Normally I don’t post about Linden Lab publishing their “Key Metrics”. Not only because it generates plenty of coverage and discussion elsewhere, but because I’ve long found some of the metrics lacking… and by “long” I mean well before an under-informed Clay Shirky jumped in and made them sound worse than they were (for reference – reLink). However, Linden Lab is enhancing the data they already provide in what I believe is an important way. From the official Linden Lab blog (Link):
Expanding our metrics from the count of active users over to a hopefully more interesting metric – Number of Hours spent inworld. I think this important because of many of the points raised in this article on â€œThe Attention Economyâ€ which I believe applies to our world. You may note variances in the percentages of the Counts of users versus Total Hours spent inworld for Countries, Age Buckets, and reported Gender.
Good for Linden Lab in providing this data. While total “User Hours” is nice, additional granularity is always appreciated… even if some of it will obviously be a bit suspect. Because even if, as an example, “reported Gender” isn’t accurate, tracking hours probably comes closest to a standard by which we can measure different virtual applications; comes closest to determining “adoption”.
Besides, that last effort on Terra Nova (Link) certainly yielded nothing better worth throwing in clay and tossing in an oven.