Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Adventures in Voice

Successful uses of voice: 4 (good); Embarrassing Skype-related voice incidents: 1 (bad); Appearances in video: 1 (good)

Have been using voice bit more than usual recently, with mostly good results. Have twice made guest appearance when Bluewave was giving demo of SL to educators in RL in the USA. This involves going along for 5 mins and saying e.g. "Hi I'm from the University of Sheffield in England and it's 9 in the evening here!!!" thus showing international nature of SL etc. etc. Most recently did this last Tuesday - cannot produce pics for this at present as turned out that at some point had ticked some option to take pics in compressed format and do not yet know how to uncompress this batch
Anyway, turned up, said piece, then accepted tp to next part of Bluewave's tour which was interesting exhibit of strange mathematical forms which can also be bought as sort of scultpture for 2500 Linden. At this point seemed to get left behind, but soon anyway it was time for the SL researchers meeting, so off I went to Monash University.

This featured Sleepy Littlething talking about her research, which was v. interesting. However, was at this point that had Unfortunate Incident with Voice, since had decided to multitask and phone friend on Skype to arrange time to meet in RL later in the week. Had forgotten to turn off voice, so went through whole "Hello" "Hi, I'm phoning you on Skype" "Yes, it's raining here too" type of thing before realised that text messages were flying around inworld telling me to turn my voice off as was broadcasting this banal conversation to all assembled researchers.
Double embarrassment as
a) Was incompetent and
b) Showed that wasn't exactly giving 100% of attention to Sleepy.
Hey ho.
A couple of days before had exercised Voice more productively in Poetry Slam. Several people including Rolig Loon presented their own poetry and then others were encouraged to read from their own poetry or just poems they liked. Volunteered to read two short poems, one by Alasdair Grey and one by Thomas Hardy. Whole event was enjoyable. Interesting how much impact poetry had when it was simply typed into text (as happened for most of the poets). You really concentrated on the words and some of them were very moving.
Had volunteered to be part of panel at EDUCAUSE conference last Wednesday (important American educational conference) and whether because were not many volunteers or because added international flavour, was asked to do my bit. This consisted of talking about teaching on Infolit iSchool for 2 minutes in Voice. Useful exercise in conciseness. Lineup was described in notecard sent to panel as "impressive" but adjectives of this nature were not used in emails to SLED, so presumably "impressive" was just to make us feel special.
Arrived in good time for panel, and was unusual experience in that could see video feed from RL conference AND Voice worked fine. Robin was in audience: pleasant to see friendly face. Additionally was on second, so could sit back and relax quite quickly, and feel (of course) deep empathy when 2 of the other speakers couldn't do Voice - one was silent and the other kept cutting out. Pathfinder Linden appeared late but people tend to be rather deferential around the major Lindens so no-one made cutting remarks.

Finally, in this vein, was immortalised in another video, this from HVX, who was presenting in RL form at a conference in Singapore. She produced v, good video in which am featured twice: once talking about libraries in SL and once about the conference platform and the texture I used for the base (which was a RL photo of an aircraft vapour trail).
Here it is embedded (I hope) otherwise go to http://blip.tv/file/1375957/. Video is called "I am Library".

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