Region counts drop for second month

The total number of regions on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids fell for the second month in a row, only the second time this has happened since we started keeping track in mid 2009. The major reason for the loss is the closure of ScienceSim, an Intel-backed research grid that had 1,189 regions at time of closing.

There are now 25,267 regions on the top 40 grids, down by 1,160 regions from this time last month, meaning that there would have been only slight growth without the loss of ScienceSim. However, these grids did gain more than 3,000 new registered users and over 300 new active users.

Regions counts fall on OpenSim's 40 largest grids.

Regions counts fall on OpenSim’s 40 largest grids.

The unimaginatively-named A Virtual World was the biggest gainer, with 53 new regions, a size increase of 57 percent. The biggest loser was OSgrid, which was down 211 regions, even after last month’s long-overdue housekeeping in which more than 5,000 regions were removed from the map.

A total of 183 regions reported statistics this month out of 214 active grids, totalling 27,313 regions, 358,965 registered users and 21,683 active users.

Popularity

For company and school grids, relative 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 or that serve a special need not met elsewhere.

But when it comes to general-purpose social grids, the rule of thumb 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 are the 10 most popular grids this month:

The biggest changes on this list this month was that Virtual Highway replaced AviWorlds in the ninth position. AviWorlds lost 53 active users this month, dropping from 372 to 319. Craft kept its position despite losing 83 actives, and InWorldz dropped by 225 and probably didn’t even notice, given its sizeable population.

The biggest gainer this month was OSgrid, which picked up 189 new active users, followed by Kitely with 94 new actives and Island Oasis with an increase of 90.

News from around the grids

Easter decorations were all around the grids this month, as were spring-themed builds of all kinds.

Zandramas lifts all prim limits on regions

If Kitely’s 100,000-prim limit is too constraining, visit Zandramas, which just lifted all prim limits on its $35-per-month full regions.

Suzan De Konning

Suzan De Koning

The price is still the same, however, the grid’s senior manager and co-founder Suzan De Koning told Hypergrid Business.

“We no longer enforce prim limits at all,” she said. The viewer might show 100,000 as the limit, she added, but that number can simply be ignored.

“Users can use 100,000 prims, 200,000 — whatever they like,” she said. “We made this change as we want people to have the freedom of creativity and not have to worry about prims we believe this is the future and a good option for people.”

Creators will need to be mindful of how the prim numbers affect visitors, however, and be mindful of scripts and textures so that regions that see a large amount of traffic do not become too difficult to visit.

No more prim limits on Zandramas. (Image courtesy Suzan De Koning via Twitter.)

No more prim limits on Zandramas. (Image courtesy Suzan De Koning via Twitter.)

Spellscape tests quest system with Easter egg hunt quest

The magic-and-vampire-themed Spellscape grid is testing out the beta version of its quest systme this month with an Easter egg hunt.

“It’s a proof of concept but all members are welcome to try it,” said grid founder Xander Bing. “Hidden across our main regions are ten Easter eggs. Players will login to the website to start the quest and are shown the first clue. When they find an egg in world and click on it, a popup is displayed in the viewer and the webpage is updated showing the next clue. The idea behind the system is to eventually have more complicated quests with an interactive story that the player goes through in world, guided by the website.”

The system, which allows any region owner to create their own quests, is still in its early stages, Bing told Hypergrid Business. “But we hope people will see the potential it has for creating more interactive virtual worlds.”

The quest system is supported by special script functions we have created that allow anyone that has a region with us to create their own quests. I know your very busy but id love to hear your views on the quest system if you have time.

(Image courtesy Spellscape.)

(Image courtesy Spellscape.)

Island Oasis offers inventory backups and scheduled restarts, ends free stores

The Island Oasis grid has rolled out some new features for its residents, including inventory backups and scheduled region restarts.

The inventory backups are not the standard OpenSim IAR inventory file which can be taken from grid to grid, but a proprietary, encrypted, compressed file that can only be used on Island Oasis.

“In the event that a resident encounters inventory issues or accidentally deletes items from their inventory, residents can email this file to our support desk and request to have their entire inventory or a specific inventory item restored from the backup,” Island Oasis marketing director Liz Harrington — also known as Alysin Paolino in-world — told Hypergrid Business.

Island Oasis region management panel now supports scheduled restarts.

Island Oasis region management panel now supports scheduled restarts.

Region owners who want to have their regions automatically restarted on certain days can now schedule them using the grid’s website. Watch a video tutorial of how to do this here.

“They can choose one or even all seven days of the week to restart their region,” said Harrington.

In other news, Island Oasis has shut down its free store program, which has offered no-cost shops to merchants for the past three yeras.

Finally, the grid will be celebrating Eastern this month with a multi-region Easter egg hunt, starting at 1 p.m. Pacific on April 19 and starting a series of building classes conducted by instructor Francisco Koolhoven in the Builder Emporium starting at 4 p.m. Pacific on April 24.

Virtual Highway celebrates spring at Festival Park, offers free stores

Merchants looking for a new free store can visit Virtual Highway, which offers three months of free storespace in its new mall on a high-profile location next to the Virtual Highway Landing.

New mall. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

New mall. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Shops are also available on Valhalla Plaza, The Galleria, or Adventura Mall through a profit-sharing setup with the grid.

“By offering these two options, together with our zero upload fees, we assist content creators in setting up a business and allow them to test the market with their wares in Virtual Highway with no initial costs,” grid owner Gene Call told Hypergrid Business.

The grid has also partnered with the Eldexchange, a European virtual currency trading platform, which will make it easier for some residents to buy currency.

Meanwhile, the grid is celebrating spring with a new build on Festival Park, with a variety of musical events being held there this month as well as a spring-themed building contest.

Littlefield holds Easter egg hunt

On Easter Sunday, April 20, the Littlefield grid will hold an all day, grid-wide Easter egg hunt.

“The eggs can be found throughout the grid, and will hold prizes donated by grid residents,” said grid founder Walter Balazic. “One golden egg will hold a $15 iTunes gift card.”

Start the hunt on the Littlefield Hangout region, by teleporting to lfgrid.com:8002:Littlefield Hangout. There will also be dance the night before, at 8 p.m. Pacific on Saturday, April 19, at the Speakeasy region at lfgrid.com:8002:Speakeasy.

