have been online in virtual communities since 1997. This is when Inish was born, during this time I have never stopped to reflect on the reasons why an online presence is important to me, if I need to expand my networking communities, or how I manage and maintain virtual relationships. I have not fully considered the regulations that govern my presence or the potential outcomes from creating content. Through undertaking to complete the October 2012 module ‘Virtual Environments is one life enough” I intend to improve my online presence.http://virtualenvironmentsmodule.wordpress.com/ (accessed 21/10/2012)
The most important aspect of accessing virtual environments for me has been educational
The virtual environment of Second Life https://secondlife.com where this class takes place, is perfect for my learning style. I am primarily a “visual-Spatial Learner” http://howardgardner.com/ (last modified 21/10/2012)
I learn best visually and like to think and create pictures. I am also drawn to information that is presented in a visual form (“picture smart”). “The Visual-Spatial Learner is primarily influenced by shapes, images, patterns, designs, and textures that can be seen with the eye. These learners also possess the innate ability to perform tasks that require “seeing with the mind’s eye” (i.e., visualizing, pretending, imagining, and forming complex mental images)”. http://www.calpoly.edu/~lfose/articles/Exploring_Technology.pdf (created 04/01/2005)
The combination of visual elements such as the presentation of a group project in world will encourage me in written and oral descriptions and discussions.
Extending my online presence is a new challenge for me and is important for keeping up to date with the changing world of networking communities. I am discovering that sites like Twitter https://twitter.com/ and Blogging sites such as word press do far more than inform the reader of the author’s recent meal or visit to the dentist!http://wordpress.com/
Businesses can keep in touch and advertise with customers directly such as https://twitter.com/SonyMusicGlobal (last modified 21/10/2012) non profit groups can further their cause using this medium and network at a national level, for example “The Wheel” https://twitter.com/The_Wheel_IRL (last modified 21/10/2012 or at international level such as https://twitter.com/AmnestyOnline
Information on education is readily available, in fact it was through a blog revived by my daughter in NUI Maynooth that I found out about this course, http://educationireland.wordpress.com/2010/10/15/for-immediate-release-dublin-institute-of-technology-social-media-course-now-available-in-dublin-virtually-live-via-sitearm/ (15/10/2012)
In short these networks give you instant global access to the thoughts and opinions of many to share information, knowledge, ideas and dreams. With physical communities diminishing http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/5612419/Community-spirit-dying-finds-Government-survey.html# (23/06/2009) a good knowledge of of virtual worlds and networking communities is evermore important.
The role playing aspect of virtual worlds is something that happens in real time and gives the participant the opportunity to engage in a fantasy environment with like-minded people. http://secondlife.com/destinations/roleplay. (21/10/2012) A good overview on role playing in second life is given in this document taken from RP class held by Amethyst Boucher at Elven Forest March, 1st 2009. http://www.elvenforest.com/scrolls/amethyst_boucher_rp_class_1_summary.pdf
To date the persona created for Inish Karu is based on role-playing characters developed within second life. It will be interesting to see how Inish transfers outside of this world!
The advantage of being represented by an avatar, is that relationships are initially prejudice-free although over time new prejudices can be built up just from the appearance of the avatar as these comments show. http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Abuse-and-Griefing/Decision-to-expel-furries-CS-violation/qaq-p/1608065 (21/07/212)
I am sure this also exists in networking sites, not by avatars, but how you tweet, how your page looks etc. Judging from advice bloged by “Sitearm on using twitter,” http://sitearm.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/how-to-use-twitter/ (16/10/2012) the development of the persona is very important, and varies from site to site.
On the social aspect of building and maintaining online relationships I have had some experience. Some of my online friendships have lasted for over fifteen years. However I have no experience of relationship building for business. I can see why this is very important, with millions of users of networking sites such as facebook and twitter, companies have ready made platforms from which they can directly build their own relationships with users.
I am a content creator in second life, and also have a store in world. This aspect of the course will help me to further develop ways to build relationships with customers.
Having a better knowledge of the support for online creators is hugely important. Without original content there would be no social networks. In the case of second life, where the interactive space is created by the users and has it own commerce – It is very important to be aware of the regulations protecting creators, both from a consumer and creators prospective. For example second life has quite a complex terms of service that everyone signs up to when they open an account. Not all (including myself) thoroughly read this before entering the virtual world.
“Second Life terms of service” http://secondlife.com/corporate/tos.php#tos (Last Updated and Effective Date: December 15, 2010 )
some points of interest on content creation are the following
7.1 You retain any and all Intellectual Property Rights in Content you submit to the Service.
7.2 You grant certain Content licenses to Linden Lab by submitting your Content to the Service.
7.3 You grant certain Content licenses to users of Second Life by submitting your Content to publicly accessible areas of the Service.
7.4 You also grant Linden Lab and other users of Second Life a license to use in snapshots and machinima your Content that is displayed In-World in publicly accessible areas of the Service.
7.8 You agree to respect the Intellectual Property Rights of other users, Linden Lab, and third parties.
On completion of the course I hope to have gained enough knowledge to begin a more productive relationship with online virtual environments and networking communities and to open doors to further education on on other aspects of online life.