All OpenSim stats up despite summer doldrums

Despite the August heat — at least, here in the northern hemisphere — total region counts, user numbers, and monthly actives were all up in OpenSim.

Or perhaps it was because of the heat, as people opted to stay inside, at their computers, in the air conditioning.

There are now the equivalent of 65,122 standard regions on OpenSim’s 317 active public grids, a new record high. There are also 469,433 registered users and 31,134 active users, an increase of 5,208 registrations and 1,105 actives, respectively.

Number of standard region equivalents on OpenSim's public grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Number of standard region equivalents on OpenSim’s public grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

OSgrid was the biggest gainer this month, with 630 new regions, followed by Kitely with 345 new regions, AviWorlds with 322. Lost Paradise gained 261 regions and DigiWorldz gained 138.

For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region — compared to $300 a region for the same land in Second Life. A list of hosting providers is here. Download the recommended Firestorm viewer here. And find out where to get content for your OpenSim world or region here.

Popularity

Of the top ten most visited grids this month, six lost active users. InWorldz lost 207 actives, but also had the most to start with, so the loss was probably barely felt. Other grids that lost users this month were two of the three biggest open grids, Metropolis and Craft, as well as the commercial grids Great Canadian Grid, Avination, and YrGrid.

Top ten most popular grids:

DigiWorldz increased its ranking on the top-ten list, moving up ahead of the Great Canadian Grid for the first time. It was also the single biggest gainer, with 372 new active users over the past 30 days.

The grid only made the top-ten list for the first time last month, after the most successful debut this spring of any OpenSim grid. DigiWorldz is a hypergrid-enabled commercial grid that offers $16 varregions regions that can be configured as up to 16 standard regions in size. It recently settled an ownership dispute which seemed to temporarily threaten the grid’s growth.

Craft and Island Oasis switched places, and PNA Grid — which just changed its name from Sunlight Grid — made it to the list for the first time.

“Sunlight Grid was a nice name but Sunlight is a name that is used a lot on the web and makes it hard to search for the grid on Google,” grid founder Alexandre Abrial told Hypergrid Business.

Abrial, who is known as Paela Argus in-world, said that the new name is based on the three owners of the grid —  Paela himself, Natiala Seiling, and Archaos Dovgal.

In another big change, the grid has turned off hypergrid connectivity.

“There were a lot of problems with the permissions and it’s better for the creators on the grid,” he said.

The grid first launched last July, and now has 60 servers, and a resident population that is 90 percent French.

With PNA’s decision to leave the hypergrid, non-hypergrid-enabled grids gained a net of 417 active users this month, but the growth was still outpaced by the hypergrid, which gained 738 active users. Currently, 73 percent of all public grids are on the hypergrid, accounting for 93 percent of OpenSim’s total land area.

Active users on closed and hypergrid-enabled grids.

Active users on closed and hypergrid-enabled grids.

In addition, since the hypergrid allows the movement of avatars, content, and messages between grids it is, in effect, one very large virtual community, while each closed grid is isolated from all others.

Transitions

We have one new grids added to our database since this time last month, My Damn Grid, which offers “capture the flag” role playing regions. The grid’s tagline is “Everything is free. Why? Because it’s My Damn Grid!” Follow them on Twitter at @MyDamnGrid.

The following 23 grids were suspended this month: A3D, Allegro, Ardalia, Cyber Life, DigiSoul, DIY, Firecracker Grid, FleepGrid, FNV, Hakusan, IEK, Italiani at Reading, MagicForest, Matrix, Relaxing in Moonlight, SilverSky, SimudyneGrid, Simugrid, SuziWorld, TIMV, Tyland, UniSA OpenSim, Virtual Photography Gallery

Firecracker Grid shut down this month due to some real-life commitments, grid owner Suzy Silverweb informed Hypergrid Business.

The grid had just four regions and a couple of dozen active users but no paying customers.

“It was just me and a few friends,” Silverweb said. “I didn’t have any rental regions.”

Everything is backed up in OAR files if she decides to bring the grid back up, she said.

“For now I have a four-region megaregion, hypergrid enabled, on Kitely called Suzys Shopping Mall which contains most of the grid welcome area things,” she said.

Grids that have been suspended for more than two months are marked as closed. If your grid isn’t on the active grids list, and not on the suspended list, and is marked closed when it shouldn’t be, please let us know.

