March numbers show solid growth

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 1,458 regions this month, for a new total of 24,040 regions on these grids, the second highest total since we began tracking these numbers in the summer of 2009. These grids also reported a total of 18,061 active users. 

Total regions or standard region equivalents on the 40 largest OpenSim grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

A total of 224 grids reported some statistics this month, out a total of 249 active grids. All these grids combined had 26,579 regions and 19,925 active users.

Popularity rankings

For company and school grids, popularity is not an issue — the grids are set up for a specific purpose, and if they meet that purpose, then they are successful. The same is true for grids run by niche communities.

But when it comes to social grids, the rule is: the bigger and busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

With that in mind, here is our listing for the 10 most popular grids this month.

Top 40 grids sorted by activity:

  1. InWorldz: 6,445 active users
  2. OSGrid: 3,448 active users
  3. Avination: 1,727 active users
  4. FrancoGrid: 1,121 active users
  5. Metropolis: 1,101 active users
  6. Island Oasis: 932 active users
  7. Craft World: 528 active users
  8. 3rd Rock Grid: 418 active users
  9. AviWorlds: 407 active users
  10. Kitely: 386 active users

The biggest gainer was Metropolis, which moved from sixth to fifth place as a result of a gain of almost 200 new active users.

The two most popular commercial grids, InWorldz and Avination, are the two biggest direct competitors on the list. Both have similar region costs, both have been working on physics improvements, both protect on-grid content by prohibiting hypergrid teleports and restricting exports, and both are general-use social grids.

However, when one grid pulls away from another, it can be difficult for the other to catch up since popularity feeds on itself, especially without a clearly defined niche.

InWorldz has been pulling away from Avination recently in active users.

Active users on Avination (in red) and on InWorldz (blue). (Hypergrid Business data.)

And this seems to be reflected in region rentals, which are the primary income streams for both grids.

InWorldz region counts (blue) and Avination regions (red). (Hypergrid Business data.)

Army plans scalability test

The Army’s MOSES grid is getting ready to host a scalability test on March 22 in collaboration with Intel.

Intel has created the Distributed Scene Graph technology module for OpenSim which allows 1,000 or more avatars to share the same region.

“A normal open simulator ‘sim’ is running on a single processor and memory space,” said Douglas Maxwell, science and technology manager at the U.S. Army. “We have separated the physics engine, script engine, persistence engine, and client managers onto different servers.  This effectively spreads the loads.”

The test is scheduled to involve 100 people, Maxwell told Hypergrid Business.

Planned server configuration for the DSG test. (Image courtesy Douglas Maxwell.)

“We know this system may handle much more than 100 users, but we want to use this first event to test all the moving parts and make sure the system is robust enough to move forward with even larger future events,” he added.

MOSES – Military Open Simulator Enterprise Strategy — is an OpenSim-based world run by the U.S. Army Simulation and Training Technology Center. The world is used by researchers both in and out of the defense industry.

Virtual Highway drops upload fees, adds new themed regions

Virtual Highway, a closed commercial grid, is no longer one of the few grids charging users to upload content.

“Everyone can bring what they want and need for free,” grid owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business.

Although it is a violation of copyright law to bring proprietary content from other grids without creator permission, it is legal to bring in content that you have created yourself, that you have specific permission for, or content that was specifically licensed for more general use, such as content from Linda Kellie and OpenSim Creations.

In other news, Virtual Highway is hosting a building contest this month where all participants get a free region to build on.

In April, the grid is having a land promotion where all those renting a new full region will get a second 1,000-prim water region for free.

The grid is also announced an educators’ discount of 25 percent for in-world regions. Educators can also use Virtual Highway services to crease a separate, private grid for their institutions, Call said.

Finally, the grid is getting ready for the grand opening of a six-region area dedicated to Pandoran roleplay next month. The builders are currently working on a human to Na’vi translator.

New Pandora-themed area on Virtual Highway. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Kitely speeds logins, adds community center

To speed up the login process, Kitely optimized how meshes are handled, and added transfer stations.

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner

Kitely is an on-demand grid, where regions are put to sleep when they’re not in use, allowing for substantially lower hosting costs. However, it takes time to boot a region up, slowing logins when the destination is a sleeping region. Now, user avatars are automatically shuttled to a transfer station until their region loads.

“This new addition also takes us a big step towards being able to support hypergrid access,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

Kitely will begin work on the hypergrid implementation next after the Kitely Market is finished, which is scheduled to happen in April.

In other grid news, volunteers worked together to create a four-region community center.

“This build is still very much in progress and the Kitely Plaza  hasn’t been officially launched yet, but it already includes some interesting places you can visit,” Tochner added.

Kitely Plaza. (Image courtesy Kitely.)

Aurora-Sim test grid AuroraScape shuts down

Despite high early growth numbers, AuroraScape shut its doors earlier this month, citing a lack of interest.

The grid grew to 101 regions in just a couple of months, but only attracted 172 users.

It was meant to be a testing ground for Aurora-Sim, a branch of OpenSim that supports variable-sized and infinite regions.

Those looking to work on Aurora-Sim code have a new option, however, the VWR grid.

“It’s a test grid for people and programmers and I give free plots for testing,” grid owner Savino van Meirhaeghe told Hypergrid Business.

