One of the first questions every new grid owner must answer is whether to have in-world payment, so that users can buy stuff, or pay for services, or donate money while they’re on the grid. The easiest answer is “no.” You can put up some freebie stores, have residents buyRead More →

If you, like me, are looking to launch a little OpenSim grid of your own — or even a big commercial grid — but you don’t want to mess with all the details of setting up and configuring servers, installing and patching the software, managing the network connections and loadRead More →

This May, a major new regulation goes into effect — the European General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR. It affects any company anywhere in the world that collects data on Europeans. And yes, that includes emails and IP addresses, and there’s no minimum company size required. If you’re an organized grid,Read More →

OpenSim hosting company Dreamland Metaverse received the highest scores for performance, support, stability and its user interface in this year’s hosting providers survey for the fourth year in a row, followed by  Zetamex Network, DigiWorldz and 3DLES. There were 36 responses total to this year’s hosting survey, which asks grid ownersRead More →

If you’re using a default avatar that comes with some versions of OpenSim, your name might wind up on copybotted content without you knowing about it. That’s just what happened to a user known as “Gemini Fullmoon,” a resident of the Great Canadian Grid. Fullmoon is also the owner of the FullRead More →

I occasionally get emails from people starting new OpenSim grids, and wondering how they’re going to pay for them. Here are the top five ways that OpenSim grids find success. 1. Commercial grids These are the best-known grids, typically because they put the most time and resources into sales andRead More →

OpenSim hosting company Dreamland Metaverse received the highest scores for performance, support, stability and its user interface in this year’s hosting providers survey, followed by DigiWorldz and Zetamex Network. There were 40 responses total to this year’s hosting survey, which asks grid owners about their hosting providers. However, many ofRead More →

Update: Genesis Grid has since been rebranded as Genesis Metaverse. The Genesis Grid, formerly hosted by Avi-Labs, has left that hosting company in the wake of recent problems and launched its own OpenSim hosting service. It will be hosting its own grid, as well as that of another former Avi-Labs customer,Read More →

While most OpenSim hosting companies are cautiously optimistic about the new Gloebit currency, currently in beta testing on Hyperica and ZetaWorld grids, grid owners themselves are split on how they want to see payments evolve. Dreamland, Zetamex testing platform Dreamland Metaverse was one of the early testers of the GloebitRead More →

Dreamland Metaverse outscored the two other major providers in every category in this year’s OpenSim hosting providers survey, while CloudServe, the new kid on the block, scored a close second. Zetamex scored last in four out of five categories. Zetamex also had an ownership change this past year, and hadRead More →

Most people who’ve traveled the hypergrid have had the experience of not being able to bring stuff back home, or of mysteriously not being able to take content to other grids. Recently, a number of different OpenSim developers have taken on the fight, and have been reporting progress. Crista LopesRead More →

The results of the 2013 OpenSim hosting  are in, and the biggest surprise was the lack of votes for SimHost, once one of the leading vendors in this space. Another surprise? Vehicle physics tops the list of wanted OpenSim features, just as it did in 2011. Overall, 53 percent ofRead More →

The results of the 2013 Hypergrid Business OpenSim Grid Survey are in, with 654 votes cast. Just over 90 percent said they would recommend the grid to others, a slight increase from last year’s 87 percent, 8 percent said “maybe” and less than 2 percent said they would not recommendRead More →

October promises to be a busy grid on the OpenSim grids, with German residents celebrating Oktoberfest, some grids celebrating their anniversaries, and everyone celebrating Halloween. If you’re looking for a group to get you comfortable with hypergrid travels, check out the Hypergrid Adventurers Club, which started up up again lastRead More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids have reached 27,608  regions, a new record high. They also reported 306,942 total registered users and 17,922 active users this month. This is 709 more regions than on the Second Life grid. Meanwhile, of the 266 currently active public OpenSim grids, 214 reported their statistics this month,Read More →

If you’re an educator considering taking advantage of Second Life’s newly-restored educator discount, but wondering about what else is out there, check out some of these OpenSim-based alternatives. You typically get much lower prices, more control and privacy and — best of all — ability to back up entire regionsRead More →

Linden Lab has restored the 50 percent discount for educators and non-profits last month, but some educators are wary of taking the company up on its offer. “Our IT [information technology] folks, like many who once supported experiments in Second Life, have moved on,” said Joe Essid, who directs the WritingRead More →

