Island Oasis back on top in grid survey

Island Oasis pulled in the highest overall scores in the fifth annual OpenSim grid survey, narrowly edging out The Adult Grid for first place.

Island Oasis is a top-ten grid by active users, making its high score even more surprising, since scores tend to diminish over time as grids get larger and owners struggle to keep up with technology, support, and community relations.

The last time Island Oasis took the lead in this survey was in 2011, back when it had only 43 regions, about 800 registrations, and only a couple of hundred active users.

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

Today, the grid has more than 200 regions, nearly 8,000 registrations and close to 1,000 active monthly users. In addition, 94 percent of respondents said that they would “absolutely” recommend this grid to others, and 34 percent of all voters said that they had visited the grid, which is a closed, commercial world.

Island Oasis renters also submitted detailed comments about what they liked about the grid, touting its value, stability, people, and customer service.

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

Island Oasis charges $35 a month for a 15,000-prim region, which is nearly half the price of the some of the larger closed commercial grids.

“I do ask my friends in other grids to come to Island Oasis,” said one resident. “And those that do seem to stay.  The management of this grid is very helpful and the people that are members of the grid are for the most part mature and thoughtful of others.”

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

(Image courtesy Island Oasis.)

“Since we opened for business — almost four years ago — we’ve strived to provide a quality product at a fair price coupled with world class customer service,” said Island Oasis grid co-founder Karl Dreyer, who is also known as Damean Paolino in-world. “In addition to that, we offer many perks, features and tools to our residents that many of our competitors do not.”

He said that he feels that the grid’s residents are his community and part of his family.

“We care deeply for our residents and we are committed to ensuring that they are satisfied and happy in Island Oasis,” he told Hypergrid Business.  Truthfully, without them there would be no Island Oasis.”

Overall grid score. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Overall grid score. Click on image for full-sized view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Scoring the results as 1 for “Very Poor” and 5 for “Excellent,” Island Oasis came in with a 4.91 average. The Adult Grid was second with 4.89, followed by Virtual Highway with 4.86 and Zandramas with 4.84. Tangle Grid was in fifth place with 4.82.

The Adult Grid is a new, small closed commercial grid with 64 regions and around 2,300 registered users. It does not release its active user counts but it is probably pretty busy since there were just 988 registered users two months ago, when we first started keeping track of this grid.

OSgrid, which has been down since late August due to technical difficulties, unsurprisingly scored the lowest in this survey, with a 4.0.

InWorldz, the busiest of all the OpenSim grids, came in at 4.54. It was just below AviWorlds at 4.55 — a steep drop from last year, when AviWorlds ranked second overall.

Kitely, last year’s top-scoring grid, was near the middle this time around.

Lost Paradise, which rated highest in 2012, received fewer than the minimum number of votes this year, despite having four times as many active users.

Would you recommend this grid to others? (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Would you recommend this grid to others? (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Overall, 89 percent of survey takers said that they would “absolutely” recommend their grids to others.

Four grids — Nara’s Nook, Virtual Highway, Tangle Grid, and The Adult Grid — had perfect scores in this category, with every single respondent willing to recommend their grid.

Would you recommend your grid to others? (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Would you recommend your grid to others? (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Meanwhile, InWorldz was the grid that had both the most respondents and the most visitors.

Number of respondents. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Number of respondents. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Of September’s top ten grids, only Craft and World DC didn’t have enough respondents to make it onto the survey. There were only two responses for Craft, and none for World DC. Since these grids are based overseas, it could be a matter of not learning about the survey in time.

For the most part, the percentage of respondents who said that they visited a particular grid roughly corresponded with that grid’s traffic numbers the last few months.

InWorldz, as to be expected, was in the lead, with a full 78 percent of respondents having been to that grid. OSgrid was in second place, with 62 percent, followed by Kitely with 39 percent.

The chart below doesn’t include visitor numbers for write-in grids such as Nara’s Nook, only the grids suggested by name in the survey.

Percentage of our readers who visited these grids. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Percentage of our readers who visited these grids. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Best community

Invitation-only Zandramas grid pulled in a near-perfect 4.95 score for community this year. This was the second year in a row that Zandramas scored highest in this category, evidence that last year’s showing was no fluke.

One possible reason could be that Zandramas was careful to expand slowly, limiting growth by requiring recommendations from existing users. Over the course of the past year, its active users increased from 100 to 185, and its area increased from 148 to 215 standard region equivalents.

Residents raved about the community feeling, the sense of safety and fairness, the quality of communication from grid owners, the unlimited prim regions, the fast support, reasonable prices, and fun events.

Zandramas is a safe place for the people that are tired of the big grids and want more of a safe life,” said one resident.

The invitation-only policy in particular was remarked on favorably by many voters, who cited it as the reason the grid is free from copybotters and griefers.

Community score. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Community score. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

After Zandramas, the next eight grids were all within a few hundredths of a point of one another — Nara’s Nook, Island Oasis, Littlefield, DreamNation, 3rd Rock Grid, Tangle Grid, and Virtual Highway.

Kitely scored second lowest for community this year, a sign that the grid is still having problems coming together socially.

Best Support

Zandramas also came out on top for support, with a perfect store of 5.0.

While Zandramas runs its own servers, OpenSim hosting company Zetamex provides technology services.

This grid’s customer and technical support is like nothing I’ve ever experienced on the web let alone in a virtual world,” wrote one Zandramas resident.

I love that fact that this grid has such fast inventory rezzing, minimum of lagging, multiple sims without any sim crossings, and awesome staff quick respond to any problem,” added another.

Having the possibility to reboot the sims is fantastic!” raved another, referring to the Zandramas control panel tool that takes the idea of restarting a region to a completely new level.

Most grids run several regions inside a single instance of the OpenSim server software, explained Timothy Rogers, acting CEO of Zetamex. As result, when regions are restarted, the actual software itself is like running — it’s like closing a single webpage in a browser, without shutting down the browser itself.

“Unlike many grids, Zandramas runs one region per simulator, providing the absolutely best performance,” Rogers told Hypergrid Business.