RobStock a success, planning begins for next year

Next year’s RobStock fundraising event will held on March 7, 8 and 9. This year, the event raised more than $800 for the Doctors Without Borders charity on 3rd Rock Grid, Haven, and Second Life.

(Image courtesy 3rd Rock Grid.)

“We and the other two grids had a very good turnout and I am pleased to announce that our grid performed ‘rock’ solid during the event,” said 3rd Rock Grid owner Butch Arnold. Next year, he said, he hopes to see more grids participating.

According to Arnold, 3rd Rock has made some substantial infrastructure improvements over the past few months, resulting in increased stability and performance.

“Region crashes are now a very rare occurrence on our grid,” he told Hypergrid Business. “Our equipment is located in a datacenter with multiple high speed fiber connections and unlike many grids who rent or lease their servers from other companies, we fully own all of our equipment. Having full control over our equipment allows for greater cost control, flexibility when upgrades are needed, and a higher level of security for our users.”

Lust Airlines suspends flights

The sex-themed Lust Airlines grid has suspended operations as a result of financial issues.

Without a new investor, “the project will be completely cancelled,” said grid founder William Lamb.

Fortunately, there’s plenty of adult activity elsewhere in OpenSim, including the just-launched Kinc Grid.

The startup Avalonia Estate grid is also looking to get in on the adult action, with an adult-themed area focusing on the CFnm fetish. That’s the one where women wear clothes and the men are naked, according to grid founder Justin Ireman. The grid is hypergrid-enabled, so curious visitors can teleport in to from other upper regions.

Another new adult grid is the Karmalot Kingdom, which you can access via the hypergrid at As of this writing, the website isn’t up yet, but the freebie stores are already starting to fill up with goodies.

Sci-Fi-themed UFSGrid upgrades infrastructure, premium features

The UFSGrid, a role playing grid serving the science fiction community, has upgraded its website and its back end systems. Users can now use a single login to access all areas of the website.

New premium features include priority support, 6,000 extra prims for land renters, ability to sell parcels, and extended group abilities. Non-premium members can now purchase entire regions as well, but individual parcels are still limited to premium members.

“It is ironic that since broadening the theme of the grid to incorporate all Sci-Fi groups, we have actually had more Trek enthusiasts coming to find us than in quite a long while,” spokesman James Pharr — also known as Dionysus Q — told Hypergrid Business.

For example, the USS Curiosity, a Star Trek fan group, recently joined the grid and will soon be having a launch party, he said.

Other grid news

  • Lost Paradise has changed its hypergrid address to match its Website URL. To teleport to its welcome area, A Paradise, jump to from any upper region. The welcome area is located at 9000, 9000, which is convenient to both central and upper grids, though the fact that the coordinates are nice round numbers could cause teleport problems since it’s more likely that other regions would share those same exact coordinates. The address change may have reduced hypergrid visitor numbers this past month, according to grid owner John Cloneu.
  • The non-profit, Italy-based Craft grid is working on a secure way to allow educational access — keep an eye out for an announcement later on this month.
  • Craft also reports a recent uptick in hypergrid visitors because the link between OSgrid and Metropolis has been severed. If a user from one grid wants to meet up with a user from another grid, they need to meet at a neutral, third location — such as Craft.
  • AviWorlds has its first role-play area, Pandora, a four-sim megaregion. The number of themed areas is also growing, grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business, such as the new boating region CityByDBay which hosts daily parties and has working boats.
  • The Virtual Ryukyu grid, a historic recreation of a old Japanese kingdom, has been upgraded from a mini-grid running in a single “standalone” instance of OpenSim, to a full grid. Grid owner Inuyasha Meiji uses the grid to create items for later sale in Second Life, and eventually hopes to see it become a role playing destination, or a site for history classes. The upgrade went smoothly, said Meiji, thanks to help from the OpenSim Users mailing list.
  • The Olantica grid is offering free shops and apartments for content creators, especially for those who specialize in furries and animal avatars.
  • The French-language Logicamp grid has added two events to its monthly calendar. There’a a regular Monday meeting at midnight Pacific time at the Campus 1 region, accessible via hypergrid at Also at midnight Pacific is the Friday Dance Party on the Condensation region at
  • Markus Maué, the guy behind the Grid4Us grid that merged with German Grid in 2010, is back with a new grid — World4Us. The grid is still very much a work in progress, however, with the grand opening scheduled for May.
  • Tundra grid has a free land offer, with homestead parcels available on a first-come, first-serve basis. 
  • The Open Metaverse Project launched its OMP Grid today, with the goal of creating a public grid that anyone can freely connect regions to. The project also announced today that it plans to create and distribute free-to-use OpenSim assets and resources.


More than 100 grids seemed to be suspended this month, so we’re not going to list them all here. Most of them are either would-be commercial grids that are in the pre-launch stages, school grids that are currently not in use, or personal grids that have been down each time we checked. If they stay down we will mark them as closed.

Meanwhile, we’ve added several new grids to our database, including ELIPOMP WorldWorld4UsKarmalotiTeach 3DHG TravelerRealms of EorithDream Realms 3DIHK AugsburgParadisiaAvalonia EstateKinc GridUCI Mondego vLabHogwartsAsia Fantasy LandNsG_HypergridMetariaStonefieldAVWECuddles’ WorldIndex of HyperGrid WorldsThe Gyre, Eden Cat, Simudyne MicrosoftVWRPro Racer Motorsports, and Avatarland.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.

