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Monday, May 08, 2006

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rikomatic

The Annenberg folks did a nice job creating the virtual version of their center. I assume the actual one at USC does not feature stunning views of the pacific or trays of sushi and japanese beer lying around.

I thought their event was well organized and quite interesting. That said, here are a few comments on the format:

I think the hardest part about these RW / SL events is mediating between the two. That is, getting people in SL to feel as if they are really at the event instead of observing it from afar. I find that the silly cross-chat tends to drown out the actual speakers.

And in the RW, the challenge is getting people to realize that there are virtual participants who are there. A live feed of the chat session would probably be too distracting, but maybe interesting. At the very least, people in the audience posing questions should be encouraged to use the mic to the virtual participants can hear them as well.

If there were a way during Q & A to display people's avatars as they were asking their question might help.

Obviously we are all making this up as we go along. But an evolving set of guidelines on how to create a successful RW/SL event would be helpful to post, here or elsewhere.

More on this at http://www.rikomatic.com.

Liz Lawley

It's a lovely idea in theory. But the fact that you have to be (a) 18 or over, and (b) willing to provide a credit card number, makes me feel that SL is an inappropriate venue for organizations like Annenberg and Creative Commons to use for "public" events. If USC limited campus access to credit card holders over the age of 18, people would be outraged--why is it ok for it to happen digitally?

rikomatic

Well, I think the point is to reach a larger public than normally shows up for these things. USC currently limits access I am sure to registered students and faculty, so opening up their meetings to people who can come aboard through Second Life is a big step forward.

There is no such thing as a perfect agora. But the internet promises to be a much more partipatory, democratic space for interaction than other current media. But only if we start making the baby steps now to make it so. The virtual Annenberg Island is one of those steps.

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