Second Life Link – and Facebook

Posted by jerry on October 18th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology

There must be new FaceBook applications coming out by the hour, but on a rare occasion something special emerges. This time it’s not a new way to poke someone or throw things at them, but a bridge between two worlds.

SecondLife Link is a facebook application that links two of the web’s most popular social software forms – social networking site FaceBook and virtual world Second Life. This is one of those “why didn’t anyone think of this before?” moments – well they have now and it’s been developed by Fire Preibisch and Jared Mitchell – a couple of expats living in South Korea.

secondlife link

It’s deceptively simple – its a Facebook app that lets you see the online status of your friends in Second Life – so you can know better when to meet up. You can also let people know where your second life home is, or let people know your favourite spot in Second Life so they can go check out your place, and you can match up people with their secondlife avatar (you can also search facebook for their avatar name too). I think this is only the beginning for this app – and it’s so far the only one that links the two in this way.


Students today – dare I compare?

Posted by jerry on October 16th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Writing

New media analyst Alja Sulcic pointed to a video on her Facebook produced by a group of cultural anthropology students, surveying their own tribal group. And the results are fascinating – and look set to challenge many of the pedagogical assumptions we have. The biggest challenge is whether today’s university is relevant – and what place might they hold in the future?

Students today – when they graduate they will probably have a job… that doesn’t exist today.

Average class size = 115
18 percent of teachers know a student’s name

Read 8 books a year, 2300 web pages, 1289 Facebook profiles

Write 42 pages for class per semester, over 500 pages of emails

Hours in the day
7.0 sleeping
1.5 watching TV
3.5 online
2.5 listening to music
2.0 on mobile phone
3.0 in class
2.0 eating
2.0 working
3.0 studying
TOTAL = 26.5 hours

They multi-task. They have to.

Many students are so engaged by their classes that they Facebook right through them or do other stuff on their laptop or text their friends. Many don’t read their $100 textbooks.

Much of what they get at university is irrelevant to them or out of date before the textbook is published – at least that is their perception.

So in my middle aged mid-career life, how do I compare?
I sleep 7.0 hours a night
I have a job that didn’t exist three years ago.
I recently sold some writing to an online journal that is in a virtual world that didn’t exist three years ago (okay the world did, but only just – the journal is less than one year old)
I work 8-9 hours a day – I don’t do personal stuff at work
I watch less than 1.0 hour of TV per day
I spend about 2-3 hours a day online
I play fiddle about 1.0 hour a day
I do email/check online news and weather over breakfast
I listen to 20 minutes of music per day – driving to/from work
I multi-task – often playing tunes while waiting for pages to load

So I guess the age group is irrelevant – the fact is that life today is very different from what it was even just ten years ago when I started writing my book about the internet. I wrote my first email in June 1989. I guess that makes me a relatively early adopter. I first surfed the internet using Mosaic and Gopher. I built my first website in 1996 – entirely hand-coded.

Here is the video that started this post

How do you compare?


SLiterary – writers journal in Second Life

Posted by jerry on October 15th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology, Writing

A while back I joined an online writers discussion group in virtual world Second Life – one of the things they discussed was the forthcoming issue of SLiterary journal – a literary arts journal in Second Life and using fictions based on or in second life. The journal pays real world rates for stories.

Sliterary journal

You can pick up the latest edition of the magazine in-world or download the PDF (or click on the image).

The journal is interesting as it is an old media format crossing into new media. The fact that it is primarily available as a notecard in SL means that the reader has to be new-media savvy and familiar with how this virtual world works. It requires a form of new media literacy to access the journal – although it will subsequently be released as a web-based document too.

The journal is edited by a real-world journalist and supported by a small editorial team. The whole thing is paid for by advertising sponsorship – mainly companies with a presence in Second Life. We are a long way from seeing writers able to support themselves on Second Life journalism, but it is interesting to see the first signs of Second Life being taken seriously by old(er) media. The presence of old(er) media in Secondlife is growing with sites like the Australian ABC broadcast media proving quite popular. I suspect it will not be too long before serious academically refereed journals appear in SL. Already there are signs that SL is being taken seriously by major educational institutions, such as MIT and used as a teaching space for new media literacies.


Unique pens

Posted by jerry on October 14th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

These are unique pens – they are made from the timber with which I made the Bushfire table.

The reddish pen is from some jarrah I had left over from making the table aprons and the lighter pen is from the ribbon gum – the tree that burnt in our front yard during the 2003 Canberra Bushfires – that I used to make the table top and legs.

handmade pens

The fountain pen was a bit trickier – but is also made from the ribbon gum tree from the bushfire – this one I made for Sharon.

handmade pens


Dining table – a finishing touch

Posted by jerry on October 13th, 2007 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Woodwork

Keeping the frame light and unobtrusive, yet strong enough for a long wide dining table meant I had to use knockdown bolts to keep the structure tight. But that left some unsightly holes where the nut/dowels were inserted to intersect with the bolts. So, a decorative trim was in order.

table design

I took some Australian red maple left over from the bookcases and used the roundel cutter in the drill. Then sanded off the outside risers and glued them each side of the table legs on the apron – it adds a nice feature to the table 🙂