Where are they now?: Second Life

Even the BBC can’t muster any enthusiasm for Second Life anymore: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/8367957.stm

Some of the comments explain the lack of retention rate…

Second Life is boring! You can’t do anything without spending money, so for the person casually checking it out, there’s absolutely nothing to attract them. And despite the comment in the article about “talking to weirdos”, it’s actually quite difficult to find anyone in there to talk to at all.


I joined SL but it was absolutely impossible to navigate. I could barely get out of the intro area and once you did, there was no help or guidance left. I wandered round and round in circles for a couple of days and then gave up. It was a great idea but just didn’t work in practice. Shame, really.


Updates; that was what killed it for me. Every time you revisited you were compelled to upload more and more updates, which seemed really cool at first, until you realised that you were inflating the spec. Eventually, the technological improvements outstripped the natural upgrading budget of the average PC owner – there were a lot of stay-at-home moms, kids and freelancers online when I was there – and the experience became like wading through buggy sludge until it crashed on you. Not pleasant.


Linden Research have always been too busy to do any of this so far..  A couple of days ago they announced they’re getting rid of their volunteers they use to help those who are new and pushing it out to community groups to self manage and they also announced they were going to start charging people for using their shopping website to give away things free to the community.

Apparently though things are ok..  they’ve had a 23% increase in repeat visitors in the last year.  Which still means no real growth just people coming back.  It’s an interesting thought that they have accepted that there’s only 1.3 million people (approximately) who can be bothered to log at least twice every couple of months out of the 17+ million who have set up accounts.

This is the second of these “where are they now?” stories  I’ve seen on Second Life in the last few months.  This is despite them recently managing to get an article in both the Wall Street Journal and in the New York Times. 

Interesting times ahead. 



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