Australia’s first major SL music event on the horizon

The Austrade Music Office in conjunction with Cattle Puppy Productions are holding Australia’s first large-scale music event in SL. It’s called the “The Hoe-Down Under – Texas’ Aussie Music Party” and is coinciding with the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference 2007

The online event will occur on the 15th of March 2007 at 1:00pm to 4:00pm Australian Eastern Time on March 15. Bands scheduled to appear include The Beasts Of Bourbon, You Am I, Youth Group, Airbourne, Dallas Crane and more. Sydney-based vocal group Kaya will also perform (pictured below)

The “The Hoe-Down Under” will digitally recreate an island beach atmosphere with two stages, a dance area, swimming, jet ski rides, hot air balloons and more.

Check out the venue here

RMIT Revisited

I dropped in to the RMIT island the other day and bumped into the island’s director John Guffey. As the students start this coming week, further development will take off as much of the building and design work will be undertaken by the students themselves. John indicated that access to the island will not be limited to students alone. In fact, they are going to open more space – and there is already talk of another island.

John had an interesting view that “we want aussie unis to clump islands together”. That kind of scenario would be extremely interesting from two points of view.

Firstly, the competition for students and research funding would dictate that “clumping” all Australian University SL islands close to each other sounds to be a curious goal as universities are traditionally seen to be vying with each other.

Secondly, the concept of an SL Archipelago of Australian Universities could attract interest from the global marketplace of students. It would set it apart from other countries with tertiary education presences in SL.

It will be interesting to see how the current Australian Universities in SL respond to this proposal and whether those without an SL presence are prepared to come on board if the Archipelago happens.

Hyro open shop

Australian online services company, Hyro has a full presence in-world at their island called The Snow Dome . It’s purpose is threefold – in-world recruitment, a showcase of services and awards and extensive conference facilities.

More Australian Clothing

Wolfie Rankin, owner of the Kookaburra pub on the Eragon island, has launched a range of t-shirts.

In Wolfie’s own words:

“I did some Rocky Horror ones, and may do more if people request the other characters.

‘Strewth Mate’ was one of my first, and most popular – a black shirt with text based on the 80s “Choose Life”
shirts was the inspiration there.

‘Dead Dingos…’ is a phrase that even the Americans understand and find funny, so I released that one on a shirt also.

There’s a few funny SL based ones also, such as ‘Object: Hello, Avatar’ which all the scripters would recognise.

I also have ‘The sit ball made me do it’ which is based on the old one about the devil.

Rather too often, Newbies would leave plain cubes around the sim, and that’s where I devised the term ‘Noob Cube’. The concept looked like a good idea for a shirt, and has a nice branded feel about it, currently there are three versions, but there will be more later.

While having something to eat, I had this idea about Linden Labs, and thought that changing the B to a D might work, it sounds like a gang, or some special
police division.

That’s about it.

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Graham Sabre covered a footy jumper shop yesterday and it’s becoming apparent that the Australian identity is well and truly being established in a ‘fashion’ sense.

Counselling in Second Life

One of the main objectives of SLOz is to discuss the wider societal issues that SL raises. Previously we’ve discussed addiction in SL as a double-edged sword in that it can both help to treat real-life addiction but also has the potential to create new addictions. Delving further into the former, finding counselling options in-world is becoming easier and more become available. However, determining what is valid counselling in Second Life is extremely difficult. If you don’t know the difference between Jungian and Family therapy in real life, what hope do you have deciphering the options in SL? Some disciplined Googling wil help clarify some of the terminology but won’t tell you which counselling approach works best – and that’s because there is no one approach that works – it’s a very individual thing. This means that you may need to spend some time with a counsellor in SL before you know whether you feel comfortable, both with their demeanour and approach. Counselling can be one of the most health-enabling things you can do but an inexperienced or inappropriate counsellor can at best be ineffectual, at worst damaging.

An example of a counselling service avilable in SL is Wellman and Wellman Counselling, Coaching and Therapy. We’ll profile them and others over coming weeks. We’re not in a position to recommend any but want to publicise as many options as possible. If you’ve had positive or negative in-world experiences with counselling we’d love to hear from you.

