there are at least 25,000 private OpenSim regions and probably far more that never get counted. Hypergrid Business has a great look and analysis of OpenSim stats in this month’s post (thanks Maria! always insightful) =)
since OpenSim is server software and not a commercial service like Second Life, making direct comparisons of region counts is a bit wonky
one difference is that private sims (regions) inSL mean someone is paying as much as $295 a month for each – a measure, to a point, of their commitment. whereas, someone with some tech savvy (like Mera) can setup an old garbage PC and have a region (or more) up and running on OSgrid and spend virtually nothing to have that region online
however, that does not mean there isn’t another, less tangible, measure of commitment?
our Enclave Harbour is part of a business endeavor and as “serious” as someone spending $295 a month inSL. our work could now be completely developed on a 16 region Sim-on-a-Stick deployment (available here) which would be free, completely offline, and not counted
power educational users like Kate Booth and Lisa Jacka, who just won an award for a paper at an international conference for their use of Sim-on-a-Stick, would probably never have their students’ regions counted. just for illustration, four classes of 12 kids each running a 2×2 grid would be 192 regions
how “serious” are those regions?
sparking the creativity of a student results in deeper learning and greater retention – how does one place value on that?
and what about role playing environments like Sarge has been working on for over a year or that Crystal is doing on Sim-on-a-Stick?
those will allow people a way to unwind from the day-to-day stresses of life – a pretty worthy objective in my opinion (we tend to look down on things like Farmville or iFart, but we also don’t appreciate the toll that stress takes on society and its detriment to individuals)
for OpenSim – the quality of use of the regions is perhaps more impactful to its importance overall than the numbers are. for Second Life, the quantity is the ultimate metric because that is how LL achieves success (the quality of the region often impacts the quantity – but at the end of the day, LL needs a certain number of sims in order to operate Second Life)
OpenSim continues to steadily grow and Second Life continues its loss of over 8 private sims per day for the last year. there have been 2,400 private SL sims lost this year – looks like my 2012 prediction of 2,500 will be wrong . . .