Second Life Bakes on Mesh: Audrey Hepburn Ascot Outfit from My Fair Lady

I am still experimenting with Bakes on Mesh on a couple of my Second Life avatars, rummaging through my inventory, and I am having a blast!

Here’s Vanity Fair, wearing a Chai system skin called Crush on her Maitreya Lara mesh body and Catwa Kimberly mesh head, and an old system outfit that I had completely forgotten I had: Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot outfit from My Fair Lady! I literally haven’t worn this in years!

Chai was one of those skin stores which used to regularly offer free gift certificates, so I picked up pretty much their entire line of skins for free! This was back in the days when the makeup was an integral part of the skin, in those pre-mesh, pre-appliers days. As you can see, the skin still works well with my mesh avatar, using one of the free set of League nailbase tattoos to fix the fingers around the nails (which I talk about here). I wanted something that would “pop” with this monochrome outfit, and Chai Crush certainly does the job! (I suppose I could have gone for a nude look to match Audrey Hepburn in the movie better.)

This marvelous outfit came from a store called Cartunno Couture, and although they are no longer in world, they do still sell some My Fair Lady -based outfits on the SL Marketplace (but alas, not the one I am wearing). The whole store is well worth a browse, just to see all the fun costumes they sell, from many different movies like Cabaret and Gone with the Wind. There are dozens of stores selling older system-layer-and-prim outfits which might even see a sort of sales renaissance for mesh body avatars, now that we have Bakes on Mesh!

My Fair Lady is probably my favourite movie musical. Here are a few reminders of why it’s still my fave. The movie studio spent a small fortune just on the actors’ costumes for the Ascot race day scenes!

The Continuing Saga of Coupon Clip in Second Life

You might remember that I blogged about my poor Second Life alt, named Coupon Clip, who lost her job dancing for tips when her favourite Rat Pack bar, 1951, shut down rather unexpectedly:

“I’m your private dancer, a dancer for money…”

Well, after a short stint as a model, you’ll be happy to know that Coupon Clip has landed on her feet!

This man is Dr. Soni Avileva, the former proprietor of the 1951 bar (he made his own mesh body and got this skin from a Japanese skin maker who has since left the grid). A charming man who runs a classy establishment, set to a swinging soundtrack of jazz vocalists! I often just park Coupon and use the bar as my radio station 😉

Well, the good Doctor has set up a whole new bar! This time, it’s called The 1969 Bar (a.k.a. The Wrong Hole), and that is where you can now find Coupon Clip, once again dancing for tips. Here’s a selfie shot:

And here’s a very dimly-lit, atmospheric shot that I just love, that the Doctor himself took and posted to Flickr! I like how you can see the neon signs on the street outside the window.

In these pictures, Coupon Clip is wearing:

  • Mesh Head: Maia by Akeruka (a former group gift)
  • Mesh Body: Freya by Belleza
  • Eyes: Fem mesh eyes (a group gift from Euphoric)
  • Hair: Joan by KIN (an old prim-based hairstyle; no longer available)
  • Earrings: Winter’s Pearls by FORSAKEN (an old hunt gift)
  • Dress: Marilyn Dress by Gaall
  • Pumps: June pumps by Garbaggio (my favourite shoe store!)

Here’s a couple more shots of Coupon on her break, to give you an idea of what the bar looks like:

And here’s a picture of the party in full swing, with a guest DJ!

Even Dr. Soni gets into the groove!

All pictures taken at The 1969 Bar (a.k.a The Wrong Hole). Be sure to pay a visit, and tell them Coupon Clip sent you!

Recent Statistics Show a Slow But Steady Increase in Sansar Users (Also: The Most Popular Worlds in Sansar)

Image by Mediamodifier from Pixabay

I do find it somewhat ironic that the two Sansar users who have posted user concurrency statistics for the platform in the past—Galen and Gindipple—have both largely moved on from Sansar to other projects.

However, I did receive a recent statistics chart generated by Gindipple, courtesy of Medhue (thanks!), which I wanted to share with you:

Gindipple’s stats show slow but steady growth in the number of concurrent users on Sansar. The monthly average concurrent Sansarians figure (bottom chart) has roughly doubled between March 2018 and October 2019.

Galen’s statistics page shows a similar growth in users, including peaks of up to 150 concurrent users at one time:

Even Wagner James Au, of the long-running blog New World Notes, who has often criticized Sansar for its low user concurrency figures in the past, posted the following “infographic” based on Steam usage figures (drawn by the talented artist Danielle Feigenbaum, creator of the regular feature Nylon Pinkney is Online comic on his blog):

Now, I do have a couple of criticisms of this image.

First, it is not an infographic; it is a cartoon. The zig-zag graph in the background is purely decorative, not informative.

Second, the small print along the bottom is almost impossible to read. It says:

Total concurrent users across all platforms potentially 2-3 times larger than Steam CCUs (concurrent users). Numbers based on Steam stats in September 2019 – Source: Steam Database Info

Even Wagner cannot deny that Sansar has had a recent jump in usage:

As of last month, in terms of peak concurrent users, VRChat remains the 800 pound Knuckle [a reference to the Ugandan Knuckles meme], with Rec Room maintaining its distant second place.  There was also a small surprise bump for Linden Lab’s Sansar… After concurrency rates that averaged in the mid two figures (yes, that low) for most of the year, Sansar peak concurrency for September jumped to 220 last Friday. Thanks, at least in part, to a VR dating show hosted by online celebrity Jesse Cox and probably more key, the launch of an official Hello Kitty experience…

The problem with relying solely on Steam statistics in the case of Sansar is that there are two different ways that people can download the Sansar client software:

  1. Via Steam (which does publish public statistics on usage);
  2. Via the Sansar website (Linden Lab does not publish user stats).

We have no way of knowing what percentage of Sansar users downloaded their client software via Steam. Therefore, we still have to guess at the total overall level of usage of Sansar, using imperfect tools such as Steam stats and Galen’s and Gindipple’s statistics.

However, all three sources do show a slow but steady increase in the number of concurrent users in Sansar, which I’m sure Linden Lab is pleased to see. Of course, they also have their own internal statistics, which they do not release to the public, which I am sure confirm this trend.

Gindipple also released a pie chart showing the most popular Sansar worlds. Unsurprisingly (since all incoming users spawn there by default now), the Nexus is the most visited world, with 70% of the total number of recent visitors (I believe that these stats cover the past seven days):

Following the Nexus, the most popular Sansar worlds (formerly called experiences) are:

  • Skyway Avenue (3.69% of total recent visitors)
  • The Point of No Return – Chapter I (2.65%)
  • Susan’s Diary (2.39%)
  • Orphanage of Angels (2.35%)
  • Fire Goat’s Free Avatar Store (1.96%)
  • Ultimate Disc (1.93%)
  • The Slewhouse (1.85%)
  • Once Upon a Midnight Dream (1.77%)
  • Scurry Waters (1.57%)
  • Monstercat Call of the Wild (1.52%)
  • Sanrio World (1.44%)
  • Camp Goonies (1.24%)
  • 114 Harvest (1.07%)

I do have rather mixed feelings about Linden Lab’s recent design decision to have users automatically spawn in the Nexus when they log into Sansar. On one hand, it does make it much easier for avatars to encounter other avatars in-world, and I often see groups of people gathered having conversations with each other, which is good.

But on the other hand, it is an absolute pain in the ass to have to keep going back to the Nexus when you simply want to explore the various Sansar worlds. If you are in desktop mode, you can still use the Atlas on the Sansar website, but if you are in VR mode, you pretty much have to keep cycling through the Nexus to find and select new experiences to visit, which quickly gets tiring.