Out with the old – in with the new

Catching up on SL news over the holidays it was good to see Linden Lab (LL) start the new year by embracing more open communications. LL founder and CEO Philip Rosedale replied via email to David Kirkpatrick’s request for clarification on SL user numbers. Key takeways are 1,525,670 unique people have logged into SL at least once of which 252,284 people have logged in more than 30 days after their account creation date with current rention rates running at 15%. David’s post and accompanying comments are recommended reading in full to flesh out the above numbers.

Just the day before Tristan Louis, a VP over at HSBC, crunched some SL numbers forecasting 3.5M accounts and +600k users at the end of April 2007. Regardless of whether you believe Tristan’s analysis to be conservative, accurate, optimistic or some combination thereof each of the above posts reinforce the ongoing interest around SL which continues apace. SL is no longer a fad as some quarters were professing but rather a very real trend of where things are headed as we enter the third wave of the Internet – the Living Web.

Also good to see Pathfinder Linden publishing advance notification of upcoming events affecting grid performance which will greatly assist residents in working around potential downtime. The comments accompanying the post show residents appreciation for the gesture. A good next step would be a graphic on the SL home page displaying a rolling 4 week early alert system linked to a more detailed grid status page.

Each of the above conversations are a very good start to 2007. Heres hoping for more of the same throughout the year from Philip and all the LL team. As remarked before everyone benefits from doing so. Out with the old and in with the new.

UPDATE : The words all good things come in threes come to mind. David Kirkpatrick has exclusively announced the LL will immediately release open source versions of its client software for Windows, Mac and Linux under a GNU General Public License, version 2.0. SL post here with more developer details here.