Patterns of
blended
information
behaviour in
Second Life
Sheila Webber
I3, June 2013
Second Life (SL), a Virtual World (VW)
• VW = persistent, multiuser, avatars, networked
• 3-D VW world, owned by (& tradem...
SL?
• Diversity of activity in SL
• Longevity (10th birthday celebrations)
• Social and economic development within SL
• S...
Sources of information hidden to the neophyte: regressing to “newbie” stage reminds one how much
information we process an...
Sheila Webber, 2013
Sheila Webber, 2013
Shopping
Sheila Webber, 2013
Search within SL
Sheila Webber, 2013
Research Questions
1. What is the information behaviour (IB) of people
when seeking information about a SL activity (i.e.
...
Data collection
• 91 one-to-one interviews undertaken by my 1st year
students in Second Life
• 49 educators, 21 librarians...
• Interviews
– I produced the interview guide
• starting point: “think about a time when you needed information
for an act...
Findings
Selected points cf. Ellis & Erdelez
• Chaining was frequent and jumped between search
in or outside SL, SL locations, peop...
• 45% of incidents involved information encountering; in a
further 23% of incidents the participant started talking about
...
Inductive analysis: Categories of Need
• Second Life. need is to acquire general instructions and
information on how to us...
Categories of desired outcome
1. Practice. The subcategories are:
a) Enable my specific practice
b) Develop my practice
c)...
Example 1
I10-2: Tool to make sculpted prims [custom designed 3D
shapes] to represent microorganisms (to teach biology in ...
“had noted a few things in passing previously” as had been thinking about it
for a while
Sent an instant message in SL
to ...
I8-1: “I was searching for this scarf I’m wearing” (which a friend
had recommended)
Need: Acquiring item
Outcome: Live one...
Tried various words in SL search –
nothing quite right
Visited and browsed a couple of SL
clothes shops that had found in ...
How can we support people in becoming
information literate so they recognise their
information needs, in context, in the 2...
Information: preteens
Other young
people
Adults
Instant Message
Email
Telephone
Television
Radio
Books
Magazines
Websites
...
Information Literacy … and computer games
- Gumulak, S. (2009) Video games:
the way to attract teenagers into the
library....
Concluding thoughts
• These were professionals, often talking about searches
related to professional practice
– Are the “e...
Sheila Webber
Information School
University of Sheffield
s.webber@shef.ac.uk
SL & Twitter Sheila Yoshikawa
http://informat...
References
• Childs C. (2010) Learners’ experience of presence in virtual worlds. PhD.
Coventry: University of Warwick, In...
• Julien HE and Michels D. (2004) Intra-individual information behaviour in
daily life. Information Processing & Managemen...
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Patterns of blended information behaviour in Second Life

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This research presentation was given by Sheila Webber at the i3 conference in Aberdeen on 27 June 2013. It presents results from analysis of interviews of information behaviour related to activities carried out in the virtual world, Second Life.

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Patterns of blended information behaviour in Second Life

  1. 1. Patterns of blended information behaviour in Second Life Sheila Webber I3, June 2013
  2. 2. Second Life (SL), a Virtual World (VW) • VW = persistent, multiuser, avatars, networked • 3-D VW world, owned by (& trademark of) Linden Lab • Avatars- 3D representation of yourself – free to signup • Most things created by SL residents: SL fashion designers, architects, bakers, animal makers …. real economy in SL • Need to download SL browser & have good broadband connection & computer graphics card • Communication through text chat, voice and Instant Messaging • C. 70,000 people online simultaneously, international, wide age range Sheila Webber, 2013
  3. 3. SL? • Diversity of activity in SL • Longevity (10th birthday celebrations) • Social and economic development within SL • Substantial use of VWs by young people (see http://www.kzero.co.uk/) • My contention “Whilst not everyone wants to live a SL, IB in SL can provide insights into how citizens can navigate the blended information world of the future” (Webber, 2013) Sheila Webber, 2013
  4. 4. Sources of information hidden to the neophyte: regressing to “newbie” stage reminds one how much information we process and negotiate in everyday physical lives
  5. 5. Sheila Webber, 2013
  6. 6. Sheila Webber, 2013
  7. 7. Shopping Sheila Webber, 2013
  8. 8. Search within SL Sheila Webber, 2013
  9. 9. Research Questions 1. What is the information behaviour (IB) of people when seeking information about a SL activity (i.e. something they do in SL e.g. teaching, attending a concert, making a home, shopping)? 2. Are models of IB which emerged in other contexts applicable to IB in a virtual world? Sheila Webber, 2013
