Monday, June 02, 2008

Slovenian MoodleMoot'08 International Section Speaker List

The preparations for the upcoming MoodleMoot in Koper, Slovenia are in full swing not just in real life, but also (this year for the first time!) in Second Life. Today we've just successfully installed and tested the Sloodle WebIntercom, which will make communication between real and virtual conference attendees even easier through the conference Moodle site. And we also have the list of presenters for the International Section of the conference, which will be partially broadcasted into Second Life and partially taking place in SL. Many thanks to all that agreed to present!

So here is the basic info for the international section:

2nd International Slovenian MoodleMoot 2008
Friday, June 6th, 2008

International Section – between real and Second Life®


CET 5 PM – 6.30 PM
SLT 8 AM - 9.30 AM
(Check your time zone)

Real life

Using Moodle for the international study programme Media Production Management
dr. Peter Purg, University of Primorska, Faculty of management Koper and Institute and academia for multimedia Ljubljana

Moodling in a business school in Slovenia
dr. Viktorija Sulčič, University of Primorska, Faculty of management Koper
Alja Sulčič, Artesia Ljubljana, Slovenia

Second Life

Second Life Education: In Medius Rez
Chris Surridge (SL Christopher Flow), South Korea

Sloodle community
Giannina Rossini, UK

Sloodle 0.3 – Improving Web and Virtual World Integration
dr. Daniel Livingstone (SL Buddy Sprocket), University of Paisley, UK

Hope to see you there! :)

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Slovenian MoodleMoot 2008 - Call for Presentations

Today I have the pleasure to invite you all to attend or present at the upcoming Slovenian MoodleMoot. Some of you may remember me writing about last year's (first) Slovenian Moodle conference, but the big change this year is that we're making the conference more international and more accessible to a wider audience. We will be in fact broadcasting the international section of the conference live in Second Life and we're also looking for international presenters that are willing to present their experience with Moodle or Sloodle to the Slovenian and Second Life audience through Second Life. The combination of physical and virtual presentations will be the first of its kind for everyone involved, so I hope we can get the technology to cooperate ;)

And here's more info about the conference and about how international guests and presenters can get involved:

When: June 6th, 2008
Where: Koper, Slovenia; Second Life®
Deadline for application: May 31st, 2008
Contact info:

About the conference

Last year the Faculty of Management decided to host the first Slovenian Moodle conference (also known as a MoodleMoot) to bring together users, developers and administrators of Moodle, one of the most popular online learning management systems in Slovenia. This year we decided to make the Slovenian MoodleMoot international and invite Moodle enthusiast from all over the world to share their Moodle experience and meet with Slovenian Moodle fans. The 2nd Slovenian MoodleMoot will feature several presentations from Slovenian users, but also a real life and a virtual international section in English. The international section will be broadcasted into the virtual world of Second Life.

Call for presentations

We invite you to present your experience with using Moodle or Sloodle either at the real life conference location or in Second Life. Presenters in Second Life will be asked to use Skype during their presentation and can use presenter slides and other visualization tools. If you would like to present at the Slovenian MoodleMoot, send us an e-mail at by May 31st that includes:
  • your name (SL presenters also add your SL name) and affiliation,
  • chosen presentation mode (real life or Second Life),
  • the title and a short abstract (no more than 500 words) of your presentation,
  • special requirements for the presentation (if any).
Presentations should be limited to 15 minutes.

Attending the conference

You can attend the international section of the conference for free either in real life in the sunny coastal city of Koper, Slovenia or in the virtual world of Second Life (exact location to be announced). If you plan on attending the conference in Koper, Slovenia, we ask you to announce your attendance by May 31st at Second Life attendance does not require prior registration.

Other info

We expect the international section to be scheduled at 5 PM CET (8 AM SLT) on Friday, June 6th, 2008. You can send additional questions about the conference at or post them on the conference Moodle site. For additional information about presenting in Second Life, you can also contact Alja Sulčič (SL iAlja Writer) directly in Second Life or through e-mail (

The conference is organized by the Centre for e-learning at the Faculty of Management Koper in collaboration with Artesia, Open Source Center Slovenia, and National School for Leadership in Education.

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Zemanta: making blogging fun again

Blogging can be quite a time consuming activity if you want to get it just right. First, you have to find something interesting to write about, then you have to find the right words to present your point, and if that wasn't enough, you also have to find and choose suitable images, links and tags to make your post more useful for the ready and also to establish context of your post. The last part of the blogging process may seem like the easiest one, but if you've ever spent some time on linking all the names in your blog post or searching for the right image, you know that it can take away a lot of your precious time. But fear not fellow bloggers! Zemanta, a startup from Slovenia, is here to help you with a content suggestion tool for your blog posts.

The only thing you need to do, is to install their Firefox plugin (found on their website) and start writing your post on any Wordpress, Blogger, and Typepad blog (with more support coming soon, they promise). As you write, you will start seeing link ang tag suggestions, and a list of images and articles that might be relevant to your post. The good thing is that all suggested material has a Creative Commons license, so you can use it without fear of copyright infringement. You see all the hyperlinks in this post? And the related articles? I added all of that just by clicking on the suggestions provided by Zemanta's plugin as I was writing this post. I usually like to add my own custom images to my blog posts, but I really appreciate the ease of adding links to all the sites/concepts I usually mention in my blog posts with a simple click.

