Meeting up with a group of Secondlife-ers for the first time

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.

A picture of Limkopi Davis

Turns out that she was actually a he!

Real life Limkopi Davis

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!

Rinaz claim to fame

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!

Eng Kiat posing next to the first SL resident in Singapore

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, Aileen and Preetam

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.

Candid shot with the CTO

I really enjoyed myself. We had alot of fun, with us being silly, spoofing secondlife.

Picture stolen from Kevin's Blog

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.

Jeremy, Kevin and Ben

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.

Saturday morning

My rinaz badge!

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.

Picture stolen from Kevin

I met up with the Ping.sg gang – Uzyn, dk99, ridz84, Jugend, Aen, and a few others whom I didn’t have the fortune of catching their names.

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 opening for Nexus 2007

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?

Crowdsourcing

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.

Uzyn got hounded by the fans!

After the session, Uzyn, creator of ping.sg got hounded by fans.

Gorgeous view of the city

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.

Oh wow I look hot! (for the first time) Picture stolen from Vanessa

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.

Alvin looking at Vanessa who is looking at me

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.

I can see my hand shaking. Picture stolen from Kevin

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.

Alvin is cool!. Picture stolen from Kevin

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.

Picture stolen from Uzyn

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 😛

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28 thoughts on “Meeting up with a group of Secondlife-ers for the first time”

  1. Great summary of events… boy what a week wasn’t it? I’m glad you’re getting the recognition you deserve and I hope you have gotten over your fear of talking to crowds. Why? I’ve a feeling you’re going to get lots of fans soon. Do I hear wedding bells in Lion City? 😛

  2. Kevin

    It was really nice to meet you Kevin. All in all, I got to thank you for giving me the chance to speak 🙂 What you said about challenging myself rang a bell. I’ve never done anything like that before. Its really was a memorable week!

    Wedding bells in lion city? I’m already stressed out about preparations for the real life wedding already … 😐

  3. Mandom

    Newspapers always sensationalise things 😛 But if god willing, we’d love for it to be at the end of the year 🙂 Sponsored by mandom 😛

    DK

    Hah! You didnt even go to our talk! 😛

    Matahari

    Hi Matahari from England! In malay, matahari means the sun 🙂

    Thanks for dropping by my blog and I’m happy that you enjoy reading it! *hugs*

  4. wah keluar papers seh! cool … too bad i missed it

    i think in my circle of frens u’re the foremost expert on 2ndlife … i bet you can talk for hours at end about it

    the shot of you holding the mic, muka serius rabak seh. hehe … the first serius face i notice at the blog. usually smiling2 jer

    you mean there’s guys who becomes girls in 2ndlife … isn’t that like telling you something? ‘coming out of the closet’ agaknya real soon eh

  5. Heya Marina, I just joined Second Life so hopefully will get to interact with you soon!

    I was at Lexus and thought you did great although you confessed how nervous you were. =)

    Well, congrats for the wedding and I’ll be glad to sponsor manicure-pedicure-spa treatments for the stressed out bride-to-be (i’m running a tiny scale online business) and perhaps if the groom is interested, he’s welcome too.

    Email me to claim your (first? *grin*) wedding gift!

  6. I saw the ending of an interview they did with Cory on Secondlife on Oz tv here a week ago, I know nothing about Secondlife except of what I’ve read on your blog. It looks interesting tho..I might check it out too 🙂

  7. Sha

    Apa pulak muka serious? Tu muka stress! Hahahaha!

    I dont know if I can talk for hours about it, I mean I have my own set of opinions that I can talk about. But some aspects which I am quite clueless about, like business and programming.

    So when are you going to join SL? 🙂

    About the girls turning out to be guys? I think we all agree that girls have more fun than guys 😉

    Alvin

    Yeah! I’ve already scanned and uploaded it! Its quite challenging trying to scan a full sized paper on a A4 sized scanner 😐 Had to photoshop it abit … maybe alot, as you can see later 😛

    Isabelle

    Hi, thanks for dropping in my blog 🙂 And me too, am looking forward to meeting you online. I think you might like it 🙂

    Yes, I really was nervous! All those eyes on me! Am glad that you enjoyed the session though 🙂

    Oh wow a spa session! Thank you 🙂 I’ll keep your offer in mind 🙂 Oh hey! We could do some waxing treatments for cartcart! I know he’ll LOVE that! *evil laugh*

    Nana Jr

    Yes 🙂

    Timtams

    Oh yes, please do!

    Will be looking forward to seeing you in-world! Heck, you can even go to the Lion City, a representation of Singapore, and where Singaporeans gather and maybe ease your homesickness 🙂

  8. Looks like you guys certainly had fun at the Second Life gathering, and I am heartened to know how Second Life became First Life for you! Good summary of the Nexus workshops too – something which I have been endeavouring to do with my posts over the last few days. I was at the other session on the Future of the Web by that Amazon scientist so this post is pretty good a summary for me.

  9. Walter

    I heard from my friends that the future of the web was interesting too 🙂 They really shouldnt have a dual track when both of the events were both interesting 🙂

    And yes, we did have fun. It was full of laughs and sillyness. I enjoyed myself alot 🙂

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