“Also in celebration of our one-year anniversary, we will be continuing our land rental special until May 1,” he added. New renters can get four 30,000-prim regions and two 1,000-prim water regions for a total of US $60 a month.

On  Saturday April 26 Stonehaven Island will be celebrating its seven years in the virtual world. The region has been in existence for five years in Second Life, one year on OSgrid, and then one year on Littlefield.  The region will have games and other fun activities throughout the day, followed by founder Dirk Mathers making a speech at 9 p.m. Pacific, follwed by a dance on the Stonehaven Patio.

Visitors from other grids are welcome to attend by hypergrid teporting to lfgrid.com:8002:Stonehaven.

In other news, the grid is hosting a Blender class held by Aaack Aardvark on the OpenSim Builders Alliance region at 12 noon Pacific every Sunday. Teleport in to lfgrid.com:8002:OBA to learn how to create tattoos and clothing.

Avalonia Estate ‘femdom’ grid reopening, offers free homes to hypergrid visitors

OpenSim’s only grid dedicated to the adult “femdom” lifestyle is back. The reopening celebration will be held on April 20 from 3 to 4 p.m. Pacific at the Avalonia Estate manor house.

The grid is reopening with a new business model, in which users are encouraged to base their avatars on other grids, and to hypergrid teleport into to Avalonia Estate for gatherings and other activities.

“We welcome visitors from other grids that have an interest in Femdom, but who do not wish to leave their current grids,” grid founder Justin Ireman told Hypergrid Business. “We are no longer looking to attract, or accept new members to join up as account holders.”

The grid is even offering free homes, with up to 4,000 square meters and up to 3,000 prims, for users who teleport in via hypergrid.

It is the first grid to do so. Other grids currently only offer free land to grid residents.

“You may prefer to stay a member of your home grid such as OSgrid or Metropolis, but believe that we offer a better deal when it comes to renting a small parcel of land,” he said. ” This is subject to terms and conditions as you would expect, but if you are interested in Femdom, and you are not required to sign up with us and leave your current grid, what is there to lose?”

By not having local avatars for residents, the grid reduces the burden on its own servers. Meanwhile, would-be users don’t need to create a new avatar for the grid but can simply use an existing avatar that they already have — complete with its inventory and friends list.

Kitely to have hypergrid ‘within a month’

Kitely has been on a roll lately. First, it rolled out hypergrid delivery for its Kitely Market in late March, which resulted in an increase in buyers, sellers and the number of listed items.

Ilan Tochner

Ilan Tochner

“It also more than doubled the sales volume,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

Then the grid upgraded to new servers that cut world startup time in half. Kitely is an on-demand grid, meaning that regions are stored away when not in use. When a user wants to teleport to an empty region, that region has to be started up. The delay is not very long — some regular teleports take longer — but can be an inconvenience especially for people who are new to the grid.

Now the grid is revamping its logo, website, and getting ready for a big marketing push. Oh, and rolling out hypergrid connectivity within the next month.

Kitely Market statistics.

Kitely Market statistics.

According to Tochner, the marketplace now has more than 2,580 product listings in more than 5,000 variations. Of these, 2,037 are exportable, meaning that the merchants have decided to enable delivery to foreign grids.

On the community side, the April egg hunt will continue until the end of April.

“There are free content prizes to be found in the more than 200 eggs that are hidden in the 34 participating Kitely worlds,” said Tochner. By “worlds,” he means islands, not separate grids.

Speculoos, the Belgian cookie grid, is temporarily closed

Speculoos, the tiny “Belgian cookie grid” best known for attracting hypergrid visitors to its freebie malls, it temporarily closed.

“We’re working on Speculoos to come back,” grid owner Gudule Lapointe said in a statement posted on the grid’s website. “Chances are that we change our subscription rules and switch to an web of trust model, with sponsorship from existing members required for newcomers. We love this place and we love the creations that were made here. So we definitively want to keep it.”

ScienceSim shuts down

On a more permanent note, the Intel-sponsored testing grid ScienceSim is officially shutting down.

“ScienceSim no longer exists as a grid,” grid manager Mic Bowman told Hypergrid Business. Bowman is an engineer heading up Intel’s virtual worlds research project. “Robert Adams and I continue to contribute to OpenSim and Simian, though our research focus has changed.”

The grid was best known for hosting the Fashion Research Institute, for a land grant program for educators and researchers, for experimental regions holding more than 200,000 primitives and more than 1,000 avatars, and servers holding more than 1,000 regions each.

Many of the residents who used ScienceSim have since started their own grids, Bowman said. “And I still have plans to build a single varregion version of Yellowstone… that should be interesting. I just need some of that proverbial ‘free time’ everyone talks about.”

Transitions

We’re listing 38 grids as suspended this month because we haven’t been able to get to their grid info pages or websites this month, including: 3rd Life Grid, AnSky, B-ATM, Canaria, Cuddles’ World, Darpa Tech Edge Grid, Digilands, El Rayo Verde, ExoSpace, Flatlandia, Four Ages, Heavens Gates, HomeTown, Kadobikrew, LDL World, MajWorld, Morpheusgrid, OpenMOOC, OpenSim Creations, OpenSim Shop, Our Own Designs, Pink, Psychedelia, SA Project, ScienceSim, Siberspace, SimB2B, Speculoos, The Hidden Continent of Chaxez, The Loom, The Microverse Grid, Titusville, Tundra, University of the Aegean, VIBE: Tooth Fairy, Virtual Realms Grid, Virtualife, and W3DC-World.

Meanwhile, we’ve added several new grids to our database, including Japan Open GridVirtual World City, Metaverse, and Mega.

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 stats page for the standard OpenSimulator distribution reported 539 new downloads this month, for a total of more than 29,000 downloads of OpenSim from the official website since the start of 2013, when they began publishing  the data. Interpolating based on trends from other distributions, the Hypergrid Business estimate of OpenSim downloads from the official website is now a little bit over 122,000.

The stats page for the Diva Distro, a user-friendly distribution of OpenSim, reported 503 downloads this month, for a grand total of over 29,600 downloads since the distribution was first released in May of 2011.

