Teleport to Strengths Island
So I promised that I would start blogging more — about everything, but in particular about the projects I’ve been working on these days, which are mainly in Second Life.
Well, I’ll finally start making good on that promise today, and I’m really excited about keeping you more in the loop on what I’m working on, so you can help me make it better.
The Second Life learning curve is a brutal one, but I know that soon, if I keep at it 24-7, I’ll eventually absorb all the necessary data to effectively mesh with the grid.
Until then, I’m taking as many notes as I can about all my experiences during this precious time, when I still feel like a “Noob” (a SL new user), so I can incorporate them into my writings and teachings accordingly.
It’s been a while since I’ve really taken on the mission of mastering something new like this. In 1996, although I knew very little about computer programming at the time, I decided I wanted to learn everything about Web Standards — especially HTML and XML. Thanks to several members of the W3C’s staff and its original XML Working Group (who spent countless hours on the phone and writing emails to help me learn all the details), in just a few years, I was teaching XML for UC Berkeley Extension Online.
Then, in 2001, I decided to ramp up on Copyright Law in the hopes that it might somehow combine with my technical skills to perhaps play a role in helping to turn the copyright situation around. That time, although I wasn’t even sure myself where my research would take me (and again, as a result of countless individuals taking me under their wing, to help me learn quickly), I found myself a co-founder of Creative Commons, working with Lawrence Lessig.
So, as you can see, these leaps into the void seem to pay off for me, generally, in both the short and long term. I consider this to be another such leap.
This latest endeavor also ties in nicely with the graduate and undergraduate level teaching on social networking and virtual worlds I’ve been doing for Prof. Michelle Wolf and Prof. Marie Drennan at SF State’s Broadcast Electronic Communications Arts Department (BECA). I’m having a blast learning these new interactive education concepts and technologies from The Wishfarmers, and I am eagerly incorporating them into my own bevy of teaching knowledge and materials.
I guess by now it’s pretty obvious that I truly believe virtual worlds have the potential to help shape and improve our lives. And not just the lives of those online, but also the those out in regular old “meatspace.” It seems clear to me that virtual worlds are no more a fad or passing phase than the Internet itself.
But now I’m getting ahead of myself, and it’s usually best to start at the beginning…