First Impression and Retention

I read somewhere that while Second Life is a popular metaverse, there were always the problem of user retention.

I wished I remembered where I read this and provide the link. When I tried Googling ‘Second Life Retention’, the latest analysis I got was from 2011.

The Looking Glass @ Annon. the build of RL artist J. Matthew Root
The Looking Glass installment @ Annon
Built by RL artist J. Matthew Root
and proprieter of The Looking Glass store inworld

Do you remember your SL first destination, after the mandatory Welcome Point and one of the many Infohubs we land at as newbies?

Mine was Annon. More specifically, “The Tower Gate of Annon and Flowing Monastery. Arcipelagus of Fallen Gods Inc.” The detailed building of Annon captured my imagination, and I believe this first impression of Second Life was what made me realized the kind of creativity that could be exercised and unleashed in a metaverse.

I considered this ‘first impression’ of Second Life monumental in my decision to keep on ‘playing’.

++Your Gateway to Annon++

Daniel Voyager reported that private estates in Second Life drop under the 20,000 regions mark. Recently, one of the most popular public space in SL, the Calas Galadhon Park, announced a temporary hiatus and the possible closing down of 4 of their 13 regions. In my 3 short months of SL, I have had three of my favourite private sandboxes closing on me.

The costs of keeping a sim/region is high. The initial setup costs is so huge that I imagine virtual landowners will somehow have to find uses to justify it. I’m not sure of the actual setup fees for a region, but I know the upkeep is US$295 per month. Monumental.

Metaverse mimics the interdependency of real world.

  1. Creators need land to create ‘world’. Not only do they have to pay a monthly upkeep fee, they have to buy the materials to ‘build’. Not every builder knows how to build everything…and it doesn’t make much economic sense to build everything from scratch.
  2. There are no use of building anything if there is no one to see and appreciate your build.
  3. We won’t have any reason to keep on exploring SL if there are no worldbuilders–Residents attention/interests will wane with time.
  4. Without Residents, there will be no SL economy to encourage users to create contents.
  5. Without SL economy, there would be no creators.
  6. Cycle back to point #1.

So where am I going with this?

1. If you are a constant user of a public sim, please consider donating

I believe SL is ‘playable’/’liveable’ for free. It just means more time and effort hunting down free things. But if you have a linden or two to spare, and you’re constantly using a public sim…please consider donating. If you’re a paying Resident…there are no reason why you can’t spare a few L$ to donate to a public sim you always use.

The sim may be free to you and me, but it is not free to the owner. Private landowners are under no obligations to open their private spaces for us…and when they do, it’s because they want to share their creations, their space, with you and I. If you have L$ to buy shoes and hairs and the latest gadgets, and use sandboxes to unbox, what is stopping you from dropping a few virtual pennies into the tip jar?

2. If you’re a blogger and you constantly use public sim as backdrops to your photos, please consider promoting it.

Fashion bloggers are very influential–‘dressing up’ is one of the main thing people do in SL, and fashion bloggers are the ‘go to’ people.

But I’m sure not everyone pose and set up shoots on their own platform. Sometimes, other people build and landscape better than we do. If you use any public sim, please consider prominently crediting it in your pictures. The more word get out of a particular sim, the more visitors it will have, and the higher the probability that some of these visitors would love the place and donate to it.

It doesn’t take much. Just an extra credit line with a SLurl link.

Little steps, fellow Residents, but it may go a long way.

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