Posts Tagged ‘Conventions’

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Class 7: Communities and identity

November 10, 2016
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Online identity versus ‘real’ identity.

This week we had a lively discussion that was informed by our visit to Virtual Ability Island in the previous class. The differences between real and virtual spaces became apparent when we considered the limitations of  Second Life. For example, avatars can have difficulty negotiating stairs, particularly spiral staircases, but this has not led to their replacement: experience of Real Life building has shaped our approach to building in virtual worlds for the same reason that early motor cars resembled horse-drawn carriages.

An understanding of what helps us to feel comfortable in a virtual space is very important in the development and support of online communities not just in SL but in general. The rules of engagement need to be clearly defined as do the conventions around acceptable behaviour. Regulations, conventions and etiquette help to define a community and support the feeling of belonging to a group and participating. Joining a community requires patience and a certain amount of commitment – while the rules may be published, conventions and etiquette are less clear. It take time to observe and learn them as you gradually become engaged.

This is also an important aspect of team building. Even in Real Life teams can be difficult to manage and tend to be successful when the social glue that holds them together is given attention. This is even more important for online teams that  meet only virtually. For success you must consider how to support social interaction before you get down to the ‘real work’.

Another important criteria for successful group work and team building is trust. This fundamental human condition can be delicate in Real Life so how much more so is it in virtual environments? Building an online identity is really a matter of building trust. The example of the Syrian lesbian blogger demonstrates how easy it can be to build a persona and how devastating it can be if it emerges that the persona does not match Real Life.

John gave some feedback on your blogs reminding everyone to ensure you are writing on the required topic. Generally, the descriptive writing is good and posts are well illustrated. Now it is time to become more reflective. Write about your own response to your learning, how you might apply it and where you are finding it difficult.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Write the eighth post: to your blog describing how your team has approached planning your project, dividing the work and addressing conflict.
  2. Lecture: watch 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.
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Class 6: Online communities

October 27, 2016
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Gentle Heron welcomes the class to Virtual Ability Island.

Gentle Heron hosted our visit to Virtual Ability Island this week. We gathered in the auditorium where she told us of the origin and development of the island. It was opened in 2007 to support a community enabling people with a wide range of disabilities to thrive in online virtual worlds like SL. Now, with a population of over 1,000 individuals from six continents (in Real Life) of varying abilities (not all are disabled) the community is vibrant and active. Although disability may be less apparent in SL where, for example avatars can walk even though their human counterparts may need a wheelchair, those with visual or hearing impairment require particular consideration.

The principles of universal design and access for all underpin the development of the environment so that colour schemes, landscaping, materials and access all promote integration – there is no segregation between the able and the disabled. You won’t find any stairs here, only ramps, colour schemes are soothing to promote calm stress-free engagement and support those with visual disability, while speech is accompanied by text in local chat so those with hearing impairment are not disadvantaged. The Virtual Ability website is worth a visit if you would like to read about the history and development.

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Some participants enjoying virtual refreshment during the visit to Virtual Ability Island.

Gentle spoke of the importance of community support in SL, in particular for people who may not be able to leave their homes in Real Life. Online communities may well provide their only means of socialising, getting informed, engaging with the wider world and influencing issues outside their immediate physical environment.

We then teleported to Cape Able to visit the art gallery. It hosts work by artists working in both RL and SL. We saw work by SL photographer Slatan Dryke. Next door is the virtual presence of the Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown, New York, with a Toulouse-Lautrec exhibition downstairs and pieces from its famed Masterpieces of American Indian Art upstairs.

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Imagine Magazine, an SL periodical, published a profile on Gentle Heron in the November 2010 edition.

The final location we visited was Cape Serenity which hosts a library and poetry garden. The library has a selection of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and drama that can be read directly in SL, or in the form of notecards, or provide links to free downloads and websites. It features publications by residents writing about their direct experiences of disability and engagement. The poetry garden was the highlight of the evening. A beautifully serene place with birdsong, a pond, rabbits and birds wandering through panels displaying poems.

THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE NEXT CLASS:

  1. Write the sixth post: to your blog discussing the importance of regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities.
  2. Write the seventh post: to your blog describing how you have contributed to the theme of your group’s project and describing the group meetings held so far.
  3. Read: Digital identity development is a process, by Eric Stoller.
  4. Read: Syrian lesbian blogger is revealed conclusively to be a married man in the Guardian newspaper 2011.

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Class 7: Online conventions

November 12, 2015
Prof Dudley Turner, University of Akron Ohio, visits the class

Prof Dudley Turner, University of Akron Ohio, visits the class

Prof Dudley Turner, University of Akron in Ohio, visited class this week. He invited us to drop by Akron Island (see links at right) anytime and also offered his help to students on their projects. If you haven’t already made friends with Dudley look out for him when you next log into SL.

Class opened with a discussion around the reading material from last week, Reinventing Ourselves. Despite the fact that it is quite a dense and academic text it revealed the importance of understanding how identity is formed both in Real Life and online. Many of you needed to read through it a few times to get an understanding of the philosophical and psychological issues underlying this complex process. It also demonstrated to you the seriousness with which these matters are taken and how much is at stake.

The discussion informed your feedback on progress in your projects. Everyone has been exploring SL for interesting buildings and trying to meet the owners and builders. The latter is proving less simple than it sounds and you report having come up against time zone differences, e.g., arriving in deserted cities because (despite the 4 time zones) everyone in North America is sleeping or working! Or being unable to establish contact with people, sometimes even when their avatar is standing in front of you. We talked about strategies for engaging with individuals you meet in SL: understanding what avatars in SL might be doing; the difference between Instant Messaging (IM) and local chat; contextualising your request. So, when you meet someone online the normal human cues that allow you to decide when and how to introduce yourself are not available. You need to keep in mind that people may well be engaged in different conversations that you cannot see. Trying to engage them in conversation may not succeed therefore you need to leave a message that they can see at a more convenient time. When doing so it is important that the message gives the full context of your request: who you are, what you are asking for; why you are asking this particular person; how can they contact you. This approach should be used in any form of online communication.

John also reminded you to read the project brief and the assessment requirements thoroughly so you understand precisely what to do. He said that although you are working on a group project you will be assessed individually based on your discussion of the project during class, your blog posts about your contribution to the project and your role in the final presentation at the end of the semester.

Finally, John spoke about writing posts to your blog. A summary of his advice can be read in a post to this blog from last year and would be useful for you to read now.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

  1. Read: about the Impact of Technology on Disaster Relief and the History and Power of Hashtags and Five Brilliant Ways to Use Hashtags.
  2. Write the seventh post: to your blog describing progress on your project.
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Class 9: Project work

April 11, 2014

SL class discussion_001CLASS SUMMARY:

The class commenced with a discussion arising from the reading material given last week. The effects of careless or thoughtless tweets posted by individuals who would have been expected to know better (for the most part) were reviewed. The ease of posting a tweet without thinking of the result and the subsequent impact on your career, family and friends was considered – along with the unwitting exposure of privately held views that may be unacceptable in society. The conversation also ranged into the area of privacy and how the appearance of openness may be simply an appearance – with consequent behavioural changes. In other words, people still require privacy – they simply guard it in different ways. The conventions around the use of social media continue to develop in line with these challenges. Social networks that prioritise privacy are now becoming popular and may well find that they can charge a premium for this value.

The second part of the class consisted of an update on progress in the group projects. All teams reported on the theme, communication between team members and development status. Good work on all fronts.

 

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Class 8: Presenting yourself online

April 4, 2014

CLASS SUMMARY:

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Sitearm Madonna (left, with John O’Connor and Dudley Dreamscape) joined the class again this week to share knowledge and experience of presenting online. The accompanying slide show Presentation Tips for Virtual Collaboration Projects is worth reviewing again.

