Second Life Financials/Future, VLENZ No 164, March 08, 2010

SECOND LIFE Financials/future

Second Life still going from

strength to strength …

and Philip Rosedale on the future

Roleplaying - just one of the many attractions of Second Life.

For the doomsayers who keep denigrating Second Life, the latest figures from that world – now  a few weeks old – demonstrate just how  successful  the Lindens  are with their  world created  by their residents.

Of course,  there will always be doomsayers.  Critics, however, are very useful in honing  the product which the Lindens  appear to be always be changing, often to the chagrin of their longtime residents, who are forced to adapt to new technology such as the latest viewer, which  is a little difficult to adapt to, particularly if one is a longtime user.

There are still problems with the world but  compared to yesteryear they are few and far between and most of us have learned to happily – or sometimes unhappily – live with them.

You may have read the latest figures for Second Life but despite the critics – and there are a number – they are worth repeating.

In 2009 the Second Life economy, despite  the hiatus in the world economy,   rose 65 percent  against the previous year to $US567 million while gross resident earnings  recorded  11 percent  growth to $US55 million, mainly through user-created, services, merchandise, and  virtual goods. The latter represented the sum of all US dollars transferred “out” of the Second Life economy by Second Life residents, and into PayPal accounts, and then to real life bank accounts and wallets, and is believed to represent profits (95 percent) above the costs of earning the Second Life dollars within Second Life, but does not include real world costs.

Other highlights for the Second Life economy in 2009, as reported by Linden Labs, were:


The total amount of virtual currency in circulation reached L$6.95 billion, growth of 23 percent over December, 2008.


  • The US Dollar value of $L in circulation totaled $US26.5 million in December, 2009.
  • Sales of User Generated virtual items on Xstreet SL, reached $L1.6 billion or $US6.1 million, growth of 74 percent over 2008.
  • The total US dollar value of all Linden dollars traded on the LindeX™ currency exchange in 2009 reached $US115 million in value, 7 percent  growth over 2008.
  • The total US dollar value of all Linden dollars traded on the Xstreet SL™ currency exchange in 2009 reached $US1.5 million in value, 169 percent growth over 2008.


  • Residents spent 481 million hours in Second Life in 2009, 21 percent growth over 2008.
  • User hours lost to downtime as a portion of total user hours fell 66 percent to a best-ever low of 0.19 percent  for the whole year.
  • Monthly Repeat Logins reached an all-time high of 769,000 in December 2009, 15 percent growth over December, 2008.


  • Resident-owned regions reached 23,900 in December 2009, up 6 percent over December, 2008.
  • Total Resident-owned land (including Mainland) reached 1.85 billion square meters in December 2009, up 7 percent over December 2008.

Gross Resident Earnings figures:

  • The Small Business segment  represented 47 percent – the largest proportion – of the total dollar value of earnings.
  • More than 50 accounts earned more than $US100,000 each.
  • The top 25 accounts, as a group, earned about $US12 million.
  • Roughly 98 percent of the Gross Resident Earnings ($US55 million) in 2009 were from accounts with recent activity,  suggesting that the majority of Gross Resident Earnings in 2009 were from active, current Residents, not from the liquidation of in world assets.

And the future as seen by Philip Rosedale…

51 minutes


The SLENZ Update – No 96, June 9, 2009


Another university launches distance

education campus in Second Life

Distance degree programmes are a key part of  Washington State University (WSU) decision to  establish a a new campus in Second Life.

The new campus has been designed by staff and students who work for  the university’s Center for Distance and Professional Education (CDPE) and contains many features from the physical Pullman, Washington, USA, campus.

CillayDavidIt will be used to enhance some existing distance degree programs delivered in the US and around the world, according to CDPE associate dean and director of instructional development and technology Dr David Cillay (pictured), noting that hundreds of  universities around the world, including Princeton, Harvard and Stanford, are already  running programmes in Second Life.

“We’re implementing the land grant mission of the university in ways that were unimaginable to the founders of this institution,” Cillay said. “Thousands of far off students are getting their diploma through our distance degree program. Creating our campus in Second Life was just another way of opening up access to Washington State University.”

Brett Atwood, an assistant professor at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, plans to use the Second Life campus in both journalism and PR courses as soon as fall 2009. Atwood has worked directly with Linden Lab, maker of Second Life, as a Web content strategist.

In April this year, he invited Linden Lab® chairman and Second Life founder Philip Rosedale to WSU as a keynote speaker for the Virtual Journalism Summit (see video below), when a preview was offered of the new campus.

Atwood is planning a follow-up event in Second Life for 2010 with new Murrow College dean Dr Lawrence Pintak, who has used Second Life for a “virtual newsroom” project at the American University in Cairo.

Jitesh H. Panchal, an assistant professor with The School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, will also use Second Life to supplement his lectures from September.

The SLENZ Update – No 32, December 05, 2008

Why build a virtual world…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

I’m always looking for some way to explain Second Life and my feelings about it to real world people. Well  Philip Rosedale (SL: Philip Linden) founder of Second Life has done just that in one of his more accessible speeches for everyman and woman. He details just why he built the world, its underpinnings in human creativity, and where he thinks it is going. With questions the TED speech is 28 minutes but  quite an inspirational 28 minutes and well worth sharing with both Second Life neophytes and people who might know nothing about outer space a la Linden Lab.