Second Life Feed

Livescribe - old media meet new technology

"Don't add technology to way you do things. Change the way you do things when you know what technology can do" A quote I use throughout my presentations and workshops. Its part of what I refer to as foundation thinking. Thanks go to Marcus Romer, artistic director of Pilot Theatre for this line of genius.

Way back in 2007 at the launch of the newly negotiated Equity ITC contract agreement at Hampstead Theatre I had conversation that ignited my social media journey and restructured by business. It's Marcus's fault that I joined Facebook! The conversation and consequent collaboration took me in to Second Life and entwined my life irrevocably with this social media phenomenon.

I upgrade my technology when I discover features or learn of functions my current tool set or equipment can't provide. This has driven my mobile phone upgrades and it has now inspired my upgrade from paper note book to Live Scribe.

http://www.livescribe.com - cool little pen thing for those that take notes.

I can still write notes and draft blog posts. Now I can transfer the text to my computer, archive and search my notebooks. With the MyScribe app I can covert my written notes in to editable text.


2010 the conversation has begun… virtual worlds and social spaces

You would like to know a little about my real world and virtual world cross over events I imagine? (Was my response to my first lead of the decade enquiring about my event facilitation skills. http://virtualrealityliving.com/3d-virtual-training-center )

Very few people in my current environment will give virtual worlds any time. I however am passionate about them as business assets (even if only a 3D extension of a 2D website or social space) As a result I'm little reserved in who I offer my Virtual World service to. Cynicism and inflexible thinking towards the social web is a tough nut to crack.

The current leap of faith is social media. Businesses are running headlong in to a light they spent most of 2008 and 09 declaring as an absurd waste of time but now it's becoming mainstream everyone is at it for better or worse!

Virtual worlds are still a leap too far here and now. I'd be happy to make my skills and experiences available to your organisation if you require input.

… I continued.

In SecondLife I have been Custodian and Curator of Pilot Theatre's 3D presence since 2007. It's dormant but the company feel it's important to keep it, even mothballed as it is. I am hoping to spend a little time updating and housekeeping in the year to come. The location is Pilot
Theatre in SL search. http://slurl.com/secondlife/Earth/210/35/27

I have curated events in SL as a host in-world and as a coordinator facilitating chat streams across group chat windows for live music events within SL running back channels for the event team and venue chat for the audience/delegates and live streamed real world events in Livestream.com. A basic event includes monitoring and engaging a multi-streamed Twitter audience too. Most importantly I'm an approachable entity in the off-line, virtual world or online environment.

I've been described as an Internet Fairy, Event Guide, and Ambassador, essentially I help my client’s participants/event delegates new to online social spaces/community or event, online or virtual, experience the events and ultimately help them feel at ease with the technological interface. That is the highest hurdle! Just like the magic of theatre, virtual worlds require participants to suspend disbelieve and become immersed. You can't dip in your toe you have to give yourself over to it for the time the experience lasts.

Where do I come from? (This was my attempt to quantify the circumstances throughout my career that bought me to the point I am today)  I was a theatre stagemanager before moving in to digital tech development as the social media phenomenon exploded on to the scene. Here I found my niche as an online and virtual event curator and network custodian.

Search "pcmcreative" in Google and you will find my digital footprint. http://bit.ly/7hiTsg

I use the research, resource and acquisitioning skills from my theatre days. "Attention to detail and fiscal compromising scales" to balance budgetary restraints capitalising on freemium social media tools, services and platforms to develop digital development strategies for creative organisations and creative thinking businesses.

A virtual world asset is a development I offer to clients who see beyond the 2D realm of webpages. Most frequently it is 2D web development and enhancement I am consulted on. Clients want to bring social media consumers to their websites to purchase goods and services.

The time of the virtual community will emerge, some are here now. Social Media consumption is the current tidal rip.

I'd welcome digital development and virtual world commissions and be delighted to discuss any area of interest to you (and to you blog reader – thanks for reading this far) from my response here.

Aside to blog readers... "When did your conversation begin?"


MediaCampLondon2 - December 2008 - Part two

This blog is continued from part one.


The actual event! recap. mediaCampLondon2, #mcl2 running through twitter and mcl2 as a tag through out the social media world. On the a very wet December Saturday I headed to Social Media Mafia's second MediaCampLondon hosted by Chris Hambly at SAE London now in new premises in Hackney. I did manage to qik blog a little but my head was in the wrong space in fact I wasn't sure which head space I was in all day. I arrived in wet dog mode! I loved mediacamp but there were aspects of the venue I struggled with. Excellent securing but the card needed to pass through every single door was a little claustrophobic.

The Sessions I attended I'm going to cover and the points that impacted on me.

