Monday, November 8, 2010

InWorldz, Trust, Future and HG?

It's been a pretty interesting week I will admit. Ok, interesting month... oh well heck, interesting year! I finally got to sit down and while I tend to do the books every month *coughs*exceptseptemberoctoberbooks*coughs*, I did some neat graphs for our residents to see, and then I have some general rambling about our future and something I'm sick of hearing about.

Let's start off with the first graph which is our 3rd quarter general snapshot. This covers July, August and Sept, until the 20th, as that's our books cut off date.

Now, as I posted in another blog, one of the interesting facts of this chart that we don't individually represent is our currency, I'z, purchases:

  • July I'z sold: 2,065,000
  • August I'z sold: 4,331,750
  • September I'z sold: 6,384,250
I stated that things were doubling darn near in the terms of currency purchases, which is what those numbers show. What's more interesting is to combine those numbers with the October, 2010 cashout chart I did:

Our numbers for October:

  • I'z purchased: 12,906,500
  • I'z sold: 8,864,500
 Which means, once again, from Sept to Oct, our I'z purchases doubled again (although do realize our graph for Cash outs ends Oct. 31). This also means our economy is healthy and growing. We have some pretty happy merchants as well, as we cashed out over $17k during the month of October.

There's another fun fact buried in all this, which is not of released numbers in all actuality, but that we're about 10k shy of handling 6 figures a month in transactions. That's a pretty big leap from a year ago... er, well from 6 months ago... 3 months ago?! I think that says alot for the trust levels from our residents, and that we're not a fly by night operation.

Downside of all this? We're in the holiday season, and already our provider is teasing me on the phone with my knowing our market trend too well. We were originally picking up almost 2 servers a week to meet our growth demands, right now, one a week. I warned them this would happen  :) The other half of this is people are waiting on me to finish the Region Xchange (which yes, I am working on! Don't bludgeon me with potatoes!), and pick up our spare regions not making money.

Today, we had alot of fun over on Treet.TV with Saffia Widdershins and Elrik Merlin. They are really great people, and who doesn't like the UK accent, seriously?! Either the UK or the Aussie accents, I'm telling ya! Apparently Tranq picked up some fans in the interview (No, Conie, I'm not referring you... or am I?! mwahahaha), and we had a lot of fun discussing InWorldz with them. Big big thanks to Julia Hathor for letting us swipe her region, and to Johnny Night, and to Zauber Paracelsus and to Jeri Rahja! You guys are the best! The video should be released tomorrow and we'll be sure to do an embed on it for everyone to see who missed it!

On to the thing that I'm quite tired of hearing about: HyperGrid. Yup, I said it, I'm sick of hearing it. I'm tired of armchair referees who don't run their own grid, who don't understand all the nuances of IP protection, squawking at the tops of their lungs that we won't connect to the HyperGrid. There, now I've REALLY said it. I don't think I can make it much clearer than that. I'm sick of hearing about it. We're not doing it. Not anytime soon. I'm tired of hearing we're going to "control" code if we ever get to that point. I'm sick of hearing how our residents are "missing out". If our residents were missing out, be assured, they would tell us. They would scream, yell, throw things at us, and otherwise make their opinions known.

In fact, we recently encouraged our residents to take part of a poll by HyperGridBusiness, and I can tell you for most part, what our residents voted for that they missed: Vehicles, Online Marketplace, and Search. Notice, I do not mention HyperGrid.

I remember, way back when (wow talk about dating myself here!), how the internet would be made up of nothing but self-hosted websites. Guess what? It's not. Why? Well, it's simple really. Security. That's what web hosts provide to the normal average cookie. Same concept. And I'm applying the internet analogy here, because I keep hearing how HG is the next wave of the internet. Do I think that's wrong? Nah. I do see a great potential for the HG concept. Just not it's implementation as it stands. Because, like the internet, there will be hosts and providers. Companies, just like InWorldz, who will be there to step in for the security issues, to handle them correctly. A fall back for IP protection, where you can legitimately file a DMCA and have the content removed.

Now, I am totally aware I just probably irritated a whole lot of people. I'm not going to lose sleep over it. Sorry. InWorldz has it's own path and growth we're going to follow. And when the time comes that our residents say to us "Hey guys, we'd like to go from grid to grid", then we'll step up to that plate. Until that time, all those who want to scream that we're not HG connected... Allow me to introduce you to the concept of Social Networking, then point out the real HyperGrid numbers. When you put the two together, they don't add up.

