VWBPE 2022 Conference Opens


VWBPE 2022 Regions (builds are in the sky with teleports)

The 15th annual Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE 2022) conference opens today at 8am SLT where the Gateway for the Kick Off Event will start. Phelan Corrimal will officially declare the beginning of VWBPE 2022 along with the conference planning committees who will be sharing upcoming conference highlights. From 9am SLT there will be a keynote speech by Oksana Levytska at the VWBPE Auditorium who will be talking about the use of virtual technologies and practices in support of ongoing education during world events.

Patch Linden will be live from 11am SLT to 11.50am roughly at the Above the Book interview talking about what’s new at Linden Lab and the impact that education (non-profit organizations) has in Second Life. This event will take place at the VWBPE Auditorium so please arrive early to get a seat.

There will be swag bags around where it has a teleport HUD, conference information and the schedule. Here is the VWBPE 2022 full program schedule and let’s spread the word about this to your friends and on blogs across the metaverse.

  • Check out the program schedule for more events. I have picked out some recommended cool events below that you may be interested in.

Friday 1st April 2022

Saturday 2nd April 2022

VWBPE 2022 Sponsors

Please spread the word about VWBPE 2022.

Second Life Grid Statistics – March Update 2022


This is the spring update on the latest Second Life grid statistics looking back at the past three months of 2022. My last stats blog post was made on 2nd January 2022 where I reported that 2021 was a good strong year for Second Life growth. Interest overall was up for residents buying their own private estates around the grid and Linden Owned regions showed positive growth trends through 2021.

As we approach the start of April 2022 it’s time to look at what’s been happening over the past three months in terms of regions, daily concurrency, registered signups and the Second Life website traffic stats. My next grid statistics blog posts will be published at the end of June, September and December 2022. I will blog if any big changes do happen of course during the year.

Second Life Regions

Since early January 2022 the Second Life grid has showed steady positive growth (+172 regions). This is really good news to see more regions being added on the Second Life grid and I really hope this positive regions trend continues for the rest of the year. There might be something in the upcoming Premium Plus package where interest for new regions will go up even further or if the lab announce any land price reductions.

Most of the growth during the past three months has again come from Linden Owned regions where most of which have been added to the Bellisseria continent in Second Life. There is at least another few Linden Home themes still yet to be announced and be released on the grid. I would expect the Linden Owned regions will triple over the next 10 months or so. It’s going to be close to 28, 000 by 2023 hopefully if more growth happens.

Main Grid Size as of 27th March 2022 – (vs 2nd January 2022)

  • Total: 27, 403 – (up from 27, 231)
  • Private Estates: 18, 339 – (up from 18, 332)
  • Linden Owned: 9, 064 – (up from 8, 909)
  • Total Area: 1795.88KM – (up from 1784.61KM)

Second Life Daily User Concurrency

At the end of December 2021 I reported that the Second Life user concurrency remained stable through 2021 which was good to see happening. The highest peak for 2021 was 57, 746 on 23rd March 2021 and since it’s been averaging around 51, 000 to 55, 000 since start of 2022.

March 2022 Daily Concurrency Levels 

  • Maximum Daily Concurrency: 48, 000 to 53, 000 (average)
  • Median Daily Concurrency: 38, 000 to 42, 000 (average)
  • Minimum Daily Concurrency: 28, 000 to 33, 000 (average)

The green line above marks the start of 2022 for reference and as you can see there has already been some noticeable drops in daily user concurrency on 25th January, 8th February and 15th February. It’s not really gone above the 56, 000 mark (at max) so far in 2022 but hopefully there will be high peaks again soon.

We will have to see if the trends continue like this or get better when I published my next stats blog post in June 2022.

Second Life Registered Signups

On 29th March 2022 the SL Stats graphs showed that there have been 66, 557, 066 registered Second Life signups since the launch back in 2003. Data resumed from 15th March 2022 and it’s not clear if these are correct figures or if there has been a mix up somewhere. Back at SL18B the official figure’s from the lab was 70+ million registered accounts as of mid June 2021.

Second Life Website Traffic

Here are the latest Second Life website traffic stats for the past three months via similarweb which tracks secondlife.com traffic. These are pretty interesting statistics when you scroll down the page from the global rank, average visit duration, pages per visit, bounce rate and more.

  • Employees: 201 – 500
  • Revenue: $10.0M – $15.0M
  • Global Rank: 3, 730 / Country Rank: 1, 405 (US)

Total Visits Last 3 Months – (it’s a month behind)

  • December 2021: 12.1 million
  • January 2022: 11.4 million
  • February 2022: 10.3 million
  • March 2022: Should be published at some point in April 2022

Top Countries – Based on geographic location of a site’s core audience over the past month. Here are the countries sending the most traffic to secondlife.com in order.

