Blogger’s Dozen: My Top Twelve Most Popular Blogposts from the Past 365 Days

An egg is always an adventure; the next one may be different.

Oscar Wilde (source)
Photo by Kelly Neil on Unsplash

One of the things I love about hosting a blog on WordPress is that I can review my statistics over time, to see which posts are more popular and which ones aren’t. I have completely given up on my ability to predict which ones will fall into the first category, and which ones will fall into the second! A blogpost I dash off in a hurry without much thought can blow up on me, while a second one I slaved over and post in high expectations goes pffft! It just happens. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

So, on a whim, and to get a better sense of what’s trending overall, I ran some stats today on my 12 most popular blogposts over the past 365 days (Feb. 16th, 2021 to Feb. 15th, 2022). I do hasten to assure you, gentle reader, that all links in this list are safe for work, so don’t be afraid to click on them 😉

  1. The Dirty Little Secret of VRChat: Hidden Adult Content – I am endlessly bemused by the fact that it is still, far and away, the most visited blogpost on my blog, with 72,351 visits over the past 365 days, which works out to almost 200 views per day, mostly because it is usually the top result when people search Google for “VRChat sex” or “VRChat adult”, or something similar…and I hate to break it to you, people, but you are not gonna find NSFW worlds in VRChat using the Google search engine!
  2. Welcome to the Metaverse: A Comprehensive List of Social VR/AR Platforms and Virtual Worlds – this popular, constantly-updated alphabetical listing has seen a surge in visits since Facebook rebranded to Meta in October 2021
  3. A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Get Started in Decentraland (and Some Caveats for New Users)
  4. Clip and Save: Ryan’s All-In-One Guide to Freebies in Second Life – this is a constantly-updated compilation of my best tips and tricks for finding fabulous fashion freebies and bargains in Second Life
  5. Second Life Steals, Deals, and Freebies: The Meshbody Offers Free Versions of Their Classic Mesh Bodies for Men and Women
  6. 3DX Chat: A Brief Introduction (and the Biggest Problem with Most Adult Virtual Worlds)
  7. Second Life: Maitreya Releases Version 5.0 of the Maitreya Lara Female Mesh Avatar Body
  8. Second Life Steals, Deals and Freebies: Free and Inexpensive Mesh Heads and Bodies for Female Second Life Avatars
  9. LGBTQ Spaces in Social VR and Virtual Worlds
  10. Shopping for a New Penis in Second Life: Any Recommendations? – this link is safe for work
  11. List of Non-Combat, Open-World Exploration/Puzzle/Life Simulation Games
  12. How to Change Your Avatar Name in Second Life: A Step by Step Guide

So, what trends do we see in this list?

Trend 1: Sex (As Homer Simpson would say: D’OH!)

Well, it would appear that sexual/adult content and activities are perennially popular in virtual worlds and social VR, regardless of platform (#1, #6, perhaps #9, and most certainly #10 on this list).

There almost seems to be some sort of rule that if you can get two avatars together on a platform—any platform—they are going to try and have sex. In fact, to prove my point, the BBC reported today on sex “condos” in Roblox!

Strip joints in Roblox proves my point: if you can get two avatars together on a platform—any platform—there will be sex! There appear to be no exceptions to this rule, even on platforms intended for children’s games.

So I was not terribly surprised when Meta’s Horizon Worlds and Horizon Venues social VR platforms recently implemented a hard-coded, four-foot boundary between avatars, after several women reported being sexually harassed (even though the avatars literally have no lower body!).

Trend 2: Lists of Metaverse and “Metaverse-Adjacent” Platforms

Secondly, people seem to be looking for comprehensive lists of metaverse platforms (#2) and what I like to call “metaverse-adjacent” content, i.e. non-combat, open-world platforms like Fortnite Party Royale and The Sims (#11). Of course, the line between the two is becoming ever more blurred.

One of my major tasks over the next few months is to complete a thorough reorganization and recategorization of the well over 160 entries on my increasingly popular list of social VR, virtual worlds, and metaverse platforms. I also want to update my equally popular, but by now somewhat dated, spreadsheet of what I consider the “top” social VR platforms (and a shout-out to Dr. Fran Babcock for doing some updating of the latter over the past few months; it is much appreciated!).

