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Class 3: Personal branding

February 24, 2012

CLASS SUMMARY:

This week’s class started with each participant making an ‘elevator pitch’ – a one-minute summary of what they expect from the module. All made confident, coherent and informative pitches using voice in SL. We talked about how it felt to give a presentation in SL as opposed to a classroom in real life (IRL) classroom and all agreed it was easier in SL due the level of anonymity and the ‘distance’ created through meeting online.

This led on a discussion on developing one’s avatar in SL. Most participants said they enjoyed creating an avatar that is different from how they perceive of themselves IRL. Tae contrasted this with his attempt to match the appearance of his SL avatar to his appearance IRL, albeit how he may have appeared some five years previously, and noted that avatars don’t age. The reasoning behind these decisions was explored and compared with our usual approach to Facebook. It was generally agreed that most of us use FB purely for social reasons, it is a less formal space for chatting and keeping in contact with friends and family. In some cases this led to an awareness of presenting ourselves in the best possible light, just as we generally try to look our best when meeting socially. The freedom to experiment offered by the anonymity of their SL avatars and their relatively anonymous blogs was acknowledged by some participants. There can be less self-consciousness when you are engaging at a distance, through an online connection.

The difference between presenting oneself personally and professionally was touched upon with reference to the links posted in last week’s class summary. We also discussed the idea of the ‘personal brand’ – what it meant, how to create, promote and maintain it. Issues around consistency, reliability, reputation etc were explored and the importance of integrity and honesty was raised. The case of the Gay Girl in Damascus blog was cited as an example of the ‘politics of identity’ that can be highlighted by the ease of creating a persona online.

Next week’s class will be taken by Elfay Pinkdot, host of Coffee and Pajamas. She will be taking you on a tour of some of the exciting social venues in SL and introducing you to some interesting residents. Be early, or you risk missing the tour and be prepared to stay on later than the normal class. It will be fun and illuminating!

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

Go outside your established community/group (eg, this class group) in SL and make contact with at least two people relevant to your interests (artist, gallery owner, shop selling art, etc). You will write a post on your blog explaining the relevant of these new contacts you have made.

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