The SLOz Traffic Index is on its way

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Over the past few months the level of interest in Australian-run presences in SL has grown significantly. On an international basis, New World Notes have a comprehensive system covering the top 10 companies for that week. Our measure, the SLOz Traffic Index (STI) will be a little broader than that. What we’re setting out to achieve is:

1. an indicative measure of what Australian presences are getting the most attention.
2. we won’t be comparing against international presences, just Australian ones – there are already measures out there for that.
3. where a presence has multiple areas (like ABC Island, BigPond) we’ll measure the most popular area only. We’re not looking to provide exact traffic, more trends on what areas are attracting people on a continual basis.

Each business will have their traffic stats measured a minimum of ten times across the month – more on the methodology when we publish the first report.

Whether you’re a business owner, educational institution or other organisation, contact us to give us your presence’s location and we will add it to our monitoring list. We’ll publish the first STI in approximately two weeks time.

Comments

  1. It’s only out of our transparency policy that your comment is appearing Gary. Over the past two weeks you’ve demonstrated in spades your disdain for our approach – we get it ok? Probably no need to keep repeating it. If you’d like to debate our editorial policy further, perhaps start a thread on the forum.

    As mentioned in the story – it’s an indicative measure for readers’ interest. We aren’t a developer, we’re not paid by anyone to push a particular barrow. People are welcome (and indeed encouraged) to take ANY statistics with a grain of salt. I’d certainly include the Project Factory and NWN ones in that – no measure is perfect. But what is good is diversity – I would have thought a number of measures that people can balance would be a good thing? Particularly if a measure isn’t done by someone with a direct financial interest in attracting business from companies looking to develop in Second Life.

    Unlike any other measure we want to get an indicative idea of non-business presences including smaller operators who would otherwise be ignored. Any allegations of manipulation are at minimum offensive, particularly given the fact we’ve repeatedly referred to the data as indicative.

    As always, interested to hear what others think?

  2. Zak Claxton says:

    I think it’s great that you’re doing this specifically for Australian presences in SL. measurement tools, especially for a kind of nebulous landscape like SL, is important for other usinesses to judge the value and weigh the option of adding their own presence in SL. Good stuff all around. I don’t even understand the problem of the first responder to this article… what could possibly be bad about having another, more specifc, choice in this regard? It sounds like Gary is upset that he didn’t think of including this level of specificity, and sour grapes being what they are, he’s here to complain about a competing service. No class at all.

  3. Orion Keynes says:

    Guys, I think it’s a great idea. I can see some momentum, even with my Studio in SL. The addition of SLoz, my free aussie flag etc, I get aussies visiting me all the time and we are pretty active in the Australians group.

    This idea of collecting info on all the Aussie spots in SL is great. We are pretty much roaming the SL planet by ourselves given the timezone, so some welcome places to visit and watch grow would be great. Count me in. I don’t particularly care for numbers, and I’d really like to see more resident areas given the profile that they deserve in amongst all the hype on RL companies. I put a call out to any Aussie SL residents that are doing something in world and let the SLoz guys know about it so we can all come visit and support you.

    Orion

  4. It’s only out of our transparency policy that your comment is appearing Gary. Over the past two weeks you’ve demonstrated in spades your disdain for our approach – we get it ok? Probably no need to keep repeating it. If you’d like to debate our editorial policy further, perhaps start a thread on the forum.

    As mentioned in the story – it’s an indicative measure for readers’ interest. We aren’t a developer, we’re not paid by anyone to push a particular barrow. People are welcome (and indeed encouraged) to take ANY statistics with a grain of salt. I’d certainly include the Project Factory and NWN ones in that – no measure is perfect. But what is good is diversity – I would have thought a number of measures that people can balance would be a good thing? Particularly if a measure isn’t done by someone with a direct financial interest in attracting business from companies looking to develop in Second Life.

    Unlike any other measure we want to get an indicative idea of non-business presences including smaller operators who would otherwise be ignored. Any allegations of manipulation are at minimum offensive, particularly given the fact we’ve repeatedly referred to the data as indicative.

    As always, interested to hear what others think?

  5. Oh just what we need, another ‘selective’ filter of the open traffic figures in SL. New World Notes as you know is sponsored by ‘Millions of Us’ who are responsible for Pontiac and Sun amongst others – and so they are taking selective measurements that make those brands come to the fore.

    Now SLOZ is going to look at just the popular ‘parcels’ for each brand – which is a bit like saying we are going to see which are the most popular cities in the world by comparing one of their busiest ‘tourist squares’ – ummm. Really useful. Bit like saying we can compare London or Tokyo (with many centres) to Hornsby (Sydney) with its one centre?

