Second Life Reflection

When first hearing about this class, I certainly had my doubts. Not only was it the fist online class I have ever taken, but it held its standard for me to be somewhat technologically savvy and interested in the virtual world, which at the time, was above and beyond who I was. Throughout the course I can honestly say that I have grown to appreciate the use of technology and the idea of a virtual world.

I never quite understood the curiosity in having a virtual world because for me, it didn’t seem to offer much. My opinion quickly changed. I was surprised to see that you can live your life “virtually” and can do whatever you want. It is a way to escape the real world and put your focus on a life you have always wanted to live, to see places you can’t in person, to meet new people, to create and build a world that personally fits you. I found myself exploring second life and all its options. It was so interesting to see that a virtual world could offer so much.

I also learned a lot about communication. Being online forced us to use our resources and develop communication skills in order to collaborate and work on our projects. We made different accounts using Twitter, Facebook, linked-in, and many more in order to touch base and share information with eacother. It was especially tricky trying to fully communicate with the DIT students because if the time difference. This style of communication helped me develop better skills especially because our world is slowly turning to technology to do every day things.

Overall, I am excited to say that this course was a great experience. I am pleased that I took it because in order to participate I was pulled out of my comfort zone and introduced to new things that I had simply never tried. Second life really helped me understand why the virtual world is used and why people use it. Not only is it fun to be away from reality, it’s a great learning source full of adventures.

Thanks for a great class, guys!

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Produser

I’ll admit. This reading and video through me for a loop. While my technological skills lack, apparently so does my tech lingo. At times I was confused about the point of this message and also found Bruns speech slightly hard to grasp/understand.

Overall, his focus was on social media and social networking. How people are collaborating, the roles they play, is one role greater than the other, who’s invoice matters more, consumer, or producer? He then begins his discussion on his renewed interest on the concept of “prosumer,” a combination of a producer and consumer. While diving into his thoughts on the word “prosumer,” he critiques a previously conveyed thought from Tufflers. Tufflers claims the “prosumer” is the one “punching the buttons” to start the production while Bruns disagrees in saying that “prosumers” have not advanced much in the form of active participation. A “prosumer” is to remain dependent on industry production but he claims it is much more than that. Bruns says we need to look beyond the idea of production because a “prosumer” is more than a producer, distributer, and consumer.  Bruns claims that it just not all about creating something great, it is about constant revision, and on going process and remaking to make something spectacular and to learn from it. It is to make something more distinct by revision of something already existing. It is about being a potential contributor, playing a hybrid role. Identifying that within these practices there are all similar characteristics. It is interesting to think we are all open to this for active participation. There is a communal evaluation and that there is a structure in the community of participation, not so much a hierarchy but anyone can take the lead at any given time because we should not settle for a finished product. Bruns also gives a visual using a graph to show the contribution of Wikipedia editing.

I found this particularly interesting because no one ever thinks about the prosumer of a website. I did not even know such a thing existed. I thought Bruns stance on the subject was interesting. I agree with him in thinking that it is all about a growing knowledge and it all starts with constant revision and on going communal access that can be seen by many people. It made me think about the online access I have and the revision of the many sites I visit. It makes me ponder about my role as either a producer or consumer.

Project Review

When fist thinking about a topic for our project, I was kind of puzzled as where to start. There were so many ideas and options and I was not even sure what the project was all about or what would work best. I discussed with my partner some ideas and when we were at a loss, we turned to our other group members using second life. We talked and found out that one of our members had recently been working on a project for cystic fibrosis and was very knowledgeable about the subject matter already. This was great news and we felt comfortable because neither of us had chosen a direction to take this project and we were glad some one was already confident in work they had.

Overall, this is a great subject to work with. There is a lot of research, one of us already understands and has read information on it, and with this topic, we can take it different directions. Our basis started with how to communicate to spread the information. We established several communication outlets and grew from there. We were bouncing ideas off of each other, sending each other links, and talking about new ideas to make our project standout. It was beneficial to have some one take the reigns on the project and we just incorporated more information.

Looking back, I would not change much about what we did. I feel that establishing a strong communication was not only in our best interest, but our best first move when starting this project. I am happy we have a subject full of information and reliable data and group members who are willing to work and contribute equally.

The Medium is the Message

The blog post that I chose to read was called, “Painfully Coming to Grips with ‘The Medium is the Message’,” written by . This person blogs about their troubles and they way they go about handling readings and seminars they attend. The author starts by discussing the struggle they have for deciphering what they have read and finds that other members of his class have had the same problem. He declares that it is refreshing to know that other people struggle in similar ways and that it is convenient to hold discussions that can clarify any confusion.

