[SLED] New directions for the SLED Picayune ???

Sean FitzGerald seanf at tig.com.au
Thu Apr 26 20:00:30 PDT 2007

Gary Hayes wrote:
>> Sean your comments raised a few of my eyebrows...

Great! I'm interested in having an open and frank discussion about what 
we are all doing in SL, and we shouldn't shy away from some hard and 
challenging questions. It's great that there is a culture of positivity 
and support on this list, but sometimes I feel that what's missing is 
the willingness to ask critically challenging questions, perhaps for 
fear of hurting feelings, or perhaps for discouraging enthusiasm and 
exploration of what is admittedly a new and very difficult medium to 
master. But if those of us who are are passionate about the potential of 
SL don't take a critical approach we won't be taken seriously by those 
on the "outside" and we leave a void to be filled by those who have it 
in for SL, which I think we are seeing in mainstream media already.

>> SL is, IMO, a very poor medium for information delivery and exchange. 
> !!!! This is an education list, supposedly about how suitable SL is 
> for exactly that??  At least collaborative info, exchange...strange to 
> hear Sean...if SL is just a real time gathering social environment 
> without the deep information why do some push certain types of 
> pedagogy...powerpoints, notecards, inworld text forms? So SL is the 
> equiv of the edu network party or the passing meeting in the corridor 
> or the field trip...etc: ?

SL is fantastic for socialising and networking and collaborating and 
group discussions and engaging in immersive experiences and simulations 
and roleplays, but it just isn't that great for transmitting or managing 
large wads of text. I think that powerpoints, notecards, inworld text 
forms and the like are fine when used appropriately - I'm not against 
them, but I can get a lot more info from the web, and I don't think 
people should be doing things in-world that are easier to do on the web. 
If I want to read some text, I am not going to go in world and wait for 
a textures to rez, I'd rather read it on a web page which I can quickly 
scan, I can do a search on, I can grab quotes, I can link to it from 
other blogs and websites etc.

>> I've been spending less time in-world lately because I'm interested 
>> in the ideas surrounding SL and virtual worlds
> I believe that part of the problem with journalism and other 
> commentators is that they dip in and out of SL and write about 
> fleeting experiences vs total immersion and understanding the 
> medium...bit like a blog from a tourist who spends a day in Rome vs 
> the one who migrates for 10 years to Pienza, I know which one I would 
> go to for most cultural insight. 

Most of the blogs I read are by people who are very immersed in SL, many 
of them on this list (including you!) and are actively engaged in 
educational projects in SL on a daily basis, and it's interesting to 
note that even these people who are "deeply immersed" are choosing to 
report on their projects using blogs. I agree a lot of the mainstream 
journalists who are writing the negative reviews are tourists, many of 
them are doing little more than arriving at the airport and taking a 
quick taxi tour around the city and passing judgement on the whole 
country. Others are worse - passing judgement just from reading the 

>> And remember, by the end of the year HTML-on-a-prim should be with us 
>> anyway, so those who prefer to read the Picayune in-world can still 
>> do so if it's on a blog. Best of both worlds.
> To open a can of worms - I feel that voice and html although steps 
> forward technological will turn SL into less of an immersive space 
> sadly. HTML and audio from outside of the environment will defocus on 
> the shared space and to be honest may actually make SL redundant for 
> many applications...

I agree that with the advent of these new features the culture of SL 
will change. Personally I can't wait for them, but then I am interested 
in using SL in ways different from those who have been traditionally 
using it as a completely immersive medium. However, I am not insensitive 
to the loss that this will mean for many people.



Sean FitzGerald
Tel: +61 (0)2 9360 3291
Mob: +61 (0)404 130 342
Skype: seamusy
Email: seanf at tig.com.au
Second Life: Sean McDunnough
Website: http://seanfitz.wikispaces.com/
Blog: http://seanfitzgerald.wordpress.com/
SL in Education: http://sleducation.wikispaces.com/
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/seanfitzgerald

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be and you
will help them become what they are capable of becoming.
-- Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

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