Intro to Networked Collaboration


Brett, Nancy and I worked on a very current and serious issue on the impending Food Crisis in New York. Brett has been working very hard on data maps that indicate the serious lack of enough health food and grocery stores in New York. So when we teamed together to work on our Jumpcut (now Jaycut) assignment, we decided to showcase these maps.

We began our meetings in Second Life which proved to be better than conference -calling on Skype. After a few meetings, we had a basic outline for our film. Brett took the lead on putting the maps together and shooting interviews, Nancy began to work on shooting some photographs and footage, while I worked on blocking out the sequence of the film and creating a script.

So here is our finished Video on the Food Crisis and the Maps:

And a special note from Nancy on the making of the film:

Creating Food Crisis in NYC Networked Collaboration Project

Kavya, Brett and I (Nancy) decided to make our mashup a movie based on a data mapping project he’s associated with in New School Food Studies program, PIIM (Parsons Institute for Information Mapping) and his consulting firm called Indigo which is using data in the form of graphical maps to describe the food crisis in NYC.
We tried our initial meeting in Skype but had trouble getting sound to work with everyone.  The first time Brett and I met we tried to Skype but his audio wasn’t working so he called me on the cell and we used Skype for the video.  Our first team meeting was in Second Life and we met at Funksoup Island.
We’ve used a method that Kavya described well as “divide and conquer.”  After discussing what the message of the movie would be Brett uploaded sample movies of actual data maps PIIM had produced.  Kavya sketched out a script based on the info on the maps.
Our intention was to use Jumpcut as assigned, but I couldn’t get the movies uploaded successfully. Kavya suggested Jaycut, which worked well.  Brett uploaded the data clips and a movie of an interview he did, I included a movie I took on the Manhattan Bridge using a regular digital camera, Kavya and Nancy uploaded pictures that were relevant to the story, and I pieced together the movie.  We would email each other to make comments and suggestions as the movie was assembled. I also added narration to the map clips to make them easier to understand.  The narration was recorded with Windows Sound Recorder.  The titles were added using Windows Movie Maker.  There were other quirks in Jaycut that I worked around with Movie Maker.  All these apps are free, by the way.
The background music came from, Moby’s free music resource.  The music are the tracks “Silver” for the opening and “Morning Span” for the closing frames.  Moby offers free music for filmmakers. You just have to request a license.
This was a very interesting process especially trying to coordinate our meeting times since Brett and I work full-time during the day and Kavya had evening classes. We either met in the evenings on Saturday or Sunday or would make online lunch dates.  I also learned how important it is to begin planning early so that we could have all our components together in a timely manner (not one of my strong suits).


December 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


The event was slated to begin at 12 pm. I teleported to the gallery (Co ordinates 206  155  32) at about 12:05 pm. The show was called EFFECTS by  JaneDark Miles & CrusHer Mills (Art & Design). The gallery was empty with not a soul in sight. There was a soothing sound of water trickling as I walked around the gallery and looked at the artwork and photographs. 

A box with the title Bartender was sitting at the corner of the room so I clicked on it and chose a champagne. I was hoping I would be able to hold the drink but it just went straight into my inventory. There was a stage set up with lights and it looked like something was going to happen but it was empty. I clicked on a couple of objects hoping it would start the show but with no luck. In hindsight I believe it was a model studio for photography.

Upstairs were some more photographs, some were beautiful landscapes, others were graphic computer generated artworks. There were also photographs of avatar models. Most artworks were selling from $L 50 to $L 100.

I missed the interaction that you get at a real life gallery showing and wished that atleast the artists were available to talk about their work!

Oh well…pictures of events below:

December 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments


As a follow up to my previous post about how people use online social platforms for Marketing and Business, I did some research on companies that special in social media and came across this company:

They take experiential marketing to the virtual level and create SL events that will establish your brand and create awareness in the virtual world. Interesting to see that brands are already thinking about increasing their exposure in Second Life. I do hope that this does not turn Second Life into a world of virtual marketing as that would make the SL experience very superficial and more artificial than it needs to be.

