Kitely, Great Canadian hit size milestones

The on-demand Kitely grid passed 10,000 regions this month for the first time, and the Great Canadian Grid hit the 1,000 region mark.

They helped boost OpenSim to a new record high of 71,360 standard region equivalents, an increase of 326 regions since last month.

Overall, OSgridKitely, the Great Canadian Grid and DigiWorldz were the biggest gainers in land area this month, with 1,263, 314, 227 and 131 regions added, respectively.

The biggest loss was on Metropolis, which shrank by 977 regions. However, the grid cleaned 1,400 regions off its map as part of a regular housekeeping effort and actually gained more than 400 regions outside that cleanup. The grid also passed a milestone this month, hitting 10,000 registrations — it now reports a total of 12,109 registered users.

Land area on OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents.

Land area on OpenSim’s public grids, in standard region equivalents.

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.

Last month, in preparation for the 2015 OpenSim Community Conference, I contacted OpenSim hosting providers to get an estimate of the percentage of grids running in private mode — company grids only accessible to employees, for example, school grids running behind firewalls, restricted government grids and personal grids accessible only to friends and family members.

Estimated size of the "dark metaverse" of school, company, government and personal grids running for private use only.

Estimated size of the “dark metaverse.”

Based on the data from the hosting companies, roughly four-fifths of OpenSim deployment is not accessible to the public.

That means that the total OpenSim metaverse consists of the equivalent of 355,170 standard regions, 284,136 of which are private.

These grids do not get listed in directories, and do not publish their statistics. As you can see from chart above, the dark metaverse is also growing significantly faster than the public OpenSim metaverse.

Popularity

When it comes to general-purpose social grids, especially closed grids, the rule of thumb is: the busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

The public OpenSim grids reported a drop of 902 active users this month, for a new total of of 33,258 active users. Most of the drop, however, was due to just one closed grid. On the hypergrid, there was actually an increase, of 304 active users, for a new total of 22,324 actives.

Active users on hypergrid-enabled grids and on closed grids.

Active users on hypergrid-enabled grids and on closed grids.

Top ten most popular grids:

The biggest change this month on the top ten most active grids list is that the PNA Grid, based in France, has dropped from more than 1,000 active users to just six. The grid’s administrators had not responded to repeated requests for comment about the activity on their grid, which was previously the Sunlight Grid. The grid had previously reported a sudden increased in active users without a corresponding increase in news or social media activity — and was barely a blip on this year’s OpenSim grid survey. And it seems from their website that the name of the grid has changed again, to “Shadow of Your Mind.”

None of the other top-ten grids by popularity posted any big changes in active users. InWorldz, the Great Canadian Grid, and GreekLife lost 60, 43 and 40 actives, respectively. Craft gained 58 users, Kitely gained 38, DigiWorldz gained 37, OSgrid gained 27, and Metropolis and Island Oasis gained seven active users each.

Outside the top ten list, Littlefield was the big gainer, with 190 active users. In addition, the OpenSimulator Community Conference grid saw a temporary spike to 541 active users due to the conference early this month.

Transitions

We have three new grids added to our database since this time last month: Baller Nation, Utherworldz, and ZomboLand.

The following 27 grids were suspended this month: Adrianopolis, Alternate Open Worlds, Blissful Shores, Dawn Grid, DigiGrids, Dream Realms 3D, Drexel, German Grid, Isle of Nod, Ital Vybez, Jnix World, Meridian Grid, MetaCosmo, Model Center Demo, Nebadon2025, NextWorld, Olimar, Prommise, Ravengreen, ScienceCircle, Secrets of Nuub, Stagma World, Stoners World, Tertiary Grid, Vulcanicus, XTR-13, Yugen World.

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.

December 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 1,111 different publicly-accessible grids, 299 of which were active this month, and 212 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.

  • Congratulations to the 3 top land gainers!
    Maria, about users joining grids with the most users, I think this was and is still true for closed grids. But being on a grid that is HG enable it is relativ, where the most users or the most activities are. The hypergrid makes it possible to have friends in many grids. Also to attend any event. Since I have started using the hypergrid, now since almost 10 months, I have met and learnt to know so many people from other grids and have attended almost daily an event in at least 7 different grids. Some days I had the choice to visit 4 events, if I wanted to. After the OSCC I gained many new interesting contacts. Having friends from around the Metaverse its great. We can chat per IM, exchange items, invite us to an event etc. as would we be in the same grid. This is awesome. In the future, at a long term, the grids will probably need to think about what to offer, that is new, unique different to other grids, to attract more users to their grid.

