The Week 9 assignment for Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog challenge was to participate in an online genealogy group. To that end, I joined Second Life, a virtual 3-D world that holds genealogy chats online each week.
In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I posted about the sign-up process, exploring Second Life and creating, naming and dressing my avatar. I also discussed an upcoming chat at Just Genealogy (a genealogy community within Second Life), scheduled to begin at 7:30 pm (CST) yesterday.
Now, to be quite honest here, prior to last night, I was not terribly impressed with Second Life. The learning curve is a bit steep and there doesn’t seem to be that much help online. A nice .pdf, downloadable learner’s manual would be nice…
That was before I attended last night’s chat!
I had located the fire pit area at Just Genealogy earlier in the day and had bookmarked it, so I wouldn’t get lost trying to find it for the chat. I arrived about 15 minutes early and found several other “people” already present. I was warmly greeted and given a few pointers before the chat began. Very helpful!
This particular chat was held in text only, rather than actual voices, which was good for me (no microphone). The topic discussed was what it means to become a Certified Genealogist, what education and certification requirements are involved. I’ll post about this in more detail on another day.
The chat’s leader went over what all was involved in the certification process, displaying helpful images on the white board located behind her. Several of the folks attending the chat contributed details and asked/answered questions. This was quite an interesting discussion! There is a lot involved in becoming certified as a genealogist. I furiously took notes by hand, then it suddenly occurred to me: copy ‘n paste. Duh. I’ll be ready for the next chat, for sure!
All in all, I am totally impressed with Second Life as a chat platform/educational tool. This chat was quite similar to a regular college classroom, including audio/visual, notes and student participation. Complete with my grandson in my lap, watching Shrek for the one millionth time!
Second Life is an excellent vehicle for online genealogy meetings and education. Have a little patience and give it a try. You won’t be disappointed!