Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Donating plasma

Donating plasma

My preferred type of gift-giving (considering I don't participate in the typical activities) at this time of year would be blood donation - except that I can only donate blood once every twelve weeks; so today for the first time I gave plasma instead. I can do this every fortnight. I guess I am 3/5 perceived typicality for a plasma donor (Bove, Bednall, Masser, & Buzza, 2011 [behind pay/study-wall]). I have the time available to give... others might find the time if it were recognised as a valid volunteer/participation activity (Is it recognised by Centrelink?).

I like and believe it is important that, in Australia, blood/plasma/platelets are *donated* (ie not *sold* by the human-producer).

I understand that if production of medicinal products from plasma is not in government hands (would that ever have been an option?) that a commercial enterprise would need to have a profit-motive - and yet I am curious as to the *level* of profit that stands to be made by such commercial enterprise [in Australia I understand this is CSL Biotherapies] from my donation. Can anyone suggest a way to discover that?

Another concern I've discovered stems from a threat to Australia's self-sufficiency in blood-product supplies from the Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the United States of America. I read of this in a 2004 submission from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service to the Australian Government - Where stands that threat now?

What would I think/feel if I found that Australia was importing plasma products from companies who buy plasma from humans (who do not then qualify as "donors")? It seems wrong, although I can't pinpoint why... is it just wrong for Australia to buy what we're not allowed, individually, to sell? I don't want that law to change, but so long as it stands, I think that restriction should be respected in the other direction - that others (government, doctors, companies) in Australia should not be allowed to buy products obtained through payment (or reimbursement) to the original individual human supplier.

(Behind pay-wall):
Bove, L. L., Bednall, T., Masser, B., & Buzza, M. (2011). Understanding the plasmapheresis donor in a voluntary, nonremunerated environment. Transfusion, 51(11), 2411-2424. doi:10.1111/j.1537-2995.2011.03168.x

Questions about Second Life experience engineering

Futura artistic outfit for Second Life Birthday 8!+
? What makes a great Second Life experience?
? Which answers to that could be applied by SL Libraries to enhance their/our projects?
? For that matter, how might LIS courses apply it to improve their classes about LISinSL?

-- no answers here --
please help me find answers

Small details made a recent Hunt an entertaining experience for me. Significant little event management strategies and differences I found between merchants' strategies made me wonder whether some might improve SL library services. Of course, many librarians* work innovatively in Second Life and some may already be demonstrating answers to these questions--if so I look forward to hearing (or googling up) about them.

In case serendipity does not favour me with answers I plan to continue:

Direct Observations

Does that sound like a great excuse to participate in more hunts; and visit featured Destinations?

I will keep using Flickr for noting positive and negative details of my experiences, although I suspect my detachment might make me too fussy?  However observing, noting and analysing observations takes time, particularly as I battle distractions (new clothes; editing; wanting to build; chatting).

Others have been around longer, participated more deeply, and will have actually tried and tested ideas, so:

Web searches

The answers are bound to be out there, however this method has its own distractions:

to which I was led by Pooky Amsterdam's defense** of Second Life against ignorant (inadequately investigative) journalism, to which I was led by:

Nevertheless, such distractions demonstrate that there is a great diversity of types of experience in Second Life. Will what counts as great, differ if the information comes from:
  • shopping experiences - Torley and his sources refer to some of the details I have witnessed: navigation, interesting and relevant decor, and even packaging (although disappointingly all the links there are deadends [found Suella's tips that he acknowledges; oh and the forum thread) [interestingly there has also been some academic research on positive influencers of SL shopping experiences - particularly spokes-avatar presence]
  • role play or game experiences?
  • exploration - (I've enjoyed sims' beauty travelling alone, but I've noticed guided tours available at times I wasn't - would anyone say they'd had a great SL guided tour experience--what made it so?)
  • interpersonal experiences?
  • artistic experiences - does the work of artists producing delightful art sims, photography, machinima and webcomics from and within Second Life suggest ideas? Could a visit to SL libraries become a more photogenic experience?

For thoroughness (but without sacrificing the excuse of value in my personal observations) I will look for more published views on Hunts***; however I will rely even more on others' views about what makes great in RP/gaming and social events - and how those might be applied to SL libraries.

Mundanely, I've frequently observed that maintenance is a massive issue for any set-up that expects their sim to support self-service.  In what ways are great experiences set up to minimise failures of maintenance?  Does the lack of Creation and modification dates in objects (and lack of distinction between creation and spawn in landmarks) bother anyone else?

The personal touch seems to be revealed as significant (Jin & Bolebruch, 2009), but people can't be there all the time - and I've found some avatars' profiles enhance my experience while others grate - do you agree? I haven't analysed the source of the difference yet - are there details for using profiles to help make a great experience? [Wow, Treacle Darlandes shared a great story which included the contribution of a profile to a great experience]

Is all this pondering - at least for the perspective of libraries in SL - a waste of time? Sometimes, like this moment, I lose sight (did I ever have one, I thought I did the other day) of what point a library really serves in Second Life (except as point of connection for librarians) -- tell me?