Sim-on-a-Stick, an even more user-friendly, packaged version of the Diva Distro, was downloaded 1,246 times this month, for over 30,000 downloads total since the distribution was first released in May 2011.

The even easier still New World Studio, which allows people to set up private grids in just a few clicks with a fully automated installer, recently began publishing its usage statistics. As of today, it reports 23,963 regions on 2,543 different active mini-grids running on this distribution of OpenSim. That’s an increase of 1,694 new regions, and 145 new mini-grids.

Adding in these three other major distributions of OpenSim, we estimate that the OpenSim server software has been downloaded more than 184,000 times since the start of 2010.

Meanwhile, according to data from The Hypergates, the number of hypergate jumps on their network this month rose by 99, to 2,787. The system now has 746 registered hypergates, up by 11 compared to month, on 60 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.

Meanwhile, Second Life has held steady over the past month, according to data from GridSurvey, with exactly the same number of regions today as this time last month. The Second Life grid now has 26,176 regions total, down 1,398  regions from this time last year, and 5,709 fewer regions than its peak in June of 2010.

Second Life’s loss rate has been dropping steadily for the past four months, a possible sign of a turn-around in the grid’s fortunes. If growth is permanently back, it would be a good sign for the metaverse as a whole, since Second Life spends more on marketing and outreach than all other grids combined, and also offers a very wide variety of resources to help newcomers learn how to use the viewers and building tools.

Most recently, Linden Lab has been investing in Oculus Rift support, with a new viewer now in beta testing. Second Life seems to be tailor-made for the Oculus Rift, offering users an accessible, low-cost way to create virtual environments for others to enjoy. By comparison, other platforms, like the major video game engines or Unity, require highly specialized programming and content creation skills.

Second Life is also currently the major entry way to OpenSim, which combines an interface already familiar to Second Life users with lower costs and more control.

April Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 811 different publicly-accessible grids, 214 of which were active this month, and 183 of which published their statistics.

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.

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

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.

  • Justin Ireman

    Thank you for the write up about Avalonia Estate Maria. 🙂 The way I see it, unless you are a closed or a commercial grid, there really is no longer any reason to be pursuing new sign ups. I guess it also depends upon what you are trying to achieve on your grids. However, I believe that the HyperGrid is the future, and we as grid owners/admins, should focus more on encouraging that free flow of movement of goods and population, rather than focusing on stats, such as number of registered users, number of active sims etc.

    For those other grids that wish to go down the same line as us, in this respect, it also opens up the possibility of greater income, why restrict your land rentals just to your own grid population? For us this decision was taken to reduce the burden on our servers, and to reduce the costs in terms of time and money. Secondly, the vast majority of our visitors all come from other grids anyway…it just seemed like a no brainer to me. Although this is not my intention, as I am not looking to be a commercial grid or to make money from my grid, it is just about fun and community – but the way us smaller grids get to compete with the bigger grids, is to make your products and services – your grid – available to other grid residents with the least amount of hassle as possible. Let “Big Grid A” keep its residents, but if your grid offers a better rental deal, they may come and spend their rental money with you instead of their home grid!

    • ReplyingToFreeloader

      Just out of curiosity, how does freeloading off of everyone elses grid services make you a grid? Sounds to me like your trying to glom rent money from people without doing the actual work of supporting the grid servers.

      • Justin Ireman

        Well thank you for your miss characterisation of what we are doing. I am not sure what the official definition of a grid is, but I guess that must be at least one or more regions, and a separate back end for databases. We have our own back end databases, and around 20 regions in total, so are in fact a grid. The difference is that I have decided no longer to accept sign ups as local account holders. This is due to the fact that I don’t have the time or resources to spend running a full time grid and all the associated customer services and leg work that goes into it.

        As far as your bizarre claim that we are “freeloading”, we are doing nothing of the sort. A person that wishes to visit us will presumably already be a member of another grid in the first place, so we have not added any extra burden onto their home grid. In fact a lot of people are now home hosting and are not part of any large grids at all, but prefer to have a HG enabled standalone to keep control of their own inventory, but may in fact prefer to have a more professionally hosted region that is available 24/7 for sharing with friends and family. Secondly, I doubt very much that hundreds of users from other grids are suddenly going to come and take advantage of what we are doing.

        Thirdly there is nothing compelling anyone to come and visit us. Being that Femdom is quite a specific subset of the BDSM lifestyle, if it applied to 10% of the entire OpenSim population I would be very surprised. So this isn’t going to suddenly put an extra burden on other grids.

        Current HyperGrid technology already carries this burden when residents from one grid visit another, so this is nothing new.

        I am sorry if you see nothing but the negative side of what I am doing, but I am sure there will be those who can see the benefits,

        Finally, I if you do honestly wish to criticise, then that’s fair, you have that right, but please have the decency and honesty to post with your real or avatar name, rather than hiding behind anonymity.

        • lmpierce

          Hi Justin and TonyGioia,

          It sounds like you both have understandable differences of opinion, but the back and forth has started to escalate and I’ve started to decline/remove comments that are now well into the territory of violating the discussion guidelines for Hypergrid Business.

          If you wish to share emails and continue your discussion, or carry over into another blog, please feel free post those links or email addresses here, but please keep those posts civil and informative only.

    • I actually agree with this thinking [as if that actually matters, especially to me!!] as many of the region size malls and such builds prefer connecting to grids like Metropolis, OSG, Francogrid and Craft and they are all fine by that, afaik.

      I think this land rental concept is a good one and if priced accordingly, others should follow along.

      This is similar to what Kitely will be doing once HG is enabled there. There really is no technical reasons afaik to not open to HG and then just promote such things as events or land pricing that is in line with current trending or some Artist installations or whatever is interesting about a grid, in order to get visitors.

      I think more will be doing this over this year. It is mainly, I think, a matter of grid owners understanding this.

      • TonyGioia

        And if everyone does that, who ends up footing the bill for inventory and assets and the users and groups and profiles? Is that fair to the REAL grids to support that?

        • Likely something to do with “things change” is all-)) As things change people figure out ways to make them work, or accommodate the changes in ways that work.

          For example, such grids could make donations to the grids that are holding the most burden. Or, they could develop other ways to contribute back in some regards.

