OSgrid, Kitely, DigiWorldz help set new land record

It’s been another record-breaking month for OpenSim, with new heights reached in land area, registered users, and active users.

OSgrid, Kitely and DigiWorldz were the biggest gainers in land area, with 678, 340 and 255 regions added, respectively.

There are now the equivalent of 68,941 standard regions on OpenSim’s 302 active public grids, a gain of 2,995 regions. There are also 487,243 registered users and 33,454 active users, an increase of 8,746 registrations and 1,887 actives, respectively.

Land area of OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Land area of OpenSim’s public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

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, eight gained active users this month. InWorldz lost 28 actives, barely a drop compared to 6,696 remaining actives. DigiWorldz lost 45 actives.

The biggest gainers was the Great Canadian Grid, with 303 actives. The Great Canadian Grid also had an extemely high turnout in last week’s grid survey. OSgrid gained 187 actives, Lost Paradise picked up 175 and PNA Grid, despite temporary server problems, picked up 170.  Craft gained 161, Metropolis gained 145, Littlefield gained 141, Kitely gained 129.

Littlefield’s gains were partly because, on my request, they added hypergrid visitors to their active user totals. Whenever available, I include hypergrid visitors in traffic numbers because these users do contribute to the activity of a grid — they attend events, make friends, make PayPal donations to support causes, perform, even buy stuff if the grid is set up to sell merchandise to visitors.

Top ten most popular grids:

This month, hypergrid-enabled grids gained a net of 1,820 active users this month, while the closed grids gained 60. Currently, 74 percent of all public grids are on the hypergrid, accounting for 93 percent of OpenSim’s total land area and 65 percent of its active users.

Hypergrid actives have recently been growing faster than those on closed grids, where InWorldz accounts for the bulk of the activity.

Hypergrid actives have recently been growing faster than those on closed grids, where InWorldz accounts for the bulk of the activity.

Grid News

In quick news updates this month, the Belgian Speculoos grid closed at the end of September.

“It’s been an amazing experience to dive into one possible future of the Internet, but we don’t have enough resources to keep this place lively and interesting,” owner Olivier van Helden told Hypergrid Business.

The XMIR grid has also closed to the public.

“Because of health issues I’ve had to move to a location where it is impossible to maintain a network connection of such quality and reliability as to permanently connect a grid to it,” owner Geir Nøklebye told Hypergrid Business. “For all practical purposes XMIR is therefore closed for both direct login and hypergrid access.”

Lovers of the grid’s mesh content, however, can continue to visit the XMIR Kitely Market store.

“Til the time the grid again can be made accessible, I will continue to create content of which some will find its way to the marketplaces,” said Nøklebye. “I will also contribute to the Mac version of the Kokua viewer and in other ways.”

Transitions

We have nine new grids added to our database since this time last month: the Las Vegas-themed Neon Evolution, AviRealms, BOS OpenSim, Relliketh Grid, Phaandoria Grid, Keystone Grid, Virtual Beach Party, QuokkaOligo and A Life Virtual.

The following 13 grids were suspended this month: , Annuna Grid, Art-z Exposed, Eureka, Hosting Virtual Worlds, LabVirSD, MagicalSim, Majickal Network, Our Own Designs, Project Blank, Rescue Grid, SPH Places, vCaltech, and VIBE: Delvalle.

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.

October 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 1,097 different publicly-accessible grids, 302 of which were active this month, and 227 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.

Related Posts

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.

  • “Hypergrid actives have recently been growing faster than those on closed
    grids”
    This seems a bit off, to say the least. Each Hypergrid traveler is, by definition, counted multiple times in any total. So one HG may count as 2, 3 or even 10 actives if grids include HG visitors in activity.

    While I agree HG visitors to a grid are activity on that grid, and it’s good to include them in the stats from any specific grid, if you are going to add them together to get a sum, as you do in your chart, the total activity across open grids is artificially inflated, perhaps a lot. If the *total* activity includes HG visitors, the number is meaningless. (It is of value when looking at *individual* grid activity though.)

    • I’m trying to think of a way to account for this, but haven’t come up with anything yet.

      Meanwhile, most grids do not show HG visitors in their stats, because they’re using the default code. And some grids report no active user numbers at all.

      Right now, with the number of hypergrid travelers still pretty low, it’s probably not making a big impact on the stats.

