My Top Ten Blogposts of All Time

And the winner is…
(Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash)

While I am quite certain that I do not have anywhere near the same amount of traffic as popular, long-established fellow bloggers such as Wagner James Au of New World Notes or Strawberry Singh, my WordPress stats are telling me that I am now consistently getting between 1,100 and 1,300 views per day, which is a significant increase in just the past week. Thank you for your support!

Apparently, a lot of people who are trying to find ways to cope with social isolation policies, lockdowns, and quarantines during the coronavirus pandemic are busy setting up new accounts on Second Life, or dusting off old ones to pay a return visit! Almost all of that new traffic to my blog is Second Life-related, especially my continuing coverage of Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies. And there have certainly been a lot of high-quality freebies that have been given out by various stores during the pandemic, to encourage people to stay home and play Second Life instead of going out! (If you’re looking for one handy summary of my best advice for finding freebies in Second Life, here it is.)


I am endlessly amused that my all-time most popular blogpost of all time is one that is the top Google search result when you search on “vrchat adult” (which, apparently, quite a lot of people do):

  1. UPDATED! The Dirty Little Secret of VRChat: Hidden Adult Content (with 26,728 views as of today; that link is quite safe for work)

The remainder of my Top Ten are:

2. UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars (17.096 views)

3. Meet the Man Who Has Lost 200 Pounds Playing Beat Saber in VR (this is one of my posts that actually got picked up by Google News; 10,598 views)

4. UPDATED: NOW AVAILABLE! More Details on the Upcoming Ability to Change Your User Name in Second Life (9,843 views)

5. UPDATED! Linden Lab Announces a Mix of Good News and Bad News for Second Life Users (6,456 views)

6. UPDATED! Oasis: A Brief Introduction to a New, Adults-Only Social VR Platform (link is safe for work; 5,969 views)

7. UPDATED! RyanSchultz.com Reader Poll: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In? (5,568 views)

8. UPDATED! Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Male Second Life Avatars (5.052 views)

9. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: The Four Best Freebie Stores in SL (4,751 views)

10. Comprehensive List of Social VR Platforms and Virtual Worlds (4,750 views)

Five of my Top Ten are blogposts about Second Life, which is far and away the most popular part of my blog. For someone who once swore up, down, and sideways that I would never become a Second Life blogger…guess what, Mom? I’m now a Second Life blogger.

I even joined the Second Life Blogger Network, and every so often, Strawberry Linden (formerly SL superblogger Strawberry Singh) kindly spotlights one of my blogposts on the official Second Life Community News feed, thus bringing me even more traffic. (Thank you, Strawberry!)

And (once again), two of my Top Ten posts are about adult content in social VR platforms and virtual worlds: VRChat (#1) and Oasis (#6, which was a sharply critical review of the struggling platform, which I do expect to fold at some point). It would appear that sex sells…or at least, it attracts readers who are searching Google for adult virtual worlds, which is a niche that, as I wrote in another popular blogpost (this link is also safe for work):

I want to make it clear that I am not going to get into the habit of covering adult/sex-based virtual worlds. There are literally dozens of them out there, and frankly, I find them boring as hell.

However, the coronavirus pandemic has proven to be a game-changer, an unprecedented global health crisis that has had completely unanticipated impacts on all kinds of businesses (for good or ill), disrupted all kinds of practices and behaviours, and upended all kinds of conventional wisdom. So, perhaps, adult social VR platforms and virtual worlds will see an increase in usage if people can’t swipe right on Tinder? Who knows what will happen. It will be fascinating to watch.

But no, I still don’t plan to cover adult/sex-based platforms in the same way I write about other niche and more general-purpose social VR platforms and virtual worlds. Despite my very rare past forays into that market on this blog, I will be leaving that field to somebody else to cover. Not my circus, not my monkeys.

I’m pretty certain that the adult virtual world Oasis is really struggling financially, and it will probably fold. The link to watch the trailer on their website homepage, which is located just under the blue “Play Free” button on this screenshot I took, no longer works, something that should have been fixed months ago, if things were going well. If nobody from the company has even bothered to fix something that potential customers see on the front of their official product home page, to promote Oasis, things must be very, very bad indeed.

Pandemic Diary, April 20th, 2020: Who’s Zoomin’ Who?

I wake up this morning, day 34 of my self-imposed isolation in my apartment during the coronavirus pandemic, feeling more than a little tired. I have been sleeping very badly these past two weeks, and struggling with insomnia and the resulting fatigue.

Today is a research day (we librarians get ten of them per academic year, to pursue “research, scholarly works, and creative activities” as our collective agreement states, because as members of the faculty union we have an opportunity and an obligation to pursue research). I plan to use the time to prepare for my Virtual Germany presentation on social VR, and edit the first draft of a journal article I hope to publish on the lessons learned from my earlier, suspended research project, a poorly-scoped, wildly overambitious plan to build a three-dimensional version of the Mathematical Atlas website, using Sansar as a platform.

Since Sansar’s near-death experience, which would have put that research project into jeopardy, I realize that I have to focus a critical eye on the financial stability, profitability, and long-term survival prospects of any future social VR platform I choose for any future research project. This is something that libraries have to do every day when choosing software such as integrated library systems (the software that handles things such as the acquisition, cataloguing, and circulation of books, etc.).

In Sunday afternoon, FROG*, my arts and entertainment group, which in the pre-pandemic days used to meet once a month in each other’s homes to plan outings to participate in Winnipeg’s vibrant arts, cultural, and entertainment scene, set up a Zoom meeting, just to have everybody get in touch with each other and see how everybody is doing:

We used the free version of Zoom, which automatically disconnects a group of three or more people after 40 minutes. We were having such a good conversation that our host generated and emailed out a second invitation, to meet for another 40 minutes! We also made sure to model our cloth masks to each other…

These women (I am the token gay male in the group) have been friends for over twenty years, and this Zoom meeting was salve to my wounded soul. I am an extrovert, someone who tends to get energy from other people, and opportunities for that have been sorely lacking over the past month. This was the first time I had ever used Zoom outside of virtual work meetings at my university, and we agreed that we would do this biweekly for the duration of the pandemic.

Sunday evening, I participated in a second Zoom meeting hosted by the Out There Winnipeg LGBT2SQ+** Sports and Recreation Group. One of the members had purchased sets of interactive online games from Jackbox Games, which uses Zoom on desktop, and requires a mobile device such as an iPhone as a game controller. We played a couple of lively rounds of Patently Stupid, which can best be described as a cross between Pictionary and Shark Tank:

We followed Patently Stupid with a round of Trivia Murder Party, which was very cleverly designed and programmed by Jackbox, with many “deadly” challenges for those who failed to answer the trivia questions correctly. This was my first time joining the Out There group in Zoom for their Games Night, and it was great fun, and it cheered me up immensely.

So, Aretha Franklin’s Who’s Zoomin’ Who? feels like a very appropriate theme song for yesterday.


*Yes, FROG is an acronym. No, I am not going to tell you what it stands for. The name’s origin is shrouded in the mists of time, and the members of my group prefer to keep it that way 😉

**LGBT2SQ+, of course, is an inclusive, umbrella acronym which stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-Spirited (i.e. indigenous and gay), and Queer or Questioning. The plus sign at the end is for anybody that doesn’t feel they fall into any of the previous categories 🙂