    That I stay in Digiworldz and use it as my base grid to hypergrid around, its mainly because they are customer-centered, therefore they offer a good support and because their land prices fit in my selfset max amount of monthly money I want to spend in the virtuality..

    • You hit it right on the nose there Isis, of one of the best reasons to be on hypergrid enabled grids/regions.

      What it does in particular is allow us to experience a vast array of different peoples’ as well as organized grids visions.

      Grids, especially, tend to “be” of a certain type…they draw in a certain type of person and keep those who feel likewise, so they tend towards homogeneity based upon the grid owners idea of how they wish to run their grid.

      Add in the ability to hypergate around and people get to enjoy the opposite of homogeneity (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/homogeneity).

      There are Japanese based grids, French based, German based, Italian based and on and on. So we get to enjoy their builds, their creativity, their visions…unhindered by those with less vision and more rules that are typical of the SL wannabee clones.

      So we keep showing new people all this, help them to learn how to use and then enjoy the Hyperverse (those places where hypergating is enabled) and we can really never have an end to new ideas.

      I really enjoy people like yourself, Isis, preaching the good word about aspects of hypergating that are fun for you-) In your case being previously exclusively in closed grids you exemplar the type of person who more typically embraces hypergridding.

      There are more and more people of a similar nature who see things clearly and are not swayed by the disinformation attempts to “scare” people from having fun.

      See ya at an event soon!-))

      • Isis, Minethere — I’m totally with you guys.

        I think Nara’s Nook is an excellent example of a small destination grid that’s only possible because of the hypergrid — and which illustrates the best that the hypergrid and OpenSim have to offer.

        Nara’s Nook also moves the discussion beyond the residential land rental model. What would the Web be like if every website was an ISP and charged people money to dial in?

        • Yes-) that “vive la différence” is really special-)

  • Alex Ferraris

    AviWorlds gained also and it wasnt mentioned somehow and the fact that I pointed out about some grids not having the traffic they claim to have.
    Plus I still think maybe Im wrong . Has kitely grid cleaned out all the regions that people are not using , paying for? The so called free regions that become paid after 6 hours of use and if the user does not pay it becomes dormant . I still think that should not be counted. But maybe im wrong ?

    • Talla Adam

      Well maybe you also think all the user regions connected to community grids like OSgrid and Metro where they are on private PC’s and not online 24/7 should not be counted either, Alex? Why single out Kitely because all of its regions can be online at a moments notice if someone goes there. All these regions whether on demand from cloud or personal home computers are configured and ready for use. The fact you spend money keeping empty regions online doesn’t make your’s the biggest grid or better than Kitely if the moderator will allow me to say that.

      • Alex Ferraris

        I think ONLINE means online, NOT online means not online. AviWorlds regions are online 24/7 and the ones that become innactive or someone did not renew them they are taken off the total region count. I dont cheat that is the bottom line. AviWorlds stats can go to zero and i am not touching it. In order for this dream to be reality for me it needs to be true. I want no part of fake numbers or try to use a LOOP POL in order to gain more popularity on here.
        The funny part is that I was accused of doing that a couple of years ago without any proof or even reason and now you and others come here and bash me for something is clearly not correct.

    • Alex — I keep sending you emails asking for info. Please check your in-box.

    • Alex, I would read better the information Kitely provides. They write very
      clear and readable for everyone.
      No region in Kitely that needed to be cleaned. When a user stops paying for a region, the region is taken offline and in storage. I have such region in Kitely. I paid few cents to storage it. And here the best no other grid offers. When I come back and pay for the region again, it will be taken back from storage and set again for me. All my items will be there waiting for me. Or I can opt to upload a new oar to it.

      • Alex Ferraris

        Ok so these regions are being counted in the total amount of regions. Even the one I had from 4 years ago almost and never used and it is not online.

        • 1derworld

          Stats are based and presented using the honor system, Problem is many grid owners have no honor.

          • Da Hayward

            that is proberly a true statement in some cases, we are new to open sim and the hypergrid & do support Alex within AviWorlds. But these are statistics provided to Maria & she has done a great job of presenting them to all of us.

            I am certain that Alex as many others here do not “hydraulic” their figures in order to look good.
            All in all the figures imply that Open sim and the hyper grid in general can look forward to better things for all of us. A good example is the UBODE physics.

          • I would say “some” grid owners have no honor, and end with perish the thought!-))

            But those people matter little in the entire scheme of things…..(not referring to Alex…he is a trooper and I like people like that)

          • Da Hayward

            Thanks for the reference about Alex you are right he is a trooper

        • Alex, I will not discuss with you about your opinion on a specific grid. Two reasons. First one is, if I look at the statistics as a customer-user, I don’t care which grid has the most visitors, the most regions etc. Such numbers are not important for me to decide in which grid I purchase a region. My decision depends mostly on what I am up to at the moment I look for land providers. My interests and activities change every few years.

          10 months ago as I purchased a region in Digiworldz, the grid was just 1 month old, it had less than 400 regions, and a few hundred users. My prioreties were: it should be HG enable, the land prices should fit in my pocket, the support must be what I expect from a professional business person and my intuition (how my stomach feels in there).I purchased 1 region, now I own 5.
          As a Metaverse-user, I am interested in Maria’s statistics because they show me a Trend how Opensim is doing. And of course, I am glad when I see that the Metaverse as a whole its growing. Such grow tells me that I will be able to use opensim for a long while and stay in contant with the friends I have done and enjoy my creativity for a long time. And the more the Metaverse grows, the bigger the variety of choices.

    • nough said!

  • Talla Adam

    Thank you Maria for the latest metrics. The information is very helpful to get a feel for the trend but I was particularly interested in what you had to say about the “Dark Metaverse”. That does go to show there are far more Opensim grids – either small personal standalone’s or educational grids – out there than normally gets reported and I think it is the first time we have been given this kind of information. Opensim works because it is designed for more personal use in my opinion – like a web page – than commercial use, although I accept the grids that try to make money are all part of the picture. The personal users are still the majority and using Hypergrid to get around the grids is kind of special and getting very much better.

  • Da Hayward

    Great statistics Maria. As Talla mentioned this is a great way to get a feel of the trend….Keep up the good work.
    With any statistics they can only relate to information provided and also be accurate to that degree. I personally know AviWorlds has gained due to the efforts of Alex as I’m sure other grid’s have as well but to be fair to Maria, she can only provide these figures on information provided to her.
    Well done everyone!

  • Penny Lavie

    Does active users include hypergrid visitors? Monitoring visitor counts on various grid web pages while jumping between various grids seems to suggest so. Good to have it confirmed.
    I jump around the metaverse all the time and occasionally observed avatars in the same place day after day, not NPC as these to my knowledge are not counted. As I said, this is an exception and hope it is not a growing trend.

    • Whenever possible I do include hypergrid visitors, yes. However, most grids only report the default stats, which do NOT include hypergrid visitors.

      My thinking for including hypergrid visitors is that the active user number should be a reflection of the activity on a particular grid. If I want to have a concert, who’s going to be around to attend? If I throw a party, are there people around to attend? If i want to make friends, show off art work, raise money for charity, etc… people are people, whether they’re local or visitors.

      And now, with support for hypergrid friends, hypergrid groups, hypergrid landmarks, etc… the difference between locals and visitors is getting less and less important.

      The major difference right now is for land sales and in-world shopping — many grids only rent land and sell currency to their own residents. I think this is going to start changing as well, possibly even as early as next year.

      And many grids report no numbers at all — 122 grids out of 300 active grids do not report any active user numbers, including some pretty large grids like the Adult Grid, which got 961 new user registrations this month.

      So you could argue that this all balances out, or, my recommendation, is that you can look at the active user numbers as a trend, not as an accurate reflection of exactly how many people are using OpenSim at any given time.

      • Magnuz Binder

        I doubt the statement “most grids only report the default stats, which do NOT include hypergrid visitors” is correct. I checked the commonly used Diva Wifi code, and it counts both local and hypergrid users, doing simple selects from the GridUser database table, where local and hypergrid users are treated the same, just differing by UserId. I verified it by hypergridding to a few sparesly visited Diva Wifi grids, and my presence then increased the “Active Users (Last 30 Days)” by 1 (on first visit only) and the “Users in World” by 1 (on each new visit). Actually, to select just either local or hypergrid vistors requires more complex database queries, so I suspect most stats modules in use, except those explicitly separating local and hypergrid users, do the same as the Diva Wifi, keeping it simple.

        • Oh, very cool, thanks! Glad to hear that!

        • Talla Adam

          I think people get too hung-up about the difference between Active “unique” logins and Hypergrid visitors. As far as I can see HG visitors are more active than a lot of the so-called Active Users since they clearly demonstrate their activity by moving around. I prefer to just call it Traffic regardless. The thing about traffic is it’s on the go visiting different grids and taking part in diverse community activities as well as shopping for content. Some people do go to other grids to role play and attend business and community meetings or events of one kind or another, not least a gathering like OSCC2015. Every one who moves about is doing something and most people that login somewhere are as well so it’s all traffic and it gives us an idea of concurrency across the many grids whatever we make of it. We can see a trend in it so these statistics are useful for that.

          • Penny Lavie

            Your clear lack of evidence only efficacies that your perception of the metaverse is pure fantasy. Should you ever bother to take an active part in the hypergrid community you will find the ‘evidence’ already presented here finds ‘Active Visitors’ to be an appropriate title.

          • Talla Adam

            I didn’t think I was trying to present any evidence for anything. I was just commenting on the statistics as presented and I concluded they demonstrate a trend rather than accurate concurrency and that the term ‘Traffic’ which I use on my Grid Search engine is perhaps more appropriate to cover both Active Users and Hypergrid Visitors. You can use what terms you like really. As for your unfounded suggestion I don’t take an active part in the Hypergrid community I wonder what your ‘evidence’ for that comment is?

  • :O we made the top 40?

  • I must not be understanding something very big with these stats. This article says that a grid called “Virtual Worlds Grid” has by-far the most regions, at 19,754 regions?

    Being just a tad skeptical of that number, I just followed the link and I see the login URI is http://www.vwc.selfip.net:8002/ and when I go there in a browser, it reports a total of 1392 regions. See image: https://i.gyazo.com/5be85ebaee211b91b08d8fb51961c75b.jpg

    So in the 3 weeks or so since this article was posted, they have lost 93% of their regions? Or was perhaps the number reported, making them the largest in terms of regions, actually be so far off that the problem was in the published stat?

    Either way, I still don’t get it. They have 1392 regions… and the current number of users logged in is… 1. Not 111, not 11, but 1. And there’s 1392 regions?

    And the number of active users for the month, with 1392 regions was… 82. That’s 82 active users all month and nearly 1400 regions? Every visitor to the grid owns at least 16 regions?

    Or is it that there are 19,754 regions (if you believe the article) and every single visitor to the grid owns more than 240 regions?

    All of that, and they have ONE person logged on at the moment?

    Sorry, but at this point I think I need to just stop reading these stats articles, as they aren’t providing usable stats, that can actually be compared between grids.

    • Jim — I get the stats directly from the grid owner, since the stats page doesn’t account for variable-sized regions.

      The 19,000 regions are mostly empty land, but they’re still land, so I’m counting it — just as I count water regions, landscaping regions, home-based regions and on-demand regions.

      This might not be the mostly thickly settled land, or particularly profitable land, but it still might be useful for people who do RP that requires large deserts, seas, or open skies. Varregions are particularly good for this, because there are no border crossings.

      And while it says nothing about the health of a particular grid — anyone can spin up a server and run a giant varregion on it — that’s why I also have the traffic stats (where, I believe, InWorldz is in the lead every month).

      • So I think what you’re saying is that any grid can not only make the Top 40, but can even lead the top 40, if they just use varregions to present a ridiculously large — but mostly meaningless — number of regions, representing land area rather than actual region count.

        So I guess the Top 40 region count is basically meaningless; it doesn’t represent actual business for the grid, or the number of region server instances running, but just plain square metres of land area, which could be arbitrarily large at the whim of the grid owner. And this month’s top 40 clearly shows that.

        • I think the land area number has meaning mostly from a marketing perspective — as in, the land area of OpenSim’s public grids is larger than that of Australia! (or whatever).

