Every so often I see someone using statistics to back up a viewpoint they have. It is very common among Warmistas and Deniers. We also see politicians misusing statistics. The most common misuse of stats is to select the data segment and use it to PREDICT the future. If that worked, everyone would get rich playing the stock market.
So, recent articles on stats got me wondering what was up. I used to write an article each month on SL statistics. Unless stats are showing change, they get pretty boring. It’s been 16 weeks since I wrote about Second Life Statistics (Sept. 2011).
Rod Humble, the Linden Lab CEO, seems to have been spinning a bit when he said, “…and over the holiday period we had over 20,000 new people sign up a day.” Well, take a look at the stats. I get the images from Tateru’s site, Dwell On It. I composite them in Photoshop to provide a longer period. You can click the image below to see a larger version.
It looks like for the month of December the average could be over 20,000 per day. So, the spin, like all good spin, has truth in it. But, since then the sign ups have been in a steady decline.
At the last Content/Mesh User Group Charlar Linden provided some interesting statistics on mesh in Second Life.
55% of users logging in are running mesh capable viewers. This number is probably mostly the pre-Phoenix mesh release stat. Talking with Jessica, of the Firestorm-Phoenix team, she believes the change to the newest Phoenix viewer will up that percentage to 80%
In the past week the sale of mesh objects has doubled (Gross Revenue).
18% of the regions in Second Life now have mesh objects rezzed in them.
There are really no changes in the statistics this month. Trends are continuing. So, I’m not posting graphs or doing detailed analysis. I do have some comments.
I can see a slight consistent increase over the last 5 months in daily sign ups. It looks like that is trending upward and is pretty well established. So, I think the changes in the SL sign up process have made a significant difference. We can say that change is working.
On the other hand, concurrent logins are trending down or up depending on the data you consider. Metaverse Business stats were the best for seeing the detail of what was happening, having the max and min login with the average. But, their stats stopped when the SL Splash page changed. They have yet to fix the problem. If you are interested, send them an email.
Second Life’s second quarter economic stats were released 2011-08-13. Since then several people have blogged their take on the numbers and what they may mean. Those that have heard the addresses and panel discussions at SLCC 2011 have probably noticed a disparity between what bloggers are saying and what Lindens are saying. I’ll take a look at both sides of the coin.
Several bloggers posted their reviews of the economic stats before SLCC convened. Others posted after SLCC concluded. Some of those posting are:
In April the signup process for Second Life changed. Since then we have seen a sustained increase in sign ups. Sign ups have gone from averaging about 10,000 per day to around 15,000 per day. It is a pretty good increase.
User Signups per Day
We don’t have any numbers on how many are staying after they signup. The empirical evidence I have says there are more new people in SL. Many places that I go now have new players. There seems to be many more new player questions in the forums. But, that is totally subjective and it does not give any idea of how long they may be staying.
I like impartial numbers. Their meaning is not always clear. But, they allow us to form our opinion on some unbiased information. It is up to us to be intellectually honest and consider all sides of our opinions. We hopefully get a rational perspective and keep our opinions within a real context. Is OpenSim replacing Second Life? Is Second Life doomed or about grow or just stagnate?
Yesterday, the 15th, Hypergrid Business published the article titled: OpenSim grids break records for regions; users. Sounds awesome. Of course it is a headline and I expect some hype. They published the following graph in the article to show the data they considered.
OpenSim Region Count - From Hypergrid Business - Enlarge
The total number of regions in all the grids is 16,959. This is about half the number of regions as Second Life, which is roughly 32,000. OSGrid is the largest single grid with 6,671. ScienceSim is next with 1,810. The stair-stepped saw tooth is from periodic data clean up. People add regions and eventually let them die. Every so often the grid owners clean up the data and registrations. The steps should be getting smaller as clean ups are becoming automated and more frequent.
We have all seen the trend of decreasing concurrent users and poor player retention numbers. There seems to be a turn around. I think it is too early to actually say that with any certainly… or if I wanted to be a wiener, certitude.
Since the SL Signup process changed we are seeing a climb in signups. On average the signup were about 10,000 per day for over a year. It looks like that has jumped to between 13,000 to 14,000 per day. It appears to be in an upward trend. It is early in the trend change, if it is a trend. We don’t know if this is a long term change or not. But the old trend has been broken.
Well… everyone is talking about the decrease in the number of concurrent users. I have certainly noticed the currently online numbers displayed at login decreasing. In 2009 I was seeing 80,000 and climbing. Now it is rare to see 70,000 and common to see around 40,000 to 65,000 with the median generally reported to be about 52,000. So, is SL dying? Is the sky falling?