Since the great software, server, email, and everything else internet migration and upgrade this week, I have some fabulous new capacities and then blocked or limited access to old webby friends--like Second Life. I can't get in. That's too bad because, right now, HASTAC Scholar Ana Boa-Ventura, Jennifer Monson, Yacov Sharir, and Isabel Valverde are leading a session at #HASTAC10 on "Dance and Performance in the Metaverse."
While they are dancing and performing in Second Life, I'm the kid on the outside, with her nose pressed against the glass. In this case, the glass is Google Wave---and it is hilarious. People are having a fantastic time trying out Second Life for the first time or showing others around. That's where I got to see Fiona type, "Sorry, Jen, I think I stepped on you!" Lots of LOL.
For those of you who have never been to a virtual conference, this one is just amazing. The range of work from traditional digital humanities (the exciting session about being able to read words formerly unreadable on the oldest edition of the Iliad, from the 10th century, through a combination of state-of-the-art visualization and crowdsourcing) to supercomputing (some excellent work this morning on collaboration in virtual environments) to theory (public sphere in virtual environments) to arts (dancing in the SLurl). And the range of media is incredible. Liz Dorland, our fabulous HASTAC friend who made SL t-shirts with the HASTAC Conference logo for avatars and gave them away free, wrote me on Facebook that she was afraid she was missing the SL event because of a time issue, Daylight Saving Time? Hmm, I guess not! Then I saw on Twitter that she found out from another Tweet where and when to go, so I switched over to that medium, and from there to Google Wave while they all danced in Second Life.
Liz has promised to take pictures of the SL event and we'll post those later. Thanks, Liz. You are a champ!
Google Wave on desktop, Blog on laptop, Twitter on iTouch and friends stepping on one another in SL-- Now, that's virtual. And virtually pretty darn exciting. Thanks again to our UIUC colleagues for such brilliance. iCHASS rocks. Several people (including here at HASTAC Central at Duke) are planning "Greatest Hits" nights where we show some of the highlights of the events in a f2f discussion. Face to face? Meatspace? Trippy!