    For those who just want a clear summary of all the parcels for each brand then The Project Factory publish these each week at http://www.theprojectfactory.com and they will also be publishing what parcels are taken into account and more importantly (for those not inworld wondering what manipulation is taking place) the actual ‘images’ of the search that took place.

    In the case of NWN and SLOZ they will be picking/selecting times and/or parcels to come up with manipulated figures, The Project Factory take all parcels that are to do with the brand and that are listed in search and others that do not list we actually take it off the land parcels directly – here is tomorrows montage image for those not in world

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/527079452/

    Gary

  6. Oh just what we need, another ‘selective’ filter of the open traffic figures in SL. New World Notes as you know is sponsored by ‘Millions of Us’ who are responsible for Pontiac and Sun amongst others – and so they are taking selective measurements that make those brands come to the fore.

    Now SLOZ is going to look at just the popular ‘parcels’ for each brand – which is a bit like saying we are going to see which are the most popular cities in the world by comparing one of their busiest ‘tourist squares’ – ummm. Really useful. Bit like saying we can compare London or Tokyo (with many centres) to Hornsby (Sydney) with its one centre?

    For those who just want a clear summary of all the parcels for each brand then The Project Factory publish these each week at http://www.theprojectfactory.com and they will also be publishing what parcels are taken into account and more importantly (for those not inworld wondering what manipulation is taking place) the actual ‘images’ of the search that took place.

    In the case of NWN and SLOZ they will be picking/selecting times and/or parcels to come up with manipulated figures, The Project Factory take all parcels that are to do with the brand and that are listed in search and others that do not list we actually take it off the land parcels directly – here is tomorrows montage image for those not in world

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/527079452/

    Gary

  7. Well, I am also offended by the accusation. I’m being paid to be impartial. I don’t actually give a damn who builds a site. (Sun’s traffic stinks, by the way. Did MoU build that? You tell me. I don’t know)

    We came up with a method that seemed fair and drew the least criticism from various pundits (none of whom are associated with any of the brands or developers involved).

    Anyone can run the numbers I’m running. Anyone can run yours. If someone thinks that our numbers for a site are questionable, they can run them themselves, as they can if they find your own numbers questionable.

    You are free, of course, to run your own traffic numbers and publicize them as you see fit. But don’t expect other people to agree that the methodology (yours or mine) must necessarily be the only valuable one.

  8. Well, I am also offended by the accusation. I’m being paid to be impartial. I don’t actually give a damn who builds a site. (Sun’s traffic stinks, by the way. Did MoU build that? You tell me. I don’t know)

    We came up with a method that seemed fair and drew the least criticism from various pundits (none of whom are associated with any of the brands or developers involved).

    Anyone can run the numbers I’m running. Anyone can run yours. If someone thinks that our numbers for a site are questionable, they can run them themselves, as they can if they find your own numbers questionable.

    You are free, of course, to run your own traffic numbers and publicize them as you see fit. But don’t expect other people to agree that the methodology (yours or mine) must necessarily be the only valuable one.

  9. Zak Claxton says:

    I think it’s great that you’re doing this specifically for Australian presences in SL. measurement tools, especially for a kind of nebulous landscape like SL, is important for other usinesses to judge the value and weigh the option of adding their own presence in SL. Good stuff all around. I don’t even understand the problem of the first responder to this article… what could possibly be bad about having another, more specifc, choice in this regard? It sounds like Gary is upset that he didn’t think of including this level of specificity, and sour grapes being what they are, he’s here to complain about a competing service. No class at all.

  10. I apologise if you took manipulation to mean the way you obviously took it. All methods are using LL inworld traffic measurement, yes? The word is intended to mean that if you take raw figures (each brand has a combination of parcels which has a daily traffic figure) and selectively choose which parcel you measure and take samples of the same traffic at various points in the day then surely the figures are being ‘manipulated’?

    I also don’t think that anyone can run the numbers unless they are very familiar with SL and have the time to do so. If they are out of world then they need to trust a source for how brands are doing, especially those thinking of engaging with SL inhabitants. So if 3 or 4 or 5 systems pop up all saying different things then the whole thing becomes very suspect in my opinion. I will keep going back to my hobby horse – the ones that we do are unfiltered (vs manipulated – semantics may have caused offence) based on ‘all’ the traffic to a brand based on open inworld figures…

    Gary

  11. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    Orion – thanks for your thoughts – that’s exactly our intention with the STI: a means of showing INDICATIVELY what is going on in an Australian context. Eventually we may introduce increased methodological complexity as things evolve. More on the methodology anyway at the time the first STI is published.

