Störungen früher und heute

Heute ist es ja mal seit langem wieder zu einer längeren, ungeplanten Störung des Second Life Grids gekommen.

Eigentlich zeigt mir das nur, wie zuverlässig und stabil inzwischen Second Life als Plattform läuft, denn die letzte derart gravierende Störung dieser Art ist Wochen, wenn nicht gar Monate her. Früher dagegen gab es so etwas mindestens einmal die Woche und zwar immer genau dann Mittwochs, wenn für den Patchday das komplette Grid runtergefahren wurde, um die neue Serverversion aufzuspielen. Und dieser Patchday dauerte oft gerne einige Stunden länger als geplant, das war völlig normal, dass man da Wetten darüber abschloss, wann das Grid denn nun wirklich wieder online ist.

Das war vor der Erfindung des Rolling Restarts. Auch wenn der manchmal etwas nervig ist, so sorgt er dennoch dafür, dass im Falle eines Updates das Grid oben bleiben kann und nur ein kleiner Teil kurzzeitig nicht erreichbar ist. Damit kann ich verdammt gut leben.

Die SL-Gridentwicklung der letzten Wochen im Diagramm

Das obige Diagramm von Tyche Shepherd zeigt die Gridentwicklung der letzten neun Wochen.

Wie man daraus sehen kann, hat Linden Lab in der Summe deutlich an Regionen verloren (das ist nichts Neues, das wissen wir schon) und es gab kaum Wochen, in denen sie wirklich mal wieder einen richtigen Zuwachs an Gridgröße hatten.

Wenn man alles zusammenzählt aber kommt eine massive Schrumpfung dabei heraus, wie man hier sehr gut sehen kann.

Man weiß nur, dass Linden Lab dran ist das wie auch immer ausgleichen zu wollen, ob es dann dauerhaft Erfolg haben wird, wird sich zeigen. Produkte wie Patterns oder Creatorverse sind dabei ein erster wichtiger Schritt in die Diversifizierung des Geschäftes.

Zweifelsohne wird Linden Lab, wenn der Trend anhalten sollte, entweder durch neue Features oder alternative Preismodelle irgendwann entgegensteuern müssen. Da das mit den Features aber bisher nicht so richtig klappt, dürfte die Wahl der passenden Mittel dann so langsam ein wenig eng werden.

Some new developments

There've been some new developments in SL lately which are worth mentioning:

  • IBM tested a transport of an avatar from the Second Life grid to their own grid, meaning it is now technically possible to teleport to an Opensim. Sounds quite good, but at the moment it's just moving an ruthed Avatar, since assets are not shared at all between those and are unlikely to be ever shared at all. Otherwise expect a revolt of content builders in Second Life, but we're getting closer to the Intergrid.
  • Second Life is growing bigger and bigger. This is of course good for the company and stabilizes their economic model. There's been a shift from premium users to land sales. If you don't really want to own land on the mainland (and who does that really...) has no need to get a premium account at all! Seems also that in world economy is now recovering slowly of the gambling ban. Well, the prices for many stuff are quite high now, higher than they used to be in about one year for example, looking good in Second Life becomes more and more expensive...

And also something funny I've found in another blog: "Entering chat range: Prokofy Neva." Quite a funny chat transcript about how to call things in Second Life and more...

Lindenlabs opening up the grid - somewhat

There's been a drastic change to the website of SL: you can see a new graphic and link to a site called "Second Life Grid". It seems that Lindenlabs doesn't want to rely any longer on land sales alone as main source of income and is now starting to market their grid more for certain 3rd parties, which is a good move to me.

It's giving some insights in what the grid can do, about the dimensions and so on and on. The website is clearly targeted on corporate viewers, no doubt about that, and telling about how others use it and how you can participate with it. There are the old target groups like Education and Non Profit and Solution Providers, but there's a new target group, Global Providers. To cite the site about them:

The Second Life Grid Global Provider program is designed to assist
international online communities in creating their own presence on the
Second Life Grid. This program has significant requirements,
obligations, and program fees. It is only available to operators of
existing online communities outside the United States.

So to make it short: who's the target group? Big communities like internet providers, for example, or perhaps big web communities outside the USA. Since it is not going to be cheap to be such a provider and you should have at least about two million accounts, this is surely not for everybody of us. But it also means that Lindenlab is finally opening up their grid to 3rd parties, for example there's already a company in Brazil as far as I know that did very much things for SL on their own like giving it away, translating it and so on. Now such a company can open up their own space in Second Life and localize it. I don't expect existing online games to use it, of course, since they got their own special needs.

This here is about communities, really big communities. So for example, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Tiscali area somewhere in SL or T-Online for example as Global Solution Providers. The benefit side makes the target group even more clear, stating for example this as benefit:

Official designation as a Second Life Global Provider, including program branding and press release support.

So this looks for me basically like that: Second Life should spread even more further, but Lindenlabs is unable to do that in all countries on their own. So they open up their grid for paying 3rd parties, who get certain rights but also the risk, and if those providers work good in their country, they expect to get even bigger user counts. If those providers are now big communities somewhere (like myspace.com, which is not eligable) or internet providers doesn't seem to count on that point.

So we all should wait and see who's going to be the first company to open up such a local experience.