In general, Hypergrid Business uses the Associated Press Stylebook for news and feature stories. More stylistic leeway is allowed for first-person columns and editorials. Types of stories We accept submissions in the form of briefs, news stories, feature articles, how-tos, opinion essays, and listsicles. Please send story ideas to [email protected] andRead More →

The top 40 largest OpenSim grids gained 1,250 regions since mid-September, for a new record high of 25,202 regions. OSGrid was responsible for most of the growth, with 839 new regions, for a new total of 11,162 regions on that grid alone. OSGrid is a non-profit grid that allows peopleRead More →

This list only includes the 173 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not releaseRead More →

The Intergrid Metaverse Art Biennial, a six-month long art festival, opened on six grids last month, including Second Life, InWorldz, OSGrid, Metropolis, FrancoGrid, and Craft World. This is the first time this festival is being held. InWorldz, a commercial grid, is the most popular OpenSim grid by active users. OSGrid,Read More →

JokaydiaGrid, the biggest education-focused OpenSim grid, has switched hosting providers, from ReactionGrid to SimHost. Residents will see higher prim limits, better stability, increased concurrency, and Vivox voice, grid owner Jo Kay told Hypergrid Business. ReactionGrid was one of the first enterprise-focused OpenSim hosting providers, and the go-to destination for educators.Read More →

The new version of the Hypergrid protocol is coming soon, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes announced today. Lopes is also a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine. It will include controls that grid owners can use to restrict hypergrid travel in and out of their grids, and also to control movementRead More →

The top 40 largest OpenSim grids gained a record-breaking 2,177 regions since mid-August, the single biggest monthly gain in history. The new regions pushed the grids to 23,952 total regions, also a new high. OSGrid was responsible for almost a quarter of the growth, with 498 new regions, for aRead More →

This list only includes the 156 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. ‘Regions change,’ ‘Users change’ and ‘Actives change’ refers to how many more regions, registered users, and active usersRead More →

A few friends, colleagues, and fellow creators have a need to band together. Our intention is to gather creators and artists from all “virtual reality” platforms in order to collect, and organize factual information about rights and responsibilities of content creators. By working together, we believe that many of us will be ableRead More →

Note: Vivox now has an online form that OpenSim grid owners and hosting providers can use to request access credentials. Vivox is expanding its support for the OpenSim-based metaverse, with a larger team of employees supporting a growing number of grids. Previously, the only way for OpenSim grid owners to get Vivox voiceRead More →

This list only includes the 158 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not releaseRead More →

Today, we counted exactly 200 public grids running on some version of the OpenSim software that were active this month, totaling 23,190 regions, 269,783 registered users, and 18,217 active monthly users.  This does not include regions and users on about a quarter of these grids that didn’t publish any statistics, nor on the unknownRead More →

Everyone knows I’m a big fan of OpenSim. I want it to grow big, with lots of different things to do, lots of different places to go, lots of people to meet. This requires that it get easier for people to set up their own grids and regions. For theRead More →

At first, it seemed to be another publicity disaster in the making. SpotON3D, a grid known for shooting itself in the foot when it comes to public relations, was spotted distributing content by Linda Kellie without crediting her for her work. SpotON3D is a closed, commercial grid that stands outRead More →

Sometime soon, Kitely — the low cost, on-demand, cloud-based grid – will turn on hypergrid connectivity. This may seriously affect the hosting market, as some users will turn to Kitely for low-use residential or educational sims — even while they continue to patronize shops, events, and other facilities elsewhere onRead More →

I love Cloud Party. I love the responsive, 3D graphics. The cute tutorial. The in-world building tools. The free house.  I even love the Facebook integration. Most of all, though, I love the fact that it’s WebGL. It runs natively in modern browsers like Chrome and Firefox and Safari —Read More →

This list only includes the 142 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not releaseRead More →

