In a nutshell, pricing changes on one of Linden Lab‘s products has resulted in a refocus of goals. For those not familiar with how Second Life works from a private estate point of view, you basically act as a reseller, similar to website hosting.
Fortunately (for Subquark Hax), I am in the background acting as a sounding board and futurist for the estate. Many estates were abusing this product (Openspace sims). By abuse, I mean running so many scripts that the performance of these particular simulators (sims or islands) was very low. Anyone exploring Second Life as a corporate or educational tool that ended up on one would likely deem Second Life as a poor option.
Corporate adoption is a significant focus for Linden Labs in 2009. There is much to say about the prestige and press that large players, such as IBM, bring to Linden Lab.
It was also nice to see educational development of Second Life as a priority as indicated in this blog post. Educators have been early adopters of Second Life as a delivery tool and over 250 universities have a presence inworld. Even Moodle, the LMS, made it into Second Life as SLOODLE.
As a passionate and long time corporate eLearning person and college professor, I am glad to see Linden Lab’s commitment to both the corporate and educational communities. I would love to help shape both goals (hint: read the upcoming post on the Czar of Education and Creative Culture Development). On the educational front, I have been working on a set of 20 video tutorials developed for the eLearning community and in support of my presentations for the eLearning Guild.
Being both an eLearning developer for training used by 70,000 people a year and a multi-sim owner gives me a unique perspective. Professionals that I am in regular contact with, from my conference presentations and publications, can attest to my evangelic passion for Second Life. I sincerely believe that it is the best virtual world and will remain so for years to come (I have explored the OpenSim network and Openlife Grid, and they are lacking the tremendous user-generated content that sets Second Life apart; even with tools such as Second Inventory, Linden Lab has the capital, expertise, and passion to outpace the competition – and the loyal core of virtual land entrepreneurs).
The videos are a small part of what I can offer back to the eLearning community. I truly believe that teaching is one of the most rewarding endeavors and sharing new tools to reach more people is a responsibility of all educators. The final video library (lol, it will never be final, I keep jotting down more topics) covers all aspects needed for current corporate eLearning departments to start using Second Life not as a delivery platform, but as a 3D application for creating high quality video.
The quality of Second Life video, when done right, is comparable to CodeBaby‘s virtual agents. I have nothing against CodeBaby and think highly of their product. It has distinct advantages in that it is true software that can be run stand alone and audio can easily be changed for localization purposes. However, the price tag puts it out of reach of me as an individual and even my company. Our education development department is of good size, but the price tag for CodeBaby makes it impossible for us to justify it.
Look for a library of video tutorials (sneak peek), in the next two weeks, that will help you start using Second Life to create engaging video that will increase learner retention and add to your marketable skills! It’s fast and easy to use once you learn a few tips and tricks (and almost free).
Happy New Year! =D