Intro to Networked Collaboration

BiW Dance event review

As a final Second LIfe event opportunity, Josephine arranged the dance performance event for the Brooklyn is Watching site.  We were to meet in the Theatre on Funk Soup Island to rehearse and then go to the BiW site for the performance.  A decent number of participants showed up for the event and Josephine began to explain the process and to distribute the dance moves and explain how to use them.  It took much longer than expected to get everyone informed and dancing so we should plan for that if we do this again. I also had to take a few minutes to change my appearance since we were all supposed to wear dark colors to appear more uniform and to allow the shapes we wore for the second part of the performance to take center stage. 

Part of the reason I think it took awhile to get going was that so many of us are so new at SL.. it took a lot of time to figure out how to use the gestures to dance and also how to wear the shapes and then drop them in the space.

Once we had finished the rehearsal we teleported to the BiW space. There were other people there doing other things and it was strange at times to hear them talking in the background. Our group settled on to the large green lawn area to begin the performance. We each went through a series of the gestures and danced around for awhile until we got the signal from Josephine to begin wearing our shapes.  We continued to dance, adding layers of shapes.  This part of the performance seemed to last while. I kept looking for Josephine to make sure I hadn’t missed the cue for the next section.  Once we received the cue we began to drop our shapes and go back to just the gestures for a few minutes until we ended the piece by all going to sleep and then teleporting away from the space and leaving our shapes behind.  

I had a lot of fun with the dance performance piece as I think others did as well and will be glad to participate again next semester. I thought it was great to interact with my classmates and to meet some of the grad students as well.  Interestingly, since I had been to the pencil factory event and had interacted with with some of the other student’s avatars previously, I felt pretty comfortable with them and didn’t really feel that bit of awkwardness that I felt at the Pencil Factory. Through these two experiences I have found that voice chat is so much easier than typing in SL and it allows for more casual interaction.  

As far as the dance gestures go, I would have liked to have been able to string some together in order to keep moving as some of the gestures were really short and my avatar would complete them before I could type the next move!  Overall, I really enjoyed participating in this piece and look forward to the next time. Check out my pictures on our Flickr photo stream.


December 18, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Pencil Factory event review

The Pencil Factory event was a very interesting experience and helped me to become aware of a place in SL that I probably would not have found on my own.  I had a bit of a rough start the day of the event… When I logged into SL I could not teleport out of where I was. Adam (Mellow) sent the invite multiple times but it just would not work.  Luckily I was able to IM chat with Mellow who suggested I restart the SL program.  Once I restarted the application, and accepted Mellow’s teleport invite again I was able to teleport and went directly to the Pencil Factory site where the group was already gathering out front. 


At first I found it a bit unsettling that the “sidewalk” was clear. I was unsure of where the edges were and as the hosts were getting started with the introduction I wandered around a bit and ended up walking right off the sidewalk and fell straight into the water below! Luckily in SL I can fly and I was able to get back to the group (hopefully before anyone noticed I was gone). It’s interesting how we behave in the online environment vs. RL.  I would never just wander away from a presenter in real life, but many times throughout the evening I would stray (just a little) from the group to explore on my own.


Once we entered the pencil factory and began exploring the art installations we found that all of the pieces were designed to be interactive. First we explored a piece that displayed colored cubes and played chimes as you walked or flew through the space. This piece was pretty neat but I was not clear exactly where the borders were to trigger the cubes. And I had difficulty determining how to make certain tones. Not sure if it was random or specific based on where you moved.  This could also have to do with the number of people interacting with the piece at the same time.  Next we explored a couple of rooms with pieces that I personally found less impressive. As a beginning SL user these pieces seemed to require more mobility skills than I currently have so I was not able to enjoy them as much.  The hosts continued to escort the group around the space and we explored other exhibits that were more fun.  I personally was a big fan of the “harp cages” or at least that what I’m calling them.  There were 2 small round “rooms” on either side of the “deck” and as you turned in the room you triggered what sounded like harp strings.  I like this piece because I liked the sounds it made and found it very easy to use, until I fell off the “deck” and due to my mobility issues I ended up lost in space.


Once Mellow teleported us back to the space we discovered the disco cube piece.  This one was a lot of fun, particularly with the large number of people all playing with it at the same time.  After that I moved on to exploring “The Well” piece. I learned how to jump and how to control how high or low I fly to get in and out of the piece.  I didn’t explore it much because the group was moving on but it was not the easiest to understand how to use without someone telling you how to use it.  This was an issue I encountered many times, I felt like I would not have interacted well with the pieces if I did not have Mellow as a guide and the other class members to explore with.


Finally we fell into an area were we could explore different rooms, and I liked that piece as well.  It had a very circus fun house feel to it. I particularly liked the “space” room and I also enjoyed the room with the big space that looked like a jumble of things and played loud music.


Looking back, I find it interesting that, aside from my wanderings, it seemed to mirror a RL group experience.  Or at least my perceptions of the evening’s interactions were not much different than if it had been a RL event in that we didn’t really know each other at first and didn’t interact or talk much.  As we progressed through the pencil factory we had shared experiences that helped us to connect and interact and by the end of the evening I felt that I had gotten to know everyone there a little better. I posted photos to the class page on flickr. Overall it was a good event and I’m glad I went!

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

jumpcut final project

So working on this final project has been an interesting experience.  Our group ended up with 4 members which is good from the perspective of having lots of ideas and input. On the down side it made scheduling any group meetings difficult.

