Monday, May 15, 2006

Product Lifecycle

Second Life has been in out for a good while now. If you count beta, it's been around three years now. In the online world, that is a very long time. Especially in entertainment/gaming.

With all the data that must have been collected over these years, I'm curious to know what the average product lifecycle of Second Life looks like. Is there a high conversion from free accounts? How long does the average subscription last? Is there a trackable pattern to how people consume the product?

I myself have noticed some patterns. I notice that the first 6 - 8 months is a kind of "obsession period" for newcomers. After logging in for at least 3 hour sessions around at least 4 times a week, most people tend to drop down to 3 sessions a week and 2 - 3 extended sessions a month. In what I've seen, this continues from 2 - 4 months after the initial obsession period... it's sort of a cool down. It can extend for some time longer than four months, but the extended sessions become less frequent and are often replaced with extended breaks. After around 24 months and for an indefinite period, I've seen that most people tend to take breaks lasting longer than 7 days; often these breaks can extend to 1 - 3 months at a time.

Of course, my observations are not scientific or empirical in any sense. That is why I am curious to see if LL has been able to pinpoint a lifecycle for their product. If not, has anyone else attempted to track usage patterns and such? I'd be interested to discuss the results...


At 2:58 AM, Anonymous dandellion said...

It is an interesting question. And there are whole lot of more interesting questions that rise and never got their answers just because we need some kind of statistics to lay our thoughts upon.

There is no statistics available. There is a number of registrated residents, logged in last 60 days and currently logged (on count the world) and that's it. There are those L$ stats on secondlife's main page too, but those are so muddy numbers that one can hardly do anything out of them.

Doubtfully LL will put some serious (still anonymous) data available to the public. Even simple scientific study inside second life requires that one have LL's permision to publish.

On one hand there is concern for residents' privacy, but there is no reason summarized data is witheld. I don't know if Lindens are protecting their own economy by not releasing the info about life inside the world. Lot of media hype and investments in last months are made due to high numbers on their website, and we all know that large percent of 4.5 millions residents never got out of orientation island, just as we know that daily flow of L$ can be pumped with single script transfering money from one alt to another. But, if we know that, then corporations coming to SL know that too. So what's the catch?


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