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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/

 

Progressing with the project

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During our last meeting we made some important decisions on how we would like to present our project and also what areas we are going to focus on. Over the past week each of us conducted research on the area of our interest within the topic of  ” Social media as our second life”. We have divided the topic so each of our group members is going to talk about different aspect of social media and what impact it has on our life. So far we have established that Sam is going to cover statistics of social media, Knitsy will talk about pitfalls of social media as our second lives on a cultural level, I am going to look at the topic from the personal level covering pros and cons of social media and explaining what happens when we over use it and how it is taking over our lives. Going further Mitch might be presenting the future of social media. We are also discussing our project on our Facebook group, and for those who could not make in to our last meeting in Second Life Sam has posted an update so they can decide what area they would like to cover on our presentation. 

We were also discussing the way we would like to present and our idea is to build an installation of our slides instead of streaming  the presentation. This way we would be able to make it more interactive and hopefully more interesting. We were looking for a location to do that and we found a really nice place the race track in the sky above Akron island:

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We would offer a teleport to our audience in advance and we would guide them through our project on the race track. We have to discuss it in class now to find out if that would be possible for us to do and if so we are planning on working on that over the weekend.

 

Inappropriate / controversial tweets

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During the last class we discussed three examples of inappropriate and controversial tweets. The first one was awfully immature, racist and in very simple words plain stupid. It was a tweet posted by PR executive Justine Sacco. In her post Justine said: ” Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get Aids. Just kidding. I’m white!”. In my opinion this post was absolutely thoughtless. When I first saw it I could not believe my eyes I thought it was a joke, a very bad one too and that was even before I found out that these words came out from a PR executive. The second example was a teenage girl who posted offensive comments. When I think of both of the examples together I would not say that I approve in any shape or form any of them but I think that our perspective and judgment changes based on who is saying that. I think I have more understanding of why an inexperienced teenager unaware of the value and impact of words and how she is going to be perceived by society could write such a offensive posts than a grown up professional. Nevertheless I think regardless our age, we should become more aware of our online identity and be simply more thoughtful and respectful in our ways of communication.

The third example was a little bit different from the two above the tweet came from Dr. Phill who posted : ” If a girl is drunk is it OK to have sex with her? Reply yes or no.” This was obviously a very controversial tweet but as bad as it sounded it was not meant to come up this way in my opinion. People were arguing over it, posting many comments and deliberating on how many levels was it inappropriate. As I do agree that it does look inappropriate and controversial I do not think that there was anything else behind it besides a follow up from Dr. Phill’s show. In my opinion the question was posted to check how society would react and respond to that and how they will answer the question. Having said that since this is a very fragile and potentially dangerous topic, I think it was really easy to predict how it will end up and I think it should not be posted even just to avoid the unnecessary controversy and confusion.

 

Sources:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/22/pr-exec-fired-racist-tweet-aids-africa-apology

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/9978140/Paris-Brown-row-police-chief-insists-teens-say-appalling-things-on-Twitter.html

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2013/08/21/Dr-Phil-Deletes-Controversial-Tweet-If-a-Girl-is-Drunk-Is-it-OK-to-Have-Sex-with-Her

 

Group progress

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As a team we decided that since it is not always easy to get all of us to meet in Second Life to discuss our project our main tool of communication will be Facebook. Because of the time difference and different college hours sometimes it is not possible to get all of us at once to meet in SL and discuss our project, but with Facebook it is a lot better because we can all leave messages and comments and all of us can get involved and participate. What we have established is that for a few days we will all do research on the area that we agreed on which is ” Social media as our second life”. I am sure that each of us have different approach to this topic so the research will help us to find what each of us is interested in, or what is her or his point of view on this matter so we can start scripting and assign parts for each of us making sure that they are all refer to the same concept and fit it well. We decided to share all articles, websites etc on our Facebook  group so each of us can read them so we all get better understanding of what we all want to focus on. For my part I would like to focus on the topic I presented in earlier post which is the fact that technology together with social media are taking over our lives if not used wisely and with a bit of distance. As I already discussed it before I do think that social media are wonderful tools and are well able of contributing to many good causes and our lives but the simply should not replace our real life. Following that thought I decided to also do some research on how some of them contributed to a good cause and I found a really interesting story of a mother who probably saved her daughter’s sight thanks to uploading her photo on Facebook. A friend of the mother noticed weird reflection in the little girl’s eye and contacted the mother to have it checked. As it turned out she spotted a very rare and dangerous disease which untreated would lead to blindness. The girl’s eyes look normal in a day light, the disease came out only because of flash the mother used taking the picture, which was then spotted by a friend who suggested they seek medical help. This is just one of many examples where sharing our life online can be very beneficial and I will continue my research on both advantages and disadvantages of social media to get good understanding of the topic and collect strong arguments for my point of view as well as prepare well for the presentation. Our group will finalize the research in the next few days so we will have enough time for preparing, scripting  and rehearsing.

http://abcnews.go.com/US/facebook-user-helps-spot-girls-dangerous-eye-disease/story?id=23186341

 

Facebook  http://abcnews.go.com/US/facebook-user-helps-spot-girls-dangerous-eye-disease/story?id=23186341

Tips for Presentation

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On the 3rd of April Sitearm visited us again in the class to give us a very interesting and helpful lecture on presentations and virtual collaboration projects. We  received very good tips on how to manage the whole project process to finish it with a successful presentation.  Sitearm highlighted a few important components we should be thinking about when working on a team project and he described and explained each of them. The components described by Sitearm are as follows: planning which includes “audience analysis, brainstorming, deciding and assigning”,  preparing which includes rehearsing, checking etc., scripting, presenting and debriefing. The first crucial thing we need to think about is our audience, in his lecture  Sitearm advised us to do the audience analysis to verify who are we going to present to, who is our targeted audience. The second important advice was to write a good script of our presentation and assign who is going to say which part. We are already thinking of it and each of our team members will have their own part assigned so there is no necessary confusion or stress during the presentation.  What is also important is rehearsing in Second Life in advance, sound check  and general check of all technical aspects so we are sure that the presentation runs smoothly. Even though I did many presentations already in college, I thought the lecture that Sitearm gave us was very interesting and helpful. It is very easy to miss some important parts unless we follow some set of rules assigned to make sure that we are doing it right and to keep our presentation as professional and interesting as we can. There was also a part that was new to me as I never did that with any group that I worked before and it was the part about debriefing. Sitearm suggested that it is very useful to spend some time together and talk about the presentation we did and discuss how we did, what we think were the strongest points and how we could improve those that we were not as happy about. I thought it can be of a great value to do the debriefing, not only that we could all give each other feedback but most of all that this is a great learning opportunity preparing us for any future presentations.

 

Source:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1hzeRHOO76JG6zGrGr481RkwsXvyx3RHrPdPDP9N6Elo/edit?pli=1#slide=id.g1e14afcae_018