You can also see a demo of the Zemanta plugin in the following video:

I should mention that the technology is still in development, so it may not work perfectly all the time, but I'd suggest everyone to try it out and see if it works for you. So far, I can give it thumbs up and a big thank you for doing the time consuming job for me and for allowing me to focus on the content. I'm looking forward to see how they'll be developing their technology further and make blogging even more fun for us!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

MMC island opens to the public

With great joy and pride I can finally announce the public opening of my company's first major Second Life project: the MMC island. MMC island is an extension of Multimedia center, the new media department of Slovenian public broadcaster (RTV Slovenija). The main purpose of the island is to provide users with the ability to organize their own events on group owned and managed land. You can read more about the project in our press release.

You can already visit the island right now, and on Saturday, March 29th from 10 AM to 4 PM SLT we'll be having the official opening party with 6 hours of live music and other activities (including a presentation of the project in English at 1 PM SLT). Here is the promo video we made at the rehearsal party (the real one will be even better! ;) ):

So, I hope you can all come to visit our new sim, and admire the amazing builds made by Beta Technologies. We are realy looking forward to shape the image and purpose of the island with you, all Second Life users, so if you've got a suggestion of how to make the place even better, please let us know! :)
I'll try to blog more info about the island in the coming weeks (after I get some sleep :) ), so stay tuned!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

metaHUD - bringing Web 2.0 to Second Life

A big part of what makes Second Life so appealing for me is the ability to meet and interact with interesting people from all over the world. I've been in Second Life for over a year now and in this time I've made some great friends with whom I love to discover new places in SL, have great serendipity moments or attend various events with. And we use a lot of different tools to keep in touch - mainly Twitter and Facebook. But I often wished for an easier way to let my SL friends know about a great event going on or a great place I'm just visiting... and that is why I was really excited to discover a new Second Life tool last week called metaHUD.

metaHUD is a HUD (Head-Up Display) that you can wear in Second Life. The developers of metaHUD like to describe it as a social networking platform for Second Life that enables Second Life residents to share their Second Life with friends. It can also be used only as a search engine for SL places and products and as a shopping tool, but its real power is in allowing residents to follow and use what their friends are doing. Let's see how this is done through different parts of the HUD.

metaTravel - Travel guide

When you're wearing the metaHUD, it keeps track of your teleport history and other activities, and stores all that into your personal Timeline. Whenever you teleport to a new place, you can rate it by simply choosing a green thumbs up or red thumbs down button. If you wish, you can also tag the place to make it easier for other metaLIFE users to find it through keyword search, and you can even leave a comment about the place. If you really like the place, you can also add it to your Favorites (works similarly as the "Picks" tab in standard SL profiles).

metaFriends and metaTIME - Social life

Next, the metaHUD offers the ability to search for people. If your friends use metaHUD, you can view their Timeline, Favorites, Home location, choose to follow that person (if you follow a person, you have their updates in the Friends Timeline), and even add tags and comments to their metaHUD profile. The Timeline feature is very similar to the Facebook Mini-Feed that tells you what a friend of yours has been doing on FB - in the metaHUD the Timeline tells you what a friend has been doing in SL. Also, the ability to add comments is similar to the FB wall feature. So basically, we can now have some of the useful features of web social networking sites within Second Life!

Now, if you're a Twitterholic like me you might wonder whether there's also a way to post your status to friends. Well, you don't have a separate place in the metaHUD to answer the question What are you doing?, but what you can do is add comments to places you're visiting - and that appears in your metaHUD Timeline, so friends can easily read a comment that says "There is a great concert going on in this place!". Of course, not always the best solutions, but when I talked about this with Robbie Kiama (one of the developers), he told me that they are planning to make a RSS feed from your Timeline and add better connectivity with Twitter and similar services, which is something I'm really looking forward to!

metaStore - Shopping channel

And let's not forget that the metaHUD also lets you use the metaLIFE Meta Mart shopping system, which enables you to browse items in the Meta Mart system that are for sale (apart form an alphabetical list you also have lists of Latest, Favorite, Popular, Purchased and Free items), search for items using keywords, rate and comment virtual items (thus making it easier for other user to find good content), and you can also buy items directly from the HUD itself. Kind of what you can do on SL Exchange or Onrez, but without having to switch back and forth between the SL viewer and your browser. The shopping feature is of course very handy, and it even allows you to teleport to the actual store if you want to (something I personally miss on the web shopping sites!) and even send items as a gift to friends.

If you're a content creator, you can find more info on how to sell your items through the Meta Mart system on this page. There is also a paid Referring Partner system that can earn you some L$, but I personally haven't tried it yet. - Web interface

And finally, the metaHUD also generates a personal password for you, which can be used to sing in to the site. Here you can manage your metaHUD profile and items (if you're selling your objects through the metaHUD Store), and manage your metaHUD privacy settings, so you get to decide whether your teleport info, shop history, and other actions are visible to all metaHUD users, your friends only or nobody but you.