That makes it possible to shut down the entire OpenSim application, and Zetamex created a custom tool for Zandramas that provides this shutdown ability for the grid’s region owners.

It’s a true, full restart, he said, which “allows you to completely and securely fully restore the region.”

“Since implementing this, we have not had a single user ever have to contact us to fix their sim,”  Zandramas manager and co-founder Suzan De Koning told Hypergrid Business. “It’s like turning your PC off and on again.”

Support score. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Support ratings. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Virtual Highway, a closed, commercial grid, was in second place with a 4.95 score, followed closely by Island Oasis with 4.94. Tangle Grid, which recently launched an expo series, tied for fourth place with Littlefield, both at 4.88.

Best Technology

Kitely ranked at the top here, as well, with a close-to-perfect score of 4.95, up from second place last year.

Kitely is known for its on-demand cloud hosting, and the hypergrid’s only multi-grid marketplace.

Kitely has functionality in the marketplace that no one else has,” said one voter.

“Overall I think Kitely has a great set of innovations and excellent tech support,” added another.

Kitely is truly innovative, they wisely invest their time in features that are useful and appeal to their users — such as advanced worlds on demand, cloud storage, the Kitely Market —  instead of wasting their time on gimmicks,” said a resident. “Kitely doesn’t use their customers as beta testers. When they release something, it works. Regressions and rollbacks are unheard of in Kitely.”

Technology rating. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Technology rating. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Virtual Highway ranked second in technology, with a 4.82 score, followed by Littlefield with 4.75, Island Oasis with 4.67 and The Adult Grid with 4.63.

Best Content

Nara’s Nook, a grid that got just enough ratings — ten — to be included in this write-up, scored highest in content in this year’s survey.

Nara’s Nook has just 13 regions and 75 active users. It is a place for writers to experiment with interactive fiction, to hold readings, or just hang out while they work. It is hypergrid-enabled.

The grid is best known for the Greyville Writer’s Colony, where there’s usually someone in the cafe across from the landing zone. The region includes settings and characters from the books created by the authors of the grid.

Greyville Writer's Colony. (Image courtesy Nara Malone.)

Greyville Writer’s Colony. (Image courtesy Nara Malone.)

Nara’s Nook is not a big commercial social grid that tries to be all things to all people. And, by doing just one thing very well, it may well be a model for the future development of the hypergrid.

Content rating. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Content rating. Click image for full-size view. (Hypergrid Business survey data.)

Littlefield, another popular hypergrid destination, came in a close second for content with 4.88, followed by Virtual Highway at 4.82, Tangle Grid with 4.76 and Island Oasis with 4.69.

Kitely scored second lowest in content, despite the growth in the marketplace.

The owners of Kitely, who appear to be very tech savvy, seem to be most focused on big features, like the marketplace and the hypergrid,” said one resident. “I am sure these features will give Kitely greater standing among more experienced virtual world enthusiasts, but I suspect their value will be lost on less experienced virtual world explorers who are likely, at least initially, be more concerned about how their avatar looks, how they move, where to find basic resources, etc. And I think it is these new people who Kitely will have to attract, and retain, in order to grow the Kitely population.”

Comments about the grids

The following is a representative sample of some more of the additional comments offered by the respondents.

3rd Rock Grid

“I have only been n the grid for six months but I find it fun, relaxing and educational.”

“3rd Rock Grid is a wonderful grid run by wonderful people. The service is perfect — sometimes I get a reply to my tickets within 15 minutes, and so far every problem was solved. The owners are online too and keep contact with their users.”

“I hope that some more creators will join the grid so that we can get more shops and high quality stuff there.”

“It is an absolute drama free grid.”

I have seen many grids, but 3rd Rock became my grid of choice.”

“Have made my home in 3RG for three years now. Been in open sim from 2010 and Second Life since 2005. In my opinion 3RG is the grid you graduate to. In other words it’s the grown ups’ grid. Intelligent conversation and nearly 99.9 % griefer free. In fact, mean and narrow minded people seem to make a hasty retreat.”

“What 3rd Rock Grid needs to excel is for more people to join and generate cash flow. We have fantastic sims  that don’t see as much traffic as they deserve. On the positive side, the drama is way low. Once we come up to v0.8.0, we should see a drastic upturn in popularity.”

“For me and my needs, this place seems to be ideal!”

“Enjoy music with a congenial community of people, or help build a new world! If you like to create or contribute, there are many opportunities in this still growing, hassle free, grid.”

“One of the warmest communities I’ve found.”

AviWorlds

AviWorlds is a grid that is in the beginning but even starting grid is the one that’s free for users build, land and also has an optimal stability without lags or bugs. I recommend this to all who enjoy online gaming and who have the desire to create new and unique things.”

DreamNation

“The community of people is its strength, after playing Second Life for so long I was a bit spoilt so the content seems a bit old but it is getting better by the day. I consider DreamNation my new home after many years in Second Life.”

“Unfortunately I leave my last sim at SecondLife at end of year. Second Life is too expensive for me, renters left, DJ income dropped end worse is Linden Lab claims all rights on uploads. Because I am a designer and developer on and off grid I do not agree to the Linden Lab Terms of Service and quit my shop too. “

The few spots that I did not rate excellent are due to DreamNation still developing and growing. The technology is getting there and it is a bit more fun for me to be in at the ground floor so to speak.”

InWorldz

The InWorldz residents have contributed enough comments to fill a book, with the majority firmly on the positive side.

“In the past two years Ive made amazing friends, become a region owner of two beautiful residential sims, and I actually prefer the content to Second Life — especially since the Knitting Circle and Fashion District arrived. In the past two years InWorldz has grown like crazy and I love every minute I spend there.”

“I’ve been in InWorldz since 2010 and it keeps getting better. Is it perfect? No…what world is? However, it’s run with alot of respect for its creators and residents and this is what makes for a happier world despite any minor flaws. It also amazes me what a small company like this can accomplish! Very simply put: if InWorldz didn’t exist, I more then likely would have left virtual worlds totally.”

