Diplomacy Island is the next step in over a decade of research and development in the field of Virtual Diplomacy. Through Second Life, Diplo will explore new possibilities for diplomatic representation and interaction. Diplomacy Island will also be another channel for Diplo’s main mission of assisting small and developing countries in participating meaningfully in international relations. At the Island, Diplo will also promote development issues among Second Life citizens.
What is Second Life?
Second Life ( SL) is an Internet-based virtual world which has substantially developed over the past year. More than five million users worldwide have registered to become part of this virtual world developed by Linden Lab.
The users, or Residents, interact with each other through mobile avatars, providing an advanced level of social network services. They can explore, meet other Residents, socialise, participate in educational and social activities both individually and in groups, and create and trade virtual property and services with one another.
The stated goal of Linden Lab was to create a world like the Metaverse described by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash. The Residents define Second Life – they create a world in which to communicate, interact, play and do business.
Second Life’s virtual currency is the Linden Dollar (Linden, or L$) and is exchangeable for US Dollars in the marketplace operated by/driven by residents, Linden Lab and real life companies.
More than 60 universities have established campuses in Second Life, alongsidemany companies and media houses. Some of these are Aarhus Business College of Denmark, Harvard University, Leeds Metropolitan University, New York University, Newcastle University, Sheffield Hallam University, Stanford University, the University of Edinburgh and Virginia Tech.
How to find us in Second Life
Your computer must meet these REQUIREMENTS or you may not be able to successfully participate in Second Life.
Address of Diplomacy Island in Second Life:
- from the Net: Diplomacy Island
- our SL “latitude/longitude” (if you are in SL) is: 150,191,26
Second Life Official Blog
Introducing Second Life Enterprise, Now in Beta, and Second Life Work Marketplace
Over the last few years, the number one request and core business requirement of many of our enterprise and government customers has been the need for a behind-the-firewall Second Life solution. The extra layers of security and administrative control in a stand-alone product would allow these organizations to explore virtual work as a powerful and effective collaboration and communication tool—if it was available. We listened. Last year, Mark Kingdon (SL: M Linden), Linden Lab’s CEO, announced that we were working on a behind-the-firewall solution in response to customer needs.
Ready for Work
Today, we’re excited to announce the beta launch of Second Life Enterprise, formerly known by our internal code name “Nebraska” and now known as SL Enterprise. SL Enterprise is the most secure, content-rich, and flexible enterprise-ready virtual workplace solution available today, built on the world's leading 3D virtual world technology platform--Second Life. The SL Enterprise solution enables large organizations to bring distributed colleagues together into a persistent branded immersive space to collaborate, meet, learn, and prototype new offerings, while cutting travel costs and working greener. Customers including IBM, Intel, Case Western Reserve, New Media Consortium, DefenseWeb Technologies, Northrop Grumman, the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, and many others, are maintaining and growing their presence in Second Life while also working in the SL Enterprise environment for certain uses that require higher levels of security and control.
Ok, let’s talk nuts and bolts for a minute. The solution itself runs 8 regions simultaneously while storing over 25 additional regions that you can take up and down in a flash. With 8 regions, the system can support a maximum of 800 avatars. From a user perspective, SL Enterprise feels exactly like Second Life with all of the benefits including a 3D rich immersive environment, spatial voice, text chat, and the LSL building environment. But, you can use real names and connect those users directly to your network directory. Oh, and let me croon about the control panel where administrators use a web-based dashboard to manage users, regions, content, and systems—complete with backup and recovery, LDAP integration, and bulk account creation. The solution comes standard with 7 pre-built regions and 10 multi-cultural SL Work avatars with business attire and accessories included.
Deck Out your Workspace with Content
What about content, you ask? Great question. There are three ways to create or bring new content into the SL Enterprise environment. First, the solution has the same rich LSL building tools as Second Life so creating new content within the solution is easy. Second, if you own the intellectual property rights in content you created in Second Life, then you can transfer that content into the SL Enterprise environment. Now, you’ll need to affirm your IP ownership prior to moving any content—you must identify the Second Life names of your employees who created content for you, and if you wish to transfer any content created by a Resident who is not your employee, you must provide Linden Lab with a signed written permission from that Resident content creator. (So for SL merchants, those who purchased your content within Second Life cannot move it to the SL Enterprise environment without your express written permission. But, keep reading because there’s a business opportunity for you….)