  • United Stats: 48.70%
  • United Kingdom: 5.55%
  • Germany: 4.58%
  • Brazil: 4.32%
  • Canada: 4.30%
  • Others: 32.55%

Marketing Channels Overview – Digital marketing channels driving traffic to secondlife.com

  • Direct: 72.81%
  • Search: 16.43%
  • Social: 7.19%
  • Referrals: 1.94%
  • Mail: 1.60%
  • Display: 0.03%

Keyword Search Traffic – List of top paid and organic keywords driving traffic to secondlife.com

  • Organic: 99.97% / Paid: 0.03%
  • Total Keywords: 16.8k
  • secondlife – 14.43%
  • sl marketplace – 3.69%
  • secondlife – 3.28%

Social Network Distribution – Top social media networks directing traffic to secondlife.com

  • Facebook: 42.46%
  • YouTube: 24.59%
  • Pinterest: 10.30%
  • Twitter: 5.71%
  • Flickr: 4.81%
  • Others: 12.14%

I hope these grid and website statistics are useful for everybody. Feel free to blog about it and spread the word. Thanks.

2022 Home & Garden Expo In Second Life Raises $14, 711 USD


The 2022 Home & Garden Expo in Second Life raised $14, 711 USD in total donations this year which is excellent news to hear. All the proceeds will now go to fund the mission of the American Cancer Society. Well done to all those that have raised these funds, volunteered and took part in Home & Garden Expo this year.

At the end of the expo Kaerri announced her retirement as the Home & Garden Expo’s coordinator which is sad news. Kaerri has put in so much hard work over the years to ensure Expos run smoothly.

  • Here is the RFL calendar in Second Life including all the upcoming events planned including the Fantasy Faire, Relay Weekend, Sci-Fi conference and more.

Here is the full blog post

The 2022 Home & Garden Expo closed last week with a $14,711 USD in total donations – all going to fund the mission of the American Cancer Society. With 9 regions filled with exhibitors and a stage that featured multiple performers, the Expo gives the home and garden community in Second Life a chance to fight back against cancer in their own way. This event is the longest actively running event of its kind in the history of Second Life. Under Kaerri Rae’s guidance, the Expo has experienced a resurgence of activity and interest over the years.

At the end of the Expo, Kaerri announced her retirement as the Home & Garden Expo’s coordinator and is ready to enjoy some much deserved personal time. “We are grateful for Kaerri’s commitment for so many years and we know that there will never be anyone quite like her,” says Stingray Raymaker, Director of the American Cancer Society in Second Life. Each year, Kaerri worked hard to improve areas of the Expo and connect its patrons to the mission of the American Cancer Society.

Being the coordinator of an event this size is no small undertaking. It requires countless hours of planning and organizing ideas and people over the course of many months. Like all of our mega event coordinators, Kaerri volunteered her time to this community and this event for so many years, never seeming to take a break. Stingray added, “When Kaerri messaged me to tell me that she’d decided that this would be her final year as the H&G Expo Coordinator, she assured me that she’d still be involved in the future because the cause and the community mean so much to her.”

The 2022 Home & Garden Expo is now complete, but it won’t be long before we start planning for 2023. We thank Kaerri Rae for her years of service to the American Cancer Society and we appreciate her willingness to work with us as we transition to the next chapter of this long-standing successful event.

Spread the word 🙂

Thanks.

OpenSim Monthly Usage Goes Up


On 18th March 2022 David Kariuki published this month’s statistics on Hypergrid Business. It seems like the OpenSim monthly usage has gone up while the land area drops on grid outages. During the past month OpenSim gained almost 2, 000 active users which is good news.

The OSgrid is the biggest OpenSim grid at the moment with 35, 553 regions with Kitely in second place with 18, 936 regions which is quite a difference don’t you think. OSgrid has the most active users at the moment with 4, 804 with DigiWorldz in second place with 2, 070 active users.

Since last summer the total OpenSim land area has been steadily been increasing staying around the 100, 000 mark. OSgrid has seen a huge increase in new regions and active users in recent months. OSgrid is doing pretty well over on OpenSim at the moment and it will be interesting to see if this trend continues through the rest of 2022.

Many OpenSim grids actually offer free land and hosting is pretty cheap for those interested. See the breakdown here or grids renting land.

OpenSim is a free, open-source virtual world platform similar to Second Life that allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and to 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.