The official OpenSim website – – began tracking download numbers for the software in January. The various versions of the packaged software were downloaded 2,638 times over the past four weeks, bringing the total number of downloads so far this year to 6,861.

The Diva Distro, a more user-friendly version of OpenSim, has been downloaded 692 times over the past month. The total number of Diva Distro downloads now stands at 19,971. This does not mean that there are nineteen thousand mini-grids out there, however — someone might download the software but never use it, or download it once and use it to set up many grids. And it doesn’t include the Diva Distros used as part of the New World Studio distribution of OpenSim.

Diva Distro is also part of Sim-on-a-Stick, a version of OpenSim packaged to run on a USB stick, which was downloaded 1,103 times since last month, for a new total of 18,492  downloads.

Meanwhile, according to data from The Hypergates, the number of hypergate jumps on their network increased by 76, to 3,132. The system now has 629 registered hypergates, down by 46 from last month, on 69 different grids.

This data is very limited, however. For example, not all hypergates are part of The Hypergates network — anyone can create their own hypergate by dropping a script on any object, such as our touch or walk-through single-destination hypergate script. In addition, many people do hypergrid jumps without using any gate at all, simply by typing a hypergrid address into Map-Search, or by using a hypergrid landmark created during a previous jump. There is currently no way of tracking that traffic.

Our own Hyperica directory now tracks 111 grids that are accessible via hypergrid. This past month also saw 101 unique visitors to the Hyperica in-world hypergate terminals, up from 76 the previous month.

Meanwhile, Second Life continued to lose land according to data from GridSurvey, with 148 fewer regions today than the same time last month. The Second Life grid now has 27,574  regions, down 2,576 regions from this time last year, and 4,311 fewer regions than its peak in June of 2010. According to GridSurvey, the last time the grid was this small was in June of 2009.

March Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

We are now tracking a total of 570 different publicly-accessible grids, 249 of which were active this month, and 224 of which published their statistics. There were a total of 24,678  regions,  286,798 registered users, and 19,496  active users on those 213 grids.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is hereA list of all active grids is here.

Related Posts'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

58 Responses

  1.' Gren says:

    Here are some interesting stats avout the so called most active grids:

    At the time of posting my comment 19,30 GMT…

    OSgrid: Has a mere 68 inworld.
    Metropolis: Has a mere 48 inworld.
    Aviworlds: Has a mere 26 inworld.
    Craft World: Has a mere 11 inworld.
    3rd Rock Grid: Has a mere 10 inworld.
    Inworldz: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
    Avination: : (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
    Francogrid: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
    Island Oasis: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
    Kitely: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)

    Where they hide logged in figures we can conclude they do so because they are very low. All the hype about have X amount or regions, X numbers of active users and X number registered isers is totally meaningless without some evidence of logged in figures. Safe to say they are lower than OSgrid though which only has a paltry 68 inworld.

    I predict theres going to be an increase in the number of grids, very shortly…

    •' Guest says:

      Sorry Gren but I don’t understand why you say this…”Where they hide logged in figures we can conclude they do so because they are very low.”

      I wouldn’t come to the conclusion at all. Not even a little. Hiding the log in numbers could simply mean that they don’t see a use for them. Maybe they aren’t trying to impress the masses out there with numbers that don’t really mean anything anyway. Or maybe they just feel that not listing them is more professional.

      I couldn’t care less how many people are logged in at any one time. I only care is if I go into a grid and I enjoy it there and the people that I do run into there are nice and that the grid has something to offer.

      I just think it’s really bad to make such negative statements that you did. And take into account that one of those grids that I am defending in this is a grid that I hate with a purple passion. 🙂

      •' Gren says:

        But many who don’t list logged in figures I noticed were more than happy to list regions and registered users 🙂

        No it’s not bad at all to examine ourselves and where we have been going and where we aim to be. I don’t hate any grids. Logged in users are hidden deliberately. This all comes down to what is OpenSim and where is it heading, if it’s a split community with their own agendas, with a few dozen grids trying to become an SL clone, or if it’s about private grids and home users of OpenSim.

        You could ask if the dozens of SL clones really have OpenSim interests at heart, why don’t they unite and work on beating SL together, dividided they will fail anyway, I suggest kudos and short term financial gain is why they don’t become one grid.

        SL is not the only one to make serious mistakes, OpenSim have also.

        • I think division is the very strength of OpenSim, not its weakness.

          Think back to the early days of the Internet. You had AOL, the giant. And you had a bunch of piddly little websites run by geeks, conspiracy theorists, educators, and cat lovers. They were horrible and ugly. Remember those days? Everybody and his brother could put up a website, and so they did.

          AOL, by comparison, had EVERYTHING. They had all the users, instant messaging, email, forums, shopping. No other site out there had it all. In fact, no other site even had a small piece of it.

          To this day, there is no one website that offers everything that AOL did.

          But that’s okay. Because it turned out that a Website could be good at some little thing — shopping, cat pictures, alien abductions, whatever — and, together, they added up to something great.

          So what if no single OpenSim grid can match Second Life. It’s getting easier and easier for everyone and his brother to set up their own grid. And these grids will eventually add up to something bigger than they are individually.

          Roleplaying grids. Educational grids. Company grids. Weird fetish grids. Car racing grids. Funny cat grids (I haven’t seen one, but I’m sure they’re coming).

