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Class 10: Content Produser

May 2, 2019

The poor attendance continues with only five arriving for class today and two apologies received.

John suggested we visit Lauk’s Nest, a nature park in SL and one of the first (and now oldest remaining) public places for SL residents and visitors to enjoy in the virtual world. Based on the idea of a ruined ancient Mayan village in a jungle by the coast, it was built originally by Laukosargas Svarog in the very early days of SL’s existence and uniquely, despite changing hands several times, retains its charm. At one stage Linden Lab took on responsibility for the site but it is now owned by a preservation group that fund its maintenance along with donations from visitors. In addition to the lovely views it has some nice interactive features such as a bird feeding table and playable musical instruments in a high tree-house. The video below records a tour of Lauk’s Nest from 2016.

Lauk’s Nest, unlike many public spaces in SL, has the advantage of being a quiet spot which supports voice so we held our class discussion in the inspiring surroundings. To begin we questioned the rationale behind recreating the environments that already exist IRL. What is the motivation? Familiarity? Accessibility? Relaxation? Emotion? Coccinella asked if you wanted something like real life why would you come to Second Life? We decided it must be a matter of perspective. Such vistas are not available to everyone and can be difficult to access; it may be that they provide a taster for the real thing; or perhaps they provide an opportunity for those who have no direct access IRL to have a virtual experience.

EvaKKCara argued that this form of expression is just as valid as any other – it is a form of art. Aestheticant and JCraig added that it is an example of co-creation by a network, or community, of individuals. EvaKKCara added that it has been created by the ‘produsers’ (as described by Bruns) of SL! This process of co-creation also supports the maintenance of a level of quality that in turn ensures the value of what is created.

As the discussion moved on to the creation of content we looked at possible indicators of value. How do we know what we create has value and how can we realise that value? Is it simply about followers and income generation? What is the difference between social influencers, who can be seen as pedlars, and those who generate original content? John suggested that the class in which we looked at identity and personal branding throws some light on the emergence of value. He asked you to consider these in the context of your own blogs and ponder these questions as you move into you own professional careers.

Before we broke up John reminded the class that there is only one more meeting before the Team Work project presentation. You all confirmed that your teams are making good progress! John also suggested that if you don’t have your blogs up to date you should work on doing so immediately – before the end of semester rush to submit portfolios and essays becomes too much of a burden.

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