          “Things change” and so must the people who are involved, if not, then they will eventually move on.

          I am not sure what you mean by “real grids”, perhaps some agenda you are intimating? In any case, I think it will all work out fine-))

        • Gaga

          I think grids that get money from residents for land, memberships and donations are well able to stand the cost of some of their members traveling via Hypergrid to small worlds that offer particular entertainment, role play, clubs and freebie stores. If they don’t want to stand any cost then they can closed Hypergrid and deny that service to their residents. Small worlds are not likely to gain so many registrations anyway. Moreover, I think it is in their best interests of big grids to support their residents travels because, as they say, all roads lead to Rome. Big grids serve as important trading HUB’s on the Hypergrid which I think Kitely have well recognized especially as they now have a fast developing Market Place system in place. Many on small worlds will be buying virtual goods from Markets like Kitely and it makes absolute sense in my view to keep the Hypergrid gateways open for the free flow of people and trade.

      • Justin Ireman

        Thanks for your support Minethere, I do think that this kind of thing will be the future, and eventually we will see the demise of large grids, similar to how the large online communities such as AOL and Compuserve died as people realised that freedom and not being locked behind a walled garden service provider was much better.

        • It just makes sense is all, to me. I was never a user of either compuserve or AOL, I found them too restrictive, so hypergating is similar to the way I always used the net, since the time when Al Gore invented it-))

  • Just in passing [and I may add more thoughts later or another day..of course…blurps] but http://www.virtualworldsgrid.com/news/notice now has 17,554 regions vastly surpassing any others!! Amazing!!

  • guest

    The var region count as one region no matter what the size of that region is. So it figures that the total number of regions on the grids will keep on dropping.

  • lmpierce

    The closing of ScienceSim is a bit more noteworthy than the average closing. From Intel’s white paper on ScienceSim and Collaborative Visualization:

    “Just as the Internet spawned applications that could not have been foreseen years ago, such as the emergence of Facebook and Twitter, we cannot yet anticipate all of the potential uses for ScienceSim.”.

    As hope springs eternal, we will continue to bring optimism to this branch of technology. But when important research work from brilliant technologists at the premiere infrastructure developer stops, it should be cause for a pause and a bit of introspection.

    It would be revealing to know if there were formal reasons or informal admissions that led to this decline in research by Intel. And along with that, it would be interesting to know what is meant by, “…our research focus has changed.” Maybe that’s a good thing? (or just a stand-in for saying, “we’re moving on to other more promising technologies”).

    • I got the impression that they’ve done what they set out to do with the grid, but that they’re continuing to contribute to OpenSim development.

      In fact, Bowman and Adams are both still contributing code to OpenSim: http://www.ohloh.net/p/opensimulator/contributors

      Over the past year, while activity on ScienceSim was scaling back, Adams was the number two contributor to the code base, second only to Justin Clark-Casey himself, even ahead of Crista Lopes (Diva) who invented the hypergrid. Bowman also made the top-ten list.

      Their contributions have been slowing down, but that’s simply because at the beginning, there was a lot of writing to be done to create OpenSim in the first place. Overtime, people focus on adding smaller, more focused pieces. For example, the Intel guys have been working on adding Bullet physics to OpenSim.

      As far as the grid itself goes, if all the major residents who used to use ScienceSim for testing have gone on to set up their own grids, then it’s one of those cases where their success has put them out of business.

      Plus, they’re participating in the MOSES project, which is doing a lot of the same kind of research and scalability testing, and is providing land for researchers and scientists at no cost in a more closed, secure environment than ScienceSim did.

      • lmpierce

        If I might build on what you’re saying, the closing of a single grid, even ScienceSim, is not a definitive statement about the future of the technology. But in as much as grids and grid stats that show growth are almost universally heralded as a positive sign the metaverse is growing, the contraction and/or closing of particular grids, especially those that are related to some of the core research behind the technology, should be equally noted as an indication that there is still weakness in the virtual worlds paradigm. I’m concerned the prevailing attitude is, “It’s all good.”, which I don’t agree with.

        • We do need to be concerned when grids close — but only when the closures outnumber the openings. Grids come and go. If more of them are going than coming, then we have to start asking the hard questions.

          • lmpierce

            There is more to analysis than that. For example, in the U.S. economy the number of jobs has recently risen, but most of those are low-paying service sector jobs, therefore the economic health and culture of the country is not improved. Or, conversely, if JPL closes, it is not more than offset by the opening of multiple Taco Bells, even if those Taco Bells hire more total number of employees than were working at JPL.

            Although I think the closing of ScienceSim is a moment for some reflection, especially depending on why it closed, I acknowledge that it may not portend anything more serious than a shifting of interest into other, even richer environments. But research is the groundwork for any successful endeavor, so if Intel is directing their research efforts away from virtual worlds, it matters more than just a grid closing.

          • I’m not particularly worried that Intel is directing their research away from virtual worlds. They want to sell more processors, and more powerful processors. Right now, virtual worlds — especially 3D virtual reality — offers the biggest promise of computing applications that require a lot of processing. Otherwise, people will never buy new computers, except if the old ones break. 🙂

            But they might be focusing on supporting more platforms, so they’re not putting on their money on just one horse in the race.

    • or it could simply be, they finished the project enough or fully enough, to close the grid?

    • Arielle

      I noted that too with some surprise and trepidation. Intel’s involvement gave Opensimulator a degree of credibility as well as some talented coders whose work did a lot to bring Opensim to the point it is today. I have a bit of fear that if they are moving in a new direction that we may not see much in the future in the way of updates to the features that the Intel personnel brought to the project. Bulletsim and Varregions in particular still need some tweaks and fine tuning to be considered stable. Crossing fingers.

  • Justin Ireman

    I am excited about Kitely getting HyperGrid. It will be good to go visit their as a HG visitor and see what all the damn fuss is about lol. Since January 2013 when I first started Avalonia as a private grid, I never had the desire to sign up for a new grid again – even just to try it, can’t be bothered to go to that hassle to set up a new avatar and dress it etc. So looking forward to visiting when they are on the HG 🙂

    • I feel the same way. I had made several accounts before I found the HG but only still log into 2 of those now, 3rd Rock and Kitely. I will not create any new accounts at all.