Pete Wailes
Explosive Content:the art of creative content for digital audiences.

  • Zero Punctuation
  • Submit YouTube links to Digg
  • Repoman the Opera needs a UK distributor

Joanne Jacobs
Case studies in deploying Social Media for public interest. How to drive change in the 3rd sector.

  • Who will put in the effort? Conscientious, Conscious Collaboration.
  • Not every project is a success.
  • Every project is a learning experience.
  • Clients don't always listen to what is best.
  • Social media tribes are strong in London and ever so slightly competitive!

Jo's session showed the new media process needs user participation, understanding and the want or necessity to access the web presence being created. If a simple brochure site is all that will be used why create anything more? There a case for "They don't know what they want" but this is why I am passionate about online media and free service platforms. Often a client or user group doesn't know what is possible let alone know if they will use it and won't be using it if they don't know what is possible. The art of education by stealth! Adding features to a presence and a reason to use the feature especially resource, eco or time saving features as an extension to the service requested can be trialled at very little cost.

Judith Lewis
SEO 101 - Everything you wanted to know about getting found in search crammed in to this session.

  • There is no such thing as a magic keyword density percentage.
  • Think about tabbed browsing when creating page titles.
  • I need to understand backtracking and comment more on peoples blogs.

I have listened to a few SEO practitioners and Judith talks the talk and exudes the notion she most certainly can walk the walk  with experience and humble understanding, elegance and ease. I definitely need a SEO specialist to take a look at my online presence.

Finally I was on.
Caron Lyon
2D in to 3D web presence from Pilot Theatre's home hub in Second Life. Second Life extending your web site - Guest speaker reading extracts from his work reflecting RL and SL via Second Life Nazz Lane. Writer for the Second Life Newspaper.

I had prepared for the worse. No web access or no Second Life access. No Second Life access proved troublesome as a combination of network access permissions, hardware incompatibility and my over enthusiastic kick-ass antivirus Panda things didn't go well. Earlier in the day when I tested the connection I gained Wi-fi thanks to stefan but sadly Second Life proved elusive and because the venue was Mac infested and super set up for sudio sound I was unable to connect my laptop to run Second Life or output sound so Skype, my if Second Life failed contingenct, went out the window too. The cables just weren't right...all round pegs and square holes!

I'm going to give it another go on January 10 2009 in world. The program looks like this.

Join me, Katie Reve - Virtual Stage Manager at Pilots SL hub, Neil Neilsen - Creator, Architect and owner of MediaCity and Nazz Lane - SL Journalist and writer at 4.00pm UK time on Saturday 10 January.

What is Pilot Theatre doing in SL? The 2D and 3D web.

Yes we are going to do it. Saturday 10 Jan from 4PM uk time the rerun of MediaCampLondon2's failed Second Life live link up. This time there will be no real life audience but I am keen to have a go at doing an event that works! as I'm hoping to have many more.

The plan is to begin at Pilot's hub in the screening room
4.00pm - 4.05pm
Welcome and small intro about why the event is taking place and about the MediaCamp concept. Real world and Virtual.

4.05pm - 4.25pm

Topic - Pilot's Playground

Guided tour of the Pilot Hub and how the arts are embracing and converging digital media. This session is for residents interested in SL as a 3D extensions of websites and SL potential for business and the arts.

TP to MediaCity
4.30pm - 4.50pm
Topic - Advances and the future of Second Life

Neil Neilsen from MediaCity in Second Life (Neil Riley, Macanix UK) presents an update of Second Life's potential and recent digital media in world advances. The opportunities arising and how they can and are being embraced.

4.50pm - 5.15pm
Topic - Reporting a Second Life

The buzz of life in virtual worlds. Nazz Lane reading excerpt from his writings with a short intro about his SL journalism.

5.15pm - 5.30pm

Q & A for invited guests

Hope there is a happy ending!


2009 alive and liking it.

Out and about networking in 2008 I met some amazing people. Social networking was often a whisper on the wind but in the economic challenges that lie before us Social Media and all its diversity can be a budget saving haven. I wish there was a one size fits all for solving every companies Social Media needs but a lass bespoke focused strategies are the best. Everyone wants to feel special and the way I see it you have no choice.

Each of my 2008 clients had very specific needs with common expectations, Increase sales, footfall, bums on seats and discovering there is so much more too. Pilot Theatre, who I have worked with since July 2007 have embraced social online communications channels with the philosophy of the more the better all leading internet travelers down the road that leads to the companies website. Whether its a group on Bebo that looks after its self taking in RSS, Flickr and YouTube or Facebook Groups collecting together Pilot Theatre fans, they all have one purpose, to get audiences for the next production and to raise the company's profile. Other Web 2 platforms provide other valuable features like wikis, collaborative work spaces for writing projects and event feedback this internet social communication revolution.