  10. 10. Data collection • 91 one-to-one interviews undertaken by my 1st year students in Second Life • 49 educators, 21 librarians, 21 other (mostly professionals plus some students) • 49 British, 32 North American, 10 from other countries • All but 4 at an advanced stage of participation in VWs (Childs, 2010) Academic year • 2007/8 • 2008/9 • 2009/10 • 2011/12 No. interviewees 21 23 25 22 Sheila Webber, 2013
  11. 11. • Interviews – I produced the interview guide • starting point: “think about a time when you needed information for an activity in SL” – Students trained in interviewing in SL – Normal ethics approval procedures; informed consent – Text chat, so automatic transcript • Analysis: – Using existing IB models: Ellis (1993), Erdelez (1999), Mansourian (2008) – Inductive, to identify patterns and categories Sheila Webber, 2013
  12. 12. Findings
  13. 13. Selected points cf. Ellis & Erdelez • Chaining was frequent and jumped between search in or outside SL, SL locations, people in and outside SL, objects, websites etc. • Browsing similarly included browsing SL land, objects, people; one’s own content (e.g. inventory); search engines and websites etc. • Verifying of people included considering their occupation, network of connections, relationship with participant, amount of time in SL Sheila Webber, 2013
  14. 14. • 45% of incidents involved information encountering; in a further 23% of incidents the participant started talking about other experiences of encountering • “I was in the Hyde Park area of SL. While I was there, chatting with some people, I noticed one of them was part of a SL group “London Gossip” I realized this could be a group that could help me interact with some people to gather information” (I10-20). • Encountering might, commonly, provide a successful end to a search or stimulate new possibilities during a search • Importance of people sources encountering (or serendipity also emerged in Ostrander (2008) and Eisenberg et al.‘s (2010) studies of IB in SL: see also Huvila et al. (2010) Sheila Webber, 2013
  15. 15. Inductive analysis: Categories of Need • Second Life. need is to acquire general instructions and information on how to use SL. • Location. need is to identify or to access a location in SL • Land. The need is to transform the (SL) land or to acquire or get rid of the land • Item. need to acquire the SL item or to transform the item • Avatar. need is to customise the SL avatar or to identify avatar(s) • Existing practice. need is to locate (work out the nature of) existing practice • Existing information about a specific subject. need is to acquire information for some SL purpose. Sheila Webber, 2013
  16. 16. Categories of desired outcome 1. Practice. The subcategories are: a) Enable my specific practice b) Develop my practice c) Impact others’ practice 2. Knowledge base. The aim of acquiring the information is to add to personal knowledge and/or the collective knowledge base 3. Second Life. The subcategories are: a) Forming a SL b) To live one’s SL 4. Life. The outcome is achieving a long term goal Sheila Webber, 2013
  17. 17. Example 1 I10-2: Tool to make sculpted prims [custom designed 3D shapes] to represent microorganisms (to teach biology in SL) Need: Acquiring item [which will transform other items] Outcome: Enable my specific practice Process: applying expertise (own and others’) and trying things out to refine specification of what is needed to enable desired outcome Sheila Webber, 2013
  18. 18. “had noted a few things in passing previously” as had been thinking about it for a while Sent an instant message in SL to an expert in SL building, known to I10-2 Better advice than a search engine Expert has her own network Expertise Product A Product B Product C Trial of (free) product A – rejection – not sufficient I10-2 searched own blog Trial of (free) product B – rejection – not flexible Some problem redefinition – willing to pay – tool should function within SL – flexibility of output Searched SL marketplace (web shop for SL products) Official SL wiki Product C’s wiki Read reviews How to use tool No other products Purchase of product C Search function in SL to find inworld shop Blogs about Product C and how to use it SheilaWebber,2013
  19. 19. I8-1: “I was searching for this scarf I’m wearing” (which a friend had recommended) Need: Acquiring item Outcome: Live one’s SL Process: trying different sources – searching, browsing – until you find the item that matches Sheila Webber, 2013 Example 2
  20. 20. Tried various words in SL search – nothing quite right Visited and browsed a couple of SL clothes shops that had found in search – nothing quite right Searched Google Followed SLURL to SL shop Backup plan was asking friend who mentioned scarf in first place Purchase of scarf Top hit was a link to post about the scarves on the blog of the SL fashion designer, with picture Example of designer blog SheilaWebber,2013
