Ok, this experiment was not exactly scientific since I tried it for less than a day and the goal was to satisfy personal curiosity. However, I saw all I needed to see rather quickly.
For a laugh I got hold of a traffic making device just to see what would happen. How it works is a person clicks a cone and arrives at your location. After they stay a set amount of time, usually about 8-15 minutes, they get paid a bit of lindens. I set mine to paying 5 lindens for 15 minutes, which was the suggested amount.
A positive person might think this device would bring new faces in, that a few wide eyed newbies might arrive and spend some time looking around since they have a few minutes to kill. Well, I’m sorry to report that this was not the case. I cammed in on the people who arrived (from a distance) to observe their behaviour after they landed in town. I wanted to see what they would do, how they would react . . . .
The results? Mindless. Most did not move more than an inch from the landing spot, nor did they cam around to see where they were. I put the landing spot right by Zorro the Bull to give them something to do while they waited, but they did not even look at him, let alone try to ride him. They just stood in the corner unmoving until it was time to click that cone again and get their measly 5 lindens.
I got bored seeing this after a while and decided I’d try something else. Now I sat near Zorro and when the people arrived I greeted them warmly and tried to strike up a conversation with them.
No response at all!
Back when “camping” was allowed by Linden Lab I recall sim owners saying stuff like “Camping is good. It brings people in. The campers may look around and become a customer.” In an ideal world, sure. My friend and I were the exceptions. As camping noobs of 2007 we did look around at where we were. We talked to each other, were rarely afk, and got excited if we made 50 to 100 lindens in one day. But the majority of the avatars we sat next to were drones. If they weren’t outright bots, they were alts who never spoke, never looked around, and the only action you ever saw from them is when they tried to steal your spot on the camping bench.
Now that I’m an olbie, I do see the benefit of traffic, especially since I have a store. But I would rather have three real people than loads of avatars there with the lights on but nobody home.