December 2, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Social Media as a Business

So far, we’ve explored Jumpcut, Seesmic, Blogging, Twitter, Flickr, Delicous and Second Life. They are all great platforms and you can get quite addicted to each of them. But it makes me wonder how one actually uses these platforms for marketing and as a full-time business. On twitter, I see quite a few people with profiles that say they are professional bloggers and one guy is the CEO of a social media company and owns several websites. How does one seriously make enough money (or any money) off these networks to do it fulltime?

I  am especially curious about Social Media Agencies. What do they do? HOw does one qualify to work there? Do you have to be a fulltime facebooker, myspacer, blogger, tweeter, seesmic-er?

November 12, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Our Journey Into Second Life by Kavya and Nancy

Meditating in Second Life by you.

After several meetings on Skype and a few video exchanges on Seesmic, Nancy and I decided to explore Second Life as part of our group assignment. For those interested in contacting us on Second Life (we can show you the basics now that we figured it out), our Second Life names are Sitara Karu (Kavya) and Enay Jarvinen (Nancy). 

We started off during our first few wanderings trying to sort out our appearances. As you will soon find out, the initial appearance options are limited. There are a number of freebies that Second Life designers offer for new comers and you can change everything from your outfits to your hair and even your eye color. The freebie republic is a great place to get your look together for free:

If you click on the Map icon, you can actually key in the coordinates under the section header Location:  20    224     622

Click on Teleport and it should take you there. Once you are there, walk around and look at the posters on the walls. When you see something you like, hold down the command key (I use a Mac) and click on the poster you like. You will see a circle on the screen with a number of options. Choose Buy. This will add the item to your Inventory. To wear the item, click on Inventory icon (lower right corner of your screen) and find it listed. Hit Command and click on the item you want to wear from your inventory list and then choose –wear.


Once we were happy with the way we looked, we set out to explore Second Life a little more. We started by logging onto these sites:

These sites list out all kinds of events that are occurring on Second Life. They are organized by date and time and provide you with either coordinates or Teleport you there. We were able to send each other Teleport messages by adding each other to our list of contacts. That way, once one person arrived at an event, she was able to send the other one a message that would teleport her over as well. Another cool application we discovered was that not only could we chat with each other through typing but if we clicked on the Talk button we could actually speak to each other like we did on Skype.

On Posse Balls: You will see these lying on the ground or floating in the air. They usually have a function like animating your Avatar and making you dance. Just press the command key and click on it and look at the choices that come up. Usually, if you choose Touch as the option then the ball does it’s thing- but not without your permission. Take a look at the picture below (it shows a pose ball and us dancing )

 Turkish Market by you.


The first event we attended was a movie screening. Enay (Nancy) teleported herself there first and then sent me a teleport invitation. The theatre was empty and we were the only ones there. So we sat down (Just hold down the command key, click on a chair and choose Sit) and watched the movie for a bit. It was a video stream with audio as well. To hear ambient sound or music, click on the music note icon and make sure your volume is up. 

Sitara and Enay go for a movie screening by you.

We also attended a Concert. Enay knew the organizer and hooked us up with the event details and teleported us there. Once we arrived, we watched the other avatars dance. The organizer was very helpful and took us to a poster and told us to click on it (command + click). The poster asked if it could animate our avatars, and when we said yes, it animated us so we were dancing! We could hear and watch the singer as well as dance with the others. It truly was a wonderful experience.

Enay and Sitara at a Concert by you.


On a solo trip in Second Life, I went to a mall. I was looking for something new to wear and came across two vending Machines – Coke and Redbull- and clicked on them. They gave away free drinks. I was amazed to see real-life brands in Second Life as well. Free Coke and RedBull by you.


November 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Reading: The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

This was an interesting and thought-provoking read. It truly makes you aware of the new power that the consumer has to access movies, songs and entertainment that was not so easily accessible to us before. The way Amazon recommends items similar to what you chose certainly is revolutionary – from the consumer’s perspective as well as from a marketing perspective.

While in the past, we watched blockbuster movies that made the cut with critics and the box office because that was all we were exposed to, we can now look for remote directors in different parts of the world, not just Hollywood. A few weeks ago, I rented the entire Wonder Woman series starring Lynda Carter from Netflix. I watched it when I was very young and wanted to watch it again and typed it in thinking I woudn’t find it but there it was.

