Thursday, 31 July 2008

Yet another experiment

Am uploading pics from SL to my blog. Seemed to wait ages for the first try and have given up; will give it one more go before the session. You use the "Send a postcard" option when taking the picture, one of those functions there has just never seemed a point to, for me.
posted by Sheila Yoshikawa on Infolit iSchool using a blogHUD : [permalink]


Today am leading discussion on SL and blogging (noon SL time, in Sakura House, Infolit iSchool). To celebrate this have treated myself to the Pro version of Bloghud. And this is my first cross-post. Cool ... or not if it doesn't work.
posted by Sheila Yoshikawa on Infolit iSchool using a blogHUD : [permalink]

Hmmm ... that was all very well, but I then had to go into Blogger to do the publishing, it just stored it as a draft. However, at a sort of basic level, it works. So:

Posts made from within SL: 1 (good)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Discussion, hotness, changes

Educational meetings attended: 2 (good); Teleport signs reset: 3 (bad); Attempted pick-up lines: 1 (bad)

Attended 2 meetings tonight, namely regular Tuesday meeting at Montclair Uni and (for first time) Educator's Coop meeting. At Montclair, Fleep and Kitty were talking about SLCC conf in Tampa and SL in September. Have had paper accepted for inworld version of conf., obviously v. good, and one referee said was excellent proposal, so must remind self exactly what it was I proposed, ahem. During session had busy time IM-ing Robin and Zotorah about their contribution to Infolit discussion series.

Tomorrow is exciting event on island, since Jackie is Inducting colleagues from School of Education. Tp-ed back there after meeting to sort out a few teleporting boards, which had taken it into their heads to unset themselves and teleport people to apparently random locations on island.

Whilst loitering on Regent Plaza was accosted by strange avatar who started conversation with "UR hot" opening gambit, one to which was not able to respond immediately in desired brisk and chilling fashion since laginess meant that was in fact bumping into admirer in manner that could be misconstrued. However, eventually managed to get a few statements out in which stressed age and attempted to say things in proper sentences hoping thus to indicate dullness and general un-hot nature.

Was slightly disconcerted when, photoshopping pictures from Montclair meeting, noticed same avatar sitting round discussion table. Was he then another educator? Are these meeting secretly treated as pick-up events? Hmmm. Rather unwilling to change into trousers and high necked shirts just on off chance that fellow educator will mistake display of leg for virtual come-on.

No such probs at later meeting in Educators' Coop, which am very pleased to have been invited into. Interesting discussion about what other people plan (the others have land in the Coop itself) - lots of variety plus a couple of people specifically interested in information literacy which is v.v. exciting indeed. Ended session with North doing a chicken dance, but unfortunately missed the photo opportunity.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Meetings, Art, Clothes

Education discussions attended: 2 (good); Education discussions missed: 2 (bad); Artistic experiences: 2 (v.v. good); Items of clothing purchased: 4 (bad); Free items of clothing acquired: 7 (at least; good)
Still catching up, as usual. Last week attended 2 education discussions: 1 in Black Library and 1 at Montclair. Also just missed (today) one of the Metanomics series sessions - arrived just as people were having post-session chat. Last week came in just as a research discussion about avatar image was ending (had mistaken finish time for start time, oops) Oh well.
Focus for Montclair discussion was libraries in SL, and was large turnout i.e. about 40 people. Think they were mostly from North America, but sprinkling of people from other regions, including librarian from Scotland who I was able to lure into the Information Literacy Group.
Lots of lively discussion, with particular focus on getting 24/7/365 reference desk coverage in SL. Felt that would be nice to get more discussion of other issues, since, although reference is admirable and helps lots of people, is not most exhilarating topic inworld or indeed out of it... if I were convincing someone of the dynamic role of the information professional to say "and they are working towards assuring a 24/7 duty rota in SL" would just confirm some librarian stereotypes (i.e. harmless/ useful/ dull).On less frivolous level it would be good to see more librarians taking leadership roles in areas of information management, I think there is a danger that librarians might be pigeonholing themselves in traditional roles more than they need to. On the other hand there are the huge pigeonholing pressures from RL - RL managers and senior officers etc. requiring justification for library activities in traditional and quantitative ways. And a couple of people said that if they could say there was 24/7/365 reference service in SL this would be a lure for their managers. Hey ho.
As usual, were people telling each other they rock. This is obviously something I don’t do enough of, as does not seem to come naturally, but do feel that “awesome” does spring from lips more easily than used to (which wouldn’t be hard, since a year ago would not ever have used it except to apply to e.g. spectacular dawn over the Pacific. No, actually; wouldn’t have even said it even then). And someone at the meeting said that Infolit iSchool was awesome (AWESOME even), so I am just a curmugeonly old Yoshikawa.Anyway upshot of this discussion was another meeting ... no that is curmugeonly again; number of ideas came up and should be some follow up & obviously am reflecting on how I contribute.
A particular highlight last week was a visit to a temporary artwork (a huge flower - tower) by Eshi Otawara, which Zotarah told me about at the end of the Black Library discussion. Was v. grateful as was ... ahem ... awesome, and lots of fun to flit round it and take pics in different lightings. IMed Robin and Jackie who happened to be online to alert them.
Previously had visited Black Swan sim, which had gone to months ago when was called something else (can't remember what) - anyway it is a dramatic venue with some interesting artworks (one pictured here is in the air) and also something for consumers i.e. dresses by various designers, with black swan theme.Have tried to reign back on purchases and have resisted black swan dresses (so far) partly because there have been some v.nice freebies around lately. Still managed to buy the odd piece here and there - but, such is my ditzy shopping brain, one week later can't exactly remember which items they were (think another pair of Armidi Vinianis featured somewhere ...)

