Maria wrote quite a thoughtful article on the decline of Second Life over the last year or two. i had mentioned in a post last june (is the tipping point for virtual worlds here) similar concerns and it’s easy to critique other things and try to predict things, but only time tells (my crystal ball has a crack in it) =)
for me, looking at how concurrency records have not been broken for over two years is a strong indicator that the peak has passed (literally)
i remember when i started SL and there would be 38,000 people on in the evenings. i became excited as those numbers slowly climbed and my little estate grew
Maria points to numbers that Tateru calculated as well as from Tyche and her fab GridSurvey site and they point to what many people already have a “feel” for but seeing the numbers helps frame it a bit better (for me anyway)
what i found interesting were the private estate numbers and the amount of revenue it means for Linden Lab. i know i was small with 19 sims but to me that $3,000 a month covered half an LL person’s monthly salary. in Maria’s calculations, 73% of Linden Lab’s revenue is generated by the top 500 estate owners! holy crap! that is a tiny number of customers to hinge so much on!
communication blows with Linden Lab – they don’t listen to residents, they don’t care about private estate owners, they don’t nurture content creators, and they seem to have communication issues internally according to glassdoor.com reviews. they don’t fix lag and seem to increase it by pushing forward on things that make SL harder to run on “average” pcs
if the CEO of Lifeway Foods can tweet a thank you to me for a $3 product that i said was fabulous (she so rocks), you’d think M could have tweeted me a simple hello when i was tweeting nice things about SL to him (and he had Wally as communications manager, what dorks). you guys know what a frigging spaz i am, can you imagine my reaction had M said hello? and that’s when i was still in love with SL! i probably would have had some ink done!
LL’s lackadaisical approach (perhaps even blasée) toward their customers is no surprise to many. combine that with weird decisions and the lack of communication and does anyone still think it will ever return to those days of big growth? their high dollar business model has been broken by OpenSim
i do depart from Maria’s perspective when she mentions that she hopes SL sticks around. i thought that until recently because of the viewer. OpenSim is big enough and continues to grow and viewers will likely continue to be developed by passionate and talented people
many are just discovering that OpenSim offers great options. if LL did go under, there would be an influx of people to OpenSim simply because many Second Life residents really enjoy their time in-world
OpenSim won’t have any massive media frenzy or explosive growth like SL did but i think (hope) it is here to stay for a long time =)