      What is nice with Kitely is I can bring in all my Metropolis stuff via OARs and keep my same look, and style-))

      But hypergating there will be fun.

  • Don’t forget about skylife 🙂 we have just about 60 ish sims and about to hit our 100 member mark 🙂 at any given time we have about 3 to 10 users online thats a start!! 🙂 Plus Hypergrid enabled Lots of the grids listed here are not hypergrid Lets Help Give shout outs to the ones that are 🙂 After all The website is Hypergrid Business 😛

    • I agree, and for several good reasons I do think the focus should be more on [if not totally on] the HG aspects, but it is Maria’s blog.

      Frankly, I think she could keep very busy just discussing HG aspects, add some more details and such.

      The rest could do some blog thing, like, maybe, “Closed Grid Business Daily”, or, “We are closed and your Content is protected!”…such things…and it would seem to me that they could keep very busy just doing that-)))))

      • As a Content creator and long time Virtual world user, In my past and and with dealing with copybots, there is no way to stop them Not even a closed grid will stop a thief . My moto is “If something wants to be stolen It will be stolen !” Josh Boam CEO of Skylifegrid and Creator of Jp Collection yachts 100+ Boats

        • Right, which is what Ilan of Kitely has often said, as have others with brighter than the normal peons minds-))))

          But the mentality, which is basically a SL clone concept [meaning they have no personal vision] is the boorish marketing hype “We will protect your Content better than anyone else”.

          Heck, I once knew someone who copybotted something from inwz simple as pie…and no, I didn’t have anything to do with that and personally do not like such things [and pls note the “once” word…lol…disclaimer partially done!!]….I just think it is all silly boorish nonsense…lol

          I am tired so this may not make sense, I just happened to be looking here before sleep time and saw your response…..be well-))

          • If people know how easy it is for a thief. There are programs dedicated just to steal your items. I have seen them work and they work well. I have seen someone take a full perm item from someone use it to copyboting X item and it would be created under the person of whom full prim the thief used. It’s a scary world if you look hard enough.

          • Yea, any person with even the most mediocre knowledge of all this is aware of that.

            Personally, content discussions don’t much interest me as they typically lead to lots of nonsense from those with simplistic agendas [not you or Ilan, but others], so I usually stay out of them.

            The main reason I commented is to throw out my “quickly becoming overused suggestions about focusing on certain things, here, or otherwise”…and for which I need to find a new angle, which I will-)), when I get around to it…

            I was just adding my own first person knowledge on copybotting, which I only mentioned as I had found it quite interesting how easy it was to do…and I am a very curious sort of human. And that content in the sl clones [and sl, of course] actually has -0- protections at all. I dislike hype and those who preach it, a lot…[which is the root reason I also dislike politicians….those scoundrels!!!]

            And, also, just having a conversation with someone who makes sense, a hard thing to find among people on the net, and pleasurable to see. Good morning-))

        • Joe Builder

          There is a way to discourage a copy botter, Just charge for uploads if your a grid with a money module. No real need for details, Being we all know how it works. The thieves will just move to a grid that is wide open and free to upload there bounty.

          • That may discourage people from uploading copybotted content into the grid but it will also discourage legitimate uploads as well. In addition, it will have no effect on reducing the amount of content copied from the grid, only the amount of content copied into the grid. In other words, it won’t help protect the content that merchants upload into the grid.

          • Joe Builder

            I would almost like to agree with you on this one. But visiting a few grids that have uploads restricted and a allowance made for legit creators seem to do well. True its not a fix but only a deterrent for the bad guys, I do think and seems to work following a SL type of platform in that direction works overall for a closed grid with a economy. As the monthly stats Maria posts clearly show. If a grid wants to gain legit creators and move forward they need to follow what’s been proven to work with virtual people, Not so much the ideas a grid owner, Always plan to bend over backwards for the creators needs than the residents sorta that order. Without Legit content its will always be a mediocre grid.

          • I’m not following this train of thought. I can see how charging for uploads (with an exception for merchants) would deter regular users from uploading Linda Kellie or OpenSim creations freebies, or experiment with their own creativity.

            And I can see how it could deter hackers from uploading content stolen elsewhere.

            So it will reduce the work it takes for the grid to monitor and remove infringing content, and mean less competition from low-priced products, freebies, and original creations for local merchants.

            I can’t see any benefits for the average grid resident here, nor do I see any deterrents to stuff being copied from this grid and either distributed right there, or taken elsewhere.

            One compromise might be to just flag individuals who do a lot of uploads all at once and flag them for review. Are they just uploading a Linda Kellie collection? Or the entire contents of Second Life?

            Although, again, if grid owners are doing a decent job with supporting in-world communities, they should be immediately aware of the any new freebie shops that open up, and whether their content is legitimate.

            When I come across freebie shops on new grids and don’t immediately recognize the content — and the shop owner or grid owner is easy to reach — I’ll often job a line about the fact that license and provenance terms are not posted in the store. … I should do an article about that…

          • Joe Builder

            Maria without going to details just have a look at the grids that have a economy and have the most SL creators on board. I may add Aviworlds for a small example has upload fee’s in place and his numbers are growing. And I may add a thief does no poop where he eats. So to explain that in a small grid of 100 regions with merchants selling, The thief’s are few. Everyone loves SL the openims person is looking for a alternative with only better prices on regions not a lot of criers over upload fee’s. Lets start looking at things realistically. Every grid will do things differently as what works just have a look at the online stats and who leads the pack 🙂

          • Avination did, and maybe still does [I stopped going there some time back] have upload fees but my request got me some kind of limited use upload money. I have no clue how it works but when I was last there I sure wish I could have used some of it to tip my friend Torben Asp-)))

            I agree that uploads fees do nothing, really, other than deter otherwise decent people by adding an unnecessary restriction. Kitely once had a listing fee for their MP, which I occasionally stated was not a good idea…and not due to little ol’ nobody me, they finally lifted it.

            It seems to me some kind of automated flag system could be easily devised, and probably is.

            What I do find amusing, however, is the sl clones trying to differentiate themselves from the, really, handful of others not on the HG, in such insignificant ways I can imagine how some SL content creators just throw up their hands trying to understand it all.

