Second Life name: Ela Gravois
Yet another eye opener this week. I eventually managed to have a "play" in Second Life (after having to wait for my work to "unblock" the site - it was banned for use under the "Games/Personal relationships category).
What sort of communities are in Second Life?
From the many weird and wonderful individulas I saw I would imagine the types of groups available will be the same I think! From what I could see there are countless different categories of groups/communities in Second Life. I went to the Dresden Gallery (by accident) and saw there was a group belonging to that area but didn't really know what I was doing, I stumbled through the museum and didn't find anyone else there!
The short time that I met with some other FOC members we went to Tempura Island which I enjoyed, however I found the "chat" hard to follow ( I always struggle with on-line chat when there are lots of people involved). As someone who likes things to follow a logical order, I couldn't keep up with who was replying to who. In Help Island I also struggled with the jargon used by many of the others, like a foreign language sometimes!
I must admit I felt quite intimidated by and uncomfortable in the environment, especially when on Help Island someone kept following me and then told me they loved me after a few minutes! I quickly left that situation as I am not au fait with the etiquette yet and wasn't sure if they were just trying to be friendly or something else! :-)
On the second foray into SL I was thankful I had Kay with me as my buddy as we blundered through together! We had a laugh trying to change appearances (Kay losing her hair and some of her clothes in the process!)
I remember watching an episode of CSI New York a few months ago where it featured something similar to Second Life (can't remember if it actually was SL) and how someone had murdered another person in reality after getting obsessed with them in the virtual world. Does this really happen? I guess it could if you get immersed in this virtual reality.
Ideas on how you might operate as a facilitator for a community communicating on Second Life
As Leigh did I would imagine the best way to facilitate a community in Second Life would be to organise specific times and locations for "meetings". Obviously I have not had a sufficient opportunity to investigate Second Life enough to make definitive comments but I think that the availability of meeting rooms, areas would be a very interesting way to get members together.
Choosing a different location each time may give members a new perspective each time, however depending on the type of group, they may prefer to have a specified place to call their own? I could't get my microphone to work so I couldn't hear others properly, but I would imagine it would be a great experience to talk to other members in this virtual world.
Experiencing Second Life definitely made me think so much more about the many online communities there are. A whole new world. I can see how it could become addictive. When the academic year is over and I have more than 5 minutes spare I will give it another try and see what more I can find!