It would appear that there is lots of interest in my big-picture look at the metaverse and all the companies busy building it, so I intend to make both of these tasks a top priority, once things die down a bit at my full-time paying job as a university librarian!

As I have said before, I never expected to become a prolific Second Life blogger, but it’s clear that my coverage (with a focus on Second Life steals, deals, and freebies) continues to be popular with my readers, and among the most-viewed content on my blog. While it may seem weird to write both about 18-year-old SL and then switch to writing about much newer platforms, I see everything as part of a seamless, whole history of the metaverse.

Of particular interest, I note a lot of traffic to my posts about both free and paid-for Second Life mesh heads and bodies (#4, #5, #7, #8, and of course, #10!). Therefore, I will continue to provide that coverage, and I may restructure my now-sprawling blogposts about free and inexpensive male and female mesh heads and bodies in SL, to make them easier for people to navigate…but only after I tackle the long-delayed reorganization of my metaverse list, mentioned under the previous trend!

Finally, people seem to value good, step-by-step instructions on how to do things in SL, like rename your avatar (#12), so I will be continuing to write up more blogposts in that vein.

I notice that my step-by-step instructions for getting started in Decentraland (DCL) is an increasingly popular blogpost, even though the instructions may already be a bit dated (#4). As I have mentioned recently, DCL and all the NFT metaverses are seeing a huge surge in interest (and in financial speculation!), ever since Facebook rebranded itself as Meta, and Mark Zuckerberg announced that they would become a metaverse company.

And, as promised, I will be writing about all these platforms in 2022:

Although I have mentioned and written about a number of virtual world/social VR platforms on this list which DO incorporate blockchain, cryptocurrencies, and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), please note that I have, up until now, tended to focus only on those projects which ALREADY have an actual working platform, where you can create an avatar to visit and explore NOW: NeosVR, Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space. I have not really written much about projects which have yet to launch, because frankly so many of them are vapourware!

However, given the current burst of enthusiasm for all things blockchain/crypto/NFT and metaverse (particularly after Facebook/Meta’s repivot to become a metaverse company in October 2021), I will endeavour to expand my coverage of such platforms in 2022.

And I remain highly concerned about the number of poorly-thought-out NFT metaverse projects (and frankly, just flat out scams) that seem to be proliferating by the day. I will also be writing a lot about that topic in the next 365 days, I suspect.

Trend 5: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, and Queer Spaces in the Metaverse

My blogpost about LGBTQ spaces in virtual worlds and social VR (#9) is becoming more and more popular over time, an indication that queer people are actively looking for community in the metaverse. Therefore, I will write more articles about that, too!

white and multicolored love is love banner
Photo by 42 North on Pexels.com

What People Are Searching For When They Visit My Blog: A List of the Most Popular Search Terms Used by Visitors

Photo by Marten Newhall on Unsplash

Among the absolute bonanza of detailed statistics WordPress offers up on my blog, are a list of search terms which people are using when they stumble across one of my blogposts, as shown here in a screen capture of today’s stats:

So tonight (because it’s 8:30 p.m. and I am tired and cranky and it’s -25°C outside and I OBVIOUSLY have nothing better to do with my time), I have decided to share with you what people have been searching for when they visit the RyanSchultz.com blog over the past three and a half years. Think of it as a glimpse into the zeitgeist of my readers, or visitors, or whatever you like to call yourselves…so, let’s dive in, shall we?


Top of the list is a bit of a surprise to me: a search for “amazon”. Now, I have absolutely no idea why people searching for Amazon land up on my blog, but yes, they do! (Perhaps I should consider setting up a sales affiliate link of some kind.)

Next up is certainly zero surprise to me: people searching for “vrchat sex” and all its variations. This is not a surprise, since my perennially-popular blogpost about adult content in VRChat is now the top Google search result when you search on “vrchat adult”. (Now, if I could just get off my raggedy ass and add some targeted advertising to that particular blogpost, I could probably rake in a few more pennies…aah, but I disgress.) Search terms related to “vrchat sex” include:

  • “vrchat nsfw avatar worlds” (even though I don’t link to any!)
  • “vrchat nsfw”
  • “vr chat sex”
  • “adult vr chat”
  • “vrchat adult”
  • “nsfw vrchat”
  • “vrchat nude”
  • “vr chat nude”
  • “vr chat nudity”
  • “18+ vrchat worlds”
  • etc. etc. etc.

