Saturday, April 21, 2007

Friday's notes...

Some very nice blog entries about the VT memorials in Second Life can be found on the PacRim Exchange blog. The provide history of the memorial, showing how it has grown. I was struck today how the RL memorials on the Drillfield keep on growing - and how there is almost no difference between the virtual and real locations with regard to sentiment for the victims, survivors, and those impacted.

April 16th: Virginia Tech Memorial on Main Grid
April 17th: Another visit to the Memorial
April 18th: Virginia Tech Memorial - Day Three
April 19th: Official Memorial Established - Land Donated by Linden Lab

For the record, just because it's on Linden Lab-owned land, I don't think this is the "official" site. The article is good, but I take issue with the assertion. On and around the Drillfield on campus, there are a few memorial sites - none of which is "official," even though one sits right in front of the main administration building, Burrus Hall.

The best news of the day is that, thus far, the donation boxes and "Donate to get a VT T-shirt" vendors in Second Life have brought in almost $400!! All the money will be donated to the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund. The goal is $1,000... so we're getting there!

The worst news to report from the memorials is the presence of griefers and frauds - and I am not talking about the crush of RL press coverage in Blacksburg (though, here again, the similarities are marked). There were at least three attacks at the SL memorial sites, one of which I saw just after it happened after a resident IM'd me about it. Thankfully, two alert Linden Lab employees cleaned things up quickly and prevented the idiot from doing it again (by not allowing him to sign up with an alternate account). Another person has started a fraudulent group in SL that seeks to raise money for victims families, and states that he lost his brother in the shootings (the name he provided is NOT that of any of the victims). What kind of depravity would make him do this? I reported him to LL for abuse. I sincerely hope his account gets banned and that someone (in RL) punches him in the brain. I kicked him out of the "Virginia Tech" group, which made him unleash profanities in our short IM conversation. This paragraph was more space than either happening deserves.

And from the "sloppy reporting" department, I offer the following two links to stories. Both essentially ripped-off the story about the VT memorial. One of the two credits me for building a statue created by Perefim Cao (see yesterday's entry). The other mentions the MTVnews article, and then the author writes it like he is the one who covered it. I may not understand "new media journalism" as well as I could - but I know plagiarism and sloppiness from a mile away.

From (April 18):
Virginia Tech research associate builds memorial in Second Life

From (April 18):
Memorial to Virginia Tech Goes Up in Second Life

I talked to a student journalism major from Indiana University SouthEast today who wanted to do a story related to SL for his class. His professor didn't think he had a story... I would say it was a compelling one. Hopefully, his prof gets unstuck from 20th century technology and Web 1.0. Good luck, Colin.

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