OpenSim regions up, user stats down due to reporting issues, database problems

Active users were down this month on OpenSim’s public grids by 1,872 users, but regions were up by the equivalent of 1,521 standard regions.

OpenSim is a popular platform for educators, so traffic is routinely expected to drop during the summer months. However, most of the drop this month was actually due to the fact that Tag Grid, which had 1,768 active users last month, did not report its user numbers this month. The Public World stopped reporting active user numbers on its stats page. The grid reported more than 300 actives last month.

Together, the lack of data from these two grids more than accounts for the drop in active users.

But OpenSim’s data problems didn’t stop there.

Neustadt active numbers were down by 660, because the grid had problems with their database and lost data — including user inventories.

“We had errors in the database,” the grid posted in an announcement on its website. “That’s why we had to recreate them.  Your user data has been preserved.  Unfortunately, your inventory is not.  Please be understanding,  that you have to recreate your avatar.”

92 Miles Grid also ran into problems this month.

“I am not happy with the new upgrade it is giving some bugs and issues,” grid owner Ehson Miles said in a Facebook post last week. “In case I need to reinstall the server, the regions will be saved, and backed up.”

The following day, he posted that the bug had been fixed and the grid and all of its regions were back up — but that users had to create new accounts. As a result, the number of active users the grid was reporting was down from 147 last month to 21 now.

Considering these reporting problems and other issues, it looks like the actual OpenSim user based increased this month.

Total regions, in standard region equivalents on public OpenSim grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

These stats do not include most of the grids running on OutWorldz’ DreamGrid distribution of OpenSim, or private company or school grids. OutWorldz, for example, reports that 3,670 grids are either currently offline or running in private mode, behind a firewall.

OutWorldz also has its own database of OpenSim grids, and reports that this month, there have been days where the number of active hypergrid-accessible grids exceeded 500 grids, hitting a peak of 514 on June 2.

OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the  Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region.

A list of  hosting providers is here. Download the  recommended Firestorm viewer here. And find out  where to get content for your OpenSim world or region here.

You can also add your grid in the stats if it is not being crawled by OutWorldz. OutWorldz also provides OpenSim users with  free mesh  items,  OARs  and  free seamless textures  that you can download and use on your grids.

Top 25 grids by active users

When it comes to general-purpose social grids, especially closed grids, the rule of thumb is: the busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

Top 25 most popular grids this month:

  1. OSgrid: 4,257 active users (HG
  2. GreekLife: 2,191 active users (HG
  3. DigiWorldz: 1,726 active users (HG
  4. Sacrarium: 1,705 active users (HG
  5. Metropolis: 1,595 active users (HG
  6. ZetaWorlds: 1,540 active users (HG
  7. Eureka World: 1,258 active users (HG
  8. Foundation Grid: 1,115 active users (HG
  9. Kitely: 1,103 active users (HG
  10. Party Destination Grid: 852 active users (HG
  11. Exo-Life: 778 active users (HG
  12. VartownGrid: 687 active users (HG
  13. Discovery Grid: 641 active users (HG
  14. DreamNation: 509 active users
  15. Breath in Freedom: 477 active users (HG
  16. Freedom Grid: 452 active users (HG
  17. Dorena’s World: 437 active users (HG
  18. Free Life: 431 active users (HG
  19. Craft World: 428 active users (HG
  20. Tranquility: 395 active users (HG
  21. Dynamic Worldz: 388 active users (HG
  22. Neverworld: 380 active users (HG
  23. Social Mouse: 373 active users (HG
  24. Anettes Welt: 359 active users (HG
  25. First Life Brasil: 357 active users (HG

The biggest gainers this month were Neverworld, which gained 241 active users, Sacrarium with 224 new actives, VartownGrid with 212 new actives, Outworldz with 165 new actives, and Breath in Freedom with 110 new actives.

Two of the most popular grid saw less traffic this month. OSgrid’s active monthly user numbers went down by 345, to 4,257. And Metropolis saw a loss of 335 actives, down to 1,595.  NextLife dropped by 162 actives, down to 321 this month.

The actives list is based on active, unique 30-day user login numbers that grids report on their stats pages. Those grids that don’t report their numbers might be just as popular, but we wouldn’t know. The active user stats are also used to generate the  popular hypergrid destinations list, which is useful if you have a hyperport and want to put up gates to the most popular grids, or include the most popular grids in an in-world directory.

This list is also a good place to start if you want to open up new stores or hold events, or are just looking for places to visit.

I measure active users by counting both local residents and hypergrid visitors. After all, hypergrid visitors attend events and spend money just like anybody else. If I’m looking for a happening grid, I want one with a lot of people on it — and I don’t really care where their home avatar is based. In fact, several grids are encouraging users to have their avatars on other grids, such as Kitely or OSgrid, in order to reduce the load on their own servers. Many grid owners are also increasingly willing to rent land to visitors, and even give free store space and homes to visitors as well. Their money, after all, is just as good.

Yes, this means that people are double-counted, based on all the grids they visit. But they’d also be double-counted if they created new avatars on each grid. So it comes out even in the end.

Here some information on  how and why you should set up a stats page for your grid. Of course, not all grids need a stats page, especially grids that aren’t open to the public, like school grids, private company grids, small family grids, and so on. From prior surveys, this “dark metaverse” of OpenSim grids might actually be bigger than the one we know about, because those grids don’t need to promote themselves, and we never hear about them.

Top 40 grids by land area

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 1,428 different publicly-accessible grids, 284 of which were active this month, and 224 of which published their statistics.

All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors whenever possible.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is here.  A list of all active grids is here. And here is a  list of all the hypergrid-enabled grids  and their hypergrid addresses, sorted by popularity. This is very  useful if you are creating a hyperport.

You can see all the  historical OpenSim statistics here, including polls and surveys, dating all the way back to 2009.

Below are the 40 largest grids by total land area, in terms of standard region equivalents.

Source: Hypergrid Business