You might have noticed that the volume of coverage in Hypergrid Business has fallen over the past few months. Well, it’s about to get worse.
First, I’m cutting the monthly stats report.
It’s a lot of work each month, manual work that I haven’t been able to figure out how to automate. And then there’s the work of contacting all the grid owners to see if they have any news, and checking their websites and social media feeds for announcements.
We also do reader surveys and the kind of research-intensive stories like last month’s story about Gloebit and Podex payment systems.
There’s one more big story in the works right now, David is working on a piece about how grids are dealing with GDPR. After that, there’s nothing else in the pipeline.
The reasons are both personal and practical.
Personally, I’ve moved on from covering virtual worlds to covering cybersecurity and, most recently, artificial intelligence. (You can see some of “day job” articles here: mariakorolov.com.) I barely spend any time in OpenSim anymore.
Practically, there was once a strong possibility that OpenSim would evolve into an open source, virtual reality metaverse. That’s not happening. Our viewers are still stuck where they were ten years ago, without any real support for web or mobile access or for virtual reality headsets. All projects to address that issue seem to have faded away. Instead, the focus has shifted to VR-native platforms from Google, Facebook, and, to some degree, Microsoft. We don’t know yet what Apple is cooking up, but they’re busy as well.
It’s increasingly looking like the whole SL-OpenSim ecosystem has hit a dead end. It will probably continue to exist as a niche platform for its half million active monthly users, shrinking slightly each year until it’s just a nostalgia thing, like text-based adventure games or manual typewriters.
I’m going to continue maintaining the site itself, so that the article archives stay up, and all the resources stay available.
I’m also going to do a monthly active grids list — just the list of active grids, not any of the usage stats. I’ll stop updating the list of popular hypergrid destinations, since I’ll no longer have the traffic numbers.
I’ll continue running press releases and guest columns, and the free ads will stay up.
We might do a short news piece or two each month as well.
If someone wants to take over editing Hypergrid Business, drop me a line — email@example.com. Or if you want to do a regular column, or reviews of destinations or events, or a how-to advice.
Or if you have an automated way to find new grids and collect stats that I can post instead of doing our stats report.
I don’t know what I’m going to do yet with all this new free time on my hands. Both of my kids are out on their own as well. I’m going to go out, get involved in local activities, travel, take some time off to figure out what big thing I want to do next.
It’s been a long journey.
We’ve been collecting grid statistics since the summer of 2009. That’s 105 stats report articles. We haven’t missed a month.
And, since March of 2009, we’ve published more than 3,000 articles by over 200 contributors. We’ve had more than 2.5 million visitors, who read a total of 6.5 million articles.
It’s the readers who’ve kept the whole thing going. Without you, there’s be no point to doing any of this. And that’s my biggest regret.
However, if people want to stay on top of OpenSim news, I recommend subscribing some of the great Google Plus communities that are out there, such as OpenSim Virtual, The Adult Metaverse, OpenSim Everything, Hypergrid Safari, Hypergrid Events and Virtual Destinations. Full list of communities is here, and the largest ones are listed here.