After the initial email process of connecting as a group, we tried to connect a few times in secondlife. The most successful of those for me was the time we stayed in the theatre on funksoup island after the class meeting in secondlife.  Plumeria and Stephanie have already described this meeting on the blog, so I won’t go into detail. There was a second, secondlife meeting will the three other group members that I unfortunately missed, which seemed to be successful as well.

During our secondlife meeting we discussed theme ideas for the final mashup project and decided to take photos of locations in which we live or have visited and put together a jumpcut of locations with still images and sound.

Plumeria started the file with some beautiful shots of hawaii. All of her images were of nature in some way… ocean, volcano, tree.  I had planned on using some images from a recent trip to france and after seeing Plumeria’s images I decided to use only images of stone and steel construction from france in direct contrast to the nature of Hawaii.

The process of using jumpcut was fairly simple.  The site is pretty user friendly.  That said I probably should have watched some sort of tutorial before jumping in.  I started editing the clip Plumeria started and was playing around and ended up messing up some of the settings she used on her images. At first I was a bit worried about this and then I realized that this is part of the process.  Anything I add is changing the piece so if I changed some of her original settings, it was OK.  The other members of our group will probably change my settings when they add their images, and that’s OK too.

Once I finished editing the images, transitions, actions etc… I tried to edit the audio.  Plumeria had added an audio file and I tried to add an Edith Piaf (famous french singer) song for my images thinking it would be neat to have different music for the different images but it didn’t work.  Once I uploaded the audio, it played both files at the same time. Turns out (as far as I know) you can’t restrict the audio per image at least using jumpcut’s features. I ended up just removing the Piaf file so it wouldn’t be confusing for a viewer.

So at this point, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens with our project and how it changes through the process.  Who knows, maybe another jumpcut user will edit or remix our work… wouldn’t that be interesting!  That’s it for now.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | final, mashup | , , | 1 Comment

Wikipedia posts

Let’s start the conversation about our Wikipedia posts.  It’s interesting. I’ve never contributed to any other postings on Wikipedia. I really didn’t know what to write about.  I decided to write a little about the company I work for since the information was outdated as the company has been through a lot of changes in the past year. So I created an account on Wikipedia and made a few updates. 


In reviewing my changes I noticed that I had misspelled a word in the posting, but I decided to leave it to see what would happen. I checked the history a couple of days after I posted the updates but there was no change. I again checked back yesterday and noticed that my error had been corrected… by another member of our class (thanks Arielle)!


I’m glad to see that someone noticed and corrected my posting but I am also wondering if we weren’t reviewing these as part of this class, how long would it have taken before anyone noticed. 


What have been your experiences?

October 5, 2008 Posted by | collaboration, education, Uncategorized | | 3 Comments

Weeks 1-2 comments

First, thanks for emailing your processes. I am thoroughly confused and overwhelmed by all this technology.  I’m 31 years old and feeling very “old fashioned” when confronted by all of these sites.  I must say however that setting up my delicious account has been very helpful in identifying and organizing these sites.  I have been traveling the last 2 weeks and am a bit delinquent in my postings so here’s everything so far… (at least I think it’s everything!)


Discussion Topics from week 1:

  • Referring to the Jenkins quote, “YouTube is the fullest embodiment of convergence culture”…   If convergence occurs in the brain of a consumer and through his/her social interaction, then I think he means that YouTube allows consumers to post their own content (amateur or professional) and seek out the content of others. You can also comment and read others comments on the content. So not only does it allow you to access the information you chose it allows you to interact with other regarding that particular content.
  •  My understanding of “Participatory Culture”  as referenced in the Jenkins reading is simply a shift  from what he called “passive …spectatorship” to a more involved and interactive society where we don’t just sit and wait for our media to be delivered to us, but we seek it out if different ways through different vehicles.
  • I personally am very new to the world of social networks.  Last year I created a LinkedIn account.  I created this account to keep in touch with and build a network of professional colleagues. I put in the most basic information possible and have only updated it once to change my job title.  Same for Facebook. I created a Facebook account for work and entered very little personal information.  Call me a control freak but I’m not comfortable putting all my info out there.  I would also consider the online chat function within Gmail social networking as I use it to keep in occasional contact with former co-workers that I rarely speak to.
  • These technologies and websites (texting, YouTube, MySpace) have certainly influenced the way we interact. I know that when I first head of MySpace I felt like I was “too old” for it.  It was something the “kids” were doing and I wasn’t interested in joining. Now I have profiles on 2 networking sites. I have realized that I am slow to adopt these new technologies and while I am not very willing to disclose my own information I recently have begun to view friends’ profiles in facebook to see what they’re up to since we don’t speak often. And that makes it ok not to speak to each other for extended periods of time and just “keep tabs” on one another with a networking site. I feel like this could be removing us from connecting with each other on a personal intimate level and allowing us to superficially connect with more people in a larger virtual area as geography really is no longer relevant.  Or maybe it’s allowing us to remain connected or to re-connect to someone we might otherwise lose touch with.  I guess you can view it from either perspective.
  • Another thought regarding the generation of users growing up with this constant connectivity.  Professionally, I am seeing the entry level workforce of recent college graduates who only reach decision by consensus whether it’s with friends or parents these young professionals have to get multiple opinions on almost every decision before they can make a move.  Not sure what this means but I’m finding it an interesting side effect of networked life.

September 18, 2008 Posted by | culture, social networking, tools and methodologies | 3 Comments