I mean, people, come on, already…do you really expect to find not-safe-for-work content in VRChat with a Google search?!??

Photo by Julio Tirado on Unsplash

Number three is also a bit of a surprise: “livcloser”. The last time I checked, LivCloser was a virtual world still very much in the alpha stage of development, if it still exists at all (here’s a link to all my blogposts about it), and I haven’t even visited it since April of 2018. It turns out that, in some cases, blogposts I wrote about some of the more obscure virtual worlds I have visited end up rather high in the results of Google, Bing, and other search engines; who knew?

Much like LivCloser, among the other little-known-about platforms which show up in the search terms people use to land up at my blog are:

  • InWorldz and its short-lived successor, Islandz (because I had written at length about the final, unexpected, dramatic shutdown of the OpenSim-based virtual world, and its attempts to resurrect itself);
  • 3DX Chat (an adult virtual world)
  • AviLife
  • Utherverse (another adult virtual world…seeing a trend here in what people are actively searching for? 😉 )
  • VIBEHub
  • Avakin Life
  • Twinity (THIS old chestnut? Really?!??)

Next up is something which I did very much expect to find: “second Life freebies”, as well as related search terms about my extensive and popular coverage of steals, deals, and freebies in Second Life. I note with no lack of amusement that one intrepid searcher actually entered “ryan schultz’s 2 blog posts packed with info on the free or cheap mesh bodies/heads” into a search engine no less than 17 times, with the exact same wording every time! (It’s a newgfangled browser feature called a BOOKMARK, sweetheart…look into it. 😉 and, if you are interested, you can always find my constantly-updated compilations of free mesh heads and bodies for Second Life avatars here: male and female.)

Among the rest of the (sometimes mystifying) more popular search terms people have used are:

  • “sars covid2” (perhaps not such a surprise)
  • “ninja suits”
  • “second life name change 2020” (again, not a surprise, as my step-by-step guide to changing your avatar name in SL is pretty popular)
  • “sansar user statistics”
  • “open world non combat games” (referring to this list, no doubt)
  • “genus project dmca” (about the whole Genus Project mesh heads DMCA saga)
  • “how to remove a default head in second life” 😉
  • “free second life female vagina” (a topic about which, I do hasten to assure you, I have written ABSOLUTELY NOTHING)
  • “10 reasons why you should quit social media”
  • “second life millionaires”
Ninja suits??? Really? REALLY?!??

I hope that you found this deep dive into my WordPress stats enlightening (or at least, entertaining)!

VRChat Hits New Record of 24,000 Concurrent Users Over Halloween

Photo by David Menidrey on Unsplash (edited in PhotoShop to add the VRChat logo)

The Road to VR website reported that social VR platform VRChat reached a new user concurrency record over Hallowe’en:

Following a big spike in usage in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, social VR app VRChat has reached a new record of 24,000 concurrent users. Its creators say the surge was driven in part by the launch of Quest 2 and virtual Halloween festivities.

Indeed, with more users joining VRChat from Quest and now Quest 2, the app reached a new record of 24,000 concurrent users over the Halloween weekend, CEO Graham Gaylor tells Road to VR. This eclipses the previous record of 20,000 concurrent users in early 2018 when the app went viral on Twitch.

It would appear that a great many people, who would normally socialize in person at parties and bars at Hallowe’en, chose instead to stay home and strap on their VR headsets, due to social gathering restrictions imposed by the pandemic. One poster on the Coronavirus subReddit commented:

Extrovert here and struggling. Thankfully buying a Quest 2 has ACTUALLY been quite the pleasantly surprisingly alternative for me. Especially the VRChat clubs which remind me of my nightlife. I know not everyone can do it but I wish my friends still travelling and partying would give it a shot too.

This new user concurrency figure smashed a two-year-old record, when VRChat suddenly and unexpectedly went viral back in 2018 (largely due to the influence of livestreamers and YouTubers such as PewDiePie), reaching a peak of 20,000 concurrent users on Steam.

