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Reader Comments (20)

Posted: Apr 17th 2009 3:35PM (Unverified) said

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I'm shocked! Euphemistic, undefined words, and numbers without real meaning!

But it's great they're (partially) trying transparency. The marketing spin is ever-present, but they do seem to be better than most.

Those damned lies and statistics are addicting, though, and the graphs are pretty.

Posted: Apr 17th 2009 3:38PM (Unverified) said

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Oh, they're very pretty. I'm just inundated by reader requests to explain what each thing means and indicates - and I simply don't have the key information at the present time to decipher much of it.
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Posted: Apr 17th 2009 3:44PM (Unverified) said

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Absolutely, thanx for trying. LL proudly purports transparency in their stats; it's good you are gently attempting to hold them to that goal.
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Posted: Apr 17th 2009 7:57PM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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And we still don't know how many of the 88,000 are camping bots.

Posted: Apr 17th 2009 10:24PM (Unverified) said

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This is the height of hypocrisy. You demand that Linden Lab give elaborate definitions for terms which are fairly clear, thereby casting doubts on a real company, with real consequences. Meanwhile, you sit behind your curtain, calling yourself "Tateru Nino," smug in the knowledge that you can hide the definition of who *you* are without consequence. Who are you, Tateru Nino? And why should we trust anything you write? For all I know, you're working for a competitor to Linden Lab.

Sincerely,

Dr. T. Troy McConaghy
Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
(This should be sufficient information for you to find out exactly who I am.)

Posted: Apr 18th 2009 12:50AM (Unverified) said

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Interesting. I don't think it's unreasonable that the data given should be both meaningful and clearly indicative.

For example, monthly repeat logins increases as the viewer and sim crash-rate rises - unless there's corrections in the data for that. If there aren't, the graph may be telling the wrong story.

A lot of this is data that is easily misunderstood or misinterpreted. As I mention above, the Lab's told us that 'downtime' isn't downtime the conventional usage of the term - but hasn't told us what it actually *is* that they're measuring. So when I see a graph of downtime, what am I looking at?

Oh, and no. You should never just trust what anyone writes without question, especially in an opinion piece. Why should you? You should use your own brain and reason to come to your own conclusions rather than presuming my (or anyone else's) opinions to necessarily be fact. It's just silly otherwise.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 1:00AM (Unverified) said

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Being snarky and rude hardly qualifies you as being either an expert or an authority ... take your meds and lighten up.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 3:09AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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For a person who "claims" to be researching how this computer game can be used in education and science.. and claiming to be a scientist I am surprised, very surprised that you would accept baseless and undefined figures with no frame of reference.

I need to ask you Sir, if this was a thesis a student handed in to his university lecturer would it be acceptable?

I would guess that you are new to Linden Lab and to Second Life in general, maybe you still have the rose coloured glasses all newbies have when they trot around the game in their blue jeans, boy next door t-shirt and prim penis.

For the last three years and more Linden Lab have been pulling this smoke and mirror act and Tateru, one of the most respected Second Life journalists has been covering it.

Those who know this game, it's potentials and shortfalls know exactly who Tateru is and respect her writing... you however have no qualifications in the game, heck I doubt you even have an active avatar.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 5:52AM (Unverified) said

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It's okay. Troy's been around SL for a couple of years. I respect his point of view, even if we don't agree. He's thinking for himself, and that's important right? Don't we all wish more people did that?
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 9:09AM (Unverified) said

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Hitler thought for himself...
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Posted: Apr 20th 2009 8:00PM (Unverified) said

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Tateru, another great article. Keep LL's collective feet held to the fire, and keep insisting on accountability for the residents' benefit.

I personally could care less what your birth name is. It would make zero difference in the value of your reporting.