This is probably one of my more brutally honest blogs, because, let's face it, I'm human. Yes, really, I don't run on cogs and such, nor do I have caffeine coursing through my veins or anything else. I'm human. And I get tired of hearing the detractors scream at us for this or that. So I need to vent once in a while. I think I've successfully done that!

So, to my lovely readers, thank you for letting me get that out in the open.... See ya InWorldz!


  1. "Armchair referees", perfect image. I know who you're talking about and where the latest fracas happened -- but since you didn't link to it, neither will I. ;)

    Meanwhile... The best viewer to use in InWorldz -- Imprudence -- made that announcement about "Kokua Sim". In essence, it's another fork of OpenSim being taken in an independent direction, like InWorldz was. The way I read it, they're working on simplifying configuration and startup, which is a huge problem with OS for the less geeky user, and it will be hypergrid-capable.

    Once Kokua is out in the world, I envision something like this: If you want to go hypergrid-hopping, fire up the standalone Kokua sim that lives in your hard drive (or on a USB stick, which is the other Big Thing lately), log in to it, and go!

    That's what I'm going to do... meanwhile, my virtual home and business are in InWorldz to stay.

  2. Who needs hypergrid? If I want to grid-hop, I'll just sign up an account or use an existing one. That way, I don't have to worry about hypergrid FUBAR'ing my inventory/avatar/region. I'm still a little bitter about how Hypergrid screwed up my region on OSGrid and made it impossible to do OAR backups.

  3. Yeah Lalo, I didn't think the person merited being linked to honestly.

    The Sim on a Stick is a very cool implementation, I will def agree on that. What's interesting is there are now 3 forks of OpenSim out there, including InWorldz. So if everything was so peachy and honky dory in OS land, there wouldn't be that many forks. Makes one wonder doesn't it?

  4. Well stated Ele! I have a feeling you will find many more supporters of your stance on this than not within the InWorldz community. We are part of this because of these types of views that you have for protecting the security of your customers and daring to take a stand and do what you know to be the proper thing for your business, which in turn is the right thing for your customers. Glad you got to rant..... we all need that from time to time ;)You have my support.

  5. It's like a silverware drawer: different forks for different uses.

    InWorldz is definitely my dinner fork, and Kokua will be for the tossed salad of hypergrid.

  6. @Zaub - Awwww yeah I remember hearing about that.

    @Ayla - Thanks Ayla... It's really vastly important to us to make sure our residents and merchants are covered so they can do what they enjoy doing: create. Without them, nothing would be able to be bought or sold.

    @Lalo - Definitely, as I've said a couple times this week already. It's all about the MetaVerse and what each resident WANTS to do. The grids will shape up on their own, and they will do what they feel best for their customer base. I certainly don't disparage them for listening to their users.

  7. *bakes Ele some chocolate cogs*
    You can run on those, mkay.

  8. Oooo Noms!! Now I can be dated AND pimpley! What more could a girl ask for? :)

  9. Ele, your dream is alive and well and to hell with whomever criticizes it for not being Hypergrid-enabled. I'd love to know who made the fuss because I'd go tell them the same thing.


  10. If I wanted to be on those grids, I would have signed up for them and I would be an active member of those grids. So why have I chosen Inworldz?

    Read Ele's blog one more time!

    They are honest, simply put. Every time another grid challenges them, they come forth and prove that I made the right leap.

    Do I want, or need hypergrid? Absolutely not, I would not want my creations spread all over the grids without being able to protect them. Would tp to different grids be cool, yep. When the time is right and security is better it would be awesome to grid hop on one account. Until the day comes that the IWZ founders think it is safe, I am not the least bit hurt over the matter.

    What I think is people need to stop giving IW so much hell and sit down with their popcorn long enough for them to do their job. My bet is, they will be standing after a few others wont be. In other words...come back and read this 3 years from now. :)

  11. I think it's the green eyed monster, Ele, that gets you so much stick....jealousy.
    As soon as you start to do something well, there are always 50 experts out there who know how to do it better.

    I think of HG sims as somewhere I will hop around on, but, I wouldn't go there with my pockets full of cash and credit cards...those I'll leave somewhere safe, like my beautiful sim in Iwz.

    It's well to remember at times that YOU know best and that the fools often have loud voices.

