If you walk the grid at any given time, you know there aren't 40K+ people logged in. Whole sims are deserted. Plot after plot has been abandoned, or has been for sale for so long that they might as well be abandoned. The map is CHOKED with $ signs for land that is up for sale.
Bots. Despite Linden Lab's attempt to outlaw them, the grid is still chock full of them, and the majority of them aren't registered as bot accounts. They're used for everything - greeters, traffic, you name it. There are still plenty of places with "bot farms" high in the air as well as camping areas being manned by bots.
Ghosting logins. How many times have you crashed or logged off, only to try to log in a bit later, and be told your "avatar is being logged off and your account won't be available till such-and-such time"? Well your account stays logged in for a protracted amount of time, thereby sustaining its number in the overall logins.
People who are "stuck". Countless people get "stuck" on sims and don't get "flushed" till the sim is restarted. Every one of them is counted in the logins.
People who never log off. Some people never log off, for whatever reason. Doesn't mean they're "live". Maybe they're running bot accounts or doing other tasks that require them to be logged on.
I could probably find half a dozen other examples of stuff that adds to SL's login count. The point is that 40K+ logins consists of an awful lot of accounts that are NOT walking the grid, NOT shopping, NOT exploring.
I used to run a Shoutcast visitor board that not only showed current logins but also accounts created. The latter number was the most interesting; sometimes it would go negative. Deleted accounts exceeding created? Probably.
I tried to get my ex and our mutual friend to move the chocolate factory to Inworldz because Second Life is slowly dying, and anyone with half a brain and the ability to Google knows that. Hell - the financial markets know that. LL stock has taken a dramatic nosedive in value.
Established businesses - even those who have enjoyed huge success over the years - are losing customers, and therefore, their ability to sustain their land and presence on Second Life. Many hang on by switching to the Marketplace only. Many have moved to Inworldz because their IP rights are protected much more than other OS grids; yet others are waiting for the new physics engine due to be installed early next year. Inworldz is the second-fastest growing OS grid this month, and it was the FIRST the month before.
When you see 200 people logged in, those are REAL users. REAL live people, who are building, shopping, partying, or otherwise engaging in activity. They are NOT bots, or ghosted accounts, or stuck accounts. When you log off, you LOG OFF and you don't ghost for awhile afterwards. Same if you crash - you are LOGGED OFF - and can login right away again.
200 honest live users beats 40,000 accounts that aren't doing squat, anyday, people. Also keep in mind that the number is updated by the minute so that meane that yet MORE live people are running around conducting business.
Stale economy, indeed. Anyone who doesn't realize that Inworldz is thriving is either in denial or living on some other planet.