Telstra Bigpond withdrawing from Second Life

A friend of mine sent me the following notice sent to BigPond Residents in Second Life:

POND ESTATES CLOSURE 16 DECEMBER 2009

Dear Residents, Vendors and Guests,

Telstra BigPond would like to thank you for participating in Second Life through BigPond. Our creative experience with Second Life has been very rewarding for both BigPond and our members. We’re constantly looking for ways to take advantage of the latest social media trends, however, our focus is moving towards entertainment options that are gaining in popularity on computers, mobile phones, TVs and game consoles.

From December 16 you will still be able to continue your Second Life experience directly through Linden Lab at www.secondlife.com but no longer through the BigPond portal.

This will also mean that all Second Life use will go towards your download limits given that the BigPond islands currently unmetered for BigPond customers are closing. Please note that this may put you over your plan download limit sooner than you were expecting.

Please contact our in-world Social Operations Manager Peta Philbin if you have further questions and she will provide information and/or BigPond Support personnel to assist you.

Again, we hope that you continue to enjoy your Second Life experience and keep checking back at www.bigpond.com for other exciting BigPond services.

Regards

The BigPond Team

virtual co-presence

Update: Some sentences rearranged to better express what I wanted to convey. Bold added. 

albert&dave_sfnc-frame.jpg 

 
Last year a blog post by Mark Pesce titled “Those Wacky Kids” contained this paragraph:
 
Mizuko Ito, a Japanese researcher, studied teenagers in Japan a few years ago, and found that these kids – from the moment they wake up in the morning, until they drop off to sleep at night – are enaged in a continuous and mostly trival conversation with, on average, five other friends. They might be in the flat next door, or on the other side of Tokyo. Proximity doesn’t matter. What does matter is the constant connection. Ito named this phenomenon “co-presence”. It seemed a bit too science-fiction wacky-technophile Japanese, at the time.
 
I just rediscovered this in some little used backwater of my online tools after saving it there ages ago.
 
The bold highlighted part is the bit that struck me, not simply because it’s obviously what’s going on with social networks and why things like Twitter are so popular – I’ve always seen Twitter as a ‘presence‘ app, but primarily because it’s what I’ve craved and been for years living out to varying degrees in various places online.
 
It’s also what I see and experience as going on big time in Second Life. With a twist. There, the physical, geographic proximity of the residents [users of SL] in terms of where they live  certainly doesn’t matter (aside from the obvious problems differing timezones bring). And certainly, the relationships bought about by connection is the thing that keeps them returning.
 
However when in SL the issue of proximity does matter in terms of virtual geography. The “co-presence” spoken of is felt and made stronger by being in the same close virtual proximity with others in-world.
 
It’s why gatherings for dance partys with music live streamed in by DJ’s thrive, companies hold meetings, educators take classes, live music events where artists play in some remote physical location with their music streamed straight into the virtual gathering are extremely popular, it’s why people build homes and have friends around, and why they go exploring together, and develop close personal relationships, and why people gather in groups around in-world, often simplistic, puzzle style games that they share in the same virtual proximity with others – where the being with others is part of the enjoyment of the game – in my opinion, often moreso than the game itself.
 
Yes, in the physical world, proximity may be becoming less important for connection to others.
 
In the virtual word, proximity is everything and co-presence is made almost palpable.
 
Dave

Microcosms, Second Life and the Giant Zero of Distributed Media

a twitter msg sent by me from within sl

Second Life offers a grid that is a microcosm of the connectedness that the Internet, operating as a pervasive, worldwide grid, promises.

Second Life offers a peek into possibilities of what the world might look and feel like when the internet-as-grid connects all facets of how we live. I’m not talking about how it may look visually, don’t get too hung up on that, but how it functions – or more-so, supports how we as humans choose to function. At a time when it does so in the way that it almost becomes invisible. 

Doc Searls talks about the Giant Zero – how the internet potentially puts us zero distance from each other. Second Life, because of its contained grid nature, provides interesting glimpses into that giant zero existence.

One such glimpse I experienced the other day while in SL.

