Yes it is. Things are not what they were. A reader (who may decide to de-lurk) wrote to us asking why the frequency of posts has declined. A little discussion emerged in the backchannel and it presents a moment to reflect on the blog as well as the subject matter it covers.
The gee-whiz era for virtual worlds has passed, and this changes what happens at TN.
If you look at the early traffic on the blog (both in terms of posts and comments), a lot of it was, to use Greg's memorable phrase, "virtual cow gives virtual milk." This is no longer news to anybody. There has been a change in what the authors (who by design have never been subject to any kind of editorial direction) think is interesting enough to post.
Dan's post on Julian's latest article is a good case in point. Dan reminds us that, for this community, the article is not news so much as an almost wistful look back at a key figure in a just-lost time, a filling in of interesting and tantalizing details, a review of things we saw and things we did not see as we all ground our brains on this odd and once-new technology.
The technology is no longer new. New things are coming. Are they big enough and different enough to change the vector? Maybe. When a baby NPC starts crying as I leave her in the threatened homestead, my online life might change quite a bit. A firm here in Bloomington, Indiana has developed a one-pound wearable computer that you access through a visor. Ubiquitous Virtual Reality (UVR) anyone? There will be gee-whiz posts, just not as many.
That leaves new games and research.
New games: when someone truly moves the ball forward, expect a post. WoW continues to be the game to beat. As much as I like Warhammer Online - it is the very best MMOG ever, and if you don't agree, go ahead and roll your evil bloodsucking Destruction character so I can bash you with my hammer of holiness over and over and over - it doesn't have millions of subs. As for the other million - "user" worlds, we are still waiting for the industry to come up with metrics so we can compare the true eyeball impact of Habbo Hotel to WoW.
Research: My bet for the long-run meat and potatoes at this URL. The community of people reporting basic knowledge here will grow. Right now, though, the flow of studies is still pretty light. There are many papers, sure, but how many rise to the level of being true findings, new facts, or plausible, verified, quantified explanations that can be helpful to the outside world? Not too many just at the moment. Those of us working in the area have many PhD students in the pipeline (mine are here), and their research will hit these pages more frequently as time goes on. But it does take years.
TN is aging and evolving. There may be fewer posts, but that's because there's been an implicit commitment not to waste anyone's time: readers or authors.