I love InWorldz so much that I know have three full sims and two scenic ones. The cost of InWorldz is much less than Second Life which is where I originated in avatar form.”

“The only reason I would hesitate to recommend InWorldz to others, is that I fear an influx of people will some day turn it into just another Second Life. InWorldz is unique because of it’s founders’ attention to doing things right rather than raking in the dollars, and because residents are emotionally invested in making this a livable community.”

“Greatest advantages over Second Life are affordable land prices, high prim counts, customer support and involvement by grid founders. Several popular builders from Second Life also have stores in InWorldz. Closed grid, protection of intellectual property is an advantage over the OpenSim hypergrid. Perfect grid for experienced builders who just want to build. Few learning opportunities.”

Some respondents, however, took the opportunity to vent.

They are so far behind the times it is like visiting Second Life eight years ago. Physics are very iffy and they need to get on the mesh bandwagon in the clothes and accessories area. Do not even get me started on the scripting issues 🙁 Over all I don’t see this grid going anywhere but just remaining a place stuck in the Second Life glory days of prims.”

I have finally run out of patience with InWorldz. I am tired of waiting for all the bugs to be fixed. I am tired of waiting for inWorldz to catch up to OpenSim. I am tired of InWorldz announcing things that never come to be. I am tired of waiting for a response from InWorldz support… I am tired of excused. I am tired of InWorldz.”

Island Oasis

Island Oasis has more for your money than any other grid out there. And their customer service is second to none. Can’t beat it.”

Island Oasis is a great grid.With a lot to offer. I hope we get more creators such as myself to come over and explore and help this grid to grow.”

I fell in love with Island Oasis a few years ago and I love it!!!”

Kitely

“Kitely works. It uses the latest and greatest OpenSim version plus exclusive, leading edge features developed by Kitely. The cheapest fixed-price world option costs just $14.95 per month. If you are paying more than that for a sim somewhere else, and it lacks the features Kitely offers, you are wasting your time and money there. Give your wallet a break, move to Kitely and see what you have been missing.”

The only ‘problem’ with Kitely I have experienced is the usual on Open Sim worlds — low concurrency. But the people there are great, and the builds seem very innovative. I’ve enjoyed my time there, and have had my home on OSgrid and Metropolis as well in the past.”

“Kitely is unique on its overall features and flexibility — the right place to invest time and money.”

Kitely provides great value at low cost: Very stable grid, lots of ressources for my money, very fast response in case of issues, a great market. What it still needs is to increase size of community and further develop social activities.”

 

I love Kitely, but the pricing structure is confusing to new users.”

Littlefield

I live, work and play in Littlefield. It is my virtual home. The emphasis in Littlefield is on community with excellent content and technical support providing a stable base for that community. I have lived in Second Life, InWorldz, OSgrid. I enjoyed them all but Littlefield is the first where I have both a home and a family.”

Littlefield is all about community. No commerce makes the grid less stressful, it’s all about creating, being part of a community and having fun with no drama.”

Metropolis

Metropolis is an artists’ Mecca, is full of friendly and nice people, is a non-commercial, no-currency grid on the hypergates.”

Metropolis has an outstanding community and their admins are very dedicated, even though they have limited time. Metropolis has a lot of big events going on and everyone is friendly and helpful.”

Too bad that I do not find Metropolis years earlier.”

OSgrid

Despite the outage — which is now in its second month — many respondents had only positive things to say about OSgrid.

Amazing community, free land, free uploads. I love this grid and split my time between Second Life and OSgrid.”

I love how friendly and helpful the people are on OSgrid. I love how they work hard to advance their their technology and so willingly gives to other grids for free! I love that idea that you can use your own servers.”

“Other grids owners are temperamental and ban people at will — even for little perceived insults. They don’ t have the number of sims to travel to — the shopping experiences are dull — OSgrid has it all! Other than this serious outage issue we have been happy there for almost four years.”

Some residents, however, were concerned about backups and communication issues.

Unless OSgrid comes up with a better backup solution I don’t think anyone should do anything but testing on that grid. For a large number of people it is their production grid and the OSgrid management was well aware of it but let it slide.”

“The OSgrid community is pretty poor in that there does not exist any in-world or off-world fora that mass communicate to its users at any regular times, and the forum is very tech driven and not particularly informative at times. “

“RAID [drive] failure is not the worst — lack of communication, direction, risk management.”

“I was a faithful OSgridder until it abruptly disappeared in late August… Since then I have been gridless, and I think I will stay that way. I have not been at all impressed by the drive crash and its aftermath. I am hearing a lot about how it is a ‘test’ grid. This is news to me.”

Tangle Grid

“I really like the expos that have been running on Tangle.”

“Tangle Grid is a forward thinking grid. It has the tech and the technology and the community to move forward and is building a great world.”

“Totally awesome place recomend it to anyone. Their prices are very hard to beat, too, and every one are just so nice at Tangle Grid.”

The Adult Grid

“The people her are amazing and even though we are lacking in content compared to the “almighty” older grids, for something that is just starting they are off to an awesome start!”

“The best grid I have visited in a long time, customer support is wonderful, and the people are always willing to help out a real family community, people caring about people.”

“Friendliest grid and best founders thus far from all the grids i have been on.”

“Just a small adult themed virtual world. Adult-minded grownups enjoying ourselves and having a good time. Not complicated or expensive but has backups daily and offsite back ups for just in case and is easy on the wallet for those who just enjoy having a good time and hate going broke.”

Virtual Highway

I have been to multiple Opensim grids over the past three to four years. I was very suprised of the content Virutal Highway had to offer. I believe over time if this grid stays consistent, it will be one of the most popular grids in OpenSim.”

The way they protect content creators’ rights and IP is very important.”

Best support ever. Fair price for land. Friendly people. Helpful. Well organized.”

“Best grid I have been in. Great people, nicely laid out.”

