Class 4: Online communication and relationships

November 2, 2012


After a brief summary of last weeks session on the self and personal branding, guest lecturer Elfay Pinkdot (biography) presented this week’s class. She spoke about the development of her online life – from an early interest in how things around her worked, to a specific interest in technology.

As an early adopter of email, internet access, online communication and residency in virtual worlds, she has a unique perspective on their development. Describing the process of developing her online presence Elfay remarked on how it simply became an extension of her own personality. She also noted that it can often be easier to establish online relationships but that they require the same attention as any other relationship might.

She was able to indulge her passion for jazz by hosting a weekly show in SL for over five years and this formed the basis of an online network that evolved into a community and led to her connecting with other communities. There was some discussion on the organisation and regulation of communities, the rules governing access to SL and their enforcement and the development of behavioural conventions and etiquette.

Elfay gave some useful links in her pre-class post on this blog.

For the second half of the class Elfay introduced the Dutch artist, Rob Steenhorst, who took us to his gallery in SL and spoke about how he developed his practice in SL. The fascinating insight into his development as an online artist working in 3D was both witty and informative. He also spoke of how inter-twined his SL presence has become with his RL life. Other artists he has met in SL have become friends and collaborators in RL. The evening ended with the delivery of a poem by Karima Hoisan. Many of Rob and Elfay’s SL friends were at the gallery also. Tae recommended that you make friends with these people who will be able to help you with your project and introduce you to more communities.

Finally, Tae reminded everyone that he and Locks will be reviewing blogs – the first point in the assessment of the module. So, make sure your blog is up to date.


  1. Visit the artists’ community website Deviant Art.
  2. Read ‘The Laws of Virtual Worlds’ from the California Law Review. This academic paper gives a useful insight into the legal issues around online presence.
  3. View the lecture ‘From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation’ by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology). He explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.
  4. Post an essay (written according to academic conventions) to your blog on the importance of regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities. Minimum 500 words.

One comment

  1. OMG when does it stop!!! 🙂

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