Thursday, 24 April 2008

And yet more

Discussion session held in SL: 1 (good); Student events attended in SL: 2 (good); UK academics' fashion show missed: 1 (bad)

Today's discussion on Infolit iSchool featured Testy Outlander talking about her research, which was investigating the info habits of 5 SL residents. Quite a good no. of people again, in fact I even had to augment the seating with some further Nice Brown Chairs. Testy's research blog is at The transcript or chatlog of the session is online at

Am wondering about having a shopping event (i.e. lets go do free shopping together) after next session - see what response is). Should actually be finishing up notecard on a future conference track that need to consult with various avatars about - but now that am officially a blue-haired babe (see previous post) feel should be jutified in haunting boutiques of SL.
After discussion session, oozed over to the Emerge sim where had been Avatar Identity event involving catwalk display of volunteers. Only discovered this was on today, or would have tried to avoid clash. Could not actually try out catwalk as 2 creators were still there enjoying the disco beat. So looked round sim (some nice features - and great view from the bar).

Had had limited access to SL (and will do again for next few days) so trying to pack a lot in. Yesterday evening went to Ulster University to presentation by student Kerri about her work in virtual classrooms (there were 2, one is pictured) and to Texas Women's University to look at students work. Bumped into North Lamar so could exchange trenchant comments in IM.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

And yet more sitting and flying around

Discussions about SL librarians: 1 (good); Rash promises given about date of submitting conference paper: 1 (bad); Tours of island given: 1 (good); Persons suffering from travel sickness on tour: none (good, my touring skills have improved)

Last Thursday's Infolit iSchool discussion led by Pam Ribble on Pitfalls for librarians in SL. Pam also gave some good links etc for libraries in SL.
Good turnout, inc. someone from Konstanz (Tarwin) who had been chasing me to submit an overdue conference paper in RL. (Finally cornered in SL, LOL as they say.) Chatlog for the "Pitfalls" discussion is at and it also included discussion of opportunities ;-)
As wasn't lead person was able to do admin-y things like drop people notecards and look out for lost people.

After discussion over I offered a quick tour of island in Follow Chairs amd had a number of takers. Zipped round quite quickly without too many bumps (I think).
Afterwards had talks with Tarwin and also French researcher who hope to see in RL when I do a keynote at a conference in France in October. All v. international.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

I am designated a "blue-haired babe" by the Guardian

No. of articles referring to self as "blue-haired babe" in major national newspaper: 1 (v.v, good); No. of paragraphs before any other person mentioned: 2 (good, though suppose is v. base to think this); No. of pictures of self featured in newspaper: 0 (missed opportunity)

Have been featured in supplement to the Guardian (leading UK newspaper). Not only mentioned but in fact comprise 1st sentence of supplement's lead article!!! Had talked to journalist over phone but wasn't sure what outcome would be. Only flaw is that are no pictures in newspaper to confirm babeness. Frankly would have been more pictureque than those of RL people, but readers are given web address of this blog so can judge babe level for themselves. Have included extra large pic above to enable this. Of course am not showing off in any way. Oh dear no.

Sunday, 20 April 2008


Visits to virtual classrooms: 2 (good); Virtual lunches consumed: 1 (good); Crashes on flying carpets: 1 (bad)

2 visits to classrooms of different types. On one hand was v. excited when discovered sim (Benesse possibly, must check name) which has faithful reproduction of Japanese school, as least is faithful reproduction of how schools appear in Japanese anime. Resisted ideas of changing into Japanese schoolgirl oufit (for moment anyway) as possibly seeming pervy and took various pics including this one consuming Japanese lunch in classroom. Can pick up lunch as freebie. V. cool. Was someone else exploring sim, in his case using "Negi" (magician schoolboy teacher from anime Negima!) avatar but didn't take pic of him.

2nd classroom different in that is virtual ideal classroom project in Jokaydia sim where educator is creating same under environmentally sustainable principles so is including virtual wormeries and the like. V. interesting and am popping in from time to time to see progress. On this occasion found that Jokay herself, plus educator doing project plus Heyjude were there. Pottered around looking at new additions including seating and said wormery.
Joined in flying carpet ride, always fun, but in this case got stuck on sim boundary and crashed so thus ended the visit.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Some more dull pictures of people sitting around

Discussions attended: 2 (thrilling); No of times "what are advantages of SL for education" gets raised as discussion topic per month: approx. 3 thousand (again, thrilling, ahem)

Attended usual educational discussion in Black Library on Monday and the Tuesday one at Montclair. Subject of latter was how would justify Second Life being greater priority than Blackboard. In both cases was good amount of discussion but have decided that should do more listening. Can remember making this resolution before. Oh well.
Will mention that for me SL is a learning space, so not really an alternative to a virtual learning environment like Blackboard, but each has its place e.g. SL pretty useless for storing textual material and lots of 2D pics at present. On other hand SL has possibilities of 3D work, greater sense of personality, and animated squirrels.

After Montclair discussion went back to Infolit iSchool with North Lamar for nice chat in Hobbiton house (as in 2nd pic). He was talking about improvements to latest run of his virtual worlds class, all good stuff e.g. more practice of building as a group before tackling real group project, more emphasis on getting together a project "pitch" for clients.

Each educational discussion results in yet more pics of people sitting in chairs (or bobbins, in case of Hobbiton House). For me each of course is fascinatingly different, not least for fact that am wearing different outfit every time, but may possibly be breaching boredom threshold of honoured readers.