“Virtual Highway is pushing the new Opensim technology and working hard to help iron out some of the wrinkles in it. When had problems with the new variable sized regions, [they] asked Henri Beauchamp from Cool Viewer for some assistance and insight and put a varregion at his disposal, as well as the other varregions already being set-up. His results and subsequent changes to Cool make it the best viewer to use for any grid with varregions.”

Zandramas

“Quite a bit of time and effort was spent on Zandramas long before it launched to determine the best possible and most stable configuration for the grid setup in order to ensure good reliability. After launch more effort was spent on trying to automate user services to help enable users to take care of many things themselves. Some of the larger grids will have many of the same features but most smaller grids will not. I am continually impressed with Zandrama’s leadership and dedication to the user experience.”

The fact that Zandramas is a closed grid, gives me the feeling of safety. The community — yes, Zandramas has in fact a community —  is very helpful and caring, something I did not see on other grids, where I faced jealousy, backstabbing, poor costumer support. At Zandramas, the people can vote, they have a vote in making decisions.”

It is worth mentioning that they support sending payments to avatars in-world from the website, without having to log into the world. I believe it is an amazing an innovating idea. Smart and lovely people run that place.”

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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.

    • Talla Adam

      I just wonder when you will learn, Maria that publishing anything negative about a large commercial grid like Inworldz will only bring out the core supporters ranting about bias and, of course, dismissing the Opensim code as rubbish (which is just not true). This has happened so many times in the past I am sure you want to provoke them to help HB ratings and to hell with the damage done to community relations. This really doesn’t encourage new people to visit and discover the open Metaverse community of grids. The whole Opensim development whether it be forked as in the case of Inworldz or Aurorasim or White core have common protocals based on Second Life so no one version is better than any other but there are differences and pluses and minuses. And, moreover, code is borrowed from one version for another even when nothing is being contributed back. But, to heck with it, Opensim dispite the negatives leveled at it above, is becoming so advanced now even Second Life is losing its edge. I get around and whether I visit Inworldz or Kitely or Metropolis or many newer grids and Hypergrid destinations I am experiencing far more stability and a lot less lag than in the past. There are no real exceptions either way, just some differences between grids. All that really matters though is the growth across all grids in community.

      I wish there was less ranting and my grid is better than yours. I think all grids are getting better.

      • whole heartedly agree 100% well said.

      • oh yeah? MY grid IS better than yours!! so pfffttt, and this says so….

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oi84maqHgxg

        crap, that’s about my dog being better than yours…nvm

        • crap, I just realized I also don’t even HAVE a grid….grrr

          • Talla Adam

            I just love you to bits Miney,,, you daft crackpot!

          • who spoiled my secret!!!-)))

          • Crystal Brewton

            If Miney is a crackpot, I wanna be a crackADDICT!!! Now, wouldn’t that explain everything nicely????????

          • Talla Adam

            OMG! There goes another daft crackpot!!! Gotta luv’em! hahaha!!!

          • OMG!!!

          • burp….

          • Baz

            Well, go get one. All the cool kids are doing it. 😛

          • I ain’t cool tho..Talla has it nailed, I am a daft crackpot!! Besides, then I would have to get in my wagon and go town to town trying to convince people to buy my hemorrhoid salve, because, of course, it is the very, very best!!!

        • Merrie Schonbach

          I do try not to be negative about any grid, however, I just popped into Island Oasis after some time away and was a little disappointed, I came in ghosted and my inventory would not load. I did all the tricks I knew and staff did try to help but no go. I would think this particular problem would not be an issue anymore.

      • Baz

        Simple solution. Give those type grids a grandfathered red line that goes off the chart so by default those supporters can agree it is “truthful and the right way to do the survey” and exclaim the glory on their own forums and blogs. 😛 Maria, make part of the survey results ad based like the top results that are really ads in disguise that we all skip like you see on Yahoo search results. lol. Make some money out of the deal. 😛 Kidding of course!

        Talla, I agree whole wholeheartedly with your assessment. I firmly believe the days of scrambling to convince others that X grid is best and the only real choice are over. It worked when people were new to Opensim and convinced of such notions but as Opensim code continues to grow and more grids are coming to life people can open up to the advances out there. Both in the core code that is borrowed from and the internal fixes by grids like Kitely that offer many of them back to the Opensim core.

  • Birch Wind

    “Island Oasis charges $35 a month for a 15,000-prim region, which is nearly half the price of the some of the larger closed commercial grids.”
    First off – for 15,000 prims, that is not really half priced at all. In IW – a ‘closed commercial grid’ – it is 60/month for 30,000 prims on mainland or 75 for up to 450000 prims on a private isle. Maybe you are only thinking of Second Life here.

    Metropolis (which btw has an amazing community, I can’t believe they ranked so low in community!) charges 36.00 for a 45,000 prim region of 256×256 or 512×512. A far better deal.

    And quite obviously some people just vote on here to downvote other grids. To say that IW has mesh issues etc. Seriously? that’s why IW has the most people online at any time outside of SL? That’s why there are new merchants constantly moving into IW? I own regions and meet new tenants on a continuous basis who love the stability and economy of IW, as well as all the features and vibrant community.

    Other grids, Ive wandered about, explored and tested the grounds. Ive had tech issues and contacted people and either not been answered or not had issues resolved. I have an avatar at almost every grid and there is a reason that IW is not only my fav closed grid but my fav grid over all. Metropolis comes in second because I like the way that they are an opensim grid that manages to avoid drama and tries hard to be community based.

    So, not to knock the grids that did well, but for IW to have the most respondents but rank so low, I will conclude that now that IW is getting big, it’s getting its ‘haters’ . People who feel wronged and go out of their way to try to ruin the reputation of their perceived victimizer. I have been on most of the grids above and there is no way that IW should have come out so low on that at all.

    • Metropolis is a non-profit [which, btw, it seems those should be separated from commercial ones Maria] and I may have missed something, but I didn’t see anything there related to “getting out the vote”, frankly, I think most don’t even care, that is not what Metropolis is about, really].

      Similar to many of the thousands of simulators and grids run in the free Meta.