Friday, 25 July 2008

CNN iReports uses my photos

Photos used on CNN ireports site: 4 (good); Obviousness that they are by me: moderate (bad)

Was searching for other Blogher08 in SL reports via Google when came across
"BlogHers go Racing in Second Life!" by Hondgrrl

Looked at first photo at top and thought - hmmm - that looks familar. Saw 2nd one and that was undoubtedly mine (on Flickr). Looked at post and saw that I WAS credited at the bottom, but because of banner across them a casual reader (i.e. most people) would think they were CNN pictures. On one hand it's nice they are used, on other they actually should have asked me since I have kept the "rights" reserved option on Flickr and they have copied the pics rather than embedding the Flickr links. Hmmm. Not sure have energy to pursue this, however probably means should put name on pics in future (bore, also looks a bit pretentious, but...)

Bloher08, Belated

Days since last posted: 7 (bad)

Will belatedly try to wrap up on Blogher08 conference. Am looking back on notes and again as in RL often not obvious how to make sense of them, ahem. OK - was a session on day 1 about links between SL and blogging. Panellists included Patty Streeter, Gidge Uriza and Cybergrrl Oh. One speaker said that "we are the revolution" - that future is one giant mashup and so mixing SL and blogs is very much being in that happening place (I paraphrase). Patty Streeter "social networking on steroids"
In terms of being a woman blogger things mentioned were: blogging more about emotions etc and also that in terms of fashion blogging there is more to blog about compared with what is available to chaps ;-)
One of the questioners saw a conflict between the visual side of SL and writing - doing less writing because of SL. I'd observe that am not doing less writing, but AM spending more time doing informal writing and less doing formal writing which in my job is Not a Good Thing in career terms.
Other phrases I jotted down about SL and blogging were "whimsical", "self-actualisation", "extend your creative horizons", "problem of SL stalkers", "it stimulates all my creative juices".In fact part of Blogher08 that enjoyed most, have to confess, was the motor racing that indulged in, on 2nd afternoon, kindly arranged for us by Patty Streeter.
Got dropped firstly small stock car and then larger one, and operated in using arrow keys. Was pretty much rubbish at it, but great fun, and had satisfaction of coming not-last i.e. 5th of 6th, in race. Has to be said that person who was 6th had only been in SL one week, but still, honour was preserved. Picture show car after spectacular crash flying through the air before landing OUTSIDE the racing stadium - fortunately I didn't land on anyone and could step out of the car unscathed.
After this excitement there was an open mic session where people read out favourite blog posts. Unfortunately not many people turned up for this. Other speakers had entries about important experiences from their lives, or one person read out a blog post where she'd remembered a SL person (The Sojourner) who'd died in RL.
Felt a bit awkward. Just don't write blog posts like that. In that context a wry Yoshikawa-type entry would have sounded shallow. Am I a shallow blogger? Is it cultural difference? Would people think I was really a chap because I couldn't come up with something emotional enough??
In the end, due to paucity of people (i.e. three of us at that point and the other 2 had already spoken), was suggested that people could just talk about their experience (didn't have to be a blog post) so rambled on somewhat incoherently about joy of being in SL. At least people liked my dress, which was the Rez-day Digit Darkes item.

Following THIS there was a dance at Callie Cline's beach resort. She herself attended, looking v. splendid in her Black Swan creation.
Day 2 of Blogher08 in SL and the Education panel was, oddly perhaps, focusing on the use of SL in education and training, rather than on blogging. In fact my only criticism of the conference (which was v. well organised and had a lot of interesting stuff) was that it could have had more about blogging and less about SL.
The panel was Dannette CiscoSystems, Fleep Tuque (educational technologist at a US university), In Kenzo (working with non profits with events, SL creations etc), Lila iReport (with CNN iReports), and chaired by padlurowncanoe Dibou, so people from a range of backgrounds. CNN iReports is CNN's citizen journalist initiative, so one thing they do is train people about "telling their story". As a sidenote, am glad that am unlikely to be forced to become Sheila SheffieldUniversity or Sheila InformationStudies by my institution. Some points from discussion
- Still need to "handhold" with all kinds of admins, producers, various people who hold the pursestrings and who don't see benefits of SL
- Opportunity for journalism students to participate in iReports - Lila iReports said they would be interested ;-)
- Nursing programme at the University of Wisconsin was mentioned as one moving to a SL approach - one issue was of people wanting to take credit bearing modules or programmes (personally think this will always need to be handled by institution itself, although a central directory would be useful)
- Backchat was highlighted as feature of SL conferences - indeed this is interesting and changes the dynamics. You can have "backchat" at RL conferences in that now people may be liveblogging, twittering etc, but a speaker might have to follow multiple streams to follow it and react, whereas in SL it's far more part of the experience (asnd possibly discvoncerting for those not used to SL?)
- CiscoSystems said that SL "comes down to content" - people also wanting to "express their personal brand" eg. not having overriding anmations. But does do powerpointy stuff. Using SL "brings a level of intimacy to it" and they can use globally dispersed people, even though they are basically, from what she said, wtrill doing rather powerpointy stuff. This was contrasted with the less intimate channel of a webinar.
- Educators were criticised by one speaker for not doing enough non-transmissive stuff - but I thought perhaps she hadn't been around enough, because there is certainly much creative education out there. I haven't ever used ppt with my students and we haven't used aything that looks like a RL classroom - North's work as reported a couple of posts ago is another example.The last SL session was on using SL for good. I learnt a lot from this about some of the projects going on in SL and there is a "liveblog" about it from Amy Sample Ward (when you get to the post you have to click on the liveblogging link). The panellists were (in RL) Susan Tenby, Connie Reece, Jennifer Cole and Aleja Ospina and Amy says that there is a transcript on the Gimpgirl website
The final thing I dipped into (by that time it was very late - early hours of the morning for me) was a relay of the final session at the RL Blogher. There is a good liveblog from a RL delegate here. I didn't know who the bloggers were (their blogs or them) but
Apart from the extra knowledge I picked up from sessions such as the last SL panel the main thoughts I took away were
1. Blogging could make a good discussion in the Infolit iSchool series
2. What kind of blogger am I? I got a feeling that blogs didn't seem "female" enough for me to feel altogether at home in the RL Blogher conference - it looked rather intimidating. There are all those bloggers out there that I'm not much aware of at all , like mommybloggers and food bloggers and knitting bloggers. My information literacy blog is a professional blog and I'm aware of the blogging community relevant to that. I SL-fashion blog a little (see here the pic of one outfit I blogged from the conference)and read the SL-fashion blogs so I am very aware of what happens there, though I wouldn't say I was part of that community, really - I don't really know any of the other fashion bloggers in SL (Gidge, a SL Blogher08 panellist, also posts at iheartsl blog, like me, and we didn't even say Hi to each other). Not sure what kind of blog this is... not an education blog as such, though I blog about educational things ... hmmm
3. (To finish on a practical note) Also as usual picked up some tops about running a SL conference.