The hypergrid continued to grow this month, with the Hyperica directory now covering 100 grids and dozens more waiting to be indexed. But even as the number of grids continued to grow, the core top 40 grids that we’ve been tracking since 2009 grew as well. There are now 20,637 regionsRead More →

SpotON3D has been having server issues this week — and that has set off another round of rumors that the company is closing, as in this post by Vanish Seriath: SpotON3D at an end? But the company, known for its clever browser-based viewer launcher plugin, and its controversial stance onRead More →

If you’re a tech-savvy grid owner, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Bitcoin, a new virtual currency that’s completely private, untraceable, and isn’t backed by any company or government. For some, Bitcoin is the future of online payments, an alternative to our current, outmoded, failing financial system. But before youRead More →

If you are a grid owner, you’ve probably already considered creating a virtual currency for your residents. Virtual currencies make it easier to have an in-game economy, have lower transaction costs than PayPal or credit card payments for small payments, and can bring in additional revenues for the grid operators.Read More →

This list only includes the 140 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not releaseRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids reported a total of 19,926 regions this month, up slightly from last month’s 19,668 regions — despite another round of housekeeping on OSGrid. OSGrid, the largest grid on the OpenSim platform, dropped from more than 9,000 regions earlier this week to under 7,000. According toRead More →

Here on Island Oasis, we spent most of March developing and testing our own internal currency. This feature was implemented on April 7 and has been running without issue since. Until then, Island Oasis was using VirWoX OMC as our primary currency. This solution was more than sufficient initially when we launchedRead More →

There was a lot of turmoil on the hypergrid this past month, as many smaller grids disappeared, and OSGrid did another round of cleaning. As a result, the total number of regions on the top 40 grids fell to 19,668, a drop of 491 regions. In addition, the total numberRead More →

This list only includes the 131 grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not releaseRead More →

Some grids reported an increase in logins or registrations yesterday during Second Life’s protracted network outage. According to InWorldz co-founder David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world, the grid saw a peak of 352 simultaneous users on Thursday afternoon, at a time when the grid normally averages between 200 andRead More →

With the recent explosion in new OpenSim grids, it will get harder and harder to get noticed. I’ve been talking about this to new gridmasters, and thought I’d share the advice a bit more widely. While I’m specifically writing for hypergrid-enabled grids, some of the same advice will apply toRead More →

In the first quarter of the year, the OMC virtual currency has gained both popularity and usefulness, with both the total currency in circulation and the number of grids it’s available for use on growing, which has also been reflected in the growing number of users. The OMC, or Open Metaverse Currency,Read More →

The number of small OpenSim grids continued to climb this month, as companies, schools and individuals continued to strike out on their own. We’re tracking 285 grids, of which 169 are currently active — an increase of 26 grids from last month’s 143 active grids. Meanwhile, the top 40 public OpenSimRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release their statisticsRead More →

SpotON3D — the most controversial grid in the OpenSim metaverse, and the only commercial grid that doesn’t release any key statistics — has announced plans to change the company name to Worldworks. The announcement was detailed in full in a members-only newsletter on Thursday. The Worldworks brand will become theRead More →

A major spring cleaning on OSGrid — followed by an outage a couple of weeks later — played havok with the grid’s total region counts over the past four weeks. About three weeks ago, the grid dropped from more than 11,000 regions to just around 6,000 regions as a resultRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release their statisticsRead More →

Launching, maintaining, and expanding a virtual business — a new grid, design firm, hosting company or consultancy — can be an overwhelming task. While start-up costs are often not too high, it is difficult to run a viable business until consistent revenue streams are achieved. Regardless of financial situation though,Read More →

Island Oasis started out as a unique grid — a commercial world that allowed both region exports in the form of OAR files, and hypergrid access to the rest of the metaverse. (See related story: Why the fuss about Island Oasis?) Both of these features were pretty darn resident-friendly, and ourRead More →

Avination, one of the top commercial grids using the OpenSim software, announced today that it has enabled border crossings for vehicles with the latest release of its server software. The standard OpenSim physics engine lags behind that of Second Life when it comes to vehicles, and there are problems havingRead More →