      • In general, as grids get larger, their scores tend to go down because the grids simply get more and more difficult to manage. Folks who can run a small grid extremely well start getting run ragged when the grid gets bigger and bigger, and the problems don’t just grow proportionately — problems interact with other problems and probably grow at a faster rate than the population!

        After all, if there are two people on the grid, I can have a problem with you, and you can have a problem with me. If there are ten people on the grid, I can have problems with nine different people — and each of them can have problems with nine different people, totalling 81 problems altogether! And that’s not even counting problems people can have with groups of other people (here, the math gets into factorials!)

        The other factor, is that, on average, commercial grids charge more for land so that they have more money to spend on support and moderators and technology and all that other stuff that improves ratings.

        Now, this isn’t a hard-and-fast rule. Some small grids do badly, and some large grids do well, and some for-profits do badly, and some non-profits do well.

        But I think, overall, when people are choosing grids, they decide up front whether they want a closed, commercial grid or an open, non-profit grid, then narrow down their choices to the best grids in that category and spend a little time on each before making a decision.

        Each type of grid offers its own advantages. And different people have different preferences — which are equally valid. One person may be very happy to pay extra for a higher level of support, more content, and a bigger community, while another person may prefer a less expensive grid with backups and hypergrid travel and volunteer support.

        • I think the paradigm change has already happened. Your last paragraph shows this, “One person may be very happy to pay extra for a higher level of support, more content, and a bigger community, while another person may prefer a less expensive grid with backups and hypergrid travel and volunteer support.”

          I doubt seriously anyone actually thinks, anymore, at least among those whom have looked around a bit, that paying more equals better service. In fact people say and read of an awful lot of problems in SL.

          Conversely, Kitely, and I think most any objective minded person can easily see, has excellent customer service and is on the low end of pricing.

          Of course people can have a variety of “feelings” about a certain grid, or a certain type of grid, as is natural for humans. As exemplified again [not picking on SL as I have no issues with them], many complain about this or that there, but then continue to feed it with their time, money, energies and so forth.

          And then there is the factors that must need be weighed in, that of people actually knowing of all the options in the first place, and/or actually going out and giving them a decent shot.

          I would not pretend to know what Metro admins and supporters think on this matter, but from the year or so I have been there it is more a laissez-faire attitude there than commercial grids for whom getting people in tends to increase the bottom line.

          They did add another server due to the influx lately as noted here;

          http://forum.hypergrid.org/opensim-general/neue-server-doppelte-replikation-backup-t3760.html [press your countries flag on a post to goto google translate for a kinda sorta translation]

          But then you have a rather active and interesting group of people, whom hold some informative events who does somewhat advertise but I doubt anyone voted here for them, or if so, not enough to get them in the survey.

          https://sites.google.com/site/virtualislandsbettereducation/home

          • Winter Silversmith

            I think that “better support” and “more content” are “standards” in OS and not “options” (like air conditioning on your car) or at least they should be. SL has proven that a higher cost does not equal better service. You should receive the same level of service quality if you pay $0 or $100 a month. And as for “content” there’s a baseline to any OS grids, things you would ‘expect’ to find. Now if you want to go beyond the “normal” tech for OS grids then you can expect to pay more, but even that, in time, isn’t justified simply because tech is always changing and advancing.

    • InWorldz didn’t come out low — most of its residents scored the grid extremely highly, and there was no attempt to kill the rankings with votes of “very poor.” A few people had particular issues and didn’t put “excellent” across the board, but that’s to be expected in a grid the size of InWorldz. Other grids just scored slightly higher.

      Another reason could be is the people are more likely to leave a smaller grid if they’re dissatisfied with it, because there are fewer reasons to stick around. With a large closed grid, where you might have a lot of friends, a lot of money invested in land or inventory, people might stay even if they’re dissatisfied because they don’t want to leave everything behind.

      • SnootsDwagon

        One way to overcome such issues is by eliminating the extremely high and extremely low responses… then re-evaluating the poll. Doing so eliminates both the fanatics and the haters and gives us instead a more valid “general opinion”.

  • AviWorlds

    Being that AviWorlds was offline for almost 5-6 months and had a very rocky first 4 years , plus I was out of touch with my following; I do think we did good in the survey. I want to thank Maria for her hard work and dedication on this special event. AviWorlds is now as you all know playing catch with the other grids that have been able to stay online for more than 4-5 years and I like to point out that all grids that haven been online without any problems for all these years are the ones who host their own. Well AviWorlds is now under that category and I am hopeful that we will pull this out now.
    I see you in the top ten category next month!

  • Talla Adam

    Great read. Thank you Maria. I have to say it didn’t surprise me that Kitely was at the top of the technology category and I certainly agree with that. I have had a Kitely region/s for about a year now and I can honestly say there have been no problems and with the sim or the inventory on my avatar. Moreover, the fact it is now Hypergrid enabled and has export perms just adds to the benefits for such a low price. I have a premium membership and a single $14.95 region for my workshop which I moved from OSgrid where I just had so many problems, especially with inventory, for ages. I hope when the grid is back the inventory problems will be solved so I can return but I’m unlikely now to drop my sim at Kitely.

    I don’t take a lot of notice of people finding fault with Inworldz because all grids have their dissatisfied residents and they can be quite loud. My view is that if a grid is so bad it will fall apart and die a death anyway. Inworldz is certainly not falling apart and they do have a large and vibrant community – I have an avi there so I do know. As for other grids I do agree with Birch Wind that Metropolis is one of the better communities with a strong artistic leaning and really quiet democratic Management style.

    I chose not to have an Avatar account on a lot of worlds unless I need to because they have closed borders and I want to go there. I much prefer to use either my OSG avatar when the grid is up or more often now my Kitely avatar to get around the Hypergrid enabled grids. A regular port of call for me is Nara’s Nook which is a great example of a fixed theme worlds – the Greyville Writers Colony. And Nara and her resident authors are so incredibly welcoming and helpful.