The Kitely Marketplace is still doing well with 19, 432 product listings which contains 38, 568 product variations (33, 431 are sold with the export permission). The Kitely Marketplace has delivered orders to 540 OpenSim grids to date which is pretty amazing. The Kitely Marketplace is accessible to private grids, closed grids and the hypergrid-enabled grids. In second place is the Tag Grid Marketplace featuring avatar appearances and accessories etc.

Hypergrid Business normally releases monthly statistics each month in the middle half part. It’s good to still see these reports being released and to see there are monthly OpenSim news/events happening.

New Firestorm Release 6.5.3.65658


On Tuesday 22nd March 2022 the Firestorm team released a brand new Firestorm release coded 6.5.3.65658 and it’s now available to download. This latest version brings it up to date with Linden Lab 6.5.2 official viewer release. This viewer comes with Linden Lab 360 Snapshot Tools so that you can now take all 360 degress snapshots. Firestorm AO now comes with many bug fixes and improvements.

The viewer comes with stability improvements and comes with better performance now. This version includes the new splash screen featuring the latest blog posts from the Firestorm Blog, Second Life official blog, Blogger Network, Grid Status, Second Life destinations, social links and much more.

Performance Floater: There is now a more realistic account of the rending costs and the floater comes with new automictic tuning capabilities. Basically the performance floater shows you in real time which avatars are lagging you and it examines your own attachments to see how they perform.

Autotune: Autotune allows the viewer to basically manage your graphics settings to give you the performance level you request.

Starlight Skins: The next release will no longer support Starlight Skins unless someone steps up to carry this on. If interested email admin@phoenixviewer.com with your experience and skills.

Multi-Factor Authentication: The Firestorm team are working hard to get the next release ready for when the lab releases the Multi-Factor Authentication viewer.

OpenSim: Now comes with “Hear Voice Equally” support.

Linux: There are new updates to the libraries, there Windows 64 bit voice as a new option, improved clipboard handling and more.

Mac: Special letters and key combinations do not work. Mac users on Monterey operation systems will not have voice working. The firestorm team are working on this and should be fixed in the next release.

Windows 11: Now comes with Windows 11 detection.

For the full release notes please visit the wiki page. Please spread the word about this release to your friends and family. Overall it’s a good upgrade version with many improvements in this release.

What do you think about this latest release ? Feel free to share your views in the comments section below.

Flickr Updates Terms Of Service


On 17th March 2022 Flickr announced some new terms of service and there has been some confusion about it. The part where it says “we’re limiting free accounts to 50 non-public photos (e.g. photos marked as private, friends, family, or friends and family” is not right.

On the same day via Flickr official Twitter account they have actually said “The free limit is remaining at 1000 photos. The change is that only a maximum of 50 images can be marked as private on free accounts“. Hopefully this should clear things up now.

I think the Flickr announcement needs to be changed as soon as possible because many thought that Flickr would limit free accounts to just 50 photos. I think personally Flickr has gone down hill in recent years especially when SmugMug purchased Flickr back in April 2018+.

I used to use Flickr a lot pre-2019 for adventures around Second Life but nowadays I upload stuff now and then. I preferred when free accounts had the ability to upload more than 1, 000 photos without being deleted. In the mean time I will remain being a free member until things change in the near future hopefully. I will review upgrading to Flickr Pro if the limits get raised again.

I have added my new Flickr photos on my blog on the right hand side along with the Flickr link in the social links area.

Price Breakdown For Flickr Pro

  • 2 Year Plan: £4.66/month – billed every two years
  • Annual Plan: £5/month – billed annually
  • Monthly Plan: £6.99/month

Other Photo Sharing Sites

Imgur, Instagram, Twitter, 500px, Google Photos, Amazon Prime Photos and ImageShack are some interesting photo sharing sites to try out.

What do you think of new Flickr TOS ?

Fantasy Faire 2022 Blogger Applications Now Open


Great news to share today is that the Fantasy Faire 2022 blogger applications are now open and you can apply here. The Fantasy Faire is a huge charity event in Second Life benefiting the American Cancer Society. It offers live performances, immersive quests, auctions, Literary Festival events, roleplay, games, shopping and much more. There is a Discord group or the inworld group while we wait for the event to start.

The 2022 Fantasy Faire will open to the public on Thursday 21st April 2022 through until Sunday 8th May 2022. For more event details please read the press release below and spread the word around the grid. Thanks.