I've been using the metaHUD for a few days and here's what I personally think are its strong points:
  • easy to use, the interface is consistent, and the HUD is quite fast once it loads,
  • great list of features (my favorite is the Friends Timeline),
  • customized privacy settings,
  • doesn't obstruct your view too much when minimized.
But of course, the product was just released and there is always room for some more improvement. Here's what's on my wish list for the next versions:
  • a version that can be used on the left or even top/bottom part of the screen (currently the HUD is made for the right side of the screen, which in my case is already taken by other HUDs, so it'd be great to have more choice),
  • the option to receive an IM when chosen actions from Friends happen,
  • more web connectivity (especially with Twitter),
  • added support for events (the ability to announce events and sign up for events).
But all in all I think the metaHUD is a great product that finally brings some Web 2.0 in-world. I'll certainly be keeping an eye on the metaLIFE team for future projects, as they really have some great ideas. Yesterday they also released metaPRESENTER, a presentation screen for SL that is controlled through a HUD. Pretty neat! You can of course get your free metaPRESNTER through the metaHUD, which you can pick up at the in-world Meta Mart location. And please, do feel free to leave a comment under this post with you opinion about the metaHUD, I'd love to hear what you think about it!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Another Second Life presentation announcement

I'm having a really interesting week in Second Life: last night I was a guest speaker of a Second Life event for the first time, and today I have the pleasure of announcing another in-world appearance. Grace McDunnough, Sophrosyne's Saturday Salon guest host for this week, invited Jan (my business partner) and me to talk about our company, online communities and about what we've both learned about Second Life and virtual worlds in general. If that sounds interesting, please join us for a discussion this Saturday, February 23rd, from 1 PM to 3 PM SLT at Extropia Core. You can read the event announcement here.

If you want to know more about my presentation at ISTE last night, you can read a summary on Kevin's blog, check out the slides on SlideShare, and there are event some nice pics from the event on Flickr. If you'd like a transcript of the event (generously provided by Veritas Variscan), IM me in-world and I'll send you a notecard. And a big thank you to everyone that attended my presentation!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

ISTE Speakers Series Session in Second Life

Just a brief announcement and invitation: I was invited to be the guest of the next ISTE Speaker Series Session in Second Life on Tuesday, February 19, 6 PM SLT. I'll be talking about my experience of being an online tutor and I hope you can join me for a great discussion. Here's the official announcement from the ISTE Second Life wiki:
Online Tutoring Across Different Platforms with Alja Sulčič (SL: iAlja Writer)
Alja is a virtual platform expert in Slovenia working for Artesia, a small start-up focused on building virtual communities. Prior to joining Artesia she was an online tutor at the Faculty of Management Koper at University of Primorska for three years. She will be presenting about her experience as an online tutor in an online e-business course in which students were introduced to different internet technologies, from Moodle to Second Life, and about the challenges of working with emerging technologies in general. Alja is a member of the Second Life Volunteer Program, working mostly with new Slovenian Second Life users.
ISTE hosts great regular events, so you might want to check out their wiki for announcements for other events as well or check out Kevin Jarrett's blog for great posts about what's going on at ISTE Second Life HQ. I must admit I haven't yet managed to attend any of their events in person (6 PM SLT means 3 AM for me! :( ), but I've heard great things about them. So, hope to see you on Tuesday!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.

Monday, February 04, 2008

List of abilities and roles for Second Life groups

I wish that me spending more time in the virtual world of Second Life could be a good excuse for not blogging lately, but it really isn't. Oh well, while I try to get into a blogging mood again, I've got a little something to share that will hopefully be useful to fellow SLers. I'd like to talk about Second Life group management today (and no, it's not another we-need-more-groups rant - Grace already nailed that subject better than I ever could).

Groups are a great way for two or more people to manage a parcel of land in SL for a common project, but when you need to have a larger group of users with different skills and roles, you might want to define more roles with different abilities in the group that owns your land. For example, you might not want to give less experienced users full control of objects on group owned land, but you might want to give them the ability to send out group notices.

And something similar is just what I'll soon have to do on a group owned land. As I need to carefully define the roles, I wanted to have a table outside SL with all possible abilities for roles listed. I was surprised not to find such a list, so I made one on my own. You can get the list in Excel and PDF format on Scribd.

As there are three default roles (Everyone, Officer, and Owner) in each SL group, I also marked which abilities each of the default role has. I also copied the comments for each of the ability. These comments are available in the Abilities tab under the Members & Roles tab in the Group Information window and most of them include more details and the occasional useful warnings for group owners, so you might want to read them if you're not sure what a role does. If you're new to managing SL groups, you might also want to read the Knowledge Base articles about the Group Roles and about Group Owned Land. Torley also has a great tutorial about creating groups and using the Group Information window for beginners.

And I would love to hear how you go about defining SL group roles or any good advice/best practice you have about managing group roles and choosing abilities!

Note: This is just an archive post. The blog has moved to a new home at, where you will also find a copy of the entire blog.