A question-and-answer session segued to a broader discussion on the use of social networks arising from the reading material set the week before last. The lively session was conducted through voice and text chat and ranged from the different social mores of twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other platforms to the power relationship between the boss/workers students/teachers.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

  1. Post an entry to your blog describing progress on your group project. Be sure to write about your own particular contribution, how you are finding online communication, what is working well and what is not.
  2. Read Justine Sacco, PR executive fired over racist tweet, ‘ashamed’
  3. Read Police chief insists teens say ‘appalling things’ on Twitter
  4. Read Dr Phil deletes controversial tweet
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Class 4: Online communities and relationships

March 7, 2014

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CLASS SUMMARY:

There were presentations from three guest lecturers in three different locations for this class meeting. The photograph taken at an art installation shows, from left, John O’Connor, Elfay Pinkdot, Inish Karu and Ham Rambler (in his Paddy’s Day leprechaun guise). The session begun with Ham, Mayor of Virtual Dublin, telling the story of how he came to develop the space in Second Life. It started out as an Irish Bar, The Blarney Stone, that built a regular clientele for live music, story telling and general socialising and gradually grew into a replica of the centre of Dublin City. From the elegant arena where Ham delivered his talk the class moved to the Dublin Conference Centre originally built for Dublin Tourism and containing a virtual build of the former church that now hosts the Tourist Information Office. There Inish Karu, a graduate of the module, spoke about her involvement in role play in Second Life and how this led to the development of a community of role playing pirates and many long term friendships.

Finally, Elfay Pinkdot brought the class to an art installation to share her experiences producing and presenting one of the longest running radio programmes in Second Life, Coffee and Pajamas Jazz programme.

ACTIVITIES FOR NEXT CLASS:

  1. Post: a blog entry discussing the importance of regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities.
  2. Watch: ‘From Prosumer to Produser: Understanding User-Led Content Creation‘ (accessed 03/07/14) by Prof Axel Bruns (Creative Industries Faculty at Queensland Institute of Technology) who explains his theory of user-led collaborative content creation.
  3. Read: User Generated Content and Virtual Worlds‘ (accessed 03/07/14) a paper on the legal background to creating content in an online context.
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Class 9: Discussion

April 19, 2013

CLASS SUMMARY:

We read about Paris Brown the 17-year-old girl who was forced to resign from her post as Britain’s first youth police commissioner with the emergence of embarrassing tweets she posted a few years previously. The article underpinned a discussion about the importance of managing your online profile rather than allowing it to develop in an ad hoc manner that could be problematic later. Issues that were surfaced included the use of multiple profiles or identities, the value of joining social media spaces versus the ‘cost’, terms of use, and the future of online engagement. Poker players suggest that if you cannot tell the sucker during a game then it is yourself – we have often suggest in this module that if you are not paying for a service then you are the product. The lesson is to be aware of how social media and online engagement works and try to make informed decisions about membership of any group.

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Class 4: Elfay’s Notes: Preparation for class

October 30, 2012

13:00 SLT/20:00 GMT: Class will begin at the regular DIT classroom in Virtual Dublin with Elfay for about 45 mns

Coffee & Pajamas Jazz Show Sites/Info
You can find a  recent Bio here: http://www.mutantspace.com/skills/internet-radio-sec12ond-life/:
Facebook   http://www.facebook.com/elfay
Show Intro/Demohttp://xxelfayxx.wix.com/jammies
Deviant Art: http://elfay.deviantart.com/gallery/
Show Poster Designerhttp://www.vandalhandle.com/
Sorry my own portal site is being updated and not useful to you right now.

Second hour will move to Rob Barber’s SIM in Second Life (make sure you have found him already have the SLURL for that SIM ahead of class time)

He (and I) will have invited our regular friends/guests from both our shows to participate in this portion of the class. Rob will be talking about himself, his art and his work hopefully both in and out of SL). You can find his work here: http://www.robsteenhorst.nl/

Interact with us and our guests throughout the hour. – That means; I expect you can already teleport, use basic animations, talk in chat, and most importantly-have your audio working to enable you to hear live streaming (and in-house voice) before this class starts

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 Frequent Asides”;
There are also my own ”private” networking pages on Flickr, Tumblr, Linkedin, Artbistro, Google and Mandys as well as my own portal site. But they can all be found by starting at one or more of the above. So nothing is private. So in other words…nothing is private.”

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