Train wreck image by Wystan via Flickr

Whenever a grid closes unexpectedly, there are always some users who are surprised and unprepared. They didn’t make offline backups of their builds, didn’t get their OAR or IAR exports, didn’t move their in-world social networks to a more permanent — or, at least, different — platform like an emailRead More →

Recent outages at two of the biggest, most popular grids in the metaverse — Metropolis and AviWorlds — cut into this month’s active user numbers, but overall the OpenSim metaverse continued to expand. The top 40 OpenSim grids by land area gained 1,173 regions this month, for a new total ofRead More →

AviWorlds, a commercial social grid, will be going down on Wednesday as it switches from managed hosting by Dreamland Metaverse to running its own servers. AviWorlds has outgrown the management tools available from Dreamland Metaverse,  grid owner Alexsandro Pomposelli told Hypergrid Business.  The Dreamland Metaverse management panel offers some options,Read More →

Looking for an immersive platform for your company, non-profit, educational institution, or government agency? Start with the following list of vendors, all of which have a successful history of serving enterprise customers. Browser-based platforms Running a virtual world in a browser does impose some limitations on the environment. But, onRead More →

The question of avatar rights may seem to simply be a special case of the consumer rights discussion. But the areas in which avatar rights are different from generic consumer rights is where the biggest problems arise. Many consumers feel that they are in an inferior position – they haveRead More →

In the wake of a massive data loss and ensuing grid shut down at What Virtual World, InWorldz announced yesterday that it will begin offering encrypted inventory backups to its residents. The two events were not connected, InWorldz CTO David Daeschler told Hypergrid Business. He is also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world.Read More →

The top 40 OpenSim grids gained 1,756 regions this month, the largest one-month increase since last September. It was also the second-largest increase overall, since we started keeping track in August 2008. There are now 22,582 regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids, 269,310 registered users, and 17,602 active users. The number ofRead More →

A new paper published this month in the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research listed a few reasons why business users are hesitant to embrace virtual environments: The main reasons were: Technical difficulties: “Due to frustrating first-hand experiences, professionals predicted that high technical requirements, slow system performance, and the inability toRead More →

The number of public OpenSim grids has more than doubled in 2012, from 98 at the start of the year, to 232 grids active this month. Here are some reasons why this is happening. Easier setup from established hosting providers Companies like Dreamhost Metaverse, SimHost, Virtual Reality, and many othersRead More →

The total regions on the top 40 OpenSim grids continued to fall this month, though not as badly as last month after OSgrid’s big cleanup. The total number of regions fell by 1,566 to 20,629 since mid-November, due to the suspension of a couple of major grids, a continuation ofRead More →

There have been a series of grid outages lately — InWorldz was down for a day during a server move, JokaydiaGrid moved hosting companies, ReactionGrid shut down altogether. And now SpotON 3D has been down for a few days, blaming server problems. Plus, I’ve been reading about OpenSim users beingRead 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 →

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 →

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 →

Press release: Piney Grove Middle School students complete first project in the NOBLE world ATLANTA, GA – Students at Piney Grove Middle School in Cumming, Georgia recently completed their first learning adventure in the NOBLE Virtual World, a 3D virtual learning environment designed especially for project-based learning. NOBLE is availableRead More →

Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools plans to triple the number of its OpenSim regions next year, the district’s coordinator of online education, Steve Mashburn, announced at Friday’s Non-Profit Commons meeting in Second Life. The school district deployed a 16-region grid, hosted by Dreamland Metaverse, earlier this year. The same vendor will be usedRead 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 →

Press release: Forsyth County Schools has selected Dreamland Metaverse ATLANTA, GA – Forsyth County Schools announced today that it has selected Dreamland Metaverse to host the NOBLE Virtual World on the OpenSim platform. The metro Atlanta district, with 35 schools and 38,000 students, is the first major school system in 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 →

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 →

We’re running a survey today about OpenSim hosting providers, and I’m getting the sense that there’s a lot of confusion about OpenSim hosting when it comes to renting land on a grid, versus buying hosting from a third-party vendor. Part of it is understandable — there are a lot ofRead 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 →

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 →

New Voice’s Nova OpenSim hosting company has dropped region prices to a new low today — just $5.95 for a region with up to 80,000 prims. The catch? The region is designed for low-traffic residential builds, and can support only five to ten avatars at once. And the 80,000 primsRead More →

AVWorlds is a brand new grid — at just 26 regions, it doesn’t even make our monthly Top 40 list — but it has big ambitions. The grid launched with the highest priced land in OpenSim, but then abandoned that strategy and is now actually offering more free residential plotsRead More →

Any grid owner that makes a living by renting out premium residential regions should start planning ahead — for a future in which the effective of residential regions drops down to zero. Free is already here Of course, there is nothing new about free regions. OSGrid and other open gridsRead More →

Regions start at $30 a month for a 12,000-prim region, with no setup fee. Full grid hosting starts at $45 per month.