  12. I apologise if you took manipulation to mean the way you obviously took it. All methods are using LL inworld traffic measurement, yes? The word is intended to mean that if you take raw figures (each brand has a combination of parcels which has a daily traffic figure) and selectively choose which parcel you measure and take samples of the same traffic at various points in the day then surely the figures are being ‘manipulated’?

    I also don’t think that anyone can run the numbers unless they are very familiar with SL and have the time to do so. If they are out of world then they need to trust a source for how brands are doing, especially those thinking of engaging with SL inhabitants. So if 3 or 4 or 5 systems pop up all saying different things then the whole thing becomes very suspect in my opinion. I will keep going back to my hobby horse – the ones that we do are unfiltered (vs manipulated – semantics may have caused offence) based on ‘all’ the traffic to a brand based on open inworld figures…

    Gary

  13. Orion Keynes says:

    Guys, I think it’s a great idea. I can see some momentum, even with my Studio in SL. The addition of SLoz, my free aussie flag etc, I get aussies visiting me all the time and we are pretty active in the Australians group.

    This idea of collecting info on all the Aussie spots in SL is great. We are pretty much roaming the SL planet by ourselves given the timezone, so some welcome places to visit and watch grow would be great. Count me in. I don’t particularly care for numbers, and I’d really like to see more resident areas given the profile that they deserve in amongst all the hype on RL companies. I put a call out to any Aussie SL residents that are doing something in world and let the SLoz guys know about it so we can all come visit and support you.

    Orion

  14. Sorry Zak this is not sour grapes this is about common-sense. Please look at the image at http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/527079452/ . Those are the open figures of traffic across a brand and anyone can get see those in simple steps.
    1 Boot up Second Life
    2 Click Search, Click Places Tab
    3 Type the Brand name
    4 Add up the traffic for all parcels relating to that brand

    I suggest anyone who has SL to go inworld and do the above for ‘pontiac’ and ‘bigpond’ and ‘abc’ and ‘IBM’ a few of the leading brands to see for yourself – there is no pushing one brand over another here, the figures are there now, available to compare.

    What I am disagreeing with is a measurement that says, ‘oh well we shall only look at one one of those parcel figures, we shall choose which one to measure and compare’. It is not specificity it is about subjectivity in this case. It takes a second to choose a number from each of those images.

    Perhaps we should ask the steps required to run the numbers on SLOz and NWN – but that would involve, and this is the point, a level of ‘selectivity’.

    This is not rocket science and Zak I am entitled to my opinion as much as you, and do not approve of your ‘no class’ comment, which is personally targeted.

    Gary

  15. Sorry Zak this is not sour grapes this is about common-sense. Please look at the image at http://www.flickr.com/photos/garyhayes/527079452/ . Those are the open figures of traffic across a brand and anyone can get see those in simple steps.
    1 Boot up Second Life
    2 Click Search, Click Places Tab
    3 Type the Brand name
    4 Add up the traffic for all parcels relating to that brand

    I suggest anyone who has SL to go inworld and do the above for ‘pontiac’ and ‘bigpond’ and ‘abc’ and ‘IBM’ a few of the leading brands to see for yourself – there is no pushing one brand over another here, the figures are there now, available to compare.

    What I am disagreeing with is a measurement that says, ‘oh well we shall only look at one one of those parcel figures, we shall choose which one to measure and compare’. It is not specificity it is about subjectivity in this case. It takes a second to choose a number from each of those images.

    Perhaps we should ask the steps required to run the numbers on SLOz and NWN – but that would involve, and this is the point, a level of ‘selectivity’.

    This is not rocket science and Zak I am entitled to my opinion as much as you, and do not approve of your ‘no class’ comment, which is personally targeted.

    Gary

  16. We stopped using the Linden dwell counters, as a single visit from a single avatar generates between 0 and 200 dwell points regardless of whether that visit is 6 minutes or 6 hours.

    Instead, we’re working on actually counting the number of people. The methodology I used is posted at the bottom of each column, so you’d have no reason to think that we’re using Linden dwell for our data.

  17. Thanks Tateru,

    That clarifies things. The other really important element is to know what areas/parcels/sims you are measuring people on. Do you list those?

    Obviously a busy are of one sim compared with a quiet area of another is not accurate. How do you choose which parcels to measure?

