This week was our last week in Second Life and so, it was time for our final presentations. Our group felt like we had put a solid amount of preparation into our presentation so we weren’t too nervous about presenting to the class however, despite being in my bedroom and presenting to my laptop screen, I couldn’t help but still feel the same amount of nerves as I usually would with a normal presentation in class.
Our group was the 5th group so it was nice to be able to watch a few groups go ahead of us and give us an idea of how each of them were presenting. I was so amazed by the different approaches that each group had taken with the same brief and learned a lot from each of them.
Our presentation went reasonably smoothly apart from one mishap. Olivia’s Second Life glitched just our presentation started which meant that she could not change our slides to go along with our presentation so only a few of our slides were seen by everyone. I will feature all of our slides below just that you can have a look. It took a couple of minutes for Olivia’s Second Life to get back working so I presented my piece ahead of hers which didn’t matter too much. It was over before we knew it and it was such a relief to be finished!
Giving a presentation in Second Life seemed like a daunting task at first, however the preparation work that went into the presentation was exactly the same as when I work with other groups for presentations in class. John insisted that we should communicate exclusively online which may be a challenge to some but I have found that I end up working and communicating mostly online for any group project that I am involved in due to many members being in different courses or different DIT campuses which makes it difficult to arrange to meet in person. The only aspect of the online presentation that I found difficult was the factors of it that were out of our control. Glitches or lagging can happen at the wrong time and there is nothing you can do to fix or change it, no matter how much preparation was involved. I had imagined that it would be strange listening to presentations without being able to see people’s facial expressions however I was surprised at how normal the entire process felt.
The Second Life module was truly an eye opening and unique experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was also a fantastic topic of conversation to bring up and explain to people when the small talk was running short!
Attached below is my script and slides from our presentation.
This week John has asked us to describe our role in the team and how we have contributed to the project so far. Everyone in our group had been extremely busy trying to balance our end of term assignments and exams up until this point and so we decided to make serious progress with our presentation and get it done.
I began by reading the other student blogs in the class to get a rough idea of what direction they were taking their projects so that I could take our project in a different direction and also to get an idea of the amount of work that they were putting into them. I then broke the assignment question down into bullet points and keywords and messaged it to the girls in the chat along with a summary of what the rest of the class was doing from what I could gather. I suggested that for our project we should focus on the information that we publicly share through our social media accounts, the information and data that we keep private online and then finally the idea of big data and the dark web and the implications of what it could do with the data we have online both publicly and privately. Both Olivia and Kate really liked this idea and so we decided to each take a topic, research it and put together our slides by the next day.
I began my research into my private online data by watching ‘The Power of Privacy‘ documentary by The Guardian. This documentary highlighted how easy it is for a computer to be hacked, by simply clicking a link in an email that can be disguised to look like it came from a work colleague, friend or family member. I was immediately shocked at how easily the hackers managed to hack a computer and the amount of information that they then had access to. It was even possible for them to watch you through your webcam! I quickly finished the prescribed reading that John recommended that we look at and dived into the private data that I had online. I was vaguely aware that google had some form of an archive of your search history that did not get deleted when you cleared your browser history, so I googled this (the irony!) and found exactly what I was looking for! This archive is stored in a section of your google account named ‘My Activity’. What I wasn’t expecting to find however was my location history and also my device information. What began as research for my project took a more sinister turn when I realised through going through this data that any potential hacker would have full access to my daily digital life for the past 8 years!
I then set up a Google Presentation file and sent it into our group chat so that the girls could upload their slides once they were finished and we would have all of our work in one place. I suggested that we write a script for each of our slides and make a short video of our presentation similar to what another group was doing as our backup plan should our presentation not go to plan. This however didn’t materialise but I think that was due to the fact that we hadn’t left an awful lot of time for ourselves to finish our project.
Next I looked up how to upload presentations to Second Life and posted the tutorial into our group chat. We decided that Olivia would change the slides during the presentation since only one member of the group was able to interact with the presentation board.
Now all we had to do was wait for presentation time and hope for the best!