          That’s the strength of OpenSim. From my little home-based mini-grid I can teleport out to OSgrid, to FrancoGrid, to GermanGrid, to over a hundred other grids, each of them great at some little thing.

          And that adds up to a lot of greatness. And will add up to even more.

          •' Gren says:

            I remember the early internet, bulletin boards, the mosaic web browser in 1993. I was a Commadore Amiga user with 2mb Ram and a whopping 20mb HD. Then the Amiga died so I bought the parts for a PC and assembled it.

            I guess I was a bit of a geek, I dabbled with FreeBSD and linux and still like to use Linux for the internet at home.

            I do think for OpenSim to grow it needs to adapt and do agree with you Maria, that maybe I am wrong in some things, but I just don’t see the benefit in promoting a top ten, 20 or 40 grids.

            I would rather see more promotion of OpenSim as software being used by home users, businesses, governments and educational institutions. Businesses after all are more likely to pay for improvements to the code if they want a feature added.

            I disagree that hypergrid is a good thing or even something worth having, I also think that like it or not OpenSim is now in a war with SL and in a battle a army divided seldom wins a battle.

          •' Minethere says:

            A little historical view of

            I like the stats here to use in an overall “snapshot” of what is going on with the software.

            As with all information sources, it is always best if one looks at several aspects of it, in order to try and get a more fuller picture…as best one can-))

            I kinda like entry stats to my own little blog, I always found them interesting since my early website creating days. I used to really work on my metadata in order to maximize this stuffs.

            And I agree with Han that tech is changing…as it does, and sometimes rather quickly.

            I cannot count all the software I have had over the years, some lasting longer than virtual worlds, that are history now…a word processor I used to use, and wish I still could as I have some old personal files I would love to look at again, is long gone now.

            And other concepts, on the net, some are still around from the early days but many are gone.

            I think it is good to take a long view, personally…tho “long” to a 20 something year old is quite different than to a 50 something year old-))

          •' Minethere says:

            I never joined AOL, or even Compuserve. I thought they were to constrictive and I recall some things, vaguely, as to jpgs and other restrictive tech they had.

            I had preferred the open net, then, as I prefer the open metaverse, now.

            All a matter of perspective, tho, of course…many liked compuserve and AOL, i think they had something like 30 million members at one time, tho I don’t feel like refreshing my memory by looking for that.

            And, of course, virtual reality is only a very small part of the overall internet…tho, for me, I do find it quite interesting, now.

    •' Guest says:

      Not only that Gren, but since none of these grid ever actually delete any accounts, then the numbers can only increase, that is how IW and osgrid can claim they have x number of users, sure, if you never delete any accounts created from day one, and keep all the accounts created for alts and because of forgotten login and passwords, then you see the crazy numbers like 18,000 users but only ever see under 100 logged in
      Same for the claimed 8000 regions in osgrid, they havent run the region cleaner in a long time, any regions not shut down properly are ghosted and stay on the map, and not using the tools to delete abandoned or ghosted sims is done on purpose to hide the truth and the real numbers which have drastically dropped.

      • All open grids have a challenge about counting regions. What happens is that some people might only have their home-based region up in the evenings, or on the weekends, or once a month for a role playing event with their friends.

        If the grid deletes their map reservation every time the grid owner turns off the computer, then the region can lose its spot on the map. This quickly turns into big, big fights.

        So the map slots are kept reserved for those regions until the grid does a cleaning of some sort. OSgrid is supposed to do them regularly, so that, say, a region that hasn’t been seen for a month is automatically delisted from the map. But stuff happens, and sometimes these cleanups take longer than other times.

        It doesn’t help that some region owners — trying to have a nice view, or trying to reduce the load on their computers — put up water regions all around their main regions, and then take them down again. So now instead of having one region on the map, it looks as though there are nine. This happens on commercial grids too, of course, but there water regions typically cost a little money — on open grids, they’re free.

        So how should you interpret these numbers? By looking at long-term trends, by not getting too caught up in the month-by-month comparisons, and — definitely — by not directly comparing open grids and closed commercial grids.

        Meanwhile, here’s a chart of OSgrid growth:

        As you can see, there have been time periods where there wasn’t any cleaning for months, and a cleaning just a couple of months ago.

        It would be nice — and give cleaner statistics — if OSgrid did the cleanings on a more regular basis. But given that they’re all volunteers, and have other things to worry about, I really don’t have that much of a complaint here.

      •' Guest 2 Electric Boogaloo says:

        Actually, OSgrid ran their region cleaner back in January. When they did all of the regions on the grid were removed due to a bug. Within 24 hours there are more than 6500 regions back online as region operators restarted and reconnected their regions.

    •' Gaga says:

      When Gren said a lot of the big grids hide their logged in user numbers Gren either don’t know where to look or they were deliberately putting out disinformation to support their argument. Gren said…

      Inworldz: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
      Avination: : (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
      Francogrid: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
      Island Oasis: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)
      Kitely: (Hides logged in user numbers on their website)

      But of those mentioned only Island Oasis and Kitely don’t show users on line. The other three do and you can see their user numbers just by looking at the grid welcome screen. Here are their user numbers at the present time…

      Inworldz Users Online: 202
      Avination Online users: 49
      Francogrid en ligne en ce moment : 6

      The Open Metaverse metrics are not great but then neither is Second Life when compared to other virtual worlds like IMVU. What is important to understand about the Opensim worlds is that there are so many of them which, collectively, is growing while Second Life is declining and not really surprising given the high prices they charge and the fact so many education institutions and none-profits have left SL for Opensim.