In music technology, the revolutionary Pandora is my mainstay. For those that don’t use it, go to It’s called the music genome project. You can log on and create your own radio channel by typing in a song you like. Pandora then chooses a range of songs and artists to go with that genre and starts streaming it for you. So while you are listening to songs you like and know, you’re also listening to songs you are likely to love because they are similar to what you like already. If you like the song, you can click on it for more information and even buy it. I have created 4 different channels so I can click on each one according to the mood I’m in and it just plays. You can also download Pandora to your i-Phone.

October 23, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Skype Virgin No more! (Thanks Nancy)

So Nancy and I just had our first  Skype meeting. Here are my thoughts on Skype:


Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Where has this been all my life? I have to admit here that many friends have suggested it to me but I didn’t think it would be so clear.


I could see and hear Nancy perfectly. In fact the sound quality was excellent. I Am going to try an international call with it to see if the quality is good there too.


Only tricky bit is that we are both looking at each other on the screen and my built in web-cam in above the screen so the eye contact is not really felt.


Hope everyone had an equally satisfying experience.

October 14, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | | 1 Comment

Google adds Mail Goggles..

Wanted to share this article with you guys (

Google aims to put a stop to drunken emailing

Posted By: Claudine Beaumont at Oct 7, 2008 at 18:06:01 [General]

The problem with living in an always-on, hyperconnected world is that we sometimes feel compelled to communicate with other people, even when we shouldn’t.

Like when we’ve had one too many glasses of wine, for instance. We’ve all tearfully phoned, emailed or texted someone when slightly pickled, only to bitterly regret it the following morning.

As has Jon Perlow, a software engineer working on Google’s Gmail email service. His team has come up with a clever feature that will act as a last line of cyber defence against ill-advised electronic missives.

Gmail users can now enable “Mail Goggles”, an application that automatically springs into action late at night, at the weekend, to stop drunken emails before they leave your inbox. It will present users with a series of maths problems that they need to answer before the email can be sent. Now, if you’re sober in mind and spirit, these problems will be easily solved, but to merry emailers, the difficulty level might be just enough to put them off sending that message.

Admirable stuff, but Google needs to come up with a way of preventing drunk dialling if it really wants to make the world a better place.

October 7, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Participatory Culture take away from an Individual’s Professional Value?

Trebor Scholz article: The Participatory Culture did bring up an interesting point, one that he mentioned in passing but did not dwell on. Through collaboration, each of us gives our opinion or information that has come to us through our own experiences or professional practices. Some bloggers have found ways to make money off their blogs by linking to tool such as google’s adsense. Others contribute out of good faith and do not expect any monetary payback.

But doesn’t that dilute each person’s value? Doctors frequently complain that patients tend to over analyze and self-diagnose their illnesses by researching their symptoms on sites such as Wikipedia and WebMD. They have a valid point. They are professionals who have spent years getting qualified enough that they deserve the importance of a patient turning to them for an educated answer to what their illness is and how it can be treated. Collaborative sites such as Web MD and Wiki undermine that authority by making too much information freely available to a patient who is vulnerable to that info.

This is just an example but there are plenty other cases I can think of. Look at the way musicians are struggling with collaborative communities that share music files off their computers via the internet and allow others to download their music. It undermines the talent and art of these musicians and, while they are the creators, they do not receive the rewards for their work.

Surely, there should be a way for information to be shared without taking the value away from the people that take the time out to share that info?

October 1, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

On Convergence…

Here is what I think….We have the technological know-hows to create a virtual world (Second Life), the iPhone and then allow 3rd party developers to use its platform to create new apps,  a social networking site like Facebook, (which I still don’t see as an essential site), (also doesn’t make much sense to me since I upload photos to facebook and everyone I know sees them there), and Blogs.


My question is that if we have all this technology, why wouldn’t we want to build one platform where people can do all of the above? Wouldn’t that be true convergence? If I use Facebook to create events, stay in touch with friends, start and manage groups, share pictures, send private messages, share youtube videos then I would rather stick to that platform and blog there as well (because I have the audience I want already), add bookmarking to my page as a function, and have a Second Life on Facebook.


So why hasn’t that happened yet?

September 10, 2008 Posted by | convergence | 8 Comments