I am an astute observer, and I've seen many changes around me, in both Inworldz and Second Life.
Inworldz continues to grow but has stagnated somewhat. I don't think it will really take off till they finish the work on the script engine and physics. Once they do that, I expect even more Second Life refugees to make the jump, especially considering that it is a lot cheaper and there are more freedoms.
As for Second Life, it appears to be in a holding pattern. Linden Lab's gross negligence of customer support has done a fine job of reducing both population and landmass. I believe this was a deliberate move, because they still have not addressed the issues that make it hard to expand the grid in a feasible manner, though they have a team of programmers versus one or two. Inworldz' own Tranquillity Dexler managed to accomplish, all by himself, what Linden Lab's team has not: He rewrote significant central code making the Inworldz grid expandable by simply adding new hardware. The Inworldz grid doesn't have the same expansion issues that SL still has.
Speaking of expansion, I'm wondering what else SL has cut back on. Just this weekend, user count swelled into the 60K+ range and all kinds of things started going wrong, for diverse people, gridwide. Back before they scaled back staff and their attention to customers, it was common to have 70K + people on the grid on any given weekend and things were relatively stable. Now if you get over 50K + things begin to fail or not work the way that they should. Cheaper hardware? Perhaps.
Rumor still has it that Second Life is being prepped for sale, which leaves one wondering what sorts of changes there will be should someone purchase it.
Be that as it may, I've been spending more time on SL, but not because of the grid itself. No, it's certain people inhabiting it, who don't have a presence on Inworldz.
One of those people is Willy. Now, for those of you who witnessed our painful parting of ways, I ask you not to judge him, because I found out quite a few things of myself that needed changing. While we both said things that were hurtful to one another, we have since spent a lot of time talking, and more than a little of that in mutual apologies. There were things going on in the background that are now out in the open. I wasn't loving in the least in the way I handled my part of the situation, and he knows I am forever sorry for that. Be that as it may, we have rediscovered the miracle of love.
There is one other on Second Life who has become quite dear to me. Arman is a man of incomparable depth and affection, whose interests are as wide as mine are. We've become close, and will remain close, even if Willy and I choose to become partners again.
I am afraid that my dear Rafolk is moving on. While he gave me an incredible gift I will always be grateful for - unconditional love and affection - he was neglecting his own needs. When I began spending more time on SL, some of his old and dear friends found their way to Inworldz. I will always hold especial affection in my heart for him, and I am letting him go with blessings.
Love is a funny thing, but one thing it's not, is finite. My home is with Willy and yet I have room in my heart for Arman. Willy knows this, and has no problems with it.
There are other things I've observed in my cross-grid travels, some of which aren't nearly as pleasant as rekindling a deep love. I've seen some "grouping" happening on Inworldz, and some resentments flare up. I won't go into details, except to say that it seems the "blissful honeymoon" is over. Inworldz is experiencing some definite growing pains in its community. While the overall atmosphere is still one of exploration, friendship and caring, there are developing undercurrents that aren't nearly as good. Here's one example: I heard from a dear friend, who has stores for rent, that another resident was there on her property trying to talk a new renter into abandoning their store there and moving to theirs. Poaching of customers is never welcome and it is entirely unnecessary on a grid like Inworldz. I can't say I'd blame the individual if they publicly shamed the poacher on their blog; sometimes public shaming is very necessary.
Others are selling their sims and moving back to SL. Yet others are leaving virtual worlds altogether. Grand love affairs are ending, even as others are blossoming. I've witnessed two Inworldz couples break up in very painful ways and while I don't know the details, my heart goes out to them. Each and every one of them are kind, loving people, and I just hate to see them experiencing the same hurt and loss I so recently experienced myself.
As a friend recently said, SL has its advantages. So does Inworldz. I bear no resentment against SL, even though I am reluctant to support Linden Lab directly with my money. I do, however, support my friends who are still landowners, and merchants who sell quality goods.
Lastly, I have had to resign my "official" mentor position on Inworldz, not due to any strife, but because I can't honestly say I still have time to devote to it. I will still continue helping people on my own, just like I always have.