You might be surprised to learn that only half of VRChat’s current users access the app via VR headset. Road to VR reported:

Of course it’s worth noting that VRChat is not exclusively a VR game; it supports VR and non-VR modes. Interestingly, Gaylor indicates the app’s share of VR users has actually grown significantly in the last few months. Earlier this year in April around 30% of VRChat users were using VR; in October the share of VR users was up to 43%.

Among the 24,000 concurrent users specifically, Gaylor confirmed that an even larger share of users—52% or 12,500—were in VR.

Wagner James Au of the blog New World Notes also reported on the event, including statistics from Steam and a quote from his source for the news, Adeon:

Adeon isn’t surprised: “Confirms a lot what I see too. I have lots of friends that have an Oculus Rift, but still choose to run the Steam version on it, just because of Steam’s social features, and Oculus requires Facebook to have Oculus friends. That’s one major oversight for Facebook. People don’t want to use the platform if its social features aren’t cross-play with their friends’ setups.”

It’s an oversight—and a paradoxical one: The main point for requiring Facebook log-in, an Oculus developer recently told me, was to encourage users to interact more in VR with their Facebook friends. (Data harvesting for ads being a secondary goal.) But because so many gamers have strong social connections apart from Zuckerberg’s social network, the Facebook log-in requirement can actually disconnect them from many of their friends.

That to one side, VRChat’s usage growth is impressive. I would not be surprised if its monthly active user numbers have also surpassed that of Second Life as well.

I also would be very interested in seeing a head-to-head comparison in monthly active user figures between VRChat and Second Life (although I think SL would probably still be the winner here, as they too have reported an increase in usage because of the pandemic).

My Answers to the Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) Questions!

It’s 2:00 a.m. and I have an absolutely wicked case of insomnia, so I decided to write up most of this blopost in the wee small hours of the morning, and answer the questions I received in my Ask Me Anything (AMA) blogpost.

You might find it interesting to see my recent daily blog statistics from WordPress. As you can see, there has been a slow but significant increase in my blog views and visitors within the past two weeks:

In the old days, last year, if I got over 500 views per day, I was quite happy. Now I am regularly getting over 500 views by noon, and well over 1,000 views per day! In the past week, I have even hit 1,200 views per day several times. The overwhelming majority of that traffic is my Second Life content, particularly my coverage of Second Life steals, deals, and freebies.

Despite this level of activity, you are still a rather quiet bunch: I only received three questions!


Andrew Heath asks me:

What features do you think Facebook needs to add to Facebook Horizons, to make it stand out to its rivals?

Well, Facebook has lots of money to throw around at things like advertising and programming talent. Facebook has also been buying up popular VR companies like Beat Saber, and will no doubt find ways to provide exclusive access to Facebook Horizon users, shutting out competing platforms who don’t have such deep pockets.

Facebook will ruthlessly use every tool and tactic at its disposal to ensure that Facebook Horizon stands out and gets attention. Expect massive news media coverage when the social VR platform does open its doors to the general public. Until then, they will be keeping a very tight lid on the alpha testing process, with very little information released.

Another point I want to make is that Facebook is not aiming at the traditional virtual world user community (the classic example being, of course, almost 17-year-old Second Life). Facebook is aiming Horizon at their social media users, the Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp crowd, an estimated audience of over six billion individual accounts, which gives the company massive leverage.

Social Media Statistics as of February 2020 (source)

Whether they succeed at enticing these people to take the plunge into virtual reality remains to be seen, but sales of Oculus Quest in particular have been strong, despite supply chain problems due to the coronavirus pandemic. In fact, the coronavirus pandemic may give an advantage to Facebook, as millions of people around the world self-isolate at home and seek ways to interact and socialize in ways that feel more immersive than Discord, Zoom and Webex. The timing might be perfect.

However, your Facebook Horizon avatar will be clearly associated with your real-life profile, and you can bet that Facebook will advertise to you in a similar targeted fashion to what you now see in your Facebook social network feed. While this link to your real-life profile may well cut down on griefing, trolling, and harassment, it is also likely to be unappealing to many current metaverse platform users for exactly that same reason. I wrote more about it in an editorial here.


Chamberlain asks:

Has anybody had any commercial success with any of these ventures, other than Second Life?

