Posts Tagged ‘Second Life’

A recent article as disseminated by @welovecrowds this morning on twitter, reports on a finding by LexisNexis that there is a distinct gap between the Boomers (44 – 60) and Generation X (29-43) and Gen Y (28 and younger). I liked this article because while it reports on the findings, it also questions the analysis done. Who did they interview, a bunch of stuffy “lawyers” (love that!)? How did they come up with the finding that Gen Y spends 22.9 hours a day on social media? Guess they forgot what that age group would rather be spending 22.9 hours doing.

Per their age definition, I fit in the Boomer category. Per their findings, I fit in the Gen X with leanings toward Gen Y. I’m an inveterate multi-tasker, on my desktop at any given moment you can find Word, Excel, my organization’s web site, Yahoo, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, CNN, Google as I explore new sites and yet even Internet Explorer. In the evenings or weekends, you will also find me, if I’m at my computer at all, in at least three or four of those sites, plus others and now in Second Life too, where speaking of reports, the fastest growing demographic is 50 + (as with FaceBook).

Yes, I think there is a gap between the ages (isn’t there always), in the tech area. But I don’t think it’s as great as the study portrays. Much of the gap stems from how experienced a user is with different platforms and the obvious is the younger you are, especially since schools use so much technology these days, the more time and varied experience you have with these things. And it’s not just the laptop of course, it’s the smartphone (where I not only talk or web surf, but have at any given time at least a half a dozen books to read in case I’m stuck anywhere), it’s the MP3 device, it’s even the vacuum that moves itself (I’ve yet to get one of those, sigh).

I may be older, but my sense of exploration, whether new worlds in real life or via technology, is as keen as my niece’s who at 25 believes life without IMing would be like a pub without beer. The difference? I believe in active conversation with full attention, she believes in active conversation with one eye and two fingers on her phone. I’m getting used to it as I recognize it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t listen any less to me — well, any less than someone 25 ever listens to someone older. It’s just a different “listen” and that’s ok by me. In fact, I know that I’ve been the one she’s been exchanging e-chat with while at dinner with others, and that’s not a bad thing at all.


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About this time every year, we hear stories of mankind destroying pieces of  the planet most of us live on. Very few species destroy their nests, why does it take what some consider the most intelligent of them all to negatively impact the living areas of every other living being? The latest news, how tons of released drugs taint U.S. waters, shows us how out-of-control we continue to be, no matter how many Earth Days we have, decade after decade after decade.

The good news? Earth Day actually does some good. It brings attention to the seriousness of the situation, on corporate, governmental, nonprofit and individual levels. It forces action, through legislation, guilt and positive guidance. And we are tuning in to the need for education, information and “things we can do” by the millions.

Recently I received notice from the virtual world,  Second Life  (SL). Launching today is EcoCommons, a virtual location “designed for environmental organizations in the 3D world of SL. Developed by TechSoup’s Nonprofit Commons team in partnership with OneWord.net and OneClimate island In SL, EcoCommons provides a network for environmentally focused nonprofits to promote awareness, community-building and environmental education efforts in the virtual world and beyond.”

Huh? An environmentally concious element in the virtual world? Isn’t that where young kids go to play games, chat or do whatever they do in there? Not really. If you haven’t read the news about SL recently, you won’t know that the fastest growing population in SL are 50+ with six figure salaries. The Nonprofit Commons group itself meets weekly and holds event after event to educate us on every type of cause you can imagine – all for the good.

To recognize the importance of the thousands of individuals SL reaches, the launch of the EcoCommons today features a keynote speech by Jacqueline Chenault, New Media Specialist, U.S. House Select Committe on Energy Independence and Global Warmingand will be broadcast live from SL. The event starts at 11am PST, and activities will continue throughout the day and week as part of Earth Week Second Life.

Real Life, Second Life, my life – where ever we live, we all need to take responsibility for our home, and in this case, not just our house but the planet we live on. Let’s make it last for beyond a week or two, beyond the “fad” of today and incorporate it into our lives and our expectations. We should hold businesses accountable, something totally out of whack as we’ve seen only too recently. We should let our voices be heard on the highest levels. And we should practice safe . . . environment every day 🙂

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Having just come back from a fascinating Digita Now Conference, I’m all hyped up about using the Internet and its tools to communicate with family, friends, colleagues, members of my Association (AAUW), and even strangers – folks whom I don’t know but whom might enjoy reading something I’ve written.

Renewed energy finds me sitting down, getting comfy, fingers at the ready and then a giant pause as I realize if I do indeed use all those new communicating tools, I’ll be at my desk for hours before tackling my as they say in Second Life, my Real Life work.