And 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.

By “public,” we mean grids that allow hypergrid visitors, or have a website where people can register for or request accounts.

August 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 1,102 different publicly-accessible grids, 317 of which were active this month, and 233 of which published their statistics.

All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors whenever possible.

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.

  • Sara Baxton

    I see digiworlds climbing to the top before long, Great service and a whole lot of friendly people. Keep up the good clean hard work digi peeps 🙂

    • Thank you Sara – We’ll continue to do our best. 🙂

    • Han Held

      Agreed –I’m happy there so far 🙂

  • Talla Adam

    Heck, I’m flattered but I hate to say it Maria you managed to miss quoted the number of regions for my Farworldz grid. The metric is 8 standard regions but 24 (which is in brackets as is the custom) var regions by area. So 800 regions recently added is incorrect. Sorry if that messes up the headline.

  • Alex Ferraris

    I do see AviWorlds making next months Top Ten list easly and I do thank all our supporters. Thanks Maria for the article.

  • Yippee for the Hyperverse!

  • Dot

    Maria, the region numbers given above for OSgrid are confusing. Just below the graph it is stated that OSgrid gained 630 new regions, and in the list of biggest grids by land area it has 9868 regions.

    However, in the raw data table for August 2015, the line for OSgrid reports 7233 regions, an increase of 141 new regions.

    Checking back to the raw data for July 2015 (note that the weblink is currently incorrect on the Historic Statistics page — it points to June 2015), OSgrid has 7092 regions, which fits in with the August raw data figures.

    So where do the numbers in the article come from?

    • Dot —

      I had miscounted OSgrid regions, and received corrected numbers from the official admins.

      Here they are:

      July 2015: 9238
      Aug 2015: 9868

      I’ll go updated the raw data pages as well — forgot about those! Thanks!

      • Maria, does it mean the OSgrid homepage shows a couple thousand regions less then they have? – What’s the story here? (screenshot seconds ago)

        • I should have printed the explanation again, sorry! This is from the correction to last month’s article )
          (http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2015/07/land-traffic-drop-with-summer-heat/

          “Many people — including myself — have consolidated their multi regions into a single or multi var regions,” OSgrid secretary Larry Roberts told Hypergrid Business. “For instance I use to have 36 regular regions, those are now 4 var regions. And when the web site counts regions it only counts a var region as a single region.”

          The total land area of OSgrid last month was 605.42 square kilometers, or the equivalent of 9,238 standard regions.

          • At Hypergrid Business, we track land area, so to me, a 16-region mega is the equivalent of a 16-region var — even though the latter is only counted once on the map.

            There is a new command “show grid size” that you can use on the console that will give you the total size of your grid.

            http://opensimulator.org/wiki/0.8.0.1_Release

            The result is in square kilometers. To convert square kilometers to standard region equivalents, you can multiply by 1 million, then divide by 65536. Or you can multiply your square kilometers by 15.26.

          • Thanks! 😉

          • Talla Adam

            Oh that’s helpful so my grid search takes the regions number from the OSgrid splash page to mean individual regions (not vars) while other grids give one figure for standard regions and another figure for vars which my Grid search understands. In fact I decided to use the same convention for Farworldz. Trust OSgrid to go against convention! Okay, so now OSgrid becomes a special case. Brilliant.

          • From what I can tell, the majority of grids use the default settings — their login screens give the number of distinct regions, which undercounts land area.

            Some give two numbers — one of all regions, one of only region equivalents in vars.

            Some give two different numbers — one of only standard regions, one of all regions in standard region equivalents.

            So, say you have a grid that’s two three-by-three squares, or the equivalent of 18 standard regions, one a mega, the other a var.

            The default size would be 10 regions (9 in the mega and 1 in the var).

            The first way of counting would be 10 regions (9 var) — this is a really bad way to count them because you don’t know how the vars are distributed, so you don’t know if it’s 18 region equivalents (if just one var) or 17 region equivalents (if the 9 var regions are in two vars) or 16 region equivalents (if the 9 var regions are in three vars).

            The second way of counting would be 9 standard regions, 9 in vars, 18 total — a cleaner count.

            Given my preference, I would prefer that grid owners just gave ONE number — total number of regions in standard region equivalents, or total square kilometers.

