From Second Life Wiki
What is Traffic? (Dwell)
- In 2006 traffic was changed to be a minute an avatar spends in a parcel but only for avatars that do not move to another parcel (for at least five minutes) within the 24 hour data-collection period. Otherwise, it still works largely according to the pre-2006 model according to the Lab as of May 2008
- The traffic of all avatars count, regardless of their membership status or if a Resident or bot
- Mainland regions limited to 40 avatars generally can't have traffic over 57,600, while island estates with 100 avatar limits usually won't be over 144000, but those limits can be exceeded by avatars relogging back into a sim
- Traffic also determines which "Popular Places" are selected each night. You can see these by clicking on the Find button and selecting the "Popular Places" tab. They also appear on the Map as a "thumbs up" icon. (Note: as of viewer version 1.20, "Popular Places" is no longer included in the search system.)
- If you want to start another tedious argument about whether this wiki page or the knowledge base or any other source of information including various Linden Lab employees is right please review this thread and particularly this post which conclusively proved, again, that traffic is one point per avatar per minute (barring some small questions about the timing of the mechanism that tracks the minutes)
Up to 2006
- Initially, Dwell was a fixed value of points for each Resident assigned by calculating the proportion of their SL day spent at each location in the world on a daily basis. Previously, a Resident needed to spend at least 5 minutes in one full chunk to give a parcel at least one traffic point.
- Linden Lab offered a $US reward to the 2% of landowners who receive the most dwell - in proportion to the dwell their properties received. In August of 2004, US$2,308 was distributed to 36 landowners. This was essentially seed funding in the earlier days of SL when even a popular build could still become economically unviable due to very low population numbers.
- In mid-2006, stipends based on dwell were removed as population growth provided an audience sufficient enough to support a more conventional economy in Second Life.