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Second Life and its uses: My Second Life


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This presentation was given on 29 January 2008 at the annual general meeting of the CILIP Commercial Legal and Scientific Information Group, in London. The presenter firstly presents some basic information about Second Life, the virtual world. She goes on to talk about her own experience as educator, researcher, fashionista, shopkeeper and procrastinator.She talks about the value of SL in business and professional life, and indicates opportunities for library and information professionals.

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Second Life and its uses: My Second Life

  1. 1. Second Life and its uses: My Second Life Sheila Webber / Sheila Yoshikawa Department of Information Studies University of Sheffield January 2008 Copyright Sheila Webber
  2. 2. Outline • Second Life • My Second Life • Professional and Business • SL, libraries and information management Copyright Sheila Webber
  3. 3. Second Life Copyright Sheila Webber
  4. 4. Second Life • 3-D Online Digital world, owned by Linden Labs • Most things created by SL residents: SL fashion designers, architects, bakers, animal makers …. • Avatars- 3D representation of yourself – free to signup and can live on freebies, but need Linden dollars if want to own land, buy clothes etc. • Communication through text chat, Voice and Instant Messaging Copyright Sheila Webber
  5. 5. Facts and figures • SL made up of Regions ( “mainland”) or islands, each 65,536 sqm • 3,952 regions on Mainland ( + 12,000 islands • 12million avatars (probably a lot less individual people): about 50,000 inworld simultaneously • Currency is Linden dollars ( £1= c. L$450): 16,850,580 Linden exchanged in December; 28 Jan spent Spent US$1,436,000 • 341,791 customers spent money inworld in December 2007; 50,000 users had positive Linden flow in Dec Copyright Sheila Webber
  6. 6. Practical issues • Need broadband and good computer with right graphics card • Have to upgrade software about every 6 weeks • Learning curve in basics of movement & communication inworld Copyright Sheila Webber
  7. 7. Further issues • Personal concerns about signing up for avatar or entering dangerous space (possibly more those not used to social software) • Max of about 40 avatars per region/island, and ?60K on whole grid • Inclusion issues • Confidentiality/ privacy (corporate & private) Copyright Sheila Webber
  8. 8. My Second Life Copyright Sheila Webber
  9. 9. My Second Life • 2 avatars • “Payment information on file” • An office on Eduserv Island • My own (paid for) land • Quarters on Babylon 5 • Infolit iSchool: island paid for by CILASS • Why? Colour! Imagination! Creating things! Cute hobbit homes! Virtual squirrels! A complete oufit for 70p! + CPD, education and research opportunities of course….. Copyright Sheila Webber
  10. 10. A day in the second Life: 28 Jan 2008 Copyright Sheila Webber
  11. 11. My Department in SL • July onwards lent office by Eduserv for Centre for Information Literacy Research: started discussion series (every week or 2 – continued on island) • Successful bid to Centre for Inquiry based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences to fund island for a year • Island delivered early October: Infolit iSchool • Started teaching on 22 October Copyright Sheila Webber
  12. 12. Infolit iSchool • Venues for discussion, reflection, chilling: aim to create a relaxing/ welcoming environment • Some food/play areas • “Build” area left empty (or with temporary stuff) to allow practice/ exhibition/ experimentation • Teaching, discussions Copyright Sheila Webber
  13. 13. Education • Only 18+ on main grid: separate Teen grid • Emerging – but already a lot going on • Many disciplines: English, Psychology, Chemistry, Biology etc. etc. • Role play, simulations • Discussion, communication • Problem solving, inquiry Copyright Sheila Webber
  14. 14. Profession and business in SL Copyright Sheila Webber
  15. 15. Business • “Hanging out in virtual worlds” (Roo Reynolds, IBM) including with Important People (networking around the world) • Simulating and modellling real world operations; Training personnel • Making money through SL activities • Building RL brands by connecting with customers inworld • Issues of confidentiality: organisations building their own virtual worlds Copyright Sheila Webber
  16. 16. “Forterra Systems Inc.'s OLIVE™ virtual worlds software platform along with IBM's new chipmaking process and Sprint's Xohm high-speed wireless broadband data network are just three of the five projects identified by the editors of IEEE Spectrum as quot;winnersquot; in the fifth annual issue highlighting the best and worst of global technology.” Copyright Sheila Webber
  17. 17. Professional development & networking • Opportunities to participate in events which would be too expensive/time consuming • A lot of educational events and discussions • Easier to meet/ bump into people from outside the UK • As usual, if proactive, then make more connections: I have organised a discussion series • Only networking with other people who are in SL… Copyright Sheila Webber
  18. 18. SL, libraries and information management Copyright Sheila Webber
  19. 19. • Inventory problems • Inworld objects • What is information in SL? • Issues of presenting textual information • Libraries focused a lot on reader development role & reference role • Librarian groups and activities Copyright Sheila Webber
  20. 20. Sheila Webber Sheila Yoshikawa (in SL) Copyright Sheila Webber
  21. 21. Resources on SL • Kay, J and Fitzgerald, S. (2007) Second Life in Education (wiki with useful information for educators and students, and information on the authors’ own projects – they are Australian educators) • Kemp, J (Ed) (2007) Second Life Education Wiki: SimTeach ducation_Wiki • Second Life Educators List (SLED). (Very high volume discussion list, but is an invaluable resource) • There are further resources linked from these e.g. at Copyright Sheila Webber
  22. 22. Readings • Parker, L. (2008) quot;More questions than answers: the reflections of Maggie Kohime, a virtual librarian in Second Life.quot; Aliss Quarterly, 3 (2) January, 13-17. • Reynolds, R. (2007) My talk at online information 07. information-07/ • Go to www. or and search on Second Life …. Copyright Sheila Webber