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Virtual Vision 2020 Draft Plan – Sections 1 & 2 Available for Review

Virtual Vision 2020 Plan CoverSince the summer of 2012, we've collected surveys, held workshops, met with Second Life groups, and conducted research of numerous sites. Thank you very much to everyone who contributed and helped out. While the work is still ongoing, it's time to finally pull things together. So far a draft of Sections 1 and 2 of the plan are ready for everyone's review. Section 1 is an introduction discussing the plan's purpose and structure. Section 2 offers some background and a short history of Second Life. Both of these sections have been modeled off what would traditionally be provided in a comprehensive plan for an offline community.

While the presentation might look to be in a final or completed format, it really is only a draft – a first go at it so the community has something to look over, think about, and then offer suggestions and ideas for changes or revisions. Most draft plans seem to be offered for review in this manner – perhaps so the layout and format can also be critiqued. There are probably mistakes or incorrect information at this point so it is important that everyone takes a look at it to ensure the final text is correct. You can post your comments in the section below or email them to virtualplanner@virtualvision2020.com. When there is a consensus of what it should look like and say, the sections will be finalized. 

Over the next few months, the drafts of the remaining sections will be released for review. Those will require even more scrutiny because they will include suggested goals and objectives.

Also, because of the need to publish this plan as a public domain offering, I've included in the plan the type of license that would achieve this release. Everyone from the community is welcome and encouraged to contribute text or photos or other information to the document, but if you do, we will need a similar release from you to include in the plan.

Thanks again!

You can download a PDF of Sections 1 and 2 of the draft plan by clicking the link below:

 

Let’s Create Legends!

Rockcliffe Library SimOne of the first steps in actually writing a community plan is to research and develop the introduction. This opening to the plan establishes background for the reader; it provides context and describes the type of community for which the plan is written. Some plans include in this section a back story or local tale which can be fictional in nature and provides the reader a feeling for the culture and spirit of that community. Unfortunately for Second Life, there is no legend or tale describing the founding of our world. We know the facts behind it, but this is not the same. So thinking about how creative the Second Life community is, we talked about asking people in Second Life to create and vote on a founding legend or story for Second Life. Then we talked about the sub-cultures – it would be interesting to have founding stories for those. So the outcome of this is a type of contest or call for Legends. There's a special website set up where you can learn more about how to submit and vote on entries we post at Virtual Vision 2020 Legends. Legends will be accepted until 11:59 pm CST March 31, 2013. Then voting will close at 5pm CST April 15, 2013.

Disclaimer: Virtual Vision 2020 and the Virtual Vision 2020 Legends are neither owned nor operated by Linden Lab or Second Life. Second Life® and Linden Lab® are trademarks or registered trademarks of Linden Research, Inc. All rights reserved. No infringement is intended.

Culture Update – Religion in Second Life

Anglican Church in Second LifeToday I came across an article discussing the study of Buddhism in Second Life. It seems that religion has provided a basis for governance and culture since the beginning of time. So it's not surprising to find religious activity in the virtual world. The Anglican Cathedral of Second Life has been meeting and holding services there since late 2006. They currently have regular masses and meetings throughout the week. And there are several other denominations and religions throughout the grid.

The overall plan for this world needs to consider religious activity as part of the culture and how it can support the community in Second Life. And exploring existing religious groups and activity will be an important component in the development of the plan.

Business Development in Second Life

Virtual Vision 2020 recently set up a Google+ community to host discussions related to a community plan in Second Life. Someone had posted in the thread an observation they had upon entering Second Life for the purpose of exploring the platform for marketing their business. They said it felt empty like no one was around and did not think it would be valuable for business development.

This view has been shared by others who report on the failure of "real life" business efforts in Second Life. What is interesting is that in all of these is that the Second Life platform or environment is identified as the cause of the failure. The conclusion is that because of these failures, setting up a presence in Second Life isn't worth pursuing. 

Of course, those who understand the environment and who spend considerable time there have commented on the absurdity of this. They usually point out that the business did not take the right approach. Yet people who have not spent time in Second Life don't seem to understand this.

But those familiar with Second Life are right – Second Life has its own culture, much in the way countries have their own cultures. When US-based businesses try to open up a market in China in a manner similar to their US operations and experience failure, people don't say, "Oh, they are wasting their time." They don't blame China for being China. They don't dredge up all the negative aspects of the society as reasons people should stay away. Instead, people blame the company for ignoring the culture and not fitting their approach to what the Chinese expect.

So why is it so different with Second Life, and what strategies can we identify to correct this misconception and attitude? Can emulating what is done offline work? Companies trying to successfully move into the market in another country typically hire people or firms to help them make that transition. Is this what we need to develop and a service that needs to be offered for those considering a move into Second Life?

These are important questions to explore if we want to ensure successful economic and business development in Second Life. It seems one newly formed effort in Second Life, the Centre for Business Development, might be attempting to address these questions and services. You can read more about their mission and goals on their website at: http://businessdevelopmentcentresl.wordpress.com/about/.