            I personally don’t care how regions are distributed between vars and megas and standards, and I doubt that anyone else does, either — we just want to know how big the grid is.

          • Talla Adam

            I think we have got so use to standard size regions and so it makes sense to talk in terms of standard region equivalents when adding var and mega region counts to the total for a grid. 3rd Rock displays their region stats that way. They give Total Land Area in Sq. Meters, Computed Total Regions and Actual Regions. So Computed Total Regions is the number I scrape for grid search. But other grids do the numbers other ways which requires some smart scripting to get the sums right by the scraper. In fact I find I have to do manual checks more often now which is time consuming. When I wrote the Grid Search engine script the whole idea was to automate it with a crawler doing the leg work so it could handle a growing Metaverse but the way different grid owners choose to display their stats on their splash screens, if at all, varies so much now it is has become very difficult to do any more.

            Like you Maria, it is the total region count I’m interested in and I expect the grid owner to display that number in standard region equivalents. We can’t know what the size of each var region is so it doesn’t make any sense to treat every var as if it were a single standard size region. Like mega regions they are multiple region areas and we need to just know the sum of those numbers.

            Honestly, the whole issue is a mess as it stands presently which is leading to mistakes and confusion.

          • Sara Baxton

            At the end of the day, Vars are just one region (Stretched) regardless how people view them

          • Technically, on the back end — yes.

            But from the outside, the only difference between a var and a mega is that in a mega each of the constituent regions gets its own name.

            And the only difference between a var and a regular old group of regions is better border crossings.

            I understand that it makes sense to developers to count them the way that they do, or grid owners and hosting companies renting out regions, but it doesn’t make much sense for visitors.

          • Alex Ferraris

            If my avatar can place a home and walk on it ; its land. And if its land it has to be added to the total land mass for that particular grid.

          • I hear it was spatial case………………….

  • Sugar Paolino

    Maria…. I noticed on your last stats report that some of the numbers seem to be total logins for the last 30 days, not unique logins. I have checked today on the 2 grids in question and noticed they both seem to be reporting TOTAL logins instead of unique logins as shown in the screen shots below taken on today’s date.

    By mixing TOTAL logins with unique logins in the same list totally invalidates the accuracy of the rankings. You talk a lot about “popular grids” but with these erroneous reporting of the numbers it is impossible for someone to accurately determine what grids are popular.

    If we are reporting TOTAL login instead of unique logins Our “Island Oasis” numbers would be 2988. Please ensure that the number being reported in your rankings reflect the same statistic for all grids that you include in your report.

    • Sugar —

      For the Great Canadian Grid, their 30-day login numbers are within a range of reasonable parameters when correletated both against new registrations AND against the number of users logged in at any one time. (Someone sent me a heads-up over Facebook, and I ran the stats again just to check).

      I’m looking at the historic data for DigiWorldz now… again, the growth in active users correlates appropriately with the growth in new registrations AND with “currently logged in” data for the grid.

      I’m not seeing any evidence in the data that the active user number for these grids are anything but unique logins.

      Meanwhile, if Island Oasis were to start reporting 2,988 active users instead of 951, it would also make you guys roughly as popular as OSgrid and Metropolis

      You do show quite a bit of growth in your registered user numbers, so it’s theoretically possible, if you have an extremely high retention rate. You have to remember that both DigiWorldz and the Great Canadian Grid are hypergrid-enabled, and their active monthly user counts do include hypergrid visitors, not just the visitors registered to their grids. And Island Oasis, unless it’s recently changed, is not on the hypergrid.

      • One thing we can do, if you’d like, is run the currently logged in stats for your grid against other grids. Do you have this data? I don’t see it on the gridstats page.

  • Alex Ferraris

    Maria where can I see the stats for Kitely, pna grid , island oasis, yrgrid, digiworldz .?? Its seems hard to find the stats for these grids.
    They dont just phone them in to you do they? I wanted to look where Aviworlds stands for the coming september report but i cant find their stat pages anywhere on theit websites.

    • Alex — Some grids do, in fact, just send me their stats once a month. I would much prefer to have a standard stats page that my database could automatically grab the stats from, but everyone has to be different! LOL

      (Also, it REALLY reduces typos and errors if a grid has a standard stats page — please, please, grids, do consider it!)

