Aug 29

Second Life News for August 29, 2007

Category: Second Life News by Stone Culdesac

BSU Libraries Working Group to Place Materials on Second Life Ball State University Libraries plans to utilize the online environment Second Life to make library and archival resources such as text, photographs, audio and videos available to users of the virtual world.

Arthur Hafner, dean of University Libraries, formed a working group in June to study the possibility of creating a library presence on Second Life. It is exploring library services that can be provided in Second Life, a product of Linden Labs, a San Francisco-based company. Second Life users, known as residents, create online personalities called avatars. Residents can interact with each other and buy virtual items and property using virtual currency.

Identity Verification Comes to Second Life Trust is the foundation of any community. And one cornerstone of trust is identity. You’ve got to know something about the person you are dealing with before you can trust them. Knowing who to trust in an online environment presents unique challenges. Traditionally Second Life users have based their trust on relationships built over time, and often on some basic verification such as ‘Payment Info on File’.

Second Life Happenings Do you have a second? Need a second chance? Are bad puns second nature to you now? Okay, I’ll stop, but by now you probably guessed that Second Life is today’s topic. More specifically, there are two items of interest.

First, Drew Harry and Dietmar Offenhuber — two MIT graduate students (which implies the “first” student and the “second” student) — from the Sociable Media Group in the Media Lab have won MIT’s Second Life Design Competition. The challenge was to design and create within Second Life campus living spaces, represented by clusters of “Pods” that would let any student join Second Life and, with little foreknowledge, create and add their own Pod to a cluster.

How to put SecondLife to good use: plan and run emergency drills on your virtual campus Lately, I’ve read more and more negative comments about SecondLife. Many inside and outside of higher education have questioned the return on investment of SL campuses for universities and colleges as Jeff Young from the Chronicle of Higher Ed wrote a few days ago in the Campus Wired Blog:

More than 100 colleges have set up some kind of presence in Second Life, according to officials at Linden Lab, the company that runs the environment. But are those campuses attracting enough visitors to make the investments worth it?

Second Life attendees gather in real world Men wearing pink wigs and fishnet stockings, people dressed like red devils, vampires and fairies, and six-foot-tall furry dogs all showed that the real world could be just as unreal as the virtual one during the Second Life masquerade ball - part of the popular site’s third annual Community Convention this past weekend.

The masquerade ball wrapped up the volunteer-run convention, which brought together 825 people, many of whom had only met in the virtual, 3-D world of Second Life. Boasting more than 9 million registered users on its Web site, San Francisco-based Linden Lab, which created Second Life, did not put on the event but provided support for it.

The Sloan-C International Symposium on Emerging Technology Applications for Online Learning The Symposium is designed to bring together individuals interested in the technological aspects of online learning. Experts, intermediate users and novices are welcome to participate in Symposium activities that will include face-to-face and virtual components in Second Life. Symposium tracks will highlight and demonstrate research, application and best practices of important emerging technological tools for social networking, assessment, open educational resources, new media and support services.

SLCC: Business Track Observations One track I have been following here and there at the SLCC was the business track. While there have been some great presentation by e.g. Crayon/Coke or Jeff Barr there also have been some where I wondered if they really got Second Life. Let’s give it a name and let’s say that I think the “clue train factor” is somewhat missing.

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