Educators and companies looking for free, Creative Commons-licensed starting regions for their corporate or school campuses should take a look at Universal Campus. These four regions were originally created by OSGrid president Michael Emory Cerquoni — also known as Nebadon Izumi in-world — for the Institute of Genomics and Bioinformatics atRead More →

People who remember the last dot-com boom, and are thinking of launching a virtual worlds business so that they can take part in the next one, need not worry that their memories of the 1990s mean that their too old to succeed. In fact, according to a new study, olderRead 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 →

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 →

(Last updated April 26, 2013) There are plenty of reasons to run OpenSim on your own computers. If you’re a content creator, you can have as many regions as you want, for free, and load them up when you need to work on them. There’s no lag due to connectivityRead More →

OpenSim grids hit yet another new peak this month, with 15,094 regions on the top 40 grids, an 11  percent increase from last month’s 13,564 regions — a gain of 1,530 new regions. Meanwhile, total registered users on these grids grew 5 percent from 140,053 in mid November to 147,565Read More →

OpenSim users overwhelmingly said that they would “absolutely” recommend the platform to others. Out of 114 people who responded to our survey this week and answered this question, 84 percent said they would “absolutely recommend” it, with only 1 percent saying they would “absolutely not recommend” the platform. Of theRead More →

Marketing guru Seth Godin wrote a short piece today about the five stages of users, which applies to OpenSim as well as to any other product or technology: Novice: wants to be given a manual, told what to do, with no decisions possible Advanced Beginner: needs a bit of freedom,Read More →

The largest grid on the hypergrid will upgrade to the new version of OpenSim on Sunday, October 17. The new version supports media-on-a-prim as well as a more secure hypergrid teleport standard. The new version is OpenSim version 0.7. OSGrid is currently running version 0.6.9. The new 0.7 version ofRead More →

In the wake of the closing of Second Life’s Teen Grid, and the price hike to educators and non-profits, many organizations are considering moving to OpenSim. The first question they usually ask themselves is, “Which grid should we join?” But the more important question should be: “Should we join aRead More →

Updated May 4, 2013 Yes, you can run OpenSim for free on your own computer –  you can even run it on a USB stick. But do you want to? Here’s a question — would you run your own Apache Web server for your website, or would you use aRead More →

Today, Linden Lab announced that the price of land for educators and non-profits will double in January. As a result, the price differential between Second Life land and OpenSim becomes even more significant. You can pay as little as $10 for a single region, but for the highest performance andRead More →

Correction: Coral Estate regions start at $20, not $10. OpenSim hosting prices have fallen to a record-low, with providers like New Voice offering regions for just $10 per month — though the performance of such low-cost regions may be in doubt. New Voice on the map If you’ve glanced atRead More →

Tonight’s meeting of the Hypergrid Entrepreneurs Group was an eye-opener for me and several other attendees — well, ear-opener. We got a chance to try out the new Whisper directional voice system for OpenSim, and it was amazing. Not amazing as the way in Freeswitch was amazing, in that youRead More →

ReactionGrid no longer offers $25 regions, offering only entire servers starting at $150 a month, with a $500 setup fee. Each server can handle four regions, and there is a discount for educators — to $75 a region with a $220 setup fee. “The price for a $75 four-sim dedicatedRead More →

The owner of the Aesthetica sim — a rich and detailed artistic build created over the course of several months — learned on Monday that his region was gone for good. And five months of scheduled nightly backups? Never happened. What happened to his region could happen to other regionRead More →

[Update: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public OpenSim grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations. Directory indexes more than 100 shopping and freebie store locations. Updated hypergrid travel directions here.] The following is a list of currently active hypergrid destinations. It’s not an inclusive list — there are hundredsRead More →