            I can imagine some SL creators seeing such small numbers, each saying they are better than the other [in so many words], saying they have this, or that, which in reality means nothing to those people. It is easy to understand why many are so leery of it all.

            Some of the sl clone grids attempt to ignore and/or dismiss completely the vast amount of HG grids, mostly uncounted. They do this in all sorts of ways but are mainly just preaching to their own choirs, of the usual types.

            Kitely has that aspect down right tho.

            I keep seeing, for example, inwz folx saying they are 5 times bigger [with whatever number is their fad of the moment] than the next closest grid, which is an interesting study in disinformation if I ever saw one. Then go on to dismiss Kitely due to their innovative use of on-demand worlds…while on the other side of their mouths saying they have more “real” regions…and in reality that, also, is disinformation, because the HG Meta actually has more “real” regions, even Metropolis.

            This is why I really appreciate the sl clones that stay out of all that nonsense, especially 3rd Rock, but some others just do their thing, which shows a greater intelligence, to my eyes, than those for whom drama can always lead to their doorsteps.

          • Reina Benoir

            If that were true there would be no copybotted content in Second Life. Clearly that’s not the case.

          • Joe Builder

            No where in this thread was it mentioned about stopping copy botters, Only a way to shove them to the next grid where there isn’t 1 rule imposed 🙂

  • Joe Builder

    Lastly for the ones here who have issues getting along with other Grids and find themselves unwanted may disagree here. The bottom line is The SL format works, SL is top dog, Next is Inworldz, now I’m not a visitor or a member of that grid but proof is in the pudding Marias makes once a month. They have the most SL creators and many who are there are happy as a room without a roof. So there should be no question what and who will prevail at the end of the day.

    • Gaga

      Hey Joe you forget the Hypergrid is collectively greater than any single grid alone ( and that means even Inworldz is smaller than HG). And before very long Kitely will add it’s numbers to the Hypergrid collective as well so you really should try to accept it and work with it. You can’t stop it. You can not hold it back. Progress will beat you. Save yourself the headache of trying Joe and enjoy your own Hypergrid world. Stop pulling down your own house!

    • Gaga

      Far from having a problem with the majority of closed grids – most of which behave in a reasonable if competitive manner – one at least (Inworldz) does have people that have a long history of attacking both the Hypergrid concept and Open Simulator core – from which they forked some years ago. The problem some Inworldz folks have with the rest of the Metaverse is probably just outright rivalry anyway but there is very little evidence the grid have grown as much as the owners claim. Their average concurrency is still under 300 which doesn’t represent much of a market for SL creators setting up there. Hypergrid, collectively, is much bigger and with Kitely on the verge of enabling HG their metrics will just add to the numbers. Moreover, the Kitely MP is making considerable inroads into the Hypergrid community and now even some closed grids can receive exportable products. This all indicates that Hypergrid is quickly becoming a viable market for exportable products without anyone necessarily committing them self to closed grid hosting costs which is generally more expensive than hosting with a company like Zetamex or Kitely Virtual. However, it remains true that there are backward thinkers as well that would stifle Opensim innovation in order to maintain a none-commercial Hypergrid (if they could) where everything is expected to be given freely while commercialism remains the domain of the closed grids and Second Life. Fortunately, those people while vocal remain a minority opinion judging by the rate of growth in the Kitely market and grid.

      The free thinkers of the open Metaverse and Hypergrid are starting to enjoy many more choices which I believe was the aim of the Open Simulator project from the beginning. Hypergrid offers greater community building options and with many more quality products becoming available for export which helps to overcome one of the stumbling blocks to resident take up – the problem with lack of decent inventory that isn’t copybotted. At the same time those who prefer to distribute freebies remain free to do so and are welcomed and appreciated. It all goes towards building the Hypergrid community for which Open Simulator is so able and beautifully constructed by a dedicated bunch of coders that deserve our admiration and gratitude.

      • Joe Builder

        I think before we start the ticker tape parade on Kitley opening up to the world lets see if it even happens. Being they push it back every month. Myself and a few others really don’t see the big significance either it opening or staying closed. Sure there is a marketplace that’s comparable to the great things offered on opensim creations for free and the many items offered in other open grids. I really don’t understand the amount of jealousy that comes out about what Inworldz has done. The beauty of opensims is choice some if not many prefer a closed community rather than the scattered groups of the open metaverse. As far as one grids residents attacking another, That’s pretty much one sided as of lately a few have personal issues that they let affect there judgment. With the snide remarks made towards a closed grid doing well, known as Inworldz. Anyways time will tell, As many are seeing what works and what don’t according to the stat pages posted. Not the few bored bloggers who refuse to see what’s really going on.

        • Gaga

          Sure, Opensim creations does have a lot of free stuff if you count collections like Linda Kelly which can also be got from Zaradoo and just about any Hypergrid destination too. There is a lot else at Opensim Creation that can be got anywhere as well but Kitely Market does at least offer some high quality goods including mesh that are for export and well worth buying. And some of the latest merchants are actually from SL and happy to do business over the Hypergrid and give proper licenses for goods that may have been distributed by copybotters in the past. And that helps honest people legitimize their products while others, unfortunately, turn a blind eye and help those who want to soil Opensim reputation and keep it in the dark ages.

          • Joe Builder

            Hopefully those mesh items are not imports being 95% of them are not for commercial use and strong copyrights are in place for them. As a small example some SL merchants are in litigation for selling copyrighted mesh imports. Its always a gamble in virtual worlds what’s what. And as far as quality some great builder contribute to the free metaverse by offering there items on opensim creations. I really hope your not condemning there builds as sub standard that’s how your beginning to sound reading between the lines of your comments.

