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Tateru Nino's Second Life avatarThat seems like a fairly simple question on the surface, and – in many senses – it actually is fairly simple, with fairly simple answers. You have to think it through a little bit to actually get to that simplistic core, however.

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Linden Lab has published the Q3 metrics for Second Life – and done so quite punctually this time around.

If you want the super-short version, Second Life remains on its plateau. The slide in concurrency over the last few years has definitely halted, and there’s no real signs of platform growth among the figures that the Lab makes public either.

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Well, it’s that time again. The metrics have been published for Second Life’s second quarter this year.

If you want the short version, the figures published by the Lab show little or no actual growth for the quarter. That isn’t, in and of itself, necessarily a bad thing, but there are some mildly troubling inferences to be drawn from some of the figures.

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Linden Lab finally published its figures for Q1 2011 today, or at least those which we get to see. There are some notable absences. Why the figures have been so delayed is a mystery, considering that there is very little text accompanying the charts this time around.

Restructuring seems to have had a positive effect on Linden Lab’s bottom line. As I surmised from its hiring patterns, the Lab is profitable, indeed the Lab is calling Q1 its most successful quarter to-date.

Now let’s take a look at what’s happening, based on what we can see.

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