NBC Xmas Tree: Largest Event in SL History?

Sam Landman of the Electric Sheep Company (who, as you know, sponsor this blog), just got in touch to let me know that NBC managed to get around 1,000 avatars into the 18 sims they’d mustered for the virtual tree lighting event they put on earlier this evening in Second Life to match the tree lighting in Rockefeller Center. NBC, as well, counted the event a success. Does that make it the largest single event in SL history? It very well might. Though if you know of a larger one, I’d love to hear about it — especially how it was pulled off. The Sheep had a last-minute scramble on their hands to pull off this one, due to unavoidable scheduling conflicts with the Wednesday update of SL’s software, which threatened to close the entire thing down, and the fact that Linden Lab has been unable to meet demand for new regions, forcing the Sheep to go to land baron, “business girl,” and virrtual millionaire (in US dollar terms, note) Anshe Chung to rent a bunch of sims. Look for more such events in future. “We were very impressed with how forward-thinking NBC was in using this medium,” Sam says. “They really get it. It would be great to see them leverage this to further build their digital media brand.”

It would also be interesting to see Anshe, or someone like her, leverage their capacity to meet demand LL just can’t, for whatever reason. That’s what’s been happening with SL land barony for a long time, just on a slightly smaller scale. Brokers of multiple sims for events like NBC’s tree lighting could clean up, and create a brand new virtual industry along the way. But Linden Lab will still have to bring service for new customers up to a higher standard if they expect to continue to see sustainable growth.


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  2. FlipperPA Peregrine

    The 6,000 over the course of an entire weekend was impressive – and it was a really fun event. Snow Patrol and Primal Scream, especially! However, there were never 1,000 concurrent avatars which is what makes this feat so impressive.

  3. GnomadKing Snoring

    I enjoyed the event thoroughly, once I managed to get in. Teleporting which I suspect was meant to be fixed by the upgrade was as bad as it could possibly be without an actual crash of the grid. A note to NBC. Free Ice Skates in a box you can’t open in sim are slightly useless when the TP is so unstable. Nice job on Rockafeller though, very clean work.

  4. Tony Walsh

    Mark, I know 6,000 avatars over 3 days is not the same as 1,000 concurrent avatars in a 2-3 hours period :) I mentioned it because you asked about the “largest” event ever held in SL. I guess I should have known that what you meant by “largest” was “highest concurrency during the shortest timespan, across the most simulators.”


  5. Tony Walsh

    Kidding aside, I feel that it would be useful for to establish some consistent measurement standards to describe event attendance–for example, I got a press release this morning from someone claiming that their pending 20-sim event is anticipated to be “the biggest music event in Second Life ever” How will “biggest” be quantified? Will it be the same as “largest?”

    Communication between the folks staging these events, the folks paying for these events, and/or the folks following these events can only be improved by agreeing on measurement standards, in my opinion. We had to adopt standards for measuring web site traffic/usage in order to talk about web sites credibly, why not places like SL?

  6. Mark Wallace

    Tony > “We had to adopt standards for measuring web site traffic/usage in order to talk about web sites credibly, why not places like SL?”

    That’s a good point. But I think what happened was that *we* (i.e., the public, users of the Web, third parties) set those standards, not the companies. I imagine we’ll continue to see plenty of hyperbole for some time to come.

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