Archive for February, 2013


Class 4: Online communities and relationships

February 28, 2013


12:00 SLT/20:00 GMT: Class will begin at the regular DIT classroom in Virtual Dublin for about 45 minutes.

Then a brief presentation from Elfay Pinkdot from 12:45 to 13:00. You can find her website with links to her other projects and networks here. You can find a recent bio here. The second part of class will move to another SIM in Second Life until 13:30

Today’s guest artist is award-winning  machinima film maker, Iono Allen. See his latest collaboration is here. Please watch it before class begins today if you have time. His work can also be found on the guild page. Yes! there’s a guild for that! The goal is to interact with us and our guests – that means you’ll need to be able to teleport, use basic animations, talk in chat and voice, and most importantly; have your audio working to enable you to hear live streaming. There will be time for Q&A in chat before class ends. It’s social. loose. interactive and (supposed) to be fun! Prepare ahead of time so you can enjoy it and participate fully!


The class commenced with a discussion, continuing from last week, about the regulations and conventions governing the use of online social media tools and how etiquette developed from them. We talked about the differences between places such as Facebook and Linked In and how we deciphered relevant social codes and learned the appropriate behaviour. Participants spoke about their experiences meeting new people in SL over the previous week and how they learned about communities. The importance of having a coherent identity was raised in connection with joining groups.

Guest lecturer Elfay Pinkdot presented the rest of the 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.


  1. Post an entry to your blog: discussing the importance of regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities in your context.
  2. Listen to the lecture: ‘From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation’ by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology) who explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.

Class 3: Personal branding

February 22, 2013


The class discussed ideas around personal branding and referred back to the reading given in the first class. We started by looking at the About Me pages of your blogs and Elevator Pitches made last week. Issues around what your avatar looks like, how you behave online, how others might interpret your behaviour and privacy were raised. We talked about using your real identity and/or a nom en ligne (term for online name coined by Sitearm Madonna and related to nome de plume and nom de guerre) in the context of Second Life, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and blogging.

The appropriate use of LinkedIn versus Facebook raised the distinction between a personal and professional presence online and the difference between commercial branding and personal branding. The importance of being in control of your identity emerged as did the consequences of being available on free spaces such as Facebook where you are the product.

We touched on using these tools for engaging socially and networking.


  1. 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).
  2. Decide: among your group what tools you will use for planning your project.
  3. Write the third: post on your blog explaining your choice of communication tools and reflect on how the group arrived at the decision.

Class 2: Working in Groups, assessment.

February 15, 2013


Class started with a quick review of last week and activities. And then students did their elevator pitches. The guests: Inish and Dudley from last year’s group gave feedback to the students.

Panel discussion on group working. Panel members: Site, Inish and Dudley. Site has kindly put up notes used here.

Details of the assessment are outlined here.

The theme is “changing tides.”

You have now been assigned to your groups.


  1. Explore: SL with your group. You are to visit at least 3 locations that are new to you. Find them in search, or ask other residents for recommendations or select them at random.
  2. Discuss: with your group how you are going to develop the project.  You might start by trying to determine how to interpret the theme “changing tides”
  3. Write the second post: on your blog reviewing the locations you visited. Explain how and why you chose them and what relevance they might have for your group.

Class 1: Writing and first assignment

February 7, 2013


  1. Put a face to your avatar (personalise it by ‘Editing Appearances’ and/or buying clothes and accessories.) Remember, for the duration of the module you ARE your avatar! and will be identified by your Second Life name. Complete your SL profile, including some information about your real identity (while remaining anonymous, if you wish).
  2. Each participant will get L$300 seed money to get started – you must earn your own money after that. Don’t spend it all as you will need money for your project work.
  3. The format of the class is interactive discussion based on reading material provided prior to the class. You need to have read the material posted in advance (or else next class will be longer to allow for catch-up).
  4. You will need to spend time in SL outside the normal class time to complete tasks and activities.
  5. Check this blog regularly for updates on the module. Information will also be posted to Twittter using the hashtag #iole13. When you post to Twitter don’t forget to include this hashtag. You should also set up a Facebook account for your avatar.
  6. After each class you will be given a topic to write about in your blog. It is important to keep your blog up to date as this will ensure you don’t have an excessive amount of work to do at the end of the module. The blogs will be graded using the rubrics found here.
  7. Academic writing standards must be adhered to always.
  8. Every week, visit a new location in SL and refer to it in your blogpost.

Academic writing

Part of the methodology for this module is to use writing as a mechanism for learning and as a goal in itself. We hope that by the end of this module you are confident in writing as well as being familiar with conventions around accountable writing. the following points were addressed:

  • Forms of writing to use include: Narrative, Descriptive, Reflective, Critical.
  • Sourcing reliable information is essential: where to find it, deciding what it okay to use (judging sources)
  • Correct referencing is essential. We use the Chicago style (see link below).
  • Writing to topic – don’t go off the point. Use headings as anchors.


DIT’s Study & IT Skills Survival Guide for Academic Writing
Purdue Online Writing Lab page on Academic Writing

Here is a guide to the Chicago referencing style


  1. Set up your blog: using blogger, wordpress or any other blog site. Complete the ‘About Me’ page (read some of those page on other blogs first) and remember it is different from the first post on your blog. Write from the perspective of your avatar, the persona you will be using to explore in this module.  Post a link to your blog in your SL, facebook and twitter profiles. 
  2. Write the first post: to your blog about your expectations for this module – what you hope to get out of it, what you think you might contribute, etc. Address the relevance of  module objectives from your perspective, ie, justify why you think they are important to you, all the while applying the conventions of academic writing given in the class.
  3. Look at: and bearing in mind what you learned today compare your own blog writing to this.
  4. Visit the following:
    Deviant Art
    Dolce Merda
    Yumiko Froehlich
    Illustration Friday
    Joanna Kafka
    Style Pantry
    Think about how you would identify these blog authors…what impression do you get of the person behind the blog?
  5. Set up: your twitter and facebook accounts in your avatar’s name. When posting to twitter don’t forget to use the hashtag #iole13.
  6. Read: The First Steps to Building Your Personal Brand
  7. Do: Based on your ‘About Me’ blog page prepare a 30-second ‘elevator pitch’ about yourself and the identity you want to portray online for the next class. Think about yourself (your avatar). Who are you? What is your online identity? (who you are and what you are about).
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