have used their ability to do what is called "naked shorting" of RL stocks they don’t actually own by using as collateral other securities they held in other stocks, even shorts on other stocks, or unsecured credit. This sort of shorting behavior on US stock markets is estimated to have cost  investors on US stock exchanges over $ 1 trillion dollars during the 1990's alone. The losses taken in the current market due to such trading amount to possibly the tens of trillions of dollars.

Second Life land prices weren’t always in the tank, were they? Nope, they were once quite high, and people investing in land could count on seeing their investment increase in value over time as SL became more popular. With concurrency at an all time high, reason says that land prices should be very high today. When I joined SL in 2006, concurrency was significantly less than 8,000. Today it is ten times higher, but the grid itself has only grown by a factor of five. This SHOULD mean that demand for land would be twice as much as back then, but land prices then were about 8-12L$/sqm vs 2-4 L$ /sqm today. You could say that the RL economy has eroded peoples disposable incomes, but people have not seen a 66% decrease in disposable income. Something else has driven down land prices, and that is land bots.

But, you may counter, landbots were here in the past, why didn’t they drive down average prices back then? The answer is that their erosive effects were counterbalanced at the time by another economic force that sold land at high prices. That counterbalancing force was the Ad Farmer.

Ad Farmers help raise average land prices

The Ad Farmer's business was two fold: to generate advertising revenue by having as many small advertising locations in as many regions as possible on the grid (because region capacities are low, and advertising is a numbers game, you have to have exposure in many many areas to get the amount of CPM expected of paying advertisers), as well as to enhance revenue by putting parcels on sale to local residents that reflects a few things: a) the local prim scarcity conditions if most of the rest of the land in the sim is sold, and b) the opportunity cost of the Ad Farmer for investing money and labor in establishing that ad location and the fractional pro-rata cost of tier, and c) the market value of an "improved" view for other residents. These factors combine and result tin business accountant-to-value of Ad Farmer parcels at 3-10 times the market price. The invariable and unalterable law of supply and demand states that the last prims available in a sim are effectively priceless to a resident who has too much work invested in the build in their sim and needs those last prims. For this reason, small ad parcels rightfully commanded higher prices for these several legitimate business reasons.

A 64 sqm adfarm parcel selling at 10 times market price averages would have a positive upward effect on the market average on the same scale as a 640 square meter parcel sold at 1 L$ dragged down the average. Thus the market impact of the land bot runner was counterbalanced by the ad farmer, which led to prices being relatively stable and they moved more or less in reflection to actual market forces of average buyers and sellers.

Linden inaction lends support to ad farming ban

It is true that some ad farmers operated in an unethical and malicious manner: intentionally placing annoying spinning prims on their land, even offensive griefing images like 'goatse', and refusing to come clean up their land like good neighbors. Many of such annoyance methods were clearly against the terms of service on their own and should have rightly been punished for such behavior. I don’t know how many times friends with land on the mainland asked me for help in dealing with such nuisance parcels. My abuse reports and calls to concierge for assistance never resulted in a governance team member showing up to clean things up. It was as if the governance team was *INTENTIONALLY* refusing to enforce the TOS in such situations for a reason. That reason seemed to be that they wanted to make life uncomfortable for residents on the mainland purposely to engender public support for the banning of ad farming.

Donut Hole land scams

Another method alleged to be used by some people accused of being ad farmers is called the "donut hole", which we will get into detail here, because this tactic can be used by the ad farmer or the land botter in reverse. A donut hole is ostensibly created by buying a parcel, and subdividing a small parcel in the center of it which is sold at a high price in comparison to the rest of the parcel, which is sold at below average prices. The buyer, according to standard theory, discovers the 'donut hole' after taking over the large parcel and removing some prim or object that was obstructing the view of the parcel, and in order to use their parcel for anything, has to buy the small parcel at a high price. Thus comes the accusation that these sort of land brokers are "land extortionists". Note that in the example, there are no advertising boards involved (though admittedly, some would use the adboards to obstruct the view of the small parcel).

If such a tactic is used as described above, this is clearly manipulative and can be done without any advertising involved. The practice should rightly be stamped out. The problem, of course, is determining if this was the actual course of events that transpired or whether something ELSE actually happened.

