Home is where internet is (research)


Continuing with my research I came across this nice info graphics showing people’s usage of internet and social media while traveling. Research conducted by relatively new social network for travelers – Tripl showed some interesting data such as the most popular networks among travelers are Facebook and Tweeter or that 72% of social network users checks their networks every day during their travels but only 7% uses internet on their mobiles.

Tripl that was launched in December 2011, originally was planned to become another social network connecting friends while traveling but since it was not working well they have decided to change and are now producing info graphics based on data collected from social networks and also are still giving the user an option of keeping up with their friends during thir travels.












Research for the final project


Recently during the research for our final ” Reality”  project I came across very interesting article in which the author- Mark Hooper, talks about his and everyone else’s reality that we are live in. Hooper claims that it is not surprising or shocking to anyone anymore that most of our communication happens online, asking at the same time questions such as “Why is it acceptable to not actually speak to the people we deal with on a daily basis? Why do we prefer faceless anonymity? ” . Hooper’s partial answer to that question is that we live in as the author calls it ” super-accelerated times” full of technology and in that speed we are getting used to living this way. In my opinion this is a serious problem, people spend too much time connected to their devices, tweeting, posting on Facebook, e-mailing, sharing photos of their meals on Instagram etc. instead of connecting to each other outside of virtual world.


While writing above sentence this image, that I found a few weeks ago came to my mind. I remember seeing this photograph everywhere, people were commenting on it, and named the man in the red circle the time traveler. This image spoke to me because when I was growing up (even though, and maybe even more so) it was not that long ago all we had was a stationary phone and I still remember the time before internet and I was able to witness this enormous technological and social change that occurred over the years.

Having said that I do think that all the technological developments and social media platforms are amazing and are proven to be very useful like in case of discussed in class “Technology’s Impact on Disaster Relief” where Tweeter was proven to be extremely helpful being excellent way of communication during time of crisis. Posts shared on Tweeter during the hurricane Sandy informed and navigated people during this difficult time. There is countless reasons for which virtual communication and social media are truly great inventions but in my opinion we should use them wisely and even though the world is changing and developing so fast we should sometimes stop for a moment and do not forget about  the reality. Hooper wrote in his article ” I felt the need to slow down a little. And there doesn’t seem to be an app for that.” I think that defines our times really well, we are getting used to technology so much that sometimes it is difficult to disconnect for a while and find other solutions.






Group meeting & communication tools


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This week myself and two members of our group – Sam and Mitch have met to discuss our project. Sam proposed that we could look at things like developing project Oculus Rift that enhances gaming experience, merging reality with virtual experience. My idea was to look at reality in the context of constantly developing technology that pushes reality further and further away, leaving people leading their lives through various devices in social networks. We have decided that each of us will do research and we will meet during the weekend to decide on final idea. We have also talked through our communication tools. I have set up a Facebook group soon after we were divided into project groups and this is where we are going to discuss our project. We were are also thinking about setting up  Google Docs for the group but since Facebook is a very efficient medium for communication there is no need at this stage to do that. We also decided that we will have regular meetings in Second life to discuss our project, visit new locations together and collaborate. This week’s meeting went very well as we decided on next steps we need to take and we also had a chance to visit few new locations together searching for new ideas for our project.


New locations


This week I started to explore new locations in Second Life searching for something that would be relevant to our group project. The project theme is reality and I wanted to discover how real can Second Life get in a sense of imitating reality. In order to do that I started visiting places related to technology. There were two places in particular that I thought were really interesting the first one was called Genome Island where visitors could get information about  genes and DNA. The second location is called Virtual hallucinations. The name itself sounds peculiar because hallucinations is something that we can only experience in the real world and I got really intrigued by it. As it turned out Virtual hallucinations is a location devoted to schizophrenia. It is an exhibition created by medical researchers to bring the difficult subject closer  to people. The exhibition allows visitors to experience symptoms of schizophrenia such as hearing voices or rapid, unexpected changes in the closest environment. Having in mind the theme of our project I thought it was really interesting  to experience something that real through virtual means.

I am back to (Second) Life


I has been two years since I first took the Second Life module. I have decided to come back because I thought it was a very interesting experience. Before that I never heard of Second Life, and to discover this hidden world of beautiful lands, adventures and people was a great lesson. In comparison to other social media platforms, Second Life really stands out and there is still a lot of things I would like to learn and I am hoping to do that on the course this semester. I also hope to contribute to the group with my experience I have gained taking the course before.  I have started my new adventure from visiting new locations the one I enjoyed the most so far this week was Alice in Wonderland Dark Ride.

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This week’s task was to read article titled ” The first steps to building your personal brand”. This article was very interesting and useful. The author of the article presents valuable tips  on how to create our own personal brand. As it is stated in the article: “Your personal brand is all about who you are and what you want to be known for.” The author points out how important our social media image is. In a present day when a large part of our daily life happens on social media platforms we are constantly invigilated by other people, some of those people might be for instance our potential employers, and it is vital to keep our profile professional and in accordance to what impression we would like make on others.


The second task we had assigned was to visit following blogs and try to identify the blog authors – what kind of people they might be there behind it.

Deviant Art- 

Very large social platform for creatives of all type, I would imagine that there is a whole team of professionals working behind this website.

Dolce Merda

Before reading the “About” section I had an impression that this blog was created by someone fun and easy going, I think his way of design says that too and it is also confirmed by mentioned above “About” section.
Yumiko Froehlich

Looking at Yumiko Froehlich blog I had an impression that it is a blog created by a mother to showcase her child’s art.
Illustration Friday

This is a very interesting blog which I will definitely join. Again like with Deviant Art I think that there is a larger group of people, ( illustration enthusiasts) behind it in order to manage all the activities. 
Joanna Kafka

The impression I had looking at Joanna’s blog was that she is a young art student. The reason I think so is that it is not a form of professional portfolio but rather a diary made out of her art, other people’s art and some music that I think inspires her. 
Style Pantry

A blog of a fashion and beauty  enthusiast (not professional).



Final preparation for the presentation


After 12 weeks our module is almost finished. Today is the final day of our presentation. Myself and Mino are going to show a video which is a compilation of everything what we have experienced during our virtual journey. The video contains of a slideshow and short movies recorded during our exploration of Second life. We planned to meet an hour earlier to practice everything one more time and hopefully everything will go well. I visited Second life last night to send final invetation for our showcase to everyone I have meet for the past 12 weeks. Even though I have done so the week before I thought that it would be a good idea to remind everyone about our upcoming event. So far I have got only few confirmations but since  two weeks I am also promoting our showcase in social networks such as Facebook and Tweeter. We were also told to think about our outfits for tonight and I decided to try to find something interesting and nice for the evening.  Here are few screen shots of my posters on Facebook and Tweeter and also a few pictures of my in my new outfit for tonight:

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The video is ready so are our speeches. We have decided that Mino is going to introduce our video that he made and I am going to talk about it after we will all watch it. Here is my speech I prepared for our presentation:

The video you’ve just watched shows our thoughts and experiences in reference to Second Life. In the first part we focused on few definitions considering the topic of virtuality and Second life within these deffinitions and asked such questions as to what extent does Second life simulate reality and what is its purpose. While we were exploring Second life we focused on similarities and differences between both realities . At the beginning of our video we compared two images of DIT college – one from real life and one existing in the virtual environment this comparison shows how greatly the college is represented virtually. It is just one example of many representing the idea that both of the realities can be very similar. During our exploration of Second life we came across a great amount of features that are alike in SL and RL like streets, bars, landscapes but most of all we discovered that human interactions are just the same. Of course we could argue that people tend to act differently as their avatars, than they would in real world but this is not the whole truth. We have learned while talking with people in this virtual environment, especially with Rob and Jaynine, that people are as they are. In the real world they could pretend to be someone else just as easily it happens everywhere and relationships in second life are as real as those in the real world. There is the same amount of effort and commitment required to maintain a virtual friendship and as Jaynine once said ‘SL is a global bar, you need and you have to share otherwise you’ll be in the corner just like in real life’. During our exploration we have also discovered that Second life is a great place to host art events and that artist are more approachable. Taking both realities into consideration Second life gives more possibilities to talk to artists and ask questions about their work. Thanks to Rob and Jaynine we could not only enjoy their art and music but also discuss all that with them. Our video shows our visit to Rob’s gallery and pictures from Jaynine’s concerts. Also as we show in the video virtual reality and second life itself is a great medium for education. For both of us myself and Mino having online lectures and also collaborating online while working on our showcase was new experience and Second life has proven to be an excellent place for that, it gives this new and fresh approach to the whole learning experience. The video also shows the other side of second life that we have experienced and that would be the fantasy landscapes, places that we are simply not able to encounter in real life which is one of the most enjoyable aspects especially for a new user. We had spent many hours exploring such places and our video shows a part of our journeys. In Second life u can enjoy flying, breathing under water, exploring worlds beyond imagination and limits of real life. To summarize our video is a compilation of everything we experienced during our virtual journey and what we learned and discovered and also we would like to thank everyone especially Rob, Jaynine , Sitearm and Elfay for all their help and time they spend talking and sharing their virtual experience with us.

It is a very important day and I hope that everything will go well. Good luck everyone!