Coming Soon! The SL Work Marketplace
And, there’s a third option that we’re very excited about. Today, we’re also announcing the Second Life Work Marketplace, set to launch in Q1 2010. The SL Work Marketplace will be the first virtual world application and solution marketplace in the world. It will allow large organizations to download entire regions of collaboration tools, meeting and event solutions, training solutions, work avatars, business-oriented environments, and much more, into their stand alone SL Enterprise environment and make enterprise-wide use of that content under an organizational site license. For Solution Providers and content creators, this opens up a whole new market for work-related content. Initially, we’re only accepting content from Gold Solution Providers and Recommended Application Providers, but we will open up the application process to a broader audience soon.
One other important thing to note: The Enterprise Team is not just working on SL Enterprise and the SL Work Marketplace. We’re also hard at work making improvements to the main Second Life environment—to make it easier to use and useful for organizations using Second Life today and for those that will be joining in the future. We’ll have more to share on some of those improvements in the coming months.
In the meantime, you probably have a million questions and we look forward to answering them in future blog posts and in our upcoming office hours (days and times posted to the left). But, before you dive in, I wanted to share some materials that will hopefully anticipate a few.
Pricing begins at $55,000 USD. If you’re interested in learning more about SL Enterprise, then contact us and let’s explore how the solution can dramatically improve your internal collaboration and communication and decrease your travel costs.
Please join us in discussing SL Enterprise!
The Second Life Economy - Third Quarter 2009 in Detail
Second Life economy hits major milestones in Q3: 1 Billion Total User Hours, 1 Billion in User-to-User transactions
In Q3 2009, The Second Life economy reached a significant milestone marking the continued success of Second Life. See the release here.
Second Life Residents enjoyed strong economic growth in Q3, despite the ongoing impact of the Bot policy on total user hours and concurrency.
Highlights of Q3 include:
As predicted last Quarter, total user hours and peak concurrency dropped compared to last quarter as a result of the new policies banning bots.
This Quarter, the spotlight section focuses on international usage of Second Life, highlighting the top countries for user hours and User-to-User Transactions.
Let’s take a look at the trends and data for Q3 2009, starting with User-to-User transactions.
User-to-User Transactions peak at 150M, up 54% from Q32008 - The total of all transactions in Second Life reached a new high in the quarter. The sum of all of the transactions in the Second Life economy equaled a total of USD 150 million dollars in Q3 2009. This is 4% growth over the previous quarter and 54% over the same quarter one year ago.
Trading Activity on the LindeX – The volume of exchange on the LindeX, the marketplace for Linden dollars (L$), the Second Life virtual currency, reached USD 29 million in Q3 2009. This is flat compared to the previous quarter and 3% growth over the same quarter a year ago.
Total Xstreet sales reach a new all time high in Q3 2009 – In its third quarter under the Linden Lab banner, XStreet, the web marketplace for Second Life virtual goods, had gross sales of 420M L$, or approximately USD 1.6 million.
This represents 13% growth over the previous quarter and 72% growth over the same quarter one year ago. XStreet remains small by comparison with Second Life overall, at approximately 1% of the USD 150 million Second Life economy in Q3 2009.
User hours reached 118 Million in Q2 2009 – As predicted in the Q2 2009 Economy Blog Post, User Hours declined in Q3 when compared to Q2 2009. This is due to Q3 having three months reflecting a reduction in the number of hours contributed by bots compared to one month in Q2. See the chart below (User Hours by Usage Band) and the SPOTLIGHT of the Q2 2009 Economy Blog post for an explanation of this dynamic.
The Q3 figures show a 6% decline when compared to Q2 2009, and a 15% increase when compared to Q3 2008, and this is directly in line with our forecast for user hours in Q3.
