Archive for the ‘About Lanna’ Category

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Do you know me?

May 31, 2010

I’m trying something new.  Most of the time when I’ve blogged, I’ve labored over my posts, wanting them to be just so.   This post, however, I’m giving myself only half an hour to write it; just getting my thoughts down and posting it for the world to see.  I’m giving this a try because my schedule isn’t giving me much time and I want to see if I can post something without making it an arduous process.

This morning I read a wonderful post by my friend Chestnut Rau that included some of her perspective on trust in SL.  As I read it, one of her key points was that trusting people enough to regularly let them in was something that didn’t come naturally to her.   I couldn’t help but read that and think about my own journeys of trust and intimacy in the virtual world.

Initially I likened the intimacy that comes with pseudonymity in SL to meeting a stranger on a plane.  You sit next to someone, exchange pleasantries, and sometimes you find a surprising conversation where people are divulging all sorts of details about themselves that you would have never imagined.  Then you get off the plane and never see each other again.

My first experiences in Second Life were similar to this; I met wonderful people and shared surprising nuggets of myself.  But then some funny things happened; I found that I got quite good at being an intimacy junkie, looking for a fix that comes with sharing something deep with other people.  I coupled this, however, with a unique ability to keep many people at an arm’s length that comes with having a virtual identity.  I found pseudononymous intimacy to be powerful but it was tempered by my own anxieties about too closely linking the atomic and digital worlds.  Yet as time wore on, like any junkie, I found the fix got harder and harder to satisfy.  I found myself getting less satisfaction from virtual intimacy and decided to start trusting and let down the veil of pseudonymity.

The gist of all this?  I’m not exactly like the people on the old American Express ads, but I have gotten to know quite a few people.  Yet like our first lives, we recognize that a much smaller circle of people are worthy of trust.  I’m glad I decided to trust people and move toward a deeper and more genuine intimacy.  The experience has undoubtedly made both my first and second lives richer.

But what is it for you, dear reader, have you found people you could trust to share intimately all of yourself in Second Life?

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The One With Web 2.0

February 5, 2010

I have a love/hate relationship with web-based social networking.  This may sound funny coming from a regular Second Life user, but it’s true.  The thing for me with social networking on the web is that I’m just young enough to see the potential and utility of it but also just old enough to eye it with a bit of skepticism (and I’ll leave it to you to guess my age, tyvm!).   Of course, SL provided just the right amount of social interaction for me for quite some time.   Then a friend talked me into getting a Facebook account to play the now-defunct Scrabulous.  Then, of course, I got a Twitter account.  Finally, Plurk rolled around and I got hooked.  Where I’ve been active has often been an outgrowth of my second life and used as an opportunity to connect with friends I’ve made in-world.  I found that being involved with these sites stretched my horizons and let me meet people I wouldn’t have otherwise; in short, I met some of my closest online friends through web-based social networking.   And for a variety of reasons, I’ve mostly been taking a break from being active in my social media spaces.

Despite being mostly silent on my social networks these days, I do peek in on my accounts from time to time.  But there were two interesting things I noticed in the past week that got me thinking about web-based social networking again.  One was that even though it has been around for a while, all of the sudden everyone on Plurk was talking about the importance of claiming your name over on Avatars United.  So, like a lemming, I decided to go and do the same thing.  Then, someone else pasted a link to a blog about banning Fake Facebook Profiles, or, what appears should be named “Let’s ban Second Life avatars from Facebook.”  But just what did you find interesting about these sites, Lanna?  In one word:  friends.

One of the things that I have found fascinating are the different approaches people take to adding friends on these sites; some take the word literally, while others appear to view it as a synonym for contact.  At some point I will post about friending in Second Life, because I take a very different approach there.  But for now, let’s talk about friending on web-based social networks.  So I’ve been asking myself one simple question: Just whom do you call friend, friend?  Read on after the jump to find out…

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Apocalypse When?

September 28, 2009

AN

A Welcome Center.  Shit.  I logged into a Welcome Center.  Every time I log in I think I’m gonna rez at my home but my sim must be down.   When I was in my second life, I wanted to be in my first.  When I was  in my first, all I could think of was getting back in-world.  Every minute I’m stuck in this Welcome Center, I get antsier.  Everyone gets everything she wants in Second Life. I wanted a project, and for my sins they gave me  one. Brought it up to me like room service.

A few months back, I was hit with an idea as I watched the Apocalypse Now.  Why not try to make a version of Apocalypse Now based in Second Life?  What really put the hook in me was a sentence in the opening narration.  Captain Willard (a young Martin Sheen) was waking up in his Saigon hotel room and talking about his return to Vietnam for a second tour of duty.  The line that got me was this:

When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think of was getting back into the jungle.

Why did it hook me?  Because it reminded me of moments of my experiences with Second Life.  Of the times where I was in my first life and wishing I could be in my second.  Then times in my second life where I was feeling the good pull from my atomic world.  This, of course, got me thinking.  What about a Second Life version of Apocalypse Now or Joseph Conrad‘s Heart of Darkness?  (and for those of you who didn’t know, Apocalypse Now is a loose retelling of Heart of Darkness)   I found that I was thinking about what was common to those stories and linking them to SL; telling a tale of a  lead character set on a journey for Kurtz in Second Life, but going deeper and deeper into her darker places.  Done well, I thought the SL version could be a fascinating comic, machinima, blog with pictures, just about anything.