Next, he talks about how one of the readings outlines how we learn and receive information. Do we learn through listening, seeing, or through our fingertips. He states that yes, long ago we did rely on just hearing each other, but with the use of the alphabet, we then started to rely on more visual understanding of information. The author also talks about his travels and visit in SL.

An interesting point in this blog is brought about when the author brings up a main point in the reading he is deciphering. He talks about how we over-analyze the importance of “content.” He uses an example of an image of a family eating dinner. The catch, is it an oil painting, a drawing, or a photograph. Most don’t care as long as they see a family at a dinner table. The writer (McLuhan) argues that it is how we develop a relationship to it and that relationship depends on how the medium is presented. I found it interesting that the writer claims that media is more than a tool, it is an extension of us. It is neat to think that the tools we use are an extension of us. As the author said, the fact that I am writing on a computer proves that the work I do is an extension of me for the rest of you to see. I thought the author did a great job of capturing his experience and sharing his ideas and confusion with us.

For a closer look, visit here!https://virtualworldnmfsfall11.wordpress.com/2011/10/29/painfully-coming-to-grips-with-the-medium-is-the-message/

Group Contribution

Over the past few weeks, my group and I have been pretty steady with our communication basis. We have found out through trial and error, what works and what doesn’t. Meeting with the DIT students was difficult at first because of the time difference, however, through messaging we were able to simply contact each other instead of always meeting in SL at the same time. We found that Facebook works really well because people check it frequently and can get back to other group members more readily. My job was to start a Facebook group for cystic fibrosis that all my group members could join. Having this online group allows us to check in for any news updates and best of all, we can do it on our own time. Other members started other online groups such as linked-in, instagram, and we have considered skyping. We feel like we are on the right track as far as progress goes and I feel very comfortable with our group ideas and the contribution coming from each group member. Our research has been good and our coordination continues to grow as the project develops. I feel that I have a better knowledge base on how to navigate around different websites because I was in a way forced to use different systems in order to make sure our project develops and communication is made. We are continuing to develop ideas and are moving forward. In particular, we are ready to spend our money in SL.

Are You Copying Me?

It is kind of strange to think about making content agreements in Second Life because I have always just thought of it as just some online place people go and visit for fun. I have never thought about all the work and ideas put in behind it.  A blog written by Shenlei Winkler talks about content and licensing in the virtual world.  Winkler talks about users in Second Life who suddenly change their terms if agreement of their license for previous purchasers. However, you cannot do that because it has already been legally licensed. Winkler also talks about a team of American Bar Association lawyers who have been working together to develop legal templates for people to use as a jump start for their own agreements. I am not too familiar with the world of licensing and agreements, but it seems like a good idea that way people aren’t changing their already previously made contracts and just switching terms of agreement from person to person.

The next article was written by Dan Hunter of Queensland University of Technology-faculty of law, New York Law school and Greg Lastowka of Rutgers School of Law. This post in particular was very interesting. Like I said before, I am not good with technology and I don’t have the first clue about online social agreements and licensing. In this post, they introduced the virtual world as this place that is whatever you make it. You can hold a job, ski all day long, meet new people, and create whatever you want. They talk about how law affects the people interested in the virtual world. They bring up and interesting point as to whether or not people in the virtual own their property or is it more of a virtual object. They said that compared to the real world-virtual objects are indistinguishable in terms of value. Next, they bring up the idea of avatars having moral rights. This is a huge deal because for people who are avid users of Second Life, it is really important to them that their avatar have real life rights and values. Why not? That’s what gives every avatar a unique personality. It is the idea that the person behind the avatar can explore their own thoughts and ideas through something that resembles them and they cannot be judged for it. It is important to understand that virtual worlds are becoming very popular and people can buy, sell, shop, and work just like the real world and that is why understanding licensing and agreements is important and ever changing.

Overall, these posts make me think about the pride people take in what they have accomplished and value their avatar and what they have created just as they would in real life. Just because I have never been and avid online gamer, does not mean that there are not people who take immense amounts of time into planning their next voyage or creation for Second Life. For people who do base a lot of their time in Second Life, I would surely want my things to be protected and acknowledged as my own. Just because it is online does not mean it is not important for some people, just a certain sport may be important to an athlete.

For a closer look check out the posts for yourself.

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=402860

http://shenlei.com/2010/10/13/content-licensing-in-virtual-worlds/

Meeting New People in SL

My exploring in second life started out pretty slow. Everywhere I went, no one seemed to be interested in talking to me. Either I was just searching in the wrong places, or I was very unapproachable. However, my search went on. I went to La Cumbita beach. Some people were walking along the beach and meandering on what seemed to be the boardwalk. I went to this beach because I miss the warm weather and had not seen or visited an actual beach in second life. I loved walking around to every store making random stops and taking a look at anything that crossed my path. I was finally able to meet some one who started talking to me about the area I was in and a little guide line popped up on my screen that outlined parts of the beach. I thought it was pretty neat that I was able to read and talk about the place I was in. I spent a little time exploring then hopped on over the my next adventure.

