Bad News Is Good For Second Life


Donald Trump had it right – there is no such thing as bad publicity. Second Life, the cultish online virtual world, which came under heavy flak after a security breach exposed data about Second Life citizens, saw a 300% spike in its total user base. SL demographitrix Tateru Nino crunched the numbers and came up with some startling conclusions.

And then we begin to rise. That number on the right there for the 11th of September is a whopping 16,610. Second Life’s highest daily signup rate to date was 6,444. (Average is 5,471.) That’s two and a half times the previous record.

Well, Linden Labs couldn’t have predicted that!



As an avid second life user, I knew nothing about the 9/11 event, further more even if I did know I wouldn’t care. Most users don’t care anyway about company-created events, with the exception of “town-hall meetings” with Linden employees.

After all getting an account on Second Life is FREE. So, if anything this is a wash. For all the users who couldn’t validate their accounts, simply just created a new account, these were most likely people who don’t play the game that seriously.

However those serious SL users(own land, run a business) I’m sure they had no problems getting their account re-validated, or they took the time to get it validated rather than just throw in the towel and create another newbie account.

Plus you to consider a lot of people have several different alternate avatars already. So these kinds of numbers of increased usage is inherently exaggerated.


Maybe the new signups all came from the person who breached the security. Could there be a hostle takeover coming up in SL?

Om Malik

it seems like there is a bit of both according to the folks whose post i linked to. i am not sure that it was September 11 remembrance event which drew in the people, because the numbers went up on 9th and 10th.

New residents were coming into Second Life at such a rate that the orientation facilities for them had to be expanded by another 25%. These are genuinely new people, going through the steep learning curve, coupled with a sense of wonder.

You can read the entire analysis and make your own conclusions.

Hiro Pendragon

I think you’re probably right, but also consider a lot of the new signups are possibly people who’ve forgotten security info from their old accounts and need to sign up for new ones. (e.g. alts)

Rob Stevens

You made a very critical error, Om. You attributed one thing as the cause of another. Look at the date of all the signups.


There was a very well publicised rememberance event in Second Life planned for that day. Isn’t it more likely that people flocked to sign up, not because of the security breach controversy, but to attend this event?

Comments are closed.