      Opensim worlds are many and each has a one of more people willing to spend money and time keeping the grid online. Some grids are bigger of course and some are commercial or educational. None on their own will ever rival Second Life but Linden Lab is a business with huge commitments and declining fortunes. The Open Metaverse is paid for and run by the users just like the regular Internet is. And, just like AOL and CompuServe, Second Life is probably going the same way as the 3D web emerges. Grids and standalones are coming and going all the time but over all the total is growing and I take that as the best figure to watch but, as far as users goes, well I started a Google plus community to promote the free Metaverse and get an idea if it was used that much and surprise, surprise, it gained 266 members in just a few months and, collectively, they have posted more topics than the largest Google Plus SL community which has four times more members. One has to ask why the free Metaverse community is proving more active than the Second Life community in Google. But, in any event, it shows that the free Metaverse is a pretty busy place if one cares to travel the hypergrid and explore the many hidden worlds and not settle on one or two grids to base an analysis.

      See Opensim Virtual here…

  2.' Bernd Beyers says:

    And here are some stats from ‘’ from 01.03.2013

    Metropolis: 177.788
    Osgrid: 358.067
    Inworldz: 532.807
    Francogrid: 843.619
    Avination: 1.218.262
    Kitely: 1.346.302
    Craft World: 1.564.835
    3rd RockGrid: 2.389.543
    Aviworlds: 3.101.768
    Island Oasis: 3.508.132

    •' Gren says:

      Yes meaningless, what coiunts is real regular logins, anything else is just a delusion. If people don’s stay and login regular then it’s no good is it a different strategy is needed.

    •' Minethere says:

      What do those numbers mean pls Bernd?

      I expect Metropolis to continue to grow well, wonderful people there, very nice, and anyone can freely setup their own regions or rent from them.

      Olantica’s Hidden Glenn Region is being created for non-human Avatars and is already quite beautiful. They can pick a spot for free, Sunbeam Magic is the contact there.

      Kitely fascinates me. I think it will get going well in the next few months as their new marketplace gets up and running and they open to the HG. Lots of unique ideas they have there…possibly the future of closed commercial grids since it will be a combination of both soon. Find their forums for full info if interested.

      eta: meant to mention Savino’s Aurora Grid is for testings. If you like to break things and help contribute to Aurora, it might be fun-))

      ty Maria-))

    •' Guest 2 Electric Boogaloo says:

      Alexa’s website statistics are meaningless, and can be manipulated easily. In fact, there are “blackhat” SEO companies that will do this as well as numerous free tools. That’s why an Alexa score is meaningless when buying or selling a website. The most probably scenario with Metropolis’ Alexa score being so low is the fact that they are based in Germany, and have a lot of German traffic. Alexa’s algorithm extrapolates regional visits into world data, and often incorrectly.

  3. If you see a discrepancy, please email me with the specifics: [email protected] — I’ll follow up with the grid owners and track down what’s going on.

    •' Gren says:

      Maria, go to all the grids you list using metabolt, you will see the true logged in figures although some might be alts running as bots, but regardless they are all low logins, nothing at all likw what they are claiming. You know and I do that OSgrid is one of the biggest in terms of regular logins and yet they only had 68 this evening.

      Therefore listing all the top grids and so on might impress newbies until they get there and find out so few are around, I don’t believe this listing has any use whatsoever, those with vested interests and longterm (albeit with strategies not based upon trend reality) may try to convice us otherwise that Opensim grids are growing and becoming, truth is we are talking about small fish who are just aping SL.

  4.' AviWorlds says:

    To judge a grid by online users is really a bad way of doing that because that ONLINE user stat changes every second. So the 26 online users you say we have may not be the same 26 online users the next second.
    What counts is having the PERMANENT RESIDENT that lives and have fun, owns a lot in a world and buys and sells things.
    But I see that some of the people posting here have only ONE agenda and that is put us that are doing HARD work trying to build a community and make it work DOWN.
    I rest my case.

    •' Guest says:

      That is true. There can be many people on and offline all day long. And I don’t get the whole obsession on how many people are online or how many regions a grid has. Every grid starts out small. And they might just be the best grid out there. But posting the small numbers seems to me to be a way to keep them down and to promote the bigger grids.

      It’s like the people who have to have name brand items and spend 300 dollars on a purse. Or they want to live in the big city because that is where everyone is at. But sometimes the tiny little towns have even more to offer in the way of community than the big city.

      So I find these numbers interesting but totally meaningless and frankly it bothers me when I see people taking so much from them.

      I am not saying anyone is faking the numbers but I have personally known at least one grid owner who has given Maria fake numbers. If one can do it then probably more have as well.

    •' Gren says:

      The facts speak for themselves, you are no SL, your logged in numbers do not change every second. As for building a community, which community? There are different agendas at play in the OpenSim user arena, the so called community is very divided.

      You have wannabe SL grids in it for kudos and/or financial gain, educational grids, Buiness confrence worlds, Government grids, home users (probably the silent majority who use OpenSim).

