Entertaining Education

beyond-blogging-confI’m not sure “education” is the correct word, but I like alliteration. My friend Jaymin is runinng a Beyond Blogging conference. “What’s that?” you ask. It’s a conference in a more-relaxed format. It is an opportunity for people to meet in SL and discuss what aspects of virtual worlds excite them, annoy them, help them, and have changed their lives. Or as Jaymin writes it:

The ‘Beyond Blogging’ Conference is about exploring the use of virtual worlds by IBM and IBMers alike in their social and working lives. Virtual worlds are used for the expression of ideas, new concepts, collaboration, communication and community building. We are looking for papers, posters or presentation sessions along the lines of the conference theme: how virtual worlds have affected IBM and IBMers.
Since the conference it taking place in public space, non-IBMers may participate if they wish. Those just wishing to attend may subscribe to the Developer Works Blog on “Return on Investment in Virtual Worlds” for updates. Those who wish to present a topic may do so. They just need an IBM Employee to “sponsor” them. You or your sponsor can contact the conference organizers for more details.
Beyond Blogging will take place on April 7-8, 2009, on the Lotusphere parcel in the IBM 9 region of Second Life.

Jaymin mentioned this conference to me a few weeks ago and then I saw that Tateru Nino was blogging on it as well. I’m providing a link to Jaymin’s website, but I have experienced some difficulties at times reaching it. So I will copy in much of the information here (*grin* the stuff that *I* find really really interesting).

Beyond Blogging: Schedule
Here is the lineup of events for the Beyond Blogging conference. All events will start at the Lotusphere Parcel on IBM 9.
April 7th
09:00a PDT 12:00 EST Opening General Session
10:00a PDT 13:00 EST Teaming in World of Warcraft
11:00a PDT 14:00 EST Homesteading in the IBM Grid
12:00noon PDT 15:00 EST Roundtable: Achieving a Work/Life/Virtual Life balance
13:00 PDT 16:00 EST Roundtable: What’s in a Name?
14:00 PDT 17:00 EST Roundtable: Appearance Matters!
15:00 PDT 18:00 EST The Wonderful World of Colin Fizgig
16:00 PDT 19:00 EST Leaving a Virtual Legacy
17:00 PDT 20:00 EST Field Trip: Social Aspects of Virtual Worlds
April 8th
02:00a PDT 05:00a EST 100 students interviews in a SL theater
05:00a PDT 08:00a EST Language Learning in Second Life
08:00a PDT 11:00a EST Stone Soup Stories
09:00a PDT 12:00noon EST Closing General Session

You KNOW that I am going to be therefor the Appearance Matters! session.  Actually, I plan to be there for most of the sessions.  :)   Because these are topics that I find fascinating.  As you probably know, if you read this blog.  I will probably have quite a bit to say in the What’s in a Name? session as well.  *grin*  Ah yes, topics that are near and dear to me.

The Opening session should also be extremely interesting. This deals with IBM’s work with LL over the past year, using SL for conferences. LL has been blogging about this themselves, now we can hear about it from the IBM perspective. This session will be headed by Neil Katz:

In late 2008 IBM’s Academy of Technology held a conference on virtual worlds in a virtual world: a private instance of Second Life behind IBM’s firewall. As an experiment in virtual conferencing for researchers of the topic it was a success and might have been relegated as an indication of where the future could go. However, six weeks later, the crashing economy and emergency cost saving measures caused the travel budget for the annual general meeting of IBM’s Academy of Technology to be cut. Suddenly our virtual conference work was pulled from the research sidelines and given center focus as it became the only possibly way to hold the AGM within the economic constraints.

Neil Katz, an IBM Distinguished Engineer and chairman of the conference will speak on history, development, success, and ultimate lessons learned of the two conferences.

And don’t miss “Leaving a Virtual Legacy”!!!! That session will be led by our beloved Honour McMillan.

Nothing seems as ephemeral as the virtual world. What we perceive as land and buildings and accessories and appearances are just electrons, bits and bytes. Our concept of ownership is nebulous as they are stored on servers we have no control over, and do not represent something concrete we can hold in our hands. The general assumption is that our electronic creations are ‘writ on water’. And yet works of electronic media have been tenaciously persistent. What student of the late 80’s would have thought at the time their angst filled ramblings on usenet would be indexed and searchable 20 years later, prompting awkward questions from their children?
Perhaps we should take our creations more seriously. It may be that our exploratory fumblings of today, of all the efforts of our lives, are the most likely to end up ‘writ on marble'; recorded, indexed, and presented is some unguessable 3D wikipedia of 2030.

climbing-wallFinish up the first day with a social tour led by none other than Dale. *grin* Okay – if you know Dale (and if you read my blog you do), you know that this WILL be a fun. *grin* See you there!

Get there EARLY!!!!  IBM 9/Lotusphere has very good builds and games and is extremely interesting.  There is a climbing wall  – check it out!  To ascend the wall, you must answer the questions correctly!  *grin*   Look at me go!!!

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6 Responses to “Entertaining Education”


  1. 1 Chaddington Boomhauer April 5, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Do you know if the sessions require voice?

  2. 2 Honour April 5, 2009 at 10:30 am

    Chadd as I understand it the presenters must use voice but those attending may use either voice or chat. :)

  3. 3 ahuva18 April 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

    Chadd – I’m told that the suggestion was that speakers use voice and participants ask questions in chat.

  4. 4 Chaddington Boomhauer April 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm

    Long shot here – think they’ll be broadcasting on voice and the audio streams? (vivox is defective on my system).

  5. 5 daleinnis April 5, 2009 at 12:58 pm

    I hadn’t even thought about using voice in my session! Of course my session will involve getting off of the IBM islands and partying. :) I’m trying to decide between using Indolence (my own pretend-club build) and taking everyone out to some real club. Decisions, decisions!

  6. 6 Honour April 5, 2009 at 1:25 pm

    um non techie here – I’ll be using the inworld voice stream – does that help? :)


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