Friday, 18 July 2008


Blogher 2008 sessions attended: 2 (good-ish); Computers playing media in SL: 1 (good); Computers not playing media in SL: 1 (bad)

Am at the SL track of the Blogher 2008 conference. Arrived v. early, but at first using work laptop, which being older and cranky tends to crash and also spends longer in the "everything is grey fudge" stage. Therefore switched over to shiny new laptop. However whilst this produced prettier graphics, totally failed to get video and audio from RL conference, who knows why. Have just downloaded newest version of Quicktime, but anyway was too late for opening keynote "live from the ballroom". So whilst (most) others were hearing something-or-other inspirational, I was able fiddling fruitlessly with various apps on my computer and take pics of the SL audience. In fact most of chat during this session consisted off "No audio" "Are we seeing anything" etc. so evidently not only person technically-challenged.
Following session was "speed dating" which involved having IM conversation with someone new to you, in my case Abundita Jewell who has 2 blogs, and
Latter has pictures of lovely scarves in just those colours I tend to take endless RL pics of when I am in Australia (that is where she lives). Also delegates threw out their blog addresses in chat so checked through interesting range of blogs.
Am wondering if too ambitious to photoshop pics as well as blogging and being in SL - could be sure way to first crash with new laptop - esp considering how hot it seems to be getting....
(Later) Yay, I photo shopped and my laptop hasn't blown up!

Pics show: Audience; Woman with really cute rabbits; Abundita; Gidge Uriza looking really cool. And she has the latest Shiny Things shoes on too, I think

Wednesday, 16 July 2008


Visit to other uni sims: 1 (good); Tours given of Infolit iSchool: 1 (good); Embarrassing moments in fairy queen cosi: 2 (bad)

Offered tour to MA student doing dissertation on educational use of SL. Took about an hour, but useful to have to explain what rationale is for different areas etc. Ended with balloon tour, which went well except found that pretty new dress exposed embarrassing glimpse of thigh when balloon in full flight and skirt blowing out of side of balloon basket (as is wont of prim skirts). Fortunately unlike RL can change into more modest garb at once.
When landed back in front of library found that 2 random academics from other countries were looking round island (here they are in the CILASS/ Educational Studies building) so popped over to say Hi.

Am also trying to look more at other islands rather than just touring the clothes shops in time off. Therefore tp-ed in to University of Liverpool which is being set up currently. Are already some interesting leftover exhibits from molecular structure conference and some other things e.g. model of Bloom's Taxonomy.

Encountered Graham, who had been at the LTEA2008 conference and he happened to have up and running a web-on-a-prim tool that I'd been thinking of buying (see pictures) - cool and seemed to work.
He was with a few colleagues, and I felt a little overdressed in tiara and ball gown. Is it that dress code in SL is getting more conservative, or just that am doing larger proportion of professional things? Hmmm.

P.S. Have had paper accepted for the Relive conference in November. Yay!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Tag clouds

Tag clouds created: 2 (good)

Happened across reference to various tag cloud generators and with usual butterfly inclinations hastened to same, and created some tag clouds by typing in web address of this blog. First one created using Wordle was cool, insofar as a) could play around with different fonts and b) is in colour. Here it is:

As "SL" is in blue is not most obvious word, but is in fact largest. Can see that was talking a lot about the conference in these posts.

Second tag cloud seemed duller, but perhaps will look better when is actually posted.

created at

Friday, 11 July 2008

Projects, Cool

Student project events attended: 1 (v. good); Blog entries on RL train: 1 (good)

Am blogging this on RL train which feels cool (though not as cool as felt when leading LTEA conf from Sydney ;-) However fear that wireless network provided by National Express East Coast line may not be fastest and most stable in entire universe so am making sure Save, Copy etc. at frequent intervals.

On Wednesday, or in fact early Thursday morning in my now UK-based RL world, attended v. good session in which North Lamar’s latest batch of students were showing off their projects and talking about their work. They are students at Texas University who are studying a module concerned with virtual worlds, and it is very project-based, indeed I would say it is an example of Inquiry Based Learning, or at any rate Problem Based Learning.

There were 3 projects, namely a Wellness centre, a Quidditch arena and a bar (or as I might call it, pub). Wellness Centre had many favourite features e.g. meditation cushions, ocean views, pools, hot tubs. After leaving us time to wander round, we were directed up to skypad where we all did relaxation exercises: v. nice.

Students who made the Centre said that when their classmates came up here to chill out it was agreed that it made people more relaxed in RL as well. This somewhat reassuring as certainly find floating on the sea or in the hot-tub on the island v. relaxing.