    Best Gary

  18. Also while we are on the subject of dwell. I know many people who pop into SL for 10-20 mins a day, they have limited time. If they choose to spend all that time in one area doesn’t that show a commitment and interest in that space that should be rewarded?

    Also according to Linden Lab of the 200 000 unique people a day inworld the average time spent is over 4 hours – so nearly 1 million user hours per day. Given this is the case do you not think that dwell ‘spikes’ are evened out by this?

    Another question as to your metrics – could you give the precise times you take people samples and which parcels you are sampling so that I and others can also check. Thanks

  19. We stopped using the Linden dwell counters, as a single visit from a single avatar generates between 0 and 200 dwell points regardless of whether that visit is 6 minutes or 6 hours.

    Instead, we’re working on actually counting the number of people. The methodology I used is posted at the bottom of each column, so you’d have no reason to think that we’re using Linden dwell for our data.

  20. Thanks Tateru,

    That clarifies things. The other really important element is to know what areas/parcels/sims you are measuring people on. Do you list those?

    Obviously a busy are of one sim compared with a quiet area of another is not accurate. How do you choose which parcels to measure?

    Best Gary

  21. Also while we are on the subject of dwell. I know many people who pop into SL for 10-20 mins a day, they have limited time. If they choose to spend all that time in one area doesn’t that show a commitment and interest in that space that should be rewarded?

    Also according to Linden Lab of the 200 000 unique people a day inworld the average time spent is over 4 hours – so nearly 1 million user hours per day. Given this is the case do you not think that dwell ‘spikes’ are evened out by this?

    Another question as to your metrics – could you give the precise times you take people samples and which parcels you are sampling so that I and others can also check. Thanks

  22. Well, for example, for City of Lost Angels, we count all their land area in Satellite. For the NCI, all their parcels in Kuula, Hamnida, Fishermans[sic] Cove and Dream City. The Weather channel, all of their sims. Pontiac, all of theirs. Microsoft, 2 sims, Pontiac, 7 sims. ABC Island (the whole sim). The Pond, all of theirs. Coldwell banker, their property on both sides of the north Ranchero border. Calvin Klein, the portion of Avalon allocated to them.

    We’re not working on parcels directly, but where the avatars are when we sample, so how land is parcelled up isn’t an issue for us.

  23. Well, for example, for City of Lost Angels, we count all their land area in Satellite. For the NCI, all their parcels in Kuula, Hamnida, Fishermans[sic] Cove and Dream City. The Weather channel, all of their sims. Pontiac, all of theirs. Microsoft, 2 sims, Pontiac, 7 sims. ABC Island (the whole sim). The Pond, all of theirs. Coldwell banker, their property on both sides of the north Ranchero border. Calvin Klein, the portion of Avalon allocated to them.

    We’re not working on parcels directly, but where the avatars are when we sample, so how land is parcelled up isn’t an issue for us.

  24. Thanks Tateru,

    Really helps! Would be good to know how timezones are being managed given the Australian sims are obviously more active in peak Oz time (7-12pm local).

    For the record we track parcels too so each area’s popularity can be seen over longer periods – also because some branded sims have sublet to 3rd parties who are not directly connected with the brand yet are drawing traffic for other reasons…here is a list I had to hand from a couple of weeks ago (some are full sims of course).

    Pontiac – pontiac garage, fairgrounds, speedway, dirtfield raceway, drive in, motorati, car design park, g-axis vehicles, pontiac dealership, ride, octane
    ABC TV Australia – sandbox tower, triple j club, media pod comedy, eco house, amphitheatre
    NetG Training- netg and asl, cisco, mall shops
    Nissan- altima island, nissan
    Mercedes-Benz – island
    IBM – codestation, ibm, boeblingen lab, ibm 6, exec briefing, benelux island, ibm 8, recruitment, portal, matt simpson, eos pilot, cell processor, panini, ucd
    Dell – factory, conference, dell city
    Mazda – nagare
    BigPond – the pond, pondex sandbox, pondex arrival, billabong bar, uluru, ponderosa, the dome, pyramid spa, harbour bridge, club illusion, opera house, ponderama, pondice, ponden, pondschen, pondillion
    American Apparel – american apparel
    Showtime (L Word)- l word in sl, l word in sl, amphitheare, amphitheatre
    Microsoft – Visual studio island
    MTVN – laguna beach
    Toyota – scion city
    Reuters – reuters
    AOL- pointe, club aol
    Sears – ibm sears, sears
    Samsung – softbank slim japan
    Sony Ericsson – sony ericsson
    Adidas Reebok – reebok
    Starwood Hotels – aloft island
    Sony BMG – media island, bmg music
    STA Travel – sta main island
    BMW – new world 1new world 2
    Circuit City – ibm 10 circuit city
    ABN AMRO – world tennis. landingspunt
    Cisco – systems, welcome, field, amphitheatre, connected home
    PA Consulting Group – pa consulting office
    Intel – intel
    Sun Microsystems – sun microsystems
    Sundance Channel – screening, sundance channelcafé
    Sprint – sprint center
    The Infinite Mind – welcome, broadcast, amphitheater
    Text 100 – island, island, amphitheater
    Wired Magazine – headquarters
    CNET – cnet japan, network office

