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  BBC’s Virtual Fest Brings Big Numbers  
Posted 2006-06-22 by Tony Walsh
BBC News reports that attendance for BBC Radio 1's recent festival in the virtual world of Second Life pulled in more than 6,000 avatar attendees over the weekend of May 13, 2006. As a point of reference, the number of avatars present at any given time in Second Life hovers around 6,500--in other words, the daily population spikes around 6,500. So hosting 6,000 avatars at a single event in a 2- or 3-day period is impressive.

To put some more detail into the mix, the most common large-scale events in Second Life are normally held at the intersection of 4 distinct, square plots of land called "sims." Each 1-square sim can hold roughly 4 dozen avatars at any given time. A large-scale event, therefore, is typically capable of hosting around 200 avatars at once. I don't know exactly how Radio 1's event was configured, but an earlier report from the BBC indicated that "The radio network believe[d] up to 400 people [would] be able to attend the event..." It's not clear if this earlier report refers to peak (but rotating) capacity, or total number of avatars expected to attend over the course of the weekend. If the latter is the case, expectations were exceeded fifteen-fold.

Rather than a case of spectacle-based brand-building, it seems the Radio 1 event was compelling enough to reach a substantial number of avatars. While it was nice of the Beeb to offer up its attendance numbers, I'd like to see more telling metrics (i.e. how long did each avatar attend the event for?), as well as stats from other virtual-world promotional events. This isn't likely to happen, as these sorts of numbers are normally closely-guarded (particularly if the numbers aren't very impressive).
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Comment posted by nicoblu710
June 22, 2006 @ 8:56 pm
another metric that should be taking into account, (which I'm sure is possible to tell at least by LL) if all the 6,000 people were unique.

i know i stopped by at least 2ce to see if anything was going on. (not really, it turned out)

and if I crash while I'm there, and log back in, do I count twice?

the possibilites for the BBC in SL are exciting to be sure.

just wondering.

<<glitchy gumshoe>>
Comment posted by Prokofy Neva
June 22, 2006 @ 10:12 pm
I keep looking at those 4 BBC islands in fascination. They are always devoid of green dots. Of course they were so full the days of those events, you couldn't get into the place. So I think probably even if they had repeat visitors after crashes, they'd have even more if they had more sims or more capacity on those sims.

I also found it fascinating that they got this amazing spot on the map, right next to the atoll continent, in between the "old" and "new" continent (well, the first "new" continent now more than a year old). That gives them maximum visiblity to flybys and people just cruising around looking at the map. What will they do with this prime real estate location?
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