Private Eyes

New World Notes discussed in-world detectives way back in 2005. With the burgeoning growth of users and subsequent increase in relationships, I’ve not noticed any great increase in surveillance businesses, let alone an Australian one. With the recent changes in the SL search functionality, finding someone is just a little harder although the standard search would be an unlikely standard approach for someone undertaking surveillance work.

If you’re an Australian business setting up in surveillance we’d be interested to hear from you. But maybe we won’t…

Environmental Education Potential

A few years ago I did a trip through the Macquarie Marshes over an October long weekend. Whilst the marshes are technically speaking under the control of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, much of the public access is conducted only on October long weekends through the Discovery programs run by the locals of Quambone and surrounding properties.

This stunning area of Australia which, like most places in recent times, is being sorely tried by our prolonged drought, is well worth the visit. Not only to see the effect man and nature has made upon this wetland area but to also enjoy and meet a local community that takes pride. Pride in the area’s natural beauty and ecological importance including pains to try and preserve and manage the area sustainably.

The small general store, 2 teacher school and community hall are at the “town” centre – not to mention the pub, of course! With the area’s race course a short stroll from the town centre you can’t help but appreciate the importance of these communities to Australia’s heritage.

What does this have to do with SL? Well, whilst wandering around the other night I came across an area called The Woodland Virtual Nature Center and it reminded me of the many places in Australia that have a similar message to tell.

Woodland Virtual Nature Center isn’t a great place – yet! However, the idea behind it has some major potential to those important nature areas of Australia where people cannot visit either for reasons of mobility or the sheer distances involved to get there.

As you look at Woodland, consider the view behind you after you teleport in. It gives pause for thought.

RMIT Island Under Construction

RMIT University, Melbourne have embarked on a construction project in SL that allows people to drop in and view their progress from a lookout area that affords a view across their island.

The contruction zone of RMIT Island is off limits to people apart from a small square atop a hill. From there visitors can see how things are going or relax in a deckchair watching some old 1930s style cartoons.

This quirky little piece of interest is probably a result of the makeup of the team that is putting the RMIT sim together. A mix of students from the faculties of:

School of Architecture and Design
School of Creative Media
School of Property, Construction and Project Management

The in-world contact is John Guffey and no doubt he will be able to answer further questions but I think the ability to drop in and watch progress may be even more revealing than a straight up Q & A from him.

With the growing number of universities from Australia embarking upon, dare I say it, “campuses”, in SL, and already conducting lessons in-world, education is about to embark upon an incredibly transformational journey.

SL’s Healthinfo Island

Healthinfo Island is an impressive community effort on the part of health librarians and it offers two services – a consumer health library and a medical library for health professionals. Both are run by specialist health librarians, Namro Orman and Carolina Keats.

When describing the Consumer Health Library, Keats says “the building is deliberately non-tech, home-like and the doors never close. It’s meant to be welcoming – I think lots about what’s welcoming, non-institutional, and about fostering trust”.

The library, although comprehensive, is always evolving, with new initiatives in development.

“One.. initiative, just in early days, is to encourage the development and identification of assistive technologies so that people with disabilities can come to SL, interact,’ Keats continued

The array of health information on offer is enormous, but approachable through use of everyday objects and environments.

‘if I could give a sort of high-level picture of what we’re about – we’re about supporting SL groups and individuals with quality health information, to empower them as health consumers,” Keats said.

“I’ll be going out to folks, finding out about information needs – and hope to enlist them in collaborative events, like health fairs. There are many healthcare-associated people in SL, so I want to connect with them, too. We are looking for people to help create content in health & wellness subject areas”.

If you’re looking for health information for a family member or friend, or a health professional after research findings, Healthinfo island should be your first stop in-world

Aussie developer needs all hands on deck

Developer Estrelle Fauna of Big-Bit has posted on our discussion forum asking for Australians with building / scripting / programming / sales experience.

With the enormous interest in SL, Big-Bit have the need to expand their talent to deal with the large number of prosposals being requested by Australian organisations interested in what SL may have to offer.

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