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Information literacy, Web 2.0, LILAC

Chatlogs posted: 1 (eventually)

Have posted the transcript of the discussion on Web 2.0 and information literacy that took place on Infolit iSchool on 10th April, at Discussion was led by me and coincided with release of the new book Information Literacy meets library 2.0 (ed by Peter Godwin and Jo Parker, published by Facet Publications, in which I wrote a chapter). There was an accompanying notecard with the links etc which are in this blog entry:
Took several goes to post chatlog, using thingy at Leeds Metropolitan University that makes chat look more aesthetically pleasing. Was relieved when became evident that application had not died, since this is where all chatlogs are stored, suppose should have a backup somewhere.

Think that forgot to mention here when previous chatlog was posted, so here it is: This is the chatlog of discussion led by Ishbel and me on Infolit iSchool on 27 March 2008, presenting some of our highlights from the 2008 LILAC conference. Pam Ribble who helped us with the LILAC conference session was there, and this is a pic of her and her pet dragon afterwards, think they look v. cute.


Favourite jewellery designer disappearing: 1 (bad); Blessings counted: 1 (good); Plays on double meaning of word "reflections": 1 (poor)
Was shocked to find from SL fashion blog feed that the Second Mirage shop is suddenly no more as designer is leaving SL. Immediately teleported to the Second Mirage sim but all had disappeared - shop and all its jewels. Whilst standing gawping at empty landscape someone came up who said she lived there and was now being ousted, sad as it was her first home. Thus forced to reflect on advantage of being on mainland (as with my own home) since although may suddenly find self with giant plank or nightclub for neighbour at least don't get made homeless on an owner's whim.

Think that people in fashion world must know why the designer suddenly left as has been zero comment on the feeds. Am now cursing that didn't ask SM resident what the reason was. Anyway, have got several favourite pieces from Second Mirage and now cursing even more that didn't pour a few more lindens into snapping up earrings, necklaces etc. while had chance.

2nd type of "reflection" is what you get with windlight on water and can see it especially in pic of me standing in sea at Bossa Nova. Have to stress this taken with husband's high end computer, as mentioned in previous post, as with own inferior animal just get the odd sparkle, although sky definitely improved.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Education, education, education

Education-related meetings attended: 4 (good); Bitching sessions about new browser: 1 (good); Floating head problems solved: 1 (v.v. good)

Having busy time in SL, somewhat interrupted by quirks of new SL browser. First encountered this browser on RL husband's PC which is superior beast and spent lots of time oohing an aahing over pretty light and water effects and taking pics. However, when got back to work and installed on my crummy laptop was firstly confronted by grey landscape due to graphics level being set to low. When upped it found was even SLOWER moving around than normal, things take even longer to rez etc etc and worst of all people who weren't right next to me only appeared as heads and boots, with nothing in between. Spooky! And slightly indecent somehow. Took several days before got the hint to UNTICK box "avatar imposters" in preferences settings. What is that about?? Oh well.

First set of pics taken before this, indeed one with tags still in taken specifically to show that in some cases have name tag with apparently no avatar underneath or only his/her head. Big one was of discussion at Montclair State Uni (regular Tues eveneing discussions) in which we were all moaning about the browser. One bottom right is of regular monday discussion in Black Library at Hyperborea (again, spot ye missing bodies). Last 2 are of video stream of lecture by Charles Messon of Harvard Buisness School. Key message was that playing poker is good was to teach ... I forget what - business, law or perhaps just Life.

Above pics were taken in Edinburgh Uni sim, Vue, with Pancha Enzyme, Ishbel and Pancha's colleague Lulu. Pancha has asked us to help out with a SL session at the SCONUL conference in June so of course said yes. Cool.

Thursday, 10 April 2008


Cats encountered in sims: various (good); Cats appearing out of thin air when sit on bench: 1 (good); Cats carried: 1 (v. good); Cats needing feeding: 0 (good); Cats needing litter tray: 0 (v. good); Cats resulting in vet's bills: 0 (v.v. good)
This posting is celebration of SL cats. Have already posted multiple times about Mitsy and more recently Goggles (seen in main pic). Also often encounter cats round and about and in right hand pic am shown conversing (one-sidedly) with cat in pleasant area of a shopping sim, with a cat that (like Goggles) was born at Zooby's.
Have also bought magic pillow which appears just a pillow but, when you SIT on it, cat appears on lap and one's hand starts making vague stroking motion, sometimes disappearing into cat and also cat has strange globular appearance, but still. Pillow can be copied infinite no. of times and placed anywhere so could have (e.g.) discussion session where everyone found themselves stroking identical cats.
Hmmm, perhaps will try that.

Sunday, 6 April 2008


Days without access to SL: 4 (bad); Talks given about SL: 1 (good); Homeless guys met in SL: 1 (dubious)

Am having restricted access to SL whilst away, except whilst giving demo to students at Strathclyde Uni in Glasgow where used to teach before moved to Sheffield. Seemed to go quite well and if students thought it creepy then kept it to selves. Afterwards when continuing demo to Strathclyde colleagues encountered someone claiming to be homeless in RL and SL. Not sure about this. If is really homeless and is e.g. using SL from local public library is heartening story. But homeless not exactly real concept in SL since home not essential since don't need to eat, sleep, bathe etc and can change clothes anywhere.

Anyway, have used some time to put together pics of SL tourism. So, first is compilation of pics from wander round Japanese sim. Have been there couple of times, and in first visit peeked with camera inside what appeared to be real SL geisha house with geisha avatars dancing, serving saki etc. to client. Pic shows me peering through bars on door to house. Also have shots in Machinima studio lot on Tennoz Isle and cute bar where can earn Linden through Camping.

Second lot of photos are from tour on opening day of Al Andalus Alhambra sim, where were live concerts etc. I am one in pink dress and blue cardigan. Decided not to include shots where people looked like lumpy grey clay because of no. of avatars in one sim.

The blog of Sheila Yoshikawa on her adventures in Second Life. This may be very thrilling. Or possibly not.