  5. To everyone complaining that OpenSim isn’t growing fast enough: I’m with you.

    I wish the metaverse was here already. But then I think — we don’t have the bandwidth, or the hardware, or the viewers to do it right just yet. And then I think, also, I still haven’t come up with a killer business plan. Maybe growing slowly is a good thing. 🙂

    Meanwhile, if you want to be reminded of something else that grew slowly, go back and revisit this Newscolumn from 1995:

    Keep in mind that this was written *after* Yahoo and Amazon were already big names.

    •' Minethere says:

      An then he says this [the Author]-)) quite amusing article…ty-))

      When the article resurfaced on BoingBoing in 2010, Stoll left a self-deprecating comment: “Of my many mistakes, flubs, and howlers, few have been as public as my 1995 howler….Now, whenever I think I know what’s happening, I temper my thoughts: Might be wrong, Cliff…”

    •' Hannah says:

      I think everyone should take a long, hard look at this article: and read what he says about his students. Notice that at the end he lets slip that this will be “the last ever” semester that he uses virtual worlds in his cirriculum.

      Desktop adoption by teens and 20 somethings is dwindling, and as it dwindles, desktop-bound applications like second life and opensim run the risk of becoming irrelevant.

      I think ***NOW*** is the time for those who want to grow the metaverse to ask what place does it have in tomorrow’s tablet-bound future.

      • Tablets are hot right now, but that doesn’t mean that every desktop-based project is automatically doomed to failure.

        Yes, immersive virtual reality doesn’t work that great on a mobile device. Even with the new HTML 5 viewers (like PixieViewer), it’s not that great or that immersive. Good for checking in once in a while, maybe, but not for long term immersive presence. (Or maybe they are, I haven’t tried.)

        What I think will drive virtual reality is virtual reality gaming. Gaming always comes first. And we haven’t had much innovation in gaming for the past few years. How old is the xBox now? But we’re finally start to see some cool new technologies emerge — Oculus Rift, holodeck-style protections, various Kinect-type motion detectors — and these require a high-speed, high-bandwidth computer and a good location to do this playing in. A games room, or a family room with space to move around, and with room for other participants to join in.

        Here’s what I think will happen:

        1. Virtual reality games become a huge, huge business. Immersive first-person shooters already are. Pulling in record profits — last year a Call of Duty game saw $1 billion in sales in just 15 days, It beat Avatar. The top-grossing movie Avatar. Add a fully immersive component to it and watch the numbers just keep going up.

        2. Everyone rushes to upgrade their hardware and bandwidth connections to support these new platforms.

        3. Microsoft, Apple, Google, and various Linux folks start thinking up ways to get on the bandwagon and add immersive 3D to their software and operating systems.

        4. Someone will become the next AOL, providing a general-purpose social world in immersive 3D. I thought this was going to be Second Life, but they lose the vision — and never had the marketing chops (or the evil marketing genius) that AOL had. Everyone will be doing everything in 3D.

        5. Companies and schools will need to have their own 3D worlds, just like they now need to have websites and email addresses. Will those worlds be running OpenSim? If OpenSim gets popular enough before everyone else catches on that this is the future, maybe. If not, someone like Microsoft or Apple or Google will step in with their platform, give away free cloud hosting to individuals, and sell premium services to companies and other organizations.

        Would I be disappointed if Microsoft or Google wound up running the metaverse instead of OpenSim? A little bit. But I’ve lived in a Microsoft universe before, and I lived through it, and in any case, it wouldn’t last for ever. Plus, the creative skills will transfer over to whatever platform finally comes out on top, as will community-building skills, and the grid management skills.

  6. I do these numbers every month for a few reasons:

    * To show that stuff is happening in OpenSim
    * For folks looking for big, new, or interesting grids to try out (note that some of the grids I mention in the article are pretty small)
    * Because people like comparisons. Even if there’s a margin of error, people like the competitive aspect of things — who’s the biggest? who’s the most popular? who’s growing the fastest?
    * Because it might get people new to OpenSim interested in trying it out. And if the first grid they visit isn’t to their taste, they’ve got a lot more to sample.

    Remember: It’s getting to the first OpenSim grid that’s the hard part. You have to get a viewer and configure it. It’s scary, and it’s unknown. By posting information, it becomes a little less scary, a little less unknown.

    Then, once people figure out how the grid manager works, I doubt they’ll stop at the first grid they visit. Exploring a new universe is fun. So if you’re a small grid, don’t complain about the big grids grabbing the attention. Be greatful that they’re motivating people to come over and trying OpenSim in the first place.

  7.' WhiteStar says:

    Maria does an excellent job of compiling the information (which is not that easy) as it is available and posting that here.

    User metrics is an extremely difficult thing to do and OpenSimulator software does not have the array of statistical gathering mechanisms built in to do this properly without external monitoring process which would not work for the most part either without the essential components built into OpenSim.

    Negativity, posturing and bashing this grid or that grid, this group or another is not only self defeating it’s also harmful to the community overall. Doing positive things and working together to achieve a greater end result, such as growth of OpenSim and focussing on those positives and proactive efforts is the best thing anyone & everyone can do.
    Should someone decide to bash my comment for this simple observation and pointing the obvious, feel free to do so, everyone has a right to their opinion & feelings but consider before reacting.

