Getting granular in the digital dirt
As we can see by this Web 2.0 Ajax-driven Flash-enabled Google cloud-widget, using the same font (Arial Standard Bold) even with autokerning, Second Life is obviously bigger than Hong Kong. There are more letters, for one thing. Both of them have 2 Capitals: Hong Kong's is Central (formerly Victoria when it was under British control) and Second Life's capital, which is its shoppers. But also there are 8 normal Letters in Second Life and only 6 in Hong Kong. Hong Kong uses the same three letters twice, meaning that in reality Hong Kong (I would start using the abbreviation "HK" at this point for streamlining and reading smoothitivity but I do not wish to become entangled in some monstrous Hello Kitty legal copyright yarn) only has two Capitals and three Letters. "Second Life" demonstrates its obvious moarness here by using the same Letter only once and sporting a surplus of linguistically-distinctive potential over the word-unit "Hong Kong."
If you run "Hong Kong" through an anagram program, the single result is "Honk Gong" (you could give them a little leeway and say it's actually two results, Honk Gong and Gong Honk, but that is a mere semantic quibble). Rather pitiful don't you think, when you realize that "Second Life" has a possible 578 embedded variants! There's not even a percentage for how much this kicks "Hong Kong"s butt!!! (in non-marketing, real-people-speak you could say "teensie" or even "bitty" or "weeny")
And let's look at some of the potential value spinoff vector-points embedded in "Second Life":
Declines of; Licensed Of (wow pretty revealing ne? the whole copyright issue)
Coifed Lens, Diced Felons (I guess this was the gambling and whorehouses stuff)
Coined Self (now that's a good one)
Second Leif (hmmm, the landlord-tenant-Prok issue)
Doc Felines (this is obviously the Furries)
Ice Fondles (hahah oops i just blew my PG blog rating)
Conies Fled (predicting the Bunnies Vs. Ponies War?)
Cone Fields (*shrug* dunno, maybe they are from France)
Close Fiend (is this about stalkers???)
Once Fields (predicting the growth of SL from a bunch of empty sims?)
Scone Flied (I believe this is a hidden slur on Asians and Scotsmen)
Iced Elf Son (showing the move of most of Elf Clan to other sims)
Code Self In (another deep metaphysical correlation)
Clod Fee Sin (a warning to LL about the tier pricing issue)
Doc Feels In (not sure if this is PG or a reference to Prok's FIC)
Cods Eel Fin (sounds like a Brian Eno song or band)
Fenced Soil, Fenced Silo, Fence Idols, Fence Old I's (you decide)
Feces Lid On (a clear reference to segregating weird stuff on Zindra)
Scene Fold I (showing SL's creator/builder driving engine)
Slice Fed No (claiming that SL does not harbor CIA spooks)
Clones Def I (showing the whole digital-copyright controversy)
Once Id Self (more metaphysics)
Con Ed Flies (corporate roots showing here)
Con Lid Fees (this means tier)
... and those are only a minor selection of the results!
Clearly we have shown that at least lexicographically, "Second Life" is both larger in a physical sense than "Hong Kong" and that "Second Life" contains a ginormous density of actual crunchable data, which shows the economic potential Linden Labs has in Second Life. Because all that market data is pure gold, my friend; there's a million companies chomping at the bit to buy it; it's the coming currency. Just ask Google or that other social networking site that goes by the initials "FB", which btw, despite appearances has only has 4 possible variants [Cafe Book, A Bock Foe, A Fob Coke (which could get them sued by Coke© in a flick) and Fa Be Cook] (which is why it is stupid for Second Life to demean and lower itself trying to be a FB-clone; obviously they have, or soon will have hit their limited-potential saturation point and will go into rapid decline; people will only remember them as a MySpace clone in the future, just like MySpace is now)
But wait; there's still more!
...as they used to say in the commercials before companies got so cheap. If you look on a globe of the world and squint you can find Hong Kong. Even if you count the bitty chunks of rock sticking up out of the ocean that some people call "islands" (which is kind of exaggerating or wishful thinking) the main area of physical density is pretty clear. You can put a ruler on it. It has boundaries, and even on the globe or a good map you can see that Hong Kong is rather tiny compared to all the stuff around it, like Asia.
But Second Life is global! Its reach is worldwide and even farther (because an astronaut signed into Second Life from the International Space Station once so that means Second Life might be said to be galactic in reach). This so obviously trumps Hong Kong's measureable area of influence as to be emo-sad. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world check into Second Life daily; how many check into Hong Kong? Probably we could get that data from the big hotels there but I am fairly confident in guessing that there are, for example, a lot fewer Australians in Hong Kong on a daily basis then are in Second Life. Conversly, how many Hong Kong people (Hong Kongers?) are in Second Life? I bet it isn't that large of a demographic, whereas Second Life could easily contain the entire population of Hong Kong, by just adding more servers and load-balancing the throughput.
As you can see above, if you take a screenshot of Hong Kong on a global map and lay it over a screenshot of even one of the Linden continents, it disappears into it like your favorite diamond earring into deep pile carpeting, where you can't find it for weeks then step on it hard with your bare heel one night and not only smush the setting and pin but incur a fairly painful bone bruise that stays with you for a week. No sane person would argue that this is a good thing, or that the earring is somehow larger than the carpeting because the carpeting did not ambush or impact your foot with such unexpected viciousness; that would be ludicrous. Plus as you can see, the ocean is covering a lot and that doesn't count.
Someone like Wizard Gynoid or Tateru is much more capable of plunging their virtual hands into these festering swamps of data to, say, abstract average population densities and new signups for Hong Kong vs. Second Life over a defined period of time or something like that. If that someone was Glyph Graves, they'd probably take that data and turn it into something breathtaking and pretty. If they were SaveMe Oh, they would probably shout at it and hit it with a bat; someone like Kranfel would see a field of pretty flowers; Nazz Lane would wax poetical and Apmel would probably flirt with it. But I am not them; I can only theorize from the information that I have. Perhaps they will take up this issue in time.
Unfortunately, my own time is up for today, having just barely scratched the surface of this metaphorical scab. It should suffice to say that, using just a few examples from our Market Research Division, it is easy to demonstrate that soror is unfortunately misinformed as to what exactly "Second Life is bigger than Hong Kong" means and I hope that I have helped her start to understand this complex issue (I think it is good that she makes such wonderful trees and stuff; I don't think she's quite ruthless enough for the data-driven brawling of today's modern marketplace).
If you would like a more in-depth analysis and figure-driven exegesis of this issue, please send a self-addressed return-postage-paid envelope with your name, address and a money order or international bank draft (no checks, please!) for 19.95€ to cover processing and handling costs to:
Please allow 4-6 weeks for us to make a bunch of pretty Powerpoint, Flash and Ruby On Rails cloud-stuff to send you.