There are several changes and expansions we are making to these metrics, to make them more thorough and relevant for you. I hope you find these useful, please continue to provide constructive feedback in the comments and we will keep improving. I’d like to thank you all for the comments and trackbacks from so many of you interested in these figures – obviously this is an important topic for many of you. 🙂
Explanations in changes of the data and layout are provided after the fold below, but here are some quick highlights:
1. Including the Total Counts of Active Users now, not just the percentages. This was highly requested by many of you, both in the blog comments and at my office hours and I agree, it makes these numbers more relevant and credible.
2. Expanding our metrics from the count of active users over to a hopefully more interesting metric – Number of Hours spent inworld. I think this important because of many of the points raised in this article on “The Attention Economy” which I believe applies to our world. You may note variances in the percentages of the Counts of users versus Total Hours spent inworld for Countries, Age Buckets, and reported Gender. I find these variances to be fascinating, and would love to hear how these differences strike you. This topic in particular I would like to focus on for this week’s Inworld Office Hours this Friday, 10 AM at my office in Beaumont.
Thanks for the ongoing conversations, and I hope to see many of you inworld soon!
<more info on changes behind the fold>
Changes in the numbers:
A. Inclusion of <unknown> category for Country and for Age, for Active Users statistics. These are due to a couple of factors – the primary being neither our own registration pages nor the current version of our Registration API enforce valid values to be selected, so we have a very small percentage active residents registering with birthdates thousands of years in the future (welcome back!) and/or blank country information (we welcome our users from “Planet Pluto”!). It is interesting to note that while there may be a significant count of users with invalid information, when looked at in terms of Active Hours spent inworld it is significantly less impactful. I am improving Data Quality ongoing, by associating logged-in IP with known country, and upcoming age verification, and cleanup of obviously invalid registration information. By including these current metrics, you will see in the future as the percentages of these Unknown categories will shrink, and we will aim to eliminate them altogether where possible.
B. Including an <Other> bracket for the Top 100 Countries report – so that we can verify that the Total Count and Total Hours figures for the Active Users by Country and Active Users by Age Bracket reports balance, and so the size of the Long Tail of our users from countries with fewer users can be seen – fyi, we have active users in 336 countries in May 2007. Please note: The User Breakdown by Gender Report is not based on Active Users but is based on all logged-in users and will match Total Hours inworld from the “Total Hours” tab.
C. Explanations of the metrics definitions- I have begun a wiki page at Metrics Glossary to begin defining these metrics and keeping answers to common metrics definition questions at your fingertips, such as this question that I’ve seen and answered several times in the comments- the more places we have these answers centralized, the easier they will be for everyone to find and use. Once this page has been used for a couple of weeks and the definitions expanded apon, I will begin linking directly to these definition from the headers of the reports. Your commentary is very welcome at the Metrics Glossary commentary page.