Saturday, September 29, 2007

Working on a research project

with another prof and a student...we're going to different branded islands/sites looking for things they're doing, signs, events, any evidence company comes in world...

The PR prof, Arhlene Flowers, looked for PR statements - who's in SL and why, what do they hope to accomplish, their goals - and found quite a list of companies who have done something in SL

Then the student, Jordan, and I have gone to allthe sites for those companies and taken pictures, recorded branding elments we saw, looked for evidence of events, employees regularly schedule, for how the company uses the site

We've looked at about 30 sites - not everybody but all the companies for whom Arhlene found PR statements

There are some pictures from the project on the side of the screen in the Flickr badge.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

SL Down

It happens - not as frequently as it used to - whew

But occasionally SL goes down - and the homepage puts up this great graphic - somebody had to take the time to build these avatars for the picture -i love a company that plans ahead

Monday, September 24, 2007

just sort of related to sl

a blog post about how to make better use of your facebook profile to connect in your industry - reach outside of your network, add apps to look cool, keep your porfile up to date...

I wonder if the profile in SL is similar. I hear a lot of people say they look at other avatars' profiles - i have very little in mine. Maybe it's a place to promote the school;s islands, my blog, our classes... Gotta figure out how to get pictures and links into the profile. And then get hte students to update theirs too

Thursday, September 20, 2007

panel on protecting brands in SL

I"m at a panel put on by millions of us about protecting brands in sl

Here are my notes from the panel....

one of the speakers (haver cole) is a community director for metaversatility
one is reporter for Virtual news nework
how should brands enter sl - observe the virtual brands first - how are they deploying nad presenting their brands, they have experience already reaching customers, handling transactions, advertising
then see if you can interact with them, engage with existing products (like the coke experience contest)
bring brand in slowly, respect the existing sl community, sl branding not hte same as rl branding, in sl hav eto understand where the commuity is and how to intract with them, so you have to observe, spend time here

SL as a platform with cache - can't just come in anymore and get pressclaim to be the first - that doesn't work anymore, gotta think out side the box in sl to be successful (and most didn't)
good to have real world/sl connection - coldwell banker was innovative with their open house in sl built on a rl house
hotel chain - turkish luxury hotel - ?riksoft? - in sl now
not so good to recreate the real world product, he thinks its better to create sl specific products, things designed for virtual owrlds, will get press, and could develop into new revenue streams -- oen goal is to get sl residents to stop being anti brands and to being pro-brands, people tired of real life recreations, in sl products don't act same as in rl so recreations not the same, look at hte brands and services you provide in rl, your companies expertise and values - and see hwo you can bring those things into sl to meet a need

one speaker said sl residents more brand savvy than in rl?

brand management avenues in sl - profiles, how you present your self, brand as your complete identity

now pricing is artificially low in SL - no higher priced luxury brands
soon - prices are going to change, her ewill be higher priced luxury brands

griefing and brands - bad or do rl people just say oh those wacky sl people? - some brands are sort of afraid of the residents, islands give control, a llot of rl people don't care, sl has built in security tools - just like in rl, use the tools to protect yoruself, - turn off scripts, bounce people, ban people

crisis management in sl - in rl reactive, in sl process and control issues, can be a bit more proactive by making sure brands propoerly positioned, probably be some company coming in (as the first) to do sl crisis pr

best way to maintain good relationships with sl residents - keep watching, keep learning, brands will change a little in sl from rl to better take advantage of sl strengths, to be doing stuff that's most appropriate in sl, meet real demands in sl, kep doing new stuff, be interactive, new events, but also doing new things, new ways to connect with people, new ways for peopel to interact with the brand

how do you get your brand known in sl - you hav eto findyour audience and speak to them directly, use viral marketing, connect iwht bloggers, get pics on flickr so people get yused to seeing it and seeing hte name, show up to social events with your brand identity , doesn't have to be expensive project

look at malls and shops run by sl residents as distribution channels - why build up island and recreate what they do - can you work with them, distribute thru them

mainstream press not into sl - reporters probably not going to come into sl to talk with you about your sl brand, so ya need to have things in sl that are relevant to rl, to attract new users, want to amke sure any mainstream media coverage is about yoru brand, not about how hard it was for the reporter to get there or about griefing, but reporters always looking for weird/different thing to quote

fil out your profile - users look at that, put pics in the profile of you in different places around sl, show you're in the community reaching out

if you send out a press release, be available on talk on the phone about it with reporters

Monday, September 17, 2007

more from the life 2.0 conference

The Scripting workshop this weekend at the Life2.0 conference was great. My brain hurt afterwards

The speakers were all prepared with examples and demonstrations - tho the piggy disappeared too quickly for me to see it (and from what i heard it was never seen again). There were 2 big screens where the speakers notes were displayed. The Dr. Dobbs folks are going to make those available after the conference.

