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Je ne sais quoi

In my experience, you’re most likely to stick with Second Life if you’re female, over 30, and at the time you join have technical knowledge ranging from modest to none, and have little in the way of video-gaming background.

And before you all reach for your keyboards, there are inevitably exceptions, but this is the group that is most likely to stick it out after logging in the first time.

Things that significantly reduce the likelihood that you’ll become a retained user:

  • Age: The younger you are, the less likely it is that you’ll stay.
  • Comfortable around computers and software? Knowledgeable about how the Internet works? A programmer? Computer graphics experience? You’ll be lucky to last a week.
  • Lots of video-game experience? Particularly with 3D games? You’ll be lucky to last a day.

There are exceptions. That 18 year old Web-application developer with a ton of 3D gaming experience might do well and be a perfect fit for Second Life, but the odds are against it. He’s statistically more likely to write off Second Life has being nothing more than gambling and porn, diss the UI, the graphics and possibly the users and log off in under an hour.

It’s hard to say where Second Life user retention is right now, but it looks like it is under 1%. Has it reached market saturation point for the potential users who might ‘get it’?

Is there some as-yet not-well-understood quality (or qualities) that the successful users have in common which, if properly understood, could be used to vastly increase engagement in Second Life?

I suspect the latter, but seems to be quite a difficult thing to isolate.

* Grammatically, yes, in French it should be something a bit more like “Je ne sais pas quoi”. “Je ne sais quoi” is the accepted English usage of the phrase.

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