Questions and Answers in a Virtual World : Educators and Librarians as Information Providers in Second Life Dr. Lorri Mon, Florida State University SIG-USE Elfreda A. Chatman Research Proposal Award, 2007
Active Worlds There.com http://www.activeworlds.com http://www.there.com Getty Art Museum in WhyvilleWhyville http://www.whyville.net Habbo Hotel http://habbo.com * The Blue Book: A Consumer Guide to Virtual Worlds
IBM SUN MICRO- SYSTEMS DELL DELL Second LifeCDC http://www.secondlife.com SONY BMG Launched in 2003; 10 million+ registered (6 million unique registered users) free basic accounts in 2006; audio in 2007; over 80 universities, many libraries; 390 square miles of virtual land (6 times the size of D.C.)
Research Questions• How does embodiment as an avatar within a virtual world impact the information-seeking interaction between information service providers and information seekers?• Are there aspects to virtual worlds self-presentation by information seekers or information service providers that inhibit or are detrimental to the success of an information interaction?• Are there aspects to virtual worlds self-presentation by information seekers or information service providers that enhance or facilitate the success of an information interaction? MethodInterviews, observations and screenshots are used in examining theself-presentations, working environments & information objectsused by virtual world information providers; analysis is framed byErving Goffman’s work on self-presentation & information control.
The Working Environment: Information ArchitecturesPrinceton U. UNC-CH FSU MYTHICA DREXEL
The Working Environment: Alexandrine Libraries The Library of AlexandriaHobbit Shire Library 1800’s Dirigible Library
The Information Providers’ Role: Issues of Presentation of the Self Trust:"are youreally alibrarian?”n00bs a “conservative” or “professional” appearancevs. [“my alt has blue hair”]residents"...frombrandnewbie towell-dressed..."
Avatar and Self Identity“I wanted it to look like myself”“all my avatars look like me or express the real me in some way ...”"I feel weird coming inworld as my alt ... it is like pretending! i feel like this is really me.""I am not comfortable with the idea of creating a male alt and pretending it is me although I have a male friend who uses a female alt at the ref desk because she is more "approachable.”
“the majority of Questions are about SL” “a lot of How tos... and Where do I starts”How to (examples): Where to (examples):• earn money in SL? • go to learn skills• learn to build or script? • find interesting sims• dance / stop dancing • find educational places• join a non-profit • find specific places, e.g.• clothes / hair – is there a sim here for....• communicating – where is …Specialists (law & health/medicallibrarians) reported more RL questionsthan generalists (reference librarians,educators) • divorce • disability • diseases and prognoses
Answers, Information Tools & ObjectsWorn by info providers: In the environment• radar hud • Whiteboard (ppts)• Babbler • Thinc book BOOK• costumes • Objects w/infoGiven out: • calendars• notecards LINKS • teleport map• landmarks • time zone map• textures • video• objects VIDEO • podcast/radio SCRIPTTEXT CHAT PODCAST TEXTURE/IMAGE NOTECARD
Asynchronous Answers: Games and ChatbotsNotre Dame _blacklibrary
Experiential Learning Spaces Inset: Clickable Latin graffitiRoma: Notecard gives the history of Trajan’s Column inancient Rome
Virtual World Information Spaces “theres still a personal space issue…”
Wish List for Info Providers• more prims per parcel• to be able to do real html ... create and display interactive html pages in world• ability to create or at least easily display external databases to store info• being able to drag from my desktop directly into SL -- like WORD documents.• to be able to search my inventory by creator of item• to be able to query the system for where all the things Ive made are• to be able to query objects for their scripts• to be able to track when people copy and pass around an info-object that I made
Princeton U. American Cancer Society UIUC - LISExamples of universities, libraries andnonprofit organizations in Second Life Questions? U. of North Carolina-CH - LIS Clearwater Public Library, FLGlenview Public Library San Jose State U- LIS Shawnee-Topeka PL
To contact me: Email: email@example.com or SL: Lorri MomijiMon, L. (2009). “Questions and Answers in a Virtual World :Educators and Librarians as Information Providers in Second Life.”Journal of Virtual Worlds Research, Volume 2, Number 1 (April 2009).http://www.jvwresearch.org/v2n1_Mon.html