Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Why Persistent Monitoring is Important

I'm in on the island this evening doing some maintenance, and I get this message sent to me via a general broadcast from Linden Labs:

"There is a hardware issue which is affecting some resident’s ability to log in. Some residents inworld may not appear in search, or may appear to be offline. Affected residents may also experience problems rezzing items or making transactions. To be safe, we reccomentd all residents refrain from rezzing no copy items or making transactions until the all clear is given. Some groups may also experience issues related to group abilites. Ops is at work correcting the problem. Please monitor the Second Life grid Status Report,, for further information."

The thing that immediately strikes me- I am sure that this message will go to everyone logging into the system, and it could set people who are new to this environment on edge. It makes me as a seasoned user nervous to do anything in Second Life at the moment- considering if I do something irreversible, I may not be able to get help fixing it. I am not a SL rock star by any means.. so I am not likely to get immediate service, and I can't afford down time.

This is one of the things that piques my interest about the open source platform of Wunderland. When SL has problems, they only have so many people trained to respond. Were we as an academic community to embrace an open source virtual world standard, we could be our own response team. Our only limit then is time, and impetus- and I know MANY passionate folk in education around virtual spaces.

I post this in presenting the thought to our group- what will "support" mean for users of our environment? Can we expect to hold course learning experiences where students pay for a high quality interaction, when our avatars live through such great challenges trying to guarantee a safe and stable place to learn in the metaverse?

I believe it's possible, but then.. you all know, I am a dreamer. ;)

OCCDLA Summer Retreat Update

Howdy team!

I just got back from the OCCDLA summer retreat in Yachats, and the weather was pretty Oregon coast- half sunshine, half fog socked in so thick we couldn't see the beach 50 yards away. I can hardly complain, the coast is beautiful no matter what the weather it seems.

The fog did make it easier to focus on virtual worlds and other group concerns for OCCDLA- so Tuesday morning when Ruby(Paula) presented our progress, all eyes and ears in the room were riveted to find out that our project so far is successful and on schedule. We've asked for sustaining funds for 08-09, as well as a development budget so that we can seek and hire a professional design team to assist in our islands planned buildout. ( The next critical date for funding information is August 6-7th, when CIA/OCCDLA will be meeting in Salem to hash out the annual state budget.

Progress, exciting! :)