Observations from the Net Tuesday Event : Second Life for Nonprofits, a Mixed Reality Event

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I just wanted to share my observations from the Net Tuesday/Second Life Mixed Reality Event

What worked:

  • TechSoup’s name and word of mouth made this a large event.  The sim was packed and I heard that we maxed at just under 60 participants.  There is already a great deal of interest in hosting a second event (and many other affinity group meetings) in the TS space.
  • There was a lot of media coverage via blog and reporters and photographers.  Volunteers liveblogged and recorded in world (meno rich is avatar who recorded).  They also posted their pix to flickr.  The tags used are: net2,techsoup,npsl, secondlife, mixedreality.  The metaverse messenger (SL’s main newspaper) will write an article about the event next week (Tuesday).  One person even recorded the after-party mingling   Video of the event can be seen here: The photos from the event can be seen at Flickr at the tags mentioned above and here:.  Also a member shared this a bit on the Omidyar Network discussion boards for nonprofits in SL:
  • Via the transcript, I saw a lot of networking between nonprofits that was occurring. 
  • This was a great way to connect the NetSquared audience and the TechSoup audience.  There were people there that we would never had access to in the regular TechSoup Community events that showed up, because the topic and platform interested them.
  • Volunteers were amazing!  Beth Kafka (Kanter) took over role of project producer, Frank Foley (Tom Maroney) was in world technical lead and procured many technical volunteers, Dore Junot (Salvador Luna) was the RL tech lead and set up all the elements we needed to make this whole event happen, Dolly (Gina Cardazone) helped make the logistics of the entire Net Tuesday fall into place, Lorelei Junot (Lori Bell) the Library Island owner made sure that everything was set up in the island and therefore the event didn’t crash the sim, Jeska Linden (Jeska Dzwigalski) brought the credibility, experience and knowledge of being a Linden (working for Linden Lab) and b/c she was there, people who are notable in SL wanted to check out our event.
  • This has revitalized TechSoup and provided us with an emerging technology focus.  We have had a reputation of being too 1.0, so this is a way to engage the more Web 2.0 audience and make the 2.0 technologies fun.
  • Volume and word of mouth in such a short amount of time.  There are an average of 1000 visits to the TechSoup space a day, 20 or so NPOs are a part of our directory (only 7-8 have ully filled out their information cards), we have an average of 20 people at our weekly meetings, we have 45 people on our Google group about 75 members of the TechSoup group.  After last night’s events, I expect all these numbers to grow.


Reflections on Mixed Reality Events in Second Life

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The above was taken at last night's .  The live video feed was being streamed from the Netsquared gathering in San Francisco happening at the same time as the virtual gatherng in Second Life.  , Community Manager for Linden Labs, has the mike in her hand, while her avatar is behind the podium in Second Life.

In-world speakers from nonprofits who spoke about their work included from Camp Darfur,  Barry Joseph from , Lori Bell from the , and from LLS.

Open Source Computing for People Up on Net2 Podcast

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Wahoo!  We were finally able to upload an audio file from the conference to the .  Hopefully more will follow soon.  If anyone has a direct contact at Odeo, I'd love to be able to speak to someone voice to voice to work out some of the challenges we've been having.

The files are big, so we've divided the session into a and a .  You can read more about the session . The panel included , , and as the moderator.

Double the Net Tuesday fun in DC and SF and Online Tonight

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We've got three NetSquared Meetups happening tonight. One on each coast and one in the comfort of your own home.

The will be getting together tonight at 7 PM at the Science Club (1136 19th St NW).  Ryan Ozimek, CEO of , will be speaking,  Picnet will be releasing soon, an open source software to help campaigns manage online communities and messaging.

Envision Hawai‘i, ChipIn and Social eCommerce

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Just got back from vacation in Hawai'i and am still feeling the Aloha spirit, so I thought I'd write a post about Hawaiian nonprofits using the social web for social change.  Let me know if you know of any 'cause I didn't find any examples, but I did come across from last summer.  Carnet started Community Networking Technologies (which later became ) and went on to help start as a board member, and co-founded .  He and his wife moved to Hawai'i a few years ago.  You can check out his blog at .

Coincidentally, he is also involved with a Hawaiian startup called , which I found through a June 28th  interview from the Honolulu Times about , who in addition to co-founding ChipIn, is involved with , a network of young people, "working to make careers out of making a difference in Hawai‘i."

New CollectiveX group: Hacking Society: Discuss ways of leveraging technology to assist and support a better world

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I am a undergraduate computer science student, who is passionate about software. I've always had a desire to see the great potential of technology unleashed to improve the world, and maybe even move us closer to some sort of utopia. I dont know if this is possible, and sometimes its hard to even define the utopia perfectly. So I have opened a group on We will utilize the great technology that makes up CollectiveX to discuss, brainstorm, and plan how we can grow this plan further.

Invite yourself to the group with this link:

Mixed reality for nonprofits in Cambridge, Massachusetts

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As an adjunct to the , the Ethos Roundtable will be holding a y gathering based in .

The Ethos Roundtable is an informal group of people who are interested in using technology tools to support positive social change.  We meet once a month, usually in the same location as (and just prior to) the .

But next Tuesday's meeting will be special:

Getting in the game on OpenID standards: A conversation with Kaliya Hamlin, Identity Woman

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From Kaliya's Flickr accountLate last month the MIT Media Lab hosted a party for the launch of the . The system is one of several aiming to create a long-term way of identifying individuals and organizations across different contexts.

Curious about what it all meant, I knew of no one better to ask than Identity Woman, Kaliya Hamlin. She told me that the identity standards landscape is forming quickly, with the participation of organizations large and small, and that it's important for nonprofits to engage in the process now instead of struggling to change policies and technologies later.

EasyJournal makes blogging accessible

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We saw a bunch of cool new tools at the conference.  It seemed like blogging was a very big deal for attendees thinking in new ways about communicating their mission-based work.  I was inspired to become hyper-alert to identifying accessible, equivalent tools and communication methods.  In that spirit, I offer as a tool that meets accessibility standards, but more importantly that opens up the blogging experience for millions.  The most well-known blogging tools may create accessible pages - usually mostly text, after all. The problem comes when someone - the student at the school for the blind, perhaps or the personnel administrator with quadriplegia - who can't use a mouse tries to post a blog.  It doesn’t work well.  It is difficult, perhaps impossible for the person with a disability to have the blogging experience using well-known tools because thecontent creation interface is not accessible.  The interface for EasyJournal was designed with accessibility in mind, however and you might consider trying it.  It’s free, it’s accessible, and it requires no additional software.


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