Hmmm… Posting blogs, commenting on others blogs, twittering (at least 10-12 times a day to keep/get a following), Ninging (is there such a word?!), Evernoting (brand new), PageFlakes (new to me), setting up shop as part of the nonprofit community in SecondLife, Facebook, and of course what takes most of our online lives, email. How do you manage all of these?? As a writer, as a reader, as a professional?

By the time you realize that you have just started learning about social media, and the Digital Now conference taught me that with it’s #dn09 twitter code which found me turning into a twitterfiend, you realize that you need to figure out a way to manage all of these. And that’s just you the individual. Combine it with you the professional, you realize you need to know how to get the most out of these to help promote your mission, your product, your information.

Real life you ask? The family and friend stuff, , the chores, the phone calls and emails – the office, with its own phone calls, emails, and meetings that never end no matter how much you communicate via online tools. And sleep, we’re supposed to have at least seven hours of that somewhere in any given day.

One thing no one has yet figured out? How to make 48 hours a day worth of “to do’s” fit into 24 hours and still leave you sane. Please – any hints, let me know!

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Relaxing in cyberspace, up pops a challenge from my good friend Cynthia, whose blog, “Cynthia D’Amour on Leadership and Life” is dedicated to association leaders. The challenge? To reveal five things you don’t know about me, (started by  Maddie Grant at Blogoclumpers).

1.     I write posts on two blogs for different groups of readers and I wouldn’t be surprised if the majority of each group didn’t know my other blog existed!

·         The most recent post for my association (AAUW), “What a Difference a Tattoo Makes

·         The most recent (aside from this one), on my personal blog (The Washingtonian Outsider), “Social Networking”.


2.     My first language was Spanish, not obvious given my English, Irish, Welsh background.

·         My father was stationed in Bogota, Columbia when I was learning to speak.

·         I had a real difficult time learning to speak English when we came “home”.


3.     I was officially declared a “Goddess” on a road trip once.

·         I was in Papua New Guinea and each tribe I met was offering a higher “bride price”. Caucasian women of a certain size apparently are very revered.

·         I was given the distinct honor of shooting a bow and arrow, usually reserved for men only, and after hitting the bullseye, I was proclaimed a “Goddess”.


4.     I covered over 1,500 miles one summer, riding a bicycle through Europe.

·         It was my first bike trip, 60 lbs of bike and equipment.

·         I met an elderly gentleman in Germany who offered to fix my then broken bike. I found out later he fixed bikes for their Olympic team.


5.     I have recently created a Second Life (SL) since obviously my real “first” life isn’t complicated enough.

·         I attended a lecture on Women’s studies in SL and learned about the numerous “real” colleges and universities who hold “real” classes – but in SL.

·         I wrote several blog posts about my experiences and am finding people who were initially skeptical are now inquisitive.

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I’m a firm believer in using the Internet to find information, spread the word especially if cause related and for general enjoyment. “Social networking” is the buzzword and the lists of sites are endless now-a-days. I am on Facebook, but found so many of my organization’s members on it, that I stripped it of most personal stuff and use it for my public “work” persona. I know you can put different types of security levels, but I’ve not figured out how to separate “friends” as in pals, from “friends” as in people who know you from work (for ex).  I also use LinkedIn for professional purposes and others for different reasons.

One of the best e-newsletters I found that helps you understand who’s using what (such as MySpace is attracting the attention of the older crowd – who knew) is from WOMMA, the Word-of-Mouth Association. Non-members can subscribe and I find it’s one of the few that I actually try to read, one a week if not more. If you are in the business of finding out which Social Networking tool works best for the audience you are trying to reach, check with WOMMA, it’s a great beginner’s source.

Recently I had to step in the the virtual world, in particular Second Life(SL). I’ve written several blog posts about my experiences, so if you are interested in what SL is and how it may help your organization to be represented there, take a quick read: Women’s Studies in the Virtual World and The Virtual Side of Fem 2.0. Can you tell I work for a woman’s organization. . .

What I don’t go into in these work blogs is the fun you can have meeting people from all over the world. Common sense is necessary, having someone guide you as a newbie a good thing, and an openness to hearing language of the profane type more than you may expect. I had a wonderful conversation (and I mean both actually talking using audio and texting) with some guys on the taste of Guinness outside of Dublin. It started with talking with a guy apparently sipping a Guinness in a London pub while on his computer, and soon a guy from Germany joined in the conversation and someone from China texting us (using a language translator). Our conclusion? A Guinness is best when having good conversation and fun!

So if you are interested in exploring beyond the traditional social networking, twittering, etc., etc. methods, give the virtual world a try, it’s fun and can be rewarding in a “helping others” way – just read Buffy’s comments in my blog post (the Fem2.0 one) above.

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