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Class 4: Content Creation, part one

November 4, 2011

CLASS SUMMARY:

Visiting lecturers John Mahon (aka Ham Rambler) and Lisa Feay (aka Elfay Pinkdot) came by the class to share their stories with the class this week. Both are long time residents of SL, entrepreneurs who have developed exciting projects that have embedded strong communities in the virtual world.

John, founder of Virtual Dublin in Second Life, and a well travelled pilot in real life spoke about his original inspiration: the search for the ubiquitous Irish Pub. The only city he couldn’t find one in was Brasilia, capital of Brazil. He decided SL should also have an Irish Pub so he built the Blarney Stone. It proved very popular from the start and proved to be a particular attraction to the American community. Gradually he introduced live music and other attractions and began to build a community. This led to taking a whole sim and beginning to build a virtual Dublin city. At its height Dublin ranged over three sims, it is now contained in two sims and continues to be one of the most visited places in SL. Virtual Dublin’s reputation for good fun, community spirit, a range of activities along with a warm welcome has grown over the years.

This popularity has attracted corporate and state interest also. John spoke about running the first St Patrick’s Day festival in SL which led to a commission from the Irish Tourist board and then Dublin Tourism. As a marketing tool it couldn’t have been more successful as bloggers as far away as Brazil noted that Ireland was using SL to promote tourism. The Virtual Dublin project has also introduced the IDA and other state and corporate agencies to SL. Now that there is a general reduction in marketing budgets John is consolidating his resources and concentrating on cultural and educational initiatives. Virtual Dublin continues to be one of the most successful communities in SL attracting a high percentage of new visitors who are always welcomed warmly by the team running the project.

 

coffee & Pajamas

 

Elfay is a well-known SL dj and hosts the weekly jazz show Coffee & Pajamas at the Sunset Jazz club. Originally from the US Elfay has travelled widely in the real world as well as SL. Her radio show has been running for over five years and platforms her formidable knowledge of jazz. While it is based in SL and has built up a loyal following and a strong community of interactive listeners people don’t have to be in SL to listen to the show as you can tune in over the internet. The variable quality of voice in SL can pose problems for speakers, particularly when the sound breaks up, or fades in and out so, Elfay’s use of streaming was a great experience. As a dj she streams her voice and music directly into the sim rather than relying on the built-in voice facility in SL. The quality and reliability is hugely enhanced as a result, as demonstrated by Elfay.

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