Friday, August 24, 2007

Building Community in Second Life: Renaissance Island

As you know, I've been trying to walk-the-talk and experiment a bit with Second Life, role my virtual sleeves up and see what all the fuss is about. Last week, I visited Renaissance Island and wrote about it in My Second Second Life Experience.

This has sparked a little exchange in the comments between myself and one of the active members of the of Renaissance Island community. I asked Diogenes Kuhr to talk about how she (or is it a he?) had become involved in Ren Island:

I became involved in Ren Island like most people did..they happened to find out about (I did through a good friend who did a lot of the build) some time hanging around and enjoying it, and then volunteered to do stuff. This last weekend, I volunteered to represent Queen Elizabeth I at the christening of the new galleon and the team, was kind enough to let me give it a shot. We had a blast, and learned a lot in the process (who would have guessed that a Tudor era ships christening was real different from the version we are familiar with today?)

Anyway, the team is sort of informal, although there are a couple of people from the Alliance Library system who are the primary team leaders, so working with us is perhaps part o their job. Other team leaders are some of the people who have been working on it as volunteers for some time.

The group that is active includes people from different backgrounds, including teachers, librarians, a museum guy, and people who work in or have retired various businesses, including customer service, hospitality, and tech related things. The group ebbs and flows and people come and go, which is one of the interesting things about it. It is very much an experiment and definitely an delightful way for folks from disparate locations and backgrounds to come together and share ideas, opinions and experiences.

I think this is a really interesting story of how spontaneous community happens. People with similar interests are connecting in a virtual space to create a virtual world in which they learn about another time and place. Informal learning at its best.

Thanks, Dio!


Manish said...

Hey this is very interesting. I've been thinking of exploring SecondLife but haven't really explored yet. I even heard that teher are some people who are conducting virtual training sessions on Second Life, some of them may be paid. Companies are even setting up shops as an along with their physical presence.


Cammy Bean said...

Manish...there certainly is a lot of interest in Second Life and a lot of skepticism. I'm trying to remain open to both sides. My exploration has just begun...