Sunday, November 12, 2006

Second Life

SLLast Friday, I did a TV interview about the online digital world Second Life (SL). The reporter had learned of SL, found it interesting, and wanted to expose more people to it. You can view the video of the interview here (~2 min., use Internet Explorer).

What is Second Life? If you can't answer the question, then you're not alone. Second Life is not a game, but a three-dimensional online digital world create by its residents. Yes, residents. Currently, there are more than 1.3 million residents of Second Life. As I write this, more than 13,000 people are online interacting with each other in this world that contains buildings, restaurants, clubs, parks, libraries and more -- all created by the people who are living there. You can even buy and sell things (with real money) as well as take classes and attend lectures.

Residents? Living? Yes.

I heard about Second Life last spring and have been slowly exploring it. My interest was peaked, when I heard that librarians were going to build a library in SL in order to provide services to the people there. The blog chronicles some of the work that librarians are doing in Second Life. Tonight I attended a meeting of 20+ librarians in Second Life to talk about the work that is occurring. (Just so you know, at the meeting in the library, we communicated through our avatars by typing what we wanted to say.)

And what does this have to do with digitization? Nothing but this does relate to preserving items that are born digital (similar concerns to preserving our digital assets from a digitization program). Are things being created in Second Life that should be preserved? Are there conversations happening that should be saved? Items created that should be remembered? If yes, how do we do it?

At the moment, I only have questions and no answers. I don't even know if I have the correct questions. I do know that I'll be pondering this topic for a while and hopefully discussing it with some of my SL as well as RL (real life) colleagues.

BTW Michael Stephens posted on his blog an e-mail message I sent to him about the TV interview. You can read it here.

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