Friday, July 20, 2007

I'm Outa Here :-D


All SL land fees paid, last SLRFL jobs done, work in safe hands and ticking along, ETC at Mayfair.

I'm off to Scotland to walk up stuff and bike down stuff. I can already smell fresh air, whisky, and hong. Lets pick up some Munro's.

See ya in a week or so. Will post pics retrospectively and Twitter as I go ;-)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Monthly Metrics

SL have just published their public metrics, which are available through their Economy page or kindly linked here in Excel, Open Document, and Google Docs format.

459,785 a week logging in, lets say 20% are alts, yada, yada...

...not exactly a ground breaking market is it?

Hmmm, and is that just me, or is that a slump on the last load of stats? A slowdown in the growth of Second Life’s population and economy is just what the sceptics have been looking for to say no to investment. Once a trend like that starts it's a bugga to break. I don't hear a bubble bursting yet, but I can see apin on the horizon is the wind don't change.

Headline numbers:

  • Registered accounts = 7.7m
  • Increase of 12.7%
  • Unique accounts = 5.2m
  • Increase of 19.5%
  • Hours per month per unique account = 4.18

In terms of active users by country:

  • US 26.45% up 3.3%
  • UK 7.16% up 22.0%
  • Brazil 7.35% up 52.5%
  • Italy 5.46% up 12.3%

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Multi-Learner Vids

I've been a big fan of the work of Aleks Krotoski from SocialSim (aka Mynci Gorky of the Social Simulation Research Lab on Hyperborea [slurl]) for a while now. When other folks do good well presented work it makes my life a hell of a lot easier. I was chuffed to find a video of her very good presentation (at the Massively Multi-Learner event in Paisley back in March) on Social Networks in Virtual Worlds. This discusses interactions in cyberspace, collaboration, friendship, trust and social learning theory plus general social network principles within online/virtual communities.

Also worth checking, at the same site, is a great presentation by my old RL mucker AB, on Integrating SL into Education. Essentially, using Second Life to directly support or simulate art and design plus the progression of skills and professionalism in a 3 year degree program. She also chats a bit from her perspective as a long-standing practising artist in the metaverse.

While entirely educationally based, I also enjoyed the potential in the one by Jeremy Kemp on Sloodle (an integration of SL and Moodle which Gabbi R put me on to a while ago) a mashup of the two systems. The video is watchable here.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The Proteus Effect

The armchair psychologist in me just loves this dissertation from Nick Yee at Stanford, where he addresses the issue of transformed identity in virtual environments.

Below is a short section of the abstract (viewable here in total) and here's a link to a
PDF of the full text. Well worth a shufty.
...facial and behavioural mimicry can make us more likeable and persuasive. In addition to gaining social advantages, our avatars (digital representations of ourselves) can also change how we behave. This occurs via conforming to expected behaviours of the avatar - a process referred to as the Proteus Effect.

I conducted a series of four pilot studies that explore the Proteus Effect. In the first study, I found that participants in attractive avatars walked closer to and disclosed more information to a stranger than participants in unattractive avatars. In the second study, I found that participants in taller avatars negotiated more aggressively in a bargaining task than participants in shorter avatars. In the third study, I demonstrated that the Proteus Effect occurs in an actual online community. And in the final study, I showed that the Proteus Effect persists outside of the virtual environment. Placing someone in a taller avatar changes how they consequently negotiate in a face-to-face setting...
This I can TOTALLY see, in micro, since Oolons regeneration.

This change has not n
ecessarily been in a noticeable reactions of others, but in my own confidence and attitude with those around me. People conform to the stereotype of their avatar. Essentially, while the same character and the same person sat here as observer watching the same social relationships, my attitudes have noticeably changed. The new 'physical' AV has made Oolon 'feel' quieter, slightly more passive and 'isolated', and yet this new AV seems to have (and yes, I know how oddly esoteric this sounds) a greater inner strength than before.

This is great work. Truly fascinating stuff. My hat is off you Nick.