          • Gaga

            So, it’s not enough to say freebies are welcomed and appreciated! The reader is asked to look between the lines for something I haven’t said which is a crude attempt to set a trap. I don’t know what builds are being referred to so I can’t offer an opinion on the standard but I will say that there are very many freebie products floating around in the Metaverse and available on Opensim Creations that are perfectly good. I have used some myself even but I do like to have things that are not available everywhere and this is where a mixed economy serves so well. I try to make thinks myself of course but I am also willing to buy quality goods too which I know are probably going to remain quite unique given their price tag. And the reason I want unique quality content is that I hope to offer a really well made venue for role players and interactive fiction adventurers to enjoy. Lots of people keep things as special attractions like the roller coaster on OSgrid or Mike Hart’s racing cars at Next Reality. Mike sells mesh cars on Kitely MP to help offset his server costs but he also keeps back some cars for exclusive use. It works the same in Second Life too for, if you want a highly professional build then you either must try and build it or pay for it. This is how a free market works and there is absolutely no reason why the best of content should be locked into closed grids – it will just get copybotted anyway!

            In my honest opinion a sound Hypergrid economy offers choice, legitimacy and the best of all worlds.

          • Joe Builder

            As Kitely has admitted they count regions that are no longer used (Dead Regions) and give a explanation of there in LOL cold storage. Can you imagine osgrid or any other grid making such a claim there region count would be well over 20 to 50k in numbers. Waiting for individuals for someday to return. Its absurd to make such a claim. So with that said the stats of online regions submitted is flawed.

          • Joe, we count regions that can be teleported into and immediately stop counting regions that have been deleted (of which there are tens of thousands – people create and delete regions very frequently when they can do so with as little effort as our system enables them to do).

            OSgrid counts regions that (if they are online) should be teleportable into and periodically corrects its region count to stop counting regions that can no longer be teleported into.

            If anything, our region numbers are more correct than OSgrid’s not the other way around.

          • yea, I just created my first metered region in addition [I almost typed addiction…hmmm] to the free one i have, which i closed off as it is mainly to see how it works, for myself…it was easy to do and at very low costing…nicely done-)) it will go away soon, or when i get around to it…lol

          • Joe Builder

            Sounds close to a reversal from your last statement on this matter. With the cold storage thing.

          • Please link to the comment you are referring to. Statements like that require a reference.

          • Joe Builder

            Kitely Market now delivers to the hypergrid
            by Maria Korolov · March 21, 2014
            There is a whole lot of double talk and back peddling in explanations of the free regions that never get used that are counted in your many regions you claim are active. Only problem is the math don’t add up Active users vs region count. I’m sure a few other grids owners do similar only thing I was saying Stats taken on the honor system is not valid

          • I suggest you reread all my comments and see that I’ve been very consistent in what I’ve been stating, which is basically that regions that are accessible are counted. You seem to differentiate between regions with visitors and ones without, while the region number statistic measures how much land exists on the particular grid not how much that land is visited by avatars.

            Kitely only counts regions that can be accessed, we don’t count even a single one that is inaccessible by a regular teleport attempt. The same can’t be said for the grids that enable people to connect regions running at home or by hosting companies (e.g. OSgrid). Those grids allocate map coordinates to regions that may or may not be currently accessible when people try to teleport into them.

            If you believe we count more regions than we have available then you’re welcome to use the Explore Worlds page on our website and start visiting all the worlds you are presented. You won’t be presented any private worlds which you can’t enter yourself.

          • KeithSelmes

            5669 regions and 723 active users, if I read that right, my calculator says that’s less than 8 regions per user. That’s not a lot nowadays.

            Do you still have your Kitely world ?

          • Good additional point there Keith-)) and, of course, Joe does know that many people have multiple regions now.

            But, the reason is, of course, as happens with tech [exempli gratia [[I just looked that up-)]] televisions] pricing goes down, unless, there is such a difference, and it has to be a very big difference anymore, they can sell people on the concept that their pricing is worth paying more…SL is still able to do this, for example, but of course, less and less.

            However, adding in that there is actually NOT much of a difference to common users in all this, and that it is more and more common to have multiple regions and at pricing that still makes the owners whatever profit margin appeals to them, this is why, as more and more people discover, and understand this, and understand the freedoms of expression this allows, whatever future there is in this, is obviously in that direction.

            Profit margins have always had to consider the demographic. A restaurant, for example, if my memory serves me right [and it likely does not] work on obtaining a 40% profit above and beyond payroll and other CODB – a nice calculator I just found https://nppa.org/calculator. Software, being more easily distributed with low costs, would have less a profit margin needed if they can also reach a large enough audience to still make the net income they want. Then, of course, there is the factor of “what is good income to one, is a lot to another, and not much at all to others”.

            In any case, this software has run it’s course in many regards now, and somewhat major differentiators would be the key to making profits.

            In other words, some grid saying they offer free parcels is not enough anymore to reach a wide audience, they need to do something different, and different enough to get the attention of people…which Kitely does for the commercial aspects.

            Some others are seeing this more and more and offering differences unique to themselves. But if not on the hypergates it will continue to be a constant battle for a small demographic. [this all may not make any sense, I need to wake up more before doing comments, and if I cared enough, I would……..]

          • Joe Builder

            There’s been a on going argument the majority of kitley’s counted regions are a farce. As the free regions are counted by the many who visit once take a free region to never return. As a few other grids have done, Kitley needs to also called Clean up the dead. When it was mentioned to do a kitley clean out Voices got loud claiming there in a cold storage state. I find that and many others humorous words. Lots of talk by others also they have a free region and haven’t been back for a couple yrs now. Bottom line is really think about it, Region counts and online stats is all on the honor system as these numbers are only submitted. Now if your a kitley resident or cheerleader there is ways in words to spin the facts. I think a lot of people know what’s really going on by just looking at the active users there 🙂 And by the way yes to your statement.

          • When you count the number of web pages on a website you don’t count the number of hits they receive,. That is a different statistic. The same is true for regions. You don’t count the number of avatars who visited them. If you are interested in that statistic then the closest statistic you can look at is the active use, never to return, or it could be someone who spends hundreds of hours per month inworld. It could be an avatar that visited just one region or it could be an avatar that explored the entire grid.

            In any case, Kitely calculates the statistics we report exactly like they are reportedly calculated by other grids: active users counts the number of avatars who logged into the grid in the last 30 days; registered users counts the number of user accounts people created; and number of regions counts the number of regions that exist on the map that people can actually teleport into (some grids, such as OSgrid, count regions that can no longer be teleported into, that is NOT the case in Kitely, all the regions we report can be teleported into whenever you want).

