why the spike in Sim-on-a-Stick downloads


it’s been weird not writing everyday and even though i ended the 45 month daily-post-a-thon over a year ago (feb 17th, 2013), it still tugs at me. often i miss it quite a bit, but i guess doing something so routinely becomes a habit

other times, i wonder why i did it at all? *must be loco en la cabeza* o_O

that one’s easy – because i love the creativity people can have with OpenSim and Second Life =)

*dang, over a year since i stepped back? holy crap*

anyway, in reporting the Sim-on-a-Stick monthly download numbers to Maria, i’ve noticed that they seem higher than normal. i took at look at the google analytics for that site

from the chart below, which shows unique visitors and not total traffic, you can see that new daily visitors “stepped up” and has stayed elevated as of last october – going from an average of about 35 a day to around 145 per day!

october 13th saw the update of SoaS and its website to version 0.7.6 but no other version updates ever did that to site traffic

is 0.7.6 just that much better? is it because the SoaS site is a true HTML5 site and easier to find?

since i haven’t done daily blogging, traffic here has dropped off and that typically affects SoaS – but not in this case

i can’t draw any definitive conclusion as to why the adoption of SoaS’s Opensim has increased, but clearly OpenSim is seeing more use


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written by Ener Hax

March 28th, 2014 at 9:40 am

19 comments to 'why the spike in Sim-on-a-Stick downloads'

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  1. Maybe it’s connected to the Linden Lab Terms of Service debacle?

    Graham Mills

    28 Mar 14 at 9:57 am

  2. It could also be the start of the academic year?

    Graham Mills

    28 Mar 14 at 10:51 am

  3. ahh, great points Graham! I forgot about the TOS issue and there could also be some mavens out there evangelising and i wouldn’t know unless they told me

    how go your projects Graham? =)

    Ener Hax

    28 Mar 14 at 11:01 am

  4. Not so bad. Currently working up some ideas for a biotech business game — . Maria K’s sticky notes are great for planning! How’s the illustrating?

    Graham Mills

    28 Mar 14 at 11:12 am

  5. Hopefully the traffic is all creative people!

    I had this weird traffic gain thing happen to me on my site, and here it was due to some website in Brazil linking to one of the pictures I posted! So the hits started going way up! And here I thought I got my second and third readers!


    28 Mar 14 at 11:28 am

  6. Usually, I specifically mention any time I’m telling someone about opensim who I don’t think knows about it (usually in the context of how easy it is to set up).

    Han Held

    28 Mar 14 at 11:44 am

  7. SoaS is also very handy if you need to get IAR content onto a grid without console access.

    Graham Mills

    28 Mar 14 at 11:47 am

  8. Did you look at the referral url’s of the traffic? It’s really odd that it jumped up and stayed there instead of spiking if it were just a news article or part of the Linden TOS issue.

    I’ve played around with SoaS in Windows, and full installs of OpenSim in Linux and love it, but it’s more of a phase for me. I come back every few months and check your blog among others to see what’s going on. I tried to get my middle-schooler interested in it, but I can’t seem to pry her away from Minecraft.


    28 Mar 14 at 3:01 pm

  9. Confusion with the other SOAS, viz School of Oriental and African Studies?

    Graham Mills

    29 Mar 14 at 4:39 am

  10. …or, indeed, the other OpenSim “that lets users develop models of musculoskeletal structures and create dynamic simulations of movement”. It only takes one person unwittingly mis-linking between the two communities to cause confusion.

    Admittedly, in both mis-search/link cases you wouldn’t expect many to carry on to the download. Maybe try including “Were you looking for…” type links to stop that?

    It has to be said that I am seeing increased interest in Kitely dating from round this time and there was also the OpenSimulator Community Conference as well around then — maybe some mentions there as well.

    Of course, Tony is quite right in saying that one might expect interest to fade after a single stimulus. It would be interesting to know not only the referral URLs but also the search terms and countries of origin if available.

    Graham Mills

    29 Mar 14 at 5:36 am

  11. There was also a big change to the Google Analytics dashboard around this time — which seems a bit, erm, suspicious.

    Graham Mills

    29 Mar 14 at 6:27 am

  12. all great thoughts and i haven’t delved into referrers, but i did notice that time on the site has stayed pretty consistent with the average visit being nearly 2 minutes. that would indicate downloading to me and if it was just hits fro some other reason, then i would expect that time to be greatly reduced

    wow Graham! what’s that distillery looking apparatus! very neat looking sim for game development! (illustration is coming along – slow and steady) =)

    lol Azzura! once i had a poutine pic that was linked to a site in France and saw a spike like that. i thought they were excited about OpenSim but they were more interested in poking fun at Quebec peeps! =D

    very cool Han, i’m glad you share that with others – it’s such a creative tool and maybe SoaS is a gateway drug into full blown OpenSim! =)

    great tip Tony and i’ll look into the referrers. Minecraft is more fun for most students and can have clear objectives – OpenSim is often too much of a blank slate for kids (and adults too imo) =)

    ooh, i had not seen that Graham, the Analytics change – i noticed the GUI change but that probably means some functionality retooling as well

    Ener Hax

    31 Mar 14 at 1:13 pm

  13. I wondered if some academics somewhere had agreed to set coursework based on SOAS.
    So one person sets an assignment using SOAS and 100 students each download their own copy. And then another one and so on.
    Or SOAS had an honourable mention somewhere that circulated, so people are looking it up as a reference for their coursework essays.

    Keith Selmes

    2 Apr 14 at 8:09 am

  14. ahh, that makes a lot of sense Keith and could be why the number spiked and has stayed elevated in a steady manner

    the last thing i want is for that number to become meaningless like the “average daily signups” that Second Life claims as a steady 10,000 per day since 2006!

    Ener Hax

    3 Apr 14 at 7:53 am

  15. […] (…) reporting the Sim-on-a-Stick monthly download numbers to Maria, i’ve noticed that they seem higher than normal. i took at look at the google analytics for that sitefrom the chart below, which shows unique visitors and not total traffic, you can see that new daily visitors “stepped up” and has stayed elevated as of last october – going from an average of about 35 a day to around 145 per day!  […]

  16. […] See on […]

  17. I think it has to do with more and more people in SL having less faith in SL’s continued existence. We have to remember that those who stay in SL, after they get past the dismal Welcoming and have seen enough and done enough to get hooked, are usually of a relatively high level of understanding what it is they are looking at, and see that SL may be short-lived. Armed with this understanding they start looking at alternatives and OpenSim-based grids are the next logical step. Some don’t want to necessarily spend a great deal of time setting up their own world and come across the references to SOAS, and then try it out.


    26 Apr 14 at 1:45 am

  18. I know this is an older post, but in light of recent developments, I think the answer may be quite simple. Commercial grids come and go, sometimes in a short span, sometimes over years. SOAS gives us an easy to set up alternative to the worry of “what about tomorrow?”

    Without mentioning names, let’s just say the best known grid out there is apparently now looking to “move to a new platform”. This will be a point of argument among many for a long time to come, but the fact is it illustrates the nature of all commercial grids.

    That nature is commercialism. When a commercial grid ceases to be profitable, either by accident or design or any other conceivable reason, it will eventually decline and vanish. At the end of the day (or week, month, year, or decade), what we do with SOAS is ours. We decide the fate of our little world, and we may choose to keep it going even if it means we are “behind the times”.

    Wishing you a happy virtual life. :)

    Kiko Kenichi

    24 Jun 14 at 1:49 am

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