  8.' gridhopper says:

    No offence to the Moderator but by you posting these numbers you make it out to be a contest of sorts, So like in any contest there will be cheaters this is known fact, I’m not saying by any means all but there is the desperate ones. Lets see who can make the top 10 or who has more than the other. Reality is no one really cares these numbers you post are not 100% correct. And the cheaters are easy to spot there the ones who complain the most, there the ones who say “why am i not in the top 10”. Maybe want to rethink posting these stats that again are not by far 100% correct. Like I may have said before the websites say 1 thing when you go into there world your alone. Seems like a ploy to me

    • gridhopper — I encourage people to create their own rankings and post them, instead. For example, ranking grids by their technological stability and performance, by their content protection measures, by how welcoming their communities are, or whatever other criterion is important to you.

      Or maybe the “top ten roleplaying grids.” Or the “top five niche grids.” … In fact, if there’s any group out there looking to do such reports (say, to promote a consulting or design business they have) I’ll be very happy to run them.

      Rankings help people discover new grids. There are hundreds of grids out there, and dozens of new ones appear each month. That makes it scary for newcomers. I want to make it easy for new people to come to OpenSim. They can try out the biggest grid. Or the most popular grid. Or the fastest-growing grid. Once they try one grid, it becomes much, much easier to try others.

      And I do a survey once a year about other factors, such as community and support, that often highlights some of the smaller grids.

  9.' AviWorlds says:

    The so called brazilian grid is no longer online and it never did create a community. It was a party place then people left. I am doing something different creating a community from the bottom up and so far we have been very successful in doing it. We are selling many 1/4 sim parcels( about 98% of It already sold 10 Full Regions) and we already have 362 Permanent Residents that live and thrive in AviWorlds (in our FREE LAND AREAS 10 full regions).
    You may not see all of them online but they do log in. People have REAL LIFE jobs and they cant stay logged in all the time and specially if they have to pay for their parcels.
    This is creating a DEMAND for many things and as I have explained here many times it is not the size of the grid but the quantity of people living per SQM in the virtual world. Land sales (FULL REGION SALES) will come later.
    You dont want to start only selling FULL REGIONS. That will not bring in a community.
    I rest my case, God Bless!

  10.' Guest says:

    Nobody really leaves SL? I did. I know a lot of people who have left and never looked back.

  11.' Jacob says:

    Seems Maria removed many pertenent comments on this Thread, Thats extremly Bias of you Moderator not wanting to debate some of the nonsence going around in opensims. I suppose only posts you want are the ones that have nothing to do with nothing. Couple people have been voicing some interesting insights to whats really going on. Seems you want to keep it all hush hush. Sounds very fake to me. Time to find a real blog that lets people voice there insights and knowledge.

    •' Guest says:

      I take back what I said about Disqus being fixed because clearly things are still messed up here and out of order and posts missing. I know that one of my missing posts was a very simple one that she would have no reason to take down and nobody would have a reason to flay.

      I really think she just needs to give up this Disqus comment program because it is always messing up. I’m not sure why she doesn’t stick to the normal wordpress comments.

      • I think I originally switched away from the normal WordPress comment system because so many people were unhappy with it… to some other system…Intense Debate. People didn’t like that either. Disqus seems to the biggest one out there.

        One problem is that, collectively, my readers have a lot more time to spent on this blog than I do. (Which makes sense — there’s a lot of you guys.) So while I’m off at work, or sleeping, or just out there doing time, comments — and flags — start piling up.

        I can’t ask my freelancers to hang around to moderate comments, and there’s no budet to hire a community manager, and nobody else I work with knows anything about virtual worlds and wouldn’t be able to moderate the comments even if they were so inclined. If anyone out there wants to volunteer to take this on.

        I just raised the number of flags required to send a comment into moderation, to see if that would help. Another option would be to increase the authentication level that Disqus requires, though there are plenty of people who get angry under their real names. 🙂

        I *do*, very much, encourage folks to start other blogs about OpenSim and about virtual worlds if they don’t agree with my take on things.

        •' Minethere says:

          ok, well, tho it isn’t all that important to me, I did throw up my own little google+ community where I throw numbers in, and places that do numbers, as I am in the mood…just a simple catchall place is my idea, just for me, really, and also a little test of how that works, but anybody can throw up their own numbers there, if they wish to…i don’t think you even need to join it to post.

          I am becoming less and less interested on numbers anymore, anyways, personally, as my focus changes in virtuals…but it seems useful in the overall picture of what I am interested in.

          It is only for bare numbers tho, I really do not want any talk on it, there is here to talk, and stuffs, anyways…not even sure I should share it, actually, but what the heck-)) I think this link goes to it…

        •' Guest says:

          Well earlier I didn’t see anything that said “this post was deleted” I simply didn’t see the post there. Now I am seeing the text saying they were deleted.

          Disqus is a joke and the up and down voting is a joke. You can vote a post up if you are not logged in with Disqus but you can’t vote it down without being logged in.

          Is there anyway to tell who is doing all the unnecessary flagging?

          The way you had your old worldpress comments were backwards and I think that is why people didn’t like them. They didn’t come up in the right order. All other wordpress sites I see (and use, create) are very simple that someone posts a comment and the reply comes after it and so on.

          Remember the KISS rule “Keep it super simple”

          • Yes, I just went through and deleted all the personal, inflammatory and off-topic comments that were in the moderation queue. I’m glad WordPress now supports nested comments. Or maybe they were there all along and I just couldn’t figure out how to do it. I’m not sure if switching back will solve the moderation problem, though.