SL Residents Weigh in on Infrastructure and Land

Infrastructure

This month, New World Notes highlighted a blog series on the Digital Pasture written by Penny Patton. Her posts are a comprehensive assessment of existing infrastructure and tools in Second Life. She also adds suggestions for improvements. You can read through her insights through the links below:

A Critical Look at Second Life – Presentation

A Critical Look at Second Life – Bringing Content to People

A Critical Look At Second Life – Part 3 "Improving the Content Creation Tools"

 

Land

Also this month, Prim Perfect is conducting an opinion survey of land in Second Life and what it means to you. The survey is closing soon with results expected to be released over the holidays. If you want to add your thoughts to the survey, make sure to take it now by clicking the link below. And we look forward to the results:

Prim Perfect Survey: Second Life Land and You

Planning Workshop Transcript from Nonprofit Commons Celebration

Last month the Nonprofit Commons graciously hosted a planning workshop during their celebrations. The event was well attended and participants shared many great thoughts and ideas. I encourage everyone to visit the Nonprofit Commons site and read through the transcript:

Pay It Forward – Transcript from Collaborative Community Planning Workshop on Sept 21, 2012

September Planning Workshops

 

Due to a change in schedule, we have to change the time and date for the event that was scheduled for Sat., Sept 15th  – we'll update you with the future date when we get it set up. Meanwhile, we have an agenda in place for the NPC event and hope to see everyone there!

Virtual State Fair

We have two planning workshops scheduled for this month thanks to the generous offer by two organizations to host the events. The first will be Saturday, September 15, at 7pm PDT at the Virtual Fair event (SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Morrill/32/50/24).  The Virtual Fair is an annual event organized by the Cooperative Extension System. According to the Extension's website, "the fifth Annual Virtual State Fair week in Second Life is an online celebration of everything Cooperative Extension with educational exhibits, live music, rides, games and contests. The fair runs from Monday, September 10 to Sunday, September 16 from noon to 10 p.m. ET." The planning workshop will take place in the barn after the last live music event on Saturday. We also encourage you to check out their other events.

The other workshop will be held on Friday, September 21, at 8:30 pm PDT at the Nonprofit Commons (SLURL: http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Plush%20Nonprofit%20Commons/91/129/26). 

Nonprofit Commons

This workshop will take place during the Nonprofit Commons 5th Anniversary celebration. There are also other events held this day as part of the celebrations that you might want to visit – you can find out more at the SLURL above.

 

Both organizations are great community builders in Second Life so it's a wonderful opportunity to partner with them on a community plan. The Nonprofit Commons has embraced community building and support of Second Life as part of their mission. And community planning is a core service area for the Extension. You can find out more about each organization through the links below:

Extension – Community planning resources

Nonprofit Commons in Second Life

 

 

 

Collection of Views on Participation in Second Life & the Metaverse

Recently there's been a few articles in which current and past members of Second Life have expressed their thoughts on participation in virtual platforms. I'm listing them here because they express what appear to be several common attitudes or views on the benefits and challenges of the Second Life platform. Some also offer insight into what people are looking for from a virtual experience.

Why Anyone Who Cares About the Metaverse Needs to Move Beyond Second Life; Now, Not Later – by Chris Collins (Fleep in Second Life)

My take on the future of the Metaverse: If there has been a failure, it is ours – on Botgirl's Identity Circus by Botgirl Questi

More thoughts on the present and future Metaverse – on Botgirl's Identity Circus by Botgirl Questi

Comment: On the Metaverse – on Cyberbehavior and Cyberworlds by Dr Matthieu J. Guitton

Second Life is Not the Metaverse — But That's Not What It Was First Invented to Be – on New World Notes by Wagner James Au

Snow Crashing – on Andromeda by Will Burns (darianknight) 

Second Life, the Metaverse, and Everything – on Honour's Post Menopausal View (of Second Life) by Honour McMillan

Sharing Virtual Vision 2020 at the Non-Profit Commons

Last Friday, I had a tremendous opportunity to share information about the Virtual Vision 2020 effort at the Non-profit Commons weekly meeing. And I want to very much thank Renne Emiko Brock-Richmond (Zinnia Zauber in SL) for asking and arranging for me to speak.  The group was outstanding and had come great questions and information to share. I don't believe the presentation was videotaped. But I uploaded the slides to Slideshare and attached an audio file so anyone who is interested in viewing it can do so.

A Glimpse into the Development of Second Life

Part of the purpose of a community plan is to take time to reflect and capture how and why a community formed and discover the early visions driving its development. By exploring these questions, we better understand how we got to where we are today. Recently there was an amazing opportunity to hear Philip Rosedale, the creator of Second Life, provide the answers to some of these questions at the 2012 International Disability Rights Affirmation Conference. Gentle Heron, who interviewed Philip, asked some great questions, and Philip's answers were thoughtful and informative. The video of the interview has been embedded below: