Second Life is heading towards two million users. Except it isn’t, really. We all know how this game works, and has since the earliest days of the web:
Member of the Business Press: “How many users do you have?”
CEO of Startup: (covers phone) “Hey guys, how many rows in the ‘users’ table?”
[Sound F/X: Typing]
Offstage Sysadmin: “One million nine hundred and one thousand one hundred and seventy-three.”
CEO: (Into phone) “We have one point nine million users.”
Someone who tries a social service once and bails isn’t really a user any more than someone who gets a sample spoon of ice cream and walks out is a customer.