* * Fantasy Faire 2022, April 21 – May 8* *
A Benefit for the American Cancer Society

Many Realms – One Vision.
Fantasy Faire 2022: Building a World Without Cancer


Since 2009, Fantasy Faire has been the largest gathering of fantasy designers, enthusiasts, role-players, and performers in the virtual world of Second Life®. It is also one of the most successful Relay For Life (RFL) fundraising teams worldwide. The 2021 Faire ranked 19th out of 5,000 RFL teams around the globe. Over its fourteen years, the Faire has raised close to $530,000 US Dollars, or over L$133,250,000 Linden Dollars.

For the past five years, the Faire has dedicated its fundraising efforts to the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) global service and support programs, including the recently launched project BEACON (Building Expertise, Advocacy, and Capacity for Oncology Navigation).

A partnership with nine health institutions and organizations in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America, BEACON builds on the success of similar ACS programs in the US and elsewhere. The project answers the call from healthcare professionals and cancer patients in those areas for life-saving information that can dramatically increase survival rates. “Fantasy Faire is one of the cornerstones of our vital work,” says Kristie McComb, Managing Director of Global Capacity Development and Patient Support at the ACS. “It’s an inspiring example of a global community working together to address a global challenge.”

The Faire has long been considered the premier annual shopping event for fantasy-themed merchandise in Second Life, showcasing fantasy avatars, clothing, furnishings, gadgets, and exclusive items by 250 of the grid’s top fantasy creators. In addition, Faire visitors enjoy dance and theater performances; attend auctions, art galleries, and a Literary and Film Festival; and share in an interactive quest and roleplaying events and classes.

Fantasy Faire Radio provides the soundtrack for visitors exploring the Fairelands, featuring music from blockbuster fantasy films along with a rich variety of world music traditions. A second radio station, “Live at the Fairechylde” features DJs spinning an upbeat, eclectic mix of tracks including classic rock, club music, jazz, blues, and pop hits. In 2021, more than 30,000 unique listeners tuned in from over 150 countries around the world.

It all comes to life again this year when the Fairelands return on April 21st. “I’m always deeply moved that a realm made of ones and zeros has become home to a global community capable of affecting positive change for all humankind” says Elizabeth Tinsley, Executive Director of Fantasy Faire. “It doesn’t stop at the border between the virtual and the physical. In fact, that’s where the real magic truly starts.”

Fantasy Faire 2022 will be open to the public April 21 – May 8. The SLurl to the event will be found on the website on our opening day. We welcome you to come and join the story.

Fantasy Faire 2022 is made possible by the generous support of our Region and Event Sponsors, all of whom you can learn more about on the Faire’s website. For more information please contact one of the Faire coordinators:
https://fantasyfairesl.wordpress.com/organizers/

Are you or a loved one battling cancer? Find out how many ways the American Cancer Society is there to help. Visit cancer.org or call (US) 800-227-2345.

Email: FantasyFaireRFL@gmail.com
Website: http://fantasyfaireSL.wordpress.com/
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/fantasyfairesl/
Plurk: http://www.plurk.com/FantasyFaireSL
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FantasyFaireSL
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/fantasyfairesl/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FantasyFaireSL
Discord: https://discord.gg/cxN5NEzBe5
RFL in SL: www.relayforlife.org/secondlife

American Cancer Society SLurl:
http://slurl.com/secondlife/American%20Cancer%20Society/127/103/21

Virtual Cultures In Pandemic Times


Draxtor Despres will be premiering his new full length documentary named Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times at 1pm PT/SLT on Saturday 2nd April 2022. It will happening on YouTube and inworld. You can register interest on the main website here.

Since March 2020 Draxtor has been following a number of researchers based in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine to find out how COVID-19 is reshaping online interactions globally. The full documentary is 85 minutes long and it will be showcasing everyday challenges during the global crisis, the impact it’s had on virtual worlds and much more.

Here are some more details about the new documentary via the website.

Virtual Cultures in Pandemic Times is a new feature length documentary by media maker Draxtor.

Since March 2020, Draxtor has been following researchers Tom Boellstorff, Evan Conaway, Chandra Middleton and Sandy Wenger (based in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine) around Animal Crossing and Second Life to find out how COVID-19 is reshaping online interaction.

In the 85 minute film, protagonists from all over the world speak openly about their anxieties and everyday challenges during this global crises and about what virtual worlds and social games mean to them in the context of a pandemic.

Mixed reality interviews and group discussions provide the basis for a sprawling narrative: a mosaic of impressions, shared by people from all walks of life, some well known figures from science, arts and culture, some just regular folks (like the research team itself), trying to make sense of a new age dominated by uncertainty and physical isolation.