My next stop was a Health Care Service. I was really interested in this stop because I am a nursing major. I was immediately informed about a presentation I could watch and then was able to read statistics from other Second Life members who rated the Health Care Service world. They rated it based on how easy it was to use and whether or not they would recommend it or if the interactions provided were useful in any way.  I did not exactly talk to anyone, but I was presented with a webpage to browse and read. The webpage talked about how the second life world of health care was supposed to give people and idea about hospitals settings and the future for hospital services. It was really Interesting to read about. The webpage gives you different ways to interact so you get the full experience of the health care setting.There are several different links you can click on and it helps you narrow down what exactly you are interested in. I definitely recommend this to fellow avatars.

https://knowledgecast.wordpress.com/2009/02/02/icl-tour1/

Group Chit-Chat

Realizing that we have group members from a whole different part of the world definitely influenced our ultimate forms of communication. At first, we decided that second life was our best option. However, we all needed to be on at the same time. We also decided that twitter would be another good form of communication. We could leave each other messages and follow each others works. In the end, we also decided that facebook would be a great way to communicate. We can talk and visualize each other pretty easily. We use social media to help plan our project, actions we should take, and talk about the progress we have each made in the class. It is also pretty convenient to turn on our microphones so we can hear each other instead of typing everything out. In the end, we figured twitter and facebook were our best forms of communication because we always seem to check those throughout the day and can communicate with one another a little more quickly than logging onto second life.

Social Media in the Workplace

An article written by Alexandra Samuel talks about social media and its popularity in the workplace. She explains that social media is something most people are introduced to before entering the workplace. It is something that comes with today’s generation and must be taken into account when entering a job/business/corporation. Though most people try their best to keep their social and work lives separate, it can often interfere through the use of social media and I think it has the potential to bring about unwanted tension in the workplace. She explains that it is hard to keep tabs on all employees and their social lives. Nobody wants their employee to be post and write things online that will not only degrade them, but degrade the company they are working for.

Besides potentially brining about unwanted tension, social media does have positive influences. It helps people spread the word about their current business plans and progresses. It also helps build networks. People can connect with others to share ideas and make expansions among themselves to better their work. However, Samuel’s explains that when it comes to social media in the workplace, it needs to be clear that work is first, and that online play is for promoting work/business and is for break time.

Overall, Samuel’s states that you can either allow a lot of latitude when it comes to letting your employees build a social media base, or you can tighten the restrictions and allow little social media interaction. In a sense I do agree that there needs to be set limits, but in the end, social media is growing so fast that people will always be connected somehow. I think it is important people make network connections to branch out to other people with similar interests so they can share ideas and grow in both a social and work aspect. I enjoyed this read and agree with her points.

Take a closer look for yourself!

http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10000872396390443995604578003082273743230

Oh, The Places You’ll Go…

Getting together with my group members was somewhat difficult. All of us have different schedules while others are in a completely different time zone. Debating the best way to communicate, we figured that messaging through SL would be the easiest. We chose a time, met up, and visited three different places. These places included Brazil, Morphe Northwinds, and Sculpti Paradise.

First stop-Brazil. I was pretty surprised when I walked through Brazil. I had never been there before and didn’t know what to expect from it, especially it just being a virtual world. It turned out to be a pretty fascinating place.  There were lots of advertisements for places to go and shop. There were a lot of people meandering around doing their own little thing. There were numerous amounts of artwork in all forms based throughout and music was playing which gave it a more lively feel. It was neat to explore the different places it offered and the sites it had because it was a lot different than Akron Island.

Next stop-Morphe Northwinds. It was interesting to visit here because it was a replica of the industrial area. It made me think of big companies and buildings that were part of the industrial age and what came of it. I did not see a lot of people and it was obvious that here was not a lot to do. For me, it was not one of my favorite places, but in a way, I kind of appreciated it. SL is true in the way it resembles the real world. There will always be places prettier and more modern than others and that is what makes it unique. I thought it was interesting that SL incorporated a place like that which gave it an old world feel that might be appealing to some people. In SL, there’s something for everyone!

Lastly, I walked through Sculptie Paradise. A group member and I felt frustrated with this location. I was placed in a maze when I entered and had a hard time traveling around. I felt confused and felt like I could not get anywhere. I used my group member to help teleport me somewhere else so my stay in Sculptie Paradise was short lived. Maybe the next time I am feeling adventurous and up for a challenge, I will find my way back and take on the mazes of Sculptie Paradise.

Overall, I was impressed with the different settings that can be found in SL. It makes it so that everyone can find their own niche that fits them and their avatar. I am looking forward to many more adventures in SL. Until next time…