  • Winter Silversmith

    I agree that other “larger commercial grids” charge more reasonable
    prices than Island Oasis. I also agree with Birch that surveys can be
    skewed by “haters” which is unfair to a grid overall. And, while TanGLe grid faired very well and I’m happy about that, I agree with others who have commented that many grids were left out of the survey that might have been impressionable. True all those readers had to do was click “Other” but as you know it’s human nature to just choose from the list. I do understand the limited size list, after all you can’t put 250 grids on one survey. In the end, it’s a
    survey not the law. It is good to hear the overall view of respondents.

  • Zandramas Grid

    Congratulations to all the grids out there! And thank you for anyone who voted for us 🙂 We are happy to hear your comments & thank you!

  • I used my two votes for positive voting. I like Metropolis and I like Kitely, both for different reasons.

    My comment on one Maria used also.

    I would not waste a vote on negativity. I suppose some might use different email accounts so they can do such things, but it seems to much of a hassle to my eyes, but c’est la vie.

    If anything I would have voted for 3rg if I had a third vote.

    All these grids are totally not into drama and are very pleasant to be in. Mostly I use my Metro avie to visit Kitely and look forward to doing that with 3rg.

    In fact, I will be doing that soon-) http://www.kitely.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=2109&p=14073#p14073 [plug intended for some nice people].

  • For folks who are disappointed that their favorite destination didn’t make it in, I’m doing a second survey before the end of this year for people’s favorite hypergrid destinations. Where do you go to shop? To hang out? To dance? To learn how to build? To see great art?

    Please submit your nomination here: https://docs.google.com/a/tromblyinternational.com/forms/d/1xwhfIVgyekCz2p0RThkm9xFOICBA_31PWOlGzzq_T64/viewform

    You can submit as many as you want!

    • So how many actual votes did you get for this survey?

      • Sorry, forgot to say that in the story! 550 usable votes out of 595 submissions. The rest were duplicates, for the most part. a few people didn’t get the idea of the survey and just the put the name of their grid as an answer everywhere instead of actually rating them.

  • I didnt realize this was happening till last minute and didnt leave much of a comment with my ratings. So I will leave it here 🙂

    As some may know, my home grid is Kitely. My experiences have been resoundingly positive in all areas. In terms of tech, nobody out there even comes close. As a merchant, my store just passed the 2000 USD mark *taking KC into account too*. While not stellar or anything I can retire on, there have been months where my Kitely sales have outpaced my SL sales. So I consider that a strong start. As a user, building is smooth and bugs get stomped on quickly and responsively.

    I see Kitelys main challenge in this coming year is addressing the social aspect slightly more. I know the guys that run it are tech-focused guys and the hope has always been the community will kind of “sort itself out” but I think they need to take a stronger hand in both promoting the grid and aiding community focused initiatives.

    This is a curse that comes with offering so much land so cheap. People invariably get a huge area and spend the next 1-2 years building in solitude. This is coming from someone who started with a 1×1, then a 2×2, now a 3×3. As a premium user, my bill for 10 regions comes in at around 25 USD a month, plus whatever I have to pay for hyergrid and non-premium users. The “time based” aspect of things

    It must be said, that the small community that does exist in Kitely are the friendliest bunch of people I have met anywhere in the meta so far. A big disadvantage for Kitely is that the content which a grid can usually tout to draw in people is available to everyone via the marketplace.

    • I somehow missed a part of my comment 🙂

      “The “time based” aspect of things…..” seem to frighten people off a little but the expense is really negligible. I pay maybe a few dollars extra each month and I have quite a few shoppers spending 15-30 each mins in my region per month. I would have to get serious levels of traffic before it made sense upgrading to one of the more expensive “Fixed World” packages.

    • Oz, apparently Samuel Woodbury who just posted a comment above yours, has had almost exactly the same experience as you write about-))

      “As some may know, my house lines is Kitely. My encounters have been resoundingly beneficial in all places. With regards to technical, nobody out there even comes near. As a vendor, my shop just approved the 2000 USD indicate *taking KC into consideration too*. While not outstanding or anything I can stop working on, there have been several weeks where my Kitely revenue have outpaced my SL revenue. So I consider that a powerful begin. As a customer, developing is sleek and insects get stomped on easily and responsively.

      Dukan Diät Plan”

      • You perplex me my dear Minethere. As I don’t see any such comment anywhere here from anyone of that name. 🙂

        Though that does indeed sound like a slightly butchered version of my normally exceptionally eloquent *cough* writing style 😀

        • it was removed as spam, which is why I quoted it…lol…it was just a morning funny to me…however, being perplexed is also fun-))

  • hack13

    I am very happy to see several of Zetamex’s clients grids making this list 🙂

    • It just goes to show that you can be a non-techie and still run a great grid with a great community, if you use a hosting vendor to run your infrastructure for you.

      • AviWorlds

        Yes Maria and guess where it got AviWorlds….
        I think that the truth should be said here regarding hosting companies. It is not all that easy and it is not always 100%. If you run your own server and let the hosting company administer for you then I can say it is a little better than the so called HOSTING PACKAGES they offer.
        AviWorlds went offline many times it wasnt because I decided to shut it down for nothing or no reasons. So It bothers me to see that MARIA only says all candy and nice things about hosting companies but this kind of protection is not doing any good to the consumers!
        Yes say the positives but also be sure to say and tell the NEGATIVES. You are always right on the money when its time to say negatives regarding AviWorlds …

        • My next survey — probably in a couple of weeks or so — is on OpenSim hosting companies.

          • AviWorlds

            The problem with the SURVEY for Opensim Hosting companies is that MOST of their customers are SINGLE regions, standalone regions costumers. These have no problems they are not traffic eaters like a grid like AviWorlds for example. So most of the people voting on the survey will be single region, standalone customers and offcourse they will say its great!
            I want to see a survey for GRID HOSTING and see how many grids out there were hurt by these companies. I have received multiple emails from other grid owners telling me their NIGHTMARES on hosting company streets!

          • Let’s wait for the survey to come out first, okay? And I *will* make sure there’s a section asking if the respondent is renting individual regions, a mini grid, or a full-sized grid.

            Do you have any other questions to suggest?

          • AviWorlds

            Not at this time Maria thank you.

