New Website Tracks Genuine Second Life Activity, Filtering Out AFK Users & Traffic Bots
Most active sims in Second Life as of 1:30pm PT
BonnieBots is a new website tracking genuine Second Life activity, and the homepage is an incredibly useful guide for finding SL sims with real, active users — as opposed to traffic bots used by many sim owners to artificially appear popular.
“The biggest complaint we hear is, ‘I logged in and couldn’t find anyone else,’ or some variation of, ‘Seemed abandoned’,” as site owner Bonnie Belle explains. “The Destination Guide is worthless. Official traffic numbers just take you to ‘AFK” places or worse’.”
“We wanted to do better.”
A developer in real life, Bonnie’s solution is elegant: Create better bots. Hence the site’s name.
Above: A Bonnie bot, tirelessly on patrol
Bonnie’s bots explore the Second Life grid, counting the number of avatars on each sim. That data is then collected by Bonnie to register daily activity trends.
She shows me data on a specific sim (at right) to explain what she means.
“Take Lagoon Retreat right now. They don’t seem like they ever run bots. Must be an event there.
“If 40 avatars sit on a sim 24/7, let’s assume that isn’t a busy sim, that’s just AFK avatars or bots. So instead we show change in avatar counts. If 40 people joined that sim in the last hour, that sounds like a sale or a good party. And it works 30% of the time maybe.
“I have fun finding new sims that way and seeing what the happenings are,” Bonnie adds. “It doesn’t play favorites or require any moderation to keep up-to-date. That’s perfect for a lazy developer like me.”
And no, Bonnie says she’s not doing this to start an SL analytics consultancy or something like that.
“There’s no business aspect,” as she puts it. “We’re just bored and really like Second Life. We think it’s fun and interesting.
“We hope the information makes SL more enjoyable especially for new users. And we just think it’s all kinds of interesting. Now everyone can see the abandoned land, not just land barons. That’s a win in my book.”
The only people who might not benefit from BonnieBots might be traffic bots — and Bonnie herself:
“One of the Bonnies was banned for ‘gaming traffic’… [but they] don’t stay at a location long enough to game traffic.
“We get a lot of messages from people threatening to file abuse reports for stalking. I think people see Bonnie at two different sims and assume it’s an ex-lover following them.
“But we’re trying to communicate more.”