Keep up the great work.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 9:37AM (Unverified) said

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From Wikipedia:

Godwin's Law is an adage formulated by Mike Godwin in 1990. The law states: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1."

~~~

It seems Godwin's Law also applies to blog comments.

I also respect Tateru. She was an SL mentor for a very long time, and maybe still is. My point was merely that she should apply the same standards to herself as she applies to Linden Lab.

I can confirm that I'm still very involved with SL (with SL name Troy McLuhan). You can see a list of my SL projects at my website (which Google can find without trouble).

Sincerely,

Troy McConaghy

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 4:05AM Joystiq Login Bugs SUCK said

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So Troy, are you defending the Lab's figures? Do you think they are accurate and well defined? Do you understand them without questions?

If you can't answer 'yes' to all of these then you are just trolling, having a go at Tateru who I am willing to lay odds knows a metric tonne more about SL than you.

I read some of your work, as I said earlier, you have no cred in SL, you are just a newb with a 7 prim penis who is trying to bignote himself. You are nothing.
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Posted: Apr 18th 2009 3:22PM (Unverified) said

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Monthly Unique Residents with repeat logins does show a historical increase equivalent to the increase in peak concurrency and user hours. A more exact definition would be nice and tell us more but it does tell us now that SL is growing.

I would like to see information on how LL is doing at retaining new accounts. At first glance this statistic would seem to indicate that but really doesn't.

Posted: Apr 18th 2009 12:01PM (Unverified) said

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I'd also like to know why it appears to be identical to monthly *non-unique* repeat logins. I'm going back and forth with the Lab about the figures, and probably will be through the next week or two.
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Posted: Apr 19th 2009 9:06AM (Unverified) said

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As someone with a mathematical background, yes, I want to have clear definitions of all terms used in the statistical reports, and I applaud Tateru for pressuring Linden Lab to give them.

For the same reason, I ask for a clear definition of "Tateru Nino."

I know it's impolite to ask people *inside* SL who they really are. It might even be a violation of the SL Terms of Service. But this Massively blog (an AOL Games property) is outside of SL, nominally equivalent to the New World Notes blog or TechCrunch. Things written on this blog can affect the public perception of Linden Lab, a real company with over 300 employees: real people who bleed when you prick them and who laugh when you tickle them. Shouldn't we expect Massively to have the same standards?

My own activities in SL aren't relevant to this discussion. If you're really that curious, you can join the "Science Center" group in SL - a group which I help manage and promote. The SL Science Center events calendar shows 21 science-related events in SL last week, and I was involved with many of them.

Sincerely,
Troy McConaghy

Posted: Apr 19th 2009 5:06PM (Unverified) said

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OK, I have considerable respect for both Tateru and Troy but I'm with Tateru on this one. The Lab, as I understand it, is under no obligation to release these figures and when it does I should be surprised if it wanted them ignored, especially when they look for the most part surprisingly positive given events elsewhere. Subjecting their data to critical review is a legitimate downstream activity.

I think Troy is paying Tateru a well-deserved compliment in asking for full disclosure but as things stand there is no requirement that she publish under her RL name and I can imagine many different reasons why people blogging under their avatar names might choose to remain pseudonymous. If the Lindens want to clarify matters, they can comment here, on their blog or at the next Metanomics show. The only question I would have is whether Tateru has sought clarification herself.

As for LL employees, I imagine they either develop a thick skin (and it's hard to see Tateru's editorial line as especially negative compared to some other blogs), take it all with a pinch of salt, rejoice that their users/residents care sufficiently to engage in this manner or, I guess, leave. The latter is increasingly an option for their users as well but personally I think the Lab is steering a fairly canny course at present.

Posted: Apr 20th 2009 12:04PM (Unverified) said

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Hmm. See what happens when you step out for a couple days?

Play nice, boys. It's okay.

Troy, I've been talking with the Lab (who know my identity, address, phone number and more pretty darn well) about the definitions since late last week. Getting some results, but it'll take some time for all the back-and-forthing parts to go back and/or forth.

What I'm getting back is interesting, and at least one of the definitions is really quite surprising.

Downtime, for example. I'd never have guessed the definition in use at all. Not if you gave me 20 chances!

More on this when I'm sure I've got it all straight.

Posted: Apr 21st 2009 6:03PM (Unverified) said

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Hi Tateru! Thanks for the grade - I don't think I've ever gotten a C- on anything.

Anyway, feel free to reach out to me for a discussion of the metrics - I can clear up whatever questions you or your readers might have.

T

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Posted: Apr 21st 2009 9:30PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think I've ever had occasion to work out the American letter-grade system before :) I'll definitely be in touch shortly :)
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