In 2009 I'll be running workshops across the country for various arts organisations, developing existing clients web 2 integration. Fingers crossed I'll begin delivering my Social Media super users course and Second Life for business course for Axis in the Spring. MediaCampNottingham is also on the ideas schedule for Spring along with an event with Pilot Theatre's live streaming aspiration with their New York production now well and truly in pre-production. Second Life live streaming performance opportunities for musicians, DJs and Singers is another rapidly boiling pot of delights collaborating with Second Life MediaCity's Neil Neilsen AKA Neil Reily from Kohd who is the architect behind the buildings on Pilot Theatre's Second Life hub.

Every business/company and enterprise with an email customer list or contacts book can benefit from whats happening on the web. I know I am excited to see what 2009 brings in on the tide.

What's your Online Strategy? Come see me. Type pcmcreative in to Google I'm hard to miss. Choose the way you want to contact me.


MediaCampBucks & Equity's ARC in one weekend - Part two

Equity's ARC (Annual Representatives Conference) took place on the 18 and 19 May 2008 in London. I was overwhelmed by the interest in my work with social media and in particular on line forums and communities.

I attended this years ARC representing Equity members who are stagemanagers. The Stagemanagement Committee's motion to the ARC about implementing Skype, was accepted by a majority vote as a viable communication method which once instigated will lead to members of committees attending meetings from outside London or whilst away on tour with greater ease and regularity. The Equity website was a hot topic throughout the weekend. People's fear and uncertainty of the Internet is so prolific I took great enjoyment calming fears and quelling anxiety. I think many went home with a little more confidence in technology ready to start exploring the benefits of social media.

It may be hard to believe for some that Equity does not have any form of conference calling available or that applications such as a forum discussions on the website are not yet available. What you have to remember is that this is a work force who do not have a PC on their desk, or a desk for that matter and for the majority who have a PC at home they spend much of their working lives on tour or living in digs with no Internet access. These are the IT curious its just not part of their world. For them the journey is just beginning and for a community so geographically remote from each other the Internet is a gift beneath the Christmas tree that has yet to be unwrapped. Mobile phone web access will be a revelation when they own devises capable and web sites optimized to look at.

It was with the magic of wi-fi and with my trusty laptop I had the opportunity to introduce the IT curious to Second Life giving them a guided tour around Pilot Theatre's Second Life presence. The set designers especially saw the potential of Second Life and 3D environments. I often struggle with business people to convey the power and potential of the 3D web or virtual worlds but here they all got it immediately it was a breath of fresh air.

It was directly in response to the conversations about social media, social networks and Internet security fears during the ARC and their desire to see a functioning social networking application that I came home and created one to give an opportunity to experience first hand a private social network and participate in its growth.

Screenshot01 I'd been considering setting one up using the Ning.com platform model ever since joining the Association of Virtual Worlds. Now I saw it as a way to demonstrate what services I could offer to Equity and other clients by inviting them to take part in one. I could also unite my diverse networks in to one place.

During my career I have collected and recorded my contacts in indexed books and business card files. I have used many time and again and passed names on too. My Indexed books are invaluable as they contain all the businesses I have done business with and the items or services they provided me, and for which production through out my time in stagemanagement and props acquisitions all around the UK. Since turning my eye to the business world I have received business cards like never before. What do I do with them all?

I am a great believer in the purposeful expansion of a business network.

Screenshot02 I have groups for the events or organisations I wish to network with and share with others. I do not wish to take traffic from anyones web site so I encourage members to use my network as a hub. I will also be introducing members to other web 2 platforms with short tutorials written specifically with the community's needs in mind. I'll also be looking at helping them unify their online presence and promote them selves online building a profile to harness the social media channels they develop as their confidence in the Internet grows.

Feedback to me, Is this going to be useful place?
So for my blog readers I would like to invite you to join too. Sign up today.

Second Life was made for this.

Live streaming across the Atlantic from The Chelsea Hotel, New York. Catcher in their Eye, Pilot Theatre's Spring 2009 production looks destined to be a delight of technology at its most artistically innovating. For those not lucky enough to experience this in the UK a treat may be in store for those with second Life residency. This is what Pilot Theatre's Second Life hub exists for. Stay tuned to PCM creative for news and updates.

Richard Hurford writes with Marcus Romer directing a new production.

A man obsessed with Holden Caulfield, the fictional protagonist of J.D. Salinger's novel Catcher in the Rye... This is the story of Mark Chapman - the man who shot John Lennon - on his last night of anonymity.



PCM's Second Life confession

This media player has 5 edited segments from the footage taken throughout the evening.

