On Monday September 1st NoEL members meet with Charlotta Jenkins to learn about her House of History, and her ideas on design and work in SL.
A side from some minor problems with clothes/body parts not rezzing and voice falling in and out (you know!), we had a great evening visiting Charlotta. TY :-)
We started outside in the garden, where Charlotta had set up a screen for the occasion. Via a few slides Charlotta told us about her background (MA in Nordic Folklore), her RL job (Webeditor, freelance writer), her interest in e.g. authenticity, history, genealogy, cultural heritage and her design and work in SL.
After the presentation, incl. Q-and-A we moved inside the house, where Charlotta talked about the different objects and showed us how the interactive ones function.
Our final location was outside on a neighboring field, where Charlotta currently is building a replica of an old farm.
During our visit we had some interesting discussions on especially the educational use of SL. All of us have met potential users (students, colleagues, friends etc.) who for many different reasons are against the usage of SL. We found several explanations for the resistance:
- Conservatism – people are creatures of habit and many do not appreciate change
- General fear of new media, new technology
- The Press’ constant belittlement of SL and its residents
- Fear of exposing yourself (e.g. as a somewhat helpless newbie)
- SL’s steep learning curve
Even though I personally think that a steep learning curve is expectable if we appreciate SL as a world and not as a simple application, this issue is recurring among many residents and most certainly constitutes a real problem for those of us, who have students, clients or visitors in-world regularly.
I know that Heidi Ballinger, who’s an official Linden Lab SL Mentor, is very concerned about this (especially the so called Help or Orientation Islands), so I encourage you to contact her for advice and/or read her blog. Other explanations for resistance can be identified, and for sure we’ll return to this topic in forthcoming meetings.
Focusing on the positive we discussed the following means in trying to solve some of the above mentioned problems:
- Act as role-models, communicate our own/shared examples of best practice
- Do f2f workshops to facilitate the birth and infancy of new residents
- Design in-world newbie-events (legitimate peripheral participation)
- Possible creation of avatars that students, clients and visitors can use for a short period of time
- Use the NoEL group to help and assist each other – also IRL
Many more things were said, but this was my take on the most interesting parts. Feel free to object, agree, or just comment.
In a related matter, this was the first time I got to use my “meeting log”. As expected the actual use resulted in some changes, as new topics dawned on me while trying to fill it out. I sent it to Charlotta for review, and I want to thank her again for helping me filling out the blanks :-)
I regard the “meeting log” as a work in progress and would very much appreciate feedback. Hopefully others will find it useful too :-)
You’ll find a pdf-version of the log here: