Grid traffic slows over holidays

The total land area of the public OpenSim grids rose slightly this month, and there were nearly 10,000 new registered users, but active user numbers dropped slightly over the holidays.

OpenSim now has a record-high of 71,557 standard region equivalents, a record high of 503,152 registered users, and 32,200 active users — a drop of 1,058 active users since last month.

Closed grids lost 154 regions this month, while hypergrid-enabled grids gained 388 regions. The biggest gainer was OSgrid, with 757 new regions, followed by Kitely with 436 new regions, Lost Paradise with 254 new regions, and the Great Canadian Grid with 245 new regions.

OpenSim region counts January 2016

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

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.

Both closed and hypergrid-enabled grids lost net active users this month.

The biggest gainer this month was a brand-new grid, Linda Kellie’s Clutterfly World, which saw 318 actives users this past month. A Life Virtual gained 152 actives, InWorldz gained 126 and Refuge Grid gained 112.

Here are the top ten most popular grids:

Grid News

The Great Canadian Grid held their first-ever grid-wide hunt during the first two weeks of January. Next, the grid will be holding a Valentine’s Day hunt the first two weeks of February. Contact Cayia Keegan, owner of the CN Ranch region.

Redesigned welcome region on the Virtual Highway grid. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)
Redesigned welcome region on the Virtual Highway grid. (Image courtesy Virtual Highway.)

Virtual Highway has upgraded, with the purchase of a new backup server that replicates the entire grid and its assets to help protect against hardware failure. The grid has also rebuilt its welcome region, with new landscaping, games, meeting areas, and a destination guide.  The grid also has new property management offices, a Parade of Fashion runway stage, a redeveloped Learning Center, and a new Office Complex.

YrGrid celebrated its first birthday yesterday. The grid was one of the fastest-growing grids last year. I was a guest speaker at their celebration, and gave a motivational talk about getting your virtual business under way this year.

Transitions

We have six new grids added to our database since this time last month: Clutterfly World, Neverworld, Snookums, Underground HipHop Connexion, Loff Virtual Worlds, and Shadow of Your Mind.

The following 25 grids were suspended this month: DigiGrids, German Grid, Haven, Tertiary Grid, Dawn Grid, Adrianopolis, Virtual Realms Grid, SimGrid, Dune, Next Reality, SkyLife, Ital Vybez, MetaCosmo, Freedomland, RippersMetaverse, MS Axiom, The Island, Cacao Grid, Gorean Grid, DogeWorld, Herkimer’s Lab, Stagma World, Oz, BOS OpenSim, and SPBs-Welt.

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.

January 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 1,119 different publicly-accessible grids, 292 of which were active this month, and 210 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 Korolov

Maria Korolov is a science fiction writer who covers cybersecurity, AI and extended reality as a tech journalist at her day job.
Check out her author page on Amazon or follow her on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. Her first virtual world novella, Krim Times, made the Amazon best-seller list in its category. Her second novella, The Lost King of Krim, is out now.