- Posted August 14, 2009 by
Second Life, California
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Stories from Second Life
SLCC 2009 Day 1
The first day of the Second Life Community Convention (SLCC 2009) was chaotic. The halls of the ornate and otherwise orderly Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco had hand-scrawled signs torn from notebooks directing convention-goers to rooms where workshops were being held while at the registration desk, Linden Lab employees were besieged by Second Life members frustrated that they couldn't even get the promised name badges. There were no printed schedules for convention goers, only a whiteboard at the registration desk. There was only one printed schedule, which Linden Lab employees were using until a Second Life member grabbed it, shouting "I paid $200 and I deserve at least this!".
The hotel halls may have been chaotic, but the two workshops I attended were not.
The "Building Community" workshop presented the experiences in creating communities in Second Life from perspectives of creating a community oriented toward people with disabilities, creating a corporate website, and creating a social website. The presenters were Gentle Heron, Han Rambler, Hydra Shaftoo, and Fabian Alexander. Kathleen Linden moderated the workshop.
Gentle Linden pointed out that although Second Life is often referred to as a "level playing field" for people with special challenges, it really is not so much level as more level than real life. She also spoke of the special challenges that groups for challenged people face: people who falsely pretend to have disabilities and worse, sexual predators who get turned on by people with disabilities. In an anonymous world such as Second Life, determining whether members truly are disabled or are just pretending to be can be a major challenge.
In general, the panel discussed issues involved in creating a successful community, such as having a clearly understood goal and rules, getting people around you whose judgment you trust and to delegate authority to them, and to be prepared for the unexpected.
Afterwards, convention attendees were treated to a Linden Lab Luau at Yuerba Buena Center.