Sunday, November 20, 2011

Aiming to interview JJ Drinkwater: 1st day of research

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So, yesterday I dreamed of eventually (after background research) interviewing JJ Drinkwater (who I've repeatedly over time noticed doing terrific things in librarianship in Second Life). Today serendipity set me out on the journey:

Once-upon-a-time, I had subscribed to the AlexLib Subscribe-O-Matic Gizmo. It sends notifications (which SL can send to email) of events such as today's:

Join us Wednesday at 4pm SLT for "Voices from the Civil War" and a discussion of Walt Whitman's poem "The Wound Dresser"
What a good time to progress this research ... let's see ... if I log in there will be a notecard and/or a landmark and I can begin my inspections ...

Indeed, while I began jotting notes in a draft blog post, it seems I wanted an image for everything, even wished I had videographic skills.

OOPS
During my first round of camming I was Distracted by the profile of Eleanor Anderton (picked up from her creation of a sign [a help sign - one worth discussing, I'll link it in later] on the skyboat display of resources [that to me seem should be IN the library?]) which I followed to her blog where she wrote about BareRose's Antonia

Back from that distraction, I began capturing photos of the meeting room's exterior signs and interior exhibit, uploading to Flickr, linking images, discussing notecard contents. A slideshow only shows the photos, it doesn't capture my annotations, so if you're curious, you can see my notes over at Flickr beginning with Once-upon-a-time, if I continue this method of note-taking it will all be in a collection I'll call Caledon Librarianship.



OOPS again

Currently interrupted because: while photographing the Discussion Display Wall (Whitman discussions) to identify the variety of content I realised that the train passes by the door and the photo would be improved by having the train in it!
But when is the train?
See Steampunk Wiki for Caledon National Rail and I notice that this (wonderful) wiki could do with some data linking; but back to the train time ... this meeting room is close to Victoria Station (which is just North/left from this door)... four different routes (are they the same train?), 3 stop at Victoria ... Northbound might be best angle on the engine, so before 04, 15, 26, 56 of the hour, while southbound is 20, 44, 52, 55 of the hour.  Of course I missed two trains while I was trying to work that out, and I've noticed that there have been some dramatic lighting changes so I've been wondering how that will affect the shot.

Eating cold tea I missed two more passes, but now two scheduled trains haven't passed at all.  So even in the virtual world, when one is waiting for a train--it will be late?

Back on track, I have dozens more photos, and still need to upload describe and link them. I'm going to have to become a little more efficient, take fewer photos, or forget about using Flickr for note-taking. It seems my inner researcher and inner tourist compete for function time.


What have I achieved so far?
  1. I've admired the meeting room - not sure if it is considered one of the branches of the Caledon Libraries; discovered through in-world exploration that just across the park from the meeting room are at least two library facilities and behind/above the meeting room is a special collection. I could probably investigate such details faster by perusing wikis/websites. While googling a suitable link to acknowledge Eleanor above I discovered the Caledon Library Volunteer HQ which (at least historically, it was last updated in 2009) in addition to the site for visitors: The Library Militant will probably answer all the little questions I have.
  2. I've seen:
    • evidence of a current discussion series; and past discussions (social activities are a fundamental attribute of virtual world experience I think, although I also believe we seek meaningful social activity); 
    • begun identifying qualitative distinctions between objects for display, information storage and access, and preferences; 
    • continued reflecting on the importance of consistency with a well-defined environmental theme (ie: I believe that my enjoyment of Caledon Library for its thematic consistency as well as its quality library functions would be typical for anyone in-world).  I think that although we like a pretty library in the real world, its prettiness is way less important than its services. But then longevity of the Second Life library might also rest in how well services meet users' needs/desires -- unless the Second Life library is content to exist as an art exhibit.
  3. Not found a relevant group - one day in.
  4. Oh yes, documenting instances of advertisement - that was about discovering the nature and extent of Caledon's liaison. 
  5. Looking forward to exploring the Caledon catalogue/database, but want to see what is what in-world first.
  6. I believe that my download limits, and/or needing to avoid excess distractions, and/or the fact that even if I could concentrate in-world the Flickr note-taking method is so time-consuming -- could sooner rather than later send me to read Drinkwater's pages.
  7. I think my original questions are so far still good, but it is only one day in. I am noticing the uber-importance of a team of volunteers, remembering the joys and challenges of managing volunteers, and wondering how Drinkwater's experiences of volunteer management would compare.
  8. So much for being the final step - testing out that phone for the sake of an imaginary newbie audience to my photoset - I leaped into making a tentative first contact.

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