The subject of scripting was covered from the basics - built in functions, events nad states, even how to assign values to variables (local and global). It continued thru scripting to have objects communicate with each other and with avatars. Turns out you can script email messages. Then it got deep and fast and I got lost. But i have a base now so i can go to the online resources (which the speakers pointed out and provided links to) and they will make sense.

A big thanks to the Dr. Dobbs folks. Another great event. And the fun continues all week with speakers and beach parties and sponsor exhibits. Including Sun - check me out with my Sun balloons.

I got a free tshirt too but haven't put it on. I need to update my branded avatar (weather channel backpack, nbc scarf, crayon mug and now java tshirt and sun balloons.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

More on events

Going to the Life 2.0 conference in SL sponsored by Dr. Dobbs Journal in SecondLife

They have the amphitheatre straddling 2 sims (I think) and they have upped the number of avatars allowed on one sim to 80. We had 72 avatars hanging out this morning tho by the end of the scripting lessons this afternoon it was down to about 50. But still - 50 is more than in the past.

Here are some issues I've noticed with conferences -things we need to watch for in the future...

- they had name tags - interesting idea but people played with them thru out the presentation whihc was kind of distracting. And they took up a lot of screen space if you loaded the default info (name, title, company). But it was a good idea to see who was from where since this was a professional conference (altho not everyone acted professionally)

the course materials in a box - one of the best ideas around - we could look at each script the speaker was working with and we have them to study afterwards. It was a quick couple of hours so not much chance to play with the scripts or to put notes in them for later.

People who want to chat or to make comments need to be encouraged to use a back channel like the group IM. With all the text from the objects we were playing with and the side comments, it was sometimes tough to see the speaker.

It's a week long conference. THey've been promoting it on their website. It's conceivable that people might come into sl just for the conference. SO the dr. dobbs folks scheduled a newbie Q&A session for a couple of hours. Thought that was a great idea. I think i need to do that on the island - have some time where people know someone will be there to answer questions

I've seen this at a couple of conferences - signage! how to use voice, how to turn on th estreaming media. Probably need a sign now that says you're not using voice or audio but only text. People seemed confused. Most things on the dr. dobbs island are done using voice so the confusion was understandable. The promotion for hte conference mentioned voice too (the dr. dobbs folks said later in the week (with the main speakers) they'd go voice.

They had a networking "breakfast" at their beach party area. Some people tried out voice. It was kind of awkward this morning - we'll see how it goes tomorrow. But having some social events for this kind of long conference seems to be a good idea. The NMC folks had some social areas and time for people to hang out and talk.

If the conference is taking place at different places on an island, signage and maps are a good thing. SO is a teleport map. So is a big copy of the program. NMC did that too - even if it's on the web since some people can't easily go back and forth between SL and the web.

Have official people there - who can speak for the organization, for intro's, to do a little policing, to help attendees find what they need. Dr. Dobbs has Rissa and John and they were present when they needed to be.

and just a side note - some of the voice/anti-voice rivalry is just weird. Use it or not. It's not a religious decision.

ANd lag happens. Sometimes it's on SL end, sometimes on your end. You have to deal with it - not complain to everyone around you. Log off and come back in - that helps sometimes.

ALl in all - a good event so far. And I'm trying to pick up ideas about having events along iwth the info on scripting in LSL.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

We're going in

The semester is starting (ok we're in week 3 already! yikes)

Today the students in qualitative research methods started in secondlife. And it all went smoothly this semester. The computers downloaded the viewer software quickly, everyone found a last name they liked. We had to deal with taking off face tattoos and wigs once they started playing with their avatars.

Side note - why does LL even bother with the different avie choices when making accounts? As soon as ya get onto orientation island you are shown how to play with your appearance. And people don't know as new users about tattoos and attachments versus clothes.

Students were going thru the orientation island tasks. I showed them a little about search.

The semester seems to be starting off well. Here's a pic of one student with his torch

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Planning an Event

Thursday morning at 10am (New York time) which is 7am SecondLife time, John Scott will be on the Park Communication island to talk about his latest project, Scouts are Cancelled about poet John Stiles. John will talk about making documentaries and about some ethical issues that came up while making this movie.

We don't have a reputation for events yet - hopefully if we can get several going for this semester that will change. The better known we are, the more people will come and the more fun events will be.

Here's what I did to promote the event so far
- sent email to the mailing list for educators in SL
- sent in world IMs to groups related to film, movie making, poetry, and Canada
- emailed an influential blog that runs one or two posts a week about upcoming events
- added it to the SL calendar under arts & culture and discussion
- put up clips from the documentary in a special place on the island along with a notecard that probably needs to be beefed up
- asked a student to make a tshirt to give to attendees