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i had my first full fledged second life experience today.  i had signed up a while back out of sheer curiosity, didn't get it really, and just fell by the wayside.  today i saw that brad abrams was presenting a silverlight session "in second life" i figured i'd check out what this experience is going to be.  after all, he was presenting on visual studio island and i figured, cool.

to be fair, i'm not a gamer, or alternate world-ist at all, so i absolutely entered this with preconceived notions.  but nonetheless i entered...as a noob.

so off i went to the teleport.  i checked in early to see what was going on.  some people in the auditorium were mulling around.  the anonymity freaked me out...all these freaky names and not knowing who really was who.  i don't drink, but i felt like dropping a few f-bombs and pounding some jack and coke while i was in there as long as nobody knew who i was ;-).  but seriously, i just layed low and tried to figure out the system.

the session was starting and two moderators made themselves known and told everyone to turn off feature x, y, z.  i had no idea how to do some of the things they asked, but some fellow second lifers helped me out.  the session started.  remember, this session was about .

brad started out talking (the audio was very clear for me and i could hear him perfectly).  i enjoy listening to brad talk so was curious how this was going to go.  then he started with the presentation.  this is where i started to lose interest.  not because of the presentation, but the medium.  it appeared that the deck and other demonstrations were played back using some type of media file.  it took a while to advance, render clearly, etc.  i even felt like brad was pausing a bit to wait until it rendered.  i really wasn't enjoying the experience at all.

so i decided to leave.  what i thought was my stand up button i accidentally clicked on either a few keystrokes or whatever, but the next thing i know i was flying.  great.  so i tried to go "down" but that resulted in me moving backwards (in the air) and then i moved the other way, which put me in front of the presentation screen :-).  crap.  then suddenly i see a message on the little chat window (that fades away rather quickly).  "TAKE YOUR SEAT OR BE BOOTED AND BANNED!"  um okay, i'm trying.  then

boom.  banned.  i was exiled to some random place.  when i tried to return to the island, i couldn't.  i was greeted with border patrol and a "no entry" fence.  mother flipper.  i was pissed.  on top of my already horrible view of presentations in second life, i was even given the chance to enter the island -- the whole island -- not just booted from the auditorium.  argh.  i decided to chat it up with the person who booted me.  i learned that they were hired moderators and had a little chat.  i identified myself and said that for a noob, that left me with a horrible experience and had i been someone curious to microsoft and the topic i would have been more pissed at microsoft.  she proceeded to tell me that they had a lot of people deliberately causing trouble in the room and have to take action quickly because there is a lot going on.  well, i say you need more moderators then.  or guess what...that's the point...it is a virtual world and people want to be able to do what they want -- including cause trouble.  i don't know, maybe i'm getting old, but i really was just way turned off by the whole experience i had.  i don't believe i'll be going back to second life.  if there was more of a QA session i think that would have had a better interaction, but the overall experience left me blah.  i hope our other customers/noobs aren't treated like that...virtual or otherwise.

sorry for those that like it, that's cool.  hey i like foodtv and people think i'm an idiot, so i'm cool with that.


8/30/2007 8:07 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
brad: no worries, they eventually let me back in -- maybe if i can get a sweet hat like yours and some vintage rags, i'll come bag ;-)
8/30/2007 8:09 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
I like FoodTV and most Microsoft tech stuff. I have avoided these odd 2nd world experiences as well and wouldn't know how to handle them.

I wasn't really sure of the whole purpose of doing it as an avatar. I think it is cool for the sake of cool which doesn't thrill me.

Silverlight, et al are mostly a business thing and I doubt most business people are hanging out wasting the time it takes to be an avatar. I think most successful business people rather enjoy their actual life and don't need a fantasy one.
8/30/2007 10:04 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
Interesting reaction. I am a newby too and actually thought the presentation concept quite simialr to real life. I could not stay for very long but am interested in more presentations in the future.
8/30/2007 10:38 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
that story is hilarious! I can't stop picturing you flying around...

Anyway i have to admit i too was a noob and i too found it choppy, i persisted to watch the event but it really didn't leave a good user experience with me. My connection is pretty quick and i don't have trouble downloading large files (DVD sizes). BUT the actual content of the presentation was good, just the environment!
8/31/2007 2:09 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
Yeah I had mixed impressions of it, there was a Q and A at the end which worked quite well.

I found the presentation took a while to resolve, each slide started off blurry and eventually became clear.

I couldn't get video to work, but having since gone elsewhere on the island and had working video, the video (when it works) is pretty smooth and watchable.
8/31/2007 7:37 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
I also was there for the first time.
Funny place uh?...
I also think the best part of the event has been the final Q&A as the slides were not rendering nicely fast.
I think I'll be there again for more events as it is also a way to start networking with people in your same community. This time it has been to o late to me (I live in Italy) so I didn't have time to stay after the event.
May be next time you should do it 9am PST so you can attract all EMEA and some APAC people.
In the meantime I have written my first Silverlight app (look at http://mshosting.org the Silverlight Hosting article). It is both exciting and funny!
Claudio
(Italy)

8/31/2007 8:40 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
I'm older than you, Tim... and when Brad first posted about Visual Studio Island, I signed up and tried to go there, and just could NOT get into the whole deal. I didn't even consider the presentation, but had I known you were going to fly around the auditorium, I'd have gone for it... let me know next time you're out for a spin :)
9/2/2007 7:32 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
Yeah i am a noob and had a similar experience. I spent so much time trying to work out how to see the screen properly (as it was up high) etc that I wasn't listening to Brad. Then I thought to myself, "Aha! Why don't i just fly up and then i can see the video straight on." So i did that. I stuck to the back of the room so as not to get in anyone's way, but then i noticed i had a message saying something like "I AM NOT GOING TO TELL YOU AGAIN! FOR THE LAST TIME SIT DOWN!"

At this point I thought "Screw this. I don't need the abuse and I am not learning anything cause the interface is getting in the way (being a noob)" so signed off.
9/4/2007 7:31 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
I feel your pain, Tim. I made the trek to SL for a different MS presentation and felt totally out of place (and I'm in the "young " crowd < 25). If you don't use SL regularly and don't know the "rules" of the world, you're not sure what's appropriate. Should you fly out of the meeting if your bored? Should you try to walk and risk walking over people? Should you sit? Stand? Who knows?!

Thanks for sharing your story. It's good to see others are having trouble existing in a virtual world.
9/5/2007 12:05 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
Anyway i have to admit i too was a noob and i too found it choppy, i persisted to watch the event but it really didn't leave a good user experience with me. My connection is pretty quick and i don't have trouble downloading large files (DVD sizes). BUT the actual content of the presentation was good, just the environment!
9/20/2007 6:42 PM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
I think the Chinese girl should be voted out because she is not strong. i think Ashley is the best!
12/28/2008 7:21 AM | # re: voted off on visual studio survivor island
Very very funny,

I went to second life once after listening to .NET Rocks show on developing for second life (show 334), I wanted to build some stuff, write some code. But first you have to find a place where you can build stuff without paying. I was flying like a zombie all over, reading on Google to find some info, ... Then after many minutes I finally managed to find a place and wrote some scripts. This part was nice. I think the Second Life concept is great, but the UX is unfortunately bad. It's in my plans to really learn this SL stuff, mostly from a developer standpoint.

 
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