Saturday, August 16, 2008

More on how traffic numbers are determined, this time from Miki Gymnast

Yesterday, I touched on the Second Life® Wiki's explanation for how traffic numbers are determined - one point per minute a single avatar is present on a parcel - and a few hours later I received an interesting email from Master Scripter Miki Gymnast on the topic.

She wrote: "Two parameters seem to be relevant to the Linden Lab traffic number: First, it counts the minutes, but only for people who are present longer than a minute on the land. Additionally, the number of people who are present also influences the traffic score. So, if 2 people produce 500 minutes, it is a little bit less than when 10 people produce 500 minutes. All heights of the parcel where visitors have been are included in the number, from 0-750 meters."

This begs the question... Are avatars above 1,000m counted? "It seems avis above circa 760 meters are not counted," said Miki. "This is also the (regular) maximum building height, so perhaps this corresponds."

Some time ago, Miki created UP, an entirely web-based parcel and sim management system that includes a tool for scanning land heights, and counts all visitor minutes plus the number of avatars which generated them. "It is always very close (+/- 50) to the Linden Lab visitor count (and this many hours before the land shows the number)," Miki added. She also provided the following graphs:

Number of visitors; click to see large

Vistor minutes; click to see large

A demo version of UP is available by teleporting directly from here.

And while we are on the topic of the Second Life Wiki, something very promising is going on over at Linden Lab these days. They appear to be stepping up the communication process with the Residents. Case in point: a just released, super-well executed and fun (yes, fun!) tutorial on how to deal with griefers, file an abuse report or a DMCA. I have depended on Torley's videos throughout my own Second Life, but I can only wish that this one had been available a long time ago. Still, I see this as genuine, sterling progress.