Bot Policies continue to have an impact on user hours – In Q3 2009, the user hours by usage bands showed some summer seasonality. The 300+ hours per month usage band continuing to decline with the enforcement of the policies around the usage of scripted agents, aka Bots. We continue to invest in our ability to track and identify bots, including the ability to set the status of a self-identified scripted agent.
Second Life Residents use 3.1 billion voice minutes in Q3 2009 – Total Voice Minutes grew 27% compared to Q3 2008 and declined 1% compared to Q2 2009. This metric measures all VoIP traffic across all types of voice sessions – Resident-to-Resident calls, group voice chats, and local voice.
Voice minutes remaining flat despite the fewer overall user hours is a function of the ongoing impact of Bots on user hours, which do not show up in the Voice minutes, as Bots generally do not use voice.
Monthly Unique Residents with repeat logins reaches 750K in September – In September 2009, Monthly repeat logins peaked at 750,446. Year to year, September 2009 repeat logins grew 23% from September 2008 repeat logins and are slightly down from the peak of 752K set in May of 2009 before the Bot policy went into effect.
While the number of total unique logins (including users who log in to Second Life only once in a given month) is much higher, we use repeat logins (which captures all unique users with more than one login in a given month) as a metric to track the number of users who are engaged with Second Life.
Peak Concurrent Users hit 77,367 in Q3 – Within the quarter, peak concurrency was steady around the 77K mark. This decline in peak is a function of the new Bot policy. Median concurrency for Q3 2009 was 54K, compared to 61K in Q2 2009.
SPOTLIGHT: International usage of Second Life indicates global nature of the Second Life Economy – This quarter’s spotlight explores International. By every measure, it’s clear that Second Life is a global phenomenon and that our efforts to invest in the experience for international Residents is paying off. Let’s start with the basics – the below chart summarizes the mix between the US and International in Q3 across a variety of metrics.
US Residents account for largest portion of Economy in Q3 – Residents from the US accounted for 37% of User- to- User Transaction volume on a dollar basis, with Italy, Germany, France, the UK, and Japan rounding out the top 5.
Germany, UK, France, Brazil account for 25% of user hours in Q3– Turning to usage, Residents from the US generated 41% of the total user hours in Q3, followed by Germany, the UK, France and Brazil. Note that these numbers are inclusive of Bot activity.
For additional countries, see a complete listing of the countries with their user hours and User-to-User transactions here.
Continued Stability supports the in-world economy – Our work on scalability and stability continued in Q3 2009 (see Updates from the Grid and Grid Monitoring and Support). In Q3, total downtime as a percentage of total user hours was 0.15%, our smallest percentage of downtime ever. This was better than Q2 2009 (at 0.24%) and our previous best in Q1 2009 at 0.21%.
We measure total user hours lost to downtime (planned and unplanned) as a percentage of total user hours as a gauge of stability as well as a factor in the growth of the economy. Because this metric includes planned and unplanned downtime, it is key to understanding the total user hours that are available for economic activity in Second Life.
We use this metric because a outage on Sunday at noon when concurrency is at its peak does not have the same impact on the economy as an outage Tuesday night at midnight when concurrency is at its lowest. For those Residents seeking a measure of system uptime independent of the total number of user hours or user hours lost to outages, the system uptime in Q3 was 99.85%.
Resident-owned land expands to reach 1.8B square meters – In Q3 2009 Resident-owned land increased to reach a total of 1.808 billion square meters. This is 3% growth over Q1 2009 and 6% decline over the same quarter one year ago.
The year-to-year comparison is unfavorable as September and October of 2008 were the high water mark of the explosion in Islands due to the introduction of Open Spaces in June 2008.
Homesteads and Full Regions increase in Q3 – Total Private Regions (Islands) owned by Residents reached 23,566 by the end of Q3 2009. This represents an increase of 3% over the previous quarter end in June of 2009. In Q3, the number of Homesteads grew 6%, the number of Full regions grew 1%, and the number of Open Spaces declined 6%.
A solid Q3 for Residents and for Linden Lab – Overall, it was a solid quarter for Linden Lab and the Second Life economy. Though fewer Bots continue to affect the trajectory of user hour and login growth, user-to-user transactions, voice minutes, and private regions continue to highlight the resilience of the Second Life economy.
