I seen to have hit a dry spell for the RyanSchultz.com blog. (Hey, after 1,128 blogposts, it was bound to happen eventually!)
So, I have decided to post a brand-new reader survey, which will run for one week—until midnight Central Time, March 30th, 2019. As before, repeat voters will be blocked by website cookie and IP address. So please take a minute and fill out the poll, letting me know what you would like to see more (and less) of on this blog. There’s a space at the end to add your own comments.
I will make the results available on March 31st, 2019, along with some commentary. Thanks for your input!
But before I do that, I want to show you my blog viewer statistics. Notice the HUGE spike in viewers for three consecutive days? Almost all of that traffic was to the original blogpost! I’ve never seen anything like it.
At first, I was excited. And then, I got suspicious. While that particular blogpost eventually got 5,456 views (making it my most-viewed blogpost of all time!), the actual number of votes in my poll did not see a corresponding spike (only 220 votes in total were cast).
I had deliberately designed my poll so that repeat voters were blocked by website cookie and IP address, so obviously, either I was getting a lot of repeat voters, or a lot of visitors were not submitting their vote. And that huge spike in traffic was from locations all over the world, but there were many viewers from a lot of countries that to date had not been frequent visitors before: Turkey, Brazil, Russia, Romania, Colombia. I suspect that my poll was hit by a swarm of bots.
It would appear that SOMEONE was trying to sway (or spoil) my poll. The surge in traffic to that particular blogpost ended almost as abruptly as it had begun. The question is: why would anyone bother?
Anyway, time to announce the results of my poll. A total of 220 votes were received:
POLL RESULTS: What Social VR/Virtual World Do You Spend the Most Time In?
Sansar (43 votes)
Second Life (38)
OpenSim/Halcyon grids (23)
Somnium Space (16)
High Fidelity (14)
Occupy White Walls (8)
Mozilla Hubs (2)
Oculus Rooms (2)
vTime XR (2)
The following platforms all got one vote each:
And there were two unique write-in ballots*:
Anarchy Arcade: “It’s social not like chat, but by exploring people’s collections.”
Pix-Life (I have absolutely no idea what this is, and Google was no help. Does anybody know what this is?)
*Note to OpenSim/Halcyon fans: YOU DO NOT READ INSTRUCTIONS!!!! I simply added all your OpenSim write-ins to the OpenSim total above. Next time, PLEASE PAY ATTENTION. Your particular OpenSim/Halcyon grid is not a special, unique snowflake. Thank you.
Now, I am not going to read too much into these poll results. If anything, they are more a picture of my current blog readership (which tends to skew heavily towards Sansar and Second Life users). And I’m not going to kid myself: I’m sure a few platforms urged their users to vote in this poll. This is far from a scientific survey. I was a little surprised that Second Life did not get first place in my poll, though.
So, what do you think of the poll results? Please feel free to leave a comment below, thank you!
It would appear that Linden Lab has contracted with an external consulting firm to interview Sansar users. Someone on the official Sansar Discord server mentioned that they had received an email and wanted to know if it was legitimate or a scam.
I was curious and I did a little digging around in my email inbox, and lo and behold, there was this email message from three days ago:
The agency checks out; here is Twofivesix’s website. They appear to be a gaming consulting firm, with a focus on videogames, esports, and virtual reality. Shortly afterward, Derrick Linden posted an official announcement to Discord:
Some of you have already reached out about this, but as a general heads up: we’re working with an outside firm at the moment to help gather and distill user feedback—all part of a broader research effort. If you have received an email from TwoFiveSix that mentions a survey, do not be alarmed – you are NOT being phished! This is a REAL opportunity to share what you think. Big thanks to those of you who’ve gotten in touch, and those of you who’ve already taken the survey! Feel free to drop us a line with any questions you have.
So I decided to fill out Twofivesix’s application form. They are operating on a verytight timeline; they basically want to complete all their hourlong user interviews between January 15th and 22nd! So please go check your email inbox for a message from them, and fill out the application if you wish to be considered for an interview and a US$50 AMEX gift card. What have you got to lose?
I do find it rather reassuring that Linden Lab has hired a professional consulting firm to get more feedback about how people feel about Sansar and what they would like to see happen on the platform. Involving a neutral third party which anonymizes answers might make it easier for negative comments and feedback to be submitted to, and heard by, the company.
It’s no secret that this is a do-or-die, make-or-break period for Linden Lab’s Sansar, especially given the rather lacklustre response to the platform’s launch on Steam so far. They’ve now got to pull out all the stops when it comes to figuring out what factors will make Sansar a success, and what things will drive people away.
This is going to be a rather complicated answer, because I have main male and female avatars and an army of alts 😉
My main female avatar has a Catwa Kimberly head, with a Maitreya Lara body. But I also have a female avatar with a (freebie) Akeruka head and a Maitreya Lara body, and another avatar with a LAQ head and a Maitreya Lara body. As you can see, I tend to prefer Maitreya! I also have a female avatar with a (freebie) Akeruka head and a Belleza Freya body, which I use as a dancer to earn tip money 😉 I like the fact that the Belleza Freya body is more voluptuous, curvier, than the Maitreya Lara body.
My main male avatar has a Catwa Daniel head and a Belleza Jake body. But I also have a male avatar with a Catwa Stanley head and a Signature Gianni body. I have been very happy with both.
My alts all have freebie/dollarbie heads and bodies as outlined in my blogposts about where to find free or inexpensive mesh heads and bodies for male and female Second Life avatars:
Anyway, no big surprise, Maitreya Lara is by far the favourite mesh female avatar body at 42.3% of poll respondents so far, followed by Belleza Freya at 10.62%. I swear, the creator of the Maitreya Lara body, Onyx LeShelle, must be carting home money by the wheelbarrow! For male avatar bodies, it’s pretty much a tie between Belleza Jake (27.46%) and Signature Gianni (31.7%).
As for Bento mesh heads, Catwa heads are by far the most popular for both female avatars (35.46% of poll respondents) and male avatars (a whopping 47.96% of poll respondents, almost half the market!). Other popular female mesh heads are LeLutka (20.76%), LAQ (10.98%), and the brand-new Genus Project heads (10.09%). LeLutka is also a popular male mesh head (13.87% of poll respondents).