Today is the 2nd week in a row that we have had an increase in the number of galleries on the list. This is after a very worrisome 6 week steady decline in the number of galleries on the list. For the first time ever there have been consistently more gallery closures than openings during a significant period of time. Click the chart to see a larger version.
Note that the apparent decline that you see in the chart during early 2008 was due to my transition to a new kiosk system that gave much more accurate counts, so there was some weeding out of a lot of old, dead links during that time.
So what does this mean? Why did we have such a steady decline for so long? My observations are that some of the gallery closures were due to OpenSpaces closing left and right during those weeks, but I would estimate that it wasn't a majority of the closures, but I'd guess maybe a quarter, possibly less were directly due to OpenSpaces closing.
I haven't correlated this trend to other SL statistics that might shed some light on this decline. Were there other declines during the same time period? Perhaps gallery growth follows some other indicator, I don't know.
It's encouraging to see this long slow slide reverse, though it's only been two weeks we've jumped right back up to previous highs, once again over 550 on the list. I have also been a bit more diligent about inviting galleries that I don't recognize to join the list, so perhaps the jump was due in some part to me directly, but even still most of the new galleries on the list in the last two weeks I didn't personally invite.
Only time will tell whether this is the end of our little gallery recession or not!
For the longest time I didn't realize that a lot of blog readers/aggregators ignored secondlife:// style SLURLs. So from now on all links in this blog are, unfortuantely, http://slurl.com style SLURLs so that all the aggregators won't strip the darn links out to all the galleries. I hate the extra wait 'n click to go through slurl.com, but it seems it's a necessary evil. At least now the RSS feed from here can be properly syndicated with links to galleries that actually work :\
In other news, I have a test version of something very very cool - a consolidated RSS feed of all the RSS feeds from everyone on this gallery list! So now with one feed you can follow ALL of the galleries on this site. Cool huh! I've been working hard to get it to work, and let me tell you it was NOT EASY. But it's working and you can subscribe at http://sasun.info. I've got a few kinks to work out, such as duplicate blog entries showing up (I'll get to it) and it's not sorted by date like it's supposed to be (IE will sort it by date anyways, but FireFox doesn't), and I will be filtering non-gallery type blogs from the list in the near future too. Some gallery owners just put weird blog links into their kiosks that have nothing to do with their gallery or even art in SL.
Subscribe today and let me know what you think! This is a great one-stop shopping way to keep up with all the gallery events and activites. Yay!