The Arbor Project

A group of land bot runners have organized a faux 'environmental' group in SL called The Arbor Project. While you can hardly find a linden tree on any of their land, thus belying the lie of the name 'Arbor',  the group tier donations made by hundreds of easily deceived individuals with good intentions are used as a land bank to manage the static inventory of these land bot runners. What a great way to minimize ones operating costs eh? Get some "useful idiot" as Lenin would say, to donate tier to your front group to 'benefit the community' when actually they are helping you, the landbotter, cut your operating costs.

Land bot operators hate people who own small parcels. Small parcels, while very useful to a new user who is building a content business in the sandboxes and needs some place to lay down a few prims for xstreet content servers (SLX in the old days), is inconvenient to a land bot runner because land bots are rather stupid when it comes to parcelling land up, and when they run into a small parcel owned by someone, it tends to break the bot. It takes a lot of investment in programming to make the bot smarter. This of course makes the land bot runners profits smaller — not a good thing. Small parcels also make their adjacent parcels ugly and less sellable.

Small parcel owners are not land extortionists

Land bot runners, particularly those behind the Arbor Project scam, like to accuse anybody who has a parcel smaller than 512 square meters of being a "land extortionist" if they try to sell their land for what its worth. They claim that no parcel smaller than 512 square meters is useful for anything. Of course, with the age of sculpties upon us, you can actually do a lot with the 58 prims of a 256 square meter parcel. There is a very nice 13 prim skybox you can get on xstreet that will fit on it, or a nice 10×10 meter store  with 14 prims, not even using sculpties. You can install some vendors, xstreet content server boxes, camping chairs, and furniture within a 58 prim limit without problem.

The claim that small parcel owners are 'land extortionists' and that small parcels are useless is blatantly false, yet promoted in the Arbor Groups manual of stealing other peoples land abuse reporting "commercialized parcels". This is a very elitist, classist attitude, don't you think? It punishes the newbies and working poor who are just getting their second lives going. It punishes the entrepreneurs who see such a market segment as an opportunity to make money helping others get a leg up economically or just having a place to call home. It also punishes the legitimate advertisers who do not engage in abusive tactics like those previously described.

ROBO Marx permabanned for alleged ad farming

The problem since the banning of advertising networks larger than 50 parcels is that without the ad farmers to balance the erosive effects of land bot runners on average market prices, the land market has tanked. And it continues to get worse, with land botters getting very arrogant in being able to frame anybody they want to get them out of their way.

Recently, a former/retired ad farmer by the name of ROBO Marx was permbanned from SL for allegedly ad farming, when what he was actually doing was setting up two stores for his new tierrenters.com business. He owned less than 4,000 square meters of land in the entire grid, all in parcels of 256 square meters or larger, so he could not have had more than 32 parcels, significantly less than the 50 parcel maximum permitted under LL rules even if he was advertising on those parcels.

ROBO has not been in the ad farming business in almost a year. He sold out that company, BDVR to an investor who took that company in an entirely different direction. Yet he is banned and the land bot runners were arrogantly preening about it at Jack Linden's office hours recently. They even almost admitted to trying to take down my own web server because of my friendship with ROBO and because he lists his company at ace-exchange.com. They've used alts to slander and defame people on the ace forums. These are not people who operate ethically, they are very dirty dealers. Anybody who thinks otherwise is very badly deceived.

When I protested how ROBO was treated, the corrupt Frontier Linden returned my whole mainland build. He is now under investigation by LL for ties to the landbot runners. He is not on the governance team, and has previously been demoted for ban hammer abuse and coersion of residents into compromising situations.

The Reverse Donut Hole Trap

Here is how a land bot runner can use the 'donut hole' tactic in reverse to steal someone elses land, boost their profit on each sale by 10% or more, and get the seller banned from SL:

Step 1: See a mild mannered ad bot runner parceling out five parcels: four 512 parcels and one 256 parcel in the middle. He has bought the land at market prices of say, 2.5L per square meter. Now he places the land around the small center parcel for sale for 2.8 L per sqm and the small center parcel for sale for 2.3 L per square meter.