  1. Welcome to Axis Community - The opening Story
  2. The Second Life world.
  3. Stepping in to Second Life, Interactivity - continuing the tour Pilot Theatre, PCM creative, Media City - Macanix
  4. Questions and Inquiries
  5. Summary - Virtual futures

I was invited to present at a monthly Axis Community gathering several months ago not long after my first Axis Community encounter. The Axis Community is the social network emerging from courses and workshops run at the Axis Centre based within the Chilwell campus of Beeston College and accredited by DeMontfort University focusing of the practical application of IT for business.

Its members range from the Uber geek to the IT curious. We all have one thing in common. We like an excuse to get together and have a drink in the name of business!

I presented, it was recorded, it was edited and Uploaded to YouTube in its hi-lighted glory. Anyone having read "I, Avatar. The Culture and Consequences of having a Second Life" will recognise Mark Stephen Meadows "The strange Migration", his opening to a fascinating read looking at the cultural landscape of Second Life. The first story I chose to open this presentation with.

This Second Life presentation is a first look and introduction to the concept of virtual worlds, it's application for business and an opportunity to ask question about this new phenomenon. It was a show and tell! A commentary and illustration of how I am using Second Life and advising clients about the value of a virtual world presence along side a traditional web site embracing the evolution of social networking communities. Focusing on how business can benefit.

Many people who came had not heard of Second Life or if they had it was through a negative news stories. Some had given it a go but not got very far. There were academics viewing Second Life with great interest leaving with a great understanding of what Second Life can offer. Business people inquiring about this new online world of opportunity. Anyone deeply involved with second Life will see this presentation looks at absolute basics. Re watching it myself I know it's gloriously simplified but for me thats what I needed to know when I first started. Its also tries to give a bit of background to give it a business foundation. The brief I was set was to make in fun and informative.

I answered the questions asked an the end of the session as best I could. If anyone thinks there is a better answer please add your comments after reading and watching. So please correct me if I am wrong.


Stage is set for a brave new world

Article from the Nottingham Evening Post - Monday 17 March - and its all about me!

NBV: HELP FOR SNEINTON WEB FIRM

RICHARD BAKER  BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT
17 March 2008

While some computer experts talk in techno-babble, Caron-Jane Lyon knows how to explain things simply. She has combined her life  in the theatre with new IT skills to help boost the arts online. After a degree in theatre design and technology, Caron, 35, started work as a stage manager, where she sourced props for productions. She regularly found herself using computer techniques like Photoshop for paper-based props.

Whenever money's needed on stage, for example, you need to design notes that look realistic but couldn't get you into trouble if an audience member picked one up and tried to spend it."I loved the creativity and ingenuity in this part of the job, but the further up the ladder you go in most industries, the bulk of your work ends up being admin." Having moved around the country as a freelancer, Caron was about to accept a role with the Royal Shakespeare Company - that would entail more travelling - when she decided to put down roots.

Caron's partner was based in Nottingham, so she moved to the city and started temping. Working for Boots, Caron realised she had unsung talents. "I had this wealth of IT knowledge that I didn't know I had. I arrived as an admin temp and within a week I realised my photoshop skills were pretty good, and I thought, 'Maybe I'm on to something here'," she said.

Caron took a course in web design in Newark and it set her thinking about how she could help people in her former profession. "In the theatre you often have no contact with IT, some clients I deal with don't even have e-mail addresses. It's 'IT shy' people in the arts that need IT direction and I realised I could offer that."

PCM Creative has existed in name since 1995, but with help from Nottinghamshire Business Venture, Caron launched the firm as a full-time concern last October. She embarked on the New Entrepreneur Scholarship (NES) with NBV. The NES programme was set up to support successful and sustainable businesses.

Based at her home in Sneinton, Caron creates online presences for organisations - in the form of websites, Facebook groups, blogs, MySpace pages and YouTube clips - helping them use social networking tools to find new customers.

Caron has worked with Pilot Theatre company, holding conferences in online world Second Life - making Caron the first virtual stage manager.

Liz Yeatman, NES project manager for NBV said: "Caron is making a fantastic success of her business. The NES programme enables people like Caron to acquire the skills they need to start a business venture."


This world and the virtual home land

Virtual Worlds BusinessCast is an insight in to the cutting edge of of virtual business and how big companies are exploring and investing in this technology. Mike O'hara the creator, author and presenter of VWBC, a musician in his own right, also podcasts unsigned bands and musicians. He embodies the pioneering spirit of inspiration that drives my passion to find out more about this vibrant growing world and leaves me to ponder how I can help Artists and creatives get the most out of this blossoming technology. If you have any interest in business and the virtual world or if you are curious how the real world can make the virtual world benefit business listen to these pod casts.

Put my show and this player on your website or your social network.