Second Life Community Forum Planning

Second Life Community Forum Planning

  • Posted on: 29 April 2008
  • By: Colin

Here are the notes from a discussion that Aubree and I recently had about planning a public forum to discuss the possibilities of using the virtual world Second Life, here at CCTV:


Invite CCTV members and Cambridge residents to:
o Learn more about communities in Second Life
o Give input on uses of SL @ CCTV
o Ideally the event is, itself, an example of using the medium to facilitate conversation and inspire new ideas and new approaches

Presentation - June 24, 2008

Very very very basic introduction to SL
o Define avatar (what are we looking 'at'?)
o Movement (teleport/fly)
o Inventory (just so they know where stuff is coming "from")
o Lindens (as briefly as possible)

What role can SL play?
o Broadcast medium
o Production format
o Teaching & learning tool
o Meeting space

Show examples of SL communities
o Political campaigns
o Artist community
o Video/film community
o Machinema
o Education/NMC Campus

Political campaigns demonstrate the important role SL can play in our civic lives, spurring discussion and mobilizing volunteers, as well as having another medium in which to share candidates' message.

Artist community is good to highlight because we have video of a "real person" which will help the audience connect to SL in a "this could be me" sort of way. We could also cut it together with some video of Lipsky talking with video of Filthy in his element (old skool side by side) so that we can give a peek at the interesting identity issues, though we would have to be careful (at this point in the conversation) to not let that part of the conversation 'get away.'

Machinema and video/film communities are great because it should appeal to the production personalities in the room. Hopefully they will see all at once that the SL Machinema world offers

1. a new production method

2. a new distribution method

3. a new means for asynchronous project collaboration, one that isn't restricted to geography (the best editor could be in Tanzania, without sacrificing level of participation) or what tools are available (i.e. not already booked) for that day.

The educational communities are important because education remains such an important part of CCTVs mission. It will be great to show how a few determined people built up large scale educational communities that are occasionally the envy of the real world event planners. There are many prime examples of disparate communities (NMC) that have found a cohesive 'presence' through SL, as well as educational communities (in our own backyard, no less) who have used SL as an opportunity to extend their community into the virtual world and, by virtue of VW nature, expanding their communities to include people who are not geographically bound to those institutions.

Group building exercise

With a pro at the keyboard, we could do a skill-building exercise, building something that the audience can participate in and with which they will feel connected. I think it's really important that folks see this 'in action.' For instance, maybe we frame an event building something simple, like the conference room. We can pick and landmark options ahead of time to make teleporting easier and not have the whole world of choices. (Rehearsal will be key!)

o Build walls so folks can see how textures work
o Teleport 3 places and, as a group, pick a table, same for chairs (maybe like zany, retro, tech-edge, and um... "normal")
o Revisit the artist communities and choose some digital art for the 'walls' like the drive-by-gallery

The goal would be two-fold:

1. Help the audience gain a sense of efficacy over the world.

2. Inspire subscription to SL blog. We could capture a screenshot of the final product and offer it to the audience. If we kept a computer handy, participants could signup for the SL blog to get a picture of their handiwork. In the meantime it means we also grow the subscription base, giving us a vested audience to whom we can publicize our efforts as we move forward.

Evaluation (details tbd)

Proposed Format

* 00:00 Very basic overview of tools
* 00:10 Tour of communities in SL
* 00:50 Group building exercise
* 01:20 Moderated conversation about ways SL is a useful community-building and production tool
* 01:50 Evaluation (More panels? Interest in classes? Was this helpful?)
* 02:00 End program, encouragement to subscribe to SL blog

To Do

* Pick a date in mid- to late-June for the event - Date set: June 24, 2008
* Time code for relevant Lipsky clips (Colin, do you still have raw footage?)
* Create a glossary for framing SL discussions
* Create an event website?
o Maybe a virtual handbook of resources (and the glossary)
o SLurls to the places we discuss in presentation
o Links to RL websites of SL communities (for those wanting to learn more, but unable to access SL)
* Consider taping the event and then posting a it to CCTV site. (Maybe a nicely edited 3 min piece?)
* Design and rehearse building exercise
* What is the physical "takeaway"?

(Photo above, "IDEA," by Digital Lyceum available under a Creative Commons license)