      • Ok, a’right, let me add some “real” reality here, speaking to, but not really, those who live in some other universe. With the caveat that I have already crunched enough numbers to make it clear to myself, and others, mostly lurkers, that those related to HG aspects, whether having it enabled, or, currently using the Kitely HG market aspects, are definitely on the rise.

        But for purposes of Maria’s own reported numbers [and with a highlight on the fact they are “reported”], and with the caveat, as most of us know clearly, any of these numbers have various factors that can skew them in all sorts of ways, and simply, as with any such number reporting there is always a “margin of error”. This “margin of error” is something that should likely be determined somehow, as we all know the various issues that skew numbers, with the basic issue inside of the code itself.

        Some of those would be the fact that if one crashes they are often still showing as online and only a simulator restart or a kick of the avie or a relog will fix that. So, in that case anyone can show longer concurrency numbers than is true. In my own simulators I often have to kick them or restart to remove them showing in the region. So there should, in the reality of reporting numbers, from the get-go be some margin of error for that single number. And there are more, but I am not interested in showing the more wide range of issues related to number crunching in all this [mainly this comment would get way to long!!].

        So, to break down some of the reports in the article, to wit;

        “There are now 25,267 regions on the top 40 grids, down by 1,160 regions from this time last month, meaning that there would have been only slight growth without the loss of ScienceSim. However, these grids did gain more than 3,000 new registered users and over 300 new active users.”

        Here you see that there are, in reality, only 300 new active users. People tend to overlook this very small amount of people, and if one wishes to further see how this goes, per grid, they can go here http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/statistics/april-2014-opensim-growth-statistics/. As well, you can see in this that, of the 40 grids [who report, which is also significant to note], and aside from the sciencesim aspect, only, Metropolis has 3692. Now, just to use Metro as an example, as I they do very nice, transparent reporting on their splash page, here http://chat.hypergrid.org/ [which also shows their very cool webbased chat tool. btw..yes, I admit it, I have certain agendas within most of my commenting, so, sue me-))], and because knowing how they operate in an open, free, and transparent way, with no drama either, I use them to exemplify another point.

        Metro lists the total regions that have preserved map positions. These come and go as is typical in free opensim, but is 3700 now, however, you can then see they report the prior 30 days as, currently, being 1922, and the current online as 1158. So, to realistically and correctly report what regions they actually have, just as with other grids, of any kind, who do not report such numbers publicly, what do you use? [rhetorical question, any answers do not concern me]. This is similar to OSG also….which, really, only shows that 1) these numbers are really not important to such as those, and, 2) this shows how such things can be easily skewed by any grid, whether or not they “say” they are true numbers.

        So, there should be some margin or error in that aspect also, and even one that differentiates the free opensim from the commercial ones who have at stake their primary marketing tool in numbers.

        “A total of 183 regions reported statistics this month out of 214 active grids, totalling 27,313 regions, 358,965 registered users and 21,683 active users.”

        Note, the 183 who report, an insignificant number, in and of itself, to the real total users and regions in the greater Meta. Then you can take the 27,313 number and further realize the sl clone type grids are a, statistically, small amount. Do the same with the other numbers here, and you can derive a more accurate picture of the overall Meta direction. Add in a margin of error, and get an even better picture.

        “The biggest changes on this list this month was that Virtual Highway replaced AviWorlds in the ninth position. AviWorlds lost 53 active users this month, dropping from 372 to 319. Craft kept its position despite losing 83 actives, and InWorldz dropped by 225 and probably didn’t even notice, given its sizeable population.”

        Now, in this one, disregarding the extraneous comments having nothing to do with the pure reporting of numbers here, you can easily see, if you put this with other numbers, and know some things going on otherwise, that 1) VH has seen a recent surge in growth and participation, mainly due to their no-drama top-down management style. As this is all having such low numbers of participants, all grids are the result of the vision and mgmt style of the owners…what starts there, ends up down to the basic free residents. 2) Craft being a free opensim grid, has no interest in this number other than as a “report” in order to gauge where they are at. I bet they could keep it internal and it not make any difference to what happens there, as Craft is a cool grid and that speaks for itself to those who simply look…and with it being on the HG, it gets quite a few Metanautes, including myself, regularly. 3) you can easily see that, despite the hype some believe, that inwz loses actives. Now, myself being once very active there in the land renting business with the largest land baron, I know full well the turnover we dealt with in having to reclaim parcels monthly and clean them up to get ready for the next renter…ppl who had come in to look around, paid one month rent, and were gone the next [often without even a thank you m’am, and often quickly]…as well, she had quite a few regions in reserve and ones parceled out often had only 1 or 2 renters on them. There is, of course, much more reality I could speak to in that regard, but this comment is way too long already.

        “The biggest gainer this month was OSgrid, which picked up 189 new active users, followed by Kitely with 94 new actives and Island Oasis with an increase of 90.”

        In this one, OSG picked up, as we can note by the above numbers, the most new actives. Now, with OSG being on the HG and with it being a mostly test grid, such small numbers, given a decent margin of error, are inconsequential, and could just as easily be -0-, and, really, who would care? Kitely getting plus numbers, even tho statistically small, at least is positive and not negative, which should show astute watchers they are, at the very least, a grid where people are spending some time in. Not mentioned is that Metro gained 50 actives.

        “OSgrid: 7,165 regions
        Kitely: 5,669 regions
        Metropolis: 3,692 regions”

        Here you see how much larger in regions the rest are [if you note them up there or at the pure stats page]. Now, breaking that down a bit, we know that OSG, similar to Metro, has region placeholders because so many come and go, especially in regard to such numbers. Kitely, of course, does a similar thing, but them being a, kinda [because I see them as an interesting blend], commercial grid, and due to their on-demand model, that number could be shown in several ways also, such as Metro does.

        Additionally, there is the aspect of number reporting that cannot be quantified at all. This is in hypergate traveling, and in the closed models, the fact that many go from one of those to another all day long to find things to do or add content if a merchant.

        So, in closing, and based upon reported numbers here, facts [tho also adding in the aspect of “margins of error”, which, if some number could be figured out by math types, would actually show this all better], one can get a much more clear idea of what is actually going on.

        This took more time to do than I wanted to, but it seemed like a good idea, at the moment-))