Thursday, November 23, 2006

Living Large in Library 2.0

I've spent the last couple of days even more emersed in Web 2.0/Library 2.0.

We've put together a fantastic resource for tonight's SLA Toronto Web 2.0 panel attendess: Web 2.0 for Special Libraries. This is a wiki with resources from our panelists, and I have added in a nice summary of upcoming conferences and seminars you should check out at the bottom of the first page. Many of these are taking place in Toronto or via the web so are nicely accessible to those of you in this city.

Last night I decided to give another chance to Second Life. I do find the learning curve on SL very steep for--thus far--not a lot of return. I finally managed to get to InfoIsland to see what was there, and visited the equivalent health island that also has library resources. I want to explore those more before I do any sort of write-up of those.

The strangest thing I find about SL is that it is either eerily quiet (i.e. little or no people around) or so crowded I feel too intimidated to seek out people for any interaction--akin to being at a large party where you don't recognize anyone, and everyone appears to know each other.

I did briefly see a few librarians, however, talking to people at a sort of conference centre. To me this seems the most interesting use of Second Life--personal interaction with other people of same interests.

For those who don't know Second Life, it is a virtual world where people take on alternative identities and walk around as avatars (i.e. electronic human beings). If you become skilled enough, you can make your avatar take on almost any form. Most are human (or human-like, akin to Star Trek) but some look like robots, animals, or something in between. This definitely comes from the gaming world, but there really isn't any game involved per se. One must clothe oneself, create a home, and somehow acquire money (i.e. work). The name "Second Life" is definitely appropriate, since it in many ways is like real life. I don't personally find the fantasy aspect off-sets the real world responsibilities enough for my taste. I wish one did not have to work or acquire money--I think it would be a lot more enjoyable! I do enough of that in the real world (RW) and thus Second Life doesn't seem quite appealing enough to me personally. But I do find it interesting and delve into it every month or two.


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