Step 2: A savvy land broker, knowing the sim is popular and residents will compete for the last prims in a parcel, buys the 256 parcel for 2.3 L per sqm and thinks he got a deal. After all, there will soon be four people with adjacent 512 parcels wanting more land once they hit their prim limit. So he prices his parcel at 5 L per sqm or more, maybe he advertises his own business there or puts up a rentable ad board…..

Step 3: The landbot runner springs his trap: he joins the surrounding four parcels, making them a donut shaped parcel and sells it to an alt of his. His alt then abuse reports the center parcel owner and tells LL that the center parcel owner intentionally created the "donut hole" parcel as a form of land extortion.

A clueless and tired Linden Liason, paid a mere $10/hr by LL for his thankless job, then grumbles about those damn ad farm land extortionist and seizes the land, giving it to the purported "victim", who is able to repeat the exercise, or turn around and sell the land at market rates. This trap pays well with a 10% profit on the parcel prior to seizure, and 10% on the resale — instant 20% profit if sold in under a week. If lab bot runner is lucky, the unwitting small parcel owner gets permbanned and is unable to protest his innocence. As far as the g-team is concerned, he's a dirty land extortionist, and nobody can confuse them with the facts. Easy money  for the land bot runner and no living witnesses in Second Life.

If the land bot runner is using the charitable tier donations of Arbor Project members to pay for their static land inventory, the profit margins can go significantly higher as they are compounded month after month, even exceeding 1000% annual profits.

Perhaps the Arbor Project members should be asking their leadership where their cut of the action is?

13 Responses to “Op/Ed: Second Life Needs Ad Farmers”

  1. Simeon Beresford

    Jul 12th, 2009

    While rhere are landbot runners in the arbor group there are also landcutter members it is after all a group open to any one who presses the join button.
    With more than 500 members both groups form minorities. of much the same size, several people are I suspect both. There are cutters who run bots.
    However the majority of members are neither.
    SL could not support that many land flippers.
    Rather they are concerned residents equally happy to attack either side if and when they cause harm. That on the whole landbot owners receive less criticism in the group is to their credit.
    While Mr Brautigan might believe that that botrunners are the instigator of the ill feelings against ad cutters he is mistaken. Bot owners care little for the size, shape and quality of the land. their profit depends not on appraisals or care valuations but simply on percentages. If land is offered at less than the market minimum they buy it and mark it up. they Simply do not see most of the land they flip.

  2. Anya Ristow

    Jul 12th, 2009

    “…in 2006, concurrency was significantly less than 8,000. Today it is ten times higher, but the grid itself has only grown by a factor of five…”

    In 2006 most of the avatars online were human, and now half of them are bots, so land ownership has remained constant.

  3. Prokofy Neva

    Jul 12th, 2009

    As per usual, Intlibber is spouting arrant nonsense. Intblub himself is the “useful idiot”, stumping for destructive ad farmers.

    I think what he means to say is “Damn, I’m not in the landbot business because I’m not a scripter and damn, I’d like to be in the ad farm business because they clean up.” The ad farm problem is far from gone in SL, and they still make a fortune.

    While I don’t have any particularly love for landbots, I reject the assumption that they drag down prices. If anything, they are holding up prices. Knowing a landbot’s margins, I can put my land out for $2.9 instead of $1, and actually expect to get more for land from landbots than I would by abandoning it or putting it at a rock-bottom price or abandoning it to the Lindens, who will put it back on the auction.

    It used to be that people abandoned their land completely to Governor Linden. It would chunk into 16 m2 pieces and that led to the advent of both ad extortionists and various goofy geeks claiming they had to practice “science” on your sim where you owned all the rest of the land. That “science” would often involve running scripts to see what land was for sale, then later landbotting, and of course data scraping for commercial enterprises of various types, i.e. checking traffic, proximity, etc. and other unknown purposes — no one is required to tell you what their script does on a 16 m indeed, they could be knitting behind those ban lines, as Maggie Linden once famously implied.

