Linden Lab have revamped the Second Life homepage this week which is now available to view. When you first visit the Second Life homepage there is a big shiny blue Second Life logo that appears for a few seconds then the main page loads up. There now is a picture of a avatar like person like from the Avatar movie with a moto saying Explore, Discover and Create.
A new world is waiting is featured on the left hand side with a Join Free blue button under that. There are some quick links in the top right corner for Download, Marketplace, Language, Login and Sign Up.
Moving towards the bottom half of the new look Second Life homepage there are three mini sections
Expect the Unexpected – explore the thousands of virtual experiences and communities
Remote Meetings Redefined – learn more about meetings in Second Life
Imagine the Possibilities – shop the Second Life Marketplace
Finally there are useful Second Life, Tilia and Linden Lab links at the bottom of the Second Life homepage.
Here is the full view of the new look Second Life homepage…
What do you think of the new look Second Life homepage ?
After months and years of waiting today Linden Lab have officially connected the Bellisseria continent with the Satori continent. The lab have added Carmine Sky, Cthulhu and Windover Cay regions within the past 24-48 hours or so. Yay! 🙂
The Satori continent already connects with the Blake Sea, Nautilus, Corsica and Gaeta V going north east. The Bellisseria continent already connects with Sansara down south and Jeogeot up north. This is a super massive continent now.
This is great news for those that love travelling by boat, aircraft, flying around the grid. Great work Linden Lab.
Patch Linden VP of Product Operations talked with Phelan Corrimal (VWBPE Director; Rockcliffe University Consortium) at VWBPE 2021 this afternoon for almost a hour about what’s new at Linden Lab along with education and non-profit organizations in Second Life. This is the first of three reconnaissance sessions with Linden Lab at VWBPE 2021. Yay! 🙂
I thought it was a interesting and informative interview on things like mega regions, the impact of the pandemic to whats next for the new owners taking Second Life forward. There was no Q&A session at the end or any mention of Ebbe Linden (CEO of Linden Lab). There was no mention of Linden Homes, Premium Plus or the latest on Second Life mobile development.
The attendance for this session was reasonable (average levels) I think. I’m sure its been higher in previous years.
Here is a brief below from what Patch Linden talked about during the session via the live transcript…
The New Owners
The team is comprised of Randy Waterfield, Brad Oberwager, and Raj Date which forms the board at the lab
The transition from the former owners to the new owners actually went very smoothly
Patch Linden primarily works with Brad as he’s the owner.
Brad has one mission: to be the best and biggest virual world there can be
Brad wants to grow and invest in Second Life and he genuinely loves the product
Randy owns an investment firm
Brad sits in the middle and balances both / they see Tilia as a business
Tilia is what allows Second Life to continue to exist
Second Life is the primary focus & there is a separate team that focus on Tilia
Immediate Priorities Over Next 12 Months Or So
The lab want to increase the Second Life population as that’s Brad’s goal
The team wants to finish up with the AWS work
There are some product enhancements that will come out of that
User experience is key especially the onboarding experience
That’s the 12 month high level road map
The lab are refactoring the new onboarding process and there is a lot of work going on
There are viewer changes that will smooth out the bumps we’ve identified over the years
The lab have been doing A/B testing to figure out what path needs to look like
New UIs and refreshed looks will benefit everyone
New User Experience Accessibility
Grumpity Linden keeps her eyes on improving accessibility along with improving the UI
The lab don’t plan on adding text-to-speech immediately
The goal for growth is double the resident population over the next 3-5 years
The goals are realistic as the lab has seen this over the past year
Both educators and businesses have switched from in-person to hybrid solutions
Team Grid Reintroduction / K-12 Educational Groups
The lab have educational groups operating in that space particularly through educational partners
AWS work will help open more doors
Probably at the end of the year the lab there could be geographically aided opportunities. That will open the doors to private grids.
The Pandemic Experience During The Past Year
The new user experience needing significant work between people coming back but not for personal reasons
It’s more important to smooth the experience in the post-pandemic world and give it some love
People’s usage habits have changed over time and they’re different for business and education
Private Labeling / White Labeling
The lab have had clients say they’d like the lab to remove half the features of the viewer and some want more
Open Chat Range – that came from taking a request from events in general – to increase the density of avatars at one time
Teen Grid had its own search which was the same as the main grid and it was all separate
Next 12 months – Educators / Non-Profits
Geographic location stuff
The user experience improvements will make things easier
To leverage AWS
Mega Regions & Cost
The lab are not looking to increase cost / should remain the status quo
If AWS lets the lab get into new region models then maybe mega regions, maybe light regions not within the next 12 months
Middle cost alternative maybe / the option to have more avatar density within regions / the lab are looking into it
On demand situations where people can upgrade from homestead to full to allow them to host a big event
Patch mentioned that he likes competition as it helps foster innovation and it drives you to stay motivated. Patch always keeps an eye out on the competitors and what they’re doing
There are alot of features that the lab has where others are catching up to and they have new features that can be interesting to adapt like the economy. Patch is not seeing a direct competitor to Second Life as far as flexibility. Things like max attachments, prims in region etc. The lab already has a direct building tool in-world.