Thank you – We owe a thank you to all Second Life Residents – the merchants, creators, builders, educators, enterprises, businesses, estate owners, and others – who helped us reach the 1 Billion User Hours and the 1 Billion in user-to-user transactions.
Please join me in discussing the Q3 2009 results.
Third Party Viewer Policy
Linden Lab supports an open platform with opportunity for all. The flexibility of the content creation tools and open viewer allow for great creativity and innovation, but that openness also carries a responsibility for those developing on our platform and those using third party tools with our platform.
In our recent blog post Our Content Management Roadmap we addressed the responsibility Residents have to respect the intellectual property rights of others inside or outside of Second Life, and we urged developers of third party copying tools to adopt standard industry practices that protect intellectual property. Similarly, developers of third party Second Life viewers must act responsibly in how they develop and distribute their viewers. We are currently working on revisions to our policies regarding the use and management of third party viewers. To support those policy revisions, we will be implementing tools and programs to help us protect our Residents and their content, and enable them to have better, more predictable Second Life experiences.
There are currently many third parties who create and distribute viewers. Most of these viewers are useful because they are innovative and many enable a more customized Second Life experience for those who use them; however, it appears that some of those third party viewers also contain functionality that is being used to copy content without the right to do so, facilitate griefing, enable phishing, collect user data without clear disclosure of such practices, and distribute software that contains harmful elements. When our revised policy goes into effect, any viewer containing functionality that can be used to impede our efforts to manage Second Life will not be tolerated. We will collaborate with developers to work towards a clear set of expectations and guidelines; however, we will also, if necessary, take action against those who actively seek to disrupt our service or violate our Terms of Service.
What will Linden Lab do?
We will create new guidelines and policies outlining the standards that third party viewers must meet in order to connect to our platform, as well as tools and programs to help the developers of third party viewers and the wider community learn about and comply with those guideline. One of the tools will be a "viewer registry" that will allow developers to list their viewer in a third party viewer directory maintained by Linden Lab, identify the features of their viewer, and represent to the Second Life community that it complies with Linden Lab's guidelines for third party viewers. Over the next few weeks we will be holding a series of 'brown bag' meetings designed as working groups to help us with these challenging issues. In addition we will have a forum for feedback to help all of us make good choices going forward.
We're sure we will get many great ideas, more probably than we are able to implement, and we may not be able to use them all right away, but we will evaluate and incorporate Resident input. Please participate and make your voice heard! Watch this blog for more information on how you can get involved.
Hey all, as stated in the original post, we support an open platform. We've been receiving feedback from many in the development community that have interpreted yesterday's post as an attempt to ban all 3rd Party Viewers from Second Life, but this is not the case. We wish to take proactive steps in providing protection to Residents who are using 3rd Party Viewers (and their content). As a part of creating these new tools and protocols, we will explain the standards that third party viewers must meet in order to connect to our platform. We will also provide a registry which will list the viewers that we have verified as complying with predetermined guidelines. All Residents will have access to this list and will be given the opportunity to decide which viewer they prefer to access Second Life.
As for what is on that approval list, we have some ideas but we are looking to you to for further guidance. What functionality works for you and why? What DON'T you want to see? Let us know! That is the purpose of this conversation - we want to be sure that when we do finalize this policy and the criteria for reviewing third party viewers, we do so with a clear understanding of the importance specific functions have to your experiences. In the post, and in emails to developers, we offered a few examples of the types of functionality that might make sense to be included in the criteria, but nothing is set in stone at this point unless it actively violates our current Terms of Service.
Long live the wiki!
It's official: Our Knowledge Base (KB) has been moved to the Second Life Wiki! Now that our massive migration is complete, we can offer several tremendous, hands-on benefits to improve your knowledge-seeking and knowledge-sharing experience, including:
And now for some WIKI TRIVIA, courtesy of Torley. Some of the most popular Wiki pages OF ALL TIME are Resident-contributed compilations, such as:
Much love goes out to the KB2Wiki team and our volunteer reviewers throughout the Wiki pilot and the final migration process! Now, go forth and get Wiki!