          • Zandramas Grid

            @aviworlds:disqus – Please do some investigating and ask questions before assuming how we operate because what you have posted is wrong and incorrect information. You can contact us anytime via our support e-mail. We really do like people to have the proper facts. — Have a nice week-end.

          • AviWorlds

            You said it yourself that your grid has over 8 servers. Now you are going to contradict what you said? The fact is that by having your own server makes it a lot different than having a hosting plan offered by zetamex. That is what I am saying. If it is wrong and incorrect please then say it here. And PROVE it.

          • Zandramas Grid

            We do have 8+ servers however you are guessing what Zetamex does for us as you say “you think” – Contact us for the details directly instead of handing out misinformation as we would be more then happy to discuss this with you.

          • AviWorlds

            Sorry but u said u have 8 servers and u do employ zetamex so whats there to guess? It is not misinformation. U wrote it on here and are also employing zetamex. U said it youtself that they run a tight ship and how happy u are with their services. Being that u are one of the Zs does not make you a little bias now doesnt it?
            So if u have 8 servers and do employ the other Z; it is fair to say that your grid does not use theit hosting plan packages meaning that Z uses then their servers. Fair?
            Tennis match….dont let the ball fall. 🙂 and please do not THE BRAZILIAN community of being griffers and copy botters…u know that the brazilian community is the biggest commuity in SL ?
            Oh well I guess u didnt know that…

          • Zandramas Grid

            @aviworlds:disqus We are not here to pick a fight or be a bully we love all grids. We are also not here to force people to join our grid. If people want to join they can and thats up to them. For some reason it seems you are trying to start a grid war here and we are not interested in that. ” We love peace ” You should put your energy in some more positive things instead of all of this negativity. If you have questions or comments your welcome to contact us directly instead of attacking us out in the public and spread mis information, you do not see us sitting here talking about your business and spreading fud. We are going to be the better grid here and walk away from this, Have a wonderful Monday!

          • Zandramas Grid

            Looking forward to this one 🙂

          • AviWorlds

            Yes off course u are zandramas grid and so is I and a few others.

  • take off eh it has not been 9 months since you open GCG. Feels more like 2 years since you opened it up eh. You should throw a coffee party around the Tim Hortons there eh.

  • Sorry but the doctor says no Dalek’s allowed on Zandramas. JK. Actually no, you need to know someone and that someone needs to invite you sorry.

    • AviWorlds

      Attention to all registering users that were rejected by ZANDRAMAS grid. If you are looking for a busy grid to sell your stuff, get a FREE 1/4 sim 16384 sqm. with 3750 prims, plus many many people for you to party with and talk and meet; come register at aviworlds.com. We also have our own servers and we are growing faster than ever before. We will be a contender soon so its time to register now. Dont miss out! All rejected users from ZANDRAMAS grid or any grid ..You are welcome in AviWorlds!

      • Zandramas Grid

        We recommend all users to be sure to do your research before joining any grid even ours! Hypergrid Business and also google is a great place to look on reviews and history of grids, just type in their name. There are so many awesome grids to join in the metaverse.

    • Zandramas Grid

      Already approved =)

      • Talla Adam

        Could you approve me too please? I really would like to visit that lovely Art Deco Zandramas club you have. I do prefer Hypergrid travel because I hate creating new avatars and I like to use the one I have but I will join a grid that I think I will find interesting. Perhaps you should do what some other grids do and open one region up to Hypergrid as a showcase. That would be nice, and good promotion I think.

        • Zandramas Grid

          Hi Talla, One of our staff has approved your account. We look forward to seeing you in-world. We were actually thinking of opening up Club Zandramas up to hypergrid and restricting it. We are working really hard on opening up to hypergrid because we do believe it is the future the problem is that a lot of people still do not understand hypergrid and fear it which as we know hypergrid is not bad at all.

          • Talla Adam

            Thank you Gabe and it was nice to meet you and Suz. I think you are doing a great job at Zandramas and you have all the right ideas. Club Zandramas would be great venue to open to Hypergrid and I really love the Art Deco build. It was simply amazing and I recommend anyone to try and get to see it. I will be back on party night I’m sure and even better if it is open to HG. I do love the avatar I have for Hypergriding!

    • Baz

      Lol. Thanks. I had a hard drive crash I am still recovering from so I was not here for a bit to read responses.

  • Zandramas Grid

    We are happy to approve your account, I think we already did we had like 20 something people apply since the survey and your name is familiar.

    If you need any personalized concierge support contact us anytime, phone number in the portal, ticketing when signed in support section.

  • AviWorlds

    Hey Baz see how fast they approved your account? Nothing like the old uncle Alex here to help you out! Take care and enjoy Zandramas Grid.! I am sure it is a great place!

    • Zandramas Grid

      The account was approved with-in 5 mins of them applying (2 days ago) by one of our staff, the only thing is we do not always have the time to come and reply on here. If we spent all our time on forums we would not have time to support our residents, hence why we have such happy residents with our concierge style support.

      • AviWorlds

        You know when one of a tennis match players is in a situation where he needs to constantly move from one side of the court to another trying not to let the ball fall? I call that desperate Defensive mode

    • Baz

      And good luck to you, Alex. I will be checking you guys out too. Don’t let the negative press you get here get you down. I truly believe your heart is in the right place even if the tech has gotten wonky on your path. 🙂

  • SnootsDwagon

    Can’t help but comment as this is an area of RL expertise. In this poll we see clearly invalid results, and also unfortunately see what appears to be obvious bias (although from the nature I’m pretty sure that wasn’t intentional).

    This is heavily evident in the review of Island Oasis. Mind you, I have never visited there and have nothing against Island Oasis. If they’ve really scored “top”… kudos. But this statement is telling:

    “Island Oasis charges $35 a month for a 15,000-prim region, which is nearly half the price of the some of the larger closed commercial grids.”

