Notes from the past…

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My so-called Second Life (part 3)

Second LifeThe 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!

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My so-called Second Life (part 2)

As part of Week 9′s assignment for Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog challenge, I have joined Second Life, a virtual 3-D world recommended by DEARMyrtle. My intent here is to participate in the online genealogy chats held at Second Life.

In part 1 of this series, I signed up for membership, created an avatar (my online alter ego), downloaded the Second Life Viewer browsing software, wandered around a bit, and finally dressed my avatar. I also requested friendship with DEARMyrtle’s avatar, Clarise Beaumont.

My own avatar is named after my great-grandaunt Leah Jane Kennedy, a southern belle born in 1825 Alabama. Her initial wardrobe consisted of blue jeans and a tie-dyed shirt, which would have probably have gotten her kicked out of her local quilting circle!

So today, I figured I might wanna dress Leah Jane correctly for her era. The task was a bit easier with this second attempt, and now Leah Jane sports an Antebellum-appropriate long calico skirt and blue top. We (Leah Jane and I, that is) got a message back from Clarise Beaumont (DEARMyrtle) accepting our friendship request and also inviting us to join the Just Genealogy group, which we did.

Clarise also directed us to the Genealogists in SL calendar for upcoming chats. Most of these seem to be in the evenings, and I usually work evenings. However, today is my day off, so we are looking forward to attending the Second Life APG Chapter chatting at 7:30 (CST) tonight:

“Tonight at the SL chapter APG we will be discussing what it means to become a “Certified Genealogist” – CG, and how to go about it. Everyone is invited, member or not, although membership in APG is always encouraged :) BE PREPARED to mention what you’ve added to the Family Search Wiki, as part of our member service challenge.”

Leah Jane and I even found the location for tonight’s chat, the Just Genealogy fire pit area. Chips, anyone?


To be continued…


My so-called Second Life (part 1)

I have been following Tonia’s 31 Weeks to a Better Genealogy Blog challenge, and Week 9′s assignment is to participate in an online genealogy group. For this task, I remembered DEARMyrtle’s numerous posts about Second Life, an online three-dimensional world where she participates in several genealogy-related chats each week.

Sounds interesting, so here goes!

I went to the Second Life website and signed up. The usual user’s agreement, etc. Then I chose a screen name and an avatar, which is a computer-generated online Me. I originally chose a dog, then changed it to a woman. My screen name is that of my third great grandaunt, Leah Jane Kennedy, born in 1825 Sumter County, Alabama. I just love her name: Leah Jane is so pretty! Anyway, I decided Leah Jane really wasn’t a dog…

Next step was to download the Second Life Viewer, which is 3-D browsing software. Simple and quick, no garbage-ware.

I then opened the Second Life viewer and followed Leah Jane as she wandered around her new virtual world. “Todo, I don’t think we’re in Kansas (Alabama) anymore…”

I decided Leah Jane needed some new clothes, which is quite a task for a newbie. After much trial-and-error, she is decent, although still not what I really want. An 1850′s Southern belle probably didn’t wear a tie-dyed t-shirt and jeans…

To Be Continued…