      By the time it DOES start making an impact, I’m hoping we’ll have better ways of measuring activity. If anyone has any ideas — please email me! ([email protected])

      • The current way, if all HG places combined HG visitors with local actives, works fine as a counterpoint to the closed grids people who log into various of those regularly.

        It makes it a wash.

        Otherwise, to try and keep it all fair (and I agree the low numbers don’t make enough impact to being with) the closed commercial grids would have to count only once those people.

        Since I doubt that could be done, the current way keeps it all somewhat accountable. The overall trends are all that really matters anyway.

        For example, person A logs into closed commercial grid A to go to an event, or update their products, etc, then logs out there and logs into closed commercial grid B, in the same day, does their thing there, logs out, logs into closed commercial grid C, does their thing there…and on and on.

        That person, if they logged into 5 of those grids in a counting period, is counting 5 times in those grids active residents.

        Likewise with HG enabled places, person A logs into grid A, then hypergates to 5 other grids, and those grids/places each include that HG visitor then they are counted 5 times.

        As it is works as best as can be. The myth that continues to be stated as a problem with the stats only works on those people who already believe such things.

        I expect the closed commercial grids would lose a few hundred actives a month if those people were only counted once.

        And all this would make the Metaverse less populated than currently how it is counted. I vote for larger numbers personally.

        • Minethere —

          Excellent point, you’re right. People do have accounts on multiple grids. In fact, in our last survey, several people said that they were splitting their time between one or more grids.

          When you combine that, with the fact that some hypergrid grids don’t report HG visitors, it probably all balances out.

          • I agree, and I think there are other more important issues to deal with than this that comes up from time to time.

            As you say, on balance, I think the numbers show things nicely, and I would rather see them err on the side of higher numbers than lower (which seems obvious to want if completely accurate numbers are simply not available, and I can’t imagine how they could be…tho they would be less).

            I think anyone else involved in our little Merry Band would want that also if they wish to see the Meta grow.

            I like you noted your survey as to spending time between other grids. I had known this but seeing it in the written word is always nicer-)

      • Understood, that you don’t really have a way to organize this data info in partitioned totals, or that you don’t have enough info to do so. There also isn’t enough info to know if “it’s probably not making a big impact” is accurate or not (that is complete speculation). And I agree with Mine that there are far more important numbers to look at.

        But this is all pretty much my point. There isn’t enough data to know whether this partitioning into open vs. closed is accurate or even significant. So why highlight that one weak stat with the only other chart on the page other than the headline chart? Will we see you reduce the use of this partitioning of open vs closed in the future? It also seems somewhat divisive to the community, and I’d like to see us all work together to grow virtual worlds, and especially SL/OpenSim-derived virtual worlds.

    • I agree, adding HG visitors to the stats of one or two grids just because they give you the numbers all of a sudden is unfair to the other grids… but then, I find the whole survey/stats thing to be outdated and inaccurate anyways so I rarely even read into them anymore. I only noticed this article because it was not on VR (finally).

    • Tara Dockery

      I’m not sure why multiply reporting Hypergrid travelers is really a problem, given that most people I know who are active in OpenSim grids have avatars on more than one grid, whether or not they use HG. In other words, there already was multiple counting before HG, and there continues to be beyond HG. Avatars are not a zero sum game, but rather an indication of use.

      Perhaps another useful measure for comparison might be something like avatar hours. AFAIK, nobody is doing that yet, but it ought to be doable.

      • I would agree with this completely, if Maria was not dividing the groups into open grids versus closed grids as separate stats and adding the stats into _totals_ for each partition. It wouldn’t matter in that case, but the since there are a handful of closed grids and nearly 300 open grids, the partitioning makes those two totals stats meaningless.

  • Talla Adam

    Thank you for the latest Metrics, Maria. I think reporting activity, both closed grid and Hypergrid, as traffic is very useful in so far as it shows a trend. We know metrics can be faked. Unique logins can be for a few minutes or hours on end daily so they are far from accurate either. At least with Hypergrid activity it does show the extent to which people are moving about and doing stuff from clubbing, meetings and shopping to role play, group tours and many other activities. Hypergrid traffic has been steadily growing which shows a trend. The reported traffic of closed grids has seen a small decline – in the case of Second Life, a more serious decline. Looked at as trends is, in my view, the right way to look at all this and the trend demonstrated by Hypergrid traffic is most encouraging.