          So I’ve been downplaying it over time to focus more on the traffic numbers, which are a lot more useful.

          Unless someone needs a huge amount of land for an RP, that is.

          And yes, if someone wants to get a mention in the monthly stats article and a link to their grid, they can rent a server and put up a few hundred regions. Or they can save some money and just buy an ad, and help support Hypergrid Business AND get more views.

          • It’s good to hear that you intend to downplay the importance of land area over time. There are many other stats which much better represent both the actual usage and the business sides of grids.

            I haven’t seen any downplaying of land area so far. It seems to be the primary focus here lately, and I’m not sure how making it the primary focus of this article (including the headline) is downplaying it. But if you do intend to downplay land area going forward, that is indeed good news and I think serves the readers better. Thank you for considering it.

          • I’m downplaying it by listing the land stats last, and the top-ten grids at the top of the story. For the lead, I try to find something interesting to say about the stats each month.

            Hitting area milestones is always good news. Plus, its more understandable for people — and the numbers look larger than user numbers, too.

            I’m trying to play up the positives of OpenSim here, and low-cost land is a MAJOR draw for the platform.

            Land is so inexpensive that grids that want to have a giant ocean or desert can afford to do it.

          • this is very, very true

            “Hitting area milestones is always good news. Plus, its more understandable for people — and the numbers look larger than user numbers, too.

            I’m trying to play up the positives of OpenSim here, and low-cost land is a MAJOR draw for the platform.

            Land is so inexpensive that grids that want to have a giant ocean or desert can afford to do it.”

      • Cinder Biscuits

        and now in January, your report says they lost a total of two regions, but the region count on their login page remains at 1392. They’re pulling one over on you Maria, even if they resized a variable sized region, that would change the land area by at least three regions (2×2 which is 4 region equivalents can’t be resized to 2 region equivalents and remain square and power of 2 sized.)

  • I just wanted to point out and highlight some things mentioned here that are quite relevant to the current trendings.

    1) “Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.” It is important to keep this in mind, and as the article points out, even giving the total a large margin of error (+/- 10% let’s say).

    I know for a fact there are very many personal and private self-managed grids that have no connections to any of the (grid set-up) known and documented traffic and regions counts.

    Many people like having full control to do such things as full OAR backups and full IAR and even among those with little tech knowledge use one of the several hosting services available.

    2) Notice that even so, “The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 1,111 different publicly-accessible grids, 299 of which were active this month, and 212 of which published their statistics.” Maria does track 900 grids that do not add any numbers to these monthly statistics.

    3) Notice that even with low active increases, it is still much more informative that those who increased are mostly hypergrid enabled. “Craft gained 58 users, Kitely gained 38, DigiWorldz gained 37, OSgrid gained 27, and Metropolis and Island Oasis gained seven active users each.” Of these the commercially oriented Kitely has hypergrid enabled, and Digiworldz is commercially oriented and hypergrid enabled. (by commercial I mean they have a currency).

    Craft, OSGrid, and Metropolis are hypergrid enabled as well as being non-commercial. Metropolis is a non-profit and renting land served by the grid helps to sustain it, as well as annual or so requests for donations. Craft also rents regions.

    OSG is the testing grid but hosting companies rent simulators/regions there as well as in Metropolis and Craft (the latter with permission needed).

    To summarize, you can learn to run your own simulators and either run it from your own computer or servers, and connect to larger grids if you wish to utilize their asset servers and such.

    You can rent from land hosting companies or from grids and still have the benefit of being able to travel across the hypergrid and see as well as participate in the wealth of talent from the perspective of other cultures you normally would have no contact with (irl).

    You can have large spaces using varregions or just running up individual old style single regions. This allows you to spread out more and lets your dreams of the perfect virtual life expand and evolve unencumbered by arbitrary as well as severely limited uses of this by closed commercial grids intent on making a profit (even tho that business model is declining)

    You can do things your way and save the entirely of your region work to an OAR file onto your own computer (which in turn allows you to easily swap our regions for various reasons and to simply upload if the region experiences any issues, especially asset ones…you will never lose your work and it will never be used to hold you hostage as some grids do…it is entirely under your own control).

    You can save your entire inventory to your own computer in full or even in parts…this is full freedom not just some code that helps some grids find your inventory saved in their grid.

    And you can relax and enjoy your virtual life.