This week John has asked us to reflect on the progress being made within the group. Unfortunately, it has been a very busy week for me so I did not get to read any of the recommended texts for the project so I could not update Olivia and Kate on any progress I had made. We did discuss the theme of the project however on Messenger and there is still confusion within the group as to what exactly we should focus our presentation on and how we should go about presenting it in Second Life. John has told us though that we will discuss the group projects further this week during our lecture so hopefully that will clarify any difficulties we are having with our project.
I found the info graphic on what can and cannot be copyrighted highly interesting, especially that you cannot copyright a domain name.
This week John has asked us to discuss how our team has approached planning our project, divided the work and addressed conflict. First and foremost, we haven’t encountered any conflict yet within the group which has been a quite a positive aspect to our groups meetings.
I suggested that we should read and watch some of the recommended readings and videos assigned to our project this week and to see how we can apply them to our project and to report back next week with our findings. Each of us has a busy schedule so we find it easiest to meet once a week.
This week our group which consists of myself, Kot7 and Olivia met via Facebook messenger which is our chosen platform of communication to discuss the theme of the project. So far Messenger has been an ideal tool for our meetings due to its accessibility and ease of use since each of us always has our phone with us allowing the possibility of instant contact between us.
We discussed the title of the project and how it applied to each of us, however each of us were somewhat confused by how broad the title was and we weren’t quite sure exactly what was being asked of us. Nonetheless, we decided a good place to start would be to do a brief google of each other and see what we could find. Upon googling the girls, I couldn’t find much more than their Facebook pages but when I googled myself I found nearly all my online profiles. I also found a photo on entertainment.ie from Electric Picnic this year which I didn’t even know was there! I decided to call it a day as I was scared of what I would find if I dug any deeper!
This week John asked us to discuss the importance of regulation, convention and etiquette in online communities. As an exemplar of these three pillars John brought us to Ability Island in second life where we were met by Gentle Heron and given a tour of the island and learned about the opportunities it provides to people who are living with disabilities. I found this tour to be so inspiring especially the poetry and the artwork that was being showcased in Second Life. Up until this point I had never engaged in such a developed online community and found the experience so eye opening.
Online forums such as Reddit enforce strong regulations among threads so that they can keep their communities online and to ensure a pleasant experience for the users partaking in these forums. I find the process of convention within an online community particularly interesting. Who establishes traditions and practices within these communities? Can micro-cultures be established and nourished by creating these cyber spaces? An example of practices within online communities can be seen on fan run forums for music artists or TV shows. These communities often band together to ensure the history of their fandom is upheld and documented. The accessibility of these forums makes these communities much larger and stronger than fan bases that would have existed prior to the internet.
I believe that it is imperative that an online community establishes a strong etiquette that enforces the principles outlined by Eric Stoller in the link John recommended us to read this week. The comment sections online are often populated by keyboard warriors whose main goal is to spread negativity so I think in order to establish a healthy online community there must be a strong culture of being kind and open minded and that hate comments are regulated and deleted.
This week John tasked us with the idea of how we might convert our personal presence online into an identity for professional networking. In the age of social media and the two lives we lead, online and real life, it is almost preposterous to presume that the personal and professional online are not intrinsically connected.
First we must note the distinction between the online and real life, wherein we refer to our everyday as ‘real’ thus implying that our online presence is somewhat not real. We have the ability to construct and curate entire lives online that may not necessarily reflect our everyday reality. From a professional standpoint, I believe that now it is imperative to construct an impeccable online presence as our online lives are almost like a modern day C.V.
This presence may vary depending on the nature of one’s industry, some being more conservative than others. My future employment will lie (hopefully!) within Creative Industries so I pay particle attention to the aesthetic of my online presence to market my taste and individuality. For example, within the fashion industry Instagram is a social platform of particular importance with many people being employed and given opportunities solely due to their Instagram presence and follower count. Nicola Formichetti (Creative Director of Diesel and former stylist to Lady Gaga) hires most of the assistants through their Instagram profiles. He thinks it’s a more effective way to find out who someone is, “You can go online and find out what their feelings are”.
I try to balance my Facebook and Instagram content with my work and credit the people I have worked with so that I am constantly showcasing my network within the fashion world with the aim of gaining future opportunities. I also try to keep consistent with my posts ensuring that they are of a high quality and showcase my individuality to maintain a professional aura and present my ‘brand’ in the best way possible. By doing this I try to present my online presence with an even balance of the personal and professional.