    Eventually, the Lindens ended that function and land put out to sell for $0 then went to bots which emerged because…they can. The Lindens early on decided they never met a script they didn’t like, they love any emergent behaviour with scripts, no matter how destructive, and they let it go. They let it go when early script-sim-scrapers like Rathe Underthorn bought out huge swathes of PG and flipped it for a profit by essentially sniffing packets. They let it go when all kinds of other geeks like Pete Fats and Schwanson Schlegel ran scripts to make a killing in land flipping. They looked the other way as a new generation of geeky landbotters like Elanthius Flagstaff appeared to keep tweaking landbot scripts and accounts to make at least some profit from botting — and frankly, many of the more ethical ones like Elanthius in fact saved the mainland from further devaluation by ad farmers.

    Ad farmers depressed the value of sims for everyone — even themselves, but they maximized their profits by spreading out and scarring the mainland hideously. For the sake of their outrageous and extortionist land-sale killings, they destroyed other people’s value, forced people to dump land and flee to other sims or pay outrageous sums, and broke up communities, some of which had spent years piecing together the view, which they bought on several adjacent sims. Ad farming and extortionist pricing isn’t capitalism; it’s crime. Crime is when you destroy other people’s property — and that’s what happened all across the mainland.

    Finally, even the Lindens saw the reason why you don’t even confuse laisseiz-faire capitalism (or in their case, technocommunism “state capitalism) with crime. That’s because at a certain point, the crime reaches such levels that you have killed off your customers. People stopped buying on the auction completely. The Lindens flew out to see why. The answer was that people like ROBO were blighting the view for 16 sims with ad farms. Finally, they said, “Stop, thief!” and made a policy.

    The Lindens were indifferent for so many years for two reasons a) the uglification and devaluation of sims helped addicted land owners to buy new land elsewhere on the Lindens’ shiny new sims, usually more expensive, and that helped the Lindens’ bottom line — it helped them to keep tier payers held in thrall with brand-new purchases; b) they have an ideology of propertarianism similar to Intlibber’s in that they believe that extreme laissez-fair libertarianism is just what the doctor ordered to enhance “creativity” in a virtual world.

    No matter that one greedy idiot’s “creative anarchy” and criminal extortion brings the rest of the sim to its knees. No matter that other customers lose a view that in fact they bought — their view of the entire sim except a few 16 ms. No matter, because these chumps can either adapt to the technocommunism, and buy shiny new sims, or go to the islands, or get out.

    I’ve found that Intlibber’s particular brand of anarcho-libertarianism/oligarchism/technocommunism (that’s really what it is, ultimately, “state capitalism”) is all about eroding community value — except for what he defines as community, which is his own thuggish posse. His right to put up red ban lines and killer security orbs on his fancy waterfront property trumps the public’s right to be able to sail by in their boats on public water — I’ve found from past debates that he would not even cede one 16 m2 of easement of the type routinely found in real life. Extremism and “mine property” uber alles.

    Oh, except Mr. Private Property never concedes the freedom of speech that should obtain in a country with free enterprise and private property rights, because at every turn, to every critic, to every person who cries “foul” and “what about the law,” he says “I will sue you for slander or libel”.

    ROBOMarx destroyed many a sim, I know because he crushed value all around the parcels he extorted from on sims I was in or near or saw by flying all over the grid. We all saw it. This move to campaign for a vandal and now TOS violator against common sense and the rule of law is a curious one — but not new coming from Intblub.

    The donut hole racket that Intlibber describes is a known one, but his claim that there is a variation on the theme of savvy land brokers improvising on it to create sudden new kinds of donuts probably has a use case of one. God knows how Intlibber even knows this, as he does not own mainland, and limits his visits to the mainland primarily to grief me on my sims along with his supported juvenile delinquents, the Woodburies, and of course the aging JD and SL beta manque Pixeleen.

    The touching story of ROBO’s alleged “reform” *cough* by starting a new “tier rental business” all sustained by Intlibber’s stock exchange *cough* likely has more than one person raising an eyebrow.

    As for the Arbour project, I always held it at arm’s length, because I sometimes would see the prices on this land that they were “salvaging” and some of the characters involved but by and large, I don’t think a valid claim can be made against them.

