On Thursday night, I was at the Secondlife meet hosted by Engkiat and Nicholas from the Idea Factory. I met fellow Secondlifers like Preetam, Vanessa and Alvin. I also met Aileen and for the first time ever, finally got to meet up with Jeremy, or Limkopi, as he is known inworld.
Limkopi was a memorable avatar for me because I always assumed, judging from the avatar that she would be a woman.
Turns out that she was actually a he!
Jeremy claims that when he registered, he accidentally hit on the choice of woman avatar and could not click back to remediate it. But all secondlifers know that you can change your form and gender in Secondlife anytime you wanted to. We just think that his avatar remained a woman because of the free swags 🙂
By the way, that lady in the white shirt is Amira, a writer for the Sunday Times who interviewed me for this weeks column!
I think I’m going to laminate this.
I also got to meet Falchion Smith who is the actual first Singaporean Secondlife resident. He joined SL in June 2003. Earlier than me! We playfully argued for abit :
Me : What? I’m not the oldest Singaporean resident? You are older than me?
Falchion : I am the oldest resident and yet you get all the fame. People invite you to events and talks and all I get to do is to tell grandfather stories. Its not fair!
Preetam : This is the alpha and the beta war!
He showed us a cool poster and his tee shirt which he got in 2003 as appreciation by Linden Labs for being an active alpha user.
Cory talked about the need to have developers and that hopefully by the end of the year, Singapore will start to be the asian base for Linden Labs.
I really enjoyed myself. We had alot of fun, with us being silly, spoofing secondlife.
And on that night was when I met Kevin for the first time. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that he was extremely nice, very friendly and a very down to earth person. His online persona seem to give me the impression that he was a serious person. But it was really comfortable to talk to him.
I stumbled upon his blog and we met a few times in world. He approached and invited me to speak in a panel representing the users of Secondlife for the Nexus Conference on Saturday.
Admittedly the idea of speaking in front of people was a little scary to me. It isn’t the same like webcamming where I can edit the video if I didn’t like it. But at the same time, I was excited at the prospect of speaking out my mind. In these type of conferences, speakers always talked about technologies and usually neglect human relationships.
Just for the fun of it, I decided to put on a badge that I made earlier on and dressed up as how my avatar would wear. Red shirt, blue jeans, and a grey cap. I had a relaxing ride on my scooter and headed to the picturesque Marina Boulevard facing the sea.
What a very fun bunch of people. They were friendly and full of jokes. Even though this was the first time that I was meeting them in real life, I didn’t feel left out. Dk was always joking about, pointing out some funny observations from the event.
The event stared off with a very interesting talk by Nat Torkington who talks about the future of web 2.0. and then by the guys from Lenovo, Microsoft, Tata and Nec – Unfortunately, I wasn’t really paying attention. It was much too technical for me.
We then headed to another room where there was a discussion on the topic of ‘Crowdsourcing the media’ which I found very interesting. The panellists included, Kathy Teo of Cnet Asia, Jennifer Lewis from Stomp.com.sg and James Seng of tomorrow.sg and moderated by Kevin – In essence they talked about Journalism from the public – media which is created by ordinary people. Was there a need for censorship, was it really viable?
The room was filled to the brim with people. It was definitely a very engaging session.
In the middle of the session, a lady from the floor, Clappingtree, asked the panelists on why there should be a censorship. She reasonsed that everyone, as long as they are within social values, should have a voice and a chance to be heard. She mentioned that ping.sg, a blog aggregator was a site where every blog had an equal chance of being read.
After the session, Uzyn, creator of ping.sg got hounded by fans.
After lunch, we got ready to set for the next segment where I was to do a sharing – “Living, working and creating a second life”. There were people in the room already. I asked Kevin, the type of questions that he will be asking, and he reassured me not to worry and that it will be a casual session.
I saw that Alvin has just arrived. I confided in him, “Gosh, I feel so nervous. I don’t even know what to talk about!” Preetam came up to me and teased me, saying that he will ask a very difficult question to me on purpose.
Later on Aileen and Kevin arrived and we started the discussion.
I opened with my sharing of Secondlife in a user point of view – Relationships in the metaverse. I’ve always felt that there isnt enough focus on human interaction as opposed to the focus on the technological (and commerce) side of it.
Alvin gave his thoughts about the Lion City sim to represent Singapore as well as to be an area where Singaporeans online could get together. While Aileen shared her thoughts on the business side of Secondlife.
I think they were both very good speakers. Aileen was very engaging and charismatic and Alvin kept his cool even though there was someone from the floor who asked a particularly difficult question in regards to our views about Secondlife being a political tool.
In the middle of my presentation, just as I was about to talk about relationships transcending to the real world, the CTO for Secondlife, Cory and Jean came into the room. I felt quite nerve wrecked as I told my personal story about my relationship with Cartcart, whom I met from Secondlife. I really could feel all those eyes on me.
But I had to push on and did the best I could. Looking back, I think I didn’t do too bad. Uzyn said that the room was silent when I was talking. But I think he was just being nice 😛
All in all, I think that the Nexus conference was quite interesting. And it was most definitely memorable for me 🙂
Updated: In case you’ve missed the article on the sunday times paper, I’ve scanned it and linked it here 🙂 Some inaccuracies here and there, but its all good 😛
- A video of our Secondlife home
- Secondlife as first seen in local printed media
- Misconceptions about the virtual world
- Real life relationships in a virtual world
- Displeasure with increase of regulation in Secondlife
- Video for the SL Panel in Nexus 2007
- Meet a jewellery maker in Secondlife