Next up was the pub which was a welcoming and atmospheric building well provided with exotic booze, pool tables, comfy seating, authentically difficult-to-read signs and even toilets, although the Ladies had innovatively open cublicles. However, was sipping some sort of cannabis cocktail as I wandered round, so perhaps the doors were there really, and it was just my mellow haze that made them invisible.

Finally we were called in for a short Quidditch match, v. cool.
Since I was using my work laptop again (which is seems SO SLOW and cludgey after the shiny new laptop I bought for myself at no inconsiderable expense to tour Australia with) - anyway, I was moving at the speed of glue and somewhat erratically so I didn’t volunteer to be a player, but managed to lodge myself in one of the towers to watch.

It was only when I panned out my camera that I realised I had put myself in the Slytherin tower. The Hogwarts House that has Alan Rickman heading it would be my choice, though, so it was obviously Fate (I mean, I can’t even remember who heads Hufflepuff, and frankly who wants to be in a House called Puff).

The final session was a Q and A with the students. I wished that I’d been recording the session since there were lots of really nice quotes from the students that I would have liked some of the sceptics at my uni., or at the presentations I’ve made, to have heard.

One student had started her introduction earlier by saying it was an “incredible” experience and there were lots of positive comments in terms of skills learned (with application to study and future life), collaborative working, convenience element (logging in from home) and fun factor. The learning curve was mentioned though, and the need to create a storyline to engage some students (which North did in an initial exercise; to tell a story from your life by decorating a SL apartment room).
This gave me more to think about in my own teaching and left me with admiration for North and his students ;-)))

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Chatlogs, missed meeting

Presentations almost attended: 1 (bad**); Chatlogs put online: 5 (good); Planes cancelled: 1 (bad)
Am restored unexpectedly to broadband internet due to cancellation of first leg of trip back from Australia. Thus am currently in hotel room writing this whilst listening to British F1 Grand prix rather than suspended x thousand feet over some part of the globe en route to London.

Thus have taken opportunity to put chatlogs online and doing most of updating to Second Life part to LTEA2008 conference wiki. This is at

Whilst in location-before-last where had fleeting access to SL attempted to attend a presentation by Art to RL UCISA conf (see where are links to slides etc.). However due to mistranslation of times arrived as he was speaking to final slide (see pic.) Oh well.

** Obviously mean that was bad I missed the presentation, not that presentation was bad.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Dialup, LTEA2008

Yoshikawa-type blog entries made by others: 1 (good); Hours spent preparing, running and post-processing SL conference track: lots (good? bad? not sure); Hours spent trying to create blog entries: 1 (bad)

Am still in land of kangaroos and eucalypts, with access to internet but not SL. This is Good Thing in that catching up on writing, but Bad Thing in that currently reliant on Dial Up access which means that could plan and run complete SL discussion session in time now takes to uploads pics of same to blog. Initially felt vague nostalgia when heard kerpling kerpling sound of dial-up connecting but am now wishing for patience of zen buddhist as wait 10 mins for each graphic to load.

Anyway was v. excited and flattered to see blog entry in style of me from SL LTEA2008 delegate Graham at
, also blog entry from North who facilitated a session despite fact that was 2am in his time and he had to catch a flight at 6. This is True Friendship. Goldfinch also put pics on Flickr and I am adding to photos in this set.
Wiki pages for SL track of Learning Through Enquiry Alliance conference is here: Am still putting up chatlogs etc (i.e. when have access to line that moves at least at turtle speed) so will grow a bit more. Am also mulling over points that emerged from chat and Lessons Learned from organising conference.
Must say that is only when away from office (especially when am paying per hour connected online) that realise fully how much time this all takes up. Still, could not resist buying new outfit and fashion blogging it here (NB this was when was still carefree spirit with access to broadband at last hotel).

Strangers in the night

Couples encountered in middle of filming session: 1 (cool)

Whilst finishing up preparation for SL conference last week, in middle of night where I was (i.e. roughly 3am), wandered into my Centre for IL Research building and realised that something was going on. Silversprite and Anna were in evening dress, looking like “Leading Couple After Having Row at Grand Ball”, since Silversprite was slumped in one corner and Anna was lounging on the couch in glamorous and moody fashion. Turned out that Anna was indeed doing some filming. She asked me to sit for a photo with her, and here is the one I took.

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