    There is a simple explanation for why land prices are lower today than they were in the glory days of Intlibber’s SL youth, even with more concurrency: the Lindens keep printing more of it — and still more. They mainly print islands, and people mainly go there to rent, they don’t buy mainland. with the opensources grandfathering, there is a huge influx of even more glutted and devalued land coming, as people dump mainland to go live on an openspace. Why pay $40 a month for an 8192m on griefy laggy mainland with 3750 prims when you can pay less than that for an entire sim with privacy and endless sea views?

    Once again, the Herald confuses criminal “libertarianism” with “freedom”.

  4. Reality

    Jul 13th, 2009


    There is NO “Freedom of Speech” in Second Life or ANY other internet service owned by a private company. The only “freedom” you have is what they allow: End of Story.

    I am still waiting for you to wake up and realize that Second Life is an internet service and a computer program, not a “world” or a “country”.

  5. Alyx Stoklitsky

    Jul 13th, 2009


  6. IntLibber Brautigan

    Jul 14th, 2009

    When have I ever had mainland beachfront at ALL never mind put up any banlines against people using the water? Never, sorry another one of your libelous lies to add to the case file.

    The only fascism around here, prok, is your and Jack Linden’s zoning concepts, advertising ban and jihad against “microparcels”. Telling people what they can and can’t use their property for and threatening to steal it from them if they don’t comply is the height of fascist tyranny. It’s fascism when the supreme court sells out to municipal associations and developers, and its fascism when you rant your inane paranoid leninist conspiracy theories. You are a bigger hate monger than McCarthy and Farrakhan combined.

    If someone uses their land abusively, there are plenty of things on the AR offense list to file against them besides engaging in legal and legitimate commerce. The governance team was intentionally lax on enforcing issues like harassment, spam, encroachment, offensive content, when it happened on mainland sims other than the sandboxes, linden villages and other linden locations, or sims owned entirely by large mainland slumlords. They were intentionally lax to build public support for pushing their british-socialist keynesianism on the grid (it’s not an accident that most g-team members, besides being furrys and age players (publicly or in the closet), are brits working out of the Brighton office, they have zero respect for our rights, esp our property rights (note, property crime rates in Britain runs 3-5 times higher than in the US for a reason).

    Also, Prok, your idea that landbots keep up prices is absolute hogwash (note since this article came out, the land botters took their parcels off the market to try to prove me wrong, you dont see LandNinjas or LandMachines selling at 2.1-2.5 L per sqm today, they’ve bumped their prices to above 5L/sqm, and now land prices have shot upwards by over 2 L per sqm, in the past two days, the fastest increase in land prices since the boom days, funny how that happened). A market free of land bots is a market with rising prices. Landbots only push land prices up by staying off the market. Their game is to snap up cheap land at firesale prices and ‘accidentally’ low prices, they certainly do NOT seek to push land prices up or they wont make any money. This falsehood of yours belies either intentional deceit on your part, or an example of your utter economic incompetence, you decide which…

    Freedom of speech, btw, does not include the freedom to defame, as any first year law student, or anybody even pretending to be a fake journalist, would understand implicitly. The fact you can’t conceive that your libel makes you legally liable, especially as you have no publication covering your legal behind, means anybody organizing, say, a grid-wide class action libel suit against you for mass libel, would have no problem winning in court and taking your home.

    “Dearie”, pull your head out of your favorite orifice. Linden Lab is a California corporation, not some pirate radio channel floating in international waters. They are legally responsible for the community they create, no matter if they bought some real land and built a company town for people to slave away in the mines of, or if they provide virtual land. A community is a community, and equates to a company town. LL is restrained by the US constitution from interfering in their residents constitutional rights, and no terms of service can abrogate that. Thats what “inalienable” means, get a dictionary, look it up. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsh_v._Alabama < look that one up too.

    Anya Ristow,
    Bot counts run about 10%, MAYBE 20% of the concurrency at most, and there were plenty of bots back then too. So go back and take a remedial math class.

    Simeon Beresford,
    You are putting words in my mouth. I clearly stated the wrongs committed by ad farmers and other cutters, which you apparently chose to ignore. Now go back and read it again.

    Yes, I tried to restrain myself to nothing but /b/tard memes in two lines of space, but it really didn’t retain the same clarity and detail…kthxbai.

