Sailing with Toshiba!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007 Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Normally you'd go channel surfing with your Toshiba, but tonight I ended up doing some sailing instead.

In my ongoing obsession with RL companies entering Second Life, I was doing some searches to examine the traffic counts of various RL companies. (For those of you who don't know, the "Traffic Count" of a land parcel indicates, more or less, the number of minutes avatars spent on the parcel during the previous day.) I was hoping to learn something about the popularity of various company islands.

As usual, the traffic counts are completely dismal for most corporate islands. Here's a sample of today's numbers: Reebok, 1641; Microsoft Visual Studio, 974; Dell Factory, 333; Toyota, 202; Coke Virtual Pavilion, 98; Amazon Developer, 32. Today even I had 444, which is more than Toyota, Coke and Amazon combined!

Among the worst traffic I found in my quick survey was at Toshiba, who have a poorly promoted island. The traffic at Toshiba Image Festival was only 66 at the time of this writing. However, I found Toshiba to be somewhat interesting.

While you arrive at a tall tower, the highlight of your visit will be on a gigantic ocean-going sailing ship that is for some reason floating high in the air. I estimate its length at around 150m, but it's actually quite a bit longer due to the tusk-like extensions on the bow. You can tell its floating because you can see rotating spotlights coming out of the bottom of the hull. On deck are several interesting submarines, but they don't seem to be operable. Well, I sat on top of one, but that was fun for about two seconds only.

The ship build is magnificent, and clearly a massive number of prims have been consumed by the detailed features. For example, the very complete rigging that goes up the 100m main mast seems to be actually made of individual prims. The submarines have elaborate landing gear, complete with shock absorbers. Large, semi-translucent curving sails extend over the main deck.

Below deck is where the action is. At first glance it appears to be some kind of cubicle farm, but in fact it's a large number of video viewing stations. Unfortunately, no one was viewing anything. I'm not precisely sure what's going on here since most of the signage is in Japanese.

Outside the magnificent ship were a menagerie of animalistic escorts, including animated seagulls, dolphins, and of course flying pink elephants. What? Yes, with animated wings, too. This is all wonderful, but could someone explain what it's for? In english?

You can visit Toshiba right here:


Tateru Nino said...

Just a small correction - the traffic figure doesn't have a direct correlation to the number of minutes. Three people spending N minutes on a parcel will generate quite different results depending on who the three people are and what else they are spending their time doing during the day.

That is, as the traffic system is currently implemented.

29Blogs said...

I agree - the traffic formula is a kind of virtual mystery. I've read many different claims from those who figure they know how it works, but probably only Linden Labs knows (or maybe not!)

In any case, a traffic figure of 62 no doubt means the place is basically empty compared to another having 1000 traffic - regardless of how it's calculated.

Tateru Nino said...

Well, Linden Lab have explained it at length. It's _complex_ and it suits a specific purpose very well. What it's not actually any good for is telling how much real traffic you had.

It's more about aggregating percentage of daily attention of users for a piece of land, relative to other pieces of land.

It's possible that 67 got _more_ traffic than 1000 - or that the same traffic the next day will give you a different figure. It depends on what the people do throughout the 24 hour day more than it depends on the time they spend on your land.

29Blogs said...

I stand corrected, Tateru! There obviously is more to the traffic number than I had heard. Do you have a link to a description of the formula? I'd love to understand it better than I do now.

Meanwhile, all I know is that those places with traffic of 52,000 always seem to be busy - but usually with camping zombies!

Calculating traffic and the value of it is clearly a difficult matter. I was thinking about this the other day when looking at traffic numbers for different stores. My store has an open design where it's easy to find things quickly and then leave. Other stores have more complex (confusing) layouts that cause visitors to take longer to find what they want. So which is better? What would the traffic numbers say? And would they be at all useful? Other parcels involve immersive experiences that require long visits to complete get value. The value of a visit is not necessarily proportional to the duration of a visit.

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