A few years back, folks were talking about the possibility of fundraising in that weird, little world called Second Life. Thinking it might be fun, like the self-contained world of The Sims I was into at the time, I tried to jump in to that realm — without much luck. Here are my columns outlining that sad effort — one from July 2008 and another from July 2009.
November 11, 2009, The New York Times — FOUR years ago, the visitors at SecondLife.com staged a virtual walkathon and raised $5,000 for the American Cancer Society by sending avatars walking in loops with mouse clicks and key strokes.
Profiles, tweets, widgets, avatars, oh my! Social networking has created a wild new world. Given that newness, it’s easy for organizations to get caught up in the notion that they need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to engaging with constituents.
Margelina, my long-lost Second Life avatar, has a friend! Her name is TinaLouise Serendipity. I created her because I couldn’t remember Margelina’s password. So they’re more like stepsisters and, actually, they have yet to meet.
June 8, 2009, Huffington Post — The setting was an amphitheater filled with attendees from around the globe. The scene sounds fairly usual, although the attendees were sitting amongst a Panda -- wearing a shoulder-ferret (looks exactly like it sounds), a bald English woman levitating in lotus position; a small penguin; a punk-rocker girl, replete with a bull's style nose ring; and yours truly, Glitteractica Cookie (Susan Tenby by human/legal standards), a pink-skinned cat-lady, emblazoned with paw-print tattoos, wearing a tuxedo T-shirt and a tutu, though I was both virtual and present in real-life, which is not as tricky as it sounds.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, May 26, 2009 — The Nonprofit Commons, a project of TechSoup Global (TSG), today announced an all-day, innovative online event in Second Life to showcase recent developments in health care research, and to connect efforts in fighting disease and creating a cooperative and supportive environment for patients and their providers. The Health Panel Expo, an international online conference sponsored by FasterCures.org, will be held on Wednesday, May 27, 2009, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. PDT (also called Second Life Time, SLT) in the virtual world of Second Life and simultaneously in the real world, being broadcast live at the fourth annual NetSquared Conference at Cisco in San Jose, CA. The Second Life online event is free to attend and open to all interested participants. It will be accessible through Second Life, and all information will be available at http://www.nonprofitcommons.org/healthpanel.
Chicago, IL, May 18, 2009 — The MacArthur Foundation Island opened today in the virtual world of Second Life. The island is a new laboratory for MacArthur’s two-year exploration of virtual worlds, led by the University of Southern California and the nonprofit Global Kids.
Grizzard Communications Group recently held a conference, Winning Strategies in Challenging Times, focusing on effective and efficient ways of communicating to donors during difficult economic times. The conference was held February 24th – 26th and featured a live panel discussion presented in the online virtual world of Second Life. Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary of The Salvation Army, along with other IT communications associates from Alexandria, VA and Reston, PA participated in a panel discussion as animated “Avatars.”
“It’s very easily mocked. People are afraid of it.” — Susan Tenby (aka Glitteractica Cookie), senior manager of online community development at TechSoup, commenting on virtual world Second Life and its potential use by nonprofit organizations, in “Get A (Second) Life” in the July issue of FS.
Working to change the real world by hanging out in a virtual one. That’s pretty much how Susan Tenby sums up nonprofits’ use of the 3-D, online, virtual world known as Second Life. Tenby is senior manager of online community development for San Francisco-based nonprofit technology information provider TechSoup.org Tenby, also known as her Second Life avatar Glitteractica Cookie, says SL can be an extremely valuable tool for nonprofits in terms of collaboration and learning. Launched by the San Francisco-based software company Linden Lab, SL is a place where nonprofits can raise awareness and dollars and reach new audiences while having