second life

Object-Based vs. Ego Based Social Networks vs. WoW and Second Life

There are so many cool things in Fred Stutzman’s recent post, but this point rang the bell for me just as I was considering the differences between World of Warcraft and Second Life. More on those games in a moment, first let’s get Stutzman’s description of ego vs. object networks: An ego-centric social network places […] » about 500 words

Google To Psyc Profile Users!?!

There it is in The Guardian: Internet giant Google has drawn up plans to compile psychological profiles of millions of web users by covertly monitoring the way they play online games. Yep, “do no evil” Google has filed a patent on the process of building psychological profiles of its users for sale to advertisers. Details […] » about 400 words

Second School?

Rebecca Nesson, speaking via Skype and appearing before us as her avatar in Second Life, offered her experiences as a co-instructor of Harvard Law School‘s CyberOne, a course being held jointly in a meatspace classroom and in Second Life, and open to students via Harvard Law, the Harvard Extension School, and to the public that shows up in Second Life.

Nesson has an interesting blog post about how it all works, but she also answered questions from the audience about why it works:

As a distance learning environment it’s head and shoulders above anything else because of levels and types of interactions possible versus any previous tool.

It’s a poor format for lectures, but a great format for discussions, so it really encourages conversation and discourse.

It’s a community that exists independent of the class meeting. In here we have much more of those liminal times when people are just hanging out. …We have more opportunities for interaction.

Shifting Borders

My first reaction to the notion of librarians running reading groups in Second Life was a question of whether this was akin to putting a reference desk in a bar.

My second reaction was a question of how our systems will support these extra-library interactions. Can people quickly and easily trade URLs to access the library materials they’re talking about? Will library systems ever be as easy to use as the game/social environments we’re trying to use them in?

My third reaction is a question of politics. The movement of people online doesn’t respect geographical borders, nor those of gerrymandered political districts. Libraries may serve online users, and some of them will be successful, but our funding models are for local libraries that serve geographically constrained communities.