Hi ho, Hi ho...

Well, what a wild day... so much happening in such a a short period of time, but that is what SL is all about. This email is in sections. This morning got in to see if I could pay the land tiers for the clinic/center land fees. When I went inworld I found Debra Hilra at the site working on the building . I knew that she was going to have a productive day. Truly amazing what she is doing with the center. I paid the land tiers and jumped offworld. Constructed a long email to students and colleagues who have shown an interest in the project, including many of the updates and a call to action regarding the work that we have yet to do.

Here is a part of the email that I sent:

. . . . . So here's the objective...

I am looking at a having an inworld counseling conference sometime in September (16-18 looks good right now). That is one endpoint, an actual conference. Avatars presenting in SL to a group of attendees. I would like to have a call for proposals and a review process. Our task is to think of ways in which we can create a simulated conference experience, complete with live presentations and handouts, breakout sessions, over-priced bitter coffee from $^@%bucks, even an evening reception and band.

I would like to have the call for proposals and announcement of the conference out in the next two weeks (before ACA) so I am also looking for you to do some arm twisting of colleagues to give a commitment to be involved. I believe that we can provide and equitable experience and push people's thinking about virtual meetings.  I plan to do this at no cost to the participants.

First we needed a new location for the clinic/conference center. To that light, Debra Hilra (her online AV) found some beachfront property that is protected. The Satori location had neighbors constructing latex clothing billboards outside our front window. The new location is at SLURL (Second Life URL) Tikvah 61, 53, 26. I should have sent most of your AVs the landmark. If you did not get it, email me back and I will send it again

Debra has put her building talents to remarkable effort to create a two story glass structure that has a conference hall on the main floor and office for the clinic on the second floor. Plenty of room for dancing on the roof. Dahlia Mint, L1Aura Loire, and Leeah Vaher are all artistic folks who know about landscaping and gardens and I think they will be helping design the grounds around the building. The location, building and landscaping will be great. I am so grateful for their help, consultation, work, and ideas.

Our group name has changed... from Satori Mental Health Center to CESL - Counselor Educators in SL, with the center now The Center for Counselor Education in Second Life. I should have sent you all group invites to CESL group. If not email me back in RL and I will go in and send you a LM for the new place.

I am hoping to be able to have trial students for the center in the next two to three weeks.

We also have a website for the group at
http://sl.counseloreducation.org  Check it out... I am hoping that the website can be an offworld to inworld link for new people to SL. I am hoping to have some Jing video up of how to login, create a  SL character, add a group., etc. Many of you being new to this, it would be helpful to think what kind of information would be helpful to have on the site so we can get more attendees, this first step is getting them inworld and safe.

I am curious to hear what ideas you have, what you might want to work on, or simply, acknowledgment of this email and that you are interested in pursuing this project.

What night you suggest is the best way to move this project along? Interested in your input. Please look for and suggest kindred spirits who might be interested in this project.

Hope to hear from you,

Dr. Marty Jencius
aka Kimbo Scribe

Well some good responses and reaction to the email in my small group of interested folks...

Tim Harbrough suggested that we post to the website an example of what a conference presentation in SL would look like, so folks new to the SL environment would get an idea of what a presentation would appear as. Tim would like to see this video before we head into our online call for proposals. I am not sure that we can do that in such a quick turnaround. Especially since I want the call out before our national conference.

I also heard from
Hollis Serendipity who said that she has problems with the speed of her computer and this results in a lot of dropouts. She was uncertain how much work she could do inworld, but she wants to help and is looking for offworld tasks to do.

I logged in to the center to find
Debra Hilra working on the second floor offices. Shortly thereafter Tim Harbrough came by (with a stuck animation he picked up) and Debra and I tried to get him to shut off animations to fix it. He had to log in and off to fix it but it made me think that the center and any conference that we have should have people to act as ‘SL helpers”. Identified folks inworld that any visitor to the conference can ask for help when needed. A simple “Ask Me For Help” t-shirt. While at the center with Tim and Debra, Kathleen Rugani stopped in. She had not been inworld for some time and was surprised to see the new center.

In real life,
Gia Vyper stopped in with her new Macbook. Her husband (Mr. Vyper?) asked if we could load windows on a partition. While Gia and I waited for 73 Windows updates, she started to construct a list of ideas about what we can do to prepare..

Create how to videos for the website using Jing:
   - Getting Started in SL (get into sl, getting avatar, get off newbee island) 
   - Settings (audio/video preferences, setting landmark as home)
   - Communication (how to IM)
Presentation (what a presentation looks like, creating a notecard/handout,
How to get more people signed up for conference and possible presenters - Universities become partners by providing a speaker or two - post on CESNET-L 
Session Moderator - solve problems for newbees - be available through IM

Online forms for sl.counseloreducation.org website:
- Group Membership Form - want to be part of CESL group - name, email, avatar name
- Conference Registration Form - name, email, avatar name, university affliation, status, employment (student, faculty, practitioner)
  • Proposal Registration Form - Use professional conference format and include avatar name

Well, that took me through most of the day. Can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.