"The number that is currently on our home page is a time-weighted average between “total number of sign ups ever” and “total number of logged in users over the last 60 days”. As of right now, those numbers are 493,563 and 225,028."
Last time i saw a answer on what the front page resident number represented, i think it was logins in the last 90 days. But might be remembering incorrectly can't find a post where they give a exact answer.
Anyway, what does time-weighted average between “total number of sign ups ever” and “total number of logged in users over the last 60 days”, actually mean? I wish i paid better attention at Statistics in college. Even Google can't really help me out here, and to be honest I think we haven't been given enough information to know what data they are using. If someone does know, please share. ;)
Total number of sign ups ever, and total number of logged in users over the last 60 days, are much more useful and clear for the average user. And am glad that they will be shared. Actually we already can see the 60 days number in the economic stats. (only accesible with a SL account) It shouldn't be so hard to add the Total sign ups there as well. And i wonder why it was not done earlier
"There’s limited real estate on the home page, as I’m sure you know. We’re trying to put statistics there which represent useful trends, rather than the flash volatility of the latest huge press buzz."
The average users hardly ever visits the front page after sign up, and the number doesn't really tell anything to a new users, especially if it isn't a straightforward number. More stats can easily be put on a separate page, and all that is needed is a link on the front page or community page to it. Hopefully we are going to see that next week with a lot more stats like: Unique logins last 24 hours, day, week, 2 weeks, months, 2 months, etc.
And as Baba says it in a comment:
"Just throw out an XML file and give us API keys ;0"
After all, part of the The Tao of Linden is: Be Transparent and Open.