    Gary

  25. Thanks Tateru,

    Really helps! Would be good to know how timezones are being managed given the Australian sims are obviously more active in peak Oz time (7-12pm local).

    For the record we track parcels too so each area’s popularity can be seen over longer periods – also because some branded sims have sublet to 3rd parties who are not directly connected with the brand yet are drawing traffic for other reasons…here is a list I had to hand from a couple of weeks ago (some are full sims of course).

    Pontiac – pontiac garage, fairgrounds, speedway, dirtfield raceway, drive in, motorati, car design park, g-axis vehicles, pontiac dealership, ride, octane
    ABC TV Australia – sandbox tower, triple j club, media pod comedy, eco house, amphitheatre
    NetG Training- netg and asl, cisco, mall shops
    Nissan- altima island, nissan
    Mercedes-Benz – island
    IBM – codestation, ibm, boeblingen lab, ibm 6, exec briefing, benelux island, ibm 8, recruitment, portal, matt simpson, eos pilot, cell processor, panini, ucd
    Dell – factory, conference, dell city
    Mazda – nagare
    BigPond – the pond, pondex sandbox, pondex arrival, billabong bar, uluru, ponderosa, the dome, pyramid spa, harbour bridge, club illusion, opera house, ponderama, pondice, ponden, pondschen, pondillion
    American Apparel – american apparel
    Showtime (L Word)- l word in sl, l word in sl, amphitheare, amphitheatre
    Microsoft – Visual studio island
    MTVN – laguna beach
    Toyota – scion city
    Reuters – reuters
    AOL- pointe, club aol
    Sears – ibm sears, sears
    Samsung – softbank slim japan
    Sony Ericsson – sony ericsson
    Adidas Reebok – reebok
    Starwood Hotels – aloft island
    Sony BMG – media island, bmg music
    STA Travel – sta main island
    BMW – new world 1new world 2
    Circuit City – ibm 10 circuit city
    ABN AMRO – world tennis. landingspunt
    Cisco – systems, welcome, field, amphitheatre, connected home
    PA Consulting Group – pa consulting office
    Intel – intel
    Sun Microsystems – sun microsystems
    Sundance Channel – screening, sundance channelcafé
    Sprint – sprint center
    The Infinite Mind – welcome, broadcast, amphitheater
    Text 100 – island, island, amphitheater
    Wired Magazine – headquarters
    CNET – cnet japan, network office

    Gary

  26. Thanks for the feedback everyone.

    Orion – thanks for your thoughts – that’s exactly our intention with the STI: a means of showing INDICATIVELY what is going on in an Australian context. Eventually we may introduce increased methodological complexity as things evolve. More on the methodology anyway at the time the first STI is published.

  27. Our times are posted in with the methodology at the end of each column, though we intentionally vary them a little.

  28. Our times are posted in with the methodology at the end of each column, though we intentionally vary them a little.

  29. Biff Zond says:

    Great dialog, everybody!

    Keep it coming..

  30. Biff Zond says:

    Great dialog, everybody!

    Keep it coming..

  31. Well, this week’s headcount is up.

    http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/06/taterus_mixed_r.html

    Any howling about the results, you may as well start now.

  32. Well, this week’s headcount is up.

    http://nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2007/06/taterus_mixed_

    Any howling about the results, you may as well start now.

Trackbacks

  1. […] has invited comment on the stats. Digg.com | Netscape.com | Reddit.com | Del.icio.us | Stumbleupon.com | Google.com | […]

  2. […] As mentioned previously, we will be providing a monthly snapshot of popular aussie locations in Second Life. We’re pleased to provide the initial SLOz Traffic Index (STI) for June. Being the first one it’s a fairly modest list. A few important notes on methodology as well as a couple of disclaimers: […]

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