Opportunities To Experiment
There is no particular group of folks as the lab all go out to try new platforms and learn about them
Those that observe platforms come back and bring feedback
As a business you have to see whether something new is worth to keep if its not at the best usability/performance. The lab need to study the performance and bandwidth
Sometimes it tilts towards no and we have to withdraw it because it would impact negatively on user experience
Oz Linden Retired
Patch said that Oz retired and he was a great colleague. He left a chasm and the lab are glad for him
When the lab recruits its posted on the website / internal recruiters
New Ownership Structure
Patch knows the ownership is on everyone’s mind and they have a great energy / super enthusiastic / they want to grow Second Life and the educational communities as well
Brad always asks Patch how will it benefit the residents and how will it benefit Second Life ?
Stay updated on the latest happenings at VWBPE 2021 here.
During 2020 the Second Life user concurrency has been pretty steady considering the real world is still in a pandemic. It would be good to see the lab release Second Life metrics in the near future at least once or twice a year.
The top photo below it shows the minimum, average and maximum of users online in Second Lite during the past 60 days. The bottom photo shows the past year whichs shows a clearer picture from February 2020 to February 2021.
Between March 2020 and May 2020 the daily average maximum Second Life user concurrency stayed around the 60, 000 mark. Since late May 2020 until January 2021 the daily maximum figure has been around 52, 000 to 55, 000 at peak times.
It does appear the daily maximum user concurrency is showing postive growth again in terms of active logged in users on the grid. Yay.
The average daily figure has stayed above the 40, 000 mark for many months now. The minimum daily figure has mostly stayed above the 30, 000 mark.
I think the daily maximum number of the active users in Second Life will steadily increase over the months ahead then drop slightly during the summer months. Then another steady increase in the autumn and winter months.
In recent weeks the Moles have added more railway track and more railway stations on the east side of the log homes continent highlighted in blue on the map below. It’s not yet open to the public for rezzing trains. The wait is almost over.
My last blog post back in late October 2020 I posted that the Moles extended the railway line from SSPE1162 to SSP1165. Since then the railway line has expanded through the middle of the log homes continent going east then turning up north near the new recently opened Stilt homes regions highlighted in red squares.
There are now new railway stations, rez areas, signal points, victorian tunnels, bridges, railway line crossings and much more. The Moles have been working on this railway development since early 2020 and have done a great job going through the different Linden home theme styles.
The latest new railway line starts roughly from SSPE1125 all the way up to SSPE1111 where there is a big loop around. There is a new railway station in SSPE1111 and a train on the tracks nearby.
I believe this is the end of the railway line on the east side of the log homes continent for now. I will blog again if new changes happen next month.
It’s worth flying over the new railway line from one side to the other side of the log homes continent seeing what’s new. I think you will be amazed at all the latest developments.
It’s going to look really exciting when the railway track finally opens in the weeks/months ahead along with new Linden homes. I can’t wait to ride the new railway soon and I’m sure many can’t wait to rez trains too.
Great progress so far overall and I can’t wait to see what comes next throughout this new year.
As of 15th November 2020 there are 25, 302 regions in total which includes 16, 785 private estate regions and 8, 517 Linden regions. The total size of Second Life in square kilometres is now 1658.19 (KM). The grid has been growing steadily since September 2020 with more private estates and Linden owned regions. The adult and moderate regions have increased over the past few weeks however general regions have dropped by a small amount.
In the past week 103 regions were added to the grid with 82 being new private estate regions and 21 Linden owned regions. This is great news that Second Life is growing again and these latest grid numbers is a positive sign. I think the recent announcement about private estates becoming available again has helped. Interest for new private estates has already started to go up again in demand.
The lab have recently added the new Stilt Linden home regions (over 190 regions) and more regions are expected to arrive in the weeks/months ahead. This will improve the Linden owned regions total counts going forward.
Since 29th December 2019 there has been an increase of 680 private estate regions (2020 = 562 regions) and a loss of 118 Linden owned regions in Second Life.