            One advantage that I’ve seen with Disqus, though, is that at least there’s no spam getting through. I used to have to delete spam comments, which was pretty annoying.

            Anyway, I hope the new more-flags-for-moderation system will work better.

          •' Guest says:

            You deleted a bunch of mine that were not inflammatory or off topic. And here I was defending you to others who said that you deleted stuff for no reason. WTF?

            Well at least you kept up my post where I was defending you. That’s a smart move.

            Guess they got into your head too Maria. What a shame.

          • Linda — I’m the one who gets to decide whether something is too personal, inflammatory, or off-topic. Bwa ha ha ha. I can feel the power going to my head now. But seriously, “inflammatory” means that it angers someone for no productive reason. Say, for example, regarding an issue that was discussed and re-discussed over and over until it finally devolved into name-calling. There’s no reason to keep those comments up.

          •' WhiteStar says:

            I’m glad to see my posting back which was neither inflammatory, obscene or argumentative. I was wondering about that but figured it was just the software goofing up. Lately, when I see the Titles of the blog post, it always says “no comments” but there are comments, just like in this posting. Something is certainly misconfigured somewhere…

  12.' Gren says:

    Maria, you removed some comments. Some with nodoubt vested interests in their commercial grids have also been flagging posts by myself, Linda, gridhopper and others.

    •' Hannah says:

      I have to agree with this. For the last month innocuous comments have been mysteriously dropping into the “awaiting moderation” black hole and it’s apparent to even the most casual reader that someone has figured out how to game the HGB comment system.

      This needs to be fixed, or the comment system scrapped.

      •' Minethere says:

        nods @ Han, and adds, takes all the fun outta reading comments here.

        I did a couple when she announced this just out of curiosity but I prefer contiguous comments.

        Tho, of course, this has been in disqus for awhile, apparently some needed Maria to point it out.

        And simply clicking the show comment ppl can still read them…on those, I mostly also do the vote up, just because I never have liked censoring as it is kinda anti-internet to my thinking.

        Oh well, we will see how it goes-))

        •' Minethere says:

          on the other hand, it works with my new game here, to see how utterly innocuous I can make comments so that nobody can find any reason to flag them…hehehehehe

          This can be difficult, but a challenge that I rather enjoy-))

    •' Guest says:

      The posts of mine that were missing weren’t post that were meaningful at all. If someone were going to try and get rid of my posts by flagging them I think they would pick ones that might actually be the ones that would be controversial. I think that she simply had a problem with the comments program that she uses (that I hate btw). It seems to be cleared up now. Besides I think when something is flagged that means it goes to her for review. She still gets to decide if she wants to delete it or not. Very simple and meaningless posts were missing that I know she wouldn’t delete.

    •' Guest says:

      You were right and I was wrong. Apparently she is deleting posts in that way. Read this fast because she will delete it soon, I’m sure.

  13.' Gaga says:

    Maria deleted my posts on this thread and others in the past where I included a link to Google plus and yet she is free to post in Google with links back to her blog. Interesting.

    •' Ken says:

      Looks like a dictatorship here.

      • Well, I guess so. At the end of the day, I’m the one responsible for all the content on this site, including the comments if I decide to leave them up. I’m trying to find a formula for keeping the maximum number of readers happy. Nobody thinks their own comments are controversial, inflammatory or rude — but the other guys’ comments are. And they want me to take down the other guys’ comments, but leave theirs up. If I leave them both up, people complaint that the comments are getting too rude, crude, and off-topic. If I take them both down, the regular readers are happy, but the ones posting the controversial comments both get mad at me. If I leave the milder ones up, and moderate the worst ones, each side thinks I’m favoring the other.

        If anyone has a solution, please let me know!

        Right now, I’m encouraging folks to take the controversial discussions to other forums, like Google Plus and

        If anyone posts a comment such as “I disagree with this, but my reasons why are a bit off-topic, so I’m taking the discussion here: http://…. whatever” I promise to leave it up.

        But if something like this gets into the moderation queue, I’ll take it down: “So-and-so is a $%^ and a (**&& and a #$%, and here’s why: link”. So keep the link here, but the personal attacks elsewhere. Does that work?

        •' Minethere says:

          It doesn’t matter to me if my comments gets flagged, deleted, or spit on–)))

          I won’t say a thing about it, nor will I care….life can be so fun!!!

          Nothing I have to say even matters….hehehehehe

    • Talla — Sorry about that. I have no problem to links to outside places, especially if a topic is controversial, so folks can go there to follow the rest of the discussion.

      I strongly encourage folks to visit sites like and OpenSim Virtual on Google Plus at

  14.' Guest says:

    Since most of my posts here were deleted I decided to delete the couple that I had left. Other people’s posts were deleted too and then it just makes the person responding look like they are talking to themselves.

  15.' Jacob says:

    Seems its time to get out info from a fair and balanced Blog this one here is extremely Bias, and totaly unfair. Unless we all agree on Maria’s Strict Guidlines. Maybe we Need to find a American Site where Freedom of Speech is practiced……..

    •' Guest says:

      You can post anything you want on

      No matter what your view is you can express it. Just don’t read the “battlefield” category unless you want to see the anger and drama and such. All grids are welcome to post. It’s the only place that I have found so far where that is the case.

  16.' gridhopper says: