My experience using Second Life

My most recent experience using a Multi User Virtual Environment (MUVE) was in undergrad. I got a writing certificate in writing for online interactive media and one of the courses revolved around using Second Life professionally and for expanding the writing experience.

In the class, we had to explore Second Life and find a professional organization to research in the game. We did videos on how Second Life was being used to promote an organization or company as well as write pieces about our experience using Second Life.

It was an interesting experience but personally I did not enjoy it. I found Second Life to be empty compared to the Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games I was playing. Most places seemed abandoned and it was hard to find active organizations within in the community. Second Life was also released in 2003 and graphically it doesn’t compare to the current standard of virtual spaces. It feels dated and clunky.

However, I can see how Second Life could be very advantageous for libraries. On top of researching places within Second Life, we also held class in Second Life. The class was an online course so we never met in person. But we did all have to meet in our “classroom” Online for a session and it was very interesting. It made the class, my professor, and the other students feel more real. I think this could be useful in a library setting.

This could allow patrons to “attend” an event online if they can’t otherwise reach the library provided it’s not a craft event. But a virtual book club in Second Life could help people who have no way to get to the library feel like a part of the community.


My experience using social media

I’ve used almost all of the most popular social media networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc. By far the ones I use most frequently and find the most useful are Twitter and Facebook.

I like Facebook for connecting with friends and family. It’s an easy way to stay up to date with them as well as let them know how I’m doing. For example, my grandma and I went to New York City a few weeks again and instead of having to text or call several people so they knew we were alright, we just updated Facebook and everyone who would be worried could see it.

When I was more active on this blog, I also had a Facebook page created for it so that people could see there when I had made a new review. It was very helpful in making sure readers who don’t normally use WordPress that often could see when I made posts.

I use Twitter in a completely different way. I almost exclusively only follow organizations, authors, reviewers, and other professionals on Twitter. It’s where I stay updated on world events and what my favorite creators are doing. I don’t really follow people I know in real life on Twitter.

As with Facebook, I had posts automatically go to Twitter when I was more active as a review blogger. It let more people see my posts and helped my blog gain a bigger audience. Twitter also helped connect me with authors as a reviewer. Twitter allowed one of my favorite authors, Gail Carriger, to contact me and ask me to review an advanced reader copy of one of her upcoming novellas.

Both of these social medias would be very useful in a library setting for the same reason I had blog posts automatically post to both Twitter and Facebook. It’d allow the library to reach a bigger audience since these two social media have the biggest user base. If the library has a blog it could automatically post to both and let the patrons know what’s going on more quickly then periodically checking the blog.

Even without the blog aspect, it’d be easier in general to reach patrons via Twitter and Facebook since people regularly check both. These social networks help the library give updates on events that are happening, library news, and anything else the library may want to convey to their patrons. Like how the official IUPUI Twitter used it to update students that the Summer Session I semester is officially over.

twitter example

Both of these social networks are extremely useful both professionally and personally. It’s hard for any organization or company to survive without a presence on both.