BlogHer comes to Second Life

I was very pleased to hear from my friend ‘Vivienne Cassavetes’ that the annual women’s blogging conference BlogHerCon will also be in Second Life this year. I’ve always wanted to go to BlogHer, but it’s usually held at a bad time for me when I’ve either been in-between jobs (ie: no money for travel) or getting married (when I’d rather be honeymooning).

BlogHer '07 I'm Going in Second Life This year, it’s scheduled in between two other trips I will be making and I really need to come home to maintain my sanity once in a while. πŸ˜‰ But thanks to their Second Life effort, I can still participate.

I do wish they would invite me to be on a panel or something, that would make it much easier for me to justify the time and expense, especially since the event seems more focused on commercial interests than nonprofit work. Maybe next year…

Rally for Habeas today, anywhere

Today is the ACLU’s Day of Action to Restore Law and Justice. Activists will gather in Washington, DC to rally and lobby to fix the Military Commissions Act and to restore Habeas Corpus.

If (like me) you can’t make it to DC for the main event, come to a simultaneous rally in Second Life!

Tuesday June 26, 2007 8:00 AM to 10:30 PM SLT (Pacific Time), concurrently in Second Life and in Washington DC!

T-shirts and signs at MoJo Fields [Second Life: Mojo Fields (86, 88, 519)], and then teleport to the rally at the Washington Mall in Second Life, where you can also watch a live webcast of ACLU’s Day of Action from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

A great leap forward


Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Fellowship of Reconciliation were all founded between 1915 and 1920. I usually refer to organizations this old as “dinosaurs” due to the incredible inertia that comes from being so big and being around for so many decades. I am really impressed with my colleagues at the FOR. They are really open to innovation and change. In my first week on the job, we began a blog and secured a space in Second Life!

I won’t have time to do much in SL this week because I will be traveling with about a half-dozen FOR colleagues to the US Social Forum. You can follow our exploits by way of our new blog: !

If you want to see more dinosaurs evolving into full-fledged 21st century organizations, please support this effort by commenting on the blog, linking to us, or even giving money through our Change widget (right). Next on tap: social networking, RSS feeds, a whole new web site, and about a dozen internal improvements to get us really cooking with gas. It’s going to be a busy year. πŸ™‚
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Is Mt. Gravel a symbol?

Cross-posted at techPresident.

Astrophysicist being interviewed For this installment of my series of visits to each candidate’s Second Life efforts, I was joined by PDF Associate Editor Josh Levy, also known as Spencer Mukerji. We had the good fortune of running into Astrophysicist McCallister who is the official (but unpaid) Second Life Coordinator for Mike Gravel’s presidential campaign.

This is the first campaign we have seen with an officially recognized and at least nominally supported presence in Second Life. Other efforts are entirely volunteer-generated with little or no contact with their respective campaigns. Overall, I was impressed with Gravel’s site. It has a professional feeling (not overly showy nor amateurish) and is quite functional as well.

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Edwards in SL: a day at the beach

Edwards I’ve posted the second in my techPresident series on voter-generated campaigns in Second Life. It’s about Edwards Campaign Central, and it’s not pretty. After getting griefed on the mainland, they moved to a PG-rated location at Laguna Beach. I find the tropical setting to be mighty incongruous with a serious, populist campaign.

All the photos I’ve taken are also being added to this Flickr Collection. Please go read the review at techPresident and let me know what you think.

Avatar-generated politics

I was quoted on the CBS News web site talking about candidates in Second Life! The article does a decent job of focusing on the interesting story of how supporters are working for candidates independently of their campaigns, and avoids trite sensationalism around the obscenity that is just as common in SL as it is on the rest of the Internet. (Although the author strangely seems to have visited the old Edwards HQ which has since been moved to a quiet beach setting.)

So far, the default model for building a campaign in Second Life has been “build first, ask for endorsement later,” as Ruby Sinreich wrote in TechPresident. The default stance of campaigns toward their Second Life depiction is curious indifference.
Democratic ’08 Hopefuls Go Virtual, Obama Dips Gucci-Clad Toe In Second Life Waters; Clinton, Edwards Hands Off Of Their Digital HQs – CBS News

I remember being quite pleased with myself when I came up with that phrase. I’m glad someone else noticed. This reminds me, I am overdue for posting some more reviews on techPresident. I have already taken pictures of John Edwards’ virtual bungalow, so I need to write that up, revisit the Barack Obama HQ, and apparently there are some Republicans I have to check out…

Second Life echos the first one

I just blogged on techPresident about the Hillary Clinton campaign HQ that some folks have created in Second Life. Short version: it plays into the worst stereotypes of her as an iron maiden and looks like butt to boot. It amazes me that Hillary is portrayed as a clueless authority figure even by her supposed supporters.

Here are my two favorite parts: the stage that looks like it came straight out of the popular “Vote Different” (a.k.a. Hillary 1984) video, and the helipad complete with limousine motorcade and police HUMV for security!

070317 011 stage authority 070317 009 motorcade
(Click for larger versions.)

Please check it out and let me know what you think:
I plan to post pictures and reviews of all of the candidates in SL. Right now there’s only Edwards and Obama, so they will be next.

RL media covers SL politics

Thanks to Sara Donnelly (a.k.a. Sara Susa in Second Life) of the Portland (ME) Phoenix for her coverage of the Avatars Against the War protest. Sara attended many of our meetings as well as the protest and I appreciate her taking the time to learn about what we were/are doing.

(Speaking of what we are doing, we are still holding meetups weekly on Thursdays at 3pm EST. However, I won’t be there this week as I am going to see Cory Doctorow speak at UNC. My co-organizer Andrew Hoppin/Drew Frobozz will be facilitating today’s meeting.)

“We had envisioned doing something small and symbolic until . . . we realized that we had clearly touched a nerve in the Second Life community,” said Ruby Sinreich, a/k/a “Ruby Glitter,” a real-world activist who helped organize the virtual-world rally. “Although we can’t vote in Second Life, we can raise awareness and connect people and show our strength.”
The Phoenix – Out-of-body politic, 2/7/07

However I have two corrections to Sarah’s article:

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BBC interview & SLNN story

With the gracious permission of Chris Vallance of the BBC’s Pods and Blogs radio show, here is the audio of the BBC Radio interview (4:46 2.9MB MP3) mentioned below.

You can read the show notes and hear the whole program on the BBC website. (Thanks to the awesome Audio Hijack software by Rogue Amoeba for making it really easy for me to make the above MP3.)

Also, Second Life News Network published a nice (and long!) article by Scarlett Qi. Unfortunately many viewers (at Wonkette, too) didn’t recognize the iconic “pink slip” of Code Pink. My favorite line in the SLNN article: “Amazingly, it was not chaotic.” Quite true. πŸ™‚

Continue reading “BBC interview & SLNN story”