  7. Witness X

    Jul 14th, 2009

    LOL – what an idiot, Intblub!

    Leave it to you to look at any situation and pick the wrong side. No wonder you’re practically bankrupt and nobody can stand being around you!

  8. Reality

    Jul 15th, 2009

    Intlib, was I talking to you? No – I was not, why would I, unless you made the mistake of addressing me?

    Sorry, no dice: Second Life amounts to the exact same thing as AOL did and does. The only real difference between the two is the presence of three dimensional graphics.

    AOL, Yahoo, MSN, MySpace, Facebook, etc – Not a one of these allows anything beyond THEIR definition of free speech.

    Save your idiocy for someone that HAS NOT been around and used quite a few service providers and other internet access using software.

    Instead of looking for what amounts to bullshit in terms of Second Life or any other service … why not actually do some real research, hmm?

    Come back when you’re better educated in the way these services work – and have worked ever since their inception.

  9. Reality

    Jul 15th, 2009

    Oh, and before I forget …

    Second Life has NO real world analogue to compare it to: It is a piece of software, not a “World”, “Country”, “Community”, or “Company Town” – it is SOFTWARE, in particular a three dimensional AOL/Yahoo/MSN/Prodigy/Compuserve variant and is operated as such.

    Don’t like it?

    Pack up and move on kiddo.

  10. Anya Ristow

    Jul 15th, 2009

    “Bot counts run about 10%, MAYBE 20% of the concurrency at most, and there were plenty of bots back then too. So go back and take a remedial math class.”

    What math do you use to come up with your number? Mine is pretty thoroughly explained here: http://greendots.typepad.com/

    “go back and take a remedial math class”, always what people with no clue resort to. The argument style of a twelve-year-old.

  11. IntLibber Brautigan

    Jul 15th, 2009

    All you accomplish is identifying which avatars wish to respond to you or are arent using another application at that moment, or simply buried in IMs. Generally, people dont respond to someone who doesnt speak their language, and furthermore, they may not be at the computer that very moment, or in the SL viewer (i.e. doing photoshop making textures, checking email, browsing the web, etc etc). I’ve seen often times strangers come up to me when I’ve been using other applications, and tried to engage in conversation. I’ll bet if you’ve ever surveyed my sims, my avie has been counted as a bot due to nonresponsiveness, as I get buried in IMs very frequently.

    After all, you can only spend so much time trying to get a response from each avatar if you are surveying hundreds of avies a day. Assuming you do this as a full time occupation (can’t imagine who would pay you to do so but whatever), then 600 avies over 10 hours (or if you have a 10 person team doing an hour a day) means you have about five minutes to get a response from an avie. I go quiet in open chat for at least 10-15 minutes at a time many times a day due to the number of IMs I handle. Given SL is such a social media, I suspect many people are of a similar practice.

    So no, I dont buy your claims of 50% being bots. I’d say most of those “bots” are people who are buried in IMs or busy in another application at the time you are trying to get a resonse from them.

  12. Anya Ristow

    Jul 15th, 2009

    Int, you are still clueless. My bot counts do not rely on response from avatars. I only count the obvious ones. In fact, my description states clearly that if I can’t tell, then I assume they are human. Even in a club with nothing but random stupid chat and nobody actually talking I have to assume they are human.

    So, my counts are conservative.

    These are not avatars busy in IM:


    They are bots. If you think there is even a remote chance otherwise then you are just dumb.

    My math is simple counting and division. You still haven’t said where your 10-20% number came from.

  13. IntLibber Brautigan

    Jul 17th, 2009

    My count comes from the fact that I run 50+ regions of my own, and travel all over the grid. I work 16 hours a day in SL. If anything, with the new search, bots really have fallen out of usefulness as search placement traffic, group memberships and profile picks depend on the number that are verified accounts, which most bots aren’t, so bots don’t help search rank anymore.

    Our most popular places, like ACE, City of Mascouten, the Military District of Graznovik (Badnarik and Salamis), Antare, Je T’aime Fashions, and many other locations, achieve their top search ranking without using bots.

    When LL banned traffic bots, the concurrency count dropped by maybe 5k-10k.

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