So why are you writing about an idea that you never did anything about, Lanna?  Because, just like Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now, I got the mission I wanted.  And when it was over, I would never want another.  What mission was that you say?  Look after the jump to find out.

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Where did you want to go today?

September 26, 2009
yadni

Yadni's wonderful and eclectic junkyard.

Looking for something entertaining to try?  Look to your inventory!  No, I’m not suggesting that sorting your inventory is a fun pastime (although I suspect it is for some) but you can look to some of your older items to see what you will find!  Despite having a few moments of ruthless sorting and management of some notecards, objects and freebies I’ll never use, most of what I’ve ever taken into my inventory is still in there somewhere.  The great thing is that it makes for an archeological record of my time in Second Life.  So, out of a touch of nostalgia, fun and curiosity, I decided to revisit my first ten landmarks in SL.

Where did I go?  What did I find?  Peek after the jump to find out!

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What’s in a name?

September 15, 2009

name

This may come as a shock, but my name is not Charlanna in my first life.  I think it is a pretty name and it has meaning for me, but I might have put a little more thought into it if I knew that I was making a final choice.  A few months back, I had someone named Charlanna in her first life follow me on Twitter which I thought was cool and a little fun.  Yet shortly afterward, she sent me a direct message asking me why I “stole” her name.   Her question surprised me and got a hearty guffaw, but got me thinking, too.   What if my name were Charlanna in the atomic world?  Would she still think I stole it?  Or just think it was cool that we shared a unique name?  I really think her questions of my great name caper came because I had the opportunity to choose it.

Does that which we call a rose smell so sweet by any other name?  Just how much do I share about my name? Does naming matter in Second Life?  Read on after the jump!

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And she’ll have fun fun fun…

September 11, 2009

Chakryn for twitter

It is hard for me to believe that I’ve spent two years in Second Life, especially since I initially checked it out because of a healthy dose of skepticism.  Of course, I’ve had myriad ideas of navel gazing blog posts on the subject of two years in Second Life but somehow they didn’t feel quite right.  So what do I do?  Seek inspiration from a well-worn first life behavior that has driven some professional colleagues a little batty.  You see, the moment any project I’ve been working on has been completed, I always ask “how could we have done this better?”  After seeing people react like they have ataxia, I’ve gotten better about this and recognize where people need a little time giving each other high fives before they look to making the next thing better.  So, after two years, I have to ask myself: If I want to stay in SL, how can I make my virtual life better?

I have to admit it’s getting better, a little better all the time!  Better look after the jump to see!

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My random word challenge

September 8, 2009

words

I like words.  No, I love words.  There has always been something special to me about expressing myself in writing.  I’ll admit that I find a particular joy in finding what feels like just the right word.  It doesn’t stop there, I love crosswords and just about any sort of wordplay like bad puns.   This is, I suppose, part of the reason that I prefer text over voice in Second Life; there is just something about communicating in text that I find fascinating.  (But I’ll  save my ramblings on that dead horse for another post, perhaps.)  Instead I want to throw out a challenge to my fellow bloggers for a little word fun.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I worked for a while doing outdoor experiential education for young people.  Well, when new groups would come, I usually got the honors of doing the welcome and setting up the first activity before we would split into smaller groups.  Well, I always got the honors of doing the welcome activity; it was great fun and part of what I would do was tell a silly story to set of the premise of the activity.  I’ll admit that I really got into telling the story in a humorous and absurd way, but it got so that I did it enough that it felt a little rote.  One day I whined a little about this to a colleague and he challenged me to tell the same story I usually told but to try to do it while slipping in a few random words he gave me.  Being the sort who can seldom ignore a challenge, I gave it a shot and Yay! a new ritual was started.  So after that, before I started my spiel, other staff would come up with a couple of random words for my story (the only rule was that they could not be bawdy words) .  Things seldom felt rote after that!

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago and a conversation with the wonderful Kate Amdahl.  Somehow we got chatting about words and blogging.  Actually, I think it had something to do with one of my very favorite words of all time, meretricious. ( I’ve so badly wanted to use meretricious in SL, but always chicken out!)    But SL is probably one of the only places where you could use the word and someone might thank you for it.  We had a good laugh over this, of course.  But from it, a new challenge was born.  We traded  words that we were going to publish in our next blog post.  I got: transcend, marshmallow-like, absenteeism, vim, panacea and Kate got: meretricious, pus, moist, pugnacious, and flaccid.   So we both dove into our respective challenges and I used them in my post called /me doesn’t understand and Kate posted them in her post “My Secret Plan to Wear Everything.

So, how about it folks? My challenge is that you try to convince three blogging friends to play this little game with you.  No, this isn’t one of those things where you tag people and expect them to give it a go; this is best done with friends and as your own little secret challenge.  So ask three friends or acquaintances to try this challenge.  Once you’ve agreed, you each get to pick out a few words for the other person to try to fit in their blog post (heck, you even can decide how many words you’re most comfortable trying….three?…five?) They don’t need to long, fancy or difficult words, they just have to be fun.  If Dr. Seuss can write Green Eggs and Ham using fewer than 50 words on a bet, how hard can it be to plug some silly words into your next blog post?