* * *
*librarian = person who runs a library (YMMV)
**while the arguments on investigative negligence, and contribution of the importance of customer service to my own question, may be valid, the motivation for defense is naturally biased by Pooky's investment in Second Life as a medium for her services.
***For example, but not linked above for unreliability (the author (unnamed) claims three years SL business (unnamed) success (unevidenced)) though the information on optimising business with hunts sounds sane.

+Photo Credit:
Nevery Lorakeet *LpD*'s Futura artistic outfit for Second Life Birthday 8! CC2.0:BY-NC-ND

Reference (I'll be interested to see how this appears, as dragged from Zotero):
Jin, S.-A. A., & Bolebruch, J. (2009). Avatar-based advertising in Second Life: The role of presence and attractiveness of virtual spokespersons. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 10(1). Retrieved from

Monday, December 19, 2011

SLExperience management: The Renaissance Hunt

--rambling, amateur & preliminary observations--
--actually, while I began with wanting to connect my experiences through TRH1 to ideas for libraries in SL... I realise I don't have enough knowledge at all, so if you've been tempted to visit expecting to learn something useful I apologise, though you might skip the following blather if you're willing to answer some questions--

Today visited the penultimate merchant in The Renaissance Hunt. As some were not ready when I began, I cannot claim to be "finished", but I have at least sorted through *all* of the gifts collected so far (and good heavens that is an undertaking for over 135 gifts!).

Early on we were asked through the in-world group to vote via notecard on a FAVE FIVE of locations (no mention of this in the blog that I can see) when we finish.  Yay: an additional validation for my new (since The Sinister Steampunk Hunt) practice of keeping a Hunt Journal. I figured a Hunt Journal would help me recall what I liked (or not) in case I'm ever asked for recommendations; it could support recall to help others on the hunt; it would help me keep track of where I'm at as a Hunt can be very long; but most importantly I'm under the impression that jotting notes helps me think straight - and wherever I go and whatever I do in Second Life I wonder "what if SL-libraries did things this way"?

Do any Hunts offer prizes for the first to finish? I can't imagine so, because a race would compete with the value for merchants of having hunters take time to browse the stores. Even so, I did want to FINISH the Hunt (I didn't finish SSH) (greed:pretties:free) and so I felt a self-imposed time pressure because time spent on hunt was time away from my projects; and guilt-time at the downloads it consumes.

On the other hand: this Hunt experience provoked thoughts about quality experience management that could give points of comparison to my analyses of SL Libraries, and yet I'm not sure I captured those thoughts adequately. Notecard journalling saves switching in and out of Evernote - however it lacks images because my frugality will not let me upload my snips* as images to inventory. So, I'm going back to the start to see whether, with greed out of the way, I can concentrate on a reasonable analysis.

With snips I tend to focus on things that could be better - but as I can't snip past instants, nor my passing psychological dispositions, nor the things I did not realise I was seeing, identifying the things that made the experience so positive will be harder. Particularly when returning just distracts me with beauty I didn't see first time around (the landscaping, Mike, is ... is ... "perfick" (thank you Pop Larkin)), and the postponed acorn-greed.

Actually I guess the acorn-hunt will be an aspect to consider, but I believe I will try not to take photos of the merchants at the Faire because, although Perryn's careful selection of them (as webspelunker Ghostraven mentioned) is an important contributor to the Hunt experience (and care in setting selection criteria is an important librarian consideration), it will just be too diverting.

OMG it is dawn already, the rest will have to wait

This is one of those posts I will probably edit over time.

*snip refers to my use of Windows Snipping Tool rather than the SL snapshot because even though I can send a snapshot direct from Second Life to Flickr, with Snipping Tool I can be more selective in what I capture, and because I am not an artist I don't need dramatic Meghogging resolution.

However, for the sake of comparison, the first picture above was Snipped, and this one Snapped:
Fall Field at Renaissance Faire

Sunday, December 18, 2011

They make me Happy tonight!
ABC Television | Going Postal via kwout

and then mad... to be continued?  aaargh
A day later: I didn't comment right away, partly because I was miffed to have the rest postponed (but which I now find great because it means more happy next Saturday, and I can think slowly about the first part); and partly because my nephew was visiting and we found Star Trek Voyager (which he hadn't yet seen) on another channel.

So: Characters convincing? Yes. Although Vetinari is physically darker in my imagination, his character was well done. Mr Groat's odour and self-medication didn't seem to be conveyed. Plot faithful? yes. Does the essence of Ankh Morpork transmit to non-AM-readers? Now how could I possibly know that?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Need clarification on steampunk?

Apparently its *not* just gears glued on:

(I hadn't thought it was, but then again some designs in Second Life labelled Steampunk do give that impression)


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