      The stats page is *usually* the Welcome page. To find it, for any grid that you have the login info for, you just go to that URL with a “/get_grid_info” at the end. So, for PNA grid, that would be http://sunlight-grid.org:8002/get_grid_info, and the grid info tells you the welcome page is here: http://viewer.pna-grid.top/

      That doesn’t provide me with complete stats — I will need to email the grid around the middle of the month and chase down the new numbers.

      Kitely’s welcome page has no stats on it. Here are the the stats for the other grids:

      Island Oasis: http://www.islandoasis.biz/welcome.aspx

      DigiWorldz: http://www.digiworldz.com/stats.php

      YrGrid: http://grid.yrgrid.com/helpers/gridstats.php

      Great Canadian Grid: http://members.greatcanadiangrid.ca/GcgStats.php

      That last one, by the way, is my preferred format. They provide total land area and size in standard region equivalents, 30 day actives, total registered users, AND how many people are online now.

      The “online now” numbers, by the way, are the primary double-check on active user numbers. If you collect the online now numbers over the course of a few days, and plot the graph, you can compare it to other grids — and use a formula to approximate monthly logins, to double-check that number. Plus, if you show the “online now” number, and people login and nobody is online — well, let me just say that I get a LOT of emails from disappointed people when that happens.

      I then contact the grid owners to find out what’s going on — 9 times out of 10, it’s some kind of glitch in the database and they fix it. The rest of the time, the grid fixes it without an explanation. And once (just once!) there was a case where the numbers didn’t make sense and the grid admitted they were just making them up.

      So, if you’re a grid, I recommend having a separate, plain text stats page with the following info:

      * Total land area (in either square kms, square meters, or standard region equivalents)
      * Total number of registered users
      * Total number of unique 30-day logins (including hypergrid visitors)
      * Number of users online now

      I’m not the only one who collects stats, so a page like this is useful to more than just me.

      And I’d like to repeat again why we have stats:

      * OpenSim is growing. Growth attracts more growth. It’s great publicity for OpenSim.
      * People LOVE horse races. Who’s ahead? Who’s catching up?
      * It gives people a place to start exploring OpenSim. There are over 300 different grids — it’s overwhelming! But a list of the ten most popular grids — that’s accessible, easy to choose from.
      * Finally, remember the “seven points of contact” rule of marketing. Every time a grid gets mentioned anywhere — in a blog, in social media, in an ad — that’s one more opportunity for someone to say, “Hey, I haven’t been to that grid yet, I should stop by.”

      The one downside of the system is that it rewards grids that are already successful. Grids that have a lot of events and things happening, and are growing quickly, are the ones who are going to get the coverage, so that they grow even more quickly.

      At some point, there will be enough grids that in addition to the “ten most popular” grids I might be able to do a “ten top role playing grids” or “ten top shopping grids” or “ten top gambling grids.”

      Unfortunately, there aren’t enough grids that specialize yet in those particular categories to fill out the lists!

      • Alex Ferraris

        Well Aviworlds has been having over 30,40,45 even 50 people online every day . I was curious to know how grids that are showing 4,7,8,10 online only still are getting over 1000 uniques each month. Just curious.

        • First, you have to look at the peak numbers. Different grids are based in different countries and the peak times vary. Some grids also hold popular weekly events.You will have to monitor the current logins over the course of at least a few days (or longer) to get a sense of the cycle.

          For example, right now:

          InWorldz has 154 online.

          OSgrid has 50 online.

          Metropolis has 31 online. (I guess this is a good time for some Europeans.)

          DigiWorldz has 14 online (I don’t know if they include HG visitors in online stats, and they had more than twice as many online when I checked last night)

          Great Canadian Grid has 39 online.

          Island Oasis doesn’t report their current logins and neither does Kitely.

          Craft has 5 online now (again, I don’t know if they include HG visitors in this stat, and HG is 77% of their traffic)

          YrGrid has 49 online.

          Lost Paradise has 6 — again, they’re HG enabled, and I don’t know if they include those visitors in this stat.

          AviWorlds has 29.

          3rd Rock has 3 (could be a time zone issue, or an HG counting issue, or both)

          FrancoGrid has 1 (they do break out HG visitors in a separate stat, and are showing zero right now)

      • Our grid stats can also be found on the front page of our web site.. we have nothing to hide and are quite proud of them.
        http://www.digiworldz.com