Second Life is hopping! Anyone that is inworld knows this. Major news outlets are talking about the vibrancy within Second Life. When each of us logs on, we see there's an average of 60,000-80,000 people logged in at once.
While participating in a SL forum I frequent, the conversation came up about performers and venues not being able to pull a large crowd as well as what is expected (especially with MORE people logging into SL these days). Over the past month, many performers noticed and are noticing a dramatic drop-off in the crowd numbers. Musicians and DJs that were easily pulling in 30, 40, 50+ people to their shows, are seeing 5, 8, 10 people show up now.
The question is, why? Many of us are baffled. Could it be that people are just 'evented out'? Is the SL music crowd tired out with the SL music scene? Have they been to enough music shows in SL and are now doing other projects that keep them busy? Is it that Second Life just hasn't been working like it should, and when people can actually get in to SL, they have to complete the work they couldn't when SL was borked, preventing free time? Maybe it's that crowd members may have the notion that they must tip the performer and venue if they want to attend a show?
As we are all trying to put our finger on it, here are my thoughts.
(I decided to copy and paste my thoughts directly from the thread)
Doubledown Tandino post #1:
Since about mid-March, there has really been a dry spell [regarding the event attendance numbers]. And frankly , it's kind of annoying.
Since the same amount of people are generally logged in at the same time (between 40,000 and 80,000) that means they are inworld, and doing something else, and not attending music events.
The shows I did recently (the past two-three weeks) have been widely-varied events; including the Music Awareness 2009, an art/music show at Twilight's Peace, a few club DJ shows, a networking/marketing show with metaLIFE, a show (The Rendezvous at Muse Isle) where not only do I perform for 2 hours live, we also give away a $3800L animation equipment at every event. ... still nothing has been more of a crowd draw than the next.
The question I have been asking myself in the past weeks is:
Why has there been a dropoff in live music attendance??
And the answer I keep coming back to is: over inundated, unoriginal, same stuff day after day after day is not going to draw MORE of a fanbase.
I look at this situation from both sides. As a music lover in SL, I've been checking out SL music shows for 3 years. I am now down to hanging out at about 1 show a day, and maybe 2-4 popins.... I simply have no time or desire to see more shows, even if it's a performer I like (cause i've seen em plenty already). I am assuming many others, the ones that would normally be in the crowd, feel the same way.
As a performer I'm on stage thinking "where is everybody"
... and I reply to myself "they're not here, that much is true"
So what does all this mean?!?!?! nothing really. I guess SL is going through a phase where many people are burnt out on events? Hopefully it'll correct itsself.
In the meantime, I've always had the idea of an unofficial supporters union. A group of us that are willing to extend the support. The best way to get more people at a show is to have the people at the show spread the word and offer teleports over. My ONLY crowded shows these days are when my staff and crowd goes the extra mile for me.
I'm of the opinion that if we have a crew of devotees that want to pop-in for eachother, and help eachother get the word out, it'll make a major impact getting more people to shows, and faster.
Doubledown Tandino post #2:
There is a big illusion going on here.... The best performers in SL are not getting the biggest crowds anymore. It's the musicians that have a strong support team that get the crowd to turn up. The musicians that can focus on their music and show, while they have staff to cover promotions, tps, word spreading, more promotion.... those are the performers that seem to have the biggest crowds. When the promotion team + the venue + the performer + the crowd all work together, that's when a packed sim happens.
Doubledown Tandino post #3:
(in a response to another performer that has found group notices and IMs to be ineffective.)
Sending out group notices and IMs may not have a direct effect ....but the spam has a long lasting residual effect.
Having your name sent out to people is a good thing and if you spam (within the confines of the loose SL spam etiquette), it can never be something that hurts; only something that helps in the long run.
The question remains though: For the amount of time spent promoting in SL, is the result worth the effort? Currently, it seems like it's not worth the effort, but being a marketing & promotion professional, I still refer to old cliches about advertising. (A perfect example is Coca-cola. I've had a coke less than 10 times in my life. I think it is vile and disgusting. Yet, as a human, living on Earth, I know Coke. I know the name, the brand, the logo, and what it does.)
Putting that into the SL equation, I think even if people don't make it to the current show, advertising yourself anyway puts your name in their minds for the future. There's quite a few people in my daily SL travels that know of me, and know I'm a DJ, but haven't seen a show. Because of my previous ad placement in their mind, we can jump into a conversation which could lead to gaining a devoted fan.... but i digress.
Something is currently "off" about second life music events (and perhaps events and get-togethers in general). The people are simply not coming out to the events.
So...in the meantime, while we all try to figure this out... What do we do?
I think the best method is the Doubledown: "pay it forward pop in" approach.
We all know eachother, we all support eachother.... why not stick your avatar at someone else's show when you're not doing anything? Or just a pop in... it takes a minute to pop in and say hi, maybe listen to one tune. I think if we do this for eachother, we'll have the feeling of abundance of support.
FOOTNOTE: I really hope that last years push about how important it is to tip the performer and the venue hasn't caused a sense that people should tip when they go to a show. I know as a performer, I remember who tips, but I don't remember who doesn't. The musician and the venue don't care if some people can't tip.. Lets hope the SL community understands that we were never demanding tips and donations to show up to a music event.
There are my thoughts. I wanted to point out that I, and many others in SL are feeling this 'evented-out' (thanks Maryjoanne for the term). Is there something to be done that can "fix" anything? Getting a sense of what's happening is the first step. Group discussion will lead to a turnaround in this current performance event slump in Second Life.
Are you currently feeling 'evented-out'? Do you sense that events aren't pulling crowds like they used to? If you're a performer, have you noticed any of this yourself?
Does anyone have any thoughts or ideas about how to turn around the current SL event slump?