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Second Life Q1 reporting shows growth, but the report itself is not so good

Tateru Nino

Linden Lab have released their figures for Second Life for Q1 2009, showing growth in virtually every respect.

Unfortunately, most of the figures lack definition and meaning, and their nature or relevance can only be guessed at. The few that are clear, however, do show solid growth, which is good for Linden Lab and for Second Life. We've got a breakdown of the highlights for you, such as they are.

User hours for Q1 were 124 million. An estimated 260,400 user hours were lost due to what is called 'downtime'.

What constitutes downtime has never been actually been defined and the only thing we're really sure of about it is that it does not constitute downtime in the conventional sense. As a result, we're unable to present any useful information on how a 0.04% reduction in whatever it is that it actually represents might affect Second Life and its users.

Land area 'rebalanced', as a part of product and pricing changes to Openspaces products. 'Rebalanced' immediately calls to mind 'right-sizing'. Costs went up, people changed plans, and the land area shrunk, basically. It seems to be mostly settling out at the moment at around 1,643 million square metres.

User-to-user transactions are up, but they're inextricably tangled up with other things like the transfer of funds to and from XStreet SL accounts which saw sales of L$330 million. So the figure there isn't indicative of anything very useful, unfortunately.

Monthly unique repeat logins ... again, we'll have to pass on this one entirely until we get more information from the Lab. It's closely related to the recently touted monthly repeat logins figure (which appears to be a nearly identical number). From what we're starting to glean from Linden Lab, monthly repeat logins may not be indicative of what it seems to be, and we're not actually in a position to know what it actually indicates at this stage.

Peak concurrency is definitely on the climb, with an all-time peak of 88,199 on 29 March. That's a standout result.

Linden Lab's currency-exchange, the Lindex handled US$28 million over Q1. That's another standout result, and equal-best with Q3 of 2008.

All things considered, only a part of the data is really indicative of anything you can define, but at least those figures are indicative of growth. The rest of the data lacks the references, definitions or related-comparative information that might make it meaningful to anyone outside of the Lab.

If we had to give a report card for the Q1 figures, we'd be looking at a C- for this. It definitely shows growth, but half the data lacks the supporting information to be anything more than pretty pictures without useful meaning to the reader.

Are you a part of the most widely-known collaborative virtual environment or keeping a close eye on it? Massively's Second Life coverage keeps you in the loop.

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