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 580 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 23,231 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now 118, with 20 new grids added to our list this month — not counting private grids, Sim-on-a-Sticks, and gridsRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release their statisticsRead More →

Credit card thieves have figured out a way to steal money from OpenSim grid owners. They take the credit cards, and use them to purchase virtual currency from the grids. Then they turn around and redeem the currency for cash before the card holder notices the theft and complains. TheRead More →

If you like building — or need to build for your work or school — and you find Second Life cramped and expensive, OpenSim is a great option. But where do you start? There are over a hundred active public grids, dozens of hosting providers… for someone new to OpenSim,Read More →

Today, Hamlet Au wrote a column suggesting that the OpenSim user base is shrinking — and used Hypergrid Business numbers to support his position. The short answer to his question is: No, OpenSim usage is not falling, and the numbers do not support this. In fact, it is growing quiteRead More →

New research released today dispels the myth that OpenSim is the sole product of work by people who expected no personal financial gain — academics, employees of large corporations, and volunteers working out of the goodness of their hearts. In fact, entrepreneurs played a very important part in the earlyRead More →

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 1,056 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 22,651 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now over 90, with 16 new grids added to our list this month. There are also an unknown number ofRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release their statisticsRead More →

Note: Updated with new contact email address. Ever since Vivox made its hosted voice service available for free to small and non-profit grids on December 23, OpenSim grids and individual region owners have quickly adopted the technology. Large commercial grids like Avination (which had Vivox first, several months ago) and KitelyRead More →

Last week, our readers told Hypergrid Business that what they most wanted to see in OpenSim was vehicle physics. Of course, vehicle physics. Everyone — or at least 52 percent of everyone — wants vehicle physics. All I hear about everywhere I go is vehicle physics. Vehicle physics. Vehicle physics.Read More →

A few days ago I saw a Tweet, that said something like, “I looked at OpenSim, but some guy said he would steal all my stuff. So, no thanks!” In fact, that attitude comes up a lot on discussion boards and in other forums. There’s a perception that OpenSim isRead More →

Vehicle physics topped the list of missing features in our survey of OpenSim hosting providers this week. Because of the holiday — and the short notice — only 70 people responded to the survey, compared to last year’s 114. Of those, 52 percent said that vehicle physics was among theRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release their statisticsRead More →

The results of the 2011 Hypergrid Business grid survey are in, with mid-sized grids serving language communities dominating the rankings. A record 459 people submitted responses this year, with a total of 63 different grids visited — up from 194 respondents and 35 grids last year. The most surprising resultRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not release updated dataRead More →

ReactionGrid was the early favorite in the race to provide a stable and safe OpenSim environment for educators and corporations. Over the last couple of years, however, the company has been falling behind the rest of the OpenSim universe, sticking with an old version of OpenSim as newer versions cameRead More →

The Island Oasis social grid has rolled out a custom fishing game, a vampire role playing game, an urban combat system and a speedway, and turned on hypergrid connectivity last week as part of a grid-wide revamp. That’s a lot of activity for a small grid — Island Oasis isRead More →

OpenSim developers are discussing ways to combat damaging patent litigation, including changing the OpenSim license to deter potential patent trolls. The Overte Foundation, which holds the OpenSim licenses, recently released a contributors’ license agreement for its developers. One possible anti-troll protection measure would be to change the agreement so thatRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

Freebies are plentiful throughout OpenSim grids, where uploads are free and land is cheap — anyone can put up a freebie store. But most freebie stores can’t guarantee the provenance of their content. Grid owners and content creators fight to remove infringing content, but that’s no comfort to a businessRead More →

All existing OpenSim viewers are based on the GPL-licensed open source version of the Second Life viewer. All derivative viewers also have to be open source — which makes it hard to build a business here. So it makes sense that we don’t have companies coming in and investing aRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 19,381 regions, a new high — up by 883 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew to a new record high of 212,452. These numbers do not include smaller public grids, or the unknown numbers of privateRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