  12. The biggest complaint that I've heard from Hypergrid advocates is "Oh but I don't wannna start out a Noobie!!" For me that half the fun. A fresh start. A chance to reinvent myself or if I choose make an extension. Something to help keep in mind that these are individual worlds run on individual servers and individual companies and therefore what works in one won't necessarily work in another. Besides, can you imagine the havoc caused by someone firing a scripted object that works fine in one world but crashes things in another?

  13. Ahhh, to those of you who discovered the link via the twitter, thank you! And to all of you, here or in the grid, you rock *sends mental big hugs everywhere* Gotta avoid the virtual cooties after all ;)

  14. Elenia, Twitter? Nope don't use it. Got you Bookmarked in my Firefox bookmarks. More durable that way. (chuckle)

  15. I once decided to make my own tacos. So I went to the store and bought lettuce, cheese, meat, tomatoes, taco shells, refried beans and sauce. By the time I was done I'd spent about $15 for ten tacos. Lot of prep time too.

    Or...I could have just gone and bought some tacos for $3 to $4 and chowed down.

    The main reason people want Hypergrid is because of cost. They can host it on their own computer, so it's cheap. But often we fail to consider the actual costs in electricity, equipment, security and time spent managing the backend. Running your own sim 24 hours a day on your own computer will shorten the life of that computer significantly. Electricity for a 24/7/365 system is not cheap.

    Now, on Inworldz, if 4 people join together on a sim, it costs them less than $20 each. They get 20,000 prims for that 1/4 sim. They don't have the headaches of back-end management. It's starting to get to the point it's cheaper to rent a host than do it yourself. The Taco Syndrome.

    HyperGrid is chuck full of security, hacking and theft issues. And my question is WHY? On Inworldz right now, I can visit any of 650 sims. Why at all would I need to visit anywhere else? What, I need more variety? There are currently more sims on Second Life than any person could logically visit in a lifetime. Inworldz will soon be to that point (give 'em a year). : )

    So Hypergrid? Nice dream, but why? That's always been my question. The ONLY reasons people have migrated away from Second Life is because of abusive company attitude and excessive costs. If not for that, why would anyone have needed anything else? We now have Inworldz because Linden Lab is a clueless box of rocks. Inworldz is doing things right... so why do I have any need at all to take my avatar off-grid and explore elsewhere, when I don't even have time to explore what is already available on Inworldz?

    Okay, maybe I have narrow-vision on this and maybe I don't see the big picture. Or-- maybe at this time in history-- folks like me and Elenia and the other commenters here DO see the big picture... that there is currently little actual need for hypergrid. That doesn't mean there won't be in the future; it simply means that right now we're trying to build the foundation of our home; not the time to be vacationing abroad. ; )

  16. Follow up... major growth there Elenia. That growth is echoed by Elf Clan's growth. On Second Life we actually dropped from eight sims to two... and are getting ready to drop to one.

    But on Inworldz? Our builds are far more beautiful than anything we have ever achieved on Second Life. In 6 months we have grown to fourteen sims and actually have our own Fantasy Continent (and we're still growing). I honestly never thought I'd see the day, but our group growth reflects that of Inworldz.

    So the naysayers and complainers can grouse all they want... it's obvious to me you folks are doing something right. : )

  17. One of the persistent questions I hear when I am cheer leading the move to InWorldz is scalability.

    Elenia, would you throw some geek at us and explain to the techies in the crowd how InWorldz will be able to scale if it becomes very popular.

    A couple hundred residents online should soon become a couple thousands.

  18. Hey Allod, yeah scalability is probably a huge huge consideration when one looks at all the VW's out there. One of the very first things Tranq worked on, was the assets, as the old system was not outward scalable (or horizontal I should refer to it as). It was completely a vertical scale which in time would become just kludgy. So the current assets system, is designed completely with scalability in mind. Every time we need to scale our system, it's incredibly easy for us to do so. It's already scaled once, and there's been no detrimental effects from it.

    When we look at any complete overhaul of the code, we look at the scaling factor. Without getting too into what we've done, our database system has been reworked as well to make sure it's scalable (although it's more limited than the assets system) and will need further examining at a later date. Our log in system, will need further expansion and scaling put into it, along with alot of other things.

    I think that's one of the other biggest issues I see when it comes to why we aren't HG compatible. There are entire modules of code we're rewriting or totally gutting, but to be HG compatible, we'd have to stop our development process. Unfortunately, if we do that, we'll also put a stop to our growth as well.

    The scaling isn't perfect yet... Note the keyword yet there ;) But it's always forefront of everything we tackle.