Purge!January 27, 2009 10:43 pm last names, policy, research
While the economic stats published by Linden Lab have been frozen (see JIRA WEB-948 ), the SLNameWatch bot has been indicating something different. Sometime in the last two weeks, more than 430,000 accounts have disappeared from the in-world search. Last names that previously had a consistent number of residents under them, query after query, for 1.5 years, suddenly have seen their usage count reduced by as much as 50%.
There is a pattern. Most of the affected last names were opened and closed before SLNameWatch.com was founded. The remainder are from a pool that was opened in late 2007. Therefore, I speculate that only the oldest of Second Life’s accounts, perhaps those without a valid email or with very long dormancy, have been intentionally purged.
The frozen 16.8 Million figure may be closer to accurate than the 17.0million figure daily registration trends would predict. At the moment I am counting 16.5m residents. I don’t know what the economic stats page will say when they flip the switch back on over at LL. It depends on when it comes back. Expect a steady 13,700 new accounts per day. This means it will take about 30 days for new accounts to fill this deficit. Maybe LL will turn the economic stats page back on when the total residents figure returns to increasing territory, or about February 17.
–Big Adz ))