Well, the only company that I know that’s generating a profit (and that’s because because I was extremely nosey, and I asked them) is ENGAGE, which seems to be doing quite well for itself in the educational social VR market. And, of course, Cryptovoxels is making enough money to enable its lead developer, Ben Nolan, to work on it full-time. The rest is a question mark. And that’s perfectly fine with me; metaverse-building companies are certainly under no obligation to tell me/us if they’re making money yet or not.

The key here seems to be: start small, grow organically and incrementally, and let things evolve and customers come to you. I do know that some social VR platforms and virtual worlds have seen an uptick in business because of the wholesale shift of things like conferences from the real world to the virtual world (in fact, one company I know is working lots of overtime dealing with all the extra business!).

From my vantage point, it seems pretty clear that the strategy of throwing years of software development work and millions of dollars of venture capital at platforms has not worked out well so far (e.g. High Fidelity, Sansar), mainly because the consumer market for virtual reality failed to ignite as predicted. However, the coronavirus pandemic is now a potential game-changer for a lot of metaverse-building companies. The longer the public health crisis lasts, and the more quarantines, lockdowns, and social distancing are imposed on restless populations, the more people will look at these platforms as a place to work, meet, rest, and play.

On the flip side, the mounting economic crisis will also cause some poorly-thought-out metaverse projects to fold due to lack of investment. I can see this happening for many of the start-ups in the blockchain-based virtual worlds, for example. Not the three front runners (Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, and Somnium Space), but the also-rans, many blockchain projects which seem to consist of nothing much more than: a white paper full of crypto-bafflegab; a .io website domain spouting senseless use cases; mystifying, vague promotional videos; and a tired Telegram group flogging a struggling ICO. Expect to see a lot of shutdowns in this market segment. Those who were lucky enough to get in at the right time might (might) make a tidy profit; the rest are doomed.

As for Sansar, I honestly fail to see how pursuing the exact same strategy that failed when they were owned by Linden Lab—a focus on live events to the exclusion of just about anything and everything else—will make the slightest bit of difference now that they are owned by Wookey, barring some miracle. I could very well be wrong; perhaps another year or two of runway, and Sansar will indeed take off in flight (my apologies for that rather mangled metaphor). But many of the world designers and builders who helped shape the early days of Sansar, and built many of their most popular worlds, now feel alienated by this pivot and have simply given up, migrating to benefit other platforms such as Sinespace. Many former Sansar users are now kicking the tires on Helios, a brand new social VR platform based on the Unreal game engine. Sansar’s loss is their gain.

Ironically, one or more of the three forks of the open-source High Fidelity code may yet take off in popularity, although there’s obviously still lots of work to do. However, there is an energy and enthusiasm I see taking place in these forks that is encouraging, and frankly infectious. I do wish these projects well, and I will follow them closely.


And finally, John has a longer comment and a question for me:

Not sure I have a question. But would very much like to say that the occasional glimpses into your ‘real self/world’ moments as opposed to the ‘virtual world’ moments/posts, are incredibly powerful and reassuring, reminding me that all of us are human, and these glimpses are what keep me coming back to your blog. They comfort me and reassure me. You are real. You are trying your best. And you help me (us) when you show us what is beyond the successful veneer of the top notch librarian/researcher. Just wanted to say thanks. Your blog is part of my morning ritual, along with the newspapers, and it is even more of a requirement now, in these difficult times. Oh yes, I might have a question. Can you keep this blog of yours going till the ol’ Internet fades?

Thank you for your kind words, John! I’m glad I can be a small part of your day.

I would like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, all my readers. Some of you have chosen to express your appreciation via my Patreon page, and that money now covers my blog hosting costs on WordPress, for which I am extremely grateful. Whether or not you are a Patreon supporter, your support means the world to me.

And yes, I do plan to keep this blog going as long as I can, and I’ve even thought a bit about having it archived in some way after I pass on, to create a sort of time capsule of an interesting era in social VR and virtual worlds. I am currently in the process of creating a will and a healthcare power of attorney, still waiting to hear back from the lawyer that my financial planner recommended. (I also plan on leaving many of my Second Life avatars to other people via my will. My lawyer is going to have a field day drawing up my will!)

In the interim, especially in these precarious days of pandemic, I will be writing up a detailed document to share with my friends and family, with all my accounts and passwords, making my wishes clear in the event of my untimely death. I will not leave you hanging!

But I don’t plan on going anywhere! I am just starting to hit my stride here.