I was trying out a media browser in-world that offered a screen where you can choose to view different things like youtube and google videos, see images you load into the browser, open a url, play streaming audio. Nothing overly special. You are able to also add anything you watch as a favourite, like bookmarking. Where it gets interesting is these favourites, your favourites, go with you so that if you are at another of these media-browsers anywhere else in SL you can step up and see the things you’ve favourited at any other browser. There’s no login or signup or password. You are recognised as you and your favourites are available (the owner of each media-browser has ability to set permissions).

Now just imagine that. You are at a friends place and you say, “gee mate, you should see this great youtube vid I saw” then you pickup the remote to your friends TV and the remote automatically recognises it’s you, knows your a friend and as you press the Favourites button on your friends remote it’s your favourites that appear on his screen, ready to select the youtube video you’d saved yesterday … at yet another friends place or your home or a public library or on your mobile on the way. The same could apply for any digital media that fills your life.

Instantly you have access to your own set of data that is user centric and goes with you .. even though you don’t actually ‘carry’ it around. In a sense it ‘follows’ you on the internet connected grid that exists by connecting all the devices we encounter as we go about our lives.

Now okay, none of this isn’t anything people haven’t written or spoken about before. Certainly though the discussions around identity and intellectual property and personal data portability became very clear to me. But there was an enlightening moment as to how all these things could work together, and how in doing so our lives would be made richer, and just how very close it is.

All this in a fleeting encounter in a virtual world that many consider just a game. 

In my view it’s much more for those who choose to look, and, as I said in the beginning, one of the things it certainly is, is a microcosm of a future connected world.

Dave

Incandescent Blue in October – Between a laugh and a Tear

October is Anxiety and Depression Awareness Month.

October 10 is World Mental Health Day.

Expect to see lots of Blue.

A lot of my Twitter friends are already turning blue and are doing various things, calling it Blueday2008 and
using the hashtag.

bb band again

I’m never one for jumping on bandwagons for the sake of it. Like these wristbands you see everywhere for instance. But I wear a BeyondBlue wristband, constantly. If you’ve got one, or see one, you might like to take a photo of it and put it on flickr and add it to the group I started there.

I also made a T-shirt for your Second Life Avatar, if you feel so inclined. You can pick one up from here as part of the Blueday2008 event in Second Life.

Beyond Blue - TSHIRT Dave Koi

While there you might like to have a look at/in my sculpture / artwork in there called Ocean of Tears , which, though I started long ago, have been spurred on to complete at, and release on a time like this.

I wrote before in this blog post here why I’d be interested, and in fact why I am doing this stuff.

All this Incandescent Blue, and the iTunes Genius gave me a music list to write this post to.

As long as we are talking about it – What do you do to stay sane?

Peace.

Dave

http://www.beyondblue.org/

oot.png

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Second Life performance of The Wall by Pink Floyd

thewall_029

I was awake at 5am the other morning so I could go to a artistic performance in Second Life.

The performance was of Pink Floyd’s The Wall concert set to the original music from The Wall.

And it was spectacular. It is so popular we had to be there an hour before start to make sure we could get into the sim.
The group who put it together used particles, objects moving, photos and digital puppets all coreographed the the soundtrack to great effect by the CARP team.

During the performance the wall was slowly built until the climax at end when at the crowds shouting “Tear Down The Wall” saw the wall of bricks all tumble down at which point everyone was invited to go dance on the bricks.

It was at hat point you got to see just how big a stage it was. These bricks were huge.

Interestingly we were told to turn the music stream on beforehand and leave it on and not pause it or it would then be out of sync with the performance. It reminded me of just how much we a still at the infancy stage of the virtual world emergence – a sense of almost analog linear performance in a totally digital environment.

Brilliant stuff. See the slideshow on Flickr below.

