READER's DIGEST: Some 126,000 signed up to check out the CSI:NY sims, but the numbers of actual log-ons and retentions, and the ROI that might be expected from their clicks on CBS websites are not being revealed. The controversial SEARCH ALL in the new OnRez browser covering the more refined search in the LL browser was a matter of "chosing the poison" -- no other option was considered. No project under $1 million is likely to get ROI, surmises Sheep Chief Creative Director.
Almost no hard numbers for sign-ups or log-ons or traffic -- let alone ROI -- came from the Metanomics meeting today with Chris Carella (Satchmo Prototype), who told an audience of some 100 or more avatars on a half dozen sims that he was "sorry" he had to "dance on eggshells around the numbers we don't own."
At the end of the day, the Electric Sheep Company, as much as they rule our world -- or hope to -- are only the sherpas at the foot of the Metaversal Everest being attempted by Gentlemen Explorers like CBS. Satchmo volunteered a number of "126,000 sign-ups" -- but acknowledged this could have been far lower than possible due to server problems that sent the newbies from one Amazon server to another -- and even caused some CSI:NY watchers to go to the Lindens' website to download the regular client. Satchmo said LL reported a "surge" in sign-ups, but the *log-ons* for 3 hours did not reflect any surge, and in fact bounced around the 40,000 mark, going to 41,000 and then down to 38,000 even while people on the West Coast were still watching (regulars may have logged off for fear of log -- or even to go watch the TV show!)
Trying to get a handle on what the real numbers are for a caper like this seemed impossible, while CBS wasn't talking. Contrary to rumour, CBS did not "acquire" ESC; they have a minority stake in the metaversal development company with a $7 million investment that includes not just this project, but others like the L-word and some to come. After paying the Sheep for the build and the event management, whatever CBS got after that from their own website hits or however they measured their clickthroughs -- remains a secret.
Satchmo didn't provide any information about how many people actually showed up, stayed on the islands, and played the clue game. However, he did say he and staff were surprised at how these numbers continued to rise in the next few days, so there may be a asynchronous effect that might eventually help the whole world -- as the Lindens claimed to me when I asked them why they sold off the viewer to the highest bidder.