Monthly Archives: May 2014

Presentation

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The day of the presentation finally came, after weeks of research and preparation we were ready to present our topic which was “Social media as our second life”. The reflections I had during and after our presentation were mostly positive, even though myself and I think everyone else usually thinks that something could have been done better or differently, I thought our group presented quite well in overall. What I think might have been done differently was making our first plan with the race track installation work. I thought it might have been more interesting and interactive but on the other hand we definitely would not fit within 10 minute presentation time restriction with that plan and it might have been difficult to handle, with so many people walking around while we would be presenting.  Because of the time people would have to spend walking through our installation which originally consisted of 35 slides the presentation would last for much longer than planned and expected. Considering all that, I am glad in general that we decided on the other solution with smaller set of slides put together on a stage.

When it comes to the speaking part of our presentation, I think all of our group members prepared really well research wise. I realize that we went a little bit over the time limit but I think and hope that we did well in overall. I have learned a lot during this course preparing our final project and I have to say that the experience was very different from when I did this course two years ago. I think that this time I felt more confident in Second Life and that had enriched my experience. The only thing I was worried about before the presentation was my computer which tends to crush very often recently as well as Second Life viewer itself. I was nervous that it might happen during the presentation but in case of that I prepared a back up plan, I have sent my script to Sam who was going to continue on my behalf if any of above mentioned happened. Luckily everything went well and there was no need to use the backup plan.

To summarize I think that all groups did really well, I was especially impressed with the group that presented first which not only build a beautiful temple to present in but also made amazing video. I also enjoyed the second presentation, I thought it was really interesting that they looked at the topic of reality from such unconventional angle. I was also very impressed with how well they managed to overcome the unexpected difficulties during their presentation. It was a great evening and I hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as I did.

Here are few pictures from our presentation evening.

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Last preparation before presentation

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Shortly before our presentation day our group and myself experienced some difficulties. First of them was that after we have built our presentation on the race track as we planned we started getting notifications from the Akron Island that the area is going to restart shortly, the screen started to shake and there was nothing we could do to stop it. At that stage we thought that after the island restarts we will come back and continue rehearsing for our presentation, however as we discovered shortly after, we were not able to log in after that for almost two hours and when we finally did, the installation for the  presentation was gone.  Sam contacted Dudley to ask for some advice and he suggested that we should try doing it again but after it’s done we should group all of the elements and save it to have backup in case similar situation happens during the presentation day.  Even though our group try rebuilding the race track installation it was still too risky and we decided on changing form of our presentation.

Here are few photographs of part of our rebuild race track installation:

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Our new idea was to have smaller set of slides grouped together as Dudley suggested, this way it was easier and less risky to just replace them in case they disappear again.

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We discovered that it is very difficult to get every team member online at the same time to rehearse before presentation. The reason for that was that each one of us had a very busy as well as different from each other schedule due to the end of semester and also because of the time difference. By the time other group members from Ohio finished their classes and were able to meet it was sometimes 2-3 am in Ireland. We decided to try to sort out this issue by writing scripts and rehearsing on our own, keeping in mind that the whole presentation should be 10 minutes maximum so each of us had approximately 1:30 to talk.

Due to that as well as to changes in form of our presentation what resulted in reducing amount of slides I had to edit my script and reconsider my points of focus.

This is a version of my original script along with few slides that did not appeared in the final installation.

 

“Social media as our second life”- presentation script.

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  1. The world of social media is very rich and diverse giving their users multiple options of connecting, sharing, playing, and spending their time. This graph shows the variety of tools and services grouped into categories. All of these offer a unique experience and are very useful and fun but at the same time with the multiple choices we have we tend to spend more and more time connected to social media which in a way becomes our second life, our digital reality.

 

  1. Having that in mind it is useful to look at the pros and cons of social media. The pros of social media are: creating new social connections, they are good for economy, they can be a source of employment, social media spread information faster than any other media, they are helpful in catching and prosecuting criminals, they improve the quality of life and facilitate social and political change. When it comes to cons of social media there is: too much misinformation, contribution to loss of productivity, less face-to-face communication, lack of privacy, cyber bulling, it can also lead to stress and offline relationship problems, it can entice people to waste time, and it can also harm job stability and employment prospects if not used wisely.

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  1. This is a beautiful example of a great use of social media I would like to discuss.  This is a poster created by two graphic designers from Tel Aviv Ronny Edry and his wife Michal Tamir. The poster was uploaded to their Facebook page on the night when the governments of Iran and Israel renewed their calls to war. It was just a personal message which led to a movement, connecting people from enemy states after years of hate propaganda. I think it captures the essence of how many great things can be done through social media when used properly. This is also an example of a merge between both of our realities showing how the digital/online one can influence our life.

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  1. This slide on the other hand perfectly captures how it should not be done. This is a new mural by Banksy commenting on our reality disturbed by our inability to disconnect for a while showing how our real life can suffer if we mindlessly get stuck in our online life. A lot of the cons of using social media mentioned before come out directly from the users and that leads to a great quote by Erick QualmanI found during my research.

 

  1. “We don’t have a choice on whether we do social media, the question is how well we do it.” Nowadays, surrounded by all the technology, spending large amount of our time connected to various social media platforms, leading our second-online life it is important that we remain mindful of our actions and instead of wasting our time, neglecting our reality we should  make the best use of the given possibilities.

 

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post I have also experienced a serious difficulty of my own one day before presentation. Preparing for the presentation I wondered through various shops in Second Life searching for an appropriate outfit when my avatar got stuck in one of them and I could not get out. I was unable to fully load in, could not see any friends on my list which was constantly loading, could not contact anyone nor get any message from no one or teleport to other location either.  I tried to log out and in again several times, restarted my computer but nothing worked, every time I was logging in to the same location. I got stuck there for few hours. Unfortunately due to the fact that I was so stressed that I will stay there forever and miss our presentation I did not take any screen shots of that situation nor remembered the name of the location. I started looking for some help online and I found some useful information and suggestions in on the Second Life Community website and following them I restarted my internet modem for several minutes what finally solved the problem and was relieved that I will be able to participate in our presentation.

 

Sources:

http://thepeacefactory.org/israel-loves-iran/

http://www.socialnomics.net/about-erik-qualman/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banksy

http://community.secondlife.com/t5/Technical/My-avatar-is-stuck-in-world-I-cannot-log-in-and-keep-getting/qaq-p/1352423

http://www.theguardian.com/theobserver/2014/apr/20/observer-profile-banksy-street-art

 

 

 

David Attenborough & Oculus Rift

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In the beginning of our course we were thinking of basing our project around Oculus Rift which is the newest invention in the field of virtual reality. As we progressed with our project we decided to focus on other aspects of the topic we were going to present and finally we did not included Oculus Rift to our project. Nevertheless since we were interested in this technological invention and we had also discussed it in the class I decided to share something interesting related to Oculus Rift that I discovered recently. Everyone gets really excited about new gaming possibilities that Oculus Rift offers to its users-myself included , and I also think that it is a ground breaking change in gaming as we know it but here is something that seems even more interesting to me.  Recently I came upon an article reviling that  David Attenborough’s new nature documentary Conquest of the Skies  is being filmed with a special eight-camera rig that will allow for a 360 degree view allowing at the same time for the movie to be suitable for the Oculus Rift headset. According to the article Atlantic Production– producers of the Conquest of the Skies are not willing to say much about it, what has been confirmed so far is that they are working with Oculus Rift and have already three documentaries ” Rift-ready” in production. I have always been a big fan of Attenborough’s documentaries and I think that it would be an unimaginable experience to watch them through Oculus Rift, being inside of them actually, experiencing the wild unknown nature and places almost “for real”.

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Sources:

http://www.dazeddigital.com/artsandculture/article/19568/1/david-attenborough-may-use-oculus-rift-for-new-documentary-conquest-of-the-skies

http://realscreen.com/2014/04/10/miptv-14-atlantic-eyes-oculus-rift-for-conquest-of-flight/