Exodus? Somewhat


I have been keeping track of the new accounts made in Inworldz, seeing how The New World announcement  (after a personal epiphany which I will write about later, it doesn't seem so much of an SL world to me *wink*) might affect other grids. Since Inworldz has the same population as the next five grids in the SL-like list  combined , it is POSSIBLY the most likely choice for refugees.

The weeks closely following the New World announcement there were  more people making accounts in Inworldz than in the last 2.5 months -- the only yardstick I have and that because Inworldz reached 100,000 uses in mid May and I wrote about it on my IW blog. Around 30 extra accounts per day were made in the two weeks or so following the revelation (42 was the norm for that previously noted period). We don't know how many might be alts of already settled residents of course. But an increase.

This last week (10AM - 10AM from Saturday to Saturday) there were 88 sign ups average per day -- so an increase over the days following the revelation.

We don't know that all those folks are coming from SL, indeed from comments I overhear on the IW newcomer group some folks are new to virtual worlds altogether. But it is a pretty fair guess that a good portion are from "the big grid".

Now those people aren't necessarily STAYING. They are there to see if the other grid will work better for them. As Jessica Lyon stated in her SL11B talk, moving seems fairly silly since they would be starting over in any new grid, spurred by the POSSIBILITY of having to start over (not completely of course as some items can be ported) to the new Linden platform.

Concurrency is up 30 - 50 during in my personal six month history (US popular hours), so some of those new folks are exploring and some are perhaps settling in. The big test -- for both grids -- will be seeing how the figures are in six months.




July TOS - An Inclusive Contract

Linden Lab (tm) announced yesterday that a new TOS was out.

They didn't actually need to announce that for many folks. If you tried to log onto the grid, the Marketplace, your account OR the forums you were faced with some version of the read and click through paradigm.

I opted NOT to OK before reading thoroughly (see, some of us learn). Others apparently were of the "I don't care what they want, I am OKing" mind. I read the opinions on the predominant blogs. The general consensus was that it was a much ado about nothing event. The TOS wasn't any WORSE (an Oh so good thing) but also not really any better.

Now a few folks are in the "oh so grateful you fixed this camp". I am guessing they read the announcement and not the many screens of Terms of Service text and supporting documents.

IN MY MIND (absolutely no inside info) this has always been about The New World. Desura had been purchased and devs had left (that I actually knew but didn't know that it was a Linden platform they headed for  :D) and the August TOS came into being.

The biggest oddity when the August TOS section 2.3 came into the light was that while there were plenty of "second tier content creators" making a huge fuss, the top designers were completely quiet. The only comment I saw from any of them (and I really was looking) was from Cory Edo on Strawberry Signh's blog who said that this was the best platform for her and she was sticking with it.



Now let's rewind time a bit for the older generation. Remember all the naked photos of content creators during the copybot  scandal of 2006-08? I would rather be bare than wear stolen good?  The posters were very prominent when I came into the world. I saw this one daily as I camped for hair at Calla.

If designers were so very up in arms about the ability for people being able to copy their goods and make profits from them -- why were the not upset about giving Linden Lab right to use, sell, and profit from their work with no monetary remuneration OR even attribution?
 

For me, it meant that the top tier designers already knew the bottom line. They had been let in on the secret and were under a NDA, so mum was indeed the word. It was the only thing that made sense to me then -- and it still does now.

I noted that a few designers slowed their releases remarkably, putting out small items and making the mandatory group gift now and then.  Others went on as business as usual.

So now it seems most of us know more (I'm not saying all) of the story. I can live with that.

I read through the lengthy legalese TOS this morning. I didn't find anything that seemed reassuring. I didn't find anything that seemed worse. Hence, I clicked the box and journeyed on into the world.


Refugees

New World chatter has died down on the forums and blogs, but a quiet exodus is taking place. It isn't a large one by any means but it is likely impacting other grids -- in a positive way.

Inworldz is the next biggest SL type platform. Tiny to "the big grid" as it is called by Inworldz citizens, an influx of new folks is definitely noticed.

I have been keeping track in a casual way and have noted that new accounts have almost doubled. Now that isn't hard really when the numbers are so small, but it is notable.

Concurrency is also obviously up. The numbers are fairly consistent holding at about 50 more folks on during peak hours. I see more new folks in the Musing Moments shopping area where my stores are and sales are up a bit with some folks buying in quantities. It is summer and it is slow, but there is an improvement with the influx of folks coming over from SL.

Now and then someone new writes on the IW forums stating that they are there to stay. Really? I am happy they are "loving it" after a day, but honestly :D.  New and returning retailers have shown up in some of the more popular malls, not top designers but still very welcome.

The big test will be to see if the refugees continue to come. There was a huge Marketplace fiasco in Second Life this last week which had many folks losing sales and caused extra work even after the issue was fixed. That didn't sit well with lots of merchants. It may have pushed a few over the edge.

Concurrence seems to be down in Second Life. I haven't actually been watching that well enough to say. And it IS summer when many folks are on vacation and not behind their computers. The big test will happen in the Fall.

Live Chat with OZ and Peter Linden


Today Oz Linden (Technical Director of Second Life) and  Pete Linden (Director of communications at Second Life) talked with Jessica Lyons at the Firestorm meeting  inworld.  The  two hour talk included a background of how OZ came to be in charge of Second Life as others in the company moved to work on the new platform -- and an overview of current projects being worked on. A user Q & A is at the end of the talk.

This show will be available on SLartist after processing; check the Firestorm blog.

SL 2.0 Newsbytes

A bit over a week since the slip (and it does seem to have been a slip judging from the impressions of those at the meeting) and the real world reporters in Ebbe's reference have penned their articles. Here are a few newsbytes to flesh out what we know.


The project is only in the earliest of conceptual stages, but Altberg's vision for the next-gen platform has it spanning almost every device its users could possibly own.
Altberg believes a versatile platform will give an initially small user base the ability to create experiences that attract a much larger user base.
In essence, what Altberg is aiming for is not a user base for Second Life or its successor per se, but rather users of specific experiences within those platforms.

engadget.com


"And in addition to improvements and new developments specifically for Second Life, we think that much of the work we do for the next generation project will also be beneficial for Second Life."
itpro.co.uk 

While there are other articles out there, the ones I found are simply rewrites of a press release.

Thumbs Up for Mod

I understand why designers make their items no mod. I had someone contact me a few months ago wanting my "larger two bedroom Bayou Shack". Of course there IS no larger two bedroom Bayou Shake - LOL. You just gotta love the possibilities of mod.

Mostly I am fine with no mod items; sometimes I toss them as they are WAY TOO BIG for an average avatar. Some designers have resize scripts in their no-mod items and that helps, certainly.

BUT -- and here is there kicker -- there is a new world on the horizon. Maybe a year or two out there, it is still beckoning.

The largest alarm bell ringing for SL citizens that are voicing their concerns about migration is, "can I port my stuff over?". I have heard that so many times it is getting bor-ing.

Now the new world isn't happening next week, and logically I can only conclude from an historical perspective that content creators will be the bulk of the first wave of immigrants.  It is likely (no guarantee) that the folks that MAKE our stuff won't be quite as concerned about importing their inventories. For many -- in a pinch -- they can make what they need. I have done that on two worlds where it was make it or do without.

But there are still the everyday Joe folks, the ones that will follow when the world is a bit more filled and perhaps a bit more stable. And that brings us back to the MOD issue.

Now Ebbe (our current CEO) has stated that mesh will have no problem moving (or copying - that isn't still to clear although I did ask) items to the new grid. BUT -- and there is of course a but, both scripts and animations as well as our avatars will be VERY different. That leaves us with broken goods.

Not everyone in SL know how to build or even cares; I get that. But many do. And if the items are MOD, folks can add new animations and simplistic code (maybe not 32 choices of sits but just a few favorites) to their items and still have them usable.

So in the spirit of colonization (a thought I embrace from the SL forums) I suggest that designers start to think about the future. The people that are fixated on moving THEIR STUFF over to the new grid will most likely not be buying no mod (or even no copy) items. I don't know this of course and I personally don't care. But judging from the thousands (yes a busy reader these days) of comment I have read -- that's pretty much the theme.

My favorite designers all make mod-copy items. I seldom change them except for size. So I urge designers to start thinking about their permission systems; it might make a difference in their sales -- especially as we get closer to an unveiling of SL 2.0.

Week One Second Life New World Notes

Soooo --

What else do we know a few days after the announcement?

Ebbe has confirmed that you will be able to have inventory in both worlds but that of course it will not be a mirror as some items will not transfer over. See this thread now way over 1000 as I type this. 

Jessica Lyon talked with Saffia at the birthday bash giving her take on the new world. I enjoyed the comments including the thought that it takes TIME for a world to come into its own. It isn't like SL 2.0 will open its doors finished, ready to go, and thousands of folks will MOVE.

That migration part of the equation has been talked about a lot on the forums. There is no official plan at the moment -- or at least not one that is open to the public. While the majority (at least the ones yelling the loudest) want goods to be tranportable to the new grid, others simply want to start over.

Personally? I am kinda in the middle. I won't miss too many SL 1.0 object that will be left behind; I currently plan to inhabit both worlds as I am an eclectic gal. Ebbe's comment on transportation and the TOS was "it won't be a problem". In effect -- as I see it anyway -- Linden Lab has the ability and the legal thumbs up to transfer items FOR folks or perhaps let them transport themselves.

It is a long way off and really no reason to spend a ton of time wondering as things will likely change as the platform become more solid in concept. One active topic on the forums has been the portability of FULL PERM ITEMS with EULAs. Morally of course that would be a no-no, but I am thinking (oh so not an attorney) that the TOS trumps the EULA since Linden Lab has all rights except copyright AND the text in the much quoted clause 2.3 states that they can do what they want WITHOUT attribution (meaning the content creator's name could be stripped from the object as it was with Second Inventory.  That program appears to still be for sale. Hmmm.

Posts on the threads have slowed as folks both get answers and become tired of writing (and reading).

There has been an increase in travel plans for some SLers. Inworldz daily new accounts has more than doubled in the last couple of days. Since they hold the lion's share of the private worlds by a longshot (twice the size of the next five on the list) they would be the most likely to sign a siren's call to refugees. Will they stay?

Jessica in her talk mentioned that leaving SL because of the possible in the future loss of inventory on the new grid FOR a grid where you were guaranteed to need all new inventory -- didn't make all that much sense. I tend to agree.