Saturday, January 13, 2007

Review: MySpace is Your Library’s Space: Reference, Programing and Promotion

Michigan Library Consortium hosted this presentation by Angela Semifero from the Marshall District Library. It was their first event held in Second Life, and was a success in many ways. The presentation was substantial and interesting, it was well attended (around 50), and it went without a hitch. No intrusions, a polite and interested audience, and few technical issues.
I attended with 2 goals; to learn about MySpace, and to learn and observe what it takes to conduct a successful presentation in this platform.
Of course I have heard of MySpace, but have not tried it out. I have a Facebook account, and assumed that they are comparable. Was I wrong! MySpace has many more options then Facebook. Angela fully supported her contention that libraries can use MySpace as an effective way to connect with their teen patrons. I will not restate Angela's points here. (visit MLC's page for more detail).
It took place at the outdoor theater at Cybrary City, where there is a speakers platform with a large screen for displaying slides, and well-placed seating. Angela (known as Semife Roar in SL) used the chat feature for her lecture.
Her chat lecture was well organized and spelled, so I think she probably had her text ready, and cut and pasted it into the chat window. She did a very good job of pacing this. This is important, since chats continually scroll up the page, and also fade. If you go too fast, people will miss it. One thing that contributed greatly to the success was the fact that for the most part, the audience refrained from their own chatting. When many avatars chat at once, the message can get lost quickly.
The slides were a good thought, but were not particularly visible. This was partly due to resolution of visuals being slow, a consequence of the large attendance, and partly due to the sizing of her visuals. These were probably PowerPoint slides imported into SL with text and screen shots. It appears to me that text and graphics need to be larger for effective display here.
Semife was interesting, substantial, and fun. She opened with a joke "this is the first presentation I have given in pajama bottoms", and got me laughing several times.
Aside from the value of the content, the program demonstrated another thing that I love about SL. It was attended by librarians from all over the country; Boston, Michigan, Illinois, S. Carolina. Where else can you mingle with such a select group while wearing your pj's?

1 comment:

Aleister Kronos said...

In terms of "chat", I usually open the History window. I can see less of the screen, but I don't (or shouldn't) miss any of the content.

PS: MJ has added an interesting post on the notebook with the following from Pathfinder Linden:

"While speaking with educators interested in using Second Life at a conference in NYC last week (http://www.slconvention.org), a number of folks suggested that I create a Second Life Group specifically for real life educators interested in using Second Life and those currently participating in the Campus:Second Life program (http://secondlife.com/csl)

The idea was that this group would be open for anyone to join, and the purpose of this group would be to help educators find colleagues and collaborators, to teach people about the Campus:Second Life program, and to have meet-and-greet events in Second Life to help people connect with other real life educators.

I have just created a group called "Real Life Education in Second Life." It's easy to find (just click the Find button, select Groups, and type in "education").

If you're interested in Real Life Education in Second Life and would like to find more colleagues and collaborators, please join today!"