I’m regularly asked why I give more coverage to one company or another, or why I’m biased against particular grids or platforms. And, it’s true. I do have a bias. You see, in my day job — I’m not actually running Hypergrid Business for the money — in my dayRead More →

Kitely users will no longer be able to copy and export content that they don’t have copy or transfer permissions for, the company announced today. Previously, users could make full duplicates of entire regions, or save full regions as OAR files, with a simple click of a button. Now, KitelyRead More →

SpotON3D is a small commercial grid, with more money and programmers than customers. It has developed three innovative pieces of technology, two of which nobody cares anything about, and one, a browser-based viewer plugin, that got people all excited. Including me. It’s a great little piece of functionality, and anRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids now have a total of 18,498 regions — up by 1,539 regions from a month ago. Meanwhile, total registered users grew by almost 12,000 to 206,098. Avination, InWorldz lose ground Both of the top commercial grids — Avination and InWorldz — lost regions over the past month.Read More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. “Regions change,” “Users change” and “ActivesRead More →

SpotON3D has actually filed five patents, not just one, SpotON3D CEO Stevan Lieberman, an intellectual property attorney with Greenberg & Lieberman, said at an outreach event Sunday morning. He did not provide any additional information about the patents at the event, though the company website offers a few hints. Thank you to Vanish Seriath, whoRead More →

SpotON3D attempted to address the controversy over its plans to patent technology for putting an OpenSim viewer on a webpage in an outreach event this morning, but some of the company’s toughest critics failed to show up, the company failed to answer key questions about its technology, and the meetingRead More →

Image: maple / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In recent months, the amount of innovation coming out of the OpenSim community has been staggering. Hypergrid travel is not only more secure, but now supports cross-grid friendships, messages, and landmarks. OpenSim providers are hosting their regions on-demand and in public (and private) clouds, offering full regions for under $10Read More →

AvWorlds has announced that the company will be releasing a Facebook plugin this week, allowing users to quickly create avatars based on their existing Facebook identities. Those without Facebook accounts — or who don’t want to expose their identities — will also be able to use Yahoo and Google logins,Read More →

Competing OpenSim hosting companies are concerned that SpotON3D‘s viewer plugin patent isn’t original, will hinder innovation, and that the company isn’t playing fair with the broader open source community. Other developers, however, say that SpotON3D’s innovation can help energize OpenSim adoption — and the patent, if it is granted, mayRead More →

Avination may deploy the Havok physics engine for its grid. This is the same physics engine used by Second Life. “It is being considered and talks with Havok have started,” Avination grid manager Melanie Thielker told Hypergrid Business. “The content of these talks are under NDA [non-disclosure agreements.” OpenSim grids normallyRead More →

A lot of folks sit around complaining about not having a decent Web-based viewer for OpenSim and Second Life. (Okay, maybe just me.) The existing stand-alone viewers require that users download and install the software. There’s nothing wrong with installing software, but as more applications migrate to the Web, folksRead More →

First of all, I’d like to thank all the creative folks who are creating original products and distributing them in freebie stores on OSGrid, JokaydiaGrid, GermanGrid, FrancoGrid, and many other locations. OpenSim has come a long way since I started writing about it two years ago and it’s now possibleRead More →

It’s been a record-breaking months for OpenSim, with the top 40 grids passing 16,000 regions and 200,000 users for the first time in history. The total number of regions on these 40 largest public grids was 16,959, an increase of 1,669 regions since mid June — the biggest single-month increaseRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not respond to ourRead More →

If you’re launching a new grid, your number one problem is lack of content. Whether your grid is a corporate office complex for your employees, a campus for your students, or a large social and roleplaying world for your residents, they all need clothes, skins, hair, shoes, furniture, productivity tools,Read More →

Paris-based Cariama, a multi-grid marketplace, wants merchants to know that they can sell their goods to six different OpenSim grids, plus Second Life — without paying any commission. Those six grids are 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Open Neuland,  Sim World and UFS Grid. It’s been making that pitch sinceRead More →

The number of OpenSim grids accepting the multi-grid, hypergrid-enabled Open Metaverse Currency (OMC) has continued to grow in the first half of this year, now at an all-time high of 29 grids. Meanwhile, the number of registered users has tripled since the start of the year. In addition, the totalRead More →

HGExchange, a new online marketplace for OpenSim goods launched today, with live delivery to OSGrid, MyOpenGrid, and Haven. It is not the first online marketplace to deliver items to multiple OpenSim grids.  Cariama delivers products to 3rd Rock Grid, Avination, InWorldz, Sim World and UFS Grid as well as to SecondRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not respond to ourRead More →

Kitely, a popular cloud-based OpenSim hosting provider, rolled out two frequently requested features today — the ability to export regions, and the ability to choose viewers. These two changes should make it much easier for virtual designers to use Kitely for building and design projects. In addition, the Kitely pluginRead More →

What’s the fun of teleporting to other grids and meeting new friends, if you can’t keep in touch with them afterwards? That’s not going to be a problem for long, hypergrid inventor Crista Lopes, professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine in an announcement Friday. The new functionalityRead More →

You cannot compare Second Life and OpenSim. One is a social world. The other is an open source piece of server software. You can’t even compare Second Life to individual grids using OpenSim as their backend software. Second Life has around a million users logging in each month, while theRead More →

The closed, commercial social grid AvWorlds has abandoned its high price strategy — at least for now. When the grid was launched earlier this spring, a single region was priced at $145 a month. (See full story here.) While a bargain compared to Second Life, this price made it theRead More →

Netflix now accounts for the largest share of Internet traffic. According to a new report from Sandvine, Netflix movies and television episodes are now more than 22 percent of the stuff traveling through the Intertubes — finally knocking peer-to-peer filesharing networks out of first place. The reason isn’t that peopleRead More →

The last four months have been tumultuous ones for our university. With the end of educational discounts for our island in Second Life, we faced a tough decision. Second Life’s steep learning curve and our local system of incentives and rewards for faculty had discouraged any use of virtual worldsRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained a total of 1,199 new regions over the past month, for a new record total of 15,765 regions. The biggest growth was on OSGrid, the non-profit grid which allows people to connect regions for free — or rent them from hosting companies for asRead More →

This list only includes grids that have published usage data this month. Some grids may have been down for maintenance, relocation, or were shut down since our survey last month. OpenLifeGrid does not consider themselves an OpenSim grid and does not publish usage data. SpotOn3D did not respond to ourRead More →

A reader asked me today about the OpenSim business case — are there enough users on any of the grids to make it worthwhile for a business to set up a presence there instead of in Second Life? The short answer is: no. Second Life’s average concurrency is around 50,000.Read More →

OpenSim’s new 0.7.1 release supports meshes, media-on-a-prim, and adds additional security features for grid owners and content creators. The upgrade also promises increased stability and less lag. However, hypergrid teleports are not backwards compatible to previous versions of OpenSim. Many large public grids have already upgraded to the new version,Read More →

Earlier this week, Teleplace announced that it was releasing the current version of proprietary virtual world software to the open source community as OpenQwaq. The next generation of its software won’t be commercially available for three to six months. The Teleplace software normally runs for $50 per user per monthRead More →

Second Life is a tipping point, and has been precariously balanced there for months. Average daily concurrency has been slipping since the start of 2010, according to data from Metaverse Business. In fact, according to Tateru Nino, concurrency in Second Life is at its lowest level in two years. TheRead More →

Magne Metaverse Research LLC, the parent company behind the Meta7 grid, announced on Thursday that it will be shutting down by the end of the month as a result of trandmark-related legal issues. Today, the grid reports 7144 registered users and 300 total regions. Current users will be able toRead More →