    That’s a rather generalized statement. “Some of the larger” could mean just about anything. Let’s get specific:

    Inworldz offers *45,000* prims for $70 ($60 if you’re in a group estate). Yes… if we’re comparing an apple to three apples… Island Oasis would be “half the price”. Perhaps the author was making comparison to a grid other than Inworldz. If that was the case… such grid should be named. Because stating “This apple is half the price of three apples” falls short of legitimate comparison.

    Further, looking at the “overall” stats:
    Island Oasis 200 regions, nearly 8,000 registrations and close to 1,000 active monthly users
    Inworldz: 1354 regions, over 100k registrations, 8,351 unique monthly users.

    So this BASE LINE comparison forces us to take a look at the data and see where skewing might take place. It becomes evident in the Number of Respondents chart. All grids had 40 or fewer respondents except Inworldz, which came in close to 160 (four times that of others). That alone indicates we have two separate classes of grid… and in one class Inworldz stands alone.

    In the chart “Content Rating”… two grids came out on top. But when we check number of respondents we find both of these grids had the fewest respondents– indicating a tiny-but-enthusiastic sample– but not enough to form a legitimate population (possibly not enough to even form a legitimate sample).

    I could go on and on, but bottom line I feel the real problem here is in the “minimal” requirement of ten respondents. That’s really not enough to form a valid statistical conclusion– much less represent an entire grid. I would also question the manner in which the survey was conducted. For example, each grid should have been instructed to notify all their members via in-world notice that the survey is being conducted. I didn’t even hear about the survey until today– October 6. To conduct a valid survey they potential respondents need to be aware it’s being conducted. Otherwise it’s just a small-sample survey… in this case so small as to be non-representative. There are established grids and there are hobbyist grids (sometimes run out of someone’s home). With 10 respondents, where does a grid seem to fall?

    OSgrid isn’t even online and hasn’t been for some time. At this time there is no “guarantee” they will even come back online. So how does an offline grid even score in this poll? I would think that “being currently online and available to the public” would be one of the criteria. Otherwise we’re comparing apples to no apples.

    I have to believe 50 respondents would be *minimal* for a semi-reliable, non-skewed poll. However if we were to require such, Inworldz would be the ONLY grid that would even qualify. In the above poll, respondent numbers are so low as to be non-representative of the actual genre (either that, or the genre isn’t large enough to even warrant such a poll… which is far more likely at this point).

    Perhaps the fairest part of the above poll is in the synopsis area, in which we read statements such as seen under Inworldz: “The InWorldz residents have contributed enough comments to fill a book, with the majority firmly on the positive side.” That is a VERY telling statement. But then we read comments such as this (which comments are totally valid… if not legitimate via reason of slanted personal opinion– ie, non-factual):

    “They are so far behind the times it is like visiting Second Life eight years ago. Physics are very iffy and
    they need to get on the mesh bandwagon in the clothes and accessories area. Do not even get me started on the scripting issues Over all I don’t see this grid going anywhere but just remaining a place stuck in the Second Life glory days of prims.”

    Comparing ANY of these grids to Second Life is… ludicrous. Inworldz has been online a little over 5 years… and has spent most of that time trying to clean up the Viewer mess from Second Life and the server code mess from OpenSim. Comparing that to SL… which is NOT OPENSIM… and has had more than a dozen years to work on their grid… is an invalid comparison.

    “I have finally run out of patience with InWorldz. I am tired of waiting for all the bugs to be fixed. I am tired of waiting for inWorldz to catch up to OpenSim. I am tired of InWorldz announcing things that never come to be. I am tired of waiting
    for a response from InWorldz support… I am tired of excused. I am tired of InWorldz.”

    While this statement is accurate and voiced by more than just one person (yes, it’s an understandable statement), the reality is that Inworldz is the *most advanced* of any OpenSim grid. It is indeed disappointing that they have physics– but those physics are incompatible with SL (but then again, people have griped about “unrealistic” SL physics for years). As far as waiting for Inworldz to “catch up to OpenSim”… I’m sorry that is ludicrous. The reason I don’t use OpenSim is because it is so far behind Inworldz in bug-fixes, lag, and yes, physics… that I can’t handle the environment. In short,this comment is a legitimate expression of feelings, but it’s highly biased and inaccurate– not reflecting the reality of the state of technology. Because the facts are: Inworldz is the most technically advance grid out here, even surpassing Second Life in many areas (such as the script engine).

    So in short which as always I find this poll interesting… I also find it totally invalid and misrepresentative of the virtual world genre as a whole. The sample populations are too small, informing users the poll even exists was lax, and stipulations for being included in the poll not firm enough to reflect a proper non-skewed response base (ie, it’s pretty easy to find 10 enthusiastic will-respond-positively users. Less easy to find 50.)

    If Hypergrid Business is going to conduct a poll like this at all… I would recommend perhaps a more professional and valid approach. If I were teaching in college and a student brought this to me as a class project, I would kindly but firmly tell them to re-do the poll, do it right this time, because the current grade is a D for effort but failure to understand how professional evaluation and analysis works.

    Candid but friendly feedback, for whatever it’s worth. Despite appearance, I’m not appearing here as an Inworldz fanatic; I’m just responding to that which I know best (which is Inworldz) and beyond that, simply comparing the stats and subsequent analysis. I’m afraid the above poll largely reflects the old truism: “garbage in, garbage out”. Can’t conduct a valid poll using invalid parameters and data.

  • Winter Silversmith

    Does the World Map reflect all regions on the grid? I noticed another one that reports to have over 200 regions but their map on website and inworld show under 125. I’m wondering if the Map only shows publicly visible regions or are the numbers reported for some reason not matching the actual number of regions, a clerical error perhaps?

  • Samuel Woodbury

    As some may know, my house lines is Kitely. My encounters have been resoundingly beneficial in all places. With regards to technical, nobody out there even comes near. As a vendor, my shop just approved the 2000 USD indicate *taking KC into consideration too*. While not outstanding or anything I can stop working on, there have been several weeks where my Kitely revenue have outpaced my SL revenue. So I consider that a powerful begin. As a customer, developing is sleek and insects get stomped on easily and responsively.

    Dukan Diät Plan