ABC Island in Second Life: two years

On Friday March 16th 2007, members of the ABC Friends group in Second Life got to see the completed ABC Island, with the public launch on the 19th March to coincide with the Four Corners episode ‘You Only Live Twice’.

Since that time there’s been a regular and dedicated community on ABC Island that have ensured its ongoing evolution, in conjunction with the ABC Staff responsible for its administration.

To celebrate the two-year anniversary, there’s an event on this evening, starting at 7.30pm AEDT. First up is Rockit, the music trivia event with a difference – anyone who turns up can potentially compete and it’s a lot of fun. After Rockit wraps up at 9.30pm, the plan is for a live music performance by Komuso.


Australian Second Life resident Simon Kline organised a chook hunt Friday evening as part of ABC Island’s 2nd anniversary celebrations. Photo credit: Wolfie Rankin

We’ve mentioned it numerous times: the most successful virtual world locations are ones with a critical mass of people who consider it their community, and work to make it a fun place to be. ABC Island’s community has had its fair share of ups and downs, personality conflicts and technical challenges, but after two years it’s still standing strong. It’s fair to say that the ABC aren’t placing its Second Life presence that high up its priorities but credit due to the advocates at the ABC who have managed to keep this small community innovation a lively part of the Australian virtual worlds community.

The ABC in Second Life: one year on

The 19th March brings up the one-year anniversary of the ABC’s launch of ABC Island. Launch night coincided with the screening of You Only Live Twice on Four Corners. Since that time, there’s been a steady stream of events, including a great number organised by the Australian community of Second Life residents who frequent the island.


ABC Island’s presence is a modest one when compared to the Telstra build, but it packs a lot of variety in the area it does inhabit. The Sandbox remains the most popular area, but themed areas like Melbourne Laneways provide a lot of ongoing interest as well.

There are also rumours of further expansion via another island. I caught up with Lisa Romano (SL: Lise Robbiani), the ABC’s Project Manager, Strategic Development for its Innovation unit, who wouldn’t confirm the rumours. We also asked her to confirm the original intent of the presence in Second Life. “The ABC created a presence in Second Life to learn more about virtual worlds so that it could understand how to create and present content and build a community in this rapidly growing three-dimensional environment. One of the ABC’s core principles is to reach audiences wherever they are and to pursue opportunities for innovation, so a new platform of this kind which shows strong audience growth and interest is worth exploring,” Romano said.

So after a year of effort in Second Life, has it been worth it for the ABC? Romano certainly thinks so. “We are thrilled with the response from audiences over the past year. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and we feel like the Island really offers a sense of Australian community based around content, creativity and innovation for both Australian and international visitors, mainly due to the dedication and enthusiasm of the ABC Friends Group.”

That same ABC Friends Group (of which I’m a minimally contributing member) is organising some anniversary events this week. There’ll be plenty of information in-world or watch this space for details.

What are your thoughts on ABC Island’s first year? Has it been a success? How do you see it evolving in the coming year?

Australia Day 2008 in Second Life

An excellent grass-roots effort has been put in by a handful of Australian Second Life residents to ensure Australia Day 2008 goes off in style in-world.

There’s a cricket pitch with plenty of spectator seating, a special Australia Day version of Wolfie Rankin’s Rockit music trivia extravaganza and lots more.



Come dressed in your best whites from 8pm AEDT tonight (Rockit commences at 7pm)

Check it out in-world

Update: Gary Hayes has some great photos of the festivities here

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