More work in progress clips and exclusive behind the scenes material is coming soon. Stay tuned for that.

Please check back for more information, we will add work-in-progress clips and exclusive behind-the-scenes material as time allows. We have entered post production and are moving to finish the film as fast as we can.

Don’t forget to sign up for the in-world and online premiere which will happen in SL and on YouTube at 1pm Pacific Time on April 2nd, 2022.

Please spread the word about the premier happening early next month.

SL19B Theme Is Steampunk & Applications Now Open


On Thursday 17th March Linden Lab officially announced details for the upcoming 19th annual Second Life birthday celebrations (SL19B) which will be held from 16th June through until 5th July 2022. The theme for SL19B is Steampunk!. There will be “three fun-filled weeks of live music, performances, shopping and amazing community exhibits!” this year.

Applications are now open for SL19B Performers (apply before 8th May) and for those interested taking part in the SL19B Music Fest happening 16th to 18th June 2022 (apply before 10th April). Applications will open soon for Volunteers, Exhibitors and Merchants. The lab will announce those applications within the next month or so.

SL19B Logo

The full blog announcement about SL19B…

Save the date! On June 23rd, Second Life will be turning 19! The 19th annual Second Life birthday celebration (SL19B) will be held from June 16th to July 5th. The theme for SL19B festivities is Steampunk! Get ready for three fun-filled weeks of live music, performances, shopping, and amazing community exhibits!

To get things started we are opening applications for Music Fest, to be held June 16th-18th. Music Fest will kick off the overall SL19B celebration with three days of live music performances featuring some of the most talented live musicians in SL!
To sign up for a Music Fest audition, please complete this application form by April 10th, 2022.

We are also opening up applications for the general performance schedule. Why celebrate for one day when we can party for a week! We are looking for all types of performers to join the week-long festivities from June 19th-26th. Are you a DJ who can spin up a great party set or a live performer who can jam all night? You might be one of the grid’s amazing Dance companies, or perhaps you’re a Particle Performer? One of the things that makes Second Life so vibrant and exciting is the wide range of performers who share their talent with our Residents. Whatever your medium, we would love to hear from you!

Fill out the official performer application form by May 8th, 2022 and tell us a little about how you roll.

While we encourage all interested performers to sign up, please note that it does not guarantee a spot. We will review all submissions and extend audition invitations via a follow up note in-world to the SL username that you provide.

Over the next few months, keep an eye on our blog for more opportunities to participate in the SL19B celebrations as an Exhibitor, Volunteer, and Merchant!

CURRENT APPLICATIONS FOR SL19B:
Performer Application – Applications close on May 8th, 2022 
Music Fest Application – Applications close on April 10th, 2022

Please spread the word and if you can please participate in one of the biggest Second Life events of 2022. In the mean time planning has started for SL19B it appears. I will blog more on SL19B when new developments happen.

The Second Life Premium Plus Community Wishlist


Over the past few months there has been a thread on the Second Life Forums named Premium Plus – What are your must have features and what are you willing to pay for it which is worth following I think (9 pages+ so far).

As many know already the lab are due to announce details about Premium Plus sometime before the end of March 2022 (Q2 2022). It’s been in the works for the past few years or so and Premium Plus has been given the green light as it was mentioned on the 2022 roadmap for Second Life. It says “a new upgrade option with added features and extras“,

I will be surprised if most of these must have features below will be included in the whole package when it launches. We will have to wait and see.

The Community Wishlist….

  • Larger land plots like 2048/4096
  • Cheaper tier prices
  • Lower upload fees & free basic uploads like sounds and images
  • Free name changes or option to change name once a year
  • Bigger weekly allowance (L$500+)
  • The ability to own a homestead without owning a full region
  • More group slots (100 or so)
  • More profile picks
  • Free event listings
  • 24/7 support
  • Ability to share inventory with an alt account
  • Ability to save notecards to hard drive
  • Increased attachment limits and animesh attachments
  • More premium gifts
  • A 2nd Linden Home & increase number of Linden Home claims per day
  • Access to previous last names
  • Transferring Lindens from the dashboard
  • Multiple marketplace stores
  • And the list goes on….

Current Premium Benefits…..

I hope Premium Plus will be worth it for the Second Life community when the lab announces details of it very soon. The pricing of Premium Plus will need to work for Linden Lab and the residents. Basic, Premium & Premium Plus should be the way forward now.

I think most are now waiting to see what Premium Plus will offer everyone with two weeks or less to go. It needs to have the surprise factor along with something new basically.

What do you think Premium Plus should be like ? Feel free to comment below and spread the word.