  21. 21. How can we support people in becoming information literate so they recognise their information needs, in context, in the 21st century, information-rich environment? Webber, S. (2011) Perspectives on the information literate university. Presentation at the Open University. http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/perspectives-on-the-information- literate-university An underlying, ongoing question … SheilaWebber,2013
  22. 22. Information: preteens Other young people Adults Instant Message Email Telephone Television Radio Books Magazines Websites Search engines Organisations Meyers, E. Fisher, K. and Marcoux, E. (2009) “Making sense of an information worlds: the everyday life information behaviour of preteens.” Library Quarterly, 79 (3), 301– 341 “a tween might consult a peer, who recommends a Web site, which is vetted by a parent, and ultimately they together consult a store professional.” (p317) “in nineteen of twenty- five [searches] … tweens used another person as the primary or secondary source of information” (p317) school , bus, shopping mall, sports fields, parks, home, churches , libraries , restaurants, shops SheilaWebber,2013
  23. 23. Information Literacy … and computer games - Gumulak, S. (2009) Video games: the way to attract teenagers into the library. MA thesis. Sheffield: UoS. - Gumulak, S. and Webber, S. (2011) "Playing video games: learning and information literacy" Aslib proceedings, 63 (2/3), 241-255. “I learned all about camping, how to light a fire. “ (Interviewee IIb12) “ye I go back and start the level again to see if I missed anything then I read it is it says anything for help. “ (Interviewee XIIg12) • Text boxes • Game environment • Non player characters • Game booklet & box • Friends and family • Walkthru sites (last resort) •Review sites •Search engines •Forums •Websites 20% wrote reviews “if it is a good game I write ‘try it it’s a good game’ if it is rubbish I write it’ (Interviewee Ib12) Browsing, searching, evaluating, applying SheilaWebber,2013
  24. 24. Concluding thoughts • These were professionals, often talking about searches related to professional practice – Are the “everyday” behaviours to do with the SL context or the wider range of questions? (probably both) – Why is there more research into IB of academics in research than IB for teaching? • Evidence of IL relating to different contexts (IL in SL, IL in web search context) • Hope to do more to explore the encountering dimensions – why there was so much of it Sheila Webber, 2013
  25. 25. Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield s.webber@shef.ac.uk SL & Twitter Sheila Yoshikawa http://information-literacy.blogspot.com http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber http://yoshikawafashion.wordpress.com/ Graphics: Sheila Webber
  26. 26. References • Childs C. (2010) Learners’ experience of presence in virtual worlds. PhD. Coventry: University of Warwick, Institute of Education. • Eisenberg M, Head A, Lin P, Marino J, and Karlova N. (2010) Research on Credibility and Immersive Virtual Environments Grant #92258-0: Annual Report for MacArthur Foundation. Seattle, WA: Information School University of Washington, 2010. http://vibe.ischool.washington.edu/PapersPosters/Eisenberg- VIBE%20Project- Annual%20Narrative%20Report.pdf • Ellis D, Cox D and Hall K.(1993) A comparison of the information seeking researchers in the physical and social sciences. Journal of Documentation, 49, 356 - 369. • Erdelez S. (1999) Information encountering: it's more than just bumping into information, Bulletin of the American Association for Information Science 25 (3). http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Feb-99/erdelez.html • Huvila I, Holmberg K, Ek S and Widen-Wulff G.(2010) Social capital in Second Life. Online information review, 34, 295-316 Sheila Webber, 2013
  27. 27. • Julien HE and Michels D. (2004) Intra-individual information behaviour in daily life. Information Processing & Management, 40, 47–562. • Mansourian Y, Ford N, Webber S and Madden A. (2008) An integrative model of 'information visibility' and 'information seeking' on the web. Program, 42, 402-417. • Ostrander M. (2008) Talking, looking, flying, searching: information seeking behaviour in Second Life. Library Hi Tech 2008; 26: 512–524. • Webber, S. (2013) "Blended information behaviour in Second Life." Journal of information science, 39(1), 85–100 • Webber S. (2010) Investigating modes of student inquiry in Second Life as part of a blended approach. International Journal of Virtual and Personal Learning Environments, 1, 55-70. Sheila Webber, 2013

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