Slideshow: http://flickr.com/photos/dnwallace/sets/72157604647772637/show/
Flickr set: http://flickr.com/photos/dnwallace/sets/72157604647772637/

Found this great slideshow of the event on the second arts blog:

Peace – Dave

Virtual Worlds and Emerging Technologies for People with Disabilities

moon_001
I was awake at 3.30am to take part in the Second Life talk that’s part of this forum: (why do I do these things…)

Using Virtual Worlds and Emerging Technologies for People with Disabilities

This two-part, interactive event will take place in two locations online:

First, the live discussion in the virtual world of Second Life at 9am PST
The follow-up discussion will take place for the rest of the day, 10AM PST- 6PM PST, in TechSoup’s Accessible Technology & Public Computing forum at: <http://www.techsoup.org/go/accessibletechnology>
Event Schedule:

9 AM PST in the Nonprofit Commons Amphitheater in Second Life.

Simon Stevens (aka Simon Walsh in Second Life) <http://www.simonstevens.com> will be speaking about his work in Second Life. Simon Walsh is chief executive of Enable Enterprises which manages the Wheelies nightclub for people with disabilities in Second Life and the Second Ability Second Life simulator. In real life, Simon has cerebral palsy and lives in Coventry, UK. He is a disability consultant and trainer working with many organizations large and small.

Simon will give a virtual talk via text chat in the Nonprofit Commons amphitheater, in the virtual world of Second Life

10AM PST- 6PM PST –the follow-on discussion will continue in an all-day, asynchronous (not-live) forum on TechSoup. This event will occur in a question and answer format in the TechSoup Accessible Technology & Public Computing forum <http://www.techsoup.org/go/accessibletechnology>

Online Event: Using Virtual Worlds and Emerging Technologies for People with Disabilities in this forum, Feb. 29th, all-day, asynchronous (not-live). No registration is needed; just show up here and post your questions!

Accessible Technology and Public Computing message board, TechSoup

Dave

Second Life, the ABC and Virtual Social interactions

UPDATE: The Producer of the show sent me the audio and I’ve snipped out music and commercials. You can listen here.

sl.jpg

Just like Laurel, I was asked on the ABC Radio Tuesday night to talk about Second Life (SL).

Evidently the show was about online relationships, not just SL, but I didn’t know this beforehand, not that it worries me. Unlike Laurel, who got bombarded with the sex and Second Life questions that seem to titillate the main stream media, I tended to focused on what SL offers me in terms of adding to the fabric of my life, the creative expression and particularly how online social networks of any kind hold the potential to lessen the effects of social isolation for a variety of people.

Second Life, as a visually rich environment full of a diverse range of people can give an opportunity for equally rich social interaction. Just like the physical world….only a different geography.

Pixels are people too.

It was interesting to be in discussion with the twitter crowd, particular thanks to @mpesce, @nickhodge & @silkcharm, before, after and as the show was on air and get comments and encouragement from them – another group of social interactions.

The show was streamed live but I don’t think podcast. However I’ve been in touch with the Producer and have a disc with the whole show on its way to me. Will see if I can make it available.

Dave

Linux Conference Australia and Second Life

I got an email about the Linux Conference being held in Melbourne later this month. There will be events also happening simultaneously in Second Life. The irc channel for the conference will be relayed in Second Life for participants to be able to take part via irc in world. See links with SLURL below.

Here’s the email:

Hello folks

The Linux Conference Australia will be running from 28 January to 2 February.

The Education Mini-conference will be held over Sunday 27 January(live only)
and Monday 28 January (live and online)

Feel free to

* check out the Secondlife facet of the education event.
Timetable and information about how to log on to
http://miniconf.mel8ourne.org/wiki/index.php?title=Education
Feel free to come along to a single session or to stay longer.
You will be able to participate using the Second Life text chat.

* invite Melbournites to the Open Day
The Open Day will be 12-4pm Saturday 2 February(live)

* forward this to other folks who may be interested in participating online.

Thanks to Kerry Johnson for a recording device and
Dave Wallace for Second Life suggestions.

==============================

From the conference wiki, locations in Second Life:

Monday

SL Venues with IRC bridge

Thanks to Ash Qin and Artex Panther for help with the irc bridge on irc.quickfox.net

This venue is open and has the irc bridge enabled currently.

This venue is open bridge is not enabled.

This venue will be open on 28 January IRC bridge is enabled.

Mini-Conference wiki