Apr 24, 2009

SL on SL Slowdown

The real world economy is causing problems and challenges for many people. And this is true for the man behind Sigmund Leominster too. But not in a bad way. Although I chose to keep my RL and SL separate, in the real world, my international company has been going through some significant growth over the past two years and it continues to do so. And without revealing too much about "me," my role is at a senior level and I have to ensure that all the employees are fully tasked and able to do the jobs needed.

So, what with hiring new people, shipping large quantities of products, and having to travel around to continue expansion, poor Siggy has been in SL much less of late. This, of course, doesn't necessarily mean he's idle. As news anchor for Life On Line and a co-presenter on MBC's news, Sigs has four shows per month to cover. And writing for SLentrepreneur, Prim Perfect, and The Alphaville Herald still keeps crusts on the table.

Where sacrifices have been made are in the blogging arena. SL on SL comments have slowed down, as have SL on VL. However, that's not really a problem.

I also have a blog in real life - which gets many more readers than SL on SL - so that also takes up time. It all comes down to numbers really. We all have to divvy up our time to make best use of our scarce resources. Second Life is fun and being part of it is a great escape at times. But, as my friend Mony Markova keeps reminding me, it is, after all, not "real" or "important" in the grand scheme of things.

So don't think that fewer posts in SL on SL means I have gone away. No, I'm just shuffling the deck a little.

Apr 18, 2009

MBC News Show For April 17th Now Available

The mid-April Metaverse Broadcasting Company news show is now available. For the fashionistas, I'm wearing a sweater and shoes from Redgrave, along with trousers from Muism.

For those who really don't care about what I'm wearing, I'm curious why you are still reading my blog!

Apr 16, 2009

Life On Line Episode 5 Now Available

Click on the video to the right of this post to see the April 15th edition of Life On Line.

"This week, we visit one of the newest virtual worlds to be created on the Open Grid. ‘Reaction Grid’ puts the emphasis on building rather than buying. One of the creators tells how she left her job as a nuclear weapons expert in the US military in favor of a career in virtual world building.

"Newsman Sigmund Leominster reports on Quest Online’s new virtual world, Alganon, described as “the first viable alternative to World of Warcraft - and Sony Entertainment’s PS3-based mystery centered on a character from their virtual world, Home.

"Our resident band the incredible SpaceJunky performs their hit Killer Coat.

"And the very very strange Some Grey Bloke blows the lid on what Facebook is really all about."

Apr 15, 2009

Sky News Closes Second Life Bureau

The Prophets of Doom can wallow in the demise of yet another major news corporation's exit from the Second Life(R) virtual world. Britain's Sky News has announced that it is formally closing down its SL island and moving to a "new 'Immersive Workspaces' platform in Second Life where employees meet to exchange ideas and do business."

News will still be delivered to these workspaces via "News Pods," a essential a screen with streaming video.

Obliquely reference the departure of other news providers, Sky News says that "life, even Second Life, and technology, move on. In Second Life, increasingly, the trend has moved away from corporate islands like the Sky Newsroom."

Virtual world Cassandras can eagerly point to this as being further evidence that "the end is nigh," whereas more sober commentators will simply point out that the economics of news reporting and delivery in Second Life is very different from real life, and spending lots of money to have virtual world analogs of real life newsrooms doesn't necessarily make any financial sense.

Apr 14, 2009

New Journal Publishing Late 2009 - Early 2010

The Journal of Virtual Worlds and Education is an academic peer-reviewed journal that will present the best writing and thinking available about Virtual Worlds and their applications and implications for the field of education.

The Journal was conceived in 2007 by educator and designer Anton Hand and Xenius Revere chief executive officer Kevin DiVico. The idea was furthered by a wide ranging group of educators including Larry W. Belle PhD, formerly the Dean of Continuous Education at the Rochester Institute of Technology; Sarah Higley Ph.D., author and professor of English at the University of Rochester; Anton Hand, an adjunct instructor at the University of Buffalo media studies department, as well as former Creative Director for Deep Think, and former Metaverse designer for Electric Sheep Company; MCLS library clerk Patricia Rapp, one of the developers of one of the first distance learning programs for the military while working with CyberMath; Jack Greeny, computer scientist and doctoral student in Cognitive Psychology at the University of Buffalo; author, designer and educator David Pascal; and Kevin DiVico, CEO of Xenius Revere, a Virtual Worlds solution corporation focusing principally on educational and training applications of Virtual Worlds technologies.

The Journal plans initially to publish freely available materials online in digital formats three times annually at its web site, www.jvweducation.org. Keep checking back for the official Call for Papers, or sign up for more information and free e-mail notices.

Apr 10, 2009

Journal of Virtual Worlds Research - Latest Edition

The latest edition of the Journal of Virtual Worlds Research has just been released. This is Volume 2, number 1, and the theme is Pedagogy, Education and Innovation in Virtual Worlds. This edition is dedicated to exploring the breadth of designs, pedagogies and curricular innovations that are actually already being applied to teaching and learning in virtual worlds.

The next two editions will cover 3D Virtual Worlds for Health and Healthcare (May, 2009) and Virtual Worlds: Technology, Economy, and Standards (September, 2009). You've just missed the deadline for the September issue (me too!) but there is a Call for Papers for Volume 2, Number 4, Virtual Economies, Virtual Goods and Service Delivery in Virtual Worlds. The deadline for abstracts is 15 June 2009 and it will be published in November 2009.

Mmmh, maybe I could manage that one?

Apr 6, 2009

Anchorman: But Not Ron Burgundy!

This week I had a spot as an anchorman for Metaverse TV. I've done reports before but this is the first time I've had the fun of actually reading the news. Dousa Dragonash, MBC's news supremo, helped me along by providing the actual news copy: all I had to do was read it.

It took just over an hour to complete the session, along with an interview with Nexeus Fatale, and there's a good chance I'll be anchoring again either this week or next.

Cool stuff!

Apr 4, 2009

What's In A List? Well, Me Now!

A few weeks back, Second Life resident ArminasX Saiman published a list of blogs in his own Second Effects blog. The original list contained some errors and dead sites so, to his credit, he took on the Herculean task of trying to produce a rank-ordered listing . The criteria for a "live blog" are that;

* There must be at least one post within the last three months (dated within 2009)
* There must be visible Second Life content
* It must be a blog (and not a forum, flickr group, static website, ning community, etc.)
* It must not be closed or on hiatus

Aided and abetted by a team comprising of Amber Decuir, Thickbrick Sleaford, Peter Stindberg, Haley Salomon, Moggs Oceanlane, Quaintly Tuquiri, Radar Masukami, and Andrew M, Armin ended up with a huge list of blogs, which, it's safe to say, could not possibly be read in totality by any one person.

The semi-good news is that I have a scattered presence. The Alphaville Herald comes in at #14, SLentrepreneur Magazine has the #51 slot, and this very blog ranks 82nd. I could perhaps claim a hit with the #40 slot, Prim Perfect, but having only written one article for them so far, that might be pushing it a little.

SL on VL doesn't get a mention but then the "visible Second Life content" is not as high - it is designed to comment on all virtual worlds so mentions of SL can be sporadic.

All in all, this is not a bad showing. My aim has always been to freelance across a range of publications rather than focus my efforts on just one.

Now, what I really need is a venue where I can write some fashion stuff as the return of FreeLife Magazine appears to be somewhat delayed: In fact, I have not heard from the editors for weeks! I wonder what is happening?

Apr 2, 2009

Sex, Violence, Decapitation and Second Life?

The UK's Daily Mail newspaper reported the case of a man who reacted to his wife's online infidelity by cutting off her head rather than her internet account. According to the Mail;

"A jealous husband reportedly cut off his wife’s head after catching her messaging a man she had met online.

"Giuseppe Castro, 35, turned on Maria Pia Scuto, 41, after discovering her messaging her lover on the computer.

"He is alleged to have stabbed her in the neck with a kitchen knife, then used the blade to saw off her head in front of their 15-year-old son and his mother-in-law."

Whoah! Easy on the cappuccinos there, Giuseppe! Take a chill pill.

What is interesting is that the original story added the phrase "..in Second Life" to the first sentence. It was later removed in an act of journalistic revisionism. However, the "Second Life" element did continue in the Austrian Times but most reports seem to have stated that the virtual affair was via text and chat sites, not Second Life.

Oh, and ladies - be very careful if you have "sext friends." When Castro was interviewed, he told detectives: "She was always chatting with other men, I couldn’t take it any more."

See how easy it is to get your man mad? Maybe this time he WON'T just turn off the cell phone!a