    • That’s a good point. It would be great to see HG activity tracked for the purposes of recognizing trends. (It’s the comparison of the totals for open vs closed that I think is meaningless, with something like a 20:1 or 50:1 ratio of open:closed grids and then adding duplicates and comparing the sums…)

  • Alex Ferraris

    I am very very concerned with the stats these grids are giving or at least keeping up because I see AviWorlds always filled with people , parties every day and over 40 online daily at all times. I go to these top 10 grids and find no one there at all times almost none and I see no events posted nothing.
    The numbers fluctuate so much and yet these grids are keeping 800 and above each and every month. So they must have at least 60 online on all ours of the day. I really would like to see more recorded event posts like I do with AviWorlds from these top 10 grids. I remember that because AviWorlds did not post event videos we were accused of faking our stats by this very blog here and then they had to retract their accusations. Just a concerned thought here.

    • 1derworld

      Not sure NPC’s count 🙂

      • Alex Ferraris

        If u are saying im using NPCs I now ask u to prove it and no NPC does not.count Joe Builder!
        Anyone can see the residents on live chat on all of my videos. Anyone can come.into Aviworlds and see people all over the grid,

  • Thanks for the stats, Maria. But I am afraid to say, that the Metro has influenced your Region Statistics something negative this month. Last month we cleared approximately 1,500 old region entries and we will delete another 1,500 entries this month. It is the curse of open grids that they need to be cleaned up from time to time. But overall, the hypergrid gained a bunch of new regions. 🙂

  • That’s a good point; a stat like “the total number of land owners” would be an interesting metric to track and report. It would also be a way to highlight the smaller grids that are actually doing better in terms of local community size, and would be a good one to pair with the monthly active count. It could show if an increase in monthly actives came from an increase in new residents, for example, or visitors. Real (local) grid growth could be highlighted for those grids. It’s also an easy stat to pull (it’s one COUNT operation on the land parcels, group by owner). I doubt many grids would provide that though.

    • Bryan French

      Doesn’t really work in the case of Exo-Life where the grid owns all the land as group land and the residents are given a parcel to use under the group tag. Nor would it work for our apartment building which is one parcel with 8 apartments and 12 residents currently living in it. So in the case of Exo-Life the “total number of land owners” would be 2, one is the admin group for regions that are HG accessible and one is the resident’s group for land on the non HG accessible regions.

      Maria tracks the new resident count for all grids on the Statistics page. So it is easy to see if the increase is from new residents or old residents.

      Alex does bring up something I thought about one time. I have been to grids with high numbers and never see anyone on. However, after thinking about the numbers I realized all the grids have their busiest times at different times than what your location is. For instance Exo-Life is busiest between 10pm-3am US Eastern time. Not exactly the “prime-time” for most people in the Americas. BTW 800 people divided by 30 days is 26.6 people. So only 26.6 unique people per-day would be required. It would be very easy to achieve that on a large grid with no events going on. Also don’t forget it only counts one avatar once per 30 days. So if you have the same 40 people logging in everyday your number is only going to be 40. We normally don’t have 2 hour limited events, but ones that are 4 to 6 hours long to give everyone a convenient time to attend some of the event. So if you get 60 people that have been to a 6 hour event any amount of time that have not yet been counted you then have 100 (40+60=100) and that is only counting 2 days, you got 28 more days to go counting people who come in occasionally for shopping and exploring once a week or so.

      • If there was a way to automatically query grids for numbers, I could set up an automated database that went out every hour, say, and asked each grid how many people were currently logged in. But there’s no way to do that query, and it wouldn’t be scalable, anyway, and folks would just game it with bots, like they do in Second Life. And, also, if a magic fairy appeared to grant me wishes, I have a LONG list of things I’d ask for first!

  • Han Held

    That’s pretty easy to explain; it’s a completely different platform.

  • I didn’t realize that they were out of Beta. But also, does High Fidelity have any active social worlds right now?

    I have, in the past, included Second Life numbers in this report — before it got too depressing to watch them drop month after month after month.

    I think, for me, the main criteria are:

    * It’s not just for gaming or socializing — you can do other stuff with it.
    * There’s a regular source for monthly statistics.

    • Rene

      It is premature to include High Fidelity stats, as it is presently in alpha (I’m there), and it is a virtual world platform, not a grid. By that I mean it is a platform that enables virtual worlds to be created. There are some 30 place names presently, each it’s own ‘grid’ (the mapping between grid and domain is not straightforward).
      In about a year, it will be in beta, and will have quite a number of domains and place names that will host some very large worlds and environments. Until then, I’d hold off.