Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Newbie Unplugged -- not by choice, but by necessity

The good news is we're having our bathroom renovated -- totally gutted, and rebuilt from the studs up. The bad news is, it's our only bathroom. No powder room, not even a water closet in the basement. So, we've moved in with my mom for the duration; and if you've read my previous posts, you know that her household is not exactly enabled for the 21st century. So if I'm not posting much in the next few weeks... you'll know why!

I'm choosing to look at this as a golden opportunity to catch up on my reading. So if there are any books out there right now that I should be reading, please let me know!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Reconnecting with friends... Well, their avatars

Monday October 1st saw another After A Fashion social-shopping get-together in Second Life. Check out the the AAF blog for details of the amazing outfits and free hair fat packs I picked up!

Every time I get together with the AAF girls in Second Life I'm amazed at how the virtual world enables me to reconnect with people that I seldom see in RL (real life). Even though it was ages since the last AAF excursion, we quickly fell into an easy conversation. Of course it helps that the social shopping aspect gives us an activity to share in, so there are few awkward pauses in the conversation; but even when I encounter utter strangers in SL, the chat seems to flow, and folks are just generally more friendly and approachable than anyone I've encountered in RL.

I find myself musing about this more and more, and wishing that I could put my finger on the element of Second Life that makes for such easy interaction. What do you think? Any ideas as to why this is so?

Friday, October 5, 2007

Newbie is now "Second Life expert"

Ironic, isn't it? But true: to a big group of former skeptics, I'm now their go-to person for info on virtual worlds.

On September 25th an event that I've been planning for months finally happened: a live-audio reading and author Q&A in Second Life, organized by me, in a gorgeous sim designed and built by the good folks at purplestripe. By all measures it was a successful event -- attendance was good, and we got some decent blog buzz before and after; but to me, the real measure of success was that the folks I work with are now, finally, starting to get it. A large part of the planning process involved selling the concept of an in-world author event to TPTB where I work -- no small feat considering the deep-seated skepticism around all things digital and SL in particular.

On the day of the event I arranged for my office PC to be moved into a boardroom and hooked up to a projector, so that anyone who wanted to could view the event as it happened, live. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall when people saw SL for the first time and realized its implications. "You mean to tell me that each avatar represents a real person?" "So these people could be anywhere in the world right now? And they're all hearing the same audio we can hear?" "You mean I can chat with more than one person at a time, in real time?"

One small event for an avatar, one giant leap for the Great Unplugged. :)

A few snapshots from the event:
The build:

Chloe looking studious: