Monday, 27 April 2009

LILAC time

Discussions held on Infolit iSchool: 1 (v. good)

Have finally resumed Infolit iSchool discussion series. Kicked off last Thursday with Pancha, Ishbel and I giving our picks from the LILAC (information literacy) conference. With due modesty none of us talked about our own session. Which - now I come to think of it - haven't actually blogged here, so will mention at the end.

Ishbel talked about Andrew Walsh's session on using mobiles (that is cell phones to American readers and Handys to German ones), Pancha talked about Peter Godwin's, which also focused on mobiles, and I talked about Sally Patalong's account of 2 modules (credit bearing) that she runs. Those are the speakers RL names, of course. Was mix of UK and North Americans at this discussion, and a couple of non-information/library people, and it was actually a good number for a good discussion. The chatlog is posted at

After it was over, was taking down LILAC-y stuff (well, in fact was doing a little celebratory dance in front of poster - see right) when Togashi turned up, and we had a chat. Then I wondered off and bought hair, harpsichord, and tented platform, as discussed in last post.
So, in a previous post I talked about preparing for the session that Pancha, Ishbel, Maggie and Lulu and I did at LILAC. Things went roughly to plan, except that of course we had too much to talk about and so had to abbreviate things a little. The main technical glitch was on sound. Idea had been that Pancha, Ishbel and I (in RL) would use a microphone so that Lulu and Maggie (in SL) could tell what was going on. However we hadn't practiced this bit enough and it soon became obvious that what went in the microphone was feeding out into the speakers in the room, only a few seconds later. Was no way we could turn speakers off, so abandoned microphone.

Do you know it is only as I am typing this now that I realise that all could possibly have been saved by plugging the microphone into MY laptop (which was operating slowly but steadily with my 3G mobile stick), rather than into Pancha's laptop (which was the one plugged into the data projector). Oh well.

Main thing was that SL stuff projected fine to screen, Ishbel showed off the management school at St Andrews' island, I showed the 7 Pillars model, Pancha showed her intellectual property stuff and Maggie types in her contribution.

We didn't use a ppt as PowerPoint, but we did do a handout, which is linked below. We also created a delicious account, namely

Saturday, 25 April 2009

I am turning into me

Mashooka indian blouses bought (good): 2; Hair like RL hair bought: 1 (unsettling); Hot tub locations remodeled: 1 (good) ; Harpsichords bought: 1 (good)

Noticed some new hair from SLink and have been meaning to check them out, so tped over. Noticed fatal flaw immediately, i.e. however hard I looked none of the hair colours were blue so that should have been that.
However, still tried the demo, to see what I was missing, and struck me that ... it was somehow familiar and this was because it REMINDED ME OF MY OWN RL HAIR. So succumbed and bought hair in colour which is spookily like my own, or my own before it got streaks of grey in it anyway. Should mention that also possess some SL hair that is straight & roughly same length (though blue) as RL hair, but problem with long loose straight SL hair is that it inevitably disappears inside one's torso in a way that (thankfully) does not occur in RL, thus lessening the illusion.
Left hair on for a while and realised that not only was hair now rather like mine in RL, but my blouse was also very like raspberry pink indian silk blouse that I own in RL. Sat down for a while and took this pic from angle that is most like RL me ... and then removed hair and reverted to blueness.
Am pondering why felt rather shifty when wearing brown hair. Is it because once it looks like me, except thinner, taller, unlined, and with enormous eyes (and a few other minor imperfections ironed out, though my RL toes are a considerable improvement on SL ones), it seems like am living out a fantasy of being a younger self? Whereas once I add the blue hair it is a bit more whimsical and thus acceptable? Hmmmm.
Anyway upside is that SL hair has reminded me that used to wear RL hair a bit like this and ought to try it again as alternative to normal scraped back look that use when lecturing. Or is that an equally unsettling thought?
Well, forget all that, had a fun hour ripping out the old Hot Tub Platform on Infolit iSchool, which no-one seemed to visit much, and replacing it with a more atmospheric Hot Tub Glade (see above), which also opens up the fine views from this mountaintop location ( ). Incorporates a stone fountain and platform made by Grey Kurka and there was also a nice copiable tent which didn't use but it could come in handy for ... something or other.
Also bought harpsichord from same creator, which includes set of Bach's Goldberg Variations. You rez one of the music sheets and it plays a variation when clicked. Don't have to just use them with harpsichord, so may start planting Variations through the island as do have (from somewhere I can't remember where) a free copiable music stand. Installed harpsichord in hobbit house and took this pic which I think looks rather Vermeer-esque. Except with more bobbin chairs.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Encountering, linking, swirling

Participation in pretend audiences: 1 (ok); Educator Coop visits to view people doing stuff I can't do myself: 1 (good); Encounter with useful ppt in SL: 1 (v. good); time spent floating amongst verse: lots (good)

Am pondering how I feel that in one way have done lots in last 24 hours, and in other ways not. Interesting how feel am not really doing proper work in SL even when engaged in work-related activities, which results in gloom, guilt etc though also in lots of pretty pics of me flitting around in SL.

Yesterday got back from RL journey in time for regular Monday Educators Coop chat. North showed part of his Library Technology Report articles transferred to a thincbook. V. cool, should put more of my stuff in thincbooks. Will put North's in our SL library.

Then Rx arrived and tp-ed us over to where he is using Studio Builder to make sculpties (see first pic). He had made a large boat consisting of just 2 prims, and he also showed how a teapot he'd done could be made tiny tiny.

Afterwards sent out some notices to the Educational Informatics students and was still inworld when call came to become a pretend audience for a machinima on a Babel Project event. Hung round in audience feeling like a prop and doing other stuff offline. Actual event at which machinima will be shown is happening in Lisbon and RL at 11 next Monday; unfortunately will be teaching then.

Today was supposed to be a presentation from some of Jackie's students, on Infolit, about their virtual ethnography, but alas SL had a power outtage and Infolit iSchool was one of the 4000 regions offline for an hour or so. Bother.

Anyway, hung round and finally visited the 15 second Poetry game and the poetry skybox recommended by Jackie. Was great fun and took some nice pics in the swirly peacock dress that happened to have on.

Finally, followed a call for people to see student presentations at a research exhibition at Texas Womens University. First exhibit turned out to be about librarians collaborating in SL which is v. useful since

a) am giving talk on this very issue in about 2 weeks time at a RL conference and

b) Pancha is holding a focus group on this next week!

So dropped a notecard to Valibrarian (the author) hopefully to get full slides, and dropped a word to Pancha as well. Is useful since is not only material for talk, but is also example of using SL to make professional connections, cool or what.

Pic shows me bumping into Oronoque at TWU (she is the one with more feathers)

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