Over the past 4 years, there have been many thousands of news articles and analyst reports about Second Life. Some of these have included incomplete facts, questionable assumptions, or odd comparisons, but we at Linden Lab do our best to take all of it in good humor. We live in a fast-paced world of constant information and change, and we know that even the best-intentioned people can put out results before understanding the facts. Hey, we should know – some might say that we ourselves put out product that isn’t always fully baked.
However, sometimes misinformation takes on a life of its own – especially when the source is a normally reputable institution. We respect Yankee Group as an analyst firm in good standing in its field. But their press
release this week cited a figure that we just can’t figure out: they claim that the average time spent per user of Second Life is just 12 minutes per month.
Just this past August, users of Second Life spent over 23 million hours in Second Life. During that month, there were just over 974,000 user logins to Second Life – that’s an average of 23.6 hours per user!
But hey, maybe Yankee Group was looking at a different user number. Were they counting the unique user registrations? That would be 6.2 million users – but that’s an average of 3.7 hours per user. Maybe they were
counting cumulative total registered accounts through August, 9.3 million users. Uh, but even that is still an average of 2.5 hours.
So, just what is that 12 minutes per month number?? As near as we can tell, that might be the average time that users spent logged in on the Second Life website in a month. Or . . . could it be . . . the 6.2 million unique user registrations divided by 23 million hours is close to 12 minutes . . . but that makes no sense – is it possible that anyone would have done the division backwards??