Total of 2 Million Accounts DisappearFebruary 23, 2009 9:30 am analysis, last names
I previously wrote that 800,000 accounts had disappeared from in-world search since mid-January, 2009. The SLNameWatch census bot has continued to count last names since then, as usual. Heritage names, including names that came and went before I founded SLNameWatch.com, are only scheduled to be counted every 3 months, since we don’t normally expect rapid changes on names that are no longer available. Therefore, these numbers come in slowly. Nevertheless, the fact is, the more I survey name usage, the more accounts are suddenly missing. The total now stands at 2,024,371 accounts. This amounts to 15 percent of all accounts with heritage last names.
Some of the names still haven’t been counted since the purge started. So, I expect this figure to keep increasing. It may be that more and more accounts are being deleted, or it may just be that it takes a while for my census bot to notice, or both.
Meanwhile, I now know that the Total Accounts figure was intentionally removed from the economic statistics page. The economic statistics page is back, and everything is intact (in XML format, now), except the total accounts figure. *Shrug*. The bright side is, SLNameWatch is now the authority on the total number of accounts in Second Life®!
When the economic statistics page last reported the total number of accounts, on 2009-01-15, the figure read 16,785,531. At that time, SLNameWatch.com indexed about 95% of those accounts, effectively validating this figure. Now, SLNameWatch.com reports 15,298,788 accounts. The figure has dropped by 1,486,743. Meanwhile, new users have been adding to this total at a rate of about 14,000 per day, or about 546,000 new accounts during this period. This means that 1.5 million accounts disappeared to make the figure drop to where it is now, PLUS 0.5 million old accounts must have disappeared to make up for all the new accounts created during this period, to keep this figure from increasing. This 2 million account figure roughly matches what I have found using a more direct method. The total account figure shown on the front page of SLNameWatch.com is accurate.
Getting back to the account cleanup, let me add that it no longer follows a pattern. Even names that were closed in the last year are affected. This differs from what I observed in my last article. My main character’s last name, Childs, is unaffected so far. Meanwhile, other last names that were offered to new users later than Childs was, such as Little, Short, Littlething, Kidd, and Writer, have gotten haircuts. It’s hard to find a pattern.
The most popular last name of all time, Allen, previously had 155,022 users registered under it. Suddenly, its usage count has dropped to 110,932.
We have a new champion for most heavily-used last name. Namely, GossipGirl, which has 155,699. GossipGirl is not affected by this purge, perhaps because it is a custom name. Even without the purge, Allen and GossipGirl had just swapped positions in the list of most-used last names, but only just barely. Now, it’s no contest. What is it with GossipGirl, anyway? Can you please create a GossipGirl2, or something? My bot is gets bored.
-Big Adz ))